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Sushi Mura: No Mura, PLEASE!

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Sushi Mura has been open for quite a while now. It’s located in the tiny plaza at the intersection of 49th and Oak. Let me preface this post by saying…

It’s places like this that drive me to write them up once I get home. Not because they’re good. Not because they’re fantastic. But because I think it’s batsh*t crazy that they’re still open.

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It’s a tight restaurant. Gazing around the room, I felt like I was in a sardine can. Nevertheless, the tableware was quite nice, which hoodwinked me into believing that they serve good food.

Never judge a restaurant by its dinnerware.

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Fasha always likes to order tempura. I’m not a particular fan of it since it’s deep-fried and often seeping with oil. Still, Fasha wanted the Prawn & Sweet Potato Tempura ($7.95).

Just as I predicted, it was greasy due to the grossly thick batter. I ended up peeling off the skin, which said a lot about its thickness.

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Fasha also likes to order nigiri: tamago, salmon, toro and tako are his samples.

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Wait, what’s that? That’s odd… why would the sushi chef place some display models of plastic nigiri? Ooh… that’s the “tamago.” Gross.

If I wanted some machine-manufactured, tube-squeezed egg mixture for dinner, I would’ve got some from the supermarket. Although it may be just $1 a pop, that’s no excuse for serving crap like that. I’d rather they up the price and serve real tamago. We were so disgusted that we literally left it untouched.

Tako ($1.8/pc) was too thick, thus chewy. Void of any flavour, as well.

Salmon ($1.2/pc) and toro ($2/pc) were alright. It’s quite difficult to screw those up.

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As for myself, I ordered the House Roll ($4.95) and Negitoro Roll ($2.75).

The House Roll tasted alright, but…

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It looked like someone sat on it.

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The “negitoro roll” was even more ridiculous. I think it should be renamed as either, “Negi-no-toro Roll” (credit to Sean) or simply “Green Onion Roll.” Sushi Mura, take your pick. I have never seen anything like this before.

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Our last roll was the Crazy Rabbit Roll. Aptly named because no sane rabbit would eat this.

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Instead of rice, the filling was wrapped with cucumber. Usually, rolls that use this technique are quite refreshing. Not in this case: it was drenched in sickly sweet sauce! I swiped off that glop like snow off my car, and it was still so sweet! BLECK!!!

SERVICE

  • Servers didn’t fill up our tea unless asked. When asking for our second refill, the guy waiter just walked away. When we asked for our bill, we asked the same guy for some tea. He acknowledged our request, but never brought us the tea.
  • They didn’t ask us if we wanted anything packed, even though the tamago was left completely untouched (not that we would want to pack it anyway). Still, their lack of concern for the leftover food alludes to their lack of concern for the customer.

By now, I hope that I’ve deterred you from ever visiting this place again. But, if you’re not convinced… here:

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Holy sh*t. Is that tuna defrosting on the counter at room temperature? Wait. I might be wrong.

It should be slightly higher than room temperature because it’s sitting next to that Tim Horton’s Coffee… somebody wanted to roll up the rim.

Fasha and I were horrified: that is 100% not food safe. How did this place pass health inspection? If I get worms, I’ll know where they came from…

UPDATE: seems like this wasn’t the first time they improperly thawed something frozen (http://www.inspections.vcha.ca/Inspection/Show/7a6e5e1c-f558-48d5-96e1-6122bf5e9e06).  They did fix it for the re-inspection.  But, they clearly need another.

Final Bytes

  1. This was the place that made us give up hope on these dime-a-dozen Japanese joints.
  2. Never again.
  3. Ever.

Foodobyte’s Rating


Sushi Mura on Urbanspoon

About The Author

Curtis Ng Hello! I'm a UBC Dietetics Major, which is ironic because pizzas and fries were the staple foods of my high school diet. In 2011, I started Foodobyte as a means to express my passion for food, nutrition and photography.

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  • LotusRapper

    That is absolutely scary and disgusting !

