Gene cafe

If you googled “Unpretentious hipster coffee shop” Gene cafĂ© should top the list.

Yeah the barista served my cappuccino on a chipped saucer. No she didn’t give a fuck. Told me I’d enjoy it and that I did.

I forgot my sweet and salty bar.

Deer Garden Signatures

Had a business meeting in Richmond the other day and we elected Deer Garden Signatures as the spot. If I hadn’t been here on one other occasion I would have driven around the block a couple of times because there is hardly any advertising for the restaurant. Parking is also very scarce in the plaza that Deer Garden is located in. Forced to circle the lot before I was lucky enough to spot someone leaving

The food definitely makes up for experiencing battling for a parking spot. I elected for the DIY soup combo. With purchase of a soup your allowed two sides, I chose a breaded pork chop and ginger chicken wings. The DIY soup is damn good. You chose a broth, ingredients, and noodles. I elected for a no msg tomato pumpkin broth and added enoki mushrooms, beef brisket, squid and clear sweet potato noodles. Not too much pumpkin flavour in the soup other than a couple chunks in it. The breaded pork chop was made fresh, had a light crispy batter, came with a mayonnaise sauce on the side. The ginger chicken wings made fresh but didn’t have any recognizable taste of ginger. A drink is included with the soup to make it a combo, I had a cold milk tea. I was amused how they serve it in a plastic bubble tea-cup with the sealed lid but in a restaurant.

Saint St. Grill

Attended the Eat Your Heart Out charity event at the Saint St. Grill supporting the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation. The menu was a prix fixe with a choices of appetizers, entrees and a dessert.

Passing by this restaurant on many an occasion and noticing its deep red glow for ambiance I finally had a chance to try it. Upon first entering I was a little taken aback by the gody decorum, then quickly greeted warmly by the hostess who turned out to be our waitress. The table settings demonstrate a higher class restaurant with the crisp white table cloth, cotton napkin and candles.

For the food choices I elected for the Curry Seared Calamari- Daikon salad, peanut sauce to start and the Pork Schnitzel- Panko crusted, 5 spice, lemon grass demi as my entree. I was very disappointed with the calamari. The batter was soggy not crispy at all, the salad was quite plain. It had good potential to be a stellar dish, if it was executed properly. The pork schnitzel was excellent on the other hand. Very crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside accompanied with a sweet and savory glaze which complemented the meat. Mash potatoes were quite flavourful, but the vegetables were cold. Mentioned it to the waitress and she promptly returned with some freshly cooked veggies to replace the cold ones. Desert that was included was a Lemon panna cotta with fresh berries, almost a cross between a custard and a creme brulee. The waitress boasted she could make a solid cappuccino so I elected to have one. It was quite good actually, no latte art here just a solid cuppa.

I regret my schnitzel photo didn’t turn out :(

Kafka

Had a Cappuccino at Kafka on Main st, aka, hipster central. Every time I enter is part of town I throw my expectations out the window, because more often than not I’m usually disappointed. This was one exception. I was pleasantly surprised with the friendliness of the baristas, when comparing the other coffee shops in the area. Kafka decorum was inviting, with a modern yet minimalist sense.

It was high noon when we arrived and just managed to score a table. I’m guessing all the other slightly less pretentious hipsters are in the know of where good coffee is to be had.

I also learned if you want to pick up a barista, you need a Sweet and Salty granola bar. This guy came in, MYM’d like a boss, handed over the sweet and salty granola bar and she was all over it like a hipster at a vintage clothing sale.

Sushi Nanaimo

I went to Sushi Nanaimo this weekend as my friend requested it. This being my second time there, I was prepared for the epically loud greeting they give customers as they enter. My friend, was not. I’m used to being greeted somewhat quietly at most sushi restaurants. At Sushi Nanaimo it felt like the whole restaurant joined in to great you. Leaving the harsh greetings aside the restaurant is quite inviting, once you get seated inside.

They offer a lunch special; salad and miso soup, with purchase of a combo. I’m definitely one that likes a deal, I mean, REALLY like deals, haha. So first place I glance over the menu to the combo section, and bam! The assorted combo caught my eye right away, a decent selection of nigiri for $12. When the waitress brought my order over I was quite happy with my choice. First thing I noticed was the farmed salmon, fully expecting it as the prices were dictated to a frugal crowd. The slices of fish were quite generous and on the fresher side. I had plans on devouring this and ordering a couple extra pieces of nigiri, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I was pretty full after this.

From top left of plank:

Salmon, Tuna, Ebi, Ika,

Tako, Chopped scallop

Hokkigai, Amaebi, Salmon and Tuna rolls.

Spicy Tuna combo

Alaska roll