Spicy or mild, classic or unexpected, or filled with tuna or pumpkin, the rolls and cones at Kojima Sushi dazzle palates with artfully curated flavor combinations. In addition to nigiri, sushi, sashimi, and maki, chefs fry golden-battered tempura and skewer barbecued chicken. Countless pages comprise the Kojima menu, offering taste buds of all stripes a satisfying feast.
The chefs at Tians Sushi specialize in building sushi rolls with soft-shell crab, avocado, and barbecue eel. In addition to the array of fresh hand rolls, sashimi, and sushi pizzas, the chefs also head to the kitchen to grill jumbo shrimp and fry rice with beef and chicken.
After formally studying the culinary arts in Japan, Hanamura Japanese Restaurant's chef spent 20 years accruing experience and perfecting the staples that now fill his menu. Served in a pastel-green dining room with large bamboo shoots stationed between tables, the seasonally changing entrees evoke a trans-Pacific feel. Carefully arranged schools of sushi and sashimi line plates, and orders of tempura vegetables and seafood emerge from the kitchen as crispy as an autumn leaf covered with potato chips.
Boxes of neatly arranged sushi rest in gleaming display cases at Hiro Japan, where customers can pick up a quick meal of steaming noodles or dive into an array of specialty rolls. The eatery emphasizes its healthy ingredients, which include avocado rich in vitamin E, raw fish filled with omega-3 fatty acids, and nori—edible seaweed brimming with iron, iodine, and calcium. Behind the counter, chefs incorporate these nutritious fixings into rolls, Japanese rice bowls, udon soup, and love letters to their cardiologists.
Executive chef Robert Clark fell in love with cooking in his grandmother's kitchen, where he helped her prepare salmon fresh from the York River. Chef de cuisine Lee Humphries worked his family's farm in Cornwall, England, surrounded by a booming fisherman's trade. And sommelier Sarah McCauley honed her palate pairing wines in restaurants in Holland, England, and Spain. Owner Harry Kambolis had the good sense to gather all three together to make C Restaurant's menu, which has gone on to earn dozens of awards from institutions such as Wine Spectator and [Vancouver Magazine](http://gr.pn/SovCNE].
Unsurprisingly, given the chefs' fish-centric histories, the ever-changing seasonal menu emphasizes seafood dishes, complementing them with local, sustainably farmed ingredients wherever possible. C Restaurant's decor also emphasizes a connection to the natural world with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the Granville Island shoreline. A garden patio shelters diners from summer sunlight with beige umbrellas and the upraised tentacles of the giant squids who live beneath the nearby Burrard Street Bridge.
Indecision is a virtue at Tanpopo Japanese Restaurant. Instead of picking one entree or a handful of sushi rolls from the menu, diners are invited to order the all-you-can-eat specials for lunch or dinner and then sample a little bit of everything. This allows them to build their own meals from scratch, starting with a refreshing cucumber roll and tuna sashimi before moving on to pork gyoza, barbecued chicken yakitori skewers, and pan-fried yakisoba noodles. These expansive all-you-can-eat menus show the depth of the chefs' dedication to Japan's vast and varied culinary offerings.
The award-winning all-you-can-eat dining spot, open since 1992, greets visitors with leafy green plants and walls of Japanese shoji screens as soon as they ascend the stairs to the restaurant's second-level location. Although there is plenty of indoor seating at the blond wooden tables and sectioned booths, the expansive deck area opens to the public during the warmer seasons. Diners can enjoy their meals in the shade of the tables' black sun umbrellas or beneath lamps that are refilled with imported Japanese sunshine every morning.