Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Fishy Food Courts – Ivar’s Seafood Bar

July 19, 2013
Ivar’s Seafood Bar, Bellingham WA
~
Shrimp Cocktail
Fish ‘n Chips

~

ImageI was shopping by myself in Bellis Fair Mall while my parents headed to Costco. Deciding I have had enough after 20 minutes and not wanting to wait for my salad from Costco, I went to the food court and settled for Ivar’s Seafood Bar.

The Shrimp Cocktail was simple yet refreshing. The shrimp were tender and sweet and the cocktail sauce tangy. The celery made it crunchy and light.Image

The Fish ‘n Chips were not good, though. Everything was freshly fried so the French fries were crispy on the outside and piping hot. However, they were still frozen fries. The fish was also not the best. The cod was not great, though. It was flaky but not moist enough. The batter was more like a powdery mixture and very thin. It was not sticking together either, just way to thin. The pieces were small and skinny as well.

I guess fish and chips is best left to piers and docks. Only then will there be quality and quantity combined for the best value. 

Ivar's Seafood Bar on Urbanspoon

1 Comment »

Sushi is Here to Stay – Togo Sushi

July 18, 2013
Togo Sushi, Richmond BC
~
Kamikaze Roll
Awesome Roll

~

ImageWho would want McDonald’s when you can have delicious sushi at similar prices right next door? That’s how Togo Sushi first caught my eye – displays of delicious-looking rolls were so tempting when you are lining up for McDonald’s. This little restaurant mostly has to-go customers but also a couple of seats for those who would like to eat there.

The Kamikaze Roll was salmon on top of a spicy salmon roll. This would be perfect for any salmon lover. The fish, even that in the spicy salmon, was very fresh. I liked how the spicy salmon came in pretty large pieces. It was spicy but not burning. The rice was also quite nice. Image

The Awesome Roll did its name justice. On top of the California roll was cooked salmon, masago, green onion, teriyaki sauce, spicy mayo, and a ton of yam strings. I loved the spicy and sweet from the two sauces. The salmon was nice and the imitation crab and avocado inside the roll were sweet and creamy. The yam strings made it outstanding though. With the sauces, it was sweet on two different levels and slightly spicy… and very crunchy. 

Togo Sushi had very friendly service and reasonable prices ($6.50 for the Kamikaze Roll and $7.95 for the Awesome Roll). No, they don’t have reusable plates and chopsticks, but for such a small place in Richmond Centre, they really don’t need to. It’s still a great option – better than Umi up in the food court due to more variety and cheaper prices, and the fact that it is made-to-order. 

Togo Sushi on Urbanspoon

Leave a comment »

One Fish, Two Fish – Red Fish Blue Fish

July 13, 2013
Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria BC
~
Cod Fish + Chips
Tomato Basil Chilli Cod Tacone

Seafood Poutine
~

ImageEach day just got hotter and hotter but I had to leave Victoria soon and I was not about to do so without having tried the most popular fish and chips in the city from the establishment of Red Fish Blue Fish, housed in a cute little shack on the edge of the water. I waited for around an hour on a sunny Saturday but my hard work paid off – the food was fabulous!

I started with Cod Fish + Chips. The batter on the cod was thick, crunchy, not too greasy, and had just wonderful flavours and texture. The fish was flaky and moist. The chips were fresh but the fish was fresher. The tartar sauce was nice and tangy, and the coleslaw was crunchy and by no means overdressed. Image

The Tomato Basil Chilli Cod Tacone was a daily special. The seasoned cod was grilled to perfection with the fish still flaky and moist but also very flavourful. I loved the coleslaw with the fish and the soft taco shell. The lime pickle aioli added another layer of flavour, making it tangy and fit for summer.

ImageThe Seafood Poutine, with shrimp, fish, and tuna belly bacon bits in a light, creamy miso-clam gravy, garnished with green onions and crispy shallots. It was quite salty but the texture was great and it was decently rich.

