Yuwa Japanese Cuisine (fka Zest Restaurant)

4.6
615 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Japanese
Top tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Authentic
~ STORY OF YUWA JAPANESE CUISINE ~

Chef Masahiro Omori is the Executive Chef / Co-owner of Yuwa Japanese Cuisine who was born and raised in Chiba, Japan. His grandmother "YUWA" passionately owned a fish market in Chiba, Japan for over 50 years. Yuwa's dedication to her craft deeply touched Chef Omori and he lovingly brings her spirit forward with his professional experience at a well-known long-established Kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.

Chef Masahiro Omori brings specialized regional dishes from across Japan taking advantage of the highest quality, freshest local BC ingredients. These can all be paired with our specialized selection of wines and sake.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Japanese, Sushi, Asian
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Hours of Operation
Dinner Only: Tuesday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm (9:45pm Last Call)
Closed on Mondays
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Phone number
(604) 731-9378
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Payment Options
AMEX, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Executive Chef
Masahiro Omori
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Catering
Please call for details.
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Neighbourhood
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Cross Street
Mcdonald St.
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Parking Details
Parking is available in front of the building off 16th or at the back of the building accessing from Mcdonald St to the back alley. Or there are plenty of free parking along 16th Ave.
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Special Events & Promotions
We offer winemaker's dinner or sake maker's dinner throughout the year. Please see out Facebook page or website for the details
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Offers

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1,000 point tables

Sun 8:30PM - 8:45PM
Tue - Thu 5:00PM - 5:00PM 8:30PM - 8:45PM

What 615 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.7
Service
4.6
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Quiet
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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MD
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We took our son and daughter-in-law to Yuwa for dinner on their last night in Vancouver. They are not only committed foodies but also know and love Japanese cuisine, having lived five years in Tokyo. They were impressed with the highly creative menu and collaborated with the excellent server to make great choices. All four of us found the dishes sumptuously delicious and beautifully presented. The sake selection advised by the host was outstanding. All in, the meal was exceptionally good value for money. We will be returning to Yuwa ourselves and will enthusiastically recommend it to our friends who enjoy fine Japanese dining.

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T
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Attention to detail throughout in this elegant Japanese restaurant. Not for a hurried meal, the courses progress one by one, prepared with care, and the best quality ingredients. Sit back and savour!

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T
Vancouver
27 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

At the former site of longtime neighbourhood favourite Zest Restaurant, Yuwa Japanese Cuisine carries on the tradition of superior Japanese dining. Clientele from nearby have remained faithful. Classy, quiet room. Attentive bilingual (Japanese and English) service. Nice to have this without the need to venture downtown. Free parking! Sake tasting flights available on request. Probably one of the few places that serves whole lingcod heads, but come early as quantities are limited. Kaiseki (traditional multicourse dinner) can be enjoyed if you make your request 48 hours in advance. For your birthday, they will sing you the Japanese version of "Happy Birthday".

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Best Japanese in Vancouver

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Wonderful experience. Some of the best sushi and wagyu beef we’ve ever tasted. Easy to get to on the bus, a plus for tourists like us.

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MG
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent service and amazing food. Very k ownkwlwdgeable server and exacting chef. No better Japanese anywhere.

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MB
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Unique and creative food and a very pleasant environment for enjoying the food.

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AO
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

I was expecting interesting delicate Kaisei dishes and we ordered 4 of these from the specialties menu, as well as their costliest roll. The specialty dishes were very small (as expected) but not particularly exciting. The smoked tuna dish had potential if the slices had not been so thin that there was nothing to taste. The sushi roll had excellent rice and tasted very fresh but again the thin slices of shrimp and salmon lacked flavour and I picked up no taste of the crab, which was a major ingredient. Decided to bail rather than ordering more. Likely the less expensive sushi were likely a better choice. Quality of the ingredients was excellent, but I guess my palette is too crude for this restaurant.

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b
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

This was a remarkable dinner. Everything was perfectly prepared and presented in a perfect progression. What a fantastic restaurant!

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VL
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent services and tasty food!

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RH
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 3

Most of our dishes were very tasty & beautiful presentation. But the portions were VERY TINY & VERY EXPENSIVE! It was quite shocking! I soon realized I needed to order several more dishes to feel full. They need to increase the portion size or reduce the prices. We will not be coming back.

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JC
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I have been to Yuwa several times under its current name and when it was known as Zest.

The food is always wonderful. Chef is very creative and uses the best, freshest and whenever possible locally sourced ingredients.

The menu is changed often but offerings are always flavourful.

This is not all you can eat cuisine but well worth spending time to truly enjoy the meal. Always truly memorable food.

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DV
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was absolutely fantastic! Service was top-notch, would recommend this place to everyone (and I already have!)

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G
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

Nothing special. Vancouver has amazing sushi all over the city. Don’t waste your money.

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M
Hawaii
6 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The total experience was terrific as always. One of our favorites!

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E
Vancouver
11 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic as always

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ML
Vancouver
20 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

We were Zest fans who drifted away as its menu kept changing and great dishes like the Chicken gyoza disappeared.

