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

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Yaguchiya Ramen

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Looking for a lunch spot near Metrotown, I suggested we try Yaguchiya Ramen since it was just across the Metrotown mall. The interior was very simple with barely any renovations done. In the summer, they only had a fan so it was quite hot. The restaurant features iekei style ramen that originates from Yokohama, Japan. Iekei ramen is the perfect balance of the Tonkotsu style from Kyushu and Shoyu style from Tokyo.

 

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Yaguchiya Special Ramen

S chose the Yaguchiya Special Ramen which features a pork and chicken broth, 3 piece of pork chashu, seasoned egg, spinach, roasted seaweed, and leek. You can choose between regular, medium, and large and S chose the medium. You can also customize the amount of fat, texture of noodles, and amount of soy sauce. The broth was much clearer than a tonkotsu so fairly light. Noodles are the yellow squiggly type so I personally am not a huge fan as I enjoy the Fukuoka style straight thin noodles.

 

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Shoyu Ramen

For myself, I chose the Shoyu Ramen and ordered a regular size. The Shoyu Ramen had a pork and chicken broth, two slices of pork chashu, spinach, and roasted seaweed. I paid $1.50 to add a seasoned egg. I thought the broth was light and not too salty. However, the pork was a bit too dry for me. A regular also had a lot of noodles and I could barely finish my ramen which usually never happens! On the table, customers can also add complimentary condiments included grated garlic, chili paste, ginger, pepper and vinegar. On the wall, they recommend how much of these condiments you should add.

Overall, I thought the ramen was just average. It definitely does not compete with the ones in downtown and it wasn’t very memorable. Service was friendly and attentive though. They seem to still attract regulars who are in the area given there aren’t many ramen shops nearby.

Pros:
– Large portions for reasonable prices
– Broth is light and not greasy

Cons:
– Ramen and toppings are quite average

Price Range: $10-15 per person

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

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Paid meter parking on street Overall: 3

 

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

Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse – Dine Out Vancouver 2018

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Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse has been participating in the Dine Out Vancouver Festival for many years now. For whatever reason, the restaurant never stood out to me since it’s not really in the media and the restaurant is pretty out of the way for me. However, this year, I was looking for some restaurants that had “good deals” for the dine out festival. This one falls exactly in that category. For $25, you get a 3 course meal which includes steak and a beautiful ambiance. Honestly, there aren’t many restaurants in the $25 category and most of them feature pub food.

 

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I mean, look at this menu! $25 for this type of food? I can’t even get a 3 course meal at Cactus or other chain restaurants.

 

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Get your reservations in early because the place sells out every year! It’s odd because when we arrived, the place was not full and it was not full throughout the evening. But still, they say that they are fully booked. Perhaps because they know the kitchen can’t handle a full house, but that’s smart of them to not overbook themselves if they can’t handle it. As you can see, the interior is actually really nice. I think in the daytime, you’ll have a view of the golf course. For some reason, we were seated in an elevated area at this long table facing the rest of the restaurant. We found it a bit odd to watch the other diners eat from above, and preferred to sit across from each other since it was sort of date night. After letting the servers know, they finally moved us to the lower dining area since they had plenty of tables open anyways.

 

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Trio of Creamed Mushroom Soup

For appetizers, we both got the Trio of Creamed Mushroom Soup which was topped with black pepper, chive creme fraiche, and truffle oil. I could smell the truffle oil once the bowl came. This was creamy and smooth with bits of mushrooms still in the soup. The other appetizer was the Kale Caesar Salad, and I hadn’t chose it because it seemed super simple, but I later learned it came with battered shrimp! Wow, what a deal!

 

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Seared Sea Scallop & Prawn Risotto

For entrees, I chose the Seared Sea Scallop & Prawn Risotto, which was served with grape tomatoes, shaved grana padano, and fresh watercress. The scallops were beautifully seared and they didn’t skimp on the ingredients. It came with three scallops and three prawns! The risotto was rich and creamy although I found it to be slightly under cooked. Still, this was a great dish for the price. It was also a huge portion and I could not even finish all the rice.

 

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AAA Angus Striploin Steak

The main dish that had attracted me here was actually the AAA Angus Striploin Steak. S chose this and it came with roasted garlic yukon mash, market vegetables and a red wine jus. We asked to have the steak cooked medium rare but we found it to be slightly more on the rare side. That didn’t bother us as I rather it be more rare than over cooked. The steak itself had some tendon/fatty parts, but it was still a decent cut given the price. Nothing to complain and I loved that it had a really nice char and smoky flavour to it. Highly recommend getting this for the best deal!

