VanVan Izakaya

Disclaimer: All food was complimentary but opinions are my own

I was invited to another ChineseBites event at VanVan Izakaya on Robson across from Forage. All the dishes below were shared between 6 people and we tried most of their menu. If you see awkward shadows in my photo, that’s someone else pointing their camera at the same time (or everyone)!

VanVan IzakayaThis was the Unagi Kabayaki with teriyaki sauce.  The eel had a nice sweet flavour from the teriyaki sauce and it was tender. I like eel so I approve of this.

VanVan Izakaya

This was a Japanese Omelette with some cabbage and beef inside. The top was drizzled with mayo and ponzu sauce. I thought there was a bit too much cabbage as a filler and maybe too much mayo which didn’t seem to go with the omelette. The egg part was nice and fluffy though.

VanVan Izakaya

This was the BBQ Pork Cheek with Japanese Citrus Sauce. I think the citrus sauce was just the lemon? Anyway, I love pork cheek so this had a nice grilled flavour and the meat was crunchy like it’s suppose to be.

VanVan Izakaya

This was the Beef Tataki? I thought the pieces of beef were really small! They were also very thinly sliced so there’s really not much meat here. Not really impressive.

VanVan Izakaya

This was the Beef Carpaccio (unless I mixed it up with the Beef Tataki above) but this has garlic mayo and a balsamic dressing. The spinach leaves didn’t do anything though. Also very thinly sliced and very small pieces.

VanVan Izakaya

Ebi Mayo! Always a crowd favourite. I enjoyed the version here and the prawns were nice and snappy.

VanVan Izakaya

This was the Seared Mackerel Sashimi? I can’t really remember now… but it wasn’t amazing or anything. I liked the marinated version with “salad” better (see below).

VanVan IzakayaThis was the Chicken Kaarage served with some mayo on the side. Each piece was pretty big and moist! It could’ve been seasoned more but overall it was good.

VanVan Izakaya

This was the Russian Roulette Takoyaki. One piece out of the five is super spicy so if you’re unlucky you’ll end up with that one. Turns out it was me and it was filled with some kind of brown wasabi paste and it was spicy! Like where your eyes and nose almost water but not yet. I bit half of it and then didn’t finish the rest. The normal ones seemed good though.

VanVan Izakaya

This was the 3 Kinds of Sashimi with salmon, tuna and scallops. Everything tasted fresh and scallops were good!

VanVan Izakaya

This was in the salad section of the menu and it was Marinated Mackerel. The tiny amount of veggies surrounding it doesn’t qualify it as a salad though but I loved the flavour of the vinaigrette with the mackerel.

VanVan Izakaya

Marinated Jellyfish! Like the kind from Chinese restaurant appetizer platters but slightly more acidic and marinated. I wish the portion was bigger since I could’ve eaten a lot more of this!

VanVan IzakayaGrilled Smelt with Japanese Chili Pepper Mayo. I didn’t try this one. It sounded like it was alright.

VanVan IzakayaThe Tako Wasabi had just the right amount of wasabi.

VanVan IzakayaThe Beef Short Ribs are always a good idea. They weren’t chewy and had a sweet flavour from the sauce and marinade.

VanVan Izakaya

This was suppose to be the Tuna and Avocado salad but I think they heard us wrong and just gave us the avocado salad since we couldn’t find any tuna in here! Pretty standard for a salad. Good amount of avocado.

VanVan Izakaya

This was the Roasted Eggplant with Miso Sauce. The eggplant was on the soft side but it tasted good with the sauce!

VanVan Izakaya

Chicken Gristle! Aka chicken knees. Addicting stuff if you like it!

VanVan Izakaya

We were all curious about the Curry Poutine. The fries were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and the curry flavour was mild but it went surprisingly well with the fries!

VanVan Izakaya

More Sashimi!

VanVan Izakaya

Fried Cauliflower! I really liked this with the tartar sauce. Fried veggies are always the best.

VanVan Izakaya

We tried all the desserts on the menu except for the green tea ice cream because they screwed up and thought we wanted the green tea soy pudding instead but we actually wanted both.

The Black Sesame Ice Cream was seriously good and the flavour was surprisingly strong and I loved how they give you some sweet red bean on the side too!

VanVan Izakaya

The Green Tea Soy Milk Pudding is great lactose free option but sadly it was quite watery and the texture was weird. Some parts were like watery jello. The green tea flavour was good though.

VanVan Izakaya

The Mochi Wrapped Strawberry sounded intriguing and it looks really cute! A strawberry is encased in the middle of some red bean and a thin layer of mochi wraps around the whole thing. I thought this was a great invention! We should wrap more things in mochi.

So there were some hits and misses for me but overall it was better than I expected since the reviews I read made them sound less than mediocre. Nothing was really super special though except the Russian Roulette Takoyaki!

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What did you think?