Yui Japanese Restaurant

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Yui Oshi Plate

Took me a while to visit Yui Japanese Restaurant, but finally I came here with G for lunch while I was in downtown. The restaurant is quite hidden as it’s inside an office building next to the Trump Tower. Even after entering the office building, it’s not super obvious where the restaurant is, but head straight in and look to your right. Inside, the restaurant is extremely small, so we were lucky to even get a spot during lunch time.
The chefs used to work at Miku and Minami, so at Yui, they are known for the salmon aburi oshi that tastes similar to Miku/ Minami but for a fraction of the price.
During lunch, there are quite a few lunch only plates which are pretty affordable. G chose to get the Yui Oshi Plate, which is lunch only. For $11, you get two pieces of daily chef choice aburi nigiri, two pieces of salmon oshi, and a daily fresh roll. For the two aburi nigiri that the chef chooses, it was a ebi aburi oshi with pesto sauce and a tuna aburi nigiri with pickled sweet onions. As for the daily fresh roll, it was sadly just a california roll. Sounds like it’s the california roll most of the time from talking to other friends who have ordered this. Still, a good deal given you get four pieces of aburi with this lunch plate.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Salmon Aburi Oshi

I of course had to try the Salmon Aburi Oshi so we decided to share a full plate of this which goes for $11. This seriously tastes and looked almost the same as the ones at Miku/ Minami. The only difference I found was that they put a lot more pepper on this. For this price, I would definitely come back here if I’m looking for a quick lunch. But on special occasions, I would still pay the higher price for the real thing at Miku/ Minami.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Traditional Plate

For myself, I got the Traditional Plate, which is also on the lunch menu only. For $10.50, you get the daily chef’s choice of seven kinds of traditional style nigiri. To be honest, the selection is the cheaper selection of nigiris on the menu, but they were all very well constructed. The fish tasted fresh and for this price, I wouldn’t mind getting this again for lunch.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Overall, I was quite impressed with the sushi at Yui. Don’t expect authentic Japanese food here since the chefs are not Japanese, but you can find some great aburi sushi and nigiris here for a reasonable price. The aburi oshi are especially a must try as they are very comparable to Miku/ Minami but for a cheaper price. The only downside is there isn’t much service during lunch time since they are so busy and the seating is also a bit cramped. You can also do take out here if you don’t want to wait for a seat!

 

Pros:
– Salmon aburi oshi is very comparable to Miku/ Minami
– Prices are reasonable for the quality

Cons:
– Seating is quite cramped

Price Range: $15-20

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

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

Yui Japanese Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Advertisements

Ember Indian Kitchen

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Ember Indian Kitchen opened up just a few months ago. It’s located near the dyke in Steveston in the same area as Diplomat Bakery. The restaurant faces the water and has a small patio perfect in the summer months. I was really impressed with the interior of the restaurant though. With high ceilings and modern decor, this restaurant is beautiful!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Butter Chicken

T got the Butter Chicken and for the entrees, you can choose either rice or naan to go with it. The butter chicken was creamy and rich and the chicken was tender. They asked what level of spice we wanted and we got medium, but I honestly didn’t think it tasted spicy at all. I guess butter chicken is not usually spicy anyways, so found it odd that they asked.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Curry Chicken

For myself, I chose the Curry Chicken and got it with a side of naan. The naan was buttery and perfect for dipping in the curries! I really liked how the curry chicken here is boneless because the last thing I want to worry about is deboning the meat. The chicken again was very tender and the spices in the curry were very fragrant. Not too spicy as I got mild, but really loved the flavours!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Overall, we were really satisfied with our meal at Ember. The prices are on the higher end with both our meals costing $18 each but the food itself is good, so I can’t complain. Plus, the ambiance inside is really nice! I can’t wait to be back with more friends so we can try more dishes!

