5 Tastes Chinese Bistro

5 Tastes Chinese Bistro is located at UBC’s University Village. Since it was a Sunday, everything else was closed and my friend and I ended up going here for dinner after studying for our final exams. We wanted to have a nice meal and unwind after a long day but instead, we left feeling bitter about the whole dining experience.

When we arrived, one of the servers said something to us in Chinese but we didn’t understand so she just seated us at a table. When we opened the menu, we saw that they were all big dishes for family-style sharing… which we weren’t there for (obviously, it was just the 2 of us). My friend had been here once previously and had a smaller, individual meal so we were waiting to ask one of the people working there if they had a separate menu for that.

Everyone seemed so frazzled, running around looking like they were so busy but in fact, the restaurant wasn’t even half full. Several servers passed us by, including the manager who repeatedly yammered at us to “wait one moment”. Finally, he came over to our table and we asked if they had individual meals. He exclaimed that we have to sit at the other section so we had to switch tables at the other side. Turns out they do have another menu. They had some small dishes and snacks and if you want noodle soup, it’s kind of like Deer Garden where you choose the soup base, the type of noodles, and toppings to add.


Fish soup

I opted for a fish soup base since it was one of their popular options and I remember having good fish soup at other restaurants. Unfortunately, that was probably a mistake (although I don’t know if the other choices would’ve been any better). The fish soup was too fishy for me — OK, I know it’s fish but it shouldn’t have been that fishy. The beef slices I got were tough too and seemed like leftover pieces of meat.


Hot & Sour soup

My friend got the hot & sour soup base and she said it was too salty.

So the food wasn’t great, but it was edible. What disgusted us the most was the service. My friend heard the group before us asking to split their bill when they went up to pay and apparently the manager yelled, saying that they’re too busy to do that! That should be the default when you see a bunch of friends eating together. So when it was our turn to pay, we also asked to split the bill. We wouldn’t have bothered if one of us had enough change but sure enough, the manager was extremely rude and disrespectful to us too. He had the nerve to roll his eyes and scoff at us! Then, when I wanted to pay by credit card, he picked up and slammed this tiny sign on the counter that says there’s a minimum of $25 when paying by credit. He could’ve just told me nicely… 😡

Never before have I encountered such blatant disregard for customers. After our meal, I checked the reviews on Yelp and of course, they were all bad reviews! Check them out for more laughs. This was my first time here and I am never going back. I don’t think the owners even care that they’re losing customers due to their atrocious service. Thanks but no thanks for adding unnecessary stress on top of studying for finals.

Food – 5/10
Service – 1/10
Ambience – 6/10
Value – not even worth it

Miku Restaurant

The sisters and I wanted to treat ourselves to a nice lunch so we paid a visit to one of my personal favourite restaurants, Miku! I’m writing an updated review since my previous one was from almost 3 years ago. To be honest, not too much has changed, which is a good thing. The food is still very delicious and prepared beautifully. If you haven’t been to Miku yet, you’re missing out!

As soon as the 4 of us walked in, we were greeted and shown to our table right by the window where we had a lovely view of the waterfront. They even provided us with bottles of still and sparkling water for the table. Our server was very friendly and offered us good recommendations on what to order. Everything on the menu sounded yummy.

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Oysters on the Half Shell (MP; $24)

We had planned for oysters so we tried their Oysters on the Half Shell. These are their daily oysters so they vary from time to time and are priced at market price (MP). The ones we got were from the East Coast and were $24. You get 6 oysters with 3 different sauces on the side: wasabi chimichurri, lime leaf mignonette, and ginger cocktail sauce. The wasabi chimichurri (green one) was one of the more unique sauces that I’ve tried. We weren’t expecting them to be so small for their price, but they were very fresh and delicious with the sauces. I also wasn’t worried about getting sick from eating these raw oysters since they’re from a restaurant that I trust.

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Compliments of the manager

We were then served with some complimentary samplers. It was some sort of creamy vegetable(?) puree with crab meat and tobiko. It was a nice addition to our meal and they were presented so nicely!

