Sherman's Food Adventures: Buranko Cafe

Buranko Cafe

Often, when we combine multiple Asian cuisines into one restaurant, it can be disastrous.  I've seen some places that have pulled it off, but that would be the exception.  So when I got an invite to try out Buranko Cafe, I was a bit skeptical.  However, never judge a book by its cover right?  Actually, the cover was quite nice as Buranko Cafe is nicely appointed and really cute inside.  But what about the food?  There was Korean, Japanese and Thai on the menu.  I guess we were about to find out!

So we started with the Okonomiyaki Fries topped with the usual bonito flakes, kewpie mayo and unagi sauce.  Well, these were delicious!  The fries were super crispy and held up to the wet ingredients very well.  I found the flavours of Okonomiyaki were present including the sweet creaminess of the mayo and sweet tang of the sauce.  Add in the considerable amount of briny bonito flakes, it was a flavor bomb.

For myself, I decided on the Soft Shell Crab Pad Thai.  This was a decent portion of chewy noodles that were nicely caramelized by the stir-fry.  It could've used a bit more charring though as it was missing some of the classic smokiness.  But it didn't lack impact though as it was sweet with a balancing amount of tanginess as well as a touch of spice.  I loved the soft shell crab as it was creamy and soft while the batter was thin and crispy.

For my daughter, she decided to try the Chashu Bowl with marinated pork belly, sweet soy glaze, ramen egg, pickled cucumber, fukujinzuke and rice.  This was a pretty robust bowl of food as the pork belly was meaty, yet fatty at the same time.  Really tender and full of impact from the sweet glaze.  This went well with the chewy rice while the pickles added some needed crunch and acidity.  Ramen egg was custardy and flavorful.

Viv decided on the Spicy Seoul Chicken Bowl with KFC breast with Korean garlic-chili sauce, cucumber salad, sesame and kimchi on rice.  Once again, this was a hearty bowl with big pieces of tender chicken.  Being breast meat, it was not as juicy as leg meat, but it was still moist.  The batter was crispy and the sauce had plenty of spice and sweetness.  Loved the addition of kimchi as it provided a tangy spiced crunch.

My son had his favorite with the Galbi Bowl with Korean short ribs, sesame, zucchini, kimchi and rice.  This featured a bevy of tender beef short ribs that were perfectly marinated.  Lots of sweetness to go with the savouriness.  The char on the ribs added smokiness and texture.  Again, the rice was chewy and went well with the meat as well as the kimchi.  He loved that there was enough meat to go with the rice.

We were told to try the Miyagi Sandwich and yep, that was a good call.  This consisted of a deep fried chicken breast sandwiched in a soft, yet robust bun.  It kept everything together including the lime aioli dressing, tomato, lettuce and avocado.  The combination of ingredients worked well together as the tempura batter on the chicken was crispy and light.  It was complimented by the creamy and tangy dressing.

We also had dessert in the Mango Coconut Sticky Rice featuring butterfly-infused rice.  A simple, yet delicious treat, the mango was ripe and sweet (hey that rhymed!).  Perfectly-textured, the sticky rice was aromatic and creamy from the sweet coconut cream.  A nice finish to a delicious meal all within a cute dining space.  We also had some cocktails and those were good too.  Great place for lunch and also for dinner where you can hang out and grab some bevvies.

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this blog post*

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Impactful flavors
- Has a spot just for kids to play

The Bad:
- Portion size could be small for large appetities


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