Osaka Sushi – near Children’s Hospital BC

Osaka Sushi, South Cambie Street Pictures

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being at Children’s hospital in Vancouver, whether for an appointment or an extended stay, you may find yourself wishing for more than coffee shops and cafeterias.  When you need some fresh air but don’t want to travel far, you are in luck.  There is a decent sushi shop just blocks away.  The exercise might do you well, the walk is good for body and mind and the food is better than the vending machine.

We had the regrettable opportunity to visit Children’s hospital more than once in the last little while and needed a place to go and eat.  When I asked the six small children in my care what they were interested in for dinner, they all yelled ‘sushi’.  I was proud considering the options I had presented included pizza and Mcdonalds.  So on recommendation from the ICU doctor, we made our way (read: ran) a few blocks down to Oak and King Edward and found Osaka Sushi.  The kids rushed in, I smiled sweetly and we piled all 7 of us in a little booth.

We ordered a copious amount of cucumber rolls and teriyaki chicken rolls and the children gobbled them all down. I am not sure if they are the most discerning eaters, but they all gave them thumbs up.  What is not to like about cucumber or chicken rolled up in rice and dunked in way too much dipping sauce? I ordered a dynamite roll which was OK.  I don’t like lettuce in my rolls, but aside from that it was good.  My sister joined the party and she had a spider roll which was also average.

The service was quick and friendly.  They accommodated a whole bunch of munchkins and quickly made extra rolls when ordered.  The restaurant was busy and by the time my sister joined us, there was a line up out side.  So either all the doctors recommend this place, or it is just a local favourite.

wasabi nose trickMy sister arrived in just in time for the post dinner antics of our 6 year olds putting wasabi up their noses.  🙂


Yukiya sushi restaurant – Harrison Hot Springs, BC

Harrison hot springs

We had a little Christmas get-a-way with the family over the holidays to this beautiful place, Harrison Hot Springs resort.  It is situated on Harrison lake nestled between the mountains near Agassiz BC, 1.5 hours from Vancouver.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

paul SepDec 2014 155

We went out for dinner one night a block from the hotel, right on the lake front, to Yukiya Sushi. It is a little restaurant and it was very busy. The service was great and the owners were super friendly Koreans – aren’t they all?  friendly and Korean!? 🙂

We ordered an assortment of rolls and they were devoured quickly. The teriyaki chicken rolls were just chicken rolled up and I prefer my teriyaki rolls to have something else added to them, but they were a hit with the kids and the owner kindly gave us extra. The other rolls were your basic rolls, but the star of the night was the dynamite roll.

dynamite rollteriyaki rolls

It was a delicious combination of prawn and yam tempura, avocado and cucumber.  I love yams and this roll won my heart with the deep fried yams! The second best part was that it was not stuffed full of crab.  I admit that crab is not my favourite ingredient in sushi rolls, which is why I don’t usually order California rolls! But the dynamite roll was dynamite!

The only draw back about this place was that it was a little pricey, but given the view, it was worth the extra money.

Say “sushi! 🙂

yukiya
Yukiya Sushi on Urbanspoon

Koko Head Cafe – Honolulu

koko head cafe

This place is fabulous!!!

On my amazing trip to Hawaii this summer, I was spoiled to eat so much delicious food.  I told my yobo we definitely had to move to Hawaii.  The beaches are beautiful and the weather is gorgeous, but I would move there just for the food.  It is unbelievable!!!

Waikiki

Because Hawaii’s history has many immigrants that came to work the sugar and pineapple plantations, the cuisine includes a wonderful fusion of many different cultural foods.  Hawaiian food includes a mixture of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipino, South East Asian as well as Korean foods.  Kimchi is considered a traditional Hawaiian food.  The Koko Head Cafe embraces this and serves a Hawaiian brunch menu that includes elements from all different backgrounds.

koko headI was so spoiled to go to the Koko Head Cafe with Travis, one of the cooks that work there.  He is my friend’s sister’s boyfriend.  He is very passionate about food and excited about his job working with Chef Lee Ann Wong. So much so, that I begged him come to the restaurant with us after he finished a shift to give me a running commentary on all the menu items.  It was so fun to have him explain everything to us.

