Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar (2nd visit)


A few things come to mind when I revisit a restaurant, 1. Convenience; 2. Above average tasting food; and 3. Service must have been good. Usually it is only one or the other, favouring convenience and good service. However, I do travel far for good food, like to a few restaurants in Langley (although I somewhat contradict myself since I travel pretty much anywhere even for mediocre food).

Gotham is one of the priciest steakhouses in Vancouver as well as a former regular restaurant of mine. Having said that, on the last visit, the food and service was great; hence, another revisit. However, this visit is probably the worst out of countless visits to Gotham. Choosing to have dinner on a Tuesday evening in hopes for a slower restaurant along with better than usual service and carefully prepared dishes, I was wrong. On the weeknight, Gotham was quite busy with lots of diners who just got off work.

The restaurant has a casual, relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. Walk in wearing sneakers as well as sweats, and there will be no awkward stares (oddly enough I get awkward stares at Cactus Club or The Keg). Gotham has two levels of dining room as well as a patio, and the basement is reserved for larger parties. The restaurant is fairly dim and the seating arrangements are either a velvet booth or is the centre of the dining room.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tokyo Thyme

Tokyo Thyme is a Japanese cuisine restaurant that is located in Kerrisdale. The restaurant is fairly small with only five tables and a few seats at the sushi bar. Coming on a weeknight, the restaurant was not very busy and had a table of six and another table of two. 

We were seated in front of the water dispenser which was a bit tight and had to quietly push the table forward to sit more comfortably. This is understandable though, the restaurant chooses to save the regular sized tables an hour before closing just in case a group pops in for a last minute dinner, I guess.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Little Caesars Pizza : Austin Heights location

In the area, starving, and knowing better than to try some of the restaurants near by, I needed a snack before dinner and went for Little Caesars. Little Caesars is a fast food chain pizza shop and advertises on their "hot n' ready $5.50 medium pizza". Is it hard for pizza to taste good? Not really. The only complaints I ever made about pizza would be undercooked dough or if it is burnt. Other than that, the only minor issues would be an overly salty pizza or a weak tasting sauce. However, the higher price you pay for pizza, the more minor issues there are.

Aussie Pie Guy

Not a fan of starting a post without much to write about, since, well, it will be boring. However, I justify this post despite the lack of content because I will be revising Aussie Pie Guy to try every pie available! What can I say? This cute little dinky pie and friendly staff sold me. Something so small such as having a smile on your face honestly lures back most customers, just like that. Would I bother coming back if the pie tastes average and the staff is "meh"? Na. The staff did not even have to do anything… they were just normal and friendly, surprisingly something that most people cannot be.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Smokehouse Sandwich Co.

The only reason I am here is to try the beef brisket sandwich! Walking in, the strong aroma of smoked meat was very satisfying; an aroma that has never been present at many barbecue joints I have been to. Smokehouse Sandwich is located in Richmond (fortunately away from the busier streets in the city) and beats any of the sandwich joints in Downtown Vancouver. The restaurant's interior is quite nice and simple; brick walls, wooden tables, white chairs and a chalkboard menu.

The sandwich shop has a self serve station for soup, cutlery, straws, sauces and spices. Since the soup is self serve, all the meat and vegetables were scooped up with nothing left but liquid. The cashier was friendly and offered to grab some soup from the kitchen, after asking if there was any meat left in the pot. The spices available are smoked sea salt and ground pepper. I did not get a chance to try the smoked sea salt but would next time. As for the condiments, red and green hot sauce is available but I prefer my sandwiches as is. When I did get a chance to try the sauces however, neither tasted memorable or spicy, but of course would probably taste better with the sandwiches rather than chips.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Little Monk Pretzels

Little Monk Pretzels is located in Burnaby at Metrotown. The food stall is the only pretzel joint that I know of and even if the owners served me a cold pretzel, I would keep coming back because they are super friendly. And again, this is the only place I know of that sells pretzels! I always stick to pretzels too but pretzel balls are also available as well as hot dog pretzels.

After coming here at least 100x, I would probably try the pretzel balls next time (doesn't that defeat the purpose of having a pretzel though?). Little Monk's has a ton of seasoning flavours available too, but I stick to my usual classic butter n' salt.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pho Phu Thinh

Wanting a snack before dinner since The Keg does not open until 5:00pm (one of those junk food for breakfast and lunch kind of days), my friend and I thought to grab some noodles. It was so hard not ordering wings or a rice dish since we did not want to spoil our appetites. By the way, bun bo hue is my favourite and a must order at any Vietnamese restaurant. Pho Phu Trinh is located in Coquitlam and has comfortable seating arrangements. Also, the restaurant is fairly clean.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pelican Seafood Restaurant 又一村海鮮酒家 (3rd visit)


What a traitor… I used to come here weekly, even more than once a week before I started trying new restaurants. Pelican is one my favourite Chinese restaurants because of their attentive and friendly service (never during dim sum but hey, even the ultimate highest end Chinese restaurant will give you subpar service during dim sum), cleanliness and mango pudding. Yes, mango pudding... I am quite an easy person to please. By the way, no relation to the person in the photo above.

