Wonderful Broth at Muku Ramen

Tonkatsu, Spicy Ramen

Tonkatsu, Spicy Ramen

You can tell a lot about a restaurant from the broth they make and at Muku Japanese Ramen, the broth is delicious. If you want to get out of the rain and into a warm, cozy hangout on the 14 Street corridor then come in to Muku. It is very popular hangout for people who live in the area and there’s plenty of parking there too. They actually share the parking lot with Globefish, the sushi restaurant.

Muku does not serve sushi whatsoever. They even post a sign on the door that no sushi is served. Muku serves noodles and appetizers. Don’t expect to see teriyaki chicken or katsu don or sashimi because there’s nothing like that here.

The menu is simple to navigate. Basically they have a map of Japan on it to highlight three main broth styles. I chose the Tonkatsu ramen with a large scoop of hot sauce served in my broth. Once stirred, the broth is rich and flavourful. For those of you that cannot take the heat, take your spoon and scoop out some of the red stuff. The broth is made from cooking pork bones in high heat for a long time. The bone marrow is released into the broth and gives it the richness.

Garnished with my broth are green onions, baby corn and slices of lean pork. The other two broth styles are from northern Japan and central Japan. They are both equally tasty but I wanted something different this time around.

After the ramen, I was still a little hungry and needed something from their appetizer menu to round off my meal. I chose their deep fried baby octopus. For $6.50, you get about 6 battered baby octopus fried and served with a nice mayo mixture.

Muku Japanese Ramen on Urbanspoon

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Asian Heaven

Asian Supermarket

Asian Supermarket

Residents living in the SW would love it if Loblaw’s opened a T&T Asian Supermarket in WestHills or the Signal Hill area. Slowly, we’re beginning to see more and more asian products at Superstore including potstickers, taro and cassava desserts, tofu and rice crepe rolls. These products usually sell at T&T and now are available at Superstore Westhills.

New to the 17th Avenue and 37th Street corridor is E.mart. If you enjoy making your own Asian concoction then you’re going to love E.mart. The selection is fantastic if you like cooking Korean or Japanese dishes. They have specially prepared sushi fish in the freezers including salmon and tuna, ready-to-eat once thawed out. There’s also unagi or bbq eel, the yellow turnip, masago or smelt egg and surf clam. They have a dedicated aisle for all sorts of rice including jasmine rice, basmati, long grain and short grain. There’s a drink aisle with all the exotic fruit juices, milk and tea drinks, soya milk drink and powdered drinks. E.mart also have a meat counter in the back to provide short ribs for your Korean Bulgogi recipe. If you don’t want to mix your own sauce, you can get the Kalbi sauce in the sauce aisle.

On the right side of the store, you will find the electronics and beauty aisle. There you will find all the latest gadgets for cooking rice, beverage maker and skin care. There’s quite a selection for your Asian tastebuds at E.mart, next time you’re shopping for auto parts (ie. next door) or had a donair at Little Lebanon (across the street).

Misato’s for Lunch

Lunch Box at Misato's

Lunch Box at Misato’s

We used to go to Misato’s in Signal Hill a lot more but after their renovation last summer, we found they had jacked up their prices and hired more waitresses. When we used to go as often as we did, we started getting to know some of the servers but I can safely say, I don’t recognize any of them now. The sushi chefs behind the sushi bar are all familiar so I guess they kept the owners.

Misato’s serves very high quality sushi but you won’t find the exotic stuff here such as Uni (sea urchin), Bluefin Tuna, Belly Tuna or Blowfish. I don’t even know if I’ve seen Hamachi or Quail eggs on their menu.

Their signature roll here is the Calgary roll but I heard it’s over $22 now. I remembered it to be around $16 once upon a time. But as a signature roll, I guess they have the right to raise the price on us.

They are totally into presentation and not quantity. So if you’re looking for more quality and less quantity then Misato’s is your place. Pictured here is their lunch box. It’s very pretty but it’s more of an appetizer than a lunch meal. Luckily dinner was around the corner for me but if I had to go back to work, I would probably need something to tie me over. The tempura batter was nice and light. Salad with ginger dressing was nice. A few strands of edamame was a treat and a few slices of sashimi were excellent. A few more slices of teriyaki chicken would have nice or instead of bean sprouts, a bed of rice would had worked better. And the miso soup was not salty like a lot around town.
Misato Sushi & Grill on Urbanspoon

What’s Up? Wasabi

Lunch Box

Lunch Box

On our way to pick up snorkel gear, we stopped by Wasabi’s on 16th Avenue for lunch. We’ve been there for dinner a few times and liked the sushi and dinner specials but we really haven’t tried the lunch until now. They have about 6-7 items in the lunch box category ranging from $11.95 to $13.95, some had sushi and sashimi, others did not. The ones that did not have raw fish had teriyaki beef or chicken instead. All lunch boxes had tempura, salad and miso soup.

When my lunch box was served, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of food and variety in their lunch boxes. For $12.95, there were 2 tempura shrimps, 2 pieces of veggies, 3 nigiri sushi, 3 california roll pieces, 5 dark pieces of teriyaki chicken on a bed of rice, salad and miso soup. The lunch was more enough for someone with a small appetite but it was perfectly sized for me. Everything tasted good. The sushi was fresh and the california rolls were made with real crab meat instead of the imitation crab that a lot of restaurants uses. If I had to say a bad thing to average out my review, I would say that I am more accustomed to a lighter batter on the tempura. But it’s all good and filling too.

And if you are looking for a great snorkel and scuba shop north of the Caribbean, drop in next door and see John at Caribbean Dream.

Wasabi Japanese Restaurant Ltd on Urbanspoon

Momo-yama the best for Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki

Momo-yama is the still the best when it comes to Chicken Teriyaki. After a long day fighting the crowds at the zoo, we were starving for good sushi and a Sapporo beer.

Without reservations, we had to wait 20 minutes for a vacant table which was not bad on a Sunday night. We made a promise to the waitress to always make reservations for now on. It gets busy there, probably because of the good food and prices.

Clearly the best thing on the menu is the Teriyaki dishes. We’ve had the Salmon Teriyaki before which is always my wife’s favourite. Mine has always been the Chicken (pictured) which is grilled and sits on top of a bed of cabbage. The sauce is drizzled on and plenty of it too.

The chicken is cooked with the skin so that it stays nice and tender. I always remove it before eating it but occasionally, some of it goes down with rice. Oops. But it’s tasty and it won’t kill me. I just need to walk it off once dinner is done.

 

Misato – Bigger and Better

Misato new sushi bar

Misato new sushi bar

If you live near the Signal Hill area then you’re in luck. You too, can make Misato your second kitchen like us. Misato Japanese restaurant is one of the best on the hill, serving both sushi and teriyaki dishes. Recently renovated, Misato expanded their sushi bar and restaurant space to accommodate more guests.

Signature dishes include the infamous Calgary Roll which is huge and can serve as a hearty meal. It’s an inside out roll with lots of fish in it including salmon, tuna, crab meat, tobiko, shrimp and sea stick. ¬†Avocado usually gets wrapped up inside but being I’m allergic to it so I ask for a cucumber substitute which they don’t mind replacing.

For the health conscious, ask for the low sodium soya sauce which they have behind the counter if you ask. Also, I recommend asking for a knife so that you can cut the Calgary Roll pieces in half for easier handling. It’s either that or you end up taking apart your roll and eating each fish separately. Our friend, Wayne ordered the fried smelt from the whiteboard menu but found it a bit fishy. He plans to avoid that next time. I ordered the Agedashi Tofu that came in a broth of its own, tasty and delicious. The dinner boxes are of great value and comes with tempura, miso soup, salad and ice cream. If you’re not that hungry, order the teriyaki chicken or beef from the la carte menu. They come with miso soup and a bowl of rice. The chicken or beef is served on top of a bed of sprouts.

Misato Sushi & Grill on Urbanspoon

There’s a lot of take-outs and reserved seating. They recommend reservations, especially on Friday nights and on the weekends. Misato is becoming the favourite place to eat on the hill.