Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

One Fish, Two Fish – Red Fish Blue Fish

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

Seafood Poutine
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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

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Spicy, Scallop-y, Stanley – Sushi One

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

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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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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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Deep in a Japanese Coma – Ninkazu Japanese Restaurant

ImageMay 9, 2013
Ninkazu Japanese Restaurant, Richmond BC
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Eda-Mame
Green Salad
Salmon Sashimi
Tuna Sashimi
Spicy Seafood Cone
Chicken Teriyaki Roll
Spring Roll
Deep Fried Gyoza
Shishamo Karaage
Chicken Karaage
ImageChicken Udon
Beef Udon
BBQ Beef Short Rib
BBQ Chicken Wing
BBQ Korean Pork
BBQ Salmon Kama
BBQ Yakitori
Oyster Motoyaki
Salmon Teriyaki
Fruit Jello
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ImageWow, another very long chat late into the night. Seven friends met over dinner and exchanged gossip and stories for hours around a large table at Ninkazu Japanese Restaurant. We were all deep into food comas by the end but unfortunately, there was nowhere to go but home at 11:30, especially with early mornings for some the next morning. Image

The Eda-Mame was standard, which means no where near as good as the ones I have had almost everyday in Tokyo. It just was not flavourful enough – lacking salt while boiling – and the doneness was inconsistent.Image

The Green Salad was the most pathetic way to celebrate National Salad Month. It was such a small portion, with iceberg lettuce, what tasted like a carrot puree with a tangy dressing and sesame seeds, shredded carrot and red cabbage, and some scallions.  Image

The Salmon Sashimi was good, with a nice texture. It was actually quite fresh and the fish was really bouncy but firm. Vancouver’s salmon sashimi rarely disappoints, even the regular kind.Image

The Tuna Sashimi was less impressive. It did not taste as fresh and the fish was not as firm as I would like. It was more mushy than the salmon.

The Spicy Seafood Cone was not extremely spicy. I found the seafood a little dry and the flavour was not bold enough to stand out amidst all the rice in the cone. Image

The Chicken Teriyaki Roll was actually good. The chicken was tender. The teriyaki sauce was sweet and had a good consistency. The vegetables made it refreshing and there was just the right amount of sauce drizzled over it. Image

The Spring Roll tasted like it came out of a package. It was fried nicely but you cannot really screw that up anyways. The vegetable filling was not exactly amazing. This was more generic than anything. Image

The Deep Fried Gyoza looked better than they tasted. The filling was a little small and the wrappers, while very crispy, tasted a little too greasy.

The Shishamo Karaage was a nice change. I have not had these little fish in a very long time. I really like the lot of fish eggs inside each fish. They were the best part of this little thing.

The Chicken Karaage were simply deep fried without much seasoning or anything for that matter. The chicken wings were juicy on the inside but these were just mediocre. Image

The Chicken Udon had one small piece of fried chicken cutlet over udon noodles. The chicken was okay. The broth was decent and the noodles were just a tad overcooked.

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The Beef Udon was pretty bad. The udon and soup were good enough but the beef was incredibly tough to chew; it was just too sinewy and did not have much flavour. ImageImageImage

The series of BBQ included Beef Short Rib, Chicken Wing, Korean Pork, Salmon Kama, and Yakitori. The short ribs were tasty and sweet. The chicken wings were a lot better than the deep fried kind. Clearly, the sweet sauce makes all the difference here! The Korean Pork was dry and tough. There was not much flesh on the salmon kama, or salmon head, and it looked quite intimidating! Finally, the yakitori, or chicken skewer, was actually very flavourful from the spice marinade and very juicy. This was one of the better dishes of the night.Image

The Oyster Motoyaki was creamy but a little too heavy. You really need to be partial to these motoyakis to be able to stomach more than one. The oysters were small and not very fresh either.Image

The Salmon Teriyaki was a little dry but at least it was salmon with the lovely sweet sauce.

Finally, we all ended with Fruit Jello. These were generic, colorful, and kind of fun to play with. They were very jiggly and for someone in a deep food coma at midnight, it might be just the tad bit fascinating.Image

Ninkazu will satisfy your regular craving for generic Japanese food. If you are looking for anything remotely close to fine dining, go somewhere else. If you are just seeking out a place to catch up with friends over A LOT of food, this would be the place for you.

