Here are two brief notes about a Korean spot that has opened up in Gastown, and the closure of a Japanese café in East Vancouver.
Haru Korean Kitchen opened in Gastown at 324 Cambie Street on November 23 with a clean, smart interior design and a focus on homestyle Korean dishes.
Perfect for our current cold-weather season, there are a number of comforting items that'll help to warm you up, such as spicy tofu stew (with mushroom or crab) or slow-cooked ginseng chicken stew with sticky rice.
A variety of stone-bowl bibimbap are available, including versions with fresh greens, namul (cooked vegetables), or kimchi.
There are a lot of familiar Korean favourites, including stir-fried chicken with chili sauce, jap-chae noodles (with vegetables), bulgogi rice, and jeon (Korean-style pancake with mung bean, kimchi and pork, or seafood and green onion).
Snack-style dishes range from $6 to $13.50 while main dishes range from $11 to $14 (except the ginseng chicken stew, which is $18).
Basho bows out
Sadly, the endearing and cute family-run Basho Café, which opened at 2007 East Hastings in February 2014, ended its run on December 23.
Miju, Hiroshi, and their daughter Moeno Kawai designed and handmade the interior décor of the Hastings-Sunrise spot while serving up their own Japanese-influenced baked goods ranging from black sesame and miso cookies to mochi brownies. Particularly known for their use of matcha in both food and drink, they also served up lattes and coffees, and a small selection of rice or salad bowls.
However, fear not, matcha-lovers, for all is not completely lost.
In the next few years, Miju will open a sweets-only spot named Basho.
In the meantime, a new owner taking over the former Basho Café space to open up a similar service of edibles and beverages by late January so stay tuned.