Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Archive for October, 2015

Restaurant Review: Kwong Tung Seafood Restaurant

I found these reviews saved to a USB when I was clearing out some old files and decided I might as well post them. These reviews, you could say, are where I got started originally. They’re not as detailed as I do them now, so take them with a grain of salt.

Another morning having dim sum, I think I might not want to eat it again when I get back to Calgary for a while. We went down to Victoria’s Chinatown, which is the oldest China town in Canada! We didn’t order too much because we can’t pack things away, so we ordered shrimp rice crepes, beancurd rolls, xiao long bao, house fried noodle, cilantro shrimp dumplings, shark fin shrimp dumplings and tofu stuffed with shrimp. The crepes for the shrimp rice crepes were too thick; therefore it wasn’t smooth enough for me. The waiter recommended their xiao long bao as one of their best dishes and it really was one of the best things that we had from this restaurant. The beancurd was pretty good too, only problem was that there wasn’t enough meat stuffed inside and it was done so unevenly. The house fried noodles came very crispy, but it was all broken into small pieces and falling apart, making it hard to eat; it also created a lot of “soup” in my bowl from all the sauce. The cilantro shrimp dumplings were ordinary; they tasted pretty much like they’re supposed to, but nothing spectacular. Their only issue was that they were over-steamed and thus the casing was too soft and fell apart upon touch. We didn’t even get to try the shark fin shrimp dumplings because it never came, they completely forgot about it and they actually steam it right before they serve it, so they didn’t have time to steam it (or rather, we didn’t want to wait for them to prepare it). Lastly, the tofu was tiny. I honestly think I could fit the entire piece of tofu in my mouth, but since it was being shared between 4 people, I only got half, so I practically swallowed it without having to chew and really don’t remember what it tasted like. For this restaurant, I would give it a 3 out of 5.

Restaurant Review: The Noodle Box

I found these reviews saved to a USB when I was clearing out some old files and decided I might as well post them. These reviews, you could say, are where I got started originally. They’re not as detailed as I do them now, so take them with a grain of salt.

WORST. RESTAURANT. EVER. All the menu items sounded so good so I had high expectations for the food. I ordered a Spicy Peanut Noodle Box (refer to above), my dad ordered a Singapore Cashew Curry on Rice, Val ordered Coconut Curry Noodles, and my mom ordered a Thai style Chow Mein. It has nice presentation sorta, but it has no taste and it was all one texture, I preferred eating the raw bean sprouts to what they cooked.  And when we were ordering, the waitress asked me how spicy I wanted the noodles saying you should order one lower than you think you can handle, so I thought it was going to be VERY spicy, so I got mild…it wasn’t even spicy. Even after I dumped in a couple spoons of chili, there was no change in the level of spiciness…I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone. I don’t understand how they can have like 4 restaurants. 1 out of 5.

Restaurant Review: Kirin

I found these reviews saved to a USB when I was clearing out some old files and decided I might as well post them. These reviews, you could say, are where I got started originally. They’re not as detailed as I do them now, so take them with a grain of salt.

There are several Kirin restaurants in Vancouver, but we decided to go to the Richmond one. We got there around 10:45 for brunch, I was pretty hungry and ready to eat everything in sight especially dim sum. We didn’t order too much because we can’t pack anything away and it would go bad. We were also going to board a ferry in a couple hours, so not very convenient. We ordered chicken feet & pork stomach in black bean sauce, gai lan (I ate mine plain), rice crepe with green onion dipped in soy sauce, fried eggplant stuffed with shrimp paste, stir fried seafood udon, fish stomach & shrimp with a artificial crab meat and masago sauce, and spare ribs in a black bean sauce. The restaurant look pretty nice and the service was quick. Then came the bathroom…that was so bad, it could be comparable to the smell of a bathroom in China! For the food I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 but the bathroom pulls the rating down a bit to 4.

I do plan on returning here, so look out for another review that delves into food quality.

Restaurant Review: Ringo Sushi

I found these reviews saved to a USB when I was clearing out some old files and decided I might as well post them. These reviews, you could say, are where I got started originally. They’re not as detailed as I do them now, so take them with a grain of salt. Also, no location is included for this one because apparently, it’s closed down now.

