Bad Kim Bop Is Better Than No Kim Bop: Ma Sarang at the H-Mart Robson food court

Jap Chae, Kim bop, and Korean spicy sweet fried chicken; three items surprisingly hard to find together in the same restaurant locally. It is rather easy to find Korean places that serve jap chae. A fairly substantial subset of these places also serve variations of sweet spicy fried chicken. But kim bop is rare. Hardly any Korean restaurant outside of Coquitlam have it on their menu. Why? Is it because it is too simplistic of a food item? Maybe. Is it because it is too homely of a dish? Perhaps. But why not? If the hundreds upon thousands of local … Continue reading Bad Kim Bop Is Better Than No Kim Bop: Ma Sarang at the H-Mart Robson food court

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

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

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

Food Trucks: Mr. Shawarma

Mr. Shawarma – I drive through Robson on an almost daily basis, and shutting off the section between Hornby and Howe down to vehicular traffic has been more than a bit annoying to me. It may seem minor, but the minutes of extra driving due to the detour adds up quickly. And what did they shut it down for? As far as I can tell, they shut it down for Mr. Shawarma. Other than pedestrians, the Mr. Shawarma food cart/truck/trailer seems to be the only thing standing between my car and a right turn on Robson to Howe. The shawarma … Continue reading Food Trucks: Mr. Shawarma

Food Trucks: Guanaco (my first Salvadorian experience)

Guanaco – El Salvador: a Central American┬ácountry and culture that is completely foreign to me. The thought of trying Salvadorian food wouldn’t even have crossed my mind if I had not been offered a sample of an entire pupusa while walking by the Guanaco food truck the other day. I was really grateful for full-sized sample, but I was really too full to purchase another one of their pupusas at that very moment. I thanked them profusely for the sample and promised to go back as soon as possible for a proper order of their pupusa. Two days later I … Continue reading Food Trucks: Guanaco (my first Salvadorian experience)