Vancouver is home to thousands of hidden gems. You could say I’ve had my fair share of sushi, pizza, and pho in the city, but I’m constantly in the search for the “best” of everything. Makoto is a Japanese-owned mom and pop establishment in South Burnaby best known for serving Japanese comfort food. They’ve been around for quite a while now, but I didn’t discover this place myself until a few weeks ago through a recommendation from a friend who frequents this place! Japanese restaurants are heavily saturated these days and I guess it’s worthwhile to check out restaurants that are actually Japanese owned and not Chinese or Korean owned!
When it comes to hidden gems, I guess it wasn’t a surprise to find the place packed with patrons. Service here can be quite slow sometimes due to how things are run here. The owner/sushi chef runs the front handling cash, take out orders, and clean up while his wife runs the kitchen at the back. He can get quite hot headed sometimes from the amount of stress of doing everything himself. But just give the guy a chance and you’ll be in for a treat! I promise! Patience is definitely a virtue.
Similar to many Japanese restaurants around the city, the menu includes a range of appetizers, donburi, noodles, sashimi, and sushi rolls. Takoyaki, gyoza, and oyster motoyaki are worth trying here.
Tip: Self serve station up front for tea and water. Do the owner a favour and just get up and grab the drinks yourself . 🙂
Chicken Katsu Curry ($10.95) Boyfriend went with the curry (not surprised!!). He said it tastes just like his grandmother’s so I’m assuming it’s pretty legit . They don’t always have this on the menu so take advantage of this deal if you see it on their special menu board!
Nabeyaki Udon ($12.95) Nabeyaki udon is a hot udon noodle soup served in a iron pot. It’s traditionally topped with chicken, tempura, a poached egg, and a good amount of vegetables in an umami dashi broth. I never hesitate to get this dish when I’m here!
One big thing that I’ve noticed about this place is that the owner is quite personable. Almost everyone that walked in that day were his regulars and he could name their favourite orders from memory! If you’re on his good side, he’ll offer you some off menu items that are apparently must try’s like his ramen!
5213 Rumble St