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Archive for the ‘Korean’ 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 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.

(more…)

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Snowy Village opened its Coquitlam location in late December. The cold winter and rainy spring didn’t seem to stop people from getting their shaved ice/bingsoo fix. Everytime I went (3 times now, in the last 2 months), there was always a short lineup at the door.

So we noticed some new items on the menu – Mini Watermelon and Honeydew Bingsoo, Golden Cheese and Injeolmi Toasts, and Cheesy Mochy. Naturally, we gave some of these a try.

Food

Cheesy Mochy sounds like a perfect item for the night market (by the way the two night markets are now open) and would make a nice savoury option here. There were 9 pieces of oblong shaped mochi, topped with gochujang sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan sprinkles. As I picked up the mochi ball I got a tiny bit of cheesy pull, but nothing Instagram worthy so to speak. The texture of the mochi ball was harder than I thought; not jaw breaking hard, but dense and chewy much like the ones at Korean restaurants. The mochi balls are stuffed, with what looks like cheese, but there was zero pull and nothing gooey ooey. And no flavour too! The gochujang sauce was good, sweet, slightly spicy, and with mochi balls they have formed a great combo. But, overall it was a bit underwhelming.

Cheesy Mochy

The Injeolmi Bingsoo is one of my favourite flavours so I was really curious about the Injeolmi Toast. It’s like thick toasts you find at Taiwanese restaurants. It was an almost inch-thick mochi sandwiched between two pieces of bread, toasted.

Injeolmi Toast

The heat of the freshly toasted bread melted the soybean powder on top so it kind of turned into a nutty syrup. (more…)

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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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Once in awhile we organize an “in-law dinner” where my parents and Mr.‘s parents can hang out and catch up. They always look to me for picking a unique place to go. No pressure. Well, this time around, Toe Dam in Coquitlam.

The restaurant is located in the “Korea Town” — the North Road area — alongside many other Korean stores and restaurants. It’s in the same strip mall as H-Mart. Online reviews all seem decent and I was intrigued.

Food

On the menu was a Roasted Duck, so I thought it would be like Man Ri Sung in Richmond, serving roasted duck Peking Duck style, with crepe and all the fixing. When it arrived at our table, our jaws dropped. It was a big plate of duck meat, raw, waiting to be cooked on the BBQ grill in the centre of our table. Well now it makes sense why they removed the grill cover, I thought it was for the soup later.

Roasted Duck Korean BBQ

And then we adapted, we changed gear, and went into grilling mode right away. The sliced duck meat all looked quite uniform, so we think they were all breast meat. And there’s easily meat of 6 duck breasts! (more…)

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There have been a number of shaved ice shops popping up around Vancouver. One of them is Snowy Village in Central Richmond. It’s been a few months and there’s still lineup out the door. Finally one Friday I was determined to try Snowy Village, whatever and however long it takes!

Taking Mama Lam and Papa Lam with me, we waited for 30 minutes before we were seated. We had ample time to study the menu, Instagram photos, and what other customers were eating, and we ordered a few things to try.

Food

To start, the Taiyaki, the fish shaped waffle with filling. This is commonly found at night markets and I’ve seen them at Korean supermarkets as well as street carts. The texture of this Taiyaki is quite different from the other ones we’ve had around town because it uses croissant pastry. Other ones are more like Belgian waffle, crispy outside and fluffy inside. This Taiyaki is more like Leige waffle, more dense and chewy, and it had speckles of sugar on top. We went for the traditional red bean filling but the Taiyaki was rather thin so it didn’t hold a lot of filling inside. For that reason I think I prefer the fluffy kind, even though this one tasted really good and I quite liked the texture of the pastry.

Red Bean Taiyaki

As for the shaved ice, here they call it Bingsoo, a derivative of the Korean dessert (I think it stands for “iced water” in Korean). (more…)

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Tucked away in a hidden corner of a strip mall in Burquitlam (i.e. the North Road area between Burnaby and Coquitlam), there is a restaurant specialized in an ingredient favoured by many Asians — rice cakes. With a recommendation from friends, we went and checked it out.

Food

And yes, their menu is indeed full of various interpretations of rice cakes. Korean rice cakes. You can have it savoury, spicy, or even sweet. First, we were quite excited when we saw the Rice Cake Pasta with Tomato Meat Sauce. It was still bubbling when it got to our table. At first glance, I thought of those baked pasta dishes that you can get at HK cafes. Then we dug in, it’s a spicy tomato meat sauce! It tasted different from Gochujang — the Korean chili paste — and it wasn’t overly spicy; but the level of heat was just enough to whet our appetite. The rice cakes were of great texture — chewy, good elasticity, but didn’t require you to chew a hundred times to break it down. This is like spaghetti bolognese with a Korean twist. A hearty dish.

Rice Cake Pasta with Tomato Meat Sauce

If you can’t eat spicy food, you can order the Royal Court Rice Pasta with Soy Sauce. It’s a simple stir fry of sliced beef, onion, bell peppers and mushrooms, and of course rice cakes, in a soy sauce. There’s a slight sweetness in the sauce, and the dish reminded me of a Chinese stir fry.

Royal Court Rice Pasta with Soy Sauce

Lastly, the highlight of this meal. (more…)

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