One of the best parts of having a food Instagram (besides an excuse to eat all the time!) is meeting like minded individuals who you share interests with beyond food. I’m so lucky and thankful to have made so many friends off Instagram that I wouldn’t otherwise have crossed paths with.
On a scorching hot summer evening earlier this week, I visited Saku with Deanna, Mable, Jess, Sophia, and Regina. I was really excited to try out this new restaurant on Robson, because one of my favourite meals in Japan last year was at Katsukura.
Saku is a Japanese restaurant specializing in pork cutlet set meals. It is a small and modern space that is simply decorated with wood accents. The restaurant also has a small patio that seats about 10 people. The restaurant is quite small, so be prepared to wait! We were there at 5:30 pm and a steady line was already forming.
The menu is pretty simple, they offer four pork based sets – Rosu Katsu, Hire Katsu (more lean pork), Curry Rosu Set and Katsu Nabe. There is also an option to add a jumbo tempura prawn. All the sets come with unlimited rice, salad and tonjiru (apanese soup made with pork and vegetables, flavoured with miso.)
This was my choice because I’m a huge fan of Japanese curry, and combining that with a freshly fried pork sounded delicious. This didn’t disappoint! The pork was crisp and perfectly fried. There was no oily feeling at all and overall I really enjoyed this dish. Regina also ordered this and she had no complaints!
Tonjiru is one of my favourites as well and the version here was quite good. It was chock full of vegetables.
The cabbage was fresh and refilled often. The servers walk around with a large bowl of shredded cabbage quite frequently offering refills. The cabbage was the perfect vehicle for their delicious homemade dressings that were free flow at the table as well. There are two options – Japanese sesame dressing and Japanese ponzu. My personally preference was the sesame dressing! It was so delicious I wish they sold this for personal purchase!
Mable ordered this and she enjoyed it very much as well. Her only note was that the rice felt a bit mushy, but when she raised her concern with the waitress it was quickly rectified and a new bowl was brought over. She really enjoyed the prawn as well, and noted that it was a highlight for her.
Jess and Sophia ordered this set and they loved it! They felt that the pork was well fried and didn’t feel heavy.
Would I come back? Yes. Although it pales in comparison to Katsukura, Saku is the first of its kind to offer this type of set with unlimited sides in Vancouver. The have perfected the art of deep frying in my opinion and their sesame dressing is good enough to drink! Saku is the best for tonkotsu in Vancouver, so short of booking your flight to Tokyo, come check out some authentic Japanese eats on Robson’s West End!