914

A&W

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Sriracha Burger

If you haven’t already heard, A&W had been offering coupons to redeem their new Sriracha Teen Burger for free. Unfortunately, the coupons have run out, but if you were lucky to get the coupon, but didn’t redeem it by their previous deadline, July 31, 2015, they extended it until August 9, 2015! The Sriracha Teen Burger features a sesame seed bun, filled with a pure beef patty, processed cheddar cheese, bacon, sriracha aioli, roasted red pepper, tomato and lettuce. It really tastes just like a teen burger but has the roasted red peppers and a hint of that sriracha aioli. I was expecting it to be more spicy, but it really wasn’t. I did like the roasted red peppers in it though.

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Onion Rings

When you sign up with A&W online, they also post various coupons in your account. One of them was upgrading to Onion Rings for free when you purchased fries. So for $2.50, we got onion rings, compared to around $4.50 normally. Not bad! Their onion rings are also always crispy and sweet.

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Chubby Chicken Strips

The must order for S at A&W are the Chubby Chicken Strips. They claim that they use 100% chicken breast from chicken raised without the use of antibiotics. I did think that the chicken tasted much more like real chicken without other random ingredients. They batter and bread the chicken with toasted wheat crumbs, wheat flour and spices. Quite crispy indeed, but I personally think they are quite pricey at around $8 for 5 small strips.

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Poutine

On another visit, K brought take out home and I got to sample their Poutine. This was another deal where she used a coupon to upgrade her fries to a poutine for free. The poutine features Russet thick-cut fries with cheese curds and a poutine gravy sauce. We thought these were just average. The fries were a bit soggy and I would choose New York Fries over these for sure.

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Overall, A&W’s new Srircha Burger is worth a try and I would probably order it again. I also like how when you dine in, your food looks pretty fancy in their little fryer baskets. Seems like a bit of an upgrade compared to your typical fast food restaurants. You don’t get this at the food court though, and we noticed that the food court’s quality was not as good as their restaurants with the food being cold and fries being fried in old oil.

Pros:
– Sriracha Teen Burger and Onion Rings are good
– Good deals when you sign up for their online coupons

Cons:
– Can be a bit pricey for fast food without the coupons

Price Range: $10-15

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: N/A Ambiance: 2 Parking: 3 Overall: 3
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Pajo’s

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The sun is rolling in and what better way than to head down to Steveston to enjoy some fish and chips at Pajo’s. It seems like Pajo’s have added some new items on their menu this summer, and I also got to try some new items, so I decided it would be a good opportunity to blog.

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Large Salmon and Chips

S got the Large Salmon and Chips, which comes with 2 and a half pieces of fish and this is definitely quite a lot for one person. Good for sharing though! I usually get halibut or cod, because I always have a bad feeling that the salmon will become too dry after getting fried. Well, I thought wrong! At Pajo’s, they use pacific wild salmon, and surprisingly, the salmon is cooked to keep its moisture! I feel like you also get more meat compared to the other two fish. The batter is crispy and it is served with their fresh cut fries. Apparently the fries and soda are bottomless, something that seems to be new!

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Soft Shell Tacos

For myself, I had been seeing pictures of their new item, the Soft Shell Tacos, and knew I had to give these a try. I was surprised by the portions, since I was expecting perhaps two tacos only. It ended up being three large soft shell tacos filled with deep fried cod, coleslaw and topped with a delicious Sriracha mayo. This was delicious, with the fish being moist and the batter crispy.

Overall, we were quite happy with the new items we tried. They are always very busy on sunny weekends, so be aware of the long waits. You can also head over to the one at Gary Point to see if there are shorter waits.

Pros:
– Light batter and fish is moist
– Patio is great for sunny days

Cons:
– Long waits on the weekends

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

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906

Dinesty (Ackroyd)

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Cold Jelly Fish on Cucumber

Dinesty is one of my favourite go to places for Shanghainese food in Richmond. They have several locations, but my favourite has been the one on Ackroyd. However, I was a bit let down this time around when I visited. The food wasn’t up to par and the service was quite rude. Starting off, we had several cold appetizers. The Cold Jelly Fish on Cucumber was not your typical jellyfish. I think this was the part of the head, so it had more of a cartilage type of texture. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, and I found that the soy sauce underneath also didn’t seep into the jelly fish. They should have probably marinated this overnight.

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Kao-Fu with Stewed Mushrooms and Peanuts

Next up were Kao Fu with Stewed Mushrooms and Peanuts. Tons of gluten here! The gluten soaked in the sauce and was very flavourful.

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Preserved Pork Slices

Preserved Pork Slices sort of reminded me of spam, but with a less mushy texture. These were thinly sliced and had a bit of fat on both ends. Not too salty.

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Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings

And of course, we got the Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings, which are a must order. Each diner gets their own dipping sauce which is vinegar with strips of yellow ginger. The dumplings are filled with a creamy soup and the skin is thin.

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Shanghai Fried Noodles

The Shanghai Fried Noodles was probably the dish that really let us down. For some reason, the noodles seemed to be way undercooked. I like it when my noodles are al dente, but these were really hard! And as always, this dish is always super oily!

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Stewed Pork Belly

Another entree we ordered was the Stewed Pork Belly. We had expected lots of meat, but the dish turned out to have a bunch of other items, like tofu, knotted bean curd, and eggs. The sauce was delicious and the pork belly itself had a good proportion of meat to fat. It wasn’t the melt-in-your-mouth type of pork belly though.

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Steamed Glutinous Rice & Red Bean Paste Dumplings

Last up, we had the Steamed Glutinous Rice & Red Bean Paste Dumplings for dessert. The only complaint we had was how the skin felt so thick. I think it was because we chose the option that included glutinous rice as well. This gave the dumpling a more mochi-type of texture, but it wasn’t executed well. I will stick with their regular red bean paste dumplings next time.

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Overall, Dinesty usually executes their dishes pretty well. It was unfortunate that some of our dishes were not as great as I’ve had in the past. Also, service was pretty rude this time, with our server giving us a lot of attitude. Ambiance-wise, their decor is definitely nicer than many Chinese restaurants, but be aware that it is still extremely loud with chatter from the diners.

Pros:
– Large variety of decent Shanghainese dishes
– Reasonable prices

Cons:
– Some dishes were a miss
– Service we received this time was pretty rude

Price Range: $20-30

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 2 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

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888

Zakkushi (Main St.)

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Zakkushi is a fun place to go if you love Japanese grilled skewers (yakitori) and drinks. They get very busy after dinner time, because people come here for snacks and drinks. We came for dinner, so it wasn’t as packed, but still quite full. Be sure to make reservations beforehand to guarantee yourself a spot since it’s quite small. There are two locations (previously three). What’s left is the one on Denman and the one we visited, on Main St. Both locations are very small, but the one on Main can fit slightly larger groups.

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Sockeye Salmon and Toro Tuna Sashimi

Zakkushi is known for their grilled items, but they do have a section of their menu dedicated to a few types of sashimi. We decided to give the Sockeye Salmon and Toro Tuna Sashimi a try. The salmon had a vibrant orange-red colour, but I found it slightly mushy even though it was Sockeye. Usually Sockeye has more bite to it. The toro wasn’t the melt-in-your-mouth type either. The pieces were rather small for the price at roughly $10 for each fish. We didn’t find it too be too good overall. Stick with their cooked food!

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Norimayo Tsukune and Teriyaki Tsukune

We then ordered a variety of yakitori. We got some Tsukune, which are chicken meat balls. They come in a variety of flavours at different prices. You order by skewer, and usually meat skewers will start at around $2 or so. The Norimayo Tsukune was my favourite as it had seaweed and mayonnaise on top. Some of us also tried the Teriyaki Tsukune. These are very flavourful, although we found it to be slightly on the salty side.

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Teba (Chicken Wing) and Sea Salt Momo (Chicken Thigh)

More chicken! The Teba or Chicken Wings were stretched out on the skewers and grilled. We were all surprised that these were quite flavourless. Seems like they missed the seasoning on these. The Sea Salt Momo were pretty good. The Momo is the chicken thigh. These were salted with the right amount.

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Uzura Maki (Quail Egg)

Another favourite was the Uzura Maki. These were quail eggs wrapped with bacon! They were then drizzled with mayonnaise and topped with seaweed. These were a favourite at the table!

