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Archive for the ‘Japanese’ Category

We’ve been to Ramen Koika a few times over the years, to both locations on Davie and Robson. We always ended up ordering a ramen. The black garlic one was my favourite and Mr. fell in love with the beef ribs one. Little did we know the Robson location actually has a K-Pocha Menu, serving up their version of many Korean favourites. We were invited to sample a few items off that menu.

Triple Black Garlic Ramen

Food

We love KFC! As in Korean Fried Chicken!! Their crust is always lighter and when they fry the chicken it’s always less greasy. And moist chicken breast.

It’s no difference here at Koika. The Soonsal Chicken can be either in sweet chilli or soy garlic, and we went for the sweet chilli as it’s our favourite sauce for KFC. There was a decent amount of boneless chicken pieces. The meat was moist, the exterior still held its crispiness and the sweet chilli sauce definitely packed some heat.

Soonsal Chicken

Next, the Gogi Tteok-bok-ki was spicy rice cake with pork belly. (more…)

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A new Japanese souffle pancake shop is coming to town! Fufu is short for Fuwa Fuwa in Japanese, and it means fluffy. That’s the very heart of these souffle pancakes.

Owners of Fufu were inspired by their visit to Japan a couple of years ago, seeing how popular these souffle pancakes were, and wanted to bring these deliciousness to Vancouver. They spent months on perfecting the menu and recipes and now they are opening the doors at Broadway and Birch.

Souffle Pancakes, Fufu Cafe Vancouver

These pancakes are made-to-order, so it takes about 15-20 minutes from whipping up the batter to cooking the pancakes to perfection.

Souffle Pancakes, Fufu Cafe Vancouver

Souffle Pancakes, Fufu Cafe Vancouver

Souffle Pancakes, Fufu Cafe Vancouver

Lucky for me I was invited to a media preview and got to sample most of the menu items. Let me give you a run through. Shall we?

Food

Fufu Classic Souffle Pancake – this comes with 3 souffle pancakes and in two options:

(more…)

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A new pork katsu (aka cutlet) shop opened up in Surrey. Turns out it’s a chain with multiple locations in Toronto. This Surrey location is the first in BC.

Mr. Tonkatsu Surrey

The menu is quite simple: variations of pork loin or tenderloin katsu, or chicken or shrimp katsu if you don’t feel like pork. Alongside there’s also appetizers or fried chicken to add to the mix.

Mr. Tonkatsu Surrey

Food

As suggested by the restaurant name, obviously we had to order a tonkatsu. We had the Pork Loin Katsu. Mr. made a comment, “This is one of the few restaurants whose food comes out exactly like the pictures in the menu.” Sure enough, it looks just like the menu, down to one piece of cutlet flipped to its side. In fact, I think the portion size is even bigger than the picture.

Mr. Tonkatsu Surrey Pork Loin Katsu

The cutlet was crispy, with just the right amount of breading. Panko breading was light and flaky.

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Matcha lovers rejoice! Considered the Starbucks in Japan, Nana’s Green Tea has arrived in North America. In fact, their first ever North American location will be right here in Vancouver! On June 6, their Kerrisdale location will open its door to the public.

Established around 10 years ago in Japan, Nana’s Green Tea was brought to us by Kazuto Kutami. He was inspired by the Starbucks concept while wanting to preserve the history and tradition of Japanese tea culture. Their matcha is sourced solely from Uji, Kyoto. To-date, there are more 80 Nana’s locations around the globe.

Food

Lucky for me, I was invited to a media preview of their menu. Here are a few items we’ve tasted:

(From left) Hoji-cha Shiratama Float, Matcha Chocolate Latte, Azuki Strawberry Latte

These are only taster size. Of the three beverages, my favourite was the Hoji-cha Shiratama Float. Shiratama in this case means sticky rice, which means there are mochi (aka sticky rice) balls in them. Hoji-cha is roasted green tea, so there’s some nutty flavour in the drink, as well as in the Hoji-cha ice cream. It’s quite unique and I don’t think I’ve seen something like this in Vancouver yet.

Azuki (red bean) Strawberry Latte is on the sweeter side, but not overly sweet. There is red bean paste and small pieces of strawberry in the drink so it’s quite fun to drink. It kind of reminds me of the HK style Iced Red Bean Drink 紅豆冰.

Although tasty, relatively the Matcha Chocolate Latte wasn’t super interesting. That being said, the matcha flavour was very strong, with just a hint of sweetness from the chocolate.

Hoji-cha Shiratama Float, Matcha Chocolate Latte, Azuki Strawberry Latte

I should note that there are many other options for beverages on the menu. There are 12 matcha options, 5 for hoji-cha, 5 azuki, and 5 options for just green tea.

Fresh Tuna with Curry Tartar Sauce Donburi

The only savoury dish we tried. This donburi was very good. Tuna was flavourful; the curry tartar (think curry mayo egg salad) was fragrant with a hint of spices.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you would see in my IG Stories that yesterday I received a pretty neat surprise at lunch. Tourism Richmond delivered some freshly made dumplings from a number of Richmond restaurants. Why, you ask? There’s now a Dumpling Trail in Richmond!

Dumplings for Lunch

Dumplings for Lunch

The Dumpling Trail is a self-guided tour of 15 restaurants in Richmond that serve up a wide variety of dumplings.

(more…)

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It’s been awhile since I’ve enrolled in a course. Even though it’s just a 3-day course, and it’s a course meant for working professionals. Still, the concept of carrying a backpack and dressing casually had been a distant memory. So when work sent me to a 3-day class downtown, I had to scout out my lunch spots. And then there was Kita no Donburi right across from the campus (I was at the Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue).

Let me first start by saying, it’s weird to eat alone. I don’t like sitting by myself and all I have is my phone, emails and social media. Occasionally I like to chat with my dining companion too, you know. Not having made any friends in class just yet, I had to eat alone at Kita no Donburi.

Food

On the first day, I ordered the Chanko Don. It caught my eyes right away on the menu because it just had everything – beef, chicken, prawn, tofu, enoki mushroom, shitake mushroom – all ingredients I love! And it came with a miso soup. It was a satisfying rice bowl. It had some nice umami flavours from the combination of tempura sauce and seafood dressing – it was sweet, it was salty, it had a hint of seafood/seaweed. The beef was the shabu shabu kind, so it was thinly sliced, which helped soak in the flavour from the sauces. It’s really fun to eat because every spoonful gave me different combination of ingredients (it would drive Mr. crazy though, as he likes having a little bit everything in one bite). What would make this even better would be a soft pouched egg, so I would stir in the runny egg yolk into the rice bowl. That would be soooo good!

Chanko Don

I returned the next day, and tried something else. The Chicken Karaage (appetizer version) was a decent portion. (more…)

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An impromptu dinner on a Friday evening took us to Torafuku, the new brick and mortar location brought to you by the Le Tigre food truck team. Frankly, and feeling guilty to admit to it, I never ate at Le Tigre. With the rave reviews about Le Tigre, I was quite excited to try Torafuku.

TorafukuTorafuku

Food

The Rye So Messy Chicken Wings was an award winning dish. The gochujang marinate really came through as you can taste this garlicky, spicy flavour. The skin was crispy, meat was juicy, and I like the ramen crumble to add even more texture to it. These were really good wings, but 5 wings for $12 maybe a bit too expensive.

Rye So Messy Chicken Wings

Dr. Octopus vs. Mr. Tuna seriously sounds like a superhero movie title!
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