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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

Movie stars, chefs and politi­cians vis­it­ing Van­cou­ver al­most al­ways drop by 1133 West Broad­way to en­joy the won­der­ful food and lively com­pany of sushi mae­stro Hidekazu Tojo (pic­tured) . Cre­ator of the Cal­i­for­nia roll (us­ing spank­ing fresh Dun­geness crab, not rub­bery old crab sticks), Ja­panese-born Tojo holds court be­hind the gleam­ing Omakase Bar of his epony­mous res­tau­rant, whistling up de­li­cious yuzu­tini cock­tails while com­mand­ing an un­flap­pable kitchen team. The mood is re­laxed; there’s none of the stuffi­ness or hushed rev­er­ence nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with a food in­sti­tu­tion but the chaps sit­ting at the counter next to us have flown in from Hawaii just for Tojo’s sushi. Ours is the best spot in a large, hand­somely-kit­ted-out res­tau­rant that also in­cludes pri­vate booths for media-shy celebs such as Har­ri­son Ford, Mick Jag­ger and Martha Stewart. Omakase is a tra­di­tion whereby chef se­lects your dishes based on the best in­gre­di­ents avail­able that day. So we dine on zuc­chini flow­ers stuffed with a del­i­cate white fish mousse; or­ganic toma­toes from chef’s gar­den; sashimi served in a hand-carved ice bowl, adorned with ivy leaves; rich sable fish and pine mush­rooms wrapped in pa­per; and a large, meaty scal­lop atop a plump shi­itake mush­room. (A la carte also avail­able.) More: to­jos.com; british­columbia.travel.

CHRIS­TINE McCABE

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