Dazzling Cafe – Restaurant Review

Dazzling Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 7971 Alderbridge Way, Unit 140, Richmond, Richmond, BC V6X 2A4

Dazzling Cafe is a petite little bubble tea/dessert shop that also serves modified Italian cuisine. By modified, I meant flavours revised to cater Asian palates. In broad strokes, the pastas, pizzas, and risottos are lighter (and smaller) than you’d expect.

Pesto Risotto w/ Pan Seared Salmon – $13.50

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Salmon fillet, though small, was seasoned and seared well. The flesh was still moist. The pesto risotto did not have an overpowering basil taste, which could be a pro or a con depending on who you ask. Rice firmness was just right.

Smoked Duck Breast w/ Pesto Sauce Pizza – $10.95

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Compared to the risotto above, the pesto sauce was even more faint. Personally, I felt there was too much cheddar cheese, and combined with the thin crust (which was delicately pleasant), it almost felt like eating nachos. Duck breast, while tender, lacked that smokey punch.

Italian Tomato Sauce Spaghetti w/ Seafood – $14.50

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This is what I meant by Asian-Italian pasta. The tomato sauce had a lot less acidity than the “original stuff”, and more white wine + basil flavours. We liked it because it tasted more sophisticated. There was a good variety of seafood: prawns, mussels, squid, and scallops. Pasta was al dente.

Squid Ink Risotto w/ Pan-Fried Squid

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Warning: this still will momentarily stain your teeth and lips! To make the dish even darker, they added mussels. The squid ink infused rice was rich and creamy. The squid meat was chopped up and mixed in with the rice as well. Very interesting overall.

Molang Scores & Verdict

Food: 3.5/5

Value: 3.5/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 4.5/5

Total: 15.5/20

Dazzling Cafe is certainly… dazzling when it comes to presentation. The decor is very cute and highly suitable for high tea. Food was light and tasty.

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[Review] Taiwan Taipei Original Pot

Taiwan Taipei Original Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: Venezia Place, 1160-8580 Alexandra Road, Richmond, BC 6X4B3

The Molangs have been meaning to try this place for a very long time! The Taiwan Taipei Original Pot restaurant always seemed to be packed with people. A rainy Saturday night called for a hearty meal.

House Special Marinated Cucumber – $5.88

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Spicy garlic marinate + crisp cool cucumbers = delicious appetizer. This really got our taste buds going.

Three Spiced Squid – $10.88

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At $10.88 per dish, the portion size is a bit disappointing. Still, this dish was packed with flavours – scallions, soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, and basil. The squid rings/legs were crunchy but not chewy. Be sure to order a bowl of rice to go with it!

Traditional Bone-in Hua Diao Chicken (SM) – $20.68

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The sauce in the chicken pot was very similar to that of the three spiced squid. One of the key ingredients was the premium rice wine (Hua Diao). The chicken, scallions, and veggies were cooked in a boiling pot of special sauce, and the resulting flavours were heavily concentrated. We needed an extra bowl of rice to soak up all the remaining juices/sauce/gravy (whatever you want to call it)!

Molang Scores & Verdict

Food: 4.5/5

Value: 3.5/5

Service: 4.5/5

Ambiance: 3.5/5

Total: 16/20

Heavy and satisfying chicken!

Dinner @ Toku Japanese Restaurant

Toku Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: Lansdowne Centre, 221-5300 Number 3 Road, Richmond, BC V6X 2C7

Menu

Toku’s ambiance can be described in three words: vibrant, modern, and spacious. Conveniently located in the Lansdowne Centre, this restaurant is highly recommended for large gatherings.

In terms of food offerings, Toku has everything you would typically see in a Japanese restaurant, but with more emphasis on chirashi dons. They have 14 different variations of these sashimi rice bowls!

Tokyo Zeitaku – $28

Toku Chirashi

It was a tough decision, but we chose this particular chirashi because it had some of our favorite fish: toro (tuna belly), salmon, shrimp, chopped scallop, and hamachi (yellow tail). Freshness of the sashimi was adequate, and portion size was decent. If we were to nitpick, we wished the fish were sliced 25% chunkier/thicker. The presentation was neat, and the side dishes (including miso soup) were great additions. With all that said, $28 was pretty steep.

Mentai Kimchi Yaki Udon – $15

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The plate didn’t look very big, but the that was because this dish was very heavy.

  • Mentai (fish roe) sauce: salty
  • Kimchi: spicy and tangy
  • Bacon: fatty and salty
  • Udon: thick

Still, the flavour combination was a guilty pleasure. They also added a bit of scallops in the mix. Proceed with caution, as this is definitely comfort food material.

Scallop Magma Roll – $12

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This roll contained spicy tuna and chopped scallop. It was topped with tempura bits & black sesame sauce. We enjoyed this roll, as it had good protein-to-rice ratio. It had excellent flavours and texture as well. There was no need for soy sauce because the black sesame sauce was already strong enough. Continue reading

Review – Sea Monster Noodle Bar

Sea Monster Noodle Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 5-421 Main Street, Tofino BC V0R

Website

After two hours of intense (for our standards :D) stand-up paddleboarding, we felt we deserved a hearty lunch! Most of the restaurants in town were full, so we picked Sea Monster Noodle Bar, as it seemed to serve fast-er food.

