Gang Nam Korean BBQ

1189

Gang Nam Korean BBQ is located on the corner of Empire Centre and has been around for quite some time, but for some reason or another, I never gave it a try. Finally, on a weekday night, I headed over with S, J, and M for a Korean bbq night.

1201

Each table has a grill in the middle, so space-wise, you don’t get a lot and it gets rather crowded to eat.

1190

Banchan

Once you’ve placed your order, they bring you a large assortment of complimentary Banchan, which included marinated bean sprouts, kimchi, sweet potatoes, pickled radish, green salad, and lettuce to wrap your meat in.

1204

Marinated Pork Short Rib

We ended up ordering one of their BBQ dinner combos which was around $45 and is supposed to fill 2-3 people. It came with 4 meat dishes, a choice of Seafood Pancake or Japchae and a choice of Bibimbop.

1207

Chicken Bulgogi

All their meats were very flavourful since they were well seasoned. You got quite a lot of meat for the price you pay. Our combo also came with Pork Belly and Pork Jowl.

1205

Japchae

We chose Japchae as one of our options and it was a large dish (the picture above was half eaten already).

1206

Bulgogi Bibimbop

For Bibimbop, you can choose between vegetables, beef, seafood or pork. We went for the stir fried beef and it was very flavourful.

1200

Beef Tongue

We also added the Beef Tongue separately and these were delicious. I love the chew on it.

1208

Man-du

The last add on we had was the Man-du which are steamed meat dumplings. These were addicting and I loved the sweet soy sauce that came with it.

1210

Overall, we were extremely happy with Gang Nam Korean BBQ. We were beyond full and could have done with just the combo itself. Prices are quite reasonable, although we had some soju and beer, so it ended up costing over $30 a person. Otherwise, it can be quite reasonable. Service is also quite friendly.

Pros:
– BBQ dinner combos are great value
– Most dishes were well executed

Cons:
– Restaurant is a bit small so can be crowded on weekends
– Table gets very crowded

Price Range: $20-40

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

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

Gang Nam Korean BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Advertisements

Ole Wings & Tapas

1

Another meet up with SP and SK meant looking for a spot with good food and cheap drinks. We decided to give Ole Wings and Tapas a try although the drinks didn’t have any deals going on. It’s pretty hidden since it’s upstairs, but by dinner time, the place was filled with rowdy Koreans playing games while drinking.

2

Spicy Soy Boneless Chicken

They have a variety of chicken items and we decided to share the Spicy Soy Boneless Chicken. This was actually a very large plate and we could barely finish it! The batter is very crispy and if you like your chicken with sauce, this is great. At first bite, it was quite spicy, but as you ate it along with the beer, it was actually quite bearable. I think it was a much better deal than Zabu Chicken.

3

Seafood Pancake

We also got an order of Seafood Pancake, but I was quite disappointed with this. It wasn’t very crispy and there wasn’t a lot seafood in it. I’d suggest sticking with their chicken here.

4

Overall, I was quite satisfied with Ole Wings and Tapas. A good choice among the Korean restaurants in this stretch if you want chicken and beer. Pitchers run at around $15 which is around the same as most restaurants, but I found that the value of the chicken was pretty good since we only needed to order one plate for the three of us. You also get free pickled daikon since it pairs well with spicy food. Service was also quite friendly and attentive even though we were probably the only non-Koreans dining there.

Pros:
– Prices are reasonable for the amount of chicken you get
– Crispy chicken and variety of sauces to choose from

Cons:
– Food other than chicken appears to be just average
– Can get very loud at night

Price Range: $15-20

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

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

Ole Wings and Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Roof at Black+Blue (Happy Hour)

1094

SP, SK and I are always on the lookout to find a new happy hour place. We have our gatherings every few months and we usually go after work, and it’s the perfect time to try new restaurants at a good price. SP is always looking for a deal for drinks too, so what better way than to go for happy hour. This time, we decided to go to The Roof at Black+Blue. Their happy hour is from 2:30-5:30 every day and there is a select menu with 50% off their original price. Select beers, highballs, and featured drinks are $5.

1093

You enter from Black+Blue door and to your left is an elevator which will take you up to the third floor. You’ll arrive with a huge bull facing you.

1092

We arrived at 5pm and the place was already bumping. The hostess warned us that we would only be allowed to stay until 7:30pm for happy hour as they have the next group of diners coming in. The patio is awesome but it was also extremely sunny and we were not smart enough to bring our shades like everyone else. The ambiance is nice but not overly fancy. You’ll find a mix of tourists and business people here.

