Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So Crab So Good Restaurant & Bar 蝦拼蟹嗆海鮮餐廳

So Crab So Good has been on BFs list for a while ever since the restaurant opened a couple of years ago. We have actually been to the restaurant when they first opened but left because it did not seem "ready" yet and looked like a casual hang out place for the owners. So sometime between then and now, we have tried Crab King at Steveston which was very disappointing (pre-cooked and cold food) which made me put off So Crab So Good for even longer! Although the restaurants are not related, I just rather visit Crab Pot in Seattle because the restaurant is a childhood memory of mine.

But lucky for BF… I decided to visit So Crab So Good because the restaurant was offering a Social Shopper voucher for $29.00 which included one side dish, dungeness crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, squid and sausage. For $29.00 you cannot go wrong! The restaurant is located in North Burnaby on the second floor of a building and resembles an apartment of sorts. If entering from the street side, there is a set of carpet stairs that have a muggy green leafy pattern.

When we arrived, a large party of eight was waiting in the front and there was literally no place to stand. On top of that, the waiting area is crowded as well as tight and there was a lack of air circulation in the restaurant making it noticeably easier to breathe in the hallways. The restaurant was not understaffed and there were plenty of available tables, but the waitresses were not efficient in clearing them which lead to a longer line up in the narrow waiting area.

After settling down at our window seat, I could not help but notice the ten to twelve dead flies at the window sill. It was actually quite disgusting and so far the restaurant did not make a good first impression, from the narrow waiting area to the inefficient staff and now the dead bugs. In addition, there were bits of leftover seafood around the floor. As for the table setting, each person receives a wooden board, fork, seafood pick, seafood cracker, napkins and gloves. A wooden mallet is available if requested (I think).

Monday, September 29, 2014


After grabbing Nyquil at Shoppers near West Broadway and Willow Street, we needed a quick dinner so considered Sake Sushi since the restaurant is literally next door. But when looking at a few photos online, the restaurant seemed very average and our other close by options were Ro Sushi and Kisokoma. Ro Sushi did not look too bad but I wanted to go to Kisokoma because a photo of their lobster roll lured me in!

Kisokoma is a Vietnamese owned/operated Japanese cuisine restaurant and resembles a fast food sushi joint from the exterior, interior, menu and to the photos of food. The prices are noticeably a lot cheaper than many Japanese restaurants and there are photos plastered along the walls for those who order with their eyes. In addition, the restaurant has a TV menu too!

The restaurant looks a bit old but the interior is fairly clean along with the table setting. There are seats by the sushi bar, half booth seats along the wall and full booth seats on the other side. The seating arrangements are not cramped and the chairs are fairly comfortable too. As for the food, the restaurant offers plenty of speciality rolls and a variety of very reasonably priced combos.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chef of Dumplings 四海游龍

Chef of Dumplings is one of the newer additions to the Aberdeen food court. The food stall offers dumplings, imitation shark's fin soup, spicy squid, roti canai and stir fried meats. Chinese puddings are also offered and the prices are fairly reasonable here.

I ordered the roti canai combo which includes an order of imitation shark's fin soup, dumplings, roti canai and a choice of squid, beef, pork or lamb. The combo is a good value considering the portions are not small and the selection includes a bit of everything the food stall offers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


A new neighbourhood and more restaurants to try based on convenience equals one happy lady. Asides from being a selective diner, I like everything to be perfect most of the time. I am well organized, have the creepiest best time management skills right down to the second and am freakishly detail oriented (except when it comes to writing…). Having said that, I needed my first meal as a new resident in the neighbourhood to be perfect... PERFECT.

Sounds hard? Like a whole day of researching restaurants to try? Nope. I stumbled upon Amici, checked some comments on Urbanspoon as well as Yelp and even went to their website. There are a couple of comments that majority of the clientele are in their 70s and to me that is a good sign because some seniors know good food! Then I decided to check their website and found, "you've just stepped back in time, to an era when the world moved more slowly, family was the focus and every meal was a time to celebrate" and knew this would be THE restaurant where I would love everything.

"Every meal was a time to celebrate" just shouts out good food to me! I mean, there are times when I have felt like "hmm the photos look good so perhaps the restaurant is not bad", but never like "this restaurant WILL be good". There are not even many photos of the food online and it was like I had a sixth sense thing regarding the restaurant. When we walked in, the owner welcomed us and mentioned to take a seat in the corner. I took that literally because there was a corner and the only table for two. However, he mentioned we could seat at a four person table because it would be more comfortable (plus, we do need the table space considering the amount of food we order too).

