Goodbowl is a relatively new restaurant located in Richmond. I don’t normally go to this area so it was great that I had the opportunity to try it thanks to an Instagram contest that I won. (I received 2 free bowls and juices.) Goodbowl really advocates for healthy eating and healthy living, which you can immediately tell from their large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables.


Fruits and veggies for juicing

Their juices are made from 100% real fruit and veggies and you can see them make it right in front of you with this juicing machine! You get to choose any combination of fruits and veggies to make your juice. A few of the options are kale, cucumber, apple, pear, carrot, celery, beet, pineapple, pomegranate, etc.


Goowbowl before being grilled

Their bowls are also completely customizable. A regular Goodbowl is around $10, which is actually very reasonable because you can add a bunch of different produce to your bowl and it’s all displayed in front of you. Then you pick your protein: beef, chicken, pork, or tofu. Prawns are available as well, but it’s about a $4 increase in price.


Food on the grill!

Once you’ve selected your ingredients, you can then choose from a variety of different sauces. Again, you can choose and mix as many you want or you can go with one of their mixes. Once you’ve customized your bowl to your liking, they then cook it for you on their huge Mongolian grill! It’s fun to watch them cook your food. Within a few minutes, it’s all ready to go!


Goodbowl and Juice

I really enjoyed my food and juice! Everything was fresh and the cook on my bowl was great. I love the idea of having all of these different options available because you can create a new meal every time. Especially their large selection of signature sauces, which is what gives the food their distinct flavours! Overall, a really satisfying and pleasant meal from Goodbowl. It’s the type of meal that isn’t oily and won’t make you feel too heavy afterwards. The food is actually quite healthy but tasty at the same time! The service was friendly as well. Even though it’s not a typical sit-down restaurant where someone takes your order at your table and serves you food, the staff were very attentive and asked if we needed any water and so on. Would definitely come back if I’m in the area again.

Food – 8.5/10
Service – 8.5/10
Ambiance – 8/10


Vij’s Rangoli

I still haven’t been to Vij’s Restaurant but at least I finally tried their sister restaurant, Vij’s Rangoli! Had dinner here with a friend a couple of days ago. My first impression of the restaurant was that it looked more posh and upscale compared to other Indian restaurants. They also had a lovely outdoor seating area which is perfect during the summer! We were greeted warmly and promptly seated at a table.

The menu had starters and snacks for sharing, as well as entrees. I thought the prices were quite high, especially since most of the options were vegetarian..


Kale, Jackfruit and Cauliflower Curry with Rice and Naan ($18)

I ended up ordering the Kale, Jackfruit and Cauliflower Curry which is served with rice and some naan. On first glance, it looked quite small but it was actually enough food for me — the naan is much more filling than it looks! I enjoyed the whole dish. The curry was tasty, as were the veggies in them, and I loved the Indian basmati rice and naan. I’ve never had jackfruit as part of a dish so it was really interesting for me. I’m not too familiar with Indian food so I can’t make a comment on how authentic this is, but I did feel that the restaurant was more Westernized, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The food was yummy and the service was great. I just wish the prices were a bit cheaper…

Food – 8/10
Service – 9/10
Ambiance – 8/10
Value – 7/10

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

Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake – Worth the Hype?

Vancouver’s first ever Uncle Tetsu shop has opened in Metrotown just a couple of weeks ago. It’s a Japanese cheesecake chain that’s been around since 1990. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t seem to be very popular in Japan itself (I asked many of my Japanese friends whether they knew this store, and 90% of them said they had never heard of it). After doing a bit of Googling, I found out that it was established in Fukuoka, Japan and there are only a few locations here. Most of its popularity actually comes from their shops in other countries, namely Taiwan and China. Now, the brand has many locations in different parts of the world, including here in Canada (Toronto & Vancouver). As seen with the recent opening of Japanese big brands like Uniqlo and Muji, there was a lot of anticipation and hype for Uncle Tetsu as well, evident by the crazy long lineups. Due to its high demand, the cheesecakes are limited to only 1 per person. If you want more, you have to line up again!..


Finally got it!

After 2 hours of eagerly waiting in line for these coveted cheesecakes, we finally got them! Part of what made the whole process so slow was not only due to the crazy people lining up for them (me included), but also because they only had 1 oven and 1 register to pay! With such limited resources and staff, it’s no wonder it’s such a dreadfully slow process to just get 1 cheesecake!


Cheesecakes waiting to be stamped

The cheesecakes are 7 inches and $13 each which are quite pricey, in my opinion. They also sell honey madeleines (4 for $7.50 or 1 for $2.50) and rusks which are basically sliced cheesecakes that are baked again to make them crispy. The rusks were sold out when we got there but we ended up buying the honey madeleines to try out as well.


Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake ($13)

So… how was the taste? Well, to be completely honest, I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting a rich flavour and melt in your mouth texture from these cheesecakes as advertised but it fell short of my expectations. The texture was pretty good – it was light and airy but it didn’t have that melt-in-your-mouth feeling. What was more of a let-down, though, was actually the flavour. It tasted eggy rather than cheesy. However, I did find that it tasted much better after being chilled in the fridge. I much preferred the honey madeleines, which were buttery and rich without being overly sweet.

To be fair, I’ve had authentic Japanese cheesecake before from Osaka’s famous Rikuro’s Cheesecake and I guess I was expecting something of that calibre. Uncle Tetsu’s is not bad, but it’s not amazing either and I just can’t justify lining up so long for this. When there’s no longer a line up to get these and the hype subsides, I wouldn’t mind going back to give it another shot. However, until that time comes, I would suggest avoiding waiting hours in line for just a “good but not great” cheesecake (unless you enjoy lining up)!

