Win Win Chick-N - Steveston

With my first bite of WIn Win's fried chicken, my knees buckled. Soon Marie was pretending not to know me as I wept tears of joy! OK so maybe I get too emotional about fried chicken but Win Win Chick-N is seriously something special!
A Vancouver Sun article from August of 2018, posted on the counter at Win Win,  revealed a couple of clues as to the euphoric nature of this chicken. First of all, it is brined and secondly, pressure deep fried.
Five pieces and a side (legs and thighs) for $12.99 was enough for the two of us and that first bite was hot and ridiculously juicy,  as well as salty and (was it just my imagination?) just a touch spicy! I couldn't say for certain if this is the best fried chicken that I have ever eaten (I would have to line them all up side by side to taste, a prospect that intrigues me greatly!) but I am leaning that way!
Our first clue that there might be some Filipinos behind this operation was the Filipino Style Macaroni (duh). The slightly sweet meat sauce and hot dog slices (No. Really.) make it an iconic taste. Not bad. 
Secondly, there was the Ube (purple yam) Cake with coconut icing. This was very good. Sure enough, the place is the baby of a couple of brothers and their families. It's a tiny place with maybe eight seats along the front window. I'm sure that most of their business is of the take-out variety.
The menu is not long but fried chicken is definitely the king. Get some and enjoy it at the park nearby or at the waterfront. You will thank us!
Win Win Chick-N Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Waka Sushi - Walnut Grove

I was all wound up for the new Bohemian Rhapsody movie, but my partner was hungry! We were going to Colossus in Langley to see the movie at the Imax Theatre so something close by would be a good idea! I had eyed Waka Sushi in the past and so we decided that it would be the place.
Marie ordered a Chicken Yakitori Lunch Box which at $13.95 seems like a smokin' deal!
Of course, although I didn't order anything, I was willing and able to help her with it. For example, the Miso Soup became mine.
The box came with two very tender nicely grilled teriyaki chicken skewers, some crispy, tasty tempura, a decent portion of California Roll as well as a bit of green salad and a couple of spring rolls. A pretty acceptable filling meal if you are around at lunchtime.
On another evening, I was craving sushi and especially at this time of year, Uni.
This had a lovely creamy texture and mild ocean taste without being fishy. If you have never tried Uni, you owe it to yourself to get past the initial off-putting appearance and taste a true delicacy! I ordered two pieces at $3.95 each and the folks at Waka generously gave me a third! It doesn't take much to render me giggly!
I ordered the Sushi Appetizer which is a nice selection of excellently prepared and presented nigiri.
The fish was nicely prepared and rice well seasoned. As usual around the Valley, the chefs do not place a traditional dollop of wasabi ( local tastes are not up for it) but I have no issue with adding my own. As always, the Tobiko was my favourite. I can spend quite a bit of time individually popping fish eggs against the roof of my mouth. It is both a flavour and texture experience.
The Agedashi Tofu here was excellent. Hot and fresh from the fryer and served with a tasty dipping sauce. A generous portion as well and a side salad with the traditional sesame dressing. Plus I like the wooden dish.
Finally, Karaage Chicken. This was a bit of a near miss. The chicken was a bit on the dry side compared to what we have had at a few of the ramen places that we have been to lately. It was not bad it's just that the bar for Karaage seems very high these days.
We came initially, not expecting to be wowed by a sushi joint in the middle of a theatre parking lot along 200th but came away impressed. These folks are very friendly and their place is comfortable and chic. Don't be put off by the convenience! There are good eats to be enjoyed here!

