Sushi Itshoni

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J and I are always in this complex on North Rd, since he has to do his grocery shopping at H-Mart. I guess we are slowly trying out every restaurant in that complex. We decided to give Sushi Itshoni a try. It seems to be Korean operated, and serves a mix of Korean and Japanese cuisine.

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The place was quite full during lunch on a weekday. They seem to have pretty good deals, which might be the reason why.

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Complementary Appetizers

We were served some complementary appetizers, like any other Korean restaurant would offer. It consisted of Kimchi, Marinated Seaweed, and Boiled Broccoli. Typical stuff.

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Friday’s Bento Box

Every day, they have a menu item on special for around $8. For Friday, it consisted of a Bento Box that had Assorted Fried Tempura, Marinated Beef, California Rolls, and a Green Salad. I have to say the food wasn’t that great. It’ll fill you up, but is very average. The tempura batter was extremely thick, and California rolls are pretty bad.

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Cold Buckwheat Noodles

J got one of those Cold Buckwheat Noodles. This one was quite simple and didn’t have much in it other than an egg, tomato and some cucumbers. They also had a variety of other ones to choose from.

I probably wouldn’t come back to Sushi Itshoni again. I mean, the prices are decent for lunch, but the quality isn’t that great. Kind of disappointing.

Sushi Itshoni on Urbanspoon

Midam Rice Cake House

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Midam Rice Cake House is tucked away in a Korean mall in Coquitlam and you probably wouldn’t notice it at all. If it weren’t for all the instagram pictures, I’m pretty sure I would’ve never came here.

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Inside, the place reminds me of bubble tea shops, but with a Korean touch to it. Maybe it’s the wooden furniture and decor. Oh and I guess pretty much all the diners were Korean too…

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Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream

Midam is famous for their rice cakes of course, and especially for their rice cake desserts. Green tea, mochi, and ice cream are three of my favourite things, so of course I had to get the Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream! This was so delicious. The rice cake was chewy and the ice cream was hard so it  melted in your mouth slowly. And of course, it was presented nicely too. A must get!

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Green Tea Shaved Ice

And then there’s the Green Tea Shaved Ice. I’m not usually a big fan of shaved ice because after I few spoons, I usually get a brain freeze and start shivering. However, Midam seems to be famous for these, so I had to give it a try. It was bowl of shaved ice topped with red bean, almonds, green tea covered rice cakes, and a spoonful of green tea ice cream. We found it extremely bland, and the girl brought us something that tasted like condensed milk. Immediately after pouring it, it tasted much better. Still, I’m actually not a huge fan of red beans, unless it’s red bean paste, so this wasn’t exactly my favourite. I wish it was just all green tea rice cakes and ice cream! The rice cakes were decent, although I found the green tea to be a little bitter. A hint of sweetness would’ve made it better. It was still chewy and soft and I loved the texture of it. I also found the shaved ice to be pretty big chunks of ice. If it were finely ground, it would’ve been better. Overall, it was just okay.

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Lastly, J got the dinner set, which I can’t remember the name of and I can’t find it on their website. We came during dinner time, but silly me decided to have desserts for dinner. J, on the other hand, wanted an actual meal. The lunch set included some appetizers, like salad, beans, kimchi, and miso soup. It also came with black rice and I think his main dish was squid with rice cakes. On the side, it also came with a bowl of steamed eggs.

Midam Rice Cake House seems to be quite popular for the Koreans. You could find different ages eating during dinner time, and many would order desserts too. I guess it’s similar to a Taiwanese bubble tea house, but this one is filled with Korean rice cake desserts. The rice cakes itself are delicious, but some items seem to be a hit or miss. I think I came in with high expectations for the shaved ice, so I left quite disappointed.

Midam Rice Cake House 美談餅家 on Urbanspoon

The Coffee Bun

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J told me that The Coffee Bun has some really good…well coffee buns, of course. They currently only have two stores in Greater Vancouver. One in Coquitlam and the original store is in Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver. The shop definitely grabs your attention with such a large coffee bun sign.

