Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kam Ding 金鼎海鮮苑

Too lazy to look for an interesting restaurant to try and without many options in Coquitlam, BF and I settled on Kam Ding. When we walked in, the restaurant reminded us of Rose Garden and Sing Kee; a "dirty ghetto" Chinese restaurant.

The restaurant may not be the cleanest but hey, the seating arrangements are not cramped. There are plenty of tables for four along with larger tables for groups of more than five. Asides from meh looking interior, the entrance to the washroom was quite scary. There is an oily door handle which looks like an entrance to a garbage room and the washroom is really creeping looking.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kamamarui Ramen & Don

Going for ramen can be good or bad. To some, a hot bowl of ramen fills the tummy and does the job. However, there are others who do not bother trying certain ramen joints because they hate settling for mediocre. Without stating which category I belong in, it is safe to say that homemade ramen is obviously the best. Well, isn't homemade food always the best? Furthermore, since the profit margin for ramen is very high, why shouldn't people be selective? 

Kamamarui is a small ramen joint that is located in Burnaby. The restaurant has less than eight tables available and the interior is fairly clean (more than the utensils). The interior looks simple and is not cluttered. There are dog tail hooks along the wall as well as the menu, and chalkboards by the counter. As for the menu on the wall, I kind of struggled because I have bad eyesight and my contacts were dry that day lol.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hanwoori Korean Restaurant

Hanwoori is one of the two Korean restaurants in Burnaby (with Potter's Garden being the other) that offers table top barbecuing. There are tatami rooms along the left side of the restaurant and booth seating arrangements on the other.

When we walked in, we secretly hoped that our table would not be too small since the two of us tend to order a lot of food and fortunately, we were seated at a table for four! In addition, I noticed a push button on the table and already knew that service would not be an issue. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Moulin Rouge

Tom & Jerry's has been replaced by Moulin Rouge, which is a bit of an odd name considering the type of restaurant… but oh well. Looking for a late night dinner, we remembered that Moulin Rouge offers nothing over $10.00 and were curious to see if the restaurant is better compared to the former Tom & Jerry's. After taking a look at the menu, every item as well as the description along with the prices are exactly the same as Tom & Jerry's. Perhaps the new owners and management decided to keep everything the same?

Well, what is not the same is the interior. The restaurant has plenty of booth seating arrangements and even a stage. However, something that has not changed is the red carpet. For a restaurant to spend so much time renovating the whole place, why not change the carpet? The carpet is old as well as dirty compared to the rest of the interior. Why not go all the way?

Friday, July 25, 2014

E2 Cafe Restaurant


Once formerly known as Lulu Cafe is now E2 Cafe, a Hong Kong style cafe restaurant. The restaurant is located in Burquitlam and is the only HK style cafe restaurant in the area. 

Before I started blogging (a year ago), I have been here a couple of times and the food was decent, as well as edible. So, we decided to revisit because I did not want to go to Denny's. Plus, on previous visits, I have never ordered any "HK style cafe" items such as a hot plate or one of those select three items kind of deal, and I wanted to this time. Also, with such good finds such as La Amigo and Kingpark Steak House, I thought E2 Cafe may be good as well.

Walking in, a friendly as well as welcoming waitress greeted us and she was the only one at the front of the house. The restaurant is a good size and the seating arrangements are not cramped. Plus, I cannot imagine there ever being a line up. However, the parking lot has literally only ten spots and most of the parking stalls are taken by Sushi California customers! So if you come during peak hours, good luck finding parking LOL.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ginza Sushi

Since I was meeting a friend around West Plateau in Coquitlam, we decided to venture out to Port Coquitlam for Japanese. Neither of us had high expectations considering the area, but some of the photos (whole slices of uni are served rather than loose pieces) from Sushi Bar Shyun did not look bad. Actually, I meant the photos from Asahi Japanese but somehow kept thinking of Sushi Bar Shyun. When arriving at Sushi Bar Shuyn, we did not know the restaurant is closed on Mondays and the both of us agreed to try out a random, Ginza Sushi.

