Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Wa's Japanese Restaurant
1721 Centre St N

I did a little blurb on Wa's a while back (You can check it out
here). I've been back many times since then and they have yet to disappoint (Thumbs up to the cold ramen I decided to not write about). I've been sitting on this review for a while now wondering how I should do it... Should I update the current post? Or start a new one? I decided to go with the latter (Obviously). Thoughts? Shout out in the comments below.

So anyway, we ordered our typical sashimi plus a couple of the daily specials. I think it was the young yellowtail and horse mackerel or something. I tried googling what a horse mackerel is but couldn't come up with anything. From what I can gather, it's kind of like a large tuna or something. What I can tell you is that it was very tasty. We also got some temaki (hand cones).

In addition to the sashimi, we got the deep fried beef skewers. Apparently it's a new item that they introduced that day. I hope they keep it because it was delicious. Chunks of super tender beef and onions are speared with a giant wooden cocktail stick, lathered in batter and deep fried to the max. A sauce is poured over with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Delish!

We ordered an extra agedashi tofu because I was feeling hungry. Most places serve it with some grated ginger and daikon and topped with chopped scallions. Not Wa's. Nooo... The bowl of goodness arrived with 4 crispy tofu loaded up with katsuobushi, wakame, scallions, grated ginger and daikon. There's also these other lettuce looking seaweed things but I'm not sure what they are called... They didn't have a heavy oceanic taste to it. Kind of light. A seaweed texture but not like slimy or anything. Not going to lie, it was amazing.

10 stars out of 10. This score might be a little biased because it's one of my favourite restaurants. But it was really good (which is why it's my fav) sooo... yeah. Check it out!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Field Trip!

Khublai Mongolian Szechuan Cuisine
349 10 Ave SW

Friday was
Steel Day and my work organized a field trip to a local steel fabrication shop. At around 10:30, we met down stairs to head out together since transportation was provided. I joked with some friends about how hilarious it would be if our boss pulled up in a school bus a la Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus showing us the process of how structural steel is made. 'Seatbelts, everyone!' He would say. We eagerly waited for our transport to arrive. No bus. Not even a van. We did see a limo pull up to the mustard seed... Those guys at the Seed? Total ballers. We continued to look for our bus as the limo began to back up. It turns out, we will be riding out to the steel shop in limo. 'Cause that's how we roll. Baller stylez.

So anyway, after the tour, we hit up Khublai on 10th Ave for some food. After being seated, the server explained how everything worked. So basically, it's kind of like a buffet... You grab a bowl, two options were available, a large... and a small, and you fill it with an assortment of noodles, meats and veggies. Pour some sauce on top and drop it off at the grill, where they weigh it ($2.79/100g) and cook it. I grabbed a large bowl and began loading it up. Shanghai noodles, egg noodles, mushrooms, bean sprouts, beef, tenderloin, scallop, squid, shrimp and BBQ pork. For sauces, there's a billion different combinations available for you to mix and match to create the ultimate dressing to fulfil your deepest desire. For those who lack cooking skills (such as myself), there are recipes posted for you to follow along. I had the 'Genghis Khan'. It was a super complicated recipe, with millions of ingredients... Not really. I just forgot what was in it. I think there was 5 or 6 things. But it was pretty good. I doubled up on the recipe because I thought I had loaded up my bowl but it turned out I got the least food out of everyone. 7 stars out of 10. This really could have gone either way. Maybe I have some secret culinary talent that I have yet to unlock. Maybe... Hardly. Check out my masterpiece below.

Khublai Mongolian Szechuan Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sushi Smooshi

Sushi Hibiki
630 1 St Ave NE

Checked out Sushi Hibiki in Bridgeland this week. Located in the little strip mall along Edmonton Trail, Sushi Hibiki is a little hole in the wall offering a variety of Japanese cuisine.

I started off with some yummy sashimi. Shake, toro, scallop, hamachi and idtakko (baby octopus). The sashimi was pretty fresh. The cuts were pretty decent sized for the price (It's no Taiyo though). The baby octopus was 'pickled' with a sesame oil or something. Not totally sure. I thought it was going to be raw but definitely not the case (I suppose there isn't a huge market for raw baby octopus in town). It was pretty decent though. And I got 3 of them. I'm almost positive I've had these somewhere else, but not at a Japanese restaurant. Probably at some Chinese place. Everything was served together on a glass plate that was probably two times too big. Made me feel like I didn't order enough.

The tonkotsu ramen arrived shortly after with a small order of chicken
karaage, or deep fried chicken. It's probably not made with 11 secret herbs and spices like KFC but it was just as good. If not better. I bet you one of the ingredients is love. Topped with a boiled egg, corn nibblet, wakame (seaweed) and green onion, the soup was very flavourful. It was served in a bowl that I used to have at home. But then I dropped it (Like it's hawt) and we got new bowls. Definitely had a homey feel. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have the same plate at home.

