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Everything posted by kobykoby

  1. Don't know too much about downtown - I'm in the area on business off and on and spend most of my time in the Lincolnshire ... suburban area - but I would recommend Sushi Kushi Toyo in Lake Forest - its quite authentic
  2. As a Steveston resident, I'll just ignore the gratuitous insult, and say yes, bring on the bakery. Talking to the owner, it isn't even design guidelines that he violated, he needed to apply for permits and stuff to renovate. He's a recent immigrant and didn't know. I was most pleased to hear that he has hired a builder to handle the stuff for city hall. He says it won't be long now - of course he was saying the same thing back in September. The building by the way was for years the Marine Grocery, complete with a meat counter with a real butcher and penny candies. I spent a couple of summers pumping gas (across the street and up a ways at the Texaco) - I won't reveal how long ago that was - but the Richmond Danish Bakery was still around, and the NIMBY people were still afraid to live where the odour of the canneries wafted.
  3. Sorry Andrew but I've had Yakitori at street stalls near the Yurakucho train station and there is no way that Zakkushi or what they offer resembles the real thing in Japan. For one thing, I'm not used to waiting 30 minutes for a skewer of yakitori to arrive in front of me. ← I probably didn't finish what I was going to post - which was to say that its not as good as at a street stall - so I agree - Certainly its not like Yurakucho station - less real atmosphere, more overall comfort - and washrooms - not to mention the Health Board. The food at Z is comparable to mid range places in Tokyo- and I didn't have to wait 30 minutes for a skewer. I thought that the tsukune at Zakkushi was well executed. I thought the service lacked polish, but that's typical when they hire "wa-holi" kids.
  4. Precisely - yakitori was served but there has never been an actual real honest-to-goodness yakitori restaurant here. Harken back to the days when Kobe, Aki, Maiko Gardens and Maneki were the pioneering Japanese restaurants and yes, there was yakitori. Celica-san you are quite right to point this out. But Zakkushi is an indication that Japanese restaurants have gone beyond Japanese (which will be increasingly the domain of "Japanese" restaurants) and into the realm of restaurants in Japan, which tend to specialize in specific foods. Examples so far: Modern Club (okonomiyaki) various Ramen joints Yoshokuya ("western" food Japanese style) We are still waiting for the commercially foolish itamae who decides to open an actual sushi place that doesn't serve udon... With the possible exception of New Yawk, and Rosu Angerusu, we are one of the few places outside of Japan (including Asia) to see this happening. This if anything points to the real acceptance of both Japanese and "Japanese" food in this region.
  5. To correct Jamie - Yakitori means grilled chicken ( or other bird ) - not the steaks at Kobe. Zakkushi is the most authentic yakitori place I think I've been to outside of Japan, maybe the only yakitori place I'd consider yakitori outside of Japan. Yakitori places serve pieces of chicken, skewered and grilled over charcoal. All of the chicken is involved, from breast fillet (sasami) to (and I haven't seen this outside of Japan) the underdeveloped eggs out of the chickens womb. (Although they don't go for baluts like in SE Asia). Tori means bird actually and can even include the smaller and cuter varieties - like thrushes and sparrows. The eastern equivalent of the ortolan I would say. Think of Bourdain sitting on an upended beer crate at a street stall under the train tracks in the Yurakucho district in Tokyo. Andrew
  6. A few things to point out. Salmon is not a fresh water fish, although born in fresh water commercially caught salmon and farm raised salmon are salt water fish. Any salmon farm or wild is subject to parasites. The popularity of salmon sashimi is only because of the modern practice of blast or flash freezing to very cold termperatures. This is why salmon is not a traditional sushi/sashimi fish. What is sold as "King Salmon" in Japan is generally farmed Atlantic salmon from Norway, New Zealand or British Columbia. Real King Salmon are a species also known as Chinook, found in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. Bottom fish are not just flat fish - they are fish that feed at the bottom. Cod for example are bottom fish.
  7. Glad I could be of help eatrustic. Getting a little further off topic but Nikuya Meats has some of the best Bentos in Vancouver. Too bad they don't offer the whole animal...
  8. The Japanese meat store on East Hastings - Nikuya Meats - has Japanese Kurobuta - sweet potato fed. 107-2828 E.Hastings St. Vancouver Tel:604-216-2983
  9. Tempura Ice Cream is on the menu at many specialty tempura restaurants in Japan. I first had some about thirty years ago in Osaka, recently had some at the Ten-ichi in Shibuya. I'm surprised that Kristen hasn't seen it yet.
  10. Not a high end food recommendation, but if yakitori is what you like... The Nagoya chicken specialty is deep fried chicken wings (tebasaki). There is a great chain of tebasaki places in the Nagoya region called Sekai no Yamachan http://www.yamachan.co.jp/index.html (website is Japanese only) Wings are deep fried, lots of pepper involved it seems, my visit also involved copious amounts of beer. I remember being taught the Nagoya way of eating wings, which is to stick a whole wing in your mouth and suck the meat off of the bones... I see that they've just opened a branch in Shin Okubo (Tokyo)
  11. Miso needs to be aged somewhat I suppose, but I don't think that its made to be aged once its in the package and on the store shelf. Miso used to be something that all Japanese families made for themselves at home - and back in the days before refrigeration. Some store bought misos contain "dashi". I also notice that shiro miso turns darker the longer you leave it - not good if your recipe requires a shiro miso.
  12. Not my favorite New Year's dish when I was a kid - but I like it now. Shiro miso soup, round mochi (not toasted) , sliced Daikon is it around my household. My Kanto born wife has had to adjust however.
