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Dachi

Tonight I met up with a handful of local Vancouver food bloggers, for our semi regular met up. (Areta of “Foodgressing”, Sherman of “Sherman’s Food Adventures”, David of “Picky Diner”, Hanson of “Nosh & Nibbles”, and Kristina of the former “Drunken Noms” fame.)
Just a group of friends coming together to share their common interest. No special treatment, no media access, just six friends having dinner with their own portable lights and high end camera gear.

We made reservations at “Dachi”, the old home of the now shuttered “Campanolo Roma”. And our larger party request came with a warning. There is only room for about 40 patrons total in the smaller space, so we were told our meal and what we would have, would be somewhat dictated by the pace of the kitchen. Just as well, seeing as they don’t have an omakase menu. A list of the chef’s special of the day, like we normally gravitate towards, seeing as no one usually wants to order for the entire group. So we all agreed to allow the kitchen to help give us a taste of their entire menu through servings, on their time.

We were given the only large table, right by the front window, right in front of the bar. The bar that was painted in a medium blue and topped with a marble counter. If you grabbed a seat on one of their matching blue stools, you sat facing three shelves worth of bottles lit in a golden yellow hue. It was well highlighted and well used tonight.

The rest space was kept clean: black tile under foot, wood panels covering the ceiling and two rows of bulbs hanging from them. There wasn’t much in terms of decor, except from my vantage point. Looking up and facing the door I was able to take in the shelf that lined the ceiling. Living plants in urns, a collection of hard covers, and a couple of character figurines.

As for the actual food, be warned, their menu does change quite often. So if you see something below it may no longer be available for you when you actually visit. So call ahead to confirm.

Both of the owners were working the front today. They were great at explaining said menu, giving us the opportunity to ask questions. Like where the name “Dachi” came from. It is the shorten version of “friend” in Japanese. More informal like “buddy” or “pal”. It represented the two owner’s friendship and their partnership in this endeavour.

We began with a few cocktails from off of their specialty drink list. Like their food menu, this too was promised to change and be updated frequently. This month’s offering was themed, each a twist on a city’s classic.

“The people’s word” was a strong drink made from mezcal, green chartreuse, lime, and spiced cherry cordial.

The “Industry standard” was more like a punch by comparison. Made with Sloe gin, dry vermouth, Fernet branch, grapefruit, and lemon sherbert.

The “Home away” was last unique, considering it included their own “house liqueur #1”, along with Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters.

Our table shared two servings of the following appetizers, it gave everyone the ability to have more than just a nibble. And thankfully, seeing as we all enjoyed having a whole “Three year aged cheddar and buttermilk biscuit”. Each slattered with as much of the mutsu apple butter spread as you liked. Although the butter offered very little flavour, it only had a mild salty apple sauce taste, and only if you were looking for it. It was mostly hidden behind the incredibly cheesy and chewy biscuit with airy pockets.

Our table was fond of the burrata and how they paired it with toasted seeds, radicchio, and Anjou pear with PX vinegar. I on the other hand preferred the classic olive oil and balsamic combo. In general I differed from the group, opting for more familiar flavours than the new ones being presented here. I have never had bread like this, with this sort of dressing and combination, but found you needed it all together for balanced bites. The seed butter was pretty prominent, whereas I was looking for more sweetness to pair with the fresh pear, like honey and walnut.

The “Yarrow meadows duck confit croquettes” were nice, each crispy nugget was packed full of pulled duck meat. I would have preferred a sweet and sour plum sauce for dipping, but the smoked golden raisin purée and pickled celery was an interesting take for a sweet and tangy flavour combination. I would suggest eating the pickled celery as a last bite given how strong the pickling was, it was best served as a good palette cleanse.

The “Mushroom and toasted seed perogies” were one of my favourite dishes of the night. But even then, one is plenty, given how much chopped up woodsy mushroom they pack into this nutty pocket. And if you still don’t feel like you have enough mushroom here, they offer a slice of king oyster mushroom on top, along with a celeriac purée to smear into. But what I loved most about this dish was the texture of the doughy and thickness of the shell.

Similarly, I liked the “Gnudi folded with ricotta” for its texture. Each of these little drops came with a great chewy centre. Each well seasoned in a kombu braised leek purée, with toasted buckwheat and sweet onion. This was a great dish, but it left me wanting something fresh, and not just the onion. Maybe some sun choke, carrots, or peas. I also found the crunch of the barley a little much when paired with the soft and and doughy gnudi.

The “Vancouver island Manila clams” were also very lovely. Served in a fragrant roasted onion broth with emulsified egg yolk scattered over top. The broth was so good that when all the clams were gone, I found myself scooping spoons of the plain brown liquids into my gaping mouth. My table mates found its flavour comparable to pho broth. The dish also came with crispy pork belly and crackling, although I didn’t find the dish needed this extra decadence. I ended up eating each element on their own anyways, as I found the pork over powering the calm.

The following entrees were slip between the six of us. At this point we were edging on full, with 4 entrees and 2 desserts still left on our journey to try their entire menu.

The “Country fried steelhead trout” came with salted beets and a horseradish gribiche. The latter served as a grown up tartar sauce. The only element that didn’t flow were the beets, they were well prepared, but didn’t give me country, much like the breading that could have been more chunky and crispy for that same country feel.

I found the “Roasted winter squash stew” comforting. Made with cashew butter, toasted ricotta, and px vinegar this was a rich serving that ate more like a whipped purée. It was thick enough to spread over toast, and I found myself wanting some pita with it.

The “Braised pork cheek” were amazingly tender, a fresh plate with the sun choke, parsnip purée, roasted hazelnut, and oloroso sherry. Shame I was too full to enjoy this in its entirety. If I wasn’t, I would have wanted some more starch with this.

Similarly, the “Twenty four hour roasted beef chuck flat” was tender, but also missing something to make it a full entree. Prepared with heirloom carrot, red miso, Swiss chard.

For dessert I wished there was something lighter, a breezier end to complete our fulsome feast on. Instead we had two very filling and two very decadent desserts to work through.

The “Poached Granny Smith apple” was the lighter of the two; prepared with cider sabayon, spice cake, and ginger mascarpone. The cake was spongy, it came with a creeping spice. I wanted more freshness for it, outside of the tart apple that could have used a longer bake time.

