It’s a decently-sized, fairly well-lit restaurant (from the large windows taking up one whole wall). Its decor is a hodgepodge of bric-a-brac like sake bottles and Japanese art. Service was no-nonsense and not overly-friendly, but not abrupt either.
Due to the popularity of Fish On Rice, many people aren’t even aware Shin Ju exists directly across the street. Just like Fish On Rice, Shin Ju is an AYCE “All-You-Can-Eat” sushi restaurant, but also offers a la carte, take-out (take-out orders receive 15% off), and delivery menus.
We were actually heading to Fish On Rice for lunch with my brother one afternoon, but noticed Shin Ju offered an AYCE menu for around the same price so we decided to check it out instead. Their AYCE menu costs $12 during the day and $17 at dinner time. It provided all the standard items you’d find at a Japanese restaurant: sashimi, maki, edamame, gyoza, gomae, yakisoba, teriyaki, tempura, etc.
For AYCE dining at Shin Ju, there is a time-limit of 1.5 hours. I should also mention that if you leave any left over food, you will be charged regular price for the wasted items. And no, the restaurant does not allow you to take home your left-overs. The server seemed rather strict about their rules, so we ordered the items cautiously. Once our orders were placed, our food appeared with impressive speed. This was because many of the dishes, apart from the miso soup and gyoza, were straight-from-the-fridge cold. Even though the salmon sashimi was farmed (that was no big surprise) it, along with the tuna, were decently sized portions.
Overall, Shin Ju is an average neighbourhood sushi joint in Vancouver. Nothing will blow your mind, but nothing is exceptionally terrible either.