Raisu is the newest addition to the Tamaru Shoten Group that owns other successful notable Japanese Izakayas Kingyo, Suika,and Rajio in Vancouver. Similar to their sister restaurants, Raisu serves a great selection of unique Japanese tapas, entrees, and cocktails. If you have been to any of their sister restaurants, you could expect the menu and concept to be pretty similar. One major difference is that the vibe here is a bit more upscale for dining.
There’s been a lot of buzz lately around Raisu due to their Instagram worthy (and drool worthy!) food menu. Even after a few months of opening, the place still remains to be a hot spot for this neighbourhood gem. Raisu is situated on the west end in the Kitsilano area so parking is a bit tricky, but I was lucky enough to find free parking a few blocks down from the main street. Despite arriving early for our 5:30pm reservation, a massive crowd of eager patrons had already formed hovering over the main entrance.
What sets Raisu apart is that a lot of the speciality items on the menu are available in limited quantities and will be offered on a first-come, first served basis. When you make reservations in advance with them, make sure you take a good look at their menu to see which items you can reserve on the night of to avoid disappointment. My friend and I were able to snag one of their limited bento boxes and literally a few minutes after, the table beside us who wanted to order the same thing was told that it had already been sold out!
Ho Ka Dd Bento ($27.00) This is Raisu’s signature Bento Box emphasizing “ the flavors of seasonal ingredients while respecting Japanese tradition”. They only make 15 of them per lunch and dinner service and change their special sheet menu daily. It comes with a bowl of rice and miso soup.
Miso Soup had generous pieces of bean curd, white radish, and enoki mushroom mixed in.
Minced Shrimp & Scallop Japanese Omelette
Resembles tamahoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette) as it is pretty thick and layered.There was a nice hint of sweetness in the egg mixture. I couldn’t really detect any shrimp and scallop with the omelette. The sauce provided underneath was a little unnecessary and really thick similar to chinese sauce used in stir fry at restaurants.
Snowcrab Gratin Udon Noodle
On the menu, it sounded very enticing and promising. However, it was a bit of a letdown. The udon noodle was way overcooked and the crab got lost in the gratin sauce.
Cold Truffle & Salmon Caviar Egg Pudding
The egg pudding was nice and smooth..however, the addition of the salmon caviar made the dish way too salty!
100% Wagyu Beef Meat Ball
Meat was nicely tender and flavourful
Grilled Salmon with Kale Sauce
Grilled Salmon was pretty disappointing and bland without the kale sauce. Salmon was a tad dry.
Stewed Shrimp & Seasonal Vegetables in Fresh Orange Bowl
This was my least favourite item out of the bunch. Overall, this dish was just an odd combination 😕 You have some boiled taro, carrots, and whatnot with some funky, questionable stewed shrimp. Nothing in it really worked out for me here!
The last four were the most memorable and delicious out of the bunch. Quality and freshness delivered 🙂
Vinegar Soy Sauce Marinated Seafood
3 Kinds of Delicacies
Japanese Tai Snapper Sashimi Salad with Apple Vinegar Jelly
Seafood “Donabe Takikomi” Rice ($24.00)
This is another limited item that is made to order. Luckily, you can reserve this in advance.
Their “donabe” (clay pot) rice consists of sea urchin, snow crab, shisho herb salmon caviar, and crab miso butter mixed in with their original broth rice. The server will mix the rice for you when it arrives at the table. I could definitely smell the nutty, aromatic fragrance of the rice rising from the donabe during the mixing. The combination of the uni and snowcrab was really unique and delicious. I would personally cut down on the rice portion given as there was just too much rice for the two of us to finish! I think I had about 3.5 bowls of rice that evening..the crab miso butter with rice is to die for 😛
Please note that it can take upwards of 30 mins for them to prepare this dish but it’s so worth the wait!
Despite having a few misses on their special bento box selection, I would still come back here in a heartbeat .. or even their sister restaurants again for their unique Japanese offerings ! 🙂
2340 4 Ave W