 

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Warm Apple Crisp

As for desserts, the first was the Warm Apple Crisp which was my favourite. To be honest, when it was presented to us, I was a bit disappointed. Presentation was not the nicest, but the flavours worked so well together that it didn’t matter how it looked! There were oat pecan crumbles, french vanilla ice cream and a dulce de leche sauce. This was really good all mixed together!

 

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Black Forest Mousse

S chose the Black Forest Mousse which featured a cherry compote, chocolate cookie crumbs, chocolate shavings, and creme chantilly. This tasted more like a chocolate pudding and I found it too sweet for my liking. I wouldn’t say their desserts are anything too special, but the flavours work.

Overall, I highly recommend Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse during dine out. I almost want to keep this a secret so I can get my reservations again next year! Even during regular occasions, their menu is very well priced and they often have 3 course menu deals. I think it must be because the location is not the most accessible. If you have a car though, this is a must try!

Pros:
– Great deals for portion and quality
– Ambiance is great for date night

Cons:
– Desserts are quite average
– Location is out of the way

Price Range: $25 per person (Dine Out Menu)

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

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Plenty of free parking in their own lot Overall: 4

 

Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Soy Fish Private Chef

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Sashimi Salad

Back in the summer, S invited me to join a couple of her friends for a private sushi dinner. We contacted Takuya Motohashi, the chef at Soyfish, who can prepare your meal at your house. We ended up doing it at a friend’s clubhouse which had a simple kitchen. He brings all his kitchen equipment, so don’t fret if you don’t have any kitchen equipment. Takuya began learning the art of sushi as an early teenager working for his father. In his early twenties, he left for Japan to apprentice for some of the countries’ masters. For over two decades, Takuya has developed and mastered techniques and styles that he has brought back to Canada to offer his clients, to create a private dining experience like no other. Our dining experience was $100 per person before tip. Depending on what you want as part of your menu, the price can differ.

As our appetizer, we had the Sashimi Salad which had pieces of snapper and blue fin tuna, raspberries, tobiko, and an apple vinaigrette to drizzle. Such a light and delicious start to our meal. Really loved this salad!

 

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Miso Marinated Black Cod

Our menu had some cooked food which included the Miso Marinated Black Cod on a bed of kale and bell peppers. This cod was absolutely delicious! Sweet and moist, with the skin charred to a beautiful crisp.

 

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Pork Belly on Mash

On the other side of the board was the Pork Belly on Mash served with a spicy Japanese mustard. The pork belly had the right amount of fat to meat proportion and sat on top of a creamy buttery mash. My favourite was the Japanese mustard. I think it was spicy because of wasabi! What a nice twist to the typical mustard.

 

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Nigiri

Next up was the Nigiri board! We had a large variety of nigiri to share including Golden Eye Snapper, Aji, Hotate Scallops from Hokkaido, Hamachi, Blue Fin O-Toro, and Albacore Tuna.

 

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My favourite had to be the O-Toro and Scallops. The fish was really fresh and the proportion of rice was just right. I also liked how he already brushed a light soy sauce on top of the fish before serving so you don’t need to dip it into soy sauce anymore. The amount of soy is already set so it’s just the right amount. Seriously such a luxurious nigiri meal!

 

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Aburi Sockeye Salmon and Blue Fin Belly

To finish, there was what I believe was the Blue Fin Chutoro which again was extremely sweet and melted in my mouth! We also had the Aburi Sockeye Salmon which wan’t close to what Miku was but rather was a very light sear on the salmon and topped with some mayo and jalapeno. Not as oily for sure.

 

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Aburi Blue Fin Belly

Last but not least, there was Aburi Blue Fin Belly which was seared with a sweet soy sauce. This melted in my mouth as well! So good!

Overall, we were all pleased with our meal with Soyfish. I believe he required around 30-45 mins of prep time ahead of time. During this time, you and your friends can linger around and watch him do his thing while enjoying some drinks. The dishes are served in sharing plates or long boards and he provides all the cutlery and plates required. The amount of food is just right for each person. The price is not cheap, but the ingredients he uses is also the top of the ranks. The chef was very professional during our meal but also was able to relax and have some fun with us near the end. He can be sociable and chat with your party if you want or he can just do his thing and leave you to your own party. I highly recommend Chef Takuya for your next dinner party if you want to splurge a little and you can contact him at http://soyfish.ca/ or DM him on Instagram.