After a long day on the road, all I wanted when I got to the hotel was dinner. In Vancouver, it’s easier to walk somewhere than to drive, so we decided to see if there was any place close for dinner. We walked down Denman and Robson Streets in search for a good place for dinner. We settled on Ringo’s Sushi, the menu in the window looked good and the price, reasonable. When we walked in, the service was immediate, so they made a good impression on me. We were seated in the inner room with a bunch of noisy teenagers (grade 9 and 10 kids) and the table next to us (who was also slightly noisy and knocking over glasses and not caring about making a mess), which was a disappointment to me. I just wanted to enjoy a quiet meal. After a few minutes the waitress returned with our water, in tea cups…I looked around at the other tables and everyone got full sized cups but us, which I thought was a bit weird, not to mention impractical, considering how thirsty soy sauce makes me. We decided on Party Tray C ($30.95), the Super Spicy Roll ($7.95), the Chicken Box ($6.75), and a Green Salad ($3.00). The Party Tray C consisted of 2 Tuna Nigiri, 2 Salmon Nigiri, 2 Ebi Nigiri, 2 Inari Nigiri, 2 Tamago, one Kappa Maki (6 pieces), one Tuna Maki (6 pieces), 1 California Roll (6 pieces), and one BC roll (6 pieces). The chicken box had chicken teriyaki, 4 pieces of California Roll, tempura and green salad. And the Super spicy roll was spicy tuna and spicy salmon with masago. The chicken box came first, but the waitress forgot my miso soup and then when she brought the soup, she forgot to get the tempura sauce. It took a good five minutes before the green salad came out, it was a salad! How long does a salad take to make? Anyways, then it was another ten minutes or more before the party tray came out. I was actually almost full so I had a couple pieces of California roll even though I had a couple pieces myself and one piece of Inari Nigiri. All this waiting was making me crazy, I was almost full, but I really wanted to try the spicy roll. Usually in Calgary, the spicy roll is my favourite. This roll was pretty large since there was salmon and tuna in it, but I was able to fit the entire thing into my mouth. The waiting for me was the downside to this restaurant, but the price was excellent. The taste wasn’t bad either, but I prefer the spicy creamy Japanese salad dressing on the salad though. However, for a restaurant run by only four people, I would say that service wasn’t TOO bad. So out of 5, I would give this restaurant a 4 out of 5.

To The Boy I May Have Fallen In Love With

To The Boy I May Have Fallen In Love With,

I wish I could know how you felt about me: whether I’m just a friend or if there’s the potential for more. You have no idea what it’s like inside my head. Every conversation with you is a constant battle within myself, a battle between heart and mind. I don’t even know what it is I want! At times I wish only to remain friends and not ruining it by falling in love with you, but at others, in my times of loneliness and weakness, I wish that you and I could be together.

I’d like to give you some insight to my mind and introduce you to some of  the demons that torment me as I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep. The case I made for being friends is governed by logic. And the one for love? My heart of course.

For friendship I’d say we were never very close to begin with. It took time for me to open up to you and sometimes I had to push you to conversation. In these short conversations, I learned more and more about you, pulling me in, intriguing me to find out more about what made you who you were and what kind of a life you led. I found out that we had so many things in common, it seemed impossible that we had not become friends sooner. I had never met anyone who shared the same deep inner thoughts and desires as me. But sometimes I think this commonality is what restricts us to friendship. As a lover, we’d have too much in common to be able to sustain a healthy relationship. Besides all that, I just don’t want to ruin this friendship with love.

This reasoning is all for nothing when the heart has her say, for she dominates all in my life and more so in my love. My heart pleads for love, for release from this loneliness I’ve known for far too long. One that has now become my strength and source of inspiration. But she is right, love is a much stronger motivator. As Plato once said, love turns us all into poets, that of course being a paraphrase. But it’s true. You have no idea what a wonderful and caring person you are. Every moment I spend with you, every conversation fills me with such joy. You have no idea how perfect you are already. Any girl would be lucky to have a man like you.

It will always be in my nature to care about you, as it is for me to care for everyone around me. Regardless of if we remain friends or become something more, you can always count on me to be there when the world has turn its back on you. You will always be someone important to me. No matter how much stress you cause me, no matter how many times I have to read and reread that which I send to you, know that I will never want you to leave my life.

I’m sure, by now, that you know who you are. I just want you to know that I’ll be here waiting patiently.

Forever yours.

Destined For Solitude

Sometimes I wonder
If there is anyone in this world
Who has lived the life I have
Who’s felt the same pains
Who is broken and battered in the same way as me

I wonder if I met them
If they could love me
For all my flaws

Someone once asked me
Why things never made it past the first date
Maybe it was because they could see all my scars
Maybe it was because they didn’t want to fix something as broken as me

Maybe I’m meant to alone
Maybe it’s better this way

Some days I feel the weight of the world
Bearing down on my shoulders
Those days I wish I had someone to love
Someone who cared for me

But most days now
I’ve learned to live alone
Knowing that there will be no one in my future
Waiting for me
And for me a sense of freedom lifts me

Trusted Ones

Be careful who you let in
There are only a few people in your life who actually care
The others are just curious
And here for the show

Be careful who you love
Some just can’t wait to shatter your heart
And stomp it to bits
To watch the ensuing fireworks

They won’t hesitate to stab you in the back
When the chance arises

So do you know
Who you can trust
And who’s a beautiful lie?

