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Restaurants

TCJ Restaurant

Posted by Julia Stead / Reviewed on September 26, 2013 / review policy

TCJ RestaurantTCJ Restaurant opened its doors at Queen and Church about a month ago. It's similar to most other AYCE sushi joints except for one little twist - its menu is also packed with a variety of Chinese and Thai offerings. Though the variety is a plus, none of the food is particularly outstanding. But with crowds of hungry office workers dropping a mere $13.95 (dinner is $22.95) to eat 'til they're stuffed, dining here is simply a matter of getting what you pay for.

In the early afternoon, we arrive for lunch. We sit down with an order form and pencil, and tick off a handful of selections. It takes a while for the server to retrieve the form but even longer for us to receive all our food.

TCJ RestaurantFirst to arrive is the miso soup, gyoza, a spring roll and a variety of nigiri (salmon, white tuna, red snapper, and tobiko). All of these items are typical finds at any run-of-the-mill sushi spot. Not bad, but definitely nothing special. The gyoza has a thick shell of deep fried dough that's dry but lacking crispiness. The meat lacks spice or distinct flavour.

TCJ RestaurantAfter a long delay, we ask our server if the rest of our food is on its way. She seems to check but we get no confirmation. We flag her down a second time and are told they don't have any record of us ordering more food. Without any apologies for the mix up we're abruptly handed another paper menu.

TCJ RestaurantWith our second order form now submitted we're served the Coconut Fried Rice, an odd choice to arrive when it did, given it's from their dessert selections. That said, it's one the highlights of the meal; moderately sweet, with a soft, sticky rice consistency, and a mellow coconut taste.

TCJ RestaurantWhich brings me to my favourite dish of the day - the deep-fried banana. The banana has a ripe, natural fruit flavour, and the proper medium-soft consistency. It's encased in a crunchy, sweet batter, and drizzled with a sugary chocolate sauce. Yum.

TCJ RestaurantNow with dessert complete, we turn our attention to the mains. The Thai Basil Chicken has minimal basil flavor, and very weak spice. The texture of the chicken is light and spongy. Not the best quality.

TCJ RestaurantFrom the extensive maki offerings we're served a salmon tempura avocado roll, an avocado cucumber roll, and a salmon skin roll (that we didn't order). They're satisfactory, run-of-the-mill maki. The cucumbers are crisp, the avocado buttery and the salmon fresh.

TCJ RestaurantOf the five varieties of sushi pizza available we decide on the white tuna. The tuna is cut very thin and doled out too meagerly to balance out the thickness of the fried rice crust. Despite this, it still has a nice savoury flavour. It reminds me that even when restaurants cheap out on ingredients it's tough to mess up sushi pizza.

TCJ Pad Thai comes in three varieties here (popular, curry and satay) and we didn't think we could go wrong with the so-called popular option with vegetables (chicken and beef are also available). The sauce is far too runny and everyone agrees this is the worst item of the day.

2013926-tcj-veg-dish-2.jpgLooking around the table for something else to erase our memories of the Pad Thai we realize that once again the server seems to have forgotten to bring us the full range of items we ordered. We ask about the whereabouts of our food and eventually receive the Basil Eggplant, one of the two dozen or so Thai offerings from the menu. The eggplant is tender and paired with a salty, basil soy sauce.

TCJ RestaurantOverall, TJC is your average AYCE restaurant from a food-quality standpoint but service here is about as bad as I've seen. Servers are friendly but indifferent and there's really no excuse for repeatedly misplacing orders. If you decide to try out TJC, make sure you can commit to a lengthy stay. With all the delays in our food arriving ours lasted well over an hour.

TCJ RestaurantTCJ is open Monday to Thursday from 11am - 11pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am - 12am and Sunday from 12pm - 10pm. Discounts are available for seniors, children and students. There's also an extensive a la carte menu and takeout and delivery are available.

Discussion

9 Comments

cosmosuave / September 26, 2013 at 01:01 pm
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Pawn Shop Sushi...
p / September 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm
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↑ what he said ↑
Jayemmbee23 / September 27, 2013 at 02:29 am
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I was digging this til the Thai part, thats the deal breaker. too much peanuts in Thai food. me with peanut allergies and potential cross contamination in the kitchen onto my sushi means im going to the hospital lol
Johnny Kay / September 27, 2013 at 07:18 am
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I seriously cannot believe this place was just built and hasn't been sitting there like that since '93, slowly deteriorating into what it looks like today. Signage and fonts included.
leslie p / September 27, 2013 at 07:20 am
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#whatapieceofshit
Randy / September 27, 2013 at 11:30 am
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Snobber gonna snob.

It's all you can eat sushi, not upscale fine dining. Is it *so* surprising that it looks the way it does?
Dimples / September 30, 2013 at 02:55 pm
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I was there recently and it was pretty good! We placed our order and the food came surprisingly quick. The servers were attentive and friendly (was not that busy). We tried a variety of dishes, they were small to medium size so don't be afraid to order a few! I wouldn't necessary come here for a craving of sushi (it was just okay, not terrible but not amazing). More like if you were craving Chinese food with side orders of sushi and Thai. The most authentic were the Chinese dishes.

Drinks/pops were free however, they were ridiculously watered down with a strong distinct taste of 80% tap water.

MON-SAT lunch hour is from 11AM-3PM. $13.95 per person with 10% off grand opening promotion. This place is definitely worth a try and I will be back!
Edna / February 12, 2014 at 10:46 pm
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The food here is scrumptious!!!! Everything is prepared fresh. The presentation of the food is excellent and the variety fantastic!!! The ambiance is nice and cozy and the staff are very efficient, friendly and helpful. The price is right too! I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants to try some excellent Thai, Chinese and Japanese food!!
James / February 17, 2014 at 06:18 pm
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TCJ is actually one of the best Chinese restaurants that I've eaten at (I've eat an at quite a few) the Thai food there is amazing and their golden curry is delicious. I have yet to try a dish there I didn't enjoy, all though with so many menu choices I'm sure there's one out there. I highly recommend eating here.

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