Posts tagged Restaurant
Posts tagged Restaurant
I was walking downtown the other day and passed Vyanjan Fine Indian Cuisine at 354 Seymour Street. In the window were two signs I’d not seen before. Excitedly, I scanned these notices and saw many dishes I’m eager to try. It may be a while before I make a visit (crazy schedule until June), but at the same time I wanted to share these findings with you all before then. If anyone tries the above specials and would like to share their experience, please comment!
Lunch Specials (available during Lunch Hours every day):
Vyanjan Fine Indian Cuisine is open 11am - 10pm Monday to Friday, 12pm - 10pm Saturday Sunday and Long Weekends.
Sad news from the world of new Kamloops restaurants. According to the comment thread from my previous post about the Arabian (formerly Arabic) Restaurant, they will be closing on Monday due to lease confict with Chili King. Seriously? I’m not sure who put the gears into motion to get them closed, but this foodie ain’t happy about it. Please, Arabic Restaurant, don’t give up! We love you!
Thank you to both Regis Breaks Free and Lvoers for their input on this distressing news. Kamloops foodies unite!
Yesterday I finally got to visit a most anticipated eatery. The Arabic Restaurant is connected to Murphy’s Chop’n Block at 1415 Hillside Drive. It’s not a large space, and is much like a take-away counter with seating area (about 4 tables) and hot food served from a steam table. I went straight to the front counter and this worked well for ordering. I was warmly welcomed and asked if I would like to try samples of the different kinds of rice - both were delicious and it was difficult to make a decision between the two. I chose the Chicken Kapsa, which is red rice with chicken and mixed vegetables. The chicken (wing + breast) was moist and flavourful with crispy, complexly seasoned skin. The rice was cooked perfectly and tomato-tangy. The veg had good flavour, but I thought it was out-of-place that frozen mixed vegetables were a part of it. Maybe this is generally accepted in Arabic cuisine? I’m not sure, but I still enjoyed my meal immensely. I was very pleased to be offered a free cup of spiced tea (also available for sale in the Chop’n Block section). Very sweet and complimentary to the flavours of the meal.
I managed to snap a pic of the menu but it turned out super-blurry. Using the power of technology however, I’ve managed to decipher the blurry photo and bring you the menu items. First are the breakfast sandwiches, which I learned are only served until approx 1pm. These look so good and I’ll visit a little earlier next time to take advantage of these reasonably-priced sandwiches:
Breakfast Sandwiches (served to approx 1pm):
Falafel $3 Fried ground chickpeas mixed with parsely, onion and garlic.
Kebda $4 Small pieces of lamb liver prepared with tomato, onion and Arabic spice.
Shakshoka $3 Eggs with tomato, onion and green pepper, prepared at high temperature.
Mohakal $2 Combination of cream cheese, peanut butter and gam (“gam” - this word was too blurry in the photo to decipher completely - it remains a mystery)
Masloge $3 No description given.
Fried Egg $3
Main DIshes (Lunch and Dinner):
Lamb Kapsa $16 (Kapsa - “It is a favourite food in Saudi Arabic. It is red rice with lamb or chicken. It makes with tomato and onion and Arabic spice. Also, mixed vegetables topping.”)
Lamb Mandy $16 (Mandy - “It is white rice with lamb or chicken. It makes with tomato, onion and green pepper with another kind of Arabic spice”)
Lamb Biryani $16
Chicken Kapsa $13
Chicken Mandy $13
Chicken Biryani $13
Also on the menu is Kebab (no price given) - “4 skewer grilled Kebab, grind lamb, mixed with onion, garlic, and parsley. Come with French fries, grilled tomato and onion, and beta braid”
Fish (no price given) - “fried tilapia fish marinated in lemon, garlic and Arabic fish spice. Comes with saffron rice topped with raisins.
Give this place a visit, folks. It came off as a little disorganized, but keep in mind this is the first week. I’ll keep returning to this laid-back and friendly eatery with the Arabic cuisine. I gotta get at those breakfast sandwiches. I wonder what kind of bread is used for them?
