The god of ramen: Taishoken

OK…maybe not directly related to the god of ramen, but probably a disciple of his. If not a disciple then certainly the disciple’s disciple or the disciple’s disciple’s apprentice. I think it was on one of those trans-Pacific flights in which I was trying to stay awake for the whole flight – so that I wouldn’t have to adjust to the time difference when I got back – when I found the Japanese documentary “The god of ramen” in the depths of the in-flight entertainment system. The movie was sad. I almost shed my virgin documentary tears for it. It … Continue reading The god of ramen: Taishoken

Finally, Real Chinese Food in West Van: Shanghai Village

There is a lack of quality Chinese food in West Van, so I was quite excited when I found out about Shanghai Village as I drove by its front doors on my way home one day. I was even more excited when I found out that it was an established and fairly well-regarded authentic Shanghainese restaurant transplanted from Vancouver proper. As excited as I was about finally having possibly good Chinese food within a ten minutes drive from my house, I didn’t visit Shanghai Village immediately. There were simply too many Chinese restaurants in the local metropolitan area on my … Continue reading Finally, Real Chinese Food in West Van: Shanghai Village

WTF Did We Just Eat? Ebi-Ten

I’ve always found so-called “fast food” places in Japan to be reliable because most of the quick-service chains in Japan have clearly-detailed standard operating procedures (SOP) as to how each menu item is to be prepared and assembled (much like McDee’s). A beef don will taste like a beef don no matter which Matsuya or Yoshinoya you visit; a bowl of Ippudo ramen tastes as good in New York, Singapore, and Taipei as it does in its native Fukuoka. SOP in the restaurant industry is supposed to make the highly-regarded food at commercially successful restaurants easy to replicate. But what … Continue reading WTF Did We Just Eat? Ebi-Ten

Pearl Castle Back to Back Part II: Pearl Castle Sexsmith/Alexandra

My family’s previous experience was at Pearl Castle Richmond Centre was positive enough for us to choose to visit its only other current location (on Sexsmith/Alexandra) after foolishly and unsuccessfully trying to secure a walk-in table at Sushi Hachi on a Saturday night. We arrived at Pearl Castle a few minutes after 6:00 P.M., and we were able to secure the last open table at the restaurant. After sitting down, we didn’t need much time to ponder over what we wanted to order. We wanted dishes similar to the enjoyable ones we had at their other location. I wanted the … Continue reading Pearl Castle Back to Back Part II: Pearl Castle Sexsmith/Alexandra

When In Doubt…Choose The Casual and Inexpensive Option

Michigan Noodle Shop – Our original plan was to first take the kids to the Disney video-game themed animated/CGI feature at Silvercity Riverport in Richmond and then drive over to Big Chef for our dinner after we were done watching the movie. But when we arrived at the plaza where Big Chef was located after the movie, we were greeted unexpectly by the restaurant’s sign; it seemed to indicate that it was a hot pot focused restaurant instead of one that specialized in traditional Chinese/Cantonese meals. There were also hardly any diners in the restaurant. ¬†An empty hot pot restaurant … Continue reading When In Doubt…Choose The Casual and Inexpensive Option

London: Wagamama

I first heard about Wagamama ramen in the mid-to-late 90’s, when it was a rapidly expanding chain of Japanese-themed restaurants in London. It was sort of a cutting edge concept back then. It served ramen, which was a much lesser-known genre of Japanese cuisine when compared to either sushi sushi or teriyaki. The restaurant also popularized a few concepts that at the time were virtually unheard of in Western casual dining chains. Its tables were exclusively communal, and its servers used wireless pda’s (think palm pilot) to send orders to the kitchen. The combination of these ‘fresh’ ideas gave the … Continue reading London: Wagamama

Taipei: As Simple As It Gets

I’m not a big noodle fan. If I’m given the choice between a rice dish or a noodle dish, I will almost always choose the rice dish. Most of the time, I order noodle dishes/bowls because I’m more interested in the soup, sauce, and the other components that accompany the noodles than the noodles themselves. But there are exceptions. I quite enjoy Korean cold noodles as well as cold Japanese udon and cold soba. I am also particularly fond of these: What you see are thin and white noodles seasoned with some aged dark vinegar, oil, a touch of lard, … Continue reading Taipei: As Simple As It Gets