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

 

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

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Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie has been around for many years now and has won many awards. I’ve hear many good things about the restaurant, but for some reason, I was hesitant to try it because I knew it wasn’t authentic Chinese food. Bao Bei is situated in the heart of Chinatown and is known for their modern Chinese dishes and cocktails. I had my hesitations going in, but honestly came out loving the food.

 

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The restaurant is good for small groups of 2 to 3. They do not take reservations, so be prepared to wait or come right at opening. We arrived at 6:30pm on a weekday thinking the wait wouldn’t be long, but we still waited around 45 mins to one hour. Luckily, the Keefer Bar is nearby so we could go enjoy some drinks. They take down your name and number and will call you when the table is ready. The interior is modern but has the traditional Chinese vibes.

 

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Dominion Cider

I ended up going with the Dominion Cider from Summerland, BC and this was refreshing and light. I will definitely come back to try some of their cocktails though!

 

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Beef Tartare
The menu consists of sharing style plates, so I’d suggest having 2-3 dishes per person. We started off with the Beef Tartare which was absolutely delicious! The tartare featured Cache Creek petite tender, preserved mustard root, crispy shallot, ginger, a quail egg, watercress, burnt scallion oil, and taro chips to scoop the tartare.

 

 

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Steamed Prawn, Scallop, Rockfish and Chive Dumplings
They have a variety of homemade dumplings on their menu, but I suggested to try something a bit more unique. The Steamed Prawn, Scallop, Rockfish and Chive Dumplings caught my eyes as we usually won’t find scallop or rockfish in our traditional dumplings. The filling was delicious and elevated to a more fine dining experience but I felt the wrappers were a little too thick. Unfortunately, these didn’t wow me.

 

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King Pea Tips
Time to get some veggies in so of course we all suggested to get the King Pea Tips. Pea tips are usually a favourite among the table and these did not disappoint. Simply flavoured with garlic and shoxing cooking wine, these were fresh and had a nice crsip. Portion was actually decent for $9 too given a lot of their other dishes were on the smaller end.

 

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Seasonal Vegetables – Squash and Fried Lotus

We chose another veggie dish and this was one of their Seasonal Vegetables. The Squash and Fried Lotus was flavoured with a curried black bean and salted duck egg yolk sauce. Lotus root is commonly used in Chinese dishes, but I have never had lotus root that looked like this! I believe these are called lotus rootlets and they are like baby lotus roots! Narrow cylinders compared to the usually ones we see, but just as crunchy. They paired nicely with the squash and asian flavoured sauces. Highly recommend ordering this!

 

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Sablefish in Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice

Moving on to some larger dishes, we had the Sablefish in Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice. To be honest, when I saw the dish arrive, all I could think of was how small this lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice was for thirty something dollars! But once I started digging in, I fell in love with this dish! The sablefish was so buttery and moist and the Japanese oyster mushrooms added a nice texture. This is definitely a next level lotus leaf sticky rice with the sablefish and well worth the high price!

 

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Crispy Pork Belly
Last but not least, we had the Crispy Pork Belly which features radish, cucumbers, pickled ginger, mint, and crispy potatoes. This is topped with a  Vietnamese cilantro root dressing. The pork belly had a nice portion of fat to meat and was very moist.
Overall, I was extremely happy with my meal at Bao Bei and would highly recommend it. Just keep an open mind that you are not coming here for traditional Chinese food, but the food actually tastes good and the fusion works! Despite the high prices, the quality is great here and I’d suggest coming here with a few friends so you can try a variety of dishes.

Pros:
– Well executed modern Chinese dishes
– Good selection of cocktails and drinks

Cons:
– Be prepared to wait even on the weekdays
– Seating is a bit cramped

Price Range: $40-60 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Paid street parking or paid parking lots Overall: 4

 

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pacific Poké

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Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Pacific Poké opened up at the end of last year on Main Street in Chinatown. Thanks to VancityTastes, I was able to give their menu a try. The interior is clean and minimal with cute cacti plants on the tables. The location seats around 20 people inside but many opt to take out their poké bowls.

