Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating out in RC: Zoom fatigue? Favourite lunch breaks away from the home office

BY JULIE CHENG

It’s been almost two years since I started working from home due to COVID safety measures. I miss the cycle commute to my downtown office, a good chat with my coworkers and all the usual lunch-hour eateries.

Now Zoom fatigue and work isolation are getting to me. For my mental health, I try to get some sun and exercise with a walk around the Renfrew Ravine. I also go out for a lunch treat once in a while.

These are my favourite restaurants within walking distance. In addition to delicious food, they have kind and friendly staff.

Kopitiam_Malaysia_Chicken_Curry_Laksa
Kopitiam Malaysia’s chicken curry laksa is a favourite lunch go-to while on a break from the home office. Photos by Julie Cheng
Kopitiam_Malaysia_Tofu
The Penang tofu at Kopitiam Malaysia is a family favourite.

Kopitiam Malaysia
3885 Rupert Street and East 23rd
604-566-9898
kopitiammalaysia.ca
The name of this Malaysian restaurant has changed (they are no longer part of the Penang Delight franchise), but the wonderful flavours of my favourites remain the same – chicken curry laksa, mee goreng and sambal green beans. Check out their weekday lunch special.

Kopitiam_Malaysia_Mee_Goreng
I love the sweet-and-sour flavours of the mee goreng from Kopitiam Malaysia.
Basil_Garden_Chicken_Pho
Basil Garden’s free-range chicken pho is a Vietnamese take on chicken noodle soup and just as comforting.
Basil_Garden_Spring_Roll_Pork_Vermicelli_Bowl
Basil Garden’s vermicelli bowl with pork skewers and spring rolls is packed with flavour.

Basil Garden
2889 East Broadway and Renfrew
604-871-9998
basilgarden.ca
The hike down and then up the hill to Basil Garden is well worth it for me. All their pho is wonderful. I discovered their free-range chicken pho to be just as flavourful – I ask for no skin as a healthier option. Also healthy are their vermicelli bowls and salad rolls. It gets busy at lunch so go early or late.

Basil_Garden_Salad_Rolls_Prawn_Tofu
Try Basil Garden’s healthy prawn or marinated tofu salad rolls with peanut sauce.

Dami Sushi and Korean Restaurant
3280 East 22nd Avenue and Rupert
604-431-8887
damisushikorean.ca

This restaurant has been going strong since opening in Renfrew-Collingwood in January 2021. I agree with Paul Reid, in his Taking out in RC review, that the pork in the Gamja-Tang hot pot “is of the melt-in-your-mouth variety” –  just like the bone broths my grandma used to make. My favourites are the bibimbap and japchae.

Dami_Sushi_Korean_Pork_Bone_Soup
The pork in Dami Sushi and Korean Restaurant’s Gamja-Tang hot pot melts in your mouth.

Kimu Japanese Cuisine
4441 Boundary Road and East 29th
604-563-0722
kimujapanesecuisine.com
Another bit of a hike from home, Kimu has long been a reliable lunch and dinner spot. In addition to delectable sushi, they have a good grill – I love their teriyaki meals. There’s even more reason to stop there now with Masala Meats next door.

Kimu_Japanese_Cuisine_Ramen
The ramen from Kimu Japanese Cuisine is sure to warm you up on a winter’s day.

iSushi
3883 Rupert Street
604-336-6553
isushi3883.wixsite.com/isushi
iSushi opened despite the pandemic and quickly pivoted to become a busy takeout spot. I like to dine in to enjoy the tea and the food fresh from the kitchen. You can choose from a variety of sushi and rice bowls to make your own lunch special, but I invariably order a healthy house salad and sashimi.

iSushi_Lunch_Special_Teriyaki_Bowl_Sushi_Udon
iSushi’s lunch special lets you choose from a variety of dishes.

Copyright 2022 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News