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"Japanese" Restaurants in Vancouver


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#31 jamiemaw

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 10:44 PM

Where would I be without that 8-way electric car seat indeed!
Not saying that it's good or anything but check out Zakkushi which opended up a couple of months ago on Denman. It's a yakitori specialty house has hit the scene . . . .

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Thanks for the tip, Montrachet.

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#32 Chef Metcalf

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 12:41 AM

Yakitori restaurants actually preceded the ubiquity of sushi parlours in Vancouver. They may have even pre-dated the Ding Ho Drive-Ins (remember: where urban myth had it that neighbourhood cats mysteriously disappeared when they ran a special on sweet and sour "boneless pork".)


After a full day of shopping in Seoul with no sustenance (too dubious of the word "bulgoki") we chose to eat nothing.

12 hours or so later, this thought was a distant memory and we were prepared to chow down on anything that was offered to us in a language that we could slightly understand.

Imagine our delight upon seeing a sign in English that read "Kentucky Fried Chicken"!
We hauled our sack of poultry back to the economy hotel room for blonde shoppers and dove into the freshly fried fowl.

Twelve hours.....no food.....yum.....chicken....burp!

Then, in a horrible flash of poultry 101, we realized that none of the bones in front of us were familiar...burp....queezy feeling.

What the hell had we just been eating....whoof, whoof?

Of course, it did taste just like chicken....but had we just eaten a neighbourhood pet?

Ten minutes later, we felt full and happy, albeit a little queasy mentally from eating an unfamiliar animal and decided that what did it really matter?

We eat our meat from a supermarket.....familiar meats...so faced with an unfamiliar one? what's the difference really.........supermarket packaging?

And you know what.... deep fried cock roaches are really quite tasty in Bangkok.
So what the hell.......you have to try everything once......right.....(except for maybe pudding and souse....because a pig's ear really just tastes like you would expect a pig's waxy ear to taste) not that there is anything wrong with the taste of a pigs waxy ear.

cm

Edited by Chef Metcalf, 25 October 2004 - 12:42 AM.


#33 kobykoby

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 10:47 PM

Yakitori restaurants actually preceded the ubiquity of sushi parlours in Vancouver. They may have even pre-dated the Ding Ho Drive-Ins (remember: where urban myth had it that neighbourhood cats mysteriously disappeared when they ran a special on sweet and sour "boneless pork".)


To correct Jamie - Yakitori means grilled chicken ( or other bird ) - not the steaks at Kobe. Zakkushi is the most authentic yakitori place I think I've been to outside of Japan, maybe the only yakitori place I'd consider yakitori outside of Japan.

Yakitori places serve pieces of chicken, skewered and grilled over charcoal. All of the chicken is involved, from breast fillet (sasami) to (and I haven't seen this outside of Japan) the underdeveloped eggs out of the chickens womb. (Although they don't go for baluts like in SE Asia). Tori means bird actually and can even include the smaller and cuter varieties - like thrushes and sparrows. The eastern equivalent of the ortolan I would say.

Think of Bourdain sitting on an upended beer crate at a street stall under the train tracks in the Yurakucho district in Tokyo.


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#34 jamiemaw

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 11:16 PM

Yakitori restaurants actually preceded the ubiquity of sushi parlours in Vancouver. They may have even pre-dated the Ding Ho Drive-Ins (remember: where urban myth had it that neighbourhood cats mysteriously disappeared when they ran a special on sweet and sour "boneless pork".)


To correct Jamie - Yakitori means grilled chicken ( or other bird ) - not the steaks at Kobe. Zakkushi is the most authentic yakitori place I think I've been to outside of Japan, maybe the only yakitori place I'd consider yakitori outside of Japan.
Andrew

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I'll be sure to use the irony smilie next time, Andrew! :biggrin: It was exactly my point that Kobe wasn't "authentic". But they did serve "chicken yakitori"; few of us could afford the wagyu beef. What I actually said was:

1. Yakitori restaurants actually preceded the ubiquity of sushi parlours in Vancouver. They may have even pre-dated the Ding Ho Drive-Ins (remember: where urban myth had it that neighbourhood cats mysteriously disappeared when they ran a special on sweet and sour "boneless pork".) For many of us, yakitori was the first reference point for "Japanese" cuisine, much as the exotica of the Ho Inn revealed the mysteries of China.


My name is Dr. Tom Celica and I approve this message.