We tried Yuwa and were pleasantly surprised. The cuisine was creative and satisfying, although the gyoza have yet to return. The service was helpful and enthusiastic. Much characteristic Japanese courtesy and ceremony which we appreciated. We will be back !

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BR
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Outstanding food presentation. Exquisite dishes and arrangement of the food.

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GF
Vancouver
23 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Expensive but delicious!
The menu is interesting and they have a fresh sheet with more selection. We had the stuffed mushrooms, dragon roll, veal cheeks and sockeye salmon tartare with yam chips...yummy!

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VS
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Presenation is excellent. Service is great. Portions are decent. Taste is great

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food and excellent service

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r
Vancouver
22 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 1Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

Pretentious restaurant.. Would not come back again. Server was very condescending because we didn't order the more expensive items on the menu. Not only that, service was slow and good came out even slower. Ended up giving 10% only for tips.

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

It would be better if the service could pick up pace.

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ET
Vancouver
9 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

walking distance to our home. so impressed. fabulous unique dishes and sushi rolls. order what you cannot order at every Japanese restaurant. love, love , loved. Will be regulars.

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JU
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

absolutely exceptional- very passionate cook. truly outstanding quality

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d
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic meal, with amazing fresh ingredients. The staff were excellent.

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OT
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food and service!

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MM
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

I was here twice last week. The food is very good. I’m vegetarian and had no difficulty choosing many interesting dishes. The staff are lovely. And if you want peace and quiet, a challenging commodity in any restaurant, this is your place.

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KK
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

This place reopened with a new chef after a lengthy closure. Formerly Zest, it was one of the treasures of Vancouver. We returned expecting that the experience would be unlikely to meet the high standard of Zest and were pleased to see that they weren't far off the mark. The menu is a combination of the usual Japanese fare and creating and unusual dishes. The duck salad and the agedashi tofu were spectacular. We were well looked after and not rushed. There are hundreds of Japanese restaurants in Vancouver and this one stands out. We were not rushed and will looked after by our host. Next door is Glace, the best ice-cream in Vancouver, so make sure that you go there for dessert.

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LF
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

What a gem of a restaurant. The food is authentic and delicious. The service is impeccable - friendly, sincere and helpful. We will be back again ... and again!

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JC
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Yuwa is my go to restaurant when I want exceptional Japanese food. The chefs are so creative, each dish is carefully composed and presented and most importantly delicious!

This is not an all-you-can-eat run of the mill sushi place. But a place to go if you have time to leisurely enjoy a wonderful meal.

A gem located off West 16th and MacDonald.

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E
Seattle
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Mother’s Day dinner. Food and service were great but portions were tiny.

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NV
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 2

My husband wanted to come here for a Mother's Day dinner as he had visited previously. The interior was very basic and relatively crowded more like a casual moderately priced place. So I was shocked when I looked at some of the prices on the menu. $300 for some of the bottles of wine and sake. The sake was so incredibly high priced that I lost interest. The beer was a little more reasonable at $12 for a large bottle. I settled on an $8 glass of wine. The appetizer prices were not too bad and the food was good if not exquisite or gourmet. I had passed on the $26 sablefish entre as I didn't think I was hungry enough given that we had ordered a few appetizers for the table. I needn't have worried as the dish was appetizer sized. My $17 smoked tuna was even smaller. The highlight was the desserts we ordered to share which were reasonably priced and delicious.

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B
Vancouver
11 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We loved our evening. We have traveled to Japan, and being at Yuma is absolutely authentic in every way. As an aside, my husband was recently at Tojo’s and will not go back as the prices were much more costly than Yuma,difficult service issues, and the group he was with thought the food was not as good PLUS, luckily everyone checked the bill because they were double charged for the wine and noticed it.

Families with young children were there, plus every other age of people and everyone was happy. Free parking all around the restaurant. Fun having a new kind of green tea, and love watching the sushi and other dishes being constructed.

Our first choice when we want an authentic Japanese meal. Loved it when it was Zest, and love i5now.

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on May 6, 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 4

Environment is good. Food is ok. Service is disappointing.

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CW
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Our server went beyond and suggested a great wine when the one we ordered was out. She was very engaging

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H
Vancouver
40 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 4

Just think if it makes sense to u about this restaurant will be charging u with same price of 10 pcs assorted tempura with shrimp and 5 pcs of tempura yam, for me it’s non sense, however it happened in this restaurant just because 5 pcs of tempura yam are not on their menu. Dinner time was limited to 2 hours which it’s normal usually but our food came so slow so how can we finished our dinner within the time frame that they set for the customer. My dinner was from 630 pm to almost 9 pm which after we pushed them our food to come faster or cancel my order! Food taste just so so nothing really surprise me, dessert menu was lack of choice.

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A
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food, refined service. A real gem!

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P
Vancouver
15 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

I liked the ambience a lot. Decor was simple yet gives a very modern and classy feel, with the main focal point on the center of the sushi bar. Raw food (nigiri,sashimi) were fresh and prepared well. Cooked food were executed nicely, had nice flavors and presentation. Every dish came on a timely matter, definitely a place to enjoy your meal and not to be rushed.

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ML
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful warm ambience with outstanding service.

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