 

MYST Asian Fusion – ChineseBites Media Event

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NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

Two weeks ago, MYST Asian Fusion opened in Burnaby. The parking lot in the front can get filled up quickly during peak hours, but free street parking is available along Kingsway. The restaurant features a variety of Asian inspired dishes and has modern decor that even lights up at night giving a lounge feel. We were invited by ChineseBites to check out some of their dishes.

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Calpis Butterfly Pea Flower and Strawberry Lemon Butterfly Pea Flower

There is a long list of drinks available, including your typical bubble tea. They also have a few versions of the Butterfly Pea Flower, which has become a popular drink on many bubble tea shop menus.

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Green Apple Slush

Their Slushies are also super cute, with marshmallows and chocolate eyes. Liquor is also available for drinks, including my favourite Taiwanese fruit beers!

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Steamed Sticky Rice Dumplings

Onto food, we tried the Steamed Sticky Rice Dumplings which are common at Shanghainese restaurants. Because there is rice inside, I find that this dish tends to be on the dry side.

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Assorted Deep Fried Basket

The Assorted Deep Fried Basket was filled with deep fried squid, pork blood, and chicken. A great dish to share.

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MYST Deluxe Marinated Pork with Rice

This dish was definitely a deluxe take on the classic Taiwanese marinated pork on rice. It was topped with lots of Taiwanese sausage and a sunny side egg. Mix it all together, and this was delicious and full of flavour!

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Marinated 3 Item Combo (Seaweed, Dried Tofu, Pork Ear String)

The Marinated 3 Item Combo is common among Taiwanese cuisine. Not my favourite though as I am not a huge fan of pork ear.

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Chives, Shrimp & Pork Dumplings

The dumplings were simple but very tasty and flavourful. The chili soy sauce on the side was addicting!

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MYST Beef Noodle Soup

The MYST Beef Noodle Soup is filled with shank, tripe, and tendon.

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TaiNan Style Egg Noodle Soup

A very different noodle compared to the above, the TaiNan Style Egg Noodle Soup is less flavourful but a great option if you want a more clear broth.

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Fried Chicken in Chili Pepper

The Fried Chicken were large in size and deep fried to a golden brown while the meat remained moist. Yummy!

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Preserved Cabbage with Shredded Pork Fried Rice Cake

A simple dish, but very tasty, with the rice cakes being just the right amount of chew. Not too oily either.

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Delicious Sandwiches

A classic favourite for kids, these sandwichese were filled with tomato, egg, ham, and cucumber.

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Skewers

  • Pork intestine $2.25/each
  • Lamb $2.25/each
  • Pork $2.25/each
  • Chicken $2.25/each
  • Fish cake $3.50/each
  • Chicken gizzard $2.25/each

When I say MYST has a large variety of dishes, I’m not kidding because they even have skewers! You don’t need to go to the night market to get your fix of these. However, I did find that they lack the char that the night market ones have.

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House Special Spicy Lamb Hot Pot

My favourite of the night was the House Special Spicy Lamb Hot Pot. It was filled with tender slices of lamb, imitation crab, and a variety of vegetables. The broth was spicy and very flavourful! This is served with rice and a few side dishes.

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MYST Jelly

For dessert, we tried the MYST Jelly which is tasted like wintermelon and brown sugar. Slightly too sweet for some as wintermelon can often be. The texture was also a bit odd as it seemed like too much gelatin was put in it.

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MYST Taiyaki

The MYST Taiyaki comes in a waffle bowl, with matcha ice cream, red beans, mochi balls, and a red bean filled taiyaki. The mochi balls are melon flavoured which was interesting! Not bad, but I found the mochi to be more hard than chewy.

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Strawberry Shaved Snowflake

The Strawberry Shaved Snowflake is definitely picture worthy. They are smart to use a bowl shaped like this to maximize the effect of the dry ice. As for the dessert itself though, I didn’t like the artificial strawberry flavour. Perhaps the mango version would be better.

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Hakka Style Sweet Rice Cake

Lastly, we tried the Hakka Style Sweet Rice Cake, but most of us were not a fan of it. Perhaps it was the dates inside which gave a bitter aftertaste. It also tasted like there was alcohol in it, which many of us were not fond of.

