Ban Chok Dee—which translates to house of good luck —captivates visitors with a spread of colourful, fragrant, and expertly balanced curries, noodle dishes, and rice plates. Traditional entrees, from pad thai to spring rolls, offset modern variations, such as the Pad Ped Jungle—crispy pork sautéed with shredded bamboo shoots in a spicy sauce—all of which draw from a palette of zesty sauces, potent chili oils, and creamy, coconut-milk-based broths. While embarking on their culinary voyage, guests gather amid leafy potted greenery and black-lacquered wood accents for a calm respite. Together, the food and atmosphere were voted Best Thai restaurant of 2011 and 2012 by readers of the Langley Advance.
To enhance the appreciation for Thai cuisine, owner and executive chef Parinya teaches lessons in how to create flavourful meals using simple techniques and telekinesis. The hands-on courses demystify ingredients, equipment, and the steps necessary to form four dishes, finishing up with a fun and delicious tasting.
Indecision is a virtue at Tanpopo Japanese Restaurant. Instead of picking one entree or a handful of sushi rolls from the menu, diners are invited to order the all-you-can-eat specials for lunch or dinner and then sample a little bit of everything. This allows them to build their own meals from scratch, starting with a refreshing cucumber roll and tuna sashimi before moving on to pork gyoza, barbecued chicken yakitori skewers, and pan-fried yakisoba noodles. These expansive all-you-can-eat menus show the depth of the chefs' dedication to Japan's vast and varied culinary offerings.
The award-winning all-you-can-eat dining spot, open since 1992, greets visitors with leafy green plants and walls of Japanese shoji screens as soon as they ascend the stairs to the restaurant's second-level location. Although there is plenty of indoor seating at the blond wooden tables and sectioned booths, the expansive deck area opens to the public during the warmer seasons. Diners can enjoy their meals in the shade of the tables' black sun umbrellas or beneath lamps that are refilled with imported Japanese sunshine every morning.
Ki-isu chef Sung Kwon Keith Hong has been honing his craft since he was 19. Over the years he’s worked in kitchens throughout Japan, and he brings all of that experience, along with his innovative style, to Ki-isu. His elaborate maki rolls dance on patrons' palates, and they include the philly-cheesesteak roll and the vegetarian buddha roll that were spotlighted by the North Shore News. He also experiments with seasonal specials, creating harmonious dishes such as toro stacked with quail eggs and a brown-rice cake topped with jalapeno salmon and avocado salad.
Making sushi is an inherently quiet and intense process. Chefs tightly roll seaweed and rice around fish and veggies at One More Sushi. The meditative calm is cut by the sounds of crackling grills covered in teriyaki sauce and meats. Hot oil bubbles up around tempura-battered veggies and even bananas, and pots of miso soup pour forth steam like a fax machine built in the 1800s.
Before diners place their orders at Thai D'or waiters will often inquire, "Can you handle spicy food?" True to Thai culinary techniques, many of its dishes brim with fiery spices and chili-infused sauces, but chefs are eager to adjust spice content to suit each individual palate. Named for the French word for gold, the Thai restaurant lives up to its title with its fresh, authentically prepared curries, noodles, and specialties and its commitment to cultural traditions of hospitality. Servers bear blended cocktails and simmering meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes into the dining room, where guests recline on cushy leather chairs beneath the glow of red lanterns. Eastern decor adorns the wall, and water trickles down from stone mosaics. The restaurant opens its function room to private parties, designing customized menus for family gatherings, business meetings, and kindergarten graduations.
Deluxe Beach Restaurant whips up a menu brimming with international options running the gamut from small plates and pastas to surf 'n' turf. Plunge tongue-first into a single-serving vat of apple-smoked cheddar broccolini soup with tomato bruschetta ($9) before taming a troupe of tiger prawns with pancetta ($15). Grilled beef tenderloin with filo-wrapped mashed potatoes ($29) and an optional shiitake port demi peppercorn sauce ($5) argue compellingly for terrestrial proteins, but patrons may prefer to ransack fabled undersea orchards with the lobster, ricotta, and pear ravioli in champagne-shallot cream sauce ($33). This Groupon can also be applied toward a three-course prix fixe menu ($40), or Alex Trebek's favourite potent potables from the extensive wine list, including Cupcake's 2009 chardonnay and Avalon's 2008 cabernet sauvignon. Deluxe Beach Restaurant's modern décor allows diners to eat elegantly on the upstairs ocean-view level, or browse the beach surface from the main level's cocktail lounge and outdoor patio.