I recently polled (Facebook) friends on which Vancouver restaurants didn’t get the attention they deserved. There were plenty of good answers, not to mention a really funny one (“Hawksworth, how long will he have to toil in anonymity?”); certainly enough to keep me making smart reservations for the next few months.
Having given plenty of thought to my own question (and debating offline with actual human beings), I think my answer would be Dosanko. There are certainly others that fit the bill, but none that I enjoy more.
The casual, homestyle, Western-influenced and seasonally-inspired Japanese restaurant certainly has its busy moments, but the chances of a walk-in customer ever having to actually wait for a seat is very low. And somehow that feels wrong. Dosanko – especially at dinner with its beautiful Japanese omelettes and ridiculously delicious chopped pork Curry Rice – should be slammed with a queue of eager diners out the door and down the block. Why? Not because they have a TV show or spent a million on their interior (they don’t and they didn’t), but rather because chef Nathan Lowey’s food is so crave-worthy and Aki Tani’s hospitality is so earnestly genuine. Dosanko feels like an old school “Ma & Pop” joint because it is one; an oddball carry-over from a totally different time. There’s just nothing forced or superficial about it, and I hope it stays that way for as long as I have teeth in my head.
For the past couple of weeks they have been closed for dinner service (Nathan was in recovering from a surgery) but as of last night they’re back at it. If you’ve never been before, the cooking is seasonal so there are always interesting specials to dig into, not to mention some very well made cocktails to sip (see gallery below). Hours are currently Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, with Monday services returning in November.
Of course, readers will have their own thoughts as to what might be the most underrated restaurant in Vancouver, and I’d love to hear them in the comments.
– PHOTOS BY MICHELLE SPROULE –