Thursday, 21 August 2014

Save on Meats: Build Your Own Burger

The storefront of Save on Meats may not stand out if you're just walking past it but the name is fairly well known for Vancouverites with it being featured on TV and social media. Prior to coming I didn't know that the restaurant works with local organizations to help those in need in the downtown east side.

On a weekday early evening there weren't many people in the restaurant. I believe it was renovated not long ago with the cracked seats on the booth benches being one of the few giveaways that the restaurant is much older. 

I opted for the build-your-own burger option where you can choose between meat or veggie patties, toppings, sauce and a choice of side. I opted for beef patties (it came with two pieces), cheese, cucumber, tomato, lettuce and pickles all with the SOM Smear. The SOM Smear is their in house sauce that includes a few sauces like hot sauce. My side salad was dressed with thousand island dressing.

I had heard great reviews about this place and their burger is famous so I suppose my expectation was very high. In general it was similar to burgers you can find at other restaurants. The beef patties may be more fresh than restaurants that don't use local ingredients but it didn't make a huge difference for the burger as a whole. The burger did taste good just not rave worthy. 

Overall this visit to Save on Meats checked off one of the restaurants I've been wanting to try for awhile in Vancouver but I don't think I'll think of this place first when I want burgers. 

Save On Meats on Urbanspoon
Read More

Hakata Ramen: Mediocre food

Hakata Ramen is located diagonally across the street from the Richmond Public Market which is generally a pretty busy area. But the restaurant space itself has turned over many times over the years and its most recent tenant is Hakata Ramen.

There was a promotion for a free takoyaki if you spend at least $25. The most expensive ramen cost $10.95 so to claim the deal you'd need a few people. The takoyaki itself is only $4.95 though so you can always purchase it as a side.

The curry ramen tasted like instant ramen broth. I was expecting it to taste more like Japanese curry but this broth was closer to the kind of curry broth you'd get from Indomie instant noodles. There were pieces of bamboo shoot and a good amount of pork slices. However the pork wasn't fresh and had a defrosted aftertaste.

Curry ramen ($9.95)
There are combos to choose from where you pick a ramen and add a few dollars for a don (rice bowl). We got the Pork Rib Ramen with Ikura Don. The ramen broth wasn't rich or aromatic enough. There was one large piece of pork rib that was marinated thoroughly.

Pork Rib Ramen ($10.95)

The Ikura Don consisted of Japanese mayo, egg slices and fish eggs on top of a bowl of white rice. It was bland tasting and honestly not very attractive.

Ikura Don (with combo $3)
We ordered an agedashi tofu to reach the $25 mark. There were four pieces and it was mediocre. It didn't have that great agedashi tofu quality where when you eat it you're amazed by the crunchiness of the outside, the softness of the tofu inside and the good balance of sauce. This tofu didn't taste bad but it didn't amaze.

Agedashi tofu ($2.95)
Lastly, the takoyaki came with six pieces and each ball had at least one piece of octopus. It tasted similar to night market ones. There was adequate mayo but I would've preferred if there was more takoyaki sauce because otherwise the batter itself is quite bland.

Takoyaki ($4.95)
Overall there are so many great ramen locations in Vancouver like Marutama Ramen that I won't be visiting Hakata Ramen again. 

Hakata Ramen on Urbanspoon
Read More

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Smokes Poutinerie: Perogy Poutine

Going for a snack we went to Smoke's Poutinerie and tried their perogy poutine which was listed as selling for a limited time only.

The perogy pieces were deep fried and there was a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled bacon on top of the poutine. The perogy pieces weren't anything special and were similar to ones you can find in the frozen section of the grocery store. The gravy for the poutine wasn't that thick but flavourful and there was an adequate amount of cheese curds. Although there was probably a lot of sodium in this, it didn't taste too salty which was good.

Smoke's Poutinerie on Urbanspoon
Read More

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Uncle Lu: Three Cup Chicken

Uncle Lu is famous for their pork trotter but I ordered the three cup chicken meal instead. I did try a piece of my friend's pork trotter and it had a jelly-like texture with a soy sauce-like marinade.

There was a lot of chicken in my meal and I liked that they were cut into small enough pieces for easy eating. The chicken was flavourful and cooked on very high heat because some pieces were crispy.

Not pictured was my milk green tea with pearls that I really enjoyed. The milk was frothy with a hint of matcha flavour and the pearls were chewy.

Overall I may want to return for more bubble tea and this Taiwanese joint seems less catered to youth than some other ones because there were more adults eating here when I went for dinner. Though that it just a guess.

Uncle Lu 安可盧萬巒豬腳 on Urbanspoon
Read More

Monday, 18 August 2014

Leonidas: More Macarons!

Macarons are some of my favourite things to try because they're small and difficult to make. We went to Leonida's at Waterfront and was pleasantly surprised. The small shop only has a few small tables. They sold an assortment of macarons, baked goods and chocolate.

Each macaron is $2 each and they were chewy, not overly sweet and contained the same flavour as the name. I've tried some macarons at other places that didn't taste anything like their name before.

Light pink: rose water; brown: hazelnut; cream: coconut; blue: earl grey; purple: cassis; green: green tea. My favourites were the coconut, rose water and green tea. These had the freshest flavour to me and made for a great dessert snack.

Overall Leonida's is a good location looking out on the cruises docked outside the Pan Pacific and their macarons are delicious!

Leonidas on Urbanspoon
Read More

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Strike (Richmond): Taiwanese Teppanyaki Steak

When I saw the sign for Strike I always thought it was a pool joint but apparently it served Taiwanese food. There were photos of scenes in Taiwan on the walls but otherwise the interior is simple with rows of tables and chairs.

I got the teppanyaki beef steak with mushroom sauce and rice. These hot plate dishes usually overcook the beef but it wasn't here although the meat was marinated so thoroughly that it lost any beef taste. The mushroom sauce was flavourful and mixed nicely with the egg.

Overall it is a good location for a large group and their service is quick but it is similar to many other Taiwanese restaurants.

Strike 破店 (Richmond) on Urbanspoon
Read More

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Flying Beaver: Bison Beef Burger

Flying Beaver was always one of those restaurants that I've heard of but never tried due to the location. It is near the airport but only if you drive. You cannot take public transit there and it is not close to anything else.

There was a family with children that weren't allowed in because they had minors. I suppose the entire restaurant is treated like a bar and those under 19 couldn't dine here. On a weekend evening most of the tables were full and especially the outdoor patio ones where you can look over the river.

I ordered a bison beef burger which came with a side salad. The salad had assorted greens, cheese and dried cranberry pieces which made it suitable for summer. The burger patty was pretty juicy and the cheese and vinegar on top made it flavourful. Romer's Burger still makes my favourite burger.

Overall Flying Beaver is a good spot for casual dining and getting together with friends. The view is pretty nice on a summer evening before the sun sets and there is adequate parking in the lot across the street.

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon
Read More