Irashai Grill in Coal Harbour

Comments 14 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last night we were invited to a special dinner at Irashai in Coal Harbour. It features upscale Japanese cuisine and tapas and is quietly tucked away on West Pender, between Jervis and Broughton. Within walking distance of home, and in close proximity to Stanley Park (or the #19 Stanley Park bus), this gem’s been hidden from us for far too long.


John and I sat down at a table with Heather, Sherman, Joyce, Daniel, Eddie, and Irashai’s hired gun marketing whiz, Danielle to enjoy the following feast from their dinner menu.


We began with specialty cocktails (that start around around $8.5) and had our choice of Yuzu Crush (sake, cointreau, rum, yuzu, melon), Sake Martini (sake, vodka, gin), Litchi Whisky Sour (rye, litchi juice, whisky sour mix, soda water), and the Mango Cosmo (mango juice, malibu, vodka).


The first course was the Asparagus Salad with ikura and egg sauce.


This was followed by Rib Eye Beef Tataki with garlic ponzu jelly and ponzu sauce.


I really enjoyed the Tai (Snapper) Sashimi — and as you can see their presentation is just lovely as well.


This was followed by Hamachi Sashimi with daikon salad and pommery mustard dressing.


The Yam Fries were awesome, deep fried in a super light tempura batter.


Fresh Spot Prawns were up next. “They were swimming just 2 hours ago,” said our server, Christine. She also took the heads once we were done, had them deep fried, and brought them back for us to sample. This dish was a real highlight for the group.


The Ice Wine Tuna that came after was delicious – you could really sense the sweet, supple taste of the ice wine in this dish.


The Pearl Chicken Karaage was made with tiny pebbles of rice cracker, which gave it a great crunch.


The Summer Roll (prawn tempura, masago, and cucumber, topped with tuna crunch avocado, sweet soy and spicy mayo) was served alongside the White Slope Roll (real crab and avocado topped with scallop and spicy sauce). The summer roll was also a huge hit with our group and I tell ya, there’s nothing like a California-style roll made with real crab.


Probably my favourite roll of the evening was the Alaska Crab Leg Roll (Alaska King Crab, mango, masago and lemon mayo, deep fried before serving). I’ve had mango in a roll before but this was so subtle that it didn’t overpower any of the other flavours with its sweetness. I’ve also become a huge fan of the lemon mayo.


We called this the “cheeseburger roll”, the Spicy Beef Volcano (beef, cream cheese and asparagus, sprinkled with cheese and baked, topped with spicy sauce) was indeed topped with melted cheese. It’s taking fusion to a whole other level and I must say, it tastes pretty darn good (though may be a bit too rich for some).


Following the rolls we sampled some Sable Fish with savory Yuan Sauce.


The final dinner menu item of the evening was the Aigamo Duck, which didn’t disappoint.


There were too dessert options including Macha Crème Brûlée as well as Mascarpone Tiramisu. I’m regretting the fact that I didn’t get any photos of the green tea crème brûlée once we cracked into it but it was gobbled up pretty fast.

Irashai Irashai

Irashai is located at 1368 West Pender and they’re open for lunch with bento box combo specials that range from about $8-$16. Given the quality of the food, the taste, the atmosphere, and the presentation, I think it’s a decent value for a nice sit-down meal — this ain’t your average one-roll sushi joint. They also have a few strategically-placed televisions that don’t distract too much unless you’re a hockey fan.


For more information you can follow them on Twitter @Irashai, join their Facebook group, or even add your delicious photos to their Flickr group. They also have a special event coming up near the end of the month so it will definitely be worth paying attention.


You can view the rest of my photos from the evening in my Irashai set on Flickr and Sherman’s got his review up already on his site.

14 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. ShermanFriday, May 15th, 2009 — 1:52pm PDT

    Hi Rebecca! It was nice to meet the infamous Miss604 last night. I agree that the food was first rate. I personally think it is well worth the price. Too bad some people think otherwise. I hope more people give it a try!

  2. KristinaFriday, May 15th, 2009 — 2:13pm PDT

    I have had nothing but great experiences when dining at Irashai. Fantastic customer service, tasty and fresh food, and a pleasant and stylish environment. What else could you ask for in a restaurant? Glad you were able to bring them some attention and showcase their place.

  3. TawcanFriday, May 15th, 2009 — 4:03pm PDT

    Wow all the dishes look so yummy. Will have to go there one day. 🙂

  4. KevinFriday, May 15th, 2009 — 4:07pm PDT

    Sherman – Now why is Miss604 infamous? I’m sure you meant to say famous, no?

  5. ShermanFriday, May 15th, 2009 — 4:50pm PDT

    I suppose famous… I just like using the word infamous… LOL.

  6. MarinaFriday, May 15th, 2009 — 4:51pm PDT

    I walk by the restaurant twice a day five times a week and have never been inside (mind you they’re usually closed in the morning. Looks delish – may have to pop in there for lunch one of these days.

  7. AC MoneySaturday, May 16th, 2009 — 3:39am PDT

    The food looks amazing.. and the pictures look delicious! :9

    And like the Three Amigos would say, Miss604 is so famous she’s INfamous.

  8. Judd RichardsonSaturday, May 16th, 2009 — 6:53pm PDT

    Hi Rebecca-I live right beside this restaurant and its so yummy! Great service and really nice setting-only complaint is only one white wine option by the glass 🙂

  9. CogitoErgoPostSaturday, May 16th, 2009 — 7:43pm PDT

    great food and pictures, i’ll have to bring family here; thanks heaps for sharing, rebecca; cheers, mel

  10. Juan CarlosSunday, May 17th, 2009 — 12:40pm PDT

    Really Nice Pictures.

    Even when I still have not read your post yet, you have really convinced me to try that restaurant with the photographs.

  11. RonaldThursday, May 21st, 2009 — 8:21pm PDT

    My aunt/uncle owns that place =)

  12. Irashai Grill Open House « 604 FoodtographyTuesday, June 2nd, 2009 — 1:16pm PDT

    […] couldn’t make the foodie lunch because of school, but you can read about it from Sherman, Miss604, Eat, Snap, Repeat, Vantasty and […]

  13. Everything is Connected » Blog Archive » Everyone’s going Irashai(-mase)Monday, June 8th, 2009 — 5:17pm PDT

    […] a picture of a creepy eel dish turned us off and we went to the other place where I’ve been inundated with reviews about: Irashai Grill in Coal Harbour. With some of the most recent and prominent […]

  14. New Years Eve Events in Vancouver » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittWednesday, December 30th, 2009 — 8:14am PST

    […] Irashai Grill in Coal Harbour is hosting set dinner specials for New Years Eve at $25 or $35. You can view the menus online [PDF]. Call (604) 688-8697 or email [email protected] for reservations. Read an early review I did for them here. […]

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