The Arabic Restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30am - 6pm, Sunday from 8:30am - 5pm and closed Mondays.
At this time, payment method is cash only.
I may regret this one, folks. This might all be the water retention talking from the crazy amount of salt I ingested this evening, but I must get this off my chest. Am I over-reacting? You be the judge.
Tonight, slightly flush with cash, my sweetie and I decided we would attempt a nice meal out at the Noble Pig Brewhouse on Victoria Street. I ordered the fish tacos ($10), which I’d had a few times before and very much enjoyed. Tonight the fish in these tacos was very, very salty. I ate most of it (my Mama taught me to clean my plate!) before my sweetie suggested I let the wait staff member know, just so she could give a “heads up” to the kitchen. When I voiced my concern, I was very clear that I wanted to pay full price for this, and wasn’t grubbing for a discount. After deliberating with the kitchen, the wait-staff member returned, leaned onto our table and lengthily communicated to us how, according to the chef, the fish tacos have no salt added to them. Then the story changed that there was a small amount of salt in the pre-mixed cajun seasoning and maybe I had eaten a large salt crystal? She went on to expound on the greatness of the Noble Pig and how they make everything from scratch. Her rebuttal was quickly turning into an infomercial.
No, I hadn’t imagined the sodium content. It was saltier than a sailor’s tongue. They gave me a discount of 25% ($2.50 - a slap in the face. Why even bother?), a discount I had expressly asked to not to receive. I pay for what I order. Unless there is a food safety issue, I’m not going to haggle for anything gratis. Instead, I left the restaurant with a very bitter taste in my mouth. I shan’t be returning any time soon. For the record, this is not the first time I’ve had a disappointing experience at “The Pig”. I never wrote about those because I usually like to keep my blog for beautiful, delicious experiences.
A note to all restaurants (I say this speaking as one who is currently employed in the food service industry, and has been consecutively since age 17). If a customer complains about the food, tell the customer it will be looked into. Please do not tell the customer they are wrong.
Bah. I’m going to go and drink a few glasses of water to stop my salty stewing.
To gloss over my griping, here is a salt-related video by The Kids in the Hall (Canada’s greatest comedians…yeah, I said it!). Warning: there’s “salty” language in this sketch, y’all.
Recently, Food Network Canada’s You Gotta Eat Here! featured Kamloops on the February 15th, 2013 airing of the program - now on its second season. John Catucci is seen wearing a plaid shirt, as per usual, walking beside the building that houses Fiesta Mexicana at 793 Notre Dame Drive. He then tells a self-referential joke: “Why did the Catucc cross the road? Because you gotta eat here.” The Catucc, it seems, is still influenced by his other job, that of a comic.
Inside the restaurant, various customers wax rhapsodic about the food features. Phrases like “So good”, “Fantastic food fiesta” and “Like an old-style Mexican Cantina” are effused to the camera in rapid cutaways.
Next, we are behind the scenes with Catucci and chef/co-owner Albert Vazquez. The first dish to be showcased is the Enchiladas de Mole Poblano. The sauce looks to have a very complex flavour profile (almonds, wahio chiles and of course, chocolate make for but 3 of the 35 mole ingredients) - smothering three “mini baby wrap” pulled chicken tortillas with sides of pico de gallo, house-made gaucamole, mixed greens and a gorgeous, canary yellow rice.
Next up on the pass is a “barbecue-style” dish called Asada Zacatecas. Alberto and Catucci show how to assemble the dish’s components. In the dish are house-made chorizo (ground pork, ground cloves, chili powder, ground ginger, ancho pepper, garlic powder, red crushed pepper, oregano, cumin and vinegar), refried beans (the secret ingredient is pinto beans!) sprinkled with salsa de queso, mixed greens, guacamole and pico de gallo. Remember! “This is Asada Zacatecas, not Taco Zacatecas,” says Alberto as he slaps Catucci’s hand. You gotta roll the tortilla to accompany the dish, not just pile in the ingredients. These are Alberto’s Grandma’s rules. Best recognize.
