Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Poké Time fresh, tasty, cheap

Poké Time Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Poké Time serves up what looks like deconstructed sushi with marinated raw cubed fish. And if you get the Super Cruncheritto ($11.95), they call it a burrito but it's more like a massive sushi roll so packed with stuff that they can't roll it up without some of the fillings squeezing out the ends.

Unlike sushi, you're not tasting the freshness of the fish so much as the marinade -- yeah, there's sauce. Still, the entire construction of the Cruncheritto tastes fresh and light despite being filling because of the rice.
Compare how much you get for your money to a couple of sushi rolls at just about any sushi restaurant and Poké Time is a winner.

The hole-in-the-wall is basically a take-out place that works like a Quiznos or Subway so there's no point scoring them on ambiance. But you can eat in, and if you do, tell them so they don't give you the plastic container for your non-burrito order but rather the reusable bowl that you return after.

TIP: Eat in if you buy the Cruncheritto because it's gonna be messy and you really want to use two hands with this because the fillings are prone to falling out.
Costs extra to get the outside of your Cruncheritto coated with stuff. Might want to skip that unless you are a pro at eating sloppy burritos.

2017-Jun-10 Poke Time

2017-Jun-10 Poke Time

2017-Jun-10 Poke Time

2017-Jun-10 Poke Time

2017-Jun-10 Poke Time

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Shocking surprise with Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chips

Spotted some intriguing vegan, gluten free "nachos" made from beans and rice at Urban Fare--Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chips--and decided to give them a try. My mom is into chips (crisps) so now and again I try to get her something interesting because otherwise she'd just buy whatever is safe and familiar from Superstore.

Good firm crispiness. Taste is bean-like but not so odd that you focus too much on it. Salty enough that you are reminded of basically "normal" nachos.
Overall, a pricey snack unless you are vegan and/or celiac, which limits your choices and sometimes beggars can't be choosers unfortunately.

What was most surprising, however, was the colour. The packaging clearly indicated a yellow-ish nacho-like colour. The contents, however, were... not. No way these were gonna pass as regular nachos. Depending on the lighting they looked anywhere from brown to grey, and the black didn't help any. The lighting in the pictures from my smartphone actually make them out to be lighter in colour than they were to the naked eye.

Once again, TASTE is good. But ad copy is misleading.

2017-May-16 - Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chips

2017-May-16 - Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chips

2017-May-16 - Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chips

2017-May-16 - Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chips

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Get a spoon at KIMU Japanese Cuisine

KIMU Japanese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato I was recommended KIMU Japanese Cuisine by friends showing me interesting pictures of sushi. Naturally when I went I didn't get any "rolls" but whatever sounded way more interesting. It's too bad the menu doesn't have pictures but you can check out pics online at Zomato and Yelp to see just how pretty and interesting their creations are and at decent portions for very reasonable prices!

TIP: Get a spoon.

Unlike "normal" sushi restaurant offerings, the variant construction can mean some pieces falling off the arrangement, so chopsticks will be sort of lousy here. Ask for a spoon right away if you're getting their special stuff, such as what we ordered.

Volcano Eggplant Seafood Yaki ($8.95) deep fried eggplant, pan fried seafood with onion, melted mozzarella, cheddar cheese, with special spicy mix sauce and bonito on top
  • We ate this with chopsticks. Don't eat this with just chopsticks.
  • Slabs of eggplant were rather big. No way you're gonna pick it up with the goodies on top and get a good bite.
  • Overall, interesting construction but not that tasty. Fish chunks seemed a bit dry. Eggplant pieces too unwieldy for just chopsticks. Maybe also get a knife.
  • Weakly spicy-hot sauce with no lingering heat.
2017-05-25 KIMU sushi - Volcano Eggplant Seafood Yaki

2017-05-25 KIMU sushi - Volcano Eggplant Seafood Yaki

Rainbow Sushi Pizza ($10.50 for 6 pieces) deep fried sushi rice dough, crab meat, salmon, tuna, ebi, hamachi, tai, unagi, tobiko with BBQ and wasabi mayo
  • You want this! Tasty and not skimpy with crab meat hidden under the slabs of fish on top.
  • Might have a bit more sauce than is necessary, and can cover the flavours, especially of the raw fish. Unlike a "regular" sushi roll, you've got sauce here so you really have to eat this mindfully to get all the flavours. I think I'd actually be fine with no sauce or sauce on the side.
2017-05-25 KIMU sushi - Sushi Pizza (rainbow)

2017-May-25 - KIMU Sushi - Sushi Pizza (rainbow)

Sushi Cake ($9.50) crab meat, avocado, shiitake mushroom, salmon, spicy tuna, tobiko on sushi rice dough and torched with spicy mayo, BBQ sauce, balsamic reduction, capers, and garlic chips
  • Those garlic chips are yum.
  • You want this. Tasty.
  • You want a spoon with this because the top layers are gonna fall apart.
2017-05-25 KIMU sushi - Sushi Cake

2017-05-25 KIMU sushi - Sushi Cake

Soft Shell Crab ($8.95) deep fried soft shell crab
  • Tasted like oily batter.
  • Sauce was watery and even when I drowned the crab in it, it didn't do much.
2017-05-25 KIMU sushi - soft shelled crab

2017-05-25 KIMU sushi - soft shelled crab

2017-05-25 KIMU sushi - special menu items

2017-05-25 KIMU sushi

Service pretty good. Location is a bit out of the way but it is nicely renovated inside so don't let the rest of the block make you think this will be a dilapidated hole in the wall.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Been years since I ate at Bao Bei. Last time we were a large group at a family table in the back. This time there were just two of us doing a Monday evening walk-in right when they opened. And that's probably the best way if you can manage it because the lineup started around 5:15 pm and they were basically full shortly after the restaurant opened for the evening at 5:30 pm (accepts no reservations except for their family table).

