Monday Missing Meals: Vancouver Cravings

_KEY9566-1Not going to lie, I’ve been taking way too many photos of the incredible things I’ve seen in Naples to bother taking photos of myself in an outfit. And maybe I’m not supposed to say this as a style blogger, but nothing compares to the beautiful art and luxury of the history I have been so privileged to see in Naples.

IMG_7493 So in lieu of a traditional post, I’ve listed the food I miss from back home. In no way do I claim that I am a foodie (also because I’m starting to hate the term with its increasing proliferation). I really love food, and I absolutely love to eat food; however, this does not make me an expert in any form. Having said that, I think the places I’m yearning for are at least worth a try.

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Having spent over a few months away from Vancouver and having several more to go before I return, I’ve realized how incredibly spoiled we are in our culinary corner of the world. Many cities consider themselves multicultural and look to the food on offer as proof. However, I really feel like Vancouver excels at nearly every cuisine available because our population is saturated with people from all over the world. There are enough people in each demographic to create competition, thus creating a standard of excellence that becomes normative. We are so lucky to have these options of excellent restaurants, even if it’s just that hole in the wall pho restaurant.

When I come back to Vancouver, here’s what I’m eagerly anticipating:

Kilala Sushi – Everyone who knows me, knows how goddamn picky I am when it comes to Japanese food. By picky, I mean snobby because I simply refuse to eat at any Japanese restaurant that doesn’t employ Japanese chefs. Yes, it’s entirely prejudiced but I have a perfectly great sushi place less than fifteen minutes away from my house, so why would I really go anywhere else?

The place is small and is run by a husband and wife, with their son occasionally helping out on weekends. It’s not much for ambience but if you’ve got good company or plan on doing take-out, it’s not much of an issue because the food is great. They’ve got a few hot-food menu items like udon or unagi-don but sushi is their main feature. Always fresh and always great quality, Kilala never disappoints me. They also have creme caramel puddings that are a perfect balance of sweetness and richness without being overwhelming. The wife makes them herself and she actually used to sell them to T&T!

Located at: 4749 Hastings St. in Burnaby
My favourite: Unagi battera

Suika – I’ve held two birthdays in a row here because their service is always fun, friendly, and efficient, and I know exactly which dishes I like and they’re always consistent. Being an izakaya, its best to go with friends since you’ll want to share multiple dishes so you can get a good variety. The sashimi salad is fresh and the fish is cut and prepared well (the salad part is just the organic salad greens you can buy from Costco) and the dressing is never over dressed and overwhelming. I hate it when restaurants saturate their salads with way too much dressing that is not only dripping wet, but too salty! Their ‘hellz chicken’ was a spicy surprise the first time I had it. Unless you can really tolerate your spicy foods, make sure you don’t save this for last and eat it with other foods since it is actually really spicy!!! However, it’s not all just a one-note spicy dish. It has more dimensions which makes it so tasty that no matter how your mouth is burning, you still want to finish it because it just tastes damn good.

Located at: 1626 West Broadway in Vancouver
My favourite: Beef short rib

Pho Hong, Bao Chau, Au Petit Cafe – I cannot sufficiently express how badly I miss pho, Vietnamese subs, and Vietnamese iced coffees. I blame this largely on my extremely disappointing pho experience here in Manchester since it was supposedly the best Vietnamese restaurant in the city according to all the user reviews. Well, it completely sucked and it was so bland and expensive. I could go on a huge rant here but I’m going to reign in my bitterness. Anyways, my friends and I have been going to Pho Hong since we were annoying high school kids who spent too much time at the mall. The service can be very abrupt but you come to expect that here, and even enjoy it because it’s just kind of hilarious. Bao Chau’s service is better and it is these two places that I come for pho. While they do vary a little, generally they both provide flavourful broths which are undoubtedly full of msg and other unhealthy ingredients but could you expect anything else? Au Petite Cafe is my favourite place for bahn mih. Be quick though because they run out quickly!!

Located at: 5975 Kingsway in Burnaby, 2717 Hastings St in Burnaby, and 4851 Main St in Vancouver, respectively
My favourite: any pho at the first two and any sandwich from the last

La Brasserie – It’s a small restaurant but that’s part of the appeal. Charming with unpretentious food, they serve dishes like duck confit, poutine, french onion soup, steak, along with daily specials. The food is rustic and comforting without compromising on quality. The service here is attentive and sincere without being annoyingly present and they also do some great raw oysters. They don’t do reservations so it’s best to come on a weekday if there are more than two of you.

Located at: 1091 Davie St in Vancouver
My favourite: Roast duck

Seasons in the Park – Such amazing value here! One of those rare places that has a wonderful view of the city with food that actually tastes good and isn’t astronomically priced. Seasons is affordable fine dining with expert service. The staff are professionals here and really know what they’re doing. The last time I went was on New Year’s Day and my pork chops were over salted so I sent it back. They gave me the sides that come with it in the meantime so that I had something to eat so it wasn’t awkward for my family to all eat their meals. They also gave us a free dessert due to the inconvenience and the pork chop that came out was extremely tender and flavourful without being over salted.

Located at: Cambie & 33rd Ave., in Queen Elizabeth Park
My favourite: Rack of lamb

IMG_7571These are all the places I’m desperate for right off the top of my head. To answer a comment, my boyfriend will be arriving in Manchester on the 14th of May which I’m eagerly awaiting!!

To cap it off, here’s what I’m also missing in no particular order:
No. 1 Chinese Restaurant at 3701 Hastings St. in Burnaby
– My Greek Taverna at 946 Brunette Ave in Coquitlam
Phnom Penh at 244 E Georgia St in Vancouver
Kintaro Ramen at 788 Denman St in Vancouver
Meat & Bread at 370 Cambie St in Vancouver

And I know I’m missing a lot more!! That said, I had the best pizza ever here in Naples. Below is the only relevant photo to this post! From Pizzeria da Gaetano.

IMG_8231Toppings were mozzarella, basil, and eggplant. Whole pizza for only six euros!!

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6 comments
  1. Nice post. I am a sucker for Japanese owned Japanese restaurants. There’s just not that many compared to the non Japanese owned ones.

    Bao chau..great spring rolls. Love all the other places you mentioned, the ones I’ve been to anyway. The term “foodie” sounds so retarded eh?

    The pizza looks great. I licked my smartphone to see if I could taste it. No luck. Guess I will have to get on a plane to try it.

    What brings you overseas for an extended period of time?

    • I just hate that everyone thinks they’re a foodie because.. they eat and take photos of their food. I mean, since when did the requirements of being an expert become so low? Anyways, I’m in Manchester for a semester on exchange!

  2. georgecrlin said:

    I hear ya 100%! I found that when I was in Europe, I couldn’t find good pho anywhere. And I’ve got to try out some of your recommendations…it’s amazing how after so many years in the same city, there are still restaurants I’ve never even heard of.

    Gorgeous pictures btw! I’m sitting here at work, drooling.

  3. Hey Laina How are you doing???? It’s me Gervin. It’s feels nice to reconnect!!!!

  4. LucyBre said:

    Oh my tummy is grumbling now, I would be running (well maybe walking a bit faster) to get food I it wasn’t lashing rain 😦

  5. Lovely pics and blog darling!! I’m a new follower form Italy!!! A big big kiss

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