Friday, 13 May 2016

Hime Sushi

We wanted to try Hime since it was on our way home.

First we had the Deluxe Sashimi, it says there's 20 pieces, but we're pretty sure there were more. The sashimi were good. The uni was a little stale, but still better than most. The Saba was especially good, had a bit of lemon, and not fishy at all. The Tako was prepared well- well sliced. The rest was normal.


Next we had the Toro Battera, which was good. We loved the Jalepeno on top. I thought the rice was kind of dense and the overall bite was not melty enough.


We also got the Aburi Sushi Combo. It came with one of Toro, Tuna, Salmon, Sockeye, Saba, and Chopped Scallop. The chopped scallop was REALLY good, that was the only thing that melted in my mouth. It was creamy and fresh. Everything else was also very good. There was a nice balance of smokiness and creaminess from the sauce.


Of course, no sushi place visit is complete without the usual J & B Club roll (slalom and cream cheese) and nigiris. The great thing about the roll was that you can actually choose between salmon, tuna and ebi. It was well balanced, with a good amount of cream cheese, and you can still feel the texture of the salmon. The nigiris were also very good. The ikura was served at the perfect temperature and popped in your mouth. The seaweed was still crispy. The unagi was well seasoned and well cooked. LOVED.


I would definitely return and recommend. The service was great-professional and quick.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Sushiyama

We were craving sushi and Sushiyama was on our way home so we stopped in to try a restaurant that had a 4.0 rating on Zomato.

  
Run by Koreans, the decor and atmosphere was quite bland and functional. The tabletops were a bit sticky. Nothing really echoing a Japanese run restaurant at all.


Having a special board was neat and let's you know what's fresh and in season. It makes life a lot easier by limiting what you order, given the extensive menu.


B hasn't had tonkatsu in what seems like a lifetime, so he immediately knew what he wanted. The tonkatsu was good, exactly what he wanted. It was a little on he tough side, but the flavour and crispness was all there. It came with miso, rice and salad.


I ordered a bunch of nigiri sushi. Above, from bottom to top, we have Hamachi Toro, Toro, and Shima Aji. The Hamachi Toro was a pleasant surprise. It was very velvety fatty and not fishy at all, with a hint of lemon. The Toro was not as fatty as expected. The texture tasted very much like normal Tuna, but at least it wasn't fishy. The Shima Aji had very good mouth feel, a bit of crunch and tastes not at all overwhelming like mackerel normally tastes.


From bottom to top again, we have the uni, ikura, and unagi. The uni was the fourth nigiri on the dish that I ate. I think I made a tactical mistake. I should have eaten it first because the seaweed sat for too long and became very chewy. The uni itself was fresh and well prepared - it wasn't too fishy or overly mushy. It was creamy but still had a bit of texture. The seaweed on the ikura was similarly tough, and the salmon roe itself was not as fresh as I'd hope. It didn't "pop" in my mouth and had a stronger fish taste than normal. Lastly the unagi was okay. It wasn't extraordinary, the sauce was fine. I don't hate it, but I was hoping for a melt in my mouth kind of experience, so I was left a little disappointed.


B had the Hokkigai and the Torigai. The Hokkigai was fine. The Torigai was a little bit chewy. They were acceptable; nothing exceptional.


Of course B had to order the Tako Sashimi. It was also just fine. It wasn't mushy or fishy - like some places that don't prepare them well. But it wasn't exceptional either. It was a little on the chewy side. It didn't have the nice crunch that good Tako has. Although the slices were thin, they were a bit uneven - indicative of some poor knife skills.


Lastly, of course we always try the Salmon Sashimi, although I'm not sure why anymore. This salmon was so bland I kind of left feeling like I don't like salmon anymore. Also, the pieces on the left were colder than the pieces on the right, and left my teeth a bit numb. They weren't terrible, but they were so underwhelming, I was a bit angry about it.

Overall, I think Sushiyama has the 4.0 rating because of the price. Some of the fresh nigiri were good, but it didn't make up for the underwhelming nature of everything else. I left the establishment feeling a little nauseated, so I likely won't return. B would recommend it if you're looking for cheap sushi, especially cheap nigiri. I personally would rather pay a little more money for better quality food. The service was prompt and friendly, but sometimes that's just not enough.

Sushiyama Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Glowbal

My parents bought us a "Sunday Night Four Course Dinner for Two" at Glowbal, so we finally visited the new Telus Garden tonight.


The place was really large - I think their patio can seat more than some restaurants.


The deal comes with a glass of white or red wine and options to upgrade or add on to the main course.


The first course was a Robata Roasted Oyster with provencale beading, shallots, bacon, and horseradish cream. The presentation was elegant and simple and the oysters tasted very nice. It wasn't fishy at all, while retaining the taste of oyster. The cream was nice and rich and balanced by the bacon, but didn't overpower the oyster.


