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The Menu
No. 35: Shokunin

No. 35: Shokunin


IN THE RUN-UP to opening in late 2015, chef Darren MacLean took a long trip to Japan, travelling the country in the inspiring company of chef Yoshihiro Narisawa, whose eponymous Tokyo restaurant sits at number 18 on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

The experience galvanized MacLean’s appreciation for Japanese cuisine, and especially for its intense focus on seasonality, technique and the showcasing of ingredients to maximum effect via purity of flavour. The restaurant in which he strives to do the same packs just 50 seats, with an open kitchen and a patio, and was conceived to be as casually inviting as any izakaya. But the food program is as intense as it is varied. The offerings span drinking snacks (tempura squid, chicken-skin chips, clam fritters), ramen and yakitori (grilled correctly over binchotan).
Venture beyond these dishes to more ambitious plates and you will be well-rewarded by MacLean’s inventiveness and detailed commitment to the culinary tradition he has adopted. Order sushi and sashimi (say madai or yellowtail) and it comes with house-made gari and wasabi ground into paste from B.C.-sourced roots. Try the “carpaccio” of sidestripe prawn, brushed with ginger and roast garlic and lightly cooked with a judicious sprinkling of hot oil, à la Nobu Matsuhisa. Or venture into richness with miso-cured bone marrow and escargots. The cocktail list is strong, and the sake list extensive, with multiple options in all categories—junmai, junmai ginjo, junmai daiginjo, nigori and even sparkling.


Monday to Friday
5:00 PM until 1:00 AM

10:30 AM until 2:30 PM
and 5:00 PM until 1:00 AM

10:30 AM until 2:30 PM,
and 5:00 PM until 10:00 AM

Photos by: Nikki Narie Bigger

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