[Vancouver, BC] All Tap & No Barrel at the Convention Center?

Tap & Barrel
Convention Centre Location
76-1055 Canada Place
Vancouver, BC

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Phone: (604) 235-9827

The Tap and Barrel is a contemporary pub located to one corner of the Vancouver Convention Centre and it’s conveniently placed for hungry visitors to any event, namely Fan Expo Vancouver, to hit. Even after summertime shows like Anime Revolution (taking place Aug 9 to 11), I’m sure this place is bustlin’.

The prices are very reasonable for the standard staples that feed budget minded con-goers. There’s hamburgers, fish and chips and sandwiches. For a quick breakfast, I got all the fuel needed to tackle the said convention without having to venture far. Until the organizers decide to switch buildings, this eatery is a less than a stone’s throw away.

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Foraging at the Cook & Pan Polish Deli & Cafe

Cook & Pan Polish Deli & Cafe
1527 Amelia St
Victoria, BC

Hours: 9 – 5 p.m.
Phone: (250) 385-5509

ES: The Cook & Pan is an out of the way Polish cafe. They were formerly located out by Cook Street proper but now they’re off Amelia Street. A social media post highlighting their delicious sausages was not the draw, but when I saw they’re offering a dill pickle soup, not only was my interest piqued but my mouth was already watering. No drool bucket was needed.

After a late morning film with Don at the Vic Theatre during the Victoria Film Festival, I asked if we should seek out brunch.

DK: Ed proposed and I said yes! To brunch! Put a bacon ring on my finger, Ed and rip that pierogi garter from my no-longer teasing ankle!

Speaking of love and desire: Ed’s lusting after dill pickle soup was matched by my limerent euphoria upon finding dessert pierogies in the Cook and Pan freezer (blueberry variety).

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Clucking In with Masutama Ramen

Marutama Ramen
270 Robson St,
Vancouver, BC V6B 0E7

Phone: (604) 687-0487
Hours: 11:30am–10pm

Like McDonald’s, ramen shops are popping up nearly everywhere, no matter how big the town is. I saw more had sprung up in the downtown core of Vancouver when I was here last. Yes, I admit this blog has become a noodle haven lately, and I go where my stomach tells me to visit. A change will happen soon, I promise!

On the path to Rogers Arena, there were at three places I could hit. Masutama Ramen opened a year and a half ago and is making waves. They offer a chicken-based broth over the usual pork. The taste takes getting used to and when roasted onions are added on top, the blend made sipping the broth a joy. On its own, it’s very rich and really needed toning down.

The noodles were savoury enough and portioned on the low side, which made me realize I should have ordered a double to fill me up. Yes, I have to live up to “Too Hungry” somehow, and on a cold winter evening, it was needed! I’d rather not pay the inflated prices for food or liquid products within the concert venue.

Doubling up on the succulent cha-shu was on the nose. Its smoky flavour was only enhanced by the broth. The egg was well prepared and was perhaps soaked in soy beforehand to give it the brown outer skin. Unlike traditional seaweed, this operation uses sea lettuce, which made for a different ramen eating experience.

Their dumplings are not quite on par with The Gyoza Bar. They were crispy enough to satisfy, and again, I needed two orders than one to sate the craving within me. Patrons usually do not linger in a ramen bar for long. They want a nice hot meal and be out as soon as possible. During lunch-time, I imagine this place has a high turnover. On the later parts of the days, it’s possible to linger around and wait for friends to show up. I was meeting Ira Hunter of Absolute Underground Magazine, and by the time he arrived, I had finished.

My advice: when dining with friends, make sure you all show up at the same time. These bowls are served quick. By the time others show up, you may be done and be craving for more.

3½ Blokes out of 5

Making a Beat to Miku Vancouver

nullMiku Vancouver
200 Granville St #70
Hours: 11:30am – 10pm
Phone: (604) 568-3900

Around the Vancouver Convention Center are plenty of eateries. They range from the cheap with Subway to expensive with Miku. This Japanese restaurant is certainly worth the price, and when I was in town for Fan Expo Vancouver, I can finally answer the question of where to go if money is no object. Normally I don’t fall into this trap of hitting those operations in this area. But with Star Wars in my head and a pang of hunger the size of the moon … those lights staring across the street from me from where I stayed had drawn me in like a mosquito to a flame.

Miku has an excellent location to watch the sunset fall and to nibble on the best sushi in Vancouver! The servers are very friendly and were easy to talk to. I asked where they get most of their fish. Unlike Fudo back home, they don’t import as far and wide. They do source from Japan, but the uni I had was British Columbia than from California. I was told by a patron next to me that some of the best are near Santa Monica. We agreed that this place is one of the very best.

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All Chorizo or Churro All The Time?

Chorizo & Co.

807 Fort St
Victoria, BC
Hours: Tues – Sat 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Phone: (250) 384-6066

The buzz around town about the “closure” of Chorizo & Co. last year (in May) was that they were not likely to continue. When I have churro cravings and the Gordon Head diner has not been in operation for more than a year now, just where can I go? There’s La Taquisa and Chorizo in the crazy downtown core. The former makes them nice and hot (but lacks variation) for a nice price of $5, and the latter–when I learned they are back open (since mid-October 2018)–I knew its time. All it takes is the craving for a particular dish to have me walking through this revamped operation.

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Ramen Teh to Play at the Victoria Film Festival

Playing at the
Victoria Film Festival
Victoria, British Columbia

Feb 1 to 10th

Tue | Feb 5 | 9:00 PM | SilverCity #3
Thur | Feb 7 | 6:15 PM | SilverCity #3

Back in 2011, I saw Chef of the South Polar (review link) at the Victoria Film Festival (VFF), and I learned a good noodle consists of a lot more than the love put into kneading the dough and creating the strands. Kansui is one part sodium bicarbonate and many other parts other trace minerals. To put them together in perfect harmony is part of many an Asian culture.

This year marks this event’s 25th anniversary (Taking place from Feb 1 to 10) and Ramen Shop (Ramen Teh) will continue to teach me something new in terms of how to celebrate life and food. Life lessons are often part of the theme in these movies, and I’m looking forward to what this year’s crop of films will offer.

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