Nou Eul Tor – Korean Restaurant

I’m not really a make a reservation type of person. I tend to show up and hope that I’ll find myself a seat. Sometimes this works out well, and sometimes it means I have to go visit a restaurant a few times before I complete two visits. Still other times, it leads me to trying places I wasn’t expecting to try, One such reason place is Nou Eul Tor, a Korean Restaurant on Sargent Avenue.

I’ve actually walked past this restaurant on several occasions, but there has always been something about it that made me hesitate to enter. However, the other night, the Emerald Palace told me there would be a 45 minute to one hour wait before I would get a seat and my order taken, so I decided I would head a little farther west on Sargent. Nou Eul Tor was the first restaurant I came across. I saw from their posted hours that they would be open long enough to enjoy a meal so I headed on in.

Nou Dul Tor Kimchi

Kimchi from Nou Eul Tor.

The main body of the restaurant is long and narrow, with most of the tables against one wall, and a few on the kitchen side. There is also a room with a table for a larger group. The tables are dark wood and brown and white are the other dominant colours, giving the place a rather subdued feel. Continue reading


Cafe Lemon Tree – St. Mary’s Road

I happened upon Cafe Lemon Tree more by chance than design. Visiting a parishioner in the area I took a look around the strip mall as I waited for a bus. Cafe Lemon Tree looked intriguing so I made a note to visit the next time I was out that way.

One of the first things you notice when you enter is the large collection of tea pots. They are stacked on wood shelves in behind and around the counter. It reminds me of a somewhat subdued version of Dwarf No Cachette.  Another thing you notice is that there are novelty salt and pepper shakers on each table. On my first visit my shakers were a little disturbing as you can see in the picture below.

Cafe Lemon Tree shakers

A vaguely disturbing salt and pepper shaker combo at Cafe Lemon Tree.

Cafe Lemon Tree Breakfast

My first visit was early afternoon. I noticed that brunch is available. On this visit I decided on the cheapest option. I’m not quite sure why scrambled eggs are a dollar more, but decide they’re not worth the extra cost. The meal arrives with a good portion of hash browns, two eggs over medium and crispy bacon.  Continue reading

Choice Sushi, Good Choice

I have a fondness for hole in the wall type restaurants, and restaurants that don’t look all that imposing from the outside.  Choice Sushi is located on the corner of Ellice Avenue and Young Street.  In case you’re wondering where that is, it’s right next door to the grocery store that, until recently, had the best deals in town on bus passes.  The restaurant has been closed and reopened over the last year, but now seems once again to be in full swing.

The menu is a mix of Japanese and Korean food.  One of the things that sets it apart from many other Korean/Japanese restaurants is that it has a small menu.  By small I mean about 50 items, but that still makes it a lot smaller than many similar restaurants.

Also, despite the fact that the restaurant is named Choice Sushi, on taste alone, I’d go with the Korean dishes. They are the superior dishes.  However, if you go when the sushi rolls are on special you get yourself a really good deal even if the sushi is just average.  I was there the other day when the Alaska and Teriyaki Chicken rolls were on for 50% off, meaning I got them both for $4.95

Choice Sushi is closed, but a new restaurant, also Korean will soon open up in this location.

The Gyoza dumplings also make for a reasonably good choice.  I liked the fact that they were fried crispy, but I would have wished for more pork in the filling


Among the other dishes I tried were a spicy stew, and the Spicy Ramyun.  I think this was the first time that I understood what the purveyors of packaged noodles are trying to emulate.  The noodles were reminiscent of the packaged noodles, but higher quality and much fresher.  The stew contained nice amounts of cabbage, pork and tofu.  In both cases the broth had plenty of bite to it.  Yet it was heat of the sort that leaves a tingle in your mouth after the meal, rather than a burn.

Choice Sushi Wrap-up:

No visit to a Korean restaurant would be complete without a comment on the side dishes. At Choice Sushi I received cucumber and seaweed, with a dressing that reminded me of Catalina with a little extra kick.  The potato salad was subtly seasoned with no overwhelming sense of mayo.  Finally, the Kimchi was a good mix of vinegar and chili.

All in all Choice Sushi is a great place for a quick, tasty and economical meal.  While the sushi isn’t the star of the menu, it is always good. Sometimes it’a a great value as well. However, make sure you try the Korean dishes if you visit.



Kimchi Cafe in the Exchange

Kimchi Cafe

My off works hours for the last two weeks were largely taken up by the Fringe Festival.  I bought a buddy pass and saw 14 shows.  I also took time to review 12 of them.  I didn’t review the last two I saw as the festival was almost over, and I was wearing out.   I was working full-time, so meals at home weren’t always on my schedule.

Fortunately, there are a lot of convenient and reasonably priced meal options right in the Exchange District.  This year there were three food trucks out.  Little Bones Chicken Wingery, which I tried for the first time at last year’s Fringe.  Habanero Sombrero, and Stuff it were also out.

Given that the weather was either rainy or at best uncertain, it’s always nice to be able to get out of the elements as well.  So, on a couple of occasions I decided to head up Albert Street to the Kimchi Cafe.  Kimchi Cafe is a little restaurant on the main floor of a larger building along the east side of Albert St.  It advertises itself as offering Korean and Japanese cuisine.

Kimchi roll

Kimchi Cafe Spicy Tuna Roll

I can’t vouch for the whole menu, as it is quite large, but I have been pleased with all the dishes I’ve tried.  The prices are quite reasonable and you can dine in satisfying fashion for $10-12, or feast it up for around $20. (all prices for food, alcohol extra). Continue reading