For my final night in Vancouver I wanted a nice sushi dinner with one of the most famous chefs in town, so I made a reservation at Tojo’s Restaurant. The internationally recognized restaurant serves unique and modern dishes using the finest seasonal and local ingredients around the Pacific Northwest.
I requested a seat at the sushi bar in front of Chef Hidekazu Tojo who has received a myriad of awards and accolades throughout his culinary career. Chef Tojo was the first to introduce omakase to Vancouver and had great influence on the culinary scene. He is credited with creating the California Roll and Rainbow Roll. He was also the first to use smoked salmon in Japanese cuisine and served marinated tuna long before any poke shops were around.
To drink, I ordered a bottle of Tojo’s Selection sake. The omakase began with a plate of sashimi that included salmon, geoduck, albacore, scallop, and bluefin tuna belly. It was served with freshly grated wasabi. It was delightful.
The tempura was light and crispy. It included smelt, lotus root, and Dungeness crab.
I was happy to see more Dungeness crab served in its shell with miso. Sweet and delicious.
The smoked sable fish in dashi broth was very aromatic as soon as I revealed it. The fish was tender and had a savory smoky flavor.
It was time for a few sushi pieces. The local uni (sea urchin) was great and the baby squid were tasty.
It was time for a cocktail. I ordered the Tojo-tini – a Japanese-style martini with sake and shochu vodka. That was followed by anago (sea eel).
A small bowl of baby eel with ponzu was served next. Followed by a wonderful geoduck handroll with tobiko (flying fish roe).
The final piece was pickled Japanese eggplant.
Before dessert, a small pile of thin, delicate strips of tamago (Japanese omelette) with ikura (salmon roe) was served.
Dessert was a yummy green tea crème brûlée with fruit and a sesame cracker alongside a glass of chilled plum wine. It was a nice sweet way to conclude the omakase.
I very much enjoyed my dinner at Tojo’s. The dishes were flavorful and the local seafood was fantastic. It was so cool to finally meet and be served by Chef Tojo after hearing so much about him and seeing him on television several times. Thank you!
Later on, I took a stroll through Chinatown and stopped by The Keefer Bar for a couple cocktails.
The place shakes up unqiue Asian-inspired cocktails in a dark, swanky apothecary-style bar. They also serve a variety of fusion bar snacks, small plates, and dim sum.
They have seasonal offerings, alumni cocktails, flights, and reserve cocktails.
I enjoyed my drinks and the vibe of The Keefer Bar. This is the type of bar you can come back to over and over again to try something new. I eventually walked back to the hotel to get some shuteye. We were heading to Seattle the following afternoon. Goodnight, Vancouver!
1133 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6H 1G1, Canada
The Keefer Bar
135 Keefer Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3, Canada