Wednesday, August 29, 2007

ramen and chuhai make the world go 'round

I heart Vancouver. I'm here this week for work, but my mind is really only on one thing - my next meal! Vancouver has always been a place that I love, but since traveling to Japan this year, I can truly appreciate this city. They have Chuhai! my favorite beverage of choice in Japan.

Chuhai is barley or potato booze mixed with juice and it's the most heavenly concoction i've ever head, although they are a bit like wine coolers for grownups. Plus no hangovers, and you can get it in a 40 oz. can from the vending machine across from my friends' apartment in Himeji! Can't get much better than that.

Anyway, I digress. In between working and sleeping, I've managed to wander around town in the beautiful pacific nw summer weather, sit by the water at Stanley Park, and pig out! My sweet friends drove up from Seattle to meet me at Kintaro Ramen on Sunday for a hot steaming bowl of soup. The miso ramen tastes like Japan. I ordered a different kind on Sunday that didn't quite live up to Japan ramen, so of course I had to go back on my last night here and order some. It was delicious!

Also on my gorging spree was a stop at Gyoza King, a great place where I found the chu-hi. Sort of like a mellow izakaya, lots to choose from on the menu. I was all set to go back to the Gyoza King my last night here to have a final chuhai, but they were closed, no dishwasher. I was sad for a moment, then promptly walked around the corner to have more ramen. I immediately got over the chuhai.

I stumbled upon good coffee during the week, too, at a downtown cafe near my hotel. Even though I gave up coffee years ago, something beckoned me to try it here, and it was great. Had to go back the next day for more!

Lastly, I had read a bunch of reviews of Phnom Penh, a Vietnamese-Cambodian restaurant that both Julia Child and Anthony Bourdain have given high marks. I had to find this place. I walked through Chinatown, kind of like the Tenderloin on steroids, to find the place and it was great. I went early, so no line, thank goodness. I ordered the requisite fried chicken wings, as was instructed by the 1000's of reviewers. Salty, crunchy and great. And this amazing lemony dipping sauce. Every table in the place had a plate of wings on the table. I also got some dried nooodles w/meat, veggies and broth. Good, but not as great as everyone said, and the wings were soo much better. I thought I was being gluttonous ordering 2 dishes, but the teeny hip couple next to me had five different plates of food/soup on their table, so I didn't feel so piggy in comparison!

On my walk home I found this roosteria, a rooster store! how fantastic. it was really just a poultry butcher, but how great if all they sold were roosters!

Next to the roosteria I found a chinese herbal medicine shop.
I wonder what the kangaroo essence is for?

Another excellent trip to Vancouver, thanks to a work trip. And oh, I got a bunch of good work done too!


michelle said...

omg, now i know where to eat next time i go up there. yay. and holy gnomes! hilarious.

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