Ask for Luigi

Restaurant: Ask for Luigi
Cuisine: Italian
Area: Vancouver (Gastown)
Address: 305 Alexander Street
Parking: Street Parking
Phone: (604)428-2544
Hours of Operation: Tues-Thurs 11:30 am – 2:30 pm/5:30 pm – 10:30 pm, Fri 11:30 am – 2:30 pm/5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, Sat 9:30 am – 2:30 pm/5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, Sun 9:30 am – 2:30 pm/5:30 pm – 9:30 pm

1Poor 2OK 3Good 4Very good 5Excellent

When I was younger, having a lot of friends felt cool and gave me confidence. But it’s interesting how things that mattered when I was teenager become less and less important as I grow older. I no longer see the importance in having a ton of friends, but just want to have few friends that I can really be myself with. Life is just way too short to keep people who don’t make you happy. One thing my friends and I share is that we love to eat. We would go to a restaurant and share everything because ordering your own meal is just not an option for us. I remember the time when CC, Jen, and I went to Chewie’s for dinner one night and by the time we finished eating all the food on the table (trust me, we ordered quite few food at Chewie’s), we were all like ‘wanna go grab some sushi afterwards?’ And that’s how we ended up eating more at Toshi Sushi that night.

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On this day, I was meeting up with a friend of mine who is also in love with yummy food! She is probably one of the few people who eats more than I do! I love dining out with her because we would order a bunch of stuff from the menu without any hesitation.

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We decided to order and share 4 things from the menu. Other diners in restaurant were staring at our table when all our food came out. I’m pretty used to this as we get this a lot in any restaurants we go lol.

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Two poached eggs with ricotta stuffed eggplant and tomato sauce -3.5/5 

  • $13.00
  • Personally, I love eggplants
  • Perfectly boiled poached eggs on top.
  • the tomato sauce and the ricotta cheese went very well with the eggplant.

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Monte Cristo Sandwich with Prosciutto & Soft Boiled Eggs -3.5/5 

  • $14.00
  • Again, perfectly boiled eggs
  • The toast was fried to a golden brown.

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Papppardelle alla Bolognese & Fried Egg -4/5 

  • $16.00
  • Pappardelle pasta was well cooked to al dente
  • Pasta tasted freshly made and went very with the savoury bolognese sauce.

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Pork Belly with a Fried Egg, Salsa Verde & Creamy Polenta -3.5/5 

  • $15.00
  • Pork belly was well cooked with still being tender inside.

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We were worried if we would have to wait a bit since I’ve heard how busy they can get but luckily we were seated right away. Overall, all the menu items we tried were carefully executed and tasted very good. I thought the price (for brunch) was pretty reasonable too! I would definitely want to come back for dinner to try their dinner menu, especially their pasta.

Ask for Luigi on Urbanspoon

Shima-ya

Restaurant: Shima-ya
Cuisine: Japanese
Area: Vancouver
Address: 5589 Victoria Drive
Parking: Street Parking
Phone: (604)322-4649
Hours of Operation: Tues-Sat 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm/5:00 pm – 9:00 pm Sun 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

1Poor 2OK 3Good 4Very good 5Excellent

Lately, I’ve been trying to cut back on my food intake because I’ve been constantly reminded that the key to losing weight and getting healthier is 80% diet and 20 % exercise. My goal was to eat breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess, and dinner like a peasant….but I find this is extremely difficult to accomplish.. First of all, how early do I need to wake up to eat like a queen when I am in love with my bed… and how can I pack my lunch like a princess? Okay.. I can eat out but I work at the airport and eating airport food, as you all know, isn’t going to help me eat like a princess. Eating like a peasant at night is almost close to impossible when my hubby constantly sweet talking me into dining out. There you go, this is why I ended up going to Shima-ya for dinner this day.

Shima-ya is a small authentic Japanese restaurant located in Kensington area. I’ve been wanting to try this place ever since I found it on urbanspoon. I can tell that the quality is top-notch just by looking at the food pictures people posted.

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The price is definitely on a higher end (depending on what you order). We decided to order Osaka Hako Sushi, Omakase chef’s choice assorted nigiri sushi, and few more pieces of nigiri sushi.

