Maria and I tried to go to Pepper Lunch during the evening, but the hype was still too real. Pepper Lunch was so packed that we couldn't place an order. We'll try again in a month or two; let the hype die down. We wandered around for a bit and discovered Hakata Ramen. It was a small homey ramen restaurant. Nothing spectacular about the decor. The service was friendly. The menu was straight to the point, nothing more and nothing less. We ordered the Gyoza, Shoyu Ramen, Tomato Ramen and Chicken Karaage. The Gyoza was meh, nothing special alarmed me. The Shoyu Ramen was decent. It was salty but not in a soy sauce salty way that I was hoping. The noodle was alright; it was more on the soft side while I like it firm with a bit of a chew. The Cha Su was lean and chewy, and I didn't think it gave the broth any texture or depth. On the other hand, Maria liked her Tomato Ramen. It was very tomatoey was how she described it. The Chicken Karaage were amazing. It was crispy, soft, and juicy. The only issue with this dish was that it was drenched with Teriyaki sauce. Next time, I'll ask them to hold the sauce or put it on the side. I also think they used white meat/breast instead of dark meat. The portion sizing and pricing were average. Overall it was an okay experience.
Verdict: I wouldn't come back unless it were to try the Tomato Ramen and the Chicken Karaage without the Teriyaki sauce.
Another grail is in my possession. This time it was the Lebron X (10) "Cork". When Lebron James won his first championship in 2012-2013, I knew Nike was brewing something special in his honors. The result was the Lebron X (10) "Cork. The execution of this pair was one of its kinds and phenomenal. Who would've thought to put cork on a shoe? I was blown away. First of its kind. Way better than the corks coming out today. I hate it when a company slaps on the hottest trend on every shoe model. For example, 3M, South Beach / Yeezy colorway. When the shoe first released it was mayhem, and I was unlucky. It instantly sold out. It took a couple of years, but I finally got my pair.
I'll keep it short and simple. Another sneaker collaboration between Adidas, Undefeated and Bape. My love for Bape has never died and when I saw the collaboration I knew I had to cop; not just one but both pairs. I was fortunate enough to purchase the pair online through Undefeated and waited patiently for my package to arrive. That luck was not luck at all, but misfortune in disguise; the package never arrived. I rechecked my ordered, and I got refunded for my purchase. I looked into it a little deeper, and it appears that Undefeated oversold their product. SMH. I was disappointed, and I scrambled like mad to obtain the two pairs. In the end, I got what I wanted. I hope Undefeated get their shit together, I would hate to stop shopping with them.
I have been to Scoozis on two occasions, and on both occasions I have been disappointed. I should note that on both visits to Scoozis, I came in with a large party (15ish people) and had made reservations ahead of time. The first attempt was during breakfast. I ordered the BC Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. The eggs were good, but I distinctly remembering the Hollandaise sauce tasting off. I can't describe it, but it was different, and I didn't like it. The Hollandaise sauce had a sourish aftertaste. I don't know if it was because it had too much egg or lemon. *shrugs* I have no clue how they made it onto Vancity Buzz's list of best Eggs Benedict. Mind you, the service during the first visit was good but the food was just meh. I didn't see myself going back, but I spoke too soon.
My worst experience at Scoozis was during my second visit for lunch. As I got seated, I noticed the table was going to be a hard squeeze to fit six people. I decided to pull a chair out and place it at the end of the table. Everything was fine at this moment. Behind me was an empty booth and there were plenty of room for people to enter and leave the booth with ease. I don't take up a lot of space. As the manager was handing out menus, he turned his attention towards me and started to yell. I couldn't believe the things he was saying to me. "You can't sit there and block my prime estate. That prime estate earns me $75 an hour. Do you not know how expensive rent is in Vancouver? Are you going to pay for my rent? I'm going to lose money. If you sit there like that, I can't seat anyone". I was furious, but I do understand where he is coming from and what he meant, but come on, there must've been a better way to say this to me. I felt belittled as if I offended him. I had no problem moving my seat around, but no one was sitting at the empty booth. I moved my seat anyways. Ten minutes later the manager sat three people in that empty booth behind me. I think the manager did it to despite me. The restaurant wasn't packed. They could've seated the party of three anywhere else. Whatever, I let it pass and ordered my food. I ordered the Calamari Meal. Again, the food was meh. Some of the Calamari were crispy, and some were soggy. It was not pleasant. I finished my food and looked over to the booth. I take note of what they ordered; coffee, two main dishes (shared), a dessert (shared). It has been an hour and half, and our table was getting ready to pack up to leave while the booth is still chatting showing no signs to leave anytime soon. I doubt that "prime estate" made the manager $75 an hour during my time there. I hope the restaurant lost money that day. I hope the manager got a paper cut from opening up those expensive restaurant bills.
Verdict: The manager is a douche, and I am never coming back. He can eat a fat dick!
