Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Canadian Rock ‘n Roll – Kisha Poppo Japanese Restaurant

July 1, 2013
Kisha Poppo Japanese Restaurant, Richmond BC
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Salmon Sashimi
Chicken Teriyaki
Spicy Tuna Cone
Seafood Yaki Soba
Rock’n Roll
House Special Roll
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ImageNone of us wanted food until 9pm. Since it was Canada Day, many places closed early or just plain closed for the day. Thinking sushi was probably our best bet, we headed to Kisha Poppo after calling to make sure they were on their regular Monday hours – thankfully, they were. The restaurant was more than half filled when we got there so clearly, it would have been a bad decision to close.

We started with Salmon Sashimi. They were out of sockeye so we settled for Atlantic salmon. It was still very fresh but the presentation was a little lacking. Image

The Chicken Teriyaki was nothing too special although it had good flavour with enough sauce covering the slightly fried chicken filet strips. It came with carrots, broccoli, and bean sprouts, which, covered with the sauce, were quite good.Image

The Spicy Tuna Cone was okay. It had a decent kick but did not taste like the freshest tuna. The rice was okay; this was just your average cone.Image

The Seafood Yaki Soba could have used more seafood but the soy flavour was good. It was still sizzling like crazy when we got it. There were some shrimp, salmon, and maybe some other fish, but more seafood was definitely needed just so that it was not all noodles and vegetables.

The Rock’n Roll was the best dish oImagef the night. Kisha Poppo doesn’t really have special rolls so you have to be picking them out of the maki roll section. This one was probably their best roll – and one of the more expensive at $8.95, which is actually not too bad. It was a unagi and cucumber roll with smoked salmon and avocado on top. The flavour from the unagi was good and the salmon was not bland either. The avocado provided a nice creamy texture.Image

Finally, the House Special Roll had a variety of sashimi – salmon, tuna, and some other fish – kani, and cucumbers inside. It was huge pieces but did not have much flavour. Unagi, pickles, or even tamago might have been a nice addition.

Located away from the Asian centres in Richmond, Kisha Poppo has your generic casual Japanese fare at reasonable prices. They also have all you can eat options and is a good choice if you are on the other side of town. 

Kisha Poppo Japanese Restaurant 汽車ポッポ日本料理 on Urbanspoon

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Here’re Your Fish & Chips, Canada! – Pajo’s

July 1, 2013
Pajo’s, Richmond BC
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Halibut Fish & Chips
Cod Fish & Chips
Salmon Fish
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ImageHappy birthday, Canada! As anyone going to the Salmon Festival in Steveston knows, besides the salmon grill, Timothy’s frozen yogurt, and screamers, one of the most popular food places with a crazy line is at Pajo’s. This time, the line is not out the door… it’s off the dock. I love how you have to go down a little bridge to a tiny dock where the restaurant is to get your food!

The Halibut Fish & Chips were absolutely delicious. One of the best things with too many people lining up is that you are guaranteed incredibly fresh food. The fish was soft, flaky, and moist. The batter, while not beer-battered as my new-found foodie friend, Sam, pointed out, was still thin enough and crispy. It was a little greasy but not too bad.Image

The Cod Fish & Chips were also good but I prefer the halibut as the cod was a little less flaky and a little drier. The batter was still good. The chips, or fries rather, were crispy and mushy on the inside. The tartar sauce was also tangy and creamy.

ImageThe Salmon Fish was totally different. Salmon tends to be dry when cooked and this was no exception. It was a lot fishier than the halibut and cod and I did not like that flavour together with the crispy, oily batter as much. It just does not taste refreshing – well, as refreshing as fried fish can get anyways. 

The best fish and chips in Steveston did not let me down on Canada Day. It’s very fairly priced as well and they try to keep the line moving. Eating it almost right on the water also makes it a great experience!

Pajo's Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

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Corn and Crabs – The Crab Pot

June 30, 2013
The Crab Pot, Bellevue WA
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Sourdough Loaf & Butter
Dungeness Crab Cocktail
The Westport Seafeast
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ImageCraving fresh seafood after being in Philly for so long, we went to Bellevue’s The Crab Pot to avoid the crowds in Seattle downtown but to have the same fun with our food.

First up was the Sourdough Loaf & Butter – boy, that was some sour sourdough. The butter was okay. The bread was very hard to bite on the outside, very airy but tough.Image

We had a voucher for a free appetizer and since they are known for their crab, we went with the Dungeness Crab Cocktail with some cold crab meat that was sweet and succulent. The cocktail sauce had a nice tang and was not watered down much. The celery added a nice refreshing crunch.

ImageFinally, we went at our two portions of The Westport Seafeast with our hands. Mallets? No thanks! My teeth will do just fine! The snow crabs were a little fishy but still good and the dungeness crab was also delicious. I loved the little mussels and clams as well. The shrimp were a little overcooked but at least the seasoning was good. The sausage was a little odd but had nice flavour and the potatoes a little plain but still decent. The corn, though, was absolutely scrumptious. Somehow, the seasoning made it creamier and sweeter and juicier – it was some of the best corn on the cob ever! Corn and crabs made me very happy that sunny afternoon.

