Cafe de Waraku 和樂屋

When I first found out about this place I was super excited. Because finally you can get Japanese style pasta in Vancouver, they were the first one to open in Richmond (even though they are not opened by Japanese). This restaurant has been here for almost 4 to 5 years as I remember correctly, they used to only sell Japanese style pasta but later become a dessert café as well.

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They have special lunch/dinner combos where you can get a toast, salad/soup, pasta for around $12-16 dollars depending on which pasta you select.

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Their pasta is always cooked to al dente (perfect chewiness). I especially like their light/clear sauce. Usually toss lightly in a frying pan, great alternative to traditional Italian pasta.

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I always get a matcha latte from them because they are never sweetened. (Usually how I like my drinks, you can adjust your own liking.)

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This is a durian cheesecake. It is something that I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS get when I come here. I would not suggest it if you do not like durian (an exotic and strong aroma fruit from Thailand). But being a durian lover, I simply cannot resist it. Smooth, rich in durian flavour. There is nothing not to love about this cake.

I love this cozy quiet family run business, which I always get great service here. Never too too busy, great chat spot if you need to catch up lots.

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Beautiful Island 風信子台式料理

I have been to this bubble tea place numerous of times, from before they have renovated until now. I think this place has been around for almost ten plus years and still going. Reason? I believe good food and great value. They are a Taiwanese owned family business, used to be very homey with the older decor. Right now the interior looks much more modern and sleek. Their menu has also changed after the renovation, it sells mainly meal combos much like any other Taiwanese bubble tea places. Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Their combo usually comes with a small cup of black tea (lightly sweeten), a bowl of rice, and three small side dishes (vegetables two hot and one cold) – soy sauce braised tofu  (I find this one quite salty for my liking, need to remove it from the sauce to prevent further soaking of the sauce), stir fried cabbage and picked cucumbers.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Simmer-fried fish steak – deep fried fish steak then topped with sweet soy sauce. When this was eaten fresh, you get to taste the crunch and crisp of the fish. But need to eat the moment they serve it because the sauce will deflate the crisp really fast and turns into not so good fish. Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Exif_JPEG_PICTURE BI Flame Grilled Chicken – house made sauce marinated chicken then flame grilled. There is a special aroma and somewhat close to teriyaki sauce but it is not. Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Buttered mushrooms. I find this one a little too casual, I know this is a family run restaurant but this mushroom was watering like crazy plus I think they’ve chopped everything up way too much made it very hard to pick up with all the water. Exif_JPEG_PICTUREScallion Ginger Chicken – steamed boneless chicken topped with onion and ginger sauce served chilled. This is my favourite so far out of all the ones I’ve tried so far. Delicious ginger onion sauce on top of cold boneless tender chicken, the texture and the flavour is so perfect together. And yes reminds me of home. Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Grass Jelly Milk – okay I don’t know where I’ve been but obviously I had been missing out. How come I never noticed they have this? Lightly sweeten grass jelly in sweet milk, the grass jelly I believe are also house made because they’re very soft and can be sucked through a straw. I couldn’t stop myself from drinking this and got full really fast. :p This place have always have good food, but do not expect service. I consider this an easy quiet bubble tea place I often visit to avoid crowd so I can talk to the people I share food with.

 

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Basho Cafe

It was one heavy rain afternoon, my girlfriends and I came out to meet for a Saturday afternoon catch up. This place gets pretty packed on weekend afternoon, so we had to come back later (an hour before they close up). Then I return for a early brunch visit with my family.

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This is such an adorable restaurant, every corner of this place shouts cute. This cafe is ran by a friendly Japanese family. Their decor reminds me greatly of Cafe de L’Organerie near Granville. 🙂

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Pot of loose leaf tea, they only have small collection of tea (I would say around 5-7 types). Served with black sesame butter cookies. They have a variety of cookies, small cakes, scones and other baked goods displayed.

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Tuna Tataki (seared tuna) lunch set – similar to the grilled vegetables lunch sets comes with salad, baked good, soup and tea. Delicious tuna tataki with yuzu(?), which brought the flavour of the tuna out lightly without overpowering it.

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Soy milk matcha latte – for almost any drink you order I notice they always give you a small piece of cookie. This matcha latte is smooth and not too sweet, very delicious.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Eat-In Lunch Set – comes with a few cookies as sweets, grilled vegetables on rice, salad, soup and a cup of tea. The colourful vegetables presented on a tray along with other colourful small cups and bowls. The vegetables were fresh and I especially loved the pumpkin mash – oh so tasty.

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For the baked goods, we got matcha cranberry cookie, mochi brownie. I LOVED the mochi brownie, I don’t know if this already existed long time ago but it was my first time discovering it. It was rich in chocolate but with a mochi texture, very chewy and bouncy. I am in love, it even made me attempt to make it at home later too! So much fun. 🙂Exif_JPEG_PICTURE
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Black sesame cookie and miso madeleine – the miso madeleine was very strong in miso flavour therefore is salty. It was very interesting, I wouldn’t say I love or hate it. Though I think many will find this kind of odd. Black sesame cookies were delicious, I had to order another piece. :pExif_JPEG_PICTURE

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Breakfast Scone Sandwich – basically what it looks like. A scone cut open with an egg and a slice of tomatoe (similar to the BLT concept.)


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Another thing that I have noticed is that there are lot of home made textile pieces in this restaurant, from coaster to pot warmer all either knitted or stitch patches. Gives you the feeling of grandma’s place. :3

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Overall I really like this place, although I think might be a tad bit (tad bit) hyped. It is cute and cozy with friendly staff service and great place to sit and chat with some friends. (Hard to get to without a vehicle in my opinion.) Everything they serve are done with delicacy and care which I really give props for that. I would revisit for sure!

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Memory Corner

My friend first recommended me to go try out their ‘plant’ dessert. I know this sounds a little confusing, but you will see when you get there and order it yourself. It is named “Potted Style” on their menu. She told me how adorable they look, so I said to her sure we will go and give it a try.

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This newly opened bubble tea place across of Richmond City Hall named Memory Corner has very interesting décor inside. Heard from a friend who knows the owner that original owner is from Taiwan, they ran a small noodle place in Taiwan and now their children and grand child opens this one to continue the flavor from the past. The first thing I noticed about the store is the two giant dolls at the back. (Which I did not take photos of, but go see yourself!) They looked beautiful! There are also small little doll and authentic Japanese and Taiwanese décor throughout the restaurant. I liked the simple rustic feeling it gives.

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It was early dinner time for me, was going to order the potted style dessert (which is ice cream at the bottom with Oreo cookie crumbs on top and a little basil leaf on top to make it look like a potted plant) but the sea salt milk cap tea caught my eye. I ended up ordering the fresh fruits sea salt milk cap tea with a bowl of Taiwan style minced meat on rice.

Fresh Fruits Sea Salt Milk Cap Tea – made with fresh fruits (bits) black tea with a layer of foam on top. Let me introduce you to milk ca: this is brought over from Taiwan, very very popular new drink over taking bubble tea already couple years ago. It is made from whipping cream and sea salt. It is very interesting, they will always provide you with a straw but you should try to drink it without. So you can get the flavor of the sweet tea and a bit of the foaming milk cap along with sea salt after taste. I know it sounds weird but it is a very good combination. Try it, any flavor you like.

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My minced meat on rice took a very very long time, because they forgot my order. But the waitress was very apologetic about forgetting my mail and delivered it right away after I asked her about it. This is a very classic Taiwanese dish, easy and fast. But I like how this one isn’t too fat or oily and also has a little bit of over cooked rice bits (if you had rice cooked in clay pots by any Cantonese restaurant you will know this is gold).

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This restaurant sells authentic Taiwanese food, I would say their food is good. (I also get to try a bit of my friend’s sesame oil chicken noodle soup.) Maybe I little salty I would say but I would say all Taiwanese food is on the salty side. However if you are looking for a quick bite I would suggest some where else. Because the kitchen is ran by one lady and the food does not come out fast. You need to wait…. For a while….

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Next time try out that ice cream in pot! 🙂

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Euro Bagel Cafe

It was a Saturday morning looking for a brunch place for coffee and sandwiches, so we ended up on Commercial Drive. With the name of little Italy, Commercial Drive is full of cafes that sells delicious sandwiches and coffee. Then I found this place, nothing special about the entrance and looks a little outdated. But I am so happy I walked into and gave it a try.

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What a cute café, mimicking an European café with different flags and signs and lamp posts in the restaurants. With lots of vintage look oil canvas, chalk board menu etc, their decoration gave the name Euro Bagel Café its true meaning.

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At first I thought it was those you order first then you take a seat type of self serve café but the owner came out and asked us to sit down and gave us a menu. Then we ordered:

 

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Bagelwich Florentine – Two eggs, spinach, tomato & cream cheese

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Bagels are soft!!! Nothing very stiff and hard to tear (similar to Timmy’s bagel) but this one is so soft! Almost like bread. Delicious egg, spinach and tomato combination and of course the magic of cream cheese. 🙂 But I just cannot get over the soft bagel, after the first bite I told myself, I am coming back here. I am.

Crepe Turkey, Mushroom & Swiss

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Chewy crepe, similar to the Japanese convenient store in Downtown Robson. The crepe is good, I liked the perfect tender and chewiness. However I find this one salty. I know it’s not the crepe, it’s something in the filling – perhaps the cheese or turkey?? I would say overly salty.

As I was enjoying my breakfast, I notice they are quite busy. Lots of to go orders and you can also sit outside (on a sunny day).  I truly like this place, aside from the very salty ham or cheese. But it’s the atmosphere it gives when I am there. I for a slight moment felt Europe. 😉 (But of course, I can’t say because I have never been. 😥 ) I need to come back and try their sweet crepe perhaps with a cappuccino for an afternoon chat.

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Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria

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When it first opened, my friend recommended me go try them out. So I did! This location used to be Anducci’s (if anyone still remember this). I was seated outside, so I cannot tell if it was renovated from Auducci’s, but I believe not much have changed.

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Cotto still served Italian dishes, with wood fire brick forno pizzas. (Similar items to Anducci’s.) So of course we had to order pasta and pizza to complete our casual Italian dinner at Cotto.

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Looking at some of the signature dishes we found the Pizza Cotto – Yukon Gold potato, Sloping Hill pancetta, fried brussel sprout leaves, Gorgonzola dolce, fonduta

I enjoyed the flavours of this pizza, quite subtle but very tasty. However the brussel sprout leaves were quite bitter (I never had it before, this is my first time), but I think it would taste much better without the bitter leaves. 😛

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Papardelle Carbonara – Two Rivers guanciale, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, roast garlic, 63 degree egg. Now what is 63 degree egg, did they actually measured that when they cooked it? 😄 But regardless this is a delicious pasta with the pata cooked just right.

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For dessert, I’ve ordered the Salted Caramel Budino – Butterscotch pudding, Maldon sea salt, rosemary biscotti. Ohh, this was so yummy! I never had butterscotch pudding but this tasted delicious with sea salt. However the pudding is quite sweet, would be nicer if a little bit less sweet. Rosemary biscotti was also very tasty with the soft smooth butterscotch pudding. I am getting hungry just thinking about this. 😀

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Even thought Cotto seems to be in a location that not much people would notice, but it was a quite a hidden neighbourhood gem. I wouldn’t mind going back to it again maybe with a few more friends to try out their bar. 🙂

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Jethro’s Fine Grub

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It was a while back when I came here to Jethro’s Fine Grub, on a Sunday morning in the nice hot summer. Around 1030am in the morning I had to wait about 20mins to get a seat for two. Then I see the giant line build up as I enjoy my meal. This is a very busy place so to avoid waiting, I would suggest getting there as early as possible. They open at 8am anyways. 🙂

Love their logo board, so had to take a photo!!

sauces

The sauce that was given to us after we have placed our order. That is a lot of sauces, maybe more than what I need. But I tried everything to see what they were. 😛

French Toast

Chocolate-Chip Banana Bread French Toast Topped with caramelized bananas and whipped cream. Oh this is one heart-attack breakfast but it was so delicious!! I love the super soft and fluffy french toast!! (I’m a sucker for french toast, even the Hong Kong style one!!!) The caramelized bananas along with the whipped cream was so yummy. I think it was sweet enough without further syrup, but if you are a crazy sweet tooth, you can use any of the above sauces! 😛

Sorry I can’t remember the name of this, but this is like a tuna melt with cheddar and covered with egg. This tuna melt is delicious with the green hot sauce they have provided. I really enjoyed this also.

Really I love to revisit often if I live around the area and that there will be less line up. But once in a while I really don’t mind. I recommend coming in small groups so you don’t have to wait as long.

 Jethro's Fine Grub on Urbanspoon

Fable Kitchen

Dined here with a group of 8, glad that I’ve made a reservation because this is one busy restaurant! I wasn’t feeling too hungry, and not meaty… so I ordered a beet salad and mushroom flat bread to share with my friend. Even though these are appetizer sizes, they seem to be quite large for me. I couldn’t finish my share of the dishes.

Beet Salad (sorry for the blurry photo, it was so dark in there I couldn’t control my hand from shaking! 😥 )

Beet Salad

I absolutely love beet, maybe it’s the sweet or maybe it’s the colors? Whatever it is, it was a pleasure to look at and a delight to eat. Sweet beets with Herb yogurt and quinoa and coffee streusel. I have never eaten coffee streusel (or streusel of any sort before), I couldn’t understand what it was and had to go online to look. 😛 They are very similar to bread crumbs but a little bit more crispy, almost had this deep fried texture to them. However it was delicious with the salad. Brings out the sweet flavours of beet salad. A very tasty beet salad.