Finally, we have the Burrito Guadalajara - in English this would be “humungous burrito”. This burrito is as long as a lady’s forearm! Inside the monster buritto is chorizo, chicken, rice, refried beans. After being wrapped in a flour tortilla (not corn, that would make it a taco), the burrito is enveloped in a Monteray Jack cheese sauce, then sprinkled with pico de gallo. Catucci digs into the finished product and is favour-shocked - reduced to making non-verbal, nom-style sounds. When he regains his sense of composure, he likens it to a Mexican fiesta…in his mouth!
I very much enjoyed this video segment, (but for the frequency and repetitive nature of the advertisements in the online version) and greatly look forward to sampling Alberto Vazquez’ cuisine.
If you’d like to check out this segment of You Gotta Eat Here online, go to http://www.foodnetwork.ca/you+gotta+eat+here/video/season+2/black+forest+inn+fiesta+mexicana+restaurante+and+cantina+the+churchill+arms/video.html?v=2335600194&p=1&s=dd#video
Fiesta Mexicana menu is available for your perusal at their website: http://fiestamexicana0.intuitwebsites.com/Menu.html
Rather belatedly, here is another flava I encountered on my recent North Shore of Kamloops day trip. Mervo’s Coffee Shop is located at the corner of 289 Tranquille Road and Knox Street. This cozy (re: tiny) restaurant is quite the opposite of a corporate cookie cutter establishment. It could have been transported straight from a small prairie town. Feeling slightly wealthy, I decided to order one of the most expensive items on the menu, which is the Pad Thai, ringing in at a budget-wise $7. This includes coffee, people! According to the signage, the process here is to order at the front and pour your own coffee from the large urn. Shortly after, my dish was presented. It is not a large portion and would qualify as a light meal. Through my eavesdropping ways though, I ascertained that full orders are available, but for how much I’m unsure. I tucked into my meal and devoured it. I can’t speak for the breakfast food here (having heard mixed reviews), but this Thai dish is sound as a dollar pound. Rice noodle, mung bean sprouts, green onion, egg, peanuts, prawns and sweet chili heat combine together for an exotic flavour profile. As an explanation for the culturally contrasting offerings here at Mervo’s, I’ve dug for some information and found out that Mervo is indeed the former owner of Mervo’s Pizza in Westsyde (now closed). His lovely and kind wife is Thai and on the day of my visit, was working front of house. I shall return to this friendly locale for more Pad Thai and coffee. Mervo’s is truly a community hub and purveyor of a tasty Thai fare.
Mervo’s Coffee Shop is open Monday to Saturday from 7am - 3pm.
Jay’s Good Eats
After much anticipation (and procrastination - on my part), I have finally visited Jay’s Good Eats, which is located in the Sprott Shaw building food court (along with Indian Aroma, Golden Dragon and Casey’s Caffeine) at 340 Victoria Street. Jay’s is one of Kamloops’ newest independent eateries, and I was most impressed with the nosh I scarfed while there.
I sidled up to the chrome diner-style counter and ordered a half order of North Carolina ribs (Real ribs, with bones and all! If you missed Kamloops Ribfest, get your fix here, srsly.) I had a choice of sides with the ribs and could’ve had mac and cheese, poutine, chili poutine, potato salad or cole slaw. Jay (the man himself) offered frites as well, and I could not say no. This would be the perfect chance to try the french fries au naturel, if you will. The frites were anything but plain. Interspersed throughout the crispy spuds are garlicky morsels. Served with the frites was a lemon aioli. Also available are Cajun and chipotle aioli. I dug into my meal, delightfully served in retro red basket with checkerboard paper lining. These ribs are so saucy, tangy and juicy you will definitely require the lemon-scented towelettes included with the meal. I was in flavour country.
