1233 Hamilton St, Vancouver
Tel: (778) 379-1177
Advice: Reservations suggested. Open lunch and dinner daily.
Specializing in Japanese fusion, this notable Izakaya is run by Chef Hyun Woo Kim who trained at a culinary school in the USA, he has worked at The French Laundry as well as restaurants in Europe and others in Vancouver. You will find a menu that features Japanese, French, Korean and Italian influences in the dishes. The Izakaya oriented menu is filled with sashimi, sushi, nigiri, small cold and hot plates, and tapas.
I have tried several dishes sharing with my friends Shelley and Stephane, these dishes included the Deep-fried Ebi Mayo prawns with mango sauce on a bed of fresh greens which was topped with Kuma’s house dressing, balsamic sauce, garlic chips, and cherry tomatoes; the Kuma Signature Salad is a beauty with fresh greens topped with sliced avocado, sliced tomato pickle housemade ricotta cheese, and crispy yam (purple, white & yellow) drizzled with balsamic and house dressing.
Spectacular Sashimi was served in an ice bowl which was very creative with Sockeye salmon, Albacore tuna, Hamachi, Amaebi, and Masago Tai; the Kuma Chirashi Tartare, delicious and very creative woth it’s colourful layers, as well with spicy Aburi tuna and assorted sashimi served atop of warm sushi rice, drizzled with avocado dressing, and garnished with tenkatsu, and yam flakes.
I then enjoyed a couple of hot tapas, the Crispy Chicken, deep-fried boneless chicken with pan-fried red and green peppers and Korean-style sauce, served on a bed of fresh greens with Kuma’s tasty house and balsamic dressings; along with the hearty Osso Buco, premium AAA beef ribs simmered in a house made oriental soy sauce, served with rice.
Chef Kim’s attention to detail is high and his servers offer service to match, taking care of their repeat customers while welcoming new customers is what they strive. One thing that I loved aside from the delicious food is their sense of community, they ask their customers if they can take their photo which is printed and posted on the inside walls of the restaurant, this is respect at this gem on the edge of Yaletown.
Review by: Richard Wolak