  • cL

    Wow. Talk about worst experience.. You certainly came across one with this one :(

    Since you go to UBC, have you checked out Hitoe Sushi on 4th and Alma? I love that place!!

    • No I haven’t! I google’d it and it looks pretty awesome :D any special recommendations for dishes??

      • cL

        Their tamago is the real stuff for sure!! They also have great lunch specials; I got this one with miso soup for only $7.95!! Plus, upgrade your sushi to black rice (with this one, I did it only with the nigiri and I payed an extra $0.40); it is much more chewy in texture and healthier ;)

        Whenever I go there, it feels like I am eating in Japan; the atmosphere and the darkness is very similar to those in Japan :)

        PS. The black rice they use is actual black rice and not the wild rice so it tastes 1000x better :D

        • Awesomeeeee :D I’ll your tips in mind ^_^

  • MissVancouverPiggy

    Do you have any clue to what you are writing about or know anything about Japanese sushi besides eating it? Real tamago? You are in Canada, not Japan. Plus, you are eating at an average Japanese restaurant. There are hardly any Japanese restaurants that serves fresh tamago here because of the long process in making them and competitive prices. Most Japanese restaurants in BC get their fish and sushi products from 2 main suppliers and I can assure you, they do not have fresh tamago. The tamago at Sushi Mura and what you most likely have eaten elsewhere, is actually served by 85% of the restaurants. Also, Hitote Sushi serves the other kind of tamago which is from the same supplier.

    • MissVancouverPiggy

      PS.

      I type as I think with no filter and have no intensions of being rude!

      • Vancouver is a very multicultural city – there’s no denying that. It doesn’t matter if we’re not in Japan, especially since Vancouver has some of the highest standards for Japanese and Asian food in North America. You can’t have Sushi Mura set the standard for the rest of Vancouver – it’s not fair for actual quality restaurants (that don’t necessarily cost you an arm and a leg). You may say that 85% of restaurants serve the same crummy product as Sushi Mura… well, I have to ask, where have you been eating? Even before I started blogging, my dad and I have visited innumerable Japanese spots. This was the first place ever where we encountered this kind of “stuff.” Sorry, but I’m not a piggy so I don’t eat anything and everything in sight (peripheral vision included). This is evidenced by four completely untouched pieces of “tamago.”

        You describe making tamago as an extensive and arduous process when it actually doesn’t take that long. I know personally because we make it at home in 5 minutes. It is arguable that restaurants need to prepare much larger quantities than at home… but in the restaurant business, there’s time allocated for something called, “food prep.”

        To keep prices competitive is not a valid excuse for serving junk. Logically speaking, if no one enjoys that junk, it does not matter how low the food cost is because no one is going to buy it. Food shouldn’t be about money; it should be about quality.

        PS. Just because you say that you have no intentions (or “intenSIONS” as you’d say) of being rude… doesn’t make you “not rude.” It’s okay to be rude, but be honest about it at least.

        PPS. I would like to know where you got your statistics regarding the main suppliers for Japanese restaurants (i.e. 85% of the restaurants serve this junk). But anyway, here’s a brief list of Japanese suppliers that I found with a simple Google search:
        – Nishimoto
        – Angel Seafood
        – Winning Trading Co.
        – True World Foods
        – D Way Foods Inc.
        – Sun Wah Japanese Food Ltd.

        • PPPS. Obviously companies don’t supply fresh tamago. It’s not like they’re going to cook it fresh, then send it off to the restaurants… They do deliver fresh chicken and quail eggs though.

        • MissVancouverPiggy

          What I commented was not personal, I know this is the internet and we are entitled to post whatever we want and express our opinions freely, but if we are going to blog something about our experience, that is great. However, imho I do not think it is fair to your readers of your blog in stating something that is not true or well researched first. How can one compare authentic Japanese food to Japanese food served outside of Japan? Yes you may find one or two restaurants that come close to that if you are lucky otherwise it just would not happen. As for tamago, I do not think any Japanese restaurant will be making them in house anytime soon cause it is just not worth it business/profit margin wise and the shelf life for them is short. And I am sorry but good authentic Japanese tamago takes more than 5 minutes to make cause of the proper layering of it, it is not frying an egg.

