Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First customer.

My first customer for a custom Red Rover collar and lead for none other than Sparrow sister Ember in Maple Ridge. She's the perfect model since they are both a lovely red and the same size.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Steveston Farmers Market

Living in Steveston can sometimes make a person quite jaded... In the summer, we rarely go down to the dock unless its a week day to avoid the hordes of crowds. It's a cross we share with locations like White Rock, Kits beach, and likely any other tourist trap hocking a waterfront experience and ice cream flavored summers. 

I will make some exceptions however, like these last few weeks of Spot Prawn Season... I braved the unwashed masses to get my last batch of fresh sweet prawns.

Every other Sunday, one of the local business owners hosts a Steveston Farmers Market, and since we believed most non-locals had gotten Steveston out of their system during the Canada Day Salmonfest BBQ on Friday, we felt it was safe to ride down on our bikes to check out this year's market. (re: the Barbeque, the salmon lineup began at 9am!! the Philipino BBQ Pork Skewers were TEH WIN as usual, but the Church's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - which is my whole reason for going... was disappointing.)

The usual suspects of jewellery, soaps, Belts, Granola, and produce... Pies at a shocking $14 a piece (John should be sooo grateful whenever I bake a pie!). We came across this delightful little bakery booth. Don't get my wrong, alot of the bakery booths are pedestrian, dry cupcakes, overly sweet cookies, and mushy pies, but this place was a cut above with their giant chocolate crumble cookies and ginger sparkles... also juicy looking pies and tarts. We opted to pick up tarts for dessert - Sour Cherry for John, Pear for me and Chocolate Pecan. All three were a huge hit. 

Also an impressive newcomer to the fair was a japanese potter. Her work was exceptional but above my price point ($80-$120 a bowl) Wish I had thought to take photos but often crafters do not like people to take photos of their product for fear of stealing their idea. I also met a gentleman leatherworker, whom I've managed to convince it would be FUN to teach me how to do leatherworking.... working my way up to making leather leashes and collars for Red Rover!  Can't wait!

I also came home with my usual Farmhouse Fresh Chevre from Agassiz. Check out this picture of a baby lamb from their farm. Cute right?

We were surprised to see La Brasserie at the Farmers market! Food carts represent!

We shared a sandwich, then savored fresh organic lime and mango ice pops (basically frozen organic fruit puree) from Soylent Green. Yummy, and I bet pretty easy to make, if I had the patience and will to peel and mash enough mangos to make a pop! In that moment, it was absolutely worth the money to enjoy the cool refreshing sweetness with my man and our bikes.
In true Ivy Fashion, I decided to cook a dinner last night without a recipe... Anything kicking around the kitchen...

Looking around the house, I had slim pickings. I had recently bought some fresh shrimp from steveston that afternoon, but after spending 30 mins peeling the tiny shrimp (and them disappearing into my mouth), I knew I wouldn't get enough to make an appy for one.I settled on a butternut squash I had scuttled away and set about roasting it in the oven at 350 until tender. I let it sit to cool a bit while I dug out the Pasta Machine.

I scraped out the soft pulp and tasted it... Roasted butternut squash is a good thing - sweet and caramelized, but its also bland so I seasoned in with cayenne and cinnamon liberally, feeling a bit of anxiety and remorse over seasoning with such gusto without trying it on a small amount of the pulp first. Nothing lost nothing gained, I supposed. Thankfully, it was delicious with a little bit of sea salt and fresh ground pepper to bring out the flavors. I then caramelized some white onion, shallots, and 4 cloves of garlic in a fry pan, then added them to the mix, with 4 drops of white truffle oil.

I whipped up a simple pasta dough, then cranked it through the machine at 2, 4 then 5 settings, to make long flat sheets of pasta dough. Carefully I used a small teaspon to stack the squash mash on the dough and formed the raviolis with a stamp careful to be as generous as possible without the ravioli leaking. 


