Lunch @ Minami

Minami Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 1118 Mainland Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2T9

Minami is one of the many upscale restaurants in Yaletown. Food quality (and price :O) is certainly on the high end. Naturally, we had high expectations too!

We ordered two lunches (miso soup included) as well as an aburi sushi to share.

Sushi Lunch #1: Traditional – $23

Minami 2

Ten pieces total of nigiri and sushi rolls (I learned that those are called hosomaki). As seen in photo, there was a variety of fish, and each piece of sushi was delicately made. For those who care, everything on this plate was gluten free. Continue reading

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[Review] Maruwa Restaurant

Maruwa Sushi Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 11300 Steveston Hwy, Richmond, BC V7A 5J5

Greater Vancouver is home to a plethora of Japanese restaurants, which means there is always a lot to choose from! One sunny evening, we stumbled upon Maruwa Restaurant, which is tucked inside Ironwood Plaza in Richmond. The reviews on Yelp and Zomato seemed positive, so we decided to give it a try.

We were a little concerned at first because the restaurant was empty at 6PM. Alright, it was a week night, but it was a little eerie…but another table did have a reserve sign on it, so perhaps people eat late?

Spicy Tuna with Chili Oil – $6.00

sashimi_maruwa sushi

This was essentially tuna sashimi drowned in a mixture of chili and sesame oil, green onion and tobiko. It was a bit too salty for our liking, but it was nevertheless quite an interesting dish. Probably wouldn’t order it again, especially at $6!

Philadelphia Roll – $4.99

philly roll_maruwa

I cannot speak for the other Molang, but I personally LOVE Philly rolls. The combination of cream cheese, salmon (sashimi not smoked) and avocado is just heavenly. I love the texture, the taste and everything about it. With that being said, I have very high standards when it comes to a good Philadelphia roll – it has to have the right proportion of ingredients. Maruwa’s Philadelphia roll was OK – it tasted quite good but it wasn’t outstanding. For $4.99 – it’s not a bad deal.

Winter California Roll – $7.95

wintercaliroll_maruwa

Imagine a California roll topped with the same creamy, cheesy sauce used for motoyaki oysters. That is the Winter California Roll in a nutshell, with the chef’s special “winter” sauce as the highlight. Very innovative roll – we felt like we were eating baked cheese rolls. Honestly, I would never pay more than $5 for California roll, but I guess restaurants can get away with it by adding special sauces and extra ingredients, i.e. Alaska Rolls and Dynamite Rolls.

Dragon Roll – $7.95

dragonroll_maruwa

It’s difficult to mess up a Dragon Roll. This was my favourite dish of the evening – made fresh with hot (not cold!) prawn tempura, unagi, tobiko and avocado. We liked the texture of the Dragon Roll, and the presentation was quite nice too.

Overall, we’ve had better food and experiences at other Japanese restaurants. The waitress was very attentive, and poured tea into our cups without us asking. I guess we cannot complain about having a whole restaurant to ourselves for the duration of the meal.

Molang Scores & Verdict

Food: 3.5/5

Value: 3/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 4/5

Total: 14.5/20

We’ve had better. Not bad if you want a quick fix before going to the movies.

[Restaurant Review] Sekai Udon Bar

Sekai Udon Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Sekai poutine

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)

Sekai udon

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!).

Continue reading

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

Toku yaki udon

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

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

Toshi 5

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

Toshi 2

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

Toshi 4

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 – Restaurant Review

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

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

kiyo-salmon-aburi

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

kiyo-negima

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

[Restaurant Review] Menya Japanese Noodle

Menya Japanese Noodle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

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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

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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