Japanese food has been all the rage here in Vancouver and a relatively new addition to the community is Shishinori, a small cafe that serves modernized Japanese food with a bit of a healthy twist. Located not too far from Boradway City Hall Skytrain station, this little eatery boasts of modern, simple, and home-y feeling decor and atmosphere. It's to no surprise that many people call Shishinori their usual spot.
curried chicken bowl + ginger peach tea + green tea jello
($9.5 + $2.5)
Along with their lunch menu items, you could add $2.50 to add in a drink and soup/dessert... so why not. The curry in this dish is like any typical Japanese curry, so expect a thicker and sweeter curry than usual. For me, the curry flavour wasn't rich enough and I found the chicken to be a bit too dry for my liking. The veggies were nice and fresh though, although it felt a bit weird for me not having rice with curry. I loved the softboiled egg though (but as many of you might know, I have a soft spot for softboiled eggs..pun not intended). The ginger peach tea was very light like the jello so all in all, this set was pretty light and not very filling.
unagi kabayaki + passionfruit & mango tea + enoki mushroom miso soup
($12 + $2.5)
Unagi is one of my favourite things to order so it's to no surprise I completely jumped on this one when I saw it listed on the menu. The unagi was pretty well done, tender and chewy with a nice balance of signature sweet soy sauce. Once again, I loved the egg, enjoyed the veggies but wished there was (once again) more rice to go with it. I guess I'm really the rice lover eh. The miso soup was ordinary along with the tea so in the end, this set is an okay.
chicken chasu bowl + iced acai berry tea + enoki mushroom miso soup
($9.5 + $2.5)
The chicken chasu bowl is like an unsauced and (in my opinion) less dry version of the curied chicken bowl. Despite not having a heavy lather of sauce on top, I found this chicken to be much juicier and flavourful than the curried one. I liked the amount of rice in this one but I would've preferred it to be less dry than it was. The greens, soup, and tea is consistent with the previous sets but overall I liked the simple but well done flavours in this one.
(almost) matcha parfait
I wanted to order the matcha parfait but of course my luck would make sure Shishinori ran out of matcha ice cream that day... so I settled for vanilla instead. There's quite a lot packed in this cup: cereal, vanilla ice cream, green tea jello, pocky sticks, mochi, spongecake, cookies, chocolate drizzle..and some other stuff that gets hidden in the ice cream. It's not bad but definitely very filling. I would compare it to Chicco's parfaits (on Robson) but witha few more ingredients mixed inside.
*Side note: Some people have asked me if I preferred this over the parfaits at Mimibuloveme and my vote definitely goes to the latter*
F I N A L T H O U G H T S
I can see why so many are interested in Shishinori: there's an interesting array of modern Japanese dishes, photogenic food presentation, a welcoming and quite comfortable atmosphere. Unlike traditional Japanese restaurants, Shishinori evidently serves a "healthier" style of meal which goes hand in hand with a lot of health addicts around the city. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but I prefer the traditional Japanese set lunches (that come with lots of rice and carbs) that actually fill me up. But that's just me! I'd still come here if I wanted a nice little spot to catch up with friends during a casual "meal".
R E V I E W.
+ food quality: 7/10
+ service: N/A
+ price/affordability: 7.5/10
+ atmosphere: 10/10
+ overall: 8/10