Hakkasan Bistro-10 Course Dinner

Disclaimer: All food was complimentary but opinions are my own

Time for another Chinese Bites dinner! This time it was a 10 course meal at Hakkasan Bistro. The location is pretty obscure on No. 5 road just past Vulcan way. I would have never noticed this restaurant since I’m not in the area often. Unlike your typical Chinese restaurant, the decor inside is very modern and French? You wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s a Chinese restaurant if it wasn’t for the food. I noticed they also play pop songs lightly in the background.

Hakkasan Bistro

The menu

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Sawasdee Thai

It was about time that I got my hands on some Thai food which I clearly don’t eat often enough! We arrived at Sawasdee Thai for lunch and they were understaffed so we had to wait 10 mins for a table even though they had tables but they weren’t cleared and there were only two servers working.

Since we had to wait for a table, we spent our time deciding what to order. All their lunch specials are under $10 and come with a spring roll and a skewer. They are also closed for lunch on Mondays.

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Kung Pao Wok

While doing some Christmas shopping at Richmond Centre, I decided to have a snack which turned into an entire meal haha For some reason, I really wanted some fast Chinese food or Asian food in general so I was debating between Kung Pao Wok and the Thai place next to it and some other place next to that but Kung Pao Wok was cheaper so I went there instead.

Kung Pao Wok

As with other fast food Chinese places, they have pre-made food for you to choose from to go with rice or noodles. I picked a noodle combo with 1 item and I got the Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Beef with some Spicy Chicken. Despite expecting the noodles to be greasy, this surpassed my expectations by being SUPER greasy. There was literally a small pool of oil underneath. The spicy chicken was a tad spicy from the Sichuan peppers and not really dry. It was on the salty side though so probably lots of seasoning and msg.

I was really hungry and the greasy food hit the spot for me. Sometimes you gotta indulge at the food court right?

It was around $7 so I could’ve almost gotten some better Chinese food for the same price but it was the food court so yeah I wasn’t expecting much.  The portion of noodles was pretty big for me. I actually thought there’d be less but the server just kept piling it on. You can also ask for a sample of the different food items if you can’t decide like me.

Also, the banana peppers on the side were not part of the meal; they were from Quiznos.

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Shishinori for Lunch Again

On another visit to Shishinori, I tried their Spicy Chicken Chashu bowl. You can also get it non-spicy but I love all things spicy so I got that instead. I believe it was an additional $0.75? We really liked their food on our first visit so we had to come back! Also, it’s a healthier option!

Shishinori

As usual the plating was excellent. The chicken was soooo smooooth!!! I have no idea how they get it so smooth. Also it was interesting that they cut it into circular pieces. As for the spicy sauce, it was indeed spicy! You will feel it burn your tongue a bit after a while. The salad on the side had no dressing though so it was difficult to eat. =/ They should really provide some! The marinated egg was ok, not particularly outstanding to me but very soft as well.

Shishinori

On yet another separate occasion, I grabbed some green tea ice cream ($3). It came in a pretty small container despite the picture here (sorry I’m obviously not a photographer). I’m not sure why but I expected more! I think they give you more at Mazazu Crepe in Aberdeen. The ice cream was sprinkled with some green tea powder and topped with a star shaped ginger cookie. The cookie was burnt so it was not that enjoyable. Ice cream was good though! I’m still waiting to get their green tea parfait.

Read about my first visit here.

Shishinori on Urbanspoon

Specialty Chicken and Wonton House

Specialty Chicken and Wonton House is located in the same plaza as Price Smart on No. 3 Road. Their previous location was closer to the Price Smart end but they have moved to the White Spot end a while ago. Most of the dinner items are around $12-15 so it’s pretty budget friendly for dinner. If you order more than 2 dishes, you get complimentary soup and rice! I didn’t take a picture of the soup though. It tasted quite watered down and mostly salty with not much flavour going on. It was free though so can’t have high expectations. On the other hand, I have had free soup that did taste much better…

Specialty Chicken and Wonton House

This was the Braised Beef Brisket with bean curd and some siu choy on the bottom. The meat was tender but I thought maybe the sauce could be a bit thicker?

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Ebi Ten

I came across Ebi Ten on Robson and their pictures seemed enticing enough so I decided to try it. Yeah all it takes are some nice pictures (read: marketing) to get my attention! I tried to keep my expectations low though.

Ebi Ten

There aren’t that many seats inside and their whole menu is basically up there. I have a thing for chicken and spicy things so I was drawn to the Sweet Chili Chicken on Rice Bowl. 

Ebi TenThey have three different size options: 10oz, 16oz and 20oz. I decided to go for the 16oz which was reaaally big with tons of rice. Should’ve went for the 10oz but I’m greedy. The chicken was tender and served on some lettuce  and combined with the sweet chili sauce (which tasted exactly like it sounds), it reminded me of some frozen food that I’ve had that was similar. There was also plenty of sauce for the rice too even though it doesn’t seem like it. It was alright but I wouldn’t order it again. I think I should’ve ordered something else …

This place seems pretty popular and if you want cheap and filling this seems to cover it.

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Le Tigre: Kick Ass Rice is Kick Ass

Le Tigre is another food truck that I’ve wanted to try and my chance came when my co worker said that she was going to pick up some takeout from them! Yay! On Tuesdays they’re located on Cambie and 8th outside Whole Foods which is fairly close to my workplace. They serve contemporary Asian cuisine with a twist and they’re famous for their kick ass rice so of course I got that. You get a choice of pork belly or popcorn chicken with it and it turns out that you can also get half and half! Best of both worlds! I mean I can’t just pick one over the other!

Le Tigre Kick Ass Rice

So what’s in this Kick Ass Rice? According to their website it’s “cooked in sake, butter, dashi and topped with a perfect poached egg,fresh herbs and thai chillies “. Mmm I need to eat this again soon. The popcorn chicken tasted like the Taiwanese kind but with other spices instead of salt and pepper. I thought it was a bit under-seasoned though. The pork belly was fatty and tender like it should be. The poached egg was made perfectly and helped mix everything together! There was also some cabbage underneath along with some cilantro (or something green and leafy)? The rice was delicious and you could taste all the herbs and spices they put in and there was just a bit of spiciness. There were just so many flavours in this I had to savour every bite and I wished there was more.

Le Tigre Kick Ass Rice

My half finished meal with everything mixed up!

This really hit the spot for lunch. Also, I love interesting menu names! It sounds more interesting than a long description of where the food came from like “Fraser Valley pork and apples from the Okanagan…etc”.

Le Tigre Cuisine Mobile Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Lunch at Guu Garden

My coworkers and I were going to go to Gyu-Kaku for lunch but there was a surprisingly long line up on Friday. So we just went upstairs to Guu Garden where it was pretty much empty in comparison. We just ordered from their lunch special menu which had items ranging from $9-15. The pricier sets include a salad and miso soup. Their regular menu is actually pretty small too.

Guu GardenI had the Chicken Karaage Rice Bowl (not sure if that’s what it’s really called). There was some cabbage underneath the large juicy pieces of chicken but they added way too much mayo! I just ended up mixing it in with my rice and I felt fat afterwards. Still good though! This was $9 and quite filling for me.

Guu Garden This was the Pork Katsu Don with an egg I believe. I tried a piece and it was really moist yet crunchy on the outside but I still prefer my chicken minus the mayo x)

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Zakkushi Charcoal Grill- Main St.

I had put Zakkushi on my list of places to try for a long time (and I have an extensive list!) and the Main St. location was pretty convenient to visit but I never went until last week. Zakkushi is situated in a corner of a plaza right next to Beefy Beef Noodle but since they’re only open at night it’s very easy to miss it during the day. There are also only two parking spots so don’t bet on that. The interior was quite small and my friend and I got a booth for two situated by the wall. The booths were very small and I was literally right next to the wall but it was cozy as well.  I’m pretty sure that if I became overweight in the slightest it would not be very cozy anymore…

Zakkushi Menu I love how they had such a large and colourful menu! Moreover, when the food came they actually looked like the pictures! Besides yakitori skewers, they also offer sashimi, appetizers and a small selection of hot tapas. There is also a separate menu of daily specials. It’s pretty much an izakaya style restaurant specializing in yakitori.