The menu included so many things that sounded so delicious.  I could keep going back just to try everything! It took me a long time to decide, but I ordered the Korean sounding things: the kimchi bacon cheddar scone

kimci bacon sconeand breakfast bibimbap (mixed rice) – bacon, Portuguese sausage, heritage ham, kimchi, soy-mirin shiitake mushrooms, ong choy, sesame carrots & bean sprouts, sunny up egg, served over crispy garlic rice in a hot skillet.

breakfast bibimbap

here is my bibimbap, all bibim-ed!

bibimbap

Travis also treated us to all day dumplings. I may or may not have licked the plate of these!

dumplings

Oh my! It was all so fabulous.  And after I had a bite of everyone else’s food, they had to roll me out of the restaurant.

So if you, by great fortune, find yourself in Honolulu, do yourself a favour, grab a coffee and wait in the ridiculously long line up outside of Koko head cafe.  It is well worth it! Thanks Travis, I’ll be back! 🙂

Koko Head Cafe on Urbanspoon

Ramen burger – L & L Hawaiian barbecue

ramen burger

“It’s so tasty… you gotta try it!”

What screams deliciousness more than a ramen burger?!?!  Bbq’ed chicken and greens sandwiched between chewy fried ramen noodles. Need I say more? Whoever thought of this was a genius!

So where do you get one you are asking.  Well, unfortunately or fortunately, they are sold in Hawaii at the L&L Hawaiian Barbecue restaurant chain. If you didn’t have a reason to go to Hawaii before, now you do!

Beach

My fabulous friend, who lives in Hawaii, got married and my equally fabulous friend took me along as a surprise.  We had a fabulous week filled with fun, friends, family and food! It was… fabulous!

Hawaii

So one day, in the midst of last minute wedding errands, we saw this advertisement:

Ramen burger

How could we not stop and try one?  And while we were at it, why not try them all?  (Except the vegetarian patty of course!)

july 2014 018

Now just in case you thought we threw all caution to the wind and ate three burgers, we were conscientious that the bride-to-be had a pretty white gown to be in, so we cut the three burgers in thirds and sampled them all.  The beef patty was good, the loco moco, which has a fried egg on top, was better, but the bbq chicken was the best.  It was almost too much deliciousness in one bite!

july 2014 015

They were so good, we got the t-shirt!  Now to try and make them at home!

Hanabi Japanese restaurant review

Hanabi sushi

I am starting to get summer food fatigue.  I can’t believe I am feeling this way; I love BBQs and outside eating.  But this week I was growing weary of it all.  What to make for dinner?  Who knows?  Hamburgers? Not again.  Pasta?  We had that yesterday. I know… sushi!  At a restaurant! Even better. 🙂

Hanabi Japanese restaurant is our Japanese restaurant of choice in Langley.  It helps that is close by and owned by Koreans 🙂 (Thus I feel like I can blog about it on my Korean food site!) But those factors aside, they make really yummy food!

Hanabi sushi

We started with the 8 piece vegetable tempura which came with deep fried sweet potato, pumpkin, potato, broccoli and beans; all of which were delicious.

We ordered the party platter C, since eating dinner with us is like a party 🙂 It came with 2 Dynamite rolls, 1 Alaska roll, 2 California rolls, 1 Salmon roll and 1 Cucumber roll.  We also added another Cucumber roll since those are popular with the kids.  The rolls are beautiful and the cut into nice bite size pieces. Everyone enjoyed all the rolls, so much so they struggled to pick a favourite.

Hanabi sushi

The owners are kind and the service was excellent.  They brought trainer chop sticks for the kids to use and several new pairs of chopsticks as our little guy kept throwing ours on the ground.  The waitress was friendly and quick and our tea cups were kept full.

All in all, I am reminded again why they are my favourite!

Check them out at #21 20811 Fraser Hwy, Langley

Hanabi Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Ham Ji Bak restaurant – Langley/Surrey

Ham ji bak

This restaurant is located right inside Hmart in Langley/Surrey. It’s menu features Korean style Chinese food and traditional Korean dishes as well. My Korean class went out for lunch after our grocery shopping field trip.

jajang myun

Most of us ordered the jajang myun, black bean noodles, since it was on special. It came with some standard side dishes of pickled yellow radish and radish kimchi. None of us were overly impressed with the noodle dish; there wasn’t enough sauce and it was quite salty.  My one classmate thought there were too many onions, but the dish is mostly made of onions. 🙂

tang su yuk

My generous classmate ordered tang su yuk, sweet and sour pork for us to share.  This was definitely the most delicious part of the meal. It wasn’t over overpoweringly sweet as it sometimes can be. And it had quite a few vegetables and some cute carrots flowers in it. Who doesn’t like carrot flowers?

soup

One classmate ordered kong guk su, a cold bean broth soup with noodles.  He thought is was refreshing.  It is quite a bland soup that you add salt too, and he added too much salt 🙂 But he awarded it a 7/10 anyways!

