Budget - Vancouver Restaurants

 

Insadong Korean Restaurant (Coquitlam)

Insadong Korean Restaurant (website, map, photos, 403 North Road, Coquitlam, BC,  Canada, phone: 604-936-3778) is one of my new favorite places to go for Korean food in the Greater Vancouver area. It’s located just on the Coquitlam side of North Road, near Lougheed Mall in Burnaby. It’s within walking distance of the Lougheed skytrain station.

kissy of Coquitlam writes on dinehere.ca:

Love to be there. I have been in this restaurant a few time and every time I was there it was a pleasure for a spicy Korean style. The taste of the food was so impressive with a big portion of Kim chi and beef. Shabu hot pot beef was my favorite food there and big.. even it was a small size. The taste was rich with a healthy vegetable and tasty Kim Chi ingredients. The service was fast and excellent as well. Keep maintain the quality and services like this, I will be back again.

Prices for a full meal range between $10 and $20 per person depending on which dishes you order.

The spicy soft tofu soup (with seafood, pictured below) is $8.99 and comes with a side of rice and all the usual Korean accompaniment dishes like the kim-chee (traditional spicy cabbage), the candied cooked potatoes (my favorite), sprouts, and more. The soup and side dishes are a meal in themselves.

We also ordered some fancy salads such as the Smoked Salmon Salad ($7.99) and the Seafood Salad ($9.99) which were amazing “fusion” style dishes with great Korean influences but also making use of West Coast ingredients.

One great dish to order is the Dolsot Bibimbap ($9.99) – a healthy bowl filled with vegetables, rice, and meat. Here is a video of Gwyneth Paltrow showing how to make Bibimbap:

Below are some photos I took of the restaurant and our meal. I’ll definitely be back!

Korean food from Insadong Korean Restaurant in Coquitlam BC Canada.

Korean food from Insadong Korean Restaurant in Coquitlam BC Canada.

Spicy soft tofu soup from Insadong Korean Restaurant in Coquitlam BC Canada.

Spicy soft tofu soup from Insadong Korean Restaurant in Coquitlam BC Canada.

Smoked Salmon Salad ($7.99) from Insadong Restaurant

Smoked Salmon Salad ($7.99) from Insadong Restaurant

Korean Seafood Salad from Insadong Restaurant in Coquitlam, BC, Canada.

Korean Seafood Salad from Insadong Restaurant in Coquitlam, BC, Canada.

Insadong Korean Restaurant interior (Coquitlam BC Canada)

Insadong Korean Restaurant interior (Coquitlam BC Canada)

Photo gallery of Insadong Korean Restaurant on Flickr

Insadong Korean BBQ and Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

22,148 views - Posted Thursday, March 11th, 2010

 

Sushi California (Coquitlam) – Part 2

Sushi California (501A North Rd, Coquitlam, BC, Canada, phone: 604-931-8284) is a small but very popular Japanese sushi restaurant at the corner of Austin and North Road, across from Lougheed Mall in Burnaby. It’s within walking distance of the Lougheed Mall skytrain station.

The restaurant has very reasonable prices, and quite fresh ingredients. [On my visit in 2008] I enjoyed the Tako Sunomono (octopus, $3.25, pictured below), the Alaska Roll ($3.75, also pictured below), and the Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Roll ($3.95, pictured below). I also added two pieces of nigiri sushi, the Tamago (egg) and Inari (sweet bean curd wrapper), which were only $1 each.

The restaurant also caters to vegetarians, with a good selection of vegetarian rolls (also pictured below). For more info and another photo, view Part 1.

Update: Jan. 24th 2010. I visited Sushi California again and made a video of my visit. Watch on Youtube or use the player below.

