1165 Robson St
Hours: Sun to Sat 11a.m.–11p.m.
Phone: (604) 564-9595
Hello Nori is a relatively new operation that opened in Vancouver’s Robson Street strip during the pandemic, and since they’re both dine-in and takeout, the difference is in whether or not the rolls are cut up for you. However, the taste will be slightly different based on how fast you eat them. The selling point is in how crunchy the sheets of seaweed are. I spotted a butane torch in the preparation area and it’s used for their aburi dishes rather than standard rolls. There are also daily sashimi offerings to which I shouldn’t have passed on. After seeing how they looked at a few bar seats away, I knew I’d have regrets.
However, in the back of my mind, I wondered if the fish were caught Ikejime style or West coast. I suspect it’s the latter (this is BC after all), so what’s offered isn’t necessarily ‘authentic’ Japanese and more designer style to convince patrons in.
Technically, there’s no difference between getting your order presented as a cylindrical morsel or cone to eat by hand. The latter is convenient, so that nothing spills out (to which a bit did for me), but for picking up and dabbing into a plate of soy sauce on a square shaped plate, the experience was certainly nouveau for me. Just so I didn’t look like a barbarian, I used chopsticks instead of my hand. Plus, the signs to where the washrooms are weren’t obvious.
This operation prides itself on the freshest of ingredients used and the crispiest of nori sheets; even from a distance, the pre-cut sheets weren’t flat. They looked very springy. As for the taste, it’s no different from anywhere else. Had they advertised or shown how they are prepared beforehand, like over a charcoal pit, then I’d be all over the added texture. It’s easy to tell if that taste is in the dish or not.
Instead of a quick bite, I went for their six hand selection. Before being seated, I asked for more time so I can enjoy the taste of my meal than feel rushed. Fifteen minutes can go by fast. Twenty is just about right, and I’m fairly sure patrons wouldn’t be kicked out because they went over by a few.
Of the basics, toro, yellowtail, king salmon, scallop, crab and truffle lobster are offered. Of the six, the yellow tail was the most tasty and the truffle oil infused lobster was over the top. I can eat four easily! It’d be pricey, averaging $9 per, but I’d welcome it. The order of what’s presented to patrons is important since it goes from familliar soft flavours to strong. I had a flavourful strawberry mojito to complement my meal.
Ordering is done by checking the provided sheet on what you want, and I’m sure that if I wanted more, I could’ve grabbed the spare parchment next to me (seating is divided by two seats per client and it may have been lifted at time of posting) and gone for more. There wasn’t an extensive selection for desserts, and with Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake a few doors down, I knew where I was headed next!
4 Stars out of 5