Ox King Noodles
780 Fisgard St
Phone: (778) 967-1022
J: After what was a great night on the town thanks in part to Capital 6 (now risen from the cinematic grave) and Starbucks on the corner of Fort and Blanshard, I was in a particular mood. As a single man would ask his date in for a nightcap I was looking to do the same with the food scene. There is a place I would walk by but would miss opportunities to investigate, Ox King Noodles.
Why it’s called that, I don’t know but I’m going to take a guess it has something to do with an astrological sign. But with Ox King Noodles one doesn’t need to see a sign to eat it, the smells should be enough.
E: I have often walked by this operation during my visits to the Victoria Public Market, and no, I was not James’ date. We both were craving Asian style noodles. Whether as pho’ or as ramen, the ox certainly delivers! I loved the noodles offered in their Vietnamese dishes. The kansui gave it a great chewy texture, and the meat slices had all the right notes for me to moo over.
787 Fort St
Phone: (778) 406-1787
I think too many Mexican “taco” centric diners are located too close to one another in Victoria, BC. When one operation is busy, the hungry taco consumer can easily walk across the street to another to find a place to sit down for a bite. Located within the same city block is La Taquisa, Tacofino. La Taqueria and La Fiesta Cafe. In terms which operation stands out, none of them truly do. Well, maybe La Fiesta since they have Mexi-Fries (taters), and a condiment station with freshly made toppings (which range from mild to hot) but for the others, they all tout the same thing: locally sourced ingredients. Each of them have their own spin.
Tacofino began their operation in Tofino, the west coast of Vancouver Island and have broadened to a large franchise operation which includes Vancouver. The others have their own stories, but in brief Taqueria is from the mainland and Taquisa is family-owned. Each have their own range of goods. I simply rolled a dice to decide where I wanted to go and landed on ‘fino for bite.
Broadmead Village Shopping Centre
Unit 425 – 777 Royal Oak Drive
Phone: (778) 265-3328
Located outside of downtown, Fūdo Japanese Restaurant is where Shingo Sana, the former head sushi chef from Omakase, continues his passion for creating fantastic Japanese dishes. The ambience at this bistro is modern than traditional, and the time spent within is quite pleasent. The service was great, as I got a full decanter of tea to keep me very satisfied. The prices are a little bit more than those in town, but for the tastes I’ve found, it’s worth every extra penny — especially with the fusion roll I tried.
I do not visit this part of the suburbs much, mostly because the mall does not offer the type of shopping I’m usually after (nerd type merchandise), but if sushi connoisseurs love what this culinary master can do, making the trip to the edge of town is worth it. Timing and knowing when he has specialty rolls (like the Bananacado or Lemon Drop which the March/April issue of EAT magazine mentioned) on the menu requires keeping an eye on their Facebook page (or going omakase here) if anyone is yearning for a specific taste.
306 Burnside Rd
J: Like bees that are attracted to pollen, Ed and I are attracted to the area surrounding Tillicum Centre. The sweet nectar that can be found with either going to the movies (SilverCity Victoria Cinemas), getting a cheap dinner (Marble Arch), having desserts (Mr. Tubb’s Ice Cream Parlour) or partaking in board games (Skyhaven Games) in one area is too much to handle with just a single trip. If you’re a film buff like us (in name only and not in physique), yes you will find yourself coming back for more.
On this particular trip, we were looking for comfort at Szechuan Palace and I don’t mean to have a good cry and a cuddle. Both Szechuan Palace and Szechuan City are run by the same family and they are only four blocks apart. I’ve been to this location once before with my mom. Our purpose was to get a decent dinner before a movie, but we didn’t get past the starter. Service was slow even though they weren’t busy. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. A lot of time and patience is needed when you dine here in the evening.
History was looking like it would repeat itself. The website has incorrect information. It’s operating hours are not updated, and there’s no evening buffet.
The Snug Pub
1175 Beach Drive
Oak Bay, BC
J: When I first heard of the pub called “The Snug” my thoughts were of a small establishment so tiny that getting a decent table would be like me trying to fit into the jeans I wore back in high school. It wouldn’t be pretty and there would be no chance it could be done successfully. But upon entering Oak Bay Beach Hotel‘s pub, it was quite roomy and no matter where one would sit, you get beautiful views of the strait. I liked the pre-1800’s English decor, it was suitable for a man of my tastes.
E: Or rather, a man who looked like a chimney sweeper. I dressed up for the occasion and James was Oscar to my Felix. Well, nothing would stop me from wanting to revisit this place after trying out their seafood chowder.
612 Head St.
E: I’m finding that the out-of-the-way Japanese diners do better at serving up delicious meals than those in town. In the municipality of Oak Bay, there’s Osaka and in the district of Esquimalt, there’s Kyubey. In Saanich (Lower), there’s Yoshi. While there’s none to find in Gordon Head (yet) maybe one day that will come. Sorry Sushi Island, but there’s nothing ‘traditional’ I find in your dishes. While they do serve Okonomiyaki, I’m finding that going out to the docks on the opposite end of the city is where I need to be to get my serving.
The thought of the shrimp pancake offered here had me pulling James away from his plans in the morning and diving deep into this municipality for a touch of authentic fare.