Lee Garden Seafood is a somewhat new resto in Burnaby that replaced the infamous Grand Buffet. For many years, Grand Buffet was a solid, go-to spot for a cheap fill…the Uncle Willy’s of Asian fare. As the years went by, it slowly deteriorated into an unseemly dive with barely warmed chaffing dishes of nastiness alongside crunchy, past-due sushi and frostbitten ice cream. On our final visit, I pulled a ladle of soup from the tureen with a foot-long hair attached. Rock-bottom. They shut down, thankfully, a couple of years ago. This past spring the space was transformed into a rather luxurious new restaurant. Miss Vancouver Piggy captured the room beautifully in her post.
As is tradition in our office this time of year, we say goodbye to our summer students with a feast. This time around we went with a rather major meal at Burnaby’s newest Dim Sum joint.
Lee Garden is an extremely popular spot. On most days the parking lot is full by 11:30 a.m. with the overflow lining the side streets. Most dim sum items are in the $5 range so it ain’t bargains drawing in the crowds. It seems cleanliness, good eats and great service are the main attractions.
Har Gow will always be ordered. It’s a standard to go by. Here it’s labelled Lee Garden Special Prawn Dumplings. And these were pretty special. There’s a sizeable amount of fresh, firm prawn encased in a light wrap all steamed to a perfect degree. I haven’t come across many better executed.
Another standard, of course, is Sui Mai (Steamed Pork Dumplings). These were prepared very well. Tight, fresh ground pork, still juicy and full-flavored. The haphazard tossing of tobiko seemed odd. Why finish a nice dish so sloppily? Sherman noted this in his post as well. It’s very strange that a higher-end establishment would allow this kind of inconsistency to hit the table repeatedly.
From the Chef’s Specialty menu, we went with the rather inexpensive Pan Fried Noodle with Chive ($5.98). Nothing special but tasty, nonetheless. A good noodle cooked right.
Deep Fried Pork & Shrimp Dumplings. I love these mainly for the crisp and chewy wrap. The minced ingredients are on the minimal side but it is one addictive morsel!
For another crunchy, grease-laden treat, we grabbed a couple plates of Fried Shrimp Spring Rolls with Garlic. These were well-packed with crisp prawn and almost enough garlic. A sweeter dip would’ve helped but that’s just me being a gweilo.
To me, places like Private Home Chinese Cuisine are the perfect type of Chinese restaurant. If I’m on my own I can choose from a good variety of lunch specials. Here they are eight bucks and you get a small mountain of food. And with a group there’s plenty of spicy Sichuanese to choose from as well as an extensive Shanghainese menu. In the past few months I’ve made this a regular lunch spot and now it’s become a Friday Lunch favorite.
For a while, Private Home had two locations in Burnaby. We visited the Imperial St. location last year but came away very unimpressed. Of the eight or so dishes we’d tried, not a single standout. It was just one big table of bland. The newer location on Kingsway, near Highgate Mall, is nothing like that. If you want heat, look no farther.
The first half of this post is from a few months back (with crappy iPhone photos). We went mostly from the Sichuan side of the menu. We dragged along a couple of teens from a high-school job shadowing program. We gave them fair warning but there was no fear.
Sliced Chicken with Hot & Peanut Sauce. Served cold and bone-in, this is bursting with flavor and texture. The chicken is poached to perfection…tender and still juicy. The slather of chile sauce and oil, nice and salty, yet not overpowering. A good hit of numbing peppercorn. The cilantro and peanut giving freshness and a good crunch. A solid starting point.
The Xiǎo Lóng Bāo (soup dumpling) are fairly standard. Some plump and full, others starting to sag. As you see the friendly grandma preparing them beside the cash register, you know they’re as fresh as can be.
When we asked for a recommendation, we were told the Pepper and Pork with Spicy Sauce was a top-seller. Not quite what we’d expected. I mean, I love me jalapeñoes and all, but this is borderline nuts. You know how sometimes you get a tame, milder jalapeño? Well, these aren’t them. These are the fiery ones. As the pork was on the bland side all the flavor came from the peppers. After a few bites this just became painful.