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Kyoto Saikyo Miso Baked Sablefish ($27)

DC tried the Kyoto Saikyo Miso Baked Sablefish ($27) for her entree. It was served with brown rice, some veggies, and a yuzu-miso sauce. I tried a bit of her fish. It was very tender and had a nice buttery, miso taste that wasn’t too rich. We’ve had lots of sablefish before so DC doesn’t think it was the best she’s had, but it’s up there.

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Salmon Oshi ($17); 1/2 Ebi Oshi ($8.25); 1/2 Saba Oshi ($8)

Miku is known for their aburi oshi sushi, which is box-shaped sushi that’s been lightly flame-seared. I order this every time I go here– it’s simply amazing. They have 3 kinds: the Salmon Oshi Sushi ($17), Ebi Oshi Sushi ($16.50), and Saba Oshi Sushi ($16). We ordered one full order of the salmon (6pc) and half of the ebi and saba (3pc each). I remember liking the ebi the best before but this time, the salmon was the clear winner with its delicious special sauce and jalapeño on top. All of them were delicious though. And don’t they just look so sumptuous? 🙂 This is a must try if you ever visit Miku!

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Miku Zen ($28)

Next up, MC ordered the Miku Zen ($28) which is kind of like a bento box style lunch. It comes with 4 dishes chosen by the chefs along with 5 pieces of sushi and miso soup. This is actually well worth the price and it’s something I would order for myself next time! The dishes today were a poké salad, chicken with goma-ae, ebi fritter, and beef shank with mashed potatoes. All of these were delicious but I think the one that stood out for us was the poké salad. The dressing was perfect with the fresh poké. It wasn’t fishy at all! The sushi plate came with 2 pieces of salmon oshi sushi, 1 piece of a sushi roll, and 2 pieces of nigiri sushi. MC said everything was really yummy.

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Sakura Roll ($19)

Because it’s cherry blossom season, they had a separate Sakura Feature menu that’s available until April 14. CC and I ended up ordering the Sakura Roll ($19), which is on this special menu. These were so pretty! It was scallop, asparagus, and sockeye salmon wrapped with hamachi then topped with shiso leaf, golden tobiko, pickled wasabi, and a salted sakura flower. Again, this was well worth it. It was a very interesting roll and there was a good balance of flavours as well as textures. The saltiness of the sakura flower complemented the acidity of the pickled wasabi and the umami of the fish. The asparagus gave a nice, contrasting crunch as well. I thought it was a really well done and creative roll and I’m glad we were able to try it.

Dining at Miku was definitely a treat and a great way to start off the week with my sisters. All of the food was delicious and served promptly. Our only concern was that after eating the mussels, we had the empty shells on our plates but the server just picked them off without changing our plates. We thought that was a little bit strange and perhaps it would be better to provide a separate bowl or plate for the shells next time. Otherwise, everything else was superb and I would definitely go back for more. The aburi oshi sushi is a must and the Miku Zen is a good choice for lunch.

Food – 9.5/10
Service – 9/10
Ambience – 10/10
Value – 7/10

Miku Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar Kitsilano – Dine Out Vancouver 2017 ($30)

So it’s that time of the year again — the Dine Out Vancouver Festival!! To start off our first DOV story, DC and I went to Chewies in Kitsilano last night. Neither of us had ever been here before and their ($30) menu looked appealing this year so we gave it a shot. We both loved it! Each dish was wonderfully executed. Read on to find out more. 🙂

The oysters aren’t exactly part of the dine out menu per se, but you can get 3 of them as an add-on for $9. Since Chewies is known for their oysters, we thought we’d get one order to share. They called it “Shucker’s Choice” Oysters because they just serve the freshest of whatever they have.


3 “Shucker’s Choice” Oysters

Each oyster we got was different. I think we got one kusshi, one kumamoto, and one from the East Coast (can’t remember the name). They were served with fresh lemon, grated horseradish, and a variety of their special homemade sauces. I tried two of the oysters and they were awesome! Extremely fresh and perfect with their sauces (which are wonderful too, btw). My favourites were the cocktail and the spicy sauce which gave a nice kick at the back.


