Friday, July 20, 2012

Aki Japanese Restaurant

Wanted to try them again after they moved to their new West Pender location, decided to go for lunch by myself. Upon entering the restaurant, I was surprised at how different it looked compared to the old location which was underground. The old location looked very traditional Japanese, while this new location looked like a modern fusion of east and west with tall ceilings and red seating. I like the new restaurant setting better.

I decided to get the Sushi Special for lunch.
It was good, but not really good. I liked the California Roll as it tasted like there was some salad dressing on it which was unique. The one thing I didn't like was the rice in the sushi, it felt like they were "separated", I like it when the rice is more "sticky". The tuna sashimi was good, but I've had better in my opinion salmon sashimi at other places. It just didn't taste very fresh.

Even so, overall I enjoyed the food. I would come here again but it is a bit pricy, so once in a while.

Aki Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Cafe Moa

Came here on a hot, summer day to escape the heat. On a tour around UBC, we stumbled upon this little cafe run by UBC Food Services inside the Museum of Anthropology. I've never gotten food from here before, but this time, I was so hungry that I couldn't resist. My expectations were: high prices, average food.
They have this lunch combo which has a Salmon Chowder and a _____ (name of this slipped my mind at the moment). The Salmon Chowder was delicious! I enjoyed it so much that it convinced my two other friends to get one for themselves as well. It was thick and filled with veggies, potatoes and salmon.

The staff there heat this up for you when you order it. I thought it would be bad because it is already pre-made. But after heating it up, it tasted really fresh. The bread was crispy and that made eating this "sandwich" easy. The red peppers and the lettuce (I think?) complemented the meat well.

This UBC Food Service Cafe is better than the other ones.

Cafe Moa on Urbanspoon

Shanghai Ding Tai Fung 鼎泰豐

Saw this brand new restaurant as I was bussing by the other day, I was intrigued because it is rare to see such a big Chinese restaurant in this area. Decided that it was something I definitely needed to try!

Went with my friend for lunch today. Upon entering the restaurant, I felt like I was in a Richmond restaurant, which is cool because we are in Downtown! It was quite spacious and comfy, dishes were sparkling clean because everything was new!

Took us forever to order because the menu was hhhhuuuugggeee. After around 15 minutes (!), finally decided on some items. In my mind, I wondered if it was enough food...
The first was the famous Xiao Long Bao (XLB!) There were different types of XLB on the menu, some filled with crab meat, some with pork, etc. We decided to get the pork ones. The skin was strong enough that I could pick them up with my chop sticks without puncturing them, I proceeded to eat them by biting a little skin off the side, and then slurping the meat juice right out, mmm delicious! XLB's were fresh, I would recommend this one.
Next, we had the Shanghai Stir-Fried Noodles. I always get this dish when I'm at these sort of "northern" Chinese restaurants. This dish's signature is the amount of oil used to make it, it IS very oily, but I'm not eating this everyday. The noodles were smooth. The plate wasn't overly salty. Decent amount of thin pieces of pork. Would recommend this one also if you don't mind the oil.
Was gonna get the sticky rice roll at first, but they did not have it. So decided to get this Cold Duck dish. It is not ice cold, but a warm temperature. I liked this one. The duck wasn't fat, only a thin slice of fat between the skin and the meat. The meat was just the right level of hardness. The sauce is a little sweet if I remember correctly, interesting. This one is a little pricy at $10, but it tastes good.

The restaurant was quite busy in the lunch hour, interested to see how they will do in the future as right now, they basically own Downtown exclusively with this type and size of restaurant.

Shanghai Ding Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 (Opening Soon) on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Joey Burrard

After seeing the Amazing Spider Man at Scotiabank Theatre next door, our group had a wonderful suggestion to go to Joey Burrard for a quick dinner! It was my first time to this Joey, previously only been to the one on Broadway. I noticed most people were sitting outside as the weather was so perfect, I thought the restaurant was nicely decorated both inside and outside.

We started off with some appetizers. Calimari Fritto and Blazing Wings.
The Calimari was really good! I loved how I didn't have to tear the squid apart and it just breaks easily after biting it. It was also pretty crispy.

The Blazing Wings were a little disappointing. They weren't really that spicy, and they were way too salty. If it was less salty, I would have liked them more. I've had better wings elsewhere.

For the Entree, I got the Lobster Ravioli. 
 I enjoyed this one, I liked the "mashed" lobster inside the ravioli, it sort of tasted like potato! The taste was just right, not too salty. I wish it was a little bit more "lobsterey" though, ie. lobster meat on the side, now THAT would be awesome. XD

Joey Burrard on Urbanspoon

Guu Garden

Decided to go out for a lunch break from work today, I was sort of craving a Japanese Bento Box, but after searching on Urbanspoon, I did not find anything I wanted, I decided to fall back to Guu Garden, I have always wanted to try it for lunch!
I actually took the elevator up the 18th floor of the adjacent building because I thought Guu was up there! It wasn't, but the elevator ride was thrilling and I have never been on such a fast elevator where I actually felt weightlessness!
Now, at the restaurant, the weather was so nice that I decided to sit on the patio. Service was quick and friendly. I got the Chopped Tuna "Yukke" on rice with half-boiled egg and ground sticky potato.
It comes with a miso soup with a bean curd inside, a few slices of egg plant, little grapes, and some garlic to mash. I really enjoyed the chopped tuna with half boiled egg and ground sticky potato even though I couldn't really taste the egg and potato, it definitely lead to an interesting taste of tuna that was very unique and something I've never had before. It was warm and the mixture was a mushy sort of thing, I liked it.

Guu Garden on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Urban Thai Bistro

An online deal for this place came up one night, the deal was for buy one get one free entree, I thought why not try it. Called up my Pad Thai-addict friend and on we went. The restaurant is quite nicely decorated and comfortable. It was a weekday night to pretty quiet.

Both of us got the Pad Thai and also some Thai Curry skewers to share. The waitress was friendly, however, she seemed impatient when taking the orders...
It was beef, lamb, chicken, pork. These skewers were fail... They were probably the worst skewers I've had in this type of cuisine. It was very dry and hard, and it was like that for all the meats... Bad choice.
It's a good thing they redeemed themselves with the Pad Thai, I thought it was above average, I really liked the way they prepared the taste. It had a little ketchupy taste but not too much. The noodles also didn't stick together in one big chunk. The various ingredients provide a nice texture when eating.

Urban Thai Bistro on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guu Original

This was my first time visiting Guu Original! Having been disappointed by the Guu in Denman recently, while having good experiences at Guu Gastown and Guu with Garlic, I was interested to see what Guu ORIGINAL had to offer :).

Even though it was a weekday night, it was still extremely busy at the restaurant, thankfully we made a reservation!

We got Last Samurai (tan-taka-tan (Japanese shiso herb vodka), sour plum, shiso), Snow White (soho, calpico, lemon), Aloha Mojito (sake, aloe vera, lime, mint).
The first item Grilled Chicken Wings was very disappointing! These were probably the worst chicken wings I've ever had! They were wayyyyyyyy tooooooo salty and I hate that bloody taste when it's not cooked enough.
Next item we got was the Tuna Tataki. It wasn't as good as the one I had at Hapa Umi ;), but it was till quite decent, I like it when more of the edge is cooked, rather than just the rim, but the tuna tasted fresh to me.
Next item we actually saw the table beside us get it, and we were interested! Sashimi Salad (assorted daily fresh sashimi on bed of green plum dressing and wasabi mayo) I had a few pieces of the different sashimi, and they were all pretty decent and fresh, I really wanted to try the prawn sashimi and sucking the head... but I let my friends have them haha
The next one was my favourite in the whole meal. Grilled Black Cod, I loved this one because the fish was so smooth! It literally dissolves in your mouth, and the taste was perfect, not too salty but still had a good taste to it. My friend complained about too much mayo though.
The BBQ Eel Rice Gratin, this one was cool because I love rice covered with cheese! and I love eel :) The eel itself was delicious and I loved the combination of the different materials. I liked all the stuff (seaweed, squid strips?) you see on top of dish as well
Chazuke is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea, dashi, or hot water over cooked rice roughly in the same proportion as milk over cereal, usually with savoury toppings. This specific one was topped with Salmon. This was definitely something new for me and it was sorta like eating congee but not really lol. I don't know, it's sorta like soup, interesting.
All in all, a LOUD place with lots of SCREAMING staff haha, not good for having a conversation with friends (especially new ones!!) because you always have to yell! I still prefer the Guu Gastown before it's better to chat with friends there and I prefer the bigger dishes there :D !

But I still had a great time.
Guu Original on Urbanspoon