Sen Pad Thai

01.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

02.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

04.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

05.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

07.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

06.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

03.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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

01.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

03.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

04.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

02.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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

02.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

01.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

03.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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

Matsuzushi

01.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

03.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

02.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

11.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

04.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Tuna

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

 

10.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Hamachi (Yellowtail Tuna) 

 

09.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Ebi (Shrimp)

 

06.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Ika (Squid)

 

07.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Heart Clam

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

 

08.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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

 

12.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

13.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

14.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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

 

Yaguchiya Ramen

01.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

03.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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.

 

02.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

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

The Meat Up 聚点串吧

01.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Northern Chinese style skewers have become quite popular recently with various restaurants around Metro Vancouver focusing on this cuisine. One that caught my eyes while driving down Granville was The Meat Up.

 

04.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

The interior is pretty basic but has fun comic type of art. The servers here mostly speak Mandarin, but basic English is okay. They will give you a order sheet and you can fill it out yourself then hand it over to the server.

 

03.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

The restaurant specializes in skewers and you can choose from lamb, beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetables. Most of the skewers require a minimum order of 5 skewers, so it’s best to come with a larger group to be able to try a variety of dishes.

 

02.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

There are also a variety of appetizers as well as carb dishes to fill up on. They also have an alcohol license, so you can order beer, cocktails, and soju. I think one of the more interesting drinks is the beer tower, which I don’t see too many places having it in Vancouver. Great to share if you have a large group.

 

05.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Sweet Potato

To start, we ordered a variety of appetizers. This included the Sweet Potato which was warm and indeed very sweet. However, for $4, I thought this was quite pricey.

 

06.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Seaweed Salad

The Seaweed Salad was not exactly what I imagined it to be. This was definitely more of a Northern China style dish as it was acidic and spicy. Very appetizing!

 

07.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Salt and Pepper Chicken

The Salt and Pepper Chicken was also quite expensive for the portion size at $6.95. The chicken was quite moist and the batter wasn’t greasy though. Rather, the batter was quite pale in colour and just dusted with a slightly spicy powder.

 

08.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Eggplant

One of my favourite grilled vegetables was the Eggplant as it reminded me of the Taiwanese eggplants topped with a spicy savoury sauce. Again, the eggplant was not cheap at a price of $4.95, but it tasted great!

 

09.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Traditional Lamb Skewer

Moving onto the skewers, we had to try their signature Traditional Lamb Skewer. These were $1.50 each which is fairly priced. Especially given how expensive skewers are at the night market, these were much higher quality and tasted better than the ones at the night market. I liked how these weren’t too spicy as well. They have a spicy one if you enjoy spicy and they also have spicy powder on the side if you need to add a kick. I much preferred these compared to the ones at Happy Tree because most of Happy Tree’s skewers were already quite spicy.

 

12.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Honey Chicken Wings, Grilled Rice Cakes

The Honey Chicken Wings come with two on a skewer. These were moist with crispy edges on the skin. On the very right, we tried the Grilled Rice Cakes which none of us were a fan of. These were essentially like Korean rice cakes but put on the grill. The outside became a bit hard and plastic-like but the inside was chewy like mochi.

 

13.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Traditional Lamb, BBQ Pork Skewers

We ordered more Traditional Lamb skewers (bottom) and also tried the BBQ Pork Skewers. The BBQ Pork (top) was glazed in a sweet sauce and tender to chew.

 

11.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Chicken Gristle, Black Pepper Beef, Honey Pork Belly Skewers

The Chicken Gristle (bottom) were soft cartilage and dusted with some light spice. Loved the crunchy texture! The Black Pepper Beef (middle) was also enjoyable as the beef was tender and the black pepper flavour was strong but not overbearing. Lastly, the Honey Pork Belly Skewers (top) were sweet with a good ratio of fat to meat. Highly recommend getting the pork belly!

 

10.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Honey Pork Belly (left), Mantou Bread

On the right, we ordered the Mantou Bread as we were curious how these would taste grilled. I actually really enjoyed these! The Mantou was a bit sweet and salty, but it worked. Sort of like garlic bread with the grill marks. This was a great snack in between all the meat.

 

14.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Beef Ball

One more skewer we tried were the Beef Balls which I didn’t find any special. Each skewer had two half sliced beef balls and were topped with spicy powder. Would skip this next time.

 

15.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Signature Fried Rice

Lastly, we tried the Signature Fried Rice, which again, was quite expensive at $7.95 for this tiny bowl. However, the flavour of the Fried Rice was actually really good and everyone really enjoyed it.

Overall, we all enjoyed the food at Meat Up. The skewers and food in general were not too oily or greasy but still had that nice char. This is a great spot if you don’t like spicy skewers, as most of their skewers are dusted lightly with spice. Most of the skewers were under $2 a skewer so quite reasonable. Great spot to have drinks and skewers without having to pay the hefty price at the night market.