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They’re famous for their original coffee bun, but they also have variations of the bun. Some have cream inside, and even ice cream! They also offer honey bread, waffles, and an assortment of beverages, including coffee and tea.

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I couldn’t help but take a few snapshots of their cake displays. I’m guessing they do special orders for the cupcakes and wedding cakes. Not sure how well they taste, but they sure look good!

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Look at those cupcakes with faces on them! Extremely cute!

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And these Santa Claus cupcakes are so adorable. They would make the cutest Christmas desserts to bring to a party.

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Ice Cream Coffee Bun

This is the Ice Cream Coffee Bun. It is essentially a bun with an aroma of coffee cut in half and a scoop of ice cream is placed inside. The buns remind me of Chinese buns in terms of texture and taste. Definitely has the egg and butter taste to it, but it’s also got a slight hint of coffee flavour. The outer edges are also crispy which is a plus. The bun is warm and begins to melt the ice cream, so you need to eat this quickly before it all melts!

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Blue Lemonade

On a second occasion, we went back to get coffee buns again. This time, J also got the Blue Lemonade. It reminded me of Mountain Dew with lemons. I thought it was a bit sour for my liking, but then again, it’s lemonade.

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Ice Cream Coffee Buns

And of course, we got the Ice Cream Coffee Buns again. Maybe I should try some of their other variations next time. They also have shaved ice, which looks really good. I love how the place is a great hangout place to chat with friends. It’s similar to a coffee shop setting, but with these awesome buns!

The Coffee Bun Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Dae Ji Pork Cutlet House

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Dae Ji Pork Cutlet House opened just last month a few minutes away from J’s house. It’s near Coquitlam Centre, so it’s very convenient. We decided to go check it out, and I believe they literally just opened that day. They also have other locations, including one in Downtown.

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The place reminds me of a cafeteria and is a very chill place to eat. However, you don’t need to order at the counter, since the man will come over to serve you. So it’s a bit fancier than a serve-yourself shop.

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Pork Cutlet with Spicy Sauce

J got the Pork Cutlet with Spicy Sauce. It came with two large pieces of pork cutlet and an abundance of sauce. I found the sauce a little spicy, but J thought it was fine. Each of our dishes also came with a side of salad with thousand island dressing, corn, macaroni salad, daikon, and rice. J’s dish actually had less rice than mine, since he ordered it off the pork cutlet menu, and not the rice menu… confusing.

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Pork Cutlet Curry Rice (comes with miso soup)

For myself, I was craving some curry, and got the Pork Cutlet Curry Rice. It was a large piece of pork cutlet, topped with curry and vegetables, all on top of a large scoop of rice. On the side, I also had the same sides as J. I actually found the curry really spicy! I thought it would be similar to Japanese curry and be sweet, but it also had tons of spice in it! Even J thought it was spicy, so it wasn’t just me…Pork Cutlet was extremely crispy and the batter was light. Delicious!

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Miso Soup, Kimchi Soup

My meal also came with a miso soup, which was nothing special, and J’s came with a kimchi soup. Since it was the opening day, the man also gave us free pop.

The pork cutlets are definitely up to par, and for the price and quantity, I can see it being successful. On opening day, it wasn’t packed, but there was a consistent number of people going in and out. Not bad!

Dae Ji Pork Cutlet House on Urbanspoon

Akari Japanese Restaurant

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Akari Japanese Restaurant is located just off Lougheed Highway. It’s a fairly large restaurant, but I believe it’s owned by non-Japanese owners.

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The restaurant is full of wooden decor and green plants. Seating is abundant and we were seated right away. It’s interesting that they also have some Korean dishes on their menu, so don’t expect authentic Japanese food here.

