Medicine Hat Media

Sushi Hat Review

Saw the Sign

I’ve been itching to get into this place ever since I saw the signage a week ago. Friday, July 15th was the day I kept hearing they would be opened so I’ve been counting down the days.

Twitter seemed to be the best place for me to find information about this coming restaurant. Local tweets got me a sneak peak of the menu and pointed me towards their website. Both the pictures and prices looked great which added to my already mounting excitement. I’ve been looking forward to a good sushi place in the Hat and this new business held a lot of potential.
Sushi for Lunch!

Well today is the 15th and I’m going for lunch! I had invited a couple people and talked with a few others, even mentioned the possibility of twitter users meeting (#tweepsandgeeks for the initiated), but all my options for company went south. No worries, I’m a big boy so I went alone.

Arrived at the restaurant at noon, was seated and had my first order taken right away. Ten minutes later I had a plate with some nice looking California Rolls and BBQ Eel Rolls.

Wait! Where was my Halibut, Salmon and Snapper Sushi? Apparently it was coming. I took my time, enjoyed the two rolls and was working on the last two pieces when the server returned to ask me if I wanted anything else. I reminded him that I had some coming, which he remembered and said that I would receive it very soon. A few minutes later he returned looking apologetic and informed me that the sushi counter had lost the second half of my order. I reiterated my order and added a spicy tuna and spicy salmon roll to the list. My server promised it all very soon and went to deliver my order to the counter.

I waited patiently, but time was passing by and I was starting to get restless. It was now quarter to one and I had still to receive the remainder of my first order, let alone either of the additional rolls I’d requested. I waited a little longer while attempting to get the attention of one of the three servers. I needed to get back to work soon and didn’t want to leave without the rest of my order. I figured I’d ask if they could package the rest so I could take it with me.

At five minutes to one I finally got my server to come over to my table and informed him that I had to head back to work soon. I was about to ask him if he could get my rolls and sushi in a to-go container, but the look on his face told me there was a problem again. He then informed me that my order had again not been fulfilled.

I had no choice but to tell him to cancel it as I had to be leaving. He apologized again and told me they would give me a discount for having lost my order.

When I went to pay he talked with the young lady at the till and asked her to provide me a discount due to the issues I’d experienced. She applied a 20% discount that brought my meal down by a couple dollars. I politely informed her that in the hour I’d been there I had only eaten 2 rolls, with a value (in their menu) of nearly half the cost of the buffet price. She then allowed me to pay for the rolls at the regular per roll price rather than the all-you-can-eat buffet price.

Almost made it back to work on time, almost!


The sushi: The two rolls I had were excellent. Well made, crispy veggies and good flavours. The presentation was a little plain, no wasabi or ginger, but the food itself looked great.

The service: Needs work!

First off they have a fair number of tables, I’d say around 20 or so; ranging in size from the two person tables I was seated at, to larger ones that could easily seat 10-12 people. Even with all those tables they had no zoning set up for the servers, or if they did they failed to stick to it.

I was seated near the sushi bar so I was able to watch them work — The orders coming and going! The patterns of the servers! The chaos! The fellow that took my order was constantly running to tables at the far back of the restaurant taking food and drinks, which was seriously out of place considering he had 5 tables in the front section that he was also taking care of… or so I thought. Numerous times I saw one of the other servers take an order on one of the tables up front and clear a table or bring orders to tables that had originally been served by one of the others.

Four times I watched an order get taken out only to be brought back to the counter, discussed, taken out again and then finally returned and put away in the back. I was tempted to just tell them to bring the lost plates to my table since I’d not been receiving my orders. I should have!

Final Word

I’ll go back. Going to give them a little while to season their staff, organize the people and hopefully make sense of the mess that they have right now. After all if they can get the service to be on par with the quality of the food, they will have one awesome little sushi place that’s open at lunchtime!

User Comments

14 Responses to “Sushi Hat Review”

  1. July 15th, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Sean says:

    Aside from the usual difficulties upon visiting a new restaurant, I have heard nothing but good things about this place so far. The food, I am told, is great. I can’t wait to go myself.

    This is also the lengthiest restaurant review that Medicine Hat Media has posted, I hope Richard writes more for the website!