I will be returning to Jay’s Good Eats, definitely. There is a good variety of house-made eats with a good variety of pricing as well. Here are a few items that caught my eye:
Jay’s is open from 11am - 8pm, Monday through Saturday. Word on their Facebook page has it late-night hours are coming soon. http://www.facebook.com/JaysGoodEats
Eden Bento Cafe Update
This well-received Japanese/Korean eatery has increased both its menu and hours of operation. They are now open for breakfast at 9am Monday through Friday (open at 12pm Saturday). The breakfast menu items are listed as “take-out”. They are as follows:
Other new menu items (available for dine-in) include:
Beef Bulgogi, Dakbulgogi, Squidbulgogi, Seaweed Salad, Agedashi Tofu, Spicy Tuna Roll, Spicy Salmon Roll, Chopped Scallop Roll, Beef Teriyaki Roll, Nigiri Sushi (Tuna, Ebi, Masago, Tamago, Salmon, Unagi, Inari), California Combo, Dynamite Combo, Nigiri Combo, Roll Party (40 pcs Roll), Sushi Party (40 pcs Roll, 5 pcs Nigiri), Donburi (Chicken, Unagi, Gyudon, Chicken Katsu, Bulgogi, Dakbulgogi.
Eden Bento Cafe is located in the Lansdowne Village at 223-450 Lansdowne Street in Kamloops.
Eden Bento Cafe
I had a delightful visit a few weeks back to the Eden Bento Cafe, one of Kamloops’ newest Japanese & Korean Restaurants. This cozy spot is tucked into the Lansdowne Village shopping plaza, located at 223-450 Lansdowne Street.
For my lunch, I chose a vegetarian option with the Bento B for $10. After slurping down a nourishing miso soup, the bento box arrived at my corner table. The fried tofu was custardy and nicely basted with teriyaki sauce. I had the choice of a bed of rice or vegetables for the tofu - I chose the bed of vegetables, which consisted of lightly stir-fried, tender-crisp napa cabbage, bean sprouts and carrots. Other compartments in the bento contained tempura veggies (light and clean-tasting oil), california rolls (very good, and I wonder if I could sub in the deep-fried variety next time?), green salad with sesame dressing and sunomono (a sweet ‘n’ tangy noodle salad with radish, lemon and cucumber.
My only qualm (and I give the disclaimer that it is my personal preference) would be a want for more protein included in the bento. The window picture features an egg, but the menu doesn’t mention this. A little more protein would have been more sustaining, although for a light lunch I would happily order this vegetable bento again.
Here is the take-out menu:
The Eden Bento Cafe is open Monday - Saturday from 11am - 8pm
Jay’s Good Eats
Opening Soon in the 340 Victoria Street Food Court.
Jam Can Cafe
I made a long-overdue premiere visit to the Jam Can Cafe, a new breakfast & lunch eatery for Kamloops situated at #102 - 1157 12th Street on the North Shore. The restaurant has a great diner feel about it, although it is unassumingly located in an industrial strip mall. The atmosphere is relaxed, almost like that of a small town cafe, yet it was bustling with customers throughout my stay. The double-ding of the “order up” bell was constant.
After perusing the menu, I decided on the Daily Jamaican Lunch Special, which on that day consisted of BBQ Pork Kabobs on a bed of rice and peas (beans), steamed vegetables (cabbage, carrots, sweet potato and zucchini with a nice garlicky kick), and festival, which is a bannock-like fried baking powder corn flour cake. I also had a small garnish of fried plantain and grilled fresh pineapple included in the mix. The pork was succulent and crusted with allspicy seasoning and nestled between onions, green and red peppers on the 2 skewers. I tried the Matouk’s Red Pepper Sauce, which was provided along with the other table condiments - this is one spicy sauce! My hot coffee did not provide relief, so I ordered a glass of milk to soothe my wide-awake palate.
Speaking of spicy, sometimes it is difficult to visit restaurants that feature spicy foods when with tablemates that require bland food. At the Jam Can Cafe there is a good 50/50 mix of Caribbean as well as North American fare available.
