Blüfish: Japanese Haute Hot Dogs
Thank Blufish for bringing a hot new food trend to Winnipeg—Japa Dogs. Pick a meat (beef, turkey, pork or veggie) and top with favourite Asian-inspired ingredients like pickled diakon and tempura flakes.
Today's haute hot dogs won't stand for just any old condiments.
Instead, pickled diakon, sweet mayo, cabbage and wakame (seaweed) are the top topping trends.
Japa dogs are one of the newest food trends to hit Winnipeg. The Asian-inspired hot dogs were created by Vancouver-based company Japa Dogs, which started in 2005 as a street food cart. (The company has since expanded to two bricks and mortar restaurants and three carts, including a store in New York City.)
In Winnipeg, Blufish, one of the city's top sushi spots, added the Japanese-style hot dogs to their menu.
Blufish hopes to start a local craze for the dogs and summer is the perfect time to do it.
For Japa dog newbies, you choose one of four dogs: beef, pork, chicken or vegetarian.
Pick one of three sauces: Blufish BBQ, teriyaki or sweet mango. And dress it with a choice of three toppings including: cabbage, tempura crumbs, romaine lettuce, tomato, green onion, pickled diakon (oshinko), pickled burdock (yamagobo), bonito flakes and sweet egg omelette.
Not sure what combination to have? Blufish staff can help. The dogs cost $8 each. For $6, you can take a dog to go with either an order of edamame or a drink.
The dog we sampled didn't disappoint. The smokie-style beef dog satisfied a serious meat fix. We topped it with house barbeque sauce—a dark, tangy, sweet and slightly smoky concoction; crisp and tart pickled diakon, tempura crumbs and green onions.
Blufish has extended its hours for the summer, remaining open for the afternoons. To that end, they have introduced a new happy hour menu including mussels, lobster roll, deep-fried oysters and mini-salmon tartar, and other dishes.
Insiders tip #2: From 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., the happy hour menu is 25 per cent off.
Blufish, it must also be noted, is a great sushi joint. The menu is loaded with classic and innovative sushi, wraps and dishes. It's an incredibly popular spot in the city and has a faithful following.
Japa dogs, meanwhile, may or may not end up on the Blufish menu permanently. In the meantime, the restaurant is testing Winnipeg's appetite for haute hot dogs and hoping the Vancouver craze for Japanese-style specialty smokies repeats itself here.