 

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The menu is similar to many other poké shops. You can either build your own or choose the chef prepared creations. To build your own, a regular bowl costs $12 (two proteins and three toppings) whereas a large goes for $14 (three proteins and four toppings). The options for your base include organic brown rice, traditional sushi rice, quinoa salad base or a kale salad base. Proteins include salmon, ahi tuna, negitoro, albacore tuna, crab and shrimp, and also seasonal selections such as hamachi.

 

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You’ll notice that the number of toppings to choose from is more limited than many of the other poké shops. However, at Pacific Poké, they pride themselves in using high quality ingredients and setting high standards in execution. This includes how the fish is cut perfectly into the same size and the details that go into putting the bowls together. The head chef and sous chef both have many years of experience in fine dining and it definitely shows in the food they present.

 

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The Main

We got to try the chef pre-arranged bowls which I always go for on my first try at poké shops. Getting these bowls, I know I won’t mess up with overloading on random toppings. There are four pre-arranged options, with one being vegetarian. We tried the other three bowls, including The Main, which features salmon, spicy tuna, crab and shrimp jicama, cucumber, avocado, nori, sesame miso sauce, lime and yuzu juice, green onion, and fresh herbs. This bowl was fresh with the lime and yuzu juice really pulling through and hints of spicy flavour from the tuna. I’d say this is a safe bowl for first-timers.

 

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The Keefer

My favourite however was The Keefer which featured ahi and albacore tuna negitoro, avocado, nori, fresh wasabi peas, mixed herbs, classic sesame shoyu, and lime juice. Although this bowl tasted very healthy with the greens, it was extremely flavourful and light. I especially liked the wasabi peas which I don’t normally find at other poké shops. I actually took a bowl of this home and my dad ended up eating it and absolutely loved it. He commented that the fish was very fresh and the sushi rice was cooked perfectly.

 

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The Cali

If you like spicy, then The Cali would probably be your choice. This bowl features spicy salmon, crab and shrimp, pickled red onion, avocado nori, green onion, sprouts, and spicy mayo. I really liked the pickled red onions in this bowl which balanced well with the spicy sashimi.

 

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Poké Panini

Other than the typical bowls, they also have Poké Paninis. Pictured above is the Tuna Panini which is filled with crab and tobioko mix, pickled red onion, avocado, nori, wasabi and miso mayo, green onion and sprouts. On the right is the Salmon Panini which is filled with crab and shrimp, pickled red onion, avocado, nori, spicy sauce, and tomato kimchi.

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To wash it all down, they also have three homemade drinks, including the Strawberry Green Tea, Yuzu Lemon Tea, and Coco Panda (which is a coconut pandan drink). Overall, I highly recommend Pacific Poké due to the chef’s care in ingredients and detail. You can really taste how fresh the food is here and the toppings are meant to go well in all variations. The chefs also curated a menu that is more health conscious, and I definitely felt that way after my bowl. Although more pricey than Pokeritto, the pricing is similar to many of the other poké shops, and I would pay a little more for the quality.

 

Pacific Poke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taishoken

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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.

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

Sai Woo

Super late post again but back in early May, us accountants finally celebrated the end of tax season! Our firm treated us to dinner and drinks at Sai Woo in the heart of Chinatown. Sai Woo doesn’t server your typical authentic Chinese food, it’s more of a westernized style of Chinese food.

We basically booked the whole restaurant and the inside decor is beautiful! I loved the fairy lights and the ambiance gave a nice chic and elegant feel.

Their cocktails are what I would come here for and they have a long bar on one side where you can come in if you want to just enjoy some drinks.

Sai Woo Sour

E and I decided to go all out that night (since we were’ paying!) and tried to go down the list of the cocktail list. Yes, huge headache the next day, but it was fun! We started off with the Sai Woo Sour which featured Bombay Sapphire East, Benedictine, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and egg white.