Home made Roasted Butternut squash and caramelized onions,shallot/garlic Ravioli. The recipe called for 2 mins of cooking, but it actually took 15 mins to get then tender. I would even dare make the pasta even thinner for a more tender product. I might try coloring a future batch with beets. Fun.

Served this with a Rose sauce, a dollop of fresh chevre, fresh parmesan, and bbqed italian sausage. While it was subtle, the white truffle oil was the secret ingredient to this dish adding an amazing depth and richness to an otherwise average meal. Highly recommend the investment in it as it lasts forever, due to being extremely pungent and only requiring a few drops here and there.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Root Beer Pulled Pork

Today's grand ambition relates to our big plan to host a Texas style BBQ in the summer, once Jong has the backyard suitable groomed... I'm trying a very special pulled pork recipe with a twist, a Root Beer Marinade.  This recipe has received rave reviews for a while now, from chefs of all calibres and I'm eager to see if it holds any merit. Cavaet... I'm not following the recipe. In traditional Ivy style, I'm just doing what I think looks best.

First I bought a well marbled pork shoulder butt from Save-on foods. A good sized roast was about 4 lbs and $20. the price seemed a bit high to me as I've heard this cut of meat is reported to be super cheap. Perhaps look for it on sale. A half lb per person is a generous serving.... so I'm ready to serve 8 people. (In the end it made 10 very meaty sandwiches)

I began by rinsing the roast, the rubbing it with some Maison Cote Smoked Sea Salt (smoked 4 days with red alder wood). You could probably just use Salt and pepper. Option here to do a real pulled pork marinade with paprika, italian spices, etc... but this recipe said it wasn't required so I didn't bother.

Maison cote is a local supplier of fine ingredients such as fresh vanilla beans (which I use to make Cold Press Vodka Vanilla Extract.) and a variety of special salts. I've also a raspberry salt I plan to use in future culinary endeavors. Just a matter of how and when.... Maybe sprinkled on home made truffles?

Digressing... sigh. After rubbing the roast generously with the smokey salt, I seared all sides in a frying pan, olive oil heated to medium high heat then transferred the roast to this casseroule dish and covered with root beer ( 1 cup for every 2 lbs). Bake at 300 in the oven until tender and internal temperature reaches 190-200 degrees... about 6 hours for this 4 lb roast. Slow, low heat is the key here.

Don't touch the roast, don't turn it, just leave it until the internal temperature is around 190, then take out of the oven, remove the meat from the liquid, and let sit for 10-15 mins to let the fats cool and stick to the meat instead of running out onto the cutting board. Shred with two forks, in a large bowl, then top with your favourite bbq sauce (I used a guinness hickory sauce from the grocery store. No need to be too fancy.) Delicious. Seriously the BEST pulled pork I've ever had.. even better than Memphis Blues, Hog shack, and yes.... even anything in Texas...

I served this meal with oven fresh corn bread (Try this recipe for corn bread, It's amazing and I made it in advance, just baked it just before I needed it. 5 ingredients, whip it til smooth then bake for 20 mins. Can't get any easier than that and it was excellent!), kaisser buns, a simple coleslaw (cabbage, carrots, corn, yoghurt, mayo, sunflower seeds, dill, vinegar), fresh watermelon, sweet corn, and cinnamon chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean butter cream icing.

A decadent meal for an awesome sunday afternoon. Nom!

- Ivy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Feastro - my new favourite!

Having cravings for sushi and noodles this morning but came across Feastro in my Vancouver Street Cart iPhone app and decided to go check it out instead since it was only 2 blocks away from my office. 

I looked them up on the net and the menu looked promising.

