*2 reviews today!: Matsuyama Japanese Restaurant & Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant
For lunch today, Bebe got to pick the food. She yelled, "susi, susi"! I didn't feel like it but didn't really care too much and Stomach agreed. Bib doesn't get a say because she's still eating oatmeal baby cereal and MumMums in her carseat.
I wanted to go to Yaohan to pick up some flavoured tempura"seaweed snacks"--yeah these don't sound appetizing but they taste much like chips but are way healthier, I figure; so we headed to Richmond. Stomach decided we should go to Matsuyama, an Asian restaurant that serves primarily Japanese food but dabbles in Vietnamese and Chinese as well. It has been a while since we visited this restaurant. This restaurant has an assortment of lunch combinations, bento boxes and sushi combos. Their regular Nigiri Sushi (chopped scallop, inari, tako, tamago, tuna etc) is only 99 cents! Their higher end Nigiri Sushi (scallop, toro, uni etc.) is $1.99
Bebe wanted "susi, with the little orange balls"--Tobiko sushi; which she totally loves because she enjoys popping the salty fish eggs in her mouth. Nothing like food that plays with you...and hours later, you can enjoy them again as the little fish eggs get caught between your teeth and later dislodge so you can taste their brininess again.
I ordered a Vietnamese lunch combo ($8.95) and two pieces of chopped scallop sushi because I didn't feel like having Japanese food too much today and Stomach ordered the Nabeyaki Udon soup ($7.95) and two pieces of tuna sushi because Bebe also likes udon soup.
I would say my combo, which included pork brochette (a little flavourless and dry without the dipping sauce), steamed rice rolls and spring rolls with vermicelli and salad was good but standard. The sushi was okay but not exceptionally fresh and sweet. Stomach said he was still hungry afterwards (partly because Bebe ate more udon than he thought she would and partly because the portion wasn't that large to begin with). Bebe was happy because she got what she wanted. Stomach complained the broth was blah and there wasn't a good variety of stuff in the soup, while his sushi was mediocre.
I must say that you get what you pay for. If you want to pig out on sushi, this would be a good place to eat; however I am past the university days when we used to go to the all-you-can-eat sushi joints and stuff ourselves crazy until we couldn't move just so we could get our money's worth. Besides, sushi isn't a thing you want to overindulge in. I'd rather have higher quality sushi and less of it than lots of cheap low-grade sushi. You can really taste the difference.
RESTAURANT: MATSUYAMA JAPANESE RESTAURANT
ADDRESS: 110-5500 Alexandra Rd., Richmond, B.C. V6X 3L4
PARKING: free plaza parking in front
TOTAL POINTS: 15/24
Later, for dinner, we went with Stomach's family to a Chinese Restaurant in Kerrisdale called Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant. This is a place that I've recommended for cheap cart dim sum previously. See BEST DIM SUM IN VANCOUVER post for my thoughts on their dim sum.
The dinner special lists dishes for $9.99. The idea is you order from the $9.99 menu and you pay for the rice, soup and dessert. We ordered Taro Duck, Pea Shoots, Oyster Omelette, Crispy Chicken, Gai-Laan with Beef, Soft Tofu and Yeung Chow Fried Rice. The house special soup was wintermelon and the dessert was a baked tapioca pudding (Bebe's favourite).
Stomach's brother, Little Stomach visited the bathroom and told me it was clean but typical of most Chinese restaurants. I told him it was probably clean because they had probably just cleaned it and it was pretty early in the evening (5:45pm) so no one had used it yet! The crowds generally come later around 7 pm.
Chinese dishes for $9.99 each is cheap and with the complimentary accompaniments to round out the meal, it is no wonder that this place is popular with big groups and families. It's a good deal if you want to feed a crowd. There were 7 adults and Bebe eating and the bill came to about $109
That's not bad a price for dinner. There was a bit of a lull in the meal when the kitchen made half our dishes and seemed to pause longer than is usual before bringing out the rest of the dishes. We had almost finished all the first dishes and the timing wasn't that great. Later, apparently, we learned that the Gai-Laan ($12.99) was forgotten somehow and we had to have it reordered. The dish did come out promptly thereafter though.
Talula, who I learned is a delicate flower and cannot tolerate hot and spicy food--which we feel is an unusual trait for a Korean, will from this point forward be known as Posh Kimchi (because this deserves some ribbing!) Posh Kimchi felt that most of the dishes were okay, giving most dishes an average grade; but she did not think they were particularly excellent. I felt the Taro Duck was okay. It had crispy coated taro on top but the duck underneath was thin, dry and duck-jerky-like. Little Stomach liked the chicken dish more than PoshKimchi, and most of his marks for the dishes were average to above average as well. I concur and believe that most dishes weren't wholly disappointing, but neither were they spectacular.
I guess the thing is, you are paying on average about $9.99 for a pretty good dish and that's not a bad price to pay today. The food is quite consistent and it's quite fresh because of the huge crowds and high turnover. This is a family restaurant. It's a place to just chow down and get full and your pocketbook won't feel so light in the end.
RESTAURANT: GOLDEN OCEAN SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
ADDRESS: 2046 W. 41st Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6M 1Y8
PHONE: (604) 263-8886
PARKING: street/pay parking; scary underground lot
COUPONS: No; but there are dinner specials & combinations
TOTAL POINTS: 17.5/24