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“Food quality decreased, price increased” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kabuki

Kabuki
Ranked #202 of 1,453 Restaurants in Helsinki
Price range: US$16 - US$22
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: Kampinmalmi
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
70 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Food quality decreased, price increased”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2013

Over the summer of 2013, this restaurant had changed ownership from the daughter of the Japanese founder to new Chinese owners. I was told the food quality is now nowhere near where it used to be. I am a frequent customer here and even recommended many people to visit (and even wrote a review earlier), so I gave it the benefit of doubt until I try it myself. And I would have to say, the food quality had drop so much and yet the price had increased by about 10-20%. We ordered a few appetizers, mixed sushi plate, tonkatsu, mixed tempura. Appetizer: Tuna Tatar was overly mash and not seasoned enough, the deep fried squid was cold, very soft and soggy as though it had been cook much earlier and left there the whole evening but the saving grace was the seaweed salad which still tasted fresh. The mix sushi plate was a disappointment. The salmon pieces were very obviously smaller and worse was the squid sushi. It tasted really strange and even the texture was gooey, unlike how a fresh piece would've been fresh and a just a slight rubbery texture to it. It felt like some pre-pack defrosted squid from the local Asian grocer. I had to spit it out because I couldn't swallow it down. Tonkatsu (deep fried pork fillet) was either over fried or the fillet size had shrunk and had heavy taste of pork to it. The accompanying dip sauce was a very salty dark brown sauce, not a usual tonkatsu sauce which is a savory and well balance of sweet & salty sauce. The tempura was a mixed bag. The fried vegetables were good but not the shrimps. Again, it tasted like defrosted pre-packed shrimp tempura that I usually get from the Asian grocer. Dip sauce with the chopped radish was still up to par. We didn't even bother to order any desserts. I wouldn't mind paying the increased in price if they had at least maintain the quality. However, right from the first dish till the end it's obvious that the new owner/cook is trying to cut corners on the food quality by the low quality ingredients used. This definitely left a bad taste in the mouth (pun intended). This would be the last time I am visiting this restaurant. If you want such quality Japanese food, you are better off eating in the many sushi shops popping up in Helsinki without having to pay premium price for it. This is an embarrassment for such a well-known sushi establishment.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
12 Thank Alan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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145 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    63
    46
    23
    7
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Tampere, Finland
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Nice cozy Japanese restaurant in Helsinki”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2013

Very nice and cozy little Japanese restaurant right in the middle of Helsinki. Excellent food and drink and great & friendly service. If you're looking for good sushi & co make sure to visit. Reservation is recommended as the place is pretty small. One almost misses the place when walking by due to it's humble outside appearance. Enjoyed an excellent dinner there.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank ikoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
102 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“It has changed the owner - or at least the cook”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2013 via mobile

Its not the old authentic Japanese anymore. Too bad. We used to fetch sushi by car driving 20 min, just to get it. Normally it was fully booked, I wondered we could get a table for four just as 'walk in's. New service personel, the old grumpy waiters were gone, very polite anf fast girls had taken over. Then the food. Its average sushi. Still I think the price/quality ratio is ok. Sashimi was ok. But the twist from the sushi is gone. One could tell that the cook changed, by the size of the sushi pcs. They were almost too big, now they are half the size (easy to eat) but as mentioned the twist is gone. This standard you get anywere, even in more expensive places.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Andyplusfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki, Finland
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Worst service ever.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2013

The menu is quite complicated, so we asked for help from the waiter.
She was sloppy, not polite and not happy into giving us any help.
As a result, we did not got at all what we wanted...for the price of 70 euro!!!
When we complained about it, the answer was even more impolite than in the beginning!
This was my preferite sushi place. I am never go again!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank walleruuski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Espoo, Finland
Level Contributor
41 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“The 1st Japanese restaurant in Helsinki!?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2013

Kabuki has been around for over 20 years, and with a reason. More specifically you can't really complain about the food (typically Finnish "non-negative" approach) which is really good and authentic Japanese (I'd say).

The place is pretty small and crowded so you better book a table beforehand. Also be prepared for not so much legroom or privacy. Furthermore the ventilation is not from today, so you will smell from the food prepared at the table's (eg Sukiyaki or Yakiniku) when you get out of there.

The service is fairly ok, reasonably fast and acceptably friendly.

All in all a restaurant that live's on it's good food and fact that there is really no competing good Japanese restaurant in Helsinki. The place itself and the service would need a "refreshment".

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank StefanAA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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