Hungry in Vancouver

img_6403We try not to repeat restaurants on holiday, but sometimes you find a place so good you simply have to go back — Miku and Kirin are two such places.

Miku offers amazing aburi sushi, or sear-flamed sushi. Hubs and I both got the premium sushi lunch and also shared an extra order of salmon oshi sushi. It was every bit as good as the last time. Little mum had the “Miku Zen” as she’s not that keen on raw fish and it proved to be a perfect balance of cooked dishes and sushi.

If you decide to try Kirin Restaurant be sure to have reservations, as the restaurant is incredibly popular amongst visitors and locals alike. It is arguably the best Chinese seafood restaurant in the Vancouver area. We haven’t had one dish there that hasn’t been amazing, and although the restaurant is insanely busy the staff are all incredibly on point. The deep fried crab is our absolute favourite.

If you aren’t able to get a reservation at Kirin, another very good alternative is Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant (the spotted prawns above are from SSW). The style of cooking is similar to Kirin but at an ever-so-slightly lower price-point.

I was a little skeptical about eating on Granville Island, but I’m glad we ended our quick jaunt through Vancouver at The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant (hmm…can you tell we’re massive fans of seafood?). We were all happy with the great view and beautifully prepared fish. Not to mention, their clam chowder was surprisingly nomworthy — the best we’ve had outside of San Francisco (Sam’s Chowder House is still the best).

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San Francisco In Pictures

It’s funny I often visit San Francisco but never seem to get around to writing about it. So here I am finally sharing a few snaps of my favourite spots around the city, as seen through the lens of an iPhone 5.

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Like London’s Tower Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge never ceases to take my breath away. It’s beautiful in the fog but I love it best on a clear sunny day.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

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Golden Gate Bridge Panorama

Golden Gate Bridge Panorama

I was so tempted to get these San Francisco-themed Converse trainers I found on Haight Street. Shame I’m too old for stuff like this. Haha. But I think they’d make a lovely gift — a lot more special than your usual S.F. tourist tat. While we’re on the subject of tat, I do recommend having a look around the the newly built Golden Gate Bridge information centre, which carries some top end tourist tat (which G will be the lucky recipient of — sorry, no photos as don’t want to spoil the surprise for him).

SF themed Converse

SF themed Converse sneaks found on Haight Street

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Amoeba Music

Amoeba Music — so happy to see that they’re still around!

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Four Barrel Coffee, The Mission

Four Barrel Coffee, The Mission

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for it’s beautiful scenery and amazing food. A lot of people (namely tourists) flock to Fisherman’s Wharf (Pier 39, to be precise) for the iconic New England clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and Dungeness crabs.

Sam's Chowder House

Sam’s Chowder House

But if you want the best to be had in the Bay, I’ll let you in on a wee little secret. Ditch the wretched smelly tourist trap and head to Half Moon Bay, a beautiful seaside hamlet just south of San Francisco. There you’ll find Sam’s Chowder House, who serve the best clam chowder, fresh crabs and the tastiest lobster rolls to be had in the Bay Area and quite possibly, the world!

Sam's Chowder House Lobster Roll

Sam’s Chowder House lobster roll — absolute best in the world!

Half Moon Bay is also home to the Maverick’s, California’s claim to fame for big wave surfing. In winter, it is not uncommon for Maverick’s to produce waves of about 25 feet (7-8 metres), and they can often reach a height of over 50 feet (15 metres).

Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, CA

Maverick’s, Half Moon Bay, CA

If you’re looking to book a holiday to San Francisco and want some ‘local’ tips on where to eat and what to see, I’d be happy to share more of my favourites with you!