Friday Find : Pepper Lunch

PepperLunch_2016-04-15, 18 57 28Recently, you may have heard the buzz around the newly opened Pepper Lunch.

The second lower mainland Pepper Lunch outlet opened last week on Cambie Street, and the buzz meets, or should I say ‘meats’, expectations. The DIY counter service eatery has 200+ outlets in Asia and the concept seems to have gained a foothold here in Vancouver.

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Curry Chicken with Rice
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Chicken Pasta

Like any quick serve restaurants you order from the counter from a menu grouped into a protein with pasta or a protein with rice. Prices range from under $10 to the higher-end meats at $20+.  Choose from Kobe Beef, Filet Mignon, Angus Steak, Chicken, Salmon, and more, then Pepper Lunch breaks from the norm to be more than just a simple fast-food place.  Your meal is presented to you on the patented Pepper Lunch iron plate.  Sizzling hot, the plate is heated up to 260 celsius while you grill your meat, or fish at the table until your desired level of doneness.  Then as the plate cools to a still hot 80 degrees, it keeps your meal tender and juicy to leisurely enjoy your Pepper Lunch.

We enjoyed the meal enough to visit twice in the opening week to try different combinations and look forward to checking out more of the menu.

Pepper Lunch is located at 2323 Cambie Street in Vancouver and Unit 150 – 5951 No 3 Road in Richmond.
Visit pepperlunchcanada.com for more information.

Shima Village Japanese Restaurant, Victoria

One of Victoria’s newest Japanese restaurants, Shima Village Japanese Restaurant is a welcome addition to the city’s dining scene. The latest in a long line of establishments to inhabit the location at 1218 Wharf Street, hopefully Shima can make a success of the spot. It’s always been a nice room, the two-story floor to ceiling windows allow for peeks at the Inner Harbour, although partially in the shadow of the Victoria Regent Hotel.

The Shima menu is large and varied, offering the traditional Japanese dishes expected at most sushi lounges. From the looks of what was served to other diners, everything looks nicely presented and fresh.  The surprise came toward the back of the menu under “Special Suggestions”, both my dining companion and I went for selections from this section.  The Sushi Pizza and Rice Burger were too unique to pass by.


We started with tempura appetizers, the ample portions were very nice and crispy.  Then our entrees arrived, both beautifully presented.  The Sushi Pizza is a deep fried rice patty topped with a choice of spicy tuna, spicy salmon, tuna salad or salmon salad. The server recommended spicy tuna, which my friend Anita was pleased to find to be the ‘right’ choice.  The crunchy rice base was quite thick, we think next time, we’d ask for it to be half the base portion so it would be a crispier bite throughout, instead of soft rice in the middle. But otherwise, it was a great tasting, unique meal.

The Rice Burger was the same crispy rice patty as the pizza except it was sliced in half to form the ‘bun’.  The topping is a choice of beef or chicken teriyaki, I choose the chicken, with cheese.  The cheese helped to hold the meat together as a patty but the burger is difficult to eat with your hands as a burger, a fork and knife makes it easier. The crunch of the rice, the smooth, flavourful chicken teriyaki made for a nice combination of flavour and texture.

The whole meal was recommended and we’d like to return for more.

Shima Village Japanese Restaurant is located at 1218 Wharf Street in downtown Victoria, BC
For reservations call 250.590.7370, open daily at 11:30am, Sun-Wed until 9:30pm Thu-Sat until 10pm.

 

Lunch at Mandalay Lounge & Steakhouse – Steveston

Dining on the River

I was taken out to lunch recently to Mandalay Lounge and Steakhouse in Steveston. I rarely venture out to the quaint riverside village in Richmond but I’m glad we did, tucked in behind some other restaurants and shops Mandalay Lounge has a great location right on the riverside boardwalk.  Boats come and go from the nearby docks, providing a backdrop to a pleasant atmosphere.
A varied menu meant there was something for everyone at lunch. As expected from a venue on the waterfront, seafood is plentiful throughout the menu; Moo Shu Crab Cakes, Spicy Tuna Sashimi, Pacific Seafood Chowder and Mandalay Prawns are amongst the starters. Follow them up with a main course of; Steak & Frites, Wild Mushroom Ravioli, Certified Angus Beef Prime Rib Burger, Chicken Mushroom Tagliatelle or Wild Salmon. A nice touch for the busy lunch crowd are the Mandalay Express Lunch Rice & Noodle Bowls, a selection of 6 Asian inspired bowls prepared quickly and easily for your lunch break. Two of my friends ordered the Thai Red Curry Seafood bowls, nicely seasoned and full of seafood.  My other friend has the Wild Salmon, a nicely cooked fillet served with rice and vegetables. My Chicken Mushroom Tagliatelle was rich and full of chicken and meaty mushrooms in a nicely seasoned sauce. Add a glass of wine from the nicely choosen wine list and you’ve got a great afternoon on the shore.

Mandalay Lounge & Steakhouse is located at 140 – 3900 Bayview Street, Steveston, Richmond, BC (behind Hog Shack Restaurant)
Phone (604) 628-2500 for information and reservations