Singleness of purpose is something that I admire. While many restaurants offer a great variety of choices with sometimes mediocre results (Cheesecake factory anyone?) others like Saku, do one thing and try to do it well!
Tempted by so many Instagram pics, we made our way down Robson to Denman, wrote our name on the list and had a short wait for a table on the tiny patio. There was just enough breeze to ensure that our diner would not be overly vehicle exhaust flavoured!
Marie had the Hire Katsu set, deep fried pork loin, with a jumbo prawn on the side ($3.50 extra). Each dinner came with unlimited rice, tonjiro, shredded cabbage and pickles but we didn't find ourselves short of anything. We did enjoy an extra serving of cabbage but only because it was delicious with the sesame dressing on the table and the cabbage was so finely shredded! The pork itself was wonderful and tender. The panko that provided the breading was house made and giant! This giant panko resulted in an extra crispy exterior. The down side is that the large panko retains perhaps a bit more of the oil it was fried in and a lot of the bread crumbs find themselves on the table or in your lap but overall, the result was positive as it was so light and so crisp.
I had the Curry Katsu Set (also with a prawn on the side) almost the same but with a generous amount of a floral sweet and slightly pungent Japanese curry sauce. This was also excellent!
The prawns are not available as a set themselves but are on the menu individually. These were scrumptious, were maybe cooked beyond the point they should be but like everything else, crispy and rich. The tonjiro (miso soup) was interesting and tasty as it is pork broth based with a few chunks of radish.
A cute little tofu taste was part of the pork loin set. Overall, we enjoyed Saku. The wait staff was friendly and on top of things and the location made for interesting people watching. And is hard not to love tonkatsu. I suggest that you try this place.
Saku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

MeeT in Gastown

The search for a great vegetarian burger has been fraught with peril. At this point the leader (even this review included) remains the Impossible Burger (see our review in February of 2018). The thing that separates MeeT in Gastown from the places that serve the Impossible Burger (only available in the U.S. at this time), is that the entire menu is plant based and according to what we tasted, delicious!
Located in a cozy little square off Water Street, ironically next to L'Abattoir (I know that's not really irony), we waited maybe 10 minutes for a table this beautiful Saturday afternoon. I had already perused the menu and we ordered and the food arrived fairly quickly. We tried a house made
Ginger Beer with something something (can't remember and the non alcoholic beverages are not listed on their on line menu) and it was fizzy and distinctly gingery. A very refreshing beverage that I would have again.
We started with Hot Chiggin' Things (get it?). These tasty little morsels are as close to Buffalo wings as you can get without killing something. Made with green pea flour, the texture is not far from a boneless chicken appendage and while it was not too spicy, the Buffalo sauce carried the show. The only thing that threw me is that they are served with a ranch dressing rather than blue cheese!
 Next was The "Beet" Salad (quotation marks are theirs) with startlingly sweet beet chunks on greens, with pumpkin seeds, feta, marinated garbanzo beans and a pea pesto dressing. It's not often that I get this silly over a salad but Marie barely got a taste as I buried my face in it and barely came up for air.
Finally came what some would call the main event! The MeeT Burger is served with fries and salad. My partner is an avowed carnivore and not even a burger fan, but she was all over this plate. The burger patty itself is a more than decent creation. I am unsure of its origin and it wouldn't fool anyone expecting hamburger but it was "meaty" enough to form the basis of a very good burger when combined with an excellent Portuguese bun, chipotle mayo, crispy onions and fried mushrooms. The fries were some of the best we have had in recent memory. Skin on and our server hinted that she thought they were double fried and lots of the little crispy pieces that we love. Finally, the salad was anything but a throw in to fill the plate. Beets, carrots, greens and a lovely dressing, we finished it too!
We really loved the service folks at MeeT. They were casual,friendly, and genuinely made us feel at home! They knew their stuff also. We had a nice experience at MeeT and I would recommend that you go and have one also!