Pelican is a cleaner Chinese restaurant with average prices, spacious seating arrangements, and the managers wear suits while the others wear a white button up with a vest. The restaurant is also open late night and if categorized as only a late night Chinese restaurant, it is the most comfortable one to visit with pretty good tasting food.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lougheed Wonton Restaurant (2nd visit)


Lougheed Wonton Restaurant was previously located at North Garden in Burquitlam and then relocated to Port Moody. Walking in, I was a bit surprised when most of the staff looked oddly familiar. Three of the wait staff are from North Garden and it seems like the restaurant and Lougheed Wonton are sister restaurants, but why is the food quality so different?!?! 

North Garden serves barely average to below average tasting dishes and Lougheed Wonton has average to above average eats. After finishing up with Coquitlam Centre, my friend was too hungry and could not wait to eat elsewhere so we settled for here. I made a big deal about coming here too because the food tasted salty and very mediocre on the last visit.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Victory Seafood Restaurant 凱旋大酒樓

Victory Seafood is located in Burnaby at Crystal Mall, and I remember passing by the restaurant months ago, always thinking it newly opened. Well, turns out the restaurant has been open for a couple of years (I read some reviews on Urbanspoon after dinner)! In general, any restaurant located that is in a mall has never been a preference for me to visit since the lease is pricier. 

Meaning, the food may not be cheap and usually the quality is not there. Example, my parents used to like Fortune House located in Metrotown but I always thought the food was pricey and not worth it, especially the long waits for dim sum! Walking in Victory Seafood restaurant, I was surprised at some of the tables that are located so close to the front door.

Those tables are also across from the waiting chairs which I found even more weird. How uncomfortable is that? Having a meal seated right across from people waiting for a table (must be a spotlight effect I have)? Continuing further into the restaurant, I was amazed. The restaurant's interior is pretty nice (I forgot to take a photo!). Victory Seafood is a very large restaurant with three seating sections and on a Saturday evening, only the middle section was open with six seated tables. 

The restaurant has a gold and red theme going and a relaxing atmosphere. I do not know if it is the whole trying a new restaurant experience or because I really liked the interior, but I had high hopes and was pretty excited for my meal - which I rarely feel. I mean, I get hungry and cannot wait for the food to arrive, but it is very rare for me to feel excited when trying a new restaurant (probably since I have tried most of the steakhouses I already wanted to).


Monday, January 13, 2014

Japolo Sushi

My only memory of Japolo Sushi is coming here for lunch in high school. Growing up, I loved sushi and with the limited Japanese restaurants in the area, I told a couple of my friends we had to come here. Both of my friends were pho lovers and left the restaurant quite annoyed at me, claiming I took them to one of the worst restaurants. But, I did not let that get to me since I left happy with a simple california roll and probably tempura in my belly.

Fast forward to years later, I avoid Japolo Sushi because there are so many better options but, BF has always wanted to try the restaurant (he likes to go to restaurants that I avoid, something to do with proving me wrong). Plus, I have never tried the Vietnamese food here before and did not mind trying. The restaurant is located in the same plaza along with North Garden as well as Okoman Sushi, and the interior looks pretty simple. Booth seats against the wall and tables in the centre.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chom Chom Fusion

It seems like this restaurant has been here for many years and I always ignore it. Why? Because I was not a fan of Korean cuisine before, asides for the BBQ meat. Plus, the restaurant is located next to a karaoke joint and I always assumed they were connected…  a karaoke restaurant.

On the evening I had dinner at Sushi & (which I recommend for those in the area!), I took a look at Chom Chom's menu posted outside and was sold. I knew I had to make a visit to try the fried chicken. The restaurant is located in the same plaza as Sushi &, Insadong and Pho 99. Meaning, parking is somewhat annoying since the plaza gets full during prime meal times.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Seok Gi Si Dae

Using Urbanspoon's app, my friend and I found a nearby Korean restaurant, Seok Gi Si Dae. After reading some posts to confirm that the restaurant offers barbecue, we made our way to the restaurant - on foot. She lives close by and the restaurant is only a thirty minute walk which seemed fun at the time, until we got too cold. We ended up cabbing to the restaurant and the driver was so nice.