The other side of that coin was the Shuizhu Niurou (Water Boiled Beef with Assorted Vegetables).
I’ve said it before. And I’ll say it again. The food court in Crystal Mall is a wonderland of delicious fare. Yes, there’s the mediocre. But with some perseverance and a bit of research, one can find a great lunch. As I’m already loaded with perseverance, all it took was discovering Selina’s Vancity Noms post on Crystal Mall’s latest treasure, Bubble Waffle Cafe.
Normally, upon seeing the words “bubble” or “waffle” on a food stall sign, I’d quickly veer away to seek out one selling some form of spicy soup. “Bubble” and “waffle” don’t quite conjure up thoughts of Laksa, Szechuan, Thai or any form of chile-laden soups. It turns out, Bubble Waffle serves up some seriously spicy soups in many varieties.
Bubble Waffle has it all going on. And at great value to boot. There’s fifteen or so soup bases to choose from. All come with crunchy cabbage, cilantro and silky tofu. You load on two toppings of your choice. Pick a noodle and voila! A customized bowl of somewhat healthy soup. 🙂
I have a personal favorite that I just can’t stop ordering.
Malaysian Laksa with Fried Shrimp Ball and Fried Fish Cake. On the menu checklist it’s listed as Curry Sauce. The sign at the counter says Malaysian Laksa. Confusion, yes! Seriously freaking delicious? Yes, as well! There’s incredible flavor going on here. Rich coconut milk teeming with chile oil, dried shrimp, curry, garlic topped with snappy fish cake and bouncy shrimp balls. I’ve tried this with the rice noodle. They don’t quite hold up to the heat. The ramen, on the other hand, stay nice and chewy here. A killer bowl, through and through.
In this day and age, a bargain is hard to come by. Sure, there is a lot of cheap stuff out there but to find something substantial, satisfying and reasonably priced, all at the same time, is a rarity.
When Becky mentioned great big, spicy hot pots at Red 6, I made sure to check it out promptly.
Red 6 is a tiny Mom & Pop shop in Parkcrest Plaza on Broadway in Burnaby. The room seats maybe twenty and on a cold, rainy day it’s packed. The main attraction here are the ridiculously huge, steaming hot pots.
This past Thursday was particularly wet and chilly. After Becky described the bountiful, spicy bowls on offer here, we grabbed The Gut and the three of us dug in.
The standard set for the Assorted Hot Pot consists of a choice of meat…beef, pork, chicken or fish. You can also opt for the seafood version (shrimp, mussel and fish ball). You choose rice or noodle and one of seven types of soup.
The Gut went for the Miso Soup with chicken. It looked darn good and due to the long amount of silence, I’ll assume it tasted just as good.
Right next to the Holdom Skytrain Station in central Burnaby, is a comfortable, friendly, slightly surreal sushi joint called Sushimoto. It’s a somewhat sleek and very unique venue.
Aside from the great fare, the room is full of interesting knick-knacks. Some traditional Japanese, some quirky eye candy. There’s the requisite paper lanterns but there’s also a cool collection of action figures.
The detail on Tony Montana is freaking eerie…right down to the five o’clock shadow!
I’ve been meaning to hit this place up for quite awhile. Since I first saw their vibrant menu and then read the continuing stream of positive commentary, it was obvious that this was a spot to go to for stellar eats.
Sushimoto offers up some pretty decent lunch specials. One of them is the Maki Roll, Miso Soup, Sunomono Combo. For $9.99 you choose from one of eight specialty rolls and your choice of Vegetable, Tako or Ebi Sunomono.
Quite a substantial sunomono. Nearly double the size I’ve become accustomed to in a combo setting. Clean, cool and very fresh.
The Red Hot Chili Roll really hit the mark. Great sushi rice to start…perfectly cooked and seasoned. A nice, creamy scallop filling topped with spicy tuna and drizzled with spicy sauce & mayo. It has a bit of zip…no serious heat factor, though.
