Address: [Metropolis at Metrotown], Ground Level, 236-4820 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 4P1
After an afternoon of shopping in Metrotown mall, it only made sense to have dinner at Sekai Udon Bar! I believe they took over an All-You-Can-Eat Japanese restaurant a few years ago, but they still retained some of the similar traditional Japanese restaurant decor. Seating is abundant and spacious.
One of the waitresses was very helpful and efficient. She escorted us to a new table when our original table was wobbly. Then came an awkward situation when we were about to order food. Our waitress was jotting down our order, and suddenly the supposed manager came over, and order the waitress to greet new guests instead. In the end, we had a different waiter taking our order. Awkwardness aside, let’s focus on the food!
Japoutine – $6.75
Japoutine = tempura-battered potatoes (or sweet potatoes) + poutine-ish ingredients (cheese and gravy) + seaweed sprinkles.
The texture of the fries was interesting. We thought they would be light with tempura batter, but they were quite dense and filling. Instead of cheese curds, they opted for melted cheese (I think it was mozzarella). Not a bad twist on poutine, but we still prefer the French-Canadian original 😛
Niku Udon – $8.25 (regular size)
This was a very traditional bowl of udon with dashi broth, sukiyaki beef, and assorted veggies and mushrooms. Very hearty to eat on a cold day. Soup wasn’t too salty, and the beef was tender (+ generous portions!).
Address: Lansdowne Centre, 221-5300 Number 3 Road, Richmond, BC V6X 2C7
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
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
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
(No picture :P)
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
Address: Cartier Place, 181 E 16th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5T 3B4
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
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
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
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
Address: 11590 Cambie Road, Richmond, BC6V1G5
Kiyo Sushi is located in the less busy area of Richmond. It doesn’t look like the fanciest Japanese restaurant, but the food quality is up there among the best. For dinner, we ordered four dishes.
Salmon Aburi Sushi – $15
True to its name, this sushi roll is loaded with salmon. There wasn’t any “fillers” (e.g. avocado, cucumber, or imitation crab meat) inside; it was straight up a huge chunk of salmon sashimi! The charred salmon on the outside not only added a different flavour, but a melt-in-your mouth texture as well. Don’t underestimate the tiny bit of greens up top. Seriously, those gave the sushi roll a sophisticated aroma.
Negima – $7.50
It may look like chicken, but it is actually grilled tuna on the skewer. It was nice to eat fully cooked tuna for once. The flavour wasn’t too heavy, as the skewers weren’t drenched in soy sauce. Texture-wise, the fish was like a very tender chicken breast. Continue reading
Address: 401 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R4
The Molangs stopped by Menya on a weeknight, since it is conveniently located near the Broadway & Cambie SkyTrain station.
Menya offers a variety of noodle dishes at very affordable prices (almost everything is under $10). We decided to go for traditional soup noodles.
Menya Shoyu Ramen – $7.95
Shoyu = soy sauce. The broth of this ramen was a mixture of chicken & vegetable broth, bonito, and soy sauce. As seen in the photograph, the soup looked (and tasted) clear. Unfortunately, it wasn’t served very hot. On the flip side, they gave us a good variety of toppings: cha-shu (pork), mixed vegetables, soft boiled egg, fish cakes, seaweed, and bamboo shoots. It’s hard to go wrong with this kind of classic ramen.
Nagasaki Chanpon – $9.50
Even more so than the shoyu ramen, this one had even more going on! It came with a tonkotsu (pork) broth, so it had a thicker/richer texture and taste. Toppings include: sliced pork, fried egg strips, fish cakes, mixed veggies, and mixed seafood (squid, shrimp, and imitation crab meat). The toppings weren’t “premium” (the shrimps were the size of a nickel), but we appreciated the variety and generous portions. We were glad that they put a lot of vegetables because the heavy soup and cabbage/zucchini make an addicting combination!
The chanpon had thicker noodles than the shoyu ramen, but both were cooked perfectly (what is the Japanese equivalent of al dente?). Continue reading
Location: 223 East Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC (near Chinatown)
Every ramen shop has its signature broth. The Ramen Butcher specializes in tonkotsu (pork) broth. Most, if not all, of their noodles share the same broth. You can dictate the flavours by choosing from a variety of paste add-ons. For our meal, we ordered one appetizer and two ramens.
“Not fried” chicken karaage ($5.95)
Oven-baked chicken karaage; a healthy alternative! It didn’t t have the crispiness of the deep-fried version, but it still had the equivalent taste. We felt that the meat was a tad dry, but it wasn’t too bad when we dipped it in wasabi mayo.
“Green” Ramen ($10.95)
The green paste consisted of fresh basil, and on top of it was powdered parmesan cheese. Taste-wise, the basil paste was too overpowering that it covered the tonkotsu broth. Texture-wise, the soup was already quite thick, and the entire bowl turned very slurry-like once everything was mixed. Consequently, we had something that was more like spaghetti with pesto than ramen. It wasn’t bad; it was just unexpected. Continue reading
Location: 1508 Yew Street, Vancouver, BC 6K3E5
Kibune Sushi is located right by Kitsilano beach. Though it isn’t very big, the place is easy to spot; just look for the oriental-looking storefront with a Japanese sign.
This cozy little restaurant gave off a very traditional/authentic vibe. They were quite understaffed, as on several occasion during dinner, it took several attempts to get the attention of our servers. In terms of price, the food here is on the expensive side of the spectrum. We’d like to believe that it is due to the quality of the cooking, and to a certain extent, the neighbourhood in which this restaurant is situated.
For our dinner for two, we ordered the following items:
- Miso marinated sablefish ($14)
- Ocean maki ($7.50)
- Osashimi dinner ($25)