The other day I purchased a quartet of wrapped mystery cookies from the retail section of Sanbiki Restaurant in downtown Kamloops. Since the combined cost of these cookies was under $2, I was game to try anything, regardless of what lay beneath the adorable cellophane packaging. I scuttled home with them secreted in my grocery tote, Golem-style. Once home, I laid them out for inspection and eventual cross section (see bottom photo). There were no identifying English words on the tiny parcels, but extensive research on the Internet has provided me with some clues.
These cookies I believe are called “Manju”, which are tea cakes made with a rice/wheat/buckwheat flour outer layer and flavoured bean paste interior. While often fresh-baked in Japan, these little cakes from the Marukyo Corporation are probably the closest equivalent to fresh available in Kamloops.
Here are some descriptions from a site called “Japan Centre" that appear to match my twee purchases:
Top left: Matcha Manjyu / Green Tea – Ball shaped (35¢): Finely ground green tea and white anko.
Top right: Momo Yama / Peach Mountain – Peach leaf emblem (75¢): White Anko cake with red bean filling.
Bottom left: Nyuuka / Sweet Milk – Blossom shaped (45¢): Milk and white anko filling.
Bottom right: Soba Manjyu / Buckwheat – Ball shaped (35¢): White anko filling with soba buckwheat flour cake.
Not pictured is Kuri Man / Sweet Chestnut – Chestnut shaped: Chopped chestnut and white anko filling with scattering of poppyseeds on outside. (This cake is included in a 18-cake variety pack available for purchase at Sanbiki for $7.99)
So what were my impressions? Well, the cakes were a little arid, but this is to be expected from an imported dry good. I had trouble identifying the subtle flavour profiles of these delicate but pleasant-tasting confections - I chalk this up to having a rather unsophisticated palate (a result of too much Kraft Dinner and such). All in all, I would recommend buying a few of these to add as conversation pieces to your next tea-party spread or as a small edible curio to give to an adventurous foodie friend.
Sanbiki Restaurant and its adjoing grocery section is located at 120 5th Avenue (steps away from the main public bus terminal). http://sanbikirestaurant.ca/
For more information about Manju Tea Cakes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manj%C5%AB
Joe Pho Vietnamese Restaurant
Recently I posted photos about a restaurant that appears to be opening soon in the downtown core. A recent walk to this location at 298 Lansdowne St revealed an answer to the identity of this new eatery! A prep table and a refrigerator has been recently delivered - I was able to make out a name on the prep table delivery label: “Joe Pho Vietnamese Restaurant”.
At present, Kamloops does not have a great variety of Vietnamese restaurants. To my knowledge, there are no Vietnamese eateries in the downtown area. The closest equivalents would be on the North Shore and in Sahali at Donut King, as well as in Aberdeen with a few menu items at Mama San Lounge.
Back to Joe Pho’s. When I returned home from my walkabout/spyabout, I jumped on the computer and typed in my newfound clue. I was able to locate a help-wanted ad looking for 4 permanent full-time employees for food prep/cash handling at Joe Pho’s. What an opportunity for someone in the food industry looking to work downtown at a local business.
My second jackpot for Joe Pho info resided on their Facebook page. Info included a projected opening date of September 16th. Also on the page is offered a $5 “Joe Pho Cash Card" via snail mail. Pretty cool giveaway! Also watch for menu item photos (including the above pic of chicken soup, pinched and re-posted here by Yours Truly). From these pics I know there’ll be beef, chicken and vegetable pho, and salad rolls, but what other menu items will be present? I wonder if there’ll be any desserts?
I promise you, dear Readers, that I will continue to stake-out this restaurant for answers to my own and yours (comment below!) queries.
To learn more about Vietnamese Cuisine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_cuisine
Joe Pho Vietnamese Restaurant Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/joephokamloops/timeline
WorkBC Joe Pho Job Posting: http://www.workbc.ca/JobSeekers/DisplayJobPostingApply.aspx?jobid=164720&from=Search
"Valley of the Thompson River, Kamloops, B.C."
Photoype, Canada Bank Note Co., Montreal
The Province of British Columbia, Canada. Its Resources, Commercial Position and Climate, and Description of the New Field Opened Up by The Canadian Pacific Railway, with Information for Intended Settlers, Based on the Personal Investigations of the Writer, and upon the Reports of Scientific Explorers and Government Surveyors. With a Map and Views of British Columbia. Compiled by John Molyneux St. John (1838 - 1904).
Image Source: https://archive.org/stream/provinceofbritis00stjo#page/n37/mode/1up
Mystery Restaurant Opening Soon
The “For Lease” sign has been posted for a long while at 298 Lansdowne St in downtown Kamloops has recently been taken down. This was the former site of “Heba Supermarket” Middle Eastern grocery store. The painted pizza on the wall has been there for ages, so I don’t think this provides any clues to this store front’s new incarnation. I do see food service-style table tops and chairs. There are not many other clues, but I will keep my eye on this location and will post new info as it is revealed.
Opening August 1st, 2014 - Taconomo Gourmet Taqueria
The wait is over! The newest addition to the downtown Food Court will be open for business today (Friday Aug 1) from 11am - 7pm.
