We got in from a day of driving from Kelowna. I had a craving for ramen, but we couldn’t find parking in Kensington, so we decided to head downtown. I haven’t been to Sushi Hiro in a few years so we decided to drop in. The restaurant serves traditional Japanese food – no fusion here. My friend and I shared the Yosenabe hot pot. It included: clams, squid, whitefish, Japanese fish cake, chicken, salmon, enoki and oyster mushrooms, green onion and nappa cabbage. It came with additional broth and udon noodles. I think the broth was kombu dashi as there was a large piece of seaweed in the pot. There was also a side of yuzukoshu which I have never tasted before. It is fermented paste of yuzu peel, chili pepper and salt. It is very strong and a little goes a long way. The taste reminds me of Szechuan peppercorns with a tart finish.
The hot pot was more than enough for two people. The service was good and they speak Japanese. It’s a refreshing change to find a traditional Japanese restaurant. Worth another visit.
I went to Kelowna last week. The main reason was to run in the Okanagan Marathon Race Weekend, but also to rock climb, and of course eat. I wonder if fall is the best time to visit this area. We didn’t go by any wineries; I’ve done that in past visits. Kelowna is the kind of place where you have a subdivision, and right next to it; the cows are grazing and the fruit is growing in the orchards. Farms in the city, got to like that.
I was in search of some dessert for some dinners we would be having. My Aunt discovered that the grocery store she frequents makes homemade pie. I was looking for an alternative to Log Barn, which was up the road in Enderby. Their business practices are less then stellar; so I have heard. Back to the pie. Quality Greens Farm Market (not to be confused with Quality Foods) is a local produce store in the Okanagan. They sell local and imported produce, as well as organic grocery items. They also have a deli counter where they serve food, and pies. I pre-ordered an apple and a pumpkin pie. They were so good! The 10 inch pies were $9.99 +tax. The apple was chunky and not too sweet or mushy. The pumpkin was just good. I ordered two more of each for the trip home.
It’s also apple and pear season. My Aunt gave me some ripe Bartletts and some Boscs. The Bartletts were overripe by the time I finished them, and the Boscs ripened nicely. The Ambrosia apples were delicious! I love fruit that is local and fresh.
We were also looking for ice cream a couple of nights after dinner. I was rather disappointed that the Okanagan Fudge and Sundae Company were closed during the week, even though they advertised being open for the latter part of the week. They were open on Thanksgiving weekend, when the races were on. The other shop, Moo-Lix was closed as well.
On our way back to Alberta, we stopped in Sicamous. We found D Dutchmen Dairy just off the highway. They are the real deal. They sell ice cream and dairy products. The cows are right next to the store; we could definitely smell them. They had a good selection of flavours. I had the “above average” which was two scoops. The “mammoth” was three. The pumpkin pie was really good and I also had the chocolate cheesecake. They even sell their milk in glass bottles. Definitely worth a stop while passing through town.
We arrived in Golden looking for a coffee shop and a place to stretch our legs. We decided to go into town to the Big Bend Cafe, rather then stop at the commercial strip off the highway. It was around 2pm and they were closed. We walked further down the street noting most of the places were closed, on a Friday afternoon. We found the Golden Bakery and Deli. It is run by a local family; a no frills bakery and diner. I had the soup of the day, which was cream of asparagus and a homemade brown roll. My friend had a pizza bun, which was nice and soft. I like supporting local business.
We were looking for a warm noodle soup after a chilly day on the rock. Pho Sac Trang looked inviting. I chose the spicy lemongrass pho. The flavour was intensely spicy. It was pretty good except there were only a few bits of chicken and the heat from the chilies seemed to overwhelm the lemongrass. The service was friendly. Everything tastes good when you are feeling cold and hungry!
Looking for dinner close to our motel, we decided on a Korean restaurant down the street. The place was fairly empty on a Sunday night.
One of our party is Korean, so he helped with the ordering. We had bulgogi, spicy pork, seafood pancake, kimchi stew and spicy rice cake. I thought most of the food was good. My friend commented that the kimchi was sour for his taste (and mine as well). The spicy pork was really good. I thought the spicy rice cake was more like rice penne pasta with a sweet and spicy sauce. The service was good and we got complimentary vanilla ice cream for dessert.
I often tell it like it is. We stopped by here for dim sum as it looked interesting driving by. Before getting along, here is a disclaimer:
I like to review restaurants fairly. In this case, my aunt knows the male owner. I have also been warned about the tour buses. I’m also not from Kelowna.
It is Thanksgiving, so I did not expect them to be open. They were so I made a reservation. The place was nearly empty when we arrived. My Aunt said they were expecting a tour bus in an hour. The service was good. We ordered dim sum. My Aunt warned me that it was from frozen. Also that the owner cooks according to their preference when they are there. No additional salt, no MSG.
Everything was hot and arrived quickly. The har gow (shrimp dumplings), sui mai (pork dumplings), law mai kai (sticky rice), char sui bao (bbq pork bun), kean yong bao (lotus seed paste bun) all tasted fresh. The broccoli with garlic sauce was freshly made. The chicken and corn soup tasted as I would expect.
We had to get our server’s attention to pay the bill, and that was after the tour arrived.
The food was good and I have no complaints about the service. It is three hours after my meal and I am not drinking glasses of water. That is good.
So if you avoid the tour bus rush, and can speak Cantonese, it will help.
We celebrated hubby’s belated birthday tonight with a visit to Death by Chocolate dessert buffet. I admit, I could only ever do this once every five years. To prepare adequately for this culinary indulgence, one must have something savory before dessert. To coat one’s stomach. I prepared by indulging in a bison hamburger before I left. One could also order the dinner buffet for twenty dollars more and accomplish the same thing.
We were seated promptly, but it took about five minutes before our server took our drink order. I might have forgiven the oversight but it was not busy when we sat down. Ten minutes later, many more people showed up.
Onto the food. They had a buffet table of dessert; not all chocolate. My previous visit, about five years ago, I recalled a dessert table twice the size of what I saw tonight. Recession perhaps? In appetite. I tried to balance out the chocolate with equal servings of non chocolate delights. I enjoyed almost everything, except for the strawberry slice. The flavors were too artificial. After two plates, I hit the dessert wall. The point where one’s body announces that it has quite enough. Given an hour’s respite, I could have went back for another plate. I contemplated the foolishness of this and decided that it was enough. My stomach will thank me later.
Death by Chocolate, indeed. If you are a diabetic. Good food, nice ambience. See you in five years.
I got a tortilla press and warmer for my birthday. I can now have perfectly formed tortillas. There are a couple of differences between this and my hand rolled tortillas. These have a more even thickness, and they are thicker. I would almost call them roti. My hand rolled ones are thinner but obviously not round. I might use these for roti…
I got my hands on a good sized zucchini squash. I wasn’t sure what to do with so much of it, so I decided on a chocolate cake. The recipe itself was easy to make, and the results were tasty. I did notice, there were some seeds in the cake and there were some strands of zucchini left. Need to do a better job of food processing. The recipe is available here.