gracecheung604 | write on time: Tojo Goodness

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tojo Goodness

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If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion and are a bit stumped for ideas, I would recommend checking out Tojo's. Long know as an institution in Vancouver, it is frequented by celebrities and local foodies. The chef, Hidekazu Tojo, is a celebrity himself, and is known as the "Inventor of the California Roll". Now, I'm not a fan of California Rolls, probably because it's been bastardized with fake crab meat and way too much mayonnaise but I know many people who are, so this guy's claim to fame makes him pretty special. We visited Tojo's one night to try out his Omakase, but no California Rolls, please! 
Junmai Sake Tojo's We started the night off with his Kome Gold Sake. Do you see his branded logo on the bottle? Yes, this is made especially for his restaurant. It's a Premiun Junmai Sake, which means a certain percentage of the rice has to be milled away (it used to be 30% but guidelines have changed since then), and no additional alcohol can be added. This had a crisp, clean taste and whetted our appetite for our upcoming omakase. 
Northern Lights Roll (ノーザンライトロール) Tojo's First up, we have the Northern Lights Roll (ノーザンライトロール), made with a tempura prawn, avocado and pineapple. All this is rolled in a cucumber crepe. The texture is interesting with the cucumber giving the roll a crunch rarely found in a sushi roll.
Scallop & Asparagus Roll Tojo's 
Next up was the Scallop and Asparagus Roll. Healthy chunks of scallop are peppered throughout the roll with finely diced asparagus as well. The tobiko on top was nice and gave the cone a pleasant visual look. The best thing about this cone was the nori, it was crisp and crunchy, and tasted very fresh. Most scallop cones are loaded up with mayonnaise, which makes the nori into a soggy mess. Thankfully, not here!  
Salad Tojo's After the two seafood courses, we had a palate cleansing salad made with lettuce and some shredded apples. This was crunchy and refreshing. Just what we needed. The dressing was light and citrusy and reminded me more of a puree than an actual salad dressing. 
Shiitake Shinjo (椎茸しんじょ) Tojo's For our first hot dish, we had the Shiitake Shinjo (椎茸しんじょ), which is an Organic Shiitake stuffed with a whitefish mousse. 
Shiitake Shinjo (椎茸しんじょ) Tojo's The first picture is way to simple and doesn't do justice to what is going on underneath. See the stuffing? I liked how they topped with grated daikon and peppers, which we then mixed into the sauce. This was hearty and comforting. One of my favourites of the night. 
Golden Roll (ゴールデンロール) Tojo's Off we go back to sushi, namely the Golden Roll (ゴールデンロール). This is roll made with crab, scallop, shrimp and wild Pacific salmon, all rolled up neatly in an egg crepe. There is a bit of fish roe on top for colour and texture contrast. The roll itself is very soft, everything just melts together, including the egg crepe cover. As I was eating this, I was thinking how good this would be if it was steamed, a perfect dimsum dish, if you ask me. 
Canadian Sablefish (銀ダラ) Tojo's 
Oh, what is this? It's all wrapped up, just like a present! But boy, does it smell amazing! 
Canadian Sablefish (銀ダラ) Tojo's This is Tojo's version of Canadian Sablefish (銀ダラ), baked in his secret marinade. A delicate rolled up filet of sablefish with some burdock and mushrooms stuffed inside. The broth is amazing and definitely slurp worthy.  The sablefish flakes off nicely and is beautifully scented from the broth. 
Panna Cotta Sesame Cracker Tojo's We finished off the omakase with a light and fruity dessert. The panna cotta was super smooth, and the fresh fruit on top was just a beautiful representation of the season. The sesame cracker was crunchy and a great match to the panna cotta.

Take Note:
  • Celebrity sightings are common, we saw Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively the night we went
  • Sit at the bar to watch the master in action
  • Don't bother ordering from the menu, omakase is the way to go
Tojo's on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. tvlife11:36 AM

    Were you given instructions on when you were allowed & not allowed to use wasabi & soy sauce? Tojo's omakasae definitely does not suffer from lack of flavours & seasoning. So fresh & tasty!

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