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  • Writer's pictureBe Vancouver Staff Writer

EatVancouver | Featuring Yuwa Japanese Cuisine

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

Travel to Japan and experience traditional Japanese cuisine without having to leave Vancouver.

That's exactly what they've done, and continue to provide at Yuwa Japanese Cuisine.

Photo by BeVancouver | Reuben Dongalen Jr.

It's a small, tight-knit, but beautifully-modern fixture tucked in the west side of the Vancouver community. The moment you walk in, you feel a splash of premium dining with an overwhelming aura of love and passion; most exquisitely demonstrated by their food, their team, and their owners.

Photos by BeVancouver | Reuben Dongalen Jr.

Iori and Chef Omori have created a traditional experience that, at the time when they started diving into the Japanese restaurant business, didn't see too much of.

"Back then, we saw many Japanese cuisines with a lot of European flare," said Kataoka. "More of the fusion-styled restaurants. Where (Chef Omori) came from was more traditional, and we didn't see too much of that available. So, we decided to pursue a more traditional way of (Japanese) cuisine."

Their whole motto behind Yuwa was to bring Japanese cuisine, its traditions, and the culture behind the food and preparation to Vancouver; to the comfort of their community.

"We wanted our guests to experience exactly ... how Japan is," said Kataoka. "Without travelling to Japan, you can experience Japan."

The food they serve is the proof in the pudding.

Yuwa Japanese Cuisine focuses on traditional dishes, preparation, and cooking techniques and methods while using locally-sourced ingredients. In this case, Chef Omori prepared two dishes: the Tofu-Stuffed Zucchini Blossom, and the Sashimi platter mixed with raw fish sourced from both Japan, British Columbia, etc.

Photos by BeVancouver | Reuben Dongalen Jr.

The Tofu-Stuffed Zucchini Blossom is a seasonal local zucchini blossom with tofu and vegetable stuffing consisting of tofu, shiitake and kikurage mushroom, carrots and shishito pepper, served with ginger-soy dashi stock, a traditional stock served in Japanese cuisine. It's a crunchy exterior, but smooth and delicious to the bite... now try dipping it into the dashi stock, and it's an entirely different ball game.

Photo by BeVancouver | Reuben Dongalen Jr.

Then, Chef Omori showed us his years of experience and incredible knife skills on a fresh catch; the Japanese Ruby Fish.

From fresh catch, perfect filleting of the fish, skinning, to portioning for the Sashimi platter, it was an impressive showcase of knowledge, precision, and experience.

Because we can't physically travel to different parts of the world, why not travel through the different worldwide cuisines?

For an authentic, traditional, Japanese experience, we strongly recommend going to Yuwa Japanese Cuisine. Taste Japanese culture and traditions from the influence of two restaurant legends in the community, Co-Owner and Sake Sommelier, Iori Kataoka, and Co-Owner and Executive Chef Masahiro Omori.

This way, you can travel to Japan, locally, and through your taste buds.

More on Yuwa Japanese Cuisine:

"Tucked away in the heart of Vancouver’sWest Side, Yuwa Japanese Cuisine offers an elegant enclave where a creative homage to regional Japanese fare is complemented by one of the city’s best selections of artisan sake and wine.

Yuwa is named in honour ofExecutive Chef/Co-Owner Masahiro Omori’s grandmother, who owned and operated a fish market in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture for more than 35 years and inspired Omori to embark on his culinary journey from Tokyo to Vancouver. He teamed with renowned SakeSommelier and Co-Owner Iori Kataoka to open Yuwa in 2017.

Formerly known as Zest Japanese Cuisine, Yuwa was quickly singled out as a finalist for ‘Best New Restaurant’ and ‘Best Japanese Restaurant’ at the2018 and ’19 editions of the annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, respectively. Its wine list earned the restaurant a third-consecutive gold designation at the 2020 Vancouver International Wine Festival’s Wine Program Excellence Awards, where it was also singled out for Best Food and Wine Pairing by the judges.

At Yuwa, an inspired approach to the traditional kaiseki style of dining using the very best seasonal ingredients is paired with consummate service, attention to detail and expert knowledge of fine wine and sake from around the world to provide a Zen culinary experience unlike any other." (Provided by Shelley McArthur Communications)

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