Here's a roundup of new and casual Asian eateries that have opened up around Vancouver over the past few months, with a Japanese influence running through all of them.
If you're looking for a bite to eat while shopping or on your way to a movie at Cineplex International Village, Kazoku Sapporo Eatery has opened up on April 18 in the second-floor food court at International Village Mall (88 West Pender Street).
The short but sweet menu offers a small selection of Japanese savoury dishes and desserts. In addition to curry soup, there are donburi (rice bowls topped with meat) options, such as buta don (pork) and zuke don (soy sauce–marinated sockeye salmon).
Baked goods include a range of Japanese-influenced items that may be hard to find elsewhere such as Shirayuki cheesecake, mochi brownies, and okonomiyaki buns, as well Western classics like meringue cookies and chiffon cake.
More sweet treats
For more Japanese baked goods, there are two East Vancouver additions that opened up over the past few months to check out: Baker and Table Café and Yama Café.
While many were sad to see the much-adored Basho Café close down, Yama Café has conveniently opened up in its stead at 2007 East Hastings Street.
Yama serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and baked goods with a variety of cakes, coffee, and teas, as well as a few dishes including salads, tuna tataki, and seafood doria (a rice casserole–style dish). Meal set options offer a full-meal deal by including side dishes, such as soup, appetizers, desserts, and more.
A range of Japanese-influenced takes put a different spin on Western dessertss, such as sweet matcha latte with coffee jelly, houjicha (roasted Japanese green tea) chiffon cake, and kabocha (pumpkin) cheesecake.
Time for a tea party
For those who want to attend a Japanese tea-based event, the Nikkei National Museum (6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby) will hold its ninth annual Bloom party and silent art auction from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday (June 10).
This year, the event is drawing upon the Kimono Culture exhibition (which runs until September).
Guests are encouraged to attend in kimonos or Japanese-inspired outfits. For those who would like some professional assistance to be dressed in a kimono, kitsuke (the art of wearing a kimono) will be provided by Satsuki-kai by appointment for $25.
The event will feature Japanese sweets and tea, wines from Kanazawa Wines, a tea ceremony, Japanese dance, and live music.
Tickets are $25 plus tax. For more information, visit the Nikkei Place website.
The Korean-run Cupsushi and Burrito opened up at 903 Denman Street to combine sushi and burritos with the poké craze in what is essentially deconstructed sushi ingredients in either a bowl or a burrito.
At the casual spot, customers can choose between choosing your own ingredients or selecting from prearranged selections. When choosing your own ingredients, base options include salad, white rice, superfood rice (quinoa with brown rice), or pink sushi rice.
Orders can be served in either a small or large cup ($7.95 or $9.95), or in a burrito ($9.95), using a flour tortilla (unlike poké places that usually use nori, or dried seaweed).
Protein options include prawn, salmon, tuna, scallop, tako, beef, chicken, or organic tofu. Toppings range from wakame (seaweed salad) or tobiko (fish roe) to grape tomatoes or jalapeños.
Teppan Kitchen, which opened in September at 1206 Davie Street, was temporarily shut down on May 10 by Vancouver Coastal Health inspectors due to lack of hot water and unsanitary conditions. Unfortunately, the owners have decided to permanently close the location due to rent increases.
The franchise also has locations in the food courts at Richmond's Aberdeen Mall (4151 Hazelbridge Way) and downtown's Harbour Centre (555 West Hastings Street), which are still operating.
The Asian eatery serves Japanese- and Western-inspired dishes on hot plates, as well as Hong Kong drinks.