Tag Archives: Japanese

Hiro Sushi

Hiro Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoWith so many sushi restaurants in town, and after trying years of different sushi, and slowly moving up for better quality than quantity, I stopped going to lower-end, cheap sushi places. Not only did I want quality, I have had several bounds of food poisoning, or simply not feeling well after some fishy sushi. It’s just wasn’t worth it.

From the outside, I could tell by the bold red and yellow signage that this wasn’t an expensive place. But Sheepie was up to it.

idearabbit_hiro_sushi1 idearabbit_hiro_sushi3When we entered, there were no Asians dining. Oh oh… and it was less than half empty. The walls were covered in murals of Spanish or Greek like scenery… must have been some European restaurant before. They kept it as it is, and now had Japanese decor hanging in places. idearabbit_hiro_sushi2 I ordered the 3 items with miso soup combo for $10.95. With 88 items to choose from, there’s something for everyone to order. Brown rice is available with extra charge.


The miso soup came out right after we ordered. It was super quick!


I chose Yakitori from the Appetizer list. It was covered in panko, and was grilled flat. Unusual, but tasted ok. However, it wouldn’t be something I order again.


Gyoza of 5 pieces were good.

idearabbit_hiro_sushi6 Salmon Avocado roll had really large pieces, making it a bit hard to it, but otherwise, it was decent.


Sheepie had the Hiro House Combo $11.95 (14 pieces) of Hiro House roll, Salmon roll and 3 pieces of salmon. The roll pieces were huge. The salmon nigiri was pretty good.

The service and food was satisfactory, but wouldn’t be on the top list of go-to sushi places.

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The Ramenman

The Ramenman Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoDisclaimer: *This was a complimentary meal. This post was not edited or written for monetary compensation, and are solely my opinions and observations.

I was kindly invited by Loopp Media to their food tasting event at The Ramenman in the West End. I was super excited because I LOVE ramen!

idearabbit_theramenman14 idearabbit_theramenman13The restaurant is a small, modern hipsterish decor with one long wooden table and two small tables at the back for two seats each. We sat at the long table on metal stools. With space being limited,  hooks are available under the table for your bags and coats. As soon as we walked in, we noticed the heat and humidity. And although the Edison incandescent lightbulbs looked great, it likely added to the heat. They seem to have an AC mounted to the back wall, but it didn’t seem to be on.idearabbit_theramenman20

idearabbit_theramenman12The menu is simple, with 4 selection of ramen to choose from. idearabbit_theramenman10 idearabbit_theramenman3Their broth are based on chicken, rather than the usual pork. This was great, because I love chicken out of all meats, and I often end up ordering chicken ramen at other places anyways. The use of chicken as broth comes from Kansai (the western side of Japan like Osaka, Kyoto, etc), but they also have 100% vegetarian broth as well.

idearabbit_theramenman7idearabbit_theramenman5I ordered the Chicken x Clams $11.75 where you have the choice of pork, chicken or both for the meat (not soup). I of course, chose chicken.

idearabbit_theramenman8I also had a side order of Pork Scallop Gyoza $4.75 (4 pieces). They were authentic Japanese style, crispy flat on one side while the pleats side is softer. I have never had scallops in my gyoza, so that was a pleasant surprise of the mixture. It went really well with the pork and the sauce mix was really good. I had read several older reviews where people were wishing the place served gyoza, but now they’ve added to the menu! And it’s a good thing they did!

idearabbit_theramenman4The ramen arrived in a bowl that’s traditionally known in Japan with the Chinese design/pattern on them. Ah, slightly nostalgic…The spoons was humongous! Sorry, I must say this 「デカッ!」(huge!)