The “69% cocoa chocolate ganache” was a richer dessert. Made with meringue, hazelnut streusel, and a pear vanilla purée. The streusel was a little too crunchy, and I continually sought out more freshness form the fruit. I also wish it was more sweet to compensate for the slight burnt flavour I tasted.

To wash it all down we were treated with a celebratory shot of “Limoncello”. This was a liqueur made locally with Yuzu, chilli, and pepper. It was punchy at 30%. It was just a shame that majority of us drove and weren’t able to full enjoy the shot this late in our meal.

And don’t forget to visit one of their two private washroom stalls. It is papered with fabulous pink flamingos and tropical leaves.

 

Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I give them credit for an inventive menu. I found their ingredient combinations and flavour pairings fun, though not something I would seek out again or gravitate to in general. Truthfully I enjoy the familiar, but all my table mates were quick to disagree with me. I liked the space and their location near my neighbourhood, as they would make a great bar to meet a friend at for drinks. I would skip dinner; however, if you believe the stats: 5 out of 6 food bloggers give “Dachi” the green light. Not to mention their next menu will be updating in two weeks, giving diners a more spring inspired offering. Therefore what I had tonight will be completely different, giving me a completely different impression of them. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

DACHI
2297 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5L 1V3
604-569-0456
dachivancouver.com

Riz Sushi

Today I was invited to “Riz” to check out their newest menu item, a build your own Chirashi bowl, and just as they received their latest shipment of fresh fish flown in from Japan.

“Riz” is better known for their contributions to the catering scene, offering their fresh made poke bowls and sushi rolls to local fine food grocery stores and hospitality services. But you can also get their goods right from the source, at their humble store front located in East Vancouver. There, they are also known for their savvy mural. A memento from previous owners, redone in the image of the new owner’s love of hip hop. A Japanese garden with 90’s and 00’s rappers painted in, a nod to the restaurant’s excellent playlist offering you classic and new beats.

Before we sat down to eat, I was treated to the unboxing of the fish. I witnessed the opening of the styrofoam shipping box and the reveal of several whole fish kept frozen on ice. Definitely a first for me, and it spoke well to the quality of the seafood to come.

We got our stomachs warmed up, literally with their “Aburi salmon bowl”. A great way to enjoy the great flavour of poke, but a little warmed up for the colder weather. It was warm yet cool, crunchy and crispy, yet chewy. A whole slew of ingredients gathered together for a bombardment of flavour and textures that kept you interested bite after bite. Seaweed, cucumber, edamame, crab meat, tobiko, tempura, and plenty of salmon. All coated in a spicy mayo aioli and their feature sauce. To date this is my favourite version of poke. It pops with a really good fish and vegetable to rice ratio. I didn’t have to ration bits of salmon with spoonfuls of rice.

We followed that up with the feature. Today we had our Chirashi bowl curated for us, but typically it is a choose your own adventure. You pay per piece and only for that which you want. The first I have ever heard of. It is nice to not have to eat the filler fish or egg pieces first, and only then slowly work your way to what you actually want from a sashimi rice bowl. Here you want everything you get because you specifically asked for it.

Our bowl included Sockeye salmon, tuna, octopus, shima aji, madai, hokkaido scallop, local hamachi, Japanese hamachi, and blue fin tuna belly (otoro). We were advised to start with the less fattier cuts of fish and work our way to the richer morsels of tuna, hamachi, and otoro. You could tell the difference between the hamachi imported from Japan, versus what was sourced more locally for less. Just like how you can tell it was the otoro you were biting into, with its buttery finish and satisfying after taste.

And now you can get your very own “Riz” customizable Chirashi bowl today. I would advise just getting the blue fin tuna and making it the best bowl ever. Although be aware, the availability of your favourite fish will be on rotation, with different catches being imported weekly.

But despite the catch of the day, at “Riz” you are guaranteed quality, they pride themselves on bringing downtown Vancouver quality raw seafood to the East Side, and into their comfortable setting. Fast food that doesn’t cut corners, offered at prices close to cost. The bowl we had would be considered a super deluxe bowl, priced at around $20-$30. Whereas at other restaurants offering similar quality of fish you would be charged $30-50 for 6 pieces.

We followed our feast of deluxe sashimi with a handsome nigiri platter featuring Hokkaido scallops, local spot prawn, and shima aji and madai from Japan. The imported fish was gentle, perfectly nestled on a bed of sushi rice. And as a fun contrast the crustaceans were sauced up for a sweet and salty finish.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Quality fish on par with any that you’d find in Vancouver, but conveniently in East Vancouver, for those who don’t want to travel downtown. Great fish based entrees like poke, sushi, and now chirashi available at reasonable prices, fast and easy in an unpretentious setting. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

RIZ
2887 East Broadway, Vancouver BC
604-215-9799
rizsushi.com

Riz, big bowl poke challenge

Today I was at “Riz sushi and poke bar” to pit myself against Vancouver’s latest eating challenge. This one is high steaks with high rewards, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Disclaimer: When it comes to a media tasting: plating and portion size may be gussied up and/or paired down, and the service will usually be top notch. Though I can at least paint you the most accurate image when it comes to the food and the setting, as how I interpret it. But as always, these are my opinions and you need not take them as fact. Unless you have my exact background, have lived my exact experiences, and we possess the same tongue; no one can truly taste and appreciate as you do.

Situated on East Broadway, on the corner of Renfrew Street; you only need to spot “Mr. Sub”, the long standing sandwich on the corner, to locate “Riz” as their neighbour. The name “Riz” speaks to the rice that unifies the two main staples that make up their menu: sushi and poke. This is assumed by the rice kernel mascot marking their spot. But this was the name that the current owners inherited. Their predecessor was also a sushi restauranteur. In fact they kept a lot of what was already established, including the decor and Yelp reviews, but with some minor adjustments, they were able to make it their own.

Their Japanese zen garden mural is one of a kind. The addition of hip hop’s elite speaks to the owner’s previous life as club promoters and their appreciation for the music. An affinity I shared, giving me much appreciation for the scene before me. Here, Drake sat on the roof of a building, much like off his album: “Views”. The Wu Tang Clan left their mark, carving their trademark “W” on to a post the bridge. The “Dog Father” guarded said bridge. Eminem could be seen fishing, with Biggie Smalls wading in the water; bobbing beside Tu Pac, resting on a pool noodle. Most notable was Kayne making out with Kayne, as Jay-Z stared jaw gaping.

As for their Yelp reviews, that required a lot more work. They inherited the lower rating from previous managemeny and have been working their way from 2 to 3 stars, slowly. Their placemats had DJ Khaled asking you to give them a hand.

New “Riz” was formally just a catering business, supplying sushi and party platters to local grocers like “Meinhardt” and “Nesters”, local hotels, and plenty of television and movie sets. They have been doing this for two years, until they expanded their venture to the include a restaurant, which opened in January of 2018. This was something the community had been asking for, those who remembered it back went they went to high school in the area, and craved for that taste of nostalgia. Eventually they want to take their business in the direction of grab and go corner stores, like those in Asia. Pre-made meals and cup noodles for those looking for more connivence in their life.

 

 

Once again I was here for their “Big Poke Bowl Challenge”, the first poke eating challenge to hit Vancouver. It officially starts on April 25th, 2018 and wraps up on May 31st, so be sure to check them out during this limited run.

 

To skip the reading and watch me and @athenasweets be the very first people in the city to team and take on this challenge, check out my latest video on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

The goal is to devour a 10 pound bowl of fresh seafood, vegetable, and rice in under 30 minutes. But thankfully this is a team challenge, so bring your hungriest friend to undertake this daunting trial with you. It will cost you $120 to attempt it, and win or lose you both get a lot of premium poke for only $60 each. But if you do finish you get two $60 gift cards, which pretty much covers the cost of the challenge. And your names get entered into a draw to win a trip for two to Vegas, travel and expenses paid for. (There are some black out days, but a free trip is a free trip.)

A regular bowl of poke with 2 scoops of either tuna or salmon is $10.50, 3 scoops run at $13.00. Therefore you are pretty much getting 14 regular bowls for the price of 10. (We did the math, because I am all about that value.) Despite being able to mix your types of fish in a regular bowl of poke, in order to keep it simple you can only choose to have your two pounds of fish in either salon, tuna, or ahi for the challenge.

Being able to watch the big bowl being crafted before my eyes, and being able to go at it, I can tell you first hand how great the ratio of fish and veg to rice this was. The biggest gripe of mine when it comes to poke is the lack of topping for all the filler rice they provide. At “Riz”, big or small bowl, this is one thing they are conscious of. Here, you will never be left with a mound of un-sauced and un-eaten white sushi rice. It is also worth noting that the big bowl is ideal for catering and parties. It probably feeds a good 20 people, and you can customize it however you like (if you are just taking out or ordering normally).

The “Giant bowl challenge” version consists of crab, cucumber, edamame, wakame (seaweed salad), pickled ginger, 2lbs of either salmon or tuna, masago (fish roe), fried shallot & garlic, and your choice of sauce. The picture above is it before the sauces and toppings are added, with them the scale would have read 10lbs.

As for how it tasted, it was delicious, a serving of poke I would gladly revisit. Great fresh flavours coming together. I just advise mixing it thoroughly, less you eat all the salmon in the first few bites, or stumble onto a mouthful of pickled ginger. But I won’t go into any detail about how the challenge went, and instead, invite you to check out my video above.

For those looking for more manageable servings. “Riz” also offers a delicious aburi poke. The first I have ever heard of and had. Sushi rice, cucumber, edamame, wakame, crab salad, 3 scoops of salmon, yuzu citrus ponzu tempura crunch, and masago. As you can see, they lightly torch the raw salmon, covered in a spicy miso and habanero aioli. The result is a wonderfully flavoured rice bowl. Creamy and slightly warm with the thick coating of sauces, coupled with spiced tones and refreshing vegetable. This is the one I would stop for on my way home from work (it is on my route, and relatively healthier than most of the stuff I am known to consume).

I also fully recommend their “Onsen egg” as a nice appetizer. It was the perfect side to our poke. Having it is like completing a burger with a side of fries. Here, it is fish over rice with a soft boiled egg in a light daikon broth.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
If a chance to eat an enormous amount of food and win a contest for it, is not reason enough to visit; then come for their deliciously seasoned and incredibly taste aburi poke bowl, the only one in the city, that I know of. “Win the challenge and a trip to Vegas, or win your next potluck!” Don’t deny your cravings.

 

RIZ
2887 East Broadway, Vancouver BC
604-215-9799
rizsushi.com
Riz Sushi Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fortune City Seafood Restaurant

This Chinese New Year day, my family gathered at “Fortune City seafood restaurant” for dim sum. Having CNY day land on a Friday, and it not being a statutory holiday, meant the restaurant wasn’t as crowded, and they were offering their regular weekday dim sum special. Our extended family woke up earlier and and drove down at 10am to take advantage of this promotion. If you place your order and they input it into the computer before 11am, you get 20% off your entire meal. Once again, this special promo only runs from Monday to Friday: their slower dim sum mornings.

The restaurant has your standard Chinese restaurant build, an open space with tightly packed tables that expand and come together as needed. Each clothed in white, seated with chairs covered in brown sleeves that tied at their backs. Crystal chandeliers dripped from the ceiling, catching extra light from the sun’s ray that shone in from the wall of windows. The room faced their feature wall panel of red and black, a stark contrast from the all white walls left void of art or any printed material. This made the perfect back drop for wedding reception dinners, where the married couple would sit before it, flanked by Chinese characters of grandiose wishes.

When it came to ordering, everything was done all at once by checking off boxes from a list of dim sum dishes at a set price per head, and chef’s specials at an extra cost. My family cleverly ordered two of many of the dishes, so that everyone could have some; and so that I could take my time taking photos as they picked off the duplicate dish. But as a result we couldn’t keep up with the number of plates coming. Our table quickly became cluttered and stain ridden as we shuffled saucy dishes around. Although, this is typical of dim sum, I have never had a meal where we left the table relatively clean.

The following dishes are in the order in which we received them.

