Zen Japanese Restaurant

Zen Japanese Restaurant on UrbanspoonOur friend of ours wanted to dine at Zen, so the four of us went to West Van to try out the place. It was a warm summer evening, so we sat out in the patio.

A bit higher end than your typical sushi place, we were looking forward to indulge in some fine dining. The water took forever to come out and our thirst seemed worse since we had been outside for most of the day prior to the dinner. When they did come, but glass was all scratched up like crazy as if it went through the garburator. It wasn’t dirty, but it wasn’t nice to drink out of, especially at a fine restaurant like this. My friend asked ‘what the heck happened to your glass??’ idearabbit-zen1idearabbit-zen2Their own custom branded plates and bowls! The napkin was folded in a neat way that kept us busy trying to figure out the folds.

idearabbit-zen6Negitoro $6.50!

The negitoro was an expensive $6.50 but I didn’t notice anything superior to any rolls for half the price at other places. It wasn’t as flavourful and the nori (seaweed) was really chewy. It didn’t have the fresh nori smell I loved. This is not worth ordering here.

idearabbit-zen5 idearabbit-zen4Tori Gyoza $7.95

The Tori Gyoza $7.95 was something unexpected. It was nicely presented, but it was not gyoza. It was more like deep fried karaage. I guess if you like karaage, then you’ll be jumping for joy, but I love gyoza so it was a bit of disappointment. Not to say that it didn’t taste good, though I found there was too much sauce for my liking. The veggie wrap in the middle was refreshing and nicely put together.

idearabbit-zen3Tuna Tataki $13.95

Tuna Tataki $13.95 was 5 pieces of sliced tuna. It was my favourite dish out of the three. It came with horse radish, ginger and negi which went really well with the ponzu sauce. The tuna was really soft and fresh. An excellent dish.

My friend that wanted to try out Zen asked the server what he recommends for a drink. He brought her the Zen Lemon Ginger $10. I had a sip and it was zesty, cold and really refreshing after a hot day in the sun.

Sheepie had the Kimchi Yaki Udon with pork $10.95 was a decent size and priced fairly.

Another friend ordered one of the Zen rolls. The Millenium Roll $15.95 with dungeness crab, salmon, tuna wrapped in egg crepe with honey dijon sesame. But as him, Sheepie and I always say – the fancy rolls that are so popular these days all taste the same regardless of the content because they drown it with all the sauce. In this cause, we said the crab flavour was lost and the mayo was too strong.

Overall, it was satisfactory but I would not order the Negitoro again. I personally would pass on the gyoza as well since I still prefer the traditional gyoza. The fancy roll is a hit and miss.

 Taste: carrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrot

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Britianna Museum in Squamish

idearabbit-britiannamuseum9Yay! Trip to the mountains :)

We got our tickets for the noon tour. It was partly sunny, but the winds were bone-chilling. I knew from their website to dress warmly as the tour would be taking place inside the mine where it was going to be dark, cold and damp. I suggested to my friend to get his coat that he left in the car. I’m sure he was glad he did.

The actual tour seemed a bit short for $25 (compared to the Underground Tour in Seattle), though it was neat to see everything. The rest is self guided, and there is a gold panning area where kids and adults can try and pan out some gold. Sheepie got so into it that he spent so much time freezing his hands off to get some gems and gold looking stones while his friend and I went to the cafe to have some hot tea and coffee with chips. The cafe isn’t really a real cafe. Something you’d expect out in the middle of nowhere…with simple table and chairs set up, and a few snacks with coffee brewing in the coffee pot. Very simple and low key. But the tea is nice to warm up with! And for those that doesn’t want to freeze their hands off panning, you can buy the gems in the souvenir shop :P

idearabbit-britiannamuseum7Mockup Model

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The real thing idearabbit-britiannamuseum5

Our tour guideidearabbit-britiannamuseum4

Little train we ride to get deep into the mineidearabbit-britiannamuseum6

So, with the actual guided tour part, you ride on a small train into the mines. The guide will show how they use to mine with facts that made the Britianna Mine so special and important back then. The train may be fun, but for the rest, it may not be suitable for infants. The machines are super loud as the guide turns them on to demonstrate how they used to dig back then. The little ones on our tour got scared or were restless as they got bored.

Overall, it’s a nice half day trip to Squamish from Vancouver. It’s a nice museum, but $25 for admission is pretty expensive. Students get discount, so don’t forget to bring your student ID if you are one!

Curry Express in Metrotown

Curry Express on Urbanspoon

I love Indian curry! and when I go to the mall, most often, I’d eat curry. Curry Express is located at many malls. The one at Metrotown is alright. Service is usually good. Portion is fair. Seats can be found most of the time, though depending on the cleaning rounds, you may find only dirty tables.

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There are a variety of choices, but I always go for my favourite – butter chicken with rice. $5.60 Sure, it’s obviously not the best curry – but for fast food, I think it’s pretty decent.

In comparison to other Curry Express:

  • Do not eat at the one in International Village Mall (also known as Tinseltown mall). The food there is old (doesn’t take good – blah), small portions and although the food court is empty, it’s a bit depressing there.
  • The Oakridge Mall one is the best for food. The older woman is rude and terrible, but the girl who serves the dishes usually gives a lot on the plate.

 Taste: carrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrot

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