a little bit about travel, a little bit about food, a lot of everything in between; as seen, tasted and experienced by different points of view..

Author: poeticnook

Poke & Co

Poke & Co

My new fave poke place is nestled inside the Lonsdale Quay market, very accessible and convenient from the Seabus terminal. Poke & Co, originally from California, opened in December 2017 and has been a hit since then. Just like every other poke place, ordering here […]

Ban Dao Pearl Restaurant

Ban Dao Pearl Restaurant

I’ve always liked the Marine Gateway complex because it has (almost) everything I want in one place. If I can afford the condos here then I would probably move into this neighbourhood haha I don’t remember when I first tried out the Ban Dao restaurant […]

Bistro Sakana

Bistro Sakana

An underrated Yaletown gem.

Sushi places in Vancouver is a dime a dozen, I seriously ate more sushi in Van city than in Japan. So in a city of raw fish on rice, it’s hard to find one that stands out, enter Bistro Sakana. I discovered this restaurant during Dine out Vancouver, a winter gimmick that encourages people to take out their jackets and brave the cold and snow to try out prix fixe menu offered by restaurants so that the industry won’t die out during this season. 
Their dine out feast was definitely worth getting hypothermia for but unfortunately it’s a one time seasonal fare that you won’t be able to order on their regular menu so I didn’t bother to come back after that. One summer evening however, while waiting for the Minami dinner reservation and after sampling the much hyped liquid nitrogen ice cream from Mister, I passed by Bistro to see if there’s anything new in their menu, and guess what, they have a daily changing special menu for fish straight from Japan, the bafun uni stood out which I never really tried outside of Sushi Bar Maumi and Masayoshi so it was a welcome sight to know that there’s another place where this can be had, Toshi was supposedly offering it too but it wasn’t available when I went there, and that’s another overhyped restaurant altogether but that’s another story.
So on to Bistro and its limited special menu, I ordered the uni, wagyu, salmon and tuna trio, and a few others, all of them were definitely exceptional that the Minami dinner had to be cancelled. The sake flight was also an interesting way to get acquainted with different types of gradually more potent poison, one after the other. 


A few days later, hankering for another uni fix, Bistro failed to deliver, apparently it’s not everyday that they have this dish and to prevent further disappointment it’s best to call for availability before heading there, so I got their calling card to be sure. This third visit was not as satisfying as the first two but then again maybe because I’ve already had my fill of dinner at Minami so I wasn’t really hankering for anything else but uni. I ordered ikura and a few others from their regular menu and tried the wagyu again but somehow their wagyu was not as good as the previous one, there were a few chewy parts.. I also tried aburi which paled in comparison to Miku. 

I usually want to make a few visits before giving my final rating and I think I’ve already decided that Bistro will definitely be one of my go to places if I want some special sushi from Japan, I’ll just remember to call them first and check for availability before heading there. 

Verdict: 4/5
Captain’s Boil

Captain’s Boil

The test of a good restaurant is if it is consistent in pushing out good dishes and if it improves in the stuff they need to work on based on customer reviews or well just based on their experience. I’ve been to Captain’s Boil five […]

​Japadog

​Japadog

a Japanese street food take on the usual hotdog.I’m not really much of a hotdog sandwich fan, I mean I like hotdogs on a stick but the bun is a killer for me, I’m not a bread person so I usually discard this part, it […]

GyudonYa

GyudonYa

A Yoshinoya alternative  
I’ve always been a fan of Yoshinoya from when I first tried it in Manila, to when it became a comfort food when I was working in Tokyo, and then nostalgic pit stops in California, so imagine my disappointment when I found out there’s no Yoshinoya branch in Vancouver. 
Good thing I discovered GyudonYa, it fits the bill and offers a lot more..
Stewed tender beef bacon slices with white onion on a bed of rice and topped with pickled ginger, that’s how I remember a good bowl of gyudon should be. As a sister company of Chosun Korean BBQ, this restaurant offers a few more fare other than beef bowls, it also has karubi, chirasi, kimchi, gyoza and a few nigiri. I’ve visited this place thrice and always came out satisfied. Although the place is small, the service is fast and the food tastes better than what other restaurants would give you for the same $. 
If you’re tired of the usual Japadog which is just two stores away from GyudonYa, then I suggest you give this gem a visit.
Verdict: 4/5

