Monday, January 9, 2012

MIyako Sushi - "We Are Proudly Japanese" opposed to Canadian?

When I walked by this place and saw the sign, I couldn't quite place it, but I had a funny feeling in the back of my mind.  For anyone who's ever been an English teacher living in Japan, you'll know what I'm talking about, but it reminded me of those vans with the loudspeakers, driving around town chanting right-wing nationalist slogans, haha!

For you purists out there who only believe in "authenticity", here you go.  Personally, I could care less what ethnicity is making the food, as long as it tastes good.  I've had Japanese food, prepared by Japanese, that tasted crap.  The same goes for Chinese food.  For a restaurant to feel the need to put up a sign like this just feels weird.  If they were really good, word would get around and they wouldn't need to post a sign like this right?

Miyako Sushi on Urbanspoon


  1. Haha you wrote a post without having tried the food inside? And I can't believe they have a 93% rating on Urbanspoon. I went there for lunch one time while I worked downtown, and both the food and service was horrible. (And guess what? I ordered takeout so I was already expecting NO service.) Anyway the food was all fishy tasting (in the non-fresh way), and the lady taking my order was really mean and impatient since the place is crazy busy during lunch time on weekdays.

  2. Food aside (since there is not much about food in this post anyway), it reflects two things:

    1) Some people believe that, because it is made by Japanese, it has to be "better" (i.e. competitive advantage). Just as Krispymilk said, if you have had enough, there is good Japanese food made by Japanese people as well as bad Japanese food made by Japanese people. (and vice-versa).
    2) There is little effort for foreigners to integrate and mingle with the Canadian culture. (Just for the record, I am Chinese born). While it is good for people to maintain their culture, there is the issue to keep in mind that you are not in your country of origin. Take Richmond, for example. If a person knows Cantonese/Mandarin and chose not to speak English at all, he/she would have no problems managing there. But that create pockets and barriers which prevents others from going in. Hmmmm... I guess I am digressing...

  3. KimHo,

    Didn't you retire? Haha!


  4. 1. For you to compare Japanese sushi resto owners saying they are just that - to differentiate themselves from the increasingly non-traditional sushi so prevalent everywhere - to uyoku, really? That's utter insanity at worst, childishly extreme-sensitive at best.

    'Proudly Japanese' is not 'as opposed to Canadian' here. You read that into it yourself. 'Proudly Japanese' here is to say we make sushi, we're Japanese, and we proudly do it legit.

    2. Japanese sushi-yas on the whole are better than Chinese-owned ones. Yes, they are. There are far fewer bad Japanese-owned sushi-yas than there are terrible Chinese-owned sushi places.

    As such, people actively do seek out Japanese-owned places for good reason. Japanese service and care for quality - in general - is undoubtedly generally much better than Chinese.

    Chinese all-you-can-eat sushi and its infamous missing orders is a uniquely Chinese phenomenon - to differentiate from such nouveau-sushi trends, why shouldn't it be fair to say, 'Hey, we're Japanese, we do it Japanese style?'

    3. KimHo's assertion, a blanket one, that foreigners do not assimilate is false and insulting. Who, pray tell, integrated more than Japanese-Canadians? Which demographic is the most integrated in North America, so far as intermarriage and other factors go? Japanese Canadians and Americans. There may be pockets of Japanese student enclaves - nothing compared to CBC isolationsim - but those Japanese that stay, integrate exceedingly well on the whole.

    4. Dude, seriously. it's transliterated Oishii - there are two 'ii's in the Japanese. You run a Japanese resto review blog, at least get that much right.

    1. Perhaps you should read my words a little more carefully. I never compared Japanese-owned Japanese restaurants to Chinese-owned Japanese restaurants. I said "I've had Japanese food, prepared by Japanese, that tasted crap. The same goes for Chinese food."

      To clarify what this means, it's that I've also had Chinese food, prepared by Chinese that tasted crap, I've had Greek food, prepared by people of Greek decent that was crap, and I've defintely had Japanese food, prepared by Japanese people that tasted like crap, and so on and so forth. Perhaps I should have used more examples of "ethinicity does not always equal quality". By your logic, anyone who's Japanese must make Japanese food better than someone who's Chinese.

      Well, I gotta tell you, I don't agree. Genetics alone does not guarantee the authenticity of a culture's food. I got a buddy of mine who's Japanese and he can barely make a peanut butter sandwich taste good, let alone create a decent bowl of ramen or sushi.

      You say that I'm "at worst, childishly extreme-sensitive at best" yet these are your words:

      "non-traditional sushi so prevalent everywhere"

      "Japanese sushi-yas on the whole are better than Chinese-owned ones. Yes, they are."

      "There are far fewer bad Japanese-owned sushi-yas than there are terrible Chinese-owned sushi places."

      "Chinese all-you-can-eat sushi and its infamous missing orders is a uniquely Chinese phenomenon"

      "Japanese service and care for quality - in general - is undoubtedly generally much better than Chinese"

      "Who, pray tell, integrated more than Japanese-Canadians........nothing compared to CBC isolationsim"

      Who here is the insensitive one? If you have a good restaurant, a Japanese one, you don't need to advertise the fact that it is Japanese owned and operated. Word of mouth will spread about your food tasting good. It's unnecessary, and quite frankly, it's as if they're compensating for something, as if they don't trust enough in their own skills and quality that they have to post a sign up like that. I never said one race was better than another when it came to preparing Japanese food, but clearly you have.

      And calling me out on a typo? Really? Not the strongest way to close off a rant, dude.

    2. What's the best sushi joint in Vancouver / Greater Vancouver?

      Hint: it ain't Japanese. It's Sushi Garden. And it's run by Koreans.

      The 2nd best? Happy Sushi, run by some nice Cantonese folks (Victoria & 41st). Both places have sushi far superior to that of the Japanese sushi-yas around town. Ouch. Guess that comment about Japanese sushi-yas being better ("Yes, they are") doesn't hold water.

      As for the Japanese service > Chinese service statement? BS. I speak the language, but since I'm a Punjabi speaking brown guy, I have caught some Japanese servers being quite two-faced (nice in English, meowwwwwww! in Japanese). And I call them out, with both barrels, when they do. None of them have ever made the mistake of doing it again when I'm around.


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