I haven’t had clams in my ramen before, so that was new. However, my friend told me of Chinese noodle soups that were similar to these, and he said it even tasted similar to them. The noodles were al dente, which unfortunately, I’m not a fan of. However the firmness wasn’t as hard as the other ramen places in town, so I didn’t notice it as much. The lightness of the soup was enjoyable. The thick but soft chunks of chicken were cold so I dipped them under the noodles to warm them up, and took off some of the fatty parts. However, it was super soft and wasn’t like chicken that I’ve ever had before. It also had some finely diced red onions for extra flavour.

idearabbit_theramenman6My friend also ordered the Chicken x Clams but with pork pieces. The first thing you noticed was how pink the meat was. Unlike other chasu in ramen that are usually beige to brown, this was more like ham. This doesn’t mean that it’s not cooked! It’s a method called sous vide (from French meaning “under vacuum” where the food is sealed in airtight bags and then placed in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment. The result of cooking longer and at lower temperatures than usual cooking, is the meat being cooked evenly, while retaining moisture and flavour. With many people inquiring about the ‘raw’ meat, I suggest explaining it on the menu, and actually featuring it as one of their USP (Unique Selling Points). Sorry, my marketing brain is intruding here, lol,

idearabbit_theramenman9idearabbit_theramenman21For his side order, he had Karrage $4. I had a piece, and it was super hot and juicy inside, with a crispy, crunchy outer layer. The spicy sauce gave it a nice punch. The meat was marinated to perfection. Thumbs up!

Service was prompt and satisfactory. Would return!

idearabbit_theramenman2Owner Jun giving us the superhero pose :)


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Kibune Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoAfter all these years (over a decade) in Vancouver, I don’t know how I could have missed this place! Kibune Sushi opened its doors at this original location on Canada Day, July 1st 1982!

Even when I was walking towards the entrance, it gave me a feeling of home… some little sushi place in the neighbourhood where I grew up as a child.

idearabbit_kibune1The round window by the entrance added a nice touch.When I stepped in, it was even more nostalgic. It felt authentic. Mmmmm… the smell. The atmosphere. The detail of the roof inside the restaurant was interesting. The semi-private rooms with the walls separating each of the tables on one side was nice. Though the tatami were a bit stained…

idearabbit_kibune2They are really busy, so make a reservation if you plan on dining there. Sheepie and I were lucky, and got to sat at the counter. There, the trays were already set and we got our warm hand towels.

idearabbit_kibune5I ordered the Negitoro Maki $5.50. It was really good. I could taste a hint of vinegar in the rice – which you will find in authentic, good sushi restaurants. They didn’t cheap out by having the underside (when you flipped the roll piece) half empty with rice and filling. They were all filled to the end. In fact, in a real sushi restaurant, they would never serve the ends of a roll to a customer.

idearabbit_kibune4New York Maki (since 1982) $5.50. Lots of rice and the fresh green sprouts were a nice touch. Nothing spectacular, and a bit too large for eating without bulging like a chipmunk, or rice and fillings falling apart as you bite in the middle.

idearabbit_kibune8I also had the Yakitori $6 for 2 skewers.Tasty sauce (with a side of hot chiili powders – which aren’t really hot at all), and soft juicy chicken.

idearabbit_kibune6 idearabbit_kibune7Sheepie ordered the Assorted Sushi $17 which came served on a boat. The boat wasn’t anything we haven’t seen elsewhere, but the presentation was really good and the ingredients seemed really fresh. Sheepie always checks under the ‘neta’ (the top raw fish, though) to see if there are wasabi on the rice (or on the neta). If there is, that usually indicates an authentic nigiri. There were. But I can understand why chefs here in North America has decided to take them out as not everyone likes wasabi, and it’s hard to take it out once it’s in there. I had his salmon nigiri and it was pretty good.

The food and service was really good. Is on the pricier side for sushi without the eleborate, high end look of some restaurants like Miku, but it’s definitely more authentic or rather, traditional. They don’t use MSG and they spend a great deal of time preparing their soup.

If you want to travel to Japan, but don’t have the time nor money, try out Kibune for some real Japanese sushi experience. Make sure to call in to make reservations – they are popular and full!

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