Restaurant Review: Han Chao

*Sorry no pictures for this review*

Location: 108 – 306 Aspen Glen Landing S.W
Website: http://www.hanchao.ca/#one

I had no idea what to expect when my parents pulled up in front of this restaurant. The name suggested Chinese to my mom, but my sister and I had somehow gotten it into our heads that it was Vietnamese food. That may have been something my dad had mentioned earlier, but I’m not sure if it was even related to his intention to take us here because when we went in, he seemed surprised that it was a Vietnamese restaurant.

My first impression of the menu was that it was very confused. One page featured Vietnamese fare, while the subsequent pages had Thai and Chinese options. Since I was planning on having Vietnamese food the next day with a friend, I decided to go for the Thai option. The Chinese options looked too much like food that could be had at any food court in the mall. In perusing the menu, we decided that the best option was to each choose one item off the menu and share it family style. I chose the Original Pad Thai with chicken, my sister decided on the Han Chao Sate Bowl, my mom picked a Green Curry with chicken, and my dad went with the Traditional Thai noodles with beef. I’m not sure why my dad decided to go with the Traditional Thai noodles because that dish turned out almost exactly the same as the Pad Thai.

When the dishes arrived, I remembered thinking that the presentation was very nice, but impractical. Some of the plates were fairly large (the Pad Thai and Traditional Thai noodles), but the Green Curry and Sate Bowl weren’t that large but still took up a lot of space because they decided to put it on a “saucer” plate. They were going to pull a second table over for us, but my dad put a stop to it. I was slightly annoyed because it would have been so much more spacious and relaxing to eat if I was able to eat without the fear of knocking something over. The Traditional Thai noodles and the Pad Thai came with a small dish of chili oil, peanuts, and lime. The first one I tried was the Traditional Thai noodles which reminded me of the Chinese Beef Chow Fun Noodles (乾炒牛河 pronounced gon chow ngau haw in Cantonese) but with a Thai twist on it. My only complaint was how coarsely chopped the green onions were; in short, they were huge and mostly raw. The Pad Thai had the same problem with the onions, so I essentially just picked them out and set them aside. When I had first read the menu’s description, I thought that the Pad Thai would be like the one we had at Wendel’s: egg, prawns, and a choice of a third meat. I should have read it more carefully. It said that the original one is made with prawns, but we can substitute it out for beef, chicken, or mixed veggies. I think it would have been so much better with the prawns, but overall, not a bad dish. My favourite would have to be the Green Curry my mom chose. She decided on coconut rice over plain rice and I was very happy with it. The rice was so fragrant and the coconut not overpowering in any way. In fact, the slight sweetness of the coconut rice gives it the depth it needs. The curry itself isn’t too spicy, but there is a detectable heat to it. My sister’s choice, I’d have to say, was the most disappointing dish of the evening. It couldn’t even pass for a good bún, let alone being sate anything. It wasn’t spicy or flavourful in any way. I’d have to say the bún served by the fast food place at the university put it to shame.

So, this place wasn’t too bad, but it also isn’t the best places I’ve been too. There were some good and some bad dishes, but all in all the experience wasn’t unpleasant. I’d most likely return, but maybe not for their bún. Based on this experience, I’d give it a 3/5.

Restaurant Review: Anju

Location: 344 17 Avenue SW
Website: http://www.anju.ca

Another night on the town enjoying great food with great company. Tonight I had dinner here with my best friend, Julia. I’ve wanted to come to Anju for a long time and tonight I wasn’t disappointed. The menu is new and different as fusion food often is.

