I’m done finals! I haven’t blogged for over a month since I was so busy finishing up the school year. But that didn’t stop me from eating!
One day after a (particularly brutal) final I went downtown to get new work shoes for the summer. I wanted to eat something quick and easy. Five Guys hadn’t opened yet, so I decided to try another new comer to the downtown Vancouver fast food scene. Chipotle! Last summer after one of the cooks I worked with went to Vegas he came back absolutely obsessed with Chipotle, burrito bowls in particular, so I knew I had to try it.
What I ate
Carnintas burrito bowl
- Carnitas (think Mexican pulled pork), cilantro-lime rice, black beans, corn salsa, 2 types of tomato salsa (mild and medium), sour cream, cheese, guacamole (extra charge for the guac)
- This was massive! At first it didn’t look too big but as the guy started piling everything up it became really substantial
- All of the ingredients were very fresh, it’s something Chipotle takes pride in
- For fast food the quality was really good!
- Its still fast food though, don’t go looking up the calorie info on this (hint: there were a lot)
- Welcome addition to the fast food scene in Vancouver
- Compared to other fast food, very fresh ingredients
- Kind of expensive, especially for fast food
My last two posts involving ramen have had me concluding that it isn’t really my thing. And it wasn’t! Until today.
I went downtown after class for International Macaron Day and decided to get lunch while I was there. My friend Diana had been bugging me about trying this ramen place since she knew I wasn’t super big on ramen but was convinced this would change my mind. Ed from edeats.com wrote about Santouka (his post here) a while ago and got the dipping noodles, so thats what I decided I would try.
What I Ate
- Concentrated ramen broth and a double serving of noodles served on the side, meant to be dipped into the noodles
- This portion was huge! I left the restaurant very very satisfied
- The noodles came out room temperature since they were meant to be dipped into the hot broth
- They had a perfect chew to them
- The broth was super rich and full of pork, green onion, and an egg.
- What you’re supposed to do is dip the noodles into the broth and then slurp it up
- My slurping technique is kind of lacking so I just drank small bit of the broth!
- 5 fried pork and vegetable dumplings
- These gyoza had a thing wrapper and were very crisp on the bottom without being burnt
- The flavours of the filling was very balanced and delicious (not too vinegary like a lot of gyoza)
One thing I found really amusing was that this was the quietest restaurant I’ve ever dined at. Why? Because everyone was too busy enjoying their noodles! I really enjoyed this place, so I guess I can’t say I’m not very into ramen anymore!
- Amazing tsukemen. Will definitely be returning to try their other ramen
- By the silence of the restaurant, everyone seems to enjoy it!
- Very efficient service, they’re shooting for high turnover so don’t expect to sit around and chat
- Super busy, there is almost always a line!
- A bit pricey, but worth it
This Friday my friend and I chose a restaurant by driving to Continental Plaza in Richmond and choosing from the huge variety of restaurants that are there. We ended up choosing Yuu for two reasons: it was one of the few places we hadn’t already been to, and Lindsay Anderson from Richmond365 had just been there (post here) and blogged about Japanese poutine.
Japanese poutine? Never heard of it. But we wanted it.
What we ate
Ramen in Miso Base with Butter
- Miso broth, butter, bbq pork, corn, egg, green onion, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and nori
- Was missing the nori and the bean sprouts
- Noodles were cooked al dente and there was a good amount of pork that was really tender and flavourful
- The broth wasn’t very rich compared to other ramen places
Ramen in Spicy Base with Cheese
- Spicy broth, cheese, bbq pork, corn, green onion, bamboo shoots
- Spicy soup and cheese is one of my favourite combinations. The soup was fairly spicy and the cheese balanced it out
- Noodles were al dente and the bbq pork was good. Had more in it since this didn’t come with an egg.
