Sherman's Food Adventures: Shoku Van

Shoku Van

As exemplified in my Okeya Kyujiro post, high-end Omakase prices in Vancity are $300+ these days.  Depending on what you value most, this could be highly worth the cost or insanity.  Well, I'm not here to argue that point.  Rather, I'm here to provide a more cost-effective option with Shoku Van.  Their Dinner Kaiseki is only $58.00 per person and I feel it was enough food for me to be fully satisfied.  This location of Shoku is located in the former Raga and directly across the street from Toys R Us.

Instead of courses, the menu lists "5 steps" and that immediately brought back memories of NKOTB.  So Step 1 (We can have lots of fun) consisted of Spring Mix with apple dressing, Chawanmushi and Tempura.  Salad was fresh and the dressing was lightly sweet with some acidity.  Tempura was excellent with a thin crispy batter.  Silky without too much excess moisture, the chawanmushi was sweet and aromatic.

Moving onto Step 2 (There's so much we can do!), we found Sashimi (Salmon, Hamachi & Madai), Nigiri (Aburi Kia, Bluefin Tuna & Jumbo Prawn), Atemaki and Miso Soup.  In general, this was a solid collection of items where the fish was fresh and had a clean, pleasant taste.  I was surprised with the addition of bluefin akami.  Sure, it is the leanest cut, but still it was buttery and sweet. Of note, the hamachi was lighter in colour, which is generally an indication it is the farmed version.  That didn't matter to me though as it still ate well.

So Step 3 (It's just you & me) was the most filling course with Hire Katsu, Garlic Butter Prawn, King Oyster Mushroom, Grilled Pork Belly, Grilled Unagi and Grilled Scallop with assorted vegetable. There was also a variety of condiments on the side to build your own lettuce wrap.  Again, this was a solid collection of food where the katsu was crispy and the scallop was buttery.  Some things could've used a more aggressive sear though.

From here we got to Step 4 (I can give you more) where we found the Ichiban Dashi Vegetarian Udon.  I found this to be pretty standard with a light broth that had the usual savoury and sweet elements with a touch of umaminess.  The noodles were not overdone while the temperature of the broth was still fairly hot.  To complete the bowl, we found inari strips,  shungiku and narutomaki.

Last but not least, we had Step 5 (Don't you know that the time has arrived?) with 2 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream.  I found the ice cream to be a little on the icier side, but still creamy.  This was a nice portion size to finish off a pleasant meal.  Naturally, we can't compare this to some of the more premium Omakase spots in town, but if we look at it for what it is, the Premium Kaiseki at Shoku is a good value.  Food quality is definitely more than acceptable and makes for an affordable multi-course meal.

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this blog post*

The Good:
- Good food quality for the price
- About that price, it is completely reasonable
- Nice people

The Bad:
- May not meet the needs of some people wanting a more elevated experience, but really, consider the price...


Mishaela said...

LOL Sherman. Future heritage post, A+ content. More singalongs requested.

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