Konnichiwa Nori-San!

20220219_193223Hello Nori
1165 Robson St
Vancouver, BC

Hours: Sun to Sat 11a.m.–11p.m.
Menu: hellonori.com
Phone: (604) 564-9595

Hello Nori is a relatively new operation that opened in Vancouver’s Robson Street strip during the pandemic, and since they’re both dine-in and takeout, the difference is in whether or not the rolls are cut up for you. However, the taste will be slightly different based on how fast you eat them. The selling point is in how crunchy the sheets of seaweed are. I spotted a butane torch in the preparation area and it’s used for their aburi dishes rather than standard rolls. There are also daily sashimi offerings to which I shouldn’t have passed on. After seeing how they looked at a few bar seats away, I knew I’d have regrets. 

However, in the back of my mind, I wondered if the fish were caught Ikejime style or West coast. I suspect it’s the latter (this is BC after all), so what’s offered isn’t necessarily ‘authentic’ Japanese and more designer style to convince patrons in.

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[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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Popeye’s Not So Flattering Victoria Opening

Popeyes Logo With Symbol 2019.svg1646 McKenzie Ave
Victoria, BC

Hours: 11:00 am to 10:00pm, daily
Phone: (778) 265-6599

It seems nearly every fried chicken junkie in Victoria, BC is in love with Popeye’s. Ever since it opened mid December, there have been regular lineups throughout the day. I considered joining that but ultimately, it’s not worth the wait to get inside. A few months in, those lines are almost gone but it’s not enough to get me standing outside in the cold. Until more operations open up around town to reduce the wait time to get in, when the snack food craving hits, I’m only touching the chicken.

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A New Ramen Player in Town, and It’s All Arashi

20220111_1426402950 Douglas St Unit 222
Victoria, BC

Hours: Tues to Sun 11:30am to 8:30pm
Phone: (778) 922-2950
Website: www.ramenarashivictoria.com

Sugoi! Victoria ni atarashī totemo oishii rāmen-ya ga arimasu yo. As for whether that’s grammatically correct, I think I got my statement right and insert a pun for good measure.

Ramen Arashi is a diner that opened over the holidays. I’ve been keeping tabs on when they’d open since they’ve been making noise mid last year on the social media front. They’re not competing in the busy downtown area, and I think they’re likely to carve a niche in Burnside. They’re located a few blocks south of Mayfair Mall and I’d visit this operation in a heartbeat. Their bone broth has a nice additional peppercorn flavour.

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A Return to Miku and Extravagance

20211102_211550Miku Restaurant
200 Granville St #70
Vancouver, BC

Hours: 11am to 10pm
Menu: https://mikurestaurant.com/
Phone: (604) 568-3900

During the pandemic, Miku Restaurant really scaled back. They limited the amount of items available to order, and depending on what the latest regulations entail, this can mean them becoming a mostly take-out operation or closing their doors. The plan is to offer a wider variety of choices as patrons become comfortable dining out again. The present menu is scant; not even three dishes out of the twelve or so item list is enough to fill me up.

I finally ventured off the rock because it was needed. When A Filthy Lot, a film studio, invited me over to see what they’re all about, I was excited. They’re an online streaming content creation entertainment company with an immense love for Dungeons and Dragons and pop culture. They have three different channels to distinguish their material. The main one focuses on nerd culture, second on gaming and third on comedy. Some talents are from Victoria too!

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When Cravings Are Tough to Satisfy at Cinnaholic

20211027_173335Cinnaholic
#102 – 535 Yates St
Victoria, BC 

Hours: Sun to Sat: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Menu: cinnaholicvictoria.ca
Phone: (778) 265-2564

ES: Don’s the real Cinnaholic between us, and when a operation (technically, it’s a franchise) opened up in town, we pondered when to sample their wares. They boast freshly made cinnamon rolls which can be decked out anyway you want. I counted more than a dozen possibilities, and all I can say is wunderbar! Or should that be cinnabar? Okay, so the joke doesn’t work….

It’s often cold and wet in Victoria these days. To nibble on anything warm is required when out on the town late at night.

DK: Cinnamon buns are like cars, as soon as you drive them off the lot they start to lose value. A bun can be a 10/10 fresh out of the oven, but a 3/10 by midday. Also if you park a cinnamon bun in a bad neighbourhood you want to make sure not to leave any change lying around in the frosting.

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