1087

Charcuterie ($18)

All prices I’ve listed is the regular price, so we got everything 50% off. The Charcuterie came with prosciutto, a selection of salami, parmigiano-reggiano, seasonal marmalade, olives, cornichons, and forno bread. I loved the cheese and the selection of meats were great. A good deal at $9.

1088

Salt Spring Island Mussels ($18)

Next up were the Salt Spring Island Mussels which came in a coconut Thai curry broth, cilantro, crispy shallots, and another side of forno bread. These were delicious with the mussels being fresh and plump and the broth having a strong coconut flavour. The broth was great to dip your bead in. We soon realized that all our dishes came with the same bread though and that we were filling up with bread…

1090

Crab and Spinach Dip ($16)

The Crab and Spinach Dip was a gooey mix of artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes. It was very heavy and cheesy but I quite enjoyed it. Again, it came with forno bread to dip.

1089

Atlantic Lobster Flatbread ($24)

Our last item was the Atlantic Lobster Flatbread, which came topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, tarragon, lobster bisque, corn, and pickled onions. This was quite tasty with the corn bringing a sweetness of flavour to the typical savoury dish. We were disappointed that there wasn’t too much lobster though. If you were lucky, you got a few strands on your piece.

1091

The girls got the feature drink which was a Blueberry Champagne Spritzer, while I had the Driftwood Whitebark Beer. Overall, we were quite pleased with the food, other than the fact that almost all the dishes came with the same bread for the side, so we got a bit sick of that. Our server was pretty friendly at the end, but started off being a bit cold. Not sure what that was all about. She also forgot our order of Calamari, but we were too full to eat that anyways. Prices are reasonable during happy hour, with each of us paying under $20 for our share of food and drinks after tips.

I do want to note that I was quite disappointed with the service I received subsequent to this dinner. I had left my lunch bag from work under the table and went home without it. When I called to ask if it was still there, the manager said that they were not aware and that they would look after closing since there were still diners. She said she would call me back if they found anything. Since I didn’t hear anything back, I called again a few days later, and they said that they were still looking and would call me back. It’s been more than two weeks since, and I have heard nothing back. What I lost is not a big deal and it isn’t their responsibility, but I am quite annoyed at the fact that they disregarded the whole situation. I rather they call me and tell me they looked and could not find anything. The fact that they said they were still looking seemed like they had not even tried to look. As the restaurant is part of such a large restaurant group and consider themselves an upscale restaurant, I would think they know how to better please their customers.

Pros:
– Reasonable prices during Happy Hour
– Nice ambiance

Cons:
– Too much of the same bread on each dish!
– Service was just average for an upscale restaurant

Price Range: $15-25

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

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

The Roof at Black + Blue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Belgard Kitchen

1057

Belgard Kitchen has been on my list for a long time and thanks to K’s gift card, I finally got to go try it! Belgard is located in a very random area east of Gastown, and past Ask For Luigi near the Railtown area. It’s mostly industrial area there, but those who know about Belgard Kitchen will make their way here.

1058

The building is actually called the Settlement Building and houses Belgard Kitchen, Postmark Brewing, and the Vancouver Urban Winery. High ceilings and super cool area for the Postmark Brewing. You can also purchase beer in bottles here.

1059

The interior is rustic and hip.

1060

Be ready to wait for a seat though… We arrived on a Saturday at around 2 pm and wanted to make it before brunch ended at 3pm. Even though it was really late already, the place was packed and we still had to wait for around 15 minutes. We were still able to get the brunch menu though! A very late brunch for us!

1061

They change up what’s on tap and they usually have food features.

1062

Tasting Paddle

I started brunch off with a Tasting Paddle. You can choose the beers you want or have the waitress choose for you. I told her to choose some lighter beers for me. If I remember correctly, from left to right is the Lager, Pilsner, Strawberry Blonde, and West Coast Pale Ale. My favourite was the Strawberry Blonde since it had a hint of fruitiness to it. The West Coast Pale Ale was too bitter for my liking. For $8, this is a great way to try different beers.

1063

Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe

S got the beer on tap which was the Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe. I actually really enjoyed this one since it was light and fruity.

