Nubo Japanese Tapas
739 Pandora Ave
I’m fairly sure Nubo is very nouveau. Their designer maki rolls certainly looked very tantalizing, making this place worth visiting again for that alone! But when I noticed that I’ve seen similar elsewhere (especially after having sushi in four different cities), well, perhaps they are not? I was seeking a taste of the old country — traditional — and this place certainly delivers. On a busy night, I managed to get a seat at the sushi bar. Reservations are certainly recommended, especially if you’re planning on seeing a yuletide production at the MacPherson Playhouse. In fact, I recommend doing so for the four operations that run here. If time is tight, then the time is best maximized by being here early and just enjoying the scents.
If only I had two hundred dollars, I would be feasting on the variety offered here for an entire month. I could on a weekly basis, though I have to spread the love between here and Omakase. When considering their motoyaki is made from scallop and prawns, I’m already drooling. When I saw that this operation offers monkfish liver, they have a one-up on many other local places I’ve been to. In what I tasted is divine, and I was tripping at the variety of garnishes used on each slice. Each serving was floating in a lake of light soy sauce, and that was just my starter!
Les Chocolats Favoris
1010 Government St
JS: Move over Beacon Drive-In, there is a new ice cream shop in town and they speak Québécois French. Can a bit of olde England (Victoria) stand up to the noveau French invasion? Personally, I will say Beacon has little to worry about. But careful, do not drop your guard. Do not take Favoris lightly. Sure Beacon has their own lightly creamed sweet ice cream but when the urges take over, now and again, I want a hearty ice cream that is less on cream but more filling. For these urges, I shall run to Les Chocolats Favoris.
ES: I like the fact that the president of this company, Dominique Brown, decided to open up shop here in Victoria instead of Vancouver. They are based out of Quebec and to have an operation here is a gamble. Over the summer, during the busy tourist season where a cruise ship stops by every few weeks, this place was busy! Of course, James and I were late in learning about it and we still wobbled our way over to try ice cream off-season.
The draw has to be with the size of the portions offered. When I was walking to the Inner Harbour later, some tourists gawked at what I had left and I pointed them to where they could buy one.
in Trounce Alley
1210 Broad St
ES: Victoria, BC does not have a lot of late-night dining options and sometimes a visit to Trounce Alley is required to find a few of those operations that are running to midnight. Thankfully, on the busier days of Wednesday to Saturday, there are two: Bodega Bar and Park’s Kitchen. After a movie downtown, we happened upon the former first, and for once, my buddy was not being cheap. I find it easy to rack up quite the bill at a tapa type establishment.
JS: This place is very classy. It’s so much better than hitting a seedy bar.
At least here Ed and I could sit out on the porch in the beautiful night air and take part in what the chef had on the menu. It is easy to spend your money at a tapa bar (especially on drinks). The food delivered to the table isn’t much to look at when it comes to size even though it was highly decorated. Surprisingly, it managed to fill the Two Hungry Blokes. We ordered three items, the ceviche, a porchetta sandwich (Ed’s choice) and — a meal that rang my dinner bell — a mackerel potato salad.
723 Pandora Ave
There are times where I think my writing partner James Shaw is wrong, totally wrong. He thinks we should not look at the popular establishments and we should really focus more on the mom and pop operations. That’s fine, but when I’m out and about more than he is, I’ll do what I like. I feel we should at least give some few recognized establishments our take anyways. My buddy’s opinion is always dated; he draws on experiences from more than ten years ago and I tell him you can’t base everything on the past. Sure, they shape who we are (in other aspects), but when it comes to food and some operations, management can sometimes change.
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.