585 Johnson St
Hours: Tues-Sun 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Phone: (778) 432-0664
Yes, I make no bones about it, I love rice balls. A long time ago, a Chinese-style variant included a deep-fried type where the gooey cheese interior made for all the difference. This was before I discovered Onigiri, a healthier Japanese snacking version to which I’ve never looked back in my switch.
Oni-Oni is a satellite operation of Sakura Sushi and is a place I’ll definitely return to when I need my sweet rice vinegar fix! They have fifteen flavours of onigiri to choose from! Not all of them are always available, but if you call ahead, it’s possible to get what you want made to order. Eating one is not enough, and for a hearty individual like me, I can eat up to four of them in one go. These bites are like snacks, and aren’t the huge ones people sometimes see in anime. They’re about the same size as the ones bought at Fujiya’s on Shelbourne. Plus, this store has Okashi and Nomimono too!
Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya
320 E Pine St.
Hours: Mon to Sun 11 am to 9:30 pm
Phone: (425) 553-0867
I rarely review franchise operations, but when I was exploring the various diners east of the Washington State Conference Center, the choices are not limited when I was there pre-pandemic! I’m hoping this place survived as ramen shops are the type of operations that would close down during these times. Most traditional shops tightly pack diners in tight and I imagine to keep operating, the space of a chair and half is mandated to keep everyone safe.
When people are allowed to freely travel again, I’ll be there for you, Kizuki! Yes, I’m thinking of a certain TV theme song here, because I recall the camaraderie between the regulars and chefs when I was there last.
I’d be sad if they’re gone, because it’s rare to find an operation I’m definitely in love with. I have yet to find a match with the ramen shops here in Victoria, BC. Kizuki’s food is still prepared the same way as it is in Japan–they have a unique method of roasting bones before boiling. Similar to the French style of making consomme, they were the first in the Japanese ramen industry to employ this method. The result is a rich, flavourful broth that is fragrant and full of depth. They are devoted to replicating the incredible flavour of traditional Japanese ramen. Every operation gets the bulk of their ingredients from this country.
E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar
Address: 737 Pandora Ave, Victoria, BC
Phone: (778) 433-0363
ES: When it comes to alcoholic beverages, I tend to appreciate sake more than beer. When I heard about this operation opening up in Victoria, BC, my taste buds were titillated. The first thing on my mind was if they carried any of those fruity brews that I see listed in menus whenever I’m in Vancouver dining establishments than anywhere else. Long story short, not all operations are interested in carrying these variations.
As I learned at a sake tasting event a week later, master brewers consider the only good sake is untainted sake. The authentic blends do not include additives. I’m open for experimentation though, including raw food.
2828 E Hastings St #107
Hours: 11:30 a.m to 9:00pm
Phone: (604) 258-7500
I think the closest I will ever get to eating Fugu, the forbidden fish, is at Blowfish Sushi in Vancouver, BC. I was there last month to partake in Fan Expo Vancouver, and to cap my crazy fun-filled weekend, I had to hit the Fright Nights at the PNE.
I was supposed to meet friends there, but when the Drunk in a Graveyard team arrived into town late, my little voice said, it isn’t going to happen. Instead of feeling down, I said screw it and just enjoy this fair myself and met the devil! If I could sample that said fish that is this diner’s namesake, and let my fates go what may and perhaps my body would be found here at this park, adding to the haunted attraction.
Everything I wish Monster Entertainment’s Fear on the Pier back home could do to make Ogden Point a destination for Halloween was done at the PNE. From actors around the park to heavy use of fog machines made for a cool stroll. The creepy clowns got close, and I loved it!
As for the food, the idea of deep-fried avocado is not one I often see and was not aware of the online raves about this place. I knew I needed a snack before taking on carnival fun. The waitress was friendly and patient as I looked over the menu. The ambiance if more of a modern Tokyo type place than traditional.