John 3:16 Malaysian Delights – North Van (Media Tasting)

Note: All food and beverages were complimentary.

John 3:16 Malaysian Delights was a hidden gem in Richmond, so when the complex they were located in sold to developers, all the stores in the strip mall had to close down. John 3:16 then opened up a restaurant in North Van and Sharon invited me along with some other food bloggers to get a media tasting of their menu. The location is far for me, but the good news is they have secured a new spot in Richmond and will re-open this summer!

Iced Lychee Soya Milk

First up was one of their new drinks – Iced Lychee Soya Milk. If you like soya milk, this is for you. However, I felt bloated after drinking too much of this and the lychee juice is not strong enough. I ended up eating the lychees themselves to get more flavour. G ordered the Iced Lychee Juice which she found to be a better option.

Roti Canai

My favourite appetizer from John 3:16 arrived and these Roti Canai have got to be one of the most flaky roti I’ve had. Warm and flaky, with a nice crunch on the outside but still soft on the inside. This was paired with a side of curry which was light and mild in spice.

Chicken Skewers

The Chicken Skewers were marinated in a sweet savoury sauce and cooked to a nice char. The meat was tender and moist and I enjoyed dipping it in the side of peanut sauce.

Pulut Panggang

The last time I had Pulut Panggang was when I was at a hawker centre in Singapore. The rice is wrapped in banana leaf giving it a fragrant flavour and is cooked to more of a chewy texture. The rice is filled with a sweet coconut filling which I really enjoyed.

Malay Spicy Seafood Soup

Onto some hot food was the Malay Spicy Seafood Soup. At first, we wondered if we should be dipping something into this, but the more we drank it, the more we enjoyed it. Turns out, it is actually a soup so we were doing the right thing! An abundance of seafood is cooked with vegetable, Malay spices and coconut milk to create this aromatic soup. Not overly spicy, but more of a sweet undertone from the seafood with a slight tang.

Char Koay Teow

The Char Koay Teow was an item I had tried previously at the Richmond location, and once again, this did not disappoint. The stir fried flat rice noodle was mixed with beef, shrimp, egg, bean sprouts, Chinese sausage and fish cake. I like how it had “wok hay” and was not overly greasy, which is often the case for this dish.

Ipoh Char Hor Fun

Next was the Ipoh Char Hor Fun, which is stir fried flat rice noodle with fish, shrimp, fish cake and vegetable. This comes in a light egg-starch gravy, and I found the flavours to be rather mild. This was just average for me.

Sambal Okra, Green Beans & Eggplants

Of course we had to have some veggies, so we sampled the Sambal Okra, Green Beans & Eggplants. This was in a spicy sauce with the eggplants being cooked to a nice texture (not over cooked).

Kari Laksa

Onto more noodles, we had the Kari Laksa, which featured egg noodle in curry soup served with curry chicken, tofu puffs, green beans, egg, fish cakes, shrimp and bean sprouts. Rich in coconut flavours with a nice spice. I found that most of their items are not too spicy in general.

Hainanese Chicken

The Hainanese Chicken is a winner for me with the tender boiled boneless chicken being served with a special sauce, ginger, cucumber slices and chili sauce. I like how they top it with fried garlic so it gives a nice flavour. Extremely tender and moist chicken!

Kam Hiong Prawns

Another one of my favourites was the Kam Hiong Prawns. These prawns are huge but they kept a great bouncy texture without being overcooked. The sauce is absolutely delicious as it is sweet with a hint of spice.

Beef Rendang

The Beef Rendang is a dried curry beef stew cooked with Malaysian spices and coconut milk. I thought these looked quite dry, but they were actually quite moist! This would be great paired with rice.

Nasi Goreng

Last but not least, another favourite was the Nasi Goreng. This stir fried rice came with egg, shrimp, squid, corn, carrot, green peas and was served with cucumber slices, anchovies and sambal on the side. I liked how the sambal was put on the side so you can determine how spicy you want your rice. This again had a very nice “wok hay” and char and I could easily eat bowls of this rice!

Overall, John 3:16 at the North Vancouver location did not disappoint. Once again, the flavours were on point and executed well. This location also is much bigger than their original location in Richmond. Downside is it’s quite far for me, so I will have to wait for the new Richmond location to open up!

John 3:16 Malaysian Delights Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tropika – Lansdowne

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Satays

Another birthday dinner, and I made the decision to have it at Tropika last minute. Tropika used to be located at Aberdeen Centre, but recently re-opened at Lansdowne Mall. There’s plenty of parking, which is the main reason why I chose it. I made reservations 30 minutes before heading there, and to my surprise, there were quite a few diners inside. We got seated in the back in the booths, and contrary to what many said about the the service, we actually had some pretty good service! First, we got the Satays. You can choose between the different types of meat, but we went for chicken and lamb. A nice char on the meat, and the satay sauce was filled with peanuts, which I loved. I did prefer the chicken over the lamb.

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Roti Canai

Next was the Roti Canai. We got two orders of it, and each roti came cut in half, so perfect for sharing. I found the curry that came along a bit too oily though. I ended up dipping my roti in the green curry I ordered separately.

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Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham & Chicken

For our entrees, we had the Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham & Chicken. As usual, it came in half a pineapple. I found that there was more rice than the rest of the ingredients. Definitely lacked on the pineapples, ham and veggies. Therefore, I found it a little bland and it could have been more flavourful.

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Pad Thai

C got the Pad Thai for herself, but I tried some of it too. The stir fried rice noodle came with chicken, shrimp and tofu. It had a very tomato-based sauce and was sweet and sour at the same time. Also a hint of spice too! On the side were some bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and lime.

