26 Ponsonby Road,
(09) 360 5050
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Genji Japanese Restaurant
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We booked through telephone for a meal for two for the evening of April 5th in two weeks ago, using a voucher which was expiring on April 12. We were told the evening was booked out and I said I didn’t mind to change it to lunch for the same day, but was told they are not doing Saturday lunch, I pointed out that the voucher stated they are open Monday to Saturday 12 to2:30pm, the person on the phone read the voucher and agreed there was a mistake. As the result of their mistake, I asked if I could come the next Saturday evening April 13th instead, she said yes and took the booking When we were there this evening April 13th, we were told the voucher has already expired and we couldn’t use it.We were demanding an explanation but police was called and later when the police arrived, said, it wasn’t a matter for police. it was a civil matter only.We left the restaurant but later the owner of the restaurant called us using the number we used when we were booking, threatened us he will find us. It was menacing threatening call with the F word several times in each short call. demanding that I go back to the restaurant to meet him and saying that he would catch up, sounded menacing.By the way, the chef were Indian and Chinese men, the waitress were Korean and Chinese ladies, and the manager was Chinese woman, only the restaurant was JAPANESE!!!
We went as a group of 13 last night (booked a week in advance) and the evening was farcical at best. As soon as we had arrived we had a very rude waitress asking us what we were ordering (literally after sitting down). We asked if we could have more time and she said there was another big group coming so we had to hurry. We then asked if we could get more menus considering there were only 3 on the table and she said they couldn’t! We went to order and we ordered four things off the menu that were unavailable! They forget several things that were ordered and some at our table went a while without eating. As they served they bumped a plate into by friends eye. When we went to pay they tried to charge the whole table corkage even though only 4 people were drinking. When my friend questioned this the manager told her to ‘Hurry up and pay, there were others waiting to pay’. This was a real shame because the food was ok, but we felt like an inconvenience to them and they were very rude all night. Would never go back and I strongly suggest you don’t!
Having dinner at Genji's I now understand why they have extreme reviews. We certainly experienced the good and the bad. We started with the Nigiri and Sashimi platter which was good, but price a bit on the high side. Then ordered four plates to share. The Mixed Tempura @ $18 was good and so was the Chicken Katsu Fillet @ $12, but the Shishamo Yakitori (Sardine Skewers) were absolutely dreadful - tasted like reconstituted cardboard - I was expecting fresh sardines and think these ones must have been the dried variety (possibly pre-historic) and then even worse was the Soft Shell Crab @ $16 - on the plate were 2 crabs, so probably a fair price, but they were swimming in oil - we ate one and both felt sick, so left the other and that was the end of our evening - didn't feel like sampling anything else or the dessert after that. Also disappointing that the seating is so close together, making it impossible to have a private conversation - we now know everything about the people beside us, as I'm sure they do about us! The staff were very friendly and efficient though. I would rate this restaurant 2.5. In saying all this, the food the people next to us ordered looked good and they seemed happy with everything, so maybe worth another go as the banquet for 4 sounded like good value and I think that was probably what they had.
We've had takeaway from Genji Japanese Restaurant a few times but last week thought we'd give the sit in dining experience a go. Service was on the slowside but the food was up to it's usually good standards. Of the lower priced venues, Genji is certainly one of the better ones in the Ponsonby area.
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