The second course was a boston wedge salad with bacon, crispy onions, egg, tomato, and roquefort blue cheese. While each plate looked nice, you can tell the kitchen was kind of rushed because the plates don't look identical to each other. The iceberg lettuce was fresh and the sauce was creamy and tangy at the same time. The only down side was the onions not being crispy.


The third course was the surf & turf. It's a 10oz New York strip with a jumbo tiger prawn, wild mushroom marsala demi-glace, seasonal vegetables, and mashed potatoes. The New York strip was very tender and juicy and cooked to a perfect rare.


I had upgraded mine to the snake river wagyu, but unfortunately, it was almost indistinguishable from the New York strip. While it was also juicy and tender, it did not meet my expectations of what "wagyu" beef should be. In my experience, Wagyu beef should be extensively marbled and basically melts in your mouth. The slice of beef I had at Glowbal was tough to cut because of the slab of tendon attached to it and was not the texture I expected. Granted, the New York strip also had a huge slab of tendon attached to it.

Otherwise, the prawn was sweet and perfectly cooked and the demi-glace was flavourful and the right consistency. I also enjoyed how thick the mashed potatoes were. The only thing I didn't like was how undercooked the vegetables were - although B liked the crispness.


As dessert, we had warm beignets to share. There were a total of ten beignets (2 per person) crammed into a tiny bowl with no forks or plates. However, the server brought us forks promptly after we requested it. Despite some consistency issues, they were very tasty. The jim beam caramel sauce balanced the cinnamon sugar very well and neither overpowered the other.


Overall we had a good experience. While our server was very professional and polite, we were unfortunately seated at a round table in the corner where she was forced to reach over some of us to distribute and collect our plates. We will likely only return if there were another deal or special, as we would not have enjoyed the experience at full price.


Glowbal Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kishimoto

We were in the area so we decided to go to Kishimoto since it has a rating of 4.4 on Zomato. We were there a lot earlier than our friends, around 5:30pm, so we went in to put our name down. The wait was supposed to be 40-60 minutes. Perfect, we thought. They didn't actually text us after 60 minutes, so we went back to the restaurant to confirm and were seated around 6:45pm.

The restaurant itself was quite small. The entire back area was curtained off for I assume the kitchen instead of more seating. I also think their exhaust fans were too weak because there was a lingering fried or smoked food smell in the air. The benches along the walls were also either too short or too soft (or both). I'm not tall, so when I sank right into the bench, I felt like a child eating at the adult table. It was rather uncomfortable. At least it appeared clean.


First up we had the Calamari. It was really well battered and fried to a perfect crispness. It was very light. I couldn't pinpoint where I'd tasted the seasoning, but it was addictive. I was actually picking up bits of seasoning and just eating it without the calamari.


We saw on Zomato that their "pressed box style" sushi were popular, so we decided to order the Unagi Oshisushi, which is the barbecue eel with creamy sauce and a cucumber on top. As soon as I bit into it, it just melted in my mouth. The smoky flavour from the torched eel was present but not overwhelming and everything else was very well balanced.


As usual, B needed his cream cheese fix, so we also had the Philadelphia Roll. I liked how small the roll was, with only a thin layer of rice. Nothing was overpowering the other and everything went together very well.


We have now decided that the best way to decide whether a sushi place is good or not, is the freshness and the way they prepare their Tako Sashimi. Kishimoto prepared their Tako very well. It was not at all rubbery or slimy. It was easy to bite into and the texture created by the way they sliced it was quite nice. It was very fresh.


Last we had the Ikura Nigiri, which is my must have. Unfortunately, it was way too salty. This is one of the rare occasions where I actually thought they needed more rice in their nigiri to balance out the saltiness of the salmon roe. Otherwise, we were quite impressed by how fresh and crispy the seaweed was.


Overall the service was good, the presentation stellar, and the food above par. We will likely not return as I personally rarely ever wait in line for a meal. While their food was good and well presented, I ultimately visit a restaurant for good food and not their presentation. There are other restaurants in the city that offer similar quality food for a more reasonable price and no wait time. I'd recommend it if you had 2-3 hours of free time.

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen & Sushi Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 4 March 2016

Anda Miro Korean Restaurant

We had been meaning to go to Anda Miro for a while since it opened so close to home.


Once we stepped in, we noticed how sparse it was. But at least it was clean. That's the most important thing.


Beer was reasonably priced. At first I wanted to have the Makgulli, but it was more than triple the price you'd pay at BC Liquor so I just couldn't bring myself to order it. The pitcher of Asahi was only $16.50.


We decided to order the $30 Dinner Special meant for 2-3 people. Of course it came with the usual sides. I was a little disappointed that there were no potatoes.


First up was the chap chae. It was good. I liked that it was dense - lots of vegetables and meat. Each bite held more than just noodles. Well seasoned and well cooked.


Next was the LA Bulgolgi. It was very flavourful. B wished there was more sauce to put on his rice, but I thought it was perfect. I thought it was a tad undercooked because it was harder to get off the bone than normal.


