Ajishou

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Ajishou opened up earlier this year at the new Garden City mall. The interior is surprisingly very nice inside with a very modern look and a long sushi bar on one side. I heard that their lunch menu is quite affordable, so decided to give it a try. You can order a la carte, but they also have a lot of combos that range from $10 – $15. The dinner menu is much more expensive.

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Many of their lunch combos, like the one I got comes with miso soup. This was quite average and wasn’t anything special.

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Rainbow Chirashi Combo

I chose the Rainbow Chirashi Combo which comes with a Japanese salad, tempura, a chirashi-don, and some orange slices. The set was $12.50 and I thought it looked like a lot of food, but I was actually still hungry after. The chirashi-don is super small. And when I say small, I mean the amount of rice given was so little, that it left me hungry. You would think that they would give you more rice since it’s cheap, but I thought the ratio of sashimi to rice was really odd. There was salmon, tuna, hamachi, hokigai, ebi, avocado and tamago. The fact that they gave cooked shrimp instead of shrimp sashimi was slightly disappointing. The quality of the sashimi itself was average. It was fresh and not bad, but nothing to get excited about. Salad was typical with the usual Japanese dressing. As for the tempura, they actually give you two prawns, a squash, and yam. Batter was too thick, so reminded me of all you can eat tempura.

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Ajishou Special Sushi Combo A

S got the Ajishou Special Sushi Combo A for $10.75. The set comes with dynamite roll, California roll, and cucumber roll. As you can see, the sushi is not very well constructed. The dynamite roll was cut too thinly so all the filling fell out. Even the California started to fall apart. Everything was just a mess and these are super simple rolls!

Overall, S and I were quite disappointed with Ajishou. The prices would be reasonable if they could execute with their quality and construction of the sushi. However, given there are so many other sushi restaurants in Vancouver to choose from, I don’t think I would be returning.

Pros:
– Ambiance is nice

Cons:
– Rolls fall apart easily
– Expensive for average quality, especially a la carte

Price Range: $10-20

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

Food: 2.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 2.5

Ajishou Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Advertisements

Taishoken

1.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Taishoken has been around for many years now, but for some reason or another, I never visited the restaurant. Possibly because its in Chinatown and I don’t go to that area that often. We arrived after work and were surprised to see a line up but luckily the wait was only around 15 minutes.

 

2.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

They have around 6 options for ramen, but they are well known for their tsukemen, or dipping ramen.

 

3.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Pork Gyoza

You can add $3.50 to get a side with your ramen, so we got the Pork Gyoza. With a very nice char and crispy edges, these reminded me of the ones we had in Japan.

 

4.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Tonkotsu

S got the Tonkotsu which comes with 2 slices of pork chashu, bamboo shoots, seaweed, green onion and a soft boiled egg. The broth is a mix of pork and chicken. The broth is much thicker than what we are normally used to, so I thought it was bit oily although it was very flavourful.

 

5.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Tsukemen

For myself, I had to get what they are famous for, which is the Tsukemen. You can choose between, original, spicy or garlic miso. You also have the option to choose cold or warm noodles. I went for the original broth with cold noodles. The noodles come separately from the broth, so that you can dip the noodles into the broth each time you eat. The rich shoyu pork and chicken broth is topped with 2 slices of chashu, green onion, seaweed, bamboo shoots and a soft boiled egg.  The noodles are much firmer and thicker, but they are meant to be this way so that the thick broth sticks to the noodles. I really enjoyed the broth, but the problem I had was that the broth got cold very quickly. However, I saw some other guests ask for a hot stone to put under the bowl, so perhaps that could solve the problem. You can choose between lean or fatty pork as well, and of course I got the latter. I liked how the pork is a bit charred so it gives a smoky flavour. The fatty pork melts in your mouth, so I would definitely get that again. The egg was a bit of a disappointment though as it was not runny.

Overall, I can see why people line up for Taishoken. I would recommend getting the Tsukemen, but I think the Tonkotsu was nothing too special compared to the other ramen shops in Vancouver. Prices are pretty reasonable and service was typical to other ramen shops.