          To answer your question, I have eaten Japanese cuisine in Japan, Taiwan as well as quite a few popular restaurants in Toronto and pretty much most of them in the Vancouver and surrounding areas. Plus my bf knows how to make them pretty well so he is my last resort if I really wanted them. Simply put it, your dad owns a Chinese restaurant right? Can you honestly say the food served at your dad’s restaurant is authentic compared to the restaurants in China or Hong Kong? Like I said I am not here to attack you or anything, I simply commented that is how most of the tamagos are in Japanese restaurants here whether we like it or not, and I wish all foods we pay for are good. Oh by the way, you missed “7 Seas” in your google search list which is actually one of the main supplier that I was referring to in my first post.

          • Hello Miss Vancouver Piggy,

            Could you please clarify which part of my post that you believe to be untrue?

            I don’t see why authentic Japanese cuisine can’t be served in Vancouver. Is a culture’s cuisine limited by geographical boundaries? I certainly hope not. It’s the people who create food… not countries.

            As for the tamago, Tokyo Thyme makes their own. Even if it’s not exactly the same as Japan, it’s still better than the generic packaged stuff. Also, thank you for answering my previous question regarding where you’ve previously eaten. I hope to clarify that I was inquiring about the places where you’ve had this type of “tamago” – i.e. the “85% of the restaurants” that serve this stuff. More importantly, did you enjoy it?

            It’s nice to see that you’ve combed through my blog to learn that my dad does own a Chinese restaurant. I invite you to look closer and see if I mention anything about it being identical or even trying to replicate restaurants in China or Hong Kong. Back to the context of this post, I didn’t say that I expected this place to be authentic Japanese. I merely expressed my extreme distaste for their product.

            By the way, as I mentioned previously, I conducted a brief Google search. My apologies for not listing 7 Seas.

            • William

              Hi Curtis and Miss Vancouver Piggy,

              At core, it’s believing what we love in food. :) The tamago debate has very little to do who the suppliers are, the only thing matters is if chefs/owners today are willing to produce them in house.

              The technique of making and perfecting tamago daily is truly an lost art today. I agree that a lot of local restaurants don’t serve tamago or tamago-yaki that is made in house, for time efficiency, for profit margin, or they just don’t simply know how.

              And it doesn’t stop there, we are also aware that there are machines that process box-shape nigiri sushi rice, funny looking cuts of sashimi. So at the end, it is up to what you want to promote.

              I personally know Kilala that most likely prep their own tamago, and I hope that others would follow. Because that’s what I love and believe in food. :)

              I actually feel bad for your experience with Mura, I have heard okay things from others but that negi-no-toro part was funny and not funny at the same time. Hope you get better luck elsewhere next time. Hitoe is great but a little too fancy with the garnish (dill and many other things) for me. I personally don’t like too much irrelevant edible items in my food plate.

              • Hi William,

                Indeed, I would much rather chat about the food we love than argue over the foods we don’t. I also agree that it’s up to the chefs to serve what they want, regardless of their suppliers. That couldn’t be more well said.

                Fortunately, we do live in Vancouver so there’s a healthy growth in the restaurant industry, with creative and passionate chefs at the forefront :)

                Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate it.

    • Mr Japguy

      I don’t mean to be rude but i don’t think you know what you’re talking about.This is coming from a Japanese person who owns a Japanese distribution company and deals with many others. All your numbers are wrong as well as your knowledge of the industry. please be quiet.

      • Thanks for weighing in Mr Japguy :)

      • MissVancouverPiggy

        Actually I know exactly what I am talking about because a few friends are co owners of a few japanese restaurants. May I ask what is the name of your company because if you actually own a Japanese distribution company and have good products, I am sure my bf and other friends would be more than happy to acquire products from your company.

