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!
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 →
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 →
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 →
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:
Location: Continental Centre, 1111-3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond
The Molangs came to Yuu Japanese Tapas for a late lunch/quick snack on a Saturday afternoon. This is a restaurant in the Continental Centre, so parking easy and free. Note: if you don’t want to deal with lol Richmond drivers, park near TD because there’s going to be more vacant spots.
Despite the restaurant name, this place served a wide range of Japanese food. Other than tapas, you may also order ramen, yakisoba, rice bowls, sizzling plates, hot pot, and desserts. They also serve 4 pages worth of specialty drinks (mostly concoctions of fruit + Calpis/pop).
Although the tapas are reasonably priced (~$5-$9), they are mostly fried dishes, and we didn’t feel like ordering any of them. Instead, we chose ramen and a drink.
Ramen in hot & sour tonkotsu broth (topped with BBQ pork, cheese, bean sprouts, and corn) + Hello Kitty (strawberry + Calpis)
I was reminiscing the time when I had teishoku for breakfast in Japan. Craving for authentic teishoku, I Googled “teishoku Vancouver”. Hachibei was the first to show up on the search result.
Hachibei only serves dinner. Reservation is recommended because there aren’t that many seats in this neighbourhood restaurant. At around 6:00 PM on a weeknight, you can expect at least two groups on the waiting list.
The service staff at Hachibei is very friendly, but they can be inattentive at times.
Their menu offers a variety of teishokus, ranging from fried pork cutlets to healthier options such as grilled mackerel. With the exception of the black cod ($23), the average price for each set is around $15.
For appetizers, we ordered a roll of negitoro. Fresh tuna. Green onions. Yum!