Meet in Gastown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fricken Waffle - Langley

I  was in love with the idea of chicken and waffles long before I had tasted it. As early as Samuel L Jackson making reference to Roscoe's in Jackie Brown, the mesmerizing idea of delicious southern fried chicken and crispy waffles with syrup and maybe some hot sauce was stuck in my brain. So when it became available here and there in various forms in Vancouver, I was overjoyed! And now, chicken and waffles has begun to make its migration towards the last food frontier, the Fraser Valley!
To be honest, what they serve at Fricken Waffle ( a name that rolls off the tongue), is Korean fried chicken. So this is not chicken and waffles in its purest Roscoe's form but the basic elements are present, decent waffles and very good fried chicken. 
The menu at Fricken Waffle (so much fun to say) is definitely KFC centric. I tried the sandwich with honey chilli chicken which came with spicy slaw and tomatoes but it was not friendly to being eaten with sandwich technique. I used knife and fork and was perfectly content with that. The chicken itself was very good Korean style being surprisingly tender and juicy on the inside while typical KFC super crispy. They did not overdo it with the sauce. The waffles were OK but not what I would call life altering and they did not arrive particularly hot. 
There are a lot of flavour choices including the usual spicy styles (not very spicy) and reaching all the way to surprising garlic-parmesan. Right now they have a special offer that lets you try 2 flavours on a half order. We tried soy-garlic  and maple-honey-spicy and the half order is only $13.50.  Both flavours were tasty but again, not spicy at all. 
Finally, we tried an order of deep fried dumplings which were very good. They were rich and meaty with pork filling and crispy on the outside. 
We were served a couple of nice little slices of grapefruit to conclude! They offer a few other deep fried items like waffle fries, mojos and onion rings and a few desert items centring around their waffles.This is filling and rich food so be aware and don't be afraid to order a salad to off set the carbs. They do have a zucchini sandwich for the vegetarian who finds himself here.
Friendly folks and comfortable enough. We did not have to wait for a table and service was efficient.This place is a little bit unique in Langley and worth a try. 
Fricken Waffles Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Steve's Poke Bar - Guildford

Nothing motivates us to get out and try a few new places like one of Vancouver Foodster's Challenges. This will only be the third challenge that we have participated in (plant based bowl and taco being the previous two). Vancouver has certainly become poke crazy but since we have long been sushi crazy, this is very much just a lateral move. Our adventure started at Steve's Poke Bar  (Guildford being the nearest).
This is the second Steve's (the first being at SFU) and they are very single minded. What you get here is poke and it is very good poke. Their signature bowls (there are 6 as well as the build your own option) come with two scoops of protein (salmon, tuna, scallops in various guises) while the challenge bowl comes with 4  (2 scoops shoyu tuna, 2 scoops spicy tuna) and they were not chintzy scoops as I watched my challenge bowl being prepared.
The challenge bowl is $15, a little pricey but big enough to share! I notice that the signature bowls are mostly about $13.25. 
The tuna is served on rice with furikake seasoning, green onions, sesame seeds and optional seaweed, crispy garlic and crispy onions. It was delicious and the spicy and shoyu tuna were obviously the centre of attention being startlingly fresh and tasty. I have never tasted furikaki by itself (I will as soon as tomorrow) but I am sure that it lent a unique savory (or umami as the hipsters say) flavour that made a positive impression. 
I sat down and enjoyed my poke in the tiny dining room. Steve's (at least this location) is more about take out and delivery.
Steve has somewhat of an advantage in this challenge and at the game of poke in that he has spent quite a bit of his life in Hawaii and has the family recipes to prove it, according to their website. I am happy that we started our tastings at Steve's. I feel like they may have set the bar by which future poke will be judged!
Steve's Poke Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Montgomery's Cottage Lunch - White Rock

