Cuisine | Japanese Street Food
Address | 8391 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC
Formerly known as Gmen Ramen, Nan Chuu is a busy little Japanese shop located in Richmond. Expect a lineup when you come to this place, and don’t bring birthday cakes (they aren’t fans of birthdays). PS- put your name on the waiting list or forever wait outdoors. PPS- We learned the hard way. As we continue the Vancity Series, Vic will be writing in blue and Shay in purple.
When you first walk into Nan Chuu, you are instantly transported to a scene that resembles the back alleys of Japan. The decor is made up of wooden planks and stone walls, and the whole place gives off a vibe of traditional and authentic Japanese cuisine. The menu consists of Japanese appetizers, rice bowls, sashimi, grilled/fried items, ramen, and inexpensive drinks (alcoholic and virgin).
First joint review! Vic will be writing in blue and Shay in purple. Day 1 of the Vancouver trip, we checked out a place in Richmond called Top Shanghai Restaurant, and we wanted to see if this place lived up to their name. (Shay) I’ve been to this restaurant several times and it’s always been my favourite for Shanghainese food, but it was my first time back in Vancouver after a year so I needed to see if it was still as good as I remembered.
We ordered the Shao Long Bao and the Shanghai Soup Noodles.
Address | 501 College Street, Toronto, ON Price | $25.00
What can I say about La Carnita? Well, their website describes it best as a place where “street art meets street food”. This theme is very apparent when you look closely at the walls, where the artwork combines a multitude of gritty art styles to create what I would call a truly urban dining experience.
The interesting story behind this joint was that it was originally conceptualized by two individuals working together at a digital design firm. They got together to set up a series of pop up shops around Toronto, where they sold their delicious tacos along with select street art pieces. That was then, and this is now. They have since opened a restaurant that represents the physical embodiment of this project, from the food served, to the interior decorations.
La Carnita plays a sharp contrast to Tacos el Asador, one of the other Mexican places I have written about in the past. The reason for this is because Tacos el Asador was a small little store that served up authentic Mexican cuisine, and La Carnita is everything but authentic. They specialize in Tacos that are filled with ingredients inspired by traditional Mexican food, but also push the boundaries of this genre of cuisine.
This week, I tagged along with a few friends to check out one of the most recognizable Vietnamese takeouts in the area. I’m sure that if you asked any Vietnamese person where to get the best Bánh Mì (pronounced Bun Me) around, they’ll immediately point you straight to a place little place called Nguyên Huöng (New-Wing Who-Ong). This is a takeout that started as a little shop in the heart of Toronto’s bustling Chinatown district. Their Bánh Mì is so good that they are now operating a new location in Scarborough as well as being TNT Supermarket’s supplier for all their Bánh Mì sandwiches. After tasting their sandwiches, all I can say is Bánh Mì up baby! That’s right, you heard it, it’s time for another edition of…
Went for an impromptu dessert adventure with my bestie after dinner in downtown (that post is coming after I get my lazy ass together, but for now, macarons are more important). Both cafés serve macarons, drinks, and other pastries but this post will be dedicated to Le Premièr Match de Macaron aka the first of many quests to find the ultimate piece of heaven!
Side note: My phone was possibly out of battery and I was possibly too excited to take pictures of the actual decor so let’s just say that I didn’t include any so that you’d be enticed to go check the places out yourself!
Went to Kintaro for the first time with my mom last week for an afternoon meal. The shop is located around Denman and Robson and close to Kits Beach so check it out if you’re in the area. It’s a small location but we didn’t have to wait at all (a few tables after us had a 5-10min wait). The staff are Japanese so the place is definitely authentic and the servers are very friendly. The place is OLD and they are in dire need of a renovation. My other complaint was that they did not have any hot water as I usually like a warm drink to wash down an oily meal. Oh side note, each person has to order a minimum of $8.95 (aka a bowl of noodles) so you can’t really share a bowl.
This week has been filled with sushi and sashimi, and so am I. I had the pleasure of visiting two sushi joints in Toronto; Japango, a small place I have heard many good things about, and Wow! Sushi, a personal favourite of mine.
Let’s start with Japango.
Address | 122 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, ON Price | $20
I came here with high expectations from all that I have read about this restaurant. When we first arrived, we were greeted inside of a tiny room that seated about 15 people, a good sign of authenticity within this bustling urban city. We decided to go with the sashimi platter, Japango roll, as well as a salmon teriyaki bento box. I believe that they made their own teriyaki sauce, but it seemed to be a bit too sweet for my taste. The Japango roll was a bit of a disappointment because it was a standard California roll topped with sashimi. However, I enjoyed the sashimi, which was served fresh, although a few pieces were a bit too firm. Overall, I would say skip the bento and go with the sashimi and a roll.
(This is a detailed post cause we ordered a ton of food so skip through if you’re a busy person and ain’t got time for me..)
I went to Sushimoto for the second time for lunch with my family and had yet another great experience. The meal got even better at the very end when they brought us 5 pieces of complimentary salmon sashimi (FREE food.. it doesn’t get better than that).
The place is small and would be quite dim if eating at night, so try going for lunch or sitting by the window. You get the typical wooden Japanese-style booth with a thin cushion which isn’t exactly comfy but I’m here for the food so whatevaa. The servers and kitchen staff are actually Korean but they pull off a very convincing “Irashaimase” (“welcome” in Japanese). They have exceptional service; our waitress was patient in explaining menu items and attentive in checking up and bringing more tea, but not to the point where she got annoying. My one complaint would be the invisible force field surrounding the restaurant that blocks off phone reception. Luckily, I was closest to the window and decided to trade a sore arm for two bars of service.
It was a dark and gloomy night (it was literally pouring this entire week) and we decided to brighten it up with some tacos at Tacos el Asador and a visit to Snakes and Lattes. I wanted to find a place on Bloor that was close to Snakes and Lattes and offered good, authentic food. That’s when I came across Tacos el Asador.
I had heard all about the tacos and burritos at Tacos el Asador, and stopped by for dinner. Everybody knows that Grand Electric is great for tacos, but many people have also proclaimed this small Mexican joint as their go to favourite for affordable and fresh tacos. You could tell that the food was authentic because the servers were struggling to speak English.
Let me start by just saying that if you are a fan of onions and spice, you will LOVE this place. They started each table off with a bowl of hot sauce and a bowl of an onion and jalapeno salad. One of my friends made the mistake of asking for a salsa, to which the server replied that their only salsa was already sitting on the table (it was the hot sauce of course). I tried a bit of this spicy salsa, and it had a nice hint of flavour to it. Of course, I’m not a huge fan of spice so I took my friends’ word for it when she said the sauce was delicious.
Cuisine | Italian Address | 15 Toronto Street, Toronto, Ontario
After hearing some good things about Mercatto, I decided to check this place out for myself with a couple of good friends. We arrived to the view of a modern restaurant squished in between two skyscrapers. The interior was dim and comfortable, and the restaurant offered a selection of Italian dishes (many of which I had absolutely NO IDEA how to read).
After spending about 30 minutes figuring out what the menu items were, we decided to go with the grilled calamari that lay on a bed of “tomato sugo” (aka tomato sauce), the pancetta thin crust pizza, and the seafood linguini.