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Posts Tagged ‘Donburi’

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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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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Hi Genki is a Japanese restaurant located in the lobby of an old-folks home. It’s not much different than a hospital cafeteria, which is one of the worst possible settings for a restaurant.

Eating Area

If that doesn’t surprise you enough already, there’s usually a line waiting to get seats. That’s right: people line up to eat at a retirement home cafeteria.

The florescent lighting and the uniform layout give off a sterile look. The daily special is hand written, and photocopied and inserted in every menu.

So why do people eat here then? It’s the food, and the value.

What went in

Hi Genki doesn’t serve sushi. It’s an authentic (relatively speaking) Japanese restaurant, primarily serving rice and noodle dishes.

Between the two of us, we had the Spicy Karaage Donburi, the Genki Bento Box, and the Salmon Sashimi.

Spicy Karaage Donburi

The karaage donburi is deep fried chicken served on rice. (more…)

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