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Eat Snap Repeat

Vancouver's tastiest food blog. Defunct since 2010 :(

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dinner

Hi Genki – When you don’t have a Japanese Grandma

Hi GenkiCraving a home style Japanese meal just like grandma used to make?
Don’t have a Japanese Grandma?

No problem.

Hi Genki serves up Japanese comfort food and, oddly enough, is located inside the cafeteria of a Japanese senior’s residence.

Yup – you read that right. Hi Genki doubles as both a public restaurant and as a cafeteria providing meals for the fine folks at Nikkei Home and New Sakura-so, two senior’s residences adjacent to the National Nikkei Heritage Centre. Although, you need to be 55+ to live at Nikkei Home, you only need an empty stomach to dine at Hi Genki. You don’t even need that much $. Meals are priced reasonably (most are under $10).

This isn’t your typical Japanese sushi house. Although sushi is available as a side, Hi Genki’s focus is on donburi and udon.

Hi Genki

Pictured above is the Spicy Karaage Don (spicy fried chicken in rice) – $7.50. It’s yummy. The deep fried chicken is succulent and nottoospicy. The rice and veggies are nice. Simple, fresh, and tasty.

Hi Genki To the left, Sukiyaki Don (sliced beef, egg, tofu on rice) – $6.95. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the spicy karaage, not enough flavor. But again, the ingredients are fresh and tasty.

The service is great: the waitresses are very kind, polite, and speedy. Residents would have it no other way. This probably also explains the traditional and delicious meals.

Hi Genki

Vancouver is saturated with cool and glitzy Japanese restaurants with overpriced menus. They’re fun, but sometimes you just want a comforting homecooked meal. If your-self/friends/family are not willing to cook you that meal, do check out Hi Genki – it’s the next best thing (and super cool in it’s own quirky way).

Hi Genki
6680 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby

604.777.0533
Open Monday – Sunday
Lunch: 11am – 3pm
Dinner: 6pm – 9pm

Hi Genki on Urbanspoon

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Memphis Blues Barbeque House


Last Friday the thecafsux gang was craving for some flame cooked meat, and we found plenty in Memphis. Great place for casual dining. This location is quite cozy and seats about 30 people. The walls are lined with portraits of late and great blues musicians and various oddities from postwar America.
The menu is reasonably priced for meat; A hearty meal of solid protein sets you back about $13, compared at maybe $19 anywhere else. The service, by the way, is nonexistent. But only because its self serve, much like at Starbucks. You order your food at the counter, and pick it up when they call you, along with needed cutlery and beverages.

We had a group of 6, and ordered their Elvis sized (read: large) mixed meat platter, which was advertised to feed 5-8. Included in the platter were sausages, chicken, brisket, pulled pork, ribs, any one or two others type of meat I couldn’t identify. All tasted great alone, but was even more fantastic with the supplied BBQ sauce.BBQ meat bouquet

At the end of the night we had enough meat left over to take care of lunch for 3.
Personally I’m not a big meat eater and usually stay away from red meats, though I find myself craving the bloody meat of a large mammal from time to time. I’d say this place really hit the spot for me.
Oh, and the music ain’t bad either.
8 out of 10
Memphis Blues Barbeque House (Commercial) on Urbanspoon

Bliss Asian Bistro – Style over Substance

Bliss Asian Bistro - ExteriorDon’t judge a book by its cover.

It was a beautiful evening so we decided to try something new. We found ourselves at Bliss Asian Bistro, located in one of the most beautiful areas of downtown Vancouver.

To get there, go north on Denman Street towards Coal Harbour until the road runs out and you can’t go any further.

The view from Bliss is very nice. If you own a yacht, you can sail up to the restaurant and keep an eye on your ride while you eat. If you don’t own a yacht, you can dream that you do. While you’re at it, you might as well pretend that you live in one of the many multi-million dollar condos in the area.

