Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mandala Iki Asian Bistro-Jap meets Chinese

Yesterday when I was strolling around Kitsilano, I noticed there were several restaurants that I would like to have a try. Originally, we planned to have dinner at Yuji's Japanese Tapas; however, they didn't open today (we did not know that untiil we had parked the car, LOL!). Disappointed enough, EU remembered that was another restaurant that had caught our sight. And so we walked along the 4th Ave, until we saw...
Mandala Iki Asian Bistro

2394 W 4th Ave, Vancouver BC

1:Yucks! 2:Improvement needed 3:So-So~ 4:Good 5:Very good 6:Heavenly

Food: 3 (only based on their Japanese food)
Price: 3.5
Service: 4.5
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 3.5
  • A branch of Iki Japanese Bistro
  • Mon-Thur Lunch: 11:30am-3pm Dinner: 4:30pm-10pm
    Fri-Sun 11:30am-10:30pm
  • Japanese mix Asian cuisine (mainly Chinese)
  • Dine in/Take out
  • Park along the streets

  • Have quite a lot of seatings

  • The interior looks more Chinese than Japanese to me
  • Combos available
  • Large variety in menu
  • Special rolls available
  • Brown rice available (with no additional charge)
  • Most customers are locals
Plum Green Tea-6/6
  • $0.75/tea bag
  • I love plum, especially sour plum. Even though it's only a tea bag, it was really good and tasted a little sour. It was great to have it while I was having dinner :)
  • They also offer other teas/green teas/drinks on their menu.
Tuna Sashimi-5/6
  • $5/4pcs $9/8pcs
  • The texture was just right, which was neither too soft nor too tough.

  • It was fresh, but EU found some tendons(?) in the flesh. Still, we enjoyed it even though it was not the best tuna sashimi we have had so far.

Herb Gyoza-2.5/6

  • $5.50
  • It was one of their dinner specials.
  • You can choose either pork or veggie as the filling. We opted for veggie at the end.
  • The presentation was kind of weird. As you can see from the picture above, all five gyozas were scattered on the plate in a...special pattern.
  • The gyoza surely looked better than it tasted: the veggie filling was mushy.
  • The good thing about the filling was the amount they gave us. The gyozas were loaded with fillings; it would be better if the filling wasn't mushy :
  • Another nice touch to the dish was the herb they've added. If I was right, I guessed the herb was rosemary. It gave the gyoza a nice herb smell and flavour, and went well with the lotus root and the sauce with olive oil. I like it a lot.
Iki Roll-4/6
  • $8.50
  • Similar to Juno Vancouver Sushi Bistro, you can choose from white rice and brown rice. The only difference is Juno charges for extra $1 but Mandala does not.
  • Salmon, avocado, and cucumber wrapped with seared tuna
  • The rolls were nicely done. They had the right proportion of rice and filling.
  • The texture and colour of the brown rice also looked different from the one in Juno; Mandala's was more brownish and got that brown rice taste.
  • I didn't find this dish surprisingly given that all ingredients were quite standard.

Mandala Roll-3.5/6

  • $7.50
  • Mixed fungus and bamboo strips served with special sauce
  • I didn't really pay attention to the sauce...

  • There was also carrot and cucumber in the roll.
  • Again, we chose brown rice for this roll. The roll was not wrapped as tightly as the Iki roll, but that didn't really bother me as I tend to eat sushi rolls in parts! :D
  • The middle part of this dish was stacked with fungus and bamboo strips.
  • Similar to the Iki Roll, I didn't find it surprising. The only thing that made me wowed was the star-shaped presentation.

Despite I didn't find anything special in this visit, I will certainly come back and try more rolls (or even their Chinese food). But before that, I may visit Iki Japanese Bistro first ;D

Mandala IKI Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

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