Saturday, 25 October 2014

kiku sushi: a metrotown area alternative (+group buy deals!)

i came to kiku twice but only intended one visit and this was to use another group buy coupon. the first time i went, it was at lunch and they did not let me but decided to stay anyways and returned for dinner another day. 

they are known for special rolls and lunch/dinner combos so this is what we ordered on visit 1: 

lucky choice combo ($8.25): choice of 3 items with miso soup including rolls, nigiri or appetizer/small entrees. 

house roll: my favourite one of the three, this was packed with crab meat and quite large in size! they didnt skimp on the filling of salmon either and it ended up being quite tasty. 


chicken teriyaki roll: not bad, sauce was super sweet but again, lots of filling although theres LOTS of rice which made me realize i should've just ordered a chicken teriyaki instead of the roll.


spicy salmon roll: quite a bit of salmon but sauce tastes like straight siracha and wasnt actually mixed into the roll either...again LOTS of rice. 

tuna oil tataki ($9.95): just like tuna tataki except with a strong oil, sesame and soy sauce base topped with green onions and ginger. the tuna was alright...strangely cut but seared nicely. the sauce was a bit salty but went well with the tataki. it was quite a large portion for the price and we enjoyed this! 


on visit 2, we used the coupon which included a choice of appetizer, chicken teriyaki either rolls or nigiri and sashimi and ends with green tea ice cream. this "meal" was around 13 dollars so we didnt save MUCH but thats what happens sometimes. 

spicy salmon roll (same as above): ordered on top of deal

chicken teriyaki: small portion of chicken was served lukewarm but the chicken wasnt tough or dry so thats a plus! 


gyoza: very poorly made...all ripped up at the bottom 


nigiri and sashimi: sashimi spicy sauce tasted just like siracha but the nigiri were fine. 


winter dynamite roll ($6.50): this was pretty expensive but the best part of our meal. they have both california and dynamite winter rolls which mean it is topped with some chopped scallop and a motoyaki type sauce then lightly seared. this was actually a very tasty combo and my friend and i both would return for this. 


half of our sushi spread

green tea ice cream: a sweeter end to the meal. 

overall: i would come back for certain things but i felt their cooked food was very chinese style (as evidenced by their mandarin speaking chefs and servers. their lunch specials are a good deal though as their rolls aren't small but are packed with rice. 

also, i felt the food tasted better without the coupon. hope theyre not one of "those" restaurants...

Kiku Sushi on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 18 October 2014

the keg: perfect end to summer

this past summer i was a day camp leader again and we had a staff "year" end dinner together at the keg. i loved the people that i worked with this year since we were all so different but complimented each other perfectly. i'm extremely thankful for being blessed with such a great opportunity to grow and learn this summer that this meal with them was just the sweetest ending. 

teriyaki sirloin with twice baked potato ($24): i ordered this medium rare and i felt it was just a TINY bit over done but was still nice and red in the middle. as good as steak is, the highlight was the potato. the insides were creamy and tasty while the potato skin was nicely baked to provide a bit of a "palate cleanser" to the greasier meal. 


overall: for steak, the keg is what most people gravitate towards and it was a good meal but due to personal preference, not something i would choose very often. 
The Keg Steakhouse + Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, 13 October 2014

the sweet spot: a slice of delicious

the sweet spot is a popular bakery in steveston, crawling with tourists and was the bakery that provided me with my little slice of birthday cake - i dont like eating whole cakes, i like variety in small slices :D.

anyways, the cakes they sell are always changing but they have lots of pastries and other desserts. of the couple things we tried (sorry no pictures) the cake was THE BEST. 

cake: layers of chocolate cake with chocolate hazelnut mousse, raspberry gelee and white chocolate mousse (~$6): do not remember the price but whatever it worth it. the layers were contrasting enough that it blended together so beautifully. something crisp on the bottom and delicious, not too sweet cake sat between layers of mousse and raspberry gelee. the white chocolate on top was the perfect touch - a light sweetness to offset the bitterness. i would get this again and again in a heartbeat 


The Sweet Spot Bakery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

chen's shanghai kitchen: xiao long baos at their best

shanghainese food in richmond is on every street corner and honestly, theyre all pretty dang good. trying to try every single one, my mom and i went to chen's shanghai kitchen near richmond center.

the parking here is horrendous BUT the food is awesome. good prices and delicious food without being too oily and tastes homemade in the best way...

xiao long bao ($4.50): juicy steamed pork buns  - these were AMAZING. the skin: not so thin that it would pop but also not thick in a way that it gets in the way of enjoying the little dumpling. the juice: PERFECT. steaming hot and tasty without being too salty and its filled to the brim with it. the meat: VERY GOOD, good flavour, not too fat. everything i look for in a xlb is right here.


black vinegar spare ribs ($~13): deep fried and then tossed in a very very tasty sauce, this dish was quite good! there were a long of bone parts but thats what spare ribs are so i cant complain. it was very tasty and did not feel too heavy since there was no real batter like in sweet and sour pork. 

this is now my go to dish when eating at chinese restaurants. delicious! :D 


sichuan style beef noodles ($~7): beef in spicy soup with noodles: this dish was really spicy but very good too! there was plenty of beef and the noodles were a good texture. the only thing i wish they had was a piece or two of vegetable but for the price, this was beyond my expectations! 


overall: chen's is a small little place that serves delicious shanghainese food. their menu is pretty big and their flavours are all on point. the xlb was very soupy and delicious and i would come back anytime! 