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Overall, there are hits and misses at MYST Asian Fusion, but the good thing is they have such a large variety of choices so there is something for everyone. They also open from 7:30 am for breakfast until 1am from Sunday to Thursday and until 2am from Friday to Saturday.

Myst Asian Fusion Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ice Pik Shavery

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NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

IcePik Shavery has been around for over a year now and features a hybrid between Hawaiian shaved ice and ice cream. They claim that this “snow cream” therefore has a nice fluffy snow-like texture. I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time now, but I don’t go to Burnaby often. So when Jacqueline invited me to a tasting, I couldn’t say no!

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You first order at the counter and then you can eat in as there are a decent amount of seats. They have ready-made combos as well as the choice to customize your own.

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Matcha Snow Cream

First, you will need to pick your size: regular ($4.50) or large ($5.50).

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Earl Grey Snow Cream

Next, you select your snow cream flavour. Flavours include:

  • Sesame
  • Mango
  • Taro
  • Original
  • Green Tea
  • Mint
  • Coconut
  • Earl Grey

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Black Sesame Snow Cream

Next up are all the toppings you can choose from. Each topping is 60 cents. My favourites are fresh fruit like mango or strawberry and mochi balls. They have a variety of mochi flavours, like mango, original, green tea or strawberry.

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Mango Snow Cream

Other toppings include tapioca pearls, flavoured popping pearls, mango jelly, almond jelly, grass jelly, lychee jelly, red bean, and crushed Oreos.

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Mint Snow Cream

You can then pick a flavour from their drizzle station which is complimentary. The drizzles include caramel, condensed milk, chocolate and strawberry sauce.

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Coconut Snow Cream

If you don’t want to worry about choosing the wrong ingredients and ending up with a funky tasting dessert, then you can choose their ready-made combos. They will be slightly more expensive at $5.95 for a regular and $6.95 for a large, but keep in mind that it includes 3-4 toppings already so is actually a better deal.

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Sea Cream Coffee

Other than snow cream, they also have coffee and milk tea for drinks. We tried their Sea Cream Coffee which I quite enjoyed. It was slightly sweet but salty at the same time because of the sea cream.

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Overall, I quite enjoyed the snow creams at IcePik Shavery. The shaved ice is not as powdery as Snowy Village’s, but it is very fluffy. I also like how they have an assortment of flavours and toppings to choose from. Will be back for sure!

Icepik Shavery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chachi’s

Note: All food and beverages were complimentary. Opinions are based on personal experience.

Thanks to Sherman, a group of food bloggers and I were invited to a menu tasting at the new Chachi’s located in the food court of Metropolis at Metrotown.

Chachi’s goal is to “make mall food better” and this is their first location in BC with plans to expand to other locations in BC. The focus is on sandwiches, but they also have a variety of salads and sides. All ingredients, including cheese, meats and breads are locally sourced. The bread is fresh from a bakery in Langley daily.

You can choose from the set sandwiches on their menu, or build your own.

They also have three of their own lemonades and iced teas.

Freshly made cookies are available as well. The ones we tried were quite healthy with oatmeal and raisins.

Other than their homemade drinks, they also have a select few bottled drinks. Surprisingly, my favourite was the Cherry Iced Tea. It had a light cherry/raspberry flavour to it. Their homemade drinks are overall slightly on the sweeter side, but not bad.

Asiago Caesar

We also tried two of their salads, including the Asiago Caesar which features crisp romaine, bacon garlic crostini, Asiago, Caesar dressing and topped with turkey.

Arugula

My favourite was the Arugula, which had arugula, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, red onions, goat cheese, and a balsamic sauce with turkey. You can choose your type of meat or have it without. I loved the sweetness of the artichokes along with the acidity of the balsamic. The salad was slightly overdressed though, so a little less dressing would have been perfect.

Cali

Onto what we really came here for – the sandwiches! We tried almost all the sandwiches on the menu, inclduing this Cali, which was filled with chicken breast, double smoked bacon, house made guacamole, cheddar, tomato, romaine, and spicy mayo. I really liked how the bread wasn’t too tough.

Bahn Mi

The Bahn Mi was Chachi’s take on the Vietnamese sandwich. It was filled with beef brisket, asian marinade, pickled carrots, cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic aioli. The beef brisket was very soft and tender, but the sandwich was slightly too saucy.