  13. This just in - Asahi.com reports that a new "pastry theme park" will open in Jiyugaoka. Game publisher Namco will open the Jiyugaoka Sweet Forest on Nov. 21. It will feature the pastries of 12 of the best known pastry shops in Japan. The shops have chefs that have won international awards or have apprenticed in Europe. Admission is free. http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1120/011.html (in Japanese) Cool ...
  14. If you are down in the Shibuya/Ebisu area, check out La Boutique Taillevent Robuchon - under the Chateau restaurant in Ebisu Garden Place. If you stay at the Westin Tokyo (as I do when I'm there) its right across the street. More boulangerie than pastry, but good all around. Love the country loaves with tomato and black pepper. Love the tarte pommes.
  15. One more suggestion - Pajo's in Steveston - yes its the fish & chips joint, great cheeseburger.
  16. I live 10 minutes (walking) from Herringers. Gotta give them an endorsement. Try the peach pies at British Home on the corner of No. 1 and Moncton -- great. Another meat shop that might interest people Nikuya Meats on Broadway near Renfrew - Japanese meats including Wagyu, and really good bentos to go. Steveston seems to be lacking the really good seafood place that it deserves.
  17. A traditional dairy inclusive dish is Asuka Nabe - milk and miso - not as bad as cheese I guess. http://www.pref.nara.jp/nara_e/info/05.html Apparently dates from the Nara jidai.
  18. Packed up the kids to the baby sitters and had lunch with my wife at West Saturday. Lunch is about all we get out to together so we like to make them count. Notes about West. Room is beautiful. When we arrived, the room was mostly empty, and that seemed to make the background music seem a little loud, but it got better as the room started to fill out after about 1.00. The server that we had could have been better - she seemed annoyed when we only had water - and wound up not mentioning the special (grilled ocean perch - great fish) until after my wife had made her order, and I had asked about the soup. My wife had the Fish & Chips - terrific - she shared The fish had the authentic, batter fried look - but tasted wonderfully light chips were great too, although my personal preference is for matchstick frites. My wife loved the house "ketchup", but thought that the spicyness of it slightly overwhelmed the very light and well executed fish. I had the daily soup (green asparagus with bacon (pancetta?)) and curried turkey salad. My soup wasn't decorated with the sprig of something that I saw later on another bowl at a nearby table. Another oversight by the server? The turkey salad had a good balance between a very light curry taste, and the very slight bitterness of the endive. The food - sounding ordinary but executed wonderfully - was great. My wife says the food is "zanshin" -- forward. She preferred Pino's Enotecca, probably because the space there felt more intimate - not sure. West was way better than our last lunch out - at Diva - which was a disappointment. West was definitely worth the trip out from Steveston - even for lunch. Don't know if its the first one we'll go back to right now.
  19. Kall me Koby (for Kobayashi) Kusaya is favored by my in-laws in Tokyo. The smell is extremely fishy - doesn't taste as bad but the smell is really really hard to get around. Anybody out there tried funazushi? (Funa, a fresh water fish, is packed with cooked rice and salted, and is then allowed to ferment) Its supposed to be what inspired the creation of sushi as we know it.
  20. I like Moti, and Raj Mahal but anybody want to recommend one to take an Indian person? My favorite Indian restaurant in Japan was Gaylord in Kobe - but that was pre-earthquake - anybody know what happened to the place?
  21. My personal top three, Ika-no-shiokara (Salted squid guts) Kusaya (Dried fish dipped in a 300 year old special sauce) Funazushi (actually haven't tried it - sounds really bad)
  22. No updates on Aki - haven't been there since the move to Downtown. Likely not even the same owner as before. My experience with the place on Powell goes back to the early 70's when I would tag along with my father. Other places I recall from those days were Maneki and Koji. You rarely say a Caucasian in those places then, lots of clientele were members of the Konwakai - the Japanese businessmen's association. It is now in the space formerly occupied by Naniwaya - one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Vancouver sigh Naniwaya was pretty authentic as a Izakaya type restaurant, with a robata area Have to check out Aki I guess. Guu and other places catering to the working holiday visa crowd do a pretty good job of covering the Izakaya genre. Tojo's does not have a good rep in the Japanese expat community here. ------- By the way - I do not believe that there are any rules that say that fish in general must be frozen to be served as sashimi. I have certainly had live prawns at a couple of places in the past. Can Fat Guy provide more info on where he heard that? An article in the Vancouver Sun from a couple of years back indicated that blast freezing or flash freezing of fish was required to kill parasites but that this was not necessarily a practice followed in Vancouver sushi restaurants. Flash freezing does not use salt slurry - and if you've ever had hon maguro in Japan, 100% of it is handled this way. --------
  23. The name of the restaurant is that of its itamae/owner, Mr. Hidekazu Tojo. He's been part of the sushi scene in Vancouver since the days when Aki on Powell (where he started in Vancouver) was one of the only Japanese Restaurants in the city. Aki is now located near Robson, which is kind of the new Japantown, thanks to the student population.
  24. Engawa is usually the fin of hirame (sole) but can be karei (flounder) I've had it as the fin and bones of the fish, deep fried (kara-age), and then served with ponzu and momiji oroshi (radish with chili). The Merriam Webster dictionary says that fluke is a word for flatfish. News to me, but the Japanese-English dictionary I have also uses the word. Engawa literally means balcony - the sole having fins running the length of the body that are reminicent of the balcony of a traditional Japanese house.
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