Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sushi Town

My kinda town...(with "VALUE" written allllll over it!)

I frequent Sushi Town at least once every 2-3 weeks just to get my bi/tri-weekly Alaska/Awesome roll/Spicy Tuna Sashimi fix.  Their sashimi and sushi is amazingly fresh and so worth the value.  On this night, we visited the newest location in North Vancouver.  I like this location more for its spaciousness, less crowded/busy-ness and it also has more comfortable seating. 


Alaska Roll - Best Alaska Roll you'll ever have. No need to look further.  Avocadoes is the predominant ingredient in this roll, slab on a piece of salmon sashimi, with a miso sauce drizzled all over it and you got yourself the best tasting $3.95 roll you'll find anywhere.  Trust me.  I haven't met a single soul who does not like it!

Awesome Roll - The name says it all.  This roll is truly awesome.  Here you'll have a California roll with cooked salmon on top, adorned with bonito flakes and drizzled with a seemingly spicy-mayo sauce

Spicy Tuna Sashimi - Picture a heaping portion of nicely-cubed pieces of tuna sashimi, marinated in a korean spicy sauce, Sriracha, and sesame oil sauce mixture, and topped with finely cut fresh cucumbers and onions...and you got yourself the best spicy sashimi ever.  This is the most refreshing bang-for-your-buck sashimi dish ever!

Chicken Katsu - Generous amount of nicely-breaded chicken breast with a side of perfectly cooked rice, and a green salad with the accompaniment of a miso dressing...fantastic!


S...l...o...w. Not the friendliest either. Expect to have to wave the server down 3-4 times to ask for extra napkins/remind them about your order/etc...


Hands down, best value in Greater Vancouver when it comes to good, quality, FRESH sushi at a price that will definitely not break the bank.  $4.95 for a (heaping!) half-order of spicy tuna sashimi that is big enough to feed 3 people. $7.95 for a massive chicken katsu entree. $1.60 for a huge piece of unagi negiri....seriously, you cannot complain :)


No chefs/servers yelling to'and'fro.  No music playing.  No loud "Bonzai!" toasts here, either.  Just a room full of hungry, sushi-go'ers looking to get the best valued sushi & sashimi in town!

Overall: 9/10

Yay:  Come for the fresh and cheap sushi and sashimi! That's all you'll ever need in life :)

Nay:  Don't expect good, hospitable service here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

El Caracol Mexican Cafe

Hasta La Pupusa, Baby! (think Terminator, lol...)

FYI:  Pupusa = Traditional El Savadoan dish made of hand-made corn tortilla stuffed with meats, cheese or beans


To drink, I started off with their "Tamarindo" or tamarind juice, i believe.  It is a drink that strikingly resembles that of a Chinese prune drink that is sometimes served at hot pot places.  It was a generous amount (served in a tall, wide glass) and refreshing.
As for the grub, we ordered and split the Enchilada, Chicken Fajitas, and their Seafood Soup.  Everything was so fresh (and took a darn long time to arrive).  All portions were overly sufficient and generous.  All arrived with this special kind of rice that was so fragrant and tasty, it was soo good. It really reminded me of the rice that comes with Hainanese chicken.  I just couldn't get enough of it.  The Enchilada was oozing with beef, beans and flavour.  The chicken for the fajitas were perfectly seasoned. Would've loved fresh guacamole though (as opposed to the couple of avocado slices).  The Seafood Soup was amazing!! This was the second time having it and it was just as marvelous as the first.  The soup arrived sizzling hot, steamy and full of seafood (mussels, fish, prawns, crab).  The flavour was excellent and I loved how that it was comprised of coconut milk, too.  The broth was just perfect.


S...l...o...w! Can't really complain much since they only have 1 server working and another in the kitchen. Not that friendly nor cold, either. She also didn't know what a drink menu item was, when I inquired about it. It was ok service.  Entrees did not come out at once - we waited 20 mins. for the first one and 40 mins for the last one.


Excellent value - most items were under $10 and huge generous portions! :D


Little hole-in-the-wall joint with semi-cool lookin' decor - yellow walls, random Mexican gadgets mounted on the walls, washroom walkway that goes through the kitchen, random dvd collection...

Overall: 8/10

Yay: Super tasty authentic Mexican-Honduran, Salvadoran food. They even have poutine ( I know, weird) but heard it's good, too!

Nay: Do NOT come here if you are pressed for time. Or, if you are, call them ahead! They are a 2-woman band (1 in kitchen, 1 serving). Be prepared to wait for your food! Poor, poor ventilation.  Both times here, we've had to ask to open the door for more air!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Reef

Dey got good 'tings' to eat, ya know?


Started off with a nice pitcher of Sangria.  Would've liked the fruits a lil'more mashed, but it did its job :)

As for eats, we started off with the complimentary Johnny Cakes.  I personally, ain't too big of a fan of them. Probably because of its overly-doughy texture.  I prefer it to be more fluffy.  Though, I've heard that they do serve Banana-stuffed Johnny Cakes on weekends, and would love to try those!

For appies, we started off with the Yardie Yam Fries, Coco Prawns and the Jamaican (Beef) Patty.  I like the yam fries here as they are hand-cut, fresh and lightly fried/baked and not too oily-tasty like what you get at some places.  They were great in those aspects, but were definitely wayyy too salty! Loved the accompanying jerk mayo though.

The Coco Prawns were up next.  Battered with toasted coconut and served with a minted avocado yogurt, these babies were plump and tasty.  The sauce was very tangy and sweet (which I really liked), though I couldn't really taste the avocado in them.  The Jamaican Patty arrived smokin' hot and stuffed with nicely-seasoned house-made beef.  It was delicious and even more so with the mango chutney that was served.

At this point, we were stuffed from all those (salty!) yam fries.  The Spinach Salad and the Jamaican Jerk Chicken entree took longer to arrive, and by then, we were only able to finish a third of each dish.  The Salad portion was generous consisting of chevre (goat cheese), red onions, crispy tortilla and a jicama (Mexican potato/turnip) apple slaw with a roasted red pepper vinaigrette.  We added a side of jerk chicken as well.  I loved how it was a white meat chicken breast.  It was very tender and it's too bad that we (surprisingly) weren't able to finish it!  

* Also wanted to note that the Miss Kitty's hot sauce (see first pic above) is a must-try here.  It was so good that Scoe even purchased a bottle for himself!


Yam fries for $6, Patty for $4, Jerk Chicken Entree for $14.  Decent!


Had to wave down our server a couple of times, though she was a friendly one.  Would've preferred better attentive service though!


Cool soothin' Jamaican tunes with a live DJ on-set on a Saturday night.  Carribean vibes whizzed throughout. Great ambience.

Overall: 7.8/10

Yay: Yummy Caribean food in a seemingly Carribean-like setting! Come here for the jams & the eats!

Nay:  Could be a bit of a wait if you're with a group of 3/4+....they take resos, though! Service isn't the best, but it's passable.

Posted by: J

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Guu Sushi

Guu Sushi still guu'd....(and a lot more tame!)


If you weren't aware, all Guu locations offered varied menus.  This location is unique in the sense that it serves sushi (hence, the name).  Though, the menu isn't as extensive as the others, it was good enough.  Overall, the quality of the food was pretty consistent with the other locations.

We started off with Guu staple - the Pumpkin Croquette.  This is essentially a huge ball of pumpkin, filled with a boiled egg, coated with bread crumbs, deep fried and garnished with seemingly crispy squash peels, and finally topped with some special sauce that tastes a lot like a thousand island dressing!  Mushy, sweet and oh-so-delicious - we devoured the thing with no regrets.

Next, we had the Assorted Oden - a Japanese 'hot pot' dish with various ingredients.  Ours consisted of fish cakes, a deep fried tofu ball, squid cakes and a stuffed rice cake.  All tasted good, except for the stuffed rice cake which was very gooey (and not chewy as expected).  For our 'filler' item, we opted for a carb-y dish (of course) and had the Yaki Udon.  My dining companion thought the portion size was a little small, but I thought it was just right.  The flavours were just right, especially with the bonito and nori flakes piled atop.  From the 'specials' menu, we picked out the Grilled Whole Squid with Chili Mayo.  It was grilled to perfection and not overcooked (which was the most important part).  The mayo accompaniment only served as a bonus :)

Well, a visit to Guu Sushi would not be complete without trying out their sushi.  The most appetizing-sounding roll was the 'Aberdeen Roll' (named after their location in Aberdeen Centre) and indeed, it was.  It was a tuna and avocado roll, topped with unagi with a sweet mango sauce drizzled on top.  I also liked the fact that it was bite-size, not too big and not too small.

Finally, the meal came to an end but not without indulging ourselves in a Guu'd Sundae.  We got to choose 2 of the 3 ice cream flavours - mango, green tea, and black sesame.  We opted for the latter 2.  The ice cream came atop corn flakes and 3 sticks of Pocky.  Oh, and of course a nice whirl of whip cream!  It was delicious but would've been even better with red bean ice cream and mochi (which I seriously should've suggested).


Friendly, polite and prompt. Wouldn't have expected anything less!


Bill totaled $55 including tax & tip.


This Guu location is a lot more tame (in terms of the noise level) than the Downtown locations, which could perhaps be a good thing.  The servers/chefs are still shouting to each other to and fro, but not to the extent as the other Guus.  A lot more spacious too. For the claustrophobics, this location is the ideal Guu for you!

Overall: 8.0/10

Yay: Yummy tapas and sushi, a lot more roomier than the other locations and it is located in a mall so you can walk off the calories later!

Nay: Smaller menu - more focus on sushi.  Even the sashimi selection isn't very big, and for those wanting the loud, rowdy atmosphere typical of the other Guu locations - this location is not for you!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Voya Restaurant and Lounge (CLOSED)

Va-Va-Va Voya!


Absolutely divine. Started off with the Beef Carpaccio and the Steamed Local Mussels.  The carpaccio was melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious while the mussels were doused in a very nice aromatic, fiery tomato-chili broth.  Also loved the fact that it was accompanied by a large piece of grilled focaccia bread - just the perfect type of bread for soaking up the remnants of the broth.

For my entree, it was no suprise that my indecisiveness overpowered me.  I couldn't pick between the Ricotta, Lemon & Herb Ravioli or the Grilled 8 oz. sirloin steak with pomme frites and onion gratin.  On my first visit to Voya, I had a Chicken & Pappardelle dish here and it was amazing.  Needless to say, my wanting-to-eat-healthy instinct prevailed and so, I opted for the steak.  Nicely sliced, seared and cooked to perfection as requested, the steak was tender and juicy as can be. Win win all around!


Fine, but not spectacular (although with a place that looks like this, you would expect better service)


Wonderful value for food. Drinks, not so much.  Cocktails were very good, though not sure if it was worth the price ($12). 

For 1 cocktail, 1 entree and 1 appy - my tab came to be $65 including tax and tip, which overall, isn't too bad!


Beautiful decor with a very posh-looking dining area, bar and lounge area, and a private room for big parties.  We came here on a Friday night and we're only one of the few tables occupied.  I also like that it's not too pretentious here.

Overall: 8.3/10

Yay:  Trendy, gorgeous and well-executed food and drinks - what more can you ask for? Parking is not an issue either as it is located in the more less-bustlin' area of downtown - Coal Harbour.  Also attached to the Loden Hotel. Perfect for a night out with the girls, or a romantic dinner with the beau.  I also love the fact that the menu undergoes seasonal changes from time to time!

Nay: The drinks (though, wonderfully-concocted) could seriously add up to quite the costly tab. The price of a cocktail ranges from $10-$16.

Posted by: J

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stella's Bierstro

Belgian beer & mussels? I'll take it!


Scoe and I started the night off with a nice cold Belgian Cherry Kriek beer. I am usually not a beer drinker, but if I really had to choose, this would be my choice of beer.  I would hardly consider it 'beer' though - I just love the fact that it doesn't have that gross beer-y taste, but rather, it's dominated by huge flavours of cherry fizz! I love it.

Foodmatik's choice of dishes, on this night, were as follows: Korean Barbeque Ribs, Jumbo Shrimp, New Orleans Mussels (plus Frites), Roasted Beet Salad, and Chicken Wings.

Many of the dishes were average and satisfying - with the Jumbo Shrimp being the most enjoyable.  They were doused in a Thai spicy sauce, accompanied with a citrus aioli -although it came at a very hefy price ($13 for 3)!! They were good, but don't know if it's worth the value. 

The Mussels came out sizzling hot, but  definitely not comparable to the ones at Chambar (size and taste-wise).  The broth was tasty and flavourful, though.  The combination of Cajun cream, Andouille sausage, roasted corn and mixed peppers were well-executed.






Came on a Sat night - no wait was needed (approx. 8 pm), bar & dining area - happenin'!

Overall: 7.2/10

Yay: A good alternative for Belgian beer, frites & mussels.  Nice place to chill and eat if you're in the Cambie area.

Nay: Probably not the best venue for big group gatherings?