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Chopped Scallop, Tobiko with Quail Egg, Tuna, and Salmon Nigiri

We chose to get some Nigiri to start. J chose the Salmon and Tuna to share, while I chose the Chopped Scallop and Tobiko with Quail Egg for myself. The Salmon and Tuna were both fresh and decent. I enjoyed the Chopped Scallop as it was loaded with scallops and topped with tobiko to add some crunch. The Tobiko with Quail Egg is a nigiri that I’ve seen in many people’s pictures but haven’t actually tried myself. I don’t know if I would order it again, since the raw egg on the top gives it a slimy texture and your mouth is just full of popping tobiko as you chew. Not exactly my favourite texture to bite into, but flavour-wise, it isn’t too bad.

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Nabeyaki Udon

For myself, I was craving some warm udon. I ended up choosing the Nabeyaki Udon after staring at the extensive menu and being so indecisive. This was decent and came with two ebi tempuras. It was loaded with vegetables and a poached egg. Not bad!

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Mul Naeng Myeon

J chose to get the Mul Naeng Myeon from the Korean menu. I took a bite from it and I thought it tasted better than the one at Kimbab Cheongkuk. It was a little spicy because of the mustard, but not bad!

Akari Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

Myung-Ga Sonmandoo

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Since we had just finished shopping at H-mart, we looked for a quick snack in the same mall. Just across H-mart in the same complex was Myung Ga Snack Bar which offers a few basic Korean snacks and their famous dumplings.

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The snack bar is fairly small with only tables on one side of the wall. The wall is plastered with Korean, which I’m guessing are the dishes on their menu. It’s a quick place to grab a snack, so the turnover rate is quite high.

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On the other side of the wall is where the food is cooked. I saw tons of dumplings that had been steamed on the side, but I didn’t get a chance to try them this time.

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Beside each table, they have a menu which thankfully has English translations on it. The prices are quite cheap too.

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Spicy Rice Cake

First, we got the Spicy Rice Cake. A decent sized plate of rice cakes with fish cakes were covered with a spicy sauce. I found this to be quite spicy, so I ended up draining the spice out with some water. Kind of gross, but it worked. I especially loved the fish cakes.

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I’m not sure what this was called, since J ordered this in Korean and it wasn’t on the menu. The roll on the left hand side was essentially clear potato noodles wrapped with seaweed lightly fried. On the other side were vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and onions, which were also lightly battered and fried. This was a crunchy snack although I still found it a little oily.

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Oden (Fish Cake Soup)

Lastly, we got the Oden, which you often see at Japanese restaurants. It is a fish cake soup and it comes with different snacks, such as fish balls, fish tofu, and other delicious snacks. I enjoyed the soup, and the fish balls were bouncy.

All in all, cute shop to grab some quick Korean snacks. And I will be back for the dumplings!

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Kimbab Cheonguk

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Kimbab Cheonguk which means Kimbab Heaven is located in a small mall on North Road. This area is basically filled with Koreans. Kimbab, which seems to be spelled Kimbap, are essentially the Korean style of sushi rolls. Basically, seaweed wrapped rice with veggies filled inside. Kimbab Cheonguk does sell them, but they seem to be more popular with the other items. The restaurant is basically a quick snackbar.

The shop is fairly small and the seating is very basic. It seems to family run and most diners are Korean. The place seemed to have a constant flow of people even on a weekday afternoon.

Their menu is fairly simple, with only around 12 choices. They are listed across the kitchen counter as well as by the wall next to your table. The menu is basically in Korean, or with Korean written in English, so it’s difficult to understand if you don’t know any Korean. Luckily, they also have pictures stretched across the wall, so you have  a sense of what you’re ordering.

Soon Dae

J asked me if I had Soon Dae before. I looked at the picture, and was confused as to what it was. They looked like some sort of meat. He told me that it was basically Jap Chae, but had a weird smirk on his face. Whatever. So we ordered it and when it came, I honestly thought they looked sort of gross. But I guess I would give it a try anyways. It is to be dipped in the seasoning, which gives it a little salty flavour. Still having a smirk on his face, I decided to Google what it was. Turns out, Soon Dae is essentially an intestine filled with pork blood and Jap Chae noodles. The good part is, that the only intestine part of the dish was the outer layer, which I had kept asking what it was made of. I thought it was some sort of thin rice wrapper for the longest time. I guess it wasn’t that bad, and it tasted more like bland noodles compressed together. Apparently, it’s a popular snack in Korea, kind of like how beef stomach is popular for the Chinese.