Pros:
– Good for tsukemen
– Cha-shu is nicely charred and melts in your mouth

Cons:
– Seating is a bit cramped and not very comfortable
– Broths can be a bit greasy

Price Range: $10-15

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

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

Taishoken Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Maruyama

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Maruyama opened last year in East Vancouver by Chef Yoshiyo Maruyama who previously worked at Blue Water Cafe as the raw bar chef.

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

The restaurant was is small but the simple black and wooden decor makes the space look very elegant. There are only 4 seats at the sushi bar if you want to watch the chef in action. It would be best to make reservations ahead of time to secure a spot.

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Maruyama is famous for their omakase tasting menu which features one of the more affordable prices in Vancouver. You can also order a-la-carte and their fish is supposed to be shipped from Japan daily.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

They also have homemade udon, tempura and various appetizers. The restaurant is fully licensed for liquor so they have some good options of sake, beer, and wine.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Goma-ae

We decided to go with the $40 tasting menu as you get to try a bit of everything. This five course menu is pretty good value, as it includes 5 pieces of nigiri. This starts off with a Spinach Goma-ae Salad, with peanut sauce and freshly roasted black sesame. One of my favourite appetizers at Japanese restaurants.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

5-Piece Nigiri

Next up was the 5-Piece Nigiri set which was what we really came for. The omakase set will change daily depending on what type of fish is fresh. That night, our omakase included: Bin Toro (albacore tuna belly), Warasa (wild yellowtail), Houbou (red gurnard), Hirame (flounder), and Isaki (threeline grunt). I had not heard of many of these fish, but they all tasted fresh and there were none that I disliked. My favourite was the toro as it was very fatty and the flounder which had a buttery texture and melted in my mouth. Interesting that the chef features mostly white fish in his omakase though as it would have been nice to have a mix. When you place your order, you will be asked whether you want wasabi or not in your sushi.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Cold Udon

Next up were their homemade udons. You can choose between hot or cold. Half of our table got the cold and the other half hot. The Cold Udon comes with a separate sesame base sauce with you can then pour onto the noodles. The noodles come with green onion, cucumber, seaweed, egg, and assorted mushrooms. I really liked their handmade noodles as they had a nice chew. They sort of remind me of the ones at Kinome.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Hot Udon

The Hot Udon comes with assorted mushrooms, wakame, tempura bits and a dashi broth. Both the cold and hot udon are special in their own way and I would highly suggest to try both.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Jumbo Prawn Tempura

A perfect pair with your udon is the Jumbo Prawn Tempura which comes with a small zucchini tempura as well. The prawn was large and bouncy but I did think that the batter could be a little thinner.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Matcha Ice Cream

To end your meal, the tasting menu finishes with a Matcha Ice Cream with a side of sweet red bean paste.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Overall, we thought that the Maruyama $40 omakase menu was a pretty good deal given we were all full and got the chance to try a variety of their dishes. However, if you are looking to only eat nigiri sushi, then you can try their nigiri-only omakase which goes for $35, $60, or $75 depending on the number of pieces you get and how premium the fish is. They also have some pretty good lunch deals, so I will definitely be back again.

Pros:
– $40 omakase tasting menu is pretty good value
– Handmade noodles were solid

Cons:
– If you order a-la-carte, the prices can be pretty steep

Price Range: $40 (omakase tasting menu)

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

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

Maruyama Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raw Bar at the Lobby Lounge (at Fairmont Pacific Rim)

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Torched Wagyu Beef Salad; Bloody Mary

Back in December, I took S out for her birthday at the Raw Bar at the Lobby Lounge located inside the Fairmont Pacific Rim. In the winter months, they had a five-course cocktail brunch for $42 per person with the cocktail pairing for an additional $28.

For the first course, there are two selections, so of course we got one of each. I chose the Torched Wagyu Beef Salad which comes with red onion, sake-beet puree, scallion-ginger emulsion, nori chips and miso creme fraiche. The wagyu beef was tender and melted in my mouth! The only complaint was that the beef was served cold, but I guess since it is a salad, the rest of the ingredients are cold.

The cocktail pairing was a Bloody Mary with vodka, lemon, tomato juice, sriracha, horseradish, salt, and pepper. I normally don’t like Bloody Marys but I actually quite enjoyed this one as the spice level was just right.

