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: Kani Doraku

Kani Doraku is another popular restaurant to go to if you love crab. You can’t miss it! Look for the huge crab sign:


Kani Doraku crab sign

They have 3 locations just along Dotonbori street but the main store is Dotonbori Honten, which is closest to the Glico sign.

As soon as you walk in, there’s a reception area that greets you and asks how many are in your party. Then you take an elevator to go up to the other floors where the dining areas are. There’s actually 7 floors and some private rooms available as well! As you get to the dining area, you’re asked to remove your shoes and the workers actually store them in cubbies. Everything was so clean in here. Even the washrooms! It’s a very traditional Japanese feel and the servers are mostly all older women dressed in kimonos. I was able to get a picture with one of them hehe.

There’s lots of choices on the menu but the 4 of us each went for a different lunch set since they’re good value and you get to try a whole bunch of stuff. We had the Ai (¥2100), Akane (¥2600), Moegi (¥3600), and Wakana (¥4200) lunch specials and just shared everything. There’s slight variations to each set and some are larger than others but they’re basically all crab dishes cooked different ways and they each come with the boiled crab and chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) with crab.


Crab galore!

Everything was presented nicely and looked so yummy… But the taste was even better! Honestly, everything was so delicious and cooked well. I even used my hands so I could get all the crab meat and I don’t normally like to get my hands dirty haha.

The highlights for us were the crab tempura, the crab rice, and the crab sashimi if you can get past the sliminess (I had never eaten raw crab before but this was so fresh and a unique experience– eat it with wasabi though!) 

We had a such a fun time dining here and the servers were all lovely (limited English but we got the gist of it). It felt luxurious but cozy at the same time. I highly recommend that you go here for the lunch specials since it’s a lot cheaper compared to dinner and you still get to try many different crab dishes. Of course, it’s still pricier than eating out elsewhere, but it was worth it. Kani Doraku was one of the most memorable parts of our trip to Osaka and I’d love to go back! 😀 Make sure to stop by here if you’re in the area!

Japan Adventures: Ichiran Ramen

Ichiran is one of the more popular ramen chains and you may have seen/heard about it already. We went to the Dotonbori branch which is open 24 hours.  When you enter, they will ask you if you want a single booth or a table since they’re on different floors. The single booths are meant for those eating alone who want little to no interaction, which is nice if you just want to focus on eating and slurping the yummy ramen. 

It would’ve been interesting to experience the whole “eating without talking” thing but since there were 4 of us, we asked for a table and they directed us to the vending machine which is where you order the food. It was a bit confusing for first-timers like us, but we managed to figure it out. Apparently, there’s only one type of ramen here which is the Classic Tonkotsu Ramen (¥790) and you just need to decide whether you want to add on anything else like kaedama (extra noodles), egg, and other sides or dessert. After you pay for your order, don’t forget to grab your ticket from the vending machine! They then showed us to the 4th floor, where we were seated at a table and they collected our tickets.


Ramen Preference

You’re given a sheet with preferences for your ramen in terms of: Flavour, Richness (Oil), Garlic, Spiciness Level, Noodle Firmness, etc. We each ordered slightly differently and I must say, even though we all had the same soup broth, the flavours actually became different depending on what we circled.

Doesn’t that ramen look amazing?! 😀 The soup was very rich and flavourful and the noodles were great. The chashu (sliced pork) was just okay for me but still good compared to other ramen shops I’ve been to. I actually got the combo so it came with an egg and a dessert. The egg was presented with the shell still on so you have to peel it yourself but when I cut it in half to see the inside, it was glorious. Perfect golden-orange colour and cook. Yummy!!! Just thinking and writing about this ramen makes me want to go back already…

So my dessert was the Matcha Annin Tofu. We saw it on a poster on the wall and to be honest, it didn’t look very appetizing. But we were totally wrong. 😛 It was so smooth and creamy and the matcha complemented the almond flavour nicely. I’d eat this dessert every day! 

Our tummies were definitely satisfied by the end of the meal and it was an incredible tasting experience. I highly recommend eating here if you’re planning on going to Japan — they have multiple locations! It’s still too early for me to say whether this is the “best ramen in the world” (as they claim), but it’s definitely in my top 3! 🙂

Japan Adventures: UCC Cafe

We had breakfast here one day since it was close to where we were staying and right by Nipponbashi Station so easily accessible by train if you want to stop by.


UCC Cafe Plaza

They have 4 breakfast sets that include either tea or coffee and range in price from ¥450-¥600. The breakfast plate was just enough for 1 person and it’s good. Their breakfast menu is available until 11am. The iced coffee was good as well (a bit strong for me so I added quite a bit of milk and sugar).

I ordered the Fried Egg & Lettuce Sandwich. It was a really simple yet very nicely presented plate. The bread was toasted nicely and the egg had a very vibrant colour. Yum! The rest of my family members enjoyed what they ordered as well.

The only thing that we didn’t like about this location is that they have a smoking section. However, in Japan it’s pretty typical to allow smoking inside cafes and many izakayas so what can you do 😛