      • William

        Mr. Japguy, I am not sure if you are a Japanese person yourself. The word “Jap” can be quite offensive to many coming from Japanese roots/background. Just FYI.

  • Gai-jai

    Miss vancouverpiggy needs to use her time to find her Kermit the frog so she doesn’t waste her time to critique people’s blogs. What? Kermit doesn’t want you? Awwww poor piggy….maybe you can see if mrjapguy is free? You guys are a match made in heaven.

    • Disgusted

      Why are you guys resorting to personal attacks. We can disagree on the topic but it doesn’t mean you have to resort to calling names. I’m disgusted with this blog. You have lost a reader. You are showing how childish and immature you are. Is this still highschool?

      • Guest

        Couldn’t agree more “Disgusted”! Learn to accept peoples opinions. Acknowledge it. Address it if you feel it’s incorrect, but don’t belittle her. God, you are going to be a nutritionist/dietician? I’d never visit you if you were going to put me down with insulting comments for expressing my concerns.

        You are posting a blog. You should respect feedback and differing perspectives. People have different taste buds and experiences. Have some respect. I came here looking for a review, so I continued on to read your viewers comments and was more disgusted by your words than the sanitation.

        • Hello Guest,

          I’m not quite sure if you’re actually referring to me in your comment, but I’ll assume that you are. I don’t see how I “belittled” Miss Vancouver Piggy. All I did was “address it” because I felt “it’s incorrect.” In fact, she was the one belittling me by saying “Do you have any clue to what you are writing about or know anything about Japanese sushi besides eating it?,” implying that I’m not qualified to talk about food, even though it’s MY opinion.

          I am open to feedback and suggestions, but if I am being personally attacked, I feel that I have the right to defend myself and my blog. I did not disagree with her opinion; I merely refuted her “facts.”

          And aren’t you making personal attacks to me by saying that I would not be a good dietitian?

      • Hello Disgusted,

        I agree that name calling is not okay. As it is the Internet, people have freedom of speech. However, I will try to better screen the comments posted on this blog to ensure that discussion is kept professional and respectful.

        Whether you choose to discontinue reading this blog is entirely your choice. I just hope that you’ve enjoyed your stay prior to this time.

        Thanks for reading.

  • yellow

    This place is the only restaurant which has ever made me angry. Their service is terrible. That is why I don’t wanna go to Japanese restaurants owned by not Japanese. But Charcoal is the exception :)

  • Disappointed

    The vast majority of people that I have talked to who have gone to this restaurant are quite satisfied with the quality, portion size, and cost of this restaurant. Admittedly, the service is a bit lacking, but food-wise, it is an overall gem.

    You are critiquing this restaurant as if it were a high price point restaurant but it is clearly at a lower price point that a lot of other sushi restaurants out there. (Amateur Foodie Fail 101)

    Good luck finding another restaurant that offers a decent quality deluxe chirashi don w/ 24 pieces of sashimi for $14!

    I really don’t need to say more.

    • Each person is entitled to their own opinion. That means you. Your friends. And me.

      I didn’t critique Sushi Mura as a high-priced, high-quality restaurant. Bad food is just bad food. I don’t care where the food’s from or how much it costs. However, I do care that it’s food safe (which it’s not at Sushi Mura).

      The reality is… I don’t need luck to find another restaurant like Sushi Mura. Because I hope that I’ll never encounter something like it again. Ever.

      Enjoy your Sushi Mura, Disappointed.

      • dontreply

        you should realize that what you’re saying is the same as “I’m disappointed with McDonald’s because they do not make their own chicken nuggets. they use manufactured crap!” LOL you expect them to make authentic tamago and sell it for $1-$1.50?? most people know that they are eating manufactured tamago, and they are fine with it. dont freak out like ur from some japanese bourjois neighbourhood. also, it is true that more than 75% of japanese restaurants use manafactured tamago.

        • “I’d rather they up the price and serve real tamago.”