We ordered four dishes and one side which turned out to be completely unnecessary. The Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad was the first to come. When I hear “buckwheat noodles,” my first thought is of soba, but these were not that; they looked more like instant noodles. The dish was chilled, hence the salad served with grilled pork belly. The salad consisted of the noodles, kimchi, cucumber, carrot, daikon, nori, and half an egg served on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce, but the daikon was kind of hard to find in everything. The choice to serve it with grilled pork belly was a good one. The sour spiciness of the kimchi serves to counterbalance the richness of the pork belly. And deciding to simply grill it without the addition of a lot of seasoning was a good contrast to the aggressively seasoned noodles. The next dish that arrived was the Spicy Salmon Tacos which are tacos with salmon mixed with spicy mayo on a sesame slaw topped with avocado mousse and seaweed and lime wedges on the side. The taco shells are made of a wonton wrapper, giving it a much need crunch. I’d have to say this is my favourite dish of the entire evening. Not only is it fresh tasting, there are a variety of textures that make it so much more interesting to eat. Though the menu stated that there’s masago on it, there wasn’t any tonight. It didn’t taste as though anything was missing, but it would have added another level of depth to the dish. The Poutine For Your Seoul came next with the kimchi (the side we ordered). Had I known how many dishes contained kimchi, I wouldn’t have ordered this as a side. The poutine had cheese curds and fresh cubed tofu, drizzled with Kabayaki Gravy, topped with dehydrated Kimchi. This one was primarily chosen because of the punny name. Julia loved the name so much and I thought why the heck not, it made me laugh, so let’s give it a try. It was a good dish, but so heavy. It really could have done with some citrus accompaniments. The last dish to arrive were the KFC sliders. I think this item is a modification of one of their existing menu items (it’s not on their online menu). They are buttermilk fried chicken topped with two sauces: a mayo one and a Gochujang sauce (spicy fermented bean sauce), served with kimchi flavoured chips on the side. After all that kimchi, these chips didn’t taste of much. This one was as heavy as the poutine and by this part of the meal, all the carbs were really getting to me, so much so that I had a hard time getting down my allotted one and a half sliders.

This place, like all tapas bars, are pricey. Now I know that going to a tapas bar with one other person is a no-no. Next time I’m bringing at least two other people as the serving sizes are a better fit for parties of three or four. Next time less kimchi and fewer dishes of carb heavy ingredients.  I don’t think I can eat kimchi for the next few weeks and feel as though I’ll be full for a long time to come. There are still so many things that i’d love to try out on the menu. I would definitely recommend this place and i would most certainly return here. Based on today’s visit, I’d give this place a 4.25/5.

Anju Exterior

Anju Exterior


Anju Exterior

Anju Exterior


Anju Interior

Anju Interior


Open Concept Kitchen

Open Concept Kitchen


Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad

Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad


Spicy Salmon Tacos

Spicy Salmon Tacos


Poutine For Your Seoul

Poutine For Your Seoul


KFC Sliders with Kimchi Flavoured Chips

KFC Sliders with Kimchi Flavoured Chips

Restaurant Review: Buffalo Wild Wings

Location: 2620 32nd St NE Calgary, AB
Website: http://www.buffalowildwings.com/en-CA/

Tonight was a night of celebration. After an hour at the Extreme Airpark, coworker Sarah and I were starving to say the least. It didn’t help that it was freezing outside and all I had on were shorts and a tank top. For her, the fried pickles and wings were a must. For me it was the mozzarella sticks and wings. So we decided to get fried pickles and mozza sticks as starters and get the double. Before I came here I didn’t understand what that meant. For those who still have no idea, it means that you get to pick two flavours. Regardless if you choose single, double, or triple, you get a pound of wings. Now you may think that that’s not a lot and really it isn’t if you have a large group, but when it’s just two people with two appies already, it’s a lot.

I normally love mozza sticks for their stringiness, but these ones were a little colder than I was used and not as stringy (it snapped very easily). The fried pickles on the other hand were  the complete opposite; they were very hot. The chipotle sauce is smokier than most other places I’ve had it at.

The contrast between the Bourbon and Asian wings were a good combination. The first few Asian wings weren’t that spicy, but the more I had the spicier it got. The Bourbon ones weren’t spicy per se, but there was definitely a kick to it. The only thing I really wanted more of were carrots. I absolutely love carrots and considering how much ranch dip they gave us, it would have been nice to have more veggies to dip into it (I don’t like dipping my chicken wings into the sauce. I’ve heard some people do, but why would you do that if you already have a delicious sauce on it?).

Overall, I’d say this place has some really good bar/pub food. Service wasn’t bad either. The servers were very friendly and we didn’t have to wait too long for food. Yes it was way salty, but it’s meant to paired with alcohol so it was understandable. I would come back again with friends to enjoy a casual night out and rate it a 3.75/5.

Mozzarella Sticks and Fried Pickles

Mozzarella Sticks and Fried Pickles

Asian Zing (front) and Bourbon Honey Mustard (back)

Asian Zing (front) and Bourbon Honey Mustard (back)

Tag Cloud