Zakkushi is a Japanese yakitori izakaya, rough translation as “grilled chicken skewer drinking bar”, that claims to grill all their skewers on charcoal. I wouldn’t really call this a yakitori-ya per se, as in Japan it would only focus on chicken as the name implies, having more organs and serving up different parts of the chicken any way one can think of. Then again, that might be too adventurous to some Vancouverites. Zakkushi has a whole array of different types of meats and vegetables, along with a raw bar, I would consider this more of a kushiyaki (skewers) hangout.
Very typical Vancouver-Japanese decor with the wood, trying to emanate traditional izakayas in Japan. Along with the servers yelling out the orders and greetings in Japanese, it really feels like you’ve walked into Japan, sans the plane ride. Pricing wise are rather expensive, as it is priced per skewer with price points being at $1.70 for a skewer of vegetable, to $9.80 for a premium meat! They also have a handwritten fresh sheet, like all other izakayas in the lower mainland, for seasonal specials to choose from. I believe the pricing has went up a bit, as they’ve went through a menu change. Most likely 10¢ – 25¢ here and there.
獺祭 Dassai 50 – junmai daiginjo
One of the better grade of sake that was on the menu, with a relatively average price. It was sweet and light, paired rather nicely with the skewers.
Negi Hamachi; chopped scallions with yellowtail, served with garlic toast
After reading the description on their special feature, both Fatboy and I thought of the one we’ve had at a different restaurant, it was so good we had to try this and see how it was executed here. Zakkushi’s came to a disappointment, with a tiny bowl filled with few chunks of hamachi, scallions and mayo. The toast didn’t have much garlic taste too it, and to put into perspective, the bowl of negi hamachi was already finished by the third slice.
Teri Tori Momo & Negi Shio Gyutan – teriyaki chicken thigh & green onion beef tongue
We were so hungry that I had forgotten to take a picture before devouring half the dish. The chicken was cooked perfectly, still juicy and not overly sweet or salty with the teriyaki. The tongue on the other hand I found a bit too overcooked, rendering it to be chewy. The scallion sauce on top was excellent though, but was it really worth the extra 30¢ verses regular beef tongue?
Tsukune Set; oropon (grated daikon & ponzu), umeshiso (sour plum & Japanese basil), cheese, teriyaki, norimayo (seaweed & mayo)
Tsukune is a type of Japanese chicken meatball, I usually just went for the cheese or norimayo, but Fatboy wanted to try them all. Oropon and umeshiso were my least favourites because I’m biased, I don’t like daikon or shiso, and umeboshi. Only ume I would take is if it alcohol form, umeshu. Cheese was melted mozzarella, who can say no to that? Norimayo was reminicent of a Japadog. Original in teriyaki form was just boring, but still delicious.
Kushiyaki – tomato, scallop, uzuramaki (bacon wrapped quail egg), tontoro (pork jawl)
For $1.80, these were the most expensive cherry tomatoes I’ve ever had, but totally worth it. They were grilled just enough for the skins to crack, but still maintaining firm inside. Sprinkled with salt & dried basil, it was refreshing and different. The scallops were alright, nothing too special about them. Bacon wrapped quail egg, topped with mayo, need I say more? The pork was grilled nicely, like the description says, it was crunchy and juicy.
Kushiyaki – tomato, negi
Last order to end off the night, we had to do another round(s) of tomato. I love green onion, specially the giant Japanese ones, so it was no surprise I had to order them when i saw it on the menu. These were offered either with salt or teriyaki, always go salt if you want to experience the food for their natural flavours.
Service was nice and friendly, draft drinks were decent priced, food is on point. Only problem is that it does add up per skewer, but it’s a nice drinking environment that’s open late and not in downtown, so they’ve has that going for them.