Working in reverse-chronological order from my Sunday afternoon downtown – before going out for Bella Gelateria I had previously had some lunch at Gyudonya at the corner of Robson & Richards.
The place had opened several months ago, but I just didn’t have the opportunity to try it – but now I was on my own, and hungry!
Upon entering, I was greeted by the server behind the counter/cash area. I assumed that it was like any other take-out place where you ordered first, paid, then got food… Apparently not! When I said I was going to eat inside the restaurant, she gestured me to the bar or the long table along the windows and brought me a menu. I didn’t spend much time looking at it since I wanted to try the basic beef bowl, but I appreciated the extra service.
Moments later, here was my order of the Small Beef Bowl. Yup, it was pretty much just very thin strips of beef, with a bit of onion, on rice. The red strips in the side bowl are pieces of very “hot” pickled ginger. The first thing I noticed about the beef itself was how fatty it was – in a good way! It was almost like beef bacon! Needless to say it was very tender and moist, but with just a little grilled texture from the teppan-style grill. I liked the super soft almost caramelized onions too, and the marinade (of sweet soy) that they were cooked in. The only thing that threw me off a little was the texture of the rice. It was quite dry, and not “sticky” at all. I was surprised since I’m so used to Japanese short-grain rice (and no, I’m not getting it confused with sushi rice). I almost felt like the dish would have been better with that kind of rice – not that it wasn’t good otherwise. Anyhow, at under $5 for my meal (which, actually was cheaper than my gelato later!), it was filling, and well prepared.
Oh, and I had to take a picture of the cut-out art in the window – this beautiful, simple design reminds me of the paper puppet scene in King of Masks (best, most saddest movie ever!)