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Archive for the ‘Quick Service’ Category

The wait is over. One of the highly anticipated restaurants to open in Vancouver – Afuri ramen + dumpling – has officially opened its doors. The Afuri brand was established in 2001. This is the fourth ramen + dumpling location outside of Japan, first in Canada. Last year we went to Portland and checked out the ramen + izakaya and I was quite excited about the arrival of ramen + dumpling here in Vancouver. Technically the restaurant is in Richmond. It’s where Dazzling Cafe used to be (remember Dazzling Cafe?). I was invited to its media night and previewed some of its menu items.

Afuri ramen + dumpling uses a kiosk system. Meaning, you go up to one of the three kiosks at the restaurant, place your order, grab a number then head back to your table. At the media preview, to my surprise food arrived very quickly so I don’t think it would be a long wait at the table for your food.

Food

Afuri’s signature broth is chicken based. We saw this giant stock pot (apparently there’s only 3 of these pots in Vancouver and here’s one) that holds enough broth to serve 450-500 bowls of ramen. It takes 300lbs of chicken (meat and bones), 3 types of dried fish, konbu seaweed, and fresh vegetables, on a simmer at 90 degrees for 3 hours. They never bring this broth to a boil, to ensure a clear broth in your bowl. It also helps skimming the fat easier. They then add yuzu, a small citrus fruit native to Asia, to give this broth a refreshing taste.

As for noodles, they make them fresh, in house, daily. If you visit them at lunch, you will likely see the machines going, mixing and rolling the dough and cutting the dough into noodles. Will they run out? I was told they would make enough servings everyday and if need be, they can jump in and make some more to meet the demand.

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Last year a few fried chicken shops popped up, one of which was Win Win Chick-N in Steveston. It was quite hyped up and this Valentine’s Day it was even selling a fried chicken bouquet rivaling Juke. It’s a bit of a trek to go to Steveston just for fried chicken but when I won a gift card there, there’s no more excuse for me not to try them out.

Win Win Chick-N

Full disclosure: I won a gift card from an IG giveaway but I made my purchase like regular customers. And the food came from the regular display tray.

Food

We ordered the 5pc Fried Chicken. Verdict? The fried chicken had really nice crispy skin, and the meat was juicy and flavourful. To me, the thigh was the best part. The seasoning was just right. The drumstick and wing, however, were a bit too salty because there’s little meat on them. We got one piece of chicken breast, and it was moist, which was important to me too.

Win Win Chick-N Fried Chicken

And the most surprising part of our meal? (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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This year’s Dine Out has 4 menu price points: $15, $25, $35 and $45. Not many places offer a $15 menu but I was most intrigued by Popina on Granville Island. The restaurant concept is created by some of the most celebrated chefs in Vancouver. The space is made up of shipping containers, located right by the Granville Island Public Market.

Popina on Granville Island

Popina on Granville Island

The $15 menu is pretty straightforward. A sandwich + a side of fries and its signature puffcream for dessert. CC and I went there on the sunny Sunday afternoon, 3 hours before our dinner reservation. Luckily for us, because it’s just counter service, we were able to just order one set and share between the two of us.

Popina on Granville Island

Food

For the sandwich, you have the option of BC Beef Cheeseburger or Crispy Chicken Burger. We chose the Crispy Chicken Burger.

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On March 21, Jugo Juice launched a revamped food menu with 4 new sandwiches and 5 new wraps.

The new sandwiches are served on heritage sourdough from local bakery Terra Breads or a brand new natural and preservative free artisan bun from Ace Bakery called schiacciata.

I was invited to a media tasting of the new items and got to try the 4 sandwiches:

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable on schiacciata bread

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable

Philly Cheesesteak on schiacciata bread

Philly Cheesesteak

Chicken Caprese on schiacciata bread (more…)

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