Ginza Sushi is located in a small plaza between a Chinese restaurant Rainbow Butterfly and Dominos Pizza, along with a Starbucks drive thru. Walking in, there is a hallway to the dining room where we waited for a bit until a friendly as well as polite waiter seated us. 

The restaurant appears to be a small Korean operated family business and the staff is very friendly as well as welcoming (why is it never the same for Korean cuisine restaurants?!). There are a few booth seating arrangements, tables in the centre, and even a private section at the back of the restaurant for large parties. After ordering, we asked if we could move to a larger table because the amount of food was a bit too much for a two person table, and the waiter was more than happy to.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Little Sheep Mongolian Hotpot 小肥羊 : West broadway location


Stumped on where to go for the first meal of the day at 5:00pm, my friend and I settled on Little Sheep Mongolian. Little Sheep Mongolian is a Chinese hot pot restaurant and there are three locations, with the newest addition located on West Broadway. I used to frequently visit the location in Richmond because the restaurant is very spacious and there are comfortable seating arrangements. However, I stopped visiting because the soup bases are not that great and there are plenty of hot pot restaurants in Richmond! So there is no need to settle. As for the location in Burnaby, well… the experience was not that great.

So, at first I was a bit hesitant to try out Little Sheep on West Broadway and kind of remembered the menu as being a bit limited. But, I was craving for tong ho and we decided to make the visit. Similar to the other Little Sheep restaurants, the interior looks very modern and the seating arrangements are comfortable.

ADULT $19.98 CHILD (5-12) $14.98
BROTH $9.99 POP $2.00

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jang Mo Jib : Robson location

What is Jang Mo Jib known for? One of the first popular Korean restaurants. What else? Being a chain restaurant with many locations. And? Having horrendous service! I have no idea why but having visited Jang Mo Jib in Richmond, Burnaby and Coquitlam numerous times, none of the staff (including the owners!) have ever been friendly! I really do not understand why. But, I have never tried the Jang Mo Jib in Downtown and with many recent mediocre gamjatangs, I really needed a good one. 

Jang Mo Jib does one thing great and it is their gamjatang. The restaurant has the ground wild sesame seeds going on along with chilli powder, and does not cheap out.

Walking in, we waited a good ten minutes without any acknowledgement including from the owner. At first, I did not really mind because I used the opportunity to take a panoramic photo without looking weird. But after a while it is like, hello? Is the restaurant making too much money?

After seating at a table that was not wiped off or sanitized, it was nice to see one of the waitresses cleaning up another table; next to our gamjatang which sat there for a while. The restaurant has plenty of booth seating arrangements as well as tables in the centre, and I believe there are even a few tables at the back. As we were ordering, we asked if it was possible to grab a booth seat because the amount of food we ordered would not fit a two person table. However, since the restaurant's policy is four people to a booth, we had to cancel three dishes. So… the restaurant choses to lose $60.00 when every booth seat was available?

Anyways, about our table which was neither sanitized nor cleaned and had bits of food; it was fine because I used tea along with napkins to wipe the surface and clean the dirty cutlery. But, when more dirty tableware arrived? Alright, I already used tea to clean the chopsticks, plates and spoons, but now this? This is just too much. Maybe I would not have been so mad if we did not wait ten minutes just to wave someone down for new tongs and a spoon. Do I need to mention that there were four waitresses on the floor, we sat right by the owner, and only the middle of the restaurant was occupied?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Austin Fish & Chips : Coquitlam location

Deciding to forgo on C-Lover's fish n' chips (which was quite risky because we like the restaurant), we decided to try another restaurant in Coquitlam. Austin Fish & Chips is a small franchise and there are two other locations, in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadow.

Walking in, there is an easy to read and well organized take out menu, along with a few tables at the front. As for the dining area, there is a nice underwater mural painted on the wall of deep sea creatures. In addition, the seating arrangements are not cramped and there is a good amount of tables.