Having grown up on Chinese food at home myself, my take on Bao Bei is that it serves the familiar foods you had at home, but magically made more interesting and tasty. It makes other Chinese restaurants look like lazy home-style. It's like everything had a something-extra something-special treatment.

Portions are small for price, so if you want any chance of actually walking out of there full at $25+ per person (that's not including drinks), get the fried rice.

bean curd skin ($5.50) king oyster mushroom, chili ginger vinaigrette
  • Looks pricey for a portion that fits into an egg, but that vinaigrette makes it tasty. More like an appetite whetting nibble.
2017-May-15 Bao Bei - bean curd skin

beef tartare ($18) Cache Creek flat iron steak, preserved mustard root, crispy shallot,
ginger, quail egg, watercress, burnt scallion oil, taro chips
2017-May-15 Bao Bei - beef tartare

mantou ($10) steamed bun, coconut curry braised beef, fukujinzuke pickles, cilantro,
crispy garlic & crushed peanut
  • Two smallish buns but not skimpy on stuffing.
  • More interesting that just stewed beef in a bun. Interesting flavours but something about it came out bland-ish. Might need to eat this slowly and mindfully to get the full flavour experience.
  • Price is OK and actually comparable to the more casual fast-food-ish Bao Down.
2017-May-15 Bao Bei - mantou

2017-May-15 Bao Bei - mantou

kick ass house fried rice ($17) marinated red prawns, clam & jamón sofrito, crispy ginger, black bean, pimenton, fennel, red pepper
  • Packed with stuff and the fattest prawns I've seen in Chinese-style fried rice anywhere.
2017-May-15 Bao Bei - kick ass fried rice

2017-May-15 Bao Bei - kick ass fried rice

Overall, tasty food but pretty pricey as dinners go. Even the rice is pricey but at least it's fully loaded.

2017-May-15 Bao Bei

2017-May-15 Bao Bei

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Churros at La Churreria

La Churreria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato For $2.25 you can get a straight stick of churro, and for a buck more you can get a scoop of ice cream to go with it.
Sounds expensive, and when the portion comes it looks expensive too, but people will pay $5 for a single scoop of ice cream, so it's hard to discuss price when the dessert market is spendy.

I got the "plain" churro, which is coated in sugar and somewhere in there is cinnamon. It tastes okay and as churros go, it's completely fine just like this.
And seriously, what do you want? It's a dough of flour, water, and salt deep fried till crispy. You're paying for the novelty, plus a premium for being in a neighbourhood where it's hard to find and maybe a bit of a walk to the nearest churro competitor.

2017-May-10 La Churreria - plain churros

2017-May-10 La Churreria - plain churros

2017-May-10 La Churreria - plain churros

2017-May-10 La Churreria

2017-May-10 La Churreria

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Holy Crab

The Holy Crab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Where once there was a 7-11 on Robson is now The Holy Crab, a seafood boil sort of place.
The basics is this: You order seafood. They boil it. You extract the meat (and there's a TV televising the various way to efficiently get meat out of crustaceans), dip it in sauce, and eat it.
If you're not sure what sauce to get, they can bring out a flight of samplers. Get this!

To me, crab is crab. So I looked at the menu and ordered other stuff instead. Yeah, I even got the chicken. Really.

Seafood Chowder ($4.50)
  • Miscellaneous bits of stuff in it. Still came across as slightly on the watery side of a chowder, and definitely not chunky with stuff.
  • A bit bland. If you have the flight of sauce samplers, you can try putting a bit of your favourite sauce into it and stirring it up.
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - seafood chowder and deep fried wings

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - chowder

Seafood Bisque ($6.50)
  • There's actually stuff in this! Looks like similar stuff as the chowder.
  • Tastes ok.
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - seafood bisque

Fried Bread ($2)
  • Two small buns. Price is atrocious unless you are somehow wow'ed by the novelty of it.
  • Came hot. Too hot to handle, really.
  • You can get something similar in some dim sum places (like Dinesty).
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - bisque and fried bread

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - fried bread

Sweet Potato Fries ($6)

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - yam fries

Deep Fried Chicken Wings ($6.50) comes coated in a sweet BBQ sauce
  • Probably by the pound but we got 5 wings, a mix of wings and drumsticks.
  • Came fresh, meat was moist. Nicely fried chicken but don't expect crispy skin, especially not after they've been tossed in BBQ sauce.
  • At over $1 per wing... You want wings by the pound, go to a wing place.
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - fried chicken wings (comes with BBQ sauce)

Calamari ($7.50)
  • Thick rings, thin batter. Came piping hot.
  • Definitely use the sauce as it's bland otherwise. If you got the flight of sauce samplers for the seafood boil, maybe experiment with those.
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - calamari

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - calamari

Overall, for Snacks and Sides, expect somewhat pricey portions and passable taste.

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - flight of sauce samples

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - dungeness crab

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - prawns

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - crawfish