Fresh Halibut Tacocrispy chickpea battered fresh halibut, 
tomato/anise chutney with Henry Reed organic greens, 
tikka masala yogurt, hand cut salsa. $7

Pulled Pork Taco
slow smoked, sweet rub, Henry Reed organic greens, 
guacamole, refried beans, hand cut salsa. $7

Prawn & Grilled Prosciutto Taco $7

Bonzai Prawns
local prawns, sautéed in white wine, garlic,
tomatoes, lemon, served on basmati rice and grains,
with a pineapple brochette.

I arrived to a line up of about half a dozen people... which interpreted as promising. I also check out the clientele when I go to an eatery as they are a great indictor of the quality and value of food. I had a tough decision to make, and while I was leaning towards the Prawn and proscuitto taco, the proprietor and I had a wee chat and he recommended the Fanny Bay Oysters...

Accolades for the truck to read while you wait...

A beverage station nicely packed with ice and pretty flowers.

So here it is..Fanny Bay Oysters – Panko breaded, with Henry Reed organic greens, truck made smoked tomato cocktail sauce. $11

Delicious and fresh with olives, blood orange, beets, beautiful sliced cucumbers, and gooseberries. And while I do love Re-Ups pulled pork sandwiches, Arturos Chicken Taco Salad, and La Brassiere's Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich there's a new favourite in town and he goes by Feastro.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's pretty much crack

Lunch has been an exercise in indulgence. As I walked with my intern we
accidentally stumbled upon a "FREE ICE CREAM" stand by TD plaza. We
partook in the cold icy goodness and continued our pilgrimate to the new
food cart La Brassiere to try their new BRASS sandwich, described as
"rotisserie chicken sandwiches topped with crispy deep fried onion
strings in one of the softest buttermilk buns I've ever eaten.

It was heaven in my tummy, and I highly recommend it. NOM NOM it up.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Waffles sans poulet

I have long suspected that I've been getting ripped off when I buy the box of pancake mix, so I decided to try my hand at making waffles from scratch.


You can keep the batter, covered, in the fridge for up to a week. Just be sure to whisk well before using again. You may also use whole wheat flour for this recipe.


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat waffle iron. 
  2. Separate egg yolks from whites, Beat egg whites in large bowl with whisk until fluffy then add in the yolks.
  3. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and vanilla, just until smooth.
  4. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. 
  5. Cook until golden brown. 
  6. Serve hot. Devour.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Jong & Iffy devour EAT Mobile

Just purchased Eat Mobile Pre-tasting tickets for EAT Mobile in Portland this weekend. Our VIP pass will give us access 1 hour before the unwashed masses to taste food from 40 food carts with complimentary libations from Bear Flag Wine, Pabst, McSorley's and vitaminwater. Other perks include an Eat Mobile Survival Kit, including a printed scout book and an opportunity to meet the owners of the food cards. Really looking forward to this event as part of our Portland expedition.

Proceeds from the event go to Mercy Corps Northwest and takes place this Saturday under the Morrison Bridge.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ivy's Pandesal

I woke up with a huge craving for bread.... fresh bread. Straight out of the oven, hot and soft. But alas, I've never made bread before.... so I took the plunge and decided to try Pandesal - a sweet philipino bread. And of course, inspired by the sugar buns by Giovane. It wouldn't be an Ivy cooking experience if I stuck to the recipe.. so I had to deviate a little from the recipe and add a sweet twist... cinnamon sugar.

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour - I used bread flour.
1 egg
cinnamon sugar

I mixed some warm tap water in a small mixing bowl and add the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the oil and mix until smooth. Add the salt, 1 cup of flour and the yeast mixture; stir well. Add the remaining 5 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Now the original recipe calls for half the sugar and salt, but countless reviewers said it lacked in this department and highly recommended adding more sugar and salt. I followed their directions and have no regrets.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, supple and elastic; about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in it and turn to coat the dough with oil.

Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume; about 1 hour. Our house is cold so I heated the oven to the lowest setting, then placed a damp tea towel under the metal mixing bowl, and another covering it, and let it rise in the oven. Don't be impatient. It really does take atleast 1 hour. It does not rise as quick as cinnamon buns or pizza dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. The dough is warm and soft like baby skin and feels great! Forming each piece a log with 2 inches in diameter. Using a knife or string, I cut the 1 inch sections, rounding them lightly in my hands before placing them on the cookie sheet. Pretty sure this isn't how you are SUPPOSED to do it but the end results were good looking so I'll likely do it again.
I recommend laying them in a pattern so that the finish product looks more professional. I left only .5 inches between each dough ball with the hope they'd crowd each other a bit. I would recommend letting them be even closer  for more squishiness. Crack open an egg and beat it with a brush and give them a quick egg wash before you bake. A required step imho tho it too is not included in the original recipe.
Sprinkle with Cinnamon sugar.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Voila! As they came out of the oven they were sweet hot yummy goodness. AMAZING with a cup of tea.

The 9 are covered in cinnamon sugar with a hint of vanilla paste from Maison Cote. Delicious but not neccessary as the buns were AMAZING even without the sugar. the 6 on the top right are just plain without cinnamon sugar, and were really great with honey ham and cheese. The buns had a soft fluffy brioche like quality. An easy recipe but very time consuming. 24 hours later, all buns are missing in action. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our next Project: Dress Form

Jenny and I are going to do this...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Eating at Arturos Mexican Food Cart today for Lunch

After consulting my new Vancouver Street Eats App... I decided to try the new Arturo Mexican To Go. If you love the danger (salmonella) and excitement (what is Xiao Long Bao? ) of street food, I highly suggest you download it. It's a nice relief from the fast food joints in the area.

Arturo is right by the Price Waterhouse Cooper Building on the corner of Howe and Burrard. Inside were 4 cooks ready to take the order, and Arturo himself, of course. The offerings are not many, but they are delicious enough to warrant repeated visits Burritos, Burrito Bowls, Quesdillas, Tacotino, Tortilla Soup. 

Looking forward to making this trip in the summer as it is only 2 blocks away from work and by the waterfront, so easy to get a nice place to sit after. You can sit by the Canada Place Pier, Jack Poole Plaza or Granville Plaza. All three have waterfront views and seating areas.

credit: I'm only here for the food
So I ordered the Chicken Burrito. The Chicken is described as such: Tinga Chicken: Shicken marinated with smoked jalapeno, roasted guajillo and fresh stewed tomatoes. The salsa is made fresh every day.

I had hoped to take a photo for you, but I basically ravished the burrito like a zombie at brains, so I found this photo on I'm only here for the food.

Everything tastes real, and fresh, homey almost. For $7 its not too bad for the area either. I'd come back... next time for the Sirloin Beef, Slow simmered with chipotle and original mexican ingredients.

This week's Goal: Learn to make Cassoulet

I'll serve this with my lovely aged cheddar and green onion buttery scones. Don will eat it but Jong won't. Too many beans.


This chicken and sausage cassoulet recipe is a modern update on the classic white bean cassoulet from Toulouse. This version evokes particularly complex and developed flavors by cooking certain ingredients separately, and then together. The result is an irresistible, hearty stew.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes

* 1 pounds dried white beans, soaked, sorted, and rinsed
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 pound lardons (bacon strips)/regular bacon
* 2 large white onions, peeled, halved, and cut into
* 1 pound bulk pork sausage
* 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1 pound chicken legs
* 2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and chopped
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 1 bouquet garni (There is no generic recipe for bouquet garni, but most recipes include parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Depending on the recipe, the bouquet garni may include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, peppercorns, savory and tarragon. Sometimes vegetables such as carrot, celery (leaves or stem), celeriac, leek, onion and parsley root are also included in the bouquet.)
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 tablespoon tomato paste
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
* 1/2 cup bread crumbs
* 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
* 4 teaspoons melted butter

Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring the beans to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook them until they begin to turn tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper to the beans and cook until the liquid has absorbed, about 25 additional minutes. Remove the beans from the heat, drain and discard any additional liquid, and set the beans aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the lardons for 5 minutes, until they turn brown. Transfer them to a plate. Add the onions to the pan and sauté them for 10 minutes, until they turn light golden brown. Transfer them to the plate with the lardons. Brown the sausage and transfer it to a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Drain all but 4 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet. Add the chicken breast pieces to the fat and brown them over medium-high heat. Transfer the chicken to the bowl with the sausage. Brown the chicken legs in the skillet and transfer them to the bowl.

