Today was the all-day softball tourney at Gordon Park in Vancouver. We had a break in between games and decided to grab some lunch. We needed something nearby, inexpensive and wouldn't be too heavy. I remembered that I once dined at a Japanese restaurant nearby right next to the Church's chicken on Victoria Drive. I was struggling to remember the name, when suddenly Bear exclaims "Takarabune"! Ah yes, Bear is always dependable, he seems to know every restaurant in town. Not sure why he doesn't blog too! In fact, Bear used to frequent Takarabune with his family quite a lot before they changed owners. Despite the change in ownership, it still remains an authentic Japanese restaurant run by Japanese people. You may wonder what is really the difference especially since some Japanese restaurants run by non-Japanese are still pretty good. Well, when Bear wanted his Yakitori made dry with salt, they were able to grant him his request. A non-Japanese run joint may not even know what the heck he was talking about.
Miss Y was having a really tough time deciding what type of noodle she was going to order. She finally decided on the Zaru Soba over the Udon. Well at least with buckwheat noodles, I declared to her annoyance that, "her bowel movements will be on time unlike herself". In terms of the soba, she seemed to enjoy it. Silent Bob opted for a plate of sushi. He remarked that the rolls were looser than Jenna Jameson... What a delightful visual... Anyways, Bear ordered a couple of small dishes which included Gomae, Yakitori and Gyozas. Everything looked quite tasty, especially the large bowl of Gomae. Unlike Chinese-run Japanese restaurants, there wasn't a big glop of dressing on top. However, much like Kim (I'm Only Here for the Food!) remarked, it seemed almost underdressed and there seemed to be too many stem pieces.
The rest of us were a little boring and went for the Bento Boxes. Judes had Box A which consisted of Sushi, Tempura, Sunomono, daily special (Salmon Belly), Rice and Miso Soup. She added a Scallop & Tobiko Roll for good measure. Dr. 911 and Sienna (she hates being mentioned in the blog), shared a Box C which consisted of a California Roll, Tempura, Chicken Teriyaki, Rice, Miso Soup and Fruit. They also added a Negitoro Roll. I went for the largest box they had which was the Box F. It included Sashimi, California Roll, Tempura, Sunomono, Tamagoyaki, Beef Teriyaki, Rice and Miso Soup.
One thing that was pretty much evident in everyone's orders was that the sushi rolls were poorly made. They tasted good; but the rice was so loose, most of the rolls fell apart. Aesthetically, it was not pleasing to look at either. We're not sure if the sushi chef was rushed, since the restaurant was busy or that's just how they made it. However, I really enjoyed the sashimi, it was sliced nicely and tasted fresh. The tempura was crispy, if not a bit oily. At least the batter was light and not too excessive. Although the beef teriyaki was flavoured just right (not too much sauce), the beef itself was a bit overcooked and tough. Furthermore, the sunomono could have used a bit more vinegar.
When we finally finished our meal, we really needed to leave since our next game was coming up. Mr. Blueberry was so anxious to get the bill, he flagged down a customer thinking they were staff. Awkward. Anyways, the food was decent, if not pretty standard at Takarabune. I was a bit disappointed at the loose and messy sushi rolls, especially when the restaurant is Japanese-run. That aside, the prices were fairly reasonable and the portions were good. By the time we left, the restaurant was packed with a lineup. Looks like they're doing something right.
- Reasonably-priced and good portions
- Friendly staff
- Sushi rolls were terrible looking and fell apart
- Parking lot is insufficient for the amount of businesses