Bánh Mì Très Bon

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Bánh Mì Très Bon was one of the earlier restaurants to open up when Central at Garden City opened up. I heard great things about this new Vietnamese spot, but my heart always fell to Pho 37 when I had a pho craving so it wasn’t until recently that I tried it. The restaurant is very busy during peak hours on the weekends, so try to come a bit earlier. The seating is not the comfiest as the restaurant is pretty small, but the service is extremely friendly and attentive. I especially loved their wooden board menu which is super hipster! The interior is also well decorated and gives you a cute homey feel.

 

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Pho Tai Bo Vien

I decided to go for the Pho Tai Bo Vien or pho noodle soup with beef tenderloin and meatballs. The best part about the pho is it comes with a huge bone marrow as well! They will ask you if you’re okay with it and can take it out if you don’t want it. The broth itself is quite clear and light but there is a slight kick to it from the jalapenos which are already in the soup. You can add bean sprouts, basil and lime to your broth which are in this super cute boat! It should also be noted that their beef is grass fed and hormone free and they do not use any MSG. As the broth was more on the lighter side, I personally preferred Pho37’s pho because I enjoy deeper flavours.

 

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Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli Bowl

S got the Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli Bowl which comes with spring rolls. S noted that the bowl was quite delicious but that it was a bit difficult to mix everything together especially after adding the fish sauce as the bowl was too small and the ingredients were spilling out.

Overall, I enjoyed the food we had but thought the items were priced slightly higher. But then again, the service and ambiance is nicer than many pho shops so you probably pay the extra price for that. Hope to return to try their other items!

Pros:
– Quality ingredients and well presented dishes
– Friendly service and cute ambiance

Cons:
– Menu is slightly more expensive

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Free parking at complex Overall: 3.5

 

Bánh Mi Très Bon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Morak Korean Fusion Restaurant

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Kimchi Hot Pot

Morak Koeran Fusion Restaurant has been a spot I’ve wanted to try for quite a while. Finally, we were at Metrotown and looking for lunch nearby so I suggested we go try since it’s only a short walk from the mall. The restaurant is quite small and run by mainly two ladies in the front so service can be a bit slow.

It was a cold and gloomy day so a hot soup was all I wanted. I decided to go for the Kimchi Hot Pot and this was served with a bowl of rice. The soup was piping hot and filled with kimchi, pork and tofu. I really enjoyed this as the soup was extremely flavourful with spice and pickled flavours. This was the individual size but you can choose a larger pot if you have two people sharing.

 

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Gganpoong Chicken

Of course S went for the Gganpoong Chicken and it was surprisingly delicious! At first, I thought the portion was pretty small given it was almost $30, but the chicken was juicy and moist and crispy on the outside. The boneless chicken are cut into smaller pieces and fried with garlic oil and then covered with a sweet and sour sauce. The garlic flavour really came through and this was quite a different flavour from the fried chicken I’ve had at other Korean restaurants. You’ll have a bit of garlic breath after, but I loved it!

 

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We were also given banchan or side dishes to start. These consisted of bean sprouts, sweet potato, and pickled radish. I was surprised there wasn’t kimchi, but to be honest the side dishes didn’t really impress me. I thought the flavours were extremely mild and there was barely any flavour to it. For example, I usually love Korean sweet potatoes but these tasted just like cooked potatoes without any syrup or soy.

The rest of the food we ordered were delicious though and I would love to come back to try the other dishes. Prices are a bit higher than other Korean spots, but the food tastes great.

Pros:
– Flavourful and well executed main dishes

Cons:
– Prices slightly on the higher end
– Seating can be a bit cramped and service a bit slow

Price Range: $15-30 per person

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

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Free or meter parking at nearby streets Overall: 4

 

Morak Korean Fusion Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Parkside Brewery

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During my visit to Port Moody for sushi, the guys wanted to check out some of the breweries since there is a street filled with them. We decided to check out Parkside Brewery which has both a patio and indoor seating.

 

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Parkside has their own beers but also features a few guest taps which is nice. They not only list the alcohol content but also the IBU or International Bitterness Units scale which I much appreciated since I don’t like bitter beers. You first choose and pay for your beers and then you can bring your beers to any open seating you find.

 

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Dusk Pale Ale, Riot Brewing Dark Mild (Guest Tap), Beauregarde Blueberry Wit, Skate or Dye Mango ISA (left to right)

I decided to share a Park Bench Flight with M since I only wanted to have two beers. The two beers I tried were both fruity and I especially enjoyed the Skate or Dye Mango ISA as it had a passionfruit aftertaste. I felt that the Blueberry Wit didn’t have enough blueberry flavour compared to the mango ISA. For $8 a flight, the price was quite comparable to the other breweries in the area. I loved how they were put on a little wooden bench!

 

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The cool thing about the area is that most of the breweries have teamed up with food trucks to offer food to pair along with the beers. At the Parkside Brewery, they had The Frying Pan dishing up their signature fried chicken sandwiches, but since we were heading to sushi after, we decided to check out The Wandering Mollusk instead. They were serving up some oysters and I wish we had some wine to go with these! Love the idea of collaborating with food trucks!

Pros:
– Great variety of beers including guest taps

Cons:
– Can get quite busy so seating can be difficult to find for larger groups

Price Range: $10-15 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking at nearby streets Overall: 3.5

 

Parkside Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Sen Pad Thai

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I’ve heard many great things about Sen Pad Thai, which is part of the large group of restaurants Chef Angus An runs. The shop used to be inside The Loft at Granville Island, but recently moved to The Granville Island Public Market where the rest of the restaurants are. It is more of a food court set up to be honest, where you order and pay up front first and find your own seat in the area or take out. I liked how they give you a buzzer so you can wander around until it buzzes which means your food is ready.

 

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The shop offers a variety of noodles, curries, and a few appetizers. The prices are roughly all $12- $15 which is a bit pricey given you’re eating in a food court setting. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the portions were pretty reasonable given the price.

 

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Crispy Wings with Thai Garlic

We started off sharing the Crispy Wings with Thai Garlic which were served with a tamarind sauce. The wings were rather small in size but they were very crispy with the inside moist. I enjoyed the flavours and especially when dipped in the tamarind sauce which was a bit acidic and sweet.

 

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Pad Thai

I heard great things about the Pad Thai so had to give this a try. The pad thai was served with tamarind, tofu and egg. The portion of this dish was huge! I kept eating and it didn’t end! This is great to be shared between two if you’re going to have an appetizer as well.

 

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The noodles were chewy and not overly dressed in sauce. It was quite flavourful but I would’ve liked it to have a bit of a kick. Seems like they do not add any spice unless you ask or you can add their homemade chili sauces which is on the side when you pick up your order.

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Pad Siew Beef

My favourite dish we tried was the Pad Siew Beef which featured fresh rice sheet noodles stir-fried with beef, gai lan and egg. This dish had so much “wok-hay” which is hard to find. The noodles were also a new type of noodles I’ve never tried before. They were translucent and wide and very chewy. The beef was tender and I loved the gai lan which added a bit of crunch. A must try if you’d like to try something new.

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Overall, we really enjoyed the dishes at Sen Pad Thai. They have great wok flavour and the portions are very generous for the price. You’ll have to scout around the market place for a seat during peak hours though!

Pros:
– Dishes have great flavour and “wok hay”

Cons:
– A bit pricey for food court setting

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 4 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: N/A Parking: Free and paid parking in Granville Island Overall: 4

 

Sen Pad Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Baiyulan Shanghai Cuisine

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Baiyulan is the new Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen after the old location was being used for redevelopment. The new location is quite spacious and even has a patio during the summer. I have to say it’s a bit odd to eat Chinese food on a patio though! The menu seems to be pretty much the same. During peak hours, there is a short wait as it seems to be quite popular.

 

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Xiao Long Bao

To start, we had the Xiao Long Bao with one order consisting of 6 dumplings. The skin was fairly thin and the inside was pretty juicy. Although I still much prefer the ones from Yuan’s Garden as they have the most soup. Still, these are fairly priced and pretty good.

 

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Beef Wrap

We also tried the Beef Wrap but this was pretty disappointing. The dough was very pale and white but the main issue was there wasn’t enough hoisin sauce so the wrap was rather dry.

 

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Pan Fried Shanghai Noodles

Last but not least, we had the Pan Fried Shanghai Noodles which is a staple dish we order at Shanghainese restaurants. The dish was large with the noodles being chewy and not overly oily. It was very flavourful and the amount of ingredients in the dish was just right.

Overall, Baiyulan is a great option for Shanghainese food in Richmond. Not my favourite one but it’s up on the list when I’m thinking of a spot to go to. Service was actually not bad and they were pretty responsive.

Pros:
– Decent eats at reasonable prices
– Service is pretty quick

Cons:
– Good but nothing to rave about

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking in complex Overall: 3.5

 

Baiyulan Shanghai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Superbaba

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Superbaba is one of the newest food trucks in the downtown core. It opened up earlier this year and parks in front of the Bentall Towers on the weekdays. The food truck has a restaurant in Victoria so not a stranger to BC. It caught my attention after seeing so many people lining up.

 

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The food truck features Middle Eastern food and focusses on pita wraps and bowls. The dishes range from $10-$12 so fairly priced for the downtown lunch crowd. They have two vegetarian options including falafels and eggplants, but also two meat options including chicken and steak.

 

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Falafel Bowl

I decided to go for the Falafel Bowl which featured chickpea fritters, fried cauliflower, tomato & cucumber salad, hummus, pickled cabbage, tahini, and shug. All bowls have a base of dressed kale and arugula and chilled rice and lentils. Being a meat lover, this vegetarian dish was absolutely delicious. These are probably the best falafels I’ve had. The falafels were so crispy on the outside and moist and flavourful inside. The hummus was smooth and not too garlicky and the fried cauliflowers were again crispy and crunchy with a nice acidity. Even the pickled cabbage and salads tasted great. I thought I would be hungry given most of the dish were vegetables, but I was surprisingly full. Highly recommend this dish!

Based on the falafel bowl, I am already loving Superbaba. I can’t wait to come back to try their wraps and other dishes. There’s a bit of a wait during lunch hours, but they’re pretty quick after you place your order. Plus, the people are super nice. Will be back to try more soon!

Pros:
– One of the best falafels I’ve had
– Reasonably priced

Cons:
– Line up can get pretty long during peak hours

Price Range: $10-15 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: N/A Parking: N/A Overall: 4.5

 

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

Kissa Tanto

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Kissa Tanto has won many awards and recently won top 100 restaurants in Canada so it has definitely been on my radar to try. Hearing that it is almost impossible to get reservations, we decided to go shortly after they opened at 5:30pm since they save some spots for walk-ins. Located in Chinatown, it’s quite hidden and easy to walk by without noticing it. Seems like a lot of upscale restaurants continue to open in this area.

 

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Walking in, you’ll see this funny quote on the wall. Then you’ll take a flight of stairs to get to the restaurant.

 

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Wow the restaurant decor was really cool. It had this retro but sophisticated feel. It actually reminded me of the inside of an old train or hotel. Apparently it is inspired by the jazz bars back in the day though. You could tell they really put a lot of thought in the interior design. We were seated at a booth with deep blue colours and a cool looking lamp. Loved this vintage feel.

 

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My Private Tokyo
To start, I got the My Private Tokyo. It should be worth noting that Kissa Tanto has a great selection of cocktails and they are famous for them. My drink featured Amaretto Disaronno, Umeshu plum wine, Martini Dry, lemon, egg white, and the rims were dusted with plum sea salt. If you’re a fan of plum wine, then you’ll enjoy this.

 

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Oolong Tea Shochu
J got the Oolong Tea Shochu which featured pandan, yuzu, plum bitters, and tonic. This was a relatively light drink and I didn’t think it was too special compared to the other drinks on the menu.

 

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Octopus Salad 

Kissa Tanto is know for Japanese-Italian cuisine so is definitely very unique. To start, we tried the Octopus Salad which featured crispy smoked octopus, fresh and pickled radishes, mustard greens, parsley and chili purée. I enjoyed the first couple of bites initially but after a while, the mustard greens were a bit too overbearing for me. I didn’t enjoy the slightly peppery bitter flavours. The octopus itself was cooked to tender and crispy on the outside. However, the mustard greens and pickled radishes were not personally ingredients I enjoyed.

 

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Carne Cruda

Another appetizer we tried was the Carne Cruda which is sort of like their take on beef tartare. They use Snake River Farms wagyu beef with pearl onion petals, charred scallion soy, parmesan, arima sansho, and fresh herbs. A side of gnocco frito which are Italian fried dough are used as sort of chips to accompany the beef tartare. I liked how they shaved so much parmesan on the beef and the beef was extremely tender.

 

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Eggplant

I suggested we get a veggie dish so chose the Eggplant which is topped with miso besciamella and almond crumble. The Japanese eggplant is roasted and this unique pairing of miso which is usually used in Japanese cuisine along with besciamella which is a béchamel creamy sauce typically used in Italian cuisine seemed to work. I personally wished the eggplant was cooked softer though as I like it sort of mushy. However, the flavours were very interesting and nothing like I’ve tried before.

 

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Tajarin 

Moving onto the star of the night. The pastas at Kissa Tanto are delicious! We asked our server what she recommended and she said the Tajarin is a favourite. To be honest, it sounded like a super simple dish as the dish only features butter, roasted mushrooms, and a miso cured yolk. But wow, the past was tender to tooth and rich and creamy! Tajarin pasta is made of egg dough and cut in a thin strands, although slightly wider than spaghetti. I highly recommend getting this if you enjoy creamy pasta.

 

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Lobster Tagliatelle

We also decided to try one of their specials of the night which was the Lobster Tagliatelle. This had a more savoury sauce with lots of fresh herbs. I was surprised by the amount of lobster in this dish and the tagliatelle was also cooked to al dente. This was good, but I personally preferred the Tajarin much more.

Overall, Kissa Tanto offers some very unique dishes as it combines Japanese and Italian cuisine together. Somehow, they make the two cuisines work together! Service was also very attentive and professional but I did feel a bit rushed near the end. I wasn’t aware that the seating only allowed to sit for around 2 hours as there was a reservation after us and we had ate our appetizers a bit slow given I wasn’t very hungry yet. The server had to therefore warn us to give up our seat and to speed things up near the end. Regardless, this is a great spot for a girl’s night out or date night. I would actually suggest coming with more than two people so you can try more dishes as each dish is actually a decent size. I was more than full by the end of the meal.

Pros:
– Pastas are great and al dente
– Unique flavours of Japan and Italy combined

Cons:
– Some of the appetizers were a miss for me personally

Price Range: $50-60 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 4 Ambiance: 5 Parking: Meter parking along the street Overall: 4.5

 

Kissa Tanto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Matsuzushi

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I’m sure by now you have hear about the $25 omakase at Matsuzushi. Given the rising prices in the city, $25 for an omakase is definitely hard to come by. I’m guessing the main reason for the low price is due to the location. Located in Port Moody, just down the streets from where the breweries are located, Matsuzushi is run by just a husband and wife team. Decor is minimal if not barely any, and service is on the slower side as only the husband prepares the sushi while the wife serves the food.

 

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Try to make reservations in advance if possible, although the restaurant was pretty empty when we visited. However, if you want to sit at the bar to get the full omakase experience, then you should call in advance and let them know. The chef will have some fish cut ahead of time while he is not too busy so it makes things quicker given he’s a one man show. If you sit at the bar, then he will serve you each nigiri one piece at a time and also brush the soy sauce for you. If you sit at the tables away from the bar, then he will serve the sushi all at once or in two parts in a tray and you’ll need to dip your sushi in soy sauce yourself.

 

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As noted, you can also order a la carte. But given you can get 11 pieces plus a hand roll for $25, the deal for omakase is much better. Of course, the chef’s choice of fish will change daily, so you might not get what you want. I also like how you can order rolls and other appetizers here and all are quite reasonably priced.

 

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I can’t quite remember what all the type of fish we got were as the chef did not really explain what we got as he placed it down on our plate. However, if you ask, he will tell you. I just didn’t really bother asking as he seemed quite busy.

 

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Tuna

The Tuna was among my favourites. It was fresh and had a melt in your mouth texture.

 

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Hamachi (Yellowtail Tuna) 

 

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Ebi (Shrimp)

 

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Ika (Squid)

 

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Heart Clam

The Heart Clam was one I’ve never tried before. Very interesting and has a very strong seafood taste.

 

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The rice to fish portion was just right and I thought they were very well constructed.

 

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Mantis Shrimp

I’ve also never had Mantis Shrimp for sushi before so this was very interesting. The shrimp was very chewy and reminded me of dried squid. I think I much prefer having this fully cooked and flavoured like at Hong Kong restaurants.

 

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Heart Clam

For some reason, we got a Heart Clam again and this ended our omakase with only 9 pieces instead of 11. Either I forgot to take a picture, but I’m pretty sure he just missed two pieces. My friend had ordered a la carte, while the other two of us ordered omakase, so I think he got confused with which number we were at given he serves piece by piece and he was trying to make sure my a la carte friend had something to eat every time. We probably could have said something, but I was actually pretty full already and didn’t want to make a fuss. If one of your diners are going to order a la carte, I would suggest sitting at the table so the chance of him missing a piece is lower since he will present all the sushi at once at he table.

 

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Negitoro Hand Roll

To finish, he handed us over a Negitoro Hand Roll which was absolutely delicious! The toro was very fresh and the seaweed was very crispy.

Overall, I was really pleased with the quality of sushi at Matsuzushi. The omakse also includes a bowl of miso soup. Although I wished we had toro and uni like I saw other diners had, it really depends daily so hard to guess what ingredients you’ll get. However, given the whole set is only $25, it’s really hard to beat this price given the quality. Service is also a bit slow, but the chef is very friendly despite his lack of English. It’s quite a drive out if you don’t live nearby, but worth checking out at least once or if you happen to be in the area.

Pros:
– Good deal for $25 omakase
– Fish taste fresh and nigiri are well constructed

Cons:
– Service is slow

Price Range: $25 per person for omakse

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Meter parking along the street Overall: 4

 

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