Combine the lardoons/bacon, onions, sausage, chicken pieces and legs, tomatoes, wine, chicken stock, bouquet garni, garlic, tomato paste, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper in a large casserole dish. Cover with a lid or foil, and bake the casserole for 25 minutes. Add the carrots to the casserole, cover, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Add the reserved white beans to the hot casserole and gently stir the mixture. In a small bowl, toss the bread crumbs, parsley, and thyme with the melted butter. Sprinkle the seasoned bread crumbs over the casserole and bake it, uncovered, for 1 hour. Discard the bouquet garni and serve the cassoulet hot.

This chicken and sausage cassoulet recipe makes 12 large servings.

(May sub chicken for Duck or Lamb)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The best thing on Glee is the Warblers

I've become O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D- with Darren Criss and the Warblers. Their infectious harmonies and sychronized dance moves are a lethal dose of ZOMG. I haven't been this crazed since I read Twilight and joined Team Jacob. It's disturbing and I hate myself a little for it....

It began as a slow simmer, I was first introduced to the Warblers and Darren Criss as I was steaming up the car windows with Jenny Lee. It's not what you think. We were parked outside her condo, huddled around my iPhone to catch up on our Glee Season 2, piping the sound through my  Mini Coopers speakers.

Since then, they've never failed to disappoint. It's built to a fevered pitch from their rendition of Bills Bills Bills.

I can't get enough.. and it seems I won't have to. Announced yesterday Darren Criss and the Warblers will be putting out their own Glee album with songs they've performed on the show, and unreleased content. Sign. Me. Up.

The Warblers are voiced by the real-life Tufts University a capella group called The Beelzebubs

Here is their version of Bills from 2009. Isn't it interesting that the Version they voiced on Glee has almost 2 million views and their version only has 38k views? That's the power of branding.

A fan filming the performance at one of their shows: Worth a watch,

It's true, they aren't as slick, well clothed or as choreographed as the Warblers but they certainly have charisma. I love how genuine they are.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Naptime Macro...

More naptime photos...  Here's Minka with her newfound big sister patience as she settles in to nap with the baby pup who can't seem to settle down. 

Scratch the dot for maximum happiness.

We're best friends now and we sleep with our feet touching like best buddies.

Nap time with Sparrow

It's been a while since I've posted pictures of Sparrow. She's a big girl now weighing in at 12 lbs soaking wet! One of the best things is laying in bed with my little girl and enjoying her spunky personality. I like holding her as she sleeps and then being there when she wakes up and wants to cause some trouble. Puppies are great!

I'm feeling kinda sleepy. Shall we take a nap?

dozing off.

400 thread count egyptian cotton right? mmm clean sheets.

I'm very very tired. You should let me sleep. Put the camera away, mom.

Minka and I are taking a nap.

Did someone say 'Walk'? I*'m awake now.

I've got little teef for biting you. nom nom
Update from Sparrow: Last week I learned to jump onto the bed, but not to jump off. The bed is very high you know! It's a bit of a effort but I can make it. I also learned just yesterday how to cry at the door so I can be let out to do my business. Mom is very happy about this.

Minka appears to be less interested in me these days. She slept with Don for the first time since my arrival which leads me to think she's letting her guard down. It's only a matter of time now, before I can steal all the cookies without her interference.