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Osaka Hako Sushi (9pc)-3.5/5 

  • $13.75
  • 4 pieces of futomaki: well prepared, just like the ones I had in Japan
  • 2 pieces of Inari sushi:
  • 3 pieces of Saba Battera

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Omakase Chefs choice assorted nigiri sushi – 4/5 

  • $31.00
  • Toro, Snapper, Mongo Ika, Kohada, Tamago, Amaebi, Hotategai, Uni, Giant Ebi, and Hamachi
  • Extremely fresh and sushi rice had just right amount of flavors.
  • My favorites were kohada, toro, and uni

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Nigiri Sushi – 4.5/5 

  • Chopped scallop was the one of the best I had in van city! (similar to the ones from Sushi by Yuji and Shiro)
  • We also ordered regular Ika to compare the taste between mongo ika in the assorted sushi.

When I was ordering, I kept the menu because I knew I would probably have to order more (as I eat more than a normal girl might eat) but surprisingly, I was pretty full by the time I was tackling the last few pieces of nigiri sushi. The bill came out to around $65 for two people before tips. At Shima-ya, your bill can end up pretty pricey but I thought it was worth it because the quality makes up for it. Besides, it is definitely a hidden gem and I suggest trying their food if you live close by!

Shima-Ya on Urbanspoon

Sushi Hachi

Restaurant: Sushi Hachi
Cuisine: Japanese
Area: Richmond
Address: Pacific Plaza, 1287-8888 Odlin Crescent
Parking: Private Parking
Phone: (604)207-2882
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

1Poor 2OK 3Good 4Very good 5Excellent

How much do we love sushi? CC and I always said that we would never be able to date a guy  if he did not eat sushi. I get shivers just thinking about not being able to order sushi on a date night.. what a horrible date it would be… I remember when CC first met her fiance many years ago, she totally hesitated because he did not eat raw fish! I was like “girl, you need to think it over…it’s sushi we are talking about…can you give up sushi for a guy?”. Okay, it’s a bit of an exaggeration but that’s how much we love sushi! Thankfully, CC was able to turn him into Sushi lover like us 😉

You know when a guy asks his girlfriend what she wants to eat and she would be like “I don’t know…” and he would suggest “how about we eat x or y” but she would be like…”no…not there…” or she might ask him “what do you want to eat?” and your definitive answer is followed with a look of disappointment? I know guys HATE this and I feel for you guys (although I’m guilty of this lol!). One tip of advice I can give for guys is to at least recommend three options and put a decent sushi joint in one of the options. I mean sushi is basically the universal go-to when your girlfriend can’t figure out what she wants to eat! This is how I ended up in this tiny sushi restaurant in Richmond called Sushi Hachi!

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This restaurant is owned by a Japanese couple and it opens from Tuesday to Saturday and only operating for 3 hours a day! Growing up, my mom owned a Japanese restaurant so I know how much restaurant owners need to compromise their home life for the sake of their business. I think the owners of Sushi Hachi are smart. They probably just want to earn just enough so that they can maintain their living but spend more time with their family. The service can be slow time to time because they don’t have any employees but the food is pretty damn solid!

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BBQ Salmon Skin Salad– 3.5/5 

  • $5.50
  • Grilled Salmon skin served with thinly sliced cucumbers and masago and green onion on top.
  • Very refreshing salad with salmon skin nicely grilled.
  • I believe the sauce was ponzu sauce and it went very well with this salad.

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Chef’s Choice sushi – 4/5 

  • $25.00
  • 10 pieces of chef’s choice nigri with 1 tekka maki (tuna roll)
  • I always get this set and few more pieces of nigiri sushi whenever I go to this restaurant.
  • The nigiri is chef’s choice so it will change slightly every visit.
  • The fish are prepared carefully and the fish quality is very high.

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Unagi Nigiri–4/

  • $4.00 per piece
  • Pretty damn pricey but they were very soft and puffy.
  • They were one of the best unagi nigiri I’ve had in Vancouver.

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Chopped Scallop-3/5, Tamago-3.5/5, Toro– 3.5/5 

  • Chopped Scallop $2.50 per piece, Tamago $2.00 per piece, Toro $2.50 per piece
  • Pieces are definitely smaller side but I like it that way 😉

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At Sushi Hachi, you need to get sashimi and sushi, not the rolls. I’ve ordered one of the rolls previously but I think it wasn’t that impressive. The place is really small so you should probably make reservations. I heard people can get rejected sometimes because they are completely reserved but somehow I always managed to find a seat without making reservations. Sushi Hachi is a place where you get authentic sushi with high quality fish. If you are obsessed with high quality sushi like me, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it here. But be warned; your bill can get inflated depending on what you order!

