Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Gyoza Bar - Vancouver, BC

This was a restaurant which received so much hype but I was very underwhelmed by it. Parts of it was good, parts of it was average. 

They don't take reservation so I would not suggest coming here with a large party as it may take a while. We went at around 6 something and they told us it would be around 20 mins wait already. down our name and walked around. We came back pretty quickly because there was nothing really in that area. We got called less than 20 mins and got seated at a communal table meaning there would be people beside us. 

I do like that their menu is not too complicated so many choices. Each category only has a few choices. 

Because of the restaurant's name, we had to order their gyoza. We ordered their original Teppan Gyoza which came with a chilli sauce and a green onion sauce.  

The dumpling was super thin. The filling was peaking through the dumpling skin. The proportion of meat and veggies was good although I would've wanted more chives or green onions in there. However, it was lacking a bit of seasoning. It wasn't salty enough. We had to put a lot of sauce on it.

I ordered their Tomato Seafood Ramen which looked pretty good. The soup base was quite good. It was full of tomato and seafood flavour, very rich. It reminded me of italian cuisine. It was as if I was having an italian dish. Having that said, it didn't go too well with the ramen. The noodles itself was cooked but it wasn't as al dente as it should be. Most of the seafood were pretty fresh. 

Calvin ordered the Pork Tonkatsu ramen. Again the soup/ broth was good. It was very rich in pork flavour but the cha-siu itself was lacking taste and the noodles wasn't as al dente as it should be. 

I would say it was definitely worth trying once but I don't know if I would come back again although the restaurant is quite new and perhaps everything will be refined later on.

Gyoza Bar + Ramen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Yolk's - Vancouver, BC

The first time I had Yolk's was probably one and half years ago when they only had the food truck. Knowing they have expanded to a store front now, we decided to go back again. The restaurant was definitely was easy to spot with the bright yellow and blue colour. We went on a Monday so there wasn't a lot of people. The restaurant is quite big and and fit a lot of people. If you have been to Red Wagon, Yolk's would be twice the size of Red Wagon. 

I ordered fresh squeezed orange juice which was $4 and Calvin ordered the Chocolate Milk with Calleburt Chocolate. That was one expensive orange juice. 

Since their Egg Sandwich was so popular, that was what I ordered while Calvin ordered their daily special which comes with 2 eggs and sausage with hollandaise. Their hollandaise was decent though it wasn't very well-balanced. 

I ordered the sandwich with their truffle oil infused fries which was super delicious with the spring onions. Though as we ate more, it was starting to taste salty. 

This was my egg sandwich. Considering the price, I was expecting a larger portion but it wasn't enough... The portion was quite small compared to Red Wagon. 

Given their name Yolk's, the best part would have to be the yolk and no doubt it is definitely a runny yolk. The yolk was cooked perfectly. The sandwich itself was pretty good though. The muffin was toasted, the ham went well with the egg yolk. 

If I have a choice between Yolk's and Red Wagon, I would pick Red Wagon. One because they have more choices but two because their portions are bigger. Don't get me wrong, Yolk's is really good but I prefer one over the other.

Yolk's Breakfast Restaurant and Commissary on Urbanspoon

Takeya Sushi

Simple decor, decent food is what I would use to describe Takeya Sushi. Takeya Sushi is located in the Seafair mall which is on No.1 and Francis, right beside the Safeway in the mall. I used to be quite familiar as I lived in the area and from what I've heard before, this sushi place wasn't the greatest. So when my parents recommended this place, I hesitated until my dad told me they changed owners. So I decided to give it a try. 

The place isn't very big and they have very simple decor. We were greeted by a Japanese waitress and only waited a few minutes before we got a table. I was so overwhelmed by the menu. They had 6 pages of food and rolls alone, they probably had over 20 kinds. It was very hard deciding what to order. 

In the end, we ordered 3 of their chef's special which were Takeya nigiri, Mango Philadelphia roll and Ebi Shu-mai.

First came the Ebi Shu-mai. We ordered it because it is not a common dish we see at Japanese restaurant. The dish is quite creative but it was kind of bland. I couldn't really taste the shrimp although the filling was all shrimp. 

Then came this platter, which they put 3 rolls we ordered onto one plate. There was the salmon roll, which I always love. There was also the Futomaki which was half a roll, and then the chef's special, Mango Philadelphia roll. 

The salmon was pretty fresh and I was quite disappointment at the other two rolls. The futomaki is pretty average futomaki but it wasn't rolled properly. It was really loose. I don't know if you can tell from the picture but the two pieces at the back pretty much fell apart. We couldn't pick up each piece without the filling falling out. 

The Mango Philadelphia roll had very strong cream cheese. The mango on the top didn't seem like was actual mango pieces as the color of the "mango" was very pale yellow. The avacado wasn't ripe yet as it was quite hard to chew.  

This dish is what I enjoyed the most. This is the Takeya Nigiri which had seared salmon and tuna as well as unagi, shrimp and saba. All the sushi on this dish were quite good. Of course the seared salmon can't be compared to Miku or Minami's seared salmon sushi and considering the price, it was pretty good. 

