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Posts tagged ‘salad’

Restaurant Review: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

Location: 100-638 6 Ave SW
Website: http://www.gyu-kaku.com/

I confess, I am not familiar with Japanese BBQ. When greeted with the phrase “Japanese cuisine,” the first item that jumps into my mind is sushi, not BBQ. For me, BBQ conjures up images of either Korean BBQ or a Southern style one (or the kind using the BBQ lol). I mean, when my sister and I were in Vancouver with friends we went to a Korean and Japanese BBQ and had some similar dishes. To be honest, after today’s experience I’m still confused as to the difference between the two. Sure the seasonings are different, but they largely use the same cuts of meat and they are prepared in much the same way.

To go out with my sister after classes again was a refreshing change from the mundane routine of school and work. It was a bit of a walk from the station and we were told that there would be a half hour wait since we didn’t have a reservation. I was starved, but we had come all this way and Valerie had spoken so highly of it, I decided to just push through the hunger pangs to try this place. As it turns out, the wait was only 4 minutes.

We were promptly seated, presented menus, and asked for our drink order. After a quick perusal of the menu on the advice of Val and the waitress we decided on two appetizers and two lunch specials. The appetizers we ordered were the fried calamari and takoyaki. We both decided on the three BBQ item lunch special and ordered Harami Miso Skirt Steak, Beef Tongue, Kalbi Short Rib Sweet Soy, Bistro Hanger Steak Miso, Filet Mignon, and Spicy Pork. The lunch special came with rice, soup and salad. Val opted to have the seaweed soup and I, the Miso. The seaweed soup was a nice surprise since I had expected the flowy, hair like seaweed that I’m used to for Chinese seaweed soup. They used the same seaweed as in the Miso and the broth was slightly saltier. The salad was dressed with a tangier, more acidic salad dressing that I’m used to having at Japanese restaurants. It reminded me more of the salads that we got at Korean restaurants. I would’ve have liked to have more salad and I probably should’ve saved some to eat with the meal since the acid would’ve helped cut through the richness of the meat.

The appetizers arrived shortly after the soup and salad. The first piece of takoyaki I dug into had a good octopus to batter ratio. Unfortunately, that cannot be said of the subsequent pieces I had. Flavour wise, the interior was standard, but I felt as though there could have been a little more sauce to give the outside a little more of that characteristic takoyaki flavour. Of course there is a difference between a slight drizzle (or more than that) and dousing it in sauce; a good balance must be found. The calamari I found to be ordinary. Nothing sets it apart from other calamari I’ve had. It certain isn’t one of the best, but it isn’t the worst either.

Besides some of the meat having already been seasoned, each table is set with three sauces: ponzu, spicy, and sweet soy. Although the ponzu sauce isn’t bad, it just isn’t my favourite of the three due to its unique tanginess. My favourite of the three is the spicy one, which wasn’t even spicy, but it was very flavourful. I found that I often didn’t need to dip my meat into the sauces, but when I did it made the meat saltier and had me reaching for my white rice.

Overall, I had no complaints. The food was really good and I would definitely go back. One thing I will say is that while it doesn’t look like all that much, the meal was very filling.

Based on my experience today, I’d give this place a 4.0/5. Our server as well as another one who appeared to be in training were great in helping us out today.

sign

light

Light hanging at entrance

appies

Appetizers: Fried Calamari (back), Takoyaki (front)

miso-and-salad

Miso Soup and Salad

seaweed-soup-and-salad

Seaweed Soup and Salad

better-meat

Meat (in no particular order): Harami Miso Skirt Steak, Beef Tongue, Kalbi Short Rib Sweet Soy, Bistro Hanger Steak Miso, Filet Mignon, and Spicy Pork

 

cooking-meat

Cooking the Meat

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Restaurant Review: Wendel’s Bookstore & Cafe

Location: 103-9233 Glover Rd (Fort Langley)
Website: http://wendelsonline.com/wordpress/

After an exhausting pre-dinner walk and exclusion from a pub (as one of our party didn’t have any IDs that are considered sufficient as BC laws differ greatly from Alberta ones) we headed to this cafe. Sure I love books, coffee, and pastries, but I wasn’t enthusiastic about going to a cafe for dinner. I was about to be proven wrong on so many levels.

Two of my party ordered daily special items. One had the Chicken Avocado Quesadilla and the other had the Driediger Farms Berry and Goat Cheese salad. The other orders were a West Coast Prawn Fettuccine, a Jack & Avocado Quesadilla, and a Pad Thai. Drinks ordered were an Iced Caramel Macchiato, a Mocha Frappe, a Yogurt Yerry smoothie, and a Wild Berry Frappe. The Fettuccine was heavenly! It was prawns in a white wine, garlic and cream sauce over fettuccine noodles topped with parmesan and served with two pieces of garlic focaccia. The focaccia was a lot lighter than I was used to and the sauce was so creamy! But as I neared the end, it got tougher and tougher to finish because of its richness. It probably would have been nice to share it with someone who got a salad. The feature salad was quite large and the citrus vinaigrette was exactly what my friend needed after that heavy lamb lunch. The fresh berries, creamy goat cheese, and candied pecans added a layer of depth to the salad, making it more filling than you’d expect from a salad. The quesadillas didn’t really interest me and I didn’t try them, but the two who ordered them said that it was pretty good (and that’s all I could get out of them). The quesadillas came with a salad and choice of dressing. The Pad Thai was also really refreshing. I’ve never had a Pad Thai and I suppose a cafe isn’t the place to try it, but this place actually did a really good job on it. The noodles they used were about the size of my fettuccine, but were made of potato starch instead giving it a nice chewy consistency.  There was a lot of variety of protein in this dish: egg, prawns, and chicken, which was really nice. The lime definitely helped to whet my appetite and I assume that it would make it go down a lot easier than the creamy fettuccine I had. However, the only complaint my sister had about this dish was after a while it got really sweet after a while.

The two desserts that were ordered were a berry cheesecake and a peanu st butter and chocolate bar. The cheesecake looked really good and it would be the kind I’d go for since for me, cheesecake is so rich it needs the tartness to counterbalance it. The crust/base of the peanut butter chocolate bar was described as being quite dry. I’d love to come back just to have a dessert and coffee while looking around at the books sometime in the winter.

As this place is technically a cafe, it functions much like Vendome. You order at the counter, take a number and they will bring it to your table. The staff are friendly yet remained professional. I would certainly love to come back here after a long day out on the river or just to relax and have a coffee with friends. I would definitely recommend coming here if you have the pleasure of visiting Fort Langley. I’e always wanted to live in a small town and this place has become yet another reason why I should. This has been one of the best places we’ve been to so far on this trip and I would give it a 4.5/5, giving Vendome a good run for its money (might even be better than Vendome since it has a much wider selection of food).

Avocado and Jack Quesadilla

 

Driediger Farms Berry and Goat Cheese Salad

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar

 

Berry Cheesecake

 

Chicken Avocado Quesadilla

 

West Coast Prawn Fettuccine

 

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

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