Bliss Asian Bistro - View

Bliss Asian BistroThe exquisite view is reflected inside the bistro. From the cozy dining room to the nice little patio, everything is in its place. Even the chopsticks sparkle in the sunlight.

But let’s not forget that this is a restaurant. I was hungry! Where’s my food?

The menu (page 1, page 2) reveals that Bliss Asian Bistro is an Asian fusion restaurant. I’m not the biggest fan of Asian fusion cuisine. I feel that you shouldn’t mess with the classics. It’s not like we’ve run out of ethnic foods to try: there is already plenty of variety among classic Asian cuisine; why must we create awkward new dishes that consists of a mish-mash of strange ingredients?

Fusion dishes often look really pretty, costs a lot of money, and pale in comparison to the classics. The dishes we had at Bliss were no exception.

Bliss Asian Bistro - Prawn

The above is supposed to be the prawn tempura ($12 for 6, $2 each!). It tastes okay and looks absolutely stunning, but is neither tempura nor worth its price. Not even close.

Bliss Asian Bistro

This is the Captain Crunch ($14): a fusion maki roll consisting of steak, prawn, unagi, avocado, and cucumber. The ugly white stuff you see is fried vermicelli noodles. The maki rolls tasted pretty interesting, very good actually – but the pieces are way too small. The vermicelli garnish is insulting – it’s basically uncooked instant noodles.

Bliss Asian BistroBliss Asian Bistro

We rounded out our minuscule and pricey meal with the Baked Alaska maki roll ($12) and Dragon’s Pillow ($5). Again, both dishes were visually impressive and tasted pretty interesting (so that’s what melted cheese on a maki roll tastes like… meh), but were not satisfying in the least.

An important part of good cuisine is presentation. From its beautiful locale, to its quaint interior, to its trendy dishes, Bliss nails the presentation. It has a beautiful cover. But that’s about all Bliss has. The dishes are creative, but do not taste great and are a terrible value. No substance.

5 out of 10

Bliss Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tomokazu – AYCE Sushi

TomokazuWhen you go for sushi, you usually expect the best quality. When you go for AYCE (all you can eat) sushi, your expectations aren’t quite as high.

With this in mind, we visited Tomokazu on 20-1128 West Broadway, Vancouver.

We arrived at ~6:30pm, well before the cheaper late-night AYCE kicks in. The regular AYCE menu, although pricier, has more options and generally tastes fresher. Think of the late-night AYCE menu as the restaurant’s last-ditch effort to clear out their food before closing.

With the price of admission set at over $20 per person for the regular AYCE, you better eat a lot to get your money’s worth.

Tomokazu

Thankfully, Tomokazu offers many options on their AYCE menu.
There are many varieties of sashimi, sushi, and rolls. If you aren’t a fan of raw fish, there are many cooked options as well: teriyaki meats, tempura, gyoza, salads, fried tofu, etc. You can even get beef tataki (raw beef).

Tomokazu

We ordered a bit of everything. Everything tasted good. The sashimi and sushi were fresh, the tempura was crispy, and the cooked meats were tasty. Although nothing was outstanding, Tomokazu is certainly one of the better Japanese AYCE places in town.

The biggest challenge of AYCE Sushi is deciding when to call it quits.
Do you quit when you’re full? Or do you stuff yourself until the restaurant kicks you out after the 2-hour AYCE time-limit (which is seldom enforced btw)? To complicate things, restaurants usually charge for unfinished sushi; you don’t want to over-order and then have to find creative places to hide unfinished pieces of raw fish (inside the teapot works well..)

I’ve created the graph below to illustrate the different stages of a night of AYCE sushi.

AYCE - Quality vs. Quantity Graph

Note that there is an inverse relationship between the taste of the food and how full you are: the more you eat, the worse it’ll taste.

On this night, we played it smart and didn’t progress far beyond the “i’m full” threshold. Thus, we left Tomokazu both full and satisfied.

7 out of 10 (above average by AYCE Sushi standards)

Tomokazu Japanese on Urbanspoon

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