Ken's Japanese Restaurant
Ken's Japanese Restaurant
Foods from Ken's Japanese Restaurant

2012 Dec 14
Date of Visit: December 4, 2012

I had planned to visit Ken’s on a previous trip to Ottawa but events conspired against that happening and it was not until this most recent excursion that I was able to finally make it. My visit was was, as I had anticipated after viewing their website and reading a few reviews, not terribly special but still a fairly enjoyable experience nonetheless…

The Dishes:
Miso soup – Rating: 3 out of 5.
Octopus with Vinegar - Rating: 2 out of 5.
Grilled Squid – Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ken’s offers an all you can eat menu alongside the regular one and, along with the rather tacky table coverings and the shabby surroundings, it seems that the owners cannot decide whether to be a cheapo, quick lunch type of place or something more high-end. I enjoyed the food and I fancy this could be quite a good restaurant if they paid more attention to maintenance (particularly in the washrooms), but they seem to fall a bit short, unfortunately. In all, despite some of the shortcomings, the service was good, the dishes enjoyable and, on the whole, I felt I got my money’s worth out of the place…

See full pictorial review at:

2012 Jul 12
Me and my buddy pretty much went on a sushi marathon accross Ottawa. This place definately has the best overall sushi of any place in Ottawa. Not sure if it's true but apparently the owner is actually Japanese unlike all the other sushi places in Ottawa. The waitress are probably some of the rudest i've seen though.

Basically come here if you want amazing sushi and shitty service.

2011 Feb 14
OK Try all kinds, but how was the food?

2011 Feb 13
A cockroach was walking on our table when we were eating. After I caught it and showed it to the waitress, they said they don't know what it was. and even with the manager. I know they know it, just don't want to admit.

Then they took it and said they will have people over to cure this problem.

They didn't even give us a cut on the dinner price.

The cockroach is gross! I will never go back ever again!!!!!! And I don't suggest anyone to go either!
Just imagine that you may carry the cockroach home! they will never leave!

2011 Feb 12
This is the worst restaurant you can ever go! The service is extremely bad and the food is nothing special. I have tried every japanese AYCE restaurants in Ottawa and by far, this place is the most horrible place to eat.I went there for a nice lunch but the food came in so slow even though it wasn't that busy. The server missed the half of my order and even after I asked her to check on them, she never did but was sitting down and chatting with the other co-workers. I was wondering why my rolls were not being made and found out that all the chefs were on their break!!(that's right..a break more than 30 mins?!) This is totally not acceptable when customers were waiting in the dinning room for the food to come but these workers were chattting and eating?! I waited over an hour to get my rolls and sitting there for 2 hours till I decided to leave was pain in the ass .. I heard people from other tables complaining about the slow service and missing orders too..
I finally complained about this whole service to the lady who seemed to be a manager, but when I was speaking to her she just cut in between my words and was so rude and arrogant. Even the manager didn't care about how horrible the service was and didn't do anything about their mistake.
If you have enough patience to wait for hours to get this kind of service..I think you can get much better deals at Sushi kan or 1000s island...
Not recommanded !! NEVER gonna go there!!

2010 Nov 28
Inside = a total dive. It feels like you're eating in a place that hasn't changed in 40 years (not a bad thing).

The food = it was very good dare I say great. I enjoyed it more than your average hit-and-miss AYCE sushi experience.

Stand out favorites:

- salmon sashimi; very fresh and melt in your mouth...I love sashimi so this is usually the deciding factor as to whether I will return
- red snapper sashimi; MJ thought this sashimi was delicate and fresh and said he was pleasantly surprised especially for an AYCE Place
- squid tempura: the usual squid rings but they not rubbery at all, in fact they were perfectly cooked and had a nice spicy mayo on top
-green dragon roll: the whole roll was great, really, really fresh avocado and cucumber

- beef sashimi - ok this was GREAT. It reminded me of a beef carpaccio since it was so thinly sliced. It was served in a bowl with little ribbons of carrot and a really yummy vinegar style sauce. They accidentally brought us a 2nd order but MJ loved it so much that he said we'd have that one too

The Good but not Great things

- shrimp tempura: the shrimp themselves tasted great but the tempura was soft and not crispy at all
- spicy salmon roll: no surprises, just your basic roll if a little light on the rice (a plus)
- salmon avocado roll: same as above
-deluxe sushi pizza: I know sushi pizza is a new fangled illegitimate addition to Japanese menus but theirs was good - thin disc of rice covered with crab and spicy mayo and green onions on top
- Volcano Roll and Ken's Roll - I preferred the former because it was spicy. They were both good, I just question the order of a deep fried roll...a bit too intense

Some things were ordered but not delivered (seaweed salad, etc.) but otherwise service was very attentive and friendly - our water glasses never dipped below 1/2 full and we had a few questions for the servers re: what was in certain rolls and they were very helpful.