1064

Steak and Eggs

For food, S got the Steak and Eggs, which featured Argentinian spice rubbed flank, chimichurri, and poached eggs. It normally comes with Parmesan cream, but he asked for it without. I thought the portion looked a bit small, but it’s still quite acceptable.

1065

S said the steak itself was a bit chewy though and wished that there was a bit more seasoning to it.

1067

Brunch Spuds and side of Grilled Sausage

The Steak and Eggs also come a side of Brunch Spuds. These are basically roasted potatoes. Not bad, but could be more seasoned. We also added an additional side of Grilled Sausages to share. These came in a glass jar and the sausages are cut in half. It basically equals one sausage but is quite pricey for $5. Flavourwise, we thought it was just average. I personally thought it was rather dry.

1066

Belgard Meatball Brunch Skillet

For myself, I got the Belgard Meatball Brunch Skillet, which features fresh mozza, San Marzano tomato sauce, poached eggs, smoky onion and Parmesan cream, and a side of brunch spuds. I loved the meatballs! The Parmesan cream sauce mixed with the tomato sauce was delicious. At first, I thought four meatballs and 2 poached eggs would not be enough, but the heavy cream made the dish very filling. I loved how the poached eggs were cooked just until the yolks spilled out.

1068

Overall, I was quite pleased with the food and drinks at Belgard Kitchen for brunch. Definitely the place to go if you want drinks. Prices can be a bit pricey and there is often a wait. Cool hip ambiance though and service was decent.

Pros:
– Large variety of beers and wine
– Decent eats

Cons:
– Some items can be a bit pricey
– Usually a wait to get a seat

Price Range: $20-30

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

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

Click to add a blog post for The Belgard Kitchen on Zomato

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill

881

The Flying Beaver can be a bit out of the way as it is situated on Inglis Drive near the YVR airport. However, during summer, their patio is the perfect place to chill since you can watch the planes take off and land and also get some views of the Islands. We decided to check their Wings Wednesdays deal after work which begins at 5:00 pm. The place was bustling when we arrived! You look for your own seat, so there was a bit of standing around stalking for a seat, but we luckily found one within 15 minutes.

882

Coke Zero, Sleeman Honey Brown Lager

Their Wednesday drink deal was the Sleeman Honey Brown Lager for $4.56 a sleeve. We were also told that to get the wings deal, each diner had to purchase at least some sort of drink, even if it was non-alcoholic.

883

Honey Garlic

On Wednesdays, the wings are 49 cents after 5:00 pm. They have a decent list of flavours, including Honey Garlic, BBQ, Teriyaki, Thai Chili, Hot, Salt & Pepper, and Lemon Pepper. Our first flavour was the Honey Garlic. It was lathered with honey, but I found it to be slightly flavourfuless. I wished it had more garlic flavour to it.

884

Salt & Pepper

Next up were the Salt & Pepper, which was probably my favourite. Seasoned with simply just salt and pepper, these were crispy and tasty. The meat was also for the most part moist. You get one or two that are a bit dry.

886

Teriyaki

Lastly, we got the Teriyaki which had a good amount of sauce.

885

Overall, Flying Beaver is a nice choice for a bar in Richmond. Most of our pubs don’t have the best patios, so this is great without needing to go downtown. Not the cheapest deal for wings, but still a pretty good deal. Service is your typical pub service, but it was quite attentive. They also have a large menu for other food and drinks.

Pros:
– Wings are decent and reasonably priced on Wednesdays
– Awesome views out on the patio

Cons:
– Extremely busy
– You have to look for your own seat

Price Range: $10-15

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

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

Click to add a blog post for Flying Beaver Bar & Grill on Zomato

Kingyo Izakaya

293 (504x640)

Yuzu Gin Tonic

I’ve always wanted to try Suika’s sister restaurant, Kingyo, so when K and U told me to decide, off we went to Kingyo. I made reservations beforehand and was told that there was only a seating at 6:00pm and that we would need to leave by 7:30pm. This place is packed! Anyways, we started off with their cocktails, since U said they are really good. I went for the Yuzu Gin Tonic, which was essentially a gin and tonic with yuzu juice. It was topped with some yuzu zest and a slice of lime. Loved how it was refreshing and not overly sweet.

294 (373x640)

Fresh Melon White Wine Sangria

K went for the Fresh Melon White Sangria, which consisted of fresh melon juice, calpico, melon liqueor, white wine, soda, and lime. His was slightly more sweet, but really good! As for U, she got the Kingyo, which had rum, shiso, lime, 7up, soda, tonic, goji berries and yuzu juice. Again, the drink wasn’t overly sweet.

