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Eat Snap Repeat

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

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kingsway

Curry King – Have they got any Curry?

Though I love cheesy post titles, “food fit for a king” would be too much of an exaggeration for this casual HK Cafe. That is not to say that the food at Curry King (map) isn’t up to par. Its been on my mind to write about Curry King since thecafsux days.
Curry King - exterior
Unlike other cafes that relinquish no info about their specialties in their names and opt for something stylish and chic, Curry King touts their competitive advantage proudly: Curry. More specifically the milder southeast Asian kind.

Curry King - interior

The interior is small, and we had doubts whether our with our party of ten would fit, as usually there is a line up at the entrance. Luckily a large booth and table in the corner was open. Funny thing is, they both had ‘reserved’ signs placed on them, but the waitress seated us in them anyway. I felt a little embarrassed that we are taking someone’s reservation, though after admitting to the waitress that we didn’t have a reservation, she simply replied that it didn’t matter. Which leads me to believe that the ‘reserved’ signs in HK Cafes are just placed on the tables so servers can turn away small parties of two in favor of larger groups when needed.

Their lunch menu is massive, and includes everything you might see at other HK Cafes, plus enough curry dishes to make up another menu altogether.

Trying to have the least nutrition possible, I ordered the BBQ pork fried instant noodles in XO sauce. Atkins is rolling in his grave.
Curry King - fried instant noodles

It’d be blasphemy to not order their curry of course, and so we ordered the Thai red curry with BBQ duck. A strong combination of flavors that leaves you wanting more.
Curry King - red Thai curry duck

Having had a few of their other curry items on previous visits, including their yellow curry that stains the tablecloth with a neon yellow tinge not unlike a highlighter pen, I have to say, their curry can be considered King….in Burnaby anyway. They also have a second location on Cambie, which some feel is better than the Kingsway location. Having never been there I couldn’t comment.

Food: 7.5/10

Number of TVs playing the Justice Bao soap opera (pure 90’s Chinese TV gold) on the wall: 2

Curry King Cafe on Urbanspoon

Isami Sushi – casual Japanese food done well

isami sushi - exterior A bit of disclaimer: these pictures do no justice to the quality of food served at this fine establishment. On Kingsway in front of Metrotown in Burnaby, there are about four billion Japanese restaurants that appear to be competing fiercely with each other on having the most generic sushi menu served in gut popping proportions, while charging prices that make you think

isami sushi - rice wine steamed mussels“hm, not bad for a boatload of fish, and the taste totally meets my expectations. I sure am getting great value out of this meal…yet its not AYCE… how is that possible?”
Meanwhile as you look over at the open kitchen and see an assembly line of young buckling sushi chefs rolling away like they were making doves out of clay, a lineup at the door extending to the sidewalk, and slowly it all begins to make sense.

isami sushi - beef tatakiisami sushiisami sushi - spider roll

Venture a bit further down, and you’ll find Isami Sushi, a quaint little place with a distinct Japanese feel, and the staff is actually Japanese.
In case you couldn’t tell, or just weren’t paying attention, the ratio of restaurants serving Japanese food to restaurants serving Japanese food owned by Japanese people in Vancouver has grown to 1024 to 1 this year. True fact.

Highly rated and low on the lineups, we gave Isami’s menu a spin with great pleasure.

We sampled a few of their sushi items, which were skillfully prepared, along with an appetizer of beef tataki and steamed mussels in some rice wine broth. Their dynamite roll was Dy-Na-Mite, and their spider roll had a huge crab leg sticking out and gave that roll more “spider” than it knows what to do with.

These guys don’t serve up big portions, but i figure its the opportunity cost in man hours used in rolling the goods that warrants the price of admission rather than the size of the generic frozen atlantic salmon being rolled.
The place is adequately staffed with a 4 person wait staff to take your order with attentiveness, and 2 senior looking sushi chefs at the helm. After 6 menu items, the bill came to less than $40, and we left full but not stuffed, and completely satisfied with the dining experience.
Food: 8.5/10
Ambience: 6/10
Crab Leg-to-Spider Roll Sushi Size Ratio: 1.5-1
Like sushi? Learn about this sacred food through the power of the intarnets:
All true. I swear it.

Isami Sushi on Urbanspoon

Da Rae Oak – Korean Lunch

Have you ever had one of those days where you just never seem to fully wake up? I was experiencing one of those on this grey Thursday morning. Luckily, a walk to nearby Da Rae Oak Restaurant (located at 3510 Kingsway) for a Korean lunch spiced up my day.

Da Rae Oak

Da Rae Oak’s interior is really bland and didn’t warrant a picture, but the food here is consistently good and well-priced, especially compared to other Korean restaurants in Vancouver.

Da Rae Oak - Starters

One thing I love about Korean restaurants are the complementary appetizer-like dishes they serve up. These dishes are called Banchan (the most common type of Banchan is Kimchi of course). The waitress brought them out quickly so that we could snack on them before the main dishes arrived.

Da Rae Oak - Seafood Pancake

The first dish we ordered was a Seafood Pancake ($13.90). IHOP‘s got nothing on this. This gigantic pancake consists of various types of seafood, scallions, batter, and crispy potatoes. It’s very delicious and filling.

Da Rae Oak - Bulgogi

We also ordered beef short-ribs bulgogi, served with a bowl of rice ($12.90). Koreans really know how to marinate! The meat was sweet, tender, and tasty. It complemented the salty seafood pancake nicely.If you want the full Korean experience, Da Rae Oak might not be the best place to visit: the chopsticks here aren’t even made of metal. But if you just want some great, affordable Korean food, I would highly recommend it.

8.5 out of 10

Full from the tasty Korean lunch, I was ready to go back to slacking for the rest of the afternoon.

Da Rae Oak Korean on Urbanspoon

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