212-815 Cloverdale Ave
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm daily
Phone: (250) 380-1881
Winter is a good time to have a hot meal, and when I refer to the temperature, I’m actually talking about the spice level that Indian food is famous for. Royal Spice Indian Cuisine knows how to kick everything up a notch, and then some! I was here with another pal since our Call of Cthulhu RPG session with other gamers was a bust–nobody wanted to game in the late month of December. I understand the holidays change priorities, but for us hard core gamers hoping to embark on a mission, it can be disheartening.
This intimate establishment knew how to turn our disappointment around. Even on a cold night, we were warmly welcomed and it was busy. This city had a blast of winter snow, and it didn’t deter those brave the slick streets from dining out.
2027 Oak Bay Ave
Hours: Tues to Sat, 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5 to 8pm.
Phone: (250) 370-5195
I’m surprised that I never noticed Kissato Sushi before in my sojourns to the municipality of Oak Bay, which is one district over from where I live. The main reason is that there aren’t a lot of areas to park my car. It’s almost a must bus in the zone, given how restrictive the area is for vehicle traffic along the strip.
When I am here, I make the most of my time here. The avenue is even more of a throwback to the yesteryear than any other area, and I’m glad there are no signs of modernisation here, except maybe one operation or two.
The best known operations for eats here include the Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen and The White Heather Tearoom (review link). For where to buy alcohol, I highly recommend The Cork and Barrel; they are one of the few places that keeps a good stock of Strange Brew’s holiday drinks. Also, the Penny Farthing bar can be hit or miss, but as for buying delicious meats, I heartily believe The Whole Beast is tops. I go there to purchase their maple rosemary bacon.
With all that said, this district has only three sushi operations still running. Sadly, Osaka Sushi (review link) is permanently closed, and I consider them one of the best. Thankfully, Kissato can fit the bill, even though their selection is not as extensive. That is, sea urchin isn’t available. In what they offer is a terrific catalogue of the staples. The fish was especially fresh since my friend Max and I arrived at the opening, and we had enormous appetites going on.
1001 Douglas G12
Hours: 11:30 am to 10pm
Phone: (604) 782-8592
Sadly, La Fiesta Café, the Mexican diner at the corner of Douglas and Broughton, is no more. In its place is Smile Chicken. I think the fact we have two new Korean Fried operations (one still coming) downtown is amusing when considering there was a chicken shortage in 2021. One year is more than enough to regrow a population, but are the hens happy? It’s safe to say most likely not.
I’ve been here three times now, and when this operation has corn dogs on the menu, why not? When I’m craving this carnival food staple, it certainly satisfies.
Victoria, BC‘s Capital City Comic Con (Sept 23-25, 2022) is almost here, and after a two-year absence because of a pesky pandemic, everyone (at least local) is excited about it. This city had a handful of other shows throughout the years which did not last long. And the hope from the team of businesses involved with this show is that this fixture is a tourist attraction in the years to come. And hopefully, #Nerdtoria can become a hashtag to use to recognise fandom in this garden city.
For a complete round-up on what to expect, please check out our sister-site’s look at this upcoming show. This September event is exclusive to 2022, and CapCity (not Comic Con as it’s registered to the San Deigo event) is expected to resume in March 2023 as part of the Spring Break tradition.
Getting a bite in between panels or wandering around won’t be easy. The events from the past usually required patrons to the Victoria Conference Centre to buy from their in-house catering service, and outside food was not allowed. Things may change since the pandemic is not over and instead of packing people in, to keep everyone distanced is for the better. Until more news is announced, we offer this updated guide (last one was dated 2018 and a lot has changed since) to eateries nearby that’s worth the visit.
For in-event concession, the organisers reported that it’ll be in the Crystal Gardens venue.
The 2022 Victoria Fringe Festival is a wrap, and it’s almost a full return to form. This event ran from August 24 to Sept 4 and was well attended. I passed by many lineups while wandering Downtown Victoria at those venues that hosted, and the one big thing that changed, as a result of the pandemic, was the lack of seeing talents run from venue to venue to pass along flyers of their shows, and saying you must check it out. While there were fewer places hosting, that’s to be expected (assuming if they adhered to indoor health code regulations).
An internal change that not every patron is aware of is to buy tickets in advance (online or at the box office). I observed a few people were unaware, and instead of being turned away, were allowed to purchase at the door. I’m glad Intrepid Theatre was aware this situation may happen, and were prepared. I suspect further revisions will be in store to help streamline future events. And as the world transitions to accepting Covid-19 won’t go away, further tweaks will be made. All anyone can do is to be mindful in how things must now operate to keep everyone healthy and safe.
606 Trounce Alley
Hours: Weds to Sun 11:30am to 9pm.
Phone: (778) 265-2227
ES: Park’s Kitchen reinvented itself many years ago. The last time I’ve been there, this restaurant was a Japanese only restaurant but these days (even prior to the pandemic), they expanded their menu to include Korean, and I think that’s a good thing! The only downside is that their Japanese selection isn’t as varied anymore.
I’ve been meaning to return here, but every time I walk through Trounce Alley, it’s en route to Quazar’s Arcade to play video games rather than for a bite. I’ve often been tempted in because of the daily specials, but alas, I’m meeting up with other pals. After hanging out with Don at the said place and challenging each other to Street Fighter and other intensive battle games, we worked up an appetite!
DK: Let’s see now–I’ve got a notepad open, a photo of Park’s lunch special for inspiration, a refreshing glass of ice water–all the elements required to knock off another barn-burning blokepost.