Honestly, I've never been to any other Japanese restaurant in Belize, but because the quality of food here is that good, I can get behind the claim that this is the Best Japanese/Sushi restaurant in Belize!
When I read reviews about Jyoto before I left for Belize, I was a little skeptical. We've read that this place served poor food, similar to supermarket sushi in midwestern states. Those reviewers probably dislike the restaurant for other reasons and decided to bash its quality too! I can assure you, this is not the case! The food was extremely good! My family and I eat Japanese food regularly: from buffets to omakases, ramen spots to japanese supermarkets! We mostly love our local sushi joints, but we've also been to Nobu, Sushi Nakazawa, and even waited in line to have the freshest sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market!
This was our first dinner on the island and it was a Wednesday! That means Temaki Wednesdays! We enjoyed their temakis, their sashimi, their curry, as well as their ramen! They were all spot on! Fresh tasting and cooked to perfection! We had absolutely no qualms about the quality of their food!
All was not perfect, though. The service was slow. But, I attribute this to the restaurant still being fairly new, as well as the fact that it is in Belize. It looked like Chef Tsujimoto was training his other chefs that evening. I believe in time, this will get better as there will be more people to prepare food without constant guidance. Also, we are in Belize. Belize is not known for extremely fast service. Here, they do not have traffic that even comes close to that in NYC or other big cities, so the food cannot be prepped too much in advance in anticipation of a big crowd coming in (or they risk them going bad and/or tasting poorly), so most of the time, your food is prepared as it is ordered, thus creating longer wait times. The turnover is much much less. The servers were there and didn't seem overwhelmed, they were just waiting for the food to be prepared, so I cannot blame them either. Which would you prefer? Longer waits and food as fresh as possible, or shorter waits with sub par food?
Also that evening, my mother broke a glass tumbler and found that we were charged for it. US $5. Understandable, as it is a new restaurant and every expense counts, and also because that is probably the norm over there and most of the world (we are normally not breakers of glass, so we have not much experience in this!). So if that happens to you too, don't be upset or shocked!
All in all, this place was great! The food was presented well and tasted amazing! It is much more expensive than the local restaurants in SP and Belize in general, but not overly expensive. Definitely not an every day thing though (unless you just go in for the specials and that alone! That is a hard thing to do with all the good food there!). The service was not as speedy as in NYC, but that is completely understandable. Wherever you go, you always have to try and match your expectations with reality as much as possible. Otherwise, you'll just get upset for nothing.
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