Guu on Thurlow

Tonight I went to Guu (838 Thurlow Street) with M for dinner. Compared to the Richmond and Robson Guu’s, this one is definitely the best!

It was a Friday night and we arrived at 7pm and found the tiny place packed. After waiting for 20 minutes, we finally got seats at the bar, right next to the kitchen where all the action was. The servers and chefs there are all Japanese and they were enthusiastic to say the least. They were constantly shouting out orders and greeting customers loudly in Japanese.

Cherry Blossom $5.50

Here is the Cherry Blossom: ramune soda with soho and strawberries. A very sweet and fizzy drink! I didn’t even taste the bitterness of the alcohol~ It was really delicious and better than the drink I ordered at Robson Guu (Asahi beer with mint and lemune).

Ebi Furai $5.80

Deep fried prawns with spicy mayonnaise. This one was very good~ Prawns and mayo went very well together. Om nom nom~~

Kimchi Udon $7.50

Kimchi Udon: udon with spicy cod roe, soy sauce, butter, kimchi and green onion. My favorite dish of the night~ Very chewy noodles and spicy fish roe.. simple yet delicious. It leaves me wanting more.

Takoyaki $4.00

Deep fried octopus balls with tonkatsu sauce and mustard mayonnaise. Crispy shell and soft center with a couple of chunks of octopus inside. Yummy~ It’s like Richmond night market all over again, but more authentic.

Kabocha korokke $3.60

A must-have for those who visit Guu. It is a Japanese pumpkin and boiled egg croquette with original mayonnaise sauce drizzled over it. This awesome creation is one of Guu’s signature. The light sweet taste of pumpkin paired with a delicious boiled egg makes this a must-try for any first timer.

Mochikin Oden $2.00 each

Oden is a new addition to the Guu restaurants. The most unique oden on the menu is the mochikin, a stuffed sticky rice cake in a soy bean bag.. The tofu soaked up the light yet flavorful soup really well. Biting into the tofu bag, I was happy to find a large piece of mochi hidden inside. Mochi~ My favorite~ Even the string is edible.

Ikageso $4.80

This one was ordered for M. He still did not forget the Richmond night market grilled squid legs. This dish is grilled squid legs with spicy mayo dip. It wasn’t too chewy and it was easy to bite. With or without the mayo, the squid legs tasted very flavorful.

Guu is probably one of the most authentic Japanese izakaya’s that we have here in Vancouver. I felt like I was really in Japan for the time that I was there. I got to experience the Japanese culture as well as tried out some great food in the process! Time to go on a trip to Japan~ Next summer! : )

Rating:

Service 8/10
Ambiance 8/10
Food 10/10

Guu on Urbanspoon

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Rum&Raisin Meltykiss

Rum&Raisin Meltykiss

Sis surprised me yesterday by giving me a box of rum&raisin Meltykiss by Meiji! I love rum raisin flavored things. Ice-cream, pocky.. Too bad the rum raisin flavored pocky was a time limited flavor. It was so good!

Meltykiss sure is some expensive chocolate though.. Only 4 tiny bars in the box and it costed around $4CAD. After eating just one bite though, I have to admit that it is well worth that high price. The chocolate was rich, smooth and creamy with a soft center complete with rum filling and rum-soaked raisins. 3.7% alcohol makes for a very strong chocolate!

Sweet from the chocolate and bitter from the rum.. A bittersweet moment.

WE. Coffee

Ever since eating the best waffles I have ever had in Taiwan’s 咖啡弄 (Coffee alley),I really wanted to find somewhere in Canada that also served good waffles. I finally got the opportunity when IndulgeLiving offered 50% off coupons to this fairly new cafe, called WE. Coffee (1696 Robson St.). I couldn’t wait to try the place out and so when mommy came to visit from Taiwan, sis and I both saw that as the perfect opportunity to pay this place a visit.

We were immediately attracted by the displays even before going into the cafe. The large window display showcased a vintage coffee machine of sorts as well as plastic models of their foods including waffles, sandwiches and croissants.

Window display

Walking into the cafe, we were pleased to see a simple yet classy place, complete with decor based on a black and white theme. The servers were attentive, and everything looked sparkling clean. Even the restroom was pretty!

The interior of WE. Coffee

We decided to order half of the tuna salad & fresh vegetables waffle and half of the strawberries & ice cream waffle as well as a medium cup of mocha latte.

Half Strawberries & Ice Cream Waffle $7.99

The waffles were freshly made and is truly a delight for any strawberry lovers. It was flavourful, not too sweet, and with just enough fruits and cream to finish half the waffle. Half a waffle was the perfect amount for me. Not too little and not too much.

