It took me almost a full week of not eating and not being able to look at food pictures or talk about food, but now I’m here and ready to write again! I had a crazy stomach virus that I probably caught towards the end of the Olympics and didn’t realize it, so that made it really difficult for me to continue posting regularly. Well, at all. I’m sorry for my extended absence, but I’m now back at it and feeling like I can eat anything and everything once again!
Now on to the food.
Early last week (my last meal out before I realized I could no longer eat anything besides toast or plain baked potatoes here and there for a few days), I met up with a girlfriend for lunch. We were actually trying to go to Cafe Barcelona on Granville, but they were randomly closed once again – I’m not sure it’s in the cards at this point (this was my third time trying)! So, we wandered down the street, and I remembered that ShuRaku Sake Bar and Bistro was a good Japanese restaurant just down the street.
We ventured over and decided to eat there instead. It’s a fairly large restaurant, and has a bar just inside the entrance, followed by a long and narrow dining area.
We sat down and got cozy with some Japanese rice tea (genmaicha) while we decided to order. I knew something was a bit off with me at this point because I was horribly indecisive and had no idea what to order for a lot longer than usual. At least the tea was nice and hot and soothing (note that tea at Shuraku is an additional charge, and doesn’t come free at the beginning of your meal like many other similar places).
We ended up deciding to share a Tofu and Avocado Salad as it was something my girlfriend ate and loved in the past. It was super colourful, with a variety of greens, red and yellow peppers, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and of course tofu, with some thin slices of nori sprinkled over top. The home made miso salad dressing was great, and the avocado was ripe and delicious. A nice healthy alternative, as whenever I go for Japanese food, I find that I don’t end up eating enough vegetables with my meal (and I sure needed some after all of the poutine and chicken wings that were the staple of my diet during the Olympics). This, I would definitely order again.
I then ordered a BBQ Short Ribs and Tempura Lunch Box, which was served with rice and some salad (which I didn’t bother eating after the one I had already as an appy). It also came with a miso soup to start (I won’t bother showing that picture, as it’s really quite boring 🙂 ).
The short ribs were decent, but I found that they lacked a bit of flavour compared to others that I’ve had before and that I’ve cooked at home. I was almost a little surprised about that, and found that the sauce wasn’t strong enough to really enjoy with the rice served in the set.
As for the assorted tempura that came along with the meal, it included a couple of prawns, carrot and broccoli pieces (which I don’t really like anywhere), and yellow squash (not sure what it’s called for sure). This wasn’t too bad, but I found the batter to be a bit thick and overwhelming and a little on the soft side instead of crispy. My girlfriend also got a full set of this for her meal, so the picture below is of a regular order of it.
Overall, I find Shuraku to be a fairly good Japanese alternative in a pinch, and they do have fresh seafood every time I’ve been before, but there’s just something about it that doesn’t make it stand out to me compared to others that I would choose to dine at first (like Juno, Kaide, or quite a few other sushi restaurants I frequent).
But I’ll go back for sure for the salad. 😉