Homer St. Café & Bar

Breakdown: Succulent chicken, good food.

Rating

A special event calls for a special dinner with a special setting yeah?

Whats not to love about a restaurant that floods you with romance the moment you walk in? From the gorgeous blue floral floor tiling, to the grey-tinted marble for the kitchen bar, the meticulous details came together to really set the mood for loooooove in that restaurant. Coincidentally,my dimsum partner that night was the right candidate for this, else it’ll be awkwarddddd. well okay, not really, i mean the place could be for many occasions but it really is casual fancyish. I can’t help but admire every corner of the beautiful interior. There were nooks here and there for more private chats, such as these 2 seats right at the corner of the kitchen bar, separated from other guests, yet still connected within visual radius; not to be forgotten. And there was another set of private seats that were thoughtfully placed next to a window opening, creating a very interesting arrangement and perspective for the seated guests. More than a party for 2? Well, there were plenty of raised platforms with long party tables, creating an open, yet private dining experience for larger groups. Before I even tasted any food, I was already fascinated by the play of materials and spacial arrangement. Also, the kitchen is an open concept, where you can clearly see the flaming red rotisserie turning and tenderly cooking rows and rows of whole chickens..

Moving on to about the actual food…

Prior to coming here, I was reading reviews on other foodie’s critique on the dishes and I gotta say, I thought some of them were quite harsh, especially after trying the menu. Before that, since most were claiming that the chicken was like supermarket bought, I didnt have my hopes up.
The menu was a decent size, with a main focus on the restaurant’s famous roasted chicken. Of course then, we needed to try it and lucky for us, the special that night was a decent portioned meat sample platter that had the roasted chicken, side ribs, pork belly, and some sides like cornbread and coleslaw. No brainer, we ordered that one. My favourite type of dish, you get to sample everything!

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Meat Sampler

At first look, I wasn’t quite impressed with the plating style. It felt too casual and too much like I was getting dishes from a neighbourhood barbeque joint. Other than that, I felt that the dish itself was decent. I’d like to emphasize that the chicken was NOT like a supermarket quality, and I would know because I have tested all roasted chickens available at supermarkets (superstore, saveons, safeway, and costco, which may I say is the best in that category). Chicken was roasted just right, not too dry or drenched in its fat. The quality of the meat was wonderful since other budget friendly chickens are quite high in fat content, naturally softening the meat up so you wont feel that ‘dryness’. The flavourful skin attached had a beautiful golden glow with just the right amount of seasoning.

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Roasted Chicken

The ribs were probably my favourite next to the chicken. The meat came off the bone easily without a fuss. Full of smokey sweet barbeque flavour in combination with the tender moist meat, my mouth was having a barbeque explosion. I must say, it was a very standard barbeque taste. There wasn’t any distinctive ‘specialty’ in it. That being said though, it was a rib done right.

The final main piece of the dish was the fatty pork belly, that’s usually a favourite of my dimsum partner’s. However this one didn’t hit either him or me with any delightness. The pork fat layer occupied most of the portion of piece, and to our further dismay (odd, my language is suddenly so formal), the skin was WAY TOO TOUGH. We tried sawing it endlessly with our knives and we tried ripping it with our teeth like some hungry mad man. N O T H I N G. It didn’t budge at all. We decided to throw in the towel since it probably wouldn’t have digested properly in our stomachs. To sum up, it was a miss.

EDIT: oops, i forgot that there was another piece in the meat sampler, a brisket (thanks to my dimsum partner for reminding me). The meat was tender, done right. There was a crispy thin exterior that held the juices in with a right amount of fat. Adding the barbeque sauce really elevated the meat too.

While we were being like carnivorous dinosaurs on the set of jurassic park, this vegetarian dish was presented at our table (oxymoron moment). Again, wasn’t impressed with the plating. Looked plain messy. Taste wise it was pretty good. The mustard dressing was a great choice to pair with the rather natural bitter in taste of the radicchio. The mix also did well with the sweetness of the pear. In my opinion I didn’t think the egg was the smartest choice and it didn’t quite contribute to the dish, it was cooked right but it kind of sat there and hung out. I am also not a fan of creamy salad dressings, but I did enjoy the first few bites of the egg and veggie mix. I passed the rest of the dish and let dimsum partner enjoy all the goodies in the bowl.

