Omakase, the Japanese equivalent of a chef’s tasting menu is a surprising and delicious way to enjoy a myriad of Japanese-inspired foods. This mystery dining excursion, which includes a parade of dishes, allows diners to sit back (typically at the bar) while the chef creates dishes in full view.
Featuring sampling selections of sashimi, sushi, and hot plates, here are the best omakase restaurants in Vancouver.
Taking its name from the Hawaiian word for delicious ‘ONO Raw Bar offers an extensive selection of fresh fish flown in daily from the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. In addition to à la carte options like sushi rolls, nigiri, carpaccio, and skewers, omakase is also available. Served at the bar only, omakase is priced at $59 and $95. Patrons who reserve ahead of time and park themselves at the counter can expect a meal consisting of hot and cold dishes selected by Executive Chef Takuya Motohashi.
Address: 221 Carrall Street, Vancouver
UPDATE 08/16/16: ONO Raw Bar has closed down
Alongside à la carte plates, this revered Japanese restaurant offers an omakase chef’s tasting menu. Sit back and allow the talented chefs, including Tojo himself, to draw upon the best and freshest ingredients as they prepare a special dinner featuring both cold and hot dishes. Here the chefs ask diners about their likes and dislikes and prepare customized tasting menus accordingly, which include salads, rolls, fish, and more. Omakase can be enjoyed per person for $150.
Address: 1133 West Broadway, Vancouver
Since opening in August last year, this compact Fraserhood restaurant has gained quite the reputation for its playfully unique eats. Owned and operated by Chef Masayoshi Baba (previously at Tojo’s), the restaurant offers a Nigiri Sushi Omakase (at the sushi counter only) and Original Creation Omakase (three day advanced reservation only). While the mystery meal is constantly being reinvented, diners can expect to see items like skewers (of avocado, tuna, and mango), torched gindara, and red rockfish nigiri.
Address: 4376 Fraser Street, Vancouver
Exploring fusion flavours and Aburi cuisine beyond Minami’s signature items, Minami’s chefs masterfully whip up an assortment of items (offerings change frequently per the chef’s choice) for patrons looking for a unique dining experience. This wildly popular Yaletown eatery asks those interested in omakase to reserve ahead of time and allow two hours to enjoy the spoils served up.
Address: 1118 Mainland Street, Vancouver
The RawBar at the Lobby Lounge
Make a beeline for one of the city’s best waterfront hotels and settle in for a drink and some top-notch seafood at Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Lobby Lounge and RawBar. Open from lunch until late The RawBar features signature oishii items, as well as omakase. Diners can expect a progression of well thought out dishes with unique presentation, daily features, and Ocean Wise certified fish.
Address: Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Place, Vancouver
Indulge on authentic Japanese-style omakase at Maumi’s sushi bar, while taking in the full view of the chef crafting each piece of nigiri before they serve it to you. The muli-course menu changes nightly and features a sampling of selections and fresh fish that has been delivered that very day. Look out for the kanpachi (yellowtail) and uni (sea urchin), these items are must-tries!
Address: 1226 Bute Street, Vancouver