Azuma: Busiest Doesn’t Mean Best

Azuma Sushi
615 Yates St.
Victoria, B.C.
(250) 382-8768

E: I think James and I need a TARDIS the next time we plan for having a bite before going to see a theatrical production. We got into town at the right time, but when I was out looking for a collectible Superman coin from the Royal Canadian Mint and James insisted at a stop at Audio Video Reply, I was uncertain if we’d have time to have a proper dinner before going to the Rocky Horror Show.

Within the line of sight, I eyed Azuma Sushi. Now this place is popular … but I have to ask, to what community and who really likes to eat here? I doubt Dr. Frank n’ Furter would want to go here.

J: I think if Ed hadn’t managed to snatch that last silver coin of Superman from Canada Post (it was the display), his night would have been not as bright as it was. Ed brought me to Azuma and I’m going to be honest, it’s not my first choice for dining. It might look busy and the interior looked well designed but as I have learned a number of times before, that means nothing if they can’t get the food right. And for Azuma, it wasn’t just the food.

E: I’ve been in here before and I found the service to be poor. Once, the waiter just stood there expecting me to be ready to order, another time, the food just did not taste right. The third time, well … let’s just say the waitress was not all that charming and couldn’t hear my complete order. James heard me, and if I shouted out loud, I’m sure the whole restaurant would’ve heard as well. I ordered ramen first and the maki roll second. She should have heard what I wanted. Was there a translation issue?

J: I can be understanding if the waitress didn’t hear the order but her attitude I could not forgive as easily. She was putting on the airs that only changed after she realized her mistake of taking Ed’s order and suspiciously after she realized we were ordering more food. With our second server we went from lion to timid kitten. When she asked if we needed water we could barely hear her. Perhaps it was because she was standing 6 feet away. Was she afraid to approach our table? I can understand the British charm that is James would make her hesitant.

E: Or maybe she knows a lost hope when she sees one.

Alas poor James. Try as he might to charm a lady, they shy away from him no matter what. By the time my ramen meal arrived, I was already stealing a tempura morsel from his place. The maki roll I had was okay, but I did not find anything spectacular. With my appetite roaring to go, who must I attack for a meal? Maybe she knew I was ready to pounce so that’s why she stood back.

J: pouncing like a cat but if she only petted Ed he would have rolled over and showed her his belly.

 The ramen was simple in appearance but bland in taste, at least at first. Once it was given a few minutes to sit and mix, it was tasty. But I found it wasn’t of the calibre offered at Kuma Noodle. At least their ramen offers at Kuma are more pleasing to the eye and very satisfying. The tempura was okay but again, not shining. The prawns in batter had little flavour to offer but the green pepper was a wonderful idea. Few times do I recall where pepper was offered as an option. This should be encouraged more for Japanese restaurants. It adds pizzaz to a tempura dish.

E: I thought I was eating Yaki-soba. Or, perhaps, the cooks here do not distinguish between the types of noodles used. Udon has a distinct flavour and shape, Proper Ramen can be smooth as silk, and Yaki-Soba is curly–the latter is typically loosened when fried and a flavour packet is added to it to bring out its taste. I had to wonder if the wrong noodle was used.

At least when it comes to making tempura, its hard to screw up on that. The batter was nice, but I had to wonder why I left this restaurant with a bad after taste in my mouth?

J: Which bad taste Ed, the food or the service? Even with the lack of service, Ed still tipped the minimum percentage. I guess in his heart (located between his wallet and his ipod) he realized that even snobby servers rely on their tips above the possible minimum wage they are paid. I’m more strict on customer service then Ed, I would’ve refused tipping entirely whether it would make her think I was tight or not would not matter to me. Because in all frankness I use the rewards technique for good service. It’s better than speaking to a manager and inadvertently getting her fired. It’s off-season for tourism in this town and we all need to eat. Besides, I’m very confident our snobbish waitress will be her own undoing.

1 ½ Blokes out of 5

Azuma Sushi on Urbanspoon


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