A couple of Fridays ago, my mission was to get the gang in the mood for Dim Sum. Part of that mission was also to do a reasonably priced Friday lunch. Nothing scares fellow diners off more than a continuing string of expensive meals. When I brought up Wah Lun Chinese Restaurant on Hastings in North Burnaby, the idea was met with, “Why don’t you try it on your own gut first“. You see, the internets are full of so-so opinions about this place. There are also a bunch of positive comments out there and because Burnaby is sorely lacking in decent Dim Sum restaurants, I figure it’s best to check out each and every one. In the end the “Let’s all give it a shot” sentiment won out.
So, on an absolutely horrendous rain-soaked day, seven hearty souls trundled to the northern reaches of Burnaby to see what was really up at Wah Lun.
The checklist menu here has most of the usual suspects as well as a boatload more. What jumped out right away was the assortment of interesting dessert items. Not just egg tarts and coconut jello here. Unfortunately, no one had room after the dim sum feast.
After many, many dim sum lunches of late, I figure I’ll order at least one or two items I’ve yet to try. There’s always the must-haves, but variety is…well, you know. One item here that caught my attention was the Deep Fried Crispy Seafood Salad Roll. Damn tasty. Not what we’d expected, tho.
For this past week’s Sunday brunch we decided to mix it up a bit and veer away from the usual dim sum. Jefe came up with JB Malaysian in Burnaby. He hails from Malaysia, has visited JB several times and gives it a solid thumbs up. On that recommendation, Matty and I joined him for a mini-Malaysian feast.
JB Malaysian’s location is rather unfortunate. It’s just on the east side of the Royal Oak/Kingsway intersection. Traffic tends to fly past it’s tiny storefront. The lack of street parking isn’t helping neither. This particular room was the location of Penny Farthing many moons ago. Sure miss their killer fish ‘n chips…the real deal, right down to the newspaper wrap. Asian 54 and Miki Ramen then came and went in rapid succession.
The room is quite small seating maybe 25. We arrived Sunday afternoon to nearly a full, bustling house. Great sign, that.
We started with a couple orders of Roti Prata. Right about average, these were. Nice and greasy, a good chew but not near enough of the stretchiness of Bo Laksa King’s heart-cloggingly amazing version.
The accompanying curry dip was also workmanlike. A good depth with a hint of heat. It reappeared in the Kari Ayam (Malaysian Curry Chicken).
A fairly solid bowl. A bit too mild for my liking. I was hoping for more flavor bursts i.e. fennel seed, ginger, lemongrass to jump out…coconut, maybe? The chicken itself was OK. A few more minutes braising time would’ve done this dish a world of good.
The only other time I’d had Gado Gado was at Kedah House. Because it was part of their buffet, all the items were separate. So, if you’re like me, and had no idea how it’s assembled, your first try would be a minor, albeit tasty, disaster. JB’s Gado Gado was truly delicious. Big hunks of chewy, fried tofu covered with bean sprouts and julienned cukes, smothered in a rich peanut sauce and sprinkled with powdered peanuts. Great fresh flavors and textures. It’s not the most authentic version but it’s got enough decent elements to make it work.
After a couple of years of food-blogging, I thought it was time to hit up some old favorites and give them a fresh look. It’s always interesting to check out some different menu items and see if things are as good as I remembered. My main reason for going back to New Age is because of recent visits to Kalvin’s and Long’s Noodle House. At those two spots I had a couple of dishes that I noticed were also on New Age’s menu.
New Age Chinese Cuisine is primarily a Taiwanese resto with some Shanghainese thrown in for good measure. It’s quite an easy spot to miss as it’s located within the Best Western King’s Inn in Burnaby. There’s no street adverts for the restaurant…you’ve just got to know where you’re going.
This is the dining area you see when you first arrive. There’s three large tables and about five smaller ones. If you tack right at the service counter you’ll enter the much larger banquet area. There you’ll find several tables that hold ten or twelve.