Austin Fish & Chips offers all you can eat pollock on Tuesdays to Thursdays, as well as Sundays. However, unlike similar competitors (C-Lovers and Cockney Kings), bottomless pop is not included. Furthermore, asides from seafood, the restaurant offers fresh fried chicken and burgers.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

No.1 Beef Noodle House 京園牛肉麵

To conclude a disappointing day at Steveston (Sockeye City, then Timothy's), the best choice was to stay home and cook. But, I really wanted some green onion pancake with beef wraps without having to make them myself. So, we headed to No. 1 Beef Noodle House. Plus, like I was really going to start cooking shank after a crappy day...

Many people mention that if the restaurant's name states what the restaurant specializes in such as wonton houses or Taiwanese beef noodles, the specialized item should taste good.

Well, I never really thought about that and honestly, it makes sense! As for No.1 Beef Noodle House, it used to be a frequent restaurant of mine throughout high school but the noodles have never been a Top Five! Thinking about it now, how does a restaurant not feel embarrassed? Personally, it is not a big deal to me because I never come here for the noodles. However, I do end up always ordering them. Perhaps I subconsciously wonder if the restaurant will improve. But hey, makes sense though eh? The restaurant should have great noodles considering their name...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Timothy's Frozen Yogurt : Gary Point Park location

After a disappointing late lunch at Sockeye City, we decided to take a stroll around Gary Point Park. On the way there, I noticed Timothy's and being still hungry from not eating much at lunch, we dropped by.

I have a question; in general, are customers allowed to sample ice cream or gelato? Before, as in just up to half a year ago, I never asked for samples because I was shy. In addition, even when offered, I would decline! I just have this weird tendency to feel obligated to purchase something just because I have a sample. But, after purchasing many flavours before and sometimes not really enjoying a few, occasionally I like to ask for samples. Well, more like wait for someone to ask for a sample and follow LOL.

Having said that, I was wondering if Timothy's even allows samples? When I asked to sample the pistachio gelato, the cashier seemed very annoyed and almost rolled his eyes. Also, there was no one else behind us at the time. Perhaps because there was a small line up earlier on? Anyway, as if his negative attitude was not uncomfortable enough, the sample was the size of only two corn niblets (no exaggeration) so I really did not understand what the big deal was. Furthermore, BF never asks for samples and if he does not like the flavour, he tosses the food out which I find very wasteful. So, I asked him to grab a sample this time. When it was his turn, the cashier snapped. 

His face changed to what I did not know could even be more unfriendly, he let out a loud sigh and said, "just to let you guys know I can't give you anymore samples, thats it." At the time, I felt guilty like I shoplifted or did something wrong and was startled; so I played it safe, ordered a blackberry yogurt and got the heck out of there. Fortunately, we left there fast because someone else came up behind us and we did not want to annoy the cashier even more. I even hesitated to go back for a spoon or napkin! Geezus. As for BF, he went to an ice cream truck nearby because he was not happy with the customer service here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sockeye City Grill

Since we were heading to Richmond because there is only one optical store that sells a certain brand of sunglasses, we decided to head down to Steveston after for a late lunch (since Langley is too far). Oh yeah, on Canada Day? Crap. I do not even like going to Steveston on a weekend! When we arrived, we decided to pass on Pajo's because the restaurant tends to be inconsistent; either good or horrible as in soggy batter and dry fish. Having said that, another option for fish n' chips was Blue Canoe.

When walking towards Blue Canoe, there was no line up and a couple of hostesses were talking about how empty the dining room was; as we stood in front of their faces for a while with no acknowledgement. Of course if they were talking about something important or a training protocol, it is fine. But come on, say "one moment" or something. Shortly after a few minutes of complaining amongst eachother the patio is more busy than the dining room, one of the hostesses greeted us with "hi" and we asked how long it would be for a patio seat.

After hearing the wait is thirty minutes, we decided to try out Sockeye City Grill. Well... it was more like the lack of acknowledgement and basic customer service skills when there was no line up. So, walking up to Sockeye City, a friendly hostess mentioned there is a half hour wait for a patio seat. During the wait, we took the time to check out some fresh seafood at Fisherman's Wharf.

Sockeye City is located right on the boardwalk in Steveston, and the restaurant is fairly large. The seating arrangements do not seem cramped inside and the restaurant has two patios. After ordering, we waited half an hour for our food and everything arrived at once.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Allegro Coffee Bar

Whole Foods has a gelato bar? How come I never noticed? After receiving strict rules from a friend to not grab a snack before meeting her for dinner because my “snacks” are usually a meal, I decided to try out some gelato before grocery shopping. The gelato comes from the Salt Spring Island and is completely organic.