As always, you order dessert at the same time as the savoury dishes you plan to eat before it, but the dessert is the first to arrive. This makes sense, as most of them are made before hand and kept of chill. My family didn’t like the idea of the “Durian sticky flour balls”, but I ordered them anyways. They thought the king of fruits would be served cooked, where as the flesh was left raw, housed in a ball of glutinous rice along with cream. I found them good for dim sum. Naturally the durian wasn’t fresh, and it wasn’t as potent as it could be. You didn’t get the smell and only minuet amounts of its taste. So you are actually tasting more of the dough ball, making this a good dessert for those who have never tried durian and would like to.

You order the “Deep fried chicken joints with peppery salt” for their texture: if you like the crinkling chew of cartilage. Our family did, so their saltiness and added deep fried batter coating were a hit.

“Rice flour rolls with bbq pork” are a dim sum classic. Their mild flavour and the fact they are steamed and not fried, make them a great palette refresher. I find myself reaching for a square when I need a break from all the greaser dishes that dim sum is typically known for. Not too salty, with a hint of sweetness.

Their “Stuffed eggplant with prawn purée” is fairly popular. This is one of the few dim sum dishes that give you a little veg with your meal. It is best enjoyed with equal parts shrimp to eggplant, the former lends flavour to the more bland latter. The thick starchy sauce that pools around each stuffed slice also helps in this regard.

Chinese style “Deep fried squid with peppery salt” is the reason why I don’t like or order calamari at other non-Chinese restaurants. The thick slices and great tender chew, plus its salty and spicy seasonings make all other renditions of battered and fried squid dull by comparison.

The “Stir fried flat noodle with chives and beef in supreme soy sauce” was under the chef’s special list. This was not the best version that I have ever had, but it was still pretty good. Tender beef paired with slippery noodles in a mild soy sauce. No complaints.

The “Mini sticky rice with shrimp and minced pork wrap” served as a good base for all the meat dishes to come. A rice dish wrapped in leaves that you peel back to expose a tightly packed squares. Cutting into it exposes a good amount of filling compared to others at other dim sum restaurants. I didn’t get any shrimp, but plenty of pork pieces, some diced mushroom, one 1/5 of a salted egg yolk, and one Chinese sausage slice in my bundle.

The other dessert we ordered that came sooner than expected, but was helpful in changing the taste; was the “Multi layers egg custard pastry”. This was served as a solid sponge, then cut down to size with kitchen shears. Its eggy taste was only slightly sweet, like a mild custard cream flavour.

“Steamed superior shrimp dumpling” aka “ha gao” is a dim sum staple. Another fan favourite. The skin is my favourite part, and if I could I would discard the shrimp and just eat it as is.

The “Steamed sparerib with pumpkin” were cooked so tender that you are able to pop the whole piece into your mouth, and easily push meat off bone with your teeth and tongue. Salty meat with soft chunks of sweet pumpkin.

I once loved “Steamed chicken feet” as a child, but as I age the texture becomes less appealing to me. For those who have never tried it, this is a hard one to describe. Basically you are sucking cooked chicken skin off each individual chick claw/toe, and spitting each knuckle bone out. Though the flavour is tasty, and the skin acts like a sponge sopping up the sweeter sauce. I wish I knew what else they cook with it, so I can order it instead, just to get that flavour.

“Steamed prawn purée with fish maws”. “Fish maw” is the swim/gas bladder of a bony fish, it helps to to control their buoyancy. It has a rubbery texture, not unlike jelly fish, except with a wrinkled texture, like how you’d imagine a cooked edible kitchen sponge would feel in your mouth. As for the overall taste, the same prawn style was used here as with the eggplant and the dumpling dishes above, and therefore it had similar flavour.

The “Ginger chicken bun” was disappointing between the grainy and soggy dough, and the minimal filling. The ginger flavour was also overly pronouced, it was an odd pairing with the sweetness of the dough.

The “Steamed short rib in black pepper sauce” was not unlike the sparerib, but just with a lot more pepper flavour. It was also much harder to remove meat from bone without using your hands. I prefer this cut over the barbecue instead.

This was a very standard “Pork dumpling with tobiko (shui ma)”. Meaty with shrimp, another dim sum staple: familar and comforting to all.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Another Chinese dim sum restaurant that is neither good or bad. Nothing stands out, but there also isn’t anything about them that would have me shying away. A decent option for a large family meal in the 1st avenue area. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

FORTUNE CITY
1st Avenue Marketplace
302-2800 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver BC, V5M 4N9
604-255-0008
Fortune City Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Basil Garden Restaurant

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My visit came as a recommendation from “Flyingvee967”. A newer Vietnamese restaurant that was actually in my old neighbourhood in East Van. A restaurant he liked enough to go back to a couple of times, and one many might not stop at given its location. A little plaza with a couple of other restaurants on the corner of Broadway and Renfrew. I had past by it a few times, but never thought enough of it, to venture in. Not until Victor’s praise for it and it’s owner.

With easy parking in its own lot, it is plenty accessible. Although its doubled up awning signs were a little more confusing, but I guess the one in red was there to make sure you knew that they offered pho.

Walking in, I immediately deemed it as one of the nicest, more budget friendly Vietnamese places I have been too. The newness was still present in their white lacquered tables and matching chairs, and in the un-scuffed white painted walls. There wasn’t a lot of decoration or noise, to kept things chic. Just three strips of green on the wall, imitation grass in two shades. It spoke to the freshness of the place and added a certain zen to the room; making it a restaurant I would frequent just for its setting alone. Though it did help that the food was good as well.

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The menu was an easy read across a double sided large sheet and 71 options. Not a lot of photos, but pretty self explanatory item names, if you have a basis in Vietnamese food. Appetizers like spring and rice rolls and crispy chicken, pho with a beef soup bases and ones with pork bone, chicken or pork over rice, vermicelli noodle bowls with meat and vegetable toppings, specialty stir-frys and curries, banh mi sandwiches, slow drip coffees, smoothies, and other freshly squeezed and ice beverages. In order to get a good idea of their cuisine, we ordered what we would have at other pho places, to get a good comparison.

When making the recommendation, Victor mentioned calling ahead to see if the owner was in, and saying that “Victor from Richmond” recommended my visit. However, I just couldn’t stomach calling ahead and name dropping. One, because I don’t like making a fuss when I dine out; and two, I prefer to write with the raw guest experience, one unrehearsed and free of special treatment.

