Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pho Capital

Pho Capital is one of the newest Vietnamese restaurants to pop up in Burquitlam and has been around for almost a year. Having visited before during the grand opening, the food was nothing special and I never wanted to revisit. However, my friend claims it is not bad for the area and since we were looking for a light late night dinner, I caved.

The restaurant is fairly clean and has booth seating along the wall, and the tables in the centre. When we walked in, the owners were friendly and throughout dinner, the husband tried making small talk. He told my friend to replace his phone because the screen was cracked and asked who his service provider was. In addition, he mentioned Rogers is practically next door and said my friend should get a new phone as soon as possible LOL. As for myself, he asked if I found the rice platter pretty because he noticed I was taking photos of it. If only he knew I thought the opposite…

Friday, May 30, 2014

Bao Chau Vietnamese

I used to frequently visit Bao Chau in high school and the restaurant is known for their spring rolls. As for myself, I have a fond memory of their pink pork hash and the rice platters which are pretty good, mostly because I love shredded pork.

Bao Chau looks like a generic Asian restaurant and there are plenty of seats available. As for the garnishes which are provided with an order of noodles, I appreciate the red chilli rather than jalapeño, and lime over lemon.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sushi California : Burquitlam location

Four days of consistent bad luck : Day Four Part II.
Finally to an end.

After having a pretty unappetizing lunch at Marutama, we headed to Surrey to look at arcade games for work. And rather than staying in Surrey for dinner, it was my idea to head back for a meal at Sushi California... after driving through Guildford, Fleetwood and King George, without finding a restaurant that interested me. Yeah... I think my fear of eating at a crappy restaurant and wasting money is coming to an end because you never know until you try, and my four days of consistent bad luck were actually restaurants I went out of my way to visit! So, might as well take a gamble and from now on, walk into random restaurants.

Sushi California is known to serve large portions and be a "bang for your buck" kind of joint. And having been here plenty of times throughout high school, there has never once been an issue regarding the quality, as in no foul tasting sashimi. So, I decided to come here because I wanted large portions of sashimi at a cheaper cost. And a cheap dinner. As for the Burquitlam location, the restaurant is known to have long line ups and minimal parking spots. Realistically, there are twelve to fifteen tables and most of the time, there will be a wait. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Marutama Ra-men

Four days of consistent bad luck : Day four Part I.
Are business owners really that spoiled and think it is easy to make money nowadays?

What is worse than a bad Japanese restaurant? A Japanese owned restaurant with legitimate Japanese staff, located in an area with a dense population of international Japanese students, that does not serve very good Japanese food.

Marutama is different than some ramen joints because they focus on a chicken broth rather than pork, or a mix. Also, fried garlic, sesame seed and Korean chilli flakes are provided on every table. As for the interior, the restaurant has one large table, a few seats in the centre, and two counters. 

In addition, due to the lack of table space, the ramen joint offers a plastic bin for customers to keep their personal belongings in. Although do not to leave your belongings unattended, as there is a sign posted as a reminder as well!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Earnest Ice Cream

Before parting ways with C'est la vie a Maggi, she urged me to try Earnest Ice Cream and to get it over with. As for her, she finds the shop overhyped and was firm on not ordering from here again. And from what I have heard, sometimes there are lineups up to an hour long! Although fortunately, we waited only a mere five minutes. 

Earnest Ice Cream focuses on local and sustainable flavours which is similar to Rain or Shine, a newer ice cream shop that popped up in Kitsilano. In addition, vegan flavours are available as well. And for those who really love the flavours here, Earnest has a fridge full of pints at the back of the shop.