In a post recently, I bragged that we were rarely unhappy with a meal that we ate in a restaurant since we followed in the footsteps of other foodies and their reviews. My point being about the value of reviews and blog posts which can save you from making a bad choice. Admittedly I also preach about reviewing your reviewer as glowing reviews and cranky ones can reveal underlying bias.
So we tried Montgomery's Cottage Lunch located at the east end of the beach on Marine Drive in White Rock. We've always gone to the Moby Dick for fish and chips at the beach but realised that maybe we should expand our experience a bit. So most of the reviews that I saw on Zomato were glowing (one cranky) so we expected a decent experience.Sure enough, the folks taking and filling the order could not have been friendlier. We ordered at the window and I waited while Marie went across the street and found us a picnic table on the beach.
There is a small dining room and table service if you prefer but it was a semi decent not too windy day for hanging out on the beach! I probably waited less than 5 minutes for our order. This was a bit of a red flag for me initially but really, fish fries in maybe 3 minutes when it is thinly portioned.
There was no question that the fish was fresh out of the fryer. The fries were the good kind also (skin on). Unfortunately, someone forgot the importance of salt. I had grabbed a bunch of salt packets but it did not seem to be enough. I'm sorry to say that the cod (they had no halibut available) was not very flavourful at all because of that. In fairness, it was a decent generous portion as under the two visible pieces were a couple more smaller ones.
We also tried the Clam Strips and Chips.These were decent if somewhat to heavy. A little surgery revealed some healthy bits of clam except when you got down to the smaller pieces where the batter outweighed the clams by an unfortunate margin. I would not be too grumpy about the whole thing except that both the 2 piece and fries and the clam strips and fries were $17 portions. A total of $40 including 2 cokes. I realise that we are paying for the beach but all in all, but I feel like I have gotten more pleasure out of $40. I'm not saying don't go. I try not to be a hysterical reviewer and someone else may have a different experience. I'm saying avoid the clam strips and grab plenty of salt.
Montgomery's Cottage Lunch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

DK Chicken - Langley

So this is K Pop! No worse than the rest of the latest dance/popular music that I've been avoiding for decades. Sorry, let's make that sound a little less judgmental. I'll start over... As innocuous background music goes, this is not the worse that I've ever been forced to listen to. It offers the advantage that I don't understand what they are singing about, unless I choose to read the translation on the 3 big screens at DK Chicken...which I do not.... Sorry, I can't do it. But seriously, we tried to absorb the vibe and it was kind of fun and really did not detract from some pretty decent Korean fried chicken. In fact, I'm sure a lot of people love it!
We've been meaning to come since it opened a couple or three months ago and it becomes one of 2 sources for KFC near to our home in wee Aldergrove. Located in  a strip mall on the west side of Langley (adjacent to H Mart), DK Chicken is not a small as it appears from the outside with a few warrens and more private areas off the main room. It is chic and comfortable in basic black with booths, tables and sharp decor that I should have photographed more!
But we came for the food and we were not sorry.
The Spicy Rice Cake was very tasty and had fish cake and sweet potato noodles mixed into the presentation. It was a wee bit spicy as the name implies but mitigated by the cooling sides. Marie and I devoured the pickled daikon as we always do.
The Kimchi Fried Rice was very enjoyable served with a fried egg on top and a nice side salad. Not a huge plate of food for $13 but tasty and so nicely presented. 
The main event was the half order of Sweet and Spicy Bone In Chicken. More sweet than spicy, this was tender yet with that KFC nice crunchy skin despite the sauce. Pretty typical and not disappointing, but a few bucks. They did not seem to offer the full order with 2 flavours at a lower than full premium (i.e. one full order but 2 flavours at the single full order price instead of the 2 half orders price. If you understand what I am trying to say, then congratulations) but maybe I read the menu wrong. Our server was friendly and efficient and we should have asked him. Not an endlessly long menu. They do quite a few fried chicken options and I noticed some interesting things like spicy snails and clam soup that merit a try, in addition to rice, noodles etc. I don't hesitate to suggest that you give this place a try!
DK Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yah Yah Ya Ramen...and Jazz at David Lam Park