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Thai Style Green Curry Chicken

I chose to order the Thai Style Green Chicken. It came with loads of chicken, along with some green beans in a green curry paste & coconut milk. The chicken was tender, but I felt that it was pre-treated too much, so it didn’t seem very fresh. It had a texture that seemed a little fake for some reason. As for the curry, it was spicy as green curry should be. It would’ve been great with rice!

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Sambal Green Beans

Lastly, for veggies, we had the Sambal Green Beans. This was my favourite dish and the green beans were covered with coconut milk and Sambal sauce. A hint of spice, but not too spicy! Definitely very appetizing! Sambal sauce is usually made with a variety of chili peppers, shrimp paste, and fish sauce, hence giving it an unique flavour.

Overall, the food at Tropika was average. I wouldn’t say it was bad, but it seems to be a hit or miss sometimes. As for service, like I said, we had pretty good service. We sat for quite some time and they didn’t try to get us to leave or anything. We even sat for 30 minutes before ordering. The server even offered us free ice cream at the end of the night since it was my birthday. We were way too full to take it, but it was a nice place to have dinner with friends.

Tropika at Lansdowne 星馬印 on Urbanspoon

Kari House Restaurant

I’ve been trying to give Kari House a try for the longest time. Unfortunately, they only open for very short periods of time. Every time I’m at Steveston village, they’re closed! They don’t open on Mondays, and only for a few hours for lunch and dinner the other days. Finally, I suggested to go here with J for lunch the other day. It’s family operated, and during a Friday lunch hour, it was almost fully occupied. Although they are famous for their good valued lunches, we opted to go with the normal dinner menu since we could share the larger portions.

Spring Rolls (4 rolls) – Deep fried vegetarian spring rolls with plum sauce

First up, we got the Spring Rolls, which were vegetarian. I didn’t find these that tasty. There was too much wrapping paper so when it was folded over and over again, it became really thick. Only the outside was fried crispy, but the inside layers were soft.

Roti Canai (2 pieces) – Malaysian flaky bread with curry sauce

Whenever I think of Malaysian food, I think of curry and roti! I love roti, but these weren’t that great. Blotches of the roti were quite burnt, and it was one large piece ripped into two, unevenly. I also thought the curry sauce that came with it wasn’t that great. I found it too watery. I was kind of disappointed with this.

Satay Ayam (4 skewers) – Malaysian grilled marinated chicken with peanut sauce

I think these were my favourite of the meal. The Satay Ayam was served still hot and the chicken was super tender. It just ripped off the skewers. It was flavourful, and was perfect when accompanied with the peanut sauce. I found it not as tasty when I had my second one when it chilled though. Got to eat these skewers hot!

Kari Rendang – Traditional rich curry with coconut milk, onions, bell peppers & potatoes and beef brisket

Our last dish was the Kari Rendang. We knew we wanted some sort of curry, but we had no idea what to get. Decisions…! We ended up getting the Rendang because it said traditional curry… It was actually smaller than I had expected. But I guess paying a price of around $11, that was decent. I found this a little watery again. It wasn’t as thick as I would’ve liked. The beef brisket that we chose was quite tender though.

Steamed Jasmine Rice

We also got some rice to go with our Kari Rendang. It was actually a decent amount to share between the two of us.

Overall, Kari House was decent, but I had expected much more because of the reviews. I’m not sure if it’s because I ordered the wrong dishes, but I had much higher hopes. It’s still not bad for their prices, and I would like to give it another try if I’m around the area again (and if it’s open!). I still prefer places like Tropica…sadly… even though I know it’s not authentic Malaysian food at all. But it works for my taste buds!

Kari House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Banana Leaf

Curry Boneless Chicken – boneless chicken breast simmered in creamy curry with lemon grass, coconut cream

Coconut Rice in Banana Leaf rice wrapped in fresh banana leaf cooked with coconut milk

Singapore Laska – rice noodle in coconut soup base made of dried shrimps, chili, garlic, lemon grass & turmeric with bean sprout, cilantro, tofu, egg, chicken, fish-cake, squid & shrimps

After hitting up Bella Gelateria, we went on Davie Street, since I wanted to try Thai Basil. Sadly, it was going to close in about an hour or so, and the seating was very limited. So off we went to explore what food there was to eat on Davie. And there was a lot! Such a busy street. We ended up at Banana Leaf, since it was still sort of Thai/ Malaysian – well it’s supposed to be Malaysian, but close enough. It was actually already pretty late for dinner time, but the place was still quite full. It’s dim inside, and you get a pretty Malaysian feel to it.

I got the Singapore Laska, which was actually quite delicious. I’m always kind of unsure about places that seem pretty westernized, just because I feel like the food may not be as authentic and probably just catered for the Canadians.  But  the laska was actually quite comparable to many of the laskas I have tried at other Asian restaurants. I loved the tofu puffs and fish-cake, and there was a large abundance of ingredients. The soup was really nice with a hint of coconut flavour, and wasn’t so spicy that I couldn’t eat it.

Good food and service! I believe it’s a chain restaurant, so there are a few more around Vancouver.

Banana Leaf on Davie on Urbanspoon

Fresh Bowl

Chicken Street Style Satays

Bali Gado Salad Bowl

Stumbled across Fresh Bowl today in Yaletown and it really reminded me of The Naam. A small store with friendly service, offering dishes influenced from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Their main dishes were “bowls” which consisted of either noodles, rice, or just salad. These bowls were then topped with different types of ingredients but a lot of veggies! For sure a healthy place to grab some food. They also offer snacks like roti, and satay skewers and also tapioca desserts. A great place to go to if you want some healthy food in Yaletown!

Fresh Bowl South East Asian To Go on Urbanspoon