Restaurant: Nan Chuu Japanese Izakaya
Location: 1160-8391 Alexandra Road, Richmond, BC
Although I wasn’t planning on going to Nan Chuu, it’s still a great place to chill with friends and savor delectable dishes. I actually wanted to go to Manzo right after I finished my Final at 10pm, but it was closed on Monday (No Chopped Scallop Pizza :(). Well, Nan Chuu was a nice substitute since I haven’t been in awhile. Like most Japanese Izakaya, the staff is extremely friendly and lots of tapas plates to choose from. I started off with their signature G-Beer, which is a light beer although a bit more bitter than Asahi (Perfect treat after an intense 3-hour exam!). But, to be honest, everything was great especially since I finished my last Final and was absolutely starving (but I’d enjoy it even if I wasn’t hunger-struck;))!
For a non-alcoholic drink, you may want to try the Matcha Float. As someone who loves Matcha, I wasn’t extremely impressed though. I wish it had a stronger Matcha flavor, so you could actually taste a slight bitterness. However, this drink was more on the Milky side. I guess since it is a “Float”, it served it’s purpose but the Ice Cream flavor pretty much masked the Matcha. Not to mention, the color was really pale, so possibly they didn’t add enough Matcha Powder (Maybe ask to add extra Matcha?).
So maybe not the most interesting dish, but I just love Adegashi Tofu and it just tastes different than ones you get from All-You-Can-Eat! The Tofu was fried with a crisp skin and didn’t get chewy with the sauce poured on top. To note, the sauce is not the tempura sauce a lot of places serve, it’s a thicker glaze which doesn’t soak into the Tofu so effectively preserved the crispiness. Also, of course, plated neatly and garnished with some mushrooms and seaweed for a nice presentation on a simple dish.
I don’t remember the exact name, but this was one of the top picks. It’s kind of like mozzarella stick, but better! Chikuwa is actually my favorite thing to eat at Hot Pot, but here it’s stuff with cheese and then deep fried in a tempura batter. I’d say this beats mozzarella sticks any day. I really liked the chewy texture of Chikuwa after the crunch you get from the light batter. It also wasn’t too cheesy, so a really good appetizer that’s not too heavy.
I haven’t ordered this before, so completely not what I expected! The texture was kinda of like deep fried fish skin, but I couldn’t really taste a squid flavor. Sorta of resembled dried squid with a lot of sauce. The sauce tastes like a soy-based teriyaki glaze, which I really liked because it was a bit sweet and meshed well with the squid. It went really well with Beer, so I’d definitely order this again as a snack.
This is supposedly a limited time offer, although I’ve seen it on the specials for awhile now. But when I see scallops on the menu it’s a must order (my favorite seafood of all time!). The scallops were very fresh and juicy, a slight bounce when you bite into it. Also, the sauce used to BBQ the scallops made a really nice golden glaze and brought out a sweet flavor. Delicious!!
I’m not sure if there’s a specific season for curry, but they were promoting a lot of Curry Specials at the time so had to try Curry Gyoza. The insides reminded me of a pierogi, more thick and creamy than a usual gyoza. Although the skin was thin and crisp with golden edges. I actually really liked this and it was an interesting change from regular gyozas, although a bit heavier.
To continue my Curry Excursion, this Yakisoba was a good filler after plates of smaller dishes. It’s kind of like a hybrid between Yakisoba and Chinese Chow Mien. The noodles were fried til crisp and then soak with Curry Sauce over the skillet to a sizzle. Loved it! The Curry flavors were completely infused into the Yakisoba. While it may seem like a lot of sauce, the skillet evaporates a lot of it and forms a nice glaze over the noodles.
Of course, I can’t finish the meal without my dessert! I was actually expecting the Ganache to have a Mochi texture, but that was not the case (I don’t know why I thought that). The Matcha blocks was a ganache covered with Matcha powder, it reminded me of the middle part of Green Tea Melty Kiss Chocolates. Not really impressed by this as the Ice Cream was just a bland Vanilla and not incredibly smooth. Probably, not worth the price for this one, unless you really like Matcha Ganache?
All in all, I still think Nan Chuu is a great place for food and drinks. It’s a brighter atmosphere than Manzo, but still really relaxed and enjoyable. It’s definitely a place I’d visit once in awhile to check out new items or seasonal specials. Definitely worth a try for a casual dine out or late night drinks.