Foodosophy Restaurant Update – December 2009

Taking a cue from Foodosopher, I thought I’d re-examine some places already written about here on foodosophy, but with additional information gleaned through subsequent eating experiences.  To keep it simple, this recap will just focus on Asian cuisine (in particular: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean)…

1. Meok Ja Gol – Burnaby, BC

Followed up my first lunch visit with several dinner outings, including two very satisfying meals grilled with their charcoal bbq.  Fantastic use of the rotating grill, that functions as a quasi-table heater in these colder days.  The cooking device reminded me of the kind I had once in a restaurant in the Kangnam district of Seoul.  Best to call ahead and reserve this as it takes them thirty minutes to have the hot bricks ready.  Great for larger parties.  The accompanying Korean miso soup is excellent as well.  On another visit, had the daegutang (spicy cod soup), a mouth watering dish, loaded with vegetables, making it a very well balanced meal in itself.

2. Cho Sun – Vancouver, BC

Discovered they join a select list of places that offer tangsuyuk (pictured in the bottom row of the above set) which I described in a previous post as usually being “a mixture of red peppers, onions and crispy deep fried pieces of pork, all coated in a sweet, and slightly sour sauce”.  Unfortunately, theirs is not as crispy as I like.  As well, they have the savory noodles better known as jajangmyeon.  Unfortunately, this was a disappointment as well – Dae Bak Bong Ga downtown does it way better.  The kalbi was okay, marination was fine.  I guess I just prefer to grill mine on my own at the table.  For an order of one though, not possible.

3. Gold Train Express – Vancouver, BC

My most convenient (in geographic terms) place for pho.  But bypassed the noodles this time, opted for some meat-on-rice.  Com Chien Ga Uop Sa (minus all the funky accents, that apparently translates to Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Fried Rice).  For $7.50 its a hearty and tasty serving.  Moist and tender meat, with a smoky flavor.  Fried rice was essentially steamed white rice slightly “cooked” and hardened on the flattop.  Service remains spotty, unfriendly and rushed, but the place is always packed with locals and floods of Asian students from UBC.

4. Kenzo Japanese Noodle House – Burnaby, BC

Getting to and parking at this place is still atrocious.  Gave the very regular tasting shio ramen a chance again.  As before, not horrifically bad, just so ordinary.  Even the simple soup seemed so understated, even for a chicken shio-base.  Decided to add a plate of the chicken karaage, but these were too strongly fried.  The chicken meat itself was just so-so in terms of flavour.  Also had a taste of their Korean menu, through the dolsot bibimbap.  This was just average, nothing to get excited about.  The customer base is a good mix of families, solo diners and groups of youngsters.  Service attentive and kind.

5. G-Men Ramen – Richmond, BC

Another rematch, surprising given that its in Richmond which I try to avoid driving to for obvious reasons for anyone who’s been the victim of one of its less skilled driving residents.   Just like Mike Tyson in his prime, G-Men’s tonkotsu shoyu ramen remains the king of the hill in my books.  Deep flavoured, rich broth and perfectly cooked noodles.  Like it so much now, I go for the large size.  See the difference in the girth of the bowls (compared to a regular serving)?

6. Garden City Hot Pot – Richmond, BC

Hot pot is great to clearly learn what your dining companions’ tastes are.  Even better when you ask them to do the ordering.  On my last visit with two other guys, it went heavy on the sliced meat items.  No minced balls, veggies, tofu, etc.  These fellows were pure carnivores.  A simple chicken broth and a spicier satay variety were our choices for flavorings.  Service is sort of aggressive and pushing the high end pieces.  Again, for hot pot, it meets my needs.

7. Nao Sushi – Burnaby, BC

This recent visit was made to try more of their nigiri sushi.  The verdict, I suppose my hopes were higher than they should be as it was good but not great.  A side of chawanmushi was pretty good however.  The place remains very popular though, as it was packed, aside from some openings at the sushi bar where I was sitting alone.  Seems take away is a decent part of their sales, as I saw people coming in and out picking up bags of food to go.

2 thoughts on “Foodosophy Restaurant Update – December 2009

    • Thanks CA. Ramen is such a subjective thing to eat, so many varieties and thus different opinions on what people like and dislike about each one. There can never be a “best” ramen, just the “best preferred” I believe. All the best to you in 2010 as well, happy blogging!

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