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  1. I agree with Canucklehead and Kentan, Kingyo is my favourite and I think it's the best. Definition of izakaya is quite broad so I would still consider Zakkushi an izakaya. Aki on Thurlow could almost be bunched in as an izakaya as well.
  2. Many dishes from Hokkaido use butter. Japanese cooking = soy + (fill in the blank, pretty much anything goes) My mother grew up in Hokkaido during the war and she was the fortunate one who actually had food. They use to put butter in miso soup to add extra richness in flavour. Pretty rich for those days huh? My dad who grew up in Tokyo where food was scares can't believe these "rural" tales.
  3. Breathe Lesley breathe. This is all good news for the city. We all come on here talking about what was good and bad but it's all about business at the end of the day. When has an executive chef of any major restaurant group gotten their kitchen apron dirty anyway? (I'm kidding...) We locals all know how marvelous our culinary scene is, but with a big name it draws additional attention from outsiders and world travellers. I'm tickled pink:) Boulud would have come to Vancouver whether it was through Sidoos or by camping in the restaurant space in Holts.
  4. Meh... I'm clearly not getting it. I've tried this place out a few times and I'm still not impressed.
  5. It's been two years since I've been in Atlanta, but when I use to go there on business I loved going to Nan Thai Fine Dining. I never expected to find an amazing Thai restaurant in Atlanta!! The more casual restaurant run by the same people is called Tamarind, also great and also in Midtown area.
  6. In the Japanese Fine Dining category, Octapus' Garden is included in this category! Fine dining? I'm not sure I agree...
  7. I was in Shinjuku last December on the grand opening day of the first Krispy Kreme store in Japan. The line up was unbelievably long, it was almost as long as the line up for Playstation 3! I'm curious how they're received now... there's a commonly used expression especially by women in Japan, "amasugi" meaning "too sweet", and I think the traditional glazed donut from Krispy Kreme is definitely "amasugi". My new favourite donut place is in Seattle, called Top Pot. Some of their donuts resemble Donut Plant's glazed donuts. If you're ever visiting Seattle to go see Ichiro it's worth a quick visit!
  8. rumball! Thank you for your info. You're lucky you're in NY, you can probably find anything there. I use to love going to Veselka in East Village, nothing beats a hearty bowl of borscht late night after clubbing... but that was many many years ago! If only I had Russian friends with grandmothers who can make me home cooked dinner.... my husband's babushka (he is 1/4 Russian) unfortunately never cooked I will have to get out of my bubble and venture out to the burbs this weekend for pirozhki!
  9. Senses is apparently closing this weekend. Too bad... I use to buy their mocha and brioche every morning when I worked around there. I'm rarely in N. Van, it seems like such a hike to go buy Thomas Haas pastries. Does anyone know whether they'll re-open in another location?
  10. Vancouver & BBQ Brian, thank you so much for all of your suggestions! I must go visit these places this weekend, I need to maintain my high carbs diet!!!! (sorry for using the D word on eGullet...) Is piroshky really the same thing as perogies? I did a bit of searching on the web and many sites describe them as bread or pie-like turnovers. Apparently it's also called pirozhok (singular) pirozhiki (plural). There use to be a lovely Russian Ukranian resturant on Main Street next to Heritage Hall (near 14th) that served the best perogies and piroshkys. What was interesting was, the restaurant was always full of Chinese people. Those perogies must be reminiscent of dim sum dumplings maybe...? Does anyone know what happened to that restaurant? Did the close permanently or did they move?
  11. As an out of towner who visits NY frequently, I would go to WD hands down. Their dishes are a lot more memorable because of unique creativity. Both great restaurants though!
  12. I was in Seattle last weekend and stopped by my favourite place in Pike Market, Piroshky Piroshky! This made me think, where in Vancouver can I find good piroshky? Is there a Russian bakery somewhere in this city???? I was walking by the Russian community centre on 4th yesterday and saw a sign about someone taking orders for piroshkys for Easter but didn't take the number down (I'm sure it's too late now...). I don't want to wait once a month like the pyrogies served at that church on Quebec St!!! There must be a bakery somewhere in Vancouver!
  13. I love this movie. Not that this is relevant to the original post, the big bald man who slurps his pasta in a restaurant during the etiquette lesson is a famous French pastry chef A. Lecomte. Itami loved his pastries and he asked him to do a cameo. His patisserie was very famous in the 80's, it's still around but since he passed away it hasn't been the same. I think they still have a spot in Isetan Shinjuku debachika (department store basement). He use to make the best eclairs.
  14. When you enter they say "irrashaimaseeeeeeeee!!!" which means welcome, but when a guest leaves often they say "arigato gozaimashitaaaaaaaaa" meaning simply... thank you. One thing I love about izakaya is, although their business is based on alcohol sales most often servers don't make you feel guilty not ordering alcoholic beverages. I'm guessing they're use to dealing with Japanese people with low alcohol tolerance. Does anyone know where I can buy those enzymes I'm lacking???? In certain establishments, if one orders virgin mojitos (no rum minty lime drink!) they will boldly refuse to serve it to you (coughBuddhaBarinNYcough)!! It's not my fault I have a mild alcohol allergy. Having said that, I certainly won't turn down a glass of Pichon Longueville! So back to zakkushi, I agree with LordBalthazar it's very authentic and food was pretty good. The decor is very wabi sabi (in an aesthetic sense, not that restaurant that closed down on 10th) and I love the contrast you get with all the action and noise. I particularly enjoyed their salads and traditional tsukune gets my thumbs up. Has anyone tried the new izakaya on Denman called Kingyo? That's my next stop.
  15. Cha kaiseki is traditionally vegetarian although you will find sometimes sashimi and some meat dishes are served recently. It starts with a soup dish (there could be one or two) then about 3 vegetable dishes that are "shun" meaning in season along with pickles and rice. It's not my most favourite form of Japanese food... I associate sore knees from sitting in seiza position (knees tucked in doing wonders to your knee ligaments) for a good hour to four hours! It's really not about the food, rather the ritual and discipline behind the tea ceremony. Dishes used and presentation is very important too. I'm sorry I don't have any web sites that I can recommend but if you google cha kaiseki there's lots that show up. Also try words like omotesenke, urasenke, senorikyu etc... I can ask my teacher in Japan questions too but she's getting up there in age!
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