20th century pricing and a sublime roll: Shiro

If the 21st century was a person, it’d be a teenager now. I remember when I was a teenager in the 90’s…gas prices were around 50 cents a litre, an album on CD cost around $15 (or more) , and entrees at Japanese-owned Japanese restaurants were priced at the $6 to $8 range. A litre of gasoline was ridiculously priced at around $1.40 when I filled up my car a few days ago. Entire albums can be purchased for only about $10 on iTunes. An order of katsudon at Shiro was priced at seven-and-a-half dollars. No, that is not a … Continue reading 20th century pricing and a sublime roll: Shiro

Taipei: Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine

I’ll make it real simple: If you visit only one Taiwanese restaurant in your lifetime, it absolutely has to be Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine. No, it is not regarded as the best restaurant in Taiwan. And no, it does not have a celebrity chef manning its kitchen. Shin Yeh is actually not one single restaurant. It is a chain of (mid-to-up-market) Taiwanese restaurants in Taipei that is as popular with the locals as it is with tourists. On weekdays, you’re likely to see more Japanese tourists than locals at any of its locations. On weekends, you’re likely to see more … Continue reading Taipei: Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine

Sushi Town-Lite: Sushi Oyama

If nothing else, the fact that Sushi Oyama is located in an older and larger house makes it stick out prominently among the rows upon rows of generic and unremarkable strip malls and ground floor storefronts on Kingsway in metrotown. Every time that we drive by the building that the restaurant is housed in, my daughter comments that it would be ‘pretty awesome’ if we could have a meal at the ‘mansion’. But my wife and I have never seriously considered having a meal there because the facade of the building seemed somewhat weird and uninviting. The building looked more … Continue reading Sushi Town-Lite: Sushi Oyama

Overrated and Overpriced? Part III: Miku

People hate on Miku for a variety of reasons. Some dislike its dressed-up, non-traditional sushi; some are put off by its high prices; some do not care for its chain-like atmosphere; some cannot accept the fact that its sushi bar and kitchen is staffed by “staff chefs” instead of traditional, middle-aged Japanese itamaes; some are repulsed by its fusion dishes; some liken it to a cheap knockoff of Nobu. I like Miku. Actually, let me rephrase that. I think Miku serves the most flavourful sushi in town. I like it better than Nobu, and I think that its menu items … Continue reading Overrated and Overpriced? Part III: Miku

Overrated and Overpriced? Part II: Tojo’s

Tojo’s has become the poster child for local overrated and overpriced restaurants. The consensus from local foodies and food bloggers seems to be that the restaurant serves average-quality sushi with prices so high that they border on being unconscionable. I’ve been to Tojo’s a couple of times since moving here, and I have to say that I agree with the popular assessment of the restaurant. Even though I was definitely entertained by my conversation with Tojo when I sat at the sushi bar, I didn’t think that it was worth the $200-$250 per person that we were charged. With two … Continue reading Overrated and Overpriced? Part II: Tojo’s

A Great Experience Without The Need For Great Food

Oru – How can you complain about a meal at a nice restaurant in one of the more exclusive hotels in the city? You can’t. It was sunny, and the second floor restaurant had wraparound wall-to-ceiling windows that allowed bright, warm sunlight to penetrate through them without allowing any of the frigid outside air to seep in. The windows –  besides allowing us patrons of the restaurant a chance to bask/bake in the heat of the sun’s (ultraviolet) rays – also provided us with a great view of Canada Place, the Burrard inlet, and the north shore mountains. The white/white … Continue reading A Great Experience Without The Need For Great Food

Osaka: I never thought I would say this in Japan but…Order the rolls, not the nigiri

Kaiba Sushi – Ever since my family and I first arrived in Osaka for our trip to Kansai, I had been looking  for a traditional sushi restaurant where I could have a proper sushi meal.  I asked the ‘personal butler’ (hotel concierge) assigned to our room to find us a table at a traditional sushi restaurant on the day we arrived and every day after that, but she was never able to find one that accommodated young children. Finally, on my second last day in Osaka, I gave up and told her to just find us any half-respectable sushi restaurant … Continue reading Osaka: I never thought I would say this in Japan but…Order the rolls, not the nigiri