Restaurant review: Torafuku

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On a Friday evening, we decided to check out Torafuku, the new restaurant from the same people who run the Le Tigre food truck.  This main street location, between the CN Rail station, and the Georgia Street viaduct, is in a new building, consists of an open kitchen concept, and a minimalist modern open dining room with a giant long table. and a handful of small tables along the south edge, and counter seating around the kitchen.

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Torafuku gets points for its attention to detail, including its stylized menu, using wood bindings.

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Like the food truck, the menu is filled with cheeky dish-names.  There’s a fairly extensive drink menu as well.

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We started with the Kickass Rice 2.0

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Unlike the Kickass Rice from the food truck (which is a fried rice made from sushi rice, seasoned with sake, butter, hondashi, and topped with pork belly and a fried egg), this is an aburi style (torched on one side) pressed sushi topped with pork belly, garnished with sliced jalapeno peppers and a dollops of creamy fresh mayonnaise.

This is pretty good, and it’s visually gorgeous, but I think I prefer the kickass rice from their food truck.

Me Like Papaya Salad

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This is a mixed salad of threaded green papaya, carrots, tomato, red cabbage,
green beans, chilli, roasted peanuts, dressed with a fresh naam jim sauce (typically garlic, fish sauce, sugar, chilies and lime juice).

This a nice salad. It’s crisp and tangy with just a tiny bit of heat.
Rye So Messy Chicken Wings
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This is rye and gochujang marinated chicken wings, dredged in batter and deep-fried, dressed with mango glaze, ramen crumble, kfc sauce (I have no idea what this kfc sauce is, or what’s in it).  It’s topped with fresh scallions and toasted black sesame.

These are really good wings.  They’ve got a little bit of crunch, and little shot of heat, a little bit of sweet and a little hit of green.

The service was very good and attentive once we sat down, but a little slow getting tables ready between seatings. The room is surprisingly open and airy, but very boisterous with a full house.  The communal long table probably contributes to this.

Torafuku does not accept reservations, and during this initial opening phase, there are lengthy waits outside.  To this end, I imagine a daily menu posted on the windows might be a good idea, so the diners can peruse the menu in advance.

The serving portions are mostly appetizer/tapas size, good for sharing with a group.  But I think, value-for-dollar, I prefer the food truck over this restaurant.

Torafuku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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