It may have been Confucius who said: “Stick anything in a hotdog bun and it will taste better”. I can’t be sure. But whoever said so may have been the grandfather (grandmother?) of Japadog – a great little “Japanese” restaurant in Vancouver.
This is homestyle fusion cooking at its best. The concept is simple. First, take some great, savoury, Japanese comfort food like tonkatsu (pork cutlet), daikon oroshi (grated daikon/asian radish), or the staples of okonomiyaki. Then, stick them into a nicely toasted hotdog bun, let cool for 1 minute, and enjoy! The colourful menu – and food – speaks for itself. It’s simple, inexpensive, and delicious.
When I went today, I shared the tonkatsu dog (I’m a sucker for tonkatsu sauce) and oroshi (something to cut the heavyness of the tonkatsu) dogs. They were both fantastic. The portion size was idea for lunch and I struggle to think of anything to criticize other than, perhaps, that the place is quite small. Last Friday, the tiny place was packed and a 10-person line-up snaked out the door. I suppose Japadog is the victim of its own success, but do not let that stop you! It’s worth the wait. Or, like us, you can do the civilized thing and show up at 1pm on a weekend and find a seat.
Which brings me to its location. The branch I went to was roughly on the corner of Robson and Richards (I note that Google Streetview seems to be outdated, but Japadog is pretty much next to Beard Papa’s). There are, however, other branches throughout the city (Japadog advertises the following locations however its website seems also to be outdated) where you can satiate your yen for this delicious treat.
Oh…and this is the best part…they also have ice cream hotdogs. Yes, if you happen to have any room leftover after scarfing down one of these bad boys, you can increase your calorie count by choosing one of its many ice cream concoctions. I can’t guarantee that this cheeky option is available at all Japadog locations, however.
If you are stuck here with a hotdog purist (or vegetarian), Japadog caters to them too. The bratwurst sausage (which is used in the oroshi-dog) has a nice lightness without sacrificing the depth of flavour that makes it a beautiful species of sausage.
So “That”, as Confucius once said, “is the lowdown on this killer restaurant”.