As for the prices, they are slightly higher when compared to Rain or Shines'. Single $5.00, double $7.00, pint $11.00. However, waffle cones do not cost extra. As for the flavours of ice cream, vegan lemon, salted caramel, whiskey hazelnut, spruce bud, cardamon, london fog, rhubarb oat crumble, cafe au lait and 33 acres of malt was available.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Paradiso Gelato Bistro

Ending my food date with C'est la vie a Maggi, we headed to Paradiso Gelato Bistro which is a place I have wanted to try for a while. At least for a couple of weeks! The gelato shop is located right across from Kitsilano beach and I cannot believe that I have never been here! As for the interior, seating is limited which is likely not an issue since most will walk out with gelato rather than staying. In addition, asides from gelato, the Vietnamese owned shop offers banh mi! If we did not have froyo earlier, we would have probably tried one.

As we were checking out the flavours, one of the kind owners offered us a sample of choice. Furthermore, the sample was a generous size and more than enough for the both of us to have a taste.

Q4 Ristorante by Quattro


Four days of consistent bad luck: Day Three.

Every time I am in Kitsilano, I always stress about where to eat. I mean, whether it be called cheap or greedy, I just do not want to set myself up for a good meal and receive everything but. Odd? Yes, I know. That is why most of the time I play it safe and head to a mediocre restaurant which makes my day when the food is better than expected! Of course, unless there is already a restaurant I have in mind. So, scooping out a few places on Urbanspoon, Q4 seemed like an okay Italian restaurant.

Walking up to the front door, I loved it. Mirrored doors? LOVE. I wanted to take a selfie but chose to do so after dinner, which unfortunately did not work out since the doors were left open. Plus, I did not want to get any awkward stares. As for the interior, the seating area is very open and I personally like it. Although on a full house, the restaurant may get loud. The interior looks simple as well as clean and has wooden floors as well as chairs, and tables with white tablecloths. As for the seating arrangements, it is not cramped and outdoor seating is available.

After walking in, our server led us to our requested window seat which was not overlooked on OpenTable (Black + Blue...). Our server was friendly, had a positive vibe and left us to browse the menus. As she later creeped back to see if we were ready to order, she overheard us talking amongst each other that none of the appetizers caught our attention. Fortunately, she came to the rescue and mentioned some daily specials, which we were interested in.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mezbaan Indian Fusion Restaurant

Four consistent days of bad luck: Day Two.

Recently I have been looking for vouchers online and came across an amazing deal, $15.00 for two at an all you can eat dinner buffet which includes two soft drinks, chai tea or mango lassi. In addition, I read some posts on Mezbaan Indian Fusion Restaurant and the buffet did not look bad! What lured me in asides from the great deal is that the restaurant serves naan straight to the table, rather than sitting in the warming trays.

As stated on the voucher, reservations are required and when I called a few times, the restaurant was always booked. So, coming for dinner on Victoria Day, the restaurant was not busy but quickly filled up. Mezbaan Indian is fairly small with only ten tables and when we arrived, the waitress did not ask if we had reservations so we disregarded them. After waiting ten minutes, she came back and asked if we had a voucher, provided us with menus, and mentioned we can help ourselves at the buffet.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bushuair Restaurant 聚湘村湘菜酒樓

Four consistent days of bad luck: Day One.

Chairman Mao is one of the eternally recognized leaders in China by the Chinese. Every traditional restaurant throughout China and not just restaurants but businesses as well, have a photo of Mao somewhere in the company. Whether in the office, entrance or lunchroom, there will be a photo (usually by the entrance).

So when I first walk in to Bushuair Restaurant and see the photo of Chairman Mao, it wowed me. I thought the food was going to be like something in China. In addition after looking at the menu, I seemed to have found a Northern Mainland cuisine restaurant in Richmond. Furthermore on the wall, the restaurant has a portrait of his words written in Chinese calligraphy which gives the impression the restaurant serves Northern Chinese cuisine with pride. However when the food arrived, it was a different story.

As for the interior, the restaurant resembles a traditional Chinese restaurant. To be exact, a middle class one in China. Bushuair Restaurant has booth seats along the wall, tables with red as well as gold tablecloths, and a few private rooms. Furthermore, there is a projector at the back of the restaurant which is tuned to a Chinese channel, and the restaurant imports wine from China.