 

Pros:
– Delicious curries
– Great ambiance and decor

Cons:
– Location is pretty out of the way unless you live in Richmond

Price Range: $20-30

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

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

Ember Indian Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

HJU:Z Lounge

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

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

Last week, I attended the grand opening of HJU:Z Lounge inside the Westin Bayshore hotel. To be brutally honest, I thought the name sounded like a ticker symbol, but soon learned that it should be pronounced as “Hughes”. The restaurant is inspired by Howard Hughes, a successful film producer and leader in aviation. You will find many aviation themed decor in the lounge because of this.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Before they revealed the actual lounge, we already knew it would be extravagant since they had some Ferraris in the lobby!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Finally, they dropped the curtains, and we were welcomed into the space of the newest lounge. The restaurant and bar are the perfect blend of art deco inspired design with a modern flair and nostalgic atmosphere.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

On the menu, you can expect to find a rotating selection of cheese and meats hand selected by Chef Alex Mok. Such a perfect snack to pair with some drinks while enjoying live entertainment.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Speaking of drinks, the lounge offers no shortage of drinks from wine, champagne and spirits. Most notably is the featured cocktail menu which offers 7 cocktails which have been carefully curated. Some of the cocktails on this menu include the Alaska No.2, a gin-based drink which features an iceberg and sliver of gold leaf and the Apple Jack Silver Fizz which features apple brandy, cider, and egg whites. Pictured here is the Eiffel 75 which features Hennessy Cognac, lemon juice, chardonnay lees sirup, topped with Charles Heidseick champagne and lemon oils. If you try all seven cocktails on the list, you can actually unlock the secret 8th drink!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

As for the food, expect to find modern, contemporary cuisine inspired by Hughes’ world tour, with inspirations from the Russian, French, and the American kitchens.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

The menu is expected to rotate seasonally and is curated by Chef Alex Mok.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

We didn’t get to try a lot of the dishes in full, but on the menu will be dishes like this Scrambled Duck Egg which features Canadian sturgeon caviar, citrus whipped cream scramble and frisée salad. What beautiful presentation!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

There is also the Hibachi Wagyu Beef, 28-Day Aged Striploin and Lamb Lollipops for those meat lovers. We tried the Lamb Lollipop and it was cooked to a beautiful medium rare and well seasoned.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

So HJU:Z has delicious food and drinks and a beautiful venue, but what really caught my attention was the live entertainment. For seven nights a week, you will find live entertainment provided by Siegel. On this particular night, we enjoyed some amazing live music along with dancers throughout the night. You will want to get up and dance with this lively music! What a great spot for live entertainment while enjoying your dinner or a late night drink!

 

Samsoonie Noodle & Rice

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Spicy Rice Cake

Samsoonie Noodle & Rice has been around for a while now. The restaurant looks kind of beat down both inside and out, so I was never interested in visiting. However, T suggested we check it out so off we went. Not the nicest decor inside, but the pricing and portions are such a good deal! For example, this Spicy Rice Cake dish which is huge was only $9! It came with boiled egg, fish cake, japchae noodles, and of course rice cake and served with tons of spicy sauce. The rice cake had a nice chew and was cooked well. The sauce was not overly spicy but definitely has a kick to it. Would be really good with rice! They only offer two banchan here which I assume switches up. First was kimchi and the second was marinated fish cake. Not bad.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Bossam

The other dish we tried was the Bossam, a common dish in Korean cuisine. On the menu, it says we need to order two hours in advance, but since we came during lunch time and it wasn’t too busy, we didn’t have any problems ordering this when we arrived. I think this was the half order but it is still quite a lot for two people if you are planning to order other dishes. The boiled pork is served with marinated spicy radish and to be wrapped with lettuce and cabbage wraps. The meat was not cut very nicely because there were strands coming apart, but the ratio of fat to meat was right on. So good when you put the spicy radish and some Korean sweet and spicy sauce with it!

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Overall, I quite enjoyed the food at Samsoonie. The portions are huge and prices are reasonable. I wouldn’t say this is the best Korean food I’ve had, but a good spot if you want a quick and cheap comfort meal in Richmond.

