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Foodie Reviews, Japanese, Vancouver

Aoto-ya Blue Door: Homemade-style Japanese Eats!

Following my most recent vist to Hansik Korean, I finally had the chance to visit Aoto-ya Blue Door. Annnd, I’ll say that it’s another awesome place to eat at in the neighbourhood. Also, if you haven’t heard, Blue Door was established by the same owner as Tenhachi. After Tenhachi closed, Blue Door opened shortly after on Victoria Drive, and I’m loving the new location since it’s so much closer! The restaurant itself is small with minimal deco, but it’s very neat and tidy, and gives off a home-style feeling.

Looking at the menu and the specials on the wall, there were quite a bit of options. I felt like eating something fried and I had a difficult time choosing which item to order! LOL. We didn’t even see the special deals plastered by the counter haha.

Tofu Salad:
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This was a light and refreshing tofu salad. The chilled plain tofu was very smooth and paired well with the selected greens and chilled tomato wedges. The dressing is a usual Japanese vinaigrette type soy and shiso sauce dressing, which we got to pour on ourselves. We had to ask for a second filling of the small saucer as we didn’t find the salad dressed enough. I liked this salad a lot and I believe I could’ve finished this whole thing myself haha. Also, it was my first time eating uncooked tofu, and I found that I like the smooth and chilly aspects of it very much. Especially on a hot day, the salad makes a perfect summer appetizer. (This was my fave dish! And T’s too.)

Grilled Tako (Octopus): special on the wall
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This grilled tako dish came a bit as a surprise, both in presentation and taste. I wasn’t expecting it to be a cold appy but it was, and you also couldn’t really tell that the tako was grilled. With that said, the tako was still wonderful. It was chilled and again, perfect for the hot weather. The dressing on the tako was a very light, a tangy vinaigrette, a usual Japanese type dressing. And as you can see, it was garnished with some grated daikon and chopped green onions. The grated daikon absorbed most of the sauce, so it went very well with the tako together in one bite. (T’s second fave dish!)

Pork Katsu on Yakisoba:
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I need to say that I was very very hungry beforehand so initially, the deep fried pork cutlet and yakisoba tasted very awesome and yummy. Now, I’m not saying that it wasn’t tasty after my initial hunger.

The exterior of the pork cutlet/katsu was deep fried perfectly; it was crispy without being stiff and without being crumbly, and it didn’t taste oily. I did find that the pork cutlet was too thick. Maybe because of the thickness, the pork seemed a bit like it was on the dry side yet it wasn’t dry. There was a brown savoury sauce on the cutlet that you can’t see very well, but it was a yummy sauce to compliment the katsu along with some mayo.

And as you can see, there was also yakisoba! With soba, there is a differentiation between what’s authentic and fake. Real soba is made with buckwheat and the fake stuff is made with other flours. I’m not sure if Blue Door used authentic soba, but I’ll trust that they did. As a yakisoba, I would’ve like to see the noodles fried with a bit more power/yaki fire haha but I enjoyed the noodles because of its bouncy texture. I thought the taste was okay, but T said there could’ve been more flavour. More yaki fire power! Hahah.

Miso Mackeral Teishoku Meal Set:
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In this combo dish, there is… starting from bottom right: the main dish of miso mackeral, slightly sweet stewed potatoes and edamame, stewed julienned daikon and carrot, pickled plum and yellow thing, miso soup, and rice.

I just had a little bit of the fish but it was very good, moist and flavourful. The stewed potato was meh/okay, and it was the same with the daikon. I liked the pickled yellow thing but not the purple plums… The yellow pickle was a more vinegar-based pickle whereas the plum was more of the salty type pickle. The miso soup is one of the better ones out there. And since I didn’t have the rice, it’s good enough to know that the rice was of the authentic Japanese type. :)

Our visit to Aoto-ya Blue Door was pleasant, and I will definitely eat here again. To sum up, the small restaurant is close-by and I like that their food both looks and tastes fresh and yummy. In addition, the feeling from knowing that Blue Door is an authentic Japanese-run establishment serving homemade-style food makes the meal that much better and enjoyable.

Happy eating to you! <3

Aoto-ya Blue Door Japanese Restaurant 青戶家 on Urbanspoon

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