Arigato Sushi - Kamloops, BC

Arigato Sushi. I had to step back from this particular entry for a breather and gather my chi before writing this. If you have been reading this food blog since the beginning, you may recall that I have some aversions to eating fish and other seafoods so far away from well, the sea. I know, it’s kinda silly, but that’s what I’m working on.

I am running a number of errands today and my estimated time of completion was slated to be early evening. I planned to go to Sanbiki, as I have eaten there a number of times since my move, but recently realized I've never included them on Love of Eating. Weird. I end up finishing my tasks much earlier, so Sanbiki Japanese Kitchen is not an option. I guess I really wanted to have sushi because I decided to try OYA Japanese Restaurant next. OYA is packed with people waiting in line. Um, no. I’m not waiting.

Ultimately, I settle with trying Arigato Sushi in the Kamloops area known as Aberdeen.

The room is nearly empty, but the first thing that I notice is the smell. It’s not that familiar “sushi bar/vinegar” smell, it’s more like a mix between rancid fruit and stir fry. It’s hard to explain. It’s also a bit humid inside the restaurant. So there’s that. This doesn’t necessarily turn me off because I’m completely okay with DDEs as long as the food is good. The menus are sticky and the stand up placard on the table has vintage splashes of unidentified sauce from who knows when. Not a problem. I can look past this, if the food is good. All dirty dishes are bused and left in trays located, in full view of the dining room, on the floor next to the sushi bar stools. Hmm..who knows, this may be an efficient way of keeping tables clear? I raise a high arching eyebrow, but I’m not deterred, if the food is good.

Tuna and Salmon Sashimi ($13.95)

I am shocked at the colours of both fish. It’s arguably brown. The sockeye did not have that distinctive sockeye taste to it. To say the very least both did not taste fresh, texture lacked a firmness, and it had that freezer smell to it. I’m not sure if you can see from the photos, but there's a white-ish film on it. Please tell me this is not the break down of fish oils from poor handling and not-cold-enough freezing. I’m not going to on and on, but I will include a comparison picture, below, of sashimi from another restaurant.

I know the fish types are not the same but it shows definitively the “look” of bright and fresh versus murky, dull and not-so fresh sashimi. You be the judge.

Idaho Roll ($5.95)

I really like the cheekiness of the Idaho Roll. I take it as saying, “hey, let’s not take ourselves too seriously. Yeah, roll that process cheese!” Cucumber, avocado and imitation crab with processed cheese. The pseudo cheese is a little overwhelming in that fake cheese flavour, but that is to be expected. Truth be told, I’ve never been a fan of process cheese. But I love process cheese melted on a hamburger. Not so much in maki.

Spider Roll ($9.95)

Cucumber, avocado and deep fried soft shell crab. Crunchy like any tempura roll. But not much flavour is apparent. My biggest gripe about all these rolls has to be the rice. The rice is on the verge of mushy, and there is nary a hint of seasoned vinegar. The real kicker is the copious amount of rice used in these rolls.
“Let them eat rice.”
This is a classic strategy in lesser sushi establishments, and standard practice at AYCE places to fill your belly up. Look at the amount of rice in this piece. It's more than 50% rice! Shameful. Curiously, does Arigato Sushi offer an “all you can eat” menu?

Dynamite Roll ($5.95)

Cucumber, avocado, tempura prawn. Flavours are typical but the rice is killing it. Murder! The rice issue is making this dynamite fizzle more like Pop Rocks.

Tempura roll ($9.50)

Salmon,imitation crab and do I recall...chicken? I like the idea and flavours of this combination meat roll, but again...the rice. Another issue I found with the rolls,in general, is the "looseness." The maki, even the small ones, aren’t mindfully rolled so many pieces just fell apart before they made it to my mouth.

Toro Nigiri ($2.95 each)

Now, I wasn’t expecting greatness here. But I am still caught off guard by the looks of these nigiri. This shouldn’t be classified as tuna belly. It had a tuna taste to it, but not a toro taste. Arigato’s choice in serving blood vein spotted tuna belly boggles my mind, but to each their own.