Friday, May 23, 2014


After finishing lunch at Indian Oven, C'est la vie a Maggi and I noticed a frozen yogurt joint a few stores down. Scoop! is a small froyo shop and the concept is simple as well as similar to Menchie's, Pinkberry and Qoola. Customers choose a flavour of frozen yogurt and select their toppings at the self serve bar. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shining Garden 麥田餐廳 (3rd/4th visit)


As if it was not obvious enough, Shining Garden is now one of my favourite Chinese restaurants now! On every single visit, the staff has always been friendly and as for the food, consistently good. In addition, the restaurant offers great prices and the quality is pretty darn good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Canton & Zhejiang Cuisine

There are quite a few variations of Chinese food and Zhejiang cuisine is one of them, which I do not often see in Vancouver. The cuisine focuses on enhancing the natural flavours and serving light but flavourful dishes, which brings me to Canton & Zhejiang, a new addition to Capston Way Plaza in Richmond. A few popular Zhejiang dishes are beggar's chicken, dragon well tea shrimp, dongpo pork which is served at many Chinese restaurants, and west lake vinegar fish.

Walking in on a weekday at 6:00pm, we were immediately asked for our reservation time. Err… on a weekday? Apparently the restaurant gets busy and reservations are always recommended if not required. The restaurant looks clean as well as simple, and the seating arrangements are not too cramped. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Indian Oven

After finishing a beauty treatment with C'est la vie a Maggi, we headed to West 4th based on convenience and decided to try out Spoon Kitchen. There was no reason why, it was just random. However, while walking there, Maggi started getting hangry and let me tell you, she was not pleasant to be around. So, despite her mentioning a couple of hours before about how she never craves for Indian cuisine or find it anything special, I took advantage of her hangriness and at the last minute, walked up the stairs to Indian Oven.

Although I did hesitate because despite enjoying Indian cuisine, sometimes I do not want to come out smelling like it, especially if I am wearing something that needs to be dry cleaned, and washed my hair the morning of. But, I guess the Chinese side came out of me because I had to take advantage of their lunch specials which includes naan and rice! Am I embarrassed to say that I do feel a pinch when spending $8.00 on plain rice at an Indian cuisine restaurant? Nope. I mean, the portion of rice is usually small and costs $4.00! There is just something about paying $8.00 for rice and still needing more when only eating for two, and that gets to me.

The restaurant looks like a fancier Indian cuisine restaurant and had faint Bollywood music playing in the background. As for the interior, the restaurant has a high ceiling and follows a cold color scheme; different shades of blue painted walls, chairs and table cloths, and white napkins rolled in drinking glasses. In addition, the restaurant has a couple of televisions as well as chandeliers, and gilded golden antiques by the bar. Furthermore, asides from the fact that the restaurant is pretty big, patio seating is available as well!

Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery

A few months ago during a late lunch at Burgers Etc, I noticed an old school ice cream shop across the street and knew we had to make a visit. So, months later after revisiting Burgers Etc, we stopped by Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery after dinner. The ice cream shop is located in North Burnaby along Hastings Street, and has a very homey old fashioned atmosphere. Walking in, we noticed the extensive chalkboard menus plastered on the wall with attractive as well as easy to read font, and the shop offers ice cream from Birchwood Dairy, floats, milkshakes as well as sundaes, and other goodies.

As for the seating arrangements, there are only a few seats by the counter which would be my first choice (however, some kiddies already took them!) and around three to four tables.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Burgers Etc. BBQ House (2nd visit)


Ever had that feeling when EVERYTHING on the table tastes extremely good, so good that you take a bite of one item, move onto the next and continue the rotation like a greedy cartoon character? Well, it happened to me on my previous visit at Burgers Etc. In addition from my previous visit, I concluded that everything was a must order except for the brisket (which was not bad). Meaning, go for the ribs, wings and housemade brisket soup! Although unfortunately, the restaurant was sold out of the brisket soup and not going to lie, we were pretty upset because it tastes so good! 