I'm going on long walks with Dad now. We're walking 45 minutes at a time, and I pass out for hours after. I love a good work out.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I have big ears today. I look more like a Joey than a whippet. Nom nom. Where's my food?

Puppy is doing great. She’s going outside with Minka to do her business now rather than us escorting her (still supervised) and so far, is super on the leash. She’s eating well and adores the family. I worry that she won't love me as much as Minka does, but Jong insists this is a good thing as Minka is pretty needy.

Sparrow met Uncle Chewy and Auntie Willow (the greyhounds) the other day, and terrified them. They were walking through the kitchen to go outside for a walk and the puppy was having her breakfast. Sparrow ran up to Chewy and nibbled on his ears in play before we could grab her and pull her away. He was at a loss of what to do (and likely in some pain).

When the greyhounds returned from the walk, Chewy was afraid to come inside (and through the kitchen) because he remembered the holy terror that traumatized him the last time he was in there.. Took about 10 mins to coax the boy inside…. It's quite funny that Chewy - a HUGE greyhound is intimidated by the innocuous play nibbles of a very small whippet puppy.

When Minka was a puppy, she looked at Chewy with hero worship. One day, if she ate her kibble, she could grow up to be as big as Uncle Chewy. Minka still aspires to be as big as Uncle Chewy...

Remember when I was little and you were big, Chewy? Huh huh?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whippet bed buddies.

Minka and Sparrow get ready for bed.

Puppy Update

Sparrow's fur is markably darker today. It's normally a beechy color but this morning over breakfast I could see her fur was almost dirty in appearance.

She's growing like a weed. Her body and tail elongated overnight without notifying the rest of her body. Looks strange. I know John looks forward to her training to be complete and she becomes a full grown dog. I love the puppy. Puppy kisses, puppy breath and puppy love. Yes its gud!

The novelty is over for Minka who can barely rouse from bed to halfheartedly lay some sisterly smack down.

For the last couple of nights the puppy has been obsessed with sleeping close to my face. She likes to sleep on my shoulder or on my chest to smell my breathe and chew on my hair. I often wake up to puppy snorings in my ear or my hair being gnawed on. It's cute right now. But John wants me to discourage it right now to avoid a "thighs situation" like we do with Minka.

First nail clippings last night as well. Puppy was chill. Minka may very well have been tortured from all her wailing.

Missing my girls and eager to get home soon to see what I've missed while I was at work.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I fail at being asian - Zakkushi Review

I've kept coral reef tanks where I've held my hand in the briny water while cleaner shrimp cleaned the dead skin off my hand. I've captured small fresh water shrimp at a waterfall in Malaysia. I've cooked countless prawn dishes, and de-veined them as part of the preparation. I eat real sushi - not california rolls, atleast once a week. I grew up a rough and tumble Chinese Redneck-Hunter-Fisherman's Daughter and have seen my share of sea life in various states of liveliness (and dismemberment) but nothing prepared me for my meal at Zakkushi last night with J.

Appetizer:  Your choice of...
Sashimi Seven (7 kinds of seasonal sashimi)
-- or --
Appetizer Trio Ankimo (Fresh monkfish foie gras), Gomaae (Boiled spinach w/ black sesame sauce), and Takowasabi (Octopus mixed w/ wasabi stem)

Optimistic J ordered the Appetizer Trio,and I had the Sashimi Seven. J was fearful of another Frenemies situation (Gyu's Salmon and his 7 friends, an experience so horrific we've dubbed it Salmon and his 7 Frenemies) so offered to try the Trio in the interest of menu diversity.

I felt pretty smut about our choices, as monkfish foie gras wasn't exciting me too much... This lasted until our meals arrived. On my plate was a lovely selection of snapper, salmon, tuna, sweet scallop, and beautifully presented... the penetrating and judging gaze of a raw shrimp with it's carpace shell removed. My friend Shianne - having the sensibilities of an average asian - would have marveled at the freshness of the shrimp and thrown down the delicacy without any concern but  I was horrified. I clearly could not eat it and each second of its beady eyed stare only increased my loss of appetite. In a decisive act of action to save me (thank you J!) J flagged down the waitress to take it away. but not before I covered the atrocity with a napkin like a funeral pyre.

