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THE 5 BEST SUSHI PLACES IN SURREY CENTRAL

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Got a hankering for sushi, but you don’t want to go all the way to Vancouver for some divine tekka don? Well, I have the answer for you. I just found the best sushiyas in Surrey’s Central City area and I’m willing to share my findings.

I love sushi and I had a delicious time sampling this popular cuisine in the many restaurants scattered around the Surrey Central area. The following are my five favourites (in no particular order).

Sushi King • #102-10344 King George Boulevard

Sushi King is a newly opened establishment situated in the heart of the up and coming Central City area. Boasting trendy décor and an impressive menu including a varied drinks selection with beer, wine, sake and “saketails” such the Samurai or the sake-tini, a creative take on the classic martini.

Sitting in the restaurant, the ambience was unmistakably Yaletown chic, with a chalkboard menu on the wall, a high ceiling and minimalist tables and chairs. The wait staff, dressed in the de rigour black, set a contemporary tone.

The many choices on the lunch menu made for a prolonged deliberation on ordering, but my lunch companion and I finally decided on the Dyna Box lunch special. This box is served with miso soup, rice, green salad, tempura (prawn, squash, and yam), 6 piece dynamite roll and a choice of chicken, beef, salmon, or tofu teriyaki. That was a LOT of food — artfully arranged, and scrumptious. A truly satisfying lunch!

Sushi King is a great place to gather with friends to quench your craving for a little (or a lot) of Japanese specialties — try their unique “build your own” Sushi Cup.

Sushi & Roll • #103 – 10241 King George Boulevard

This restaurant is an unexpected delight — hidden in the heart of the city, Sushi & Roll has an extensive menu with several one-of-a-kind concoctions. I was tempted to try one of their special rolls, like: Burning Cheese which is spicy tuna, cream cheese with a special sauce and masago on top, or their Crazy Rabbit Roll: that is sweet potato tempura, crab, unagi, tamago and ebi all rolled inside cucumber but I decided to leave those for another visit and I order the Chirashi Don Buri instead.

I did not regret it. This dish features five different kinds of raw fish salmon, tuna, tai (snapper), tako, (octopus), and ebi served on a bowl of rice with tamago (egg). The assortment of fish was fresh with a firm texture and a subtle flavour complemented by the softness of the egg and the rice was tender. A satisfying and filling meal.

One of my two dining companions chose the Tuna Don Buri. She remarked that the tuna was exceptionally fresh and firm and the rice was perfect. She enjoyed it immensely but thought it needed a little something extra — instead of only sashimi and rice.

My other companion ordered the Veggie Bento Box. His meal came with a miso soup and a large lunch box filled with a combination of delicacies. A savoury tofu teriyaki gently fried with a mild sauce made a pleasing main portion. The box included a crisp salad, a potato croquette, a six piece avocado roll, pork gyoza and an orange half and was more than ample for a hungry diner.

We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of our meals from the palate pleasing food to the friendly and efficient service. We left the restaurant full and happy. Sushi and Roll is without a doubt a must try for anyone who loves sushi.

Fukuda Sushi • 10537 King George Boulevard

When I mentioned my quest to find the five best sushi restaurants in Surrey Central to a friend of mine, she immediately demanded that we go to Fukuda Sushi.

Fukuda is a small, cozy restaurant with a neighbourly feel. The server/hostess was friendly, chatty and helpful from the moment we walked in the door. We were in luck as we had just missed the lunch rush, and the restaurant had only a few other patrons when we settled into our seats.

Fukuda, although small, has a varied menu with a lot of choices ranging from the typical offering of sushi rolls, don buri and sashimi. It took me a while to decide what to order with so much to choose from. Finally, I opted for the Spider Roll: a mouth-watering combination of crab leg tempura, avocado, tobiko and a special sauce and an order of edamame. My friend ordered her usual — the lunch combo sushi — an amazing array of tasty sushi rolls with a miso soup on the side.

