The Return of the Burger King (at Lee’s Restaurant)

Lee’s Restaurant
3960 Shelbourne St,0
Victoria, BC
Phone: (778) 432-2111

ES: I’m not sure how many times the diner next to Save-on-Foods at University Heights has changed. I recall it was once an Italian style place offering up tasty gyros, Japanese with sushi and now it’s a Chinese. The big question is what it will become next? I’m honestly left wondering if it is under the same management or its someone new?

Until I can figure it out, this place is certainly a stop for many a Chinese person to grab a quick bite. Every time I walk past, the patrons there are usually Asian. I suspect many are students from China who have come to this city to study at the University of Victoria. This institution is approximately 15 mins away from here and this municipality has a larger than usual presence of Asian operations.

Donald Kennedy and I will be continuing in the Two Hungry Blokes tradition to explore eateries. We met up at Gauntlet Games (great place to hang out to play Magic the Gathering BTW) to get try out Cthulhu Tales, a card game I bought, and afterward, we were hungry. The dishes came out fast and a bit of home can be tasted in every dish made.

DK: Lookie, lookie Ed found a cookie! And by cookie, I mean washed up local food blogger whose face you vaguely recognize.

“Have I seen this guy online?” You’re asking yourself right now. “Did I print a blogspot photo of him ten years ago and paste it to a vision board under the title ‘RELATIONSHIP GOALS’?” Of course, you did, but turns out you were more into Choclair than Maestro because you did not Stick To Your Vision. Did all your dreams die? Did you STAY HEALTHY and EAT RIGHT? Did you TRAVEL to MELBOURNE? POTENTIAL, PROSPERITY, FOCUS, EARN! How far did you get? I’d love to know, but we’re here to scrutinize small business food offerings, not your lack of follow-through.

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Just How Long is a Pho-Ever?

pho-everPho-Ever
1669 Pear St.,
Gordon Head
Saanich, BC
(250) 388-0028

For as long as I can remember living in the Gordon Head area, Pho-Ever has been around for … well, forever. I have not thought about visiting this place because it’s in a tucked away corner of Shelbourne Plaza and it’s the type of place some would not give a second glance to. As unobtrusive as this establishment is, they can serve up a mean Pho, and it had me savouring every bit of broth from the P-4 I ordered. That is, I had a serving of traditional noodle with bits of rare steak, tendon and tripe mixed in. The traditional plate of bean sprouts, cilantro, lime and hot pepper is offered and beyond that, was there anything that leapt at me?

Not really as there was nothing special in the presentation of the meal. It’s not like I was walking into a trendy restaurant over an every man’s place. The broth was exceptionally well made. It was clear and after applying some hot chilli oil to give it tang, the zest I was craving made the meal. The ratio of the various ingredients were adequate, and I did not realize how hungry I was. I was practically wolfing down the meal as I did not have a proper lunch earlier.

A word of warning: while the serving size of the bowl is perfect, to add any more product on top can get quickly expensive. The charge for adding extra portions of meat, prawn, noodle or vegetables averages $4, making that $11.95 meal turn into $24 if James was here. I stuck with the basics to evaluate the staple of quick Vietnamese street food.

This spot is great for Pokémon GO players. Not only is there a stop but also there were pocket monsters which popped in, eying my meal. I caught mostly common types, but I guess Psyducks love stopping by more often.

Sadly, during a non-busy time, the service was lazy. I had no water refill and the waitress only checked in once on my meal. While I lucked out and got my meal within minutes of ordering, I wonder what this place is like when it is actively busy during lunchtime? Between this operation and another, that’s a block and a half away, I think I’d rather go to the other. I like how they make their Bánh mì sandwiches — they are toasted up and are kept wrapped until I peel the foil out for nibbling when enjoying the view while up on Mount Tolmie.

When I glanced at this Pear St. operation’s menu, I did not find any sandwiches to order. Even though my heart was set for some pho, my eyes kept on glancing at Pokémon GO for some elusive critters that I hoped might appear while here. They used to pop up a few great nest migrations before, but I guess even they are deciding to avoid this place instead of congregating.

3 Blokes out of 5

The Stubborn Chef 拉麵館 changes the Ramen Scene ‘Round with AsUsual Cafe – 老地方

stubborn_chefStubborn Chef – 拉麵館
AsUsual Cafe – 老地方
3960 Shelbourne St
Victoria, BC
(778) 432-3818

Only James can think Kuma Noodle Japan has the best ramen all around Victoria. He’s most likely right, but he’s not had the complete Japanese experience (I had it in Japan, a place he has yet to travel to). Yes, I’m relentless in teasing him about this fact and one year, we will visit the Land of the Rising Sun to sample the food together. Back in Victoria, in the meantime, competitors eventually will emerge to challenge my buddy’s statement.

