Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vancouver - Guu Izakaya

For our last dinner in Vancouver, we decided to try Guu (I found this from the same visitor's guidebook that had Joe Fortes). The place is very dim, and most of the seats are counter seating. This is totally not a place for you if you want a quiet relaxing dinner. The waitresses and chefs holler welcome, bye, whenever food is ready etc etc so by the end of the meal, I was very weary of new people walking in because a chorus of 'Irashaimassssssssssssssu'-es would interrupt my meal."Pumpkin Croquette Ball" Inside Egg with Original Sauce CAD $3.60
A hard boiled egg encased in sweet pumpkin puree, deep fried and doused with Guu's creamy and tangy sauce and garnished with pumpkin chips.
Peashoot salad (can't remember the price)
Fresh Local Seafood "Sashimi Calpaccio" with Wasabi Mayonnaise Sauce CAD $6.50
The sashimi here wasn't as fresh as I'd expected it to be - but it's v cheap nonetheless. I think I would go for the cooked food if I ever come back.
Grilled Black Cod with Miso Mayonnaise Sauce CAD $6.30
The cod was flakey and oily, and it was not overly salty. I liked how the chef takes the time to present each dish nicely.
Grilled Scallops with Garlic Butter & Toast CAD $5.60
This dish was pretty unique - most of Guu's cooked dishes are. The scallops were very sweet but slightly overcooked, so they were a bit too chewy. The garlic bread was toasted and lightly crisped, and evenly buttered.
The cooked food at Guu exceeded my expectations, and the prices are really very affordable. Fortunately, I don't have a nervous predisposition or I'm pretty sure that after sitting through a whole meal with sudden enthusiastic choruses of irashaimasu-es I'll be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

838 Thurlow Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V6E 1W2
Tel: 604-685-8817

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vancouver/Alaska - Random Scenery and Food

1/2LB Alaskan King crab at Skagway. Eating alaskan crab was our number 1 pioritory on our must-do list in alaska. Well, the crabs are all legs, and I much prefer the softer, whiter and flakier meat from the body whenever I eat crabs. Alaskan crabs have very small bodies, which are discarded. Which I think is quite a waste. I'm pretty sure that theres lots of meat under the body.
Stuffed Halibut - it was very costly I think it was CAD $22 (SGD $33) for this and the fish wasn't very big. There was lots of rice though. And the halibut was stuffed with cheese and shrimp.
Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Brown bear in the wild, seen on the way up to Mendenhall GlacierAnother brown bear, seen at Icy Strait Point.
Humpback whale (tail) in Juneau
Another humpback whale in Juneau
1wk old baby beluga whale in Vancouver aquarium.
Inukshuk in Whistler - for the 2010 Olympic Games. Whistler's slopes are used as a mountain bicycle track during the summer. Vegeterian burger from some random cafe at Whistler. It has brown rice, chick peas and some grilled veggies in the patty.
Yukon Valley & White Pass
Edincott Glacier
I'll be posting on 1 more restaurant in Vancouver, and the food I ate on transit, then it'll be back to sgp food!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vancouver - Go Fish and Grandville Island Market

Go Fish is a very popular seafood shack in Vancouver. It's literally a container - and the que for lunch is total madness. I found out about this place from one of the visitor guides, which had a rave review on the place. We were there for lunch on Saturday - they open at 12noon (and not a second earlier) and even before they opened, there was a que of about 10 people. I thought that such mad queueing only existed in kiasu Singapore...I got their daily special seafood, which was salmon with teriyaki sauce on a bed of salad. Cod fish and chips. There's a choice of cod, salmon or halibut. I thought that the portions would be very large, but retrospectively, I should have ordered 2 pieces of fish. The fish was really very measley and I felt very cheated cos I queued so long for my miserable amount of food.
Go Fish overlooks a small dock - but it was very hot the day I went so I didn't enjoy sitting under the sun (it's al fresco and doesn't have a roof/shade).This dog's owners were queueing up infront of me and the poor dog was so hot it was panting and salivating all over the pavement. Random cakeshop in Grandville Island market. I didn't get any cakes, but I did get some almond butter (it's peanut butter made with almonds) and halva.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vancouver - Japadog

Half a normal hotdog from a random hotdog stand along Robson street. Hotdog from Japadog - with Japanese toppings - including bonito flakes, seaweed, teriyaki sauce and japanese mayonnaise. Actually, the first time I saw the hotdog stand I just walked right past it cos the que was so long and I was very tired so I refused to que. The next day, I was reading this newspaper which had a full page articl on the Japa dog, with a huge picture of the hotdog stand. Just as well, cos I'd have missed eating a Kurobuta pork hotdog.
Its supposedly kurobuta pork, but after being processed and salted, even if it were normal pork I won't know. It's extremely juicy and oily, and very salty. I tried the kurobuta teri mayo and the kurobuta oknomi. There's a slight difference in the ingredients - the okonomi has cabbage and the terimayo has seaweed, but basically, it's the same toppings: teriyaki sauce, bonito flakes and lots of jap mayo.
Their rather extensive menu - one of their angmoh customer actually stopped the guy from squeezing Japanese mayo onto the hotdog until they explained what it was! He was looking very suspiciously at the mayo bottle too! Lol! Jap mayo makes everything taste nice. They're pretty efficient -one guy cooks, one takes orders, and the last one puts all the sauces on. Their poster of famous people who have eaten their hotdogs - including Anthony Bourdain.
Actually, Im not even sure if they serve this kind of hotdog in Japan? Oh well, the people in Vancouver seem to like it - there's also quite a high proportion of Asians in the que. A kurobuta pork hot dog costs CAD$6.25, which roughly translates to slightly less than SGD$9 o_O SGD$18 for my hotdogs - I think it's worth the experience but I don't think I'm going back to eat alot more.
Their website - with a map on how to find them:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Vancouver - Joe Fortes (Lunch)

