[Vancouver, BC] On Why Kingyo is King!

20220220_194834871 Denman St
Vancouver, BC

Hours: Mon to Sun 12–2:30pm, and 4:30–10pm
Menu: kingyoizakaya.ordereze.net
Phone: (604) 608-1677

On my latest trip to the mainland for Fan Expo Vancouver, I explored the West End and visited Kingyo. Getting here isn’t that bad at night, but I’d still recommend taking a cab or Uber if safety is a concern. The stroll back along Robson Street to your hotel will help burn the calories.

This smaller sized operation is like Maneki Restaurant in Seattle’s International District; the external decor hides a warm and welcoming interior. Their daily specials have a wider variety of seafood and protein offerings than the usual fixings. It’s rare to see any place offer truffle in this style of cuisine. Next time, I’ll be back for their Pork Miso Carbonara–a pasta dish that uses the black fungi as a garnish.

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One Visit Isn’t Enough for Ghost Ramen

20211027_183151Ghost Ramen
1609 Store St
Victoria, BC

Hours: Weds to Sat 11:30am – 10pm
Phone: (250) 590-9821
Website: ghostramen.ca

DK: We were primed from the minute we sat down. This was not just any ramen joint. Not just any noodles. No, this ramen was the result of worldwide wanderlusting and the serendipitous discovery of handmade noodles in a small island city. I haven’t a clue what sort of noodles other ramen joints in town use, but the story we heard at tableside certainly made Ghost Ramen sound unique. 

The noodle recipe comes from former engineer, accountant and filmmaker turned restaurateur Greg Masuda. He operates a shop in Courtenay and noodles are shipped from there to Victoria. After trying ramen all over the world, Ghost Ramen co-owner Jason Chan says Greg’s noodles are some of the best he’s ever had. So, like I said, Ed and I were primed to feel like we were about to eat something special.

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How to Bust a Funk for Halloween with Helheim Beer

HOUSE OF FUNK – House of Funk Brewing Co.

House of Funk
350 Esplanade E
North Vancouver, BC
 
Hours: 1-9 p.m.
Phone: (604) 770-3646
 

The House of Funk Brewing Co. is more than just another microbrewery based out of North Vancouver. They offer pretzels, schnitzels, beer mustards, sauerkraut, pickled beets, yams bratwurst and other tasty treats in their dining section of the brewhouse. It’s an operation I’d love to visit because they may well be the next best thing to Skål Beer Hall in Seattle as far as sticking to a Scandanavian theme goes. Borders are slowly reopening, but to have something a lot more local makes sense!

This relatively new operation started business in 2019. Anyone who’s missed out in collecting and tasting their past brews are simply out of luck.

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Finding a Niche at Miche Cafe

donatmiche734 Aldebury St #101
Victoria, BC

Hours: Mon to Fri: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phone: (778) 440-5335

Menu: michecafe.ca

ES: Tucked in the industrial side of Victoria, BC (in the municipality of Esquimalt) is Miche Cafe. It’s been under various ownerships in the past and I’ve lost count! I’m rarely in this side of town mostly because I’m not a supporter of the nearby operation, Wholesale Club, (family loves shopping here for the bulk goods but I don’t) but when I have to chauffeur, it’s playing Pokemon GO in the area, or coming to this corner deli style stop for a bite because of the atmosphere and down home cooking!

DK: Don’t think we forgot about the bread price-fixing scam. Am I right, Ed? 

ES: Don’t get me started!

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Ready, Table, SET! A Documentary

setWorld Premiere at Hot Docs
Canadian International
Documentary Festival
April 29 – May 9, 2021

Tablescaping is serious business in SET! a documentary. In the competitive world of where up and coming talents show off their skills at county fairs, it can make or break–especially if that’s these people’s job! It’s not just about how to fold that napkin into an attractive flower but also knowing how to arrange the plates and food together in a way so the diner can feel like a king. These contests also requires a list of pretend meals to go with the display, and I suspect the skills can also be applied at promotions at many a convention (comic book or otherwise). Having a well organized table attracts returning customers.

California’s Orange County hosts one of the most recognized events for this state, and there’s many more world-wide. To be a judge, however, means working in the catering business for a long time and knowing what your clients want. It’s less about the fancy decorations for that one individual to feel like he’s in the jungle (one of many themes seen in this doc), but more about what the table setter can dream up for that ultimate dining experience. Writer/director Scott Gawlik’s work spotlights an eclectic mix of folks to show what this artistic endeavour means to them.

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I’m Screaming for Ice Cream (and to Travel Again)

Shug’s Ice Cream
and Soda Fountain
Pike Place Market
1525 1st Ave Seattle, WA

Hours: Thurs to Sun 2 pm to 8 pm
Phone: (206) 602-6420

I miss making my annual trip in March to Seattle, Washington. One reason is that this city is home to Emerald City Comic Con, the largest show celebrating pop culture for the Pacific Northwest (Canada included)! Last year’s event didn’t happen because of the pandemic. I was making my plans, but when Seattle became famous for being a hotbed of possibly getting infected, I knew I had to cancel.

ReedPOP made the wise call to “postpone” their event as nobody wants to get COVID-19, and while they are scheduling to resume for Winter 2021, just whether that will fly will depend on the global situation. Vaccines are being delivered and by Summertime, I should be a card carrying member of almost immune to COVID-19 club. I’m still going to wear a mask everywhere I go and have hand sanitizing wipes though! Upon landing, I know I’ll be making a beeline to Shug’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream. They offer late night treats when the sugar craving calls! Throughout the year, plenty of seasonal flavours become available, but my plan is to attack the Big Eddie again–or I may order something different.

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