Tapas - Vancouver Restaurants

 

Posh Japanese Sukiyaki (Broadway)

Posh Japanese Sukiyaki Restaurant (map, website, blog, 101 – 1788 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-737-7674)

I think that every successful restaurant needs a “concept”, a unique identity, something that differentiates itself in such an incredibly fierce competitive market that supports the dining industry in Vancouver.

It’s an industry which demands continuous hard work from employees and owners with little respite, where margins are typically low and consumer opinion (or a lack thereof) can make or break a business.

But the rewards from running a restaurant are high: an idea, creative vision, a passion for food and culture – all these can be transformed into a physical space that is temporarily occupied by visitors who seek to experience new tastes, sensations, socialize, be merry, and above all, satisfy their appetites with delicious, healthy food.

I tend to think about restaurants as “experience engines”. As a software developer I like to look at things in terms of the input, output, and transformations that occur during a process. For a restaurant, there are the physical ingredients and energy needed to prepare food – these are the obvious inputs. But there are also the less tangible things, like the moods and attitudes of the serving staff, the restaurant decor, the background music, and then of course the restaurant guests themselves.

But I digress, I really should be talking about the food at Posh.

Posh is an example of an expanding, successful home-grown restaurant chain with an excellent concept: Japanese Sukiyaki (wikipedia).

So what is Sukiyaki you may ask? Well, it’s a form of Hot Pot, where you have a gas burner at your table with a large cast-iron pot filled with a bubbling broth. The broth is made with a combination of Sukiyaki Sauce (soya sauce, sugar, and mirin) and cabbage. You add thinly sliced raw beef into the pot along with assorted vegetables, tofu, noodles and seafood, and everything cooks right in front of you.

The nice thing is that you decide exactly what you want to eat, and if you particularly like a certain item, such as the fish cakes (yum!), just order more of it! Or if you’re vegetarian, there are plenty of options such as tofu, spinach, and several types of mushrooms to make a soup that fits your diet.

Amazingly, Posh provides an “all you can eat” experience for $11.88 per person for lunch, or $15.88 per person for dinner. The restaurant always seems packed at peak times, so it’s a good idea to try making a reservation and coming early to put your name in the queue just in case.

Posh’s other locations include Richmond (map, 1123 – 3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond, BC, Canada, phone: 604-303-7674), Burnaby (map, 105 – 6462 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC, Canada, phone: 604-434-7674), and Victoria (map, 102 – 1063 Fort Street, Victoria, BC, Canada, phone: 250-382-7674).

Below are some photos from our dinner at Posh on West Broadway. Hope you enjoy!

Everything cooking away at Posh Japanese Hot Pot restaurant in Vancouver.

Everything cooking away at Posh Japanese Hot Pot restaurant in Vancouver.

Guava yogurt mixed drink - nice and refreshing! From Posh restaurant in Vancouver.

Guava yogurt mixed drink - nice and refreshing! From Posh restaurant in Vancouver.

More hotpot cooking at Posh in Vancouver.

More hotpot cooking at Posh in Vancouver.

Vegetarian hot pot ingredients from Posh in Vancouver. Mushrooms, spinach, tofu.

Vegetarian hot pot ingredients from Posh in Vancouver. Mushrooms, spinach, tofu.

Posh on Broadway Photo Gallery by Geoff Peters.

Restaurant review of Posh by Angela Murrills from the Georgia Straight.

Blog from owner of the Posh restaurant chain.

Posh restaurant on Twitter.

Posh (Kitsilano) on Urbanspoon

83,574 views - Posted Friday, January 22nd, 2010

 

Irashai Grill – Japanese Fusion in Coal Harbor Vancouver (Part 2)

Irashai Grill (web site, map, 1368 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 604-688-8697) is a newly opened Japanese fusion restaurant in the Coal Harbour neighborhood of downtown Vancouver. Having attended their open house a few weeks ago (see Part 1), I was interested in trying out the restaurant for an actual meal. I was in for a real treat!

My friend and I first ordered the Dragon Roll Sushi ($13.50, pictured below), which looked and tasted amazing. The Dragon Roll was on their special rolls menu (not listed on their web site) and was a creation made with shrimp, tempura, avocado, barbecued eel (unagi), and of course the sushi rice and nori seaweed. It was quite sweet tasting (because of the sauce that the eel is marinated with), and was light and immensely satisfying. I commented to my friend that I could easily eat one of these every day. If only I could afford it!