Zakkushi

First we had the kobe beef meatballs and the mochi maki. The kobe beef meatballs were extremely soft and tender. Absolutely delicious! The mochi maki looks like chicken in this picture but I assure you that it’s mochi. I’ve never had mochi grilled before nor have I ever contemplated it but since I love mochi I had to try it. It was quite soft, a bit stretchy but not hard to chew. The exterior wasn’t hard either although it may look like it in the picture. Although it was an interesting experience, I think I prefer my mochi sweet and un-grilled.

Zakkushi

Next we have the norimayo sausage, the gyu tongue and the negima (grilled chicken thigh with Japanese leek.  The sausage tasted very much like a  mini Japadog sausage. The gyu tongue was thinly sliced and tasty as well. The negima was surprisingly good since I thought the leek would make it taste weird but the leeks actually absorbed a lot of flavour and actually tasted a lot like the chicken. At this point, I was starting to notice that everything was on the salty side and they were starting to taste the same. Also the portions were super small!!! At a cost of approximately $2 or more per skewer, I expected a little more.

Zakkushi

Next up we have the nankotsu which was soft chicken cartilage and the p-toro which was pork belly. The chicken cartilage was … crunchy? The p-toro was less crunchy but still juicy and very delicious as well! As you can see, it was sliced very thinly.

Zakkushi set This was the Zakkushi set which included (from top to bottom): momo (sauce), umeshio yaki, p-toro, me maki and oropon beef. It was served with some grated radish on the side. The momo was just chicken thigh with some sauce. I’m not sure what sauce it was but it may have been slightly sweet. The umeshio yaki was chicken with plum sauce wrapped in a basil leaf. I really liked the plum sauce and once again the chicken was juicy and tender. Everything here seemed perfectly cooked! The me maki was garlic stubs wrapped with pork. I had no idea what garlic stubs were but they reminded me of asparagus a lot. I like that it gave it some more texture and the pork seemed a bit like bacon. I also didn’t notice any garlic flavour or else it was over powered by the salt. Lastly, we have the oropon beef which was AAA beef. The beef was nicely cooked and also juicy and tender. Yes I noticed I’ve been saying juicy and tender for everything and that’s because it’s true!

Zakkushi

Our last two skewers were the cheese tsukune and the norimayo tsukune. These were just chicken meatballs. The cheese didn’t not seem to go well with the chicken even though cheese does go well with a lot of things this didn’t seem to be one of them. Furthermore, it was also just processed cheese so it didn’t seem too special and did not add any flavour to the chicken. The norimayo tsukune was very tasty again and anything with norimayo reminds of a Japadog so I enjoyed this too.

Zakkushi We also had a chicken teriyaki don topped with a poached egg. The Japanese really seem to like poached eggs on their rice. I admit I was never really a fan of poached eggs before but now I’m ok with them. Once again, the picture is very close up and it looks like the portion is larger than it actually is. The chicken was flavourful and the egg pulled everything together nicely.

Zakkushi Here’s what it looks like when it’s mixed up. For some reason my phone refused to focus… ><

Zakkushi For dessert we had a green tea tiramisu. Yum! I love tiramisu and I don’t think I’ve tried a green tea version before so I was very excited about it. It did not disappoint me at all! Underneath all the mascarpone cream was some wonderfully flavoured and moist green tea cake. I would have liked it if the cream layer was a bit more stiff though since it was about the same texture as melted ice cream but not quite if you know what I mean.

Zakkushi I had to take a picture of the bill because the first item was 1 smile! So cute! =) We were pretty conservative with what we ordered and all the items were under $2. On the other hand it was pricey (which we expected) and not very filling so we could have used a couple more skewers but we used all our will power to resist! Overall it was a very enjoyable experience because we tried a variety of different things! I think the only other downside would be that they all seemed a bit too salty due to using sea salt. Especially after you eat a lot of them! I would probably prefer other more traditional izakaya places like Guu or Suika (see my post here) but you should try Zakkushi at least once!

Zakkushi PS. they also have a really cool (albeit small and narrow) bathroom! This is the sink and you have to turn the two valve handles and then water will come of out of the bamboo style pipe! How cool is that?

Zakkushi Charcoal Grill on Urbanspoon