I’m always on the look out for a) cheap eats b) delicious eats c) unique cuisines d) great deals when searching for a place to eat. Now, I know that sushi is not much of a unique cuisine for me since I seem to eat it all the time. However, Japanese food can be expensive and once in a while I’d like to have a cheap meal! I came across Tenshi’s menu and they seem to have very good prices, so I decided to go there for lunch a few days ago as I was in the area.
Here’s what I ordered today:
Cucumber Sunomono – comes with lunch bento box
I was expecting a green salad and instead this arrived. I don’t generally care for sunomono and never order it at a restaurant so I don’t know if this is good or not. The vinegar is light tasting and wasn’t very strong.
Miso Soup – comes with lunch bento box
Standard tasting miso soup with a good amount of cubed tofu and kelp. I like how the miso wasn’t overly salty.
Assorted Sashimi (18 pcs) -$19.95
I decided I didn’t want to go carb heavy so I got the assorted sashimi instead of nigiri. Here we have salmon (3), tuna (3), scallop (2), surf clam (2), red snapper (2), red tuna (2), ika [squid] (2) and tako [octopus] (2). My favorite of the bunch were the salmon – very fatty and smooth, the scallop – sweet tasting and the surf clam – properly defrosted with a good crunch. I found the tuna sliced too thick, actually, it was more like a triangular chunk as opposed to a slice in even thickness. The red tuna and red snapper were both a bit coarse in texture and mild in flavor, which is expected. The ika also had a nice bite to it and was not stringy – it was easy to get a clean bite. The least favorite was the tako – sliced way too thin and was quite chewy. Also not defrosted that well as water bursted out with each bite.
Lunch Bento Box C – $11.95
I didn’t realize the portions would be so big! I should not have ordered a bento box and a large sashimi, but the bento box is the best way to sample a variety of items for a low price. With this bento box you get a choice of beef or chicken. There are other combinations of the bento and they are of great value (see menu at end of post)!
The tempura was lightly fried and perfectly crispy, but they were also a bit greasy. They should’ve placed a sheet of tempura blotting paper underneath like most places do – grease doesn’t look good on plastic. Vegetables still retained a small crunch and the shrimps were great to eat. While the tempura was served piping hot, they decided to serve me ice cold tempura sauce for dipping. I was quite shocked at this overlooked detail. The server didn’t reappear until the end of my meal so by that time my hot tempura has already warmed up the sauce.
A good heaping of dark chicken meat in a semi-sweet teriyaki glaze. The meat was quite lean with very little fat, so unfortunately it was also a bit dry. I only ate a few pieces and packed the rest plus the rice to go. I was thinking of saving it for my toddler but as I was walking back to downtown I encountered a homeless person and gave it to him instead. I hope he liked it! :)
For the sashimi I received another two slices each of salmon and tuna.
Prices are reasonable for the taste and generous portions. Service however… here’s the thing. I arrived at 11:28am and saw the sign on the door that the restaurant opens at 11:30am. Ok, not a big deal. I waited for a few minutes and didn’t see anyone opening up, so I called at 11:33am and a guy (the sushi chef) picked up, wondering if they are actually opening that day. He’s like yes, we open at 11:30am, and then I mentioned to him that it’s past that and I’m standing outside. “Oh, ok”. He then comes and opens the door. I was actually the only customer until about noon. My server, a young female, seemed a bit dazed and inexperienced, but was nice. The kicker came when I needed to-go boxes. As you can see, I ordered quite a bit of food and couldn’t finish everything. I had hot and cold food leftover so naturally I asked for two (small) boxes. The server said two? Got her confirmation and went to the kitchen. At that exact moment, I hear two men, commenting quite loudly in Cantonese: OH, SHE NEEDS BOXES TO GO? SHE COULDN’T FINISH HER FOOD HUH? Um excuse me? I don’t understand why that is even open for discussion. Doesn’t the general population pack their leftovers to go? Why would they make such a comment? Even if it wasn’t negative per se, I’m just shocked that they decided to talk about me while I was still in the restaurant, understanding every word. When will staff ever learn to NOT talk about their customers while they are still there? I have to say I was quite annoyed by this incident and it has definitely docked points off. Overall I would still return, but would not go out of my way to do so and would choose to get my food to go rather than dine in.