Making small talk, he asked for our occupation and we told him we were unemployed and should be bussing rather than cabbing (jokingly). The total was around $5.00, we gave him $8.00 and he kept on insisting for us to pay even less than what the total was because he "knows how hard life can be". Wow eh? I rarely come by good hearted cabbies.

Seok Gi Si Dae is a small family owned Korean restaurant, the owners work at the back of the house and the son oversees the front. The restaurant is located in Burquitlam next to KFC, in the same plaza as Bella Pizza.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen 岸本

Kishimoto, one of the most talked about Japanese cuisine restaurants on Commercial Drive. Many people comment on Kishimoto's food presentation and the restaurant's banner even says, "eat with your eyes!". This makes me hesitant and gives the impression that Kishimoto may possibly be an average Japanese restaurant, focusing more on presentation than quality. On a weeknight, the restaurant had a short wait of ten minutes. A friendly customer was kind and told me to write my name on the wait list, rather than waiting for one of the waitresses to speak with me. The restaurant's interior is dimly lit and had African music playing in the background. I am not a fan of the dim lighting because I feel like a Japanese restaurant should always be well lit. Also, Kishimoto is a small restaurant with less than twelve tables, no wonder people always say there is a line up.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店


So… imagine this, a hungry starving girl around Victoria Drive, Main Street and Fraser Street at 9:00pm with no delicious places to eat. Might as well mention I am a picky eater too. Of course Yu Xiang Yuan is obviously my first and only choice (well, Golden House Seafood is pretty good too!) but both restaurants were closed.

So, avoiding the usual circling around for thirty minutes to an hour (no exaggeration), we went straight to Fatty Cow. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Fatty Cow? I rather eat McDonalds than come here or just have ice cream for dinner. I remember Fatty Cow when the restaurant first opened and the food sucked. Anyways… this visit was on a Sunday and the restaurant was 70% full when we walked in. The manager kind of neglected us, which I did not take personal because I expected my experience to "meh" or pretty crappy. After waiting ten minutes unspoken to, we were seated as he cleared a table for us.

ADULT $19.95 CHILDREN (5-10) $13.95 [+$1.00 on weekends/holidays]
DOUBLE SOUP $8.50 SINGLE $7.00, POP $1.50

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Szechuan Restaurant 新四川飯店

New Szechuan resembles what one would find at a small local town village in China, straight down from the decor to service. The cream coloured walls with four paintings on the wall, sanitary disposable tablecloths (which I prefer), and two staff members sitting at the counter staring at you without offering a table; only happens at the smallest village in China.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Koon Bo Restaurant 冠寶美食之家

The fourth attempt to visit Koon Bo was finally successful! On the first attempt, the cook left at 8:30pm, on the second, the restaurant was closed (Monday), and on the third, I think the restaurant was too busy. Koon Bo is nothing special to be honest and I do not think I enjoyed their food before. My family and family friends do not like the restaurant, and I am not sure if I know of anyone that does. The only reason for my desire to revisit is to try the peking duck.

Coming on a Sunday evening, the restaurant was packed. The only available table was near the entrance, where there was a constant cold draft whenever the door opened. Surprisingly right next to us (more like behind me, back to back and if we both turned around at the same time, we could smell each other's breath) there was a table of six people seated at a table suitable for only four. I found that odd considering there was a proper table size available for them. After ordering, the owner came out to let us know that we should change tables since we ordered too much food, moved the table of six to the proper sized table, and us to theirs. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Toyotomi 豐臣家 (2nd visit)


A revisit to Toyotomi - an all you can eat sushi and hot pot restaurant, what is there not to like? The restaurant is located in Richmond on Anderson road and provides free underground parking, but we did not know and paid at the meter (12 minutes/$0.50). There are plenty of booth seating arrangements and the restaurant can accommodate larger parties, but the only issue that most people seem to mention is regarding the service.

On my first visit, service was not needed because we arrived ten minutes before closing and had to order everything at once. So when all the dishes arrived, the waitress asked if we had enough food on the table (although some items were missing) and the staff disappeared. We were able to stay until after closing and the owner's son never rushed us. On top of that, he was very friendly.

On the revisit however, the service was not so great since all the staff members were working and we came during the regular dinner hours. This means that dishes get slammed as well as tossed on the table and the staff rush off to talk amongst each other, which I do not mind because how much service does a table need at an AYCE? Not much, so it is not an issue. Expect the worst and there really is nothing to complain about, right? However, if the food sucks and the staff provides rude service… then there may be a problem.

DELUXE $21.59 || CHILD (5-12) $15.99
ADULT $15.39 || CHILD (5-12) $9.99
BROTH $8.88 || YIN YANG $9.88


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