Trying to schedule his willingness to go out with my Pokémon GO adventures (I need to fuel up somehow) is like dragging a closet gamer out of the comfort of his own home to see the light, er sun.

We have tried a few places together. Foo Ramen Bar has been running for a while and unless you know which Japanese restaurants to go to, they will have this common staple buried along with the Udon and Soba. Next to the Victoria Public Market downtown is Ox King Noodles. In Gordon Head, The Stubborn Chef specializes in a variety of noodles. James finally checked out this place during one of his rare departures from Langford. By then, I’ve been here for the third time. Interestingly, the chef is a third generation noodle-maker. He’s been trained by the best and I’m glad he’s settling into the Gordon Head culinary landscape. The folks who ran this operation used to operate out of Chinatown in the past five years. And when it was sold a few years ago, I’m assuming the change of pace is because this municipality is closer to home. There’s less distance to travel. I’m thinking the owner/operator is taking a cue from James’ book. Why travel far when you can enjoy the comforts of home?

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Local Tsukino-Con Reveals Kensho Ono as Japanese Voice Guest

Originally published by Otaku no Culture.

KenshoOnoVictoria’s local anime and cosplay convention has managed to obtain a Japanese idol for their guest list. Last night Tsukino-Con announced on their official Facebook page that voice actor-singer Kensho Ono will be attending their event.

Ono has already racked up an impressive number of credits to his resume. Muggles will know Ono as the Japanese voice over for the lead character of the Harry Potter films but anime fans will know Ono as Tetsuya Kuroko from the series Kuroko no Basket. In the more recent animated series Ono has voiced Souji Okita on Bakumatsu Rock (where he also sang the series opener), Slaine Troyard of Aldnoah.Zero, and Mikaela Hyakuya in Owari no Seraph.

Ono has also appeared in a number of Japanese films and television programs including Hôtai Club (2007), Dive!! (2008), Kujira no Ita Natsu (2014), and Fuji TV’s Senjou no Yuubinhaitatsu (2006).

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Asian Inspired Sweets Can Be Found in Gordon Head!

hkdeserts

Miss Fruits H.K. Desserts
4071 Shelbourne Street
Gordon Head
Saanich, BC
(250) 477-3337

J: There’s a trendy dessert shop in Gordon Head that may be borrowing a lot of sweet ideas from Hong Kong. I have never seen the like of this place in Victoria before and I certainly welcome it.

This suburb is a fitting location since it’s known as hub for Asian residents. The first thing I noticed in this establishment’s decor are the bright yellow painted walls, the tight-fitting chairs and the photos on the walls. I don’t think they were built to hold my big ass.

P1050020

E: I’m surprised James didn’t hit anything … no wait, he did play bumper shoot as we navigated the tables to our seat. I laughed and the staff giggled.

Since opening a few years ago, it’s become quite the spot for local Asian youth. One of my female friends love coming here and I’d frequent this place more if it wasn’t for the fact I’m careful in how much sweets I eat during a single month. This place is worth visiting to sate a sweet tooth!

Mind you, I’ve always thought the desserts I tasted when I visited Japan were far more innovative and this operation has changed my mind. For a while, I thought it’s hard to beat a bunny eared donut. But over in Hong Kong, there’s plenty of interesting delights too. Miss Fruits H.K. Desserts is importing those ideas over everyone to enjoy!

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J J Morgan Restaurant Serves No Rum

IMG_20150129_131636632J J Morgan Family Restaurant
1520 McKenzie Ave
Saanich, BC
(250) 721-2188

This corner restaurant by McKenzie and Cedar Hill was once a favourite of mine during my youth. Back then, it was known as Pizza Patio and yes, while I’m dating myself, the memories are oh so pleasant. When birthdays were held here, kids were allowed to head back to the kitchen and make a pizza just the way they wanted it. They could pile the ingredients on high, slather tons of cheese or spread tons of sauce on it and make the product look like a sloppy joe.

Since then, it has become one or two other restaurants before settling as J J Morgan, a traditional restaurant with western flavours than anything else. They have a reasonable Sunday buffet and I went there with buddies a long time ago to chime in about how they fared back then. What they offered did not convince me to return. Fast forward to now, well, it seems the tastes have not changed by much. At least the service is always friendly.

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