Waka Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Ongpin

When I first met Marie, I would accompany her and her Filipino friends to their favorite Filipino restaurants. So it seemed that they all ate Filipino food at home and when they went out they ate more Filipino food! It was fine with me as I was discovering a new and tasty cuisine that I knew very little about! One day, I commented that I almost never ate at restaurants that served what I had grown up eating and could cook at home. I said that I always looked for something different or exotic (in my mind). It seems my partner bought into that philosophy and now I have trouble getting her to Filipino restaurants. Little Ongpin is definitely one of the favorites of this community though.
We have eaten there quite often and it always seems to be packed! As is often the case with Filipino places, not a lot is spent on decor but the emphasis is on food and friends. This time we were there with Marie's kids for an early Christmas dinner (you could say). We ordered and the food arrived when it was ready! Nothing is waiting under heat lamps but is cooked to order!
Sisig is one of my favourite Filipino dishes. As with so many great cuisines of the world, the best dishes are those where creative cooks take what they can afford and what is available to make something delicious. The main ingredient in Sisig is pork face (jowls, snout, ears) but it arrives at the table redolent of garlic and is wonderful and crispy on a sizzling platter! Get past any squeamishness you may have and try this wonderful dish! 
Bicol Express is another one of my favorites. Pork in coconut with vegetables and chilis. It came with a nice little bite from the chilis but the pork was a tad chewy in this case.
Lechon Kawali might just be the national dish. Wonderful deep-fried pork belly, crispy on the outside and tasty and tender inside. Served with a tasty vinegar based sauce.
One of Marie's favorites is the Stuffed Squid. It is a little too far on the fishy side for me. Filipinos use a lot of shrimp paste and fish sauce and sometimes dishes are a little too strong for my palate. I have learned that a side of shrimp paste, judiciously added to things can be quite amazing. Still, after tasting it, I left the squid for others to eat. 
No Filipino meal is complete without rice. This time everyone wanted fried rice. There were lots of tasty shrimp in this version.
I was happy that some veges were ordered. There was a nice bit of variety and they were not overcooked. Not bad!
Finally, more squid! This was not exactly life altering but it was nicely cooked and crispy!
Little Ongpin is a good place to be introduced to Filipino cuisine. The menus come complete with pictures so you can know what you are ordering even if you do not speak Tagalog. There is something available for the adventurous and not so adventurous!
Little Ongpin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lighthouse - Cloverdale

In my obsession with south Indian food over the last few months, I had almost forgotten my first love, north Indian food. I know that in a country as large as India the different cuisines are a little more complicated than south and north but I apologize, I am not an expert (but I know what I like). Lighthouse, located at 176 and Highway 10, is one of 7 locations. Their success would seem to indicate that they provide something good.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon and had the place to ourselves (midway between when normal people eat lunch or dinner). This location (not familiar with the others) is sharp looking, modern and comfortable with some large booths and tables that can be communal for large groups. 
We started as we almost always do, with Fish Pakora.
These were some of the best we have had. Hot from the fryer with a salty cuminy coating and very good tasting fish! A little squeeze of lime, a raw onion slice and the slightly spicy tamarind dipping sauce, and we were in heaven. We forced ourselves to savour it rather than scarfing it down like we were starving!
We also always do Butter Chicken as it is Marie's favourite. This one was a bit more tomatoey than we are used to but it worked very well. There is actually quite a bit of chicken lurking just below the surface.
Finally, there was Karahi Lamb. This was also a very good dish with a generous amount of tasty lamb. Nicely creamy, this is the first time we have tried a Karahi curry and I recommend it.
This was all accompanied by the usual suspects, rice and very good naan with just a bit of tasty char. Marie and I usually spend between thirty and forty dollars for lunch. It the total is more than 40 I raise an eyebrow inquisitively. Our bill with tax and tips came to fifty six dollars (which shouldn't have surprised me as the prices are on the menu). Later I checked a nearby Indian restaurant menu and arrived at nearly the same total for the same dishes. Remember that this was a fairly meatcentric meal whereas one could order some vegetables or non meat items (and we did have some leftovers).
All in all, service was excellent and very friendly, the food was very good and the prices fair. Definitely, give this place a try!
Lighthouse Fresh & Tasty Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pink Pearl

I had my first taste of dim sum on the Oceania in Honolulu in 1984. It was a wonder to us that we could taste so many different delicious bites at one meal for seemingly a small price tag. We loved it. Upon returning to Vancouver, we researched and found that Pink Pearl was the place to go. And we loved it there as well! For a few years,it was our go to place until we realised that dim sum was everywhere. So it has been a while since I have been back but we were not sorry to return!
Located on E Hasting near Clarke, the Pink Pearl is still a beacon on a foggy evening. We were warmly welcomed and seated immediately, early on a Sunday afternoon. They have both cart and menu service which is a smart way to do things. We can order the things we don't want to miss and browse after that!
Chicken feet have become one of our dim sum essential dishes. These were very good with a slightly spicy Szechuan sauce. The feet were tender and meaty enough!
We have also grown fond of Deep Fried Taro Dumplings. These were delightfully crispy and tasty. At the centre of the dumpling was a ground pork filling. I am not sure that I have encountered that before but it counteracted the sometimes dry and rich ground taro. Very nice!
Eggplant Stuffed with Shrimp was also quite good. A generous quantity of nicely cooked shrimp (not overcooked) but the sauce that came with it was somewhat meh! Kind of reminded me of Chop Suey.
We were happy that we tried these Steamed Peanut Dumplings. The toothsome texture of the peanuts contrasted nicely with the veges and the rest of the filling. I would order this again.
Sui Mai arrived on a cart early, as it so often does. This was a tasty version with some shrimp in the mix and a nice little pop of roe.
Finally there were soup dumplings. These were tasty but not brilliant as soup dumplings go. The wrapping was a little too chewy and I still lost most of the soup out the back of the dumpling before I got it to my mouth! The Pink Pearl is a fairly large restaurant. We found the staff to be very friendly. Its nice to know that despite the passing of the years, there is still a good meal to be had!
Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Turf on West 4th

