Robson - Vancouver Restaurants

 

Tropika on Robson (Part 2) – Malaysian and Thai Cuisine

Tropika on Robson (web site, map, 1128 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone 604-737-6002) is a popular Malaysian and Thai restaurant located on the second floor overlooking Vancouver’s trendy Robson Street shopping district (downtown), between Bute and Thurlow streets.

The restaurant has won numerous awards for their innovative and unique decor, and more importantly for their food. Their menu, which is full of wonderful mouth-watering photos, makes choosing dishes a snap – even if you’re not so familiar with Malaysian or Thai cuisine. Simply look at the photos in the menu and let your eyes decide what to eat!

On a previous visit (over two years ago) I enjoyed the satay skewers and the Hainanese chicken.

This time we tried the following dishes (all pictured below): Indonesian spring rolls filled with chicken ($2.50 each), some delightfully puffy roti canai bread served with a special sauce ($2.95), the marvellous sambal clams ($13.95), an hot and sour eggplant hot pot with minced pork ($11.95), and the pineapple fried rice with ham and chicken ($12.95).

An interesting drink that we tried was the Coconut Juice served in a real coconut (also pictured below). This was a huge coconut filled with some refreshing and slightly sweet coconut juice, that we could enjoy with a straw.

In addition to Tropika’s Robson Street location, the restaurant also has a couple of other locations: Tropika Cambie Street (map, 2975 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-879-6002), and Tropika at Aberdeen (map, unit 1830, Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC, Canada, phone: 604-233-7002). More info is on their web site.

Indonesian Spring Rolls from Tropika on Robson Street ($2.50 each)

Indonesian Spring Rolls from Tropika on Robson Street ($2.50 each)

Roti Canai bread from Tropika on Robson ($2.95)

Roti Canai bread from Tropika on Robson ($2.95)

Sambal Clams ($13.95) from Tropika on Robson

Sambal Clams ($13.95) from Tropika on Robson

Hot & Sour Eggplant Hot Pot with Minced Pork ($11.95) from Tropika on Robson

Hot & Sour Eggplant Hot Pot with Minced Pork ($11.95) from Tropika on Robson

Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham and Chicken ($12.95) from Tropika Restaurant on Robson Street.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham and Chicken ($12.95) from Tropika Restaurant on Robson Street.

Coconut Juice served in a fresh real coconut (around $4.00) from Tropika Malaysian and Thai restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Coconut Juice served in a fresh real coconut (around $4.00) from Tropika Malaysian and Thai restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Tropika (Downtown) on Urbanspoon

15,473 views - Posted Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

 

H-Mart – Korean food fair downtown

H-Mart (wikipedia, website, map, 200 – 550 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada) is a Korean-American grocery store chain with many locations throughout North America. In Vancouver they are on the second floor at the corner of Robson and Seymour – a prime spot in the downtown shopping district.

From a recent press release by H-Mart Online:

As you enter the store, your eyes are greeted with a foyer full of small electrics, including rice steamers and griddles. From there, you enter a world of household necessities including ‘Joy Gloves.’ Which brings up a point. Some product names just don’t come through translation to have the same impact in English as they did in their native country’s language.

[…] The prepared foods are tasty as well. The kim-chee from the refrigerator case is top notch, as are the fried beef and sesame chicken. In the freezers are everything from squid and octopus to red bean ice cream. Try some of the gyoza or steamed dumplings for a treat. There are also frozen ducks in the case labeled ‘duck, parts missing.’ It’s best to not think too hard about which parts are absent.

I really like their gyoza and kim-chee, as well as their prepackaged sushi which becomes discounted near the end of the day.

But a little-known feature of this grocery store is the food court that is at the north side facing Robson street. Here you can get a variety of popular Korean dishes such as the spicy tofu soup, spicy beef broth, seafood pancake, and many more (menu shown below).

I tried the Item #5 which is described as “Mixed Vegetables and Rice in a Stone Hot Pot” ($8.50, pictured below) – it is called Bibimbap in Korean.

The ingredients are arranged artfully on rice in a super-hot stone bowl, and it’s up to you to mix them up and wait a couple minutes for everything to cook.

In the photos below I’ve shown what the dish looks like before and after mixing the ingredients. It tasted fabulous – the combination of rice, egg, vegetables, and meat was quite filling and satisfying but also was non-greasy and seemed healthy.

The stone bowl remains piping hot for a long time; after resting my chopsticks on it for a minute the wood became almost too hot to touch. The dish is served with some kim-chee (spicy Korean pickled cabbage) and a warm soup broth with green onions.