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On Apples in Dumplings – Dutch Eating Place

June 29, 2013
Dutch Eating Place, Philadelphia PA
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Hot Apple Dumpling served w/ Cream
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ImageInitially featured on The Food Network, the Hot Apple Dumpling served w/ Cream was a must-try at the Dutch Eating Place in the Reading Terminal Market. It was clearly their most popular dish, with rows upon rows of piping hot dumplings lined up by the glass on the countertop. 

The pastry dough was chewy but nicely layered. The cinnamon and sugar taste was not overwhelming either. I did love that syrup mixed with the full apple in the center, though. The apple was a surprise to me especially since it was a full apple and quite big. It was soft and chewy but had a sweet tartness. The cream cut through the tartness but I did not need much of it. It was just a super delicious dessert!

Dutch Eating Place on Urbanspoon

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Get Crazy, Get Creative, Get Rollin’ – Crazy Sushi

June 24, 2013
Crazy Sushi, Philadelphia PA
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Puppy Love
Odessa Roll
Bloomingdale Roll
Spicy Cook Scallop Roll
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ImageI love creative, unique sushi rolls. After all, kappa makis were always boring, California rolls have become boring, and even Alaska or Philadelphia rolls are no longer interesting. Crazy Sushi seemed perfect to hang out and catch up with yet another graduated friend one last time this summer.

We started with Puppy Love, a cold appetizer roll of spicy tuna wrapped with sea bass and special sauce. The presentation was quite elegant and it was just a delicious, fishy bite. Like I said, there are always ways to make rolls interesting, and sometimes, one delicious bite is just the best way to start a meal.Image

For our main rolls, we started with the Odessa Roll, with tuna, eel, masago, crunchy, and spicy mayo rolled in salmon. Again, this roll had no rice, just fish and other good stuff. The fish was decently fresh and I always love my rolls with unagi, or BBQ eel. The crunchy bits added texture and the spicy mayo went nicely with the sweet unagi sauce. This was just more delicious bites.Image

Next was the Bloomingdale Roll, with spicy tuna, spicy salmon, spicy kani, spicy yellowtail, spicy shrimp, avocado, and a longan fruit on top. Wrapped in soy paper instead of nori, it was pretty in pink. The spicy fish mixture made it hard to tell what fish was actually in it and only two pieces actually had avocado in it. Consistency is questionable and the spicy mayo makes it hard to taste the actual fish. It had a fair kick, however, and the sweet longan on top was an interesting twist.Image

Finally, the Spicy Cook Scallop Roll was just your regular spicy scallop roll. The scallops had a little too much batter on it and there did not seem to be enough scallops. At least the roll was not overloaded with rice, though.Image

Crazy Sushi was a cute little place and certainly good for creative sushi cravings. With so many different ingredients and fish, they make an incredible number of unique rolls that it will take more than a few meals to try them all. They take rolls to the next level of crazy.

Crazy Sushi on Urbanspoon

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Spicy Hurricane – Fuji Mountain Japanese Restaurant

June 23, 2013
Fuji Mountain Japanese Restaurant, Philadelphia PA
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Spicy Beef Gyoza
Shrimp Teriyaki
Hurricane Roll
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A friend recently graduated and so we went out for dinner one last time before he leaves. It was a lovely, sunny evening so we walked all the way over to Fuji Mountain Japanese Restaurant. The temperature was just perfect so we walked back afterwards as well, a great way to start digesting all that food.

ImageThe restaurant was very quiet but there was a decent number of tables occupied for a Monday evening. The waitresses were all in Japanese-style apparel, which just compliments the whole atmosphere.

We started with the Spicy Beef Gyoza. It did not have as much of a kick as I hoped but was a nice deviation from your traditional pork gyoza. The skin was nice and crispy and the filling was quite flavourful.Image

The Shrimp Teriyaki was served with a small salad and rice. The shrimp were tender and coated with a good amount of the sweet teriyaki. The broccoli and carrots were nicely steamed but I really just liked the yam and sweet potato chips. At least, I think they were yam chips; potatoes just do not get that huge. They were crispy and chewy once they were soaked a little in the sauce.Image

Finally, the Hurricane Roll had tons of flavour with salmon, masago, avocado, and spicy yellowtail. The spicy yellowtail was a nice change and the avocado added the necessary creaminess to balance the decent spicy kick from the fish and the green scallions on top. The rice was good and there was not too much of it.

Fuji Mountain is not exactly the cheapest Japanese restaurants around but it is acceptable for quite decent food compared to some other places around town. It’s a little more high-end than a lot of the smaller lunch spots, with an extensive menu. If you want to sing, just head upstairs for some karaoke.