Ninkazu Japanese Restaurant 仁和日本料理 on Urbanspoon

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Out of the Water and Onto the Plate – 築地すし鮮 (Tsukiji Sushi Sen)

March 8, 2013
築地すし鮮 (Tsukiji Sushi Sen), Chūō, Tokyo, Japan
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とろろ茶碗蒸し {Chawanmushi}
イタキャタピラオーバーロール {Caterpillar Roll}
海鮮たっぷり丼 {Seafood Don}
玉子 {Tamago Sushi}
[Miso Soup]
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ImageAfter our incredibly cool visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market and looking at the variety of fresh catch of the day, we were craving to try some of the freshest seafood for ourselves. The samples we tried were so good that we could not pass up this opportunity for another amazing sushi lunch. Thus, we found the Tsukiji Sushi Sen and decided to step in.

We started off with complimentary とろろ茶碗蒸し {Chawanmushi}. The egg custard was so soft and delicate. I loved the shiitake mushrooms inside this traditional appetizer!Image

Casey opted for a very cute イタキャタピラオーバーロール {Caterpillar Roll}. The fish roe eyes just stared up at us. The seafood was very fresh and the avocado creamy. The salmon was really good and so was the rice. However, there was nothing amazing flavour-wise. The mayonnaise did not do much to elevate it. Image

I ordered the 海鮮たっぷり丼 {Seafood Don} with various pieces of fresh sashimi. The fish was incredibly fresh and of top quality. From left to right, I had (I think): octopus, halfbeak, pink snapper, salmon, squid, bluefin tuna, scallop, and medium fatty tuna. The bluefin tuna was especially tasty. The octopus (tako) and squid (ika) were so chewy and hard to eat. They were also very fishy. The other assortment were all decent and paired nicely with the bowl of tasty sushi rice. Image

Another friend ordered many pieces of 玉子 {Tamago Sushi}. The sweet egg was so fluffy and airy but firm enough. I love these sweet egg omelettes. These were particularly chewy over delicious vinegary rice. 

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The [Miso Soup] was very good as well since it was made from fish bones. I love a rich bowl of miso soup, not greasy and very refreshing and flavourful. This was such a great lunch and on this super warm and sunny day, our moods were all lightened and it was just delightful to be able to spend the final day in Japan this way. 

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A Memorable Morning – McDonald’s

March 7, 2013
McDonald’s, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
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ツナマフィン (Tuna Muffin)
チキンクリスプマフィン (Chicken Crisp Muffin)
マックホットドッグ クラシック (McHotdog Classic)
メガマフィン (Mega Muffin)
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ImageOne thing about vacations is that breakfast is utterly important. In this case, it was breakfast, lunch, and some more food for a snack whenever I am a little hungry. Walking for hours straight every day really makes you worn out! Thus, a good start is just crucial. While many of the other people get their onigiri fill from FamilyMart every morning, I decided to drop into McDonald’s. 

The ツナマフィン (Tuna Muffin) was simply good and delicious. The English muffin was nicely toasted and the lettuce crisp and refreshing. The tuna salad had plenty of mayo but was not overly creamy. The tuna was nice, savoury, and plenty good. Image

The チキンクリスプマフィン (Chicken Crisp Muffin) was interesting. Fried chicken and mustard for breakfast was new to me. However, the chicken was not too greasy and the mustard and lettuce cut into that richness nicely. On an English muffin, I guess it could count as breakfast.Image

I found it hilarious that Japanese McDonald’s served マックホットドッグ クラシック (McHotdog Classic) for breakfast. You cannot get more American than a hotdog, but for breakfast? The bun was airy and soft and the sausage was tender and juicy. It had a great bouncy texture and the taste of simplicity, especially with the mustard relish and ketchup. An interesting note is the combination of mustard and relish together, sweet, tangy, and with a kick!Image

Finally, the giant メガマフィン (Mega Muffin) was just awesome. Two savoury, seasoned sausage patties that were juicy, crispy bacon, fried egg, and a slice of cheddar cheese was just a combination of all the good breakfast stuff I am used to back home. Finally, I did not have to choose between bacon and sausage. I did like the tangy and sweet flavour provided by the ketchup, which is not present on the sandwiches in American McDonald’s despite being a popular choice at other restaurants and food establishment. 

Another thing I was truly impressed by was how quiet and clean the restaurant was, despite being almost full. Everyone had a book or newspaper open. I love how wonderfully educated the culture is in Japan! Imagine novels in McDonald’s – something you definitely do not see in the US. 

 

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Simple Yet Sophisticated Sushi – 鮨善

March 6, 2013
鮨善, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
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並すし {Average Sushi Set}
ちらし {Chirashi}
{Miso Soup}
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ImageI had been waiting ever since we got to Japan for some legit sushi. I mean, who goes to Japan without eating the best sushi ever? So, we all went as a group to 鮨善 in Minato. I loved the cushion seats and the whole feel of the restaurant. It was small but meticulous, with colorful photo depictions of all the different types on the walls in both Japanese and English.