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Radicchio and Roasted Pear, Fried Egg and Creamy Mustard Dressing.

Feeling a little dissatisfied and like I didn’t reach my daily veggie intake, I ordered an Albacore Tuna Salad which was the only dish of the night which was both visually and tastefully appealing.

Beautifully done fresh albacore tuna with an incredible bruised red/pink gradient. The tuna was seared to perfection and paired most marvelously with the strong flavoured salad underneath. The mushroom flavours really stood out, with its earthy tones complimented the raw, light flavoured tuna. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish!

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Albacore Tuna, Pine Nuts, Warm Mushroom and Shallot Salad

To end this dinner, we decided not to finish it off with dessert. The dishes didn’t quite catch our attention, which I think pretty much summarized the dinner dishes.

Nothing was executed poorly, but nothing was mind blowingly memorable. Our tastebuds were doing a waltz, not the can-can. However, I really did love the interior theme and the ambience of the restaurant. I would recommend Homer Street Cafe & Bar for those who prefer safe dishes and flavours. I would also recommend it to those who have a special reason and event to celebrate, but who doesn’t want to break the bank, yet are willing to pay for a mid-range fancy dinner.

Homer St. Cafe and Bar
898 Homer Street, Vancouver, BC
Mon-Thurs: 1130-11
Fri: 1130-1130
Sat: 5-1130
Sun: 1030-3

Homer St. Café & Bar on Urbanspoon

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SMAK

Breakdown: Mouthful of Flavourful Tasty Healthiness

Rating

After a long delayed lunch meet with a girl friend of mine, last week we finally were able to do as we planned and have lunch together. She’s been telling me about this place near her work that she promised I’d love.

SMAK

A upbeat food hub that’s opened from breakfast to dinner, and claims to be 100% gluten free. Well, aint that nice, perfect for the Vancouver health culture.

I arrived around noonish and as expected, the place was buzzing with hungry downtown employees. Line up was out the door, but it moved pretty fast as there were plenty of grab and go options, plus the joint states that they serve healthy FAST food. The interior decor basically screamed healthy, with plenty of bright lighting, wood, and green. As usual, I had issues with trying to choose what I’d wanted to stuff myself with, so being extremely greedy, I ordered a combo of a small “hot bowl” and a small salad.

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Small hot bowl with small salad

I chose the BBQ Pork, “their slow-roasted BBQ pulled pork recipe, made with all-natural Gelderman Farms pork, served over SMAK rice topped with Thai Slaw,” and for the salad I picked the Mango Salad, “Mango, Thai slaw, spinach, herbs, zucchini, peppers, seeds, squash, and cashews with Thai dressing.”

I was blown away by the flavours. I LOVED the barbeque pork. The barbeque sauce isn’t the savoury type though, it was the sweeter kind, so for those of you who think that’s a nono, don’t get it. For me though, I enjoyed every bite of it. The pork was cooked soft to shreds, no fighting back there. I loved the rice underneath it to balance out the strong flavours and act as a medium and a “fill me up”. The slaw on the top didnt do much however, except make it look prettier. I was really glad to get this mini bowl because I can predict myself get kinda sick of it if I ordered the regular size. Plus I needed my greens of course, which the mango salad satisfied. Only complaint I have was that the mangos were a bit raw, which was expected since they aren’t exactly in season.

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BBQ Pork Hot Bowl

My girlfriend got her go-to, which is the Green Curry Chicken Bowl. Of course I got to taste it and like the BBQ Pork, it tasted AHMAAAAZING. It was filled with tasty spices infused in a pungent coconut curry base. There were tons of veggies and bits of chicken, all piled on a decent amount of rice at the bottom. Since she got the regular size, her portion was much larger, very filling for someone who has an average appetite. Like the description states, the curry has a bit of a kick, and for someone like myself who is trying to train up her spiciness tolerance, a few more bites and it felt like my mouth was doing the tango. I could never have finished even a mini bowl myself. Thank goodness for dimsum partners right?

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Green Curry Chicken Bowl

Tons of goodies in the bowl, squash, potatoes and chicken.