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P-Toro (Pork)

Another must order is the P-Toro. This is a delicious cut of pork since it’s extremely tender and juicy. However, K was unlucky, and near the end of her pork skewer, she realized it was raw! She told the server and she took the skewer back. She came back with the same skewer that was half eaten but had gotten it grilled for longer. You would’ve thought they would give you a new skewer though… Seemed kind of unsanitary since they placed a half eaten skewer back on the grill…

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G Beef

The G Beef was extremely flavourful since it was marinated in teriyaki sauce and topped with garlic chips. The beef was very tender and cooked to medium.

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Duck Breast

The Duck Breast was marinated in yuzu citrus chili and had the right amount of fat to meat proportion. The meat was very tender.

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Ebi Mayo

We were surprised that the Ebi Mayo came on skewers as well, but these were jumbo and delicious. It came drenched in their house chili mayo sauce.

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Ikayaki (Grilled Squid)

One of my favourite grilled dishes is the Ikayaki, or Grilled Squid. The squid was slightly too charred at parts on the top, but nevertheless, it was tender and flavoured well with the teriyaki sauce. It came with a side of spicy mayo.

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Mentai Kimchi Yakiudon

We then ordered some rice and noodle dishes to fill up. The Mentai Kimchi Yakiudon features pan fried udon with spicy roe and kimchi. Very flavourful with that hint of sourness from the kimchi. It’s not very spicy though. Perfect for those who like kimchi.

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Negi P-Toro Don

The last rice dish was the Negi P-Toro Don. It featured the same P-toro pork, which we loved, along with a half boiled egg, green onion, onion sauce, and nori seaweed on top of steamed rice. You mix it all together, and it is very tasty and flavourful!

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Dorayaki Matcha Ice Cream

Onto some desserts to finish our meal off! The Dorayaki Matcha Ice Cream reminded me of Doraemon’s favourite snack. The Japanese pancake is fluffy and filled with matcha ice cream and red bean paste. They are quite big, so great for sharing!

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Kinako Mochi Ice Cream

An interesting dish was the Kinako Mochi Ice Cream. This had vanilla ice cream and sticky rice with soy powder sprinkled on top and drizzled with maple syrup. The sticky rice is quite flavourless, but along with the condiments, it makes a very tasty dessert.

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Hojicha Pudding

Lastly, we had their featured dessert, which switches up daily. This was the Hojicha Pudding, which is roasted green tea. The flavour isn’t very strong, but you can definitely taste the tea flavour. It was topped with whipped cream and red bean paste. The pudding itself was very smooth.

Overall, Zakkushi was pretty good. Definitely stick to their grilled items, but their desserts are also very good for the price. Great place to have drinks and snacks if you come later at night as they open til late. Ambiance is similar to izakaya style shops, so it is rather loud, but lots of fun.

Pros:
– Yakitori is excellent and large variety to choose
– Desserts are surprisingly very well executed

Cons:
– Can be very busy later at night
– Your bill can add up quickly

Price Range: $25-35

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: 2 Overall: 4

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885

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill

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The Flying Beaver can be a bit out of the way as it is situated on Inglis Drive near the YVR airport. However, during summer, their patio is the perfect place to chill since you can watch the planes take off and land and also get some views of the Islands. We decided to check their Wings Wednesdays deal after work which begins at 5:00 pm. The place was bustling when we arrived! You look for your own seat, so there was a bit of standing around stalking for a seat, but we luckily found one within 15 minutes.

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Coke Zero, Sleeman Honey Brown Lager

Their Wednesday drink deal was the Sleeman Honey Brown Lager for $4.56 a sleeve. We were also told that to get the wings deal, each diner had to purchase at least some sort of drink, even if it was non-alcoholic.

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Honey Garlic

On Wednesdays, the wings are 49 cents after 5:00 pm. They have a decent list of flavours, including Honey Garlic, BBQ, Teriyaki, Thai Chili, Hot, Salt & Pepper, and Lemon Pepper. Our first flavour was the Honey Garlic. It was lathered with honey, but I found it to be slightly flavourfuless. I wished it had more garlic flavour to it.

