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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zakkushi Disappointment

I featured Zakkushi in one of the best izakayas to go to in Vancouver last year and have returned a few times since.  This last trip I made, unfortunately brewed a small storm inside my heart.  We walked in and the place looked a bit different.  Fancier menu, brighter lighting, not as smoky, not as crowded, loud, or ghetto.  Hmmm it's not quite the Zakkushi I remember, but that's ok.. I'm mostly here for the food even though I miss the ghettoness just a little bit.  We ordered the usual skewers, daikon salad, and of course, the delicious kimchi mentai yaki udon smothered with cod roe.  At first, the waiter informed us there was no more udon and if we wanted soba instead.  He later revealed, that they don't make the dish anymore.  Shocked and appalled, I demanded answers.  I was there 4 weeks ago and they were still serving it.  From what I know, the dish is one of the MOST RAVED ABOUT on the Vancouver food blog sites.  And from what my friend told me, they were there last week, and they STILL got it!  The waiter had no answers for us.  He said the owners simply removed it from the menu.  I told him the owners made a huge mistake.  He shook his head in despair and simply told me to blog about it. So that was blow number one.  FYI this is what the dish looks like:
Kimchi Mentai Yaki Udon
I believe this tuna rice dish is also now non-existent.  What a shame, it also was really good.
Negi toro don
I came home and checked their website and it says their "Grand Menu Starts Now".
I appreciate it when restaurants try to up their scale but being innovative and changing up things.  However, I don't appreciate the sheer negligence over the quality that sometimes comes after the menu/owner/chef changing.  Such as the case at Wo Fung chicken wings (now 3 times smaller), Cattle Cafe (watery soup base), and Pied a Terre (salty steak frites and dismissal of Napoleon), and now Zakkushi charcoal minuscules.
New menu! 

Back to the restaurant. After we delighted ourselves with the $9.99 Sapporo pitcher, we ordered the usual Kushi Set which comes with 5 skewers.  Each time, the skewers seem to be shinking smaller and smaller.  Did the change the chef? Did we come on a bad day? What has happened?
Before - Kushi set on July 31, 2010
After - Kushi set August 25, 2010

Tsukune December 12, 2009

Tsukune Aug 25, 2010

I looked over at the Japanese folks next table and, to my astonishment, their skewers were twice the size of ours.  Due to legal reasons, I decided not to post their pictures with skewers.  Of course these are not the biggest blunders for a restaurant and it is still as busy as ever.  But to me, the wow factors for Zakkushi is gone.  I have absolutely no reason left to go back there (unless for the $9.99 Sapporo pitchers).

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