Saturday, 11 February 2012

Zakkushi Charcoal Grill

Do you think he likes his job? I'm just wondering. I would.

Today was me and Michael's usual Friday hang out night, we really struggled figuring out where we wanted to eat. Michael came up with the thought of revisiting a little Japanese restaurant Zakkushi Charcoal Grill on 823 Denman Street, that served Japanese bar food and tapas.

He first discovered this place from his friend, who usually knows where to get the greatest Asian food. Me and Michael sat front and center watching the chefs cook dishes from their charcoal stoves. The little restaurant is pretty packed so I would recommend calling ahead of time to make a reservation. Inside, the decor and layout really did remind me of being in Japan when I went for the first time with my parents. There's a long row of bench/stools lining a rectangular kitchen visible from the entire restaurant. A 'dining area' of sorts is placed single-row behind the bar. We can tell the chefs cooking on floor a front of us are so passionate for what they do and what they serve to the customers, it really shows authenticity of the restaurant. Oh and all the staff speak Japanese to each other. We ordered so many different little dishes tonight that I actually don't even know where to begin.

(Left to right) Oropon hamami (beef), memaki (garlic wrapped with pork), p-toro (pork), momo (chicken), shiso (herb wrapped chicken)

We started off with the appetizer sampler Kushi set for $8.50 that had beef, chicken, pork, and garlic tip skewers. The chicken and pork were very tasty and I could really taste the barbecuey goodness, plus the pork had a delicious crunch in every bite. Michael said the beef was juicy, but has less taste because there's less salt than some of the other dishes. I don't usually like eating asparagus but tonight, Zakkushi convinced me otherwise. The memaki and asparagus dishes were vegetables wrapped with pork, with a hint of garlic mixed in with the strong taste of charcoal from the barbecue, delicious.

Tofu Yakki

After the samplers, we kept ordering the chicken and pork, especially with the asparugus, because it was just that good. Then we had the Tofu Yakki for $2, it had the tasty terriyaki sauce and a hint of crunch to it, and made for a fun way of tasting of tofu. Then I had the sausage with ponzu sauce and grated radish, the radish was filled with flavours and went delightfully with the sausage with tangy ponzu sauce.

Deep fried octopus balls

Every summer our little fair city of Richmond has the annual  night market, and whenever I get a chance to visit, one of my favourite part of going to the night market is eating the Takoyaki $4.90, which are deepfried ocotopus balls. Tonight I think Zakkushi took it the next level. It arrived in a near magical bowl - the edible garnish flakes waved back and forth in the air, it was almost too beautiful to eat. Once I started, a bite could be summed up in one word, wow. The crunchiness of the seaweed and the teriyaki on top went well with the chewy octopus encased in gooey sauce inside fried batter. The fact that it was fried was not overwhelming at all, nor did it feel heavy in my stomach.


Lastly Michael's favourite of Zakkushi is Onigiri for $1.50 it is a ball of rice. A triangular 'ball' of rice sitting on the charcoal stove barbecued in with the flavour of soy and terriyaki sauce. This is his favourite because it not only fills him up, tastes good, and also is presented in a unique way.

In total we ordered about 14 skewers and three side dishes, which came to $39 before tip.

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Zakkushi Charcoal Grill (Denman) on Urbanspoon

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