Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ebisu on Robson

I was in Vancouver this week, where there are delicious Japanese restaurants galore! A friend introduced me to a trendy Japanese place on Robson called Ebisu that is now on my "To Visit" list the next time I return to this fair city.

I loved it! Ebisu is among a growing number of restaurants that is infusing a new vibrancy into Japanese food. It's taking traditional dishes and marketing them as tapas plates with a twist. Hapa Izakaya, where S and I ate two years ago, is another good example of this new kind of Japanese restaurant that draws a younger crowd because of its unique interpretations.

Some of the dishes were a fusion of cuisines — we ordered salmon carpaccio (an Italian term for thin shavings of raw meat), which came drizzled in a citrus white-wine mayo. It was a fresh take on the traditional tataki (which longtime readers of beFOODled will know I also adore) that consists of thinly sliced raw or lightly cooked beef in a citrus vinaigrette.

We ordered five dishes — saba (mackerel) flame, saba inferno, salmon carpaccio and the B.C. and mega dynamite rolls — and a pitcher of delicious sangria to wash it all down. Five dishes might not seem like a lot for two people, but we were full!

My favourite was the saba flame. This dish is also a great example of what I mean by how these restaurants are funkifying the traditional. Saba flame is mackerel sashimi but the server lights it on fire with a hand-held blow torch at your table. She did the same thing with the saba inferno, searing the mackerel skin. It gave it a truly mouthwatering, coal-fired flavour.

The food is fresh and has so much flavour. I would recommend Ebisu if you happen to be on Robson Street looking for great Japanese food.

Ebisu on Robson
827 Bute Street
Vancouver, B.C.
604.689.8266 (reservations are recommended)

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