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Kuma Izakaya / Part 1: One of the Best Japanese Izakaya in the Heart of Yaletown

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Kuma Izakaya is one of the newest Japanese restaurants in the heart of Yaletown. It is located right across from Rodney's Oyster House, so it won't be too difficult to spot it. Chef Kim previously worked at the award-winning restaurnats like French Laundry and Miku, proving his speciality and expertise in various types of cuisines. I love his passion to serve the freshest iconic dishes while satisfying customers' needs and wants. I've visited about 5 times so far since their opening, and I've been genuinely impressed by his creativity and selection of daily specials. Kuma has become one of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver! This review includes food I tried during my multiple visits.


Assorted Spicy Sashimi / Consisted of seared hamachi, sockeye salmon, tako and tuna mixed with sweet, tangy Korean-style sauce (chojang) on a bed of fresh salad. It had a hint of wasabi to enhance the flavour. It was quite different from other sushi restaurants. Topped with beets, yam tempura bits, kaiware and garlic chips.
Hamachi, Scallop, Unagi, and Seared AAA Beef / I ordered some nigiri sushi as well. Although they all tasted really good, my favourite was hamachi. Very fresh and buttery, creamy and rich in flavours.
Fresh Oysters / Kuma's seasonal menu. I was told that fresh oysters are not available every day. I recall that the oysters were pretty cheap compared to other places, but still the quality was way above the average!
Kuma Assorted Sashimi / consisted of 5 kinds of sashimi (3 pcs each) including tako, hamachi, amaebi, tuna, and tai with masago. Skillfully cut and very fresh.
Hamachi Toro Sashimi / was amazingly fresh and very rich in flavour. It was buttery, creamy and just melting in your mouth! Also one of the daily special menus.
Ika Sashimi with Masago / Daily special menu. A slice of ika wrapped with masago, cucumbers, and shiso. It had a very unique flavour and texture because of ika and shiso. Shiso can be easily found in Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian cuisines, but not really famous in western cuisine. It has an unique flavour which is pungent and grassy containing strong flavours of spearmint, basil, anise and cinnamon. It was my friend's first time trying shiso, so he didn't find it very pleasant, but I was okay with it. But sill this won't be my favourite dish. 
Beef Sashimi / is not available everyday at Kuma. I had to reserve prior to a day I visited. Obviously, as you can tell from picture, it was amazingly fresh and well-presented with various garnishes. I ordered a half beef sashimi and a half yukke. Beef sashimi was served as thin slices of fresh beef with slices of pears. It came with sesame dressing as well. Yukke will be a better option if it's your first time trying the raw beef. Opposed to beef sashimi, yukke came with a quail egg yolk and house-made sweet sauce with a hint of sesame oils. 

Hamachi Carpaccio / One of their daily special menu on the day I visited. Lightly seared hamachi was rolled in fresh black pepper, and topped with avocado creme, garlic chips and cherry tomatoes. It was also served with fresh green salads with house dressing and yam tempura bits.

Food 4.5/5.0
Ambience 4.0/5.0
Service 5.0/5.0
Price $$

ADDRESS 1233 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC
PHONE Number 778 379 1177
Hours of Operation
Monday to Sunday 1130AM-230PM & 5PM-12AM

Kuma Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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As the name indicates, I'm Sophia who Eats - a lot, and possibly everything. I basically love to do anything involved with food: eating, cooking, and even watching food documentaries! I will regularly update the lists of Must-Visit-Eateries and Hidden Gems in Metro Vancouver, so stay tuned! Hope you guys discover new restaurants and cafes that will give you great dining experiences and become your favourite spots as well!