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Red Tuna Tataki

S got the Red Tuna Tataki  with yusuf cosh vinaigrette, soy glee, daikon, and micro greens. This was beautifully presented and the tatami was seared just enough while keeping the centre a beautiful pink.

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Light- Zaiten

The tuna tataki was paired with a Light-Zaiten which consisted of gin, organic green tea, dry vermouth, rosemary, cucumber and lime. This was a light and refreshing drink which paired well with the fresh tuna.

 

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Signature Bacon and Sable Miso

The second course was the same for everyone which was the Signature Bacon and Sable Miso. This soup featured bacon dashi, house-cured sablefish, ginger and scallions. This is definitely a gourmet miso soup and we both really enjoyed it. The bacon bits with the sablefish was absolutely delicious and paired so well together! I only wish this came out piping hot as it was served warm rather than hot.

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Beer Makes Miso Happy

The miso soup was paired with Beer Makes Miso Happy which we thought would be beer at first, but it was served in a tall cocktail glass. Turns out it consists of Grand Marnier, wheat beer, ginger, and lemon. The ginger flavour was very strong so if you’re not a beer drinker, you can still enjoy this. Love how they put puns in their menu names by the way!

 

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Wild Salmon Motoyaki “Benny”

For the third course, S chose the Wild Salmon Motoyaki “Benny”. This is their take on an eggs Benedict as it’s not what you would usually see. It came with a poached egg, sweet milk bread, inure, miso hollandaise and avocado. Unfortunately, the egg rolled off and broke once our server placed it down. However, S really enjoyed the dish and the twist from the traditional.

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Kurobuta Pork Kakuni

For myself, I had the Kurobuta Pork Kakuni, which feature braised pork belly, 62 degrees egg, sweet soy broth, daikon, carrot, potato, and tamanishiki rice served on the side. The pork was very tender with the fatness bringing some richness to the dish. The soy broth was delicious with the rice and the egg was poached perfectly with the yolk oozing out. By this course, we were starting to get full, so the rice itself makes this course even more filling.

 

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Pepe Le Pew; Pork ‘N’ Cider

The cocktail pairing for the salmon benny was the Pepe Le Pew, which featured a Lillet rose, sherry, and sparkling brut. This was definitely sweeter but I enjoyed the fizz from the sparkling brut. The cocktail pairing for the pork belly was the Pork ‘N’ Cider which featured Lonetree cider, sweet vermouth and sherry. The sherry paired really well with the pork although I found the drink on the sweeter side.

 

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Sushi Omakase; Sparkling Junmai Sake

The fourth course was the Sushi Omakase, which featured a spicy tuna maki, temari sushi topped with crab meat, halo sushi topped with cured saba, and salmon and tuna nigiri. Honestly, this was one of the courses I was excited for, but I felt that the sushi left me disappointed. The presentation was not as nice as I expected, and the fish was cut sort of choppy. The seafood is oceanwise here, which is a plus, but I just didn’t find the fish very fresh. As for the pairing, this came with Sparkling Junmai Sake, which I really enjoyed. It can be quite strong for some though.

 

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Yakult Shooter; Wakayama Beach

For dessert, the five course meal ended with a Yakult Shooter, which featured plum glee, pear, matcha green tea, black sesame powder and yusuf pearls served in oyster shells. This was visually beautiful to look at, but S and I both agreed we were confused with the flavours and ultimately did not enjoy it. Something was just off about it. This came with the Wakayama Beach which featured gin, yuzu, basil, coconut water, and ginger. The drink was a refreshing drink to finish off the meal, although we were quite buzzed after the 5 drinks!

As it was S’s birthday, I mentioned to the server the special occasion hoping to get a message written on our dessert, but they ended up giving us a delicious plate of truffles on the house which I thought was very sweet.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the five course brunch and would highly recommend getting it with the cocktail pairings. You get quite a lot of food and will be stuffed at the end and given its reasonable price, I think it’s a pretty good deal. I did have some issues with service, since I made the reservations a month in advance through email and had received confirmation. Yet, when I arrived, they told me there was no such reservation. Quite disappointed with that given they are such a large hotel, but luckily since it was a snow day, the restaurant was not very busy. Our server also did not tell us what our drinks were each time she placed them down, which would be expected at hotel restaurant. However, the ambiance of the restaurant is A+ since it has amazing natural light coming in and the simplicity of white tables and chairs with the orange chopsticks makes the setting visually appealing. I will be back again if they have other set menus in the future!

