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Posts tagged ‘Vancouver’

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.

Restaurant Review: Jang Mo Jib

Location: 1575 Robson St

I’m pretty sure that our cousin Jenny took us to this restaurant when we were last in Vancouver. I mean it’s something I remember, Jenny remembers, my dad remembers, so if that many people remember, I can’t be crazy.

This place is awesome! Portion sizes are huge, so unless you’re a big eater or have a large party, don’t order too much. For the four of us, we ordered three dishes and even then, we had trouble finishing it. We ordered the Regular Non-spicy Gam Ja Tahng, Beef BBQ, and the Jab Che. The Gam Ja Tahng is a traditional Korean pork and neck bone soup with green onion, white onion, vegetables, and potatoes. Normally we’re all pretty good at holding our own when it comes to spicy food, but my cousin said that since the soup was hot, a little bit of spiciness would make us cry. The soup had large chunks of fall of the bone tender meat, but I found the soup to be a little too meaty in taste for my liking. For me, potatoes in a clear broth soup, especially an Asian soup is a little weird. Now that I’ve tried it, I can say that I don’t like it. Next time I’d like to try the Duk Bok Gee Hot Pot. The last two dishes don’t have an option for level of spiciness. The Beef BBQ isn’t just the meat, it was more like a stir-fry. I would have preferred if there was more meat than veggie, but maybe I was just feeling carnivorous that day. A staple for me is Jab Che (also spelled Jap Chae). Eating this one I knew immediately that I have been to this place. Like a friend of my sister’s said, this dish is really accessible and is a great introduction to Korean food for people who haven’t tried it yet. I really like it because of the sweet potato noodles which are super chewy and I love chewy.

Because the portion sizes are so big, I would love to come back again just to try out some of these other things. Hopefully next time I’ll have more people to come along with me so we can try out everything. I would rate this place 3.75/5 based on the experience and dishes I tried here, but that may changed based on what I order next time.

Restaurant Interior

Restaurant Interior

Side Dishes

Side Dishes

Gam Ja Tahng

Gam Ja Tahng

Jab Che

Jab Che

BBQ Beef

BBQ Beef

Restaurant Review: Shabusen Yakiniku

Location: 202-755 Burrard St

Tonight we went for all you can eat Japanese and Korean BBQ. This place was the recommendation of the parents of my traveling companion, Vivienne (a friend of my sister’s). We made a reservation just in case and from the looks of it, it was totally necessary. We arrived to a busy restaurant and were promptly seated. A pitcher of water was delivered and a sheet to mark of the food we wanted. In round one we ordered beef short rib, BBQ beef, spicy gyoza, 2 toro nigiri, 4 unagi nigiri, 8 pieces of salmon sashimi, 2 pieces of tuna sashimi, 1 chopped scallop temaki (hand roll), 4 oyster motoyaki, and 3 agedashi tofu. The beef was the first to come and slowly the other things started to come out. The beef was so good we ordered another two servings of it, but by the time we had finished of all the beef, the temaki, tofu, and oysters still hadn’t come out. We asked one of the staff and she curtly said “it’s coming” even though she didn’t even check. Regardless, we were still hungry and ordered another round of food: 2 more toro nigiri, deep fried spicy gyoza, 8 more pieces of salmon sashimi, and 2 more tuna sashimi. Some more of the food came out and we still hadn’t received some of the dishes from round one. I was becoming increasingly impatient. Both times we ordered the gyozas the meat was raw. I don’t know if that’s how it’s supposed to be but every time we order gyozas, including in Calgary, the meat has always been raw. The pieces of sashimi got thinner and smaller as the night went on and the temaki had way too much rice (so much so that my sister expressed the fact that she was starting to feel sick because eating a roll of just seaweed and rice is kinda gross). To me, the oyster motoyaki was just weird. It is essentially cooked oysters in mayo and oil. That didn’t look or sound appealing in anyway to me. This was my first time trying the agedashi tofu. It’s a pretty ordinary dish: tempura soy sauce and firm tofu cut into cubes, covered in tempura batter and deep fried. Our last round was dessert, a coffee jello. It was kinda weird tasting. Coffee in a jello topped with evaporated milk? I dunno, I feel ambivalent about this one.

The service at this place was atrocious. We had one table who waited for about 15-20 minutest to get a table and all they got was a bowl of edamame that wasn’t meant for us (they mixed up the order and so they just gave it to that table instead). They were so frustrated that everyone just got up and left. That combined with my experience with that waitress has left me feeling disrespected. The only saving grace of this place was one of the waiters, who’s name I can’t currently recall. He was very attentive to our table and made sure we got everything we ordered. Wait times between dishes were ridiculous as well. I will never come back to this place and I give it a 1/5.


BBQ Beef and BBQ Beef Short Ribs


Spicy Gyoza


Unagi and Toro Nigiri


Salmon and Tuna Sashimi


Chopped Scallop and Toro Nigiri


Oyster Motoyaki


Agedashi Tofu and Deep Fried Spicy Gyoza


Coffee Jello


Restaurant Review: Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna

Location: 1124 Davie St

Another day with a late lunch. After an exhausting morning of shopping, we made our way to Stepho’s. Finally, after a recommendation from my coworker two or three years ago, we finally got a chance to go. And we were not disappointed. Even at two o’clock, the restaurant was packed. We waited for a short period of time and were seated near the kitchen. It was apparent that the restaurant had been around for a long time as the building interior looked quite weathered. We speculated that perhaps the building was a house prior to it being a restaurant based simply on the fact that the setup was very homey.

