10238 104 Street NW, Edmonton
A couple of weeks ago a group of my friends decided to go to Japanese Village. We just booked a trip to Tokyo because the flights were so cheap, and decided to go out one Friday evening. I had never been before, but heard a few mixed reviews so I decided to give it a try.
I went to the Downtown Location, there’s a fair amount of street parking and parking lots downtown. The street parking is free after 6 on weekdays and Saturday and free on Sundays. As with most areas of downtown, it can be difficult to find parking sometimes. I recommending booking in advance and going with small group of people. Each table top grill seats about 6-8 people.
We ordered a few appetizers to munch on before our entrees. We got the tempura, sashimi, and Ika kara-age. For entrees, you choose what kind of meat you want them to prepare for you. They have varying cuts of beef, chicken, and seafood. Among all of us, we got the Filet Mignon, New York Steak & Chicken Teriyaki, and the Shogun Special, which is steak and lobster. Your dinner comes with Shabu Shabu soup, village green salad, Yaki Shrimp, Hibachi vegetables, steamed short grain rice, and Japanese Genmai Tea. It’s true that Japanese Village is relatively expensive, but I would have to say that you do get a fair amount of food, and at the very least, it’s good to go once just for the experience.
The Soup and salad were nothing amazing. Nice to eat something while you wait for your appetizers to come out. Similarly, the tempura is pretty standard fare. I’ve never really been a fan of assorted tempura. I always find it pretty filling, and would much rather eat something else.
The Ika Kara- Age was really well cooked. Really tender pieces of squid. This would be the appetizer that I recommend getting, but you might get pretty full from your entrée. Nice and light breading, and goes well with the sauce.
Lastly, the sashimi here was pretty good. It tasted pretty fresh. Usually surf clam is not my favourite fish for sashimi but it was relatively good here. The tuna and salmon were both also fresh. This would be my second appetizer of choice.
Shortly after our appetizers came, our cook came out with a cart full of condiments and sauces. Right before he starts cooking the food, the cook does a little show with the spatulas and instruments and flipping things into the air. It’s loud and pretty dynamic and good snapchatting material. After the demonstration, he started off with grilling the vegetables, which is included with each of the dinners.
There were mushrooms. zucchini, and beansprouts. Also, your meal comes with their famous sesame steak sauce, which my friends always rave about.
One criticism I have about this is that your meal comes together piece by piece. First with the vegetables, and then the shrimp, and finally your protein of choice. It makes it difficult to not pick at your food if you want to get a complete picture of your meal. It also makes it difficult if you want to eat everything together. Overall, my meal was pretty good. They actually had to cook my chicken inside the kitchen because my friend has an allergy to poultry, so it was served separately from my meal.
In general, I enjoyed my experience at Japanese Village. It is one of those special occasion type of venues. There were probably five different birthdays happening during my time there, so it also reiterates that this place is more of a venue for special occasions or once in a while. It can be a bit pricey, but to be honest, you do get a large amount of food for what you get. I’d recommend giving it a try once just so that you can have the experience of your food being cooked in front of you and the see the demonstration before your meal!