Edited by jamiemaw, 27 October 2004 - 11:20 PM.

from the thinly veneered desk of:
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Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

#35 kobykoby

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 12:57 AM

Precisely - yakitori was served but there has never been an actual real honest-to-goodness yakitori restaurant here.

Harken back to the days when Kobe, Aki, Maiko Gardens and Maneki were the pioneering Japanese restaurants and yes, there was yakitori. Celica-san you are quite right to point this out. But Zakkushi is an indication that Japanese restaurants have gone beyond Japanese (which will be increasingly the domain of "Japanese" restaurants) and into the realm of restaurants in Japan, which tend to specialize in specific foods.

Examples so far:
Modern Club (okonomiyaki)
various Ramen joints
Yoshokuya ("western" food Japanese style)

We are still waiting for the commercially foolish itamae who decides to open an actual sushi place that doesn't serve udon...

With the possible exception of New Yawk, and Rosu Angerusu, we are one of the few places outside of Japan (including Asia) to see this happening. This if anything points to the real acceptance of both Japanese and "Japanese" food in this region.
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#36 montrachet

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 01:49 AM

[quote name='kobykoby' date='Oct 27 2004, 10:47 PM']
[quote]Zakkushi is the most authentic yakitori place I think I've been to outside of Japan, maybe the only yakitori place I'd consider yakitori outside of Japan.

Think of Bourdain sitting on an upended beer crate at a street stall under the train tracks in the Yurakucho district in Tokyo. [/quote]

Sorry Andrew but I've had Yakitori at street stalls near the Yurakucho train station and there is no way that Zakkushi or what they offer resembles the real thing in Japan. For one thing, I'm not used to waiting 30 minutes for a skewer of yakitori to arrive in front of me.

#37 kobykoby

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 11:06 PM

[quote name='montrachet' date='Oct 28 2004, 01:49 AM']
[quote name='kobykoby' date='Oct 27 2004, 10:47 PM']
[quote]
Think of Bourdain sitting on an upended beer crate at a street stall under the train tracks in the Yurakucho district in Tokyo. [/quote]

Sorry Andrew but I've had Yakitori at street stalls near the Yurakucho train station and there is no way that Zakkushi or what they offer resembles the real thing in Japan. For one thing, I'm not used to waiting 30 minutes for a skewer of yakitori to arrive in front of me.

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[/quote]

I probably didn't finish what I was going to post - which was to say that its not as good as at a street stall - so I agree -

Certainly its not like Yurakucho station - less real atmosphere, more overall comfort - and washrooms - not to mention the Health Board. :biggrin:

The food at Z is comparable to mid range places in Tokyo- and I didn't have to wait 30 minutes for a skewer. I thought that the tsukune at Zakkushi was well executed. I thought the service lacked polish, but that's typical when they hire "wa-holi" kids.
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#38 Coop

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 09:04 AM

Where is Zakkushi? Had lunch at Kintaro yesterday. Never been to Japan but this place seems pretty real. I have been half a dozen times and have always been only non Asian. Had the Kim Chi yesterday with my very rich miso and ramen. Very intense flavours.
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#39 jamiemaw

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 09:11 AM

Where is Zakkushi? Had lunch at Kintaro yesterday. Never been to Japan but this place seems pretty real. I have been half a dozen times and have always been only non Asian. Had the Kim Chi yesterday with my very rich miso and ramen. Very intense flavours.

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Coop,

montrachet rports it to be on Denman. Perhaps its within staggering distance of Kintaro. I agree with your synoptic of Kintaro, but I'd also be interested to hear from our Japanese-Canadian friends. Ever had the 'Forest Fire' ramen there? Only available weekends because the chef contends that "I lose money on every bowl."

Perhaps a double-header?

J.

[edited--crossed with montrachet--sounds like its right nearby]

Edited by jamiemaw, 29 October 2004 - 09:14 AM.

from the thinly veneered desk of:
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Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

#40 montrachet

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 09:11 AM

Where is Zakkushi? Had lunch at Kintaro yesterday. Never been to Japan but this place seems pretty real. I have been half a dozen times and have always been only non Asian. Had the Kim Chi yesterday with my very rich miso and ramen. Very intense flavours.

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As you come out of Kintaro, just look across Denman to your left, past the Dairy Queen and it's the first store there. They were featured in the Sun's Queue mag yesterday.

#41 Coop

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 09:21 AM

Perhaps he is a great ramen master and a bad businessman. Charge more then $6.95. No doubleheader will happen for me, was so full after lunch yesterday could barely hit golf balls 2 hours later.

