(Originally posted 7/8/06)
On my trip to Vancouver, we went to a Japanese restaurant called Tojo's. When you enter the restaurant, you immediately notice all the pictures and autographs on the walls from all the celebrities who have eaten here. This could bode well or poorly as either it is overly hyped or is just that good as people say.
We chose the omakase, the chef's special menu. You order omakase by the amount you want to spend, such as $60, $80 or $100. We chose the $80 omakase and waited to see what we might receive. While waiting, we ordered some sake. The sake list does not contain many choices but they do carry their own brand of sake. A few of the people with me ordered hot sake but I went for a chilled bottle of Tojo's sake, a daiginjo that cost $35 for a 300ml bottle. That is a reasonable price for a daiginjo at a restaurant. It turned out to be quite good, very smooth and tasty and not too floral as some daigingos can be. I did order a second bottle later on in the meal.
Our omakase turned out to be a six course meal. It started with a tuna salad atop two pieces of tuna sashimi. This was an ok dish but not impressive. The next course was a ahi and white prawn cake which I very much enjoyed. It was moist and tasty and something a bit different from the usual. We then had two fish dishes, halibut cheeks and spring salmon, covered with various sauces. Both of these dishes were extremely fresh, good-sized, and absolutely delicious. Next, we had a some sushi and maki rolls, including otoro and abalone. Again, the fish were clearly very fresh.
Before dessert came, we did chose to order a few more dishes since some of us were still hungry. It had been a long day and we also wanted to try some of the other dishes on the menu. We got some unagi sushi, barbecued scallops and tuna sashimi with sesame seeds. All three of these dishes were excellent. The fish at Tojo's is clearly very fresh and good quality.
Dessert was then coconut ice cream with pineapple. Service was very good, prices are reasonable and the menu has many different choices.
I do think this place lives up to its hype and is clearly a superior Japanese restaurant. I recommend this place to anyone visiting Vancouver.
1133 West Broadway
Phone: (604) 872-8050