Half Tuna Salad & Fresh Vegetables Waffle $7.99

This is the tuna salad waffle that my mom ordered. She prefers savory over sweet. What she liked the most about this was the horseradish. I thought that the vegetables were very fresh; the cucumbers were crisp and the tuna did not taste too fishy. I preferred the strawberry one over this however, as I am more of a sweets person.

Medium Mocha Latte $4.35

The mocha latte came in a bone-china Wedgewood cup. My mom really enjoyed this drink. I had a little sip and was happy to find out that it did not have an acidic taste. There was no sugar added which was exactly how my mom liked it. There was a little jar of sugar cubes on the table for those who wish to add some sweetness to their hot beverages, but we didn’t end up needing them. I don’t know too much about coffee, but from my mom’s description, it was excellent.

Compared to Coffee Alley in Taiwan, I still have to say that Coffee Alley is better than WE. Coffee. They are equal in taste, with basically the same toppings for both the strawberry and the tuna waffles. However, Coffee Alley takes the gold for value but WE. Coffee wins by a little for ambiance. It is certainly a nice place to catch up with an old friend or just for a relaxing afternoon, enjoying a waffle while browsing the net using their wifi.

Rating:

Service 8/10
Ambiance 9/10
Value 7/10

WE. Coffee on Urbanspoon

Sushi Oyama

Sushi Oyama, located in a beautifully furnished two story building at 5152 Kingsway Burnaby, appears beautiful and welcoming upon first sight. According to sis, this place used to be a funeral home back in the old days.. Which adds some mystery and lore to the place.

Beyond the wooden doors, the interior of the restaurant does not disappoint. The wooden decor and furnishing matched up perfectly to this restaurant’s elegant exterior.

Interior of Sushi Oyama

The staff were friendly and seated us immediately. It helped that it wasn’t busy since it was Monday, just a bit after 12pm. I was craving for sashimi so I ordered a tuna & salmon sashimi (9pcs). M decided on an assorted sushi lunch combo, which is basically just the assorted sushi combo plus miso soup and salad. We also ordered a special roll, the smoked salmon cream cheese roll (8pcs).

The service here was fast and efficient. Within minutes of taking the order, the miso soup and salad arrived.

Miso soup and salad

The soup was flavourful and had just the right amount of salt, unlike some places where their miso soups are just way too salty. The salad was fresh and really tasty. It was a great appetizer thanks to the sour sauce that was drizzled on the salad.

Tuna & Salmon Sashimi (9pcs) $8.50

There were 5 pieces of tuna and 4 pieces of salmon. The salmon sashimi were smaller than the tuna sashimi. They tasted very fresh and satisfied my sashimi craving.

Assorted Sushi Combo $11.99

This one took the longest to arrive.. probably because there are so many different things to prepare. This combo comes with 1/2 roll Tuna, 1/2 roll Salmon, and 1 piece each of ebi, tuna, salmon, ika, amaebi, hokkigai, tako and chopped scallop nigiri sushi’s. It was apparent that the hokkigai wasn’t fresh (the colour was not bright red but instead a dull red-brown colour). Other than that, the sushi’s were delicious.

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Roll (8pcs) $4.90

Last but not least, the special roll. This smoked salmon cream cheese roll has, as the name suggests, smoked salmon and cream cheese. There is also red pepper, mango and crab meat. They gave a generous serving of cream cheese. Everything went well together in this roll. I couldn’t really taste the mango since it wasn’t really sweet. Otherwise, it tasted really good. I want to try more of their special rolls next time!

I would rate this restaurant 9/10 for good service, nice ambiance, and yummy food. Will definitely be going back!

Sushi Oyama on Urbanspoon

Prettia Hair Dye

I have always wanted to dye my hair since I find black hair to be so boring and ordinary.. My favorite hair colour is definitely brown. However, I have never found the perfect hair dye that can transform black hair into brown. Most commercially sold products on the market here in Vancouver are for lighter shades of hair and I can never find one that is specially made for people with black hair… until sis introduced me to Prettia.

So during Chinese new year, while my mom was visiting from Taiwan, we decided to get some Prettia hair dye and try it out. We bought a box of “Glossy Brown” prettia hair dye from Crystal Mall, although we originally wanted to try the “Marshmallow Brown”. Sadly that one was out of stock since it is a really popular colour. Prettia can also be found in T&T supermarket and the Japanese convenience store downtown (on Robson).

Prettia (Glossy Brown)

The instructions are in Japanese which is very inconvenient if you don’t understand the language.. no English instructions were given, so we relied on sis who has some basic Japanese knowledge to do the honour of translating the instructions written on the box.

Japanese instructions

What's in the box

So, since we only bought one box of dye, only sis can dye her hair this time around. I’ll dye mine in the summer. She can be the guinea pig (just kidding :P).

Here is her hair before dyeing with Prettia:

Before dyeing

So, here is how you dye your hair with Prettia hair dye:

1. Pour solution 1 into solution 2. Then mix well. (DO NOT shake vigorously, rather just invert the bottle 4 to 5 times and they will be mixed)

2. Change the cap to the nozzle. Squeeze the center of the bottle to squeeze out the foam.

3. Apply the foam onto dry hair. Try to not rub the foam into the scalp. Cover all the hair with the foam.

4. Leave the foam on for 20-30 minutes, then rinse off and wash the hair with shampoo and conditioner.

5. Condition the hair with the moisturizer provided in the box. This condition can be left in and does not need to be washed off.

Here is a picture of my sis’ hair after using Prettia:

After dyeing

The hair dye turned out pretty nicely~ The smell of ammonia wasn’t as strong in Prettia as some other brands that I’ve used before (Ex. Garnier). It actually has quite a floral scent to it. The best part about Prettia is that it’s a foam dye, so it does not drip all over the place.

Hope this tutorial helped. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dineout Vancouver 2011

Last Friday I went to Hyatt’s Mosaic Bar and Grill (located at 655 Burrard St.) for the first dineout of 2011. The atmosphere was really nice there and the server who helped us was super friendly.

Mosaic interior (restaurant side)

Mosaic interior (Bar side)

We came because we wanted to eat out for the annual Dineout Vancouver event that happens at the start of every year. There were 3 catgeories to choose from: $18, $28, $38. We finally settled on this place ($28).

We were seated right next to the window, overlooking a busy part of downtown Vancouver. The night view was very pretty from the comfortable place we were sitting, away from the chilly winds that blew outside.

Dineout Menu

I ordered the squash soup, rib eye steak, and tiramisu. My sister ordered something from the regular menu (a black cod). After much waiting and anticipation, the food finally arrived!

First came the appetizers:

Roasted Squash Soup - Winter Squash, Smoked Gruyere Cheese, Crispy Crouton

Fire Roasted Grape Salad - Organic greens, pumpkin seed, Goat Cheese, Sherry Walnut Vinaigrette

Bread and butter

The soup was very good and it tasted sweet and flavorful; it reminded me of Japanese pumpkin. Croutons are also one of my favorite and it soaked up the soup very nicely. The bread was also soft and went really well with the butter. I thought the salad was a bit on the sour side because of the vinaigrette and tasted strongly of goat (I personally don’t like goat cheese), but overall it wasn’t too bad.

Next came the entrees:

Rib Eye Steak - Mushroom Ragu, Grilled Brocolini, Anchovy Butter Bread Crumb, Sauce au Poivre

Ling Cod - Parsley Lemon Butter Crust, Sautéed Kale, Potato Fondant

Baked Black Cod - Queen Charlotte Black Cod with Miso and Sake Marinade, Dungeness Crab, Braised Potato, Spicy Prawn Bisque

The black cod was the one that my sister ordered from the regular menu. It’s not part of the dineout menu.

I have to say that I was pretty disappointed with the entrees.. The steak was good but I didn’t understand why they had to fry the vegetables instead of just boiling it. The sauce on the steak was extremely salty; at least they didn’t overcook it. It was just as I had requested (medium rare). As for the ling cod, the parsley lemon butter crust was really sour (thanks to the lemon). Otherwise the ling cod also tasted pretty good. The most disappointing order of all had to be the black cod.. The sauce was way too salty and made with so much mayonnaise that in the end my sister had to trade with my mom (she ordered the ling cod) since she couldn’t finish it all by herself. The taste was too heavy and overpowered the fish itself, even though it was very good at first. The subtle hint of crab in the sauce was a nice touch.

Last of all, the desserts:

Apple Gallette - Warm Caramelized Apple Crumble, Vanilla Créme Anglaise

Tiramisu - Lady finger soaked in espresso, Kahlua Mascarpone Cream

The desserts, I have to say, was my favorite part of this entire dineout experience. The apple gallete was warm and the vanilla ice cream topped on the apple pie tasted wonderful together! I liked it better than the tiramisu since tiramisu always tastes like tiramisu. The chocolate covered cookie balls on the tiramisu tasted great though!

I would give Mosaic an overall score of 6.5/10.

It has good ambiance, good service, but it really needs to improve on some of their food. The entrees were too salty and heavy in taste. I don’t think I would be returning again, even though the manager gave us some 2-for-1 coupons before we left. This was my first Dineout Vancouver experience. I can’t wait to try out more places next year!

Mosaic on Urbanspoon