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Salt & Pepper

Next up were the Salt & Pepper, which was probably my favourite. Seasoned with simply just salt and pepper, these were crispy and tasty. The meat was also for the most part moist. You get one or two that are a bit dry.

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Teriyaki

Lastly, we got the Teriyaki which had a good amount of sauce.

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Overall, Flying Beaver is a nice choice for a bar in Richmond. Most of our pubs don’t have the best patios, so this is great without needing to go downtown. Not the cheapest deal for wings, but still a pretty good deal. Service is your typical pub service, but it was quite attentive. They also have a large menu for other food and drinks.

Pros:
– Wings are decent and reasonably priced on Wednesdays
– Awesome views out on the patio

Cons:
– Extremely busy
– You have to look for your own seat

Price Range: $10-15

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 2 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

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857

G-Men @ NanChuu (Revisit)

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It’s been many years since I’ve posted about G-Men @ NanChuu. Not because I haven’t revisited in all these years, but sometimes when I revisit a restaurant, I just simply want to eat and enjoy my food. Well after go-karting with SS, SF, and J, we decided to grab some ramen in Richmond and G-Men was what was suggested. There is literally always a line up here – and I’m not really sure why because I don’t think it’s as good as the ones in downtown. I guess there’s few ramen joints in Richmond, so this will do. We ended up waiting over 30 minutes for a table.

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RCMP Ramen

SF was craving spicy so she got the RCMP Ramen which comes with thick noodles in a red chili miso pepper flavour soup. The soup looked pretty red, but SF said it actually wasn’t that spicy.

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Tonkotsu Miso Ramen with Ajitama

SS and J both got the Tonkotsu Miso Ramen and paid an additional $1.50 for an ajitama (marinated egg). The thick noodles are in a miso flavour pork bone broth. SS thought this was pretty good.

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I didn’t like how the eggs were overcooked. I like it when the yolk is still runny.

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Miso Cheese Kimchi Ae Soba

For myself, I decided to be adventurous and try something new. The Miso Cheese Kimchi Ae Soba is soupless according to the menu. The special thick noodle tossed in a small amount of miso flavour pork bone broth. I found that the broth was really thick so it got really salty. It’s topped with a marinated egg, cha-shu, corn, kimchi, seaweed, a slice of cheese, and green onions. I mixed everything together and the cheese and ramen were odd at first, but it actually works out. Not bad, but probably a one time try. I think I’d like to stick with the originals.

Pros:
– Good variety of choices
– Decent and consistent eats

Cons:
– Long waits
– I find the soup base to usually be too salty

Price Range: $10-15

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 1 Overall: 3

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Nu Chinese Bistro – ChinesBites Media Event

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NOTE: As part of the ChineseBites media event, all food was free, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

Nu Chinese Bistro is located on the second floor in Richmond’s Cosmo Plaza on McKim Way. It used to be called Nu Shanghainese Bistro, but has since changed names because of new ownership. I was invited by ChineseBites along with 10 other food bloggers to taste their menu. Since we had a large group, we got seated in a private room. The interior of the restaurant is pretty nice.

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Xiao Long Bao 南翔小籠包

Right off the bat, we were served the Xiao Long Bao with vinegar sauce on the side. These were decent with the skin not being too thick and there was a good amount of soup.

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Sautéed Black Fungus 涼拌木耳

We were then presented with three cold appetizer dishes. At first, I thought the Sautéed Black Fungus was underwhelming since there was nothing but the fungus in the dish. However, we later realized that the black fungus was seasoned with wasabi! Sort of odd, but I sort of enjoyed it after eating a few more spoons.

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Traditional Shanghai Smoked Fish 老上海熏魚

Another cold appetizer was the Traditional Shanghai Smoked Fish. This was flavourful and smoked nicely. I personally didn’t really like the dish just because there are bits of thin bones in it, which you can technically eat.

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Soy-Braised Kaofu Bran with Assorted Mushrooms 四喜烤麩

The last cold appetizer was the Soy-Braised Kaofu Bran with Assorted Mushrooms, which I quite enjoyed. This is a typical Shanghainese appetizer. The gluten, mushrooms, and black fungus were soaked in a flavourful sauce.