It is no wonder that there is always a long line down the dock outside Red Fish Blue Fish. They honestly need to speed up their ordering and cooking process as the line is just ridiculous. Very inefficient, if you ask me. The food, at reasonable prices, though, is just fantastic!

Red Fish, Blue Fish on Urbanspoon

Leave a comment »

Warmed Up by the Bowl – Le Petit Saigon

July 11, 2013
Le Petit Saigon, Victoria BC
~
Seafood Noodle Soup
~

ImageWith so much food at the conference centre and a chilly sea breeze throughout town, we opted for a warm bowl of pho noodle soup at Le Petit Saigon.

The Seafood Noodle Soup included fish, prawns, and squid but was otherwise very bland. The seafood did not have much taste and the broth was just okay. The noodles were way overcooked and in very short pieces. Maybe it was because it was almost closing time but the quality should not have to suffer. For around $10, I expected something better with more, fresher seafood. 

Le Petit Saigon on Urbanspoon

Leave a comment »

Spicy, Scallop-y, Stanley – Sushi One

July 6, 2013
Sushi One, Richmond BC
~
Spicy Tuna Sashimi
Scallop Magma Roll
Stanley Roll
~

ImageMy best friend and I decided to go out for lunch at Sushi One, a fairly new restaurant by the water in Steveston. It was quite crowded inside on a Saturday, with almost every booth taken. The service was friendly and it was a nice little place to chat.Image

I ordered a lunch special with one of their special rolls and had a salad and soup to go along with it. Both were fairly standard.Image

I picked Spicy Tuna Sashimi for my side. The pieces were small but I loved the spicy sauce that had quite the kick and also a touch of sweetness. The tuna was very fresh and, paired with the sauce, was very appetizing.

My Scallop Magma Roll was absolutely delicious, and very creative. Inside was spicy tuna while it was topped with masago, chopped scallop, and a sweet, black sesame sauce. The sauce was rich, creamy, and sweet, balancing out with the spicy tuna and scallops nicely. The ingredients were all very fresh.Image

My friend had the Stanley Roll that was also drool-worthy. It had yam tempura, avocado, and cucumber inside with a unagi tempura and tobiko on top. The two sweet tempuras were excellent, especially since they were not the same kind of sweetness. Still, it was harmonious and interesting all rolled into one.

Sushi One has it in the bag when it comes to creative rolls – so many choices and so many different appetizers and sides to choose from! They also have some great lunch specials that I’m sure this will become a regular hangout lunch spot for me.

Sushi One on Urbanspoon

Leave a comment »

Canadian Rock ‘n Roll – Kisha Poppo Japanese Restaurant

July 1, 2013
Kisha Poppo Japanese Restaurant, Richmond BC
~
Salmon Sashimi
Chicken Teriyaki
Spicy Tuna Cone
Seafood Yaki Soba
Rock’n Roll
House Special Roll
~

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

Leave a comment »

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

July 1, 2013
Pajo’s, Richmond BC
~
Halibut Fish & Chips
Cod Fish & Chips
Salmon Fish
~

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

Leave a comment »

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

June 24, 2013
Crazy Sushi, Philadelphia PA
~
Puppy Love
Odessa Roll
Bloomingdale Roll
Spicy Cook Scallop Roll
~

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

Leave a comment »

Spicy Hurricane – Fuji Mountain Japanese Restaurant

June 23, 2013
Fuji Mountain Japanese Restaurant, Philadelphia PA
~
Spicy Beef Gyoza
Shrimp Teriyaki
Hurricane Roll
~

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

Leave a comment »

The Must-eat Mushroom Ravioli – Olive Garden

June 15, 2013
Olive Garden, Philadelphia PA
~
[Breadsticks]
Garden-Fresh Salad
Ravioli di Portobello
Seafood Brodetto
Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken
~

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

Leave a comment »