Saturday, November 9, 2013

a japanese hotdog

As our world becomes more and more integrated culturally, we would at times find ourselves disjointed. On one side, we embrace the new, we adopt foreign cuisine and make it our own with our own little twist. But in other cases we become more extreme in an attempt to preserve our heritage.

The Japanese I find are superb at balancing the new and foreign with the old and traditional. Looking at food alone, on the traditional side they have their tea ceremony and the multi-course traditional dinner that is kaiseki-ryōri 懐石料理. But on the other hand, the Japanese have a knack for taking a foreign cuisine and putting their own twist on it -- this love of japanizing western food is called yōshoku 洋食 -- at which point it would proliferate to such popularity and familiarity that it become essentially Japanese.

Just to name a few mouthwatering examples: korokke コロッケ is a croquette-like, crumbed and deep-fried mashed potatoes that is popular at home as well as at food stands; naporitan ナポリタン is the japanese answer to spaghetti neapolitan served in many western-style restaurants; hamburg steak ハンバーグ, a variation of the salisbury minced meat steak; and kasutera カステラ, a highly popular sponge cake that is an adaptation of the portuguese pão de lo.

Now I don't know if a nori topped hotdog, with a name like japadog, would get to such popularity and familiarity. I'd venture, perhaps not in Japan. But in Vancouver, it certainly has come a long way into reaching that status.

Looking at the queue inside its bricks & mortar shop at Robson St would be enough to pique anyone's curiosity. But this is also the reason why I probably wouldn't come back again, unless if I happen to be in the area, outside of lunch time peak hours, and in the mood for splurging.

Kurobuta terimayo - $6.75
Aonori shaked fries
The kurobuta terimayo -- self-billed as "one of the must eat items in the world" -- was pleasant enough, the sausage is definitely juicy, the teriyaki & mayo combo sauce is a winning one, the shredded nori adds nothing. But essentially the makeover is not different enough to be truly outstanding. I do like the aonori shaked fries -- the seaweed flavour here is more pronounced.

In all honesty, I probably should instead order dogs with a bolder japanese flavour like the grated daikon topped oroshi; and the okonomi topped with the quintessentially japanese smokey bonito flakes.

Japadog on Urbanspoon  

530 Robson St
Open Monday-Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-8pm
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