 

Pros:
– Generous portions and reasonable prices
– Decent eats

Cons:
– Interior is not that nice

Price Range: $15-20

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 2.5 Overall: 3

Samsoonie Noodle & Rice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Britannia Brewing Company

o by info9813 on 500px.com

The Britannia Brewing Company has opened for well over a year already. I can’t believe that I haven’t noticed this spot for so long. We definitely don’t have many craft beer spots in Richmond, so for Britannia to have both food and craft beers in an establishment, it makes it much more attracting. I believe they brew their beer on the other end of Steveston in the Ironwood area, so here, they just serve food and beers on tap.

 

DSCF by info9813 on 500px.com

Whoever worked on the design of this spot seriously has good taste! I love the nautical white and blue theme and beautiful wooden furniture here. The patio outside which comfy pillows seriously make this the perfect spot in the summer.

 

DSCF by info9813 on 500px.com

Mimosa

S, N, and I came here for brunch on the weekend. S started off with a glass of Mimosa. Other than beer, they have a variety of wines, cocktails, teas and coffees.

 

DSCF by info9813 on 500px.com

Beer Paddle

For myself, I wanted to try their beers so chose the Beer Paddle. For $10, you can choose 4 different beers, including ciders. One of the ones I tried was the Chai Sasion which is something I haven’t seen before. Not a beer expert, but I quite enjoyed the various beers I tried. They also sometimes have guest taps available.

 

DSCF by info9813 on 500px.com

Crab Benny

Brunch is available 9:30am to 1:30pm. There’s around 10 choices to choose from during brunch. N got the Crab Benny which was an interesting take on the classic. Instead of having english muffin on the bottom, it was served with a fried local crab cake on the bottom with 2 soft poached eggs and hollaindaise and hash browns on the side. Although the bennies had crab in it, I found the portions to be quite small for $16. It’s quite a light meal and I think many people would still be a bit hungry after.

 

DSCF by info9813 on 500px.com

Gypsy Eggs

S and I both got the Gypsy Eggs which had chorizo, san marzano tomatoes, fennel, smoked paprika, and sourdough bread on the side. I liked the tart acidic tomato sauce which I dipped my bread in. The eggs were poached perfectly with the yolk spilling out. Again, slightly on the smaller side for $12. Maybe some hashbrowns on the side would make it a little more filling. However, the food itself tasted great.

 

DSCF by info9813 on 500px.com

Overall, I’m happy to have learned about this new spot in Steveston village for brunch. I really think this is a great spot to catch up over food and drinks, especially in the summer when the patio is open. Not the cheapest, given the portion sizes, but at least the food is good.

Pros:
– Great beer and food
– Visually aesthetic interior design

Cons:
– Portions are slightly on the smaller side

Price Range: $15-25

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

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

Britannia Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

St Lawrence

n by info9813 on 500px.com

St Lawrence, a sister restaurant of Ask for Luigi, opened up earlier this year. The restaurant is located next to Cuchillo, the Mexican restaurant, in not the best area in town, but once you step inside, you will forget about the exterior. S brought me here for my birthday and she had called to make reservations before the restaurant even opened to only score a 9pm reservation. Yes, this place is in high demand! We decided to go half an hour early to see if we could get a seat, and luckily were told that there was a chefs table seat!

 

o by info9813 on 500px.com

If you are into cooking or are a major foodie, I highly recommend asking if the chef’s table is available. We got to watch the chefs in action and the whole plating process. The menu offers classic French cuisine with Quebecois inspiration. The restaurant also offers some daily specials which change up daily.

 

o by info9813 on 500px.com

We started off with complimentary bread served with pork pate and grainy mustard. That pate paired with the grainy mustard was seriously so damn good. They need to give us more bread to clean that plate up!

