Where to Get Sushi in Vancouver: Masayoshi’s Residency at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Lobby Lounge Starts Today

Acclaimed sushi chef Masayoshi brings the omakase experience to downtown Vancouver with new Lobby Lounge program.

Have some sympathy for those who excel in their field. Once you reach a certain standard of high achievement, you’re left with no one to compete with—and the hunger and drive that got you to where you are will inevitably eat away at you. Abba, for example, basically imploded because they were too good and didn’t know what to do with themselves: a double tragedy because it meant both the end of Abba and the creation of something called Chess: The Musical.

The point is, the worst could have befallen the very, very, very good sushi bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Lobby Lounge and RawBar. After all, when your sashimi is among the best in town, where do you go? The F&B team decided “down” was not an option, and brought in the acclaimed Masayoshi as a consulting head sushi chef and leader of a brand new omakase program that kicks off Monday, August 15.

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It’s a move that was highly unnecessary, given the already-excellent offerings at the swanky hotel hot spot, but one that will keep the Lobby Lounge chefs’ competitive edge sharp as a sushi knife. After all, Masayoshi is not just a chef, but an artist. Chef’s eponymous Fraser Street restaurant has been a VanMag Restaurant Awards fave since it opened its doors—our food editors consider him the reigning champ of Vancouver omakase, and in 2020, the spot was named on of Canada’s top 100 restaurants. If you’ve struggled to get a seat in his exclusive East Van space, this new RawBar residency offers an intriguing new angle to get your chopsticks on some out-of-this-world sushi.

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Here, each seating can expect something totally different, inspired by the ingredients and ideas tickling Masayoshi in the moment. In our sampling of the experience, we were surprised by unexpected flavours (is that a caper?!), surprising techniques (an ice-crystal matcha bed), and seafood that melted like butter on the tongue (was that a scallop… or a dream?).

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The Lobby Lounge and RawBar’s omakase experience runs Monday to Friday, with 10 lunch seatings ($95 per person) and 10 dinner seatings ($125 each, including sake pairings). Your culinary trip will take you through two inventive appetizers, eight mind-altering pieces of nigiri and a dessert. Masayoshi himself will be behind the bar Monday through Thursday for the lunch service, but you’ll be in good hands in the evening, too, with the skills Raw Bar crew.

Omakase at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Lobby Lounge and RawBar (1038 Canada Pl.) begins August 15, 2022. Book reservations here