Fuji Mountain on Urbanspoon

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The Must-eat Mushroom Ravioli – Olive Garden

June 15, 2013
Olive Garden, Philadelphia PA
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[Breadsticks]
Garden-Fresh Salad
Ravioli di Portobello
Seafood Brodetto
Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken
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ImageA friend from China was in town with two other of her friends so a group of us headed to Olive Garden since Philly Chinese food was just not going to cut it and the Japanese restaurant we wanted to eat at was closed during lunch hours. I always had a little something for Olive Garden as it was the first place I tried a mushroom ravioli after reading Twilight. That was way back when in Florida, too. Image

To start, there were of course the unlimited [Breadsticks]. They were incredibly soft, airy, and warm, with just the right amount of butter on top to give it a slight flavour.

The Garden-Fresh Salad, which we asked to have dressing on the side, was quite fresh. I did not like the olives or the hot peppers but everything else was simple and refreshing.Image

Then, onto what I was craving: Ravioli di Portobello. The light cream sauce is slightly sweet from the sun-dried tomato sauce but with a hint of the smoky cheese. The portobello raviolis were cooked to the perfect texture, al dente and not soggy after being in the sauce for a little while. This is as light a plate as any cream-based pasta can get.Image

The Seafood Brodetto was also quite delicious. It was loaded with shrimp, scallops, tilapia, mushrooms, and spinach and had a light white wine and marinara-saffron broth. The bowl was hearty and comforting but light and flavourful. The garlic ciabatta bread that came with it was perfect for dipping and we even had some breadsticks left to soak up all that yummy broth.Image

I also had a bit of the Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken, with zucchini, squash, and bell peppers in a tomato-basil broth with parmesan drizzle. This was another very light pasta dish. The vegetables really brought out that freshness. The chicken was a little bland so you really had to eat it with everything else together, especially the sauce and cheese.

The service we received was great and we all had a nice time chatting even after we were pretty much finished with our food. This may not be top-notch, fine Italian dining, but for the price, it was a great meal with friends.

Olive Garden on Urbanspoon

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Hot Hot Breakfast – Richky Cafe

ImageJune 14, 2013
Richky Cafe, Philadelphia PA
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Hot Sausage, Egg & Cheese
Hot Ham Egg Cheese
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ImageNo longer are breakfast sandwich choices limited to bacon and sausage. Even turkey bacon, ham, and sausage roll are too common at Richky Cafe food truck on Drexel’s campus very close to 30th Street Station.

The Hot Sausage, Egg & Cheese was a little greasy with slits on the long, juicy sausage allowing the grease to seep out. However, it was really spicy and was perfect with the sweet and tangy ketchup, the gooey cheese, and eggs. Image

The Hot Ham Egg Cheese did not have as much of a kick so was not as good. However, it was still a good sandwich: slightly salty, spicy, tangy, sweet, cheesy, and quite chewy. This is so much better than regular ham, with a lot more flavour. Image

The guys working on the food truck were all very nice. The prices were very low as well compared to other similar food trucks. If I went to 30th Street Station every morning, I’d definitely be getting breakfast here often. 

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Iron Chef Burger – Bobby’s Burger Palace

June 7, 2013
Bobby’s Burger Palace, Philadelphia PA
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Sweet Potato Fries
Dallas Burger
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ImageI met up with a hall-mate from freshman year at Bobby’s Burger Palace. Somehow, I had never eaten there before. Since I started watching Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef America” a lot, I had meant to give his burgers a try sooner or later.

To start, I tried the Sweet Potato Fries. They were such a deal – a small bucket with chipotle aioli for only $3. You never see this at a more formal restaurant. They were crispy on the outside and sweet and mushy on the inside. The aioli had a hint of spice and was very creamy. This was a perfect way to start a burger meal.Image

I had my Dallas Burger ‘crunchified,’ which is adding a small stack of crispy potato chips inside the burger. It was so difficult to eat, having to press everything together. I had juice and the barbeque sauce all over my hands afterwards. The medium (pink throughout) beef patty was very juicy and not too greasy. The Monterey jack cheese was all melted and the coleslaw and pickles added some acidity. The bun was nicely toasted and overall, it was not a bad burger. Sure, it is not as creative as some I would get on the food trucks, but with such a nice atmosphere and not any more expensive, I’ll take it!

Bobby's Burger Palace on Urbanspoon

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Honestly Huge – Honest Tom’s Taco Shop

June 3, 2013
Honest Tom’s Taco Shop, Philadelphia PA
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Steak and Yucca Burrito
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ImageThinking I should try Honest Tom’s Taco Shop now that I have been to Tampopo since they are beside each other, I went the next day for one of their famous burritos.Image

The Steak and Yucca Burrito was incredibly satisfying. At $8 plus tax, it was huge and included not only the regular rice, beans, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, and cheese, but also creamy avocado. It really provides a smooth texture for the filling, binding everything together. The steak cubes were a little tough and the yucca cubes a little bland so next time, I would probably get chicken or sweet potato instead. Still, the quality was great and it was incredibly filling as well. 

Honest Tom's Taco Shop on Urbanspoon

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