Genji Japanese Restaurant

Ottawa, Ontario


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Thanks to the reviews by Ottawa Magazine (the July/August issue) and the recommendation by Ottawa Citizen's food critic's Anne Desbrisay on Canada Day.

With a 4.5 stars rating (out of 5) by Ottawa Magazine, I got to try this restaurant.

Ottawa Magazine writes: "Dining at Genji for the first time feels a little like falling in love. ... Nasu dengaku is spectacular; the buttery flesh of fried Asian eggplant melting on the tongue as it mingles with a sensuous sauce made of miso and Japanese mayo. Next up is an understated baised tofu appetizer bathed in smooth sesame sauce that is the essence of umami, the illustrious fifth taste."

Genji does live up to the hype. In my opinion, this is the best Japanese restaurant in Ottawa.

Attentive service (they came to fill my half-empty cup with free green tea very often) and knowledgable staff. I would recommend Genji to every one with two thumbs up!

P.S. Genji was also on 2007 "Frommer's Ottawa" recommended restaurant list. Do I need to say more?

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At first glance, Genji seems to offer a decent variety of vegetarian dishes, but it soon becomes apparent that the proprietor has only the vaguest notion of vegetarian cuisine.

Of most concern is the fact that all of the deep-fried dishes that are labeled “vegetarian” in the menu are cooked in the same oil as the fish and meat. Many of the sauces for so-called vegetarian dishes include eggs. Also, only white rice is available, despite the fact that Japanese dishes can be beautifully prepared with genmai (brown rice). Although the servers are polite and helpful, they seem to lack awareness of what constitutes a vegetarian dish. As a result, vegetarian customers are left with a lack of trust that they will be served truly vegetarian food. We were very disappointed.

These problems could be easily mitigated by offering more carefully prepared vegetarian dishes. Otherwise, this restaurant has no place on a website that provides information on vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly restaurants.

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I enjoy the food at Genji Japanese restaurant very much and I took my colleagues there for lunch all the times. In particular, I like their grilled eggplant, sweet potato maki, tosa tofu, vegetable tempura.

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We've been a number of times and the great food (veggie sushi, tosa tofu, lychee ice cream), warm hospitality and good service will keep us coming back. Genji is now one of my favourite spots in Ottawa.

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As requested by the owner, I post my review to give my two cent comment here. Genji offers very good menu for vegetarians. We went to Genji for dinner twice already and have tried the following dishes:

- grilled eggplant
- sweet potato maki
- Vegetarian maki
- Futomaki
- Tamago
- Inari (tofu pocket)
- Tempura banana with lichee ice cream (dessert)

Complimentary green tea was replenished very often. We enjoyed our meal at Genji very much and voted Genji the best Japanese restaurant for vegetarians in Ottawa. The owner also took photos of us. When we went home and checked my emails, I aleady saw the photos in my inbox. I was very impressed by this.

I have made three visits to Genji Japanese restaurant in the past few months, so I believe I should be qualified to give a fair review of Genji’s food and services. I got to know about Genji via a friend who loves sushi Ottawa doesn’t have too many choices when it comes to Chinese and Japanese food. So, we are delighted to try out this new restaurant.

For our first visit in March, we ordered most of their vegetarian dishes. If memory serves me right, we tried their grilled eggplant (seasoned with miso sauce – very yummy), vegetable tempura (sweet potato, zuichini, eggplant – very crispy with golden color, not greasy at all), assorted maki (sweet potato, futomaki, advocado rolls), and tosa tofu (a little bit spicy, very tasty). We all voted that their sweet potato maki are the best that we've had in Ottawa.

For our second visit (in April), we tried their Kaiso salad, edamame, tofu steak, vegetable tempura (again), tamago, shitake roll and sweet potato maki (again). This time we ensure that we had room for dessert. We tried their fried banana ice cream. It was awesome!

For our third visit (last Saturday), we asked the chef to design a vegetarian sushi platter for us. We told the chef that sweet potato is a must for the platter. When the sushi platter arrived at our table, the word "WOW!" just came out so naturally. The sushi was very artistically prepared, we were all mesmerized by the beautiful sushi arrangement. We also tried out their green tea crème brule. It was a totally delicious meal!

For my past three visits to Genji, I see consistent food quality. I have no reservations recommending Genji to my friends and colleagues for a wonderful dining experience. Good job and keep it up!

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A couple weeks ago, my fiance and I went to Genji (on Lisgar at Elgin), a new japanese place that replaced an old one we loved (Matsu).

They re-did the interior and it looks way WAY cooler. The had great lighting, small private areas divided by screens, a long open booth, and modern jazz (which felt odd given the menu)

We ordered;
-Tofu Steak
-Vegetarian Maki (spicy and regular)
-Vegetable Tempura
-Miso soup
-Green Salad

We shared it all and were so stuffed we couldn't finish everything. It was all really good but I found the pieces of tofu steak were too big. It would have been better if the pieces were half the size so there was double the amount of crispy edges.

I also ordered a peach martini and it came in a small tumbler with a straw and was foamy on top. It tasted great.

The service there was impeccable. I wish they had more vegetarian options (we ordered about 2/3 of the ones they had at the time) but it was still really good.

The cost was reasonable for the amount of food we ordered. Approximately $40, not including the tip.

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We tried this restaurant in May 2006. We were attracted by the decor and the nice picture. But trouble started not too long after we sat down. We quickly realized that everyone in the restaurant was speaking in mandarin, including the waiters, owners and cooks. Our order of tempura was generous but over-fried in old oil. Also, it didn't quite taste like tempura should taste. This was just regular deep-fried vegetable. I suspect the veggie tempura was fried with seafood as it tasted like shrimp and had a fish-smell. I won't comment the meal any further, but, generally speaking, every dish was more disappointing than the previous one. We left the place sad, unsatisfied and a little angry to have spent so much money for such food.

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Genji Japanese Restaurant is a hidden gem in Ottawa. I like that they have a separate vegetarian menu to make our order a lot easier. We ordered Kaiso salad, Edamame, tosa tofu (promotion item), sweet potato sushi, futomaki, avocado rolls, futomaki, grilled eggplant and vegetable tempura. The food is amazingly delicious, with good presentation. The decor is modern and elegant with relaxing Jazz music. We (a group of 6) had a great time! We will definitely go again.

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I checked out this new restaurant recently. It had a lot of good vegetarian dishes which is surprising for a sushi restaurant. There were a lot of faux meat rolls made of eggplant, tofu, mushrooms and avocodo which is all authentic Japanese style, especially the Tempura.

The decor looked pretty cool too with a lot of minimalist Asian design and the prices were a really good value for the quality of food. You can tell they have an authentic chef.

I strongly recommend checking out this restaurant if you want to try some good Japanese food.

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