Towards the end of Jazz in the Park at David Lam Park, we decided that hunger was a stronger draw than jazz although if Senior Mandril, from Mexico City,  had continued to play, we would never have left! These guys were smokin'!
Then while grabbing a bottle of water at Urban Fare, we found these young fellows playing their hearts out! They hadn't made the main stage and I don't even know what they were called but they were worth a stop and listen! Keep it up, you guys!
Still, folks gotta eat! There was a period of time when it seemed we were eating ramen all the time (actually, some call it winter) but lately other things have caught our attention. Nevertheless, it seemed like a good idea this evening. We took a long walk to Robson and found Marutama closed for the holiday! Fortunately a few blocks further brought us to Yah Yah Ya Ramen! Right away, if you go there, make sure you write your name on the wait list! There is no indication that you need to do so, and no hostess doing it for you, just the annoying feeling that you are being ignored!...not a good start! 
Things improved quickly though as we did put our name on the list and were seated shortly. The folks working here are friendly and helpful and at least on this occasion, very busy! One side of the restaurant is a couple of big semi communal wood tables which are comfortable and sort of rustic.  
We ordered and quite enjoyed the Karage Chicken. Some kind of sauce would have been nice but the chicken itself was very tender but hot and crispy. 
Marie and I both thought the Black Tonkatsu Ramen was some of the best that we have had. Garlicky and rich describes the broth which came with tasty just slightly chewy noodles. You can order your ramen with various levels of noodle softness, oil and flavour as well as the usual add ons but it was very good just at normal levels!
For $3.45 we ordered the Ramen as a Chasu Set. This was an excellent Chasu Don with a generous amount of pork to go with the rice beneath and a topping of Japanese mayo and katsu (?). We also tried the Abura Soba which is basically noodles without soup. I know you experts will freak at my oversimplification. 
All the sauce is at the bottom of the bowl waiting to be mixed. There was vinegar and red chili oil available which you add to your own taste. Its a very nice dish with more emphasis on the noodles. We liked it alot. I'm not sure if a lot of local ramen places serve this. Apparently in Japan, restaurants specialize in it the same way others specialize in ramen. All in all, we like Yah Yah Ya Ramen. It has occured to me lately that I almost never dislike any restaurants we visit. I think that is just because we choose well, relying on other food bloggers for the most part! You will like it here also!
Yah Yah Ya Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Crab Park Chowdery

So I have been playing at Instagram for a couple of months now. I post mostly food pics and follow a bunch of foodies (well, OK. I follow "Puppies of Instagram" also. What kind of cold blooded monster would I be if I didn't?) My point was going to be that I am hugely influenced by the pictures of delicious food that I see and drag Marie all over the place in search of those taste treats. For example, on Canada Day, we ended up at Crab Park Chowdery in Gastown.
I love the Gastown historic brick walls thing and CPC was small and chic with a few tables although, I couldn't seem to keep myself comfortably seated on the stools. Emphasis is not on service here. The folks are friendly but didn't really give us any clues as to whether we should just sit where we wanted or whatever? It is pretty obvious that you order at the counter from the menu on the wall and your food gets delivered. To be fair, Wold Cup Soccer was on the TV and everyone seemed a little preoccupied with that!
When the food arrived, it did look like the Instagram photos that I had seen and tasted like them too!
We splurged and got ourselves a Lobster Salad Sandwich at $20! It was reminiscent of east coast lobster rolls (where the lobsters live!) in that it was served on a hot dog bun and it was a tasty sandwich. There were some nice chunks of lobster but a fair bit of shrimp and imitation crab in the mix. Not sure how I feel about the imitation crab. Still, not bad.
Well, we had to have New England Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl. This time, we were transported to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. This was some very good  chowder. There was a generous amount of clam and a nice amount of bacon and it was lovely and rich! Wonderful sourdough bread just makes the deal! 
Finally, we tried their Loaded Baked Potato Soup. This could have been a little hotter. Still, it was loaded and very good.
We enjoyed Crab Park Chowdery. I am not going to tell you it is cheap but you don't have to order the Lobster Sandwich. There are a couple of other good looking grilled cheese type sandwiches to be had.Being on Abbot instead of right on Water Street might make it less of a tourist zoo most of the time and that is a bonus. And stop worrying about gluten, unless your doctor has confirmed that you are gluten sensitive! It is not a healthy food fad no matter what your homeopath says. And stop visiting a homeopath also! Sorry, I got side tracked again! I would say give this place a try for some tasty chowder and a sandwich.
Crab Park Chowdery 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...