Ikura Nigiri ($2.50 each)

The ikura has a slight cloudy appearance that had me giving it the side-eye with a bit of a giggle.
Why the giggle? Because by the time the nigiri arrives, this entire meal became a Benny Hill comedy. One gag after another. (Insert: hi-hat, snare combination.)
I know I won’t be giggling later, when I come to terms with the fact that I have to pay for this spread of dread. But hey, if I can’t laugh about this, then that would be really miserable.

You may wonder how or why I even attempted to ingest these items. Well, shortly after my introductory moments at Arigato Sushi, my internal genetic-judgyness-alarm informed me to take a few of my *little-pink friends before our food came. I felt invincible!
*Like I said, I’m completely okay when DDEs, but I’m no fool.

I am a bit concerned that there is more than one location of Arigato Sushi.
Please Kamloops, stop the insanity!
Arigato Sushi (Aberdeen) on Urbanspoon


Arigato Sushi Ltd.
70-1395 Hillside Drive
Kamloops, BC V2E 2R7
Phone: 250 314 1185

Poor quality bibimbab

i ordered a bibimbab in Nov 2011, what i got were cold vegetable, several slices of cold beef, and a totally raw egg on top of some warm rice. the ceramic bowl was COLD!! isnt bibimbab supposed to be served in a very hot stone bowl??!!

If it looks like a duck and quakes like a duck....

You know when you really want something to be different even though all the evidence is pointing to it being exactly as it appears; well that is my feeling with Arigato Sushi (north shore). I soo want it to be a decent sushi place, however my last experience will be the last

The menus were splattered with various mystery sauces making them disgusting to open, the sauce explosion continued up to the wall and to the specials placard on the tables well. We should have just left then however being an optimist, and it being my father’s day “gift” meal we ordered.

We ordered 2 bento boxes, a tuna, and salmon combo, and a dynamite roll. The bento boxes came first the teriyaki was hot however the chicken was the consistency of jerky, the tempura was hot and actually delicious, however the California rolls were giant globules of poorly rolled rice with a hint of filling. The rolls were so poorly rolled the seaweed wrapping was not connected on the bottom! Being in awe that a sushi place would actually consider this acceptable to serve is a testament to Arigato’s dedication to sushi. However this was just the beginning of the debacle that was to be my “gift” meal.

Fast forward 15 mins we actually stopped eating our bento boxes as our combo, and roll had not shown up and neither had our waitress. My wife and son wanted to have a variety of sushi to eat and try, my wife commented that she forgot the rest of the order. As we had seen two to go orders be prepared as we were waiting, we thought that this may be the case. I actually had to get up and ask our waitress if we had rolls coming,as she had not bothered to stop by the table to fill our drinks or check in, she gave me the annoyed of course you do look, and as I was speaking to her the chef delivered our combo, but no roll. Amazing! He stopped making our order to make the to go orders, and to add insult to injury our rolls where even more poorly rolled globules of rice with a sliver of tuna/salmon.

Fast forward another 15 mins, our Dynamite roll shows up, after everything else in our meal was done we got to enjoy a giant rice globule roll. At least the roll was rolled so that it actually held together. My wife commented that all she wanted was to give me a nice father’s day meal, Never again!
For this dining nightmare we paid 54$


Poor experience

Yeah, last time we gave it another try the waitress was also rude and makes little attempt at conversation. We were in a bit of a rush and even had to stand and wait at the til to get our cheque.
In a lunch crowd setting, this is not acceptable for sure as well as the poor food quality.
The owners should be on top of their biz or get prepaired to close..

Re: If it looks like a Duck... - Arigato Sushi (North Shore)

Gary, I love your determination!

At least they're consistent at both locations, no? Tee, hee, hee.

