Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Kitchen

Went to the Kitchen for a work lunch today - excuse the blurry pics, I had to take them quickly before everyone started digging in.

The decor was nice - clean and simple.


We started with some Tweegum Mandu. They were very hot, but decent enough. By itself, it was a little bland, but the sauce helped give it some good flavour.


Then we ordered the Dolsot Bibimbap. It came with some hot sauce, but we didn't mix it in as some of us cannot stand spice. The stone was hot, creating some nice burnt rice we scraped off at the end. It was a good balance of veggies, meat and rice. I kind of wish the egg was just cracked on top like they do in Korea instead of fried and placed on top, but I guess we have health and food safety standards in Vancouver.


I also ordered the Soondooboo Jigae because I really missed it. We had it with seafood because I thought we had too much meat already. It came sizzling hot so I think some of the liquid evaporated - there wasn't enough soup to go around. It had lots of tofu in it though and tasted just fine. I think it could do with a little more salt though.


We also ordered the LA Galbi, which was very flavourful, very sweet. There was a good ratio of veggie to beef.


Last, we have the Dak Bulgogi. I think the flavours of this and the LA Galbi were the same except we had chicken instead. The meat was cooked perfectly and tender.


Generally a good meal. Price-wise, a little more than other Korean Restaurants, but I guess that's what you have to pay in the Point Grey neighbourhood.

Service was quick and friendly, tea was free and delicious. Lots of free neighbourhood parking. I probably won't return, but would recommend it if someone was looking for Korean food in the neighbourhood.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Grand Noodle Emporium

Had lunch at the nest today and decided to try out the Grand Noodle Emporium. For food court food, I "guess" you could say it's okay. Anywhere else and this place should be out of business.

We had the Crispy BBQ Duck Spring Tolls to start. They were okay. We wish the daikon was cut thinner and included inside the spring roll, as he spring roll was quite bland without it - like it was missing something. The reason the daikon and carrots would have helped was because they were soaked in vinegar and helped cut the richness of the sauce and the fattiness of the duck.


We also had he Hunan Pork because we heard the person in front of us say it was "really good". It was a disappointment. The pork was probably frozen as we had notes that were cold and bites that were hot. It tastes a bit like domburi with the egg and all, but lacking all the seasoning of a domburi. At least adding hot sauce and soy sauce seems to help.


Overall, did not enjoy waiting in line and in anticipation only to be disappointed. Y mediocre food. At least sushi seems a better deal. Won't return.

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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Kalvin's

Went to Kalvin's again (like the 3rd time in two weeks). This time, Kalvin invited us for an "omakase" (chef's choice) style dinner. $300 for ten people, we had:

Buddha jumping wall soup, with more dried scallops to make it more flavourful.



Pork leg with Bok Choy. Nice balance of textures between the melt-in-your-mouth fatty skin and the semi tough meat.


Sirloin and broccoli. Lots of garlic as you can see. So flavourful and tender.


Fried pancake. Always my favourite. Fried dry yet still moist, flavourful and full of textures.


Salt and pepper tofu. A little normal, but still good.


Seafood curry. Odd, but tasty. Wish it were spicier.


Poor person's stew / soup. Boiled for 3 hours, it was so flavourful and warm.


Sea bass, always good. Cooked to perfection, with delicious Chinese mushroom to go with it.


Pea tips.

 
Egg yolk fried crab.


The owner is so talented. He's had this restaurant for almost 25 years. Deserves a break, so much fun to be around. If you ever get to be friends with him, don't forget to bring him a bottle of glenfiddich.


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Burdock & Co

Went to Burdock & Co for dinner with some friends. On my way there, I had a happy hour pint at Cascade and was told that Burdock has some really good food. Expectations were high. Was not disappointed at all.


The decor was what I would call "Rustic Chic" (learned that from HGTV). The stools looked like they would be uncomfortable, but was surprisingly comfortable for the entirety of the dinner.

This is a tapas style place - which usually means small plates, and they recommend two plates per person. Luckily, all of us normally eat half a plate so we ordered four dishes to share. We started with the Char-Grilled Morel Mushrooms, Pickled Cherries, Goat Camembert Cheese. I personally loved the dish. The mushrooms were flavourful and moist, and the goat camembert cheese was not overpowering at all. My companions, not so much - they thought the mushrooms looked weird and didn't like the texture.


I ordered the special of the night: seared duck breast with balsamic glaze. The duck was seared to a perfect medium. The flavour was subtle, but the balsamic glaze was strong. All in all, a solid dish.


My friend ordered the Spicy Tomato Glazed Bison Ribs - which I had wanted to order at first, before I heard the special. The meat fell off the bones, but was still a little tough - maybe that's just Bison meat for you. The flavours were great though.


My other friend ordered the Caramelized Pork and Fennel Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta. I think Pappardelle is my favourite kind of pasta. This was cooked perfectly al dente and was perfectly soaked in all the glorious grease of the pork . The pork was very flavourful, and very liberally added to the dish.


