food / japanese / seafood

Culinary Adventure: Raisu

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A little while ago I went to Raisu to celebrate two of my friends’ birthdays. I was really excited to visit because photos of their food always looked so beautiful. The restaurant has a prime location in Kitsilano, however it’s quite easy to miss as the entry is through black curtains. The curtains lead you up a very long flight of stairs (the restaurant is not on ground level).

We got seated on the outdoor balcony, which made for an even better experience. I loved how nice the servers were and how we had to take off our shoes before sitting down – just like in Japan. We all ordered different things, which made for a nice variety to feast our eyes on:

  1. Tonkatsu Teishoku Meal ($19) is deep fried pork crusted with panko.
  2. Triple Cutlet Teishoku Meal ($25) comes with 3 different types of deep fried crusted meat: wagyu beef, pork, and black tiger prawn.
  3. Chicken Cutlet Oyako Teishoku Meal ($19) is deep fried, crusted chicken that is served in a Dashi broth and mixed in with egg to make an omelet.
  4. Deluxe Seafood Bowl ($34) is a combination of Ahi Tuna, Sea Urchin, Yellow Tail, Snow Crab, Tai Snapper, Toro Salmon, Ikura and Sweet Shrimp sashimi on top of sushi rice.
  5. Milky Sily Mentaiko Udon ($16) is chewy udon noodles in sweet white miso, mascarpone cheese, and cod roe soup.
  6. Two orders of Chef’s Choice Aburi Oshi Sushi ($18 per order of 8 pieces).

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The Teishoku Meals come with rice, pickled vegetables, miso soup, and another small dish. If you don’t want those items, the dish costs $3 less. All three of my friends that ordered Teishoku Meals loved the meal and say that they would get it again, but potentially without the add-ons, as it’s incredibly filling. I definitely think I will try the Chicken Cutlet Oyako Teishoku the next time I go because it was BOMB.

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The Deluxe Seafood Bowl looked so beautiful that we didn’t want to touch it. Although it was good, it’s quite possible to get the same quality sashimi at other Japanese restaurants for a lower price.

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The Milky Sily Mentaiko udon tasted exactly like what the ingredients make it sound like. It’s super cheesy with a bit of the salty/sour flavour of the cod roe. Since there are no additional vegetables or meat in this dish, I’d say to skip it because it wasn’t that mind blowing.

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As for the whole table’s favorite part: the Aburi Oshi Sushi. Since we ordered two of them, we got to try both the tuna and salmon (1 order comes with only 1 type of fish). This was by far the best aburi oshi sushi I have had in Vancouver – even better than Minami. So incredibly flavourful and filling that you can just order one of these and be good to go. It also doesn’t hurt that the presentation is SO beautiful. I’d recommend getting this instead of their Ocean’s Offering limited special.

If you let your servers know that you’re celebrating a birthday, they will bring out a free dessert of their own choosing. Since we had two birthday girls, we got to try two of their desserts – Uji Matcha Cake and Souffle Cheesecake! My vote went to the cheesecake. It was nice and fluffy, with the perfect consistency and flavour. Upon bringing the birthday desserts, the servers sing you ‘Happy Birthday’ in the most festive way possible – highly recommend going for a birthday celebration!

Verdict: If you couldn’t tell already, I LOVE Raisu and would go again many times over. The portions, flavours, and service are all amazing. I’d say skip the hype of the limited bento boxes and order from the other items to get a better value for your $$. Also, don’t forget to go for a birthday celebration to enjoy a free dessert and fun birthday song! ๐Ÿ™‚

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