SMALL 3oz $2.99, MEDIUM 5ox $3.69, LARGE 11.5oz $4.69.

The available flavours are maple, hazelnut, vanilla bean, strawberry and cream, as well as chocolate bliss. Before ordering, I sampled the maple and found the gelato to be extremely sweet, to the point that I did not want to finish the sample. The cashier was not very surprised and mentioned all the flavours are pretty much sweet and pointed towards the trash for me to toss the sample out. So, feeling obligated to purchase something because I asked for a sample, I went for the hazelnut along with the vanilla bean.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Edible Canada at the Market

The last Travelzoo voucher I purchased was for dinner at Bridges, where my experience seemed to be a true representation of the restaurant; food and service wise. So, when I noticed another good deal on Travelzoo which included two appetizers, entrees and dessert at Edible Canada in Granville Island for $59.00, I snatched it up. Normally I am not a fan of bistros because there are not many amazing ones in Vancouver, but with many positive reviews on Urbanspoon; I had to try out Edible Canada. Plus, it was the perfect opportunity because of the voucher.

Edible Canada has outdoor seating along with a dining room, and seating arrangements at the bar. Furthermore, there is also a retail store at the back of the restaurant. When we walked in, the hostess was friendly and mentioned how she remembered taking my reservation a couple of hours earlier.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kingspark Steak House 京士柏餐廳

Only up to a year ago, it was impossible for anyone to make me sit at a Hong Kong style cafe restaurant; I just simply hated them and would rather go to McDonalds. The reason is, HK style cafes never suited me before and I do not like their menus (IE one item with rice, spaghetti or some other form of carb, or a baked rice/spaghetti dish). So, I would be starving but at the same time torturing myself since when I am picky, I will not touch anything I do not want. However, fast forward to a year later, I do not mind going to HK style cafes when I am not hungry. Or to be entirely honest, occasionally visit HK style cafes when I am feeling scrubby and do not want to be seen by anyone important lol.

Walking in, there were a few waiters on the floor and every one of them was friendly as well as professional. We were provided with a few different menus and as usual, I was overwhelmed. When browsing the menus, I usually start by eliminating any beef with vegetable (beef with gai lan, beef with bittermelon…) as well as pork dishes (honey garlic spare ribs, sweet n’ sour…), and go straight to the steaks or hot plates. By the way, I do not even use the hot plates properly and will never pour sauce over the food because I like the natural flavours LOL. Unless the sauce is really good...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Acme Cafe

Choosing to pass on dessert at Save On Meats, C’est la vie a Maggi and I were saving our bellies for Acme Cafe, specifically for their pies! When we walked in, our eyes were immediately drawn to the pastry bar and after taking a look at their selection, we were seated at a comfortable booth. As we were frantically looking for the dessert menu, a friendly waitress came by and mentioned Acme's desserts change daily and had the menu written on her notepad.

So, deciding to use our eyes rather than ears, we headed back to the pastry bar. Here was a selection of red velvet cake, pies (banana cream, orange creamsicle, raspberry rhubarb, blueberry, sailor cherry rum, and individual sized pecan pies), chocolate chunk croissant bread pudding, chocolate brownie with chopped walnut, croissant, loafs and plenty of cookies along with bars. Being the indecisive person that I am, I was deliberating between the strawberry rhubarb and the blueberry pie.

Why the indecisiveness? I worried the strawberry rhubarb would be too sour and the blueberry may not even be that good. However, to help with my indecisiveness, the friendly cashier scrapped a bit of filling off of both pies for me to sample, and I went with the blueberry. In addition, she also recommended the croissant bread pudding since it is a favourite of hers, and provided us a sample to try as well. We found the bread pudding to have a soft croissant texture along with a nice sweetness from the chocolate, it was neither mushy nor too sweet.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gyu-Kaku : West Broadway location

Many people are aware that Chinese restaurants do not provide much service, whether it is hard to get the staff's attention or they are just not friendly. But, how come there is never anything about Korean restaurants? Thinking back to most of the Korean restaurants I have visited, the staff is rarely friendly and only speak when a table is ordering. However, there is an exception for Korean owned Japanese cuisine restaurants, where countless visits to those include extremely friendly and welcoming service! But what is with the staff at many Korean barbecue restaurants? I do not not understand.

