Raku is a Japanese restaurant mostly known for their charcoal grill. Their charcoal is very particular:
“Our charcoal, oak “binchotan” is directly imported from Japan. Binchotan burns at higher temperature and contains less moisture compared to other charcoal, which helps cook ingredients with crisp finish. Binchotan emits substantial far-infrared rays to cook ingredients thoroughly without burning them. Active carbon created by far-infrared rays brings out full flavor of the ingredients.” (http://www.raku-grill.com/quality.htm)
They also take care in choosing the right kind of meats, because each kind is organic or imported from a specific place. For example, their Kobe beef is from Oregon and their free-range organic chicken is from California. So if you’re wondering why it’s expensive, it’s because the food quality is really good.
Poached Egg with Sea Urchin and Salmon Roe – $9
This was really good. You’re supposed to mix all the ingredients together. It was cold, creamy, slimy (because of the sea urchin and the egg) and crunchy (because of the small white pieces-not sure what they are). Also, when you take a spoonful of this, the salmon roe bursts and you taste it’s saltiness.
“All the flavors go so nicely together and the texture is very interesting as well. Great dish to start with.” – Alexus
Raku’s Tofu (whole) – $5.50
like, so this was interesting for me. There are three different ways you can eat this: the first is to use all three of the condiments on the plate. The second, is to sprinkle a bit of their special green tea salt, and the third is to use their specially made plum soy sauce. I personally think the soy sauce tastes the best with this dish.
“When it comes to soy sauce, we have 5 different kinds to separate the uses depending on the ingredients. The table soy sauce for the guests is home-blends of them. For the salt, there are 3 different kinds. Our salt is based on the sun-dried natural sea salt made by classic Shiota style, where calcium of shell fossil from Hokkaido is added. We blend this salt with powder of konbu seaweed, dried shiitake and maccha green tea.” (http://www.raku-grill.com/quality.htm)
Their soy sauce is better than the regular kind, and the salt is cool because it’s green and even tastes a bit like green tea.
This dish was very similar to the one at Sushi Samba. These crabs were crunchy, but their shells were not so tough, and there is plentiful warm meat compared to SS. Perfect portion.
Baby Bluefin tuna (special)
This was delicious! You could taste the hint of grilled charcoal, almost tastes smoked. It’s fatty, fresh, sweet yet slightly sour (because of the ponzu sauce) and tastes just like tuna. Loved eating this (:
Chicken breast wrapped with chicken skin – $3
This was hands down, the best chicken I have ever tasted. It was so juicy and sweet! The skin was unexplainably tasty, I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS. You could really taste that it’s been grilled. I’m not the biggest fan of chicken (it’s probably my least favorite meat), but when I tasted this one, my taste buds were dancing with joy. I swear the charcoal imported from Japan makes a HUGE difference in flavor, because it seems like everything here that’s been grilled had the exact same delightful grilled taste. The chicken is fantastic and it’s a reasonable price too. (Picture above are 5 orders)
King crab (special) – $
This was good but not great. It had a very particular taste because it’s been grilled and I don’t think the lime was the best option to compliment this dish. You can still taste a hint of the ocean, but personally, I still think Sun Sui Wah’s is still the top for best king crab.
Butter sautéed scallop with soy sauce – $7
This was very good. The scallops were grilled perfectly. The sauce was good, but super duper salty!
Ikura don – $10
This was mediocre, I have nothing noteworthy to mention. I feel like ten bucks is a liiiittttlllee overpriced for this simple bowl.
Yellowtail with glazed soy-base sauce (special) – $
Another good dish. It’s sweet, tender, warm and has that grilled taste again.
Kobe beef fillet with wasabi
Amazingly tender piece of meat. This was very soft, juicy and flavorful. The wasabi on top went well with the beef too. You can definitely tell the difference between a good quality piece of beef and a processed piece from Safeway.
Steamed foie gras (egg custard)
This was delicious. The egg custard was actually infused with steamed foie gras, which gave it a better taste. It was warm, light and creamy. I would describe the texture of the custard like tofu. Also, in the middle there was a slice of duck. Be sure to mix everything before indulging.
Apple marinated lamb chop
This was very yummy! The lamb was SO tender and the sauce was great. It was cooked perfectly too. Definitely one of my favorite dishes at this restaurant. The taste of lamb was not so apparent here.
The food was outstanding, but unfortunately the service was terrible. When we first arrived at the restaurant, we waited for about 15 minutes before someone came to take our orders. Also, we constantly had to wait 20 minutes pauses in between each dish. When we were finally fed up because it was taking so long, we complained. Then, all of a sudden, the dishes came all at once. It was a bit overwhelming and the food wasn’t hot. I’m assuming the waiters were to blame, because how could the chefs have mad all of those dishes so fast when the first few that came took 20 minutes each? Doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately because of this I am forced to deduct a few more points than I would have liked – with the food being so amazing. Had the service been better I would have definitely given this place a 9.5 almost entirely based on the food…