Kobe Steakhouse Vancouver
A quick word before we get started: this review is going to be heavily biased, because this is my favorite place in the world to eat.
I’ve been to the Middle-East and feasted upon the traditional fare of a half-dozen cultures. I’ve traveled to France and Italy and Spain and sampled their feastables. I’ve suffered the cuisine of the United Kingdom. I’ve been around, is what I’m trying to say, and I come from a family of cooks who like their food. One of my relatives even has a cooking show (Hi, Uncle Sam~!). We like to go places and eat things, and new restaurants and recipes are a topic of conversation at every family gathering.
And my family has a strong liking for the Kobe. We’re tied to it. We’ve been going to it for decades and some of my earliest memories are from that restaurant. My earliest memory, in fact, is a half-formed image of a Kobe picnic we were at John Lawson Park. I remember it because there was a sun shower and I hid under a (to me) massive red umbrella and I remember thinking the light and the rain was beautiful, even if I didn’t know the word ‘beautiful’ yet.
Beautiful is one of two words that I would use to describe the Kobe.
The other is delicious.
It’s been around for fifty years. The Kobe is a Vancouver mainstay, a place with a long history of great food and experiences, having hosted celebrities, politicians, sports stars, and people every day. It’s changed with the times, adding light, warmth, and a kickass Izakaya menu to compliment their already mouth-watering teppanyaki options. They’ve got vegetarian choices on offer for those that swing that way, a variety of special drinks (two of which come in special cups that are yours to keep~!), and are one of the few places outside of Japan that you can devour proper Kobe beef.
The big complaint people used to have about the Kobe was the price – food is expensive, and a single dinner can run you forty to fifty dollar per person. The addition of the izakaya changes that, as you can go sit in the lounge and fill up on about a dozen different tapa-sized and -priced items.
As good as the lounge food and drinks are, though, it’s the teppanyaki upstairs that makes the Kobe what it is. The sizzling garlic prawns, perfectly cooked steaks, and meltingly good chicken are complimented by a couple of unique sauces that are worth the price of admission all on their own. Their ginger sauce is basically weaponized delicious and there is nowhere else to get it.
And, hey, is that my brother in the far right of that pic? It is~!
Told you – my entire family loves this restaurant.
For those that have never experienced teppanyaki, your food is cooked on a hot plate directly in front of you. The cooks become part of the experience, effectively juggling steak knives and engaging with you while setting the food on fire. It’s a show to go along with your meal, and it is like nothing else you will ever experience.
My recommendation is to skip lunch, go with a friend, and split an Ultimate. An Ultimate is a perfectly aged New York steak with sake-bathed lobster, teriyaki chicken that literally melts in your mouth, broiled scallops, and some vegetables and shrimp to whet your appetite. It’s a good sample of everything on the menu and will grant you a good idea of what the Kobe has to offer.
Also recommended is going on a week-night and making a reservation – the restaurant is well-known and fills up quickly, and the preparation of food and the occasional ensuing food coma recovery means larger parties without a reservation are going to have a problem, especially on weekends.
I still think you should wait for it. The food and experience are worth the wait.
Good eating, peoples, and see you there.