I ordered a large (1.5 size) 並すし {Average Sushi Set} for 1580 yen. From the top left, going clockwise: tekkamaki (tuna roll), hirame (flounder), sayori (halfbeak), ebi (prawn), tamago (egg), maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellowtail), another maguro, iwashi (sardine), tako (octopus), and saba (mackerel). I like how the wasabi is already put in between the fish and the rice, and it was particularly strong and fresh. The rice was very chewy, a little underdone, the way I like it. The sweet and vinegar tastes were great. My favourites were the tamago and the tuna. The tako (octopus) was really hard to chew and some of the other fish were very fishy, especially the sardine, which I did not enjoy as much. The ebi was okay and I am not a sushi connoisseur to be able to comment on the hirami, sayori, hamachi, and saba.Image

The ちらし {Chirashi} was also an array of fish, some of which are the same as the lunch set. This had a lot of rice underneath so you can eat sashimi and rice in the ratio of your own choosing. I really enjoyed the pickled, yellow daikon and cucumbers in this one, as well as the side of what I believe is some mix of plum and seaweed. Actually, I’m not really sure, but it was salty and good!Image

Finally, they served everyone a bowl of miso soup that was made with fish bones. The broth was really savory and delicious, pairing with the sushi very nicely. Overall, this lunch was very satisfying for all of us!

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Fishy and Fresh – Sushi DO

February 21, 2013
Sushi DO, Philadelphia PA
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Albacore Tuna Roll
Chicken Gyoza

Chicken Teriyaki Bowl
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ImageDespite heading off to Tokyo soon, I was craving sushi and Japanese food. Thus, I made my way to Houston Hall’s Sushi DO to get my fill of fish and teriyaki.

The weekly special, Albacore Tuna Roll, was delicious despite being overpriced at $9.99. It had tuna inside and outside, covered with a spiced and sweet ginger miso sauce. The roll was freshly made and the sauce really brought out the great flavours of the fish.Image

The Chicken Gyoza was decent. The wrappers were not overcooked and the filling had a good amount of meat but also some crunchy cabbage. It was perhaps a little bland, but they did have the sesame soy sauce for dipping.

ImageThe Chicken Teriyaki Bowl was worth the $4.99 considering this is a campus dining area. It was simple, with the most tender, juicy chicken on top of a bed of decent rice, topped with a sweet teriyaki sauce. The two slices of cucumber added a certain refreshing taste but did not exactly go well with the dish. I would definitely get this again.

Overpriced sushi is what you get on campus, but at least it is fresh and the quality is decent enough even though it is far from amazing. 

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Cupid’s Heart – Dunkin’ Donuts

January 30, 2013
Dunkin’ Donuts, Philadelphia PA
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Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
Tuna Melt
Cupid’s Choice Donut
Brownie Batter Donut
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ImageWhen I want some comforting breakfast foods with some sweet treats, I head to Dunkin’ Donuts because they offer quite decent sandwiches and doughnuts. I appreciate the varieties that they offer, and the one on campus is more than half decent.Image

The new promotional sandwich was the Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich, which had a turkey sausage patty, fried egg, and cheese on a toasted English muffin. The sausage was savoury and somewhat juicy. It did not taste that different from a pork sausage patty, which is to say it was good. It was perhaps just a touch less fatty, as expected. The egg was done nicely and the rest of the sandwich was just as I had expected, fresh and comforting.Image

It was National Croissant Day so I also decided to try the Tuna Melt – tuna salad and a slice of cheddar cheese on a croissant. It was toasted nicely but the cheese was obscured by all the tuna flavour-wise. The tuna salad was very good, though. It was a little too watery, with perhaps a touch too much mayonnaise. There was that canned tuna and mayonnaise flavour that reminds me of my childhood. I liked the addition of the freshly diced celery to add crunch and texture.Image

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Dunkin’ Donuts offered some seasonal doughnuts. The Cupid’s Choice Donut was a heart-shaped doughnut filled with Bavarian cream and topped with strawberry frosting and Valentine heart sprinkles. I loved the combination of the cream and frosting, as they are my two favourite flavours.Image

The second one was the new Brownie Batter Donut, filled with chocolate brownie filling and topped with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. I liked the rough, sugary texture of the brownie batter filling. It was so sweet and chocolate-y, just like the frosting. For those who do not like very sweet chocolate, stay away. However, it was fine by me.Image

Dunkin’ Donuts is certainly coming up with some interesting twists to their doughnuts. After all, there are only so much you can do with filling and frosting. However, I would like to see some unique flavours soon, perhaps some exotic fruit flavour. That would be a nice addition.

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