- Fries topped with cheese curds, okonomiyaki sauce, japanese mayo, bonito flakes, and seaweed
- Friend and I both loved this! It was the standard toppings you would get on okonomiyaki sauce + fries and (real) cheese curds but it worked amazingly well
- Makes me wonder what their other tapas were like, I’d be willing to return to try them
- Creative tapas, such as the Japanese Poutine
- Dessert and drink menu looked really impressive. Will return to try that and more tapas
- Parking at Continental is hit and miss. Its either super busy or empty. Luckily, it was empty today
- Ramen is nothing special, you would be better off at the shops that specialize in ramen
Sun Sushi is located by 10th and Sasamat right across from the 99 stop. Several times I’ve been waiting at this bus stop I’ve noticed that Sun Sushi is always really busy! Almost the whole restaurant would be full and there were people constantly getting take out. I looked it up on Urbanspoon and was impressed by the reviews so I tried it for myself. This was my second time coming and now one of my goals is to show people that live on campus like me that there is no reason to stay on campus if there are places like Sun Sushi that win in terms of quality and price and are so close by!
What we ate
Ebi Sunomono & Agedashi Tofu
- These portions were huge for the price ($3 and $5)
- The sunomono was fresh tasting and there was a good amount of shrimp in it
- The tofu was lightly battered, they weren’t drowning in sauce, and there were a lot of them!
Spicy Sushi Combo (17 pieces)
- Spicy scallop roll, spicy tuna roll, and spicy dynamite roll (that I always order not spicy)
- Scallop and tuna were both fresh and there were two pieces of prawn tempura in the dynamite roll!
- Restaurants often try to sell older, less fresh, fish in the form of spicy rolls but they don’t seem to do that here
Sashimi + Beef Teriyaki Box
- 2 pieces of tuna, 2 pieces of salmon (which they let us switch for 4 salmon), beef teriyaki on rice, tempura, and a california roll
- Sashimi was fresh, pieces were fairly large
- Beef teriyaki wasn’t dry and crumbly, but at the same time wasn’t overly sauced
- Tempura was lightly battered and very fresh
- Value! I don’t usually talk about the price but each of our combos were $10. That beats pretty much everything you can get at UBC!
- Generous portions with decent quality ingredients
- Not the most authentic or refined, but they aren’t looking to serve that crowd
It was a very, very wet week in Vancouver. After wandering around Yaletown in the rain looking for a wrong address followed by a light meal I found myself wandering through downtown in the rain around 9:30 pm. I really wanted a bowl of pho or a viet sub but most restaurants were closed already. I ended up getting a Japadog since I knew it would make a good bite on the go and it was still open. There are 5 locations around Vancouver (and now one in NY!), 4 of them are hotdog stands and the 5th is a restaurant. I was pretty happy about being out of the rain by this point.
What I ate
- Kurobuta sausage (Pork sausage specially made for Japadog), bonito flakes, fried cabbage, okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo
- Japadog never really disappoints. The sausage was juicy, umami enhanced by the bonito flakes, and the fried cabbage added a crunch to the hotdo
Shichimi and Garlic Shake Fries
- Roasted garlic and hot pepper flakes shaken (in a bag) onto fresh fries
- These were just okay. I found them really salty and not too garlicy
- I’d recommend the butter and shoyu or the aonori (seaweed) fries though!
- Consistent across every location (I’ve been to three now) and always good
- Lots of interesting flavour combinations you may not have tried before!
- Expensive for a hot dog and fries (I think my combo came to around $10, included a drink)
- Weird price inconsistencies. A big one was a plain hot dog made with either their pork or beef sausage was the same price, but the terimayo combo with the pork sausage was about $2 more expensive than with the beef sausage! I think the prices vary slightly by location too
There has been a lot of eating going on for me during this reading break. I’ve burnt through all my Chinese New Years money just on food! Today one of my friends wanted Chinese style curry so we decided to go to Mui Garden. Its near Richmond Centre, just off Minoru and kind of located in the back of its complex where you wouldn’t really see it unless you were looking. It has been around as long as I can remember but I’ve never tried it until today. One of the friends I was eating with loves going here with his girlfriend, so he had something to say about nearly every menu item.
What we ate
Beef Brisket Curry on Rice
- Beef brisket, a single chunk of potato, curry, rice
- Mui Garden is known to have the best beef brisket curry around. There was a ton of meat (and no vegetables save for that lonely potato), and the sauce was delicious and went perfectly with plain rice
- The curry sauce looks a bit different than the Chicken one, I was thinking it could be added fat from the brisket?
Chicken Curry on Rice
- Chicken, vegetables, curry sauce, rice
- All of us tried both curry sauces and agreed the brisket one was better
- I felt like the brisket was a better deal too, tons of meat compared to the chicken
BBQ Pork and Green Onion Fried Rice
- BBQ pork fried rice
- Pretty standard. Good sized portion with plenty of meat (Mui Garden does not skimp on their meats, it seems)
Baked Spagetti Bolognese w/ Meat sauce
- Spaghetti in meat sauce, baked
- This dish took a bit longer to serve because the entire thing was baked
- I find Asian meat sauces kind of funny. They’re usually quite greasy and not very meaty. I thought it could have used some cheese on top but my friend enjoyed it
Hot Milk Tea
- Each of our dishes came with a drink. 2 of us got milk tea, and 2 got lemon tea
- This milk tea came pretty much unsweetened. My friend and I added disgusting amounts of sugar to get it up to our standards.
- Wasn’t very milky either, but the taste of the tea was quite nice
Ice Lemon Tea
- This looked like nothing special. Large glass though
- Even though it looked pretty plain, I’ve never been disappointed by a lemon ice tea
- Good portion sizes for the price (we all paid $10.50 ish after tax + tip)
- Doesn’t skimp on the meat in dishes
- Beef brisket curry (so good it becomes an entire pro)
- Theres a bit of parking right in front of the restaurant, and some more on top. I’ve heard it gets super busy.
- Hard to find/describe its location to people who haven’t been (but probably everyone in Richmond has been by now)
After I got home from Mui Garden for lunch my Mom called me saying it was my Grandma’s birthday and she wanted Hainanese chicken rice for dinner. I can’t complain about that! We went to Penang Delight Cafe, a Malaysian restaurant on W.73rd in a little neighbourhood that you would only ever be in if you lived there or you were headed to one of the many office spaces. My Grandpa is Singaporean so he ordered all of his favourites for us and had quite lengthy talks with the owners (in Cantonese) and he was quite pleased with how authentic the food was.
What we ate
- Indian flatbread served with curry dipping sauce
- These came out very fresh. The bread was soft and quite flakey. Curry sauce was lightly spiced and a bit sweet
- Really god appetizer, my whole family enjoyed it
Char Kueh Teow
- Rice noodles with shrimp, bean sprout, chinese sausage, and green onions in slightly spicy sauce
- This looks similar to that beef noodle dish thats quite popular – its pretty much the south east Asian version
- Slightly spicy, but well balanced and not overpowering. I really liked the egg and chinese sausage in this
- Fried rice with shrimps, egg, pork, grean bean, and chili
- Similar to any typical fried rice but with a slightly more spicy flavour
- The pork in it was good BBQ pork, and the beans were cut so finely I thought they were green onions!
Malaysia Speciality Vegetable
- Stir fried okra, eggplant, and green bean, with dried shrimp and chili
- Okra wasn’t (too) slimy, green beans were still crisp
- The dried shrimp added a bit of saltiness and the chili wasn’t too much (Chili is super common in Malaysian food, but its not always too hot)
- Beef in lemon grass, curry, and coconut milk gravy
- Beef was kind of tough and the sauce is quite thick and oily
- Flavours were all there and well done though
Hainanese Chicken (+ Chicken rice)
- Boiled chicken. I can’t really explain how its made (properly) but its so popular its considered the national dish of Singapore
- Often served hot or cold. This one was hot (and therefore lacked the awesome jelly layer)
- Often served deboned. This one was deboned and I much prefer it this way.
- You have to order chicken rice separately, but its a must have with the dish
- Writing all of that made me realize its a really hard dish to explain, but its delicious and a personal favourite of mine. This place did it well.
Signature Steamed Fish
- Steamed whole Tilapia covered in black bean sauce
- For a black bean sauce, this sauce wasn’t very salty at all. There was a citrus/acidic flavour (tamarind?) that balanced the salt from the black bean perfectly
- My whole family really enjoyed the dish
- It was a bit expensive though (~$30)
- Authentic Malaysian food
- Very homestyle, which is something I prefer quite often
- All of the food was very good
- Not super busy (due to the location, there are others though)
- You would never just “stumble upon” this restaurant if you didn’t have reason to be in the neighborhood
- A bit expensive