Pros:
– Cocktail pairings are on point with overall good food
– Ambiance and plating is visually beautiful

Cons:
– Service was a miss for us

Price Range: $50-80

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 2 Ambiance: 5 Parking: 2.5 Overall: 3.5

RawBar at The Lobby Lounge - Fairmont Pacific Rim Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sushi Bar Maumi

commercial photography locations

Extreme late post, but for my birthday this year, S took me to Sushi Bar Maumi for dinner. They are known for their fresh fish which is imported daily from Japan and what most believe is as authentic of a sushi bar in Japan as you can get in Vancouver. The restaurant seats only 10 people each time slot and you must reserve the specific time slot in advance. Because the restaurant is only run by the chef and one waitress, they only take reservations from 3-5:30pm. In fact, S said they were extremely strict on the phone stating that they don’t serve any alcohol, that you must order from their omakase menu, and that you better arrive a bit early because latecomers will be frowned upon. They only have 3 seatings: at 6pm, 7:30pm and 9pm.

commercial photography locations

Because the restaurant is very small and intimate, I tried to avoid taking too many interior pictures. Essentially, the chef stands in the middle and the seats form a half circle around him. Apparently, this is very different from what it was like a year ago, when you could order off the omakase menu. Now, the nigiris are served one piece at a time. However, we were surprised that all the fish is cut in advance. I guess this saves time so that the service can be done as quick as possible. At the same time, some may find this is not as authentic as what you would experience in Japan. However, for the price point compared to the ones in Japan, I can’t complain.

commercial photography locations

Fresh Kisu Tempura

Other than sushi, they do feature some soups and appetizers. We decided to try the Fresh Kisu Tempura, which comes with one silver whiting and three pieces of assorted vegetables. The batter wasn’t too thick but I thought this was quite expensive given how little and thin the vegetables were sliced. I would skip this next time and focus on the nigiri.

commercial photography locations

Flounder

When we visited, there were only two omakase menus to choose from. A 10 piece nigiri omakase for $45 and a 12 piece nigiri omakase for $60. The difference is that the more expensive menu comes with Bluefin tuna and Bafun Uni from Hokkaido. We decided to go for the latter to get the best experience. The fish change daily depending on what the chef believes is fresh, so you may get different items from what I experienced. In addition, the chef will ask you if you want wasabi inside or not. In Japan, most restaurants would have wasabi inside already, but I guess they are catering to the clientele in Vancouver. Our first item was the Flounder. I loved this as it was oily and melted in my mouth.

commercial photography locations

Amaebi (Spotted Prawn)

Next was the Amaebi (spotted prawn). I usually don’t like this as I find it quite slimy, and if not fresh, it can have a weird aftertaste. However, this was extremely fresh and sweet.

commercial photography locations

Fried Amaebi Heads

In Japan, they don’t waste any of their ingredients. This meant that the heads of the prawns were lightly fried. We looked around and everyone was eating the whole thing, so we did the same! I guess it’s like soft shell crab, but I honestly wasn’t very used to eating the shell.

commercial photography locations

Surume Ika (Flying Squid)

Next up was the Flying Squid, which was lightly brushed with soy sauce. I’m not usually a fan of squid for sushi because it can be too chewy sometimes, but this was actually very tender.

commercial photography locations

Bluefin Tuna

Because we paid for the more expensive option, our menu included the Bluefin Tuna. This was seriously the best part of my meal. The tuna literally melted in my mouth! I highly recommend trying this, but don’t eat too much since this type of tuna has been overfished!

commercial photography locations

Hotategai (Scallop)

Onto another favourite and must order of mine at all sushi restaurants is the Scallop nigiri. I love a good fresh scallop, and this was perfect with a subtle sweetness of the sea. Apparently, this is fresh from Hokkaido. I love it paired with the wasabi underneath.

commercial photography locations

Buri (Japanese Amberjack)

An unfamiliar fish to me was the Japanese Amberjack. To be honest, I am not very adventurous with my sashimi and usually stick to the typical tuna, salmon, and scallops. I was suprised that the Japanese Amberjack was more of a deep red as I always thought it was more of light pink flesh colour. However, paired with the light soy sauce, it was delicious.

