After eating dinner at Carlos Cantina & Grill in beautiful Sidney by the Sea the other night, we noticed a little Japanese restaurant right next door. We made a mental note of the place and decided to check it out for lunch today after reading all the positive reviews on Urbanspoon.
Located on Fourth Street near Beacon Avenue, the first thing we noticed about Green Wasabi Japanese Restaurant was photos of the guy from the Barenaked Ladies (nope, not the one that was busted for coke, but the other lead singer) and laminated prints of Urbanspoon review screenshots hanging on the fence outside to entice customers to enter.
The restaurant is literally a hole in the wall. There is no seating inside. In fact, you can’t actually enter the little building because the door just leads to the kitchen. While we were standing in the courtyard a server appeared (who also seemed like the owner) and told us to take seat wherever we liked. Not much to choose from in the small area of limited outdoor seating, and there were only two other customers. None of the seating was covered. Not sure what they do when it rains. Must just be take-out joint for the majority of the year.
For a hole-in-the-wall, prices are expensive – i.e. twenty bucks for a bento box. We don’t mind paying a premium price for quality products, i.e organic, or local, or sustainable, but this place offered none of those things.
The server tried to push the “special” which one of only two other customers was having. It did not look appetizing. Having worked in the industry, we now what the “special” means: It’s generally ingredients that the kitchen has an excess of, or are going bad and need to get rid of before they spoil, so the cook whips up a special and suggests it to customers. We weren’t interested. We were in the mood for sushi. We asked him what he recommended in terms of his sashimi selection. But instead of actually answering our question, he asked 20 questions about what race and nationality Gary was. Not sure what that had to do with sushi.
Let’s see, the food looks unappetizing, the prices aren’t reasonable, the service isn’t helpful, and to top it off it’s cold out but there’s no option to sit inside. Not surprisingly, we took our business elsewhere — to a restaurant that actually has indoor seating and helpful staff — one of our favourite restaurants in Sidney, Maria’s Souvlaki. It was delicious.