Sun Fresh Bakery

Sun Fresh Bakery is a Chinese/Asian style bakery that’s located in Chinatown, not far from Main Street. They have a very large selection of baked goods, steamed buns, and other food. I had their Curry Beef Bun, Custard Bun, Shredded Pork Bun, Shredded Pork Sponge Cake, BBQ Pork Bun, and Coconut Cream Bun.

Curry Beef Bun ($1.85):


3/5
The bun was quite fluffy and soft. There wasn’t really all that much filling inside; there was just a small amount in the middle. The beef was a little dry, but flavourful, and had a nice bit of heat.

Custard Bun ($1.45):


3.5/5
The custard was sweet and creamy, with a great fragrance. Again, I do wish there was more of it spread throughout the bun.

Shredded Pork Bun ($1.85):


3.5/5
This was filled with a creamy, mayonnaise-like spread and is topped with shredded pork. The shredded pork provided a great savouriness. The filling on the inside provided a nice richness; I do wish that it would be a little sweeter, however.

Shredded Pork Sponge Cake (around $2):


3.5/5
This consisted of a swiss roll that’s filled with cream and topped with pork floss. The cake itself was quite light and fluffy, and not overly dry. The cream inside had a nice bit of saltiness. I wasn’t able to taste much of the pork floss unfortunately.

Coconut Cream Bun ($1.45):


3.5/5
The bun was light and fluffy. The cream inside had a nice bit of saltiness. The coconut on top provided a great bit of fragrance.

BBQ Pork Bun ($1.85):


3.5/5
Unlike the other buns, this one actually had a fairly amount of filling inside. The pork was tender and juicy, and had a nice bit of sweetness.

I was impressed by Sun Fresh Bakery. The food wasn’t great, but still quite good. The prices were fairly cheap. This is a decent place to check out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Custard Bun, Shredded Pork Bun, Shredded Pork Sponge Cake, Coconut Cream Bun, BBQ Pork Bun
Sun Fresh Bakery House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New Town Bakery & Restaurant

New Town Bakery & Restaurant seriously has an adorable store front. Unfortunately, the day that I visited it was raining somewhat heavily, so I wasn’t able to take a picture, but for those of you who don’t know, they’ve got a cartoon of a basket of steamed buns. In addition to steamed buns, they serve a good variety of Chinese baked goods, along with various Asian dim sum and other dishes from their restaurant section. I haven’t tried their restaurant however, I just stuck to their steamed buns and baked goods. I had their Pork Turnover, Baked BBQ Pork Bun, and Pork, Spicy Pork, Chicken Deluxe, and Chinese Sausage Steamed Buns.

Pork Turnover ($1.75):


4/5
This was glutinous rice that was filed with ground pork and has been deep fried. The exterior was nice and crispy. The glutinous rice had a soft, chewy texture and was slightly sweet while the ground pork had a nice savoury flavour. I do wish that there was a bit more of the filling however.

Baked BBQ Pork Bun ($2.25):


4/5
The bun was soft and fluffy; the meat was tender and juicy, and had a mildly sweet flavour. This was a very good amount of filling: I got meat in almost every bite. This may be a bit more expensive than other places, but it’s worth it for the quality.

Pork Steamed Bun ($2.50):


4/5
The bun itself had a great fluffy and chewy texture. The pork filling was very tender and juicy. I could have done with a tad more filling inside, but it was still sufficient.

Spicy Pork Steamed Bun ($2.75):


4/5
This was filled with what is essentially BBQ pork. The pork was very tender and juicy, and has a wonderful sweet flavour. There was also a pretty generous amount of filling.

Chinese Sausage Roll ($2.25):


4/5
This was basically an elongated steamed bun that’s filled with a Chinese sausage. The bun again was very fluffy, soft, and chewy; the sausage was what you’d get at Asian supermarkets, and is very tender, juicy, and flavourful. I would have liked there to be a slightly higher meat to bun ratio.

Chicken Deluxe Steamed Bun ($3.30):


4/5
Again, the bun was light, fluffy and slightly chewy. This was completely filled with all sorts of meats, including chicken, pork, and salted egg yolk. All of the meats were tender and juicy and flavourful; I particularly enjoyed the egg yolk, which had a great saltiness and oily flavour.

Although I haven’t tried any of the food from the restaurant part of this shop, I really enjoyed all of the steamed buns and baked goods that I’ve tried. Their prices are a bit higher than typical Asian places, but considering the quality of their food, I think it’s more than worth the cost. This is definitely worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Steamed Buns, Pork Turnover, Baked BBQ Pork Bun

New Town Bakery & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bestie

After a pretty distressing and gruelling few days out in Chilliwack, I was very happy to be back in the privacy of my own home in Vancouver. The first thing that I did, after making up for all the sleep that I’ve lost during the lab retreat, was to practice my newly regained freedom of being able to dine alone and pay a visit to Bestie. The latter is a small casual shop located in Chinatown specializing in German food, specifically sausages (with various sides such as fries, salads and pretzels). The place was quite popular and crowded when I visited during lunch time: I ended up getting seated at the end of the bar, which was a bit cramped since the countertop space was smaller there (the place did clear up a bit over the next half hour). I had their Currywurst, which I added cheese sauce to for an additional $2 along with their All Natural Game Sausage (which changes daily – the one I got was Rosemary Lamb) for another additional $1. I also had a Sausage Roll.