Hot Philly

The Hot Philly is not for the weak as this is one of the spicier options. Filled with rib steak, bell peppers, onion, jalapeno, provolone, garlic aioli and spicy mayo, this is a delicious spicy sandwich.

Smoked Bacon Breaky Sandwich

They also have some Breaky Sandwiches, including this Smoked Bacon Breaky. I didn’t try this but it looks quite similiar to a McMuffin.

Pork with Mac

My favourite sandwich was the Pork with Mac. This is filled with tender pulled pork, sweet chili, BBQ sauce, and topped with loads of mac ‘n cheese. The pulled pork was so tender and sweet, and the mac ‘n cheese was savoury with a slight spice. Amazing creation!

Dill Chips

They also have homemade chips with a variety of flavours. We tried the Dill Chips, which had a nice pickled flavoured. The chips are kettle cooked and reminded me of Ms. Vickie’s. Addictive!

Spicy Mac ‘N Cheese with Capicollo, Mac ‘N Cheese

The Pork ‘N Mac Sandwich was good, but I would actually just skip the sandwich and order their side of Mac ‘N Cheese. These come in two versions: the original or the spicy with capicollo. These were so smooth and creamy and some of the best mac I’ve had! If you enjoy a bit of spicy, I would highly recommend the Spicy Mac ‘N Cheese with Capicollo.

Overall, Chachi’s is a great addition to the food court by offering a more gourmet sandwich option with quality ingredients. The sandwiches are priced slightly higher at $8-$12, but I can understand since the ingredients are all locally sourced.

Chachi's Metrotown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Victory Seafood Restaurant – ChineseBites Media Event

Note: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions were based on my own personal experience.

I think the last time I visited Crystal Mall has got to be over 10 years ago. Driving in the parkade is the worst experience ever so I avoid this mall at all cost. But when ChineseBites invited me to do a dim sum tour at Victory Seafood Restaurant, I ventured my way out and luckily around 2pm on a Saturday, the parking lot wasn’t as busy (the parking was still pretty bad though!).

We were seated in more of a private room, but outside, the decor is similar with gold being the focus. I could see this as a decent restaurant to host Chinese banquets.

As this was a ChineseBites dim sum tour, we ordered literally almost everything off the dim sum menu – a total of 37 dishes! Dishes range from $4.49-$7.49 depend on size and specialty.

Baked BBQ Pork Buns with Crust Topping looked just like a pineapple bun but was filled with savoury BBQ pork filling. The top was sweet and the bun itself was fluffy.

One of my favourite fried items was the Deep Fried Shrimp Spring Rolls with Garlic. The wrapper was light and crispy and the inside was packed with shrimp and garlic filling.

The Deep Fried Dumplings with Pork & Dried Shrimp were also quite delicious with the outside crispy and interior like a mochi chewy texture. The inside was filled with a savoury pork and dried shrimp filling.

We tried a variety of rice rolls, with my favourite being the Steamed Rice Rolls with Crispy Deep Fried Fish Paste. The rice rolls here are quite silky smooth. The rice rolls with the chinese donuts were also popular.

I like how they give you both the Pan Fried Radish & Shredded Taro Cakes when you order this dish, so you can sample both. The taro cakes are harder as expected, so I do enjoy the softer radish cake personally.

A dish I did not try, but was told by others to skip was the Smoked Salmon with Fruit Salad Sauce Tarts. I guess it’s more a westernized dish, so you can’t expect much at a Chinese restaurant. Apparently, the ingredients just didn’t mesh well.

A new item on their menu was the Steamed Red Rice Rolls with Shrimp. We were all curious about the red colour, but turns out there is no flavour to it. More of a gimmick so I would just stick with the regular rice rolls.

Onto the steamers! Suddenly, everything came out all at once. The Steamed Meat Balls were packed full of flavour and remained moist.

Dim sum isn’t the same without an order of the Steamed Pork Dumplings (Siu Mai). These were topped with flying fish roe and packed full of minced pork.

One of my favourite dim sum items to order is the Steamed Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf. Packed tightly in the lotus leaf, the filling to rice proportion was pretty good.

Other than your steamers and fried food, the dim sum menu also features some clay pot rice, including the Steamed Rice with Chicken & Black Fungus. These were decent, but lacked the crispy rice at the bottom.

Overall, some hits and misses, but overall, a decent spot to have dim sum with a large variety and reasonable prices.

Victory Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato