Yuwa Japanese Cuisine: A Tale of Two Visits
Did you ever go for dinner somewhere and receive a completely different experience on separate occasions? That’s how I felt about Yuwa Japanese Cuisine. This place had been on my wish list for a long time but because they only open for dinner service and it being located so far away, it was only until recently that I finally managed to come visit.
Yuwa is more on the upscale scene when compared to other Japanese restaurants which is reflected in both the price and the offerings they have on their menu. On my first visit, I sat at the sushi bar and ordered the Assorted Seasonal Tempura ($15) which is actually a fairly reasonable price. The tempura is served with both a sweet dashi broth and a salty/savory matcha salt that you can eat with your tempura. The batter is light and crisp and the veggies included were green bean, mushroom, lotus root, and some type of potato/yam/squash along with 3 pieces of plump shrimp.
I also ordered a selection of nigiri from their fresh sheet (clockwise from top left): Hon Maguro Chutoro ($8) – a medium fatty bluefin tuna, Hamachi ($7) – yellowtail, Shima Aji ($6.50) – striped jack fish or horse mackerel with a noticeably subtler flavour than I’m used to, Madai Kobujime ($5) – cured snapper with a lighter flavour, Kamasu ($5) – torched barracuda topped with yuzu, and Aburi Chutoro with Uni ($11) – seared bluefin tuna belly topped with sea urchin.
While all of the fish was quite fresh, the things that stuck to my mind was the Aburi Chutoro with Uni which tasted like biting into a little piece of heaven and the amazingly tender Kamasu. I’ve never had barracuda before but it was so tender and I think I liked this the most.
Service at the sushi counter was actually attentive and on-point and what I would expect at an establishment such as Yuwa. I enjoyed it so much, that I made a point to make reservations to revisit for my birthday dinner (this place gets fairly busy so if you want a table, it’s best to make reservations).
We decided to order a number of small plates to share. The Gomaae ($7) is a small dish of blanched green kale tossed in a sesame miso sauce and topped with walnuts, almond, and pine nuts. I know kale is the big super food right now but I kind of miss having this with spinach.
The Chef’s Sashimi Selection ($37 for 5 types) was pleasantly plated (wish they explained what type of sashimi when they brought out the dish). From what I recall, it included chutoro, hamachi, horse mackerel, hotate and then something with green onions (perhaps negitoro?). In any event, the sashimi was, as expected, quite fresh indeed.
Next was an order of the same Assorted Seasonal Tempura that I had on my first visit.
The Agedashi Tofu ($9) had lightly deep-fried tofu cubes steeped in a sweet shoyu dashi stock with grated daikon radish and topped with whispy bonito flakes that seemed to dance on top of the tofu pieces.
The Chicken Karaage ($12) is a fairly substantial plate with marinated boneless chicken thigh served with a yuzu kosho paste.
We also ordered the Sablefish Yuan-Yaki ($26) which has been marinated for 24hrs in their yuzu citrus shoyu sauce and served with kabocha squash and soy marinated cucumber pickles. I love sablefish and found this to be so tender.
The also brought us out a complimentary Matcha Creme Brulee with Red Bean for my dessert.
What I noticed from my second visit is that there was a noticeable difference in the service from my first visit at the sushi bar when compared to table service. I did notice that some diners appeared to be regulars and enjoyed a better experience (judging from their interactions with the servers) so perhaps it just depends on who you get.
The food quality (especially the seafood) is quite good but I think if I came back, I’d probably stick with eating at their sushi bar.
2775 W 16th Avenue
Posted on February 21, 2020, in Japanese, Restaurant Review and tagged Barracuda, Chicken Karaage, Chutoro, Food, Japanese, Kamasu, Kitsilano, Nigiri, restaurant review, Sablefish, Sashimi, Tempura, Uni, Vancouver. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.