Turf was definitely an experience. One day after World Vegan Month, I was still trying to complete my Vegan Passport and I have to admit that I am a little more drawn to the whole vegan concept.
We arrived Saturday mid morning to what I could only conclude was a Viking war chant at a European football game or the opening strains of We Will Rock You at Live Aid. It turned out to be an exercise class. Turf you see, is a one stop healthy lifestyle spot will exercise classes in the adjacent space and virtually no wall between. As I screamed my order across the counter to the person there, I asked if it was always this loud. They assured me that it was only this class that incorporated so much yelling. Dear God! Somewhat bemused, we awaited our order. Turf is a very nice space with casual seating, including a couple of communal tables and a view of the kitchen.
As our food arrived, the room also flooded with the enthusiastic class members, now in search of sustenance. No problem! 
First up was Bol-O-Noodies (more of a plate, really) which was carrot and zucchini noodles with a black lentil and white wine Bolognese, a spinach basil pesto and pine nut 'parm'. This was well executed and tasty. It needed a little salt. The Bolognese was rich and the dish did not make us feel so full as pasta tends to. I think I might buy one of those gadgets that makes zucchini noodles!
The Turf Burger Two Point Oh may be the best burger that I have had in November (well it would have been). A rich black bean patty with seeds and nuts etc., as well as sauerkraut, avocado, tomato aioli and an onion ring. Like the the black bean patty that I attempted to make at home, it tended to fall apart but one has to remember that this is not a hamburger! The whole thing was tasty and rich with a bun that was top notch!
And finally, Sweet Potato Wedges. Not sure how you get wedges, but they were good. Baked and not deep fried which means that they were not crispy but with skin on and nicely browned. Served with a spicy mustard which made us happy!
So we finished the vegan passport with enthusiasm. I am pretty sure that I will participate again next year and I have been inspired to seek out the vegetarian and vegan options at all the places we visit.
In the meantime, give Turf a try. There is a lot to try and the folks are friendly and helpful. Let yourself get caught up in the crazy noisy vibe!
Turf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chewie's Biscuit Co.

First there was Pine State Biscuits and we did gladly line up in the Portland rain for 45 min for the legendary Reggie (and there was much rejoicing). Next this biscuit sandwich made its way to Seattle where, adopted by Tom Douglas and available at his Serious Pie and Biscuit, it became The Zach and became a little more expensive (well it is a Tom Douglas' restaurant). Finally, to the delight of biscuit lovers in Vancouver, it arrived at Chewie's Biscuit Co. as The Moose!
Foolishly, I did not photograph this piece of art from all angles so you could see the wonderful sunny side up egg ready to burst in yolky goodness. A wonderful biscuit, not too dry just slightly sweet, a delicious fried chicken breast, bacon, cheese, slightly peppery gravy and the aforementioned egg represent all the really important food groups and could quite possibly bring peace to the world. I am in love.This is truly more than the sum of the parts but I would gladly live my life on the parts alone.
That would have been enough but we had to try The Clucky also! This is a fried drumstick, installed in a sweet 'Bonut' with gravy again for good measure. The sweet, salty and fatty work together magically.
And in case we hadn't ordered enough, these are some mighty fine onion rings! This was just a great meal (Marie and I shared it and had leftovers in case you though I had managed it all by myself). Chewie himself was present and happy to talk about his research including the places where I had made the pilgrimages that I had mentioned. He knows his stuff and will not rest on his laurels. 
Expect great things to come from Chewie's Biscuit Co.!
Chewie's Biscuit Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

About Us

Are you guys eating again? At some point Marie and I became the kind of people who take pictures of everything we eat, whether in a restaura...