Sherman's Food Adventures: February 2022

The Yellow Chilli

This post has been a long time coming.  It is not because I've been waiting to try The Yellow Chilli, rather, this was done awhile ago and I just didn't finish writing about it.  Once you see all the food Mijune and I ate, you will understand why.  Now don't confuse this with a restaurant in Surrey with a similar name.  This one features the unique dishes designed by famed Indian Masterchef Sanjeev Kapoor.  Furthermore, with a modern decor and crafted cocktails to boot, this is no ordinary Indian restaurant.  Without further ado, let's get to the over 30 dishes we tried!

The night of gluttony began with the Masala Papad & Dahi Golgappa.  Topped with a tangy tomato and onion relish, the crispy lentil cracker was an appetizing snack before we got to the mains.  There was plenty of sharpness from the onions and  tanginess from the tomatoes.  Somewhat similar, the dahi golgappa featured hollowed up puri were filled with yogurt and topped with tamarind and pomegranate seeds.  Due to the sweetness and acidity present, this was another item that whetted our appetites.

Onto our actual appies, we started with the Hara Masaley Ka Bhuna Paneer which was charred paneer and vegetables in a green marinade.  Loved this dish as the paneer was beautifully charred.  This gave a smoky flavour to go with the decent amount of heat.  The lemon wedge provided the brightness for the dish. This was further enhanced by the side of 3 chutneys including mint, tamarind and beetroot.  

Another vegetarian offering was the Tandoori Soya Chaap sporting soya bean-based imitation chicken that had an appealing texture akin to the Chinese-style vegetarian "chicken".  It was marinated in yogurt and spices then charred in the tandoor (was pretty crispy on the outside).  Hence, it also had an aromatic smokiness accented by spice and heat.  They were served in shot glasses with the mint and beetroot chutneys.  There was considerable spice from the cilantro chuntey.

One of my favourite dishes of the meal was surprisingly the Crisp Palak Chaat with batter-fried baby spinach leaves drizzled with tangy dressing, sweet yogurt and pomegranate pearls.  Seriously, each leaf of baby spinach was hand-battered and fried.  Imagine the effort!  Well, it paid off because each one was crispy and light.  The appetizing tang from the dressing and yogurt kept me going back for more.  Addictive!

Moving along, we had something that at first glance looked like a Thai green papaya salad.  Well it was to an extent being the Papaya Peanut Kachumber with raw papaya & roasted peanuts in a tamarind dressing.  Due to the use of tamarind, the flavour profile was tangy and sweet.  There are different versions of this salad without tamarind, but I'm glad they used it because the flavour is more unique and impactful.  There was also a background earthiness to the dish.

Onto something that featured meat, we had the Murgh Angaar Bedgi which was chicken tikka spiced with special bedgi chillies.  Once again, the marinated chicken had a flavourful caramelized crust on the outside.  Hence, it was plenty tasty even without the chutneys.  There was spices and some heat while the chicken itself was tender and moist.  Again, to lighten things up, the lemon wedge was there for those who wanted it.

Another favourite of mine was the Tandoori Lamb Chops.  Not trying to sound like a broken record, these were marinated in yogurt and spices, then cooked perfectly with a nice char.  There was a good combination of spices including noticeable cumin and coriander (which is excellent with lamb) and heat.  The meat itself was fatty, tender and juicy.  I could eat a tonne of these!  By now, the beetroot chutney was being overused a bit, so maybe a different sauce, or not sauce would've differentiated the dishes better.

No, we weren't done with the same style of plating yet as we had the Chanajor Garam Tiki which was fried cheesy potato patties coated with spiced black chickpeas.  Another study in contrasting textures where the soft filling was countered by the crunchy chickpeas on the outside.  It was almost like a croquette, but with more flavour and spices.  I didn't get too much of the cheese, but it was definitely there.

One last appie was the Amritsari Machchi featuring fried halibut nuggets.  The thing about halibut is that it is pretty easy to tell if it is fresh or not.  This particular dish did have fresh halibut as it was flaky and almost buttery (which cannot happen if they halibut is not fresh and also if overdone).  Each nugget was coated in a thin crispy batter that was nicely spiced.  The caraway seeds provided a nice flavour to each piece of fish.  This especially went well with the salad.