Elderflower 75

The Elderflower 75 was my favourite and consisted of Finlandia Vodka, St. Germain, lemon juice, and sparkling cava. This was the fruitiest drink and extremely easy to drink. Plus, it’s always classy to have some cava in hand.

Smoking Gun

The Smoking Gun is the men’s drink and the process in making the drink is super cool to watch. They light up the drink and some smoke comes out then they throw in this huge ice cube. The drink consisted of El Dorado 12 year old rum, bitters, brown sugar, oak, and tea smoke. A very bitter drink and great for those who like to drink straight rum. The guys said it was too sweet from the brown sugar though…but us girls found it bitter!

Carioca

Another favourite was the Carioca with Cacha 51, guava juice, orange juice, lime juice, and sloe Gin float. Another one of those lighter and fruitier drinks which I enjoyed.

Tuna Tartare

As we booked the place up for a private event, our menu was already pre-ordered and it included some canapés to start. I didn’t get pictures of all of them but a memorable one was the Tuna Tartare which came with nori on top. Quite yummy! They also seem to enjoy using raw ingredients at Sai Woo.

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio

We were able to choose two appetizers each. For myself, I chose the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio which came with broccoli puree, crudite, rye crumble, sorrel, and candied lime. To be honest, I found this to be just average. The beef lacked flavour and the plate itself was also extremely small for the price.

Beet Salad

E got the Beet Salad which came with buckwheat cracker, yoghurt, blackberry sauce, fermented grapes, and herbs. A colourful dish but E also said it was just average.

Sai Woo Salad

My second appetizer was the Sai Woo Salad which comes with smoked sockeye salmon, gem lettuce, frisee, pickled tomato, blue cheese cream, and fennel. Again, something was off about this dish. It was way too acidic with the pickled tomatoes overbearing the whole dish. The smoked salmon was also more like cooked salmon as it was fully cooked. Everyone agreed this dish was too pickled.

Pressed Lamb

For my entree, I got the Pressed Lamb which was my favourite of the dishes. The lamb was packed into a rectangle and was crispy on the outside while staying very moist in the inside. It came with seasonal vegetables of what appeared to be brocolini, braised shallots, kale, sherry jus and a side of long grain rice.

Ling Cod

Some of the other diners got the Ling Cod which came with oyster mushrooms, green onion puree, greens, and jasmine rice. Apparently this was extremely salty for some while being perfect for others. Seems like they have inconsistencies in seasoning.

Lemongrass Chicken

The other entree option was the Lemongrass Chicken which came with vermicelli noodles, bitter greens, and a sunny side up fried egg.

Baklava

Dessert was just as disappointing. the Baklava was unappealing to look at and consisted of pistachio nuts, toasted nuts, honey rose pearls, and phyllo chips. This was sort of an deconstructed baklava but something about it just didn’t seem right.

Chocolate Cake

The Chocolate Cake came with candied fennel and orange marmalade and it appeared that most diners did not enjoy this. Perhaps it was gluten free and therefore the cake itself was very hard and dry.

 

Overall, we found the food at Sai Woo to be underwhelming but we think it might be because they aren’t experienced with catering to a large group. Most diners who have gone to Sai Woo on a regular day have had good experiences, so I would probably give them a try during their regular service. I have to say that their drinks are great so I wouldn’t mind coming here to grab a drink. Plus the decor is beautiful inside!

Sai Woo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Oyster Express

Looking for a place to catch up with my girlfriends, I suggested we go to Oyster Express during their happy hour, which is from 4:30-6:00 on Sundays. There are other happy hour times listed on their website.

Located in Chinatown, the shop is really tiny and fits around 20 diners only. One thing we noticed is that it was very warm inside. We were all sweaty during our meal.

Of course we had to get some oysters here. They serve the oysters with a variety of sauces. There is the basic mignonette sauce, the cocktail sauce, and Tabasco sauce. Then they have their housemade spicy sauce. I didn’t try their housemade sauce but K said it wasn’t that spicy.

