Tag Archives: Vancouver

Sushi Spots in Vancouver

17 Feb

Inari (fried tofu) sushi and Tamago (egg) nigiri sushi

I have the best job ever. I just got home from teaching the second class of the Japanese Culinary Arts class for UBC Continuing Studies, where my job is to essentially host an educational dinner party at a Japanese restaurant each week! Eat and talk about the food I love? I know, I have it so tough…

This week’s class was all about sushi, and so I followed up our delicious meal at Temaki Sushi (on West Broadway near Arbutus – don’t get mixed up with the all-you-can-eat BC Sushi nearby!), where the owner was kind enough to give us a really great deal on a fantastic meal. If you go there, ask for the aji tataki, which is served with the whole fish presented with shaved daikon radish and the slices of tataki. Then, once you’ve eaten the raw fish, the bones are taken back to the kitchen to be deep-fried for aji karaage. So tasty! Very well-priced for the quality you receive, do give it a shot if you live in the west side of town.

If you’re looking for other places, though, here are a few more:


I must confess that my knowledge of downtown sushi joints is pretty poor. I tend to avoid evenings out in downtown, unless I’m riding there on my bike. So here are the two top places I’ve been to, but I know there are many more!

  • Kaide: http://vancouverkaidesushi.com/ On Richards near Pacific, this one is hard to spot, but is a shame to miss. Fresh fish, and a chef who knows what he’s doing. It’s in a part of downtown that is a little out of the way, so it’s a great place to get away for a downtown lunch.
  • Honjin: Tucked in the corner of a complex in Yaletown, Honjin has Sushi Shooters that are creative and delicious. http://www.honjinsushi.com/ They tend more to fusion sushi, but the ingredients are fresh and well prepared.

Central/East Vancouver

  • Zipang: Another reasonably priced location on Main street, I recommend their non-sushi dishes, such as their grilled eggplant, which is one of the best I’ve ever had. http://www.zipangsushi.com/ They also serve takoyaki (octopus balls) and Okonomiyaki (although you’ll be able to make a better Okonomiyaki with your experience!)

Kitsilano/West Side

  • Octopus’ Garden: A pricier option on Cornwall, this might be one of my new favourites. For this year’s Dine-Out Vancouver, this restaurant provided me with one of the most creative and delicious meals I’ve had in this city. http://www.octopusgarden.ca/ Definitely a place to bow to the chef’s choice and go for something special.
  • Kibune: On Yew near Cornwall (just beside the Happa Izakaya) is a small and really great little sushi spot. Also not super cheap, but a more financially accessible than Octopus’ Garden, the sushi is very authentic and they also have tofu dengaku (grilled tofu with a miso paste). Delicious! http://www.kibune.com/
  • Ajisai: Upstairs from London Drugs in Kerrisdale (on 42nd) Ajisai is the top pick of many a Vancouverite (and many Japanese Vancouverites) for high quality sushi. No tempura served here, they are about fresh fish and healthy choices. If you are going to go choose only one restaurant on this list, I know a lot of people who would say this should be the one. Read a review here: http://vancouverisawesome.com/2009/04/28/weekly-slop-ajisai-sushi/

South Vancouver


  • Gyo-ou: An interesting approach to sushi – some deconstructed offerings at this new place just east of Aberdeen Centre on Sexsmith. They also have dishes like takoyaki. Check out their exciting menu: http://www.gyo-o.com/. Brought to you by the Gyoza King owners. They also own a ramen shop in the same complex that is VERY authentic – http://www.gmenramen.com/

I’ll be heading to three more restaurants for this course, so please stand by for more recommendations – and please do share your favourites, too!

Happy Forking!

South Vancouver

· Shimaya: If you want authentic at good prices, without the crazy line-ups, try this place on Victoria drive at 39th. I think it’s equal to Shiro and Toshi in terms of quality, just a little further out of the way.




· Gyo-ou: An interesting approach to sushi – some deconstructed offerings at this new place just east of Aberdeen Centre on Sexsmith. They also have dishes like takoyaki. Check out their exciting menu: http://www.gyo-o.com/ Brought to you by the Gyoza King owners. They also own a ramen shop in the same complex that is VERY authentic – http://www.gmenramen.com/


Where to shop for Japanese ingredients

20 Oct

For making authentic Japanese dishes, the shopping for ingredients is thing for not forgetting. Also, never forget important Japanese manners of beautiful presentation with proper dishes.

List of those places for getting it is here.

Let’s enjoy shopping for real Japanese foods-ware!


Where to buy Japanese Ingredients in Vancouver

Japanese food enthusiasts are lucky to live in Vancouver (and elsewhere in the Lower Mainland of B.C.) where Asian produce is readily available, and imported Japanese food is around nearly every corner! There are many places to shop for Japanese ingredients, but here are my favourite:

Fujiya: http://www.fujiya.ca/

Fujiya’s largest location (on Clark and Venebles) is your one-stop-shop for all pantry items. This is where you will find everything you need to keep in stock: dashi, large sacks of rice, noodles, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, ponzu, and the best selection of Japanese pickles. They also have a good stock of frozen items (including the famous natto), a selection of fish, ready-made sushi and bento, Japanese cookbooks, and even carry Japanese kitchen tools such as ginger graters, cooking chopsticks, and more. Although short on produce, they do carry some specialty vegetables such as kaiwara (daikon sprouts) and shiso herb (often used as a garnish for sushi and sashimi). If this location is convenient to you, you can stop reading now.

T&T: http://www.tnt-supermarket.com/en/index.php

Although mainly Chinese in its product, T&T locations carry a great stock of Japanese items. Although less likely to carry the widest variety of Japanese soup stocks and sauces, the best part about T&T is its variety of Asian vegetables, freshly made noodles and selection of frozen fish. It’s also the best place to pick up fish balls for nabemono (Japanese hot-pot).

H-Mart: http://www.hanahreum.ca/board/default_e.asp

H-Mart is primarily Korean, and has a small selection of Japanese sauces and stocks, but has a great selection of Asian produce and seafood that more than makes up for it. This is a good place when you just need a couple of additional items. Their downtown location is on the second floor (look up!) and also has ridiculously convenient hours: 7am – 10pm Monday – Saturday, and 9am – 10pm on Sundays.

Konbiniya: http://www.konbiniya.com/

The smallest of the stores mentioned, Konbiniya mostly carries dried/instant foods, snacks and bento boxes. Famous for the automated voice welcoming you to the store upon arrival and thanking you for your visit as you leave, they tend to have a selection of ingredients for easy to prepare [read: instant] foods for home-sick Japanese ex-pats needing an instant reminder of home. However, they do carry some staples. Also check out the manga, videos, Japanese hair-dresser, dishware, and karaoke box upstairs!

Where to Buy Japanese Dishware and Cookware

Daiso in Richmond (http://www.daisocanada.com) and YokoYaya downtown (http://www.yokoyaya.com) are two of the best places to find daikon graters, ginger graters, sesame mortars, cooking chopsticks and other amazing Japanese cookware. T&T is good for rice cookers, but various stores in Chinatown also carry them. Look for Japanese brands (like Zojirushi) with heavy insets for the highest quality.

For something a little fancier, try Utsuwa-no-yakata in Burnaby (in Metrotown) and in Richmond (at Aberdeen Centre). They also carry earthenware nabe (hotpot dishes) and lovely sets at reasonable prices.

Let’s enjoy shopping!