Their service is pretty good too. Their waitresses always have a smile on. 

Overall, this is not the best sushi I've had in Vancouver but considering the affordable price, their sushi is pretty good. I would come back here for some decent and reasonable priced sushi. 

Takeya Sushi on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Yah Yah Ya Ramen - Richmond, BC

This is probably the best ramen place in Richmond. I heard from a friend that there's this new ramen place that opened. Being ramen lovers, Calvin and I had to go try it. Yah Yah Ya is located in the Union square mall, right beside Richmond Sushi. This place was only opened in July so we thought it would be empty but we were wrong. I think we waited around 20-30 mins for a table on a Friday night. The place isn't very big. There are probably around 10 tables. 

*update: We went back again on Tuesday night and there was no wait at all. 

Please keep in mind they are only opened until 9pm and their last call is 8:50pm so make sure you get there before then! 

You get to choose the type of noodle, the intensity of taste, the the amount of oil.
Noodles: hard, normal soft
Taste:  Heavy, normal, light
Oil: More, Normal, Less

Based on their menu, they also have the option of lean or fat chasiu but it wasn't available when we ordered.

The ambience is nice and relaxing.

I ordered my favourite Shoyu ramen and Calvin ordered his favourite Miso.  We ordered normal for everything. Below is the Shoyu.

Miso Ramen. There was a lot of bean sprouts in the Miso. We both liked the Shoyu base better. The Shoyu has a stronger taste where the Miso was more mild. Calvin said next time he will get soup with "heavy" taste instead of "normal". 

As you can tell, the chasiu looks kind of bland and it was. There wasn't really a taste to it. It pulled apart very easily but it basically felt like the meat was cooked in the soup for hours and has lost its flavour into the soup.

The noodle was decent though. We like our noodles slightly chewy and this was exactly that. The egg was pretty good though I would've enjoyed it more if it was marinaded longer.

We also ordered the gyoza and this was $5. They bring you sauces for you to mix on your own. All the pieces were stuck together so when we were trying to pick one up, the filling fell out. We weren't able to pick up one piece as a whole. The gyoza wasn't very special. There was more meat than veggies so the proportion wasn't very good. It was lacking some taste. I think they probably buy it outside though I can't be certain.

*Update: When we ordered it again second time on a Tuesday night, the gyoza was cooked better. We were able to separate them apart one by one without falling apart. The taste was still lacking but the skin was thinner.

Overall, I would definitely come back to this place again as I really enjoyed their soup base and their noodle. Although there are better ramen places in Vancouver, this one is pretty good too. 

Yah Yah Ya Ramen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Miku - Vancouver, BC

After having been to Minami, I didn't really see the need to go to to Miku given they have the same food. I came here because it was one of my girlfriends' birthday and she wanted to come here. I was very pleased that I did. 

First of all, the view was quite amazing. This is a new location for Miku and it is super busy. I don't think you would be able to get a table without reservation. I came late because of work and my girlfriends already ordered some food. 

They actually ordered a lot of food. They ordered the Aburi Sashimi Trio which has 3 types of flamed Seared Sashimi with signature sauces. Each one of the sauces went really well with the sashimi. The salmon had more of a mayo sauce, the one in the middle had more of a wasabi sauce and Tuna had a yuzu sauce.  The sashimi was obviously very fresh. That was a very mouth-watering dish. 

We then had the Miku Roll which had salmon, crab, cucumber, sea urchin, rolled in fish roe with seared MIKU sauce. The sauce was to die for but I feel the sauce overpowered the roll a bit. I couldn't taste the sea urchin one bit. I could taste the salmon, fish roe and the crab though. I could easily finished all of these bite-sized rolls in no time. 

As I was still enjoying the aftertaste of the rolls, the waitress brought over this ginormous plater and I had no idea what this was. I soon found out this was the MIKU waterfront platter which served 3. That was probably why my girls ordered it . This included chef's choice of sashimi, oysters, clams, mussels, jumbo prawns, kaizen poke, scallop ceviche and kale gomae. All for $78 which is a pretty good deal if you ask me. It equates to $26/person for all those seafood. I don't know if you can tell but it was a lot of food. The sashimi, clams, oysters were all super fresh. I didn't like the prawns that much though. It was lacking flavour. I wasn't sure if it was because they sat on top of a bucket of ice for a long time.

The kaizen poke was seasoned with miso and sesame which was good. The scallop was a bit sour with the citrus they added to it although it helped maintain the freshness of the scallop. The scallop was very fresh and full of flavour. Next time I would just ask to have a little bit less lemon.

Lastly, we ended with my favourite sushi, the salmon oshi sushi. This is one of their signature and it's just so so so good. After eating all the food above, I could still eat all the pieces. I really liked that they later the salmon with a piece in the centre. It really brings out the salmon flavour. The fact that the salmon on top was half seared just sealed the deal. The salmon melted in your month, just the right balance between rice, salmon and the sauce. 

I am sure you would know my thoughts on this restaurant by now. I would definitely go back again and bring others to here. Their food is just too awesome. 

Miku Restaurant on Urbanspoon