The Holy Crab

The Holy Crab

Louisiana inspired seafood boil I’ve been waiting for the opening of this restaurant since winter last year, mostly because I wanted to try the lobster roll! We visited this place a couple of times and as much as I like their lobster rolls, there’s a […]

Tacofino

Tacofino

who doesn’t love fish tacos?Tacofino is another one of those accidental finds that we discovered while waiting for dinner reservation for yet another restaurant. This time we were planning on trying Pidgin at Carrall Street and on the way there we saw this Gastown gem. […]

Red Fish Blue Fish

Red Fish Blue Fish

arguably the best fish and chips in the island
Sitting on wooden stools by the harbour and watching kayaks and seagulls while devouring your crispy fish and chips is a quintessential Victoria scene that is similar to drinking ice cold beer on a patio on a hot summer day, if you’re a beer drinker that is.

As with all other places, the lineup here is quite terrible when you go during peak hours but a few minutes of standing under the sun will be rewarded with exceptional fare. well I guess when you’re sunburnt and hungry I guess everything starts sounding exceptional haha but so far, I’ve never been disappointed with any of my orders.


My favourite is the salmon fish and chips and fried oysters, both come with crispy fries and some dip, you can also opt to have a salad instead but whoever heard of fish and salad? I know, right? you’re eating deep fried food anyway so why not go all the way and try all their deep fried goodness in one meal. Another recent discovery is the tuna tacones which is basically like fish tacos but their tuna is lightly seared medium rare on a bed of greens and topped with a wedge of lime, a refreshing alternative if you don’t want to clog your arteries. There are other grilled items on the menu and a chowder too but I haven’t had time to give them a try because I keep getting derailed when I’m about to order, so maybe next time?

Verdict: 4/5 (a visit to Victoria is never complete without passing by this fish and chips stand)
Sushi Bar Maumi

Sushi Bar Maumi

Jiro wannabe Ever since I watched Jiro dreams of sushi, I’ve always wanted to try that authentic and intimate sushi experience. Short of flying to Tokyo and spending thousands of yen, Maumi is just that place in Vancouver.  This sushi bar is a small place […]

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

aka the restaurant that fried chicken wings built? I’m not really a fried chicken wing connoisseur nor do I like fried food in general but when I heard about this place, I felt like I had to give it a visit.  Phnom Penh sits right […]

Poké Guy

Poké Guy

So, what’s your favourite Poké?
This Hawaiian marinated raw fish dish on a bed of rice with tons of add ons has been invading Van City by storm. 

Like most poké places, this shop takes you to an assembly line of ingredients where you first choose if you like the little guy or the big guy, I always go for the big guy only because you get unlimited toppings unlike others where you only get to choose 4 or 5. After choosing the size, your next decision would be the base – brown rice, white rice or salad, and then you get 2-3 proteins, the selection changes every day but I usually get the ahi, sockeye, albacore or shrimp depending on availability, the toppings consist of corn, tomato, onion, cucumber, cilantro, bean sprouts, an avocado slice for an extra dollar then a variety of sauces – ponzu, aoili, sriracha mayo, wasabi mayo, and finally the crunchies: fried onion, nori, pork rind, I’m sure I’m missing a lot more but you kinda get a sensory overload when you see the trays, it’s almost like a Poké Subway.
I’ve tried a couple of Poké places in the past months but this tops them all for me, mostly because of the variety and quality of ingredients. The fact that the business owner has Hawaiian roots also gives some authenticity to the fare they deliver. Word of warning though, this isn’t the place to go if you want a quick lunch stop, they open at around 11 and I lined up for almost an hour just to get my food! the next few visits I smartened up and went during off peak hours, they close at 5 or as soon as ingredients are sold out though so there really isn’t a lot of window, well except for summer where they extend up to 7pm..
And if someone asks me what my fave poké is, well..

Verdict: 4/5