Glacier Bay and Kusshi

The oysters on sale for the day during their happy hour were Glacier Bay oysters. They were $1.50 each. Their Kusshi oysters were also on sale that day for $2.50 so we got some of those. The Glacier Bay oysters were rather tiny but still sweet. However, we enjoyed the Kusshis a lot more. Much bigger and plump and very fresh. For the most part, the shucking was pretty good, but we still had a little bit of shell in some oysters.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Their menu is quite limited, but we did order some items to share. First was the Manhattan Clam Chowder. This was actually a tomato based chowder rather than a white cream. The soup was filled with tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, corn, celery, onions and of course clams. Served with some bread and cracker on the side, we really enjoyed the flavour of this chowder.

Fried Oysters (1/2 order)

The half order of Fried Oysters came with three large oysters which were breaded and deep fried to a golden brown. The oysters were very fresh and the breading was very light.

Steamed Mussels

Lastly, we had the Steamed Mussels, which featured a pound of these sweet and plump mussels steamed in white wine, shallots, tomatoes, garlic, and butter. It came with a side of baguettes but not enough to enjoy the remaining sauce.

Overall, Oyster Express did not disappoint although the oysters can be quite expensive if they are not on sale. They do however have an extensive list of oysters compared to many other restaurants. Service was quite friendly. No reservations unless you have a party of 6 or more, so finding a seat can be difficult at times since it’s a rather small shop.

Pros:
– Oysters are very fresh and good variety
– Other menu items are tasty as well

Cons:
– Really warm inside the restaurant
– Some of our oysters had a bit of shell pieces

Price Range: $20- 30/person

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

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: 3.5 Overall: 3.5

Oyster Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Torafuku – Dine Out Vancouver 2016

Our first Dine Out Vancouver for 2016 was at Torafuku. I’ve been wanting to try this new restaurant ever since having a good meal from their sister food truck, Le Tigre. The Dine Out menu was $30 per person.

The interior is minimalist with barely any renovations. There is one long communal table and some booths on the side. We had made reservations early in advance but unfortunately we were still given bar seats. S was quite disappointed since he had wanted a more intimate seating. Bar seating was fun to watch the kitchen, but it definitely wasn’t very comfortable.

Love the wooden plates. Definitely has that hipster ambiance.

Since we were seated at the bar, we got a good view of what was going on in the kitchen.

One Fish, Two Fish

Apparently, we were only allowed to choose one appetizer per two people for the Dine Out menu. We were slightly upset with that since we had already heard that portions would be small. (It did say in fine print at the bottom of the online menu, so my fault for missing that!) Anyways, we chose One Fish, Two Fish. This was a bowl of sashimi salad with salmon, tuna, and geoduck sashimi on top of salad greens and wakame mixed with a sesame dressing. I quite liked this as the mix of seaweed and greens gave a nice texture, but I wish there was more dressing as it was slightly bland. Loved the texture of the geoduck though and the sashimi was quite fresh.

Pickled Cucumber and Radish

While waiting for our entrees, the server brought us a complimentary side dish of Pickled Cucumbers and Radish to share. I enjoyed the pickled flavour and it definitely opened up my stomach for more food.

Call of Duty (CoD)

For my entree, I chose the Call of Duty (CoD). If you go through Torafuku’s menu, they have such witty names! This consisted of crispy ling cod, clams, root veggies, and handmade gnocchi in sake a kumbu broth. The fish was moist and my favourite was the handmade gnocchi. The broth was very flavourful as well and I could’ve had a whole bowl of this. Veggies were slightly undercooked for my preference. Overall, a good dish, but the portion was way too small! The fish was almost half the size of usual portions.

Kare Kare

S got the Kare Kare, which I preferred out of the two entrees. It came with seared beef blade steak, on top of a 3 grain risotto, with pickled veggies, oxtail, and peanut ragu. The flavours were delicious and the beef was cooked to a beautiful medium rare. Again, portions were way too small though. This was more like an appetizer.