One thing I find curious is that they have a roll called "Don't Forget Me" apparently it is mixed seafood (salmon, scallops, shrimp, possibly others) with a spicy sauce and it has CHIPS on in, potato chips! To try, or not to try...?

We will definitely go again. The restaurant itself is nothing special in the way of decor and in fact looks a little worn. However, the food is very good and for AYCE sushi that's what counts.

2010 Sep 24
This is one of my favorites: Soft shell crab roll
and smoked salmon roll

2010 Sep 24
So far, this is the best AYCE Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa and I have been to all of them. This place basically have selections you can't find anywhere else in the city. Apparently, Ken himself was trained by a real Japanese sushi chef in Toronto. They are closest to the "real deal" -- I mean, even better than some of the highly priced, by-the-menu sushi restaurants.

This is the Ken's sushi roll, which consist of delectable flavors of avocado, cream cheese, crab and salmon drizzled with home-made teriyaki sauce; and the Volcano roll, which has the explosion of spicy crab on top of crispy fried seafood roll. They give generous amount of seafood ---on everything!!

Love this place.. You guys should try it too :))

2010 Aug 2
I decided to give this new ayce place a try with my wife in downtown Ottawa. It was a positive experience overall, and here's what we find.

Environment: 2.5/5
It was minimally renovated from the previous Indian restaurant so it feels a little worn (especially the light fixtures). However, the place is furnished with brand new comfortable chairs, and table cloth. Also, it is clean from what we can see.

Food: 3.5/5
The fish is quite fresh and the fish-to-rice ratio is fair (i.e. not megastuffed with rice as you would see in some places). The rice is seasoned well but I personally find there's room for improvements. The flying fish roe is great (big and crunchy). The salmon and salmon rose sushi is tasty and melts in our mouths. The seaweed salad sushi and the mackerel sushi are both great. The tamago (sweet egg) sushi is decent.

We also tried a couple rolls - my wife liked the mango salmon roll, a real zesty sensation. The volcano roll is an interesting deep fried sushi roll with salmon and crab meat, topped with some spiced up thousand island sauce (9 pieces so it is better to share). The eel roll held less than 10% eel however by weight. The food selection is also quite limited with no standard AYCE sushi items such as soft shell crab and white tuna. Unfortunately, the only 'dessert' on the lunch menu was a soft drink, which come at a price of $1. My wife would've been happier if there was some green tea ice cream to wrap up our meal.

Service: 2/5
Yes, the staff was friendly but the restaurant clearly suffers from what I call 'the-brand-new-opening-mis-management-syndrome'. Basically, the orders came rather slow to our standards; our first order even took 20 minutes to arrive and some of our items required 3 reminders. We also we noticed at least 5 wrong food deliveries over our short stay (and the waitress never seemed to be sure if the food was brought to the right table). I'm sure things will get better over time but for now if you're in a hurry, this place is not for you.

Price: 3.5/5
Good for the price considering lunch's only $14.99 on a holiday. You also get 10% off if paying by cash.



2011 Jul 28
Hello there,

To keep it simple, this is the worst AYCE sushi I've tried in Ottawa. We mostly go to Sushi Kan, Banc Sushi, 1000 Island sushi and the food is excellent. But this one is really the worst.

We only had 1 sheet (half of the sheet) before we couldn't eat anymore.

• Volcano Sushi was greasy as hell

• Sushi rice taste rice vinegar too much, REALLY

• The nori was all soft on the 1 piece sushi (like if was been there for too long and the nori absorbed the rice vinegar)

• Crab meat sushi, where's the crab meat?

• Eel sushi pizza, didn't taste the eel because there was way to much sauce and ... GREEN PEPPERS!

• Deluxe sushi pizza, does deluxe mean mixing everything that's left? And again, GREEN PEPPERS again!

• Tempura sauce didn't taste anything. It was like brown water.

And on and on and on ...

Only thing that was great was the free refill on soft drinks.

Don't even try this place, doesn't worth it.