I had originally wanted to take AngryRussian to Hee Rae Dang for his first non-Korean-BBQ-Korean dinner experience. However it was just our luck that Hee Rae Dang was closed for renovations until- get this- the next day, so we kind of just walked around the area where Insadong is located and then I settled on Busan Daeji Gukbap.
It seemed like the perfect night for Busan Daeji Gukbap though, as they are a restaurant specializing in pork broth, and it was a rainy, slightly chilly night. AngryRussian searched for a review and only found one, and he was quite the trooper to go ahead and try this with me.
I wanted AngryRussian’s Korean experience to start off strong so I suggested that he try the Pork bone soup (small for $11.99, served with rice) which is a spicy soup with pork bone. As it turns out he had that in mind too. Great minds think alike I guess =)
The broth was delicious and very hearty with plenty of pork bone rib meat to pick off. It does have quite the noticeable spicy kick to me; AngryRussian was doing well though as he is a fan of spicy food. I was extremely proud of AngryRussian’s efforts with the chopsticks/rib bone meat battle despite my incessant teasing. He finished off everything so I think he liked it.
I decided on the Korean sausage soup ($11.99) which is a white pork soup, with sundae (Korean blood sausage) and “pork guts”. This was served with rice also.
The broth here is unsalted, so you are given a container of salt and other red sauces to flavor to your liking. It also came with a container of black seed-like grains for you to add to the broth.
The broth was very hearty also. Viscous and fatty and very flavorful. The menu states that you only get three pieces of sundae but I actually got about fives slices. As for the “pork guts”, I found ear, stomach, belly, and small intestine. I couldn’t finish the whole bowl as like I stated before it is quite fatty and chocked full of organ meats, so I packed the rest to go.
It’s been a while since I met up with Fannypack so her birthday was a good excuse for dinner. She suggested Anh and Chi. For anyone who doesn’t already know, Anh and Chi is located where Pho Hoang used to be, and that was opened by the parents of the now-owners of Anh and Chi. Pretty neat story.
It’s pretty amazing what a new coat of paint and interior design can do to a place (gives them a good excuse to charge $12 for a bowl of pho also!). Add to that a new bar and bartenders, new drinks menu, and you got yourself a new hip hangout!
It was getting close to being packed when we arrived a bit after 6pm on a weeknight. We were lucky to score a table right away (they don’t take reservations for 2 people). Pretty soon after that there was a lineup at the door.
Super proud of Fannypack as she picked 2 out of the 3 items we ordered! First up Chả Giò ($8)which is known in English as crispy spring rolls, stuffed with your usual suspects of pork, prawn, carrot, taro, bean thread vermicelli & black mushroom. Served with lettuce, basil, shiso leaf & chili fish sauce.
Now I’m not 100% sure but I think these are wrapped with rice paper, which in my opinion is the correct way to do it. The rolls here are slim though, very skinny. And really there’s just 2 skinny rolls cut in half. We’re supposed to wrap one with the lettuce provided and the herbs. It was messy to say the least. The shiso leaf was a yummy fragrant plummy addition that I enjoyed…Fannypack not so much. Pricey spring rolls though.
For Miz Brown Sugar’s birthday this year we went to Heirloom Restaurant for dinner. Heirloom is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant that I had wanted to try for a while but never got around to it, so this was a fantastic excuse to go.
We all started with drinks, all virgin. From left to right is the Ginger Spritz ($6, made with ‘Frost Bites’ ginger syrup, sparkling water, and a touch of lemon), the Feature Shrub ($6, fresh seasonal fruit and apple cider vinegar based syrup, fresh mint, sparkling water), and the Classic Lemonade ($5)
Mine was the Feature Shrub, and honestly, I couldn’t taste what the seasonal fruit was. All the drinks were very refreshing.
C-Dizzle and I shared an appy of Avocado Frites ($10.95) served with a creamy cilantro sauce. I thought this was quite pricey for six wedges of avocado (making up one whole one I guess?). Felt they were stingy with the sauce too. And honestly this really wasn’t that spectacular.
C-Dizzle and Miz Brown Sugar both got the Royale with Cheese Burger ($19.95, vegetarian Heirloom patty, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, garlic aioli, iceberg lettuce, pickled cabbage, aged white cheddar served on a brioche bun with yam fries and house salad).
We better be soaking up as much patio time as we can while we can! Meeting up for lunch one day brought PrettySis, 2Sis and I to Chill Winston in Gastown.
PrettySis ordered a Medea ($12.50) for 2Sis and it was gorgeous. It was made with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Campari, grapefruit juice, sage, and sparkling wine. To be stirred before enjoying.
PrettySis has adventurous(ish) tastes like me so she picked the Ostrich Tartare ($18). Made with “hand-cut BC ostrich pearl (a cut of meat), quail egg, potato chips, chicharrón, house pickles, and chimichurri.”
The tartare was delicious and tender. The meat was very nicely seasoned and the potato chips were equally awesome, and we were told that we could get more if we wanted. The plate was just so pretty. The chicharrón was a little bland though and could be even crispier and lighter in my opinion.
Finally we got a summer! So I took Momsies to The Flying Pig for their Happy…er…’Appy Hour. It was a good deal. Food were $6 and drinks (house red or white wine, or house beer) were $4.75. We went to the Olympic Village location as it was walking distance.
We had originally wanted the steamed mussels that was on their menu online, but turns out that menu was outdated. In store was Steamed Clams ($6) in a white wine & herb sauce. It was very buttery.
The clams were very clean (not sandy) and very sweet. The broth was also really really good, not overly salty. I was able to get some bread from our server for dipping.
I also wanted the Beef Carpaccio ($6) which came drizzled with dijon aioli, and served with 3 slices of xvoo crostinis.
The beef was very tender and not at all chewy. The capers went very well and the aioli was delicious. Pickled garlic cloves were also a nice touch. Only wish there were more crostinis though.