Alpha Global Sushi Bar

January 22, 2015

April 26th, 2013. Alpha Global Sushi Bar

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

In Vancouver you definitely have to have sushi!¬† It’s a must. Like, really. I mean it!

To kick off our spring break I took us to Alpha Global Sushi Bar. Yelp and other food reviews have almost always steered me in the right direction and I’d been hearing about this place for a while. While it’s at a higher price point than many the promise of unique twists and good quality just outside the Yaletown neighborhood had me anticipating a good meal ūüôā

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 


The space is small, with very limited seating, typical of your more traditional Japanese style joints. It’s cozy.¬† The interesting thing about Alpha is that you also get a hefty book on Japanese history along with your table and menu. Intellectual!

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mojitos are a must on sunny days and when reuniting with a friend! Refreshing, minty, subtly sweet and crisp!¬† My favorite cocktail ūüôā

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ebi Fry seemed to be a fan favorite, so we ordered it. Light, crispy, and super hot on the inside! The cool tartar sauce helped cool down our tongues and added a tangy punch!

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

We ordered the Spicy Tuna Sashimi with sliced onion, seaweed, green onion with a spicy ginger sauce.  Fresh tuna has a clean, sweet flavor and your teeth sink in the surface and then you get a slightly bouncy give towards the middle.  The spicy ginger sauce was refreshing and paired in a lovely way with the tuna!

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar


The famous and namesake Alpha Roll has mango, tobiko, mayo crab, wrapped in albacore tuna, and avocado with a plum wine mustard mayo sauce.¬† You know me, I love sauce!¬† This roll was again, quite clean tasting and the sweet and rich sauces just added a decadence to it.¬† I am usually not a fan of mango, but this roll was nice ūüôā

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

For¬†our second roll¬†I went with the¬†Philly Roll.¬† Sure, it’s one of those “been there, done that” items, but I can’t help my love for cream cheese and smoked salmon ūüėȬ† While not being exactly exciting I was happy that they didn’t skimp on the smoked salmon as many places do.

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

Mind blowing moment: The Mentaiko Udon. Like, MIND. BLOWN. It was essentially udon noodles in a spicy cod roe sauce…..but what made it so amazing was that it was tossed in BUTTER! Like, WHAT???!!! How could something so simple, make something SO AMAZING!! Oh, right, IT’S BUTTER!¬† Okay, maybe I’m just a little crazy, but this was so so so so awesome. I loved it!!

Despite the fact that it seemed like a solid meal I couldn’t help feeling at the end that I wasn’t quite satisfied.¬†Like, even though we were both full it still left me feeling like I was wanting something more. Hmmmmmm………

March 16th, 2013. Miura Waffle Milk Bar

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

Reunion brunch with Joyce! Since leaving Sylvan I haven’t seen Joyce, but we’ve been able to keep in touch through Facebook and judging by each others’ posts we both love food! What better way to reconnect than over Vancouver’s newest fad….Waffle sandwiches!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

Miura Waffle Milk Bar is a Japanese waffle joint that’s small but clean. Already gaining acclaim by being featured on hit foodie show “You Gotta Eat Here” it’s one of those places considered a hidden gem.

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

We couldn’t just choose between savory or sweet so we went for 1 of each and split them: First the Hoisin Sando! Sweet and savory hoisin ground pork sausage sandwiched in with bright and aromatic cilantro, refreshing and clear cucumber and a mildly tangy carrot and radish pickle. Reminiscent of a bahn mi but slightly milder. I found that the waffle was appropriately crispy and soft at the same time although bordering on that very thin line of being slightly more dense than I prefer. Delicious? Yes!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, And I also got a Maple Yoggy Milk. Because….I love maple and I what goes better with waffles than milkshake! Not overly sweet with a hint of maple. I would have liked a stronger maple flavor, but it was certainly refreshing and creamy!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

Next we had the Fruits and Cream Sando! Served between the same waffle with the season’s fresh fruit and cream, today’s fruit was strawberries! Okay, what’s more fitting than tart, sweet, juicy strawberries with a rich and creamy whipped cream against delicious waffle! The hoisin sando had filled us, but the fruits and cream sando put us over the edge ūüėČ

Busy stuffing our mouths I’m surprised we got so much talking done in between! It was wonderful to reconnect and to see how much had happened in our lives since we worked together ūüôā Thanks for suggesting such a fun place, Joyce!

Kishimoto on Commercial Drive

December 24, 2013

March 8th, 2013. Kishimoto on Commercial Drive

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

So, my lunch date suggested that we meet up at Kishimoto on Commercial Drive for lunch. ¬†He claimed that it’s the most solid sushi joint he’s discovered since moving to Vancouver and that he’s becoming a regular there.

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

He also warned me that it’s small and is always extremely full, so it was a good thing I arrived a little early to get us a table! ¬†True to prediction it was packed when I got there and I was actually feeling lucky when I got sat about 15 minutes in!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

When I saw Chawan Mushi on the menu I got super excited!! ¬†There is nothing more exceptional than a perfect chawan mushi!! ¬†Super silky, soft egg custard steamed so that there’s almost this umami-like broth or consomme, this one had bits of chicken, prawn, mushroom, gingko nuts, and fish cake.

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing mouth feel as you take a spoonful, it was as delicate as a cloud and mind-blowingly simple in taste but complex in the intricacy.  Every singly component was perfectly cooked and was singing in harmony.  LOVE!!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

Give it up for presentation!  When the rolls came out the plate was decked out with a coconut bowl of dry ice, crispy edible adornments and and edamame and daikon decorations!  Hahaha, whimsical and delightful!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the plate: A simple Spicy Salmon Maki.  Fresh, uncomplicated and straight forward.

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, the Spicy Cactus Roll. To the naked eye it may just look like a California Roll rolled around in sesame seeds, but it’s actually spicy crab, tempura bits and avocado THEN rolled around in sesame seeds and topped with tobiko ūüėČ ¬†Yum!!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

Mmmmm~ I love a good Tuna Tataki!  Perfectly seared tuna just melting in your mouth with the freshness and kick of the green onions, rustic flavor of garlic chips and the sweet and salty of the ponzu sauce.  So delicious!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

I also just really enjoy the fatty richness of Salmon Kama. ¬†Simply a baked salmon cheek with garlic chips and ponzu sauce, it can be very tender, succulent and has loads of flavor! ¬†One of my personal favorites wherever I go ūüôā

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

To round off the lunch I couldn’t resist this gorgeous Yuzu Sorbet. ¬†The perfect palate cleanser, it was refreshing, light, and a great way to end the meal on a pleasing note ūüôā

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

I feel like the constant thread throughout the lunch was simplicity done at such a level of excellence that it transcended into intricacy.  I loved it and would come back again and recommend it to everyone!!

March 2nd, 2013. Yum Time @ Zakkushi!!

zakkushi on denman

zakkushi on denman

 

 

 

 

After a bit of a social dry spell I was more than excited about an evening of eats with Richard to explore a place we’d heard so much about… Zakkushi on Denman!

zakkushi on denman

zakkushi on denman

 

 

Zakkushi is a Japanese Izakaya bar space that focuses on one main thing….grilling anything on a stick! ¬†What’s not to love about that? ¬†I love everything about it! ¬†In true Vancouver style the main food station is right in the open with the delicious aromas of grilled meats wafting and filling up the small and cozy space. ¬†With the house packed full Richard and I got seats right at the bar to start off the night.

zakkushi on denman

zakkushi on denman

 

 

 

After drooling all over the menu we finally put up a mass order and waited for the skewered barrage to start flowing in!  And the food kept coming ;D

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, so the first trio of skewers to show up were the Kurobuta Pork, Wasa Beef and Uzura Maki.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

