Tag Archives: pork

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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Ma Dang Goul

MDG Ma Dang Goul Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoThe place was jam packed and lively. My friend had suggested the place as she was into Korean cuisine at the time. My other friend was also into it, so two friends, Sheepie and I went. There was about 5 minute wait at the door.

No water arrived until we asked for some. It was quite crowded. idearabbit-madanggoul1 idearabbit-madanggoul3 idearabbit-madanggoul2

idearabbit-madanggoul65 different side dishes of banchan. Salad was meh… Not much of a fan of the jelly squares.

idearabbit-madanggoul8 Doeji Bulgoki $11.95 The portion was small, but good! Went really well with plain rice. idearabbit-madanggoul5

Chicken Bibim Bap $13.95 Nice presentation, nice and hot, really good! Fresh toppings. idearabbit-madanggoul4

My friend had a Lemon Soju $9.95 which came out in a really pretty glass bottle with ice in the middle. Everyone was fascinated by it. idearabbit-madanggoul7

Jjin Mandu $9.95 Presented nicely. Really good! I recommend! idearabbit-madanggoul9

Mul Neang Myeon $9.95. Cold noodles had an interesting texture and really light flavour, but good. Awesome for the summer.

Good food and fair prices. Will return.

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Hakkasan Bistro

Hakkasan Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoI was kindly invited by Yvonne, the Managing Director of Hakkasan Bistro for a Media Event of complimentary dinner at Hakkasan and wine tasting/tour at Canada Berries Winery (formerly Sanduz Estate Winery).

Hakkasan, a modern Chinese eatery in East Richmond’s industrial area was established in 2007. It was definitely located in an area where you wouldn’t expect a restaurant. They underwent a nine-month restaurant makeover in 2013 and relaunched as the restaurant it is today. Hakkasan serves quality authentic Cantonese dishes with a new diverse menu selection, including Hakka inspired soul food, in addition to our tasting menus.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro1 idearabbit-hakkasanbistro2Hakka were Han Chinese people originating from Southern China, known as China’s gypsies and nomads. Their cuisine is not well known outside of the Hakka home. It concentrates on the texture of food, the hallmark of Hakka cuisine.

Texture plays an important role in their cuisine and the skill in Hakka cuisine lies in the ability to cook meat thoroughly without hardening it, and to naturally bring out the rich flavours. Hakkasan’s decision not to re-make the original Hakka cuisine came about, simply because the Hakka’s nomadic lifestyle called for ‘‘peasant’s food’, which were more meaty, hearty and fatty foods – often very sweet or very salty. With today’s society being more health-conscious than ever, Hakkasan decided to evolve with the modern age.


idearabbit-hakkasanbistro3 idearabbit-hakkasanbistro7

Wine master Terrance pours fruit wine for the guestsidearabbit-hakkasanbistro6

Selection of fruit wine from Berries Wineryidearabbit-hakkasanbistro5 idearabbit-hakkasanbistro4Beautifully printed special menu for the event on pearl stock

