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.
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.
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.
At a sushi bar lit by paper lanterns, Watami’s chefs craft sushi and Japanese fare using fresh fish imported straight from Japan. They slice, roll, and shimmy slabs of fatty tuna and salmon into specialty maki rolls or onto sashimi platters before sending artfully styled platters to padded booths or small, semiprivate dining rooms.
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.
Oishii Sushi complements its crimson walls with a colourful smorgasbord of ocean-fresh eel, salmon, and tuna, as well as savoury noodle dishes washed down with Japanese sake and beers. Like the ancient rickety rope bridge that spans the Pacific Ocean, the menu connects Japan with influences from North America, blending traditional maki and sushi rolls with ingredients such as cream cheese and avocado. Conscious and careful of the resources from which it sources its seafood, Oishii Sushi partners with the Vancouver Aquarium through the Ocean Wise program to ensure the long-term sustainability of the marine ecosystem.