Diana Chan November 29, 2010 Four Beakers, Japanese, Robson Street/West End, Tapas

Toratstau is slowly becoming my favorite Izakaya restaurant. They are located near Robson and Denman. They have a good variety of choices to choose from. The downside about this place is that it’s quite small, so reservations are a must on busy days like Friday and Saturday.

In their menu, if you are indecisive, they have a set course for 2. It basically gives you a taste test of everything on the menu. I had this a few months ago. M and I basically fell in love with Toratasu after having the set course. It did cost us a total of $60…but for that amount of items, it was decently priced compared to the other Izakaya restaurants.  Today we didn’t order this, so sorry no pics.

M and the men has the bamboo sake ($9.50). It comes in a really cool bamboo container. Even the little cups are made of bamboo. The sake does come cold rather than the traditional hot sake. The guys said hot sake tastes better than cold ones. But we all try things for the experience, so now they can always tell people the story of when they had sake from a bamboo shoot.

FragileBoy and InsecureGirl ordered the Sashimi Platter($15.80). It’s really cool that they give you a little “show” to your meal. They bring over a blowtorch to sear the top of the makerel.

The Ebi Mayo  ($8.00) is THE BEST ebi mayo we have ever had! The battered prawns give the sense that these prawn are bigger than they really are. Its not a bad thing, but the batter does give it more body and more of the mayo sauce covers the shrimp. Each Ebi Mayo even comes with a fried wonton skin. For about $2 a piece, it does seem very pricy, but it is the best ebi mayo ever and I would pay for this every time!

I got the SukiYaki Hot Pot ($14.00ish). Apparently it serves 2, but I just ate it all myself. I know, it may seem piggish but there really wasn’t that much to eat. It had barley fed pork, tofu, enoki mushrooms, napa cabbage, and 2 organic eggs. I thought it would be different than Posh, but it tasted quite similar. But, without the “all you can eat” aspect to the dish.

Everything up to this point was fantastic! Dun Dun Dun. It took them about 45 minutes to get the Ishiyaki Risotto ($8.30). It really made us wonder why it was taking so long. Everyone else was maybe 80% done their meal, till their risotto finally arrived. Not really sure what the reasons were, but maybe it was a super busy night and we did order 5 of these.

Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable risotto. It was a bit different than what you would normally expect. This Risotto had seared scallops, mushrooms, Iwanori seaweed served in a hot stone bowl. Yes, in a hot stone bowl. Imagine korean bi bim bap but with risotto.

All in all it was a good experience at Toratasu. For some reason the service started decreasing after half way through our meal. It took us a long time to flag down a waitress for the bill. It took even more time trying to get them to bring the debit/credit machine over. In that whole time of flagging down a waitress,  another table wanted to leave but no waitresses in sight. Very puzzled by the odd service since last time we came here, it was great service.

Words of Wisdom:

  • Best Ebi Mayo in town!
  • Parking at back of restaurant, but is usually full
  • Get reservations on busy nights
  • Hot Pot is not worth it
  • Set course menu is good for dates

We rate Toratatsu:

Check out their website:

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About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.


  1. Victoria November 30, 2010 at 12:39 am

    I agree with you on the Ebi Mayo, but something else you HAVE to try next time (although it sounds strange), is their deep fried corn. It’s delicious! They also have a pretty decent wine list.

    • DesignGirl December 1, 2010 at 3:23 am

      Thanks for the suggestion! I will try that next time!

  2. jer December 2, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I’ve been to Toratatsu in the past and I do have to agree that they have possibly the best Ebi Mayo in the Vancouver. Not just in terms of taste but size as well. They’re humongous! The only thing that was annoying for me during my visit was the fact that the majority of the menu was sold out when it was 7:30PM on a Saturday. Don’t think they offered a set menu the last time I went so maybe I’ll check that out in the future.

    • DesignGirl December 2, 2010 at 12:42 am

      I think the set menu was a new thing that was introduced. They are pretty popular, so if you get a chance to try the set menu, do it!

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