Refinery – Japan vs Granville Island

Refinery Cocktail Kitchen Series

Food Persuasion Level : [rating=4]
Value: [rating=4]
Service : [rating=4]
Ambiance: [rating=5]
Price: $$
Cuisine: Japanese
Location: Granville, Vancouver

Refinery Cocktail Kitchen Series, a bartending competition inspired by different cultures paired with scrumptious food. This month competition focuses on Japan vs Granville Island. We were thrilled Chef Ben’s food menu was “sushi-free“, we all been to those Japanese themed dinner parties where the selection was limited to two, california and spicy tuna rolls.

The sake and soju was supplied by Masa Shiroki the owner of a local artisan sake shop on Granville Island, Artisan Sake Maker.  Mixologist for the night was Dani Taratin, bar manager from The Keefer.

1st course…

Sunomono saladcompressed cucumber noodles, prawn, pickled Ginger, and citrus, sweetened with lychee and mirin and preserved lemon. It was refreshing and light, good for cleansing the palate and preparing your taste buds for the heavier 2nd course.

Sunomono salad

Paired with…

Sake, gin dream concoction within a carved lime with apple and lime bitters.  Thankfully, we had master sake maker, Masa Shiroki sitting at our table to explain the layers of flavor within the sake drink. This creative sipper was made with Jew Mai Sake, which is premium sake. The drink had a cucumber undertone which paired well with the cucumber noodles.  It was clean, refreshing and simple, as a standalone drink this was by far our favorite of the night.

Lime jew mai sake

2nd course…

Okonomiyake cabbage pancake with bonito Japanese BBQ sauce- bonetta flakes (dried fish).  I’ve been to many Japanese restaurants and I have yet to find one that tastes so good. The combination of Japanese mayo and BBQ sauce, the dashi soup made it so flavorful. Usually this dish tends to be very doughy and dense and chewy, this on the other hand was light.

Okonomiyake cabbage pancake

Paired with…

Blood orange Soju with and passion fruit grapefruit house made bitters and a dash of cinnamon for some for some earthiness and spice.

Blood orange Soju

3rd course…

Kazu  and miso marinated sable fish with mushroom and vegetables. This was dish had quite a bit of bite and,  this is coming from a person who slathers on wasabi like butter. The sweetness of the marinated sable fish was nice and sweet.


Kazu  and miso marinated sable fish

Paired with…

Kasu sake, with yin gi mushroom, black tea and a squeeze of lime for its tartness, rimmed with salt and sugar other Japanese earthy herbs. Man! This drink was complex, the sipper alone is a bit confusing. You know when you are expecting chocolate to taste sweet instead it tastes like salty shitake mushrooms mixed with black tea, your taste buds are screaming, “what the hell?” Well if you sipped on this before a bite of the dish yea.  Now, paired with the dish it was amazing! The black tea and the yin gi mushrooms accentuated all the different layers of flavors in the dish and makes it linger a little while longer

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3 thoughts on “Refinery – Japan vs Granville Island

  1. Sake inside carved lime! Genius and pretty! Wish I had the talent to drink wine or any kind of alcohol for that matter…I am the lamest for not learning about “alcohol bliss” when i was younger! I had the most boring mentors! :))

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