After Greedy Pig, we decided to look around for more food. We came across Shirakawa, which is tucked away behind some other boutiques. It’s definitely easy to walk past and not even notice that there is a walkway where more shops are located. It’s an Itoh Dining company, and one of the first in Vancouver. Itoh Dining is a high end Japanese restaurant company in Japan. Shirakawa is actually famous for their high quality beef, especially their Kuroge Wagyu beef. However, we came for their happy hour menu, which was offered from 5:30-6:30pm.
Mint Sake Lemonade
I went for their featured drink, which was also discounted for happy hour. It was the Mint Sake Lemonade, which I found very refreshing. It definitely was strong in the minty flavour.
Kome Dry, Honjozo, Yoshi no Gawa, Niigata Sake
We also decided to share the Niigata Sake. It was described to have notes of mild tropical fruit, and distinctively dry lending to an ultra-clean finish. I could definitely feel that dry feeling, which I wasn’t too fond of. Very strong for sure.
All their happy hour dishes are $5, which is quite a good deal. We decided to just order every dish on their happy hour menu, since there weren’t that many. First up, we had the Kakuni, which was slow cooked pork belly, with a teppan finish. It had a sweet soy reduction and on the side of the plate, there was some spicy mustard. This was probably one of my favourite dishes. The pork belly had a good amount of fat and meat, and the teppan finish made it have sort of a smoky flavour. Along with the spicy mustard, it was very appetizing!
Next was the Buta Katsu, which I thought was just average. It’s essentially panko-breaded pork cutlet. It is then topped with harvati cheese and black miso. I found that the sauce wasn’t very effective and didn’t bring too much flavour to the dish.
Next were the Teba, which our server highly recommended. It’s fried ginger soy marinated chicken wings, and they were definitely very yummy! I liked their batter as it was just the right amount and it didn’t feel oily.
The Gastown Gyoza was also a highly recommended dish by our server. The gyozas were filled with pork and mixed vegetables. It came with a jalapeno miso sauce which was very good. Definitely had a kick in the sauce.
The last item on their happy hour menu was the Spicy Tofu. It was deep fried tofu with vegetable garnish and a spicy dashi broth. Contrary to what the name says, and that spicy dashi broth, it really wasn’t spicy at all. We ended up dipping the tofu in the jalapeno miso sauce that came with the gyozas. The tofu were deep fried to a nice golden brown though.
Since we were still sort of hungry, we ordered some items off their regular dinner menu. First, we got the Amakaki, which are house marinated oysters on a bed of ume dressed onions. The oysters were plump and fresh. The marinade was also very flavourful and refreshing with the oysters.
Kani Cream Croquette
We also ordered the Kani Cream Croquettes, which are cream croquettes filled with crab. The dish normally comes with only three croquettes, but we paid extra to add an additional. They remind me of risotto balls but filled with crab. Not bad!
Lastly, we got the Kimpira Udon, which was probably my least favourite of the night. It was cold udon noodles topped with spicy burdock, renkon, pork bits and drizzled with a house rayu sauce. I didn’t find any of the dish spicy, and the minced pork was a huge fail since they would just fall through. By the end of the dish, there was a bunch of minced pork left on the plate as none of us could grab the noodles with the pork. They need some sort of a thicker sauce to go with it if they want the diners to eat the pork together with the noodles.
Overall, our experience at Shirakawa based mostly on their happy hour menu was very good. I find that their regular menu is quite pricey, so going for happy hour is definitely a good deal. Plus, the service was very attentive and friendly.