Hội An Café is another one of those places along Victoria Drive that I’ve heard about, read about, driven or rode past, but never actually tried until now. Hội An is a city in central Vietnam. Is there more to central Vietnamese food than bún bò huế?
I don’t know too much about Turkish cuisine. There’s way more Persian and Greek restaurants in Vancouver than Turkish. But I love Anatolia’s Gate, if only for their amazing lavash bread straight out of their brick oven! Their Turkish pizza (lahmajun) is great too…so thin and crispy, and the meat mixture they spread on top is delicious.
Now cut to last week, where after navigating the tough parking situation at London Drugs at Victoria Drive and 41st, I spotted a newish Turkish restaurant called Istanbul Lounge & Gourmet on 41st beside the VanCity! I got takeout from there a few days afterwards and was pleased with their humble, homecooked flavours.
Wicca and I sometimes differ on restaurants. Some I like more than she does (Alibi Room), and of course she has her own preferences and favourites. One place we BOTH agree on is Longtail Kitchen with their punchy, powerful Thai flavours in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. We find it quite easy to make the effort to drive out to New West, even though everyone we talk to groans about how far it is.
Longtail put on a special Valentine’s Day menu for $55 per person, so we went and here’s what happened!
I learned some hard truths:
- Food isn’t the only determining factor in the success or popularity of a restaurant.
- Tuesday nights after a long weekend are brutal for a restaurant just a mere block away from all the action — a block away in the wrong direction, unfortunately. So, location does matter.
- Vancouver is still a small city with grand, lofty goals but not enough density to support such goals.
- Social media is prone to faddism, hype and can generate big restaurant launches. But to sustain the momentum in the long run, well…it’s up to you (the “you” is left purposefully vague here).
- Four “foodies” sitting at a table can easily burn four hours just talking about food.
I was both excited and nervous about trying the newest Thai restaurant on Commercial Drive, Kin Kao. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I have the highest regard for Longtail Kitchen in New West. But Kin Kao is closer to my house and also has good beer…it feels I’m being unfaithful to my spouse. Are the menus different enough so that I can frequent both places? Do I have anything to worry about? Do I need to make sure I don’t have glitter all over my clothes when I get home?
I salute anyone who attempts to make ramen at home from scratch. I used the Serious Eats Chicken Ramen recipe and it turned out great!
I originally wasn’t gonna post this, so I didn’t take uber-detailed photos of the process, but I feel like I must exorcize this ramen demon before it consumes me! I can see why people can get obsessed with the seemingly simple ramen. The variations and permutations are limitness! And the rewards are delicious!