I AM 26! (YAY!) I decided to celebrate this amazing accomplishment of life by going to enjoy a Japanese dinner with a few of my good friends. With the help of urban spoon I was able to find KANEYAMA JAPANESE RESTAURANT & SUSHI BAR. It had fairly good reviews and a very appetizing menu so I figured “YUM YUM YUM” and made a reservation. This Japanese inspired restaurant has lead me to remember one very important phrase and lucky for you I will even say it in Japanese.
This means “Have Patience” because that is what the little samurai inside my head had to keep reminding me for this experience. So here it is ladies and gents, my first ever RESTAURANT REVIEW:
Location: 9527 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77063
Phone Number: (713) 784-5168
Type of Cuisine: Japanese
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:30 am-10 pm; Fri-Sat 11:30 am-10:30 pm
Reservations Available: Yes
All of my preparations for my dinner were constructed using Urban Spoon and their given website. Their menu looked very appealing and the reservation process went very smooth in my opinion. When reserving my table I was informed that they have a private room (Tatami Mat style) that is available. However because I have tall friends, I had to nix that idea since sitting on the floor is not comfortable for everyone.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by a smiling hostess who led up to our table. She was wearing a very pretty kimono style robe (I can’t really decide the authenticity but let’s just give the A for effort) and she lead us inside to a cute little spot. I felt like the oak colored furniture was accented by the traditional colors I would associate with Japanese (reds, golds and Koi fish) décor. There weren’t a whole lot of people in the restaurant at this time which is just the way I like it.
AND NOW IT IS TIME FOR MY FAVORITE PART….FOOD!
The most popular dishes at our table were the Chicken Teriyaki entree and the Miso Soup. I, however; chose to get sake onigiri and the shrimp tempura entrée. Sake onigiri, well onigiri in general, is one of my favorite Japanese dishes. In the simplest form it is a rice ball with salmon (sake) inside with a strip of seaweed on the outside. My onigiri was served as a cute triangle begging me to grace my taste buds and man….my taste buds….were completely….disappointed. The salmon was dry as if it was overcooked and they just shoved it in the rice ball OR the salmon may not have been entirely fresh. The rice itself was cooked to perfection so there is no argument against that.
The entrees come with salad, rice (steam or fried), vegetable tempura and miso soup. Who doesn’t like MISO SOUP? Everyone at my table enjoyed the soup and the salad was a typical salad given in Asian restaurants. However I did not enjoy the soggy lettuce leaves underneath the ginger dressing. I hardly touched the salad and just devoured my soup. The presentation of our dinner was very well put together (had I know this experience would have warranted a blog I would have taken photos). My entrée came as a mountain or shrimp with accented oranges. As far as the vegetable tempura, I was not much of a fan because it was just tomatoes and zucchini fried in panko breading, a concept I have never understood.
My entrée, shrimp tempura, is a pretty standard Japanese dish that doesn’t disappoint. The fried rice is given in a separate little bowl along with some “tempura dipping sauce”. Everyone agreed that their food was delicious (another honorable mention is the salmon teriyaki and their DC rolls).
Again I remind you Gamenshite! It’s about to get real…
Our waiter after the entrees were delivered quickly started deteriorating his service to our table. After he and the manager came to check on how the food was, I think the waiter forgot his job description. I could be a person who is over critical but I feel like refilling water should happen within 20 minutes of emptying the glass. When we finished our entrees he finally comes over and he ruins the entire surprise my friends set up for me with the cake they snuck in without me seeing. Of course this made my friends highly upset and his response to his mistake was “o wow”.
It then takes him 20 minutes to come out with the cake and another extra 10 minutes for plates and for the sake of time let’s just say another 5 minutes for a knife. (O and did I mention it was red velvet!) When he finally bought us the check he quickly disappeared before we could ask him the important question of splitting the check. He came back and this is where it got interesting. We asked if he could split the checks and these are the answers we got:
“It would be easier if you guys just paid with one card and then everyone just gave that person cash”
“We assumed since one person called the reservation in, it would be one check”
“The most I can split the check is into 4 even checks” (There was 8 of us by the way)
So after a quick healthy debate between my friend and waiter we just decided to let him split the check into 4 at which he responded with
“Well I am pretty busy so it’s going to be about 30-40 minutes for me to split the check”
To say that walking out did not come into my mind would be lying because an hour later we still had no checks, the waiter and the manager had completely disappeared and we had to go to bar and wait for the manager to finally decide to come out after we requested to speak to him twice. Why did it come to this? Where is the customer service? After he was enlighten of the fun that had ensued for over an hour one of the bar tenders kindly came and split our check into 8 as originally requested. Unfortunately for us it was 2 hours AFTER we originally requested. Even though she split the check they still managed to mess with the receipts and charged the wrong orders on the wrong cards. Did we make them fix it? No we just gave up trying and left. We paid for each other’s dinner and vowed to never come back.
Overall my experience was ruined by the mere fact that customer service was not a priority in my opinion. They also experienced a lot of miscommunication when it came to transferring information between each other.
Am I going again? DEFINITELY NOT
Would I recommend it? NEVER! The waiter killed my vibe
Well that turned out to be a nicer review than I originally anticipated but I hope they will help you in making your decision about this restaurant. I am going to have a tab under “iheartfood” with direct links to restaurant reviews.
SO until the next burst of thought….Enjoy FOOD.