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Chambar Belgian Restaurant - Vancouver, BC

By shokutsu on September 25, 2008 - 12:10am

Belgium. How such a small country, with a hat tip to the French, ended up being top quality producers of some of my favorite consumables is honestly beyond me. Chocolate. Waffles. Mussels and fries (moule frite). Beer. These are not just good offerings. These fall well within the realm of comfort food for me. Of course, Belgium food is much more than frites, chocolate, and waffles. With access to fresh ingredients and the sea, and with a storied food culture, the essence of Belgian food is adaptability delivered in a clear, unpretentious style. Food for the gourmet, and the gourmand. This approach to food is at the core of the menu offered at Chambar.

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Tenhachi Japanese Restaurant - Vancouver, BC

By shokutsu on September 24, 2008 - 12:06am

Since opening their doors back on June 1st, 2007, Tenhachi has slowly built a loyal following, especially among the ex-pat Japanese community living in the city. By offering an authentic taste of home, it is a welcomed reprieve for those living abroad by allowing them to get genuine meals to cure those cases of homesickness that arise. And for local Vancouverites, Tenhachi offers a glimpse into another realm of home cooking, Japanese style.

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Menya Japanese Noodle - Vancouver, BC

By shokutsu on September 22, 2008 - 12:04am

So I was strongly looking forward to the opening of Menya Japanese Noodle on West Broadway, near the Cambie Street intersection (the one with the dreaded, ongoing Canada Line construction), after hearing rumors that tonkotsu was their soup of choice. With the growing base of places to eat ramen building in the downtown west end, it was refreshing to see another option that was not located in the city core. Opening its doors on September 8th, I planned to wait at least a month to allow them to settle down, but a recent rainy day made me long for a nice hot bowl of tonkotsu ramen, so I broke with my intended plan.

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Pojang Macha - Vancouver, BC

By shokutsu on September 20, 2008 - 1:02am

Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, Pojang Macha emerged from site of what I had assumed was simply a makeover of the previous tenant - a decent Korean restaurant specializing in soondubu - that I had eaten in from time to time over the past year. Peaking inside one day during the construction lull (a sign outside said “re-opening in September”), I saw drapes of orange plastic tarps everywhere and assumed things were underway for a flashy new setup. To my utter surprise, on a return visit this month after the doors were re-opened, I discovered that this bright drapery had not been torn down and was in fact the intended motif!

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Kakurenbou Japanese Dining - Vancouver, BC

By shokutsu on September 16, 2008 - 9:28pm

Over the past year, I’d seen online postings announcing openings for staff at this restaurant last fall and also this spring, so I was aware that something was in the works for a while, but never quite sure when the doors would actually open. Kakurebou Japanese Dining is another addition to the increasingly crowded izakaya scene on Robson Street, and opened at the end of June. Two months have passed which I thought was ample time to allow them to work out any growing pains with the menu and service, and thus made my first visit only recently. Incidentally, Kakurenbo means Hide-and-Seek in Japanese, though the characters they use on their signage is not the same as for this children’s game.

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Andale’s Mexican and Spanish Cuisine - Vancouver, BC

By shokutsu on September 15, 2008 - 12:14am

The now controversial animated cartoon figure, Speedy Gonzales, is a memory from my childhood of watching Looney Tunes television shows on Saturday mornings in my pajamas and clutching a box of cereal. His famous phrase “andale, andale, ariba, ariba!” remains in my head to this very day. The flashback came to me as I stepped inside Andale’s Mexican and Spanish Cuisine on West Broadway for a quick take out lunch recently. With not much time to spare, I was indeed hoping it would live up to its name and be fast, though I certainly had some trepidations about the authenticity and quality.

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Ginger and Chili Szechuan Cuisine - Vancouver, BC

By shokutsu on September 12, 2008 - 12:18am

Szechuan (Sichuan) cuisine, is best known for its liberal use of Szechuan (Sichuan) peppercorn and thus generally thought of as being very spicy. This regional cuisine also uses in copious amounts, both ginger and chili. This neighborhood Chinese restaurant took these ingredients as their house name, and occupies a decent sized establishment in the Point Grey area of Vancouver, close to other area favorites such as Burgoo, Candia Taverna, Provence Mediterranean Grill, and Enigma.

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Seoul Dookbegi - Vancouver, BC

By shokutsu on September 10, 2008 - 12:56am

The major traffic thoroughfare of Kingsway that connects the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby, is also home to many ethnic eateries and food related businesses, especially of the Asian persuasion. Driving up the strip, I spotted numerous Vietnamese cafes and restaurants, as well as Chinese and Indian. As I don’t often travel this road, it will certainly warrant some repeat trips when I can make it out there, as the variety certainly intrigued me and there is still lots to audition.

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No.1 Beef Noodle House - Burnaby, BC

By shokutsu on September 7, 2008 - 8:32pm

To sum, No.1 Beef Noodle House deserves the right to put this dish in their name, though saying they are the best might be a stretch. Though seeing how busy this place was, it clearly has its fans, which is even more amazing considering its strange location (it is recessed in the building so hard to see from the road) in a mini strip mall, with a greatly undersized parking lot making it a challenge to leave your car and get inside. With the rainy autumn days of Vancouver soon approaching, a bowl of hearty beef noodles does hit the spot, so I just might be back.

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Prima Taste Restaurant - Vancouver, BC

By shokutsu on September 6, 2008 - 11:18pm

True Singapore Cuisine. It is what Prima Taste boasts about serving, and this text appears on their menu, their business card, and heck even the final bill. The restaurant side of the Prima Taste business empire started up apparently in 2000 and has now spread outside of Singapore to outlets in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, China, the US, and right here in downtown Vancouver. I had been hoping to visit this place for a while after hearing good things, but until this day never quite finding the right time or opportunity...

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