Flo Tea Room on Granville, Vancouver

Updated: 21st Dec 2014; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

With the boys away on sleep over, Suanne and I took it easy for dinner. We had a very late dinner and thought that we go check out a Bubble Tea place because we had never really been to one other than Go Go Tea Cafe. Actually that Go Go Tea trip does not really count because it was over lunch time.


We went to the Flo Tea Room located at the south end of Granville Street in Vancouver. We did not know what to expect. We were quite apprehensive that this place will be teeming with Asian youngters hanging out for the night … i.e. it would be loud and noisy.

We found it kind of odd that the Flo Tea Room is located on a row of three bubble tea houses, including a Bubble World Tea House outlet. Since this visit, we are beginning to notice that the Bubble World Tea House has lots of locations around Metro Vancouver.


But it was not at all like what we expected. Why, it was exactly like any Chinese Cafes. Although we did not see any kids around (after all it was 9PM when we were there), there were a lot of people our age or even older. So, we’re OK.

Flo has quite a large menu for their drinks. See pix above … Suanne was perusing the drinks menu which came in in the form of a plastic folder. We were not very familiar with the drinks menu and was stumped by the range of drinks called Calpis. What is that anyway?


I got one of their new drinks. It’s simply called Flo Flurry which is a mix of chocolate slush with grass jelly and topped with Oreo crumbs. $4.95. As I drank this I was wondering how many calories there are here. (more…)

Continue ReadingFlo Tea Room on Granville, Vancouver

Kingsway Sushi on Kingsway and Boundary

Ever since Whitney and Ken moved out from Richmond, we had not been able to meet up as much as we did. A couple of weeks ago they called saying that they would be in town and are looking for the best All-You-Can-Eat (AYCE) sushi. We interpret BEST as in good, cheap and has sashimi. Our favourite remains with Ninkazu in Richmond but since we had blogged about that place before we suggest the one place high on our list of To-Try … Kingsway Sushi.


Kingsway Sushi is easy to find. It is located at the junction of Kingsway and Boundary, just across the street from the unmistakable shoe-shaped building of Telus. Pay parking is available at the basement parking of the building where Kingsway Sushi is located.

It was quite expensive if you ask me. Pay parking is about $2 per hour but Kingsway will reimburse the parking for the 1st hour only. I paid for $4 for two hours and then I realized it was written quite boldly that weekend parking is free. I would not have mind as much until this middle age lady said in such loud voice to her husband that “Parking is free” … THREE times. Her thunderous voice echoed throughout the basement parking area. [Oooi … honey, you don’t have to be so smug and you are embarrassing me in public!!]


We had never been to Kingsway Sushi before.

We were quite surprised how large this place is and how bright it is here. Actually we were expecting this place to be packed on a Saturday afternoon but they did not fill the place. We were wondering if people are beginning to eat out less because of all the economic gloom from the news these days.

Whitney called saying that they were going to be a bit late … “a bit” as in 30 minutes. I was initially kind of worried that we will get harassed because we did not have the entire party there before we got seated. I often hear that these places make money from turning the tables fast and they show their annoyance when we hog a table and start later than normal.

No, they were quite pleasant about it (at that time) when we told them the entire party is going to be late. I think it was because it was still early and they had just started business. They even suggested that we get some little appetizers as starters while waiting. We like that.


Miso soup is like a must as a starter in AYCE Sushi. Tell me now … they serve Miso Soup in a bowl and without a soup spoon. I need someone who is familiar help confirm this. The Japanese drinks Miso Soup direct from the bowl and they are supposed to slurp it down as loudly as possible … is that right?

To the Chinese drinking soup direct from the bowl (not using the soup spoon) is uncouth. Well, at least that was what my mum warned me not to do when I was young.


For the starters, we also had Edamame. It is like young soybean.


I had never quite like beans in general but found that I ate most of it from the leftover pods I had on my plate.


I think the above is called Ebi Sunomono (shrimp salad?). A little sourish and vinegarish with cold noodles in it.


They have two menus available for lunch. One menu was with Sushi ($11.95) and the other one without sushi is $9.95. We went ahead to get the one with Sushi because after all that’s what the kids were looking for.

Before we placed our order, we decided on a strategy to maximize on the meal. So the game plan is simple, there will be a four phase plan of attack:

  1. Phase 1 (Appetizer): Start with the stuff on the appetizer section (which we just had)
  2. Phase 2 (Try Everything Once): Get ONE of every item enough for everyone (trick is not to get too greedy on any one item) and note down what everyone like more of. It is handy getting one of their paper takeout menu to mark down what each liked.
  3. Phase 3 (Gorge on “Likes”): Place order after order of what we like until we are almost full. It is important to stress on the word “almost full” because you want to leave room for Phase 4. 95% full is a good yardstick. This is the phase you begin to sit back and loosen your belt. This is also the phase where the waiters will start getting annoyed with you and do everything they can to make you leave — just ignore them.
  4. Phase 4 (Finale): This is the phase you will feel really sick and swear that you will never ever do AYCE again. But as a true foodie, you must soldier on to defend the honor of the spirit of AYCE. This is where you make one last attempt to stuff yourself sick … at least with the desserts.