Service was great, we were told we only had a two hour seating period, but was never rushed. Constantly had our water pitcher refilled. Was well attended. I think I will recommend and maybe return.

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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Cloud 9

It's been a while since I've been to Cloud 9. It looks like there've been some work done. The old tattered chairs are gone, new lounge chairs are in. So comfy.


We started with two small dishes. The first was the Confit Duck Wings in classic buffalo sauce. It was a little dry, but greasy. But the taste was well infused into the wings.


Next we had the white Tiger Prawns. They're really good. The ancho corn salsa went really well with the prawn and the prawn was cooked perfectly.


Next, some of us had the kale salad, which tastes like a Caesar. Well tossed, not too much dressing. Good amount of bacon. Pretty good. The kale was parboiled, so it's nice and tender.


For our meal, we ordered the strip loin, rare. It came out as medium, but it was a nice piece of meat. It could've been seasoned more, and maybe served with a jus or some horseradish. We would've also appreciated more vegetables and a more sophisticated "ketchup" - like spicy ketchup or a chipotle mayo, something other than just plain ketchup.


Looks like the new executive chef is making some changes. Maybe I'll come back in a couple more months to see how it is. Can't beat the view.



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Kimura

I was craving sushi today so we googled a place that was on our way to superstore. Kimura had 4.6 stars of 27 reviews, so we figured it was good enough.

The decor is nice, not the typical sushi place. It has kind of an industrial look, very open.


B ordered the Yam Tempura and Cream Cheese roll. It was good. Good size portion, thin layer of rice. Yam was crispy outside and tender inside. Good amount of cream cheese. Very tasty.


They have smaller portion sizes available for their sashimi, which is quite appreciated on our part because we like a bunch of stuff. We ordered the Atlantic Salmon, Tako, Saba and Hokkigai (next pic) sashimi.

The salmon was served at the right temperature. It wasn't fishy. Nice texture and cut. The Tako was the star. It wasn't too chewy, and had a bit of a crunch to it. Saba is an acquired taste. The fishy taste is strong but very well balanced by the onion sauce it is served with.


The Hokkigai was really good too. It was tender and sweet.


I also ordered a couple ikura and unagi nigiri sushi to finish my meal. The ikura was nicely salted and definitely bursts in your mouth. The seaweed was crisp and dry. The rice was nicely seasoned. The unagi was amazing. The sauce wasn't overwelming at all, it nicely balanced the eel out. The eel itself was like butter and just melted in your mouth.

All in all, this was a great experience. Service was good, food came out quick, and quite delicious. We will definitely recommend and come back.

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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Italian Kitchen

I went to Italian kitchen yesterday for a friend's dinner. This is by far the worst global restaurant I've been to.

We went early to drop off a cake and was told we couldn't consume it on the premises because it's against health code. I don't think I've experienced that ever. So we left and placed it in the fridge at the hotel.

When we arrived we were seated promptly, but as the plates started coming out for appetizers and bread, at least half the plates were still greasy and stained - I'm sure that's not again health code.


The food was decent enough, but our busser was busy talking to other servers and actually asked us to hand him the plates over other guests. That's bad for a "high end" restaurant.



I had the Veal Scallopini because the black truffle called my name. My veal was overcooked and a little tough. But the sauce was good, it was well seasoned with the right amount of tartness to balance the richness of the veal.


We also had freshly grated Parmesan cheese. That was a plus.


B had the pappardelle. He really liked it. The pasta was well cooked, not too rich, and the lamb sausage was moist.



Overall, people liked the food. The service was lacking, but we were in and out in 1.5 hours and they never pushed us to get more drinks, which is weird because that's where the money would come from. Probably because there's an automatic 18% charge for groups.

Will not recommend not return. Prefer Black and Blue or Coast: same quality food, better service.

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Saturday, 13 June 2015

Catch 122

Went to Catch 122 for brunch today. It was kind of weird when we arrived. There were several empty tables and we were asked to wait 15 minutes. No one was seated before us though. I think it has to do with whether or not a server is ready to serve a table, but seriously, they could've sat us down and have us wait with a glass of water instead of making us stand at the door.


We ordered mimosas and a coffee and they brought us some muffins to start while we waited for our dishes.


I ordered the truffled-scented mushroom omelette. It was pretty good, nice and light. Good amount of goat cheese in it to make it creamy as well. The sides didn't have any truffle taste, but there was more by the middle.


My friend ordered The Catch 122. It came with a perfectly cooked medium poached egg. Well seasoned, the salmon and dill perfectly balanced each other.


Overall a good experience. They didn't rush us after our meal, but not too many people were waiting. We've had dinner there before and it was a good experience. We just don't go back often because we don't want to pay for parking. I would recommend visiting Catch 122 though- for brunch and dinner!

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