  2. July 15th, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Brian says:

    I agree, I would like to see more articles from Richard. I hope the service improves as they learn to deal with a lot of customers at once. I can’t comment on service in the restaurant because I ordered delivery for my family. My parents and Granny have never tried sushi and are not overly adventurous so I played it safe with a bunch of tempura and other appetizers like dumplings and b.b.q. beef. It was tasty and well received.

    But the sushi was excellent. The Red Dragon Roll (shrimp tempura, salmon, cucumber and avocado) was my favourite. I’m looking forward to trying out a bento box for lunch some day.

  3. July 16th, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    Sushi Don says:

    Interesting observations for the first day at the Sushi Hat. First day jitters, I hope. Sushi buffet sounds delightful, as I have enjoyed this sort of treat in other centre. Who woulda thought a hundred years ago that local cowboys would come galloping in to chow on sushi!

  4. July 16th, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Vaughn says:

    Everybody in Medicine Hat is crazy about new restaurants and no new restaurant will be a good experience if you try to go there within the first week. Give it some time and it will be dandy. The same thing happened with Five Guys.

  5. July 18th, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Richard says:

    Vaughn: Don’t let the tone of my review fool you into thinking I was expecting perfection. I was in fact going almost 100% for the food. I would have been fine with sub par service if I had at least recieved the meal I had ordered.

    My frustrations were compounded by the fact that I watched people around me order and reorder food without issue or error, and yet a simple order for me was overlooked so many times.

    Sean: I do tend to talk a lot at times, I guess that transfers into my reviews as well!

    If (when) I have the opportunity to visit this little sushi place again, I will post a re-review. Who knows, maybe even here if you’ll have me.

  6. July 18th, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Sean says:

    Richard: You can post as many articles/reviews as you want (a few hundred or so ‘ought to do…) ;]

  7. July 20th, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Wil says:

    I enjoyed this review but some additional information about the restaurant would be great. I hadn’t heard of the restaurant opening and a Google search isn’t producing anything yet. Where is it located? What are their hours? You also make mention of their website. A link would be appreciated.

  8. July 20th, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Richard says:

    Wil you make a good point. No location information = Bad on me.

    For Wil and anyone else that wants to know!

    Address: 502 South Railway St. SE, Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 2V6

    Phone: 403-487-5308

    Web page:

    Web page has their menu on it as well!

  9. July 20th, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Wil says:

    Thank you Richard! Much appreciated.

  10. July 21st, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    CLC says:

    My wife and I went here on the 15th aswell. Service was atrocious, but the food was okay. Fans of traditional Japanese sushi rice (flavourful and slightly vinegary with some sweet notes) will be terribly disappointed with the plain rice used to make their dishs. The sushi pizza was an interesting item I just had to try, it was a fried (bland) rice pattie with spicy mayo and thin shaved sashimi on top. Not bad, nicely crisp, but not very good either, classic novelty item to draw in customers.

    Our service problems were along the same line as the reviewers, but the Spice Route out by the Costco was the same way, service-wise, when they opened and now they are doing much better. In a few weeks it probably won’t be an issue. Now we just have to convince them to put some vinegar on their rice and I’ll be splitting my time at Sushi Miso with Sushi Hat!

  11. July 21st, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    denise says:

    went saturday night, the place was packed. Service was lacking but the food was fantastic, will definatley go back. Give them some time to work out the issues. Medicine Hat has needed a good sushi place for a long time

  12. July 22nd, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Tracy says:

    i havent gone and am looking forward to trying it…and i think it’s great that sushi miso has competition. they’ve been holding us hostage for far too long with their irregular hours and abrupt closures. let’s see how they respond now that there’s someone here taking a piece of their market.

  13. July 22nd, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Richard says:

    Tracy: I agree whole heartedly with that! Competition makes companies work harder to provide their services. Fingers crossed that sushi hat’s opening will make our sushi options better all across the board.

  14. July 25th, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Vaughn says:

    Went there last week during a relatively non-busy time (or so we thought). Was still busy, kind of hot (no a/c?), and the service was fairly bad. That being said, the food was amazing and will be going back soon.

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