Pros:
– Skewers are not too oily or salty
– Skewers are reasonably priced

Cons:
– Many of the appetizers and non-skewer dishes are pricey for the portion sizes

Price Range: $20-30 per person

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

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

 

The Meat Up Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Saku

01.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Saku opened earlier this summer and is a great addition to the Denman/Robson area. The tiny shop can only fit less than 20 people, so be sure to arrive early to secure a seat. The decor inside is very minimal but modern and clean. They specialize katsu also known as pork cutlet.

 

02.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Rosu Katsu Set

When we visited, it was only shortly after they opened, so their menu was still quite limited. However, I heard that they have since expanded their menu, so you can probably expect much more now. When we visited, S tried the Rosu Katsu Set which features 170 grams of deep fried breaded pork loin for $17. All sets come with unlimited tonjiru which is a pork miso soup they make in house with freshly diced vegetables and pork. The set also comes with unlimited salad and rice. The salad dressings were so addicting that I had quite a few servings of salad. They have both a ponzu and sesame base dressing to choose from. The pork cutlet is coated with panko (Japanese-styled bred crumbs) and is produced from fresh local bread baked every morning and was crispy without being greasy. The pork is sourced from local Fraser Valley farms, raised hormone-free, and is aged 18 hours and tenderized. I thought the pork was quite tender but it definitely did not meet the same standards as the ones I had at Maison in Japan. But again, those cuts were pricier, so you get what you pay. They have a pork filet set which is $1 more but less in quantity, but I heard it is more tender than the loin.

 

03.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Jumbo Prawn

S also added a Jumbo Prawn for $3.50. It is pretty big and is battered with the same panko. The prawn was sweet and you could dip it in the sweet mayo for more flavour.

 

05.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Curry Rosu Set

For myself, I ordered the Curry Rosu Set which features 130 grams of deep fried breaded pork loin with their signature curry over rice for $15.50. Again, this came with the unlimited salad and miso soup. The curry was very flavourful and not spicy at all. There was more than enough curry sauce to cover both the rice and pork.

 

04.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Saku and would return given there aren’t too many other katsu spots in the area. Of course, the ones in Japan are still hard to beat. I also thought the service was very friendly and attentive. I know sometimes with unlimited refills for sides, the servers won’t bring it to you unless you ask, but at Saku, the servers will do their rounds every so often and come by to check if you need refills. So unless you’re in a hurry, they will come by without you having to ask for it. I loved how they also asked us for feedback after our meal so they could continue to improve!

Pros:
– Non-greasy quality pork cutlets
– Unlimited refills for side dishes

Cons:
– Wish there were more cuts of pork to choose from

Price Range: $15-25 per person

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

Food: 4 Service: 4 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Paid meter parking Overall: 4

 

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

Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant

01.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

We hadn’t visited White Rock in a while, so decided to head there for a stroll. I love how there are so many restaurants along the promenade, but I had read online a restaurant that was highly rated. Moby Dick is a famous fish and chips restaurant which has been open since 1975. The white and blue restaurant will definitely catch your eyes. Even though we arrived pretty late (close to 2pm) due to difficulty in finding parking, the restaurant still had a line up. You can order to go or dine in. Given it was a bit windy, we decided to sit in, but were luckily given a seat quickly on the patio since we were only a table of two.

 

 

The fish itself is quite large, but a lot of it is actually batter. The batter was extremely greasy and you could see they reused their oil too many times as the batter was almost brown! The oil is so strong that I ended up just eating the fish as it got a bit sickening to eat. I much prefer the light and flaky fish and chips at Pajos. The fries are not bad but nothing special either. I have to say the portion for the price is very affordable, but the quality is just not there.

 

03.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

Onion Rings

We added a side of Onion Rings to our fish only order and the rings were on the smaller side. The batter was basically the same batter as the fish. Not bad, but I prefer the A&W onion rings.

 

02.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

1 piece Fish & Chips

The selling point at Moby Dick is that with every order of fish, you will get a complimentary piece of fish. For example, if you want two piece of fish, then you should only get the one piece fish and chips which is $11.95. If you want four pieces, then get the three pieces fish and chips. This so called deal is not really a deal though. I did some calculations, and the price of fish is actually exactly the same no matter how many pieces of fish you get. I guess it’s just a psychology thing to make you think you’re getting a deal!

 

04.jpg by ukijojo on 500px.com

1 piece Fish

As I didn’t want too many fries, I got the 1 piece fish only for $10.50 and it comes with a second free piece of fish as advertised. The fish itself is quite large, but a lot of it is actually batter. The batter was extremely greasy and you could see they reused their oil too many times as the batter was almost brown! The oil is so strong that I ended up just eating the fish as the batter got a bit sickening to eat. I much prefer the light and flaky fish and chips at Pajos. The fries are not bad but nothing special either. I have to say the portion for the price is very affordable, but the quality is just not there.

Overall, I don’t really see what the hype at Moby Dick is all about. Yes, the free piece of fish is a great selling point, and the large portions and price are pretty good, but the quality doesn’t live up to the hype. The restaurant itself is also not the most comfy. I found there were a lot of flies inside, and the outdoor patio is just alright.

Pros:
– Free piece of fish with every order
– Large portions

Cons:
– Quality is not there; batter is greasy and oil is over used

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 2.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Paid parking around the area Overall: 2.5

 

Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato