Hi Genki

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Hi Genki is a Japanese restaurant that operates out of the Nikkei Place complex on Kingsway and Sperling Avenue. For more than a decade, the restaurant has been providing home-style Japanese meals to both senior residents and the general public for lunch and dinner. It’s been almost two years since my last visit here, so my boyfriend and I met up here for a casual dinner date. 🙂

A queue had already started to form before their 6:15pm dinner service, so it was a good thing I showed up a bit early. Since they fill up the tables all at once, the waitresses do not bother with keeping track of the table sequence. Whatever happened to first come first serve? :/ You have to make sure you know what you want in advance and flag them down right away, otherwise you probably won’t be getting your food until an hour later. Which happened to my boyfriend and me 😦 The system they have is totally disorganized!

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Assorted Tempura ($5.25) This came with two pieces of prawn, squash, broccoli, zucchini, carrot, eggplant, and asparagus. The assorted tempura was pretty delicious! Batter was crispy, light, and not greasy at all. Vegetables used tasted really fresh as well.

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Agedashi Tofu ($3.50) Two pieces of tofu slightly battered in a ponzu sauce. I prefer my tofu to be cut into smaller pieces, so it was a bit of a chore having to use my chopsticks to cut them in half. Tofu was a little soggy and soft. It was lacking the crispy outer coating I was looking for too 😦

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Spicy Chicken Karaage Donburi ($9.50) One of the house favourites that almost every table orders. My bowl came with seven decent sized pieces of boneless chicken thigh meat marinated with chili paste, soy sauce, sugar. The simple marinade used in this dish struck the perfect balance between savoury and sweet. I also loved how they use chicken thigh meat as it’s much juicier and tender than chicken breast. 🙂

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Spicy Satsuma Don ($9.50) Stir-fried fish cake and onion in spicy sauce. The boyfriend decided to not get curry this time around and order something different for a change! They gave him a lot of fish cake with his rice. Portion-wise, it was great and he enjoyed the spicy sauce incorporated into his dish. Both of our bowls came with a side of miso soup, taste was very standard.

Overall, food was good. But service was terrible! We were second to be seated, but our food took over an hour to arrive. I almost lost it when other tables were being served before us as we had put in an order pretty early into the service. They only had two waitresses running the front, so having all tables occupied was a poor decision on their end. Other patrons were frustrated with the service. Food was initially pumping out efficiently during the first 20-25 minutes, but came to a sudden halt for some odd reason. Bizarre. Be prepared to wait if you plan ever plan on visiting this place. 😡 The service really dampened my evening.

Yep. I was pretty hangry tonight.

Location:
Nikkei Home Residency
Southoaks Crescent
Burnaby, BC
Rating: 3/5
Price:$
Reservations? No

Hi Genki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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3 thoughts on “Hi Genki

  1. Tonkatstar says:

    Hi Cindy!

    I’m a former staff (who stumbled across this post in the midst of looking up reviews to see how it’s been doing ever since, lol), and I’d like to enlighten you with some answers.

    The order of tables being seated being equivalent to whose food comes first would honestly be less efficient if you consider the fact that some people are completely new to the restaurant and take fifteen minutes to stare at the menu. That aside, it is honestly a frenzy when service starts and five tables are waving their hand at your face. (They are told to start at the front of the floor and move to the back, as that’s the usual order of how people are seated.)

    It is extremely understandable that you’d be angry when other people are being served when you thought your order was put in first, but the first-come-first-serve also occurs among the waitresses when they go to put in the order. If waitress A took your order but got flagged down by another table, but waitress B took orders and got back to the kitchen first, then all the orders waitress B took would be in front of waitress A, because waitress B sent them in first. Honestly very frustrating – try to run to put the order in, and you have people going “wtf??” when you turn your back to them while they’re waving at you to order. At the same time, people go “wtf???” when you fail to get to the kitchen before the other waitress, and all of your orders are now behind.

    Lastly! The mysterious “why did the food suddenly stop coming out??”. The part that even I couldn’t deal with, haha. They do to-go orders, and those are also first-come-first-serve. If someone calls and orders before a order from a table is put in, then their food is in front. I would assume that the food was mysteriously stopped because a line of take-out orders interrupted the normal table orders. Truuust me when I say I’ve complained about it to the people there lol. There’s not much they can do, but take-outs are also an essential part to the income (I assume).

    Anyhow, I think this turned into my own complaint 😛 (Side note, all your food makes me hangry too – hangry that I can’t afford it all.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • reservationundercindy says:

      Hi Tonkatstar,

      It’s just frustrating to know that for a restaurant that has been operating for over a decade, you would expect them to figure out what works/doesn’t work. Clearly the restaurant is incapable of running both the front and take out orders given what had happened during my visit here. With only two waitresses and limited staff in the kitchen- it’s impossible to run the restaurant efficiently given the slow turnover rate of tables. Does it actually make sense that some tables would take up 1 hr 30 mins to eat their donburi after ordering, eating, and paying?

      The restaurant is only open for about 2 hours during dinner service, but if they focus on the dinner service and put low prioritization on take out orders -heck, even a separate system for take-out orders, I think it would be much more successful. Or staggered seating to ensure they can accommodate the rush to make it fair for those who have waited early to get seated. Most of the patrons are regulars anyways so that explains why everyone would flag the waitresses at the same time. I did in fact witness some tables at the back being served before my table – maybe I was just unlucky with the waitress who clearly did not care about the order of table seating.

      One of the waitresses was also stressing over which table ordered what when bills were requested- which was a big waste of time too as she had to run back and forth asking tables what they had ordered.

      In the end, the restaurant will be just as busy regardless of service anyway, but I will probably be doing take-out if I want my food pumping out faster and save both time and tip money.

      Cindy

      Like

      • Tonkatstar says:

        Hellooooo!

        The take-out system is so frustrating I can’t even begin ;__; They also don’t cut holes in the boxes so when they close them, all the steam condensates and makes the food soggy, especially the fried stuff… (it always hurt me to see them close the lid on hot food 😦 )

        The waitress stressing over orders seems like an odd event, and I would assume some mistake occurred in the process of taking orders or something. Never happened to me on any shift.

        From what it sounds like, I think the day you went was unfortunately terrible (those days do happen… <_< just imagining those days makes me feel like crying again lol)

        Anyways. At least the food seemed to be okay!

        Like

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