After a thwarted effort to buy $10 shelves at Ikea, Carn.H and I decided to go out for dinner. I’ve never been to Van Ya before but it came highly recommended by his Japanese co-worker.

The waiter told us the special Pork Katsu was a must-try – but having watched the coke and pork YouTube clip only a few days ago, we weren’t ready for pork just yet.

Instead, I chose the salmon kama set dinner…

… which came with miso soup – a little on the sweet side but nice and piping hot – …

… agedashi tofu, salmon neck and belly, pickles, beans and rice

Agedashi Tofu

It was fried really well with a nice thin, glutenous exterior.

Sesame’d Beans – really wish there was more… it had nice crunch, but I barely noticed the subtle seasoning.

Salmon Kama – I was really surprised by it’s size. Usually the kama’s served in Japanese restaurants are much larger because of the actual salmon used for sashimi is normally larger in size. While I was slightly put off by the fact it really looked and felt like I was being served leftover trimmings, I thought that the taste would hopefully make up for it.

I started off with the belly trimming just so the fat wouldn’t coagulate on me. It was ok – nice and juicy – but the skin was quite chewy.

However, the rest of my fiah was just horrible. It had a bitter innard-like flavor and the texture was just way off. Almost like a hardened plastic smoothness.

I don’t normally complain if the food is still edible – my parents run a business too and I know it can be tough – but the fish was really bitter and odd to me. This is where my night just went down the drain. I talked to the waitress who took my order, not knowing her English was poor. I kind of have a soft spot for ESL immigrants ever since teaching English in Japan so I told her “it’s ok, never mind” after a few minutes of unresolved conversation. A few minutes later, the waiter who told us about the specials came over to ask if everything was ok.

Not knowing how good his English was, I emphasized the same words with him as I did the waitress – mostly that it was “bitter”. It turns out his English was much better. As with the waitress, they both immediately told me it was sockeye salmon – as if I were too ignorant to tell the difference – by this time I was peeved. I let it go the first time because her English was poor, but from someone who can hold a conversation, that meant they weren’t even bothering to look into it before assuming their customer is in the wrong. When I go on to tell him the type of salmon should have no bearing on the flavor or texture (although in his defense I wasn’t wording my sentences too well by only emphasizing bitter and plastic-ky – keep in mind – I was busy holding in my annoyance) he went on to say that I probably just don’t like this years batch of sockeye salmon. As if THAT had anything to do with the issue on hand. I was fed up trying to reason with him so I just asked him for the bill. I didn’t touch the rest of my salmon and I definitely won’t be coming back. Worst $8 spent – ever… well… pretty close.

If your wondering what was on that empty plate – Carn.H ordered the nigiri combo ($11). My first thought was.. He’s gonna need at least 2 of those to be full! I think he was ok with it – I was too annoyed to ask lol~

likelihood of revisiting: 0%
culinary mindset: nowhere close to the mom and pop shops in Japan

Van-Ya on Urbanspoon.

I needed a bit of cheering up so we went to the first bakery I saw – just across the London Drugs parking lot ^^

Mini Coffee Roll ($3.50)

I liked it (up to a point) – soft and fluffy with a nice hint of coffee. The layer of cream wasn’t too thick but I still wished there was more cake to cream ratio.

My only complaint is the gross oily feeling afterwards.

– C.Herb –
Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone (( _ _ ))..zzzZZ


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