Vancouver has long been considered a great city for Japanese fare, but fortunately for us in recent years our options have been ever-expanding, letting diners explore the many singular culinary paths the cuisine is known for.
There has been an explosion of hyper-focused Japanese spots of late, showcasing specialities like curry, katsu (deep-fried cutlet), and tempura, alongside more homestyle eateries, and places offering those photo-worthy Japanese sandos. Now Vancouver is about to be home to an exciting new fusion venture that aligns the foods and flavours of Japan and Mexico.
Called Marukatsu, the endeavour is from Aburi Restaurants (Miku, Minami, Gyoza Bar), and focuses on katsu-based dished made with Mexican ingredients.
The limited-time pop-up will take place inside downtown Vancouver's Gyoza Bar restaurant, and was created by Aburi's founder and CEO along with the talents of head chef Woojin Kim.
Marukatsu's menu is centred on the teishoku, or set menu, experience. The central component is the katsu, which here is made with high-quality proteins like pork tenderloin or fresh seafood, in a special nano-panko breading, deep fried to a glorious golden crisp on the inside, with a juicy interior. On the side are miso soup, endless cabbage and steamed rice.
To really delve into the fusion aspect of the pop-up, get down into the "entrée" section of the Marukatsu menu, which features a burrito and bowl that pairs katsu with pops of flavour from things like pico de gallo and sour cream, along with some other globally-influenced dressings, sauces, and components - French dressing, grana padano cheese, for example.
Get a pork or chicken katsu burger loaded on a brioche bun, or go for the streamlined sandwich option on white deli-style bread. A curry dish and a salad round out the menu, along with Gyoza Bar dishes like ramen, Ingen Fry (tempura green beans), and, of course, gyoza.
To check out Marukatsu at Gyoza Bar you can dine-in with reservations (recommended) or by walk-in. Take-out and delivery via UberEats are available.
Gyoza Bar is located at 622 West Pender Street in Vancouver