Friday, December 30, 2011

G-Be Izakaya - Hot Pot is a must


G-Be Izakaya

4331 Dominion St, Burnaby (connected to Grand Villa Casino)

 G-Be Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Food: 4
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair 
It's officially winter, and I have yet to go out for any sort of hot pot (not counting the ones at home). So when a recent deal popped up for Japanese hot pot, I was more than happy to snatch it up.
The weather was perfect, windy and cold, so R and I decided headed out for some hot pot.
G-Be Izakaya was easy enough to find if you ever been to Grand Villa Casino by Brentwood area. It was literally on the right hand side next to Grand Dynasty restaurant. The Japanese elements were clearly visible in their decor from the hanging paper cranes to the raked sand/stone wall. The ambiance here was great, but I found the air to be a bit chilly.

Hot pot here is AYCE style for the price of $13.99/person. Just like most Chinese restaurant, the soup base is a separate cost. One soup base was about $8 to $9. However a split pot of 2 soup bases was only $.50 more. Naturally R and I went for the double soup base with Yokohoma Spicy Miso and Osaka Katsuo (Fish soup).
The price also included one dipping sauce (sesame, ponzu or soy sauce). Along with the AYCE hot pot, there were also several side dishes that we can order as well. The above seaweed was one of them, and I must say for a simple side dish this was delicious. The seaweed was not fishy, nor slimy. It was a delicately balanced mixture of sweet rice vinegar and sea salt with a touch of sesame.
On top of the seaweed they also offered cones. On the left is a spicy salmon, and right is a negitoro/green onion cone. The rice was sticky and well done, and the fish was fresh. I am not sure why the rice was purple, but there wasn't any special taste to it either. Overall, these cones were solid, and taste a lot better than many AYCE Japanese restaurants.
On the order sheeting, there was a item called fries. We were rather perplexed and intrigued by it. It turned out to be just that: fries. These fries were actually pretty good. It was crispy on the outside with just a touch of salt. It wasn't oily either. Despite the oddity, I would actually recommend people to try this.
There were more appetizers on the menu, but I am here for the hot pot, so this is what we ordered on the first round. It doesn't really show in picture, but this was a HUGE bowl of food. At first we were quite shocked, because this bowl was not only huge but deep, until we noticed...
Everything was resting on a bed of ice. I thought this was very attentive, this way our food will stay fresh. However I do feel bad for the waitress, because lifting this bowl of ice was definitely a work out (or maybe I just need to work out XD). Either way, I really like the idea of keeping the fresh food on ice.
The hot pot items were fresh and tasty. For the meat part, there was 4 different choices: fatty beef, lean beef, pork and chicken. For seafood, they had fish slice, squid, and fish ball. As for the veggie, there was plenty of options (just look at the 2 pictures above). Both R and I were impressed with their food quality, because none of the root vegetables were fried (fried veggie can be kept longer than fresh ones), the leafy greens were fresh, and none of the meat was frozen. My favorite was definitely the fatty beef.
After we finished all the food, both R and I drank the soup. It was insanely delicious with that hard to describe umami taste. All I can say is, I wish I can ask for it to go (can I?) and cook some congee in it.

Now that Posh has changed their menu and charging a fortune (around $25/person), this place has just become the ultimate winner for Japanese AYCE hot pot in my opinion. Not only was their food tasty, but their service was also pretty good. One of our waitress was extremely polite and attentive. Just like Posh, they do charge for drinks, and that includes tea. Pops are $1/can, and tea is $1.25. Like everywhere else, ice water is free of charge.

This place definitely gets 2 thumbs up from me (base on their hot pot of course). R and I both can't wait to go back and try their other soup bases, such as the tonkatsu (pork bone broth) base. Given the price of only $13.99, I think it is well worth the money, much more so than Chinese AYCE hot pot.


ceci* January 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM

I'm so glad I found this blog post! I'm planning to have my birthday here, so I hope the quality stays consistent from now till February! :)

Jenny January 10, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Glad this has helped. I was just thinking the same thing and wondering who's bday is next :P

Anonymous June 7, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Tried this place last night based on your review and I'm glad I did, it was really good. Thanks for recommending it.

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