292 (640x575)

My Ebi Mayo

To start, we had the My Ebi Mayo, which I loved! The ebi were huge black tiger prawns and were tempura battered, then deep fried. The prawns were so juicy and fresh. Dipped in the spicy chili mayo sauce and topped with paprika powder, it gave the dish just a bit of heat.

295 (448x640)

Rock’n Kobe

Next up was the Rock’n Kobe, which came with a large stone to self-grill. The kobe beef was already marinated, but it also came with 2 kinds of Kingyo’s original sauces. One was a spicy sauce and the other was more like a garlic sauce.

296 (557x640)

There aren’t too many slices of kobe beef for $22, but the meat was definitely a nice cut. Very tender and the marinade was flavourful. Just make sure you don’t overcook it!

297 (640x408)

Deep Fried Chicken Breast Tender

The Deep Fried Chicken Breast Tenders were marinated in plum and shiso. It was served with lemon, wasabi, and a side of chopped jelly fish marinated in plum sauce. I thought they were pretty much like chicken strips, but nevertheless, they were good.

298 (531x640)

Invincible & Undefeated Tantan Noodle

The server recommended the Invincible & Undefeated Tantan Noodles. These noodles were similar to instant ramen, but they were cooked in a pork bone and shrimp broth. It was seasoned with sesame oil and miso, then topped with cashew nuts, ground pork, chili marinated Chinese chives and black sesame. A mouthful of flavour! I wish it had more of a kick to it though, since it wasn’t spicy at all compared to your typical tantan noodles.

299 (640x328)

Cheese Tofu

Lastly, we added a dish off their December special menu, which was the Cheese Tofu. Sounded weird, so we gave it a try. It came with a few slices of toasted bread, and 4 slices of “cheese tofu.” It looked like tofu, but it tasted like cream cheese! It was definitely odd, but not bad at the same time. Not sure what I was eating really.

Overall, we were extremely pleased with Kingyo. Even though we felt a bit rushed at the end, the service was still there. Definitely make reservations ahead of time if you want to eat during the busy dinner times. Otherwise, a great place for food and drinks. Definitely coming back!

Kingyo Izakaya 金魚居酒屋 on Urbanspoon

Hapa Izakaya (Taste of Yaletown)

 

 

241 (480x640)

Spiked Pear Lemonade

There are many locations for Hapa Izakaya, but surprisngly, I’ve never been to one. I’ve heard pros and cons about it, so I decided to check it out during the Taste of Yaletown event last month. We started off with some drinks. The Spiked Pear Lemonade was very strong! In a martini glass, it was a mix of Absolute Pears, pear puree, and 7UP.

242 (400x640)

Tokyo Iced Tea

For myself, I had the Tokyo Iced Tea. Mixed with shochu, this wasn’t as strong in alcohol, and I liked the lemon taste to it. Definitely good taste the oolong tea.

243 (640x480)

Sashimi Salad

Onto the Taste of Yaletown menu, which was $35 per person and offered 3 courses. First, I had the Sashimi Salad. It had mixed sashimi on top of a bed of organic greens. It was drizzled with a citrus-soy dressing. The sashimi was fresh and I liked the variety, but the the salad was overdressed. The flavour of the dressing itself was good, but it was way too salty. Definitely needs work.

244 (640x480)

Wild Mushroom Quinoa

Another appetizer was the Wild Mushroom Quinoa. I didn’t try this, but was told it was just average. It included dashi steamed quinoa, wild mushrooms, burdock, carrot, lotus root, and was served with spicy picked vegetables.

245 (640x480)

Wagyu Soy Butter Steak

Unfortunately, while we were still eating, our mains showed up. I found this quite odd and frankly it made the service quite terrible. I was only halfway into my appetizer, and they didn’t even care to look before bringing out our mains. And to be honest, we weren’t eating extremely slow or anything. Anyways, the Wagyu Soy Butter Steak came with shishito peppers and grilled onion garnish. There were literally only two pieces of meat. As well, by the time we got to our mains, the dish was already cold… Extremely disappointed.

246 (640x480)

Golden Lobster

For myself, I chose the Golden Lobster. Half the lobster was motoyaki style, with mozzarella cheese and caramelized shallots. The claw was tempura battered and fried. Again, my dish was cold by the time I ate it. I also found it to be just average.