Next was the seafood pancake. As usual it was decent. Well seasoned, nice balance of flavours, and evenly distributed. We didn't even need the sauce that went with it. B wished it was a little crispier.


Last was the sundubu. We wished it was a little spicier, but it was good. It was flavourful, and STUFFED full of seafood. There were two mussels and two shrimps jammed in this tiny bowl. The egg was a nice touch, I don't normally see that.

Overall it was good. Solid food, good value. We ended up packing more than half the food home for lunch tomorrow. We would come back and definitely recommend it.

Andamiro Korean Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sushi_nism

This post is a little late, we actually went to Sushi_nism back at the end of January. It is a new sushi place on West Broadway near Laurel Street. The interior came across as very clean in the front, although you could see into the kitchen from where we were sitting, and the range hood was dripping with oil. The place gives off a nice Korean tea house kind of vibe, although they had an odd choice of music playing - think dental office/elevator kind of experience.



The sashimi was bigger than some other places. Right temperature, but the salmon wasn't especially flavorful.


The rolls were a little disappointing. The seaweed was soggy and chewy - clearly not fresh. In the yam and cream cheese roll, the cream cheese was uneven - some rolls had giant dollops, and some had very little. The unagi roll had a nice crunch from the cucumber, but it seemed like not enough unagi, you really had to look for it.


The tako nigiri was on the chewy side and a little fishy but acceptable.


On the very positive side, we also tried the sushi castle! Not something I would normally order, but it was really good. The salmon sashimi inside really paired well with the balsamic vinegar and the mayo, and it all really combined well into kind of a sushi salad. It was light and fresh, and we also had a couple seared chopped scallop nigiri on the side that had a great smokiness. (Although the seaweed was still not great).


Overall the service was not bad, but not exactly friendly. I think Sushi_nism is a very solid neighborhood sushi joint, and hopefully they can improve the quality of their ingredients. I would highly recommend you go and try the sushi castle, and when we go back I think we will be a little more adventurous in what we order - the sushi chefs here clearly shine when they are doing something more interesting than just the basics. -B

Sushi Nism Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Flying Pig (Athlete's Village)

We had originally planned to go to Bao Down because we had heard good things. Called in the afternoon, were told reservations were full, but they save half their seats for walk in's so we should be fine. Got there at 7, there were empty tables, but were told they couldn't even give an estimate until 8. Would've just preferred if they'd said nothing was available when we'd called.

Luckily for us, The Flying Pig was right next door. I'd wanted to try the one in gastown for a while but haven't been able to get anyone to go with me. We walked in and got seated immediately. It looked busier than the empty tables at Bao Down. It's also way bigger.

Great service from the start. Generous portion of actually warm bread. Food and drinks came really quickly. They even split our dish for us at no extra charge.

We had the seafood pappardelle. I have a feeling they gave us extra pasta after they split the plate because the plate was so big I couldn't finish mine.


The pappardelle was cooked perfectly and the sauce was very well seasoned. I loved the subtle spice that was detectable but not overwhelming. Mussels and clams were cooked perfectly.


As a side we had the truffled cauliflower which was also cooked perfectly. Soft yet still crunchy at the same time. The truffle was there but not overwhelming.

Overall a great experience and the server even split the bill perfectly before we asked / told her to. It's a dangerous thing to live so close to it because we'll likely return many more times.
The Flying Pig Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Union

Had brunch at The Union today. I wasn't sure what to expect from something so close to Chinatown, but was pleasantly surprised.


The decor was a typical hipster minimalist concrete / wood mix. It was very bright, clean, and open - a good atmosphere for brunch. We got there right as they opened at 10am and were the first ones there. There was no line up and only three other tables when we left and hour and a half later.


I had the Bao Bun Bennies, as usual, I had to start with the Bennies. The presentation was nice and my friend thought my breakfast looked better than his. He did let me try his lemongrass pork sausage which reminded me of eating at a Vietnamese restaurant.

My bennies were solid. The egg poached to a perfect soft. The hollandaise sauce was a bit bland. It tasted like nothing but had a creamy texture to it. The Asian guacamole was quite interesting. All I tasted was the lime (or whatever made it sour). It was good though and helped balance the creaminess of the hollandaise sauce. The bacon was well cooked to a perfect crispness that made it very easy to cut.

I liked the fact that it was served on a Chinese bun as it wasn't as filling as an English muffin. Sometimes I find the dense English muffins too much, especially if there's also hash on the side. The has. Was coated in curry powder and was very flavourful. It also went really well with the great selection of hot sauces.

All in all I had a great experience. Now that I know the bennies are solid, I'm intrigued enough by the other menu selection to return. I'm surprised it wasn't busier, but I like not having to wait. I'd recommend it, but am afraid it'll be too popular and then I won't be able to return without waiting in line.

The Union Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato