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West End Japanese restaurant shuts down, 'Korean soul food' spot moving in soon

The restaurant already has a huge following on social media for its signature specialty dish
Jinmi, which has found a large following in Vancouver selling soy sauce marinated crab, is opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Vancouver's West End.

Izakaya Gon's quietly closed up its location on Denman Street recently, but the space isn't going to be empty long.

The Japanese share-plates restaurant is being replaced with a "Korean soul food" venture, as Jinmi plans to open up at 854 Denman St. on March 15.

The new restaurant will specialize in a very specific food: soy sauce-marinated raw crab, also known as gejang.

On Jinmi's website, the owners claim their restaurant venture is the first of its kind in North America.

However, the restaurant is not launching out of nowhere.

The Jinmi brand started in 2020 as a spin-off from a different Vancouver izakaya: Black Rice Izakaya in Hotel Blu.

Created by a chef in Black Rice Izakaya's kitchen, Jinmi has been selling a variety of marinated seafood products over the past four years, gaining thousands of fans on social media at the same time.

"These low-salt, soy sauce-marinated fresh female crabs are marinated in 23 different natural ingredients. The marinade enhances the delicate sweetness of the creamy crab and sweet crab roe inside," describes @relishwithreese on Instagram. 

Along with the crab, Jinmi's other specialty marinated seafood selections include salmon, shrimp, and octopus.

Izakaya Gon's opened in 2018, offering Japanese share plates and sushi dishes in a spot that has previously been home to other Asian restaurants like Yuzu and Touhenboku Ramen.

After five years, Izakaya Gon's ceased operations without any closing announcement.


A post shared by JINMI (@jinmibychefj)

With additional reporting by Lindsay Wiliam-Ross

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