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Gyoza King on Robson Street, Vancouver is a fantastic Japanese restaurant that we stumbled upon on our way to Stanley Park. During lunchtime their menu is varied and appetising. Noodles, rice dishes and of course Gyoza make up its lunch menu. While their dinner menu leans towards the pricer end of things but so very satisfying and delicious.

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Gyoza King’s Ramen is simply divine for a cold Vancouver day. The soup is flavourful, but it doesn’t leave you feeling thirsty like some other Japanese restaurants. The noodles were cooked well, not too soft and not too hard. All it needed was a bit of Togarashi and it was perfect. The stock they use was just so tasty. Really great Ramen here.
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We also ordered the Beef Sukiyaki which was another great dish. Slightly sweet from the onions and the sauce, the beef cooked to perfection. I always hate that chewy, tough beef but here it just melts. The sesame seeds add a bit of crunch and texture and is something I’ve often not found in this dish. What it lacks though is enough sauce, because it was just so good. A bit sweet, salty but simply delicious.

 

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Gyoza King’s Oyako Don is another treat. The onions, egg and chicken just complement each other extremely well. The seaweed on top isn’t just there for looks, it adds that slightly bitterness and roast to the rice. The chicken was marinated well. Sometimes you’ll find with Oyako Don, the chicken is very bland, lacking in anything good and most commonly overcooked and dry. Here it is still moist and that is definitely most welcome. Of course I had to add the Togarashi but it really could do without it too.

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You can’t not go to Gyoza King and not try their Gyoza. While these Japanese dumplings are small, it does pack full of flavour it its filling. The pork and cabbage, with the ginger and chives are in a perfect proportion. Giving it a bit more life is the soya sauce that provides the saltiness. The Gyoza are crisp and not too oily. Absolutely satisfying.

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The salad and miso soup comes complementary with some lunch dishes. The dressing they add on the salad is quite interesting. It’s not the usual sesame dressing I’ve had in other restaurants, but it still has a roasted flavour to it. It felt more rich, like mayonnaise.

The miso soup is quite standard though, I don’t think you can go wrong with miso soup anyway.

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Because Gyoza King was so good, we also had to try going there for dinner. We ordered their grilled fish and it was absolutely stunning. My gosh, the fish was so fresh and also extremely moist. It just melts so effortlessly in your mouth. The grilled flavour just seems ever so gently through the flesh. Adding a sprinkling of lemon adds an acidity that complements the subtle saltiness of the charred skin. I really couldn’t have asked for a better grilled fish.

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As we were having a lighter dinner, we shared another order of Gyoza. Again, these little bite sized dumplings are juicy and flavourful. Really great, I definitely recommend it.

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Their crispy chicken is another delight. Crispy, with a very thin skin and moist on the inside. It needs the lemon and mayonnaise to balance the oiliness of fried chicken but nonetheless it’s quite good. You can’t have too much of it though.

IMG_4091What we have here is a almost raw fish. It is just charred ever so slightly with a Japanese sauce. The fish here is so good like this, it really doesn’t need much else other than the lemon and soya sauce. I’ve never quite had something like this before and I’m not quite certain of the name either! Just a big FYI, it is really pleasant.

Impressions

Gyoza King have knocked my socks off with the dishes they have delivered. Both their lunch and dinner selection are varied but have definitely made an impression with the dishes we ordered. I really do recommend giving it a try if you’re around the West End.

Gyoza King on Urbanspoon

Gyoza King

1508 Robson St
Vancouver BC V6G1C3

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Seoul Soul, can easily be missed by passers-by. It is this extremely tiny restaurant, almost hidden on the always populated Victoria Street, Richmond, near The Hive Shopping Centre. In between The Hive SC entrance and a corner cafe, you’ll find this little gem. Only housing less than 20 people, it is always popular inside and waiting around lunchtime is common.

As you may have guessed from the name, Seoul Soul serve Korean cuisine from their most commonly known dishes such as Bulgogi, but also the more obscure and spicy dishes. Typically, they also do BBQ/grills so it really caters for most.

I’ve previously had the Spicy Tofu bulgogi and that was a delight to eat. It comes with stir fried tofu with a spicy sauce, salad and oddly enough a slice of orange. You’ll find this is common for most of the bulgogi’s served. The spiciness of the sauce is fantastic but isn’t too spicy, just enough to give the always bland tofu some flavour and kick.

The salad is very similar to the Japanese salad dressing you can buy in Asian supermarkets, it has that slightly sesame taste to it. I really do love this dressing so it’s always appetising.