The Uzura Maki really was a no-brainer for us since it was what I had used as my bait to get Richard interested in coming here! Uh, bacon wrapped quail eggs topped off with a sweet and creamy mayo and seaweed shreds?  Yes, yes and YES!  The epitome of everything I enjoy including the fact that it comes on a stick!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

Usually I associate Kurobuta Pork with Japadog and their Kurobuta hotdogs.  This was a different application and just as super tasty!  The char flavor coming through on that juicy pork with the sweet marinade was really the clincher here.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

The Wasa Beef is AAA grade slices of beef topped off with fresh wasabi and those seaweed ribbons. ¬†Simple, clean, flavorful and that wasabi is just the right kinda kick! ¬†Another winner ūüôā

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

As indicators of the rest of the meal to come these first 3 were having us chomping at the bit and wanting more!!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

We also wanted to order some special items and the Charcoal Grilled Yellowtail with Oroshi (grated radish) and Ponzu Sauce sounded like just the thing!  Tender, light and melt-in-your-mouth fish with that light and refreshing touch with the ponzu and oroshi!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

The special of the day was also an Octopus Carpaccio with Spicy Sauce, which was actually kind of like a Korean Gochujang sauce.  The sweet Korean chili paste goes GREAT with fresh octopus and really highlights the natural sweetness and meatiness you get from octopus.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

Back onto beef, we had the Oropon Beef, which was again AAA grade beef, this one topped with the grated daikon and ponzu.  Great for flavor and cutting the richness to add an underlying layer of sweetness and acidity and brightness.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side dishes?  Yes, why not go for a trio of them!  Gomae, Chilled Tofu and some Pickled Veg!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

I told Richard he MUST try some tongue so I also went ahead and ordered the Negi Tongue. ¬†Now, when you go to Asian supermarkets and see these gigantic frozen cow tongues studded with tastebuds you just kinda wanna keep walking…and walking…and walking.. until you are far far away! ¬†But when done well they are actually super tender and yummy! ¬†Japanese izakaya places seem to get it consistently right and I always like to order a portion! ¬†This one with the almost caramelized onion sauce was no exception and even had Richard lapping it up!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

Who doesn’t love duck? ¬†Fatty, rich, and full of amazing flavor! ¬†We definitely had to order the Duck Breast with Yuzu Citrus Chili Sauce. ¬†Rendered down just right with the signature duck texture and unctuousness. ¬†Just gorgeous ūüėÄ

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

Mmmmm~~ P-Toro! ¬†Just pure, simple crunchy, juicy pork served up with a slice of lemon. ¬†So simple, but nothing comforts your palate like delicious pork belly! ¬†Drool worthy, for sure ūüėÄ

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

And yes, I had to do it… Takoyaki!! ¬†Delicious fried balls of light Japanese batter filled with bits of octopus and topped off with light and salty bonito flakes and that yummy yummy sauce! ¬†I can’t help myself, I love this especially when it’s hot & fresh!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

How happy were we with this meal?  So much that we were both on the verge of major food coma and delirious from the many many foodgasms!

Mmmmm~~~ Such yum and much happiness!!

 

Village Sushi – Seattle

February 11, 2012

October 22nd, 2011.¬† Seattle Trippin’

village sushi

village sushi

 

 

 

¬†¬†I was due to make a trip down to see Henry.¬† He’d missed Thanksgiving, so this was a good time to go down to visit him and spend some quality sister-brother time.

village sushi

village sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

¬† After some coffee at Cafe on the Ave, Henry suggested we go to Village Sushi for some lunch to start off the day.¬† It’s a quaint little house-turned-restaurant that serves up some homey Japanese fare.

village sushi

village sushi

 

 

 

 

  Angry Dragon Roll: unagi, cream cheese, avocado and imitation crab roll flash fried.  Not too much to complain about..all ingredients I like and the slight crispy exterior gave it a nice touch.

village sushi

village sushi

 

 

 

 

 

  I had the Tempura Udon.  The tempura was wonderfully crispy, and the udon was actually quite good!  I enjoyed the clear, light broth and appreciated the enoki in it.  Nice touch.  It was a solid good bowl of udon!