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Not quite sure why the rating is so low on urbanspoon, but I thought it was extremely tasty and bang for the buck. Yes, it is much more than I wanted to pay a lunch for (though my girl friend treated me, thanks ;D), but I thought it was tasty and I was full, nothing wrong with that. I think for a male who is not in starvation mode, a big bowl is enough to make the hunger monster keep shush. If not, down some water and let that rice expand and do its thing. SMAK also offers regular salad portions, a variety of healthy drinks, yogurt parfaits and other wraps and boxes for you to choose.

SMAK Fast Food
1139 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC
Mon-Sun: 6am-10pm
Smak Fast Food on Urbanspoon

Footo Croissant

Breakdown:
A wide variety of flavour combination croissants with quality ingredients Rating

Sometimes the simplest food is the hardest to make, or done well at least. Especially ones that are connected heavily with culture because foodies are always on the lookout for ‘authentic’ and ‘traditional’, the ‘real deal’.

Well ladies and gentlemen, I went into FOOTO Croissant the other day, stands for Fresh Out Of The Oven, a bakery cafe that specializes in making well, croissants. And although the croissants aren’t your typical traditonal kind, Footo excels in creating buttery delicious baked goods that have a range of very delectable and interesting combinations to choose from. Many choices are a play of sweet and savoury such as the maple bacon, the apple cheddar and the pistachio white chocolate.

The cafe has expanded since a few years ago, and it now offers abundant seating space with an open kitchen to watch the goods be made. All good (ingredients) in the hood. My dimsum pals that accompanied me that day couldn’t stay, and so we ordered a 3 pack to go which came in this adorable and original take away box.

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Footo Croissants To Go!

We each ended up choosing one and landed with maple bacon, blueberry lavender and pistachio white chocolate.

My friend tried the maple bacon and her verdict was that it had allllll the flavours there. There were a good amount of bacon chucks on the top, filled with maple cream and covered by a beautiful sweet maple glaze. croissant body was a little dense, not quite ‘flakey’ enough as some other croissants that she’s tasted, but that didnt stop her from finishing the whole thing in mere seconds.

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Maple Bacon Croissant

My 2nd dimsum partner pretty much said the same thing about the body of his pistachio white chocolate croissant. He loved the taste and thought that it was the perfect balance between savoury and sweet, but again not flakey enough. He enjoyed that the flavours did not overwhelm the original butter body of le croissant.

I found that my blueberry lavender could’ve used a little bit more filling, and yes I too preferred it to be flakier too. That being said though, I did very much enjoy the pungent flavour and was especially surprised by how strong the lavender came through. I thought that the butteriness level was just the right touch at Footo because the biggest turnoff about a poorly executed croissant is leaving streams of butter trickling down your hand. ew. not fun. great that their croissants were not like that. Also what I admire about Footo is that I know for sure that they are freshly baked and made since Footo follows a daily baking schedule as listed on their website. That alone is a stamp for guaranteed freshness!

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Blueberry Lavender & Pistachio White Chocolate

This is the 2nd time that I’ve been to Footo and I will continue going back. They offer such wonderful and exciting flavours that its hard not to go back and try them all. I personally love the almond croissant as I have tried previously. Their croissant sandwiches are also on my to eat for next time. They are very decently priced for the product and are most satisfying to the butter bug with a twist of excitement.

Footo Croissants
858 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC
Mon-Fri: 730-6
Sat-Sun: 830-6

Footo Croissant on Urbanspoon

Gene Cafe

Breakdown:
Chill, Mediocre Coffee

Rating

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I had the chance to pop by Gene the other day, finally crossing this coffee stop off my to-go to list since the beginning of time (ok not that long, but at least a few years back). I drive by this place quite frequently, but because it is piewiched (sandwich X pie, pie being that its at a V shape..harhar) between Kingsways and Main, it doesnt make it the most convenient location for someone driving to go to for coffee. Lucky for me I passed by it after having brunch at Nice Cafe and so seizing the opportunity I popped in and grabbed myself a coffee to go.

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The cafe was a simple, white for mostly everything with black and wood accents. What worked was the unique shape of the cafe and the abundance of sunlight that flowed through. It felt like being in some kind of coffee heaven – bright, white, glowing…with coffee perfume filling one’s nostrils. It looked like a perfect place to kick back and read a book, or be submerged in one’s macbook as you can see in the picture above.