Now finally exiting the appetizer portion of the meal (would be enough food for most already...), we headed to the mains.  The first set of dishes included Murgh Survedaar, Subz Panchvati, Lalla Mussa Dal and Shaam Savera.   The murgh survedaar featured a spicy chicken curry flavoured with black pepper and coriander. This was actually one of the least spicy dishes we had, but that also allowed for the other flavours to come through.  The chicken came in large tender and moist chunks.  With a mix of veggies, the subz panchvati exhibited good spice and spices.  There was a noticeable tanginess and the veggies were still vibrant and crisp.  I found the lalla mussa dal to be creamy and a bit tomatoey with noticeable heat.  The lentils were tender while still exhibiting a bite.  Sporting 4 spinach dumplings filled with creamy paneer in tomato gravy, the shaam savera was a hearty vegetarian dish.  The actual dumpling itself was rather dense, but I enjoyed the paneer and it went well with the relatively mild silky sauce which was quite complex.

Next four dishes were Gobhi Achari, Fish Tikka Masala, Dal Tadka Dhaba and Butter Chicken.  With firm cauliflower florets, the gobhi achari was appetizing with tanginess from the collection of pickling spices.  This was further enhanced by some of the classic spices such as cumin, coriander and turmeric.  I loved the fish tikka masala as the fish itself was in large pieces as well as being flaky and moist.  This was one of the more mild offerings with appealing tang and of course mix of spices.  Onto another lentil dish, the dal tadka dhaba was rich with a definite cumin slant.  This was medium in terms of heat and featured yellow lentils.  Alas, of course we had the butter chicken and this was delicious.  I found this version to be creamier and more subtle than some of the tangier ones.  There was definite heat to go with the usual spices.  Hidden within the sauce, we found large pieces of tandoori chicken that were flavourful and tender.

Continuing on, I doubled up on the picture of the Gobhi Achari but clockwise, we had the Bhuna Gosht, Do Pyaaz Ki Bhindi and Butter Chicken Dariyaganj.  I was delighted to see that we were served the bhuna gosht as I normally do not have a chance to eat goat.  This featured tender meaty pieces of bone-in goat.  I found the flavours to have a fall-spice slant with a strong presence of cloves.  I quite enjoyed the okra in the do pyaaz ki bhindi where it was fried to a point where it didn't exhibit much of the usual slimy texture.  The combination of spices created a wealth of flavours that was a bit smoky, spicy and earthy.  Sporting bone-in chicken, the butter chicken dariyaganj was noticeably more tangy than the other butter chicken we had. Also, being the chicken leg, the meat was more rich and slightly more tender.

Last set included Salad, Raita, Makhanwala Paneer  and Nalli Rogan Josh.  As tasty as the aforementioned dishes were, I was really looking forward to getting in on some lamb creations.  My wish was granted in the form of the nalli rogan josh with a bone-in lamb shank.  The lamb was tender and gelatinous whereas the sauce exhibited fall-type spices including cloves and cinnamon.  Somewhat similar to butter chicken except with a few spice differences as well as the use of paneer over chicken, the makhanwala paneer was rich and creamy.

Now moving onto the starches of the meal, we had the Murgh Noormahal Biryani featuring a sealed pastry top.  This kept all of the moisture inside and also helped heighten the flavours.  There was plenty of heat to go with the spices where the cardamom and cumin stood out. The basmati rice was perfectly textured being al dente with a tender chewiness.  Nestled within it, there was tender nuggets of chicken that had taken on the flavour of the spices.

Onto the breads, we had everything including the Garlic Naan, Butter Naan, Pyaaz Mirch Ke Roti, Pudina Laccha Paratha, Plain Naan, Amritsari Kulcha and Pudina Laccha Paratha.  Naturally, I gravitated towards the garlic naan as that is my favourite.  It was crispy with a slight chewiness and full-flavoured with butter and garlic.  Now the rest of the breads were good but there was something different at the table.  Can you guess which one?  Yes, it is that big one being the amritsari kulcha topped with butter.  Apparently, there is a dedicated chef brought in from India that makes it.  This was soft and rich especially with all that butter.