I took photos of the interior as we were leaving which explains the empty looking restaurant. The interior looks like a rustic Italian dining room and the restaurant is dimly lit but not too dark. Every table has a white linen tablecloth, a candle as well as gray cloth napkins, and the chairs are very fairly comfortable. The restaurant does not look as "yellow" as the photos too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Guu Garlic

Zeffirelli's, CinCin and Bacchus were my choices for dinner since we passed on Gusto di Quattro because I did not want to leave Downtown. But in the end, I chose Guu because I wanted a fast meal and was tired. This was also a great time to take advantage of being open minded because I was hungry and am not a big tapas fan. By the way, we were seated in the corner beside the couple outside and our area had no lighting above us. It was awkward because we could not see what we were eating, I guess call it a "Dark Table" experience? The table was also sticky so I was using the hot towel provided to scrub to it down. However, I forgot it was a communal table so I was shaking the whole thing while the couple next to us were eating! Whoops, thankfully they were very friendly.

The last time I came here was in high school and the restaurant looks pretty much the same. There is a mini "upstairs" section where people sit on the floor, bar seats, tables in the centre and patio seats. From what I remember, the staff is usually friendly and service has never been an issue.

Walking in, we were greeted with loud shouts from the staff but waited ten minutes for someone to speak with us. When a waiter approached us, he helped the group behind us despite mentioning we arrived first. To be fair, the waiter was rushing around and tuned everything out. He also told the group of three to follow him but walked too fast and disappeared so the group stayed behind us. Fortunately, a waitress came over and seated us first because there was no space for the group of three.

After settling down, we waited more than fifteen minutes for drinks and had no side plates or chopsticks. We did ask a few times but the staff kept forgetting. When the second dish arrived, BF did not want to wait anymore and went up to grab chopsticks himself but could not find any napkins.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Khunnai Chang Thai Cuisine

I do not care about the authenticity or use the word when it comes to food because who cares? If the food is good, it is good. There are even a few "authentic" restaurants that are not even good! However, Khunnai Chang is an authentic Thai restaurant. Honestly, that is the only word to describe the restaurant. From the interior and staff to the food, the restaurant is 100% authentic.

Khunnai Chang is another one of my great finds, where an online blurry photo of their chicken wings made me know the restaurant would serve good food. When we walked in, there was a rich aroma of spices and the restaurant is actually a bit dim… so not sure why my photos look brighter than it was.

The restaurant is not very big but there is a decent amount of tables and the seating arrangements are not cramped. The interior looks very simple, not cluttered and there are tapestries from Thailand. I also like the unique looking handcrafted wooden chairs. Not sure how I feel about the faux flowers on every table and the counter though, but meh.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tung Hing Bakery 同慶餅家

After a long disgusting sweaty game of basketball, we were already running late for a double date and needed to get home fast. But, I was really hungry so took the opportunity to grab a quick snack. Tung Hing is a popular Vietnamese bakery that sells Asian baked goodies and banh mi.

This is also BFs favourite place for banh mi and he is not even a fan of bread, sandwiches or subs. Something about him having too much when he was a child… to the extent that he even gets full just looking at bread! Weird. Tung Hing's baked goodies range from a variety of buns to sesame balls, Chinese donuts and butter croissants.

As for the Vietnamese subs, it is BFs favourite place because he likes to see the preparation. Tung Hing offers the house special, meatball, vegetarian, honey garlic sausage, shredded garlic chicken and lemon grass chicken banh mi. The prices are pretty average and run from $3.50 to $3.95.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sushi Tengoku

After watching Sin City: A Dame to Kill for and disappointed we had regular seats instead of D-Box because we did go all the way to Langley for that… I let BF choose where to have dinner. Our two choices were between The Keg or Tokyo Hon. I mean, we can do better in Langley right? I like The Keg but would rather pass on a chain restaurant because we are in Langley! Despite that many Langley residents prefer chains… As for Tokyo Hon, the restaurant is great and it was another option because we stopped by Save On Foods which is very close by. But because I wanted to go somewhere new, I let him choose where in the end.

He has been eyeing Sushi Tengoku on three occasions now, once in Langley months ago and another time when we were at Guildford Centre (which has a horrible layout by the way). Since I really did not care which restaurant we went to because that would result in at least an hour of driving around, Sushi Tengoku it was.

This is a time when I wish I bothered to purchase a good camera because I cannot capture how nice the interior is. Sushi Tengoku is a large restaurant with a high ceiling and majority of the seating arrangements are booths. The interior is spacious and the cosmetics are nice, making Sushi Tengoku definitely one of the better looking Japanese cuisine restaurants.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

King Mahal Restaurant

King Mahal has been around for twenty years and the restaurant was formerly located by UBC. Then a few years ago, the restaurant moved to North Burnaby and their $9.99 all you can eat lunch buffet is very popular. Also like many Indian restaurants, King Mahal is a family operated business and the father as well as son runs the front of the house.