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese sushi roll and Tamago and Inari nigiri sushi
Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese sushi roll ($3.95) and Tamago and Inari nigiri sushi ($1 each)

Tako sunomono (octopus salad with rice noodles and sweet vinegar broth) - $3.25
Tako sunomono (octopus salad with rice noodles and sweet vinegar broth) – $3.25

Japanese Vegetarian sushi rolls at Sushi California
Japanese Vegetarian sushi rolls at Sushi California

More of the sushi feast. Delicious Japanese food!!
More of the sushi feast. Delicious Japanese food!! The total bill per person before tax and tip was only $12.95.

Sushi California on Urbanspoon

50,977 views - Posted Sunday, January 24th, 2010

 

Posh Japanese Sukiyaki (Broadway)

Posh Japanese Sukiyaki Restaurant (map, website, blog, 101 – 1788 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-737-7674)

I think that every successful restaurant needs a “concept”, a unique identity, something that differentiates itself in such an incredibly fierce competitive market that supports the dining industry in Vancouver.

It’s an industry which demands continuous hard work from employees and owners with little respite, where margins are typically low and consumer opinion (or a lack thereof) can make or break a business.

But the rewards from running a restaurant are high: an idea, creative vision, a passion for food and culture – all these can be transformed into a physical space that is temporarily occupied by visitors who seek to experience new tastes, sensations, socialize, be merry, and above all, satisfy their appetites with delicious, healthy food.

I tend to think about restaurants as “experience engines”. As a software developer I like to look at things in terms of the input, output, and transformations that occur during a process. For a restaurant, there are the physical ingredients and energy needed to prepare food – these are the obvious inputs. But there are also the less tangible things, like the moods and attitudes of the serving staff, the restaurant decor, the background music, and then of course the restaurant guests themselves.

But I digress, I really should be talking about the food at Posh.

Posh is an example of an expanding, successful home-grown restaurant chain with an excellent concept: Japanese Sukiyaki (wikipedia).

So what is Sukiyaki you may ask? Well, it’s a form of Hot Pot, where you have a gas burner at your table with a large cast-iron pot filled with a bubbling broth. The broth is made with a combination of Sukiyaki Sauce (soya sauce, sugar, and mirin) and cabbage. You add thinly sliced raw beef into the pot along with assorted vegetables, tofu, noodles and seafood, and everything cooks right in front of you.

The nice thing is that you decide exactly what you want to eat, and if you particularly like a certain item, such as the fish cakes (yum!), just order more of it! Or if you’re vegetarian, there are plenty of options such as tofu, spinach, and several types of mushrooms to make a soup that fits your diet.

Amazingly, Posh provides an “all you can eat” experience for $11.88 per person for lunch, or $15.88 per person for dinner. The restaurant always seems packed at peak times, so it’s a good idea to try making a reservation and coming early to put your name in the queue just in case.

Posh’s other locations include Richmond (map, 1123 – 3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond, BC, Canada, phone: 604-303-7674), Burnaby (map, 105 – 6462 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC, Canada, phone: 604-434-7674), and Victoria (map, 102 – 1063 Fort Street, Victoria, BC, Canada, phone: 250-382-7674).

Below are some photos from our dinner at Posh on West Broadway. Hope you enjoy!

Everything cooking away at Posh Japanese Hot Pot restaurant in Vancouver.

Everything cooking away at Posh Japanese Hot Pot restaurant in Vancouver.

Guava yogurt mixed drink - nice and refreshing! From Posh restaurant in Vancouver.

Guava yogurt mixed drink - nice and refreshing! From Posh restaurant in Vancouver.

More hotpot cooking at Posh in Vancouver.

More hotpot cooking at Posh in Vancouver.

Vegetarian hot pot ingredients from Posh in Vancouver. Mushrooms, spinach, tofu.

Vegetarian hot pot ingredients from Posh in Vancouver. Mushrooms, spinach, tofu.

Posh on Broadway Photo Gallery by Geoff Peters.

Restaurant review of Posh by Angela Murrills from the Georgia Straight.

Blog from owner of the Posh restaurant chain.

Posh restaurant on Twitter.

Posh (Kitsilano) on Urbanspoon

89,880 views - Posted Friday, January 22nd, 2010