Though had I done as Victor suggested, the perk would have been getting to order specialty dishes not labeled on the regular menu above, like their market price speciality lamb chop. However, I was later able to mention the lamb he was raving about to our server, and she then went to request it from their chef, who also doubled as the owner. Today I purchased them by the bone at $5 per. The chef/owner would later come out of his kitchen to greet us table side. He did this to reassure our happiness in all that we had. I always appreciate this kind of care, it shows that the restaurant is dedicated to the customer’s experience and willing to gain feedback to improve. To me, this is going over and beyond.

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The chef was particularly interested in how we liked his lamb chops. He was worried that they didn’t have enough time to marinade. But we found it plenty flavourable, a little too salty if I am to be honest, with majority of it lingering on the bone. As for the meat, It was a tender cut, dabbling on the greasier side with all the gristle. My guest couldn’t stop raving about it, he declared a few times, wanting to come back just for more of it.

Although Victor didn’t steer us wrong above, we didn’t take his suggestion of the spring rolls that he described as being “a bit small, but there is enough small pieces. The traditional spring roll skin crunch is the best!” Or the lemongrass pork chops that were “thinly sliced and boneless. Chargrilled on the outside, with some fattiness that was really good.”

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But I did enjoy some of their pho, as he did. The “House special” combination of beef with rice noodle soup. It arrives at your table the perfect temperature and ready to be slurped. And as Victor found his, the portion was light. The broth wasn’t overly oily, a kind of soup you can drink as is, spoon after spoon. The serving included various meat and organ parts. They added chew and a different eating experience, together with the slippery noodles. Although I could have used more, as there was more noodle and soup than meat to enjoy it with. We had the large to share for $10. One size down was the medium bowl for $1 less.

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We also shared their “Special cold cut sub”. It was crusty French bread sandwiching smooth pate, chilled sliced meats, and pickled vegetable. No complaints, it was as expected, with the jalapeño slices hidden for a spicy surprise.

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I don’t drink coffee, but I appreciate a good “Vietnamese iced coffee with condense milk”. My guest just wanted coffee, not know what Vietnamese coffee was like, so was excited to see the drip apparatus brought over to our table. It is a metal cup with a screw down press that sits above your glass. And slowly the water and coffee grounds mix, and then drops of black sift through the sieve and lands over a spoonful of sticky syrup-like condense milk waiting for it at the bottom. When all the liquid has run through, you mix milk and coffee together, and add ice to chill. Not knowing what good coffee tastes like, I guess I just drink it for the condense milk.

Our meal cake to $40 total, for three dishes and two drinks. $8 for two coffees, $5 for the bun. This was a great deal and we left more than well fed.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I can definitely see myself coming back for a quick bite and closer to payday when I want good food and funds are in short supply. They might not necessarily be a destination, but should be considered a neighbourhood favourite. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

BASIL GARDEN
2889 East Broadway, Vancouver BC, V5M 1Y9
604-871-9998
basilgarden.ca
Basil Garden Pho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What’s Up? Hot Dog!

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Aside from its catchy name, their colourful decor, and the humorous sandwich boards; you come for their hot dogs, which are all those things, and just as fun.

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The restaurant’s yellow awning asks you, “What’s up? Hot dog!” As their hip level signs challenge how cool you use to be, while trying to peer pressure you into coming in for a drink, and then luring you in with the promise of rare Pokemon. Though I am sure all this gets updated and changed around often.

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Inside, they are a lively rock bar serving gourmet hotdogs, in a place to play a board game or two. Although the heavy rock music and the rousing baseball game were loud and a little distracting in the background. Punk rock and ska bands belting out and pounding on drums, as reflected on all band and performance posters collaging the wall. The music did impede our normal conversations. We ended up talk-shouting, and just shouting when the music stopped. Thus making it not the best place to catch up in, but a great one to hang out in. Especially with the pin ball arcade machines and the Jenga sets available. And if Jenga isn’t your thing, they also have Life, Balderdash, and Pay Day to tempt your competitive spirit.

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But it was the bar that we were seated across, that attracted most of my attention. It featured lit up block letters that continued to ask “What’s Up”. And cascading under it were so many knick knacks, each sitting across three tiers of shelves. Tiny hot dogs strung up on a line, a hefty cassette tape collection with boom box to play them on, a bingo wheel with balls for their game nights, baseball player bobble heads, and plastic pink sprinkle doughnuts; to name a few.

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There was also some pretty interesting art on the walls. Like Marilyn Monroe straddling a hot dog; a humanized hot dog wiener with breasts, nestled between two buns; and their restaurant name written in ketchup from a squeeze bottle.

Their menu was clever to continue the greeting game with the headings of “Salutations! Salad?” and “How’s it goin’? Hamburger!” But we would not be distracted and instead honed in on their hot dog selection. You can either choose your own adventure with over 20 toppings. Like the classic ketchup and relish; and also the more exciting banana peppers, pulled pork, and apple slaw. But instead we made our lives easier by simply relying on one of their pre-themed hot dogs.

We went for two of the more creative, Asian inspired hotdogs on the menu and later regretted it. They were visual feasts and had all the pop of a fusion hotdog, but more classic toppings with such a high calibre dog would have been best. With the sour, salty, and sweet below, the wiener was fighting to be centre stage. And something so tasty deserved all your attention. What this has taught me is I always enjoy trying something new, but the classics are classic for a reason, and worth going back to.

Both hot dogs were outfitted with some good quality wieners: 1/4 lb. all natural, two rivers, 100% beef dogs. For the vegetarians you have an option between a jumbo veggie dog or a field roast veg sausage, in apple sage or chipotle.

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The “Poppy banh mi” hotdog came with pickled carrot and daikon radish, cucumber, jalapeño, hoisin sauce, creamy sirarcha, and cilantro; all on a poppy seed bun. The main notes were spicy and tangy, with lots of texture. Refreshing with the pickled slaw, and the bun was a great highlight. But although it had the julienne vegetables of a traditional banh mi, it lacked and could have been helped by a creamy mayo-like dressing and a salty meat paste.

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The “Hanzai” hot dog was topped with pickled ginger, cucumber, wasabi mayo, creamy sirarcha, “tempura crunch”, and black sesame. The neon coloured toppings was certainly eye catching: green with wasabi, pink with the ginger, and an orange with the tempura crunch. Although there was a lot of ginger in one bite, where it could have used some more crunch per bite instead. It was messy, but certainly worth it with all the creaminess you got.

Overall both hot dogs had similar ingredients. They were different, yet the same in tone and tangy pickle. I would suggest the Ruben inspired one instead, with corn beef and sauerkraut. Or the advertised spicy one with deep fried jalapeños and hot pickled peppers. They even had one with Mac and cheese and bacon bits. But you can also by pass the hassle of a bun and just get one of their corn dogs instead.

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But their sides did not disappoint. The freshly cut and lightly seasoned “waffle fries” were extremely crispy with a great texture. And they continued to be that way, all the way to the bottom of the basket. They ate more like chips with their chewy potato centre.

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And when presented with a battered and fried pickle, I won’t miss out. This serving was named “Pix or it didn’t happen”. I took its advice and grabbed my shots. Each pickle quarter was battered thick, yet kept light. The pickle itself wasn’t too salty, nor did it make things too soggy as a whole. It was best dipped in the side of creamy dill it came with, so much so that we could have used more or it; for a 1:1 ratio.

In the end, I wished I had a piece of fruit to end on, everything was quite decadent and/or greasy. Something for dessert that would freshen things up. But all they had were ice cream in floats or ice cream as part of a build it yourself sundae. A decadent sundae with only the traditional fruit syrup and candy coated chocolate options available. So I passed.

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But the single stalled washrooms could not be missed. Two rooms differentiated between “wieners” and “beans”. Both were wallpapered in $100 bills. Rows upon rows of Robert Borden’s face from ceiling to floor. For the “beans” there was a drum kick and set in corner, across from toilet, and a disco ball reflecting light overhead. I guess it’s in case you have a long wait, and can use it to keep beat to your bowl movements. It was a working set, I checked.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Inexpensive and well done comfort food, in a setting that gave you dinner with an edge. A great place to eat and linger at afterwards, to continue drinking at the bar, or to pick up a board game for your table. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

WHAT’S UP! HOTDOG?
2481 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5K 1Y8
604-879-8364
whatsuphotdog.ca
What's Up? Hot Dog Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info – Zomato
Dimensions (px): Height 15 x Width 104

What's Up? Hot Dog Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bai Bua Thai Cuisine

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We came for their mango rose dessert. I think most people do, after they see a photo of it. Delicate mango slices arranged to form a rose, petal by petal; but more about that later. Though their dinner menu was well worth the visit alone.

They served Thai street food in a contemporary setting. The decor looked more like a cafe, a place more for tea time than dinner. Especially with the wooden shelf of brass cups and unknown ingredients in bottles by the counter.

We were given one of their larger four top tables, despite there being more two tops available, and the restaurant filled to capacity shortly after. Each table was assigned a number, painted on a wooden block. Despite this, the servers had a difficult time delivering plates to the right tables; often over shooting their delivery or missing their mark. Though both servers and patrons alike were friendly and forgiving of it. Everyone worked to sustain this family run, quaint and polite restaurant vibe.

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The entirety of the space looked clean with bleach wood tables and black chairs. The white walls were given some character with stencils. A pattern of flowers, a bunch strung together in various sizes. A few had their petals painted in metallic gold, and the other were left in black and white. The gold matched the glow of the lamps and the varnish of the light fixture above the counter. A hanging chandelier with metal blossoms.

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When having Thai, Thai ice tea is a must for me. The unique caramel orange hue came with ribbons of white. A sweet and creamy taste and texture. This has more milk than most, but I preferred it that way.

My guest had her Thai ice tea with lemon and no ice. The same flavour as above, but more potent without the ice or milk, and the zest of lemon. Both looked very modern in their mason jars.

The menu was an easy to navigate read. White font against a black background, with a lot of photos. This made the choice easy, but a few of the photos were deceiving.

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Like the “Green curry”. The menu showed it as a bold lime green hue. But the shade that came to our table was a muted sickly green. But that visual aside, it tasted delicious. I didn’t waste a drop, taking the curry soup home for lunch the next day. You had your your choice of chicken, beef, or pork for the curry. We had the beef with our green curry paste, Thai herbs, coconut milk, eggplant, green bean, Thai basil, and bamboo shoots. It was a creamy and fragrant mix that was too spicy for my guest, but we requested it mild and I couldn’t get enough.

It was especially good with the side order of rice cooked in coconut milk. So good that I got a serving of it to go with my leftovers as well. Shame that it was not just included with the curry, because they went together so well. It was an add on that required $3 more, $1 more than the regular steamed rice. The $1 for coconut milk was worth it. To enjoy it here, the rice came in a glass jar with lid. Opening the glass a plume of smoke wafted up and warmed your face. It was moist and soaked up all the flavour of the curry like a sponge. I cold have eaten bowls of rice and curry sauce without any of the ingredients, in fact I could go for some now. The vegetables and meat simply added a change of texture. Chewy meat and crisp peppers meet firm bamboo and soften eggplant.

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The “Pad Thai” was classic Thai. We went with prawn because we would have chicken below, it came at a dollar difference. Stir fried Thai rice noodle cooked in tamarind sauce and sugar, with salted radish, egg, chive, bean sprout and ground peanuts. The noodles melted under the weight of your teeth, an enjoyable mash to chew through with the occasional crisp of a beansprouts and crunch of peanuts. It was your standard pad Thai serving, yet better than the others I have had. Almost more authentic.

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By comparison the “Grilled chicken satay” was pretty bland and uninspired. Chicken marinaded in coconut milk, turmeric, garlic, and Thai species. It is served with a peanut dipping sauce, and what they described as a salsa of fresh cucumber and red onion. We found it odd that the appetizer came last. The meat was a pounded slab of white chicken meat. It had the grill marks, but not the wanted char from a thorough grilling. The meat was tough and dry, coated by an irregular Dijon yellow breading. Maybe they only deemed it satay because of the use of a peanut sauce, or maybe this was the Thai version of satay. Either way it was the sauce that held it together.