Here are a few things I’ll look forward to trying on my next (many) visits to the Jam Can Cafe:
Here are some pics of the full menu:
The Jam Can Cafe is open from Monday to Friday, 6am - 3pm and Saturdays from 7am - 3pm.
Contact Jam Can Cafe by phone at 250-376-1970, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jam-Can-Cafe/514917528525198, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JamCanCafe
To reach the Jam Can Cafe by bus, take the #2 Parkcrest from the downtown exchange and get off on 12th St between Pembroke Ave and Sudbury Ave.
Eden Bento Cafe
For months now I’ve been snooping around 450 Lansdowne Street, former location of Sips Martinis & Tapas. The “for lease” sign came down just a while back, and a few weeks ago a small sign appeared heralding the opening of a new restaurant, called “Eden Bento Cafe”. Today I skulked past, and what should I see but more signage, including one stating the cafe will be open on Friday September 14th (tomorrow!!). I greatly look forward to tasting the offerings of this, one of Kamloops’ newest eateries!
Hours are Monday - Saturday, 10am - 8:30pm
Phone # 1-778-471-7072
Looking to duck out of the rain this afternoon in Kamloops, I headed into the Jade Garden Restaurant (Chinese and Hong Kong Cuisine) at 298 3rd Ave. I’d seen a special in the window (above) a while back that I was hankering to try. The special advertised includes a vegetarian spring roll, wonton soup, and tea for $5.95. This appeals to me because it is a set menu of sorts, and also because it is a frugal option.
First I was brought a large pot of jasmine tea (KO&C Brand out of Richmond) of the bag, not loose variety. Shortly thereafter, a bowl of wonton soup arrived. There were six pork wontons in the broth with green onions sprinkled on top. The wontons were nice and firm, although the green onions were a little long-in-the-tooth, that is to say, no exactly of the “spring” variety. Just as I’d slurped up the last of the broth (very tasty, not too salty, and with the addition of thick-style soya sauce, very satisfying), the spring roll was set down. The spring roll is larger than the kind offered on the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet ($10.95 Mon - Fri) and is stuffed with mashed potato (!!) and cabbage. My wait-person warned me that it was hot, but I dug in regardless. As an aside, my tongue is still feeling scorched as I type this. Garnishing the roll were freshly shaved ribbons of carrot and deep-fried batter bits. On the whole, this repast by no means mind-blowing, but for $5.95 ($6.66 with tax), you can enjoy a three-part light meal between your perusal of the downtown shops.
As an aside, this restaurant also boasts some of the finest people-watching views the city has to offer. Make sure you grab a window seat. Watch the intersection and the people passing by as you groove to the synth-heavy classical Chinese instrumental music playing softly over the PA system.
Here is a retro dessert I had a while back at Scott’s Inn Restaurant as part of a lunch special. While not a fan of non-dairy whipped topping, I remain charmed by the vintage colours of this treat when clicking through my photo files. I also have a soft spot for restaurants that feature a table d’hôte.
Tiger Ramen Update
In a previous post, I dished that there might be a possibility of extra large “super bowls” of rice dons coming soon to Tiger Ramen Japanese Noodle Stand (310-1210 Summit Drive, Kamloops). This afternoon I popped in for lunch and what should I see but the above menu change posted on the wall. I was very tempted, but went for limited time special posted below the super bowl notice. Inspired by the classic 1985 film directed by Jûzô Itami, Tiger Ramen has created a soup called Tampopo Ramen, available only on April 10, 11, and 12. For fans of Tiger Ramen on Facebook, Tampopo Ramen, mini curry don rice bowl, and two dumplings are available as a special combo for $10! Tampopo Ramen is a perfect springtime soup with fresh green onion, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, tender pork, and of course, noodles.
I realize my posts about this, my favourite Japanese Noodle Stand in the whole wide world, have been many as of late. Try it out and you will understand my obsession!