Saturday, October 3, 2009


Restaurant: Japadog
Cuisine: Japanese/Fusion
Last visited: September 30, 09
Area: Vancouver, BC
Northwest corner of Burrard & Smithe, in front of Sutton Place hotel
Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 6
Service: 3
Ambiance: n/'s a hot dog stand
Overall: 5
Additional comments:
  • Japanese hot dogs
  • Pork, beef, turkey, veggie options
  • Special for Kurobuta sausage: 100% pure all-natural Berkshire pork
  • Most popular for Terimayo hot dog
  • New Terimayo hot dog menu: ft different versions of most popular hot dog
  • Hot, fresh w/exotic Japanese ingredients
  • Japanese operated
  • Japanese condiments: wasabi mayo etc.
  • New condiment - special plum sauce from Japan
  • Long lines, busy at peak hours
  • Attracts locals, tourists and famous people
  • Second location at W Pender & Burrard
  • $4.75-6.25

**Recommendation: Terimayo, Okonomi

Japadog is Vancouver's latest trend in hot dogs. It's the Japanese version of an American favourite - a hot dog. Really popular to locals and tourists, this place also attracts celebrities that happen to be in town too. Definitely better than a normal hot dog, you can expect long lines during lunch or dinner hours. Help yourself to their unique Japanese condiments (free of charge) such as: Japanese mayo, spicy 7-spice seasoning (usually comes with Udon), and the new plum sauce etc.

On the table:

  • Terimayo 6/6
  • 100% all beef, Teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, fried onion, seaweed/nori $4.75
  • This is the most popular hot dog and everyone's favourite. It's also my favourite. What a brilliant idea and combination of flavours. It's basically your favourite and most popular Japanese ingredients and fried onions thrown into a hot dog. Now how can you go wrong with that? The sausage is really plump, juicy, and coated with a standard Teriyaki sauce. It's sweet from the Teriyaki sauce and savoury from the meat and fried onions. It has great texture too because of the fried onions. Shredded seaweed is sprinkled on top before serving. The seaweed kind of melts as you eat it due to the steam from the hot dog. They put the Japanese mayo underneath the seaweed so the seaweed doesn't get soggy and chewy.
  • This is a rather rich and hearty hot dog that is SO satisfying! You have to eat it with lots of wasabi mayo and it's even better. I stand by the wasabi mayo bottle when I eat this so I can reapply and load up with every bite :)

  • Oroshi 3/6
  • Bratwurst, grated radish, special soy, green onion $4.75
  • This was good, but compared to the other two it was ok - that's why I gave it a 3/6 because if I didn't have the other two to compare this would have been good.
  • The bratwurst they used is the white bratwurst. It's a thick sausage that doesn't taste that meaty and I don't recall them frying it. It's served warm and I feel like they boiled it instead of frying or grilling it. But correct me if I'm wrong. The meat is kind of milky and bland - it kind of tastes like a really soft hot dog - almost like a chicken or turkey meatloaf. The meat is really tender but it tastes kind of boring after eating a beef hot dog. Not as juicy or savoury, but now that I think about it I think it was made of turkey.
  • They load the Oroshi with grated radish - the radish they use is daikon so it's not spicy at all. It tastes like nothing - like air. The texture is like eating very finely minced soft raw onions without the taste or crunchiness of onions. They squirt a sweet and slightly savoury Japanese soy on top of the mound of grated radish - that's basically the only flavour in this hot dog. Then they top it off with fresh green onions, and I topped it off with wasabi mayo - a must. You need it to give the hot dog another dimension or it's too plain...and wasabi mayo is just good too.
  • I found this hot dog to be a little bland probably because it's turkey. It lacked flavour because there's probably not as much fat in the meat. and nothing fried on it and only one sauce. The only thing giving it flavour was basically the sweet soy sauce...and that doesn't even shine through too much. They don't pour too much of the sauce on it because it's a thin sauce. Adding more would have added more falvour but it would have also made the bun soggy and everything would fall apart. It's probably the "lightest" hot dog they serve. The bratwurst is juicy, but just not that flavourful - it tastes like a boiled sausage, so how much flavour can you get from that? Of course if they used a higher quality bratwurst it would have been more flavourful - but I don't really expect them to because it is just a hot dog stand.

  • Okonomi 4.5/6
  • Kurobuta sausage, okonomi sauce, Japanese mayo, fried cabbage, dried bonito $6.25
  • Japadog prides itself for their Kurobuta sausage, a 100% pure all-natural Berkshire pork. It's the most highly prized pork in Japan and comparable to the standards of Kobe beef.
  • I still liked the Terimayo better though, and most people would agree. I mean the sausage is good and it's not as heavy as the 100% beef hot dog. It carries a more gentle flavour than a beef hot dog. The Kurobuta sausage is very soft and tender and it tastes like a big version of those mini cocktail sausages they serve as hors d'oeuvres at parties.
  • The okonomi sauce is like a tangy soy sauce with a slight kick at the end. It's a little sour, quite savoury, and then there's a kick - but not really a spicy kick...almost like how raw garlic has a kick.
  • The fried cabbage is yummy - taste like stir-fried cabbage you get when you order Teriyaki plates from the food court. It's all shredded and they give you quite a bit. It's sauteed in a little Teriyaki sauce I think. It's kind of sweet and savoury. Then they top it off with dried bonito - which is dried flakes of squid. this almost tastes like fishy rice paper - it has a fishy taste, but not a very strong one. It just kind of melts away as you eat it, it melts away faster than seaweed does. It's not as crunchy or salty as dried seaweed though. Again, I topped this hot dog off with wasabi mayo! The perfect condiment for these Japadogs.

Japadog (Burrard & Smithe) on Urbanspoon


  1. I love trying weird/different types of food. I would have tried every one of these dogs. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I hope you do get to try all of them! Bring a couple friends with you so you can share them...unless you have the capacity to eat 3 hot dogs by yourself! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Like most bloogers and consumers in general, I liked Japadog when they first started. However, after expanding to their third location in Coal Harbour, it started to wear down. In the end, as I mentioned, it is just a hot dog!

  4. They actually closed down the location at Coal Harbour. I can see what you're saying, but I think they've totally reinvented the hot dog - it's a total twist on tradition! I mean is a hot dog really just a hot dog when you have ingredients like seaweed, bonito, teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayo? It's more than a hot dog - it's a Japadog!