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These swanky (new) Asian eateries are taking on Cactus Club and Earls

Station Square is getting crowded with restaurants

“This town isn’t big enough for the both of us.”

We’ve all heard that saying in Western movies when gunfighters try to scare each other. Well, is the same true for restaurants in Burnaby?

Specifically, the Station Square business district in Metrotown, which is adding a couple more restaurants in an area already loaded with them.

Station Square already has Cactus Club and Earls, as well as the Dolar Shop hot pot restaurant.

Now we have a couple of newcomers specializing in Asian food.

The first is Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba, which according to its website, makes ramen without the soup and comes in a variety of flavour styles, from spicy to curry to vegan and beyond. They brag about the quality of their soba noodles.

Then there is Tendon Kohaku, which is known for their fried tempura with an amber glow, as well as delectable wings.

As someone who lives on the north side of Burnaby, I’m supremely jealous of this neighbourhood’s growing roster of restaurants.

I still haven’t tried Dolar Shop hot pot due to the pandemic, but as restaurants get set to reopen for indoor dining, I’m ready to roll.

What’s The Dolar Shop? It’s a global hot pot giant that operates in several U.S. markets, Australia and, of course, all across China. There’s also one in Richmond.

The company boasts that its hot pot is fresher than others and offers the kinds of ingredients that aren’t offered at other restaurants. Such as wagyu beef cubes, shrimp pate, peony shrimp and more.

As for the broths, there is a black truffle broth among the options, as well as tomato and oxtail.

Both of those are something I’ve never seen at a local hot spot. And I’ve tried a lot of them after my girlfriend introduced me to hot pot – it was a watershed moment in my culinary life.

In the past five years, we have tried all sorts of hot pots, from Japanese to Korean to the many varieties of Chinese hot pot, including Beijing, Yunnan, Macau, and Cantonese.

But my true love is Mongolian hot pot.

If you haven’t tried hot pot, you really are missing out. You get to choose all of the ingredients and side sauces, and cook them at your table as you laugh and talk. It’s such a wonderful shared experience.

So there you have it. Go and try a hot pot place and explore as much as you can. Life is short so eat well.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.