Dishes to enjoy at Torafuku this Fall
It happened, fall's here.
With the official welcoming of a chillier season this week, I've started thinking about all things "fall" — I've already brought my fall pieces out, started shopping for new lip colours, layering up when heading out, stocking up on good wines & art supplies, and trading in my favourite grilled dishes for spicier soups & stews to stay cozy.
Fall calls for a new flavour profile, new combination of spices and ingredients for the trendier places in Vancouver. I love it when restaurants change up their menus seasonally. Torafuku, located in Strathcona, does a fine job creating Asian-inspired dishes with a modern twist so I am so excited to share what I've tried from their new fall menu.
If you've been following me on my socials, you would remember the Made With Love mixology competition last month. You would also recognize this star; she's the talented Chelsea Rose Schulte who won People's Choice that evening. For this occasion, she served up three unique drinks to go with the selection of fall dishes.
While we settled down, we enjoyed our first sips of Fuku Spritz — pear, benedictine, lime, sparking wine; a combination of all the flavours that I enjoy. A bright and refreshing drink to mingle with and a great drink to get my appetite going.
Now onto the food, our first appetizer;
The World Is Your Oyster
Our oysters were served in a smoke-filled jar and was quite the sight when it was released. I appreciate dishes that are interactive and with a purpose; the smoke definitely added another dimension of enjoyment. The oyster motoyaki that I'm used to is jam packed with mayo, but I'm glad this wasn't the case here! The flavours were clean, the shallot & ginger salsa was subtle but refreshing.
— oyster motoyaki, shallot & ginger salsa, crispy tempura bits, bonito flakes, smoke.
Get In My Belly
— sushi hand roll, pork belly, mustard compressed kohlrabi, furikake, crackling
Not too much to add on this description, the name was pretty darn accurate.
Next drink up was Tokyo Drift featuring yuzu, gin, sake and house casis; a fun and super pretty cocktail.
— tuna & octopus poke handroll, cucumber, onion, house made spicy sauce
Now this was really my jam; similar to Get In My Belly, just imagine a spicy tuna (and octopus) sushi hand cone. D-ee-lish! Upcoming pictures are big for you to study the details. Just look at that crispy sheet of seaweed, I'd order this again (and again).
— hickory flavour corn, miso butter, togarashi
I'd say this was one of the most photogenic dishes. I mean, just look at the char on the corn, wonderfully seasoned with togarashi, topped with popcorn and green onions. By the time I got to the popcorn, it seemed to have lost its crunch but I enjoyed the spices and dipping em into the miso butter nonetheless. God, the miso butter is SO delicious; LET ME BATHE IN IT.
— pulled pork hock, pickled onion, crispy shallots, nori, salsa verde
The taco didn't look that much but it was jam packed with flavour. That pulled pork hock was executed perfectly, it was so tender and I enjoyed its marinate. I definitely inhaled my share!
— wild kale salad, gem tomatoes, Jinhua ham, shaved parm, crispy quinoa, lemon essence, anchovy ranch dressing
After the pork belly, miso butter, and pulled pork hock; this was refreshing and much needed. The gem tomatoes were like juicy pockets of sweetness, paired well with the kale that was dressed with anchovy ranch. You know how much I love my cheese so the shaved parmesan completed the dish.
— crispy squid, corn, foraged mushrooms, wax beans, local plum, nero aioli, angry tiger sauce
Gotta love calamari that's crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Now I just wish there were more pieces! The main difference between Calamari Done The Right Way & Calamari 2.0 is all the sides it comes with.
Peaches and Cream
— heirloom tomatoes, star anise infused peaches, crisp cucumber, torched burrata cheese, orange buttermilk emulsion
I feel like I could almost eat this dish as an healthy alternative of their desserts. It's a bowl full of nature's candy and well-balanced with heirloom tomatoes and burratta to cut its sweetness. Such a refreshing salad and beautifully presented with edible flowers.
— Chinese BBQ duck spring rolls, enoki mushrooms, scallions, carrots, crispy capers, chili oil, house-made plum sauce
Let's just say each bite can be described as a party in my mouth.
Now if you've stuck around to here and is still not quite convinced yet. I'm about to introduce my personal favourite entree that I'd order over & over again.
GET THIS !!!
(and thank me later)
— house-made fettuccine, green uni, Okanagan corn, sorrel, Sungold tomatoes, velouté
Give A Dog A Bone
— roasted bone marrow, beef luc lac, pickled greens, market veggies, crispy potato noodles
The roasted bone marrow was no joke, it was flavourful and rich. I think of bone marrow as a dish that you'd order for the texture. I don't think its for everyone but if you like your meats, you can trust Torafuku to do a great job. Our table spoke very highly about the beef luc lac.
Now, note this. Every good meal must end with sweets, and this time round; dessert was no joke.
The first time I saw these cakes from Tammy's Snapchat story prior to this dinner, I thought they looked so adorable and knew they had to be done by an independent baker that I haven't heard of yet. Turns out, all the cakes present were by butter • mere patisserie. I loved the flavours they chose to feature for fall: chocolate and ovaltine; or black sesame, red bean, and matcha. I definitely appreciated both of these and felt slightly relieved that they steered clear from pumpkin.
When I'm digging in a piece of cake, I look for flavour and contrasting textures and that's why I enjoyed Count Chocula a little more than Sesame St. The rice crispies definitely elevated the chocolate mousse and each bite sang in unison. Although Sesame St. included all the flavours that my heart desires, I thought the components were not bold enough. Though, some may appreciate this as a lighter treat.
— chocolate framboise, ovatine ganache, raspberry compote, chocolate mousse, rice crispies
— black sesame sponge, red bean chantilly, black sesame paste, matcha mousse, sesame tuile, milk snow