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Drip Coffee & Chai Latte

The coffee itself was alright. Nothing exceptional. I grabbed a drip coffee for just over 2 bucks; reasonable price but nothing memorable. It was an easy to drink coffee bean, less on the acidic side but no distinctive flavour that stands out, quite perfect for the general crowd. The dimsum guest  (i shall now name all my partner in crimes, foodie adventurers etc. ) with me that day ordered a chai latte, which she thought was just alright too. She described her latte as bit on the dairy side, with a subtle hint of chai, almost wishing there couldve been more.

I would only go back if I was around the area and I desperately need a dose of caffeine or I was around the area and decided to be a cafe bum for the afternoon. Its a comfortable place to sit and decent coffee, nothing more than that.

Gene Cafe
2404 Main Street, Vancouver, BC
Mon-Fri: 730-7
Sat-Sun: 830-7

Gene Cafe on Urbanspoon

Nice Cafe

Breakdown:
NICE!…all day breakfast for the win!

Rating

Sometimes you just need that good old fashion simple breakfast comfort food to wake you and your stomach up, at any time of the day. That’s what my dimsum guest craved for last Thurs as we met up to catch up one last time before she left vancity. Being her local foodie guide, I decided to stay around the Main Street/Olympic Village area, to take her to experience her first Beta5 that day. Before that though, we needed some real food in our bellies and so I did some research and came across Nice Cafe, a cosy simple restaurant located at where Kingsway meets Main, serving breakfast all day, urrday.

Menu was great. There was a wide variety of selections and combinations on the menu. Frittatas, omelets, traditional breakfast, waffles…vegetarian, meat lovers, the works. I wasn’t feeling like meat that day so I chose the vegetarian omelet that has 3 eggs stuffed with veggies inside, and a choice of toast or hash brown on the side. Hashbrown of course ALWAYS wins. My dimsum guest ordered a simple combination of toast, hash browns and scrambled eggs (which I forgot to take a pic of). She was offered a wide variety of toast to choose from…whole wheat, rye, white, multigrain etc. I was quite impressed with the selection and was already looking forward to getting that food in my belly.

The service I think was overall quite slow. It was busy, full house arriving on a Thursday afternoon, but I thought the food could’ve arrived faster. There did not appear to be enough people waiting tables as there was only one waitress on the floor the whole time, with the occasional appearance of a chinese lady who popped in and out of the kitchen with food and dirty dishes. However this wasn’t too much of an issue as it was understandable given the observed situation.

After I dont know for about how long…le food came!

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Vegetarian Omelet

My initial thought was: holy crap the portion is huge! While we were waiting for our food, I already caught a glimpse of the tables next to us with piles of food that reached the rims of their large plates. I sort of expected that I wasn’t going to be able to finish all of it, but when my dish came, I couldn’t help but be in awe.

 

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Nice Cafe
154 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Mon: 8-3
Tues-Sat: 8-4
Sun: 9-4

Nice Cafe on Urbanspoon

Au Petit Cafe 小小咖啡屋

Breakdown:
BANH MI from eating it everyday (har har)

Rating

Yes I lived in Vancouver my whole life, and I have not ever stepped foot in this main street local cheap eats vietnamese cafe. To be fair though, I haven’t gotten the foodie bug until a few years back, so I have every reason to be behind my foodie game.

K enough excuses, back to talking about the nomness of this little gem…
Stepping into the restaurant, my friend and I were greeted very warmly by the restaurant owner and his staff, who immediately handed us menus so we weren’t left drooling at the food at the table next to us. The restaurant was small in size, about 20 or so seating, tables were quite close to each other too. The setting wasn’t anything fancy, just a typical decently maintained, asian-vancouver restaurant that looks like its been around for awhile.

It was a no brainer what I was gonna order, which was the very famous Banh Mi Dac Biet (Bahn Mi #1 on the menu)- a vietnamese sub: french bread with veggies, vietnamese ham and their own addition of Xiao Mai, which everyone terms it as “meatball”, but actually translates to the staple Chinese dim sum, without the iconic yellow wrap and shrimp pieces. You can also get it with hot peppers but i opted it out since I dont do spicy.