Cajun Seafood Chowder

For my appetizer, I got the Cajun Seafood Chowder. It was great! Creamy but not too heavy and there was a good amount of filling — some halibut, prawns, potatoes, and corn. It even came with a nicely toasted piece of bread. Perfect for cleaning up the plate!


Pork Belly Cracklin’

DC opted for the Pork Belly Crackin’ for her appy. It was served in a cute mini frying basket. There were 5 pieces which is actually quite a lot considering how unhealthy this is! It was good though. It was freshly cooked, the meat was soft, and it wasn’t too fatty. The skin was crispy too but I did have some pieces where the skin stuck to my teeth — maybe could’ve been fried just a tad longer. It was accompanied with some vinegar which was great but we’d prefer it to be more acidic to help cut the fat more. Otherwise, a solid dish. I’m not a huge fan of pork belly but this was actually quite good.

Moving on to entrees…


Southern Fried Chicken

I ordered the Southern Fried Chicken and when I cut into it, I could see that the inside was glistening — perfectly cooked! Tender and moist. Delicious. The batter was thin and crispy with a nice honey flavour. The mashed potatoes underneath were good too but very filling and buttery; I wasn’t able to finish all of it. The green beans were the perfect veggie to go along with this dish.


Cajun Jambalaya

Another entree option was the Cajun Jambalaya, which is what DC got. It was filled with toppings! Lots of chicken, sausage, ham, and even prawns. It was a bit too peppery and spicy for me but it definitely had that cajun flavour. Again, large portion but DC was actually able to finish everything!


Cayenne Chocolate Torte

By this time, we were both extremely stuffed. I was nearing my stomach’s limit so thankfully the desserts weren’t too heavy! I went for the Cayenne Chocolate Torte. I actually didn’t notice the cayenne part when I ordered this so I was surprised when I was getting some heat as I was eating it. The flavour got stronger as I  progressed so I thought it was some sort of pepper and sure enough, it was! I’ve never had a chocolate cake like that so it was a unique experience. The cake itself wasn’t very sweet which was a good thing, actually. They used dark chocolate so the spicy and bitter flavours (and sweet from the raspberry sauce) worked well together.


Bourbon Pecan Pie

Lastly, DC got the Bourbon Pecan Pie. I tasted it and it was good too. I could really taste the bourbon in the caramel sauce that they used which was awesome. Again, the pie wasn’t overly sweet. Everything was just right! 🙂

So that pretty much concludes my review of Chewies at DOV. The service was friendly (all male!) and the restaurant had a nice, cozy vibe to it. It’s definitely a place you should check out if you’re thinking of Dine Out or even if you just want some delicious, hearty, comforting soul food. Or fresh oysters! You’ll definitely get that here. I heard they also serve up a good brunch. Chicken & waffles anyone? 😉

Food – 9/10
Service – 9/10
Ambience – 9/10
Value – 9/10

Chewies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bubble World Coquitlam

This Bubble World in Coquitlam is newly opened and it used to be Sui Sha Ya. I had been wanting to try this new location to see what all the hype was about since it opened but they’re not open for lunch — only dinner from 6pm onwards. So we went here around 7pm last night and it was full! Had to wait around 15 minutes to get a table for 2 but it wasn’t too bad. It’d probably be even crazier on the weekend though.


Beef Noodle in Soup

I ordered the Beef Noodle in Soup. It was pretty good. Nice flavour of the broth and I liked the Chinese pickled mustard greens that they put in it (although it may not be for everyone). The noodles were fresh too and had good consistency. My only complaint is that the beef wasn’t tender enough. It was kind of tough and bits of it would get stuck in my teeth.. lol. Otherwise, it wasn’t bad and it’s something I would order again.


Taiwanese Salt & Pepper Chicken Nuggets w/ Noodle Soup

NW got the Taiwanese Salt & Pepper Chicken Nuggets with Noodle Soup. He said the soup was slightly salty and the chicken was a bit dry but it had good flavour and it was pretty decent overall.


