Appetites are a strange thing. Some days you can go hours and hours until you find yourself hungry, while on other days you can’t seem to find an end to the munching. This dietary conundrum is even more pronounced when it comes to food bloggers. While some only seem to play with their plate, many more seem to swallow it by the dump truck. The interesting part of this really starts to show when I travel; even more so when I head to a place like Vancouver where I’ve established some ties to the food community. This inevitably means food…and more food and more food.
Take this stop on Saturday night after landing in Vancouver. With our feet barely making prints on tarmac and our luggage still waiting behind the scenes, we were already in discussions about food. That’s right, our weekend tour guide and local blogger Kim (I’m Only Here for the Food) had post-plane dessert plan. Tofu, at the aptly named Excellent Tofu & Snack LTD.
A small, dive-like shop, Excellent Tofu is all business; offering an assortment of house made (that’s right, house made) silken tofu to fill your tummy. Just in case you are craving more when you arrive, you can also pick off a short menu of standard Asian appetizers. With seats along the bar and wall, we added third chair to the last table available and got to business. Right away you could smell the restaurant mixing up tofu and turning around in my chair I saw hoses, buckets, and heating elements. Nothing says a good time like fresh food, so it must be the same with tofu right!
I should clarify that there really isn’t an assortment of the tofu, rather, the custard-like base stays the same and the toppings are what you change. From tapioca to maple syrup, you can find a lot of toppings. As well you can get your order cold or warm. The tofu comes unsweetened which may not suit those with a sweet tooth, but don’t worry, there are bottles of liquid syrup (plain and ginger) for the diner to adjust to their liking. I quite like this idea as it allows for you to have a bit of control in how bad or good the treat will be. After a few minutes of contemplation, we settled on Grass Jelly, Red Bean with Coconut Milk, and Black Glutinous Rice; all of which we asked to be warm.
The toppings from all three were good and except for the rather bland jello-like grass jelly, didn’t need any additional sugar. None of the three toppings were offensive in any way, which I think is half the battle for those who’ve never encountered them before. The ginger sugar syrup would be my favourite of the two as it gave me some baking ideas. The tofu was perfectly smooth and creamy and really did make for a nice change in dessert choices. With prices around $3.50 for each bowl, it’s a pretty reasonable snack and worth the price of admission.