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“Food good, service poor, place needs renos badly”
Review of Japanese Village

Japanese Village
Ranked #663 of 2,900 Restaurants in Ottawa
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: Byward Market Area
Reviewed March 11, 2013

I have been going to this restaurant for years because I love the food. After this last time, I will likely not return. The place needs renovations, updated menus, less salt in the sauces, a professional cleaning and a change in attitude of the servers.

We had a new chef who cooked our meals individually which meant that by the time I received my food, the first friend was finished her meal. Usually they cook everything together. Also, one friend had to bring her own soya sauce, due to allergies, and asked the chef to use it on her meal. Either he didn't understand English or chose to ignore her. We had to mention it to him three times and most of her food was cooked without it, so very bland. Suggest they get with the times, and use a different soya sauce, so someone with a gluten free diet can enjoy the great ginger and sesame sauce. This time those sauces were very salty. We had to ask for water and the waitress never came back to offer to refill the glasses.

The ladies washrooms are filthy!!!! The fans above the stovetops are disgusting and I am surprised they have not had a fire, yet!!! The menus need a facelift and have needed this for many years.

Last but not least, we were there on a Thursday night. The four of us spent $150 and after supper when we are sitting and socializing with each other, at 9pm we were told the restaurant was closed and were asked to leave. Nine o'clock on a Thursday night!!!!! This, to me, was the tip of the iceberg. I love the food here, with less salty sauces; have been going here for 30 years but when someone asks me to leave at 9pm on a Thursday night that is the end of it for me. You do NOT ask customers to leave just because you want to get home earlier. This is the restaurant business. If people are sitting around there is a good chance they will order another drink, possibly desert, or whatever.

I was disgusted and shocked by this action and I have never been told to leave because a restaurant was closing at 9pm.

The Japanese village has lost a 30 year customer.

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4  Thank HockeymomOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 - 76 of 103 reviews

Reviewed March 5, 2013

Highly entertaining and tasty at the same time. Recommend for parties of 4 to 8 as you sit in a semi-circle facing your chef while s/he prepares each person's meal with fire and flair. Not 5 star fare but a positive, fun environment guaranteed to entertain all ages.

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Thank 2gol4s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Food was good, cook did a nice show and interacted a lot but saw waitress only at beginning and then to bring bill. Ok for the price.

Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

And to boot, you smell like a french fry until you wash your clothes and take a shower!!

Just went tonight(Friday, February 1st 2013)for a birthday dinner and just ike last time we went a few years ago we were disappointed.

It's my 4th time in about 6 years however, I have eaten here about 20 times in the last 10 years. Noticeable "dégringolade" in the last 6 years.

Of course it's a ritual, it's a tradition, it's a must go if you've never gone however, save your money, your timea nd a few $$$ on laundry!!

Atmosphere is great, staff is great, location not so great(downtown - serious lack of parking!)

There were 8 of us. 4 couples. We were asked if we would like some drinks and most of us requested water. Of course, not all of us were there so we waited a bit and the waiter was kind enough to wait until all parties had arrived. He had very poor english but we were in a Japanese restaurant so we made due!!

I ordered the Tuna dish with rice, soup and salad. Sounds great! Never got a soup or a salad!!! All other parties got soup(which was horrible anyways!). It tasted like(I tasted my bride's) chicken bouillon (with all the fat left in and boiling water thrown in and 1 (count 'em, ONE) slice of mushroom!) The salad was excellent(I tasted my bride's!) and I would highly recommend it... if I had gotten one!!

My bride really enjoyed her steak and shrimp dish and the sauces that accompanied them!! A note here; she requested medium rare steak and by the time he got it it was almost well done. The quality of the meat and the ginger and sesame sauces made up for it but it was still overcooked. The same goes for our colleagues' steak. He even told the cook that it looked fine at one point but he kept cooking that meat for a good 7-8 minutes more. It was good but overcooked for him too. Keep in mind the quality of the meat and the sauces here because they mask a lot!! Yes I tasted it and it was good but not cooked to the requested state.

Please understand here that I am in no way knocking the Japanese Village! I am saying that there is a good possibility they are resting on their laurels and putting in servers and chefs that are not quite ready (because of their reputation and loyal clientèle)! Not a good thing to do. I know I will not recommend them or join any of my friends for a dinner there for quite a while!!

A note: the warm sake was excellent and very nice to enjoy with the food.

We were all done with dinner and we kept chatting for well over an hour after our meal; never were we offered water, tea, coffee or even acknowledged! We had just spent well over 80.00 per couple and that wasn't enough to warrant an offer of coffee or tea or even water?!? That really sucks!!!!!! We did not even get a look from ANY of the staff after we paid our bill!! Guess we were taking up a table that could be paying. I sound upset maybe? I am!!!!

When I mentioned to the waiter that my meal included soup and salad that I never got his superior came around making up excuses like the waiter was new and did not know that he should have told me(even though the - tattered - menu clearly showed what was included with my meal). Trying to justify the scr*w it is not the right way to go people!!!

I do not recommend this place for anyone unless they absolutely want the experience - remember you will have to wash the french fry smell from anything you wear/bring there.

Not sure why but the hood range fans do not seem to be working and on more than one occasion tonight I noticed the smoke from their cooking does not go up the stack but does come back into the dining room. Dirty fan shrouds or too cheap to pay the electricity to run them? Only a fire will tell!!!

I would have given them a "Terrible" rating but the atmosphere is good and the mood very good. If that is what you are looking for this place is perfect! Just don't expect a good cooking show, good service or good food cooked to your liking!

If you want to talk about this you can find me on Fb under Gilbert D Adam.


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2  Thank Ta10p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Food good and fresh. For a tepan place, chef less than exciting. Needs updating but overall good. We have been a couple of times and not sure we will return with so many other good options in that area.

Thank BFLP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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