7.5 stars out of 10. They have a nice variety of dishes. Typical sushi and sashimi and an assortment of rolls. The parking lot is pretty chaotic though. If you are parked directly behind the gas station, you might have issues coming out later. Just sayin'.

Sushi Hibiki on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nu Kidz in da Hood

23-12424 Symons Valley Road NW


Checked out Taiyo for the first time a couple of weekends ago (Been twice now actually, I went again last weekend). Located in the Creekside mall up in the (far) north west (mostly north), Taiyo is a new(ish) sushi place (and perhaps the only) in the area. We were promptly seated upon arriving shortly after noon and shown the menu. I look a quick glance of the two sided laminate; Lunch combos… tempura… udons… Very typical items. A quick glance at the sushi menu reveals a decent selection of the typical cuts. It’s interesting to note that Taiyo does not offer any sashimi by the piece (not on the sheet anyway).

So I opted to go with the sushi list and picked my usuals. Shortly after placing my order, the waitress came back to inform me that they didn’t have any toro (This happened the second time I was there too). How unfortunate. I guess I’ll just keep my money. Not that it was super expensive anyway. In fact, if I recall correctly (it was almost 3 weeks ago now), it was pretty cheap. Maybe that’s why they didn’t have any left...

The sushi came out separately rather than all at once like other restaurants. Tuna with tuna, hamachi with hamachi etc. Though, I feel bad for the guy doing dishes in the back. 5 extra "plates" for no reasons at all (Actually I think that’s the order you are suppose to eat them in. The light flavours first and increase in flavour as you go). I suppose it wasn’t really that bad because there was maybe 2 other tables occupied the whole time we were there. The sushi was alright. Decently sized slabs of fish with a small ball of rice. The freshness was on par with my list of favorites. We ordered 2 additional rolls with our sushi; The house and dynamite. They were ok. The nori was a little chewy but decent overall.

7 stars out of 10. Very average in terms of selection. Doesn’t have the exotic fishes. I don’t suspect too many people rushing out to the boonies to try some three line grunts or something. Nothing too spectacular for the “hot” items either. If you’re looking to check out unique Japanese dishes, Taiyo is not it. If you’re looking for relatively cheap but good quality sushi, you should definitely check it out. On a brighter note, for the amaebi, they serve a single giant prawn rather than 2 little mini shrimps. That is most excellent. Urbanspoon shows a more extensive menu so I might have to give it a shot one evening and considering it's only 5 minutes from my house, this shouldn’t be a huge problem.

Taiyo on Urbanspoon

Saturday Sundae

1886 Buffalo Cafe
187 Barclay Parade SW

Went to Eighteen Eighty Six Buffalo Cafe for some quick eats last weekend (A couple weekends now) with Judy after our intense 10K training in the morning. I can't tell you anything fancy about the restaurant like when it opened or the special meaning behind the name because it doesn't have a website. : ( All I know is it's the house behind the Barley Mill. They serve breakfast and brunch items and they are voting for
Barb (FYI: That was not the link to the mayoral candidate page. Because here at F-log For Thought, we are very much apathetic. I don't judge a restaurant based on it's political stance).

Anyway, in preparation for the official race (which was last Sunday), I decided to have something healthy. Sort of. A breakfast sundae! Piled high to the sky was yummy fruits (strawberries, blueberry, kiwi and a bunch of other stuff) and crunchy granola in a choice of plain or blueberry yogurt. So delicious. Fruit is healthy right?! It came with 4 pieces of toast which I also devoured with some peanut butter and jam. Om nom nom nom! 7 stars out of 10.

Anyway, for those who care, I finished my first ever 10K race with a personal best: 00:46:17.23. Go me!

1886 Buffalo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Teatro Reloaded

200 - 8th Avenue SE

Went to Teatro again last week (See part 1
here). The rotisserie chicken we saw last week looked really good and I wanted to try it. We hauled ass down there for lunch. We were quickly seated upon arriving. I pretended to look at the menu, I knew what I wanted. It turns out everyone else wanted the chicken as well. We flagged down our server (Not really, he came back and asked if we were ready). Marie went first, she wanted the rotisserie chicken. The waiter then informed us that that was the last chicken. I was like Noooooo...! and shook my fist at Marie. One day... (Maybe we should have flagged down the server earlier. Or better yet, pre-order on the phone!) I quickly skimmed through the menu and ordered the rigatoni. Jordan and Kristel ordered the grilled vegetable lasagna.

The rigatoni was topped with ham shavings, parmesan cheese and a light green pea
veloute. It was really good but I was definitely disappointed that they ran out of chicken. There wasn't even that many people there that day. Seriously, did everyone else order chicken?!? The two pasta dishes didn't come with fries or salads but the portions were big enough to induce an afternoon nap. Thank god I got a coffee afterwards.

