Have We Been Here? Stepho’s on Robson

“Is this Greek place new?” “…ahhmmm…I think it’s always been here.” “Then what’s with the ‘Now Open’ sign?” “To attract new customers?” “Really? Look at the lineup.” “Woah, I don’t recall ever seeing a lineup here before.” “Let’s try it.” “You sure you want Greek? You don’t like Greek. You don’t have to try it for my sake…” “I suggested it.” “True.” We walk in. We are told that there is a fifteen minute wait. We wait 15 seconds. We are led to a two-top. We are surrounded young, obviously foreign men and women. We look at the menu. The … Continue reading Have We Been Here? Stepho’s on Robson

Tough: Dae Ji

“How’s your pork cutlet?” “huh?” “Your pork cutlet? How is it?” “Can you stop with the food questions? All you talk about is food.” “Well YOU ARE eating the pork cutlet right now. I just want you to tell me if it’s good or not.” “The breading is crispy but not crunchy, and the meat is tough – like a Korean.” “And you have personal knowledge in that department?” “What department? Tough meat? Plenty. I’ve had my share of overcooked pork cutlets.” “No. I mean Koreans. You have personal experience of their toughness?” “Yea, sort of.” “Sort of? How?” “There … Continue reading Tough: Dae Ji

Taking Away The Stars: Ma Dang Coul

I don’t give star ratings to restaurants. If I did, I would be docking every single star that I previously assigned to Ma Dang Coul. My meal experiences at the restaurant have been on a constant downward negative trend ever since my posted review of it in March of 2012. Today was the breaking point. The disappointing meal that my wife, son, and I had at Ma Dang Coul today completely eliminated any shred of lingering favorable opinions we had of the restaurant. The kalbi short ribs were stale, tough, full or weird debris (think: meat dandruff), and completely MSG-overinfused. … Continue reading Taking Away The Stars: Ma Dang Coul

New and Noteworthy: Marutama Ra-men

Today I visited the newest member of the west end ramen district: Marutama Ra-men. It is the second new ramen place with the kanji character ‘maru’ in its name to open in the west end the the past few months – with the other being Maruko. Unlike Maruko, Marutama comes to us with more of a ramen lineage. It is a the first North American branch of a modest chain of ramen restaurants that originated from Japan. Although the ramen-ya only has four branches in its native Japan, it has more than double that number of locations (10 including its … Continue reading New and Noteworthy: Marutama Ra-men

Japanese Pasta: SpagheTei

I’m a fan of Japanese pasta. I have it often when I am in Taiwan and whenever I visit Japan. Japanese ingredients such as miso and soy sauce match incredibly well with pasta in noodle form. The usual Japanese attention to detail and care in consistent execution lead to reliably high-quality-non-messed-up pasta at almost every Japanese pasta place I’ve visited. I was quite excited when I found out through online chatter that a Japanese pasta place was opening up locally. The only problem was that the online rumors were not specific with a location of the place, other than that … Continue reading Japanese Pasta: SpagheTei

Proteins and Scallions: Chui

Great tasting food is the primary reason that influences my decision on whether or not to revisit a restaurant. I am willing to overlook A LOT of other unpleasant factors about a restaurant if it serves me delicious food. On the flip side, if the food that I receive at a certain restaurant happens to not be spectacularly tasty, I tend to look harder at the other elements of the dining experience. I focus on the dining environment, the menu prices, the portion sizes, and the level of service. A restaurant that scores above average in most of these categories … Continue reading Proteins and Scallions: Chui

Cheap From Top To Bottom And Inside Out: Norboo

Up until last week, I was never able to provide my wife a reason as to why we should visit Norboo for a meal. There never seemed to be any diners inside whenever we happened to walk or drive by the restaurant, and its interior looked extremely worn-out and run-down on the instances when we stopped and peeked inside. None of what we observed suggested to my wife that the restaurant was one that was worth visiting. Being someone who is always curious about the restaurants I have not seen but not visited, the need to try out the restaurant … Continue reading Cheap From Top To Bottom And Inside Out: Norboo