E-Bei Japanese Restaurant at Granville and 41st, Vancouver


Updated: 17th Feb 2011: This restaurant had changed its name to Ebi Sushi Japanese Restaurant, the name had been changed unknowing to us.

Each time we go for AYCE (all-you-can-eat) we end up regretting over eating. However, this time we cannot say no because the birthday boy (Arkensen) gets the choice. Nanzaro was, without doubt, very happy with the choice.

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We decided to go to E-Bei for the AYCE. We had heard of some bad reviews of E-Bei on many sites before but decided to go nevertheless. It is because I know our boys are not food snobs and will definitely enjoy E-Bei — and they did.

E-Bei is located at the intersection of 41st and Granville in Vancouver. One thing we did not like about dining here is that we had to pay for parking … $4 for two hours.

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E-Bei is not very big as far as AYCE Sushi places are concern. I am comparing the size of this place with places we had been to before like Fish On Rice and Kingsway Sushi. E-Bei was packed when we were there and there was quite a bit of a wait line too.

So, there you go … sometimes one cannot just rely solely on anonymous reviews. People does obviously enjoy E-Bei and find this place of good value here. However, seating is tight … so tight that we could see and smell the food of our neighbor.

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To us, this place is more Chinese than Japanese. From the looks of the customers and workers, I can see Chinese faces. Can you tell facial features of Chinese from Japanese? I can … I think.

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Orders are placed with the chit they provide. I like that they always have a fresh one for us the moment they take away our order — no delaying tactics like some places who has every trick in the book to make you wait. The food came very fast and quite accurately too. We find that they have more choices as compared to our recent visit to Kingsway Sushi.

The AYCE costs $11 ($9 for children). On weekends and holidays, they charge $1 extra. However, they stipulated a time limit of 1.5 hours but I don’t see any signs of this being enforced. I think it’s just a provision for people who eat excessively.

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The Nigiri’s are pretty good. I think this is the favourite of E-Bei’s customer. This is because the menu states that they will charge 50 cents for each unconsumed rice of any Nigiri Sushi. I guess some people ordered tons of this, removed the rice and had the fish as sashimi. LOL!

Their Nigiri is respectable in that they did not load up the Nigiri with lots of rice … it was much more raw fish than rice.

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The cones (roe, spicy tuna and spicy salmon) were quite good … except that the rice was like Chinese steamed rice. Alright it might be a no-no to some people but it is more than edible. Like I said, it was quite good … for us.

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The rolls were some of the ugliest and malformed rolls we had ever seen. It does not look pretty but it was OK. The bad thing here is with the color green in almost all of it. You see, our boys will refuse to touch it if it has any green color stuff (avacado or cucumber). Suanne and I ended up eating all of these.

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Suanne likes the Salmon Head a lot. She is so adept in picking off the flesh. I find that their Salmon Head looks the best among all AYCE’s — big chunky pieces and fleshy.

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Look at the above … that’s the remnants on Suanne’s plate. She ate everything edible … except for the …

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… eyeballs! I know some people likes it.

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The smelt was not that good. They use very whitish batter for this. The reason why I put this picture here was because Suanne and I have a question …

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We like smelt with roes in it. We guess it is very cheap because we find these in many eating places. For some reason, we had never come across smelts with roe fresh from the supermarkets. We can’t find it in Asian markets or even at places in T&T. Do you know where we could get some?

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The Octopus was served with garlic butter sauce, or so says the menu. It looked good but was somewhat too salty for our liking although we like the slight spiciness in it.

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I don’t know what the above fish is called but it was quite good. We like fried fish.

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The Beef Short Ribs was nice too. Some parts of it had excessive salt but mostly it was juicy and had some nice charred parts too.

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About the soup … they not only have miso soup but they also have fish soup. Don’t get the fish soup … it smells fishy. We took a sip and left it alone. The miso soup was OK.

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Suanne is the only one who likes the Motoyaki (Kaki and Seafood). It was really small … like half the size of those we find in other AYCE’s.