Of course we had all of the desserts (thanks to Mijune) including Zaik-e-Shahi, Kesari Kulfi with Rabdi, Gajar Halwa, Gulab-e-Gulkand and Shahi Tukda.  My favourite of the bunch was the shahi tukda where the bread pudding was moist and sweet.  Nuts and dried fruit added some texture to the dessert.  I also enjoyed the gajar halwa which was shredded carrots, nuts, raisins and spices.  This was earthy and sweet and I especially liked the plump raisins.  The other 3 desserts were pretty sweet as usual but I did like the kulfi as it was creamy and aromatic.  Now as you can see, we practically destroyed the entire menu and usually that means there are more things to critique.  However, most of the dishes were on point and truly flavourful in their own unique way.  Definitely a place to hit up for Indian food in the Lower Mainland.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Curries were distinctive despite spice overlap, also had good heat
- Large portions
- Modern dining space

The Bad:
- Some appies were repetitive in flavour profile 

Social YVR

Finally made it out to Social on Commercial Drive even though it has been around for a bit.  Situated in the old location of Falconetti's, the place has been completely renovated with a varied menu exhibiting Asian influences.  I had an ulterior motive to visit the place as it sported a fried chicken sandwich that I wanted to try (for my IG account: @shermaneatschickensandwiches).  But don't worry, I ate many other items too...

To start, we had the Salt & Pepper Wings with a side of ranch dip.  I thought the wings were a bit small, but that can hardly be the restaurant's fault as it depends on the supplier.  The skin was well-rendered and completely crispy.  There could've been possibly more salt and pepper as the wings ate rather plain.  I thought the meat was on the drier side, but I guess this was a by-product of rendering most of the fat.

Staying with appies, we also had the Chicken Karaage Bao with fried chicken, pickled daikon & carrot, cilantro, hoisin and gochujang mayo. These were soft and fully stuffed with crunchy chicken that was still juicy. There was good spice, tang and sweetness. One thing that they should've done was to place parchment under the baos since they stuck to the bamboo steamer and fell apart when we tried to remove them.

Trying to get a bit out of every section, we decided on the Bacon Cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, bacon, house sauce and side salad. This was really good with a moist and meaty patty.  It had a good amount of natural beef flavour due to the fat content.  Those large slices of pickle added both crunch and tang.  Also, the lean bacon and burger sauce made things messy and flavorful.  Lastly, the toasted brioche did the burger justice.

One of the under-the-radar dishes was the Rigatoni Mushroom Alfredo with garlic cream and pecorino. It sure looked appetizing with just enough sauce to coat the pasta while topped with breadcrumbs.  It ultimately deliviered with al dente pasta and an impactful creamy sauce. It was earthy and aromatic with enough seasoning.  Back to the breadcrumbs, it added the necessary crunch.

Since we didn't get fries with our burger, we decided to add the Truffle Fries for good measure.  These were quite crispy with a decent amount of potato texture left on the inside.   They well-seasoned without overdoing the truffle oil.  However, we could of done with a bit more parm.  Not sure if ketchup was the right condiment for this, maybe some truffle mayo or aioli instead?

Okay, for the best dish of the night - the Nashville Hot Chicken Sammie!  Okay, this is actually an off menu item since they only have this as sliders.  I found it to be one of the best I've had recently and should be permanently on the menu.  The chicken was moist while the batter was crunchy.  There was a balanced spice and heat while the condiments worked well.  Bun was toasted and soft too.  Excellent.  To get our complete fry fix, we got a side of fries too.  Overall, the food at Social was quite good.  I would certainly come back, especially for the chicken sammie.

The Good:
- That chicken sammie!
- Varied menu, could be scary, but it worked
- Service was on point

The Bad:
- Seating is great upstairs, but downstairs is a bit cramped
- Need to put parchment under those baos

Match Eatery & Public House (New Westminster)

Now back to another restaurant that I've never visited before - Match Eatery & Public House.  Okay, before you leave me comments indicating that it is another chain restaurant and there is good reason I haven't visited it yet, please be aware that I happened to like some chain restaurants.  Just because a spot isn't a hidden gem or small bistro doesn't make it immediately a place that we should avoid.  Besides, I'm not a food snob.  Anyways, the reason I finally made it out to Match was due to their limited time Burger Bender menu.

As such, I decided to try all of the burgers and sides starting with the Sunny Side Luther featuring a 6oz griddled smash patty, American cheese, smoked crispy bacon and fried egg in between 2 house-made maple-bacon glazed donuts with breaded onion rings. I liked this as the donuts were light while holding up to the ingredients. Just sweet enough to balance the saltiness.  The strips of bacon were super crispy and that fried egg...  perfect.  On the side, the onion rings were large, crunchy and not greasy.

