81519015 9505 4FB6 BD7A 8276D958D7AA

Daigyo Cafe

Vancouver has a new spot for matcha! This is Daigyo, a Toronto-based cafe, now opened on Vancouver’s Robson Street as of February 18, 2023.

They are a traditional Japanese-style cafe with a wide selection of drinks in hot and cold, as well as sweet and savoury food items. This includes Japanese style pressed sandwiches, tea-infused desserts, hot beverages, iced teas, and soft serve ice cream.

The owners wanted to bring the Japanese cafe experience to the Canadian hospitality scene and achieved this by importing in quality Japanese ingredients, like said matcha from Shizuoka. “Shizuoka is the largest region in Japan that grows green tea and is known for their world-famous matcha powders”, as taken from their press release.

Similarly, the space is designed with Japanese aesthetics in mind, “warm wood shelving, soft lighting, and Zen music to create a tranquil ambience.” There is not much seating available within, but all their cafe treats are easy eats for grab and go connivence.

We were invited during their soft launch period and given an opportunity to try a couple of their drinks, sandos, and desserts. We ordered based on our personal preferences and they are as follows.

The Daigyo Espresso is one of their house specials. A shot of espresso topped with their matcha and given special treatment with whipped cream, a dusting of matcha powder, and matcha chocolate that eventually melts into the hot beverage if left unattended. Despite being served in a branded paper cup that is a little too large, the presentation is still beautifully crafted.

Daigyo also has a selection of ice lattes. I naturally gravitated towards the roasted Hojicha on ice with milk, and opted to make it a combo with an extra swirl of matcha soft serve. I figured this would just be pipped right on top of my cup, but it was instead served on the side separately. So may be this is not a top up, but a side combo like you would have with fries? Truthfully this is just as well, as the Hojicha latte was better as is, in its intended form. So good that it had me wondering what their white peach option would taste like.

For food we decided to try one of their savoury Japanese Pressed Sando and one of their sweet options. For savoury we had to go with the octopus, as you don’t see such a protein offered often, let alone on a cafe menu. A slice of bread folded in half to form a pocket, and pressed shut with an even toasting of the white bread shell. This one had plenty of gooey melted cheese and they did not shortchange you on the octopus. Each half of this portable pocket had a good level of spicy heat to it, with a hot jalapeño-like chipotle sauce. This is what you taste, with the octopus tentacles adding an enjoyable tender morsel to chew through.

We were sadly, less impressed with our sweet Japanese Pressed Sando option, immediately wishing we went savoury for both instead, as the Tartare Chicken, Crispy Shrimp, and Japanese Cheese looked just as good as our octopus above. This is the one of the two sweet options, both includes mochi. We went for the Purple Sweet Potato over the Red Bean Shiratama and were disappointed by the lack of ube flavour. You could see the purple, but not taste it. It had a cheesy mash filling that was neither sweet or salty. It ate like a filler and not necessarily something I savoured, especially when compared to the memorable mouth experience above.

For dessert we tried their soft serve as is, swirled generously in a waffle cone. It had a mild matcha taste, not overly sweet, but cut with milk for a more mellow profile. Not necessarily for matcha enthusiasts who like it on the strong and bitter side. But more for ice cream lovers who like matcha as a flavour. For those looking for more matcha bang for your buck, go for their matcha latte instead. They have two options. The one prepared with the Spring Matcha Powder has a vibrant green hue and a sweeter profile, whereas the Winter Matcha Powder is notably stronger with the iconic bitter matcha taste.

If you can only choose one dessert or one menu item as your first taste experience of Daigyo, I would recommend that it be their Daigyo Parfait, a visual treat with their logo crowning a cup of their matcha soft serve. The ice cream, is the same as above. but with different textural elements mixed in like tapioca, red bean, mochi, and rice puff. You are able to customize your parfait, but without the available toppings listed anywhere, you do have to ask any of the clerks behind the counter what your options are.

In conclusion, Daigyo is a welcomed additional to Vancouver’s cafe scene and the only one with octopus sandwiches and authentic matcha beverages and treats in the area.

Daigyo Cafe Robson
1725 Robson St #2, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C9, Canada
+1 604-628-5966

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top