247 (640x480)

The third course was not dessert, but instead sushi rolls. Both rolls were seared by the waitress at our table.

250 (640x480)

Chan Chan Roll

The Chan Chan Roll was definitely not a favourite of mine. I ended up barely eating any of it. It had wild spring salmon, crispy skin, asparagus, and a miso-glazed mushroom sauce. It was also topped with a jalapeno slice. However, I found this roll to be extremely bitter! I’m not sure if it was the asparagus or whether they used too much miso. I was just not a fan of this.

248 (640x480)

BBQ Yakiniku Roll – beef tataki, green bean, green onion, yuzu pepper, onion chips, onion sauce, seared

The second roll was the BBQ Yakiniku Roll. It showed up with raw beef on the sushi, which might be a shocker for some.

249 (640x480)

After searing it,  the raw beef becomes beef tataki. It was filled with green beans, green onions, yuzu peppers, onion chips, and an onion sauce. This was just alright. Nothing too special and the flavours were not very memorable.

Overall, I was quite disappointed with the food at Hapa Izakaya. The service was one of the worst I’ve had as well. You would think that the service would be quite good, but I felt extremely rushed eating. The funny thing was there weren’t any people waiting for seats either. Definitely not worth the $35.

 

Hapa Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Gyu-Kaku (Broadway)

234 (479x640)

Pitcher of Beer

Gyu-Kaku has two locations – one in downtown, and the second on Broadway. Since it was relatively close to work, I headed down there to meet up with the girls for dinner. On Mondays, the whole day is Happy Hour, so there are some pretty good deals! For drink deals, the pitcher of Sapporo is just for $9! (It’s a full pitcher by the way, just that I took the picture after pouring.)

235 (640x319)

Steamed Chili Dumpling

We ordered one of the items off the Happy Hour Menu. The Steamed Chili Dumplings are normally $6.95, but is $4.95 during happy hour. They were your typical dumplings with some spicy sauce on it. Not bad, but it’s nothing too special.

232 (640x487)

Gyu-Kaku Salad

Gyuk-Kaku offers many set course meals. The best part is that you can have more people than stated on the menu and still order these sets. We chose the Meat Lover’s for 2, although we were a table of three, and we were more than filled. The set is for $55, and when split between 3, it comes to around $20 each. It starts off with some appetizers, including the Gyu-Kaku Salad. Topped with burdock, greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, and hard boiled eggs, it’s quite a salad. It came with a Japanese mayo sauce, which was very delicious!

233 (579x640)

Edamame

Next up were the Edamame. Lightly salted, and a huge bowl!

236 (606x640)

Chicken Karaage

The Chicken Karaage came with a spicy mayo dip. I found that there was too much batter compared to meat. This could’ve been worked on.

237 (640x488)

Garlic Steak, Spicy Pork, Toro Beef Tare

Then our meats came. Each table is equipped with a built in barbeque so you can self-barbeque. However, I found that your meat could be easily burnt when you don’t look after it. My favourite had to be the Toro Beef. It was thin, tender and fatty. The Spicy Pork was probably my least favourite since it was easy to overcook it so it became rough. Many of the meat are already marinated, but they also provide you with three sauces. A spicy, sweet, and ponzu sauce.

240 (480x640)

Bistro Hanger Steak Miso, New York Steak Miso, Yaki-Shabu Beef Tare

More meat came and another favourite was the Bistro Hanger Steak. Well marinated and tender meat. All cuts were very good. I didn’t have a single piece that was tough to chew. Other than meat, there was always Corn Butter, which were corn niblets that were wrapped in tin foil with butter inside. When you place it on the grill, the heat melts the butter. Very yummy!

239 (640x594)

Sukiyaki Bibimbap

There was also a Sukiyaki Bibimbap. However, I found that it tasted more like Chinese sticky rice, rather than a bibimbap. I guess it was the type of rice they used. Not bad!

238 (640x480)

There was also dessert to end the night. Since it’s a two person course set, it only came with two scoops of matcha ice cream, but they were one of the biggest scoops I’ve had. Overall, I was quite satisfied with Gyu-Kaku. Service was very attentive. Our grill was switched multiple times, and they even switched up our beer mugs to frozen ones once in a while. Quality of food is pretty good, and the price isn’t too bad. One of the better barbeque spots I’ve been to.

Gyu-Kaku Japanese Barbecue on Urbanspoon