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.
Akari Japanese Restaurant’s menu consolidates centuries of Japanese culinary history, placing traditional noodle entrees alongside modern interpretations of classic sushi rolls. The sushi bar’s Japanese-trained chef, Lee San, creates more than 40 rolls, including 19 specialty maki that enfold tempura-fried yams, scallops, or mango. For more flame-kissed flavour, the kitchen’s chefs glaze barbecue beef ribs with teriyaki sauce and deep-fry pork cutlets. The dining room’s decor echoes the menu’s minimalist presentation while still incorporating accents from across the Pacific, such as Japanese figurines, displays of sheathed swords, and wheezing giant squids that occupy an entire floor of the restaurant.
Preserved century eggs, Vietnamese-style pork, and sweet-potato noodles are just a few of the savoury ingredients that chefs stir into simmering soups at Nishiki Sushi. On a cold day, these soups are a popular hot meal for slurping up or pouring over one's head, but there's much more to choose from at the crimson-walled eatery. Chefs also fashion fresh fish into specialty sushi rolls, dip vegetables into tempura batter, and arrange neat portions of beef teriyaki, gyoza dumplings, and other morsels in bento boxes. Patrons can wash back each bite with sips of bubble tea made with seasonal fruit.
Eating at Starry Night Restaurant provides a hip alternative to dining out under the night sky. Purple panels overhead are speckled with glowing dots and recessed lights, which surround a chandelier bristling with refractive glass. Beneath the cool hues, waiters carry plates of deep-fried spring rolls and chargrilled ribeye over to purple booths that curve along the walls. Seated in the downstairs lounge, diners can nibble on pan-seared halibut or an appetizing lighting fixture as they listen to live music on select nights.
A self-described "Japanese-style spaghetti dessert house," Cafe De Waraku serves up an unexpected hybrid of Japanese and Italian favourites. The pasta dishes are inspired by Japanese culinary tradition rather than straight Italian, but the kitchen does craft favourites such as beef ravioli and pizza fresh from a wood oven along with pub-style starters and a sprawling selection of sweets. Lavender cheesecake and rose cheesecake end meals, and fork tines can impale black-sesame cake, tiramisu, and crème brûlée.
Wild Rice serves up a fresh menu of contemporary Chinese fare, and the locally sourced and sustainably created dishes are served family style. Like a procession of curious and timid puppies, each dish arrives at the table when it is ready, further lubricating watering mouths with suspense and anticipation. Dig into some dim sum by summoning an order of the sloping hill pork and spot prawn siu mai ($6) or the vegetarian-friendly taro and potato croquettes ($6) to the table. Or, share an opinion on the current state of economic affairs and a bowl of hot and sour soup ($5) with a dining companion. Larger shareables range from sticky beef short ribs ($14) to a ling-cod medallion served with a tomato-cumin bath and bacon crisps ($13), as well as more than 10 vegetarian-friendly plates to perk up a withering plant-fed companion.