 

o by info9813 on 500px.com

Ravigote Smoked Bison Tongue

The dishes at St Lawrence are great for sharing, so S and I decided to order a variety of dishes to share. Our server was very knowledgeable and gave us quite a few recommendations. For appetizers, we started with the Smoked Bison Tongue which was seasoned with Montreal spices and served with a ravigote herb sauce. The bison tongue was really tender with a nice sear and paired well with the slightly acidic sauce with capers.

 

o by info9813 on 500px.com

Fish Quenelle

The next appetizer was the Fish Quenelle which was served with mussels and a cream sauce. I had never had a dish like this before but apparently fish quenelles are quite the traditional French dish. It is sort of like a fish dumpling where the fish is very creamy. It was served with some puff pastry.  The appetizers here are seriously great for sharing between two so you get a good amount to taste. I think it is quite a lot and too heavy for one to finish the whole appetizer.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Ratatouille

Moving on, S suggested we get some veggies, so we chose the Ratatouille. I haven’t had many ratatouille, but this was absolutely delicious! The mixed vegetables were served with a parmesan custard and when you break it apart, the creamy cheesy custard spills over the vegetables. Highly recommend this!

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Pork Chop

For our entrees, I suggested trying the Pork Chop since I had read good reviews about this. If you are going to order this, then you can probably skip the appetizers because this plate is HUGE. It can definitely feed two if you are going to have some appetizers beforehand. The pork chop is served with Oka cheese and a butcher sauce. The plate is $37 but given how large the portion is, this is a great deal! Normally, I don’t order pork chops because it tends to easily be cooked dry. However, this thick cut of bone in pork chop was seared beautifully with the inside juicy and tender. The pork chop sat on top of mashed potatoes which were buttery smooth.

 

o by info9813 on 500px.com

Duck Ballotine

The second entree we chose was the Duck Ballotine. The tender duck was wrapped around these leaves which gave it a very interesting flavour. Definitely my first time trying duck this way. The duck was served with crisp potato puffs and maple sauce. I loved the potato puffs! So crispy on the outside while the inside was smooth and creamy. I don’t see this dish on the current menu anymore though.

 

o by info9813 on 500px.com

Rice Pudding

To be honest, we were both beyond full becuase we definitely over-ordered. Even the chef was impressed by us and said we did a good job! He ended up treating us both to dessert which was Rice Pudding with salted caramel. At first, I wasn’t too excited because I’m not a fan of rice pudding. Clearly, I have been having terrible rice pudding though, because this was next level! The rice pudding had the perfect creamy texture with rice not clumping together at all. The salted caramel brought a slightly sweet flavour without it being too sweet. Now I know what good rice pudding tastes like!

Overall, I was very impressed with St Lawrence and can see why it is so hard to get a reservation. The meal was not cheap, but the portions are actually quite reasonable (especially the entrees). We ended up leaving with half of each entree packed up and it made a whole meal the next day for me! Definitely a great spot to celebrate a special occasion!

Pros:
– Well executed classic French dishes
– Chic ambiance and friendly service

Cons:
– Not in the nicest place in town
– Can be quite the pricey meal

Price Range: $50-100

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

Food: 4 Service: 4.5 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 2 Overall: 4

 

St Lawrence Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yuji’s from Japan

o by info9813 on 500px.com

Funny enough, I had visited Yuji’s Japanese Tapas back in 2011 but the restaurant was closed after 7 years of operations because chef Yuji wanted to open a restaurant in Indonesia. Fast forward a year later, chef Yuji returned to Vancouver to open Yuji’s from Japan. The store is on West 4th and Alma and is quite small, fitting roughly 20-25 diners. You will find many Japanese diners here, which is always a good sign!

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Yu Junmai Sake

To start, we shared the Yu Junmai Sake. We had never heard of Yu but apparently the sake is brewed in Richmond! Had to give it a try and support local and it didn’t disappoint. Not a sake expert, but this was light and I enjoyed it.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Beef Tongue

Moving on, we shared the Beef Tongue which was absolutely delicious! The tongue was thinly sliced and topped with this umami dressing which had just the right about of salt and soy flavour. The texture was perfect with a nice chew. My only complaint was the plate was too small!

