Memphis. Lucy Mae Brown. Isami Sushi. Joey Tomato’s. E-mo.
Does it look like I’m running out of steam in that my first new restaurant of the month did not occur until June 20? Have no fear, with The Sister arriving next month, you can be sure I’ll be out and about in full force next month!
Memphis Blues Barbecue House Ltd., June 18’06
I was a little late arriving and simply dug into the Memphis Platter that had already arrived and was disappearing (not too fast) from the work of three others. Because it is rather difficult to choose – an insensible – just one kind of meat, they offer huge platters of assorted meats for your sampling delight. Ours had pulled pork, rib ends, ribs, chicken, and saussage. For sides, there were fries, cornbread, beans, coleslaw, and potato salad.
I quickly became a fan of the melty rib ends, the spicy sausage, and the coleslaw. Which is the point, you learn what you want to know to order it next time… if you can handle it again.
1342 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C.
Lucy Mae Brown, June 23’06
I may have walked by this place and thought it was a boutique based on the name but there was a good chance I had never before walked by it. I was told Ms. Brown ran an opium den so I was all-too-eager to check out an opium den-cum-restaurant.
Since I don’t know what an opium den is supposed to look like it makes it rather difficult to judge. It is a dark establishment wherein the freakishly bright sunlight streamed in from the doorway and onto the open space of the restaurant. Large velvety circular booths lined one wall and we got to sit in one that could easily seat six people.
We started with an appetizers of scallops. It arrived with two fat lightly seared scallops (cooked outside, jelly inside) seated on roasted corn and ham nibblets. I ordered the baked salmon that came atop scalloped potatoes and with rainbow baby carrots and fennel-roasted baby leeks. C. ordered the lamb which was delightfully tender and aromatic. It came atop garlic mashed potatoes and with colourful roasted vegetables morsels garnishing the plate. Both dishes were extremely well prepared.
I’m still a little confused by the pricing on the menu. Next time, I’ll ask first!
862 Richards Street, Vancouver, B.C.
Isami Sushi, June 24’06
A clean little Japanese restaurant located in a strip of shops across the street from Metrotown. In terms of sushi, it appeared a little lacking. On the other hand, the appetizers (mostly the traditional fare and not that tapas stuff) were more extensive than the usual. Except we were there for sushi.
We had salmon sashimi, beef udon, unagi rolls, chopped scallop rolls, negi-hamachi rolls, and a large Kirin and managed to slide in under $40. Rolls are rolls anywhere – but the salmon, if paltry compared to what I’m used to, was especially divine in its scarcity.
?? Kingsway (near Metrotown), Burnaby, B.C.
E-mo (in Hanahreum Mart/H-Mart), June 30’06
At the back of the H-Mart (Korean) supermarket on Robson, there are several Asian “fast food” stalls serving Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food. It’s not fast food at the Korean stall that I visited twice, since once you place your order, you wait until your number comes up with a “ding” and it blinks on flat LCD monitors hanging overhead.
The first time, I ordered a spicy ramen ($6.95) and delighted in the beef broth and picked radishes that are complimentary with your order. The broth is smokey in flavour but really comforting. When my order came up, I realized I had paid $7 for essentially instant noodles (albeit alot of it) with kimchi and this gelatinous substance with a faint seafood texture. It was too spicy!
The next time around, F. ordered black bean noodles that was a filling if somewhat homogeneous dish for $4.95. I had to wait substantially longer for my potato vermicelli with vegetables ($9.95) – bean vermicelli is more difficult to prepare. Thankfully the portions scaled well with the prices and I was faced with a platter of noodles stir-fried with chinese mushrooms, onions, and peppers. With only about five minutes to eat as much as I could, I could only make the smallest dent and they provided me with a chic take-away bowl and the blessed $9.95-portion easily made three lunches!
200-550 Robson Street, Vancouver, B.C.