For whatever reason, neither of the Molangs were drawn to noodles. Instead, we ordered two rice bowls.

Salmon Poke – $14

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Awesome post-workout bowl #1. This bowl came with salmon, avocado, seaweed/dried seaweed, onions/scallions, ginger, and tobiko. We determined the marinate to be some kind of sesame oil. If you’ve ever had poke before, this would taste very familiar. Your choice of white or brown rice.

Fish Curry – $15

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Awesome post-workout bowl #2! This was a Thai-inspired rice bowl as seem by the usage of green curry and coconut milk. Other toppings: white fish, prawns, cilantro, basil, bok choy, and mushrooms. The acidity of the lime juice balanced out the richness of the curry. Having spent hours in seawater, this warm curry bowl was truly satisfying to consume!

Molang Scores & Verdict

Food: 4/5

Value: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 4/5

Total: 16/20

Very fresh food! For those who are health-conscious, many of their noodles/rice bowls are gluten-free (including the two we’ve reviewed)!

Toshi Sushi – Worth the Wait?

Toshi Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: Cartier Place, 181 E 16th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5T 3B4

Website

There’s always a lineup outside Toshi Sushi. At 5:30 PM, we saw at least six groups waiting for a seat. Fortunately, the staff manages their waiting list very intelligently. Patrons write their name and # of guests on the list, and are then instructed to wait outside. Name will be called when table is ready, and every diner must be present (or else no table for you)! Part of the reason why Toshi Sushi is so packed is that the restaurant itself is very small; approximately six tables only + a sushi bar. Another reason Toshi is so popular is the supposedly great food! As a party of two, we finally got a table after 90 minutes of waiting.

Cold Tofu – $5.95

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Fresh firm tofu served with “fixings” – bonito flakes, wasabi, scallions, and garlic. Very light and simple appetizer. Mix the fixings with soy sauce!

Salmon Kama – $8.00

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Mm… Grilled salmon cheeks. Tender, well-seasoned, crispy skins, and rich in fish oil. Another great appetizer!

Sushi rolls – Smoked salmon mango roll & ika tobi kyu – $7.95 & $4.95

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Top row – smoked salmon mango roll. It was an interesting combination. The saltiness of the smoked salmon paired well with the sweetness of the mango. Texture-wise, we would’ve liked more smoked salmon 😛

Bottom row – ika tobi kyu = raw squid + flying fish roe + cucumber. I personally liked this roll better than the other one because it was well-balanced in terms of “ingredient distribution”. The varying textures were also very pleasant (sticky squid, crunchy cucumbers, and soft rice). Continue reading

Ga Hyung Ru [Restaurant Review]

Ga Hyung Ru Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 1205 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver, BC 7M2H6

Being a Korean-Chinese restaurant, Ga Hyung Ru serves something different from the usual affairs: bulgogi, BBQ, or hot pot, etc. Instead, this quaint eatery serves predominantly noodles and rice dishes; something more homey.

Seafood, Pork and Black Bean Sauce on Noodle – $12.75

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It appears that the black bean sauce is one of their specialties. It had strong flavours of bean paste (obviously) and caramelized onions. The pork and seafood (which was just shrimp) were hard to see in the dark sauce, but the textures were definitely there. Overall, the sauce wasn’t too salty, and it struck a perfect balance with the noodles. Speaking of which, the noodles were quite tasty, and had a good springy texture.

O-Mu Rice – $12.50

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O-Mu Rice = fried rice wrapped in an omelette. Very cute looking! As you could see, one of the major ingredient in this dish was ketchup. The fried rice was seasoned with ketchup as well, so it tasted sweet and tangy. This dish was also semi-vegetarian, since there was no meat in it.

Molang Scores & Verdict

Food: 4/5

Value: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 3/5

Total: 15.5/20

Good comfort food with great portions! Next time we will try their bigger dishes like fried chicken 😛

[Review] Long’s Noodle House

Long's Noodle House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 4853 Main Street, Vancouver, BC

Long’s Noodle House is a very… cozy restaurant. That’s the polite way of describing way. To put it more bluntly, the restaurant is a hole in a wall. It has very few seats, and on busy nights, you would have to share table with other patrons. Nonetheless, we’ve heard good things about the food!

Wine Chicken – $7.95

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Drunken chicken! The presentation was pretty neat, as it looked like they dunked a whole chicken leg in Chinese cooking wine, and let it cook slowly. Though the portion was small, the chicken was delicious. Texture-wise, the meat was tender, and it practically slid off the bone. Flavour-wise, we could hardly taste the alcohol content, most of it evaporated (presumably). The remaining “juice” was very aromatic.

Yang Chow Syle Fried Rice (楊州炒飯) – $9.50

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Classic fried rice that has pretty much everything – BBQ meat, shrimp, egg, and peas. As an avid fried rice fan, I could say that this was cooked very well :P. Texture was fluffy, and flavour was well-balanced. One more bonus point for not putting so much oil!

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