The Tako Sunomono (a cold salad made with octopus, vermicelli noodles and a sweet and tangy vinegary broth) was $7.50 and was presented very nicely in a large cocktail glass (pictured below). It is one of my favorite appetizers at Japanese restaurants and the Irashai version did not disappoint! I would have liked it to be bigger, but that is just my wishful thinking because it was a decent size for an appetizer after all.

Now comes to the most interesting part of the meal. We were perusing the menu and discovered a very unusual sounding sushi roll item. Unusual I say? Yes! I’ll explain.

In general, for creative dishes that are designed by the chef using a culinary “artistic license”, the name of the dish, if it is somewhat abstract and not a simple description of the ingredients, will relate to the theme of the dish in some way. What this means is, I was curious to see exactly what a Poison Spider Volcano would taste like. No kidding! Would there be an actual spider involved in this sushi, and would this spider have some sort of deadly poison? Also it was very important for me to find out how a volcano would be represented in the form of rice and other sushi-like ingredients on a dinner plate.

The good old poison spider and its friendly volcano home ($16, pictured below) was made with asparagus, soft shell crab, cream cheese, and was sprinkled with cheese. It was baked before serving and then topped with a super spicy miso sauce. Super spicy is an understatement! The powerful spicy sauce reminded me of the Crazy Boy Roll at Mr. Sushi but the Poison Spider Volcano sushi had a much more complex and rich flavor (thanks to the cheese and cream cheese). It was very filling, which is a good thing in my books. My vote: thumbs up, but the sauce was too spicy for my friend.

For dessert we tried their Marscapone Tiramisu ($5.50, also pictured below) which was a generous amount of cool sweet marscapone cheese served in an interesting ceramic tray topped with a layer of dusted cocoa. The cocoa was very fine and powdery. This was a wonderful contrasting dish to calm things down after the spicy spider!

Dragon Roll Sushi from Irashai Grill Japanese Fusion Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada ($13.50)

Dragon Roll Sushi from Irashai Grill Japanese Fusion Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada ($13.50)

Tako Sunomono Salad ($7.50) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver BC Canada.

Tako Sunomono Salad ($7.50) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver BC Canada.

Poison Spider Volcano Sushi ($16.00) from Irashai Japanese Restaurant in Coal Harbor, downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Poison Spider Volcano Sushi ($16.00) from Irashai Japanese Restaurant in Coal Harbor, downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Marscarpone Tiramisu dessert ($5.50) from Irashai Grill Japanese fusion restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Marscarpone Tiramisu dessert ($5.50) from Irashai Grill Japanese fusion restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Irashai Grill on Urbanspoon

16,918 views - Posted Saturday, June 20th, 2009

 

Irashai Grill (Downtown, Coal Harbour)

Irashai Grill (web site, map, 1368 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 604-688-8697) is a newly opened Japanese fusion restaurant in Vancouver’s upscale Coal Harbour neighborhood. A short walk from the beautiful waterfront seawall, Irashai is close to hotels such as the Westin Bayshore, and about a 15-20 minute walk from Vancouver’s cruise ship terminal and convention centre, Canada Place.

Irashai is currently the talk of the town, after hosting a big open house party last week for local residents, bloggers, and news media. Below are some photos that show off the restaurant’s upscale decor and delicious food. I’d really like to go back to try a full meal at Irashai. Their menu is available on their web site.

Daikon (Japanese radish) salad - a nice appetizer from Irashai Grill in Vancouver.

Daikon (Japanese radish) salad - a nice appetizer from Irashai Grill in Vancouver.

Plate of Assorted sushi (partially eaten!) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver.

Plate of Assorted sushi (partially eaten!) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver.

A taste of Spicy Tuna from Irashai Grill.

A taste of Spicy Tuna from Irashai Grill.

Yam Tempura Fries (yummy!) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver

Yam Tempura Fries (yummy!) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver

Asian ladies wearing fancy dresses, eating sushi at the standup reception at Irashai Grill.

Asian ladies wearing fancy dresses, eating sushi at the standup reception at Irashai Grill.

The fancy bar at Irashai Grill.

The fancy bar at Irashai Grill.

Irashai Grill on Urbanspoon

11,501 views - Posted Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009