Lunch Quickie: Japanese Yoshoku-Style Food at Cafe de L’Orangerie

Cafe de L’Orangerie specializes in yoshoku (Western style) Japanese food. If you’re into that kind of interpretation of pasta, curries, hamburg steaks, and so on, I think you’ll love Cafe de L’Orangerie.

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This cute place is located in the same strip mall as the Marpole location of Penang Delight.

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Some very Japanese touches here, like this sign.

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Some features written in crayon.

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The dessert fridge and more featured menu items.

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More feature dishes. Some of these are on their regular menu, and aren’t necessarily cheaper. “Special foods” yes, but “on special” no. Their full menu is available on their website.

They also have a list of add-ons that you can add to any dish, like a sunny-side-up egg (+$1.50), hamburger steak (+$4), and extra parmesan cheese (+$1) that’s quite stinky. We could both smell it without having to turn around to see who ordered it.

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The Octopus Karaage looked enticing…

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I’ve always wanted to try the poutine at their sister restaurant, Poutinerie Jean Talon (located on the same block of Broadway near Fraser as Pizzeria Barbarella). I guess I can get a taste of their beef stew version if I order the Poutine Orangerie-Style.

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Spaghetti with fish roe? Totally wanna get that!

You can also see their specials and latest cakes on their Facebook page.

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Octopus Karaage ($7.50) topped with aonori (seaweed flakes AKA green laver) for that extra Japanese touch. I totally associate it with okonomiyaki and Calbee okonomiyaki-flavoured potato chips.

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Piping hot and tender! The craggly batter was halfway between crispy and crunchy…crunspy?

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I was pretty impressed by their deep frying skills, so I’ll probably try their chicken karaage or “crispy fried prawn”.

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Poutine Orangerie-Style ($6.25 for a small). They use torn slices of mozzarella here. Their sister restaurant Poutinerie Jean Talon has an actual cheese curd option on their poutines. Poutine traditionalists will think mozzarella is a cop-out. They have a point, but then using big sheets of mozzarella gets you this:

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The poutine was pretty delicious. The gravy is a mild, from-scratch-tasting beef stew with bits of ground meat and soft onions. Far away from cheap, salty package gravy. The fries were somewhat crispy. They put a coating on the fries, and I usually hate coated fries…it just feels unnatural to me. But in this case, I was “ok” about them. I’m wondering if Poutinerie Jean Talon also uses coated fries. But the coating here is less cardboardy and intrusive than the usual coated fry.

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Masago de Creamy Spaghetti ($9.80). Masago is the fish roe that comes from capelin (smelt). This dish also comes with baby squid, mushrooms, slivers of asparagus, cream, and chiffonade of nori on top.

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I loved this dish. Prominent seafoody flavours. I like how it wasn’t drowning in cream. The spaghetti was firm but just past al dente so there wasn’t a chalky centre in the noodles. Not sure how the noodles got so orangey. You can taste the briny seafoodiness from the masago, as well as feel a slight crunch when you bite into them.

The serving size is medium-large-ish, so plenty big for sharing. Looking around the restaurant, this seemed to be their most popular pasta. I really enjoyed eating it.

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In another Japanese touch, all cutlery is served to you in a basket!

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Matcha Green Tea Pudding Partait ($6.95), comes with sweet red bean paste, mochi, and supermarket-level vanilla ice cream with matcha powder on top.

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The green tea pudding underneath was very strong in the matcha flavour and just slightly sweet, with that typical matcha astringency. Wicca loved it, especially when she combined a bit of everything in each mouthful. The airy and slightly icy ice cream works in this case to balance off the rest of the toppings. A heavier, richer artisan-style ice cream might be too much, and not in keeping with the Japanese palate. The mochi was warmed-up and steaming when the dessert arrived at the table. Very stretchy, chewy, and soft.

Great first visit. I’d go back again if I was in the mood for yoshoku-style food. Even if you’re unfamiliar with yoshoku food, I’d still recommend you try it. Good flavours and technique.

Cafe de l'Orangerie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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