Thursday, July 25, 2013

James on Hasting

For those who read my blog will know that I love Pelican Seafood, and was obsessed with constantly going there for their spot prawns this season. However, before this year, BF and I have never been to Pelican together except for a few times. In addition, I have always explained to BF who my favourite waiter was at the restaurant and described him as, the "manager in a suit with glasses, a stocky build and tanned skin". Furthermore, in the last couple of years, I wondered where he has been! He was honestly my favourite waiter - attentive, knew my exact order every time, and was apologetic when I received koi fish mango pudding instead of Hello Kitty. He was perfect.

Well, turns out I FOUND him unintentionally, and his name is James.

Last night BF and I wanted to go to Hy's Encore but since I wanted to use my Opentable account, the restaurant was booked for the whole night (something about how certain restaurants block reservations on Opentable because it costs them money). Then, we decided to go to Salmon House on the Hill but because he was running late, we settled for Shizen Ya on West Broadway. However, the restaurant closes at 10:00pm and we arrived around 9:30pm. So, I caved and we headed to Pelican, despite being sick of Chinese food. When we arrived at the parking lot, I thought to myself, if I am going to eat Chinese food, I might as well try a new restaurant so I can blog about it. So, this is how we ended up at James on Hasting.

James on Hasting is a small restaurant and has a homey vibe. Furthermore, James tries to make everyone feel welcomed. When we walked in, my first thoughts were ohhh so this is where he has been! Second, wow, he really tries to talk to his customers and gets to know them on a first name basis, especially with non-Asians. The restaurant has a few large tables as well as booth seating along the wall.

The soup is properly made and has a stronger spiciness compared to many restaurants, as well as a heavier tartness from the vinegar.


FIRST COURSE, PEKING DUCK SKIN AND CREPE WITH HOISON, GREEN ONION. When we first saw the crepes, we assumed they would taste a bit too damp as well as chewy. However, the crepes are perfect; not too stiff, chewy, doughy, or floury.

As for the duck skin, it is cut very thin with little or no meat (which we prefer), and most of the fat was removed. Furthermore, the skin has a nice light crispiness.

The lettuce tastes fresh as well as crisp, and the duck meat tastes very good. The meat does not taste dry or salty, and has a good amount of vegetables along with fried vermicelli noodles which provide some texture.

Although the clams are perfectly cooked, the broth does not taste very clear and less soy sauce could have been used. We both would have preferred a more clear soup taste which would taste better.

DEEP FRIED SPICY PRAWNS ($6.95). Personally, I would have preferred a thinner batter or when you barely see any at all. The prawns taste okay and are lightly deep fried without tasting greasy. If anything, a more flavourful peppery salty seasoning would have tasted better. A lot better. 

DEEP FRIED SPICY BEAN CURD ($6.95). The deep fried tofu is pretty much perfect. The tofu has a nice hard crispiness and the inside tastes very moist. However, the pepper, salt and chilli taste could have been stronger. The tofu tastes bland.

The green bean soup tastes generic, not watery or too sweet.
Overall, the dinner was alright and not bad. The food did take a longer than usual time to come out, however, it could possibly mean the cooks are actually taking time to properly make the dishes. Although I only mention this because both of our deep fried dishes are perfectly fried. Furthermore, as for the other items, nothing is heavy on the salt and some of the items are a bit bland. As for the service, the girls are very friendly as well as attentive, and James tries to interact with his customers. I consider the restaurant to be one of the most non-Asian friendly ones.

- Friendly owner and staff
- Open late night (until 2:00am)

- Some of the food is a bit too bland

- I still prefer Pelican more

Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5

James on Hastings on Urbanspoon

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