Bold flavours, loud colours and adventurous dishes are what makes Torafuku stand out amongst the many Vancouver restaurants. What started with the Le Tigre food truck has evolved into this beautiful little space on Main Street. It’s yet another great example of how our unique  food truck culture plays part in creating a diverse restaurant scene in Vancouver.

Torafuku Asian Restaurant - Out in Vancouver Foodblog

 

Torafuku means “Lucky Tiger” in Japanese and whilst the cuisine is clearly inspired by traditional southeast-asian flavours, the style of dining reminded me a lot of Spain. Dishes are designed to share and come out as and when they’re ready, just like Spanish Tapas.

Even though the menu focuses on pan asian food, there is the occasional glimpse of west coast fare. I am talking handmade Parpadelle pasta and scallops with squash ravioli. Bringing a hint of west coast in is a nice touch of Chef Clement Chan, a born and raised Vancouverite who trained at the Vancouver Community College. Before starting his own food truck, he worked at places like Chambar and The Blue Water Cafe.

The day of my visit was a grey and rainy one, so of course the Lucky Tiger Ramen caught my eye straight away. Nothing warms you up better than a hot bowl of Ramen! I also ordered the Calamari 2.0 and the Dr. Octopus vs. Mr. Tuna. I like the creativity and thought the Torafuku-Team has put into the names, it ads a lot of personality. Whilst you read through the menu, you can imagine the team giggling away when they came up with all these names.

Torafuku Asian Restaurant - Out in Vancouver Foodblog

My favourite dish of the night was the Lucky Tiger Ramen for sure. And not just because it was the perfect comfort food on a rainy day but because the whole dish just worked. The broth wasn’t just a watery broth as you get at most Ramen places but creamy with a lot of body and just the right amount of heat. I added an egg to mine, which was perfectly soft. I still have this picture of the yellow yolk leaking into the broth, mixing with the intense flavours of the salty charred Pork Belly in my head. For my taste, this is the perfect Ramen and with $11 ($12 if you add an egg) it’s the best value for money you can get at Torafuku.

I could have ended the night right there but I had two more dishes coming. First, the Calamari. Well it’s not actually calamari but squid, deep fried and served with brussels sprouts, mushrooms, compressed apples and most importantly angry tiger sauce! The presentation was very appealing and I did enjoy the dish overall. Whilst the apple added a refreshing feel to the dish, the roasted brussels sprouts died their part as the savoury component.  Even though I am not a huge brussels sprouts fan, I quite liked this roasted version. My only issue with the dish was the batter, it was a tad to heavy and therefore overpowered the other flavours.

Torafuku Asian Restaurant - Out in Vancouver Foodblog

Dr. Octopus vs. Mr. Tuna is the code name for a Chirashi style rice bowl. It features a whole range of ingredients, including negitoro, salmon sashimi, prawn tempura, chopped scallops, pickled celery and sansho mayo. Out of all the dishes I tried that evening, this one was my least favourite, mainly due to the overall flavour being a little bland. I enjoyed the individual components but the dish didn’t come together as a whole for me. The sansho mayo was absolutely delicious but it wasn’t enough to spice up a lot of ingredients that don’t taste of much on it’s own. I couldn’t shook the feeling that there was something missing. With $18 for this dish, I would not order it again, however everything else I tasted that night was stunning!

Torafuku Asian Restaurant - Out in Vancouver Foodblog

Apart from the food being top notch, I also enjoyed the attention to detail throughout the restaurant. From the dinnerware, a beautiful selection of pottery (I especially fell in love with the Ramen Bowl), to the individual colourful menus, you can see how much love and attention went into the creation of this space. The decor is simple and minimalistic in this typical cool and fashionable main-street-kind-of-way, forcing you to focus purely on the taste of the food.

 

All in all I very much enjoyed the dining experience at Torafuku and will definitely be back. I loved the thoughtfulness and personality of the place.The dishes were packed with interesting flavours and beautifully presented. In my opinion some of the dishes are overpriced, considering the size and that they’re meant to share. However you can get great value for money with the Ramen for example. The portion size is big enough to fill you up, even leave room for some dessert!

Torafuku

958 Main St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2W1

Phone Number: +1 778-903-2006

Cuisine Type: Japanese, Asian, Tapas

Website | View Menu | Make A Reservation

SUMMARY
Bold flavours, loud colours and adventurous dishes are what makes Torafuku stand out amongst the many Vancouver restaurants. Asian flavours paired with the Spanish way of eating makes for a relaxed night with delicious food. Whilst some dishes can be interpreted as overpriced for their size, you can get great value for money if ordering the right dishes.
Atmosphere80%
Taste80%
Value for Money65%
Service75%
Assortment75%
Food Presentation85%
Positives
  • Fantastically names dishes - my favourite: "Don't be so shellfish"
  • Very appealing food presentation
  • Nice spot for a date night - great lighting!
Negatives
  • Slightly overpriced for the size of the dishes
77%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0%

Reviewed on: January 20, 2017

About The Author

Hannah Breucker
Co-Founder and Editor

Hey, I'm Hannah Breucker from Munich, Germany but made Vancouver my new home and this food blog my new project! I love food and so I'm always on the hunt for new restaurants in Vancouver. But I also enjoy baking and cooking for my better half or friends. I am constantly trying out new recipes or improving old recipes, so if you love food as much as I do, come and join me on my food adventures!