Over the years I’ve dragged a Friday Lunch crew here about seven or eight times. This past Friday we arrived around 11:30 to a deserted room. As this was our first visit in many months, this gave me a bit of a scare. Plus the fact that the usual familiar faces were gone didn’t help neither. Not to worry. By the time we left, the entire restaurant was full up.
As mentioned, I really wanted to come back here because of a couple of interesting plates I’d got to try recently. By sheer coincidence, Jacky Chan, a co-worker and my personal Chinese food guru, visited Long’s Noodle House the night before and had their Wine Chicken. We had a bit of a concern that our fellow diners might not appreciate a cold, partially gelatinous chicken dish. After a bit of humming and hawing, there wasn’t a complaint to be heard.
Here, it’s referred to as Chicken in Shao Xing Wine Sauce. This must’ve been a big bird. Although a bit drier than Long’s version, it was much meatier and packed with just as much flavor. A touch salty but not overly so.
One dish that resonated quite well from the feast at Kalvin’s was their Chicken with Three Spice aka Three Cup Chicken. It was a great dish. New Age’s version, methinks, was even better.
Slathered in a combo of Shaoxing wine, sesame oil and soy, this dish is a must order here. What sets it apart from Kalvin’s is that the meat is much more tender and a lot less bony. It simply falls away…no bits of bone to contend with. The soft cloves of garlic don’t hurt a bit. Phenomenal stuff.
Phở 24 Express is Burnaby’s newest Vietnamese restaurant. It took a long while. Last June, this spot was Numero Uno Pizza. The new façade went up quite quickly when Numero Uno vacated. For a couple of months I waited and waited with baited breath for more phở in Burnaby. They teased me by wallpapering the windows with their menu. How cruel is that??! I’d drop by occasionally to check on the progress only to be teased yet again. Finally, around New Year’s, they opened their doors.
Phở 24 Express is a reincarnation of Gold Train Express II out on West 10th in Point Grey. Years ago it was my go-to spot before work at Provence. They made a killer bò kho as well as some great phở. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re still as a good as I remember.
I gotta say, this was a fantastic bowl. A solid curried broth jacked with lots of black pepper. Several big hunks of dark-meat chicken…nary a bit of gristle or bone. Plenty of roasted peanuts and chips of roasted garlic…great textures and an abundance of flavor. My only quibble was with the vermicelli. A bit too thin…verging on angel-hair…next time I’ll ask for the egg noodles. Can’t say enough about the broth, though. Great stuff…bowl drained.
Crystal Mall, for those of you that haven’t been there, is a circular two-level Asian shopping center in Burnaby. On its street-level perimeter and on its inner concourse, are a plethora of small (some very good) restaurants. On the upper level is the mall’s food court, a wonderland of various Asian food stalls. They are all primarily Chinese-run and most offer Chinese fare. There is a smattering of Japanese and one that serves up Thai and Malaysian. All told, there’s about thirty vendors to pick from…they run the gamut from so-so to darn impressive. When lunchtime rolls around and I’m not 100% sure what I’m hungry for, I head to the food court and start grazing.
Today’s first stop is Red Persimmon Taiwanese Cuisine for their Gua Bao (刮包) aka the Taiwanese Burger. This pick was due to a tip from Kim from I’m Only Here For The Food.
It doesn’t look like much…kinda boring actually. But that’s far from true. The big chunk of pork has been braised a good looong while…very tender, very moist. The massive, pillowy steam bun has nice chew, slathered with sugary peanut powder and crunchy pickled greens. Excellent value at $3.50.
Seems most recipes call for cilantro. That particular fresh herb would have livened things up nicely.
Ali Shan is another one of those places I’ve walked by many times on my way into Crystal Court. I’ll pause awhile, peruse the colorful array of food photos, and keep on going. Finally, after many months, I stopped in for a quick lunch.
This is a small, comfortable and welcoming room that fills up fast over the lunch hour. It’s located on the south side of the mall, across from the library, right next to the entrance to the parkade from hell. Here’s a tip for whenever you want to hit Crystal Court…grab a spot at Station Square. It’s a short walk and it’s free. You will, however, miss the never-ending entertainment of circular parking.