Not wanting to spoil our appetites for the all you can eat tonight, we omitted appetizers and each just ordered a main. My friend and I had the beef souvlaki pita and my sister had the large beef souvlakia meal. The pitas came with fries and a side of tzatziki sauce. Inside the pitas were coarsely sliced onions and tomatoes sprinkled with a light seasoning. The beef came on a skewer and the first piece of meat was stuck on pretty good. As is the norm at Greek restaurants, garlic features quite heavily in their dishes, especially the tzatziki. But I didn’t find that the garlic was too overpowering, although I would not recommend this place if you were on a date, especially if he was a vampire, for he would have died upon entrance into this establishment. Still the sauce was to die for, both refreshing and well seasoned. I would have preferred if the onions in the pita to have had been more finely chopped, but other than that it was amazing! The beef souvlakia meal is essentially the same as the pita except with bread, potatoes, Greek salad, and rice pilaf instead of fries. The rice is similar to something my dad makes at home, except with a lot less seasoning. The Greek salad was kinda sad, it only had one olive…The potatoes are just roasted, not lemon potatoes like at Van Gogh’s that my sister loves so much. I think the only difference between the large and small meal is that the large gives two skewers instead of just one. The beef was cooked spectacularly. It wasn’t charred, overseasoned, overcooked, or undercooked. Sometimes, the problem I have with beef is that it is too tough to bite through and in the case of pita, oftentimes I just rip large cubes of beef out leaving sections of just plain pita, veg, and sauce.

Although their menu isn’t particularly extensive, I would love to come to this place again. The food is well cooked and the servers (or at least ours) are delightful. What I didn’t understand was why our waitress had to take on several tables that weren’t originally hers and when the guy who was supposed to be managing his table took back his table, he was pretty rude to his guests. It was a good experience for me here, so I’d give this restaurant a 4.25/5


Beef Souvlaki Pita


Large Beef Souvlakia Meal


Restaurant Review: Tony’s Fish and Oyster Cafe

Location: 1511 Anderson St 

Before dinner we had walked down to Granville Island and decided to stick to something close by. My friend Julia suggested Tony’s Fish and Oyster Cafe. When we arrived there was a wait to get in, but to be fair the restaurant was quite small. There wasn’t enough space to sit in at the restaurant so we got it to go and walked down to the seating in the market place at Granville. My first instinct was to order the fish and chips, but my sister suggested that we should share the Seafood Sampler Platter for Two and we went with that instead because it encompassed so much more than just fish and chips. The platter had two pieces of fish and chips (one for each of us), four deep fried oysters, four butterflied shrimps, calamari and fries. With something as greasy as deep fried seafood, vinegar and/or lemon should be provided generously. This was not the case. We were only given one lemon wedge and two small packages of vinegar. Though I’m not a fan of oysters, deep fried oysters were bearable, but even so, I was only able to eat one, giving the other three to my sister. The butterflied shrimp were nothing special, but they had extra crunchy breading, which I suspect is panko, but can’t be 100% sure. The calamari was the most disappointing to me. They were underseasoned and flavourless. The fish was good in the middle because it was really tender and the breading was so crunchy that it satisfied my need for crunchy food. However, despite all that, I felt that the fish was overfried because some parts of it had gone hard and melded with the batter, something which I don’t think should happen.

Yes, it was a mess. Yes, it was greasy. But yes, I would have their fish and chips again if I ever got a craving. It was a quick meal, though next time I’d prefer to eat it in the comfort of my hotel room so no one will ever have to see my messy eating face. I would give this place a 3.5/5.


Restaurant Review: Sushi Hiyori

Location: 1348 Hornby St

Day one, restaurant one. After being dropped off at the airport at 7:30 there was a lot of time to wait before our flight, so unsurprisingly, when we finally landed in Vancouver, everyone was starving. We looked up restaurants before we headed out, but decided that the best course of action was to go into the first appealing restaurant that we saw on our way to Granville Island. This was the restaurant we stumbled on.

As it was 2 in the afternoon, we decided to go with something light so that we could still have dinner at a reasonable time. We ordered the eight piece tuna and salmon sashimi, takoyaki, Energy Roll, and okonomiyaki. I didn’t have any sashimi, but my sister described it as being well chilled with no fishy taste for the tuna and that the slabs were sufficiently thick. The takoyaki is comparable to the one served at Sakana Grill. It too is served with a generous helping of fish flakes on top. However, I’d recommend these ones over the Sakana ones simply because it had a crunchier exterior, which I enjoyed immensely. The okonomiyaki batter is pretty much the same as the takoyaki except that it has onion and is flattened out into a pancake shape. This one was a bit of a disappointment as it was most unlike the picture that was printed in the menu. The menu promised a large pancake not unlike a Korean pancake in Korean BBQ. The first few bites were really enjoyable, but the sauce to pancake ratio was a bit off and there wasn’t enough sauce to go with all the pancake. The Energy Roll was essentially a dynamite roll with fried unagi on top, dressed with spicy mayo and unagi sauce. This roll is one of my favourites to date and this is the first time I’ve tried fried unagi (unagi in tempura batter and deep fried).

 Since it was so late, there were few patrons, but when we walked by around 7 pm, they were packed, which is always a good indication. Service was a bit lacking, but again, because of the late hour this was technically their lunch time. Having taken everything into consideration, I’d say that my experience here was pretty good and that I would recommend this place. I would give this restaurant a 3.75/5.



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