I overheard someone saying that Indochine Kitchen + Bar was a sister restaurant of Phnom Penh. I was curious and since I enjoyed my experience at Phnom Penh I had to try Indochine Kitchen + Bar. I came to the restaurant during the dinner service with a large party, and I was surprised at the size of the restaurant. It felt small and crowd. I would probably recommend making reservations, especially for the weekend or late night drinking session before heading off to the club. The atmosphere was loud; everyone is enjoying themselves and drinking. The restaurant's decor was covered in all black with hints of Asian figures placed throughout the restaurant. It felt like an Asian version of a sports bar and or lounge with a modern twist. A couple of items on the menu were borrowed from Phnom Penh and I ended up ordering the Black Pepper Poutine and Hainanese Chicken. Everything about these two dishes was amazing. The gravy they used for the poutine was somewhat of the same as the black pepper gravy you would get from an HK cafe, but less fatty and more savory. The fries were not too mushy and had a crisp to it. The ground beef mixed in with the gravy paired very well. To top things off, they added a runny egg on top; it blew my mind. This Asian version of a poutine rocks! I wouldn't mind having the Black Pepper Poutine once a week for the rest of my life. The Hainanese Chicken was soft, moist and flavorful. The rice that went with it was delicious; it was soaked / cooked with chicken broth with garlic. I left the restaurant satisfied and as a bonus, I couldn't finish my food, so I had leftovers. WOOP!!
Verdict: A sports bar and or lounge with Asian food. Perfect place for drinks without the bar food.
When Maria first discovered Swiss Bakery and their famous Frissant, she went crazy. She had to try it after seeing all the amazing reviews and pictures. Honestly, she's a sucker for anything food related; nom nom nom. Unfortunately, she didn't have any days off during the week, and she didn't want to wake up early on the weekend to make the trip down to Swiss Bakery. Luckily, Paul and I had a random day off during the week and went there. We arrived just shortly after lunch, and the bakery was packed. I was amazed that they sold more than just Frissant. I thought Frissant was the only thing they sold. Swiss Bakery appeared to be a popular spot for lunch. I was surprised, and they served sandwiches and such. We ordered the Vanilla and Chocolate Frissant. My first impressions of the Frissant (aka. Cronut) was that it did look like a crossbreed of a doughnut and croissant. The Frissant was crunchy and flakey as advertised, but it did fell apart very easily. It wasn't too overly sweet and reminded me of a giant version of a mini doughnut. It was fantastic, but I couldn't eat more than one per seating.
Verdict: Swiss Bakery offers more than just Frissant. Come for but stay for the Frissant.
The last time I had fish tacos I was mad disappointed. Paul and I had a random day off, and we decided to check out Tacofino. We arrived at the restaurant before the lunch rush and was promptly served. I ordered Albacore Tuna and Pork Jowl taco while Paul ordered the Fish and Pork Jowl taco. We also ordered a couple of drinks, but I don't remember what they were. Right off the bat, the Albacore Tuna, and Pork Jowl was fantastic. They both had great flavors and toppings. It was a huge slab of the Albacore Tuna for the taco, and it was perfectly prepared; like a giant tuna tataki. The Pork Jowl was delicious. I wish I had more of it. I couldn't tell it was Pork Jowl at first and thought it was Pork Belly. They masked the flavors very well; I was impressed. The only thing I had problems with the taco was that it broke apart because of the wet toppings, but that happens with almost every taco I had. The two tacos didn't get me full or satisfied, but it was a great place for a snack and drink.
Verdict: I'm definitely coming back. nom nom nom. I'm a shark.
The ramen business in Vancouver is very fierce; one bad review and it may cripple your business. At launch, Ramen Butcher had great reviews, but as weeks passed by, it started to decline. However, there were still long lineups out the door. I wanted to try it regardless and form my opinion. Maria and I arrived at the restaurant around 3pm, and we didn't have to wait for a table. The service was attentive and quick. The menu was simple and had a short list of items to choose. The dons and chicken karaage were not available from the menu which was unfortunate. The ramen selection was broken up into different colours; each colour highlighted the difference between the other selections. We ordered the Classic, Black and a side of Okonomiyaki Gyoza. I had the Black, and I found the flavor to be watered down. I like my broth bold and heavy on flavor. The portion size was smaller when compared to others, and I was not satisfied. Luckily, there was a solution, one free noodle refill; just remember not to drink up all the soup. The noodles from Ramen Butcher were awesome. It didn't have a great bounce / al denta or whatever you want to call it, but it was plain simple and delicious. The type where you can eat continuously and a lot. I want to think this noodle was produced in house, which deserves another thumbs up. The cha siu comes in two flavors, lean or fatty. No matter which one you choose, you only get one slice of it. A lonely piece of meat. I felt ripped off. The marinated egg was okay, nothing special. Overall, the Black ramen was meh. On the other hand, the Okonomiyaki Gyoza, was great. The blend they used in the Gyoza was different and addictive. The Okonomiyaki toppings made the Gyoza a bit more unique. It's one of the better Gyozas I had. In my opinion, this doesn't beat out any other ramen restaurants I had tried.
Verdict: I have been to Ramen Butcher twice, and I had never waited in line for a table. If I'm in the area and wanted ramen, then yes I would recommend Ramen Butcher, but on second thought why not spend another extra five / ten minutes travelling into downtown for something better.
This must be one of the best Kickstarter campaigns I ever funded. Is this an Encyclopedia on Air Jordans? You must be kidding me. This was only available via Kickstarter. You can't purchase this anywhere else. In other words, it is limited. The book is still wrapped up, deadstock condition. I don't see myself opening the book up anytime soon. I'll probably go through the 600 page Encyclopedia of Air Jordans when I move into my new place. I might call up some sneakerheads over too.
Another Saturday, another pair of shoes. This time, it was the Jordan 4 LS "Oreo". I believe the LS stands for lifestyle hence the missing netting? Obtaining the originals were out of my reach. I didn't think this pair would release again. This was the second Jordan 4 out of the remastered series. I didn't dig the first colourway (Columbia), but this pair (Oreo) was a must have. I wish the netting didn't get removed, but the tumbled leather is on point. I'm content with my first Jordan purchase of the year.