Local Restaurant Feature — Raisu Authentic Japanese Cuisine

Raisu Restaurant Interior

Mama Izumi and I went on a Foodie Adventure recently and had the pleasure of dining at Raisu Restaurant in the heart of Kitsilano, where all of our foodie desires were satiated with their authentic Japanese cuisine.

I have been eating sushi since I was I was a little girl and they have the freshest, most delicious sashimi I’ve ever had. We shared the Raisu Lunch Meal Special.

You can choose 2 out of these 4 items:

Chef’s choice of sashimi (3 kinds), deep fried dishes (2 kinds), today’s meat dish, and today’s grilled fish.

Their lunch special also includes rice, miso soup, small dish, homemade pickles and salad.

We also feasted on their Bluefin Tuna Deluxe Seafood Bowl. And although we were stuffed full of yuminess we ordered their Yuzu Parfiat and Souffle Cheesecake for dessert.

Mama and I highly recommend Raisu to fans of sushi, sashimi, and Japanese food!

Raisu Restaurant BLUEFIN TUNA DELUXE SEAFOOD BOWL
The Bluefin Tuna Deluxe Seafood Bowl is just as yummy as it looks!
Raisu's Desserts
Yuzu Parfait & Souffle Cheesecake

I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about the people behind Raisu. I had the opportunity to interview their Assistant Manager, Yumi Takeshita.

Exclusive Interview with Raisu’s Assistant Manager

M: When did Raisu first open for business? Who is the founder?

Y: Raisu opened on July 2, 2016 as a sister restaurant to Kingyo Izukaya, Suika Snackbar, and Rajio Public House. All 4 restaurants are under the Tamaru Shoten Marketing Corp umbrella.

Minoru Tamaru began Kingyo about 10 years ago because he wanted to introduce people in Vancouver to Izakaya culture and provide authentic Japanese meals.

Raisu Restaurant Japanese Cuisine
Raisu is located at 2340 W 4th in Kitsilano

Inspiration for Opening Raisu and Providing Authentic Japanese Cuisine

M: What was Minoru’s inspiration for Raisu?  Is he the sole owner or does he have business partners?

Y: Yes, he is doing this business by himself. Raisu’s concept is 80’s Japanese culture and Teishoku (balanced meal set).

Raisu Lunch Meal Special
Raisu Lunch Meal Special

M: Yumi, where are you originally from? If you moved to Vancouver, why did you move here?

Y: I am from Japan and I hoped to live abroad when I there. I had heard Vancouver is the best city to live and I was interested what the Japanese culture was like here too.

M: What did you do prior to working at Raisu?

Y: I worked for 8 years at Coca-Cola bottlers in Fukuoka prefecture, in Japan. I was sales person, sales office administrator and HR. When I came here in Vancouver, I worked at JAPADOG as a manager, and went to college, worked as an accountant at an agency for Japanese students who want to study in Canada.

Then now I am working at Raisu. I have been working here 3 years and I am assistant manager fortunately since April. All my job experiences are now with food.

M: If you were in a different industry, did you enjoy your former career?

Y: Yes, absolutely. I enjoyed working every occasion. There are a lot of good things to know and learn. If it does not relate between each industry, I can find relations and there is no waste time that I have experienced.

Is University Important for Future Business Owners?

M: Did you go to university?  If so, what did you study?  Which university did you attend?  Would you advise others to pursue a degree before opening their own business?

Y: Yes, I graduated Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan, and I earned a Bachelor of Law Degree.

I might recommend to pursue, but if they have clear future vision, that is no need to. However it is very worth time to pursue something and make friends before doing business. I think it is very important at that term.

M: Do you have any interest to own your own business?

Y: Yes I do, but I need to learn about business more, so I start working at Raisu.

Yumi’s Philosophy

M: Do you have a philosophy in life or famous quote you would like to share with everyone?

Y: Live everyday happily, that makes your future happy!

This is my philosophy to live but I am not sure there is similar quote in English.

MILESTONES

Raisu just celebrated it’s 5 Year Anniversary July 2nd 2021.

Go in to congratulate them in person at 2340 West 4th Street or learn more about Raisu visit their website. You also have the option to order online and follow them on Instagram.

Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures — Sula Indian Restaurant Commercial Dr

Painting of Buddha

Mama and I decided to go to Sula Indian Restaurant on Commercial Drive for the fourth installment of Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures. “The Drive” as it’s affectionately called by many locals, is in Vancouver’s iconic Little Italy and is chalked full of restaurants of all ethnicities, grocery stores, clothing shops and boutiques.

It was my first time but Mama had been before with one of her foodie friends. As soon as we stepped inside the dark, exotic entrance, we were greeted warmly by Sujata. She was also our server and after a few minutes of seating us with our menus, she asked us if we had any questions. No, we were ready to order. Mama Izumi usually leaves it up to me to choose our entrees.