Stabbed with a steak knife, the BBQ Ranch Hand featured a 6oz charbroiled steak spice chuck burger, cheddar, coleslaw, onion ring, pulled pork and spicy BBQ sauce on a pretzel bun with a side of poutine. Meaty, thick and not over done, the patty was nicely charred. The slightly crunchy exterior gave way to tender meat.  A good amount of pulled pork lay on top of the melted cheddar.  There was an aggressive crunch from the onion ring and further crunch from the slaw.  As for the poutine, it sported plenty cheese curds and thick gravy atop potatoey fries. 

Onto our next burger, we had the Food Truck Double Down with 2 x 3oz patties (appeared to be a 6oz patty in this case?), American cheese, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles and special sauce on a soft potato roll with a side of  dirty fries. This was a pretty classic burger that was meaty and featured all the usual ingredients.  I thought the caramelized onion stood out with its sweetness.  The saltiness of the American cheese provided flavour while the special sauce also added to the classic burger taste. The dirty fries were thin and crispy and the loads of bacon and sauce on top made sure we didn't need any further condiments.

I loved the fact they included a Nashville Hot Chicken because if you don't know already, I'm still trying to find the best fried chicken sammie (check out my IG account dedicated to it!).  This included a double breaded spicy chicken breast, pickles and coleslaw with a side of hand-cut fries. I found the chicken to be moist with a crunchy breading.  Spice was mild and personally, I could've done spicier. The bun was soft and tangy coleslaw was creamy and crunchy. The fresh-cut fries were crispy with plenty of potatoey goodness inside.

With a play on words, the Filet O' Crispy Fish sported hand-dipped beer battered Atlantic haddock, tartar sauce, slaw, butter lettuce, Old Bay mayo, dill pickles and lemon on brioche with Caesar salad. The large piece of fish was flaky and moist. I found the tempura batter to be fairly thin where it was crunchy and cooked through.  I quite enjoyed this sandwich.  On the side, the Caesar was dressed just enough and also had a drizzle of sweet balsamic glaze.  

Possibly the most surprising burger was the Grilled Chicken Goddess.  I was drawn to the other offerings first, but in reality I really enjoyed this one.  It featured a fire-grilled chicken breast with sliced avocado, goat's cheese, butter lettuce, tomato, sprouts, pickled red onion and green goddess dressing on multi-grain bun with yam fries. The chicken was nicely charred and smoky but still moist.  There was a wealth of flavours and textures. Yam fries were fried perfectly being crispy while not dry.

We decided to try a few more items including the Salt & Pepper Wings with carrot and celery sticks as well as blue cheese dressing.  Since Match is essentially a sports bar, this is one dish that needed to be good.  Well, I'm happy to report that they were excellent.  The skin was nicely rendered and crispy while the meat was juicy.  There was enough seasoning for the wings to stand on their own.

Since it was pasta night, we ended up ordering a few including the Mushroom Pesto Rigatoni with pumpkin seed arugula pesto, cremini mushrooms and red pepper topped with caramelized onions, goat's cheese and parmesan. This large portion sported al dente rigatoni bathed in a mild-tasting pesto.  I got the pepperiness of the arugula, but since we got the parm and goat's cheese on the side, the flavour profile changed when they were added.  More creaminess and saltiness was evident and that was probably the intention of the dish.

We also got the Ultimate Mac & Cheese with cheesy mac sauce, pulled pork, bacon and slow roasted grape tomatoes topped with bread crumbs and crispy onions.  This was definitely cheesy as the cheese was quite visible.  It could've been a bit smoother, but the lack of filler meant it tasted quite good.  The choice of Cavatappi pasta was perfect as it was al dente and held onto the sauce well.  Of course, the addition of bacon and pulled pork made this more of a meal.

For dessert, we had the Sticky Toffee Pudding with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  This was super sweet but honestly, that is what sticky toffee pudding is all about.  The whole thing was ooey gooey and full of smoky deep toffee flavour.  The side of ice cream wasn't just for show, it was creamy and of course went well with the pudding.  Overall, we quite enjoyed the meal at Match.  The burgers were solid and the other items were pretty good.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- All around solid food given its venue
- Large portions
- Large dining space with big TVs (for sports)

The Bad:

- Possibly some needed renos

Kamei on Broadway

Oh wow, this is a blast from the past...  Kamei on Broadway is back!  Ignore the signage in the picture because the Ebisu name is being phased out.  In fact, the location on Robson is not even affiliated with Kamei at all.  I remember dining at Kamei on Broadway when I was a kid and then came back when I was in University with my friends.  I was recently invited to see the new menu which is more creative and modern.  Loved walking up the steps from 8th Ave as it brought back so many memories.  Pro tip: park on 8th Ave for the fastest and most direct access to the restaurant.

To start, we were served the Salmon Carpaccio drizzled with ponzu, truffle mayo, purple onion, cucumber and fried garlic chips.  The thin slices of Atlantic salmon were fresh and buttery exhibiting a nice sheen.  There was just enough ponzu to flavour the fish while the drizzle of truffle mayo was restrained (a good thing).  I'm not sure if the purple onion was necessary as it was rather sharp-tasting.  Otherwise, this was a solid dish.  

Next, we tried the Hamachi Bombs that were minimum 2 per order.  They consisted of yellowtail sashimi, serrano pepper, avocado, ginger, micro greens, pepper threads and truffled ponzu sauce.  The trick with this dish is to mix everything together, add a squeeze of lime and hopefully stuff everything into your mouth for one bite.  I was able to do that and it was bright, tangy and lightly sweet with a touch of spice.

We also had the Seafood Chawanmushi with prawn, mushroom and ginkgo nuts topped with salmon roe.  This might've been a small serving, but it was packed with ingredients.  Nestled inside were 2 fairly large shrimp which were delicate with a meaty snap.  Plenty of mushrooms and ginkgo nuts as well.  They were hidden within a delicate steamed egg custard which was lightly seasoned and sweet.

Onto something that was a real mind-bender because it looked suspiciously like an okonomiyaki.  Well, it had the ingredients of said dish, but underneath, it wasn't a pancake.  Rather, it was mountain yam.  Now this could be confusing for some who have never had mountain yam because the texture is akin to sticky mashed daikon.  I have had it before and I don't mind it, especially when the Yamaimo Teppan is topped with mayo, takoyaki sauce, ginger and bonito flakes.

If there was a dish that begged to be eaten, it was the Wagyu Wonder Bowl.  Look at it, don't you want to eat it???  It sported rice in a hot stone bowl topped with fatty wagyu, a slice of foie gras, egg and kabayaki sauce.  Oh man...  I loved this as even though this sat for awhile, the bowl was hot enough to create a socarrat.  The fatty beef and the foie just made this so luxurious.  So much umaminess from the fat which was nicely accented by the sweet sauce.

Of all the dishes, I really wanted to try the Kani Miso Udon because it had a fried soft-shell crab on top.  Loved the visuals!   The udon was bathed in a creamy red snow crab miso sauce with salmon roe, shiso and nori.  This was much more subtle than I was expecting, but it was still delicious.  I could get the natural sweetness of the ingredients while the miso was not overpowering.  

We decided to add a few dishes on our own dime because they looked so good on the menu!  The Alaskan Sablefish was quite the value at $26.00 because of the portion size.  But the preparation was also on point.  It was perfectly prepared being buttery and flaky. It was inherently flavourful from the miso saikyo sauce.  It was served atop mushroom dashi rice and crispy veggies on the side.

Lastly, but definitely not least, the Kanagawa Wave was beautifully plated featuring lightly grilled ika, toro, hamachi, red tuna, sockeye salmon, oysters, ebi and hotate.  On the side, there was freshly grated real wasabi, purees (plum, miso & nori) and salts (smoky, matcha and house seasoning).  All of the sashimi was fresh and vibrant.  Loved the real wasabi (as it tastes good rather than just being sharp like the fake stuff).  Interesting flavour combos from the salts and purees.  Honestly, this was a treat to be back a the original Kamei on Broadway.  It is also nice to see new menu items and creative ways of presenting dishes.

*Partial comp on the food and drinks*

The Good:
- Hey, it's Kamei on Broadway! OG Japanese spot in Vancity.
- Reasonable pricing with all things considered
- Good execution on dishes

The Bad:
- Renos are needed to modernize
- Address should really be 8th Ave as people get confused when they show up on Broadway looking for the restaurant 


Rajio Public House

Boy, I haven't been to Rajio in quite some time and it isn't because of the pandemic either.  Sure, it has only recently reopened for dine-in, but if I remember correctly, the last time I ate at the place was way back in 2016.  It's been so long, I remember dining at this location when it was Pair Bistro.  Okay, that is going too far back.  Let's concentrate on the present where they are welcoming guests back into the dining room.  Jacqueline and I were invited to try out some of their new items including the Kushikatsu.

