Been to Rajio Japanese Public House twice now for dinner. They also own Kingyo, Suika and Raisu so we figured we’d be in good hands at Rajio. It’s located a few doors down from The Pokeman.
Business cards casually hanging out on the ledge when you first walk in.
Impressed how busy this place has been on both trips. Service was the typical Japanese standard of excellence. They constantly came by to refill our water and tea (which was complimentary). You know they’re legit when they play jazz music.
In case you don’t know what kushikatsu is, it’s up on the wall.
Cute cartoon heads on the walls. Chef’s top 5 if you need help picking what to eat.
Couple sake options also scribbled on that same wall.
Homemade dessert menu is on the back wall.
Their display case showcasing a few desserts and their popular pina colada and watermelon punch drinks.
There’s a couple menus: daily specials (1, 2 and 3), daily drink specials (1 and 2) and a regular menu. The regular menu is broken into kushikatsu, tapas, vegetable, meat, seafood, sushi, rice & noodle and drinks. Tons of variety but I was shocked to see oden on the menu. One of the few places in Van that does it.
Click here to see the full menu (1, 2 and 3).
We dropped in on a late Thursday evening (around 9:30 pm) and the place was bumping. People were still coming in at 10:30pm and even chilling outside on the patio.
This came out while we were still perusing the menu. Tasty complimentary dish to get things started.
We decided to try a couple skewers: eggplant ($1.50), shiitake ($1.50), octopus (($1.80) and lotus root ($1.50).
Deep fried and panko breaded. It comes with a secret dipping sauce.
The skewers were perfectly cooked and had a light, addictive crunch to them. Seriously, you can’t go wrong. Order a few. I’m sad we didn’t try this when we were in Japan.
Y’s mommy’s assorted oden ($8.80)
Simmered one-pot dish with assorted vegetables, meat, fish cakes and half-boiled eggs in a kelp and clam based broth.
The side of karashi mustard had quite the zip to it.
The variety of fish cakes, sausage and daikon was excellent, as was the broth. Hearty and deeply satisfying.
Bang-bang chicken ($4.80)
Boiled chicken thigh tossed with sesame soy dressing, jellyfish and topped with kaiware. This was fairly simple but well executed. Loved the chewy, crunchy texture of the jellyfish.
Grilled pork cheek ($7.60)
Seasoned with house made spice mix and yuzu jalapeno paste. This was a steal!
Pork cheeks were fantastic and the yuzu paste put it over the top. Bottle that in a jar and sell it Rajio! To be honest, we love anything yuzu.
Fresh seafood chirashi-zushi ($10.80)
Fresh sashimi slices and omelet cubes on top of sushi rice and root vegetables. They forgot our original order but it ended up being worth the wait.
A good mix of sashimi (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, fish roe and octopus) and spot on sushi rice. Seriously, texture was fantastic. The strips of tamago and pickled Japanese vegetables (carrot, daikon and umabushi) added another element to the bowl.
Second time around, we came with a group of 7. Made reservations and the only time slot available was for 5:30pm on an early Friday evening. We only had the table till 7:00pm. Short and sweet.
Sapporo draft beer ($15.80 pitcher)
The boys ordered a couple of beers to go with the food.
Same complimentary starter as last time.
Lotus root kimpira ($3.80)
Lotus root and carrot braised in soy based sauce. Lotus root was fresh and had a superb crunchy bite.
Sweet spicy burdock ($3.80)
Fresh burdock tossed with honey and soy chili sauce. A tangy sweetness and slight crunch to the burdock.
Fresh oysters ($13.75/dozen)
These were tiny but delicious. Top notch quality.
Better than most places that specialize in oysters.
6x Meat kushikatsu ($1.80 each)
We ordered two each of beef, chicken and pork.
5x Vegetable kushikatus ($1.50 each)
Rounded things off with a few vegetable skewers.
Pig trotter ($6.80)
Long stewed tender pork foot with original salt and garlic sauce. This was a tad difficult to cut but trust me, it’s worth the effort. Gelatinous,
The KFC! ($7.80)
Boneless chicken karaage. This was incredibly moist and juicy.
Every time that we’ve ordered chicken karaage (whether here at any of their other sister restaurants) has been top notch. They clearly have mastered this dish.
Squid tentacles karaage ($7.20)
Deep fried squid tentacles tossed in Rajio’s beer spice blend. Loved it.
Aburi shime-saba sushi ($12.80)
Mackerel cured with Hokkaido kelp and vinegar. This was lightly seared and drizzled with sesame mustard soy.
Saba was fresh and had a smooth texture.
Negitoro battera ($9.80)
Albacore tuna belly with scallions and pickled crunchy daikon radish.
Didn’t get to try this one but it looked good.
Mentaiko kimchi udon ($8.80)
Pan fried udon noodles tossed in cod roe and garnished with chopped kimchi, scallions and dried seaweed. A slight (and I meant the slightest) hint of heat. Good but a small portion.
Hot stone crab bibimbap ($13.20)
Crab miso and ikura, omelet, shiso herb and scallions. The crab was fresh and they will mix it for you table side.
Figured we could use some more carbs.
2x Y’s mommy’s assorted oden ($8.80)
ALWAYS get the oden. So delicious and great variety.
Just as good as the first time we had it.
Anchovy edamame ($4.20)
Marinated with garlic, sesame oil and anchovy. These were freaking delicious. One of the best edamame’s I’ve had. Well salted and roasted to perfection.
The + Group Restaurant people continue to kill it in the izakaya game. Can’t wait to come back!
Rajio Japanese Public House
3763 W 10th Avenue