Mayumi and Mama Izumis Foodie Adventures Sula Indian Restaurant
Koi fish inside Sula Indian Restaurant on Commercial Dr

I chose their Butter Chicken and Fish Malabari which is a traditional yellow curry with roasted coconut, black mustard & tamarind that is dairy and gluten free, and ordered Basmati rice and Naan bread to accompany the curries in medium spiciness.

The curries were piping hot and stayed so because they were served in stainless steel bowls that had tea light candles under them. Both dishes were delicious loaded with umami and we, foodies were in bliss. And to top it off, the generous portions allowed us to bring leftovers home.

Mayumi and Mama Izumis Foodie Adventures Sula Indian Restaurant
Fish Malaburi and Butter Chicken at Sula Indian Restaurant on Commercial Dr

We will definitely be back and recommend this restaurant to fans of Indian cuisine. The intriguing ambiance, delectable curries, and great customer service, Sula has it all!

To have a look at Sula’s other yummy noms on their menu, visit their website and follow them on their Instagram.

Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures — White Spot Restaurants

Mama Izumi

If you have lived in our beautiful city for any amount of time, you will come to learn about Vancouver’s local favourite and long-time provider of our dine-out food staples, White Spot restaurants. I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC and ever since I was a little girl, I have loved and nommed on their yummy. comfort food.

I started with their Pirate Paks, progressed to the Legendary Burger, OMG … Triple-O heaven … and as their menu evolved so did my foodie palette. I have recently revisited my longtime beloved dish, Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese, a hint of curry served with Basmati rice.

My foodie cohort and I decided for our third installment of Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures that we would go to our preferred location at Pemberton Plaza in North Vancouver. We love it here because it’s comfy, cozy, and especially because of the wonderful team of servers they have on board: Morgan, Shauna, Grace, Katiee, and Gemma to name a few.

White Spot Restaurants
Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures at White Spot Restaurants – Fish & Chips and BC Salmon Burger

Smiling faces, warm, sincere attention to their customers & their needs, and they exhibit a real joy while they work to serve us. These are some of the reasons Mama and I love the girls at this particular White Spot.

We also love to support and promote local businesses. And we hold the restaurant that was founded by Nat Bailey dear to our hearts. He started the first drive-in restaurant and the accompanying car-hop tray.on 70th and Granville in 1928 — the first of its kind in Canada.

To learn more about White Spot visit their website and follow them on their Instagram. Pemberton Plaza, Mama & my favourite location is at #107 – 1226 Marine Dr, in North Vancouver.

Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures — Famoso Commercial Dr

Famoso's Prawn & Pesto Pizza and Ragu Pasta

I’m very excited to share with you all the second installment of Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures. Today we went to Famoso Pizzeria & Bar in Little Italy’s Commercial Drive.

It was the first time for both of us and it was a wonderful dining experience! We were the first customers there and were greeted by Daytime Manager, James.

We started our lunch off with Caesars. Not only were they TASTY but they were also on special for only $5 AND just happen to be our favourite cocktail! Lucky us!

Caesars
Famosos’s Tasty Caesars – $5 drink special EVERY Saturday & Sunday

Because we were first timers to the pizzeria, James asked if we would like to hear his recommendations, so I explained that we would like to order a pasta and a pizza pie and share them.

He recommended a few different pastas they have such as their Fettucine Alfredo, a Linguini Rose with Prawns, and Rigatoni Ragu made with their beef & pork meatballs. We decided on their Ragu and for pizza we ordered the Prawn Pesto … OMG both were delish BUT their pie was like an explosion of flavour in my mouth with different notes and layers of umami (Japanese for savouriness)! Prawns, pesto, arugula, and sun-dried tomatoes … YUM!

James asked us if we would like dessert. I said you have dessert?! We were both full but I said that we take a look. Although I had scanned their QR Code to order from their online menu earlier, I forgot that I needed to look on my iPhone.

So he explained that they had Tiramisu, Blood Orange Cheesecake, Nutella Pizza and Gelato. I was a little conflicted because where else can you get a cheescake with blood orange?! We wanted to order their Tiramisu and almost did but decided not to because we were stuffed.

Tiramisu
Famoso’s Tiramisu – my favourite cake

To our delight, James brought us a slice of their Tiramisu in a take-out container on the house! And he added, so we don’t have to worry about deciding… How sweet!

Mama Izumi & I appreciated James’ intuitive customer service, enjoyed the umami of their food, their ambience (they played music from greats Bob Marley & Rolling Stones), comfortable booths, and the pizza of course!

If you would like to taste their savoury pizzas and pastas for yourself have a look at Famoso‘s website, visit them at 1380 Commerical Drive, and you can also follow them on their Instagram.

Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures — Fets Whisky Kitchen

Fets Whisky Kitchen

Welcome to my new series, Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures! Today marks my first installment and I’m very excited to write about Fets Whiskey Kitchen. It was my second and Mama’s first time at the yummy eatery and bar.

Located in East Vancouver’s Little Italy on ‘the Drive’, Fets is nestled beside Havana and across the street from Grandview Park.