***Since I started writing this (yesterday), Ali Shan has closed this location and moved shop around the corner. They are now two doors down from Green Bamboo, a big-time favorite of mine! The new store hasn’t yet opened. A server told me they plan on opening sometime in May.
Dang. Too many good options. Being in the mood for something spicy (as usual) but not soup-wise, it took awhile to choose. Luckily, there was a big poster displaying the ”Spicy Stired Beef with Rice Cake”. Sounds good to me!
At first glance, I was just a bit worried. The tubes of rice cake looked to be on the hefty side. Turns out they weren’t at all…fantastic these were! Rather light, actually. They picked up the sweet and spicy sauce beautifully. A great plate, this.
A couple of weeks back, on a rather lackluster Tuesday, The Gut asked, “What’s for lunch?”. After the usual suspects came to mind, I remembered checking out some posts on Bubble World the previous evening. Upon reading a bunch of mixed reviews and checking out their somewhat diverse menu, I figured it was worth a shot.
Bubble World is a chain of eight restaurants throughout the GVRD. The spot in Burnaby is a popular late-night hangout for Bubble Tea aficionados, obviously. I’ve never been a big fan of jelly globules in my beverages. Maybe its just the fact that I have to chew my drink. Much prefer ice…it serves a purpose!
The menu here is mainly Taiwanese with a smattering of dim sum and a bit of Japanese. It’s very much like No. 1 Beef Noodle House and The One, just to name a couple of local spots. Not sure why these places feel the need to widen their menus so far…there’s so much good Taiwanese fare already. It seems odd and a bit tricky, kitchen-wise. Unless you have a top-notch kitchen staff, the quality of the food will always suffer.
Enough with the opinionating! On to the food!
Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro is a small and hugely popular French restaurant in North Burnaby. On my first visit, this past Monday, I managed to snag the last table. I walked past on Thursday around 1:30…not a seat to be had, people waiting. On Friday I made a reservation for 11:30. Again, full house.
One reason for this venue’s popularity is the friendliness of the owner/server, Isabelle. Each guest is greeted with a happy “Bonjour!” Even with an over-flowing lunch service her temperment never wavers, creating a homey, warm vibe. Another reason is this concise and well-planned menu.
Along with the soup, salads, sandwiches and “Plats”, they also do an amazing breakfast, I’m told.
Great food, a fine selection of beer and wine…life is good!
On my “scouting-mission” visit, I went with the Snitzel.
A couple of months ago a new, up-scale Chinese restaurant opened its doors in Burnaby. Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant is located in the Grand Villa Casino complex. With a mix of high-quality Dim Sum and top-notch plates, it seems to be the go-to place for well-heeled locals.
Upon arrival, we asked for a table for six. There were a few tables available but we were seated at the biggest one, a ten-top. When I asked why we were given a table so big, the service captain said, jokingly, “So you order more food!”. I knew he was kidding, but in the end, he was spot on.
The service here, it must be noted, is well above average. There’s a small army of suited waiters looking out for their customers. While waiting for the other half of our party to arrive, I realized I hadn’t plugged the parking meter. On my way a server actually followed me outside to offer suggestions on where to park for free. As I was parked just outside, and it was a dollar an hour, I just paid the meter. You’ve got to appreciate that level of attention.
Seeing as how we are a group of five and a half Caucasians, there was a small amount of trepidation. Three of us were adorned in our finest work clothes, the other three nattily attired in office gear. But, as Kim says, “I’m only here for the food!”.
We started with an array of dim sum. The price points are a tad higher than most. Small $4.50, medium $4.95, large $5.25, special $5.50 and Chef’s Special $6.50.
Well, here we are…New Year’s Eve, the last Friday of 2010. It’s been a damn good year, eats-wise. Plenty of new, local discoveries along with trips to Zacatecas and Merida in Mexico…some of the best Mexican fare I’ve encountered. Ten days spent in Vietnam left me hungering for many more southeast Asian explorations. So, it being the last Friday of the year, I got together a rather skeleton crew of lunchers and headed to Meishan Restaurant.
