Zakkushi – Vancouver, BC


Zakkushi Charcoal Grill
4075 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 874-9455

As the boom in interest for the izakaya genre exploded in recent years on the Canadian west coast, there were a few that stood out for me in terms of offering something that I strongly felt would appeal to the local market and tastes.  Zakkushi was on the top of this list, especially when you consider their base premise is something that North Americans can relate to – that being charcoal barbecue and grilled meat-on-a-stick.  For the newbie, it is a lot more understandable and palatable than say someone just getting introduced to say sushi for the very first time as their initial foray into Japanese cuisine.


So it was quite fitting that I visited the Main Street (one of three outlets of this business that is fast becoming a growing chain) with a friend of mine who self-admittedly noted that he didn’t grow up with a lot of “ethnic” food in his parents’ home in rural Saskatchewan, and even today, his folks aren’t that adventurous but he’s learning to branch out his eating repertoire now that he’s based in Vancouver.  I thought I’d try and shock his system by introducing to him something that I was positive he would find odd and wonder why anyone would want to eat it.

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Guu With Garlic – Vancouver, BC


Guu With Garlic
1698 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 685-8678

It would seem I’m slowly making my way to checking out all those izakaya that I’ve heard about the past five years or so that I’ve subconsciously been avoiding deliberately since I perhaps harbor some  bias in that I will no doubt mentally compare them to all the great ones I’ve been to in Japan.  Alas, Guu seems to have won me over as I’ve now been to several of their stations and will perhaps make my rounds to them all one day.  This particular visit was the back end of a night out with an old friend visiting Vancouver for a short business trip.  In reality in keeping with true Japanese salaryman tradition, we should have reversed the order, but oh well.

Immediately after our hearty meal, I’m surprised we were able to down a short but steady stream of nama beeruAsahi was the pick on this evening.  A visit to an izakaya just wouldn’t be the same without some cold ones, so once again, glancing over the the folks seated at the counter bar with us who were just drinking water just made me shake my head.  Its like dressing up to go to the ball, but not engaging in any dancing, I just don’t understand.   🙂

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