Walking in, we noticed King Mahal is a very clean restaurant and perhaps even the cleanest Indian restaurant I have been to (the table glass tops are squeaky clean and shinny too!). The interior also looks traditional and there are Indian tapestries along the walls. Since we were the first to arrive, we had the option of choosing any seat and ours had glasses with red cloth napkins.

After seating, we ordered our drinks and of course I went for the hot water. As the owner was pouring hot water in the glass, I was thinking oh my god… what if it breaks? I am too used to restaurants serving hot water in a mug that I actually felt awkward having hot water in a glass! However, the restaurant uses quality glasses and the glass did not break. In addition, he even brought over a kettle! This is a dream come true because I honestly drink a lot of water, it is really ridiculous.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Estrella's Montreal Deli

On the way to a barbecue in Langley, my friend gave me strict instructions "no food stops". Umm excuse me? I guess some people are really into their barbecuing… Do not even get me started on the horrible 200th Street too and I cannot stop for food?! Madness! I never complain about Richmond or Downtown traffic, but WTF is up with 200th Street? I hate it. The traffic can range from a mere ten minutes to a forty five minute difference off the highway to anywhere I have to go! So of course to treat myself, I had to stop at Estrella's.

Estrella's has been my go-to place for many years, as in half a decade! A couple of my friends from Montreal first introduced the restaurant to me during my SFU years and I fell in love. I even used to come here at least twice a week whenever I was in Langley.

Walking in, there is a nice smoked meat aroma which is not to be mistaken with greasy or the non well-ventilated kind. The restaurant is clean and there are a good amount of seats for this type of joint. Although during busier hours, Estrella's does get busy and a wait can be expected. As for the organized chalkboard menu, it is posted on the wall and customers order as well as pay at the front.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Waraku Sushi

The last time I had sushi in North Vancouver was at Sushi Bella, an experience that makes me steer clear of the franchise. Also on that day, I considered going to Waraku Sushi but because the exterior looked meh… I passed on the restaurant. However, I decided to give the restaurant a try after finding their Facebook page. There is not much information online but the photos on their Facebook page did not look bad. What lured me in is that the restaurant used to offer mirugai and there are a few unique dishes, so I thought perhaps the restaurant could be a little gem on the Lonsdale strip.

Walking in, the staff was welcoming and we were seated in a tatami room (minus the tatami…). The interior has a rustic look and majority of the material is unfinished wood; from the booths, dividers, pillars and the rooms to the tables. As for the seating arrangements, there are booth seats along the wall, the usual seats by the sushi bar, a few rooms at the middle of the restaurant and smaller tables on the opposite side. All the booth seats were taken when we arrived and I appreciate the waitress for seating us in a room rather than at the small tables. The restaurant is also fairly clean but the rooms could have been wiped down better.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Zestea is a bubble tea restaurant and the newest addition to join the Lonsdale strip in North Vancouver. The restaurant offers both Belgium and Hong Kong style bubble waffles, bubble tea, fresh fruit juice, milk and yogurt smoothies as well as slushes. Walking in, the waitress asked if we were looking for something to go or for here. For those grabbing take out, there is a menu posted at the counter.

The restaurant is newly renovated, clean, looks bright and has a welcoming atmosphere. There are comfortable seating arrangements and although another table could have been squeezed in (which would be too tight), I am glad the restaurant chose not to. Also, there are a few seats outside as well. As for the service, the people here are friendly. Every one of them.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ningbo Seafood Restaurant 寧波海鮮酒家

Ningbo Seafood is located in Richmond at Parker Place and serves Shanghainese as well as Cantonese Chinese cuisine. I had high expectations for the restaurant because a friend of mine was telling me how his friend in Shanghai has tried the restaurant in Ningbo. Apparently, the owners have a similar restaurant in Ningbo which is a city near Shanghai. In addition, I read Doofnik's blog post on the restaurant and the peking duck looked great; crispy skin with no fat or meat. But nothing was good about our dinner, neither the food nor the service.

We walked in on a Friday at 6:00pm and the restaurant had only one seated table. Similar to Le Crocodile where I had lunch earlier, we were asked if we had reservations and a few of the staff talked amongst each other "no reservations". The two of us were seated beside the counter (table touching) where the staff walks up to frequently and when we requested for a different seat, they were all reserved! Really now? At first I thought wow, perhaps the food is really good and I got excited about what was about to come.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Le Crocodile : Lunch

Dinner post on Le Crocodile [HERE]

After failing for two weeks trying to meet a friend who recently got engaged, we finally agreed to jungle some meetings around and set up a date for lunch on a Friday. She let me choose the restaurant after I rejected more than ten from her… and my choice was Franchesco's. But at the last minute, I really craved for Le Crocodile's pear tart! Plus, both of us have been here for dinner on separate occasions and agreed the food along with the service was great.

