Japanese Home-Cooking in Vancouver

27 Feb

Don’t have a Japanese parent, but want to try some Japanese-style home-cooking? If you live in Vancouver, you’re in luck. Several restaurants serve the food that the Japanese really eat every day.

Jacket Photo

Black Cod at Hachibei

Done right, a real & traditional Japanese meal is the thoughtful preparation of the freshest (read: seasonal and often local) ingredients using one of several staple cooking methods. Each meal is composed of rice, soup, and several okazu (small side dishes) for a variety of textures, flavours, colours, and aromas. Often served as a set meal, or teishoku, you can find very good quality Japanese meals at the following locations in Vancouver:

Japanese Kitchen is on Commercial between 4th and McSpadden (where Clove used to be). If you want skillfully prepared REAL Japanese food using seasonal ingredients, this is the place to go. The chef applies impeccable cooking techniques to only the freshest ingredients and artfully presents your meal used to be head chef at Tojo’s and Blue Water Cafe before this venture. Attention to detail here is amazing: tempura is served on perfectly folded paper that is served to you with the pointy side away from your body (as per tradition), the “tsuma” (thinly sliced daikon radish) that comes with the sashimi is all hand-cut and not machine-shaved, they have even made the soy sauce themselves (don’t be deceived by the Kikkoman dispensers, they are just used because their design prevents drips on your clothes!) Don’t miss this place. It’s the REAL DEAL. While regular menu items are delicious, it’s the specials menu that is the highlight.

Van-Ya on Kingsway just east of Joyce. I highly recommend going to this little mom and pop establishment. Very small place with very delicious food.

Hachibei on 16th at Willow. (no reservations available) The teishoku here are a little bit more pricey than Van-ya, but probably the best I’ve had in Vancouver (so far…) The black cod is highly recommended, but everything here looks good. They also serve sushi, but if you’re going here, you should go for the unique dishes you can’t get at other restaurants in town.

Tenhachi on 12th at Spruce (no reservations available) is one I haven’t been to, but have heard amazing things about it. It’s the restaurant I’m most looking forward to visiting. However, they don’t take reservations, and I hear that you have to line up. They also serve a Japanese breakfast (similar to what we had tonight – grilled fish, rice, miso soup, etc.) which could be a fun experience if you haven’t had it before.
and http://tenhachi.net/index.html

Aki on Thurlow just off of Robson is where we’ll be visiting next week, and functions more like an izakaya in the evening. However, it does serve teishoku  (set meals) at lunchtime. I haven’t had their lunchtime teishoku, but am sure it will be delicious and authentic, like their evening fare.

Hi Genki on Southoaks Crescent just next to Nikkei Heritage Society serves authentic Japanese food on a rotating menu. (Their menu is supplemented daily with specials, which is a sign of fresh ingredients and skill in the kitchen.) They also have a good selection of washoku (Japanese style food) and yoshoku (Japanese style western food).  Affiliated with the Japanese grocery chain Fujiya, it also serves as a restaurant to the seniors home at Nikkei Place.

Happy Forking!


One Response to “Japanese Home-Cooking in Vancouver”

  1. Mark M February 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Your blog makes me hungry!

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