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Lee Yuen Seafood Restaurant

Restaurant: Lee Yuen Seafood Restaurant
Cuisine: Chinese- Dim Sum
Area: Surrey
Address: 14755 104 Avenue
Parking: Restaurant Parking
Phone: (604) 583-1399
Hours of Operation: 10:30am – 3:00pm (Dim Sum Hours)

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent

When I was living in Coquitlam, my mom and I used to go to Wah Wing Szechuan Restaurant whenever we had our dimsum craving. After moving to Surrey, we had been going to Neptune in Central City Tower or Empire Garden in Langley- if we had time for an extra 20 minute drive.
Few months ago, one of my coworkers had told me that Lee Yuen had started doing dimsum and we should try it out sometime soon. So we went there for lunch once, and not long after we were back again…

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Nothing special about their menu; you just check off the ones you would want to order and give it to the waitress. They have most of my favorites, so I guess it does not have to be special…
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Shrimp Dumplings – 3.5/5

  • $4.95
  • I cannot have dimsum without having these, of course!
  • Nothing wrong with this dish.
  • Good amount of shrimps inside.

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Steamed Rice Rolls with Chinese Donut – 4/5

  • $4.95
  • This would be another one that I always order if it is on the menu.
  • Until this day I thought the Chinese donut was supposed to be soggy for this dish, but Lee Yuen proved me wrong! The Chinese donut here was crispy but not hard. Hopefully, this is how they do it here and not by an accident just on this day.

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Steamed Pork & Shrimp Sui Mai – 3/5

  • $4.95
  • Average Pork Sui Mai you would expect.
  • These are actually my sister’s favorite; I should let her try these and let me know what she thinks…

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Baked BBQ Pork Pastries – 4/5

  • $4.50
  • First time having this dish and we really liked the overall flavour.
  • Outside was crispy and inside was delicious, soft and warm.
  • Meats inside were moist and soft.
  • I really liked these and probably would order these again.

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Panfried Eggplant with Shrimp Paste – 2.5/5

  • $4.95
  • I would not say that these were bad compared to the ones from other dimsum places. This is purely based on my personal taste; these are just not my favorite.
  • I guess for me the overall taste of this dish seems a bit blend, so I rarely order this dish.

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Deep Fried Shrimp Dumplings – 3/5

  • $4.50
  • Nice flavour, nothing special.
  • These were tasty but it was just too much shrimps for me at this point…

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Sticky Rice Wraps with Lotus Leaves – 3.5/5

  • $4.95
  • These were good, but I prefer the ones from Neptune.
  • I kind of wished the rice had more flavour or seasoning.

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Egg Tarts – 4/5

  • Complimentary
  • I was literally one bite before explosion at this point, but had to try my egg tarts.
  • Not too sweet, not too eggy, but delicious.

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The problem with Dim Sum though, is that I always end up having a food coma from eating too much. This is exactly why I never like going too far for Dim Sum for Saturday brunch; I just get super lazy after and want to come home straight.

For my future Dim Sum cravings, I know I will be at Lee Yuen – unless I find a better place nearby. Let me know if you guys know any other good places for Dim Sum in Surrey.

Good night everyone!

 
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Hearthstone Pizza

Restaurant: Hearthstone Pizza
Cuisine: Italian
Area: Port Coquitlam
Address: #25-2755 Lougheed Hwy
Parking: Mall Parking
Phone: (604) 944-2221
Hours of Operation: 11:00am – 9:00pm

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent

It has been almost a year since UG and I launched our website, DoubleBites. During the first few months, UG was posting all the blogs and the only contribution I was able to make was to find time to eat out with her (if that counts..) Thanks to UG for her patience! Woo Hoo! Anyways, so for me it has been only a few months since I have started blogging. Although I have not been able to post as often as I wish, I have been really enjoying doing this.

One day we were invited by Hearthstone Pizza, a newly opened restaurant in Port Coquitlam, to try their food and provide feedbacks, if we had any. Always yes to food offers of course! Plus I got to see UG as well. Yay!

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Hearthstone Pizza offers customized artisan pizza with unlimited selection of toppings at a set price of $8.95 for regular (11inch) and $6.95 for small (9inch). You could also choose from their signature pizzas, such as Meat/Vegi Lover, Margherita, Mediterranean, BBQ Chicken and Hawaiian offered at the same price.

