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Odaki is Awful

I went with a group of people to Odaki recently (mid-late 20s, professional students), and was presented with the absolute worse service in my life.

The food was great, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the food. Huge variety from the all-you-can eat menu, everything was pretty good. It's not a Kaizen, but the sushi was passable for AYCE. I really enjoyed the cooked dishes - quality wasn't so much of an issue, rather that some days you just want to try a little bit of everything, you know what I mean?

Service was abrupt. We were served by this blatantly RUDE Chinese lady that wouldn't look at you when talking to you, groaned when you had a request, and threw things onto the table. I realize that Asian restaurants are not known for their service, and I wouldn't normally go out of my way to post this, but this next part seriously infuriated me:

The lady is giving out all the bills. I decide that I want to pay for one of my friends, so I take her bill. The lady notices and freaks out, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!". I apparently blew the waitress' mind by taking my friends' bill. After a few minutes of talking about how I want to pay for her and so on and so forth, she leaves and we all spend the next few minutes sorting out how we're going to pay. I'm already put off by the whole incident just now, and I can tell that some of my friends are too. She comes back to take the payment, and she notices that one person put down just the right amount to pay the bill. The waitress makes this loud comment that "TIPS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE MEAL". We're all extremely aggravated at this point, and decide that we're going to actively tip LESS than what we would have. My friend decides to leave like 7% tip. She picks the money up, looks at it and says "THIS IS NOT ENOUGH TIP. YOU DIDN'T LEAVE ENOUGH TIP." They get into an argument about how tipping is a personal choice, and that you can't come to expect a certain amount of tip. I'm well pissed off now that the outing I've planned was kinda ruined by this whole thing.

Finally, we're walking out of the restaurant. One of the managers is holding the door open, we all get out and he slams the door. Nice.

Odaki Restaurant Japonais
3977 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W1Y4, CA

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  1. So the food was pretty-to-really good, but the service was not up to snuff? As you did point out, there are cultural differences and generational stereotypes that influence service. But the food was not awful, right? Which cooked dishes did you have?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Daiya

      The girl wasn't old, maybe 40s? And let's not be patronizing here, I'm Asian myself - the way they treated me and my guests was simply rude.

      I really liked their bacon/beef wrapped enoki mushroom dish. Had agedashi tofu, fried soft shell crab, peanut butter dumplings, noodles, soups, salads. Everything was good, nothing was great. Definitely not not worth the aggravation.

    2. That is mainland chinese service, people from Hong Kong are generally better. Received the same treatment when I went to San Francisco this summer: "NOT ENOUGH TIP! ONE MORE DOLLAR!".

      btw I'm Asian too so I "ain't hatin".

      1. Sounds like the kind of experience which would prevent me form ever returning. Part of the joy of eating out is being attended to and being able to focus on food without any other concerns. This is, of course, totally ruined by belligerent service. One more reason to avoid all you can eat sushi =D

        2 Replies
        1. re: The Chemist

          I've actually long loved the service at most asian restaurants - all you can eat sushi included. I find the service fast, complete, attentive and not intrusive. It's rarely overly friendly, but it's effective.
          I've never eaten at Odaki, but it does sound like the service was a little brisk...

          1. re: montrealwaitress

            In general I agree with you. Service should be prompt, polite, but not intrusive. Typically, that's what you get at many Asian places. This places, however, seems to be something else entirely =D

        2. I've eaten at Odaki recently, and frankly I see no reason to return. Half the items of the menu were not available, because it was not a friday or a saturday (WTF ?), and the service had that strange combination of being both rushed and excruciatingly slow. There was this 'manager' at the till who was basically doing nothing apart from shuffling papers, even after we asked him specifically for the bill. As for the food, it was standard nondescript sushi - really nothing special.

          1 Reply
          1. re: johnnyboy

            Ate at Odaki once and only once.

            Also had a torrid service experience. The food? Not bad, although clearly "interpretive" (ie: Chinese renditions).

            If you want a better faux-Japanese AYCE experience, try Ginza. Service there is WAY better, too.

          2. Oh man. I hear ya. We were there (the one on St-Laurent, no relation to the one on Ste-Catherine St W) at the beginning of January on a Sunday night and the service was mind-blowingly awful. We were a party of 9, with reservations, and the waiter was so confused the whole night - for example, when 5 of us where there and waiting for the others to arrive (which happened in the next 5 minutes), we asked him for the all-you-can-eat menu, and he looked at us like he didn't know what we wanted. Oh and we were sitting there for a full 10 minutes before he came by with a drink menu. We had to ask for the wasabi and pickled ginger.
            Our miso soups came first, then NOTHING for another 40 minutes! My poor mother, who never complains about anything, was dying of hunger. My father complained to the floor manager about the poor service, and he was completely indifferent about it. How can you run a business that way? We ordered more food almost every time the waiter brought us something, but it really was a guess as to what was going to arrive. Some things never came at all and of course the waiter didn't bother to tell us about it. Other things arrived in strange numbers (we were very careful to order according to how many of us wanted the item and how many pieces it came in). We were forced to pay the tip since we were a large group, but believe you me, I wouldn't have tipped anything! The dinner ended up taking 3 hours and the food was only ok. I've been trying to condense my reviews, so if you want more info, check out my other reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp (though they filtered my review for some reason - made me furious since it is a real review and others deserve to know about the crappy experience!).

            1. i've been to both (st. catherine and st. laurent) and i found the service at the one on st. catherine much worse. went at about 1:45 and they were already trying to force us to order as much food as possible instead of taking our time because the kitchen closes at 3. they forgot to bring our food to the table...and they never smile. I never had a bad experience like the OP did though...strange.