Portland >Food & Dining > Sinju Restaurant
1022 NW Johnson St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.528678 -122.681744
Neighborhoods: Pearl, Neighbors West - Northwest
PRETENTIOUS!!!! Is there a ZERO STAR choice??? – My husband and daughters wanted to take me out last night for a belated Mom's Day celebration. When asked what I'd like to have for dinner, of course I chose sushi. We went by our regular place but they were closed, so we decided to go to Sinju. I'd eaten there years ago and remember the sushi being great, but the service was horrible. Since it was so long ago I thought we should give it another try. We went in at about 8:30 in the evening and there were only about 5 occupied tables in the whole place and all the tatami rooms were empty. I asked for a tatami room for our family and was told that we could not have one because we were not a party of 6 or more. I asked "so we can't have a room?" to which this rude woman named Angie replied "we can let you have one but you have to spend at least $120 and tip 18%. REALLY??????? I am appalled that in these economic times this place is turning away diners on a slow Monday night when they have no one else to fill those tables. And the truth is, we'd have most likely spent $120 or more because we are a family of sushi fanatics, but to be told that we HAVE to spend x amount or tip x amount is beyond me. Plus Angie had a total attitude and as soon as she saw that we had kids, her tone got less friendly. Our kids are very well behaved and avid sushi eaters....they know how to dine out! I understand policy, and on a Friday night this would be a prudent policy to keep to, but on a slow Monday? I wouldn't be surprised if these unkind practices caused them to go out of business.
Sinju is great for groups – Sinju is definitely one of the better sushi places in town, but Yoko's is the best as far as I'm concerned. If you're wanting to go out with a group of people then you'd want to go to Sinju and sit in a tatami room. I too have been to many of the "best" sushi places in the world, and I agree that there are much better places in other cities and countries, but I also think that sushi is a matter of preference. I've eaten at just about every sushi restaurant in the area, and I'll always vote for Yoko's, you just need to find the place you like the best.
Scored 70 on health inspection January 2009 – Last time I visited Sinju, I got sick. Everyone in my party got sick from eating sushi and teriyaki chicken. I just saw on KPTV that sinju barely passed with a score of 70.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? – I have eaten at some of the best sushi restaurants in the world, such as: Bar Masa (NYC) and Nobu (Vegas). However, I have also eaten at some of the worst places. As Sinju doesn't come close to being in the same league as the world's premier locations, it offers the best sushi in Oregon, HANDS DOWN! I was born and raised in Portland and have been to countless places in the Portland Metro Area and none are as impressive as Sinju. For all the people who wrote comments about how the service sucks...I actually think it's great. If someone does seem rude or snappy it's probably because they don't understand your English. Unlike in the wonderfully horrible city of Tucson, AZ they actually have Asian people working at Asian restaurants instead of college students or Mexicans....imagine that!
Nice atmosphere, so-so sushi – I really wanted to like this place. It has a neat atmoshpere. The interior decoration is nicely done, with some nice private rooms. Unfortunately, the sushi we had somehow fell flat. The portions were certainly generous enough, but the fish was bland, and the rolls/rice weren't tight. It was a struggle just to pick up the rolls in one piece. Service was alright. I expected better in a place like this.
my favorite sushi place! – If you want to try a different kind of sushi experience head to Sin Ju! I have never had anything less than perfection, it's like heaven on a plate! The service is also great!
Good Sushi, Bad Service – We have grown tired of the downtown location for the simple fact that they give some of the worst service I have ever had. The time span between when you are seated to when your server comes to your table seems like forever. And the last 2 times we were here they forgot to bring our entire order. The final straw was when we went for dinner on a Wednesday evening at 5pm and the place was empty except for a couple tables. We were seated and waited 15 minutes for our server to show up - finally having to ask a chef to please find that person and send them over. We noticed a couple other tables that came in after us move from their table to the sushi bar because they never got a server either. Yet there were 4 servers standing around the front podium chit-chatting. Don't waste your time or money at the downtown location - go to Sin Ju at Bridgeport.
Had a wonderful experience – Valentines Day was coming up soon and so I decided to make early reservation to SinJu. I was asked if I wanted a tatami room, but knowing that there is a min. of 4+ people and I usually have business meetings there (with at least 7 people) during the past, it was great! A full course meal was a requirement which worked out perfect. Minimum of $50 per person was required but to have a private room for Valentines Day with my girlfriend-I couldn't ask for a better night/dinner.
I've been to other sushi place all over portland. There are other great places with GREAT sushi, but the location, ambiance, and service (surprised) was great! Been a regular for 3 years now. Sometimes, service is "ok" but I don't dine for waiters and waitress. It's a nice place to have a great time with friends and family~
Pros: Location, ambiance, decent food
Cons: Expect a short wait during busy hours.
Why I Will Never Go to Sin Ju Again – I have been to Sin Ju several times - at least ten - since they opened. OK, the sushi is fine. Across and up the street is much better, but whatever. It's still nice to have a few places in the neighborhood to pick from. Still, the past few times I have dined at Sin Ju, the service was downright terrible, and it was not due to overwhelmingly large crowds. It seemed to take forever to get noticed, and when you finally did, the service was haughty (um, hello? you are a waitress...) and you better not be too hungry because getting food on the table takes a while. A long while.
Today, alas, was the final straw, and I must say my ho-hum relationship with this sushi joint ended on a hilarious note. It was 12:45 on President's day and my fiance and I ventured in to grab some lunch. At first we thought they were closed, because there was nobody in the restaurant. Opening the front door, however, we were told they were indeed serving lunch.
We were LITERALLY the only people in the restaurant who did not earn a living there. I don't mean the place was slow, I mean we would have been the only customers. Not exactly a fun atmosphere, so I told the waitress we would at least like a tatami room to make it a bit more interesting and fun. Since, you know, the place was EMPTY.
She informed us, with no sense of irony whatsoever, that those rooms were only for groups of five or more. "But there is nobody in your restaurant," I pointed out. She gloomily said she'd check with "management," and briefly spoke in hushed tones to an older waitress who I assume, based on the fancy dress of her kimono, was calling the shots.
"Um, yeah, sorry," whined our hostess, "we just can't make any exceptions. Those rooms (which are really just glorified submerged booths with bamboo doors) are only for large groups and there is a one hundred dollar minimum."
I started laughing and we left. We then spent $70 having a LOVELY lunch at Piazza Italia.
Take Your Money Across The River – Sin Ju does not bear comparison with Yoko's on Gladstone. I had dinner in both in the same week, and by all parameters except for absence of the waiting line, Sin Ju does not come through. Their sushi were on the small side, the fish cut was substandard, allowing for sinewy texture, watery soy sauce lacked piquancy. Only rolls looked larger than in Yoko's, though they did not hold shape well and tasted tepid and heavy on avocado. Prompt and fast service pleased us, perhaps because the restaurant was only half-full. The check, predictably, ended up 40% bigger than in Yoko's, so unless there's an ambitious desire to dine in Pearl, bring your money and appetite to the Southeast!
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Sinju Restaurant on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.