Sashimi was extra but at least they have it.


Start of Phase 2 (Try Everything Once). We got two orders of Sashimi’s. It was just OK. It was not large slices but at least it is not paper thin if you know what I mean. These all went in no time.


The Sushis was the most second most important items on our Phase 2 game plan. The Sushi were respectable. Respectable in that they have nice big slices of fish. So what did we have?

  • Kani Sushi (Imitation Crab)
  • Saba Sushi (Mackerel)
  • Tuna Sushi
  • Salmon Sushi
  • Tai Sushi (don’t know which is which)
  • Inari Sushi (also don’t know which is which)


Their Deep Fried Scallop is pretty good. We ended up ordering a lot of these.


Suanne digs the Salmon Head. I think they call this the BBQ Salmon Head Shioyaki. She’s good at picking up the morsels of flesh from this. I like it too but it’s too much work.


The Chicken Karaage was awesome. Ken remarked why is it that he can never make it like this at home. Indeed … why? I posed that same question to Suanne (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).


Ken loves this too … it is called Deep Fried Shrimp Ball. Everyone likes it but not as much as Ken. This is because I noticed he keeps on ordering plates after plates of this.


We ordered all the rolls they have on the menu … every single one of them. There are twelve types on the menu and they gave us only eight types. We said “all” rolls. I think they know that with all the food we ordered, we would not have noticed. But we’re professional foodies … we know such things. I let it slide and not make a fuss about it because we can hardly finish what we had ordered already.


Continue ReadingKingsway Sushi on Kingsway and Boundary

Splitz Grill on Main St in Vancouver

Nanzaro is like a pitbull. When they latch on to you they never let go. Nothing makes them let go of their deadly jaws.

For some unknown reason, he had been hankering Suanne and I for “gourmet” burgers … not just any burgers … but GOURMET burgers. McDonalds, Burger King and the likes will not do.

Nanzaro did some research over the net and narrowed his choices to either Splitz, Burger Etc or Moderne Burger. We settled for Splitz because the slogan on the http://splitzgrill.com website says “a true gourmet burger joint”.


It had been quite a while since Suanne and I last had burgers. Moreover, it is good to have non-Asian food for a change.

Splitz is located on Main St at 27th in Vancouver. This place is actually a spin off from the very popular burger joint in Whistler.


Ordering here requires you to go through the process of first placing your order at the front of the aisle. You then move on to the garnish station where you tell them the sauce and toppings you want. Most of the toppings are included in the price but some are extras, like sauteed mushrooms and bacon.


The dining area is spacious and clean. It was not really comfortable but I do think that this is really fast food where people pop in, grab a sandwich, eat and go.


Both Nanzaro and Arkensen ordered the Legendary Splitz Burger Combo. The combo costs $9.45 which included a small fries and small fountain drink. I am not sure why but Nanzaro ordered his pretty plain. He hates greens and so just opted for honey mustard despite me telling him he can have as many sauce or toppings he wants.

Despite the simple burger, it really looked very enticing — moist and juicy. This really shows how well they do burgers.


Arkensen had the same as Nanzaro’s but he had the basics … ketchup, honey mustard, tomato and lettuce.


Suanne and I shared a burger because we know it will be too much for if we ordered one for ourselves. We had the Grilled Lamb Burger (no combo) which costs $7.75. I asked for the Splitz Sauce and Medium Salsa for the sauce and everything but pickles (I don’t fancy pickles). (more…)

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Traditional Chinese BBQ House on Kingsway, Vancouver

I think we’re getting the hang of it.

Suanne and I are getting more comfortable going to a Chinese restaurant. I am not talking to just any restaurant but ones that has ghastly bright yellow and red signs with an equally unimaginative name to match. These are the type of restaurants that are almost always a mainland Chinese restaurant serving authentic Chinese food.


Suanne and I chanced upon this lonely Chinese Restaurant while driving along Kingsway. The Traditional Chinese BBQ House is located on the Vancouver section of Kingsway, between Joyce and Rupert. Although we did not know anything about this place, we decided to just chance it.

We were pleasantly surprised.


This is a really small place but was quite busy for a restaurant located at such a quiet stretch. As we suspected, their customers are basically of mainland Chinese origin from the unmistakable sing-song Mandarin accent.

When we got seated, we were handed their Chinese menu. We told them we don’t read Chinese and he snickered at us … well, in a friendly way but still a snicker. So he brought out the English menu which he told us (TWICE!) that it is just delivered and he is not familiar with it. We did not trust the menu with their odd description.

