By Matthew Hoekstra | Richmond Review
A street meat phenomenon that’s proven a big hit with Vancouverites is now in Richmond.
Japa Dog began selling its unique hotdogs earlier this month from the Canadian Tire parking lot on No. 3 Road in North Richmond.
The street food vendor operates three hot dog carts in Vancouver and a small Robson Street restaurant, selling nine different hot dogs with a Japanese twist. The company has attracted plenty of attention from media and celebrity customers, whose photos adorn its Richmond trailer-based kitchen.
Its most popular hotdog is the $4.75 Terimayo, a beef sausage and white bun dressed with teriyaki sauce, julienned seaweed shavings, Japanese mayonnaise and fried onion.
Manager Toshiaki Tanaka said he can’t explain why Japa Dog has become so popular.
“I do not know exactly why,” he said. “We’d like to be (the biggest) hotdog shop in the world.”
Its mission statement is simple: “Making the world happy and alive through hotdogs.”
Japanese native Noriki Tamura started the business in 2005 and, buoyed by success during the 2010 Olympics, is now eyeing international expansion. Tamura, who was unavailable to speak to The Review, is said to be busy securing new locations in major U.S. cities.
Japa Dog’s offerings include the Oroshi, a bratwurst hotdog with grated radish, green onion and special soy sauce; the Negimiso, a turkey hotdog with miso sauce, green onion and fried cabbage; the Okonomi, a kurobuta sausage with “special Japanese sauce,” Japanese mayonnaise, bonito flakes and friend cabbage.
The Richmond cart has operated throughout July noon to 6 p.m. at 3500 No. 3 Rd., but the vendor is working to secure a new location in Richmond.