Kakurenbo means "Hide & Seek" in Japanese. Perhaps the owners were hoping to build a hidden gem within this izakaya saturated city of Vancouver. Seems like izakaya style restaurants are the new Ray Ban's and tight jeans of the dining industry.
Anyhow, the owners of this particular spot went all-out, to the nines, and then some with the interior. Walking in and looking around there are so many Japanese decor features from dark wooden beams and columns, bamboo center piece, traditional sculptures and authentic tile shingles. It's as if you walked into a showroom of all things Japanese crammed into one space.
The menu was simple and all items were photographed, which makes things easier and leaves you wanting to try everything. My friend and I decided to try some izakaya staples such as their garlic croquettes, chicken karaage (which were breaded with rice puffs) and their version of Tuna Tataki (called the Toro Takaki that came breaded, deep fried then sliced). On top of that we ordered the Spicy Tuna Wraps and some shochu to go along with the meal.
To me, all the dishes have interesting and different sauces than what you would usually get. The croquettes came with a thick French dressing type sauce. The Spicy Tuna wraps were sitting in a hot and sweet sauce. The Tataki came with 2 sauces, soy and a yuzu & oil dressing type of sauce. Wasn't too into the different sauces ad found them too much.
The bill was quite expensive and I wasn't so sold on their food but their saving grace was the great attentive service. Not sure if I'd return when there are so many other great izakaya restaurants in the city with good food and a lot more affordable.
793 Jervis Street