Mushroom Flat Bread served with Olive oil, arugula, parmesan

Mushroom Flat Bread

This mushroom flat bread is as large as a small size pizza. I think this is what mostly filled me up. This is another very interesting sweet dish, I am not quite sure where did the sweet come from. Onions? Mushroom? I was very clueless where did the sweetness came from, it was really sweet (not something that taste like sugary but something very natural). But regardless what the sweet is, I just couldn’t help but kept eating it!! (Though I got quite full quickly and it was a little messy to eat.)
I think I remember Fable originally was Wet Bar? Anyways this is a great comfort food place to go on W4th with a size no larger than 6-8 to be comfortably seated and intimate enough to talk. (This is an energetic restaurant, therefore has medium-high noise.)

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Purple Olives Grill

Found this restaurant on Thurlow, off Robson. I never knew or heard of this restaurant, and was hungry for food after a day of Christmas shopping. So I landed here with a girlfriend. When we first entered the restaurant, the first thing I noticed is that there is no one in there… (That’s usually not a good sign.)

We sat for a bit before the waitress came to help us, and after we have decided what to order we had to wait some more for her to come help us again. (She is the only staff working at this quite large restaurant.)

While we waited for our food, I looked around at the decor and such. It’s a very dark restaurant but decent decor. But seems like the food doesn’t live up to the looks. (Yes very dark to a point I couldn’t really get any sharp pictures and food presentation weren’t too presentable either.)

I used my groupon where I can get two appetizers and a main course for only 15.00/person.

Clam chowder – served with garlic toast. This is ok, at least it didn’t taste like canned soup. There are chunks of potato and clams to munch on. Though the garlic toast was not very crispy. Yes it was soggy. 😦

Second appetizer is the caesar salad with shrimp – okay maybe I should have expected it but the shrimp were frozen, tiny (I call them immature shrimps) and too salted. The caesar salad had way too much sauce that all the lettuce were soggy. (Too many soggy in one meal.)

Last is my purple olive ribs – honey sauce. The ribs are good, they were tender and not too much flavouring. And it was a very large rack also (considering I am using a coupon.)

Also got to try out my friend’s New York steak with prawns (these prawns are actual size. :P) Steak at medium rare was decent, a little lack of sauce (haha either too much sauce or no sauce. XD)

I am not quite sure if I’ll revisit. Nothing really impressed me.

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Save On Meats Diner

I noticed this place because of its crazy neon signs. In Vancouver, restaurants that still uses neon signs to get attention is being more scarce. When I spotted the neon signs, I thought it was a butcher shop. Then I realize I am right, there is a butcher shop and the diner right next to it. Seeing the full house every time passing by, I told myself to give it a try.

When I entered, I notice everything looks and feel like an old vintage diner. The decor is screaming vintage and I loved every bit of it. (I am basis because I wanted a kitchen that looks vintage :P) Though I don’t know looking vintage and feeling dirty is supposed to be portrayed simultaneously. The chair that I was sitting on (didn’t get to sit on booths) was broken (plastic ripped wide open). The menu that I was looking at were sticky – like literally… and a smell of old syrup. I’m guessing someone spilled syrup on it but no one bother to clean it – it was sticky to touch, I’m sure someone noticed.

Anyways, so after I order I had to run to the washroom and wash my hands free of syrup. The food arrived a little bit slow, the pot pie was steaming hot where as the openface sandwich is cold. Maybe cause it was waiting for the potpie (though I would think they should know how to control that well.)

The pot pie like I said came out steaming hot, with very finely mashed potato on the side. The smoked turkey is very yummy, the pot pie is also very satisfying (considering the size, it was small – about 2.5″ in diameter). I could barely finish it. But I like the smokey turkey, it was so nicely smoked. It tasted so yummy with steam 😛

 

Open face roast chicken sandwich with lots of gravy (but still not enough!) because the chicken and the fries are very dry. Especially the chicken, so we could totally do a little more gravy. Though it already looks overflowing the moment it came out. I believe that this would taste very delicious if it’s hot so the gravy would be more liquify to spread.

I am not sure if I’ll revisit consider the cleanliness of the diner. I don’t think a diner has to be dirty, and I just cannot deal with dirty restaurants. (I know they cannot be perfectly clean, but at least don’t let me see it. 😦 )

Save On Meats on Urbanspoon