Walking in, we were asked if we had reservations despite the not very busy restaurant. Two of the staff spoke amongst each other "no reservations" and we were seated by the corner after a few minutes, but not turned down. In general, I never understand why some restaurants try to appear more busier than they are. Guests are spending a good amount of time and can clearly see how busy the restaurant will be. However, Le Crocodile is busier during dinner and I do recommend reservations for then.

Le Crocodile is a simple, classic, white linen tablecloth restaurant and the atmosphere is casual as well as relaxing. There are plenty of tables and the dining room is spacious, no tight seating arrangements here. I never realized how big the restaurant was until this visit too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sunshine Diner

After another facial date with C'est la vie a Maggi, my choice for breakfast was at Moderne Diner. Although unfortunately, the restaurant was closed for a week so we walked down the street to Sunshine Diner. No idea why but when I think of Sunshine Diner, Smile Diner on West Pender stands out to me and I expected sort of an old run down interior. However, this is the opposite. The interior is clean and the restaurant has an upbeat atmosphere.

Walking in, there is an aroma of beef patties and breakfast food but the restaurant is well ventilated. Sunshine Diner has a vintage hollywood theme and there are paintings as well portraits of Elvis, James Dean, Lucille Ball, Marilyn and The Beatles. The interior looks fun and is something different. There are red, blue as well as checkered walls, red vinyl booth seats and a jukebox. Furthermore, the televisions are tuned to the sports channel and episodes of I Love Lucy.

As for the food, the restaurant offers very generic diner fare. There are the usual breakfast items like egg benedict, omelettes and sandwiches, as well as burgers and milkshakes. Speaking of milkshakes...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Yew Seafood & Bar

Yew Seafood & Bar is located at the Four Seasons Downtown and the restaurant has a casual relaxing atmosphere. I have been meaning to try the restaurant for a few months now and a voucher for their seafood tower which was offered through Travelzoo gave me the push I finally needed to make time.

When we arrived, the three staff members at the front were welcoming and professional. There was a small line up and the staff made sure to help everyone within minutes. Since I had a voucher for the seafood tower, I was requested to send the restaurant a print screen and accidentally sent the e-mail from my blogging account. However, I believe my experience was the true representation of the restaurant.

After seating, our server asked if the kitchen could start on the seafood tower while we looked at the menu. The restaurant has an eclectic contemporary design with a high ceiling, skylights, and a glass-enclosed wine cellar that is a also a private room at the the centre of the dining area.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bubble Waffle Cafe 雞蛋仔餐廳

There is always someone I know that wants to try Bubble Waffle Cafe, but I rarely crave for bubble tea. However, since C'est la vie a Maggi and I were in the area, we decided to make a visit. Our first choice was actually Icy Bar but the restaurant was randomly closed for the day. Also, I thought Milk & Sugar Cafe (which is located across the street) was Bubble Waffle Cafe! Maggi wanted to go to Milk & Sugar Cafe too but it was my fault because I got the restaurants mixed up.

Bubble Waffle Cafe is located near Kingsway and Joyce, and is in the same plaza along with Honolulu, London Drugs, Papa John's and Gold Train Express. The restaurant appears to be a franchise and there are three locations in Richmond as well as one in UBC.

As for the interior, the restaurant is fairly clean and there is a good amount of seats. Every table has three types of menu which includes noodle combos, Japanese paper hot pot, teppanyaki, snacks, rice rolls and drinks. Since we spent the whole day eating already, we decided to try only the bubble tea and bubble waffles. As for the service, the owner is quite friendly. I put my purse on a chair next to the table beside us and she pushed the chair towards me. Although her English was not the best, she was friendly.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hollywood Steak House 荷李活餐廳

Another Hong Kong style cafe restaurant? Well, we went to Richmond for hot pot at Chubby Lamb because we really needed "real hot pot", as in having a flavourful broth (Chinese chicken herbal in our case). But, the restaurant is temporarily closed! Since neither of us felt like having seafood for dinner and there are no restaurants in Richmond we were craving for, we decided to try out Hollywood Steak House.

Although despite the name of the restaurant, they do not even offer steak! I was expecting something along the lines of La Amigo or Kingspark Steak House's steak offerings, but instead Hollywood Steak House offers generic HK style cafe food. The menu includes curry, baked rice dishes, noodle in soup, spaghetti, hot plates combos, rice dishes and sandwiches. In addition, there is nothing over $11.95! Perhaps  it is a HK style cafe version of Moulin Rouge?

As for the Hollywood in the restaurant's name, it must refer to the interior. There are black and white photos of Audrey Hepburn, Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and even some cut outs. Asides from the Hollywood theme, the restaurant has comfortable seating arrangements and is not cramped. 


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