Carts are great to set up around the city, of which Japadog has three: the original cart at Burrard and Smithe, and locations at Burrard and Pender and in front of Waterfront Station. Setting a up a real storefront on the “Japanese block” of Robson was a little contentious but I’m glad for its existence. The “Japanese block” is cute with Gyudon on the corner with the cute cow logo, Beard Papa cream puff shop on the other corner, Kushi Box wedged in the middle serving Japanese stews and soup, and Japadog also wedged in the middle. Two shops spoil the “fun”: Falafel Maison which looks like it’s been there for a while and Viet Sub.
At the Japadog restaurant, it feels more appropriate–and it may not be available elsewhere anyways–to order sides to your hotdog and even dessert. Thus recently when introducing Japadog to a co-worker who will soon leave the city, we took full advantage and ordered hotdog combos with their shaken fries and a drink. In addition, I got to try the Negimiso creation with plump, juicy turkey sausage, tender fried cabbage, green onions, and miso-flavoured marinade. I have a new favourite alongside the original Terimayo creation.
Currently there are six seasonings or toppings available for their shaken fries so with just two orders, we had to try to cast a wide net. The garlic, spicy, and Japanese salt ones sound good but we went with their best-seller butter-shoyu and one with “laver” (seaweed)–both were winners. You could smell the fragrant butter mixture that seasoned the butter-shoyu and those fries were deliciously the classic butter-soy sauce flavour. I also really loved the seaweed coated fries that had the inherent salty and umami taste coating my favourite cut of fry, shoestring.
We concluded that even if it was not fusion food done impeccably (by purists’ standards), it is done deliciously and a very successful business. I went with two people who had never been to Japadog before–glad that they really enjoyed it and even on my umpteenth visit, I enjoyed it a lot too!