Even though Fukuda Sushi is a small establishment, the food is great — fresh fish, succulent rice and a friendly, unassuming atmosphere with great service. A must-try when a craving for sushi hits. Oh, and they deliver too!

Izumo Sushi • 13631 100 Avenue

Located in a small strip mall across the street from Holland Park and Central City Mall, this tiny restaurant is a cozy spot to enjoy an enticing lunch or dinner.

The considerable menu offers an array of Japanese fare ranging from appetizers to dinner boxes and everything in between. Once again, I was torn as to what to choose — with so many choices, it was difficult to choose! Finally, we decided to share a few dishes and ordered Spicy Agedashi Tofu, Tuna Tataki and the Fall in Love roll.

The server took our order and brought our tea with a friendly smile and pleasant demeanor. Since it was mid-week and just before the noon-time rush, the restaurant was quiet and soothing. We did not have to wait long before our meal appeared at our table.

The tofu dish was superb the delicately fried batter enclosing the soft texture of the tofu. The dipping sauce enhanced the subtle flavour of the dish. Agedashi tofu is a favourite of mine and this one did not disappoint.

I had never had Tuna Tataki before, but now that I have, I highly recommend it, especially if you love tuna! Lightly seared with a smoky flavour, the tuna cuts rested atop a fresh, crisp lettuce salad, garnished with a lemon slice. The tuna melted in my mouth and the bright salad complemented the fish well.

Izumo Sushi offers more than 15 special rolls with unique names like: Tomato Princess roll, Knock Out roll, Goldilocks roll and Oh My Gosh roll all intriguing choices. The Fall in Love roll that we ordered was a stellar choice, Smoked salmon, smooth avocado, cream cheese and yam tempura rolled rolled inside a deep-fried yam sweet chili-mayo coating. Heaven in every bite.

This quaint sushi place is worth a try and I will most certainly return (if only to sample the other special rolls!!)

Tokachi Japanese Restaurant • 10767 King George Boulevard

Stepping into Tokachi is like entering a sushiya in Tokyo. From the minimalist décor to the authentically dressed servers, Tokachi is an unquestionable experience. Offering seats at simple tables or in traditional tatami rooms, with a wide-ranging menu — this restaurant has something to please every palate.
The server was very helpful, answering our questions and explaining some of the unfamiliar items.

The Umeshiso Maki roll (pickled plum & Japanese basil) intrigued me but I decided to pass on it when the server pointed out that the plum was very sour and was an acquired taste. I settled for the Special roll (tuna, smoked salmon egg and tobiko). My lunch companions ordered Edamame and Tuna Tataki (seared tuna with ponzu sauce); and Deep-fried Roll (salmon, snapper, scallop and avocado in tempura batter) with an order of gyoza.

The dishes, from the appetizers to our main choices were amazing fresh, appetizing and delicious! The Tuna Tataki, while satisfying was not quite as flavourful as the same dish from Izumo, but the presentation was outstanding. My Special Roll was beautiful — an innovative fusion of tuna and smoked salmon. The star of the meal, though, was the Deep-fried Roll.

The creative combination of salmon, snapper, scallop and avocado in the delicate deep-fried batter was artfully displayed on the plate and tantalizing to the taste buds. It is easy to see why Tokachi Japanese restaurant has been one of the most popular sushi places in Surrey for 22 years! A must try place if you love sushi.

Catherine Johnston is a Marketing Coordinator with a love for all things social media. She enjoys crafts, cooking, exploring the Lower Mainland, and is big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is passionate about reading and has been a member of the Novel Thinkers’ Book Club for 20 years. You can read her exploits on her personal blog wordsartlife.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @CateGJo

Food & Drink

Make a Commitment to More Family Meals

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Spending moments together with loved ones carries obvious benefits like time to catch up and opportunities to bond, but sharing meals actually provides definitive value for families.

With restricted social interactions and confinement at home due to COVID-19, many families are facing meal challenges that have shifted from juggling busy schedules to seeking new ways to mix up the traditional menu or using digital solutions to reconnect at a virtual table.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shows that more frequent family meals are associated with better dietary and family functioning outcomes. The results build on years of previous research studies to punctuate the creation of the Family Meals Movement, which encourages to pledge to share one more family breakfast, lunch or dinner at home per week.

Considerable findings from the study:

Family meals improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Studies show a positive relationship between family meal frequency and fruit and vegetable intake when examined separately, but also when fruit and vegetable intake are combined.

Family meals improve family dynamics. Nearly all the studies included in the systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated a positive relationship between family meal frequency and measures of family functioning. Family functioning is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem-solving.

There are thousands of individual studies that examine the impact of family meals on nutrition and family behavior. We can confirm that family meals are a valuable contributor of improved nutrition and family dynamics

German Fruit Tart

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half or cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  • cornstarch
  • sliced strawberries
  • sliced kiwi
  • sliced banana
  • blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado or powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. To make crust, beat together flours, sugar, egg, half-and-half and almond extract. Add butter slices and mix together until sticky ball of dough forms. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes.

On heavily floured surface, knead dough a few times and roll out to fit greased 10-inch tart pan. Carefully spread dough into tart pan and bake 15-20 minutes, or until tart starts to turn golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool. Dust crust with cornstarch to help fruit stick to crust. Arrange strawberries, kiwi, banana and blueberries on top of crust; sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

Hawaiian Chicken Pizza

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken\
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 ready-made pizza crust or whole wheat pizza crust (10 ounces)
  • 1 cup canned or jarred tomato sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple tidbits packed in 100% juice

Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat pizza pan or baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine rotisserie chicken and barbecue sauce. Place pizza crust on pan and evenly spread tomato sauce over crust. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.

Top evenly with rotisserie chicken mixture and pineapple. Bake until crust is crisp and browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Let pizza cool 10 minutes before cutting into eight slices.

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Baked Oatmeal

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 packets stevia (sugar substitute) or preferred sweetener
  • 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1 scoop (1/4 cup) vanilla plant-based protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons liquid egg whites
  • 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), sliced into 24 slices

Preheat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, stevia, powdered peanut butter and vanilla protein powder. In separate bowl, combine almond milk, yogurt, egg whites, mashed banana and vanilla extract.

Add oat mixture to wet ingredients and gently stir until fully combined. Line 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly. Top with banana slices in four rows of six slices each.

Bake 27-35 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Let cool and cut into six rectangles. Wrap and refrigerate extras until ready to eat.

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Food & Drink

5 Reasons To Reduce Your Caffeine-Intake

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Everybody likes to start the mornings with positive affirmations and a cup of warm coffee. Most Americans use caffeine as a source of energy and mood-booster. Also, you might experience withdrawal symptoms similar to addiction on the decaf days.

While consumption of coffee induces some health benefits, reducing the caffeine-intake might incorporate holistic wellness. It leads to a reduction in headaches and fetches a sound sleep. Not to forget, you might experience relief from anxious thoughts once you quit coffee and caffeinated energy drinks.

Here are the top reasons to reduce your coffee intake and adapt to a caffeine-free lifestyle.

Reduces Anxiety

Around 90% of adults depend upon coffee to kick start the day and induce an energy-boost in no time. However, excessive consumption of coffee leads to severe anxiety and might contribute to frequent panic attacks. You get to experience a spurt of energy right after drinking the morning coffee.

Along with this, it activates the fight and flight mechanism in the body. Further, it contributes to increasing heart rate, racing thoughts, and excessive nervousness. In case you’re prone to anxiety or depression, then you must stay away from caffeine. Not only will it increase the frequency of panic attacks, but it also contributes to depressive episodes.

You are likely to face the withdrawal symptoms like headaches and restlessness in the initial decaf days. However, it gets better in the consecutive days and fetches the body’s salubrity as a whole.

Improves Sleep

Do you remember the exam days when you used to consume caffeine for the all-nighters? Excessive intake of caffeine might interfere with your sleep-wakeup cycle. Along with this, it alters the duration and the consistency of the sleep in the long run.

In case you experience difficulty falling asleep at night, it might be due to the coffee you gulp down all day long. Due to the stimulating effects, caffeine affects hormonal production and disturbs the neurotransmitter levels.

All you need to do is reduce your caffeine intake to induce a refreshing and consistent sleep cycle. Also, try to replace your morning beverages with healthy alternatives like lemon water or chamomile tea. That way, you get rid of the higher levels of alertness and experience a sense of comfort.

Aids Nutrient Absorption

Another reason to give up on your morning coffee is the nutritional benefits. Caffeine, as well as tannins present in coffee, might inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients.

Also, it leads to nutritional deficiencies and might cause health derangements in the long run. You can get all the nutrients from your diet with lesser consumption of caffeine. Some nutrients like Vitamin B, Calcium, and Iron are less likely to assimilate into the body with higher caffeine consumption.

Along with this, an imbalanced diet and increasing age add to the limitation and make you devoid of nutrients. It transforms into nutritional disorders and affects the physiological processes in the future. Hence, you must take good care of your diet and quit caffeine to make the most of the nutrients available in it.

Controls Raised Blood Pressure

More than 1.3 billion all over the globe suffer from cardiological ailments like hypertension. It leads to symptoms like tachycardia, headache, and visual disturbances that interfere with your daily life. With the consumption of coffee, you predispose your body to hypertensive states.

Research suggests that excessive consumption of coffee leads to raised blood pressure and other related conditions. It stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure through the circulatory system. Along with this, caffeine is a potent vasoconstrictor and constricts the walls of your arteries.

In case you drink more than 3 to 5 cups per day, your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases increases two to three folds. Also, it takes a toll on your heart functions and might lead to heart derangements in the long run. You must reduce the caffeine intake to keep the cardiac ailments at bay.

Balances Brain Chemicals

Caffeine is one of the potent stimulants that alter brain chemistry in the long run. You are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms within 24 to 48 hours of decaffeination. Also, it leads to disturbing effects like frequent headaches, nausea, confusion, and heart palpitations.

Caffeine addiction comes under the list of addiction disorders, owing to the severe impact on the brain. Also, it acts on the brain and promotes the release of potent neurotransmitters like adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin.

Due to this, you experience a sense of comfort after drinking coffee and an energy-boost. Also, it binds with the adenosine receptors and makes us feel less exhausted. With excessive consumption of coffee, you might experience unusual alertness and insomnia-like states in no time.

Final Verdict

Most caffeine lovers can’t think of decaf days and depend upon coffee to start the day. However, caffeine might induce specific harmful effects on the body and interfere with brain chemistry. Along with this, it makes you quite alert and hinders with the sleep cycle of the body.

As a result, you experience insomnia-like states and excessive heart palpitations. It affects nutrient absorption and reduces the assimilation of certain nutrients like vitamins and calcium. Make sure to reduce your caffeine intake for a healthy and relaxing lifestyle.

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Food & Drink

Bring Italy to You with the Art of Aperitivo

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The pandemic may have shifted your travel plans, but if this year has taught us anything, it’s to learn how to adapt. With international travel looking unlikely for the foreseeable future, now’s the time to bring home the best cultural experiences from your favorite destinations and recreate them with your close friends and family, no boarding pass required.

Craving a taste of Italy? Take a break from this unsettling time and bring the beautiful Mediterranean sunshine to you with the art of the Italian aperitivo. As per the Italian tradition, aperitivo is the time of day to take a break to unwind with friends. This custom is present throughout the country; it’s a state of mind and an attitude which demonstrates gratitude for everything that makes life possible.