You might recognize the owner/chef Colin from his Edesia gourmet food cart, often spotted at the Farmer’s Markets and local food events such as Farm2Chefs.
Check out his Central/South American-inspired offerings today at 340 Victoria Street.
Opening Soon - The Painted Pony Cafe
Over the past several weeks I’ve noticed an increase in activity at the former site of Papa Tee’s Pizzeria (705 Victoria St). Unfortunately, the owners were too thorough papering up the windows and I was unable to peer in. Luckily for me, a sign (above) was soon posted proclaiming the coming arrival of “The Painted Pony Cafe”
Further investigation led me to their Facebook page. Guys, there’s going to be BANNOCK! (Please pardon my shouting - I get very excited over the prospect of BANNOCK!). Here’s a quote from said page:
"First Nations Foods at its finest. Featuring Bannock, Indian Taco, Elk Steak/ stew, Deer Steak/stew, Turtle Burgers and of course many regular menu items."
The Grand Opening appears to be happening after the Kamloopa Powwow on August 1 - 3, 2014. If you visit the Powwow, watch for Evelyn’s Bannock Food Booth (Painted Pony’s alter ego).
Above is a link to my post on the Exploring Kamloops website. I had such fun writing this and am still ridiculously full!
Downtown Echo’s Taste of the Downtown 2014
This Thursday July 24th from 11am - 5pm is a day to highlight in your agenda books. Downtown Kamloops restaurants will be showcasing their specialties in bite-size format. The cost to sample this multi-course array of small dishes is $10 (minimum donation - proceeds to the Food Bank and the Live at Lunch Program). These passports are available for purchase at the KCBIA Info Kiosk (340 Victoria St), open from 12pm - 8pm. Passports will be sold until 4pm on July 24th (event runs until 5pm).
A short aside: I was curious as to whether there would be any extra cost above the $10 at this event. Today I made a beeline for the above-mentioned Kamloops Info Kiosk. According to the friendly red-capped folks inside, the total cost is $10 - no extra cost for stamps at participating restaurants. In case you’re trying to picture where the Info Kiosk is, here is an old Google Street view of its previous, unoccupied self:
Keep this list of participating vendors and their tasting times handy when you attend:
11am - 2pm:
- Scoopz Ice Cream Parlour
- Maurya’s Fine Indian Cuisine
- Caffe Motivo
- McDonald’s Restaurant
- Royal Tokyo
- Zack’s Coffee and Tea
- Vittorio’s Downtown
- Vyanjan Fine Indian Cuisine
- Jacob’s Noodle and Cutlet
2pm to 5pm:
- Sikora Caffe and Restaurant
- Mountain High Pizza
- Boston Pizza
- Commodore Grand Cafe and Lounge
- Jacob’s Noodle and Cutlet
- Fireside Steakhouse and Bar
11am - 5pm:
- Indian Aroma
- Yako’s Diner
- Swiss Pastries and Bakery Cafe
- Dorian Greek House
- The Smorgasbord
Drop your passport (with min. 3 stamps) at the Info Kiosk for your chance to win a prize.
Vote for your favourite restaurant at this event. Which eatery will gain the coveted Golden Fork and Silver Spoon trophies?
Image link: https://archive.org/stream/samuelkirksoncoo00samu#page/61/mode/1up
Here’s a screen capture of “Rob Da Bruce”’ comment on Jacob’s Cutlet and Noodle (260 4th Ave). Great review, Rob - Thanks!
A certain “J” has an answer for my previous wonderings about the newly business-licensed “Wandering Gourmet”. It seems a trip to Valleyview to sniff out this food cart is in order.
The above status update on Facebook is from a soon-to-be-open eatery located in the Sprott Shaw building food court at 101-340 Victoria Street.
Red Beard Cafe - Grand Re-Opening
Sunday July 13 2014, 6pm
449 Tranquille Road (North Shore)
Featuring music by The Backalley Sallies and a vinyl set by Andrew Hood
Food Specials! Gary’s Pork Bratwurst, Modernist Nachos, Fresh-Baked Cookies and more.
Quench your thirst from a cask of Cannery’s Summer Ale with added cherries and dry-hopped with NZ Sauvin Nelson Hops. Beers on tap
likely to include Bear Republic, Deschutes, Pyramid and more. Also available is a special release of Left Field Co.’s Still Apple Cider.
Single-origin coffees available piping hot or icy cold all day.
Free Admission. To RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/397935567012887/?fref=ts
Image link: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jan_van_Scorel_003.jpg?uselang=en-gb
Pizza King - Opening July 11!
Hi folks. Risking this blog becoming the “All Pizza King, All the Time” blog, I have big news.
Today, while performing my daily skulk past Pizza King (476 Victoria St), I noticed a flurry of activity coupled with the “Opening Soon” sign conspicuously absent. I saw staff members vigorously polishing lamps and sweeping floors - basically getting the interior customer-ready. I strode to the front doors and knocked. A young staff member unlocked and opened the door. According to her as well as a woman and man who appeared to be the owners, they will be opening tomorrow (July 11) at 11am.