First Taste of Hello Nori

Specializing as a sushi-focused Japanese restaurant, they feature hand rolls along with locally brewed sake, along with some other drinks.

Chef Jay Pugong

The team includes first-time restaurateur Jean-François Eap, along with his fiancée (she owns the interior design firm, Concrete Cashmere Designs) and Chef Jay Pugong leads the kitchen, he was formerly head chef at Minami Restaurant.

The interior has been designed by Vancouver-based Concrete Cashmere Designs. Inspired by the Japanese notion of wabi-sabi (“appreciating the beauty of imperfection”) as well as Western modernism, the 1,500-square-foot space combines raw materials such as wood, metal and concrete with mountainscape scenery and a ceiling that evokes ocean waves — in short, an echo of Vancouver’s extraordinary fusion of urban architecture and rugged surroundings.

Hello Nori has taken every step to ensure its dining room is compliant with public health and safety protocols, including reduced occupancy, removable plexiglass dividers, and disposable menus for those who require them.

Hello Nori is about the experience of enjoying a hand roll: a combination of fresh seafood, meticulously selected seaweed, and signature warm rice, prepared to order in front of guests’ eyes at an inviting 24-seat U-shaped bar. You can order set menus of 4, 5, or 6 rolls and/or order a la carte; which is what I did. I had the 4 set of hand rolls and then added some from the a la carte section.

I have tried a selection of hand rolls of the menu; my favourites from the ones that I tried above were the crab, truffle lobster, unagi, spicy shrimp and the ora king salmon. I also tried the toro, avocado and cucumber.

This is the first of three locations the company is planning to open this year, they also have locations in the works for Park Royal in West Vancouver and the Amazing Brentwood in Burnaby.

Hello Nori is located at 1165 Robson Street in Vancouver. Follow them on instagram @hellonori

By: Richard Wolak