Here are three simple ways you can master the culture and art of aperitivo:

1: Give yourself some time to slow down

  1. The aperitivo represents the time of day when taking a break is most needed, so it’s of utmost importance to put yourself in a relaxed state of mind. Stop scrolling, sign out of Zoom, and connect with your socially distant bubble.

2: Recreate an Italian-inspired ambiance at home

  1. Aperitivo is always best enjoyed in the relaxed comfort of your own home. Treat your guests to an Italian-style spritz like Bella Amari on your patio during a sunny September afternoon. An effortlessly refreshing beverage, Bella Amari balances sweetness with bitterness and is available in three natural flavours: Blood Orange, Pomegranate Cherry and Limone.

3: Prepare a delicious charcuterie platter al fresco

  1. Italians consider it important to prepare the body for a meal by slowly waking up the appetite, hence the concept of a small snack beforehand. Charcuterie, mozzarella, bruschetta with fresh herbs (maybe from your quarantine patio garden), pickled olives, peppers and gourmet chips served with a spritz over ice can all enhance your aperitivo.

With seemingly so many moments, vacations, and celebrations on hold this year, it’s more important than ever to practice gratitude for the small joys in life, like spending time with your close loved ones, that likely would have been easy to take for granted in any other year. Salute!

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Food & Drink

Pandemic Puts Sustainability at the Top of the Shopping List for B.C. Residents

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Oroweat Organic releases new research revealing an increased desire to shop locally and eat sustainably following the outbreak of COVID-19

B.C. residents are prioritizing eating locally-sourced food and making more sustainable food decisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a newly commissioned study by Oroweat Organic. The research shows that fears around food scarcity at the start of the pandemic have shed light on the importance of being more self-sufficient, in turn leading to a greater desire to support local food producers and adopt more sustainable eating habits.

The survey was commissioned by Oroweat Organic, sustainably baked bread produced locally in Langley, BC, to mark its launch in Western Canada. Results revealed that 85 percent of B.C. residents are more aware of the importance of supporting locally-sourced food as a result of the pandemic. Additionally, one in three residents are more likely to prioritize locally-sourced food, and notably, this stands true regardless of household income. When it comes to sustainability specifically, 75 percent of B.C. residents are more aware of the importance of eating sustainably and the environmental impacts of their food choices, as a result of the pandemic.

While survey results indicate that shoppers are putting more focus on sustainability, this year’s unique and unpredictable back-to-school season raises concern. Fifty-two percent of B.C. residents are worried about their ability to juggle their schedules in the ‘new normal’ this fall and 48 percent worry this will impact their renewed efforts to shop and eat sustainably.

This September, three varieties of Oroweat Organic hit shelves in Western Canada, making sustainable and healthy bread options simple and accessible for British Columbians. The brand is locally produced in B.C., using sustainable baking practices and certified organic ingredients.

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Food & Drink

Celebrate National Organic Week With the Launch of Coors Organic

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Did you know that tomorrow marks the beginning of National Organic Month (or even more widely celebrated, Organic Week (Sept 7-13)? To help celebrate this month, Coors has launched the latest addition to its line introducing: Coors Organic a new, organic beer that is brewed with one thing in mind – simplicity.

Coors Organic decided to offer a simple way to feel better about your choices for Canadians looking to integrate healthier alternatives into their day-to-day lifestyle but who feel overwhelmed by all of the options to choose from. Next time you are reaching for a beer, enjoy an organic option and feel good about the healthier choice you made.

Certified organic, 90 calories and 4g carbs (per/355mL), this light, refreshing organic lager is expertly brewed with minimal ingredients including organic hops, organic barley, and water.

Product:

  • Made with three simple ingredients: Organic hops, organic barley and water.
  • Certified Organic
  • 3.8% ABV
  • 90 calories, 4g carbs (per 355ml)

Taste:

  • Light and refreshing malt-forward taste with a crisp and clean finish.

Availability:

  • Coors Organic is available at BC Liquor Store and Independents.
    • Single can – $3.05
    • 12 x 355ml can – $27.50
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