Vancouver veggie news: Cupsushi's vegan katsu and tuna, Acorn to host ex-Frenchie chef, A&W Beyond Meat burger

    1 of 14 2 of 14

      Whether you're vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, flexitarian, or just like veggies, here are some options to take note of.

      Cupsushi's veggie katsu and vegan tuna

      Something that can sometimes interfere with the enjoyment of vegetarian or vegan versions of meat-based food is the comparison to the originals—sometimes the vegetarian or vegan items are better considered independent of what they were intended to emulate. Yet in other cases, the plant-based version can taste superior to the original.

      The West End poké bowl shop Cupsushi and Burrito invited the Georgia Straight to try out their two new plant-based equivalents of meat- and fish-based Asian staples.


      Located at 903 Denman Street, this casual, health-oriented eatery opened in 2017 by Joo Lim, one of the owners from New Westminster's Sushi Well Restaurant (formerly Okonomi Sushi).

      One of the shop's distinguishing features is that it serves pink sushi vinegar rice. Made with red cabbage, beets, apples, and berries, this option includes nutrients such as omega-3, omega-6, beta carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. (The hue is also fitting for Pride celebrations—and the location is on the parade route.)  

      Pink sushi vinegar rice

      It's among the contents of their Veggiecouver Katsu bowl, which also includes organic tofu, avocado, sweet corn, edamame, broccoli, tomato, green avocado pesto, and more.

      Spicy Amazing B.C. sushi burrito

      Meanwhile, they've also added ahimi vegan tuna, made from tomatoes, to their menu. While the texture isn't quite as chewy as tuna (it dissolves more rapidly), it is an approximation that has aspects to appreciate about its savoury taste with a hint of sweetness.  

      Both the vegan katsu and the Ahimi tuna can be included in their bowls or sushi burritos (served in a tortilla wrap).

      West Coast Poke introduced Ahimi to its menu in December but Cupsushi is working on developing its own vegan tuna (from tomatoes) in addition to its own vegan salmon (made from bell peppers).

      The Acorn

      Acorn event at Eat Vancouver

      Here's a very advanced notice about a vegetarian event that will be a part of this year's Eat Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival, which runs from November 5 to 10. But it's something to keep in mind as seating is limited.

      Acorn executive chef Brian Luptak will collaborate with Edmonton-based chef David Leeder.

      Leeder formerly held the position of head chef at the esteemed Paris restaurant Frenchie, and has also worked at Spain's Martin Berasategui, and Denmark's Noma, Relae, and 108.

      Together, the pair will create French-inspired vegetarian dishes for a special event on November 7 at the Acorn (3995 Main Street).

      Tickets aren't quite available yet (keep your eye on the Eat Vancouver website) but they will be $135 (plus tax, includes wines and gratuity) and there will be two seatings (5:30 and 8:30 p.m.), each are limited to 35 people. 

      A&W Canada's Beyond Meat burger
      A&W Canada

      A&W goes Beyond Meat

      A&W Canada announced today (June 21) that it will add Beyond Meat's plant-based burger to its menu, available across Canada on July 9.

      The Beyond Meat Burger will feature a vegetarian patty, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. Diners can order it served in a sesame-seed bun or opt to have it wrapped in lettuce.

      The patty is made from mung beans, yellow peas, beets, coconut oil, pomegranates, apples, rice, and potatoes. While the patty is 100 percent plant-based, it is cooked on grills that their other meat burgers are grilled on as well. The mayonnaise and sauces are made with eggs, but the toppings can be modified according to preference.

      The bun version is 500 calories with 22 grams of protein while the lettuce-wrapped version is 310 calories with 17 grams of protein. Prices may vary between locations.

      In comparison, A&W's veggie deluxe burger, made from a mix of vegetables and Portobello mushrooms, on a bun has 590 calories with 18 grams of protein or, if lettuce-wrapped, has 330 calories with 11 grams of protein.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.