A Special Time Calls for a Special Lunch—Samurai Japanese Restaurant Lunch Special Bento

By Tana Kosiyabong

Samurai Japanese Restaurant Lunch Special Bento–$7.95

I woke up around 8am on Christmas Eve, and after a short morning routine, I went off to work in Coal Harbour. Whether liked it or not, I did stay at the office until 1pm. “Thanks G-D,” I murmured to myself while heading out of the building. I was now officially on holiday for the next ten and a half days! This special time called for a special lunch. And I knew exactly where to go. Samurai Japanese Restaurant was just twenty minutes walk away. Although it would be too presumptuous to call Samurai lunch special “the Best of Vancouver,” I couldn’t think of a better lunch to celebrate this wonderful occasion with.

Samurai lunch special bento changes regularly, if not daily. As I reached the restaurant, the front signage revealed the menu: Beef Teriyaki, Spicy Agedashi Tofu (2 pieces), Alaska Rolls (2 pieces), Tempura (5 pieces), Green Salad, Miso Soup, and Rice. All for just $7.95, not to mention the complimentary hot tea.

Samurai Japanese Restaurant Lunch Special Menu

Perhaps people were still busy shopping, Samurai wasn’t as crowded as usual. There were a few empty tables available. The interior decor was typical of a Japanese restaurant. It was cozy and down-to-earth. Once seated, I ordered the lunch special bento right away. Bada bing, bada boom… the meal was served.

Samurai Japanese Restaurant Lunch Special Close Up

Although Samurai bento wasn’t as artfully decorated as the ones prepared by my blogger friend, Debra from Hapabento, I was happy with the large amount of food on the table. I started my lunch with the tasty Miso soup and the green iceberg lettuce salad. Samurai homemade dressing was nice though I’d rather have the Japanese sesame dressing instead.

Spicy Agedashi tofu was quite tasty. The reddish brown sauce reminded me of Hoisin sauce with a feisty kick. The green onion wasn’t just for garnish. It complemented the spicy flavor really well. If only the tofu was deep-fried without coated flour, I would be a happy camper.

Alaska rolls were around two-inch diameter with generous fillings. They were perhaps too big for a bite size, but  I’d rather have more food than less. The salmon was fresh and chunky, and the imitation crab was lightly mixed with mayo (possibly the Japanese favourite–Kewpie). If the fresh salmon were Batman, the creamy imitation crab salad would be Robin. Together with a fierce back up from Alfred, the crunchy julienned cucumber, they quickly defeated a starving villain inside me.

Five pieces Tempura–two shrimps and three veggies–were crispy and not too oily. However, I couldn’t help but missed the finely grated Daikon normally served with tempura dipping sauce. (I don’t know why but I rarely see Japanese restaurants in North America served it with the sauce.)

Samurai Japanese Restaurant Lunch Special

Beef teriyaki was delicious and tender. The sweet and savoury sauce enhanced the beefy flavor well. Steamed rice was cooked to perfection. My only complaint was the dish disappeared too fast.

After finished the lunch special, I was well beyond satisfied. Its great value was more than enough to compensate for a few hiccups. Apparently, Samurai didn’t use the word “special” lightly.

Samurai Japanese Restaurant Lunch Special Bento: ©©©©1/4

For Samurai Japanese Restaurant online menu, click here.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN:
Total Budget: $350
Budget Spent: -$7.95.
Budget Available: $342.05

Samurai Japanese Restaurant is located at 1108 Davie Street Vancouver. Phone: 604.609.0078

Restaurant Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 11am to midnight. Friday to Saturday from 11am to 1am.

Note to my beloved readers:

Since my accumulated vacation days are about to expire, I decided to take a few weeks off to go to Japan and Thailand. No worries, you still have a new story to read every Monday even while I’m away. This story is the first of three scheduled posts. The next two posts were set for January 17th and 24th. Please feel free to comment on this post as usual. Although I am unable to reply right away, I promise to do so when I come back from the vacation. So don’t be shy:) I look forward to telling you about my Cheap Appetite missions in Japan and Thailand soon. Wish me luck:)

©2010 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.

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14 thoughts on “A Special Time Calls for a Special Lunch—Samurai Japanese Restaurant Lunch Special Bento

  1. That’s good to know Samurai gives that much great deal. I usually pass there and am surprised by the long line up. Well, I’ve enjoyed your blog since I started reading in September. I love it! Please keep it up! I’m jealous you will head to Japan and Thailand! I’m from Okinawa, the southern most part of Japan, and they have awesome food there! You should stop by if you have chance! Have a fabulous trip and I am looking forward to your update!

    1. Hey Taichi,
      Thank you for reading my blog 😀 I was in Japan for only 24 hours, but I did use it to the maximum. I wish I could go to Okinawa too. But I don’t have time. Japan is a wonderful country. I will definitely go back. Although I didn’t have a chance to eat Okinawa food, but I had a famous curry from a Fukuoka restaurant in Tokyo called Curry No Ryu. I’ll write more details later:) Thanks again for visiting. Take care.

  2. i’m so there soon. its 5 minute walk from my work place but I was told by my colleagues Kadoya is better but I’ve never been to either. i just have to close my ears to my pad kee mao calling my name from Thai Basil as I walk past towards Samurai lol.

    1. Hey Imkoonta, Kodoya is also good. But I think they are slightly more expensive. You would probably have to add a couple bucks for the lunch special. I love both of them. But Samurai is a bit cheaper. hehe. I totally know what your obstacle is all about. It’s really hard to walk pass Thai Basil without eating there.

    1. Thanks Natasha. It was a great and affordable lunch. I love it a lot. I’m having fun at the moment. I’ll have to catch up with your blog and other friends when I go back home. Thanks again for your comment:)

  3. What awesome news — bon voyage on the awesome trip! And looking forward to hearing all about it upon your return! This bento lunch looks amazing; I love little bites of everything — I’m a terrible food orderer, as I can never make up my mind. Why can’t bento-style lunches be available everywhere??

    1. That’s a good idea you have. I would like bento lunch for other cuisine too. Normally, if I go with others, I prefer to share food than only eat what I order. That way I could try more food. I look forward to telling you all about my missions in Thailand and Japan. I apologize that I don’t have enough time to catch up with your and other foodie friends posts. I hope all is well with you, Wasabi. Can’t wait to read your blog again when I have time. 🙂

  4. Hi Tana, OMG, what nice surprise to get a mention in your article and I am deeply honored. Have a fun and yummy trip to Japan and Thailand. I’m so envious but also looking forward to the stories you will tell when you return!

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