dav
Sausages available today

Currywurst (Cheesy, All Natural Game Sausage, $9.50 + $2 + $1):


3.5/5
This consisted of fries topped with ketchup and curry powder, as well as your choice of a sausage. I decided to add cheese sauce to the fries for an extra $2, and got their game sausage, which happened to be Rosemary Lamb, for another extra $1. The sausage was quite tasty: tender and juicy, although I did find it to be just a tad on the bland side. I absolutely loved their fries, which were very fresh, hot and crispy on the outside, while tender and starchy on the inside. The curried ketchup also provided a great flavour. I did find the cheese sauce to be a bit bland however, and not worth the extra $2.

Sausage Roll ($6):


4.5/5
This consisted of a pork sausage wrapped in a flaky pastry. The sausage was nothing short of fantastic: tender and juicy with a fantastic spice. I did find the pastry to be just a tad doughy, although still tasty. The portion was also a little small: I think that it’s probably a better deal to just get their sausage on its own instead.

I’ve quite enjoyed my visit to Bestie; their food was quite tasty, in particular their pork sausages. The server I had was very friendly and quite attentive, although she does sometimes get confused and forget the order. All in all, this is definitely a place worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Pork Thuringer
Bestie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Goldstone Bakery

I’ve got no idea what Portuguese chicken is. No, not the Nando’s Peri-peri version, but the “Chinese” version that’s often on menus of HK restaurants. And apparently my mom doesn’t either, so I guess it’s more unique to HK vs. Mainland China. Well, I’ve had the chance to finally try out the dish at this week, when I visited Goldstone Bakery. They are a restaurant in Chinatown with a large menu of Chinese and HK-style cuisine. Although quite spacious, the restaurant does get very busy, and I had to wait 5-10 minutes to be seated during lunch time. I decided to get their “special” versions of their Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti and Baked Portuguese Chicken with Rice, which are currently priced at $9.75 and comes with your choice of either coffee or tea.

Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti (Special Version, $9.75):

dav
Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti


4/5
This consisted of a generous piece of pork chop served over a bed of spaghetti and covered in tomato sauce. The pork chop was essentially like a schnitzel or Japanese katsu, and was pounded thin and breaded. It was very crispy and reasonably tender, although I would have liked there to be a bit more meat present. The spaghetti was cooked to my liking: tender without being too mushy. Although I’m not the biggest fan of tomato sauce, I did like theirs, which was not too watery and coated the noodles and pork chop pretty well.

Baked Portuguese Chicken with Rice (Special Version, $9.75):


3/5
The dish consisted of chicken and taro baked in a yellow sauce. I thought that it was going to be served with rice baked together with the chicken (similar to the pork chop); instead, the chicken came in a dish that’s separate from the rice. Now I’ve never had Portuguese chicken before; I thought that the yellow sauce was curry but it did not have any heat or spice, although it did have a nice fragrance of ginger (and I think there might be some coconut as well). There were several large pieces of bone-in chicken, which was extremely moist and tender, as well as a few large pieces of taro. Unfortunately, I did find the dish to be overall pretty bland and under-seasoned.

I certainly enjoyed my visit to Goldstone Bakery. While their food does certainly have room for improvement, it is still quite tasty. Portion-wise, their “special” versions are considerably smaller (probably 1/2 to 2/3 the size) compared to the regular versions, but still reasonably large: while I could have done with a bit more food, it’s probably more than enough to satisfy an average appetite. The service is what you’d expect from a lower-end Asian restaurant: the staff is reasonably friendly, but not the most attentive and the food can take a while to arrive. They are currently cash only, so be sure to have some on you if you wish to visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti
Gold Stone Bakery Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Juke Fried Chicken

I generally don’t have the greatest luck in general. When it comes to eating out, I often encounter the situation where the one item that I REALLY wanted to try is not available on the day/time that I visited. Examples of such include Score on Davie (their banana bread french toast), Black Rook Bakehouse (any one of their several chocolate cakes), Bean Brothers Cafe (their tiramisu), Fondway Cafe (where they literally had NOTHING available), and so on. I can now add Juke Fried Chicken to that list. They are a joint in Chinatown that, as the name implies, specializes in fried chicken. Although the fried chicken is already tempting enough on its own, it was actually their cornbread mac and cheese that I just HAD to try. So I made the trip to the joint this afternoon to get their fried chicken and mac and cheese. But of course, surprise surprise, their mac and cheese is only on their dine-in menu, which is served in the evening. *sigh*. You’d think that by now I’d have gotten so used in disappointments that I’d stop feeling pain, but no, I was still crushed. I ended up settling for a side of their Dirty Fries instead, to go with two pieces of their Fried Chicken.

