Monday, January 9, 2012

White Spot (somewhere in Kits)

During the holidays, everything sort of slows down a bit, but I still wanted to go to class and practice (iaido).  I went one Saturday morning, and my buddy Ron was there, standing outside in the freezing rain.....the SRC (Student Rec Centre, UBC) was closed.  Frig.  So we decided to leave and grab a bite to eat instead.  We dediced on White Spot and the nearest one was in Kitsilano.

I decided to get something hearty and ordered whatever came with the most food.  I think it was called Nat's Hearty Breakfast or something. 

Ron ordered some sort of omlette.

Mine came with something I had never heard of - Smashed Potatoes.  Basically, I think it was a par-boiled potato that's pan fried (or possiblly deep-fried, haha!).  Anyway, it was slightly greasy, but that's what makes this sort of food taste good right?  Anyway, it was pretty good, but I needed to season it a bit.

Eggs, pancakes and sausages were a few of the other items that came with my meal.  I was quite satisfied by the end of my breakfast, and I was quite content.  The service was friendly and I'd probably go back if I was in the area.

White Spot (Kits) on Urbanspoon

Guu Garden - Lunch again

Guu Garden...yup, we came back here again, haha!  I came here with a bunch of colleagues for lunch again and some of the more popular items from last time were ordered again, namely the Hamburg Steak, which I still haven't tried because my eye was drawn to something else....the Sarariman Bento. 

More of the same stuff for the most part except this time, I had the Sarariman Bento (businessman's lunchbox), which main attraction was the gindara and a variety of pressed sushi and sashimi.  God, every morsel was an amazing taste of heaven. 

For about fifteen bucks, I thought it was a pretty good deal considering the quality of food you get.  Guu Garden has never let me downn so far, and $15 is probably the most you'd pay for a lunch here, most of the other bento float around ten bucks.  Gotta go back sometime to try that Hamburg!

MIyako Sushi - "We Are Proudly Japanese" opposed to Canadian?

When I walked by this place and saw the sign, I couldn't quite place it, but I had a funny feeling in the back of my mind.  For anyone who's ever been an English teacher living in Japan, you'll know what I'm talking about, but it reminded me of those vans with the loudspeakers, driving around town chanting right-wing nationalist slogans, haha!

For you purists out there who only believe in "authenticity", here you go.  Personally, I could care less what ethnicity is making the food, as long as it tastes good.  I've had Japanese food, prepared by Japanese, that tasted crap.  The same goes for Chinese food.  For a restaurant to feel the need to put up a sign like this just feels weird.  If they were really good, word would get around and they wouldn't need to post a sign like this right?

Miyako Sushi on Urbanspoon

Salmon House revisited

My dad's birthday was a few months ago, and I was thinking of what to get him.  What did he need?  Frak, parents are really hard to shop for and I was racking my brain until I figured, how about an experience instead of something tangible?  I decided to take my parents someplace nice.  A place with an incredbily breathtaking view, and a pretty good meal to go with it.  It was a clear, sunny day and I decided to take them to The Salmon House.

We got our bread with a dish of whipped butter and that other stuff that I still haven't quite figured out what it is.  I asked our server, but I already forgot what it was.

I wanted my parents to try a variety of things they usually don't eat, so I started them off with the clam chowder.  I'm glad they were impressed.

My dad is a big fan of all things smoked, and though the smoked oysters weren't on the lunch menu, they still servered them anyway.  They were awesome, as usual, and again, my dad was happy with this dish.

My dad is trying to cut back on red meat, so I ordered the Alder-Grilled Hertiage Angus Steak.  I asked for blue, and though it wasn't exactly cold in the middle, it still tasted amazing.  Every bite was amazing. 

My dad stuck with his thing about cutting back on red meat and ordered the Alder Grilled Seafood Trio which came with salmon, prawns and one other thing, but I forgot what it was.  He said it was pretty good, but he kept on eyeing my steak and ended up trading lots of items with me.  By the end of it, I think I only had two slices of my steak, haha!

They had a special of black cod and my mom ordered this.  It was really tender, just the way we expected, although I'm not sure about the curry-based sauce on this fish. 

My dad is sometimes hard to please, especially when it comes to food, but he was quite happy throughout the meal.  Usually he will write these sorts of places off as over-rated, but he was quite happy with the experience all together.  I could tell because he actually said the food tasted good.  Usually he'll say, meh, it's okay.  He was also quite chatty with my mom, which tells me that he was checking to see what she thought.  Thankfully, they were both enjoying themselves.  Happy Birthday Dad!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Gindara at Home

After eating gindara at Guu, I found myself wanting more, so it was gindara for dinner!

A simple green salad with tomato wedges and kewpie mayo to balance the richness of the fish....yes, I think the workd rich can be applied to black cod/gindara.

What black cod meal would be complete without miso soup?

Miso-marinated gindara is available from most Japanese grocery stores...this batch was from another source :).  It's so easy to prepare too.  A little oil and a hot pan, few minutes later and you're done.

God, I'm getting hungry just looking posting this.

Guu Garden Revisited - for lunch specials!!!!

I started working downtown a few months ago and found that my new workplace is smack in the middle of food central.  I thought to myself I'm probably going to end up spending half my paycheque on eating out....damn...

One of the first places I went with my new coworkers was Guu Garden.  I've been here a few times at night but haven't tried their lunch specials yet.  To my surprise, the lunch specials were dirt cheap for what you get. 

The Miso Pork Cutlet and Half-Boiled Egg on Rice for $10.  It comes with some pickles, soup and side-dish of the week.  I've been there probably three times now since this posting and I've had nasu (eggplant), daikon (white radish), and satoimo (a sort of potato).  Anyway, some of these pictures are just a mish-mash of a few visits.

The pork cutlet was amazing.  Deep fried crispy outer, nice and moist on the inside.  Every single bite I was thinking to myself I can't believe it's only ten bucks for this meal.

The tsukemono (pickles) are always a nice palet cleanser.  Recently, I found myself addicted to Japanese pickles.  I sometimes save a few of these and make ochazuke (tea and rice) at the end of the meal.

I forgot what this was, but one of my colleagues had it.  It looked really good and whatever it was, I want to try it next time.

Another bento I want to try next time was the Kobe Beef Hamburg Steak with BBQ Sauce for $10.  For those of you not familiar with Japanese food, they will take a hamburger patty (with a few more ingredients than a standard hamburger patty) and serve it on rice and some sauce and call it hambagu.  I was told this was awesome, but I'll have to try it for myself.

I got the Saikyo Miso Grilled Black Cod Combo for $12.50.  It was as expected - awesome.  I almost  never have any problems with gindara in most izakaya (Haha, I have had some problems at Aji Taro though, haha!).  Every bite was a taste of heaven....ever have fish melt in your mouth? 

Grilled to perfection, I was happier than a pig in sugar.  It would have been nice to have more fish, but that's just greed talking.  By the end of the meal, I was surprisingly full....maybe it was because I was taking my time savouring my meal, instead of scarfing it down as usual.

Today's Guud Pasta for $10 was spaghetti.  Add another item to my list of things to try at Guu Garden.

There were a bnuch of us so we decided to try a few desserts.  Actually, I think we tried them all, haha! 

They were all pretty good, but the sake ice cream (the last one) might not be for everyone.  It had a fermented taste to it and I think it's a taste you have to acquire.  I have to say, that I had mixed feelings about it.  My first taste didn't work for me, but I found myself going back again and again, trying to decide if I liked it or not.

Guu Garden's lunch specials are a win.  It's not even a question of if I would go back, it's just a matter of when. 

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