In high school, it seemed like all-you-can-eat sushi was a pretty frequent activity. It was probably a combination of having excess disposable income, a huge appetite, and friends with huge appetites. These days, I don’t really eat enough to warrant paying the $20-$25 for what is sometimes suspect sushi. Honestly, I’d rather pay for individual items that are well-prepared rather than pick from the pedestrian offerings of all-you-can-eat.
I was surprised, then, to find that the lunch version of all-you-can-eat at Tanpopo is a very reasonable $11.95 during the week, and $12.95 on weekends.
Admittedly, the lunch menu is smaller than the dinner menu, but there are enough of my favourites that I won’t complain. The crunch roll is really simple, but quite good: it’s an inside-out roll with tempura bits inside and sprinkled on the top. There’s nothing in it, but the textures of the crunch and the rice go really well together. You’ve also got your standard nigiri and maki sushi, some temaki (cones), and even sashimi. The sashimi is cut smaller than you find at most restaurants, which I like. I really dislike eating giant hunks of raw fish. It’s much more civilized when it’s in smaller pieces. If you’re not so keen on the raw fish, there’s a decent selection of hot food.
The one thing that was missing from the menu: ice cream. It’s probably conditioning, but I really do crave green tea ice cream after my sushi.
The restaurant is on the second floor, which gives a lovely view of English Bay. They also have a large patio that’s a great spot in the summertime. Word to the wise: I’d suggest making a reservation, regardless of when you’re heading down. When they’re busy, they’re super busy.
Tanpopo Japanese Restaurant
1122 Denman Street