Saturday, June 13, 2015

VanVan Izakaya

VanVan Izakaya, a little restaurant on 1333 Robson St. in downtown Vancouver has a new menu and ChineseBites invited me to dine there earlier this week. VanVan serves small izakaya dishes, so it's great for sharing and being able to try a lot of different items on the menu. 

Very cool chalk wall in the restaurant!
Russian roulette takoyaki. A must try! You get 5 octopus balls and one of them is chock full of hot and spicy wasabi! If you can't take the heat, don't play!
Dried squid snack tempura. I love squid snacks with it's sweet and salty flavour and making them into tempura is an interesting idea. Unfortunately, because the strands of squid are so thin, you end up with more batter than anything.
BBQ eel rice in hot bowl.
Pork jewl with Japanese citrus sauce. The pork was very tender and flavoured well.
Ebi mayo - deep fried shrimp with sweet mayo sauce. They were crispy and sweet, the perfect combo!
Beef carpaccio with mayo, balsamic and cheese. There wasn't much beef in the dish, and was covered with the greens. It wasn't too flavourful either.
Seared beef with garlic dressing. Similar to the beef carpaccio, this was a lot tastier with the sauce to dip the beef in.
Chicken cutlet with sweet sour sauce. This was one of the favourites at the table, since the sweet sauce really worked with the chicken.
Beef short ribs came sizzling hot!
Chopped raw salmon with sweet garlic sauce. One of my favourite dishes - it was very light refreshing with the cucumber and sweet sauce. The seaweed comes with the dish so you can wrap it yourself!
An assortment of sashimi. Clockwise from top left: Octopus, raw tuna with avocado salad, scallop, marinated jellyfish salmon, tuna and shrimp sashimi.
We ordered everything on the dessert menu! Clockwise from top left: Green tea ice cream, rice cake wrapped strawberry, green tea soy milk pudding, black sesame ice cream. The soy milk pudding was very liquidy, and you almost had to drink it but it had a very interesting taste. The mochi had too much red bean inside for my liking. The ice cream was delicious!
All in all, VanVan Izakaya has great food with some hits and misses. They have some very creative items on the menu that you can't find elsewhere, which makes VanVan worth visiting at least once. Too bad I didn't have room to try them all! The price is comparable to other Japanese izakaya places on Robson, especially if you are sharing with friends.

Disclaimer: The products mentioned above was provided by ChineseBites and VanVan Izakaya for review. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Savvy Shopping, Deals and Reviews and have not been influenced in any other way.

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