Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Lee's Donuts

Lee's Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yelp organized a take-out tasting for Lee's Donuts at the Granville Island Market, and I was lucky to be chosen. We got two donuts free, and I purchased two additional ones.

At $2.50 you are basically going to Lee's Donuts for a treat or if you care about having a superior donut experience. If you're on a budget, that $2.50 is worth five or more large bagels from Superstore or Walmart. Plus a coffee and you're looking at a $5 "breakfast" which won't even be all that filling.

From the four I got, there are two types of donuts that I'm gonna call Breadlike and Cakelike to help you remember the difference.

The Breadlike ones are yeast donuts. Very delicate on the outside, and just being grabbed to put in a take out doggy bag will probably crush the exterior (which totally happened to mine). If you need a bunch of donuts that have to be halfway presentable, don't get these.
They are very light and airy, and if you dip them in coffee they taste like bread you've dipped in coffee. Not recommended for dipping.

The Cakelike ones are heavier and rather nice for not being so dry on the inside that you are reaching for a coffee with every bite. They have a melt-in-your-mouth experience if you dip them in your coffee. As breakfasts go these are a better bet for being denser and more filling than the other type.

If you don't care about your donuts too much, just get them cheap anywhere. Even Tim Hortons will be cheaper (although they typically have that certain fast food chain aroma to them as well), and of course there's your supermarket. Lee's Donuts have a superior texture and of course if you get them early there's that nice freshness to them. You can ponder if that's worth $2.50 (or a bit less if you buy bulk) while sipping your $5 Starbucks.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Kaneko Hannosuke

Kaneko Hannosuke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Small bright space open for lunch and dinner with a bit of a break in between.

Get ready before you go in: Menu is accessed from a QR code available at each table. If you don't have data, you can probably connect to the free Wifi provided by the City of Vancouver.

Pay attention to the menu! It tells you about the complimentary tea (it smells a bit like coffee but it's made from beans) and the bowl (it's not as deep as it looks).

Premium Bowl ($18.95 + $5 for cold tofu) Conger Eel, Shrimp, Kakiage (mixed seafood tempura), Soft Boiled Egg, Seaweed, Green Bean
  • For $5 even though it's got fancy stuff on it I'd pass on the cold tofu next time. Nothing really special there.
  • Tempura came hot but it's not going to stay hot. Neither will the rice, special bowl or not.
  • Tempura wasn't particularly crispy probably because of not just the rice which was probably more than room temperature at some point, but also because they pre-drizzle their special sauce on the tempura. Sauce is tasty, but obviously it wets that batter.
  • It's oily. Use the pickles provided.
  • If fish is fish for you and you probably can't appreciate the difference between special eel and cheap fish, get the cheaper bowl option. I personally didn't find the conger eel to taste special enough to choose it again but your experience may vary.
  • The shrimp tempura was a bit odd. It was longer than a tiger prawn but around the same thickness as the wide end of your chopsticks. I should have given it thorough autopsy but all I have right now is a suspicion that they cut the shrimp in half lengthwise and pasted the two lengths together with tempura batter. And maybe they just left mine in the fryer a bit too long but I found mine on the dry and rubbery side instead of juicy with a bit of crunch.
  • That egg is really intriguing. Looks like they perfectly poached an egg then flash fried a rubbery tempura shell over it so it won't rupture in transport. There's not a lot of yolk to go around, so although the instructions say to mix it into your rice, maybe don't try mixing it into too much rice.
  • The rice also has their special sauce, and not just drizzled on top. Every bite down to the last will have some flavour, and if you really like that flavour you might not want to mix too much egg into it.
  • The special bowl isn't as deep as it looks but there's still a good amount of rice packed into the bowl for a filling meal. Save some tempura for it. And maybe ask for a spoon early -- doesn't appear to be standard issue.
Overall some plusses and minuses here and the price tag on the premium bowl is a bit steep for just lunch, but you're unlikely to walk out still hungry.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Red Robin (Burnaby) - not a burger this time

Red Robin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Back to Red Robin! Again! This time for my friend's birthday. She's got a soft spot for Red Robin even though her last burger on my birthday burger outing wasn't that great. In fact she said her cheeseburger this time was strangely very salty but because it was a free birthday burger, she didn't say anything about it at all.

This time since I wasn't choosing a birthday burger, I decided to order Fish and Chips.
Yeah, who goes to Red Robin for fish and chips right? 
But that's why I ordered it. For science!

Arctic Cod Fish & Chips ($15.99) Premium hand-battered cod fillets, fried to crispy perfection, with our Bottomless Steak Fries. Served with Dill'd & Pickl'd tartar sauce.
  • Terrible. Do not order this. Price for fish portion is atrocious plus it's pretty basic.
  • A bit overcooked so it came out on the dry side, sadly.
  • Came piping hot and definitely nicely crunchy-crispy on the outside. There was some issue with their usual tempura batter so they used a very thin batter here. Which also means you didn't have to guess exactly how much fish you got.
  • But the worst part -- and which actually might not be repeated on your visit, if they end up changing the batter -- was the bitterness. The manager checked on the fish and confirmed it wasn't freezer burnt or bad or anything, so it came down to the batter. Since my meal had been served and also probably for Covid reasons, she couldn't sample my particular plate to verify, but I isolated some of the batter from the fish, and it was strangely bitter. Bizarre and it seemed the manager also hadn't expected that issue from the batter.
  • The manager took my word for it, apologized for the experience, and took it off my bill (and I wasn't trying to cheat the restaurant at all of course). I really appreciated the immediate and no-excuses action taken to uphold a good dining experience.
Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Wrap (13.99) Chicken breast, Whiskey River BBQ Sauce, cheddar, lettuce, tortilla strips and ranch in a wrap. Comes with bottomless fries.
  • $1 less than the in-a-bun version AND you don't get crispy onion straws, but instead crispy tortilla strips. Which were mostly at the ends of the wrap (yeah, I totally opened up one half wrap to have a look), which was maybe practical but a bit disappointing that you couldn't get a bit of crunch with every bite.
  • Tasty BBQ sauce flavour.
  • Good large chunks of chicken that were actually pretty tender.
  • Chicken felt hot but the rest of the wrap was cold, so the whole thing was lukewarm and of course the cheese wasn't melted. So it's a different experience from the burger.
  • Overall, I think I like this better than a burger!
  • Price for portion is solid especially if you include the bottomless side.
Chocolate Fruffles ($6.99) Chilled, dark-chocolate-dipped fudge brownies with French sea salt, sugar crystals, and (rasp?)berry sauce.
  • This I felt was actually a good portion for three persons, not just two.
  • Simple and delicious. Fudge coated in chocolate and accented by sea salt was on its own tasty. A bit of berry sauce jazzed it up even more without interfering with that foundational flavour.