Speaking of which, we got a selection of the Kushikatsu including Duck, Jumbo Shrimp, Scallop, Oyster, Lotus Root, Onion Pork, Beef, Eel and Squid.  These were fairly large in size depending on the item.  I enjoyed the shrimp as it was not overdone and crispy on the outside.  The duck was good too as well as the oyster.  There was a sweet soy dip served in a large metal trough (which made it easy to dip).  In reality, we only tried a small amount of the available options.  

Something pretty standard on any Izakaya menu is the KCT Karaage.  This version featured huge chunks of juicy chicken thigh coated with a seasoned batter of dashi and soy sauce.  Hence, there was no need for any dip or dressing as each piece was not only bursting with natural juices, it was also full-flavoured while not salty.  The lemon on the side was necessary in my opinion as it added some brightness.

One of my favourite dishes of the meal was the Fresh Corn Karaage.  This was deep-fried and tossed in a truffle soy butter sauce and aonori.  Such a simple item, but so full of impactful flavours.  I got the savouriness of the soy, but the silkiness of the butter added depth.  There was only a slight hint of truffle and more umaminess was provided by the aonori.  Of course the sweetness of the corn itself completed the flavour profile.

Now the corn was one of my favourites, but possibly my favourite of all was the Cheese Tofu sporting cream cheese, gorgonzola and mozzarella.  This cheese mixture was so smooth and creamy.  The sharpness of the gorgonzola was kept to minimum while the whole thing was balanced off by the maple syrup and preserved figs.  When spread onto the melba toast, there was a nice textural contrast.

One of the more offbeat dishes was the Peking Chicken.  It came complete with crepes, scallions, julienned cucumber and hoisin sauce.  So all the elements were there and instead of duck skin, we found battered and fried chicken skin along with some shrimp chips.  The crepes were chewy yet moist while the chicken skin was indeed crispy.  For this dish, I would've liked to see non-battered crispy chicken skin though. 

Onto an Izakaya classic, we had the Jumbo Ebi Mayo.  Maybe they were just a bit too aggressive with the chili mayo, but rest assured, this didn't detract from the overall eating experience.  In fact, the tempura-battered prawns were still crispy where it was meaty and cooked just enough.  I personally would've loved a bit more of the chili portion of the mayo, but this was still good nonetheless. 

Onto some bigger items, we had the Uni-Bonara Udon in a creamy sea urchin sauce topped with real crab, tobiko, egg crepe, nori and arugula.  This was so savoury and sweet with full umami effect.  Hence, each bite yield such appealing flavour, I couldn't wait to take the next bite.  When mixed with all of the toppings, the dish took on more textures (as subtle as they were) and some hits of the sea.

We also added the Beef Steak Bibimbap with diced beef tenderloin, kombu, pickled celery, arugula and garlic chips on rice.  The stone bowl was hot enough to create a socarrat which was nutty and crunchy.  As for the mixture of ingredients, it was full of texture and sweet acidity.  When combined with the sweet garlic soy, there was plenty of flavour to go around.  I thought this rice was definitely a must order as it was both filling and tasty.

Something that took me by surprise was the Heavenly Shrimp Tonkotsu Ramen sporting a milky shrimp and pork bone broth.  This was so incredibly impactful that I drank all of all it!  Think of it as a classic tonkotsu broth spiked with the essence of shrimp shells.  So much briny umaminess!  The noodles were al dente and the slice of fatty chashu was melt-in-my-mouth tender.  I truly didn't expect such a solid ramen for a non-ramen spot.

For dessert, we had both the Crème Hojicha Pudding and Almond Tofu.  These were the perfect end to a varied and delicious meal.  I found the hojicha pudding to be creamy and light while spiked with plenty of tea flavour and muted sweetness.  As for the almond tofu, this was smooth and lightly sweet.  The fruity strawberry topping added some tang and brightness.  I'm so glad I had the opportunity to come back to Rajio and try most of the menu as they reopened their dining room.  I missed going for Izakaya during the pandemic and now that the cases are heading on a downward trend, I hope to keep coming back in the future.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Large selection of Kushikatsu
- Solid eats
- Surprisingly good larger dishes

The Bad:
- Small space, don't bring a large party

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