Typical to Vancouver weather, this past Saturday was dark and rainy. I had plans to meet up with Michelle downtown for a brunch and catch up. Initially we had planned to go to either Twisted Fork or Cafe Medina but with the downpour of rain, standing in line outside was not an option. Due to the dreariness of the weather, we decide to hit up one of the many ramen shops in Vancouver.
We ended up visiting Marutama! I have been eager to try Marutama’s signature chicken broth since they opened up shop back in 2013. From what I have gathered, Marutama is the only ramen shop that offers a pure chicken broth. Most of other ramen shops serve up pork bone based soup or a mix between pork and chicken. I was both excited and hesistant Marutama’s chicken broth wondering if it could hold its own against the traditional pork based ramen soup that Vancouver has gotten to know and love.
I am happy to report, the chicken broth ramen was delicious! It had all the qualities of a good soup that I was looking for – full of depth and had a silky, creamy consistency that is a result of many hours of boiling chicken bones and chicken feet.
The highlight of this bowl of noodles was the soft boiled egg it came with. Marutama has their egg cooking skills down to a science. Look at the consistency of that yolk – firm enough that it held it’s shape and didn’t leak into the broth but still creamy and melt in your mouth.
Last thoughts: Overall, I felt that Marutama put out a very competitive bowl of ramen. The handmade noodles were toothsome. If I had to critique, I would prefer thicker noodles like the ones they make at Taishoken but I would happily eat this bowl of ramen over and over again without complaints. This bowl of ramen did not satisfy my ramen cravings, instead it made me want more ramen. So much so, I went to visit Taishoken the next day. And as I sit here typing up this review, I am wishing that Marutama was still open so I can get my hands on another bowl of chicken ramen as my after dessert dessert.
On most weekends, Orion and I take my mom out for lunch. Normally we do the Asian thing – dim sum. While I love dim sum, I figured it would be good idea to take my mom to eat something other than Chinese food. Orion suggest Edible Canada in Granville Island and I agreed. When I was a little girl, my mom use to always take my sister and I to Granville Island to visit the kids centre where she would give us quarters to play in the mini arcade they have upstairs to win tickets to trade for things like erasers, action figures and whatnot. We loved it! And if we were good, she would buy us banana loaves to snack on. Fast forward 20 years, I still love visiting Granville Island and Orion and I often go to pick up our groceries or just to walk around and sit by the water.
Truth be told, I’ve been to Edible Canada many a times but I’ve never been truly impressed. However, the concept of their menu which utilises ingredients sourced from Canada and the store they have at the side of their restaurants that sell sauces, preserves, sweets all made/from Canada has kept me coming back. Today was no exception and when I pulled their menu online and saw features of root vegetables, I was excited to try what they had to offer.
What we ordered:
Pacific fish and chips – $18:
My mom ordered the fish and chips which arrived with two large pieces of fish, duck fat frites, and a side salad. I like that this dish comes with a small salad to balance out the richness of the fish and chips. The fish taste fresh and was perfectly cooked. The batter was a touch too thick but nothing to really gripe about. The frites as always were delicious, hot, crispy and salted. These are my go to, duck fat frites are always good on my books. The condiments served however were disappointing – ketchup and mayonnaise. Given that the goal of the restaurant is to use local produce and that the adjoining store sells homemade/small batch ketchup, I would expect the restaurant to serve some sort of homemade ketchup rather than the regular stuff. Also, I would preferred if the fish and chips were served with tartar sauce rather than mayonnaise but that may just be personal preference.
House smoked salmon benny – $18:
This was Orion’s order and he seemed indifferent about it claiming that the overall dish was too salty. The salmon used appeared to be the farmed variety but for the price we paid, I would expect sockeye salmon to be served. The eggs were poached nicely, no complaints there. This dish was served with a small salad, no hash browns which makes for a lighter meal.
Hazelmere Hash – $15 ($1 to add hollandaise):
This was my order and also the reason why I agreed to visit this place. On the menu, it boasts “roasted root vegetables, crispy potatoes, kale, boar bacon, farm fresh poached eggs”. I was excited to try a veggie focused breakfast item for a change which was neither tomato based or spinach based. I pictured a hearty hash with yams/sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, and carrots with some potatoes and eggs. What I received instead was a large pile of potatoes, probably 75% to 80% of my dish and a few carrots, onions, and one piece of broccoli topped with some sad oily kale and eggs. I am honestly not too sure how this constituted as roasted root vegetable hash and for the price, I expected more veggies in the dish and a bigger variety of veggies used in the dish. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed with this dish.
Final thoughts: Edible Canada has a good thing going for them – location. Located right next to the Granville Island market, it is sure to attract locals and tourists alike. Service wise, I’ve never had a big issue with the servers before but the one we had for this particular meal was abrupt and seemed to be rushing us through our meal. The restaurant was not particularly busy that day and throughout our meal, there was never a line up at the door. However, he felt that it was appropriate to ask if we were done with the fries and grab the plate of fries from the fish and chips while we were all mid chewing on the leftover french fries. In total, we were in the restaurant for a total of 40 minutes from sitting down to leaving, I do not feel we were outstaying our welcome by any stretch of the word.
This experience at Edible Canada will likely be our last. I no longer feel the need to give this restaurant any more business despite how strongly I believe in their concept.
This past weekend, Orion suggested that we check out Adesso Bistro for dinner. Adesso is located in the residential area of the West End. They have a quaint space in the base of an apartment building I believe. The room is very warm welcoming room, perfect for an intimate dinner with a loved one or a catch up with friends and family over a glass of wine. Speaking of wine, I appreciated that the wine list was short and reasonably priced with a good variety of wine to choose from. For tonight’s meal, I asked our waiter to pick us something that would suit meal, and the nice, bright, full bodied white he chose was perfect for my pasta and for Orion’s fish. Continue reading →