So anyway, I took a picture of Marie's chicken so everyone can ogle at it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Service Optional

Cafe HK
100 - 9650 Harvest Hills Blvd NW

Went to Cafe HK for lunch last weekend (2 weekends now. Been super busy). Cafe HK is located on the other side of T.Pot (Hang a right when you enter the door. Can't miss it. Literally). Normally, I get the wonton noodles when I go but decided to switch it up that day. I tried ordering a couple of things but they seem to have stopped making them. Probably a good idea to update the menu. It's not like they have an extensive menu anyway! Compared to Calgary Court and Sun Chiu Kee, or even Pebble Street, the options at Cafe HK is severely lacking. And they are all owned by the same people!

Anyway, I ended up having the bibimbap because I was craving it from the day before. Seasoned barbecued beef topped eggs over rice and veggies. The barbecue sauce was likely from T & T next door. In fact, I think my mom has a jar of it at home. It's really good, kind of sweet. Mmmmmm... The veggies? Not so much. It had a funny taste to it. It wasn't a pickled or kimchi taste. Just a funny one. The stone (read: ceramic) bowl is coated with an oil (possibly of the sesame variety) before the rice is placed to make the rice super crispy and golden brown. That's the idea anyway. What ended up happening was the bottom layer touching the bowl got completely burnt. How unfortunate. 5 out of 10 stars. I should really get cracking on these reviews... But I'm so lazy... : (

'Spooners Unite.

San Dong Banjeom
#14 3803 26th Ave SW

Went out to dinner with some 'spooners after work last Friday (Urbanspooners that is). I was a little nervous about meeting a group of random people at first. For those who actually know me, I'm a little (Read: REALLY) shy. Definitely glad I did though. Everyone was really cool and definitely very knowledgable on different types of cuisines and culinary things. And then there was me. Yay for food!

San Dong Banjeom is not what you'd expect at a Korean restaurant. There's no bbq (sad face), no seafood hot pot (double sad face),
bibimbap (more sad face). I later found out that it was Korean inspired Chinese food. Fusion, if you will. In the grand scheme, it was pretty good. Score to come later (Or you can scroll to the bottom if you can't bear the suspense).

So anyway, each person ordered one dish to share. I quickly skimmed through the menu and declared that my pick was number 51. Not sure if this has happened to any of you, but whenever I'm slow to choose a dish to share, all the good ones that I want get picked and I'm stuck with lame choices like steamed vegetables and something. Number 51 was beef with 5 kinds of spices. Check it. There was much debate when it arrived (first) as to
what part of the cow it came from. There was some talk of organs but I'm pretty sure it's beef shank. My mom makes this all the time. I should know. Not with 5 spices though. Well... maybe. It's kind of in the sauce. Anyway, the 5 spices consisted of garlic, jalapeno, fish sauce, white scallion and some sort of chilli oil drizzled on top. The meat was propped up with chopped cucumbers underneath. It was a cold plate, not really what I had expected, but pretty decent.

Next to arrive was this fried pork strips(?) dish. Unfortunately I was not able to snap a photo of it in its undisturbed state as the waitress took a giant scope of it to split it onto a second plate. You will have to rely on my vague descriptions. Quarter inch wide slices of pork were fried like chicken strips and served with some stir-fry veggies. It was one of my favourite dishes of the night.

Next up was the
japchae which is a stir-fry with various vegetables and cellophane noodles. Taste wise, it was decent but I thought it was a little watery.

Food began piling up as we were not able to keep up. At one point, I was holding on to a plate while I ate, with additional plates on the bench beside me. Next to arrive was a chicken dish. Nothing too spectacular.

The deep fried prawns with mayo sauce arrived next. Decent. Best part: The shell at the tail was removed. Ever had tempura shrimp with the tail not removed? (Of course you have, it's never removed) It's as annoying as hell. Precious batter wasted! Not the case here. Not particularly known for their use of mayo, this may be the least Korean/Chinese dish of the night.

After much anticipation, the chicken with yurin sauce arrived. It was definitely the butt of many jokes of the night. I tried looking up yurin sauce on google and wikipedia and was not able to come up with anything useful. Shout out in the comments below if you know what it is! The chicken was coated with a thin layer of batter and fried. Despite of this, it was still very tender. The dish was finished with chopped scallions and yurin sauce.

jajangmyeon arrived shortly after. The noodles were really goopy so it was really difficult to pick up. I had to resort to the spaghetti twirl with the chop sticks. If only I had a spoon and fork, then I'd be able to impress everyone with my sweet tong skills. And for some strange reason, we got two plates worth of it... lots left over. Literally two boxes of it.

The noodle soup thing was the last to arrive. This proved to be even more difficult to pick up. Soup was splashing everywhere, it was a disaster. After struggling for 5 minutes, we opted to have the waitress distribute to 8 bowls. I was a little skeptical of the soup at first as it looked really spicy but it was actually not that spicy at all. Or I may have lost all feeling in my mouth from all the other dishes. Either way, it was pretty good.

I was definitely disappointed there was no bbq but it was pretty decent overall. 6 stars out of 10.

San Dong Banjeom on Urbanspoon