Meishan is on the concourse level of the Crystal Mall in Burnaby. They’re right across the way from S&W Pepper House, a fine spot for Sichuan fare. Meishan offers up Taiwanese as well as some real good Sichuan. Many times, coming and going from S&W, I’ve stopped to stare at their droolworthy façade.
This is a compact space. They make the most of it, however. There’s a couple of big tables for eight, about eight four-tops and one two-top.
At lunchtime on New Year’s Eve there’s a decent crowd…about a dozen total. I’m guessing this place packs up on regular days.
Meishan has a pretty substantial menu. This is about half of it. The Lunch Special menu itself (top-right & bottom-center) is quite impressive. I’ll be back for the Sichuan Beef Noodle Soup and their Dan Dan Noodles.
Once upon a time, there was a cool, house-shaped restaurant in Burnaby called Phở Saigon. As I mentioned in that post, it was my very first bowl of phở. They, through a variety of owners, put out a very good product. For a while there, I was visiting two, three and sometimes four times a week. A few months back they shut down and re-opened as Phở Tân.
I’m just going to go ahead and assume this is an off-shoot of Phở Tân at Main & 30th that a small section of the local blogosphere has written about. Based on those posts, I figured I was in for some great grub.
They’d really spiffed things up. New furniture, a lick o’ paint, a few new plants. Really an all round, clean and comfortable space.
The service is friendly and attentive. A lady is busy shining up the glass on the entrance door. She notices my camera and suddenly the owner drops by for a chat. He asks what kind of camera I have, chats a bit about a camera he used to have then wanders off. If you’re in this situation, you may figure they’d take notice and bring out the good stuff…don’t bet on it.
For this post, and this post only, The Friday Lunch becomes The Wednesday Lunch. Wednesday is the day that owner/chef Anton Heggen of the Fraser Park Restaurant serves up his completely homemade, gut-busting German Lunch.
If you’re in the GVRD, the Fraser Park Restaurant is about as far outta the way as you can get. It’s down by the Fraser in Burnaby at (nearly) the end of Byrne Road. It’s kind of easy to miss. About 150 meters before you hit the river, hang a sharp right into an industrial park. Look for the big green awning.
You’ve got to get here early in the day. Closing time is two p.m., Monday to Friday. One thirty on Saturday…closed, for a well-deserved rest on Sunday. Starting at 6:30, six days a week, they put out a major-league breakfast. The German Breakfast is, still, hands-down, the best value/quality breakfast anywhere. A three egg scramble with all three favorite (homemade) breakfast meats for $7.50. The German potato pancakes are an excellent addition…thin and perfectly crisped. Stay tuned for the full German Breakfast post.
I still remember my very first sushi experience. About fifteen years ago some friends invited me out to Yakko Sushi in Station Square. We had some, as we know it now, basic fare…miso, tempura, California rolls. It was a wonderful, eye-opening foray into Asian food…something besides Combo B at the Dragon Fort.
Here is a fascinating insight into Vancouver Japanese restaurants circa 1998.
Nowadays, we’ve got a great selection of sushi joints all over town. One of the better ones, it turns out, is Gohan West Coast Japanese Restaurant.
I’m lucky to have an in-house Japanese food advisor. When it comes to seeking out the best of the best, The Gut, aka, Louie Louie, knows his Japanese fare. He’d mentioned Gohan a couple of months ago and this past Friday I gathered the troops.
Seeing an “older” hand at the reins is a promising sign…this man knows his stuff.
To start, we ordered from the “Original Seafood” section of the menu.
For quite a while I’ve been trying to drag the gang out to Burgers Etc. BBQ House. Usually we opt for some sort of Asian fare a little closer to the office. This Friday we finally made the trek up to Hastings and Gilmore for a BBQ feast!
Burgers Etc. is a bit of an eclectic joint…the walls festooned with Americana, license plates and various instruments. Gives it a nice, warm, den-like atmosphere. The BBQ-smoke-infused air does nothing but help the appetite along…
Along with pretty decent BBQ, they offer up a variety of solid beers (and Budweiser), sodas as well as their own BBQ sauce.
This was, I think, my third trip to Burgers Etc. BBQ House. The first time, I had their “award-winning” burger. Although I can find no mention of this contest on the web, they claim to be the winner of CTV’s Best Burger in Vancouver. On my second trip I went with the BBQ Ribs and Beef Brisket Combo. The ribs weren’t all that special but the brisket oh, that brisket!
This time round, I’m here for the full meal deal…The Menu Sampler.
Several weeks ago, while working along Kingsway, by Metrotown, I noticed a new awning adorning Tai Won Chinese Restaurant. Always intrigued by new restaurant signage, I made a mental note to go check it out. Before I got a chance, Shokutsu from Foodosophy beat me to the punch. His well-written, in-depth post only intrigued me more.
Tai Won is located on a quite safe stretch of Kingsway in Burnaby. One must always be aware, however, of unsavory types lingering on the roadside looking for dining partners. This particular gentleman was especially persistent to the point that we invited him along for some lunch.
There is a fair bit of confusion about this establishment. The sign says “Chinese Restaurant”. However, once inside, you immediately can tell it’s a Korean-run spot. The staff are Korean as are all the menu items. Shokutsu cleared up some of the confusion on his post with this: “Its a Chinese-influenced restaurant however, but basically the niche genre of Chinese-Korean cuisine that’s available in Korea.”
Our server made a point of asking if we knew that they serve Korean-Chinese fare. Not knowing exactly what that meant, we all said, “Um, ok!”. Bring it on!
There’s so much to love about Indian food. From tandoori to tikka masala, paneers to pakoras and kormas to kebabs, Indian cuisine is wide-ranging, extremely flavorful and virtually everywhere these days. A great way to experience it is in buffet form. A darn good and very popular spot is Saffron Indian Cuisine in Burnaby.
Saffron offers up a lunch time buffet for $12.99. With twelve hot items, naan, fresh salads and a couple really good desserts, it’s a decent value.
Sorry for the mediocre photos…they don’t do these items justice at all. The mainstays here are butter chicken, tandoori chicken, saffron rice and usually a biryani and curry of some kind…usually beef or lamb. Every now and then they offer a korma and/or masala as well as at least two veggie items.
Now, onto the Indian food porn!
Way back in September 2009, I wrote a post on Green Bamboo Vietnamese Cuisine. Since then the owner/chef has been continually tweaking his menu with new and delicious items. As Green Bamboo has become my favorite local, I thought it deserved an updated post.
Green Bamboo is located on Willingdon Avenue, just south of Kingsway in Burnaby. They are street-level next to the ever popular Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot. The room is quite small, usually steamy and plastered with droolworthy photos of their dishes. Last summer while I was outside checking out the pics, the owner came out and promptly recommended the Grilled Pork Vermicelli Rice Bowl. Turned out to be a fantastic dish. For the last year or so I’ve slowly been making my way through the quite large and varied menu. I have my standbys, but there’s so much more…
Unfortunately, the days of the good old-fashioned drive-ins & diners are long gone in these parts. Well, maybe they’re not all gone, but they are definitely few and far between. Lost In The 50’s Drive-In is an old-school spot that has recently been given a facelift.
Located in Burnaby, just east of the Canada Way/Edmonds intersection, this little burger joint has literally been “Lost in the 50’s” for quite a while now. As it’s en route to my office, I have passed it by thousands of times over the years. For the longest time a double-decker bus was parked alongside only to fall victim to years of neglect and vandalism. As it appeared, so did the diner. Probably a big reason for it’s lack of success. Recently a young Korean fellow took over the reins from his parents and gave the place a whole new feel.
This intrepid restaurateur has taken the old-school diner, saved the basics, and given it a modern twist. Alongside the milkshakes and onion rings are organic burgers and mini bottles of Mexican sugar-cane Coke. There’s even a selection of hand-crafted root beers, to boot.