Vancouver is known for its bustling sushi scene, with more than 500 sushi joints and access to some of the freshest seafood in the country.
With experienced chefs entering the competition and constantly raising the bar, even dedicated foodies can find something new and exciting to try.
One of our recent discoveries that have really impressed us is Hoshi Japanese Cuisine in Yaletown – a hidden gem perfect for anyone looking for an authentic and lavish Japanese Kaiseki experience.
Who is Hoshi?
Hoshi Japanese Cuisine is a hidden gem that first opened in 2020. It is tucked away at the edge of Yaletown, offering breathtaking waterfront views of the boats zooming around and Granville Island.
A Master Chef At Work
Hoshi’s head chef, Satoshi Sean, has over 30 years of experience working at various restaurants across Japan and North America.
He began his career in the 1980s at the Osaka New Otani Hotel’s Restaurant Sakura. Sean then moved to Restaurant Shiromi where he worked as a chef for five years and under master chef Tamura Hideo, who was Imperial Chef for Emperor Akihito in the 1970s and now owns Michelin-starred restaurant Hideo Tamura Kaiseki Cuisine in Kyoto.
Serving Traditional Kansai-Style Kaiseki
At Hoshi they serve traditional, Kansai-style kaiseki, which emphasizes seasonal ingredients, balance of flavors and textures in each dish, and aesthetic presentation.
Often times it includes items such as steamed vegetables, grilled fish, soup, sashimi and rice dishes that are prepared using traditional Japanese methods. To ensure all dishes maintain their true authenticity and flavour, Hoshi sources its high-quality ingredients from Japan exclusively and serve them freshly cooked every day.
The 10-Course Matsu Kaiseki Set
The meal begins off impressively right from the get-go as you receive your first 2 starter and appetizer courses together on a beautifully presented tray.
The tray is comprised of Buffin uni served in a martini glass; seasnail with a white-wine marinated salmon wrapped in raddish skin; and a dish of Japan’s sweetest potato called Annan.
All three items represent 3 different tastes, sweet, sour, and umami. It was recommended to end off with the Annan. You bet this was a great way to start things off!
This is followed by suimono course, which is a bowl of the clearest dashi broth we’ve ever seen and a sizeable half-shell clam cooked to perfection.
Next is the sashimi and oshinogi. If you’ve never been served a bowl made out of ice, then this will be your first. Nested inside the bowl is a selection of sashimi including local Lobster, Blufin Akami and Shiromi from Japan. The ice bowl was a pleasing aesthetic as well as to keep the sashimi nice and cold.
On a separate plate are 2 fancy nigiri: one adorned with chutoro, uni and caviar on top and another that is dependent on the fresh catch of the day. Heavenly bites.
Moving on to now heavier items: sliced Miyazaki A5 Wagyu with housemade whiskey sauce and a grilled cod cooked using the special Yuan Yaki method provide plenty of flavoursome variety.
Before enjoying our dessert, the staff at Hoshi Japanese Cuisine served us a lavish table-side lobster congee. As we watched, a portable stovetop was set up and the congee was cooked right in front of us.
The aroma and warmth of the congee created a comforting atmosphere, making it an unforgettable experience. The flavourful congee was nothing short of delicious!
To finish our amazing kaiseki experience, Hoshi Japanese Cuisine had a delightful seasonal dessert for us. We weren’t expecting anything lavish, but what we got was far beyond our expectations – a generous slice of crown melon! Juicy and sweet, it was the perfect way to end an unforgettable evening. Nothing could have topped this off better!
Kaiseki and omakase meals tend to be associated with special occasions due to their price point, but the quality, balance of items, and presentation of Hoshi Japanese Cuisine’s kaiseki would impress even the most discerning diners.
It’s definitely a hidden gem that should be on your list when you’re looking to make an impression or celebrate something special. What makes this experience even better is that the menu changes seasonally – you never know what surprises are in store!
If you want to enjoy Hoshi’s Kaiseki, don’t forget to reserve your table in advance as they require 3 days to prepare each item for an unforgettable meal.
PS. they also have free parking available so take advantage of that!
Address: Unit 3-1010 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, B.C V6E 1T7