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They had a good number of different toppings, all of which looked very fresh and clean. I decided to go with the white sauce, since UG was making hers with the red sauce.

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UG’s with the red sauce (11inch) – 4/5

  • Mozzarella, Ricotta, Pepperoni, Basil, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Sundried Tomatoes, and Black Olive
  • I loved the crust- chewy and crispy at the same time! Not soggy in the centre!
  • The sauce was well seasoned- not too salty, not too blend.
  • There was nothing we disliked about this pizza.

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CC’s with the white sauce (11inch) – 4/5

  • Mozzarella, Ricotta, Grilled Chicken, Italian Sausage, Spinach, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Black Olives, Garlic
  • Again, great crust, if not the best I’ve tried in lower mainland.
  • The sauce was tasty. Again, not too salty, not too blend.

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Honestly, I do not have much to say about their pizzas. Both were really delicious. Another factor I really liked was that the pizzas were ready in about 5 minutes after they were placed in the Wood Stone oven.

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Aside from their pizzas however, I wished their single use forks were stored in a more sanitary manner. It just made me a little hesitant when grabbing one from the pile for myself….but it could be just me.

Compared to other places like Famoso Neapolitan or Rocky Mountain Flat Bread Co., Hearthstone Pizza is a much more casual place, where you would go for a quick grab during the day or a light dinner (for my stomach this would be considered as a light dinner). In terms of the taste, I personally prefer their crust over the ones I have had from other pizza places. If you are in the neighborhood, I definitely recommend that you visit this place for a good quality thin crust pizza at a good price.

Hearthstone Pizza on Urbanspoon

Doni Korean Restaurant

Restaurant: Doni Korean Restaurant
Cuisine: Korean
Area: Surrey
Address: #24-10592 King George Blvd.
Parking: Mall Parking
Phone: (604) 581-8808
Hours of Operation: Mon Closed; Tues-Sat 11:30am – 10:00pm; Sun 11:30am – 9:00pm

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent

Having great coworkers is such a blessing. I do love what I do at my job, but having these wonderful people working with me just adds a little sparkle to my life. One day, one of my coworkers had asked me about Doni Korean Restaurant and if I had been there by any chance. My answer to that was no and I immediately went on Urbanspoon to search for Doni. Not only their rating was good but the pictures of their dumplings looked really good as well. Hence, our next lunch was arranged.

Doni Korean Restaurant has been in operation for about 3 years now after Dan Sung Sa has moved out. Every morning, fresh meats are delivered to the restaurant and dumplings are made by staff on site. The owner claims that all dumplings are served within the same day that they are made. They also offer frozen dumplings for sale.

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Ban Chan – 3.5/5

  • Complimentary
  • Kimchi was good
  • Some of the potatoes were not properly cooked, but most were fine

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YaChaeBiBim Mandoo – 4/5

  • $ 9.95
  • Basically just Goon Mandoo with spicy sauce on cabbage mixture
  • Mandoos were crispy outside, but not too hard
  • Juicy and moist inside!
  • I just really liked the overall flavor of this dish

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Mandoo – 3.5/5

  • $ 7.95
  • We ordered one GoGi Mandoo (Meat) and one SukUh Mandoo (half kimchi/half meat)
  • Flour based wrapper was not too thick but some of the ends were a bit hard to chew. Maybe they should have been cooked more? I don’t know…but still very good Mandoos!
  • Each piece had a good amount of fillings; both types of fillings were very juicy and flavorful

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IMG_0205JapChae – 3.5/5

  • $ 13.95
  • Well seasoned vegetables and noodles
  • Noodles were soft, chewy and moist, not over cooked nor dried
  • Nothing special about the choice of ingredients, but the overall taste was definitely above the average JapChae you could get from other Korean restaurants

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Mandoo KalGukSoo – 3.5/5

  • $ 8.95
  • Noodles were green! probably from spinach
  • Different types of Mandoos in this one; mandoos and noodles were cooked just right
  • Flavorful broth, not too salty
  • Good amount of toppings – marinated meat, carrots, enoki mushrooms
  • I personally really liked this dish and will definitely try their Mandoo JunGol (you can think of it as Mandoo hotpot) next time

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All the above items could be ordered from their regular menu at the prices provided above. However, on this day, we decided to go for the Mandoo combo, which includes SukUh Mandoo, YaChae BiBim Mandoo, and Mandoo KalGukSoo for $20.95 only. We thought this was such a good deal for the amount and quality of food we got. JapChae and GoGi Mandoo were ordered separately in addition to the combo.

For all non-Korean speaking readers, their menu is offered in Korean only (other than lunch boxes), so you might want to write down what to order before your visit. If not, I am sure one of the waitresses could help you out as well.

Doni is a small Korean restaurant- nothing fancy, but if you really want to try some good solid Korean food, or if you are a fan of Korean Mandoos, I would highly recommend that you try this place out. I mean if I am happy with the food that I get and that happiness continues even after paying the bill, that means I am coming back.

Doni Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Joe Fortes (Happy Hour)

Restaurant: Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
Cuisine: Seafood, Steakhouse
Area: Robson Street/West End
Address: 777 Thurlow St.
Parking: Street Parking/Valet Parking
Phone: (604) 669-1940
Hours of Operation: Monday – Sunday 11:00am -11:00pm (Happy Hour: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm)

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent

Spring is here! What does that mean? The PATIO SEASON is here! I am absolutely in love with Vancouver during the spring and summer season. My body is telling me to go out and soak up all the sunshine while I can. And what better way to do this than to sit back and relax on patio with an icy cold drink and yummy foods? On this sunny bright day, we’ve decided to take advantage of the happy hour at  Joe Fortes on Thurlow Street. I am pretty sure most of you have at least heard of this place since it is such an iconic restaurant. I’ve been coming back to Joe Fortes for brunch and dinner but I just love their happy hour menu which is offered from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily. To be honest, I think it is one of the best valued happy hour menus out of all the ones I’ve been to. The only setback is that you need to sit at the bar for their happy hour menu and it can get a bit too crowded especially if you are like me who orders a lot of food! However, on this visit, we were seated upstair on their amazing rooftop patio (I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not know they had a patio….)!

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Fresh Oysters – 4/5 

  • Buck a shuck!
  • Served icy cold on the half shell with classic cocktail sauce
  • Their oysters tasted really fresh and somewhat creamy in a good way.

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Jumbo Tiger Prawn Cocktail– 4/5 

  • $10.95
  • Served with fresh horseradish, cocktail sauce.
  • Tiger prawns are HUGE and tasted very fresh and springy.

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Oyster Rockefeller – 3.5/5 

  • $11.95
  • 4 pieces of local oysters, spinach, pernod, hollandaise
  • It had really good creamy cheesy savoury taste.

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Truffle Parmesan Fries – 2.5/5  , Jumbo Tempura Prawns – 3.5/5 , Fried Oysters – 3.5/5 

  • Truffle Parmesan Fries $4.95, Jumbo Tempura Prawns $10.95, Fried Oysters $7.95
  • Here you go! all the deep fried menus on one plate!
  • Truffle Parmesan Fries were thick-cut fries and they were good but not amazing (full of potato flavour).
  • Jumbo Tempura Prawns (3 pieces) were served with togarashi mayo on the side and they were massive and deep fried nicely.
  • Fried Oysters were also very crispy outside (different type of batter than tempura prawns) while the oyster inside were juicy.

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After trying their happy hour menu (half priced appetizers), I don’t think I can come back here for their dinner anymore lol. I’m one of those people who love to order bunch of appies rather than having one main for each person so this is just perfect for me! They just started their late night menu not too long ago and it starts from 9:00 pm to 11:00pm daily (some of their appies are half priced). Joe Fortes definitely offers solid foods and it is definitely perfect place for patio dining in Downtown Vancouver.

Joe Fortes on Urbanspoon

Red Chicken Korean Restaurant (Il Mak)

Restaurant: Red Chicken Korean Restaurant (Il Mak)
Cuisine: Korean
Area: Downtown
Address: 833 Bute Street
Parking: Public Pay Parking
Phone: (604) 633-0667
Hours of Operation: Sun-Thurs 11:30am – 12:00am; Fri-Sat 11:30am – 2:00am

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent

After picking up my new car from the dealership, my mom and I were supposed to meet my sister in downtown and have dinner together. We were going to go to Tropika on Robson because I was craving for some Char Kuey Teow; then I remembered that my church friend had recently recommended this other Korean restaurant on Robson. He told me that they had really good Dak Gal Bi, so we decided to try this place instead.

I have tried Bul Dak from this place few years back, but I do not think it is the same owner from that time. The name of the restaurant was also different at that time.

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Ban Chan – 2/5

  • Complimentary
  • Kimchi and Bean sprouts were average
  • Potatoes were not properly cooked; they were still hard

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Chicken Salad – 2.5/5

  • $7.00
  • Very basic salad
  • Maybe if the chickens were deep fried, this could have been a more interesting salad in my opinion
  • Overall flavour was not bad but a bit disappointing

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Bossam (medium) – 3/5

  • $14.00
  • Steamed pork served with radish kimchi, salted cabbage, fresh farlic, chilli pepper, shrimp paste sauce and spicy paste sauce
  • Steamed pork was very tender and moist
  • Radish kimchi had good balance of flavour
  • This dish was liked by all of us at the table

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Dak Gal Bi – 3.5/5

  • $27.00
  • Stir-fried boneless chickens marinated in spicy sauce mixed with vegetables served on hot stone
  • I was surprised that they were not raw; traditional Dak Gal Bi should be served as raw (i.e. mixture of marinated raw chickens and vegetables) and cooked on the table
  • Chickens were moist; it was a bit spicy for my mom but okay for us. Overall taste was good
  • Disappointed that this was not the typical Dak Gal Bi we were expecting to have
  • Very expensive for the amount of food we got
  • Must pay extra $3.00 for each rice bowl :( what!?

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Fried Rice – 3.5/5

  • $8.00
  • We ordered two rice bowls to be made into fried rice, using the remaining sauce on the pan, as this would be the traditional way of finishing Dak Gal Bi-
  • This could not go wrong, since the sauce and overall taste of Dak Gal Bi was good
  • It was basically just two bowls of rice added to the remaining sauce, but I could not understand where the extra $2.00 came from

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When we walked out of the restaurant I thought I had a good meal (well probably not as good as I expected it to be- since it was recommended by my friend). After seeing the bill and finding out about the added cost for rice bowls and fried rice…and knowing that my mom ended up paying just a bit less than $80.00, including the tip, it just made no sense to me at all. Their food was not bad, maybe just above average I would say- but definitely not worth the cost, both quantity and quality wise.

Maybe their lunch specials or other combo meal choices could be better options to go with.

Red Chicken Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant

Restaurant: Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant
Cuisine: Japanese
Area: Downtown
Address: #211-1030 W. Georgia St
Parking: Meter Parking and Underground Parking (maximum refund up to $8.00, when receipt provided to server or free after 5:00pm)
Phone: (604) 687-8588
Hours of Operation: [Lunch] Weekdays 11:30am – 2:00pm; Weekends 12:00 – 2:00pm [Dinner] Sun-Thurs 5:00am – 10:00pm; Fri-Sat 5:00am – 10:30pm

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent

After 2 months of stressful car shopping, the decision has finally been made. For a person who had very little interest or knowledge about cars, it involved so much of web searching, YouTubing, bugging my colleagues/friends, and as if these were not enough, a visit to the annual Auto Show. Long story short, thanks to my old church friend, who works in a dealership. He gave such an amazing deal, for such an amazing car!

After signing the deal, we were already 30 minutes late to our dinner reservation. At that point, I was already too tired to think or come up with another place to go. The dealership was only 10 minutes away from downtown anyways, so we just drove to downtown.

Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant has been around for quite some time now and I like coming here for their comfortable ambiance, and consistently good service as well as solid food. On this day, instead of ordering from the regular menu, we went for the $38.00 course to give us a break from making decisions.

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Seafood Chowder – 3/5

  • It was more like prawns in cream soup, not really a chowder
  • very creamy and tasty; the overall taste was not too bad for my personal taste
  • Would be a good choice for kids

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Oyster Asari Akadashi – 2/5

  • Two oysters in the soup were too fishy for my taste
  • After that fishy taste, I did not finish the soup
  • Miso based broth was not too bad
  • Would probably not order this again

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Sashimi Salad – 3.5/5

  • $16.95
  • Fresh assorted sashimi on mixed spring greens with your choice of Creamy, Spicy or Ginger dressing
  • Good amount of sashimi with fresh vegetables
  • Solid basic dish but could be better if they enhance the creamy dressing by adding some yuzu or grapefruit juice- anything that could add some sweet/sourness