Chen's Shanghai Kitchen 白玉蘭餐館 on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 27 September 2014

sushi one: there's better in steveston

in my hand, another social shopper this time for sushi one which was $25 worth of food for only $12. obviously with 3 people, we spent a lot more than that.

we ended up ordering 2 lunch specials which were 2 different special rolls that come with a side dish each, miso soup and salad for $11.95. 

spicy tuna sashimi (with combo): not all that spicy but tasted fine


flamed salmon sushi (with combo): more like burnt salmon sushi...but i like salmon so it was okay


scallop magma roll (spicy tuna topped with chopped scallop drizzled in black sesame sauce): i liked this roll the most out of everything we ate because of that sesame sauce. it was delicious and complemented the flavours really well. the only thing is that their rice is really dry and hard 


spider roll: deep fried soft shell crab: this roll was pretty rice heavy and the crab was over fried/over battered. do not recommend it 


we also got a bento box that came with gyoza and yakitori pictured here, and also some sushi/sashimi pieces. ($17.95)
gyoza & yakitori: yakitori was pretty good with moist chicken and gyoza was pan fried nicely 

toro sashimi: we got to choose the sashimi with this combo and decided to go for the most expensive but the slices were pretty small but still good. 

nigri: tasted okay, good assortment i guess? 

tobiko and egg ($6.95): flying fish roe topped with quail egg: this was VERY overpriced and did not taste special at all...not worth it


overall: sushi one is really over priced for the food you get but their lunch specials are OKAY. overall, i would not return without a groupon (and i dont think you can...i believe it is closed) but they have an original location called shota sushi in vancouver. 

Sushi One on Urbanspoon

Friday, 19 September 2014

zephyr: hot pot and milk tea

a chinese group buy website brought me and my mother to zephyr for taiwanese style hot pot, appetizer, drinks and dessert. for only $24.99, we got to choose 2 full sized hot pots and 2 milk teas as well as a grass jelly and a salty peppery chicken. 

chicken with sesame oil and wine hot pot (originally $12.95): a pot on a burner came to our table...turned off.. and our server took a long while getting it to start up again but she was very kind! 

this pot was filled with napa cabbage, quite a bit of chicken (chopped up leg) and vermicelli on the bottom. it also came with a bowl of rice and some vegetables to put into the soup and cook. taste wise, this was my favourite because of the sesame flavour not being too strong. also, you get lots of chicken meat but because it was so full, it took forever to cook the meat leaving some veggies soft and raw chicken. the bowl is a bit small for the amount of vegetables but overall, good.


taiwanese style popcorn chicken (originally $5.25) : very well done here! lightly breaded and fried nice and crispy! 


japanese sukiyaki hotpot (originally $11.95): similar to the other hot pot, it came with some veggies, rice and a pot of soup. the soup base was really sweet though and strangely goopy. the meat was majorly fat chunks and not as enjoyable as the other hot pot.


hot grass jelly (originally $3.00): this was really good! i love grass jelly obviously and being warm and slippery soft, it was super yummy! 


cold green milk tea with grass jelly (originally $4.25 + 50c): good milk tea and but didnt love the floating jelly and nothing special


hot green milk tea (originally $4.00): mom really enjoyed the display and said it kept the tea nice and warm. it was also a huge pot and sweetened well! 


overall: with a group coupon, this was a great deal but for the quality of meat, especially in the beef hot pot, i would probably try another dish if i were to return

Zephyr Tea House Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

yogurtland: fro yo is my best friend.

on a trip to the states, i really wanted to try yogurtland since it is super popular in america. 

they have A LOT of flavours and since dairy is cheaper in the states, the fro yo is as well. 

look at the cute cups! 

honestly dont remember the flavours...but probably in the chocolate/cookie/dessert range

the yogurt was not the best...yes its a lot cheaper but the texture is quite thick yet not creamy..its not exactly icy either...hard to describe but overall, not as good as i expected

also, their toppings were nothing amazing. cheesecake bites were rock hard and again missing the creaminess of cream cheese! chocolate shavings did not taste like chocolate...


overall: i would return because its frozen yogurt for CHEAP. not amazing but satisfies the sweet tooth!

Yogurtland on Urbanspoon