After enjoying Item #5 for a second time, I’ve decided to make the H-Mart Korean Supermarket one of my regular dining spots. Visiting the food fair is like taking a mini vacation to Korea – most of the other patrons seem to be talking in Korean, and many of the signs are in both Korean and English.

Bibimbap Korean food ($8.50) from H-Mart Market in Vancouver BC Canada - before mixing the ingredients.

Bibimbap Korean food ($8.50) from H-Mart Market in Vancouver BC Canada - before mixing the ingredients.

Korean Bibimbap dish after mixing the ingredients in the hot stone bowl.

Korean Bibimbap dish after mixing the ingredients in the hot stone bowl.

H-Mart Korean Food Fair Menu, located on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver.

H-Mart Korean Food Fair Menu, located on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver.

Beyond Robson has a review of the H-Mart food court from 2007.

33,517 views - Posted Monday, June 22nd, 2009

 

Junsei River Japanese Restaurant (Robson)

Junsei River Japanese Restaurant (visitor reviews, map, 570 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-683-2633).

Recently opened in the former location of the Prima Taste Singaporean restaurant in Vancouver, Junsei River serves many of the favorite items you can expect to find at a Vancouver Japanese restaurant. Items include sushi, Teriyaki, tempura, sashimi, salads, and cones. The restaurant is a-la-carte, and the portions are of decent size and reasonably priced. Vancouver has such a high standard of sushi restaurants, and I found Junsei River to be in keeping with most downtown sushi places.

Running a restaurant must be a tough business, especially the first few months after a restaurant has opened. The restaurant needs to establish a regular clientele, a good reputation, and impress their guests so that they will keep coming back. I think it is better to give a brand new restaurant some time and a chance to figure things out before pronouncing it “good” or “bad”; unfortunately some of the reviews that I read on the community review dining guide site www.dinehere.ca are a tad negative!

But never fear, my experience at the restaurant was a good one. We went on a Saturday afternoon after visiting the Vancouver Public Library book sale, and sat at one of the tables near the large windows. The restaurant has some very appetizing photos of their food on the wall, and these helped me decide on a few items.

I ordered an Ebi Sunomono salad – my favorite – ($3.25, pictured below), which is a cold vermicelli noodle salad in a sweet tangy vinegar and sugar broth, topped with some generous butterflied prawns. It was definitely up to snuff, but I could have enjoyed a bit more noodle in the salad.

I then tried the Cone Combo ($6.25, also pictured below) which included a spicy salmon cone, an imitation crab meat cone, and a tuna cone. The cones are stuffed with sushi rice and topped with seafood wrapped in the slightly salty nori (roasted seaweed). I ate them so quickly I don’t even remember what they were like – my only memory is a brief moment of pleasure while the seaweed stuck to my tongue, the cold and yummy seafood, followed by the satisfying sticky rice.

To finish off this light lunch, I enjoyed the 1/2 Kishu Roll ($5.00, also pictured below), which tasted fresh and had a great combination of crab meat, egg (tamago), fish cake, cucumber, salmon, Japanese pickle, and masago (smelt roe).

I love big sushi rolls filled with lots of interesting ingredients. There are very few foods that that can make me feel as healthy and satisfied as sushi. However, if I was being picky, I would have noted that the rolls were not entirely tightly packed with filling, with a few “air holes” in the sushi next to the edge of the roll. This minor mistake didn’t stand in my way of enjoying the sushi rolls.

The service was fine, and the restaurant was not very busy. I’ll give Junsei River another visit sometime, as their location is really convenient for me.

There is also another new Japanese restaurant across the street from the Telus building just one block away, and I’m going to try that one too! Can Vancouverites ever get tired of sushi?

Ebi Sunomono Salad from Junsei River Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada ($3.25)

Ebi Sunomono Salad from Junsei River Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada ($3.25)

Cone combo (Japanese sushi food), from Junsei River Japanese Restaurant ($6.25)

Cone combo (Japanese sushi food), from Junsei River Japanese Restaurant ($6.25)

1/2 Kishu Roll from Junsei River Japanese Restaurant (Vancouver), $5.00

1/2 Kishu Roll from Junsei River Japanese Restaurant (Vancouver), $5.00

Another shot of the Japanese Sushi Cone Combo from Junsei Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Another shot of the Japanese Sushi Cone Combo from Junsei Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Another shot of the 1/2 Kishu Roll from Junsei River Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver.

Another shot of the 1/2 Kishu Roll from Junsei River Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver.

Junsei River Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

20,175 views - Posted Monday, April 27th, 2009