This is not the actual photo but it is for Zakkushi by another reviewer.
I was in too much shock to capture the experience.

Don't get me wrong the sushi was a wonderful quality but I had let down my entire yellow nation in proper representation. Shame. I could hear the words of condemnation at my waste.

Here is the actual dish without the head.
Here is Jenny's appetizer trio. The Monkfish Foie Gras ended up tasting like cheese. The Gomae I've had before at other places, and I can say this place had one of the better versions of it I've ever had. It was not too saucy or salty.

The last item was a spicy chop of raw octopus and wasabi stem. Delicious but unusual. A little bit slimy. I found it an interesting gastro experience but not something I'd eat again.

Entree: Your choice of...

 ~Meet the Meat~ Sukiyaki (5 oz of sliced AAA Angus beef, tofu, onion, knotted yam noodle, shiitake and Japanese green onion in a hot pot) & Kushi San Bon (3 charcoal grilled skewers of Me Maki, P-Toro and G Beef)
-- or --
~Sea of Love~ Seafood Trunk w/ Uni Sauce (Grilled white tuna, prawn, scallop, tomato and asparagus on steamed rice w/ sea urchin sauce) & Orient Clam Miso Soup
-- or --
~Japanese Tradition II~ “Kishu” Plum and Shredded Kelp Udon (Japanese premium sour plum and shredded kelp in Udon noodle soup) & Nigiri Sushi (4pcs of seasonal sushi)

The next course was excellent. I had the Sea of Love (praying it came cooked). And Jenny had Meat the Meat. 

My pre-Entree was a lovely miso soup served with delicate clams. Jenny had an assortment of three Kushi skewers which were asparagus wrapped in mystery meat - we hope it was proscuitto, a fatty pork, and garlicy beef. Very tasty. We've resisted looking up what they actually are as with most Asian restaurants ignorance is bliss. These items are plentiful on the Zakkushi Menu and can be ordered a la cart.  The Skewers never had a chance. We ate them before we could even consider taking a photo.

The Sea of Love was beautifully prepared seafood (YAY! It was cooked!) with asparagus, tomato and a sea urchin sauce (the sauce I couldn't taste and thankfully had forgotten it was listed as an ingredient as I adored this dish and the Urchin sauce would have put me off if I had thought about it too much. This dish was comforting and delicious. I could eat it every day.

Jenny had the Meat Hot pot, and it was delicious. We couldn't identify the flavor but it was unusually delicious. Familiar yet strange. I felt it had an almost liquoricy - star anise flavor. Very enjoyable in that it challenged our senses. The meat was quite fatty but tender and the mushrooms were juicy from the soup. Most enjoyable were the Yam noodles which had absorbed the delicious broth and proved to be a wonderful receptable for bringing more pleasure to my happy mouth. Lovely.
Dessert: Your choice of...
Giapponese Panna Cotta (white sesame panna cotta w/ maple raspberry sauce)
-- or --
Matcha Ice Cream w/ Red Bean Lady Finger

We both decided to have the Panna Cotta as Matcha Ice Cream - while our favourite flavor - is common in Vancouver. Zakkushi's version had a slight sesami flavor, but had a lovely rich texture. Executed well! The Maple Raspberry sauce provided just the right amount of sweetness. I enjoyed this dessert immensely.

This was a Dine Out Vancouver Menu for $28 /head. Had I not driven I would have definitely have added the $10 Sake pairings to the meal. A wonderful experience over all - oral adventures, a full tummy and emotional turmoil. What more can you ask for in an evening?

Given my low brow humor, I'd also like to mention that I found their menu entertaining. Can you see why I'd think this? Mmm Noodles!