We were very impressed by our dinner the night before, and we were too stuffed to order any (more) oysters, so we returned the next day for lunch and more oysters. Joe Fortes serves lunch from 11 to 4pm. Their most crowded period is between 12 and 2pm, so we went there after 2pm. We ordered a dozen oysters in total. We had the Kusshi and the Kumamoto.
The menu even gives a description of the oyster's aspperance and taste.
Premium West Coast ($19.95 per half Dozen)
Kusshi Cortes Island, B.C - smaller, smooth, deep cut, mild salty flavour, sweet finish
Kumamoto Washington - small size, deep cut, rich buttery, salt flavour, sweet light finish
West Coast ($14.95 per 1/2 dozen)
Chef Creek Vancouver Island, B.C. - round deep cup, salty, sweet flavour
Fanny Bay Baynes Sound, B.C - plump and firm, salty, sweet cucumber flavour
The premium west coast oysters were much smaller than the un-premium west coast oysters. Being Singaporean, and since my taste buds aren't extremely sharp, the west coast oysters are definitely more value for money - they're both very fresh and the difference in taste is very very subtle. Overall, I couldn't really taste what the menu described (especially the 'cucumber flavour'). There's a very small difference in the taste and texture, but if I had to choose my favourite, I'll go with the Kusshi oyster. But give me any kind of oyster from anywhere, just as long as it's fresh and raw, I'll eat it ;)The lunch menu - any 2 dishes (appetiser/ main / dessert) for a very affordable $13.95.
Caesar salad - quite a good portion, and it was drenched in sauce.
New England Clam Chowder - very tasty and not so salty. There was lots of seafood pieces inside too.
Steelhead Salmon with Jasmine Rice and extra virgin olive oil. I think it was cooked on a cedar board cos there was this sweet woody.
My salmon was medium rare and the inside was all nice and semi-raw. Delicious! I'm missing sashimi now!
The other main we tried was the Prawn Linguini. 3 pieces of tiger prawn in marinara sauce. I thought that this dish wasn't that fantastic - we should have ordered 2 salmons instead. Oh well, I guess it's good to give everything a try.
Joe Fortes
777 Thurlow Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 3V5,
Canada(604) 669-1940‎

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vancouver - Joe Fortes (Dinner)

Excitingness! For the next few posts, I'm going to blogging about the food I ate on my holiday! And maybe some other random stuff that I saw. Joe Fortes is a pretty famous seafood restaurant in Vancouver - it's located near the Robson Street shopping area (where there's quite alot of shops, and it was very near my hotel). It's pretty crowded - fortunately we managed to get the second seating (8pm) on a Sunday evening. Bread basket - it comes with whipped butter Joe's Seafood Tower on Ice (One Tier - CAD$49.00)
Since Vancouver is located near the sea, I wanted to try as much seafood as possible. The seafood tower on ice has a wide variety of seafood - marinated mussels, cold pached shrimp, grilled and chilled calamari, marinated scallops (pity they were cooked!) albacore tuna tataki, manila clas, dungeness crab and local oysters.

The shrimp is very fresh - its texture is exactly like the Crystal Jade bicarbonated prawns, but it is very tasty. They even de-vein all the shrimps.
The albacore tuna tataki isn't like a tataki (seared at the side) at all. It's sashimi. Albacore tuna is also known as 'white fleshed tuna'. I didn't know this when I was eating it, so I was wondering how come the tuna looked like an albino tuna. We also had the 1 LB of Alaskan King Crab Legs with butter (CAD$54.96) which was served with jasmine rice and steamed asparagus. Since we were sharing, our waiter helped us separate crab into 2 portions.
The crab legs are really meaty, and they don't serve the tips of the legs (unlike this other restaurant I went to in Skagway). The meat is really very sweet and it tastes wonderful on it's own, even without the butter.
I liked the way they prepared the crab - they slice the shell open, so you don't have to do much work to remove the flesh. Also, they give warm towels to you after you finish attacking the crab.
We liked the restaurant so much that we returned the next day for lunch (which is very value for money)!

The dress code is smart casual, and they have live music on weekends. The service is very good - unpretentious, brisk and efficient. Our waiter Michael told us what what we ordered was more than enough for 2 people, and recommended us not to order any appetisers. Of course, he was right and we were stuffed after the meal. Extra points cos they also serve iced water.
Joe Fortes
777 Thurlow Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 3V5,
(604) 669-1940‎