The GOODS from Torafuku
Vancouver, BC | Torafuku is marking its fourth birthday—and ushering in a new era—with a special and incredibly well-priced omakase set that offers guests a taste of the pan-Asian restaurant’s most popular dishes.
Traditionally served at Japanese restaurants, omakase — a Japanese phrase that loosely translates to “I’ll leave it up to you” — is a meal comprised of dishes that are handpicked by the chef, bringing an element of surprise to the dining experience. Torafuku’s take on the “chef’s choice” meal features daily chef specials that cannot be found on the menu, such as shima-aji sashimi and mustard greens served atop soba noodles, as well as an assortment of family-style dishes that have helped make the modern Asian-influenced spot an award-winning dining destination in Vancouver. These include Higher Steak, wagyu beef tataki with cabbage slaw, crispy garlic, and citrus ponzu; Magic Mushroom, a vegetarian dish of foraged mushrooms, yuzu tamari, and brown butter rice cake topped with ricotta cheese; and Gone Fishing, crispy whole sea bream with toasted shrimp, black bean, soy bean crumble, and a delectable tamarind sweet-and-sour sauce.
Designed to be shared among parties of two to six people, the omakase will be offered in a seven-course ($45 per person) and 10-course ($55 per person) option during dinner service at Torafuku. It will remain on the dinner menu following Torafuku’s birthday, with dishes changing throughout the year. The dishes from Torafuku’s regular menu are served in their full sizes in the omakase, making the multi-course set an exceptional value for both long-time Torafuku fans and first-timers who are interested in indulging in the signature Torafuku experience. From August 28 to September 8, a special amuse bouche and bonbon will be added to the omakase as an additional starter and dessert, respectively.
“‘Sharing is caring’ has always been part of the Torafuku spirit,” says Torafuku executive chef Steve Kuan. “To celebrate our fourth anniversary, we wanted to bring a modern twist to the traditional omakase by focusing on pan-Asian family-style dishes, as opposed to the sashimi and nigiri we usually see in the city.”
This fourth anniversary marks a new era for Torafuku, which is now once again led by chef Kuan in the kitchen. Owner of Torafuku and its predecessor, Le Tigre food truck, chef Kuan launched Le Tigre with two business partners in 2012 and, four years later, co-founded Torafuku to further bring Asian street food-inspired bites to the masses. Chef Kuan, who trained at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and has cooked under legendary chef Bruno Marti, worked the kitchen during Torafuku’s opening year and was executive chef by the restaurant’s second year in business. He took on the role of bar manager in 2018, developing Torafuku’s inventive Asian-inspired cocktail list, which uses ingredients like chrysanthemum tea, red date, and winter melon syrup from his native Taiwan.
Ever the multi-tasker, chef Kuan will also introduce three new cocktails to Torafuku’s drink program in celebration of the restaurant’s fourth birthday. “We are so grateful to the community and our loyal patrons for their support of Torafuku over the past four years,” adds Kuan. “We’ve created the omakase set and cocktails so that we can celebrate this milestone with Vancouver. We want people to come together to share a meal, so we can share with them our appreciation and joy.”
Torafuku is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., when it serves Le Tigre food truck’s signature menu. Weekend lunch service will begin in September. (The mobile Le Tigre food truck is currently out of commission; chef Kuan has plans to resurrect it in 2020.) Dinner service takes place from Wednesday to Sunday, from 5:30 p.m. until late.
ABOUT TORAFUKU | Meaning “lucky tiger” in Japanese, Torafuku is nestled on the border of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown at 958 Main Street, offering elevated Asian cuisine by Le Tigre food truck owner Steve Kuan. Designed for sharing, the casual and inventive menu explores the borders of pan-Asian food with classical French and Italian influences. Dishes are playful in spirit and serious in execution, delivering vibrant interpretations of flavours traditionally found in Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, and Vietnamese cuisine. Every plate features seasonal ingredients sourced straight from local farmers. For more information, please visit torafuku.ca.