From ramen to groceries, here’s a roundup of food news from Japanese restaurants in the city, including North Vancouver, Downtown Vancouver, and UBC.
A Central Lonsdale ramen store has reinvented itself by expanding its menu.
Owner Brooke Naito-Campbell was initially launched Hachiro (named after her grandfather) at 140 16th Street West in North Vancouver, in 2019.
She has now hired Chef Addy Gowe, who previously worked in Torafuku, Bufala Edgemont and Quattro.
New tapas-style sharing platters, late-night snacks, and seasonal features include additions such as tuna or beef tataki (seared strip loin or tuna, ponzu sauce and green onions), “dirty fries “(okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, cabbage and fried chashu), gyoza and Brussels sprouts and okonomiyaki broccoli.
There are also nods to Chuka ryori, or Sino-Japanese cuisine, with yum cha (Cantonese dim sum) dishes such as hard gow, sui may, xiaolongbao, vegetarian spring rolls and barbecue pork buns.
In addition to sake, umeshu, wine and beer, a range of new cocktails includes Shinsen, with ginger liqueur, shochu, lemon, lychee juice, ginger, bitters from the Mount Fuji and a butterfly pea flower ice cube; the Tokyo Mule, made with shochu, campari, clove syrup, strawberry, lime juice and ginger beer; and the Kagawa Margarita, with El Jimador tequila, shochu, vanilla syrup, lime juice, togagrashi and activated charcoal.
Meanwhile, the restaurant still serves ramen, with four bowls: shoyu tonkotsu, vegetarian shoyu, miso tonkotsu, and vegetarian miso.
Adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants have started selling food products to provide an additional source of interest and income amid the unpredictability of pandemic health measures and restrictions.
Among them was Aburi Restaurants Canada, which opened Aburi To-Go Yaletown in May.
The company has just opened its second Japanese grocery store: Aburi To-Go Downtown is located at the entrance to the Gyoza Bar at 622 West Pender Street.
The store offers selections of house dishes including sushi, bento (with items such as unagi, ebi fry, pork katsu and chicken hamburg); ramen, including miso chicken and tonkotsu pork; gyoza; sandos (Japanese sandwiches), with tamago and port katsu; onigiri (rice balls), with spicy tuna, shiitake ginger, vegan shiso-sesame and spicy miso salmon; and more.
There are also homemade condiments, sauces and ramen broth, including akadama chili paste, spicy miso sauce and curry sauce.
In addition to the take out section, there are also frozen meal kits, frozen meats and seafood, imported Japanese drinks, sake and craft beer, and desserts.
Although the Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional Chinese festival, Japan has its own version called Otsukimi, or the moon watching festival held at the same time to honor the harvest moon.
Kinton Ramen, located at 102-6111 University Boulevard in UBC, celebrates the fall moon festivities with a bowl of special ramen.
Roast Beef Ra-moon ($ 15.99) is available in and out, but only until September 30.
This ramen is served without broth and includes thick noodles seasoned with roast beef, tamago onsen, arugula, white onion, garlic chips, mayonnaise and homemade yuzu soy sauce.