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Banh Mi Dac Biet

After my first bite, I got it, I got it. I understood why my friends freaked out when I told them that I havent been to this place, given that its been opened for more than a decade.
The bread was incredible fresh, warm and had a super crunchy exterior, with a soft airy interior; not rock hard/dense throughout. The xiao mai inside provided the bun with juicy fatty goodness, which in combination with the chopped pickled veggies, gave a mouthful of well balanced textures. The light sour tang of the carrots, along with the fragrant cilantro offsetted the heavier flavours of the buttery meat.

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Viet Sub: Banh Mi Dac Biet

I like that Au Petite’s viet sub was not drowning with mayo, like some nasty subs that i’ve tried in vancity. I do wish that there couldve been a tinnnyyyyyy bit more veggies, but that’s because i’m a huge fan of veggies, especially pickled ones. Also compared to previous photos submitted on urbanspoon, the veggie ratio seemed to have, decreased? I dont think I got a cucumber in mine… 😦

My friend, who’s been a fan of the restaurant for years now, ordered the Banh Mi Boh Kho, beef stew with a side of french bread for dipping. Lucky me, it is also one of my favourite things to order at vietnamese restaurants too and so I got to snag a bite. The flavours were abundant; hearty beef flavours with a touch of tomato essence, which many times overwhelms the beef flavour goodness. Stew was not overly salty, and with the french bread, it was the perfect comfort meal for the approaching chilly vancouver autumn weather.

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Banh Mi Boh Kho

If you’ve never had a banh mi, you must know that the addition of the xiao mai is not an essential ingredient in a traditional vietnamese sub. A traditional banh mi consist of various cold cuts, liver pate and mixed veggies, which Au Petite does have on their menu – Banh Mi Thit Nguoi #2. During our visit though, I couldn’t help but stare at the Cha Gio, vietnamese spring roll, at the table next to us. It looked delectable, with its perfectly fried rice paper encasing a bundle of ground meat and diced mushrooms and veggies. Ugh, thinking about it makes me salivate.

So yes, I will be back for sure. For a vietnamese restaurant of such casual sitting, the cost of the items were a bit higher than the usual ones found around vancouver. There’s always been a huge debate amongst Vancouverites about whether Ba Le, another vietnamese sub sandwich shop, orAu Petite Cafe, holds the crown for the best viet sub in Vancouver. Its been awhile since I’ve had a Ba Le sub, so to be fair, I’m not going to compare the two until I refresh my palette memory. To sum up, I loved the banh mi I had and most definitely will be back to eat everything on the menu! om nom nom nom nom

Au Petite Cafe
4851 Main Street, Vancouver, BC
Mon-Sun: 10-7
Wed: CLOSED

Au Petit Cafe 小小咖啡屋 on Urbanspoon

Ask For Luigi

Breakdown:
Decent pasta, cosy dining, bit disappointed.

Rating

Another craze I’ve been hearing about since I came back to vancouver. Another “what?! you still haven’t had their pasta?! its amazinggg!” And so, i popped that cherry last friday with some girlfriends and had my very first taste of this fresh, italian inspired, homemade pasta hub.

First impression after walking in, is that it is a very beautiful, cosy restaurant that has a casual romantic vibe, you know with the warm colored incandescent light bulbs to set the mood. There is limited seating so either book or get there early!

We began the dinner with an antipasti of their famous Luigi’s Meatball. It was a very well executed meat (pause) ball, with the right amount of herbs, raisins and pinenuts embedded inside. The addition of the raisins and pinenuts made the meatball less..well meaty, you know that feeling when there is just too much meat in one mouthful to the point where it doesnt taste enjoyable? The two added ingredients add a surprise element for the tastebuds to enlighten each meaty bite. The tomato sauce that accompanied it was perfect, although I did find that it wasn’t enough for us to share.

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Luigi’s Meatballs

We ordered three pasta dishes for our mains and first up was Pappardelle and Duck Ragu, a dish that I was most excited to try the most after doing my research on instagram and urbanspoon.

I loved the thick housemade pasta noodles which was cooked to el dente perfection *thumb to index finger to lips italian delicioso motion*. Pasta noodles were smooth, no bumps or lumps, mixed with a light tomato sauce and sprinkled with a light amount of cheese. Although it took some digging to find the duck meat, it was there, just hidden under all that pasta goodness.