 

 

¬† All in all a decent neighborhood sushi joint!¬† I can see myself going here if I lived on the UDub campus ūüôā

Fuji Sushi

February 6, 2012

September 15th, 2011. Fuji Sushi 

fuji sushi

fuji sushi

 

 

 

¬† Work dinner!!¬† To kick off the evening we started off at Fuji Sushi in Coquitlam just a little ways up from our office.¬† It’s an authentic Japanese restaurant and Bar…I can’t believe I never knew about this place!¬†

fuji sushi

fuji sushi

 

 

 

 

 

¬† Presentation, selection, etc….everything just oozes authenticity and you do see a difference from your usual run-of-the-mill “other asian operated” sushi joints.¬†

 

 

 

¬† I didn’t get to take a lot of pictures, but I definitely want to come back to explore the goods!

Japadog

January 1, 2012

August 1st, 2011.  Summer in Vancouver

japadog

japadog

 

 

 

  I coerced the boys to come downtown with me to watch Mary Poppins at the outdoor movie site on Robson Square.  As long as we were downtown we decided we must also have some Japadog!

¬† Japadog is literally a street food institution here in Vancouver.¬† It’s gotten so popular that they now have a couple sit-down locations apart from the cart.¬† But really.¬† You gotta hit up the cart for authenticity ūüėČ

japadog

japadog

 

 

 

 

¬† I had to get their signature ‘dog, the¬†Terimayo.¬† Teriyaki sauce, mayo and roasted nori over a Kurobuta pork sausage.¬† The meaty savory¬†sausage, sweet teriyaki, rich mayo and crispy nori make for a juicy, hearty, delicious hotdog!¬†

  I kid you not.  This $#** is BUH-Nanas!!!

Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar

December 28, 2011

July 18th, 2011.  Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar

 

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

¬† After a fun, delicious dinner at Guu Otokomae is Gastown¬†we decided to have dessert at a second location.¬† Thinking we may as well try something different we went to Chicco on Robson Street.¬† It’s a cute, tiny little Japanese coffee and dessert place that I always walk/drive by but never get to go in.¬† I was excited!

¬† The whole dessert case is full of delicate looking desserts with green tea and matcha being a common component.¬† Hmmm….what to try!

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

 

  Justine went for the Green Tea Mascarpone, Michelle the Green Tea Cake and I ordered the Green Tea Macaron and Japanese Style Green Tea Truffle.  Everything is light, delicate, creamy..just like Japanese desserts should be! 

¬† I’m glad we tried this place.

Guu Otokomae Gastown

December 27, 2011

July 18th, 2011.  Guu Otokomae Gastown Reunion~~  

 

guu otokomae gastown

guu otokomae gastown

  I love my childhood friends.  So many amazing memories, innocent friendships and fearless adventures.  Thank goodness for Facebook for keeping me in touch with friends from even 20 years ago!! 

¬† A few years back I had unexpectedly run into my childhood BFF,¬†“Namoo Bark”‘s¬†kid-sister, Michelle in New Orleans…Small world!!¬† We kept in touch since and she¬†contacted me that she would be visiting Vancouver with a friend this summer so of course I set aside a day to meet up.¬†¬†

guu otokomae gastown

guu otokomae gastown

¬† I wondered where I should take her that would best show off Vancouver’s creative food scene without breaking the bank.¬† My choice?¬† Guu Otokomae Gastown!¬† I love the Izakaya scene here in Vancouver and Guu shows it off so well with it’s cozy interiors, delicious foods and creative combinations.¬† Oh..and my ulterior motive?¬† Last time I came my camera died so no photos…I had to redeem myself!