Mama and I ordered their Country Fried Steak and the Cooper’s Breakfast. Fets’ Country Fried Steak is crispy on the outside and the organic meat is moist and tender on the inside — the best I’ve had. It is accompanied by Maker’s Mark Bourbon white gravy, rosemary biscuit & bread, sunny side up egg, hashbrowns (with sauteed onions), and a dash of greens (with pickled onions). Delish!

Fets' Country Fried Steak and Cooper's Breakfast
Fets’ Country Fried Steak and Cooper’s Breakfast

The Cooper’s Breakfast is so tasty that my mouth is watering reliving my memories of it. It is comprised of braised local pork, black beans, sunny egg, and cornbread. All the flavours in both dishes enhance rather than compete with each other. It is gourmet comfort food and my gourmand compliments go to the chef.

Not only am I a foodie, but also a coffee connoisseur. Fets did not disappoint. They serve Western Canadian, Canterbury coffee that is filled with multi levels of roasted flavour notes.

Canterbury coffee at Fets Whisky Kitchen
Canterbury coffee at Fets Whisky Kitchen

A definite must if you haven’t already had the pleasure to nom at this wonderful Commercial Drive restaurant. Besides the yummy eats, the customer service is also top notch and they have a heated patio. Need I say more?

If you would like to learn more about Fets Whisky Kitchen follow them on their Instagram.

Babes Promoting Babes – Francisco of Tequila Cocina Restaurant

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them and you, my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU … 

I first met Francisco Sonora, Owner of Tequila Cocina Restaurant at the Lonsdale Ave Magazine launch party as I did our first Male Boss Babe, Eamonn Duignan, when we were introduced by the magazine founder.

Francisco is affable, friendly and very easy to talk to. He is in the perfect industry …

M;  What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

F:  I was born and raised in Mexico City and have an older brother. I grew up in an ordinary family, playing soccer in the streets and drinking water from the hose in the summer. Nintendo was also something I enjoyed playing back then.

I helped our family in a small restaurant, doing everything from washing dishes to cooking, and serving customers.

My mom who raised my brother and myself with a strong work ethic and morals, set a good example for us.

Tequila Cocina’s yummy nachos

M:  What did you want to do when you grew up?  

F: Having my own restaurant was always one of my dreams because cooking is one of my biggest passions.

Also, I wanted to have my own family and I feel blessed now to have baby Ana, she’s my sunshine!!

M:  Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

F:  No I didn’t.

M:  When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

F:  I moved to Vancouver when I was about 20 years old and worked in construction for years (which I still do).

First, I visited on vacation and loved it and all the opportunities that are here. I’m lucky to get to live in this city.

Tequila Cocina’s live entertainment on Friday Nights – Mariachi Los Dorados

M:  When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

F:  We first opened on May 31st, 2019 but it took us about one year to build and renovate the place.

We are going to have our first anniversary in a couple weeks. It falls on a Sunday and we will be preparing a lot of specials for our customers.

M:  What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

F:  Well, I’m just the face of the restaurant but there’s a team of many people involved who I appreciate and have to thank.

We have become a family at Tequila Cocina — from my business partner, Mami Matsumura, to kitchen and front staff and of course, my wife and baby who are my motivation to keep me going everyday.

M:  What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

F:  I’d say just go for it, everything is going to make sense down the road.

Vancouver is an open ocean full of fish and we are the fisherman. Martin Luther king once said,  “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

M:  Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?

F:  There’s a quote that I like and it goes something like,

“The key to success is start before you are ready. Don’t look for happiness, create it …”

You can follow Tequila Cocina on their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tequilacocina/ and have a look at their menu — their first anniversary is just around the corner: https://www.tequilacocina.org/

Finally! My First FOODIE Blog — Andreas’ Restaurant

Andrea’s 10 Rich Topping Pizza – Foget about ordering from anywhere else!!!

Finally, my first foodie blog! It’s about time, rigghhht?! I have loved Andreas’ for a long time … I remember the very first time that I had their pizza — Their 10 Rich Topping. I was 14 years old and I was spending the night at one of my bff’s. Her step-dad brought it for us because he had a job delivering for hem.

It was a Friday pizza & movie night just like tonight… Many years later. Hahaha… And the best part is it tastes EXACTLY THE SAME! The same chef has worked at there for 30 years.

Andreas’ is a family owned & operated restaurant that has 2 locations: North Vancouver and Langley. BC. The North Van location has been a Central Lonsdale landmark for 35 years.

Andreas and Matina started their first restaurant in 1984 with a passion food, Andreas’ expert knowledge of butchering meats, and Matina’s family recipes. Their daughter, Katie, who I met for the first time last night embodies the “… fundamental Greek custom (to show) friendship to guests, and the Ancient Greek concept of hospitality … “filoxenia”, translated as hospitality, generosity and courtesy shown to guests. ” – Andreas’ Website

Andrea’s pizza and meals are nostalgic. There are many memories attached to their food, ordering take-out and dining in their restaurant over the years. And my intuition tells me there will be MANY MORE happy memories in my future with them and their delicious, Greek comfort food – said the foodie in ME!