Today was what I call a great west coast day. Food cart for lunch, Santouka for super early dinner, snack at brand new bistro. Oh and Stanley Park and Granville Island in between.
On the way to the 125th party at Brockton Oval, I decided to hit La Brasserie Street for a chicken sandwich. Very quick service and a reasonable price of $7 ($6.25 plus the dreaded HST) got me a substantial if not huge sarnie. Cold bun (pet peeve) was good quality and contained a decent amount of chicken, some fairly bland and white gravy and a whack of deep fried onion shreds. I added some dijon which gave a little zip, but overall this struck me as an underseasoned sandwich without much contrast. The onions are too small to give real crunch once they hit the gravy, and there isn't any raw veg in there. The chicken tasted a bit odd as well, though that may have been an effect of the beer brining. I didn't finish it and would likely not bother with this one again. No pix because it was too windy.
Noticed that Arturo's and the dimsum street cart were both at Brockton oval but didn't need more sustenance. There was also a catering company doing what appeared to be "native" dishes but their signage was flying around in the wind so much it was hard to tell. BTW if you go on the weekend, do not try to take the free shuttle, just grab the 19 on Pender and walk a few blocks. Total chaos with that shuttle today...
Back to the food: left the park at 5:15 and realized the 19 stops just three blocks from Santouka :-). I still hadn't tried the toroniku and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so without paying for parking or waiting for a table. I got the toroniku kara miso spicy ramen ($13.45). Well boy howdy that is some phenomenal pork. I love the flesh of the pig and eat it often and prepared many ways. This is vying for top spot in my personal hog hall of fame. It has the perfect amount of fat which is so rich and soft that it doesn't seem offputting to eat it (yes, I still get freaked out by eating fat on meat sometimes). Their website compares it to toro or fatty tuna and it is somewhat apt. The flavour was so deep and well, porky. I absolutely recommend you try this as soon as possible. But remember that it does tend to sell out early to avoid disappointment :-). The ramen was very good also, done on the firm side as requested, with bamboo shoot and jelly ear to add on the side but the pork was the star of the show. Lousy photos below.
Meandered up Robson and found myself eying the Kaboom Box menu which looked intriguing but there was no belly space yet. Next time (BTW they were sold out of fish and chips when I went by at 6:15 ish). Grabbed a 50 over the bridge and headed for Granville Island, as it was still too nice out to go home. The SO joined me and we discovered that the bistro at the brand new Edible Canada was also open -- first day, as it happens. I'm not much of an early adopter but the patio looked too inviting, so we set a spell and ordered a few snacks. The SO went for Albacore tuna with yuzu marinated watermelon and other greens, which he pronounced a success (I didn't try as I don't love cooked tuna) and a farmer's salad, which we both thought was a little busy and he found a touch overdressed though I didn't find that. It comes with greens, french beans, tomatoes, carrots, daikon, apples, mushrooms, sunflower seeds and quinoa. The daikon was a bit of head scratcher, served in cubes that tasted of not much. The best item by miles was the fries, cooked in duck fat and served with a serviceable bacon aioli and a very strange tomato "catsup" that to me tasted like pureed canned tomatoes. Who cares about the dips, though, when you are ingesting chips of perfect BC spuds, fried to a turn in rendered duck oil (a hint of smokiness) and sprinkled with just the right amount of crunchy salt. At $4, these are an ideal savoury treat and yes they are available from the handy takeaway window. I see many orders of these leaving with me for a stroll around the market this summer.
The dinner menu is currently available 5-9 daily (the store is only open till 7 pm and appears to have all the inventory from the old location, including my beloved almond brittle), no resos, lots of tables in and out and a cooking demo area that can be used for guest seating as well. Six mains for now, though one staffer said they are going to add more. I hope they don't give in to the temptation to appeal to too broad an audience and add tons of items. Entrees are from $18-25.
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