Yakinikuya In a sea of Japanese restaurants in Vancouver, many of which aren't exactly "authentic", Yakinikuya is one of the few authentic Japanese restaurants around.
There are so many places that just squish rice and seaweed with a bit of overly fried shrimp together and called it sushi, but Yakinikuya stood out. It was around lunch time and I met with my friend to celebrate her birthday, and we were on Robson when their advertisement for the $8.95 lunch grabbed our attention.
Upon entering, the restaurant had a very authentic feel to it. The decor was all black and you can tell they've put a lot of thought into creating an atomosphere for their customers. We were immediately greeted by a very friendly waitress and seated. Looking around, we were surprisingly the only customer in the restaurant. She quickly brought us the menu and asked if we would like water or tea. The tea was the traditional Japanese matcha, which was pretty good.
My friend and I decided to take selfies... So we took a bit longer than normal to order. I think because the restaurant was empty, the waitress came back at least 5 times before we made our order. It was hard to settle for what to order. There were so many things beside Japanese food such as Korean BBQ. My friend and I decided to get something we can share, so we decided to order two lunch boats. Our first boat is the sashimi boat while our other one was the Korean BBQ boat.
While we were waiting, I noticed the owner (or what appears to be the owner, walking in and out of the restaurant as if he was patrolling. He seemed a bit bored and I see him rushing outside to remove a leaf that's fallen on to a table and cleaning up the leaves of the sidewalk. There was a moment when a couple walked in to the restaurant and he greeted them with joy. However they left after looking at the menu and the owner jokingly said "too expensive?'' This was definately the first time I've ever heard a restaurant owner saying something like this. After getting our order in, the waitress immediately brought us our miso soup and salad. The miso soup was very good and the flavour was just right. The salad was special too.
There was siracha sauce added to the salad, as well as a few pieces of sashimi (salmon and tuna). I must say, the Sashimi was very fresh and I was impressed. Right after the salads came, the boats came right after. My first impression of the boats was that they were very well presented. In many other Japanese restaurants, I noticed that they would just place their food on to the dishes without putting much thought into it. However, at Yakinikuya, there was thought put into the placement of food. Starting with the Korean BBQ boat, besides being very nicely presented, it tasted really good too. The pork had a texture where it was slightly harder on the outside but the center was full of juice and it was soft. The sashimi boat was very good too. The sashimi was fresh as mentioned before. Also, for both of the boats, asparagus bacon skewers were included. Besides being on the greasy side, the skewers were good too. The only downside to the two boats is that for $18.00 per boat, the amount of food that was included was not as much as I expected. I guess the trade off is that the quality of food was good. Overall, the service is good, the food is good, the price is on the higher end and I would definitely come back again (once my wallet stops crying).