Resto roundup: Raisu, Sweet and Savoury Pie, poke places, and burger wars

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      Here's a roundup of restaurants that have either opened up within the last few months or are about to open up, including Japanese and Hawaiian cuisine, and an American-style burger chain that started in China.

      A new slice of rice

      The Japanese restaurant group behind the successful Kingyo, Suika, and Rajio Public House is set to launch their latest concept restaurant.

      Raisu will open on the second floor of 2340 West 4th Avenue.

      The establishment will take over the space from the deaf-themed Middle Eastern restaurant Deafined, which was launched by the owner of dining-in-the-dark restaurant Dark Table.

      Deafined, which featured deaf wait staff and taught diners how to communicate using sign language, opened in May 2015 but closed down before the end of the year.

      The short-lived deaf-themed restaurant Deafined will be replaced by Raisu.
      Craig Takeuchi

      Raisu (a Japanese word adopted from the English word for rice) will feature Japanese cuisine and sake.

      Raisu did not respond to the Georgia Straight by the time of this posting.

      Hawaiian wave

      Island culinary influence from Oceania is shaping up to be a pervasive trend washing ashore in our city this year.

      Hawaiian-inspired pop-up kitchen Loco Ono had a hit with its takeover of Sip Lounge in February and March, and Honolulu Coffee will be opening its first store in North America in Vancouver in May. 

      Meanwhile, a series of Vancouver poke places are also in the works.

      Two build-your-own poke bowl places are set to open this summer. The Poke Guy will open in June or July, although a location has yet to be announced. Meanwhile, Pacific Poke will be opening this summer in Chinatown at 625 Main Street.

      The Poke Guy is hoping to offer traditional Hawaiian poke.

      Pies aplenty 

      For those who love pie (and who doesn't), Sweet and Savoury Pie Company had its grand opening on March 2 at 2261 East Hastings Street.

      Sweet and Savoury Pie Company

      As one might somehow discern from the name, the East Vancouver eatery offers a range of sweet and savoury pie selections. Savoury offerings include country chicken, steak and Guinness, curried vegetable, butter chicken, pork, seafood, potato and leek, mushroom, Mediterranean, and chicken or turkey pot pie.

      On the sweet side, there's lemon meringue, bumbleberry, strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, raspberry, apple, chocolate cream, pumpkin, pecan, and more to choose from.

      Pies can be purchased by the slice or à la mode (for sweet flavours), tiny (3"), individual (6") or whole (10") and can be ordered online.

      Sweet and Savoury Pie Company

      But the menu offers more than just pies. There's an artisan cheese board, a meat-and-cheese platter, and an antipasto platter, as well as daily soup specials and a salad of goat cheese, avocado, and mixed greens with a house vinaigrette. And it also offers an all-day breakfast (scrambled eggs with hash, toast, and coffee, tea, or orange juice).

      CaliBurger—from China?  

      With the likes of Stack House Burger Bar, Relish, Fat Burger, Harvey's, Five Guys, and Vera's, there's certainly no shortage of burger joints in downtown Vancouver. But a new one is set to join the fray.

      While CaliBurger, which is planning to open a Vancouver location in May at 830 Thurlow Street (off Robson), may sound like an all-American burger chain, it originally began in China with American owners and got off to a controversial start.

      The chain opened its first restaurant in Shanghai in 2012 and closely resembled the popular chain In-and-Out Burger. After Irvine, California-based In-and-Out Burger filed a lawsuit in U.S District Court in Santa Ana for trademark infringement and counterfeiting, CaliBurger made some changes to its menu and decor.

      All Thai-ed up?

      Krung Thep Thai Cuisine was scheduled to open in May 2015 at 809 Seymour Street. However, a post on their Facebook page on July 23, 2015, stated that the opening was delayed.

      Their last Facebook update was in November, and the restaurant still has not opened. 

      The establishment did not respond to the Georgia Straight by the time of this posting.

      And the eats go on... 

      Here are a few other restaurant openings we've covered recently:

      • Japanese-Italian restaurant Kissa Tanto, launched by the team behind Bao Bei, is slated to open this weekend

      • popular Victoria, B.C., all-day breakfast spot Jam Café opened its Vancouver doors to hourlong lineups

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