Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shanghai River

Shanghai River is trying to go for the upscale image, when all it really is, is just another shao long bao (spelling depending on where your from) place in a fancy wrapper.
You got the fancy tea pots....
....and the fancy spring rolls....
.....and the fancy dishes and bowls....
....but in the end, it's still the same messy service as any other restaurant.....

We got a huge assortment of food, and yeah, it tasted great, I have to admit, but it's a bit pricy compared to some other places that serve equally tasty food.  The only difference is some other places look pretty nasty and don't come with the fancy appearance and ambiance.

The service was hard to guage because when I went, the places was busier than hell.  The best way to describe it is....understaffed.

Shanghai River on Urbanspoon

Deli Nippon

Someone told me they felt very "natsukashi" when it came to the ramen, and it reminded them of home...not just Japan, but their own home when their mom made ramen for them.  For me, I can say I liked it.  It defintely had a home-made taste to it, and wasn't nearly as greasy and fatty as some other places (actually, I prefer the extra fat in the broth and the extra fat chashu), but for $7.45, it was a nice, cheaper (and probably less abusive on my heart) alternative.

My group and I were there for the ramen, but Deli Nippon's specialty isn't ramen, and not is it sushi either.  It's actually okonomiyaki.  But for some reason, word is getting around that this place is really good for ramen.  Well, it is and it isn't.  Like I said, their speciality isn't ramen, but they make a decent bowl.  It's not on par with places like G-Men or even Benkei, but that's okay, they don't proclaim themselves to be.  If you're looking for that home-made taste, here it is.  If you're looking for a greasy bowl of salt (like I prefer), then try somewhere else. 

The sushi is okay here, there's a lot of rice, show it's pretty clear they don't specialize in sushi.  Our server (and probably the manager or owner) looked like he belonged in a Kurasawa movie than a little eatery.  I'm not kidding you, he had a striking resemblance to Mifune Toshiro, except stockier.  He was nice enough, but he was a man few words....more like grunts from the hara (where samurai believe the soul resides). 

I tried their okonomiyaki, and it's pretty good.  They have a couple of varieties and the price is pretty decent.  If I were in the area, I'd definitely stop by again.

Deli Nippon on Urbanspoon

Seoul House

My first experience ever with Korean BBQ was at Seoul House.  This place has been around for more than 15 years, but whenever I drive by, it always seems empty so I have no idea how it manages to stay open.  It was pretty good when I first went (back in highschool), but then again, I didn't really have much experience with Korean food.  I got a chance to visit Seoul House recently, and I'm sorry to say it didn't live up to my memories of the place.  The food here was ok, but not spectacular. 
I know all the food looks very pretty in the pictures, but it all looks alot better than it tasted.  From my experience, Korean food generally isn't very bland compared to what I had this particular visit.  The sauces were all very bland and didn't have the usual kick.  I dunno, maybe it was just me and I had a cold or something.  I didn't even run have stomach pains after or have to the washroom with ring-of-fire so the food wasn't very spicy overall.

The service was good though, our hostess was very energetic and made us feel at home.  It all felt very "at home", like we were visiting an aunt's house or something.  I may give it a try again sometime.

Seoul House Royal Korean on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 13, 2010

Le Nakamura

I think the original concept of Le Nakamura was supposed to be Japanese/French fusion, but as it turns out, it's just a really great Japanese restaurant and sometimes they plate food in a not-so-traditional fashion.  I think the chef or owner may have been French-trained, but I can't say for sure.
Unagi box set with sashimi and california rolls.
Calamari...well, stir fried squid in this case.
Some sort of sushi combo...
My all-time favourite food in the least one of them (my favourites are prime rib, foie gras, and uni).  The uni from Le Nakamura was pretty fresh and the portions were pretty healthy in size.  I was quite satisfied.
The sushi here is pretty good, and had the nod of approval from a pair of 10th dan sensei from Japan. 

We managed to organize a dinner for about 40 people at Le Nakamura, and very last minute might I add.  I think it was on father's day, but somehow, the staff were able to accomodate our fairly large group.  The Canadian Iaido Association hosted the annual seminar in Vancouver that year and we called on Le Nakamura to host one of our club dinners.  Our original number was 20, then it changed to 30, then it changed to well over 40.  The staff were incredibly friendly and accomodating, and very well organized.  Our sensei from Japan were also quite pleased with the quality of the food.

Le Nakamura Japanese Dining on Urbanspoon

Home Restaurant - Merritt, BC

On the way to Kelowna or Kamloops and need a quick bite to eat?  Stop in Merritt and you'll find a place where the service is friendly, the portions are huge, and the prices are reasonable.  Home Restaurant is a favourite stop for our car club's annual road trip to Kelowna.
The milkshakes are pretty good, a decent size and pretty tasty.
Pretty good Caesar salad, loads of parmesan cheese.
Looking for something to stop your heart, try the Monte Christo - $10.49.  Ham, Turky, & Swiss in what is essentially two slabs of French Toast.  My pal Justin has this just about everytime we go there....I think it has a million calories.

Baked Mac & Cheese - $9.49.  Now, you may have read my review on Boston Pizza and are wondering why I'm not tearing Home Restaurant a new one.  Well, unlike Boston Pizza, Home Restaurant isn't promoting their Mac & Cheese as anything gourmet.  It is what it is - mac & cheese, dressed with cheese sauce, baked with cheese on top.  And it tastes like cheddar because they use cheddar, not just the powdered variety from Kraft (actually, for $0.99 a box, Kraft isn't really that bad as long as you don't think of it as actual cheese).  Home Restaurant serves baked macaroni (actually, when I went, they didn't have the conventional elbow noodles we call macaroni) and cheese for about 10 bucks, Boston Pizza serves a $0.99 can of Chef Boyardee baked in a handfull of Kraft's Tex-Mex for 15 bucks.

Mountain of Mushroom - $12.29.  I think there's a burger in there somewhere.

Fish and Chips for breakfast, why not?  'Home' Cod and Chips - $10.79.  The pieces aren't huge or anything, but then again, it's only 10 bucks.  The fish is pretty good and comes with a mountain of'll be full.

We go there every year so it goes without saying whether I'll go back or not.  If there were a location here in Vancouver, I'd probably go.

Home Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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