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And as full as we were, we could not leave without the “Mango sticky rice”, we came here for it after all. It wasn’t as tasty as it was pretty. It was a sweet and savoury mix. Salty from glutinous rice and sweet from the mango, which was actually more tart. I wished the mango was a little more ripe and much sweeter, it would have absolutely elevated the dessert. The pool of milk it sat in helped moistened the rice to a pudding-like mash, the crispy rice sprinkles offered a harder texture. Ultimately, the care and the time that they spent on this was noticed and appreciated. It was worth the time they made us wait for it. Truly worth the $10 cost for the labour intensity of it, but not necessarily its taste.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
We came for the dessert, and weren’t disappointed. A dessert I wouldn’t crave again or necessarily order again, but one I suggest everyone tries at least one. Truly a work of art. The entrees: curry, rice dishes, noodles, and stir fries are what is worth writing about and coming back for. They even do lunch. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

BAI BUA
1-2443 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5K 1Y8
778-379-9699
baibuathaicuisine.com
Bai Bua Thai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

El Pulgarcito

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My partner is always on the search for new small, family run Mexican places for us to try. First he loves Mexican food, and second he finds these the most authentic and worthy of his money and support. We drove past this one in the morning and kept our word to come back at night.

A smaller restaurant themed in yellow and blue: yellow walls, blue columns and blue counters. Hanging on these walls were paintings of birds on canvas, 3D sculptured front of homes, and a gilded piece depicting a court yard in Chrome.

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Towards the back of the room was their register and a shelf of imported products. The wrap around cubicle-like walls were decorated with sombreros, woven baskets, and a colourful garlands of ornaments. It was as authentic as the hip shaking beat playing over head. The shelves beside them were stocked with groceries included cans and bottles of preserved vegetables, sauces, and spices for you to take home and flavour your food with.

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There weren’t many tables, and they all got sat fairly quickly after us. Surprisingly lots of patrons stopped by for dinner. We weren’t sure if they were just passing by and stopped in by chance, or if they were happy and returning customers. But the traffic was encouraging and we were happy for their success. Each wooden table was clothed in picnic style red and white gingham. And set with a caddy of napkins, hot sauce and salt.

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The menu without photos was hard to decipher. Luckily they had a banner on the wall illustrating their offerings. Photos of dishes with names and numbers, corresponding to the menu. I went back and forth between the two, undecided. The menu offered more description and the photos showed how they would be presented. It seemed like each dish came with tortilla, but how each differed was the way it was presented. Wrapped around the ingredients or stacked on the side of them.

I heard the microwave beep, but given the size of their operation and the traffic they get in, it is probably a necessary for them to use such an appliance. The father gave us our menus and the daughter took our order. A good call as he was not the most welcoming or the most friendliest front of house face. Although he did thank us for our business after we paid. The daughter on the other hand answered our questions and took our requests, before receding to the back to help prepare the plates in the kitchen. I assume her mother was the one running said kitchen and these were her Salvadorian and Mexican recipes. There was a hefty wait and confusion when it was time to serve a few entrees. Plates were brought to the wrong table, then removed and given second hand to their rightful orderer. We were the first to be seated, coming in before the four other parties that walked in after us, but were the second to be served. But seeing as it was a small family run operation, I was a lot more understanding.

This was one of the most extensive Mexican menus I have ever seen. 33 different options with variations in beef, chicken, pork, or vegetable. Some even had the option of baby shrimp or egg for protein. They had an all day breakfast selection with plenty of eggs and avocado options. And did sides like chips and nachos with yucca fries and even taquitos. For lunch there were several soups with vegetable or meat, and even entrees with cow’s feet, tripe, and gut. The rest were the familiar American-Mexican staples of burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and wraps. And even the above, all deconstructed on dinner plates with El Salvadorian influences.

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They had horchata in two different varieties. Our server explained that the Salvadorian version was made with seeds, and the Mexican one was with rice. After confirming that both were sweet, I went with the former as I have never had Salvadorian horchata before. It looked grainy and the texture matched, like powered chocolate milk mix. Chalky and less sweet than the Mexican version. But you still got the cinnamon and sugar cereal milk flavour that you wanted.

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My partner got his usual “Enchilada” in beef. Three stuffed corn tortillas with sauce, melted cheese, and then topped with sour cream. This was the large size, the regular came with one less wrapped tortilla. It was also not a lot of food for what was considered a large plate. One more wrap than the regular for $2.25 more. They were severed with a side of lettuce salad, rice, and beans; with your choice of red, mole, green, or spicy sauce. My partner just asked for it to not be spicy, and it came bland in their red sauce. The entree was homey and filling, a good cheesy mix. But pretty standard in terms of expectation.

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I wanted more rice and meat so got the “Fajitas” in chicken with beans, rice, salad, and three tortillas. It was a build your own fajita affair with the tortillas separate, in a container kept warm by a cloth cozy. The chicken was cooked in a tomato sauce with cheese, onion, and peppers. It was hard and slightly over cooked, but served luke warm. The flavour was similar to Mexican, but different. I cannot place it, but it was almost sweeter?

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
My regret is not taking advantage of more of their Salvadorian dishes, as I am unfamiliar with the cuisine. Like the “pupusas” which were declared their house specialities. “Pupusa” is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla that is usually filled with a blend of cheese, seasoned pork meat ground to a paste, refried beans; and queso, Central American cheese. They are reason enough to return and try something new. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

EL PULGARCITO
2522 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5K 1Z2
604-568-8591
El Pulgarcito Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Doutain Fish Noodles Soup Restaurant

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There is no better way to beat a wet and miserable day, than with hot and comforting soup. And what better a place for that, than a restaurant with “soup” in its title, amongst other descriptives.

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I was greeted at the door and given my choice of seats. A nice booth in the corner offered warmth and rest from the elements. As is the typical fashion of most Chinese cafe-restaurants, the setting is about practicality, and not much else. Red and black booths for large groups and free standing table tops for couples and small families. Lucky cats waving at the bar, red lanterns hanging over head, and the metal branches of a tree creeping across one wall. The other walls had black boards and posters advertising specials in Chinese characters and late night deals that didn’t list price or content. I would later find out that they definitely catered to their demographic, as the language barrier was a bit of an issue.

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This was the type of restaurant where the neighbourhood came to when they didn’t want to cook. You came in sweatpants and didn’t need to take a shower, you were comfortable here. And with such an extensive menu, it is one of those places where you can eat here day after day and still be trying new things months later. Four poster sheet pages to flip back and forth on, as you considered options.

