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“Used to be a great experience now it's just a cash grabbing revolving door”

Japanese Village Steak House
Ranked #417 of 3,547 Restaurants in Calgary
Cuisines: Japanese, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Beltline
Vernon, Canada
Level Contributor
67 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Used to be a great experience now it's just a cash grabbing revolving door”
Reviewed January 10, 2014 via mobile

I'm so disappointed!
My family and friends used to love going to Japanese village for birthdays, dinners out or just to take an out of towner for the experience.
They're location has moved and parking sucks.
They squeeze 10 people in per side at an average of $40-$50 per person. The service and entertainment now seems very rushed. We felt rushed to finish our meals so they could clear and clean the sittings so the next 20 people or $1k arrives.
Food is still Awesome, but don't know if I'll be back

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Suzyzcabo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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239 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    89
    62
    43
    18
    27
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
157 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime, and only once”
Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

By reservation only, and no one seated until everyone there. Menus waiting on top of plate (spreading germs). Soup (a poor quality miso) arrives right away. Your order is taken, from the limited menu. "Salad" arrives 5 minutes later - a couple of clumps of iceberg lettuce with a couple of shreds of carrot, and a house dressing. Another 5 minutes and the cook arrives. His lines are the same as in other reviews from a year ago. The meat, shrimp and vegetables are cut and grilled on the flat-top, and placed on the rice bowl in front of each diner. Some cooks do a show, drumming on the grill. Ice cream to end. Service was swift, and no complaints of rudeness like other reviewers noted.
In and out in an hour. Yea, it is rushed.
Ever been to a food court and had a stir fry? Same thing, but $25 instead of $8.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank food_reviewer45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
“Great food, poor customer service”
Reviewed December 20, 2013

I frequent JV as my work goes there a few times a year. The food is great. Love the steak sauce. The customer service - rude and abrasive. They want you in and out and there is nothing warm or fuzzy or even remotely friendly about this place. I understand the moving people in and out quickly to make a profit but it can be done with some tact.

I can give a few examples #1 the cooks stand right in front of you and do the bare minimum to talk to you. Some are better than others. Some do not talk to you other than confirming your order. #2 When you call to book a reservation, look out. The person on the other end will tell you that they will not seat you unless everyone is there - do not let one person in your party be 5 mins late or you all stand there. They will tell you that you get one bill for a group and they will tell you that they will call you that morning to confirm. #3 We had one cook tell our group that if we want extra sauce during the meal we need to ask for it at the same time. Then he tossed it to each of us, literally skimming it across the table #4 We had one person paying debit that accidentally hit the "0" for no tip, just let it go through, the person at cash noticed that and said - YOU GAVE NO TIP, cancelled the transaction and gave the machine back to her. #5 We added an extra person to our table when they called us to confirm and she said to me - WE CAN ADD A CHAIR BUT YOU MAKE SURE YOU TELL EVERYONE NOT TO COMPLAIN. wow. #6 If you go with a group they add 18% gratuity. Which you don't mind if the service is good and standard but really???

To sum it up - JV is lucky they have food that everyone loves. The service would not be acceptable in any other establishment. And even our group questions why we continue to go there and allow ourselves to be subjected to the rudeness.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank CalgaryGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Airdrie, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Uptight staff!!!”
Reviewed December 19, 2013

The food was great and the chef was very friendly ... BUT the staff at the front of the house and our waitress were very uptight which is what took this rating from very good or even excellent to average. From the moment we made our reservation through to placing our order and getting our salad, the staff were rude. The chef was the only friendly and polite staff member we encountered. For sure it is a busy place and there are logistical challenges of fitting in guests (although I'm not sure they consider their patrons as guests ... felt more like inconveniences) to ensure the most efficient use of space but there are ways to do what they need to do that would go a lot farther than they way they approach it.

We'll be back because we love the food - and because it's become a bit of a game for us to try and guess what rude service trick they'll try the next time!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DF2011_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Steak sauce and rice, YUMMMMMMMM!”
Reviewed December 17, 2013

Sounds strange, but trust me......it is FABULOUS!!! We always love going to Japanese Village (usually at lunch, it is cheaper but the same food, if not as many courses), mainly for the bowl of rice that everyone gets steak sauce poured onto. This isn't BBQ steak sauce, it is far different and amazingly tasty.....thick, delicious, SO GOOD! I could go there just for that for lunch! :) The portions are always good, we never leave hungry, and it is fun to watch them cook in front of you. They DO have the rule that your whole party has to be there before you will get seated, but in all my years of going I have never been rushed through my meal. It is a business, they obviously don't want you to hang out with bums in seats for ages after you have finished eating/paid your bill........but that being said, we have never had them motion us out! We have always had friendly service, if occasionally a bit slow.................but if you want a fast meal, go try fast food. :) Trust me, try the steak sauce on the rice. SO GOOD!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JustMarriedAJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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