The service was not great; the waitress was neither quick nor friendly.

So overall, it was okay, not great.  In my opinion, if you are at Hmart and hungry for some Korean food, go next door to Baik Mi Korean restaurant for a good meal. (check out the review here)

Ham Ji Bak on Urbanspoon

Nicola Sushi Restaurant – Merritt BC

rocky mountains

Last weekend, my yobo, Nyles and I took a road trip to Edmonton for a family wedding.  We set out Thursday afternoon in my yobo’s little truck excited to be on our way; the sun was shining and we were on a road trip.  Then the truck over heated as we attempted to cross the coastal mountain range on the Coquihalla highway.  We had to stop several times for my yobo to scoop some snow on the engine and to allow it to cool down.  Needless to say, by the time we made it to Merritt (a mere 200 km into our 1100 km trip), we were ready for a break.  And so was the truck.

Dining options in Merritt along the highway include your usual gamut of fast food chain restaurants.  We were not interested in any of those, we were looking for some yummy food.  Lucky for us, we found Nicola Sushi conveniently located just past the McDonalds in the Travelodge (3581 Voght Street).

My yobo and I ordered their combo meal which included a dynamite roll and a bowl of either beef or chicken udon (we had one of each).  The rolls were good and tasty but they were cut too big.  It was impossible to put a piece in your mouth or eat them relatively neatly.

nicola sushi dinner

The soups were delicious.  The broths were flavourful and the noodles were chewy.  In the beef udon, the meat was thinly sliced and grilled and the chicken udon had sliced up breaded chicken on top. We both preferred the beef udon but the chicken was good nonetheless.  I thought there was a little much cabbage in the soup but my yobo likes cabbage and thought it was just fine.  He also ordered a tuna roll which was simple but good.

 nicola sushi dinner 2

For dinner, Nyles enjoyed beef broth mixed with rice cereal.  He gives two thumbs up!

 nicola sushi nylesnicola sushi nyles dinner

Nicola Sushi opened 3 months ago. The staff was friendly, the place was clean and they were busy.

So if you find yourself hungry in Merritt and you don’t want to eat from a chain restaurant, Nicola Sushi is a great option.

nyles edmonton trip

Our happy little traveler!

Note: Since most Sushi restaurants I have eaten at are owned by Koreans, including this one, I figure I can review them… even though this is a Korean food blog. 🙂

Nicola Sushi on Urbanspoon
 

Baik Mi Korean restaurant – Langley/Surrey

restaurant

We went out for lunch with the family to Baik Mi Korean restaurant because we had heard they had jajang myun on sale.  We don’t go out to eat very often, mostly because I like to cook and as the kids get bigger, they can eat a lot. When we do go out for Korean food, we always order jajang myun (it’s one dish I don’t make at home). In this Korean style chinese dish, vegetables and meat are fried up in a black bean sauce and served over long noodles.

jajang myun

My yobo has fond memories associated with jajang myun.  On his birthday, his mom would take him out for and they would order jajang myun and tang su yuk, sweet and sour pork.

tang su yuk

The restaurant opened in the fall of 2012 and this was our first visit.   It is beautifully decorated with traditional Korean artifacts and the walls have old Korean writing on them.  Above the kitchen area is made to resemble a traditional Korean house. The kids really enjoyed looking around as we waited for our food.

The jajang myun was delicious.  The sauce had lots of flavour and the noodles were a nice texture.  The service was quick and as custom, several side dishes were served with the meal: kimchi (of course), pickled radish and raw onion with a dipping sauce. We ordered a bowl of noodles for each of us and had leftovers to make with rice the next day.

Good taste and good value!

Taron and noodles

“Yummy!”

 Note: This is not a paid endorsement.

The address is for Baik Mi Korean restaurant is 19539 Fraser Hwy  Surrey, BC
Baik Mi Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon