Desserts - Vancouver Restaurants

 

Ikea Restaurant (Coquitlam, Richmond)

An Ikea Restaurant is located in both Ikea stores in the Vancouver area: Richmond (map, 3200 Sweden Way, Richmond, British Columbia, phone: 604-273-2051) and Coquitlam (map, 1000 Lougheed Highway, Coquitlam, British Columbia, phone: 604-636-1000).

IKEA is famous for the clean and modern design of their reasonably priced home furnishings and accessories. Their stores are “family friendly” which means there is a room filled with balls for kids to play in (one of my favorite places to go when I was a kid), and a bunch of kid-friendly items such as hotdogs and meatballs on the menu at their restaurant.

I went on a visit to Ikea on a Sunday afternoon, mainly to try their restaurant. The food at the restaurant is fairly inexpensive, because they know if people feel comforted by good food, they might be more inclined to spend hundreds of dollars on that new couch, table, or desk. It sure worked for me – I really only intended to visit the restaurant and then have a quick look around the store, and I ended up spending over $300 on various items. Yikes!

Being a Swedish company, Ikea features some Swedish items on their menu including the meatballs (pictured below) which cost around $7 for 15 meatballs with potatoes or fries (or $6.49 for 10 meatballs, potatoes, fries, and a soft drink). They also have some really tasty cold smoked salmon dishes such as the Gravlax with mustard and dill (also pictured below, around $5.00). For dessert they offer some nice pastries and cakes, such as the one pictured below (around $2.00).

If you like pasta, you can get a plate of Organic Pasta for $1.99. Their menu describes this dish as, “organic pasta with organic vegetarian tomato sauce” and says the pasta is available after 11am. But if you go before 11am you can get a $1.00 (yes, that’s one dollar) breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausages, and home fries. Their hope is that you’ll spend much more on the home furnishings and accessories. After all, you are already there, so why not pick up a TV stand, lamp, and chaise lounge or two?

Ikea Swedish Meatballs from Ikea in Coquitlam (a suburb of Vancouver BC Canada). Around $7.00.

Ikea Swedish Meatballs from Ikea in Coquitlam (a suburb of Vancouver BC Canada). Around $7.00.

Ikea Swedish Gravlax with Mustard and Dill (smoked salmon, delicious!). Around $5.00. From Ikea in Coquitlam BC Canada, a suburb of Vancouver.

Ikea Swedish Gravlax with Mustard and Dill (smoked salmon, delicious!). Around $5.00. From Ikea in Coquitlam BC Canada, a suburb of Vancouver.

Swedish Dessert pastry from Ikea restaurant in Coquitlam BC Canada (a suburb of Vancouver). Around $2.00.

Swedish Dessert pastry from Ikea restaurant in Coquitlam BC Canada (a suburb of Vancouver). Around $2.00.

13,526 views - Posted Friday, May 22nd, 2009

 

Toratatsu Japanese Tapas Bistro (Denman)

Toratatsu Japanese Tapas Bistro (web site, map, 735 Denman Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-685-9399) is yet another excellent Japanese Izakaya (tapas) restaurant in Vancouver; this one is run by the same family who previously operated the superb (but now closed) Shiru Bay Chopstick Cafe in Yaletown.

At Toratatsu the Uno family has created a space that looks like a cozy New York bistro, but with a definite Japanese vibe that they say “would fit downtown Tokyo perfectly.” Chef Kodai Uno, 26, trained at the Pacific Institute of Culinary arts and at French restaurant L’Emotion, and is the youngest in a family of professional chefs. He brings a great deal of creativity and skill to his kitchen, crafting modern Japanese tapas with a fusion twist.

itadakimasu, a reviewer on DineHere.ca writes (click here to read review):

I was getting a little tired of Gyoza King and Hapa (which I both still like) so had to try this place. The decor is cool and comfy. The service friendly (always smiling) and the food was great! familiar dishes like Agedashi Tofu but with a twist (yama imo potato on top with tasty sauce). We also had the daikon salad (those are little fish sprinkled on top) which was so good, had to order a second.

My friends and I were quite hungry so we sampled a lot of delicious dishes (some pictured below).

For an order of chef’s special sashimi ($15.80) we chose the saba (mackerel), scallops, and salmon. The mackerel and scallops were seared with a blow torch right at our table, which made for quite the fiery entertainment!

The crab avocado salad ($8.80) was delicate and light, combining two of my favorite ingredients in a most favorable way.

The Ebi Chili Mayo ($8.00, deep fried prawn with Japanese mayonnaise and hot chili sauces) was gigantic and disappeared in a flash.

The Cheese Tofu ($6.80) looked like a fancy dessert cheese with strawberries, slivered almonds, and a sweet glaze, but tasted like a combination of custard, tofu, and a soft brie cheese. We also tried the Ishiyaki Risotto ($8.30) which was a nice sticky rice mixed with some succulent seafood.

My friends also ordered the Smoke Kissed Duck ($8.80), the Tarako Kimchi Udon ($7.80), and the Sashimi salad ($8.80), which looked amazing but I didn’t get a chance to try them. Hopefully next time!

Sashimi Salad from Toratatsu Japanese restaurant in downtown Vancouver ($8.80)

Sashimi Salad from Toratatsu Japanese restaurant in downtown Vancouver ($8.80)

Crab Avocado salad ($8.80) from Toratatsu Japanese Tapas restaurant in the West End of Vancouver (Denman).

Crab Avocado salad ($8.80) from Toratatsu Japanese Tapas restaurant in the West End of Vancouver (Denman).

Chefs special Sashimi ($15.80) from Toratatsu in Vancouver (being seared with a blow torch!)

Chef's special Sashimi ($15.80) from Toratatsu in Vancouver (being seared with a blow torch!)

Another shot of the Chefs special sashimi from Toratatsu Japanese restaurant in Vancouver.

Another shot of the Chef's special sashimi from Toratatsu Japanese restaurant in Vancouver.

Smoke kissed duck ($8.80) from Toratatsu on Denman Street in Vancouver.

Smoke kissed duck ($8.80) from Toratatsu on Denman Street in Vancouver.

Ebi Chili Mayo (deep fried prawn, $8.00) - wonderful!! from Toratatsu Japanese Tapas Bistro in Vancouver

Ebi Chili Mayo (deep fried prawn, $8.00) - wonderful!! from Toratatsu Japanese Tapas Bistro in Vancouver

Ishiyaki Seafood Risotto ($8.30) from Toratatsu Japanese Tapas in Vancouver.

Ishiyaki Seafood Risotto ($8.30) from Toratatsu Japanese Tapas in Vancouver.

Cheese Tofu ($6.80, a nice sweet dessert or appetizer) - with strawberries and slivered almonds. From Toratatsu Japanese restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Cheese Tofu ($6.80, a nice sweet dessert or appetizer) - with strawberries and slivered almonds. From Toratatsu Japanese restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Toratatsu on Urbanspoon

9,238 views - Posted Thursday, May 7th, 2009

 

T&T Market in Vancouver

T and T Market (web site, map, 179 Keefer Place, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, phone: 604-899-8836, Store hours: 8:30 am – 9:30 pm) is a large Chinese/Asian grocery store with several locations in the Vancouver area (view a list of all locations). The Keefer Place location is very close to the Stadium Skytrain station, GM Place Stadium, and BC Place Stadium.

The supermarket is well known for their exotic seafood and vegetable selections. Frommers writes that Tnt Market is “where strange and ungainly comestibles lurk: fire-dragon fruit, lily root, and enoki mushrooms”. But never fear, there are plenty of palatable items lurking here, which even those with Westernized tastes can enjoy.

I especially like the steamed dim-sum and buns, such as the BBQ Pork Bun (Cha Siu Bow), as well as the egg custard tarts. I also really like their Chinese BBQ Chicken which comes pre-cooked and sliced into bite sized pieces – a tray of chicken costs around $6 and makes a great takeout item to serve at home with some steamed rice and veggies.

T&T Supermarket also sells pre-prepared sushi trays such as the one pictured below (around $5.00). The sushi is tasty, and while a dedicated sushi restaurant might do better, T&T’s sushi is quite good value for the money. (The supermarket has some eat-in tables for hungry shoppers who can’t wait till getting home to start munching away.) After around 6:30pm the sushi items start being discounted by a few dollars every hour until they’re all gone.

I also tried their Vietnamese Salad Rolls served with peanut sauce (also pictured below, around $5.00) which I thought were a little bland. The Vietnamese restaurant in the food fair at Tinseltown Mall (just across the street) serves much tastier and fresher salad rolls, at about the same price.

Take out sushi tray from T&T Market in Vancouver, $5.00 (California roll, Salmon Nigiri Sushi, and Unagi sushi)

Take out sushi tray from T&T Market in Vancouver, $5.00 (California roll, Salmon Nigiri Sushi, and Unagi sushi)

Vietnamese Salad Rolls ($5.00) from Tnt Super market in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Vietnamese Salad Rolls ($5.00) from Tnt Super market in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

22,781 views - Posted Friday, October 17th, 2008