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Feb 24, 2013 07:34 AM

Weekend in Vancouver - advice pls

Coming for a weekend in March from Toronto. Have not been to BC in 5 years. Here's what I booked so far so far:

Oakwood Bistro
Market by JG

Hear that Lumiere and (Daniel) has closed down?

Thinking of Santouka since we love ramen. Any others that we should try?

Hear that Tojo is overrated. Where should we go for reasonable sushi?

Any good food trucks in the area? Remember seeing a few on 'Eat Street'.

Would love to go to Vij for dinner. But was told wait is long. Should we try the sister restaurant next door? And will have it have frozen goods that I can bring home to TO?

We have great Chinese food in TO. So looking for non-Chinese spots that I will not be able to find at home. Have car and can travel. Thanks, everyone.

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  1. Re: Vij's, you could always dine early and line up with the masses 30 minutes before opening.

    Since you're from Toronto, not exactly a great seafood town, how about a meal at Yew or Blue Water?

    1. May I ask what draws you to the Oakwood? It seems to me you have a lot of restaurants like it in the GTA...

      Santouka is a good call. Be sure to get an order of toroniku if you can. I also like the black ramen at Jinya.

      Ajisai is solid for the raw stuff but it is small and doesn't take resos so go early and do try to sit at the bar if possible. Miko (not Miku) on Robson is also good for a la carte sushi and sashimi. Both are casual, not cheap, but not stratospheric like Tojo's.

      I enjoy Le Tigre and Mogu. Not much success with other carts I've tried here. You might want to peruse this thread for others' opinions:

      I was just saying that I'm going to have to stop recommending Vij's as the waits have precluded me going for such a long time. I do believe it is better than Rangoli, though, FWIW. There is a freezer with product in the latter.

      Though you've said no Chinese, I do commend to you a trip out to one of the Asian food courts, either in Richmond or Burnaby. Also I think we do rather well with Shanghainese here, and there has been a recent expansion of spicy (Sichuan and /or Hunan) if that appeals.

      A nice place for lunch or maybe a later night nosh and glass is Panino Enoteca in Gastown.

      I think coffee is worth investigating here too if that interests you. Matchstick, Revolver and Elysian are all doing good things, and there are other worthy targets.

      7 Replies
      1. re: grayelf

        Just thought of one more idea, though you may have better Neapolitan style pizza in TO: Via Tevere has been so consistent with great pies for us over the last several months. Downside is you have to go before opening to ensure seating. And stick to the pizzas.

        1. re: grayelf

          We picked Oakwood based on recommendations from friends and the reviews on Yelp. Market by JG because he does not have restaurants in TO.
          Santouka is now avail in TO but we try to have ramen every chance we get - especially in NYC and SF.
          Miko sounds great.
          Chinese - i think will be taken care of by friends and relatives. The last time we were in BC, we were treated to a very fine king crab dinner. And we will pick up pork jerky at the Chinese mall in Richmond.
          This time looking for some fun food trucks or street eats since in TO we mostly get hot dogs and sausage carts.
          I will investigate on your other recs. Thanks.

          1. re: caitlink

            If you are looking for Singapore-style pork jerky, don't miss Bee Kim Heng on Fraser at 16th. I was there yesterday and a lady bought 12 lbs (I kid you not) to take back to Calgary with her. It has the best texture of any I've tried yet.

            1. re: grayelf

              Yes, i buy some each time I am in Vancouver. We have it now in TO as well.
              Is this the same as the kiosk in one of the Richmond Chinese malls as well?
              What is cost per pound? I usually buy the spicy pork jerky. I eat it by the pound whenever I am in HK, Malaysia or Singapore.

              1. re: caitlink

                It isn't the same as the kiosks. It is $$11 per half-pound package. Not cheap but it is the best you can get.

                1. re: caitlink

                  Bee Kim Heng is NOT in Richmond but rather in Vancouver proper, at Fraser and 16th Ave on the east side. I think I know which place you are talking about in Richmond and IMO it doesn't hold a candle to BKH. Here's a link to the website: (note that the online prices are higher; when you buy instore it is $22 per pound for either spicy or regular pork). The jerky here is tender but in more solid pieces, not so mealy and a bit less sweet, though still sweet for sure. I agree with fmed that it is the best you can get here but you need to try it for yourself! It comes in 1/4, 1/2 and 1lb sizes and you can get it vacuum sealed for your trip home.

              2. re: caitlink

                Just a word of warning: I wouldn't go to Market and expect the same sort of experience as those under the JG Restaurant umbrella. Market is done under the Culinary Concepts umbrella.

              1. re: Sam Salmon

                Haha, here I am telling a Torontonian to go to Granville Island :-D

                You might try Edible Canada Bistro. I've only had lunch there (fish & chips, blush) but it was good. Take a look at the dinner menu, see if it jives with you for seafood or otherwise:


                PaJo's in Steveston (two spots, one at Garry Point and the other at the Wharf) offer good seafood:

                1. re: LotusRapper

                  Pajo's fish & chips are great. Steer clear of their mushy peas though. Tasteless and terribly disappointing.

                  1. re: geekmom

                    That depends whether you have any Anglo blood in ya ;-)

                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      Maybe my standards are impossibly high but I think mushy peas should have SOME flavour ;-) I took some English relatives there for lunch last summer & we all threw out our portions of mushy peas, but enjoyed the fish.

                      1. re: geekmom

                        I very occasionally make mushy peas for my pale-complexioned wife, LOL. This is of course with a pot roast and lots of mashed taters as a comfort meal. BTW, the video for making that in the videos section of CHOW is a good one that teaches foolproof mashed potato:

                        I doctor my mushy peas with a bit of mint and lime juice (or lemon juice if you prefer).