Back to Business – Oysi Oysi

December 11th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Hey readers! Let’s get back to the business at hand on

This is the first installment in our plan for a continuing series on the quest for the best ten buck (or less) lunches in the downtown core.  A tenner seems to be a popular pricepoint and we expect to partake in an ongoing assortment.

Oysi Oysi

1136 Alberni Street,

Vancouver, BC

Tel: (604) 682-0011


Monday to Thursday: 11am to 10:30pm

Friday: 11am to 11:30pm

Saturday: Noon to 11:30pm

Sunday: Noon to 10:00pm

1 star (out of a possible 4)

The journey has led on occasion to Oysi Oysi Japanese restaurant on Alberni Street.

Sandwiched between Tim Hortons and the entrance to Carmanah Plaza, Oysi Oysi is always a bustling lunchtime location. I believe that price is the primary reason.

The lunchtime clientele always seems to be a thorough mix of Japanese students, office workers and construction workers from the numerous nearby sites.

The lunch menu has several options within options all under $10 bucks.  There’s the mix and match Eye Opener for $9.95 that is only available Monday through Friday with four categories and numerous options in each category. Then there are the everyday offerings of the Chef Special which is Ramen and 3 gyoza and the Oisy Special which is a pared down version of the Eye Opener. And lastly there are 4 Combo lunchbox type items.

My first visit I had the Eye Opener with the teriyaki chicken. sushi, rice, wonton soup and gyoza. It’s a good portion and a good size meal. Unfortunately the items themselves didn’t hold up to the promise.

The chicken teriyaki was overfried. The chicken itself was hard and overcooked and the breading was beyond crispy and more like crunchy. The teriyaki flavour is ok, a bit oversweet, and the sauce is very gelatinous with the beansprouts underneath very greasy. The wontons in the soup were tasty but the soup itself had a slightly antiseptic quality that made me think someone had squeezed a cleaning rag into it. Not pleasant.

Eye Opener

The sushi was the star of the plate with decent portions on the nigiri and everything fresh with a nicely lightly vinegared sushi rice.  Makes me think the nighttime sushi might be quite good. Lastly, the gyoza were simply ok. Not particularly notable. Certainly not made in-house.

The second visit I tried the Oisy Special choosing prawn and vegetable tempura, chicken teriyaki again (to compare) and a California roll. It also comes regardless of your choices with Miso soup and bowl of rice. 

Oysi Special

Oysi Special

The meal came in under 3 minutes. Quite literally. Clearly prepared in advance as there is no way any of the cooked items were to order. This time the chicken was tender (almost like it was steamed) but you could taste the flour in the breading. As if it was fried to get the outside crisp but not enough to cook through to the chicken. Again, the beansprouts underneath were greasy. The Cali roll had the standard Pollock faux crab that we have all come to expect though I long for real crab in my rolls – I know some places do serve it this way but I think it should be noted somehow on a menu. I’ve probably been watching too much of Gordon Ramsey. Anyway this roll was pretty standard. Moist with mayo and the avocado was very overripe to the point of being strangely too mushy and almost watery in one piece. The tempura was overcrisp from being sat under a hot light but the prawn was nice and it wasn’t’ overly greasy as poorly executed tempura can be sometimes. The two vegetable pieces were both potato. The Miso soup was hot and delicious and the rice bowl perfectly adequate.

All in all, neither meal was particularly special aside from the price to volume ratio.

The quest continues!

Tags: Japanese

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jason // Dec 13, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    this is off to a great start. Great job doran and co.

  • 2 Doran // Dec 15, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks Jason! Much appreciated, particularly coming from you!

  • 3 toby // Dec 30, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    cool idea for an article, very useful.

  • 4 Doran // Jan 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks toby – check out the latest one on Joe Forte’s. More to come too!

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