Edited by Coop, 29 October 2004 - 09:22 AM.

David Cooper

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#42 jamiemaw

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 10:00 AM

Perhaps he is a great ramen master and a bad businessman. Charge more then $6.95. No doubleheader will happen for me, was so full after lunch yesterday could barely hit golf balls 2 hours later.

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But Coop, you always struck me as a Highly Trained Professional. Full after a bowl of soup? :shock: Even if it is a half-gallon, filled with things that go bump in the night and cheaper than gasoline, I think it's time we got you back in shape. To paraphrase A.J. Liebling's famous statement about Proust, if you ate a proper lunch, you might write longer posts. :biggrin:

FYI, herewith Liebling's legendary quotation about Proust, cast in a larger essay about the true purpose of appetite. For anyone wishing to read more, Barbara-jo has reasonably priced copies of Liebling's work, including the recently published Just Enough Liebling, which also contains many of his war dispatches, New York curiousities and boxing features:

"The Proust madeleine phenomenon is now as firmly established in folklore as Newton's apple or Wart's steam kettle. The man ate a tea biscuit, the taste evoked memories, he wrote a book. This is capable of expression by the formula TMB, for Taste > Memory > Book. Some time ago, when I began to read a book called The Food of France, by Waverley Root, I had an inverse experience: BMT, for Book > Memory > Taste. Happily, the tastes that The Food of France re-created for me-small birds, stewed rabbit, stuffed tripe, Côte Rôtie, and Tavel-were more robust than that of the madeleine, which Larousse defines as "a light cake made with sugar, flour, lemon juice, brandy, and eggs." (The quantity of brandy in a madeleine would not furnish a gnat with an alcohol rub.) In the light of what Proust wrote with so mild a stimulus, it is the world's loss that he did not have a heartier appetite. On a dozen Gardiners Island oysters, a bowl of clam chowder, a peck of steamers, some bay scallops, three sautéed soft-shelled crabs, a few cars of fresh-picked corn, a thin swordfish steak of generous area, a pair of lobsters, and a Long Island duck, he might have written a masterpiece."

And now back to our regularly scheduled posting . . .

Edited by jamiemaw, 29 October 2004 - 05:20 PM.

from the thinly veneered desk of:
Jamie Maw
Food Editor
Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com
Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

#43 montrachet

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 10:56 AM

Has anyone tried the recently opened "Totoya" near Burrard and 4th? I was told the owner is Japanese and is trying to stay away from serving Westernized "maki rolls" and preferring to focus on more authentic offerings. If it's anything like the Totoya in Roppongi, we'll have our own Izakaya in Kits.

#44 maxmillan

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 12:07 PM

A person travelling around the city can't help but be amazed at the proliferation of 'Japanese' restaurants.
In the past month alone 2 new 'Japanese' places have opened up within in 10 minute walk of my place.
Already there were at least a dozen a 10 minute walk from 4th & Burrad (3 actually run by Japanese Chefs)-it's astounding that this fad hasn't hit bottom.
A quick calculation shows that at the present rate of expansion the year 2020 will see every Vancouverite with a private 'Japanese' restaurant-or each 'Japanese' restaurant with it's own private customer. :wacko:

Your thoughts?

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I thought I was the only one rolling my eyes about this :wacko:

I know we have many regional restaurants in the Lower Mainland but I think there are way too many Japanese restaurant. I had a relative who opened a Japanese restaurant in the West side. I assume they did very well as they are able to close and travel after a few years.

Frankly, if cheap raw fish and rice and bastardized hot food is all they have to offer, then forget it. But it seems like newbies like the "westernized" Japanese food, hence, the proliferation.

I'm still looking for real Japanese food that a friend once made for me...now that was authentic and there was no sushi!

#45 MikeMac

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 07:02 PM

With out a doubt Japanese food is better in Vancouver than Calgary Tojo's  is amazing and regular Japanese restaurants especially sushi bars are cheaper and better in Vancouver.  But we in Calgary have some pretty good contenders when you toss out the top few in Vancouver    We in Calgary have  Shikiji Japanese Noodles & Sushi on Center street and a real old timer going into its second generation of ownership Sushi Hero.  In fact its interesting both of these are moving from first generation into second generation ownership.

 

If you come to Calgary I hope you will enjoy these fine restaurants.


Mike Macdonald Calgary