Archive | March, 2012

Tawara Japanese in Surrey

27 Mar

I love sushi, and recently I had the opportunity to try a restaurant I’d never been to before.  Tawara Japanese is a small but excellent sushi restaurant in the Panorama Village complex on 152 St and Highway 10 (56 Ave) in Surrey.

On one side of the restaurant are 3 booths, while the other side is more open seating, as is the centre of the restaurant.  The ceiling is very high, which allows a lot of light to shine through, especially when it’s a sunny day (like one of the days I ate there was).  I loved the contrast between the dark wood of the chairs and tables and the bright white walls.  The staff is very welcoming and friendly, and the service is fast and efficient, even during the lunch hour rush.

For my first visit, I thought I’d try out a bento box, as that’s an excellent and affordable way of trying out a bunch of their menu items.  I had the Dynamite Roll box.  Each bento box comes with:

  • Miso soup – Had nice flavour and big pieces of seaweed, which I enjoyed.
  • Rice – I never got this for some reason, but that’s okay because I had MORE than enough food as it was.
  • Tempura – Very crisp, piping hot and not greasy at all.  The prawn was HUGE, which was a nice treat.
  • Daily special – I’m unsure what it was that day, but it was warm & delicious. Tuna, maybe?
  • Salad – I love Japanese salad dressings – they always have such unique flavours.  Theirs definitely had ginger and poppy seeds in it.
  • Fruits – Orange slices, which are kinda hard to mess up.

When taking my order, the waitress asked if I wanted fish eggs or not.  I didn’t know what she meant by that and was too embarrassed to ask her to elaborate, so I said no.  A woman sitting next to me had the same thing but WITH fish eggs. When her platter came I noticed there were fish eggs on her Dynamite Roll, which I would have enjoyed.  Oh well – now I know for the next time!

I took a picture of the meal on my cell phone, but when I went to go retrieve it, it had mysteriously disappeared! You’ll just have to take my word for it that it looked (and tasted) fabulous.

The second time I went I decided to try a different roll – one that I’d never had before.  I got the Red Dragon Roll, which is spicy tuna, deep fried prawn inside; smoked salmon, seared tuna on the top with peanut-mayo, wasabi-mayo & Japanese plum sauce.

The flavours in this roll were incredible.  The tuna was definitely spicy, which was nice.  I enjoy spicy things, but sometimes I find that restaurants call things spicy which turn out to be NOT spicy at all.  This one had PLENTY of bite!  The inside of the roll was pretty much like a Dynamite roll, but the additions on the outside and the sauces on the plate kicked it up a notch.  The heat of the spicy tuna and the wasabi mayo definitely made me grateful for the soothing cup of green tea to calm my burning mouth down.  The plum sauce on the side was so interesting – I’ve never tasted anything like that before.  It was sweet and tasted of plums, but definitely had a bit of a punch to it.

Tawara is open for lunch on weekdays from 11:30am – 3:00pm, and for dinner Monday to Saturday from 4:30 – 10:00pm.  I can definitely recommend this as a great place for sushi if you’re in that area.

Tawara Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten

21 Mar

I recently applied for a fantastic job as a food blogger in Richmond for a year. It’s my dream job, and I’m excitedly waiting to (hopefully) hear that I’m a finalist! One of the questions that I had to answer for my application was “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?” What a great question, and a fabulous conversation starter!

I’ve eaten a few strange things in my life so far, and no doubt will have opportunity for more. Four years ago I went to South Africa for a few weeks. We had North American food maybe once or twice, but mainly we were fed typical South African fare. Our dinners were always the most interesting. We would often ask them not to tell us what we were eating until after the meal was over, because we knew we might be a little bit uneasy about eating some things.

I was surprised to find that I enjoyed almost everything, even after finding out what it was. There was almost always a meat of some sort, and I know for sure that we ate wildebeest (it tasted similar to regular beef). One night we had ostrich, which was a bit more obvious, because the portions of meat were SO huge that we were definitely NOT eating chicken. 😉

By far the weirdest (and most delicious) delicacy I tried was crocodile. At the end of our stay in the country, we spent a day and a half on safari at a game lodge. We were there for just one night, and after our safari drive for the evening was over, there was a HUGE buffet meal for all the lodge’s guests with an insane amount and variety of food. One of the dishes was crocodile, which was served on a skewer. I was definitely interested, but also a little bit leery. One of my friends brought up a good point that this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so I should try the crocodile since I had the opportunity. I did, and was pleasantly surprised! It was perfectly cooked, had great flavour, and it had the appearance and texture of a cross between chicken and fish. Not bad!

Since then I’ve become a LOT more adventurous when it comes to food, and have a much more open mind. I’m willing to give anything a try – you never know what could happen! Crocodile isn’t something I’ve had since then, but should the opportunity ever present itself again, I know it’s something I won’t mind eating!

I’d love to know – what’s the weirdest thing YOU’VE ever eaten?!

Banana bread

17 Mar

One of my favourite things to bake on the weekends is banana bread.  It’s perfect for breakfast, and each loaf lasts me for about a week, give or take a day.  This bread is great toasted with butter, or just warmed up slightly.  It’s also perfect right after it’s been baked.

The recipe is from my bread machine booklet and it’s one of the best versions of banana bread that I’ve ever tried.

  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced right into the pan
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil (I use canola)
  • 12 teaspoon vanilla

Add all the ingredients in the order listed, and bake on the white bread setting.

My bread turned out a bit scorched this morning, unfortunately, but at least the top looks pretty!  My machine has been scorching the outsides of my bread more and more often lately, which is a bummer.  I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do to prevent this from happening.  However, I’ve never been a huge fan of the crust anyway, so that’s easily disposed of.

The bread is so flavourful.  I don’t know if vanilla and honey are normal ingredients in banana bread (I’d never made it before I got my machine), but they definitely help to make this loaf extremely tasty!