Sherman's Food Adventures: 2012

Top 40 Things to Eat in Vancouver... for now...

I've never been a fan of lists, especially ranking which are the best restaurants and the best things to eat.  After all, food is highly subjective.  The fact of the matter is: people have varying tastes and furthermore, each and every restaurant is different.  Comparing all of them and suggesting which one is the "best" is quite hard to do.  Now when you separate them into categories, it becomes more representational.  But then again, I do admit "best of" lists can be a rough guide.  Whether people agree with it or not is another matter.  Therefore, it has taken me over 4 years of eating and blogging to come up with my personal Top 40 Things to Eat in Vancouver.  I never felt the need to do a post like this earlier because it was important for myself to actually eat every individual item personally.  A list based on others is okay too, but this is my blog and I wanted it to be representational of my own tastes.  Yes, it is eerily similar to another list from a local publication.  Hey, I'm not going to knock it, they do a good job in what they do.  I'm just giving my 2 cents about the best things to eat from my point-of-view.  And yes, this list will change eventually, as I eat more and new things are introduced.  So here goes (oh and yes, feel free to disagree because I'll probably disagree with myself once I eat even more things!).

Moules et Frites @ Carthage Cafe Smoked Meat @ Estrella's

Pizza Margherita @ Pizzeria Farina Aburi Salmon Oshi @ Minami/Miku

Shrimp Taco @ Sal Y Limon Porchetta @ Meat & Bread

Fried Chicken Wings @ Phnom Penh Kan Poong Ki @ Hee Rae Dung

Chicken Rocket @ Golden Pita Burnt Ends @ The Hog Shack

Beef Pancake Roll @ Peaceful Toroniku Shio Ramen @ Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Tuna Ta Taco @ TacofinoLamb Shish Kabob Shisklik @ Mangal Kiss

Pineapple Bun @ LidoPulled Pork Pancakes @ The Red Wagon

Puffed Foie Gras @ Diva at the MetMacarons @ Soirette

Roast Pork @ HK BBQ MasterJamaican Patty @ The Patty Shop

Purin @ Cake-YaLemon Basil @ La Chocolaterie

Shredded Chicken Salad @ Koon BoCroissant @ Chez Christophe

Moules et Frites @ Salade de FruitsBeef Jerky @ Bee Kim Heng

Lamb Popsicles @ Vij'sFried Chicken @ Chewies

Sushi @ Sushi HachiEbi Mayo @ Hapa Izakaya

Alla Famiglia Dining @ La QuerciaShrimp Dumplings @ Western Lake

Xiao Long Bao @ DinestyCutting Noodles @ Peaceful

House Special Crab @ James on HastingsGelato @ Bella Gelateria

Banh Mi Dac Biet @ Au Petite CafeLobster Oil @ Pink Peppercorn

Pho @ Pho TamSmoked Meat Poutine @ La Belle Patate


Consider it a personal challenge - I often like to seek out obscure restaurants.  Yes, ones that not many people have heard of and really would never visit either.  Why?  Well, location for one.  Some are located in purely industrial areas, far away from civilization and inaccessible to most.  Secondly, the lunch-only hours effectively eliminates people who do not work nearby.  So what use are these posts then???  Well, as informative as I intend to be, this is my personal blog and really, I can blog about whatever I wish!  LOL...  So the latest "hidden and totally obscure restaurant" is Hadi's which is right off River Road in Delta.  It is your typical industrial area lunch spot which is frequented by its regular customers.  The cuisine here can only be described as "diverse".

Let's start with the Wor Wonton Soup shall we? Well, it looked like a wonton soup, but the soup base was sadly a mix between Knorr and other non-wonton soup seasonings.  The noodles were actually decently chewy though and the veggies were crisp.  As for the wontons, well, they were the all-pork variety and they more or less did the job.  Next up...  How about a complete Turkey Dinner with a side of Chicken Chow Mein???  Huh?  Well, you see, they have a cafeteria type of setup where you can choose different items for your plate.  Well, who said you can't have chow mein as a side to a traditional turkey dinner?  I think that's what we had all the time at our turkey dinners when I was growing up!  I think there was also some Chinese BBQ items and sometimes Sweet n' Sour Pork too! That's CBC for you (Canadian-Born-Chinese).  Well, the turkey dinner was okay.  The meat was kinda dry and the gravy was a bit watery.

Hey, let's go to Greek food now shall we?  The Chicken Souvlaki didn't really look the part and neither did it taste the part either.  It was slightly dry and hey, why not a side of stuffing with it... Honestly, the safest thing to order was a Bacon Cheeseburger.  And it delivered.  It was large with a moist patty and crispy bacon.  Fries were crispy too.  That hit the spot.  And it appears that many other people come to Hadi's to hit the spot as well.  I guess the large portions and wide range of food is the main draw here.  Or is it because there is nothing else around to eat?

The Good:
- Large portions
- Friendly lunch ladies
- Diverse menu

The Bad:
- Not expensive, yet not that cheap either
- Don't expect gourmet cooking here

Hadi's on Urbanspoon

Sunshine Cafe

Needing to grab a quick bite before my hockey game at the Richmond Oval, I decided to eat at Crystal Mall.  Uh...  Crystal Mall and Richmond on the same day and within 30 minutes of each other?  Did I have a death wish?  Am I a masochist?  Did I lose my mind?  Do I hate my car that much?  Well, I must admit, there are good eats to be found at Crystal Mall, so I can't avoid it on the account of a crappy parking lot right?  Well, I didn't park in the lot after all, so that negated some stress.  Furthermore, the eating destination was Sunshine Cafe, which is located on the outside of the mall.  Hence, parking in that deathtrap of a circle wouldn't have made sense anyways.

I met up with Viv and the kids (they arrived separately and parked at Crystal Mall!) and quickly ordered.  The first dish to arrive was the Szechuan Beef Noodles which was actually decent.  The noodles were al dente while the broth was spicy enough, yet it was a touch thin lacking depth.  The beef shank was moist, but could've stood for more braising as it was slightly chewy.  For the kiddies, we got them the Fried Chicken with Noodles.  The salty, peppery chicken had a good dusting of five spice which result in plenty of flavour.  However, the crispy chicken was somewhat dry.  This could've been alleviated with bigger chunks of chicken.  As for the al dente noodles, it sat in a mild broth that was flavoured by a good amount of pickled vegetable.

For myself, I decided to try the Railway Pork Chop set meal.  I wasn't a huge fan of the soggy fried pork chop.  Although it was tender and flavourful (albeit really sweet), the texture was off-putting.  The rice wasn't much better either as it was really mushy.  I would've also liked to see the pickles with more impact as well.  Lastly, I got an order of the Taiwanese "Burger".  This popular item is actually a slice of stewed pork belly stuffed inside a mantou with sugar, pickled mustard greens, cilantro and ground peanuts.  This one had a really large slice of pork belly which didn't have an appealing colour, but was moist and flavourful regardless. However, I found the burger plain and short on sugar. Not sure if this was the best pre-game meal one could have before hockey, but it was acceptable with some "meh" elements.  Okay for a quick meal, but not really somewhere I'm dying to do a return visit.

The Good:
- Okay pricing
- Decent portions

The Bad:
- Overall, the food was "meh"
- Small and cramp

Sunshine Cafe 陽光屋 (Crystal Mall) on Urbanspoon

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