Mul Naeng Myeon

Since I essentially had no idea what the menus meant, J ordered me the Mul Naeng Myeon. This is a popular Korean dish, meaning “ice water noodles”. It’s made from flour and starch, including buckwheat, potatoes and among others. It is served in a stainless bowl filled with a tangy iced broth,  cucumbers, slices of beef, and a hard-boiled egg. Upon serving the dish to us, the server then took scissors to cut the noodles apart.

When mixed together, it looks like this! You then add a spicy msutard sauce and vinegar to add more flavour. I eat quite bland at home, so I  thought the addition was a little too tangy for my taste-buds. The noodles were extremely chewy, and had a texture that I hadn’t quite tried before. Really interesting and a great dish to have on a sunny day as it was refreshing. J on the other hand, got a variation of this noodle, which was a spicy version. It was way too spicy for me though!

Oh and another note is that they serve you a beef broth that comes in a teapot. At first, I was really confused what it was. But apparently, this tea is supposed to help you digest your food. How thoughtful! It was rich and tasted extremely good! A little salty, but so tasty.

Kimbab Cheonguk 김밥천국 on Urbanspoon

Sushi K Kamizato

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SP wanted to try Sushi K Kamizato, but it’s all the way in Coquitlam. Finally, we decided to go after our exam since it has some pretty good reviews! The restaurant is tucked away in a town center type of mall and is quite small.

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When we arrived, we were surprised that the customers were mostly Caucasian. Usually, I look for Japanese customers to figure out if the place is authentic or not. But it does seem to be! The chef and lady, who seems to be the wife of the owner/chef, seemed to know every single customer. We almost felt a little strange since we were like foreigners in the restaurant. We were still greeted regardless, but the restaurant definitely has a loyal customer base.

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The owner also seems to be a big fan of metallic rock music. The restaurant was playing rock music the whole time, except some of my friends found it a little too much for dinner.

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Salmon and Tuna Karaage

We each received a complementary dish of Salmon and Tuna Karaage while we waited for out food. This was quite addicting with the chili mayo sauce.

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Ebi Sunomono

C and M both got an Ebi Sunomono. Looked like the average appetizer.

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Saba Pressed Sushi

They also got the Saba Pressed Sushi, which looked quite delicious!

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Chicken Teriyaki Combo

C got the Chicken Teriyaki Combo which came with a side salad, rice and miso soup.

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Grilled Aburi Saba Combo

M got the Grilled Aburi Saba Combo, which also came with a side salad, rice, and miso soup.

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Spicy Chopped Scallop

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Salmon Roll and Chopped Scallop Roll

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Kamizato House Roll

For myself, I got the Kamizato House Roll. I actually didn’t find it as amazing as I had imagined. The top had some sort of mayo but it was also charred. I found that because it was charred, the flavour tasted a little burnt, which bothered me a little.It was basically a California roll with a little bit of salmon sashimi.

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Chicken Yakiudon

I also got the Chicken Yakiudon which was a huge plate! I did find that the udon was a little undercooked as it was kind of hard. It also wasn’t what I had imagined and seemed quite simple. I was craving the one at Guu and it definitely wasn’t as good as that.

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Spicy  & Shout

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Let it Beef 

The specialty rolls definitely looked and tasted delicious according to my friends. I never actually tried them, but they seem to be what people come here for. Their ingredients are definitely fresh and I believe they cater to their loyal customer base. Overall, it wasn’t bad and I would love to come back to try their specialty rolls.

Sushi K Kamizato 神里 on Urbanspoon