Conclusion: Not worth the hype

Food – 7/10
Value – 6.5/10

New Burnaby Restaurant: Green Leaf Cafe

So excited to hear that Green Leaf’s second location opened up right by Lougheed Mall. I’ve been wanting to try their original location in Vancouver (W Broadway) but haven’t had a chance to yet. I had heard a lot of good things about their aburi oshi sushi. Came here with a group of friends and the 4 of us ordered several items to share:


Green Leaf-er ($19.50), Salmon Oshi ($10), Scallop Oshi ($12)

Green Leaf-er ($19.50) – comes with 3pcs of the snapper tempura, 6pcs of daily sashimi, and 6pcs of daily oshi. Highly recommend this if you want a good variety of items. It’s definitely worth it. Everything was so yummy, including the sashimi. We had 3 pieces of salmon and 3 pieces of tuna. The fish was fresh and almost melted in my mouth!

Salmon Oshi ($10, 6pcs) – similar to Miku’s signature salmon oshi; not as refined but well worth the price and still very delicious. The smokey flavour wasn’t overpowering and the salmon was fresh with a bit of heat from the jalapeno.

Scallop Oshi ($12, 6pcs) – I’ve never had scallop oshi before so this was a nice surprise and treat! It was incredible. I’m a huge fan of scallops so I really enjoyed this.


Snapper Fritters ($9)

Snapper Fritters ($9, 6pcs) – snapper tempura with soy glaze and wasabi mayo sauce. OMG, this was my favourite. The batter was light and crispy, and the snapper was perfectly cooked inside — still moist and flaky. It was also served hot and fresh. Definitely recommend getting this!


Linguine Alle Vongole Bianco ($13)

Linguine Alle Vongole Bianco ($13) – requested the noodles to be cooked very firm and they were perfect! This came with a LOT of clams too.


Souffle Mushroom Risotto Omelette Rice ($18)

Souffle Mushroom Risotto Omelette Rice ($18) – probably my least favourite dish out of everything we ordered but it was still good. The risotto was a bit bland and missing the creamy, richness that I expect risotto to have. The omelette could have been cooked a bit less as well. However, still an enjoyable dish and I liked the mushrooms.


Kabocha Creme Brulee

We also got to sample the Kabocha Creme Brulee. The maple syrup was served in a little pipet dropper, which was a nice addition and I loved the kabocha crisps. The texture of the creme brulee could’ve been more smooth, but the flavour was spot on.

Everything we had was so yummy and I can’t wait to come back! I’m looking forward to eating their aburi oshi and snapper fritters again! Huge thanks to the Green Leaf Cafe staff for their wonderful service as well. 🙂

Food – 9/10
Service – 10/10
Ambiance – 9/10
Value – 9/10

Green Leaf Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New Coquitlam Restaurant: Shio Japanese Kitchen

There’s a new Japanese restaurant in town! Shio Japanese Kitchen has finally opened its doors in Coquitlam. It’s replaced where Legend Fish Cafe used to be on The High St. They have a pretty extensive menu with appies, tempura, donburi, udon, sashimi, and a wide variety of sushi (rolls and nigiri). The oshi sushi is what caught my eye though. I’m a huge fan of Miku’s Salmon Oshi so I wanted to try it here to compare the difference in taste.. and price! (Miku = $17; Shio = $12)


Salmon Oshi Sushi ($12)

Clearly, the Salmon Oshi Sushi ($12) here wasn’t as pretty or as refined as Miku’s. The rice to fish ratio was a bit off (the rice is much thicker) and it didn’t have that melt-in-your-mouth feeling. However, it was actually pretty tasty. It had good flavours and you could taste the smokiness from the aburi. Being $5 cheaper than Miku and more accessible, I would definitely order this again.


Pop Pop Roll ($12)

The Pop Pop Roll ($12) had prawn tempura, avocado, tobiko, motoyaki sauce, and mango salsa. This was another yummy roll. There was a bit of a nice, smokey flavour since the tobiko was also flame seared. I thought it was such a fitting name for the roll because when you bite into it, you do get little pops from the tobiko. 😛


King Ebi Roll ($13)

The King Ebi Roll ($13) had amaebi (sweet prawn), ebi, avocado, cucumber, and wasabi mayo sauce. It was presented very nicely, with the head of the prawn too! It’s deep fried so it’s edible (I ate some of it). The sushi itself was very refreshing and the amaebi was fresh.


Salmon Poke Don ($14)

NW and I were still a bit peckish after those 3 rolls so we ordered one more dish to share — the Salmon Poke Don ($14). I was expecting the salmon to be cut into little cubes but they were actually more like chunks. Again, another tasty dish! The salmon was fresh and marinated in a sort of sweet sauce. It was served with cucumber and avocado as well. I enjoyed this dish and it did the job to fill me up. 🙂

Overall, a really tasty experience here. However, I do have to say the wait times were terrible. It took over 40 minutes for our first order to arrive even though the restaurant wasn’t even busy. There were probably just 3 other small groups apart from us… The servers were very friendly and apologetic, though I do wish we didn’t have to wait so long to be served. That being said, even though the wait was unreasonable, I would go back because everything we ordered was yummy and the fish we had was fresh. I’m hoping that they become more efficient in the future. If so, this might just become one of my new go-to sushi spots!

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Value: 8/10