You might be saying, Denny, what is that delicious dish you ordered that is pictured. Well, my friends, this is their Special Stone Pot Bibimbap. It comes super sizzling hot and crackles with delight as it’s served. It’s primarily a vegetarian dish with the bean sprouts, carrots, beans and capsicum. There are a couple of stone pot bibimbaps, prawn and beef. I’m uncertain if there was a stone pot vegie bibimbap but it doesn’t seem out of plausibility.

I ordered the beef, which comes with minced beef and cannot currently be seen as it sits underneath that sunny side up egg. The yolk that oozes out just binds everything together. It is simply a refreshing and satisfying meal.

Impressions 

Seoul Soul is quite a treat if you can get a table. Well presented food but leaning on the pricier side of things but it’s okay here because the  food here is tasty and doesn’t disappoint.

Seoul Soul on Urbanspoon

Seoul Soul
323 Victoria St
Abbotsford VIC 3067

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This probably isn’t the best time to post this seeing as it’s July. I always end up making things too late or even after the particular festive time comes around so this is just typical me. I love the smell of warm hot cross buns, it’s that cinnamon and spice mix that just keeps me calm. I also love kneading bread so making hot cross buns is jut plain relaxing. I found a recipe on Taste.com.au and it’s quite a good recipe irrespective of my little mistakes whilst trying to make it. Check it out below!

Hot Cross Buns (Taste.com.au)
Makes 12 large buns
Ingredients
4 cups plain flour
2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar (a bit less)
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice (I didn’t have this so I used 1tbsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp ground ginger, 1/4tsp ground cloves)
pinch of salt
1/2 cups currants
1/2 dark chocolate bits
40g butter
300ml milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Flour paste
1/2 cup plain flour
4 to 5 tablespoons water

Glaze
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Method
1. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and currants in a large bowl. (I split my recipe in half half, with one adding currants and the other with dark chocolate buttons)

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add milk. Heat for 1 minute, or until lukewarm.

3. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to currant mixture. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix until dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.

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4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

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5. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Preheat oven to 150/160°C.

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6. Make flour paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.

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7. Make glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Impressions

The original recipe asked to preheat at 190. I disagree as it turns out, it’s way too hot for my particular oven. It should be more at 150/160 especially if it’s fan forced. Otherwise the bun browns too fast and the inside is undercooked.

My other mistake was I poured the warm mixture of butter and milk onto my dry ingredients for my choc buns I let it sit there whilst I kneaded my currant dough. Big mistake, as it became all stiff and hard once I got back to it. So if you want to split the mixes, either knead/mix the wet and dry ingredients really quickly or do it one at a time. I was just worried the warm milk and butter mixture would cool too quickly (it didn’t).

My currant hot cross buns were soft and had a beautiful fragrance to it. These are best eaten fresh as they get hard pretty quickly unless you warm them up in the microwave. So it’s a good recipe but I’ll probably try another recipe when Easter comes around again.

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Ying Thai is the first location of this popular Thai restaurant. Ying Thai 2 is located in Carlton and is frequently visited by Melbourne Uni students and locals. The Richmond venue doesn’t appear to be as popular around lunch weekdays but it doesn’t indicate quality whatsoever.

The dish pictured above was the Chicken Flat Rice Noodle with Chilli and Basil, otherwise known as Pud Kee Mow. What I liked about this dish was that it was spicy, and a really decent hit of chilli at that. It might be too spicy for some, but it just hits the spot for me.

The Pud Kee Mow, you can choose your protein of choice from Chicken, Beef, Pork or Vegetable, like many of their dishes actually. I’ve never actually had this before but I really did like the flavour, the spiciness, a bit of soy that adds sweetness and a hint of salt and the basil. You can’t forget the fragrant basil.

They add carrots, capsicum, broccoli and cabbage if memory serves me correctly. I liked the abundance of vegetables no matter how oily this stir fried noodles dish may be.  The chicken was on the tougher side, but I wouldn’t call it very overcooked. I think with stir fry it’s very difficult to cook well, so it was acceptable for me.

The Thai Fried Rice is also excellent, and very filling too. So tasty that I even forgot to take a picture. Next time.

Impressions

Ying Thai serves as tasty Thai food. I may not know what authentic Thai food is but I know what my tastebuds say, and they say it’s pretty darn good. If you’re ever near the corner of Hoddle Street and Victoria Street, give it a go. Just may need to be a bit patient, sometimes it takes 10 minutes or more for food to arrive.

Ying Thai on Urbanspoon

Ying Thai (Menu)
235 Victoria St
Abbotsford VIC 3067

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