Thank you for sharing your disagreeable Dad's Day dining experience. I'm glad you found a positive in their tempura.
It's always good to hear feedback and perspectives of other diner's to compare or contrast with my own.

I hope your next meal out is a winner :)
Happy eating!

Arigato (N.Shore)

I prefer the N.Shore location(near Cowboy Coffee). It is definitely cleaner and less noisy. We are not real sushi aficionados, but usually have the Bento's lunch when we go. It's always been good and for $10 you can't loose.

Re: Arigato Sushi North Shore

Welcome homefry!

I'm glad you had a positive experience. When did you last visit because I drove past Arigato's Tranquille location recently. It looks very "closed," like in an out-of-business kind of way. There was aged ripped brown paper covering up the only windows. And the signage was delapitated. It looks like it's been closed for some time. Or is this just the regular exterior aesthetics?

At this point in time, I can't bring myself to try the north shore location. Perhaps later, much later.

Thanks for joining the conversation on Love of Eating!
Happy eating.

Oh man, Reading this post

Oh man,

Reading this post right after my meal at Sushi Garden today made me appreciate Sushi Garden at another level!! Even though their service still ticks me off a bit (except for this one guy, he's very polite), their food is great (and the price is too).

I guess I won't be trying sushi anytime soon when I head back to Kamloops! Maybe I should buy bulk and just put them in my freezer or something! Next stop...Bubble Tea at Dragonball!!!

Re: Oh man, Reading this post

Hi Katz

At the very least the service at Arigato is smiley and efficient.
Enjoy your bbt!

Lost Cause?

I suppose the fact that you've been there several times indicates that you don't mind Sanbiki, but I've wondered if the higher prices are justified. It has been very hard to find good sushi in this city. I've been suspecting that the places such as the one you reviewed above have been able to stay in business because that's just how things are everywhere. I've been to Arigato a couple of times when craving a quick bite of sushi (your review seems spot on), but have been reluctant to spend 2 to 3 times what I would spend in the Lower Mainland at a place like Sanbiki or Oriental Gardens in Kamloops, both of which have been recommended to me.

Are you planning a review of Sanbiki?


Re: Lost Cause?

"...have been reluctant to spend 2 to 3 times what I would spend in the Lower Mainland at a place like Sanbiki..."

These were my same thoughts when I got here. The first time I went to Sanbiki (keep in mind I was freshly moved from coast) I was shocked that they charged $29.95 for a roll that would've been approx $8-$9 back in Van. But I thought, when in Rome...

So far Sanbiki is the only place that I've tried in town, which does an okay job. It’s not going to blow you away. But considering both times I’ve gone elsewhere for sushi in Kamloops (Taka and Arigato,) it’s been a gong show; therefore, I don’t mind going back to Sanbiki. I’ve only been to Sanbiki in the evening, and I’ve only had their sushi. Also, I like that Sanbiki will try to incorporate local products where possible.

To answer your question: Is Sanbiki worth the inflated prices compared to Vancouver? Hellz no.
But I don't live on the coast anymore. So there's that.

Definitely try Oya

I have been to Oya several times and have never been disappointed. Of course, I've never had Sushi anywhere but in Kamloops so nothing to compare it to. :-)

If you go, though,for the all you can eat, DEFINITELY get there at between 11:30 - 12:00 during the week or you will be waiting.

Now I want sushi! LOL

You should definitely go to

You should definitely go to the Coast one day and try their sushi!

I went to Oya sushi 2 weeks ago and it was okay. Their specialty rolls were pretty good but their sashimi has a long way to go. I thought their salmon sashimi (on the AYCE) was smoked salmon because it was so thinly sliced! They gave me a colder than avg tuna as Toro!! After devouring a high volume of Toro from the Coast, I think I got jipped!! I honestly think if they were to concentrate a little bit more on details and ease off on the rice to ingredient ratio, they probably would do better!

I should try their Korean food next time as I think they are Korean instead of Japanese :)


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