Torafuku — Vancouver, Canada
The phenomenon of city food trucks enabling talented chefs a creative platform has come full circle. The success of Vancouver’s beloved Le Tigre has given founders Steve Kuan and Clement Chan the opportunity to open a bricks-and-mortar establishment sited on the edge of the city’s Chinatown in a dual-fronted building dating to 1901. Local architects Scott & Scott have translated the terroir of the street into a minimal space centred around a large communal table and a bar where diners can view the kitchen’s theatrics. A coolly utilitarian interior of raw concrete and timber was installed to age and adopt a handsome familiarity, a theme bolstered by informal benches, linear pendant lights and tables. The stripped-down aesthetic allows the modern Asian dishes – a mash-up of Chan’s classical training and love of East and South-East Asian fare - to shine. The picture-perfect octopus salad with jalapenos is plated with tuna crudo and nutty romesco sauce, but it’s the addictive rye and gochujang-marinated chicken wings that regulars return for.