guu otokomae gastown

guu otokomae gastown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¬†¬†Who doesn’t love a fun summer drink?¬† I ordered the Virgin Pineapple Mojito:¬† Mint, lime, pineapple juice and ramune.

guu otokomae gastown

guu otokomae gastown

 

 

 

 

 

 

¬† Despite reservations about ordering a hard-to-execute dish I ordered the Sho Lon Bo, aka Soup Dumplings.¬† Well, I like that they were the perfect bite size.¬† But the disappointment was that there wasn’t enough soup inside and the skin was slightly thick.

guu otokomae gastown

guu otokomae gastown

 

 

¬† Today’s Sashimi Salad: today was an assortment of fresh scallops, salmon and hamachi over a bed of greens with Guuuu’d dressing and wasabi mayo.¬† Delicious at every bite!¬† The greens and light dressing cut the fattiness of the sashimi and the wasabi may gives a nice kick of flavor!

guu otokomae gastown

guu otokomae gastown

 

 

¬† The Maguro With 5 Color Sauce looked too cool not to order!¬† Chopped tuna and avocado with teriyaki, wasabi, mango, cucmber and yuzu pepper sauce topped with green onions, crispy wonton and bean sprouts.¬† LOVE IT!¬† The tuna and avocado¬†is creamy and even though there are so many different sauces none of it is heavy to compete with the creaminess.¬† The¬†toppings¬†give the perfect crispy and crunch.¬†¬†The dish was so good that we even dipped our fingers in the sauce to not waste it…hahaha!!¬†

guu otokomae gastown

guu otokomae gastown

 

 

 

¬† How can you not love Takoyaki?¬† It’s dressed with tonkatsu sauce, wasabi mayo and mustard mayo.¬† Piping hot, beautifully fluffy and deliciously saucy!

guu otokomae gastown

guu otokomae gastown

 

 

 

 

  I love me some Guu Tataki   Seared beef sashimi with ponzu sauce topped with garlic chips and green onions.  Tender beef, light ponzu sauce to highlight the beef and come on..who can resist garlic chips!  Another great dish.

guu otokomae gastown

guu otokomae gastown

 

 

 

¬† Lastly, we ordered the Satoimo.¬† Deep fried taro potatos with green tea salt.¬† They came out super hot..great!¬† The taro is a bit lumpy, fiberous, and plain.¬† But with the green tea salt…perfect seasoning!!¬† Burning fingers, burning mouth, but another great finger food dish!

 

 

Well, we were extremely full, very happy, and everyone was quite happy that the meal split 3 ways was so cheap.¬† SCORE on all counts!!¬† I swear, Guu never disappoints ūüėČ

 

May 19th, 2011.  Spot Dessert Bar 

spot dessert bar

spot dessert bar

 

¬† After some bar¬†hopping¬†I definitely needed some dessert.¬† Luckily, D¬†knew¬†just the right spot: Spot Dessert Bar!¬† Seriously, the Japanese¬†know how to do it up.¬† Tiny little almost-basement space, again with the wooden tables and benches.¬†¬†With ice cream toppings like fresh fruit, cookies, foam, and other interesting choices, it’s too difficult to decide!!¬† Of course I’ve also learned that too much is not always good, so I try to stick to only 2 (maybe 3) toppings.

spot dessert bar

spot dessert bar

 

¬†¬†Condensed Milk Ice Cream with Caramel Popcorn and Chocolate Pearl Toppings!!¬† Accompanied with one Black Coffee and one Thai Milk Coffee.¬† The delicious milky sweet ice cream with creamy texture was so perfect with the caramel popcorn!¬† And really..I should have known better than to get chocolate pearls with cold ice cream…takes forever to melt, which is annoying….But it was still lovely!¬† I would totally come back for more~~!

  What a lovely evening!  Ate a lot of wonderful, delicious food and made a really cool friend ;D  Thanks for the fun night, D!