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Oyster Fry(3pcs) – 3.5/5

  • Fresh Oysters fried and topped with original sauce
  • Crispy outside and soft inside
  • Creamy sauce and a slice of green chilly pepper placed on each piece had definitely enhanced the flavor

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Agedashi Tofu(3pcs) – 3/5

  • Healthy Tofu fried, Edamame, Kimpira, Nameko Mushroom
  • The batter was not too thick
  • I liked how they were not too greasy nor oily
  • Overall taste was fairly mild but good

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AAA Beef Filet Steak – 3.5/5

  • 9oz AAA Beef fillet steak served with original Balsamic vinegar sauce accompanied with vegetables
  • Juicy and well-seasoned steak
  • Balsamic sauce was a bit too tangy for me when I had with the steak only but much better with grilled vegetables

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Deluxe Assorted Sushi – 4/5

  • Aburi high quality Tuna, Aburi Salmon, Aburi Yellotail, Ahi Tuna, Sockeye Salmon, Sea Urchin, Flying Fish Roe Sushi and Samurai Roll (4pcs)
  • I enjoyed each piece of Aburi nigiri- Samurai rolls were pretty good as well
  • Good selection of Nigiri pieces

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Considering the amount of food we got, the price was not bad at all, and we were pretty satisfied after our meal. I would not say Kamei Royale would be the best Japanese restaurant to go in downtown; however, when you want good quality Japanese food but do not want to wait in line or be in a loud crowd I would recommend visiting Kamei Royale.

Kamei Royale on Urbanspoon

Cactus Club Cafe

Restaurant: Cactus Club Cafe
Cuisine: International
Area: Burnaby- Byrne Rd. location
Address: 7320 Market Crossing
Parking: Mall Parking
Phone: (604) 430-5000
Hours of Operation: Sun-Thurs 11:00am – 12:00am; Fri-Sat 11:00am – 1:00am

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent

Was it too early for me to get excited about Spring and move all my winter jackets down to the basement room? Today was just too cold, so I came straight home after my church and watched some Korean TV shows with my parents.

To make my day a little more productive, I will just talk about my recent visit to Cactus Club Cafe in Burnaby.

During my university years, Cactus Club Cafe was one of my favorite restaurants and I used to go there at least twice every month. I cannot remember in what year it happened but I was very disappointed when they took my favorite dish, KungPao Chicken Noodles down from their menu. It was almost hurtful to admit that I would not be able to taste that ever again. I tried a similar dish at Earls, but it was not even close.

This particular location in Burnaby is fairly new, compared to other locations, and I must say that it is very nicely designed- both exterior and interior. I wish I could have taken better pictures of the inside to show you guys. I guess the more I do this, the better photographer I would be one day? 😉

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Raincoast Greens- 4.5/5

  • $17.00
  • Organic greens, grilled chicken breast (half), avocado, feta, spicy pecans, egg, lemon-thyme vinaigrette
  • One of my favorite salads. I hope they keep this on their menu forever
  • Good quality and fresh ingredients coated with just enough dressing
  • Well-seasoned, tender and moist chickens
  • Very fulfilling and satisfying salad

KakaoTalk_Photo_2015-03-29-22-28-20 KakaoTalk_Photo_2015-03-29-22-28-51Spaghettini + Kobe Style Meatballs – 4/5

  • $22.00
  • Roasted tomato sauce, truffle mushroom cream, fresh ricotta cheese
  • Spaghettini was cooked just right and well-coated with the mushroom sauce
  • Mushroom cream sauce had a good depth of flavour- very delicious
  • Meatballs were tender and moist, not dried nor overcooked
  • Ricotta had some herbs mixed into it- i assumed those were fresh mint but could possibly be wrong
  • Would have been also a nice option if it came without the meatballs but at a lower price, but definitely will order this dish again

KakaoTalk_Photo_2015-03-29-22-27-50There are tons and tons of popular and ‘in trend’ restaurants in Vancouver. I guess having a meal in one of those restaurants seems to give more special feeling than from other chain restaurants, which could be found from many different locations, like Milestones, Earls or Cactus Club Cafe. Personally, I do not have a preference for one over another, as long as I am satisfied with the taste of my food.

I feel like I have been just too behind and should start catching up with Cactus. I am quite excited to try more of the newly added menu items (new for me at least :p). I hope the food from Coquitlam location- my usual is as great as this location and that I would not be coming out with a sad and disappointed tummy.

Cactus Club Cafe on Urbanspoon