Coming on a Saturday evening, Burgers Etc was packed! Also, the atmosphere was a lot different than our previous visit, it was loud, filled with energy, and the owners actually checked up on almost every table.

Sushi UOmo

What are some decent Japanese restaurants on Hastings Street? Well, there is Hong Sushi which I do not mind because their soft shell crab is almost perfect; Sushi Town and Tentasu that serves large portions (if that is your thing); and... I think that is it? Of course there are probably around ten more but I think these restaurants are the only ones I can remember, for a reason. Since I am picky about Japanese cuisine (unless it is a restaurant that focuses on larger portions), I do take my time looking through photos of what a restaurant has to offer, and then decide if I want to spend my time and money at the restaurant. So, Sushi UOmo? 

Being a new restaurant on Hastings Street, it was a gamble for me to try Sushi UOmo since there were no photos for me to judge. However, I am glad we tried the restaurant. Walking in, the staff was warm as well as welcoming, and friendly. As for the interior, it follows a warm color scheme and has a simple clean layout. There are two televisions along with some Japanese paintings of a koi, geisha as well as fans, and the seating arrangements are comfortable.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lucky Noodle Chinese Restaurant 湘味濃

Lucky Noodle has been around for a couple of years and having drove by at least a hundred times, I have never noticed the restaurant. However, since a few new restaurants have been popping up along Kingsway Street, I assumed Lucky Noodle was one of them. Was it a craving for noodles that lured me in? Nope, it was the alluring photos of Hunan cuisine posted outside the restaurant! In addition, the restaurant also offers Cantonese as well as Taiwanese food, and a dry style hot pot like Shun Xin's (which we unfortunately did not get to try since crab was not available at the time).

The restaurant is a small family run operation and the staff is extremely friendly (ten times friendlier than another Hunan cuisine restaurant, Alvin Garden!). As for the interior, I like it. There are paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and vines running across the top that wraps around faux tree pillars. Furthermore at the back of the counter, there are hanging pinata-like food such as ginger, potato, red chilli, eggplant and cucumber. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sushiholic Japanese Restaurant

Some Japanese restaurants scream Sushi California, Sushi Garden as well as Sushi Town, and I assumed Sushiholic is one of them. Meaning, large portions for a good price which some may enjoy while others do not. As for me, I think it is fine as long as the sashimi is properly prepared, because a heavy amount of rice is already expected when you walk in those type of restaurants. So, after finishing shopping Downtown, my friend and I were starving and the lunch at Nuba Cafe did not cut it. Plus, she has been wanting to try the restaurant for almost a year and since the both of us were craving for sushi, we made the trip down here. 

Walking up to Sushiholic, the door looked like a door to a front house. In addition, the layout of the restaurant looks similar to a house as well. The restaurant has a couple of rooms with tight seating arrangements as well as a sushi bar. When we walked in, the sushi chefs were cheerful and greeted us loudly, similar to the restaurants mentioned above.

Nuba Café

After trying out frissants (cronuts) at Swiss Bakery, my friend and I walked across the street to Nuba Cafe. I really did not want to come here because my last experience at Nuba was horrible, but since my friend needed to eat asap and cannot have junk for breakfast like me, I had no choice.

So walking in, there was a small line up during lunch rush hour and plenty of people were grabbing take out. The interior is properly maximized, the seating arrangements are not cramped, and there is a large chalkboard menu along the left side of the cafe which is convenient for those grabbing take out. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Swiss Bakery

Swiss Bakery is a cafe that caters to the neighbourhood and is known for their cronuts, which they call frissant. A frissant is a croissant-donut hybrid and is Swiss Bakery's version of the cronut. Asides from the frissants, the bakery offers plenty of pastries, bread, cookies and dessert. In addition, sandwiches, soup, coffee, tea and cafe goodies are available as well, which most people grabbed on their way out.


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