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Shio-koji Marinated Grilled Chicken

Another appetizer we shared was the Shio-koji Marinated Grilled Chicken. There was fried chicken karaage on the menu, but I suggested we try the grilled chicken instead. Seriously, this was some of the most moist chicken I’ve had. The outside had a nice char but the center was so juicy! Again, it was topped with the same dressing as the beef tongue and was absolutely delicious. Such a simple dish, but I highly recommend trying this!

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Last but not least, we shared a variety of nigiris. The nigiris here are not cheap, but they are extremely fresh and constructed very well. Definitely worth the price! Perfect for those who enjoy authentic Japanese sushi. The restaurant is also famous for their omakases which are reasonably priced. I can’t wait to be back to try those out!

Pros:
– Fresh seafood and well constructed nigiris
– Cooked appetizer dishes are also very well executed

Cons:
– Seating is not the comfiest as the space is quite small

Price Range: $25-40

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 4

Yuji's from Japan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yuzu Shokutei

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Yuzu Shokutei opened up earlier this year on Denman Street nearby Kingyo. The branding of the restaurant really caught my attention since its bright and fun. Plus, the pictures on their Instagram page really looked good! S and I decided to give it a try earlier in the summer when they were having a promo going on (yes – this post is from a while ago!).

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

The deal was that if we liked their Instagram page, then we could get an appetizer and a pint of beer for $5. We got a pint of Sapporo which was refreshing after a long day at work!

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Takoyaki

For the appetizer, we got the Takoyaki (octopus balls) which were topped with mayo, bonito flakes and nori powder. I really enjoyed this as the outside batter was crispy with the center piping hot and soft. They had a large piece of octopus in each ball.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Paiten Sea Salt Ramen

Both of us decided to try their ramen. Keep in mind that the restaurant actually has a variety of rice dishes as well, as they are more izakaya style, then a full on ramen restaurant. S got the Paiten Sea Salt Ramen which featured medium thickness noodles, slow cooked chicken broth, shio seasoning, aji-tamago, pork chashu, bamboo shoots, and green onions. The bowl had more than enough noodles but we both prefer the thin noodles at Danbo, so personally were not a huge fan. The broth itself was light in flavour and wasn’t overly salty, but we found it to be rather thick. As for the chashu, it was very interesting because the outer edges were very dark but not crispy. We thought it was slightly too fatty on the outer edge. I think if you like medium consistency noodles, then you will probably enjoy this.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Chicken Truffle Sea Salt Ramen

For myself, I had to try the famous Chicken Truffle Sea Salt Ramen. This features their signature tori broth, truffle oil, shio seasoning, pork and chicken chashu, aji-tamago, bamboo shoots, green onion, enoki, and wilted gem tomatoes. There are so many toppings on this that I found it a little overwhelming. But the first thing I noticed was the smell of truffle! I could smell it as the server brought it over. To my disappointment, I found that the truffle flavour is not very apparent in the broth itself. You can definitely smell it, but the taste is not as strong. The broth is basically the same as the Paitan Sea Salt, where it was too thick for my liking. Noodles were also medium consistency, so perhaps the reason I wasn’t a huge fan of it. The tamago yolk was spilling out in the center but the edges were slightly overcooked, so could be worked on.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Overall, we personally found Yuzu Shokutei’s ramens to be quite average based on the ones we tried as we personally aren’t a huge fan of medium consistency noodles and the thick broth. However, I have to say the ramens are quite interesting and modernized. The portions are also pretty good for $12-14 in downtown. But with all the ramen joints around this area, it may be difficult for Yuzu Shokutei to compete, but hopefully their other izakaya items can draw the crowds!

 

Pros:
– Truffle ramen is really interesting
– Friendly service

Cons:
– Personally didn’t enjoy the medium thickness of noodles and thick broth

Price Range: $15-20

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

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

Yuzu Shokutei Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato