Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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Eating Out in RC: Sushi Taku


Sushi Taku
4902 Joyce Street, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 454-1023

Greetings food fans. Again, I want to tell you about a relatively new little addition to our gem-encrusted crown of culinary wonder that is our community. Let’s have a warm welcome for owner Jason Kim and the staff of Sushi Taku.

Sushi Taku is located just a block north of Joyce Skytrain, on Joyce, at the corner of Wellington. You may remember this location as the former Thai Escape. Jason has done a really nice job on the renovations and putting the Sushi Taku stamp on the place.

With an extensive Japanese menu featuring all of your favourites: tempura, teriyaki (beef, salmon, chicken, seafood), nigiri sushi (available in black rice also); sashimi, donburi (on a bed of rice); udon and yaki soba noodles; maki sushi (a long list); special rolls, a variety of sushi and sashimi combos; four types of bento boxes and three types of party trays.

Taku Tray B

Taku Tray B features 43 delicious rolls.

On this occasion, my accomplice and I ordered Taku Tray B. This was 43 pieces of delicious rolls: California, dynamite, yam, chopped scallop, Alaska and sunny. Mmmm. With our pick-up discount, it came to just around $27. The two of us were left well stuffed with plenty left over.

So, let’s do the math.This meal would rate extremely high on the Gourmet/Gourmand Scale of Goodness. Not only do you get stuffed for McDonald’s like prices, we are talking supremely delicious and healthy as well.

So healthy in fact, that Sushi Taku was approached by Graham Bruce school to be the suppliers to their monthly sushi day. Every month, Jason and his staff feed around 100 kids with their delicious, healthy and affordable sushi. Nice. All I ever got in elementary school was a hot dog.

Taku Bento Box

The Taku bento box.

Another affordable and well-balanced healthy meal on Sushi Taku’s menu is their bento boxes. There are four options, all hovering around the $10 mark. Each comes with five items and miso soup. Some come with rolls, some with sushi, some with beef or chicken teriyaki and rice, or sashimi, and each bento box includes salad, fruit, miso soup and crispy prawn and vegetable tempura. There is also a vegi option. Bento boxes are a great option for dinner or lunch as you get a full meal with lots of variety. “They have been designed to feed a full-grown man well,” says Jason.

Among the special rolls offered at Sushi Taku , one will find the Collingwood Roll. Alright! This combines a dynamite roll with seared tuna and crunchy yam on top. Yes, Collingwood now has an official roll. One will also find some other custom made rolls by Jason and his crew such as the Pokemon Roll, which is double the size, and the Sushi Pizza Roll. Mmm.

So many rolls; so little time.

Sushi Taku opened six months ago on August 25th. This is Jason’s first restaurant of his own. He has been in the restaurant business for 15 years, starting as dishwasher and server. He then acted as chef and manager for his family’s business, Yanaki Sushi in West Vancouver. Jason is now bringing the experience, consistency, affordability and deliciousness of Yanaki’s to us here in Collingwood – via Sushi Taku. Go try Sushi Taku. Tell them Paul sent you.

Bon appetit.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating Out in RC: Romantic eats with your Valentine


Greetings food fans. It’s February again, so you know what that means. You guys better set aside a few pennies for the chocolate and the flowers. Yes! Valentine’s Day is here again. February 14 falls on a Tuesday this year.

Now if you really love each other, you’re going to want to save each other from the unromantic hassles that come with eating in: the shopping, the work, the dishes, the mess. No folks, on Valentine’s Day you want to eat out. And there’s no better community to get your food-on than in Renfrew-Collingwood.

Here are some of my top recommendations.

Mezbaan's Valentine BuffetFirstly, Mezbaan. Why? Because they were smart enough to advertise with the RCC News. Secondly, because my man, Chef TJ, does have a nice, cozy romantic place whether Valentine’s or not. And, Mezbaan has been called by at least one handsome local food critic – The best buffet in town! I agree.

If there’s a line-up outside Mezbaan (and there should be), you might want to scoot down Kingsway to our trusted, tried and truly spicy Chili Pepper House. I am in love with the Chili Chicken and just about everything else on the menu. Not quite as romantic perhaps as Mezbaan, but the food here will also put you in your lover’s good books. Careful with that spice, Eugene.

Now, if your partner or spouse or friend has been especially good lately and you want to splurge a little, one of the slightly more costly but superbly romantic restaurants that I can think of is La Piazza Dario at the Italian Cultural Centre. And who is more romantic than the Italians, eh! Yes, I can still remember my last visit there for lunch. Classic Italian food and some wine in a really beautiful dining room. You Romeos will be set.

La Piazza Dario - Romantic Valentine Eats

Where more. Well it doesn’t have to be fancy. Wally’s Burgers would be a good choice for some. Or Off the Grid Waffles – very sexy. Or how about the Japanese Bistro Kamome, with their Japaninis? Mmmm.

Well, we have so many fabulous places here in Renfrew-Collingwood. It doesn’t really matter where you go, but this Valentine’s Day, give yourselves a romantic little break and go somewhere local and delicious.

Bon appetit.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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February 2017 issue of RCC News is here

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News February 2017

This issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

Get your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Remembering Tony Siliverdis of Zorro’s Pizza
  • Multicultural Potluck at Bruce Elementary
  • Eating Out in RC: Romantic eats with your Valentine
  • Collingwood Corner: Joyce Street in 1914
  • Artist Café at Il Museo, Italian Cultural Centre
  • Foster Avenue sewer upgrade coming to Collingwood this spring/summer
  • A mother thanks Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
  • Join local food security activities this February

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email

The deadline for the March 2017 issue is February 10. We welcome story submissions from 300 to 400 words long. Accompanying photos must be high resolution in a jpg file at least 1 MB large and include a photo caption and the name of the photographer.

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Eating Out in RC: Ananda Bhavan Dosa Villa

Ananda Bhavan
Dosa Villa
2269 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5N 2Z9


I am pleased to announce another fine edition to our community’s already diverse line-up of stellar culinary establishments. Just west of Nanaimo Street, on the north side of Kingsway, complete with parking both in front and underground, you will find Ananda Bhavan Dosa Villa. Just recently acquired by chef “Vicky” (you can call him Venkatesan Kaliyamoo), Ananda Bhavan now specializes in dosas – that amazing treat from India’s southern region.

Vicky has the restaurant nicely decorated: comfortable, simple, clean. Vicky suggested the Chicken 65 ($7.50) as my appetizer and the Southern Spicy Ravala Masala Dosa ($10.25) also caught my eye. Vicky took some time to make sure he understood just how spicy I could handle. Though I do love it spicy, I know from experience that Indian cuisine does need some respect in this department. You probably don’t want to say “as spicy as you can.”

Chicken 65We settled on medium spicy and that turned out to be perfect for me. The Chicken 65 was amazing. Bite-sized pieces of the most delectable chicken with two delicious accompanying sauces: one more spicy, and one to cool it down. I believe I detected some coconut in there.

My Spicy Ravala Masala Dosa was also excellent and came with more of those sauces that Vicky prepares fresh each morning; also, a nice lentil soup. I was in spicy heaven. Thank goodness for the cool mango milkshakes ($3.95) to help wash it all down. Can you say – “I’ll be back?”

Vicky is from Tamil Nadu. This is the region at the very southern tip of India. Inspired by the cooking of his parents, Vicky attended culinary school in India and has been a chef now for over 16 years. Dosa Villa is his first restaurant as owner.

“I come in a few hours before we open each day and create everything fresh,” he says. “Fresh ingredients and everything prepared each morning.” Having just put in a new stove and grill to cook the giant dosas, Vicky is ready to cook his way into our hearts.

Also on the menu you will find, in addition to Chicken 65, a nice assortment of appetizers: vadai, pakoda, spicy chicken wings, samosas. There is a long list of the house specialty, dosas, that I cannot wait to be back to try. Perhaps the Prawn Masala Dosa or Lamb Vindaloo Dosa.

Idli, another southern India specialty, is a savoury cake made from rice and black lentils that is apparently easy to digest and good for the stomach. There is a long list of vegetarian dishes, as well as tandoori, chicken, seafood and biryani dishes.

In addition to this wide selection of appetizers and entrees, you will find hot teas and coffees; cold beverages such as a kulfi float, lassis, milkshakes and soft drinks; and for dessert, sweets such as gulab jamun and kesari.

Open from 11 am to 11 pm on Mondays to Thursdays, and from 11 am to 3 am (that’s late!) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, you can have an excellent lunch or dinner at Dosa Villa any day of the week. Bon appetit!

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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November 2016 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News November 2016

This issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

Get your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Remembering (with) Collingwood Legion Branch #48
  • Toast to Mike McLenaghen
  • What students say about local homelessness
  • Reflections on salmon returning to Still Creek
  • Eating Out in RC: Ananda Bhavan Dosa Villa
  • Windermere organic gardeners grow fruit, veggies and community

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email

The deadline for the December 2016 issue is November 10. We welcome story submissions from 300 to 400 words long. Accompanying photos must be high resolution in a jpg file at least 1 MB large and include a photo caption and the name of the photographer.

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Eating Out in RC: Off the Grid Waffles

Strawberry Chocolate Waffle

Tis the season for fresh strawberry and chocolate waffles. Photos by Paul Reid

2665 Kingsway, Vancouver
Monday-Friday 2-11 pm | Saturday 11 am-12 am | Sunday 11 am-11 pm


Dear reader. Greetings and welcome to yet another fine instance of Eating Out in RC. This time, we journey across the street from Norquay Park on Kingsway to a place next door to where our beloved Wally’s once existed. Can you picture it? Now, see yourself entering into the door of a new establishment called Off the Grid Waffles.

That’s what my accomplice and I did for the first time this July. I am so happy to say that Off the Grid Waffles is a big, big hit! Not only was it packed on the two occasions that I was there, but that seems to be the word out on the net.

So what’s all the fuss about? Take a look at these waffles. And they are as delectable as they are beautiful. The pizza waffles are perhaps not so dazzling, but they are delicious.

Pizza waffle

Try the savoury pizza waffles such as the Smoked Salmon or Montreal Smoked Meat.

“This is just a place for snacks,” my wife said. After she couldn’t finish her Smoked Salmon waffle, let alone the strawberry-chocolate waffle for dessert, I think she stood corrected. Yes, you can make a full meal out of waffles. My Montreal Smoked Meat Pizza waffle was pretty damn good as well.

So yes, start with a savoury waffle: Grilled Chicken Breast; Montreal Smoked Meat; Spicy Chicken with Bacon; Pulled Pork; Cheeseburger or Smoked Salmon. And then, finish it off with a heavenly dessert waffle: Cheesecake; S’Mores; Tiramisu; Banana Nutella, Matcha Cheesecake, or as we had, the seasonal Strawberry Chocolate.

For drinks, you might want to try one of Off the Grid’s specialty shakes: Matcha, Cappuccino, Maple Bacon, Oreo, Chocolate Banana and Strawberry. There are also specialty drinks, teas, cappuccinos, lattes and free water.

The owners of the shop are Raymond Fong and Hurley Wu. “This is our first restaurant. We grew up in this neighbourhood, which is why we chose to open here.” The official opening was in January 2016.

Yes, the prices are decent (nothing over $9 dollars), the service is good (considering how much work goes into each creation) and did I mention Jenga – yes – each table comes with this fun skill testing game to keep us happy while our  delicious waffles are being prepared. Bon appetit.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating Out in RC: Kamome Japanese Bistro

Kamome Japanese Bistro
5288 Joyce Street
Vancouver, BC


Kamome1Unlike most Japanese restaurants in Vancouver these days (which at last count was over 600), Kamome is not your run-of-the-mill, Chinese-run, sushi restaurant. No. Owner/chef Mika Walker is of true Japanese origin, from Osaka, and – surprise – you won’t even find sushi at Kamome. What? No sushi? What else is there you may be asking. If this is you, then I especially urge you to visit Kamome and find out.

As a Canadian who had the unique pleasure of living in Japan for 18 months, I can tell you that Kamome is the real deal. This is where the Japanese will be going to get their fix of food like mama used to make. And for the rest of us – we, too, can thank our lucky stars that we live in such a multi-ethnic metropolis as Renfrew-Collingwood, where we can find the real deals from all over the world on our doorstep.

The Kamome menu offers a wide selection of seafood, meat and vegetable onigiri that ranges from $2.50-$3.50 each. Onigiri is a Japanese fast food that is a rice ball wrapped in seaweed with various ingredients in the middle.

There is also a wide variety of donburi, which is a Japanese rice bowl dish with various toppings and sauces. Chicken Teri Don ( chicken with teriyaki sauce), Unagi Don (fresh water eel with teriyaki sauce), Ikura Don (salted salmon roe), Ebi Ten Don (Prawn tempura with tempura sauce) are a few of the choices ranging from $4-$6 for a small and $7-$12 for the larger bowls.

Kamome2Next, it is my pleasure to tell you of Mika’s very own creation – the Ja-panini. This is Kamome’s original grilled rice sandwich that comes in many delicious varieties like chicken, beef, prawn, salmon or unagi (fresh-water eel) with various vegetables and sauces. These carefully crafted combinations are wrapped with rice and seaweed and then grilled with a panini press.

I can tell you first hand that the Smoked Salmon Ja-panini is killer! The salmon along with asparagus, red pepper, lettuce and cream cheese was the perfect combination. Although the inspiration is clearly Japanese, I am sure that you will agree that the Salmon Ja-panini screams “west-coast classic.” Way to go Mika – your Ja-panini invention is an important culinary discovery and I look forward to trying them all.

Another specialty of Kamome, and even better than sushi, are the Rice Canapés (pictured below). Wikipedia tells us that a canapé is a type of hors d’œuvre – a small, prepared and usually decorative food, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite. You can sample the five varieties of rice canapé for $12, or you can order an entire party tray of 25 rice canapés for $50.

Also at Kamome are side dishes like Hiya Yakko (cold tofu); Edamame (boiled green soybeans); Ikura Oroshi (salmon roe and radish) and potato soup.

For dessert, try the red bean muffin and green tea ice cream. I have been hearing good things about the ice cream shakes that come in vanilla, green tea and azuki (red bean) $5.

Kamome Japanese Bistro is Mika’s first restaurant. Kamome means “seagull” in Japanese and Mika named it that as “it is like summer, warm and cozy.” Well, I never had connected seagulls with warm and cozy before, but having been to Mika’s restaurant, Kamome, I believe it is the perfect name. Go taste the fresh, homemade goodness for yourself and say hello to Mika for me. Bon appetit.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News