Hi Genki – Japanese, Vancouver

The only Japanese Restaurant running in a nursing home in Greater Vancouver, Hi Genki, happens to be one of my favourite restaurants.  It is not your typical Japanese restaurant – with lots of sushi or sashimi choices. The delicious Japanese food served here gives you “a taste of Japanese culture and history” with rice & noodle dishes and bento boxes. Almost every dish on the menu is under $10 and the food is always fresh and delicious!

Hi Genki is located in Nikkei Home beside the National Nikkei Heritage Centre. If you have not heard about this restaurant, chances are you will never find the restaurant because  it looks like a regular building from the outside. There is no restaurant banner so you can’t know there is a restaurant when you’re on Kingsway. Image from google:


Once you go in, you will see the restaurant space, and most likely customers waiting for seats. Hi Genki offers appetizers like tempura, salad, donburi, curry, udon, bento boxes, and desserts. It was kind of interesting that all of us ordered deep-fried items. I would say the deep-fried items and the curry are my favourite items at Hi Genki.

Pork Katsu Curry (deep fried breaded pork cutlet) $8.95

Usually I like to try different dishes at a restaurant. Although last time I ordered a curry dish, I can’t help it but order this time too! The pork is a little thicker and drier than I expected. So it wasn’t the most moist katsu, but it was still good. The Japanese rice was chewy, cooked to the right texture. The rice was a little softer than I preferred, but it still tasted really good with the curry. The curry was flavourful and on the sweet side, but this curry had more curry spice than the curry from Shibuya Nuts.

I really like the Japanese rice that are used by Japanese restaurants, including Hi Genki. I don’t like the Thai/jasmine rice or the rice served in Chinese restaurants (especially HK cafe) because the texture is too soft.  The salad and fruit were a healthy addition to the deep-fried food and a good complement to the dish’s presentation, although my companion found it weird to have a slice of orange  in the dish. Hearts: 9.0/10

Chicken Katsu Teishoku (deep fried breaded chicken cutlet, served with rice, salad and miso soup) $7.95

This dish was almost the same as the chicken katsu curry dish, except it did not come with curry, but came with miso soup instead for $1 cheaper. With the tender chicken cutlet and big portion, I think the value of the meal was excellent. Hearts: 8.8/10

Ebi Katsu Curry (deep fried breaded prawn) $8.95

The fried prawns were fresh and delicious. For under 9 dollars you get 3 prawns and a good curry rice dish. I wish I can make Japanese food this good! Hearts: 9.2/10

Last but not least, we had to try some desserts. I packed up the last bits of my pork katsu dish because I couldn’t finish it. The deep-fried goods and the curry were really filling!

Ice Cream Tempura (deep fried vanilla ice cream & strawberry sauce) $5.50

This tempura was a little bigger than the size of a fist. I enjoyed it the first time I got this dish, so I ordered it this time for my companions to try. My favourite part is the corn cereal flakes used for this dish. For most deep-fried desserts, smooth batter is used, resulting in a moist and creamy texture. I liked the crunchiness of the shell because it contrasts the ice cream. The tempura we got this time seemed to have an oilier shell than the one I ate the first time. Another small complaint is that once you cut the tempura open you will have to eat it all immediately before it all melts and makes the shell soggy. Hearts: 7.9/10

I would love to see variations of this dessert – perhaps coffee ice cream and with chocolate sauce? That sounds good…

Jenny says:

  • Good price, generous portions and great food
  • Recommendations: Curry is must-get. Try their daily specials, Bento Box and Donburi.
  • Although this restaurant can be hard to spot, many people who crave its delicious food still come and line up. It gets busy during dinner hours, and is always busy on weekends, both lunch and dinner.
  • There is a Japanese convenience store near the Nikkei museum. Drop by if you want to explore or buy Japanese goodies

Hi Genki
6680 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby

-By Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny


2 thoughts on “Hi Genki – Japanese, Vancouver

  1. I used to walk by this place every couple of months to donate blood at the Nikkei Heritage Centre. It is one of the Canadian Blood Services’s satellite sites.

    I’m curious about the ice cream tempura — Was it solid ice cream on the inside? If so, I had something similar at Belgian Fries for $5.25. And honestly, it just wasn’t worth it. For $5.25 I could get a whole tub of decent ice cream from Superstore.
    Once upon a time in Singapore, I could have sworn that I had smaller balls of deep fried ice cream, and it was cool and melted on the inside and you popped the whole thing in your mouth. That seemed to make more sense to me. Or maybe it was something else… My memory is fuzzy going back that far.

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