Fried Chicken (2 pc, $5.75):


3.5/5
Their chicken wasn’t made to order, and hence was only warm when it arrived. Nevertheless, it was still quite tasty. I was glad to have received two pieces of thighs, which, by virtue of being dark meat, was very tender and juicy, and quite well-seasoned. The skin was crispy and flavourful. I was not a huge fan of their spices however; I personally found it to be slightly pungent (I’m a fan of the spices from KFC).

Dirty Fries ($8):

dav
Dirty Fries – I don’t think this is poutine…

3.5/5
On their menu board they describe the fries as “poutine”, but I don’t think that’s accurate. I’m certainly not a purist, but when you call something “poutine” it should have gravy and cheese and this had neither. Instead, it consisted of fries dressed in some spicy mayo, ketchup and topped with pickled cabbage. Regardless of whether it’s poutine or not, it was still quite tasty; I especially liked the mayo, which lent a great creaminess and richness. It was a pretty good portion and not bad for the price.

I have to admit that I was still very disappointed when I left Jukes about not having gotten the mac and cheese that I so desperately wanted to try. *sob* Nevertheless, the food that I did get wasn’t too shabby, and the staff is pretty friendly. Not a bad place for some fried chicken if you want something different from KFC.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Fried Chicken, Dirty Fries
Juke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Klaus’s Kaffee Haus – Holiday splurge

I’ve got a problem: I have developed an unhealthy obsession with French toast. I’ve been craving this dish ever since having tried the tasty banana-stuffed version from Twisted Fork. I just can’t get enough of this dish, and I’m always on the lookout for restaurants that are serving it. One such place was Klaus’s Kaffee Haus. They seem to have undergone some major menu changes over the past year or so: the restaurant initally offered a variety of streudels, but have now shifted their focus to making various breakfast/brunch items, including several delicious-sounding versions of French toast. I decided to order their ham and cheese version (aka Monte Cristo) since it seemed to be the largest in the picture on their menu, and was also the most expensive.

Monte Cristo/Ham and Cheese French Toast ($13.95):

dav
4.5/5
I have to admit, I felt nothing short of complete, utter disappointment when the sandich was first placed in front of me. The sandwich was small, like WAY smaller than I had thought it would be. In the photo that they had on the menu, the sandwich looked like it was triple layered (i.e. 3 slices of bread), but the one that I received only had 2 slices of bread. There was no way that I was going to get full on this (especially since the dish doesn’t come with any sides like fries or hashbrowns).

Fortunately, what the sandwich lacked in size however, it sure made up for it in taste: it was freaking fantastic! The thick bread was warm, crispy on the outside, and soft on the interior. There was a generous amount of savoury ham inside, along with gooey melted cheese. There was also a good amount of dijon inside that added a bit of heat. The strawberry jam on top provided a bit of sweetness that paired surprisingly well with the saltiness of the ham.

Still feeling hungry not yet stuffed from the Monte Cristo, I decided to get more food. Having really enjoyed the sandwich, I decided to stick to the French toast section, and ordered their Apple Pie French Toast. Now, in the picture on the menu, the toast looked like there were two slices of bread; hence I was pleasantly surprised when the dish arrived in front of me, and I found that it actually had three slices of toast (maybe they were making up for the missing piece in the Monte Cristo?).

Apple Pie French Toast ($12.95):

dav


4.5/5
In terms of price, this was a much better deal in my opinion than the Monte Cristo: not only was it cheaper, but it was also considerably larger, being (as I’ve mentioned earlier) triple layered. In terms of taste, I enjoyed this every bit as much as the Monte Cristo: it was just fantastic. The moment that the sandwich was placed in front of me, I was overtaken by the sweet scent of cinnamon. Once again, the slices of bread was perfectly toasted: crispy on the outside and soft on the interior. There was a generous amount of soft apple and raisin filling, as well as cream cheese. The sandwich on its own was not particularly sweet; however, when dipped in syrup, it was just perfect. This is probably the best version of French toast that I’ve ever had; I enjoyed this even more than the fantastic version from Twisted Fork.

Coffee (large, $3):

dav
They are a “Kaffee Haus” after all.
dav
Finally, I’m full.

The Apple Pie French Toast sure did its job: I was more than satisfied by the time I had cleared the plate. Of course, it did hurt a bit when it came to paying the bill: the two French toasts as well as the coffee added up to over $30 (and not including tips). I wish that the pictures on the menu could have been more accurate (with the Monte Cristo being double layered and the Apple Pie triple layered): had I known, I would have just ordered the Apple Pie French Toast with a side of something and called it a day. Oh well, it’s the holidays, and there are certainly worse things to splurge on than some fantastic French toast.

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 3/5 (2/5 for the Monte Cristo, 4/5 for the Apple Pie French Toast)
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Apple Pie French Toast (Monte Cristo’s also fantastic, if you’re willing to spend the price)
Klaus's Kaffee Haus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato