Monday, August 23, 2010


Arguably one of the worst all-you-can-eat Sushi/Korean restaurants in existence, but for some strange reason people still flock here to stuff their faces.  On two separate occasions, I've experienced food poisoning from the location on Granville.  Obviously, this place is not Japanese or Korean operated. 
BBQ beef ribs, just about the safest thing you could eat as long as you cook them long enough.
You're taking your life in their hands if you dare try anything uncooked here.
Okay, so, you're wondering why I'm being so harsh on this place?  Well, there are a few reasons.  First, the service really blows.  You'd think that since it's a Japanese/Korean restaurant, the staff might try to emulate the mannerisms and etiquette of a Japanese restaurant.....but not so.  At Shabusen, you are greeted with contempt, as if you are a nuisance, rather than their source of income.  The washrooms are disgusting and I had a peak in the kitchen and it's equally filthy.  The salad bar is a joke and here's where my story gets good.  On one of my early visits, years ago, I went like everyone else to stuff my face and get my money's worth.  At the time, I really wasn't concerned with quality as much as quantity....what can I say, I was a starving college student, working my way through school.  I stuffed my face with everything I could get my greedy little hands on, and even tried the shellfish.  Needless to say, that was a huge mistake because several hours later, I was puking my guts college education wasn't quite good enough to help me put two and two together.

A few years later, I ended up going there with my brother and a bunch of our friends.  Most of us were still not quite over the all-you-can-eat craze so we were still going to places like this.  We had almost everything on the menu, including some shellfish.  Waddya know, hours later, I woke up in the middle of the night, returning everything I ate to the ocean (via white porcelain receptacle in my washroom).  I returned to bed, defeated, when I heard more wretching.  I thought it was one of those moments where you are being violated so badly, you distance your mind from your body and it sounds like someone else is suffering.  But no, that was my brother, puking up a storm of his own.  Images of filthy washrooms (and equally filthy sanitation standards of the staff and food workers) and shellfish left outside without refrigeration flashed before my eyes.  

Needless to say, I haven't been back since, and I wouldn't recommend anyone go there, unless violent projectile vomiting as a result of food poisoning is your thing.

Shabusen Yakiniku House (Granville) on Urbanspoon


  1. To be fair I've eaten here a few times and the food was fine. I did have raw sushi. The food has never made me sick.

    Clearly this place has patrons because it's not that bad. It is one of the better AYCE's.

    Plus it offers a lot of choices.

    You did have a bad experience, pity. But why return? Stay away from this place it doesn't agree with you.

    Are you sure that you weren't cross-contaminating yourself with the spoons from the raw and cooked dishes?

    As for the service, we again experienced decent service, and if we needed the burners changed we would flag down people. It's ayce I never expect good service, but I never experienced the hostility you sensed... they were courteous, and clearly busy.

    It's so weird when someone has such a different experience then you do at the exact same restaurant.

  2. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to post. I don't think it was the sushi that made me sick, and I doubt it was the meat because we cooked it pretty good. My guess is it was probably the shellfish.

    I can't agree with you on your point that it's one of the better AYCE places because it has patrons. McDonald's has served billions, but it's not good.

    The first time I had a bad experience, I was younger and not too bright (not that I'm any smarter now). I'd been to Shabusen a few times and had no problems so the first time I got sick, I brushed it off as maybe a one off, maybe I was just sick.

    |I didn't put two and two together until the second time I went and got sick again.

    The burners! I remember asking our grill to be changed and our server actually rolled her eyes and sighed.

    You know, I've been in customer service for about 15 years, I dealt with customers from hell for at least 7 of those years working in a call centre. I know what it's like to be the one giving service so I make sure I am never that customer from hell, and I'm never too demanding. I can understand when it's busy, the customer service will slide a bit and the servers might be too busy to smile. Does the host have an excuse not to smile?

    Anyway, clearly you haven't had a bad experience there yet, good for you. Just be warned thought that I'm not the first one that's had their guts torn out because of food poisoning. I don't think we need to call witnesses at this point, but several people I know can attest to this as well as speak from first hand experience of the nightmares that followed the feast at Shabusen.

  3. maybe your allergic to shellfish.

  4. Hi Anonymous,

    The thought crossed my mind, but I tested that theory at other places, I still eat mussels once in a while, and I eat oysters all the time....probably more than I should and so far, I haven't projectile vomited from it.



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