Peach Red Tea and Milk Tea

We both ordered bubble tea to go along with our meals as well. The glasses don’t look very big but they actually hold quite a bit! The drink was what filled me up. Their portion sizes aren’t that big so I’d suggest getting a drink to go along with it. They have quite a large selection of flavours and even toppings. Instead of the typical pearls, I opted for their Rainbow Jelly and NW got the pudding. The Rainbow Jelly was just meh for me. They were all different colours but I didn’t taste any difference between them–they were all just sweet and it seemed just like food colouring to me. Maybe I’ll stick with the pearls next time. 😛

Overall, not too shabby considering they’ve just recently opened. The food wasn’t amazing by any means but I’m glad there’s a new Taiwanese restaurant around the area that’s not too pricy and I can see myself coming back multiple times since they have a good variety of menu items. I noticed the hot pot was a popular order amongst the different tables — it looked pretty good!

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 7.5/10
Ambience – 7.5/10
Value – 7.5/10

Bubble World Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Japan Adventures: Hakata Ippudo Ramen

Ippudo Ramen was on our itinerary and one of our targets for food. DC was able to try it when she went to Tokyo several years ago so she highly recommended it and said that we definitely could not miss it on this trip! We went to the location near Shinsaibashi in the Namba district. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long since we arrived around 2pm but I imagine the line-ups can get quite long during peak hours.

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Hakata Ippudo Namba Storefront

Ippudo only has 3 ramen flavours to choose from: Shiromaru Classic (白丸元味), Akamaru Modern (赤丸新味), and Ippudo Karaka (一風堂からか麺). The Shiromaru is the light coloured, original tonkotsu broth, the Akamaru is flavoured with spicy miso paste, and the Karaka is miso-flavoured with spicy minced meat, chili bean paste, and sweet soy bean paste. Everything looked so yummy!!! 😀

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Shiromaru Classic (¥790), Akamaru Modern (¥850), Karaka (¥890)

Like other ramen places, you can order kae-dama (extra noodles) for an extra ¥130 and you can have as many kae-dama as you want (the man sitting beside us had 3! :O ). That’s how yummy it was!! (Or maybe he was just really hungry)

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Akamaru Modern

I ordered the Akamaru Modern Combo so it came with aji-tama (egg) and gyoza. The ramen came out piping hot, as it should be. The broth was incredible and oh so satisfying. 🙂 It was rich, slightly creamy, and packed full of flavour without being too oily or making you feel sick after. It was very comforting and maybe the best ramen broth I’ve had. It had just the right amount of spiciness and the pork slices were actually tender!

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Yaaaass egg

Oh man… The egg was amazing. Perfectly cooked with a runny center 😀 .

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The Gyoza were delicious too. Crisp, hot, and not too oily.

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Shiromaru Classic

DC got the Shiromaru Classic. It definitely looked more simple and toned-down compared to the Akamaru but it was also superb. This one had more of a creamy texture and taste. The noodles were cooked well and we loved their thin texture.

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Garlic Presser!

If you want fresh garlic, just ask for it! They provide you with a bin filled with whole garlic as well as a garlic presser. Before you add the garlic, I suggest eating half of your ramen first so that you can experience slightly different tastes. They provide pitchers of cold tea too which was refreshing while eating the hot ramen.

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Vanilla Ice Cream coated with Chocolate & Nuts

At the time, they were having a promo where you can order an ice cream bar for ¥100 so we got that too. We didn’t realize it until I finished the ice cream that it was actually like a lottery and you could win a free bowl of ramen or gyoza!

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はずれ… Miss!

Unfortunately, it said hazure (はずれ), which translates into failure or miss. We didn’t win… Too bad! (But we were all stuffed anyways)

The service here was great! Our server was extremely friendly despite the limited English. I was able to communicate a bit with my broken Japanese so that was fun too. I must say, I prefer the human interaction here instead of purchasing from a vending machine. After our meal, we went out to take pictures and the server even went out to take a picture of all of us.  So nice of him!

Next time I visit Japan, Ippudo will again be on my list and I’d love to try the Ippudo Karaka ramen when I go back!