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The Mango Pudding has a rough texture. Mango Puddings has to be smooth, right? Actually, the mango pudding is quite good for a AYCE.

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The Agedashi Tofu was OK too. We noticed that it’s bigger than ones we are used to.

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Suanne was the only one who likes the Yam Tempura. The rest of us just don’t like anything that has yam in it.

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The BBQ Pork Chop was surprisingly good. We expected pork chops are generally dry but they do make it nice, moist and juicy.

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But the Chicken Teriyaki was drenched in too much teriyaki sauce. Not good.

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Nanzaro ordered the Chicken Udon. We said no … he said yes. We told him he will not like it and will not finish it. He said he will.

He did not. He just took two bites and dad had to finish it off for him.

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The last picture is the Fried Chicken Knee. It tasted more like batter than chicken knee — can’t taste the chicken knee at all. Moreover, it was all oily and greasy.

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Love the bill … with all zeroes. The last item on the bill was the most expensive of all. Just over $50 before tips.

Do we like it? Well, I would say that E-Bei is not bad for a AYCE. We like Ninkazu in Richmond better but judging from the crowd they had, many people do think they are of great value. Service is good, fast and efficient. They come by often to pick up empty plates and when they have time, they also walk around with a pot to fill empty cups. We like the service.

They accept Visa and Cash … not Mastercard.

E Bei Japanese on UrbanspoonBusiness Hour

Sun to Thu: 11:00 am to 12:00 am
Fri & Sat: 11:00 am to 12:30 am

7 thoughts on “E-Bei Japanese Restaurant at Granville and 41st, Vancouver

  1. Great review. This is my go to place for AYCE. Always been a favourite and try to make it a habit to go there once a month.

    I work for a wholesale seafood company, Blundell Seafoods. As for your question about the smelt with the roe. The fish is called capelin and you will almost never find it fresh as fish degrades quickly when not gutted. Capelin with roe should be available all year round (FROZEN) in most grocery stores or asian markets.

  2. The “smelt” with roe is called capelin (check Wikipedia) “dor chun yu” in Cantonese. Werksfine was right on with the stores. Many other Asian grocery stores carry them at the right season. Many Chinese restaurant also do a
    salt & pepper version.
    The other grilled mystery fish looks like Pike Mackeral “chow dough yu”. It probabaly had oily,greyish flesh and tasted similar to mackeral (saba) or sardines.
    Chicken knees in a Japanese restaurant!? How HK!

  3. I went to E-bei earlier this summer for their super cheap late night AYCE. (Does everyone remember the hot night we had those crazy thunder storms??)

    I thought the hot food was decent, but service was so so as they never brought a few items we ordered.

    I’ve also heard of the kitchen’s poor health standards and probably won’t be back. I recommend others to check the Vancouver Coastal Health Food Inspection reports.

  4. You asked where one could find smelt with roe in it. You can certainly find them in T&T (in the frozen seafood section) and also at Fujiya by Veneables. They call it “yama-imo”.

    Enjoy.

  5. It appears AYCE appeals more to Chinese than it does for Japanese. Many of my Japanese friends would not be caught dead in an AYCE restaurant. I never asked why, I just assumed its a preference thing or maybe because Chinese are most into ‘bang for your buck’ dining. I have not been to this place but its now on my radar, I do like Fish on Rice but as you mentioned, we often leave completely bloated and full of regret.

  6. I actually used to go to E-Bei quite a bit until I heard about their questionable health standards in the kitchen. Since then, I have not been back although I do agree that they have a great selection of items in terms of all-you-can-eat. If you go for dinner, the menu is even more varied!

  7. The unknown fish seems to be mackerel. As for the fish (or ther seafood) with roe – not sure to what extent it would apply to smelt – usually you won’t find it in most grocery stores as they tend to degrade too fast. More often than not, they will be cured (for example, the roe that you usually find on sushi or caviar). Freezing might not help. C’mon don’t complain about the size of the motoyaki, you could order more!

    Now, the “key” question: did you taste any rice vinegar in the sushi meshi, aka, sushi rice?

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