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.
4679 Kingsway St,
Hours: 11am to 3:30pm, 5-9:30pm
Phone: (604) 620-4679
… and they are willing to tell noodle lovers one of their recipes “of toppings for nice ramen.” Okay, the grammar is odd, but I suspect the image I took makes up their soup base and this revelation will have many reproduce it at home. I doubt this will work for instant ramen (we have sake for that) but for properly refrigerated noodles, to have that perfect broth defines the experience.
I’m enjoying this freedom to discovery establishments when travel lust hits. James R. Shaw to do his research than take chances. For me, I simply look at a map and either decide or roll a die than to depend on what other people say. I’ll gladly ask afterward, but definitely not before! After a long day checking out Metropolis at Metrotown, I did not want to simply visit the food court. Instead, I walked across the street to sample one of a handful of diners occupying this street block.
1420 Quadra St #101
Phone: (250) 381-6141
I can’t say Futaba is a favourite restaurant of mine. They did a bit of change in the menu offerings over the years and the overall result is not convincing me by much. The quality is not quite there anymore as another mutual friend pointed out (see below image) and while the meal I had was certainly tastier on the night I visited here with James Shaw, the improvements were minuscule.
These days, this guy still has an opinion about the places we dine together and he always has to express (to me) what he thinks about the place. I tell him to speak to someone else or resume being a bloke. He stupidly looks at me and I always roll my eyes. I really have no clue why I still hang out with him since he can’t separate from when we are hanging out together as pals to when to shut up if we happen to hit an eatery. He knows I can use his words to put into the next food review. He can’t stop me. In that regard, he’s still continuing to be part of this food-zine (or should I say scene?)
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.
Stubborn Chef – 拉麵館
AsUsual Cafe – 老地方
3960 Shelbourne St
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?
Sushi Yan Japanese Restaurant
770 Thurlow St
E: How is it possible than when we’re out of town, James can home in on good dining experiences? As infrequent as our visits are, I suspect his homing instinct of following the first pretty Asian lady he finds here is key. He scored great with saying let’s go to Aki, but I’m uncertain with Sushi Yan, It had the look of Sushi Plus back home, and while he loves cheap, it does not always mean quality.
J: If you want to eat on the cheap in Vancouver, you can’t do any worse than a Subway. But if a foot long sub from an international corporate franchise doesn’t appeal, then you have the choice of flying to New York for a taste of Carnegie Deli or try something completely different
Leaving the comfort of our hotel at the Marriott Pinnacle, our mission if we chose to accept it was to dine at Joe Fortes’ Seafood Restaurant. Upon arrival, the place was packed. Needless to say, we didn’t accept our mission. In fact, we almost lost our nerve and turned around to return back to our nice hotel (and maybe some eats in the Marriott’s restaurant). But while spinning into the opposite direction, I spotted an older building that housed a Japanese restaurant…in the basement. I was intrigued.