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Pappardelle & Duck Ragu

Next to arrive was the squid ink pasta with octopus. Dish was so-so, bland, flavours were absent. Texture of the spaghetti was wonderful, but taste wasn’t up to par. The octopus also felt powdery…a sign of not being fresh enough? It didn’t appear to have the bouncy/elasticy/chewy texture of fresh octopus, quite disappointed. I was also expecting a jalapeno kick, which I did not find in the near flavourless dish. Would I order this again? Probably not…

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Spaghetti Nero, Octopus & Grilled Jalapeno

Last was the pumpkin risotto. I love a good risotto. I love the gooeyness holding the rice pieces together. I love the heavy creamy texture, that almost has a porridge like finish to it. Unfortunately the one here did not deliver as hoped. The risotto was cooked right; not being a batch of overcooked gloop which is a common setback found in many restaurants. The maitake mushroom, sage, garlic and pumpkin seeds on top were tasty additions to the pasta, but sadly that wasn’t enough to make the pasta stand out. Taste was greatly lacking in this dish. Not only did it taste very very bland, but pumpkin flavour was greatly lacking. As a big fan of the pumpkin and squash family, I was expecting to be comforted by this dish. Sadly only a faint fainnntttt taste of the pumpkin came through.

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Pumpkin Risotto, Maitake Mushroom & Fried Sage

Overall, I thought Ask for Luigi was just alright. I loved the meatball and the pasta were all made and cooked to perfection, but there were too many other misses in the dishes. Perhaps they were having an off-day…but for the time being, I will venture to other vancity restaurants first before returning. Maybe next time!

Ask for Luigi
305 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC
Wed-Thurs: 1130-230, 530-1030
Fri: 1130-230, 530-11
Sat: 930-230, 530-11
Sun: 930-230, 530-930

Ask for Luigi on Urbanspoon

Shizen Ya

Breakdown:
New favourite sushi place in downtown.

Rating

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Top Down: Ocean Quartet Salad, Dynamite Roll, Sakura Blossom Roll

Vancouver has inevitably become a giant sushi hub. EVERYWHERE you go there are a bajillion sushi places..and its continues to exponentially grow. I’m sometimes a little tired of having the same old same old every time. I love sushi, I do, but the Vancouver style sushi, with giant rolls topped with numerous unidentifiable ingredients soaked with sauce after sauce, is pretty sickening. It also turns the supposedly healthy cuisine into a none healthy one, like the las vegas roll stuffed with cream cheese and then deep fried, or the dragon rolls swimming in a pool of mayo and barbeque sauce or some sort.

This trend does not hold the true essence of sushi anymore; which is dishes of simple fresh ingredients paired with rice and nori.

Moving on, last sunday after a good sweat from walking a charity event, I was quite hungry but was not up for any ‘heavy’ cuisines. I remembered a friend of mine raving about a sushi place near his home (lucky guy), right in the heart of downtown. Starving but determined, I made my way across downtown Vancouver and hit up Shizen Ya, a snug restaurant with limited seating tucked 2 blocks away from robson street.

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Ocean Quartet Salad

 

My companion that day and I was immediately impressed by the healthy selection of sushi available to us. Shizen Ya took the health aspect to another level, mixing Japanese culture and health-craze Vancouver culture, providing organic and fresh ingredients, house-made sauces, and brown rice option for all their dishes. Choices like tempeh roll, quinoa hand cone, and whole wheat tempura were only some of the surprising and new dishes that they offered.

Everything tasted yummy, especially the sakura blossom roll which is fresh crab with albacore tuna, organic avocado, cucumber wrapped in organic brown rice wrapped with smoked sockeye salmon paired with creamy maple dressing. So satisfying and delicious!

My companion ordered the ocean quartet salad and dynamite roll, which he felt were both overall delicious. The only thing he said he would change though was that there was a bit too much dressing in the salad. So if you aren’t a fan of that, ask for it on the side!

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Quinoa Salad Cone

I was also feeling adventurous and ordered a quinoa vegetable cone, which tasted alright. Nothing out of this world as expected since it was basically vegetables and quinoa wrapped with soy paper. It was a good choice to get more veggies in my belly though!

If I was in downtown and feeling like a sushi meal again, I will be back to Shizen Ya. It isn’t your average dirt cheap, big portion sushi though. I did feel like I got what I paid for; good quality good portion size Japanese healthified food.

Shizen Ya
985 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC
Mon-Sun: 1130-10

1130 W.Broadway, Vancouver, BC
Mon-Sat: 1130-10
Sun: CLOSED
Shizen Ya on Urbanspoon

Beta 5 Chocolates

Breakdown:
SO. DAMN. GOOD.

Rating

Mint Chocolate Chip Flakes Ice-Cream sandwiched between Chocolate Thins

Last Saturday was the last call for Beta5’s very famous ice-cream sandwich that has swept the hearts of Vancouverites for their summer sweet tooth craving. Ever since I returned to 604 three months ago, I’ve been hearing about Beta5 and their ice-cream sandwich summer special, and their phenomenal signature cream puffs.

To be honest, my curiosity for the hype wasn’t that tremendous at first. Cream puffs aren’t exactly my most desired treat. I often find a mouthful of cream to be..too much. Also, most traditional cream puffs are thin-walled by nature and dissolve easily within the mouthful of heavy cream. My thoughts about that completely changed after trying Beta5’s but I’ll get to that in a bit. Back to the ice-cream sandwich…

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Honey Roasted Plum with Cinnamon Macaron Cookie Ice-Cream Sandwich

Being extremely excited to finally try the ice-cream sandwich, I’ve done my research and was told that the Banana Macadamia Crunch, Cookies & Cream & Salted Caramel are must trys. To my dismay, none of them were available that day 😦 My partner in crime and I ordered then honey roasted plum ice-cream sandwich. We both thought that was a miss. The macaron cookie’s sugar overpowered the ice-cream itself. Since the ice-cream inside is already a mild flavour, it was easily overwhelmed by the macaron shell.

Because I wasn’t quite satisfied with the choice, I decided to order the chocolate flakes in mint ice-cream sandwich. Thank goodness I did because it completely made up for the miss of the other. The mint flavour was not artificial at all. It was very refreshing and TONS, and i mean TONS of chocolate flakes were embedded into it. The chocolate thin complemented the ice-cream very well. It was light enough in flavour to add a cocoa touch to the dessert, but tough and crunchy enough to keep all the goodness together. While eating it, it didn’t become soggy at all.

S’mores Cream Puff

Next up was their signature cream puff.

They had so soooo many choices that I had a tough time choosing which to try. I wanted to try the vietnamese coffee cream puff but being a huge fan of s’mores, i had to choose that one when I saw it on the menu.

GODDAMN.

After the first bite, I got it. I understood what all the noise is about. I understood how they were able to get the massive media coverage despite the very inconvenient and remote location. I understood why my friends freaked out when I told them I still haven’t had my Beta5 through the entire summer. I got it, I got it.

The puff exterior was nothing I ever tasted. It was thicker-walled than the traditional type, therefore the puff did not easily become moistened by the cream inside. The puff also had a very unique texture which enhanced the experience of when the party came together as it was chewed. The ratio of cream and puff pastry was impeccable. I loved everything about it and changed how I felt about cream puffs. Well, if I have a cream puff, I will only save my stomach space for a Beta5’s.

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Ice Cream Social Sundae Poached Pear, Tahitian Vanilla, Hazelnut Praline and Milk Chocolate Bay Leaf Ice-Cream

Finally (yes we were fat kids that saturday), we ordered the ice cream social sundae too, which was a special for that day to bid their ice-cream treats farewell. I found that each element was unique but did not marry with each other in any phenomenal way. The entire thing tasted great, but not out of this world. Nothing stood out particularly to me, just a decent sundae.

Would I go back to Beta5? O definitely. MOST definitely. I need raid through all the flavours of the cream puffs.

Beta5 Chocolates
413 Industrial Ave, Vancouver, BC
Opening:
Mon: CLOSED
Tues-Fri: 1030-530
Sat-Sun: 10-5
BETA5 Chocolates on Urbanspoon

Refresh

Lets give this another whirl.

Originally this website was created over 3 years ago, when I first moved to hong kong. The purpose was for me to keep track of my life adventures during my time there and to help my friends and family stay connected with me while i was away.

According to my history, the 11 posts that I previously made was the evidence of the failed attempt. Despite the unsuccessful and overambitious struggle, I find myself back here 3 years later, in naive curiosity to give it a go, again.

so, bare with me my friends, with my hundredth time in trying to maintain a blog.

if once you dont succeed, try try and try again right?