Brunch · Cheap Eats · Comfort food · Curry · Dessert · Happy Hour · Japanese · Sandwiches

Redheads Cafe

Redheads is always tweaking its dishes or trying out something new. On my last visit, I learned that Sapporo is now on tap.  A new rice burger (not yet on the menu) has become my new favourite, beef and gobo. I still haven’t tried the Japagetti or five-course meal set, but I’ll get there eventually.

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The beef and gobo (burdock root) rice sandwich is something special. The beef is sweet and nicely seasoned. Gobo has this marvellous mild, earthy taste and crunchy texture. The rice was perfectly cooked, warm and topped with fresh spinach leaves. The nori is fresh and crisp.

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Recently, L and I have tried the Tofu Asian Salad ($6.99). What a great price for such a stunning salad. I particularly enjoyed the strands of seaweed and nori. The tofu was nicely cut and fresh-tasting. Just a tip, you probably don’t need to use all the dressing, as the sesame dressing is quite rich.

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One of my other go-to dishes is the miso-tonkatsu ramen ($9.99). I’ve been telling my friends Asian Persuasion and What’s Up Hamsup to try Redhead’s version. They want to but every time they visit, they can’t help themselves and order the tonkatsu curry. The soup is steaming hot. The broth is rich and the noodles are chewy. The pork crispy and fatty. I love the assortment of sprouts, the milky egg and all the garnishes.

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Redheads is best known for their Japa Curry, the Katsu ($10.99) or the Karaage Curry ($10.99). The katsu is well-marbled and crispy. The beef curry is thick, rich and flavourful.

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Finally, L and I were lucky to try a special dessert, apple with caramel and strawberries. Sounds simple, but so good. The tart crispness of the  apple with the sweetness of the caramel sauce was old-school delicious. Check out the crazy knife skills.

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The best time to go is in the evenings, when the cafe is quieter. The prices are a steal and the food is so comforting in the chilly weather. Thank you Redheads, for being so consistently delicious.

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Redheads Japa Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Brunch · Pizza · Steakhouse

Nick’s Steak House and Pizza – Brunch

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I have fond memories of Nick’s. My master’s thesis supervisor would take me here for lunch. In those days, eating out was a real treat, and I enjoyed the pricey (for a student) pizzas and chats about my work. My mother-in-law also likes Nick’s and recently took us out with grandpa W for a Saturday brunch.

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The buffet lunch ($25.00) is a pretty good deal, particularly if you have a sweet tooth. The trays of desserts were all delicious, my favourite being a Turtles like bar with marshmallows and the tiramisu, which I liked more than Mercato’s.

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You can order baby steaks from your server. Though practically bite-size, the steaks are cooked to your preference, lean and flavourful.

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One of the favourite dishes I tried was the veal pasta. The pasta was creamy with a bit of heat to it. I went back for seconds.

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The Eggs Benedict were fresh, topped with ham and a rich holladaise sauce. I was impressed that despite it being a buffet, nothing tasted like it was sitting out. The quality was there as well.

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Besides the dishes I mentioned above, expect to see salads, cold and hot pasta, hand carved roast beef, French toast, an omelet station, pancakes, cheeses, fruit, raw vegetables, sausages, bacon, hash browns and beans.

We were all surprised that the restaurant was not packed. However, the quiet and relaxing atmosphere was a refreshing change from the packed, cramped brunch places so popular with locals. Our family consisted of four generations and a vegetarian, and everyone was pleased with their meal.

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Nick's Steak House and Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chinatown · Chinese

1 Pot – Hot Pot

Leighton soup

I added six more hours of exercise to my routine, totally about nine hours per week. This doesn’t leave much time to eat out anymore. However, I was feeling homesick on Saturday and I wanted to go out for Chinese hot pot. When my grandparents were alive, they would always make something warm to eat even if it was a humid summer day. Congee, wonton, herbal soups and deep-fried chicken were just some of the dishes I would have at their house.

spicy soup

1 Pot was recommended to me by a restauranteur Heather Wigmore of Pigeonhole. I love getting recommendations from people in the industry as I figure they know the inside scoop. 1 Pot differs from other hot pot restaurants by the following: individual pot of soup; more condiments to make your own dipping sauce; and food is brought to your table. Personally, I really enjoyed having my own pot of broth and not having to get up to get my food.

dipping sauce

L ordered a sate broth and a beer. I made the mistake of ordering Szechuan broth and putting too many spicy condiments in my dipping sauce. In the middle of the meal, L noticed beads of perspiration dripping down my neck. Good thing I’m married to the guy and this was not our first date. Seriously, I felt like I was in hot yoga. Next time I’ll bring a towel and put it underneath me while I eat. I’m glad I brought my own homemade gatorade to drink. I know better than to bring my own beverage to a restaurant, but I wanted my electrolytes. I figured they wouldn’t care if my beverage was water (with freshly squeezed lemon and orange, sea salt and a pinch of brown sugar).

chicken springroll

1 Pot offers a few cooked items. The two dishes L and I indulged in were the spring rolls and chicken wings. The spring rolls were very crunchy with a soft filling. The wings were sticky on the outside, made just like my gong gong (grandfather) use to make when we were kids. Both dishes came straight from the deep-fryer and arrived piping hot.

dumplings

I ordered an assortment of dumplings: lobster, shrimp and beef balls, sui mai and wontons. My favourite was the wonton – I thought these were a step above the usual stuff you find at westernized Chinese restaurants. I liked the contrasting textures in the wonton and the filling was quite flavourful with a touch of sweetness.

meats

The oysters were small but tasted fresh. We ordered a little of the beef, pork and chicken. I thought the pork and chicken tasted like it was a bit over tenderized. The texture tasted off.

paste

L and I really enjoyed the fish pastes, which were much tastier than the fish balls. I also liked the non-meat items like Chinese mushrooms, taro, Korean cakes, and assorted vegetables.

Veggies

I really enjoyed 1 Pot and I would happily return. We paid about $28 per person for the all-you-can eat hot pot experience, which I thought was very reasonable, considering the quality of the food was a step above some hot pot restaurants I visit in Richmond, BC that charge the same price or more. I plan to try Regency’s version of hot pot and revisit the Chinese Cultural Centre just to see how they compare to 1 Pot.

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