After our negative experience at Go Gung, we decided to try Gyu-Kaku the next evening. Gyu-Kaku is a Japanese barbecue chain restaurant and offers a generous happy hour period. On Sunday as well as Tuesday-Thursday, happy hours start at 11:30am-6:00pm and begin again from 9:00pm-10:30pm. As for Friday and Saturday, the evening happy hours begin at 9:30pm-10:30pm. Furthermore as for Monday, the happy hours go on all day long! Even though only some items are a bit cheaper and the discount ranges from $0.50-$3.00, it is still worth it because little things add up.

Walking in, our friendly waitress seated us and explained the menu. She was professional as well as polite and after ordering, brought over hot hand towels for the both of us. Gyu-Kaku is located on a second floor and has window wrapped walls. There are wooden booth seating arrangements and the interior is fairly comfortable, not cramped at all.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Save On Meats

Do we dress low key? Will I get mugged? No Louboutins right? Do I leave my purse in the car? These are some questions that crossed my mind when C'est la vie a Maggi suggested Save On Meats for our next food date. Jokes aside (sort of), I did not mind trying out the restaurant because honestly without her, I would never even think of going to Save On Meats. Plus, I was set on ordering a burger way in advance to prevent wasting twenty minutes of her time when we arrived, since she knows I am indecisive.

After spending the morning at a spa together and Maggi giving me numerous chances to choose another restaurant for lunch, we finally walked to the restaurant after parking in front of a, clinic.

Save On Meats is located in the Downtown Eastside and serves homestyle diner food. In addition, the restaurant has a diner atmosphere as well. There are bar seats as well as booth seating arrangements along the wall, and a few tables at the back of the restaurant. Furthermore, the restaurant was fairly clean. I really did not know what to expect when coming here but it was something along the lines of a run down restaurant, which was not the case.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tin Tin Seafood Harbour 天天漁港 : Dinner

Look what someone wrote, "I find the food below average and overpriced for what it is…". Should we even go? Oh hey, that was me LOL. Apparently Dim sum was not so great. 

Passing on dinner with my family because they always stick to a few certain Chinese restaurants (Kirin, Sun Sui Wah or Red Star), I was being cocky and gloated about going to Tin Tin Seafood. The restaurant was offering a promotion on their live lobsters for only $7.00/lb and asides from the great deal, it is also a lot cheaper than the $28.00/lb it would have been elsewhere with my parents. Who can pass?

After taking a look at the menu, we noticed the prices are expensive, as in some items are pricier than Kirin! Soups start at $18.80 including "lower" end options such as wonton soup and hot n' sour. As for some other items, the prices start at $16.80 and for dishes including prawns or scallops, $24.80. Furthermore, dishes that include geoduck and sea cucumber which range from $34.00 at higher end restaurants, starts at $46.60 here! After establishing the food is not cheap, we had high expectations of what was about to come; good food and great service to match the prices.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Congee Noodle King 粥麵軒 (3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th visit)


Do negative dining experiences prevent clientele from revisiting? Of course! My first blog post on Congee Noodle King was mediocre because every spicy salt n' chilli dish was missing that peppery seasoning flavour, along with the chilli and salt. In addition, everyone knows that a Chinese restaurant is a dime a dozen, so why revisit? For the atmosphere? Haha… no.

Well, my blog is a food diary for myself as I discover restaurants to be my go-to. So, despite my first post on Congee Noodle King and feeling like the restaurant was only average, it is now one of my regulars. Why? The prices for live seafood are unbeatable and the sauces are on point. Honestly, I have been here twice in one week and finally realize when I want live seafood at a cheap price which is also properly prepared, I have to come here. Furthermore, the restaurant is also pretty honest regarding the weight with their live seafood.


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