We thought we order by pointing to the neighboring tables. Know what he did next? He actually walked to the neighboring tables and point directly into their dishes (which the customers were still eating) and explain the dishes for us loudly across the restaurant. We were so embarrassed with his blatant intrusion into his customer’s meal. He’s a nice and extremely helpful guy but it’s just that he doesn’t realize it is rude to others.


For starters, we had Steamed Bun Slice. It costs 75 cents each. It is basically man tao, just that it is sliced and grilled with some kind of sauce or spread which we could not identify. I recommend you try it … it is unique.

For those who does not speak chinese, “man tao” is translated as “ten thousand heads”. This is the staple food to the Chinese and is the kind of food that is used to feed the masses.


The owner also recommended us their most popular BBQ item, the House Grilled Lamb. The restaurant actually smells of this item from the heavy use of cumin. It costs 75 cents each. It came served in metal skewers. The taste is rather strong … it is both very spicy and salty. The meat is tender and not gamey. But really, we prefer the Malaysian satay better than this.


We also had the Chef Special Escargot ($8.95). The sauce is awesomely tasty and lightly sweet. The sauce went very well with steamed rice. (more…)

Continue ReadingTraditional Chinese BBQ House on Kingsway, Vancouver

Dine Out Vancouver 2009: Raincity Grill

Updated: 22nd Dec 2014; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

For those of you foodies living in the Metro Vancouver area knows that January is the month of the Dine Out Vancouver (DOV). It is the two week period at this time of the year where almost 200 restaurants offers 3-course dinners for a fix price. For the past few years, the prices were $15, $25 and $35 depending on the restaurant. This year there was an across the board increase to $18, $28, $38.

When the reservations opened in the first week of January, the hottest restaurants gets booked up pretty fast. As in previous year, we decided to book four seatings.


We went to the Raincity Grill for the first event. Raincity is Grill located at the western end of Denman in downtown Vancouver. It faces the English Bay and should have a great view but not at this time of the year … and especially for this evening when it was all foggy.

Raincity is known as the home of the 1st 100 Mile Menu. The 100 Mile tingy was kind of a rage over last year but somehow I felt that all the great idea had died down. They still have the 100 Mile Tasting menu ($70).

Raincity offers the $38 3-course DOV menu. However, when we were presented the menu, we also saw that they also have an option for a 4-course dinner for $45. I guess they, like many other DOV participating restaurants, are trying to upsell the advertised menu.


We got seated by the window which was kind of good except that it faces the street. We would had loved having had the ones that are located on the raised section of the restaurant facing the English Bay (even though it was too foggy and dark to see anything!). Somehow I felt that they seat all the DOV customers at the lower section. Moreover our table was so tiny it could comfortably seat only one person if you ask me.

Anyway, we started with drinks. Raincity had a very extensive wine list which came in a 33 page menu. Their wines are all from the West Coast (from BC to California) and they do not carry wines outside this region … i.e. none from France, Italy.

I got the Raspberry Martini which is Absolut Raspberry Vodka with Elephant Island Framboise ($10) while Suanne opted for Pineapple Juice ($3).


They brought the bread even before we ordered our meal. We were disappointed with the bread actually. It is sourdough but it is so small, hard and cold. We had come to expect warm bread. They came by asking if we wanted more. We declined.

We opted to order a 3-course option and another 4-course dinner. I’ll go over the 3-course dinner first …


For the 3-course dinner, we selected the Stuffed Leg of Fraser Valley Chicken as the starter. We were told that the chicken is basically chicken leg stuffed with chicken breast. I was not sure if I heard right because why would anyone do that … maybe it’s a combination of dark and white meat?

Along with it is the celery root, pearl onion, roast onion, bacon and red wine puree at the side. It was actually pretty good as each item by itself has it’s uniqueness. (more…)

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Cafe D’Lite on West Broadway

Updated: 23rd Dec 2014; This restaurant is likely closed as it’s no longer in Urbanspoon.com now.

How was it? How did you like all the snow the past week? LOL!

I’ve never seen so much snow falling in the Vancouver area for as along as I can remember.


To think of it, it all came even before the official start of winter. Here in Richmond we had almost 2 feet of snow in all. Try walking in the snow and the snow will reach up to your knee.

There is this something about snow … it’s mesmerizing to watch it falling. While it is still powdery and fresh, it’s beautiful until it starts to turn in a slushy mess … or …


… you try to drive out to the streets. The city of Richmond did not bother to plow the side road until the day of Christmas which made it quite a challenge to get to the main streets. I think the worse is over now because yesterday many parts had turned into puddles of water. Suanne and I ventured out on an errand Vancouver downtown and ended up having lunch out.


We went to one Malaysian restaurant we had always heard about but never tried before. As a matter of fact, Cafe D’Lite has been on our To-Visit list the past three years or so. It’s just because it was really out of the way for us. Cafe D’Lite located in 3144 West Broadway. Actually it is just next door to the famous Notte’s Bon Ton Pastry. (more…)

Continue ReadingCafe D’Lite on West Broadway