Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Meh Files – Koyuki Sapporo Ramen

Where is the Butter
In the Sapporo Ramen
At new Koyuki?

Hokkaido is the second largest island in the Japanese archipelago. Being further north, the island has a colder climate than the rest of the country.  As a result, the place is known for its seafood like the heavenly Bafun uni and hairy crab, agriculture, dairy products, and the heartiest and renown bowls of ramen.  In fact, miso ramen was invented on this island.  It is no coincidence the locally beloved Santouka chain’s full name is Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.

When I visited Koyuki Sapporo Ramen I was expecting bowls of noodles bathed in a rich broth augmented with butter (remember Hokkaido is known for their dairy and Sapporo is the biggest city on the island). 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Meh Files – Kofta Meatball Kitchen

On top of meh carbs
with mediocre sauces,
Poor Kofta meatballs.

For a large portion of June and July I was working from home instead of my Gastown office.  When I returned I was surprised to learn new eateries had opened around the area in my absence.

The first restaurant on my “To Try” list was Kofta Meatball Kitchen.  Their selling point is gourmet meatballs either served in sandwiches or personalized bowls.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Wow, You’ve Got Something There! – Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market

Great Local Oysters
A more Polished Place to Slurp
Great New Seafood Joint

Raw oysters served in their half shells are a work in progress for me.  It’s one of the foods that I’ve grown to appreciate as an adult, although still in small quantities and only select varieties.  This is in stark contrast to my LA based cousin, SheClooney, who can down dozens of oysters of various types.

My cousin’s favourite place in Vancouver is Rodney’s in Yaletown due to the staff and atmosphere.  When it comes to oyster bars, I find that as long as the bivalves are of good quality and shucked properly, other factors like ambience and staff are huge influences on where you like to consume your oysters.

SheClooney’s brief visit to Vancouver prompted a lunch at the recently opened Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Meh Files: La Catrina Tacos

Tacos by the Bay
A La Taqueria Clone
Solid but not wow

This will be a short review.  La Catrina is essentially a copy of La Taqueria.  Former employees started the West End shop and the menu of tacos is very similar.  

Depending on your perspective, this is either fantastic news as one can get good tacos and enjoy the beauty of English Bay, or disappointing if you were looking for something more unique.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Wow, You’ve Got Something There! – Tsukemen from Ramen GoJiro

A Different Dip
Tsukemen so slurp worthy
At shop GoJiro

As I looked up from my seat, I spotted a black and white portrait of who I believe to be a young Kazuo Yamagishi, the inventor of Tsukemen and founder of the Taishoken chain of ramen shops in Japan. 

I took this as a good sign.  I had specifically returned to Ramen GoJiro for their tsukemen.  When I first visited, the shop was only selling their gatsuri ramen with its bounty of bean sprouts.  However given Menya Kouji affiliations with the inventor of dipping ramen, Yamagishi san, I was curious how GoJiro’s tsukemen would be.  The other Menya Kouji outlet, Ramen Butcher, serves a distinct and tasty seafood based version. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Meh Files: Pepper Lunch on Cambie Street

So hot it sizzles,
Pepper Lunch. D.I.Y. meals
Yields So So Results

When Pepper Lunch arrived in Richmond a year ago, I had zero interest.  For someone who had no contact with the Japanese chain before, the concept seemed too simple to warrant the hype it was generating.  Although I do understand it may have been a sentimental thing – something comforting and familiar from Asia against the Vancouver landscape of coffee and kale salads. 

A year later a second location opened in Vancouver and despite the social media blitz I was still rather blasé about it.  However, the Cambie street location had one huge advantage in enticing me to visit - it was only a 10 minute walk from Speedy’s work.  We needed a budget dinner option for a catch-up session and neither of us felt like having Shishinori.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wow, You’ve Got Something There! – Royal Dinette

Very Delicious!
Full of Flavor and Freshness!
Royal Dinette - Great!

One of the reasons why it took me so long to become a food blogger was that I didn’t want to delay the wonderfulness of eating tasty food.  It takes time to shoot photos and write notes. 

For my dinner at Royal Dinette, I abandoned almost all blogging procedures, except for picture taking (kind of - I’ll explain later).  I literally stuffed my face without mentally denoting things.  The food served at the eatery on Dunsmuir was awesome. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Wow, You’ve Got Something There! – Shoyu Ramen from Sanpoutei Ramen

Great Ramen Richmond
Tasty Light Soy Seafood Broth
Sanpoutei Ramen

I’m not one for line-ups if I can avoid them.  I’m prepared to dine at other eateries and let the two hour wait craziness subside at the latest and buzziest. 

Usually this takes a few weeks and I don’t get to write the hot take or first look posts.  However I do get the benefit of a kitchen that should have worked out any kinks and have settled on the standard that they will be executing their food.