Our city’s annual display of pale-pink cherry-blossom branches will soon form beautiful canopies over sidewalks, residential neighbourhoods, and public parks.
In celebration of the highly anticipated blooms, several Vancouver dining spots will be offering cherry-blossom inspired foods for a limited time. Sakura (cherry blossom) creations such as artfully crafted Japanese plates, signature desserts, and creative cocktails will be on offer.
Here’s where to find mouthwatering cherry-blossom eats around town.
Masayoshi (4376 Fraser Street)
Fraserhood’s Masayoshi is known for its intricate and detailed omakase offerings inspired by locality and seasonality. For this year’s cherry-blossom season, the award-winning dining establishment will be serving a nine-course sakura menu ($145 per person, plus taxes and gratuity) until the end of April. Featured dishes include domyoji (mochi) with eight-grain rice, sakura leaf, and sakura ebi dashi (shrimp broth); sakura sashimi, with yellowtail, tai snapper, bluefin tuna, and Pacific octopus; and strawberry-tofu cheesecake with blueberry, mint, and basil seed. Limited quantities are available each night, and reservations must be made.
Yuwa Japanese Cuisine (2775 West 16th Avenue)
Besides being a beautiful sight, cherry blossoms also serve as a source of great inspiration to chefs. Yuwa Japanese Cuisine will be paying homage to the sakura season with a special menu available from April 4 to 28. There will be à la carte items such as sakura-denbu (pink-flaked fish condiment) sushi rice topped with kelp-cured snapper, cherry leaves, and ikura (salmon roe); and Spring Cheerful Roll with prawn tempura and Dungeness crab wrapped with a soybean sheet and topped with house-made creamy mayo and grated cherry-blossom pickles.
Ladurée (Various locations)
When different cultures marry their culinary flavours and techniques, sometimes you get a desirable creation. French pastry shop Ladurée will be celebrating Vancouver’s pink-petal season with a tartelette chocolat sakura matcha ($11 each), created in collaboration with renowned Japanese chef Mori Yoshida. The dessert features a chocolate short crust and a crunchy almond-and-hazelnut feuilletine topped with a matcha ganache and sakura mousse. Pre-orders are available for all the impatient sweet tooths out there.
Market by Jean-Georges (1115 Alberni Street)
Inspired by his Japanese heritage and Vancouver’s fleeting sakuras, executive chef Ken Nakano at Market by Jean-Georges has created a five-course Rooted in Heritage tasting menu ($89 per person, plus taxes and gratuity) offered through April 30. Guests will indulge in items like kampachi aburi (flame-seared yellowtail) with shichimi-nori (Japanese-spice seaweed) crisp, and grilled sea bream with grated daikon radish and sesame kale. A black-sesame mousse with crispy cherries and sakura-tea gelée ends the meal. Seasonal and high-quality ingredients are the main focus here, with a heavy nod to cherry blossoms around the city.
Miku Vancouver (70–200 Granville Street)
Hanami is the act of observing cherry blossoms during their bloom, and the season has inspired this Japanese restaurant to create several sakura-themed dinner items. Offerings include Atlantic lobster tail with sakura herb salsa (made with raspberry flakes, heirloom cherry tomato, and watermelon radish) and sakura-cherry mascarpone cream dessert (made with pistachio mille-feuille, cherry gelée, matcha pistachio moss, white-chocolate cherry curd, and meringue shards). Pair your meal with the Yozakura cocktail: a sakura-inspired libation crafted with pisco, cherry Heering, cherry bitters, and lime, garnished with an edible flower.
The Teahouse (7501 Stanley Park Drive)
Stanley Park will soon be the site of many cherry blossoms, which will undoubtedly attract locals and tourists with cameras at the ready. It makes sense that a restaurant within the park felt inspired to create a seasonal treat. From April 4 to 28 The Teahouse will be serving a cherry-blossom pavlova ($12), made with charred grapefruit curd, cherry-blossom tea, condensed-milk mousse, rose sugar, pistachios, fresh mint, and blueberries.