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Clay Pot Wonton Chicken Soup 砂鍋竹笙餛飩雞

Next up was the Clay Pot Wonton Chicken Soup, which I really enjoyed. The soup was sweet and flavourful and filled with chicken, wontons, black fungus, and pea shoots. The pea shoots were tender and delicious. The wontons were just average with the skin being a bit too thick.

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Special Beef Wrap 撈餅牛肉卷

The Special Beef Wrap was just average. I still enjoy the one at Peaceful Restaurant the best. The dough was a bit too thick and not crispy enough.

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BC Dungeness Crab with Fried Shanghai Rice Cake BC肉蟹炒年糕

Next up, the BC Dungeness Crab with Fried Shanghai Rice Cake was a messy but flavourful dish. The dish came with two crabs and was braised in a savoury sauce with green beans. I usually love rice cake, but I thought they overcooked them a bit too much so it was mushy. The crab itself was fresh and filled with meat.

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Stone Pot Braised Pork Belly Shanghainese Style 石鍋紅燒肉

As usual at Chinese dinners, there is pork belly. The Stone Pot Braised Pork Belly Shanghainese Style came with knotted bean curd and was quite flavourful. However, I found this to be slightly on the oilier side.

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Braised Tofu with Seafood 瓊山海鮮豆腐

The Braised Tofu with Seafood would’ve been great served with rice. The tofu was smooth and silky. A good dish.

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Zhenjiang Style Ribs 鎮江骨

One of my favourites of the night was the Zhenjiang Style Ribs. It was sweet but you can also taste the vinegar that was used to flavour it. Meat was tender and fell off the bone.

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Fried Green Beans with Minced Pork 煸四季豆(攬菜肉鬆)

The Fried Green Beans with Minced Pork was pretty average. I thought it was flavoured enough and they were quite oily.

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Sichuan Style Boiled Fish 蜀香水煮魚

Another one of my favourites was the Sichuan Style Boiled Fish. I am not one that can take a lot of spice, but I like to eat spicy food once in a while. I liked how they give you a ladle that has wholes so that you don’t end up scooping the soup onto your plate too. The fish was tender and numbing because of the fish, but the spiciness didn’t last long. It was a good numb!

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Xiang Jiang Tea Smoked Duck 湘江樟茶鴨

The Xiang Jiang Tea Smoked Duck comes with little buns. The skin was crispy, but some of the meat is a little dry. It depends which part you get.

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Beef Tenderloin and Eggplant with Black Pepper Sauce 黑椒茄子牛柳粒 

Another veggie dish was the Beef Tenderloin and Eggplant with Black Pepper Sauce. Quite flavourful with the meat being tender and eggplant cooked well. Again, it seems that their veggies are slightly too oily for my liking.

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Eight Jewel Sweet Rice 八寶飯

To finish our huge meal, we had the Eight Jewel Sweet Rice. This reminded me of the lotus wrapped rice you eat during Mid Autumn Festival, but the sweet kind. The rice is flavoured mostly with red bean paste. Flavour-wise, I thought it was okay, but it didn’t look too attractive.

Overall, Nu Chinese Bistro had some hits and misses. Service is also a bit sparse. The ambiance is quite nice to host family dinners though.

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Maruwa Sushi

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Beef Roll, Chicken Roll, California Roll

Maruwa Sushi is a Japanese restaurant in Ironwood Mall. I felt like I should switch it up with my usual sushi take out spots and try a new one, so we ended up going to the restaurant to place our order. A short 15 minutes, and our food was ready. S got the not-so-traditional rolls as he usually goes for. The Beef Roll and Chicken Roll both looked packed with meat. S said that the rolls were decent.

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Chopped Scallop Roll, Negitoro Roll, Salmon Roll

As for myself, I went for my usual favourites, which are the Chopped Scallop, Negitoro and Salmon Roll. I found that they were rolled pretty nicely and tight. However, I did find that there was slightly a bit too much rice. I liked how they put wasabi in the rolls already. The seafood was fresh and overall, it was quite good.

Overall, Maruwa Sushi is a decent choice for take out sushi. Prices are reasonable and quality is pretty good. Service was also quite friendly.

Pros:
– Decent sushi
– Reasonably priced

Cons:
– A bit too much rice to filling ratio

Price Range: $10-15

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 4 Overall: 3

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