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro8 The dinner started off with 3 items on one large plate: the Honey Roasted BBQ Pork Cheeks (Jowls) marinated with their Chef’s special glaze and then roasted, Balsamic Cloud Ear Mushroom and Jasmine Tea Smoked Mushroom Beancurd Crepes. It was nicely presented.idearabbit-hakkasanbistro9Like most of the dishes served tonight, this dish must be ordered in advance. I found the BBQ pork to be on the chewy side. For having a tooth extracted a few days before, I had a bit of difficult time chewing, but for Sheepie, it was fine. I really liked the Beancurd with mushrooms. Interesting mix of texture and good flavoured sauce. The ear mushrooms were new to me, and although I avoided at first since I’m not a fan of brown-coloured mushrooms, I thought this would be a good opportunity to try it. To my surprise, it was actually pretty good.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro11Next off had everyone ‘wowing’ with awe as we were served the Double Boiled Pork with Snow Fungus Soup in Young Coconut. This was quite exciting, as I have never had soup inside a coconut shell! The coconut is hollowed out, lightly roasted then filled with pork and snow fungus which were steamed for over three hours! Yes, because it is time consuming, this dish must also be ordered one day in advance. The aroma is pleasant, the sweet soothing smell of coconut. The taste also had a hint of sweetness that was quite unique and a new encounter for my taste buds. The content inside could be eaten with the broth, or dipped into the sauce served on the side which was salty, giving you the option of switching back and forth from sweet to sour. There were still some of the coconut inside that you could scrape off and enjoy with the broth. I almost felt like a kid, giggling with excitement with this new dish that was new and different.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro10With one of my last minute guest, there wasn’t enough time to make this special soup, so Sheepie got the Chef’s Daily Featured Double Boiled Soup. I had the opportunity to try some, and the broth was super rich and flavourable. Don’t let the simple look (especially to the Coconut soup) deceive you. Both soups were amazing. I have never been this surprised by soups alone! A big thumbs up for both.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro12idearabbit-hakkasanbistro221/2 Lobster, Chef’s Secret Garlic on Jasmine Rice
The gasps from the diners didn’t end yet. If you love lobsters, this dish is for you. There is half a lobster with plenty of meat to pick from. The red lobster is a nice complement to the green brocolli, making it visually pleasant, even before tasting it. As soon as you start eating it, you notice the strong garlic taste. But it’s no ordinary garlic dish. They have specially processed it so that only the flavour remains, and the garlic breath and after-taste is gone! Amazing! Sheepie said it needed more salt, but then again, he’s the one who always sprinkle more salt on his dishes. I tend to avoid sodium, so this was just so perfect. The lobster meat was a bit tricky to get out, but it was very juicey and plump. Very fresh and delicious.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro13 idearabbit-hakkasanbistro14Ancient Style Hakka Salt Baked Chicken
Another round of wows came from the crowd as a big pot with a mountain of salt arrived. The marinated free range chicken wrapped in parchment paper is buried beneath all that salt. Slowly baked, this special dish again needs to be ordered one day in advance.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro17The chicken was tender, and even though there was a lot of salt, the meat itself was not salty at all. It was just perfect.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro18idearabbit-hakkasanbistro21Braised Pork Hock
This specialty item must be ordered one day in advance. The meat just melts in your mouth with no effort. The thick sauce went well with the garlic rice from the Lobster. It reminded me of German pork chops. Extremely well done.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro15Country Style Fish Fillet
This ended up being both of my guests favourite dinner dish. The punch in flavour balanced out with the more bland Jasmine rice from the lobster. I on the other did enjoy the flavour, but I’m usually not into dishes with thick sauces and deep-fried. I wanted to take out the fish from the batter, but still, the flavour was strong, and the still crisp veggies complimented the fish.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro16Hakka Homestyle Steamed Egg, Pork and Duck Yolk
Wow, this was so soft and smooth! A bit hard to eat with chopsticks, especially when you wanted to eat so much of it since it was so delicious! Amazing technique to keep it soft without any crust or hardening. Went really well with the ground meat inside. I would have liked more, but there were so many other dishes that I didn’t get to scoop out more.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro19Mui Choy Stirfry Seasonal Chinese Greens
No Chinese meal can be without some greens. Fresh greens, not soggy nor too salty. Unfortunately, by this time, I was getting pretty full that I didn’t get a chance to eat much of it.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro20 Steamed Milk Egg White Custard
Last but not least, the dessert. It was quite simple, but made soft and silky. One of my guest loved it so much she went on to tell Yvonne “I’d come all the way out just for this dessert. I mean, the other dishes were great too of course!” I prefer more gelatin, or firmer – doesn’t have to be hard as jello, but like Annin tofu (杏仁豆腐). Form wise, it was a bit too runny for me, but the taste wasn’t overly sweet and easily went down to my happy stomach.

Unlike some Chinese restaurants, the dishes were not overly salty or greasy. It was light, easy to eat and high in quality. This is higher-end restaurant with quality food, considered food presentation and service. The service was excellent! You wont find staff clanking and throwing the dishes down or rude customer service that had me stay away from some Chinese restaurants. The staff at Hakkasan do make a huge effort to make your dining experience superb.

Keep in mind that they didn’t close down the restaurant to the public, so they still had to keep up with the demands from the customers who came to dine. That was pretty impressive as the media group took up 4 large tables with lots to eat!

Most of the dishes were ones that I had never tried, and likely would have never tried, unless a friend who was familiar with the cuisine took me there. They were exciting, delicious and opened up a new door to the world of cuisine. I would like to thank Yvonne for her kindness in inviting me and my guests to this media event. Great big applause for the staff of Hakkasan. It is no wonder that Hakkasan has won, The Chinese Restaurant Awards – Diner’s Choice Award twice, once in 2011 and again in 2015 for Best Service.

Although I don’t drink, so I was unable to try out the fruit wines that were offered, I greatly appreciate the wine tour that took place before the dinner. One of my guest really liked the wine during the dinner, especially the peach one.

Find out more on Hakka Bistro:

*My reviews are my opinion and all photos for this post were taken by me, and has not been edited, altered or paid for.


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