J-E-L-L-O

For dessert, the menu online had said we could choose between two options and I had seen pictures of others from the week earlier order the second option. However, our server told us that there was only the J-E-L-L-O that night. Quite disappointed since I wanted to try different desserts. However, the J-E-L-L-O has got to be one of the best desserts I’ve had in a long time. It was an oolong infused yuzu jello, with condensed milk ice cream and topped with crispy salted caramel. The dessert was light and refreshing and the milky flavour paired well with the slightly citrus jello. I had nothing to complain about this and could eat this over and over again!

Overall, I was quite pleased with the dishes from the Dine Out menu. However, we both agreed that the portions were way too small! Especially the fact that we had to share an appetizer between the two of us and it still costed $30 per person. Service was also a bit cold. No one really checked up on us. We also ended up having to pay a visit to McDonald’s to fill up. I’m curious to see what it’s like during regular service though and will need to make a revisit to try their regular menu.

Pros:
– Great flavours on Asian-inspired dishes
– Jello dessert was the bomb!

Cons:
– Portions are small
– Seating isn’t very comfortable

Price Range: $30/person (DOVF menu)

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

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

Ramen Butcher

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Ramen Butcher opened up earlier this year in Chinatown and was definitely one of the most talked about ramen shops for a good time. They are part of the Menya Kouji franchise, which is a Japanese restaurant group with many ramen shops in Asia. The chefs are all trained under Yamagishi Kazuo, who is the inventor of tsukemen, a type of ramen noodles.

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Everyone has been talking about the line ups, and I’m definitely someone who hates waiting. So a few months down the line, I was ready to check this place out, hoping the hype would’ve died down. And it definitely did. We had no wait when we arrived shortly just before 6pm, and the shop remained rather quiet throughout the meal. There were diners, but the tables were not fully occupied.

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Orange – Tonkotsu broth with miso marinated ground pork

At Ramen Butcher, their ramens are colour coded. Although most of their soup bases are tonkotsu (pork) based, they put a spin on it with spicy, pesto, and garlic flavoured pastes. S went for the Orange, which has the tonkotsu pork broth with rich miso marinated ground pork. It also comes with aburi pork chashu, which you can choose fatty or lean, and a medium boiled marinated egg. S chose lean chashu and it was pretty much your typical chashu without any fat. The noodles here are much more thin and they are freshly made. I actually really enjoyed the tonkotsu pork broth along with the miso flavouring. It wasn’t too salty although we did find the soup a little on the oily side.

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Black – Tonkotsu broth with roasted garlic oil

For myself, I got the Black, which features tonkotsu pork broth with roasted garlic oil, aburi pork chashu, and a medium boiled marinated egg. The broth definitely appeared black in colour, and my first reaction to the broth was that it tasted very unique. You get a strong roasted garlic flavour for sure, which I actually quite enjoyed. For my chashu, i chose fatty, and my piece of chashu was literally 90% fat! The fat is more chewy than the “melt in your mouth fat”, but it actually wasn’t that bad. It didn’t leave a fatty residue in your mouth afterwards. The medium boiled egg was also made quite well, with the yolk being runny.

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Oh and did I mention that they offer free noodles once you finish your first bowl of noodles and still have soup left? Just let your server know and they will bring you a bowl of noodles to add to your existing soup. We were actually quite full from our first bowl already, but this is great for those who have a large appetite! Overall, Ramen Butcher is a decent ramen joint to try. It seems like people have negative reviews on Ramen Butcher, but I really don’t think it’s as bad as they say. Of course, I would still prefer some of the other ramen joints, like Santouka, but Ramen Butcher is still a great option. Is it so good that I would make a trip out of the way to Ramen Butcher? Probably not. But if I was around Chinatown, it would definitely be an option.

Pros:
– Free noodle refill
– Tonkotsu broth is quite delicious

Cons:
– Broth is a little on the greasy side

Price Range: $10-15

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

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

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