An impromptu dinner on a Friday evening took us to Torafuku, the new brick and mortar location brought to you by the Le Tigre food truck team. Frankly, and feeling guilty to admit to it, I never ate at Le Tigre. With the rave reviews about Le Tigre, I was quite excited to try Torafuku.
The Rye So Messy Chicken Wings was an award winning dish. The gochujang marinate really came through as you can taste this garlicky, spicy flavour. The skin was crispy, meat was juicy, and I like the ramen crumble to add even more texture to it. These were really good wings, but 5 wings for $12 maybe a bit too expensive.
Dr. Octopus vs. Mr. Tuna seriously sounds like a superhero movie title!
Side by side we were presented with some well thought out preparation of octopus and tuna. The octopus in the salad was quite tender and it had some subtle heat from the jalapenos. If this was a green salad it would have been over-dressed, but it was fine in this case. As for the tuna, it tasted fresh, and to my surprise, it went well with the roasted pepper based romesco sauce. This dish was really good, but to me, they were two dishes in one; they could totally make it into two smaller dishes and sell separately, catering to those who may only like/eat one of the two featured seafood.
Kickass Rice 2.0 is an adaptation of one of Le Tigre’s most popular dishes, Kickass Rice. Instead of a rice bowl, it was served as pressed sushi. It’s similar to salmon aburi sushi, but this was richer because of the fatty pork belly. I like that it’s thinly sliced so it wasn’t super greasy. The rice was flavourful, and sliced jalapenos added some heat and helped cut through the grease as well.
Lastly, “Calamari” Done The Right Way – and was it? The calamari was crispy outside, tender inside. But the biggest surprise was the use of lychee. The sweetness combined with the peppery arugula and pea shoot leaves, it was one summery salad.
By the way, did you notice how beautiful each plate was? The mix of colours, the depth and layers of ingredient, the choice of dishware — our eyes feasted on before we did!
Torafuku doesn’t take reservations. We arrived just before 6pm on a Friday evening and we were lucky enough to be seated right away. When we left at around 7:30pm, there were easily a dozen people waiting at the door. The strategy is to arrive early, or just to not be afraid of waiting in line!
Servers are very friendly at the restaurant. We asked if 4 dishes were enough, and thankfully she stopped us from ordering more as it was just the right amount of food. A 5th dish would have been too much for us.
The flavours here at Torafuku were really good, and plates were beautifully presented. And I love the cheeky, fun names that they created for the dishes. Other than the chicken wings, we thought the dishes were priced just right. Definitely worth going and I will go again, especially when they change out menu items next. In closing, here are some parting wise words from our fortune cookies:
958 Main Street, Vancouver