Japas Japanese Tapas & Oyster Bar had a very good chance of being an amazing restaurant. I mean, they serve Japanese tapas (small dishes of food to share) and oysters! What more can you ask for? However, the four of us had a very sour experience here at this restaurant. Continue reading to understand why.
The night was young as we were seated at 7:30 p.m. and began poring over the menus, feeling excited and hungry, about the many choices of tapas and $1 Tuesday oysters. Part of the reason why we chose to dine here on a Tuesday because purely because of this promotion — $1 oysters! However, we soon were informed by the server that only two types of oysters on the menu were considered to be part of this promotion. Not only that, but only one type of oyster, Fanny Bay, would be considered the type of oyster on promotion. That’s not all. The server also informed us that they didn’t offer the $1 oyster promotion anymore (the reason she gave us was that the oysters aren’t “in season anymore”). What the heck? That is serious false advertising. I even have this picture that clearly shows on their blackboard menu that they do have “$1 Tuesday oysters”. Why leave this up if you know that you are not offering this deal anymore? That’s considered fraud! Also, you need to change the information on your website if you know that you don’t have this promotion anymore.
So clearly, we were a bit upset about this. We ended up ordering a dozen oysters anyway to try them out. We got $17 for a dozen. The Fanny Bay oysters ended up being ridiculously delicious, fresh, and smooth. If you’ve ever had oysters before, you know that freshness and that smooth feeling has to be there in order for the whole experience to go well. I was very impressed with the quality of the oysters.
Next, we waited on our tapa orders. This is the second disappointing part of the night. We ended up waiting more than an hour before we finally received all of our orders for the night. Our game plan was actually to order 5-6 items in our first round, and then assess our stomach space before placing a second round. Because they took so long to deliver our tapas, we didn’t dare ordering more food for fear that we would have to wait another hour for it. This is seriously terrible management on their part. First of all, it shouldn’t take more than an HOUR for food to arrive on the table. When we inquired about our missing food, the server wasn’t even apologetic. She blamed the fault on another server and continued to ask us about the orders we placed. She blahed on and on about the dishes and that the kitchen was “very busy” instead of assuring us that our food would be here momentarily. Ugh, terrible service.
Here’s the food that we ordered. They range from disappointing to mediocre to impressive:
We were anxious to try this unique monkfish dish. It was disappointing. The taste was a bit bland, and although the meat was firm, it tasted just like regular fried fish.
Also disappointing: The tortilla skin of the fish taco was hard and rough. It contrasted poorly with the fish which wasn’t that tasty either.
We were, again, excited to try the monkfish liver. However, we were, again, disappointed with how tiny the portion was and how tasteless it was. The accompanying saucy seaweed and pickled cucumbers made the monkfish liver taste better, but overall, this wasn’t favoured much.
Terrible fried chicken! It was bland and didn’t taste good. :(
Alex was so fed up with the waiting that he bowed out of the tapas sharing and ordered a $10 ramen & dumpling combo for himself. At least that way, he was full long before we even received our food. Can you now see how terrible the wait was for us? There is some serious problem with the kitchen if they can deliver some food items faster than others. Also, we noticed that the other tables around us received their food way sooner than we did as well = Inconsistent service!
Two more plates that we finally received by the end of the night:
Helen and I shared the lobster roll which we hoped would fill us up as one of the last dishes for the night. I was shocked to see only four pieces of rolls on the plate. Aren’t rolls supposed to have a standard of at least six rolls? Ugh. In any case, I was also surprised that the entire roll was deep fried. The lobster meat was a bit ruined this way. I did like the crunchy tobiko and sauce that covered the rolls though.
Last but not least for the food, I’ll end on a good note. The creamy curry risotto was the best dish of the night!! It arrived in a big, hot pot that was filled with creamy risotto. It was seasoned so well (albeit the curry was not spicy) and each bite was so delicious. I couldn’t get enough. This is one of my favourite risotto dishes now. We were all a bit perplexed as to why they included cubes of ham/sausage in the mix as it completely threw off the flavour and texture of the creamy risotto. In any case, I loved this dish!
Considering we were hungry, all of the dishes should have tasted amazing (not just one). It is truly bad on their part to make their customers wait such a long time for the food to arrive on the table. Overall, I would think twice before coming to this restaurant. Their oysters were indeed amazing; the tapas, not so much.