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Typical Hong Kong and Taiwanese style fare, Western style set meals like pork chops and baked spaghettini casseroles, fried rice and noodles, curry on rice, layered sandwiches and with a side of fries, rice in a hot pot or a a stone bowl, and plenty of blended ice and milk drinks with or without pearls.

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Their features seemed to be their customizable combos, as it was highlighted in the name of their establishment. So we had to get one. Combinations of congee and noodle soup. You place your order using a laminated sheet of check boxes and a dry erase marker. For the noodle soup you choose your soup base, noodle type, and toppings; with an option of two sides at a deal of a price.

The food came fast, in impressive large portions. Had we know they were this generous we probably wouldn’t have gotten the side and maybe even shared one dish between us. And best of all their didn’t ask for more than the normal prices of such plates: $10-12 an order.

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We had the Sichuan spicy soup base with chicken ball and pork slices over flat rice noodles; and added a side of pork chop for less than $2. The soup was plenty spicy. A healthy serving of protein and green herbs with mushroom, tofu, and cabbage thrown in the balance of some vegetables.

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I was most impressed with the pork chop side. Perfectly tender slices of pork with plenty of flavour, paired with crisp vegetable. It gave you a break from the heat of the noodles.

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The “House special green milk tea” and “Mango milk tea” we ordered also helped in this regard. We had our meal for here, but the drinks were preemptively sealed and cupped to go. They were nice and milky with their promised flavour in powder. I wanted mine with pearls and i didn’t think I had to ask for it.

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There were just too many options to go through, so I relied on the ease of looking at photos, and making my choices based on what I saw. I had to get the “BBQ pork with shredded chicken on crystal noodles”, after seeing a photo of it. “Lao shu fen” aka these “silver needle noodles” are a rarity. A noodle I grew up enjoying in South East Asia, but have yet to find anywhere on a menu in Vancouver. My mother typically prepares it in a soupy beef broth. In this rendition they prepared it like any other fried noodle dish with bean spouts, mushroom, green onion, carrot slivers, scrambled egg, and a topping of sesame seasons. By comparison, this one wasn’t as flavourful as the soup noodles. I wanted a with it sauce, something sticky and sweet to coat each tube. Though given the type of noodle, I still enjoyed it for its texture. I added some soy sauce to rejuvenate the bowl at home. There was so much of it that it that it served well as leftovers for lunch the next day.

I made the mistake of using the washroom before my meal. The trip gave me a glimpse of their their kitchen operation. A piece of cloth was used to drape and separate the kitchen from the dining area. Looking past it wasn’t the best first impression. Grout on tiles and mass ingredients out in the open, left uncovered. Nothing worth noting for health concerns, but not the most comforting scene. If this is what you are allow to see, what aren’t they showing you?

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I was impressed by quality and overwhelmed by value. I deem this a great easy lunch or dinner spot for some cheap Chinese comfort food. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

DUOTIAN
#212 – 2800 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver BC, V5M 4N9
604-566-9612
duotian.ca
Duotian Fish Soup Noodles Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bao Chau

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Today my mother decided to bring me to her favourite Vietnamese restaurant. She frequents the place at least once a month, ordering take out for herself and my father.

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The photos online were a little deceiving. I could tell that they were taken a while ago, given the setting we stood in now. It was clear that they haven’t spent money on the upkeep of the place. Tables with their varnish worn off, scuffed floors, neon signs that no longer worked, and paintings faded from natural sun light. I have said it before, I can’t help but judge a restaurant by its decor, as it often relates to the kitchen and the hygiene of the place. Especially with browning plants by the entrance, clutter on the bar’s counter and desk, as well as a full garbage bag sitting by the register. But that at aside, the food was solid.

With many pages to filter through, I asked my mother what she recommended from the menu. She typically orders her “regular” so we expanded on that. She usually gets their grilled and barbecued meat dishes, instead of any pho or noodle soup.

A table got their meal before us, after coming in after us. I gave them the jealous glance wanting my food first, as we were here first. But we ordered dishes that came with multiple elements, requiring multiple preparations. That and the lone woman working the front seemed swamped with the six tables that came and went during our stay.

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“Combination A” included one chicken skewer, one shrimp salad roll, and two deep fried spring rolls; served over a raw salad and rice vermicelli.

I am a big fan on the battered Vietnamese spring roll, especially when freshly fried and dipped in to some fish sauce. This over the wrapped Chinese spring roll served with plum sauce. I enjoy the chewier, crunchier texture of the Vietnamese version more, and the contrast between the savoury pork filling and the tang of the fish sauce. My mom described its texture as being rugged. I enjoyed it most with a mouthful of fish sauce coated vermicelli.

We weren’t sure what the chicken skewer was marinaded in to turn in red, but could taste the excess salt and over seasoning with lemon grass. We would have liked the skewer more if it had spent some time on the grill, giving it a crisper texture and a nice ashy char.

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The salad roll wrapped up a slice of ham and a handful of bean sprouts, along with the traditional shrimp, lettuce and noodle. It was made ahead of time and refrigerated. The rice wrapper kept moist by being tightly bundled in Saran Wrap. The thick and salty brown sauce is what gave it is flavour.

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“Steamed rice with BBQ pork chop, shredded pork, pork hash, and ham. Over all everything was on the saltier side, but that’s what made it taste as good as it did.

The BBQ pork chop came a little over cooked in bone, but had the exact grill we wanted for the chicken above.

The shredded pork was reformed in to a pink pork patty. With its sweet honey-like glaze, this was my favour element of this plate.

The pork hash looked like noodles or potatoes, but was shredded pork skin severed with minced pork bits. It had a unique rubbery texture to it like a cross between jelly fish and cartilage. Not for everyone, but a treat for someone who likes the chew.

The ham was in a circular chunk. Like a cross between cold cut and spam, but not as salty. Instead, it had a nice mild flavour to it with a chewy fishcake-like texture.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
This was your average Vietnamese restaurant serving its community. It was easy I get to with free parking in the back. The prices where fair and the food was good.
Don’t deny your cravings.

 

Bao Chau
2717 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5K 1Z8
604-251-6956
Bao Chau Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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