commercial photography locations

Aji (Japanese Horse Mackarel)

I’m usually not a fan of Japanese Horse Mackarel because I find that it can be quite fishy sometimes. However, this was very fresh and along with the ginger and green onion, it complemented the fish very well.

commercial photography locations

Big Eye Tuna

Another favourite of mine was the Big Eye Tuna which is a cut from the red tuna. It was brushed with soy sauce so it was glistening! This is not the melt in your mouth type of cut, but I actually really enjoyed it. You get more texture from this.

commercial photography locations

Kanpachi (Greater Amberjack)

I’ve never had Kanpachi, so this surprised me. It was very fatty and high in oil content and therefore melted in my mouth. So creamy!

commercial photography locations

Bafun Uni (Sea Urchin)

I love Uni! Not something for everyone because S tried it for her first time and absolutely hated it. I can see why as it does have a strong sea flavour and can taste funny for first-timers. However, I loved how it was paired with wasabi to bring the sea flavour out. The bafun uni comes from Hokkaido which is the most prized due to the kelp and clean water that they feed on. Absolutely delicious!

commercial photography locations

Saba (Mackarel)

Similar to the aji, the Saba came without the garnishes and was also not as tender. It was meatier and had more of a chew.

commercial photography locations

Anago (Saltwater Eel)

To finish our omakase, we had the Saltwater Eel, which had a more delicate texture than your typical unagi. It was my first time trying this, and although I usually dislike unagi, I fell in love with anago! The chef torched the eel slightly and therefore the eel just melted in my mouth! A great way to end the meal!

Overall, S and I were very impressed with the quality of sushi at Sushi Bar Maumi. I definitely cannot afford to come here all the time, but it is a nice treat once in a while if you want to experience what a Japanese omakase would be like. Keep in mind that there is a time limit, so it’s not a place to stay long and chat after and your conversations should be kept quiet. Also, after your omakase, they present you with a menu with all the nigiris you can order (many of which are not on the omakase). Each piece is quite expensive but you can try many fish that you might not be able to find elsewhere.

Pros:
– Fresh cuts of fish and skilled chef
– Focuses on high quality nigiri

Cons:
– Wished we could watch the chef cut the fish in front of us!
– Can get quite pricey

Price Range: $45-60

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

Food: 5 Service: 4 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 4

Sushi Bar Maumi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Victoria Sushi

After seeing everyone posting pictures of Victoria Sushi, I decided to visit with my family. I liked it so much that I returned a second time recently! Anyways, Victoria Sushi is located in New Westminster in a residential neighbourhood. Apartment buildings actually sit on top of the restaurant. Because of where it’s situated, it can be quite difficult to find parking during peak hours, although they have an garage that’s connected to the apartment but for customers of retailers.

Kabocha Korroke

The restaurant is Korean run, so they aren’t known for traditional nigiris and such. We started off with some appies, like the Kabocha Korroke. Kabocha is an Asian variety of squash and is overlooked often but has become a popular ingredient in cooking today. I loved how they battered mashed kabocha and deep fried it. The tangy sauce along with the sweet squash was perfect! They also have this at Guu which is just as good!

Atlantic Salmon Sashimi

My parents love sashimi and for some reason, they always go for the Atlantic Salmon Sashimi. I guess it’s because of how fresh salmon is in Vancouver! Also, salmon is a fatty fish known to be a great brain food because of all the vitamins and omega-3 essential fatty acids it provides, so remember to eat lots! I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh the salmon sashimi they offered here. Very reasonably priced with the portions cut to a good size. I hate it when the cut is so large that I feel sick eating it, but I also hate it when the pieces are so small I keep longing for more! These were just right.

Mango Scallop Roll

Onto some of their creative rolls we tried, which included the Mango Scallop Roll. This was essentially your scallop roll but topped with a fresh ripe slice of mango, some avocado, a caper, and some Japanese mayo. Light and refreshing.

Aburi Tobiko Roll

One of my favourite rolls was the Aburi Tobiko Roll. This was essentially a California roll but filled with salmon sashimi and topped generously with tobiko and mayo and lightly seared with a flame on top to melt the mayo. What results is delicious sushi that practically melts in your mouth! A must order!

Salmon Oshi and Scallop Oshi

All the food we had tried were pretty good, but what we came here for was the oshi sushi! If you’re new to the wonders of sushi, then you may be confused over all the different types of sushi. However, with Miku and Minami making the aburi oshi sushi famous in Vancouver, it has literally become the hype here. Everyone is searching for an aburi salmon oshi sushi just as good as Miku’s to be exact! Well, here at Victoria, they do a pretty darn good version of this. We also tried their Scallop Oshi which again is so creamy and melts in your mouth!

Salmon Oshi

We loved the Salmon Oshi so much that we ordered a second order… A layer of salmon sashimi is placed on a rectangular formed rice and topped with mayo. The sushi is then lightly seared on top with a torch so that the mayo melts and the salmon is slightly torched. It’s then topped with a slice of jalapeno pepper to give it that kick. You end up getting a very creamy and smoky piece of sushi that melts in your mouth! Compared to Miku though, I still enjoy Miku’s more. I think it’s the secret sauce they put on that’s so hard to recreate. However, the price of this was only around $10-11 whereas Miku costs $16. So I’d say for the price, Victoria Sushi does a pretty good job.

Aburi Beef Oshi

Continuing on with the oshi trend, we tried the Aburi Beef Oshi. This was the same concept but with beef tataki, red pepper, a genourous amount of mayo and a piece of fried garlic chip. Another worthy dish!

Chicken Yaki Soba

Since S is not a huge fan of sashimi and fish in sushi…(he likes the boring stuff…), he ordered the Chicken Yaki Soba. This was a huge dish with great flavour without being too salty. I quite enjoyed the chewy texture of the soba noodles. Great for sharing.

Overall, we really enjoyed Victoria Sushi, hence we have already made a revisit! It may be quite far for some, but even for myself, it’s less than 30 minutes drive from Richmond, so it’s not that bad when you compare it to Downtown. Service can be a bit slow during peak times (the second time we went, it was late in the afternoon, so they were super quick), but the service is friendly and they try their best with the limited staff and chefs they have. The restaurant itself is quite small, so call in advance for reservations to guarantee you a spot!

Pros:
– Great alternative to Miku’s aburi salmon oshi at lower price
– Creative rolls are on well executed

Cons:
– Service can be a bit slow during peak hours
– Make sure to make reservations as can get packed!

Price Range: $10-30

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

Food: 4 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 2 Overall: 4

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

Beard Papa Sweets Cafe

I’m sure most of you know about Beard Papa by now. It was the hype when it was first brought here from Japan, but they have locations everywhere now that it’s pretty accessible to everyone. However, a year ago, they closed down their stall inside of Richmond Centre and opened up a cafe under the London Drugs complex on No. 3 Road.

This got me really intrigued especially when I noticed that there were always customers sitting in the cafe everytime I drove by, no matter what time it was. Finally, I suggested to S that we take a small dinner and instead fill up with desserts! The cafe here has more than just their famous cream puffs and I could see why people liked to chill here. There were a mix of young and old and it was a great place to sit and chat since it is typically not packed.

Red Bean with Green Tea Ice Cream Waffle (+mochi)

We started off with the Red Bean with Green Tea Ice Cream Waffle but we paid extra to get mochi filling inside our waffle. The preset version with mochi inside doesn’t come with green tea or red bean. This reminded me of the time we first tried mochi waffles in Taipei. This was delicious with the warm and cold mix and is a great item to share with friends.

Cocoa Puff

Onto the cream puffs. We didn’t want to try the original ones since we’ve all had those. This time, we tried out their Cocoa Puff, which is essentially the same as the original but the puff itself is cocoa flavoured and the centre is filled with vanilla cream.

To be honest, I found the puff to be rather dense, so I much prefer their original batter.

Eclair

The Eclair was essentially what the name is. It’s the original cream puff with vanilla cream filling and dipped with chocolate sauce on top. I quite liked this as I’m a sucker for chocolate and this gave just the right amount of sweetness and chocolate flavour without the dense puff that the Cocoa Puff had.

Chocolate Fondant

Last but not least, we tried the Chocolate Fondant which also comes with the flavour choice of green tea.

Unfortunately, the chocolate did not ooze out as much as I wanted. These fondants are pre-made and then they reheat them so perhaps that’s why the ooze isn’t as apparent as those in restaurants. This was just average and too sweet for me personally.

Overall, we quite enjoyed Beard Papa’s Sweet Cafe. I think this would be a great spot to catch up with friends over drinks and sweets without having to crowd at the typical shaved ice and bubble tea joints. Service was also very friendly. Other than sweets, they also have savoury snacks and sandwiches, which seems a little odd. But I haven’t tried these, so I can’t comment.

Pros:
– Wide selection of both sweets and savoury
– Service is friendly and good spot to chill

Cons:
– Some hits and misses
– Many of their desserts seem to be pre-made so may not be super fresh based on traffic

Price Range: $10-20

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

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

Beard Papa's Sweet Cafe  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Spaghetei

Source: Canadoo

NOTE: All food was complimentary but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

A few weeks ago, we were invited by Spaghetei for a menu tasting. Read along to find out how you can get 10% off on your dinner during weekdays! Spaghetei originates from Aomori, Japan where the original store is located. Around 3 years ago, they decided to open a store here in Vancouver on Robson Street near Denman Street. They specialize in Japanese style spaghetti and has an open air concept during the summer months.

Garlic Pesto Toast

We started off with their famous Garlic Pesto Toast. The secret ingredient to this delicious toast is honey which brings a subtle sweet flavour to the usually savoury bread. So addicting!

Pork Chili Oil Bread

Next, we tried the Pork Chili Oil Bread. The pork and eggplant was cooked to tender and served in a piping hot bowl so be sure to cool it off before you eat it! S and I loved how it was slightly spicy. I highly recommend this as an appie.

Clam Spaghetti

Onto their spaghettis, we started off with the Clam Spaghetti. I’m a huge fan of clams so this was perfect for me. The spaghettis come in two sizes: medium or large. All the ones we sampled were medium and I found it to be a good size if you have a smaller appetite. The Clam Spaghetti came with clams, mushrooms, tobiko, dried seaweed, shiso leaves, and a home-made ginger soy sauce. It was light and perfect for seafood lovers.

Mentaiko Spaghetti

The Mentaiko Spaghetti is one of their most popular items and comes with mentaiko, shrimp, mushrooms, shiso leaves, and dried seaweed. Mentaiko is not for everyone but if you like seafood or fish roe, then this is for you. I loved how this was not too creamy or heavy.

Barayaki Spaghetti

If you’re not into seafood, then the Barayaki Spaghetti is a great option. It comes with pan fried beef and onions with their barayaki sauce which tastes similar to a teriyaki sauce but I would say it’s sweeter. My mom and boyfriend don’t like Italian pasta, but I know they would love this dish as it’s full of Asian flavours.

Salad Spaghetti

And for those who are vegetarians or just love their veggies, then the Salad Spaghetti is perfect as it’s filled with fresh vegetables, slices of hard boiled eggs, and a home-made dressing. We found this to be refreshing and a great option for the summer when you want something very light.

Crème Brûlée

To end our lunch, we tried the Crème Brûlée, which was smooth in the centre with the sugar on top torched perfectly to create a hard brittle tap. We appreciated how they used real vanilla beans instead of just vanilla flavouring.

Powder Snow Milk Syrup

Lastly, the Powder Snow Milk Syrup surprised us for sure. We didn’t expect much for shaved ice at a restaurant that specializes in spaghetti, but this was some real good shaved ice! If you don’t want to wait in line at Snowy Village, then I highly suggest just coming to Spaghetei. The shaved ice is so soft and powdery like snow and the ratio of matcha, milk, and condensed milk is right on. Definitely coming back for this!

Overall, we were extremely pleased with the food at Spaghetei. We really enjoyed how the dishes are light and not overly creamy. In fact, I feel like all the dishes taste very healthy as they are not too salty or oily. Ambiance is casual and service was also very friendly. Prices are very reasonable and there is also happy hour on weekdays from 11:30am to 2:30pm!

Spaghetei is offering my readers 10% off weekday dinners just by showing this coupon on your smartphone. Feel free to bookmark this page and share with your family and friends!

Spaghetei Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato