While visiting friends at UBC, we noticed a brand new building along University Blvd across the street near the Shoppers Drug Mart. There were quite a few eateries at the ground level that you can choose from including a coffee shop, pizza joint, Mexican food and this bento and udon shop.
Their sandwich board outside shows their main features available:
The setup is like a fast food restaurant where you order at the counter first. You start by ordering your rice or udon selection, then as you move down the line, you can pickup premade sides. They were mostly fried foods as you can see below:
Drinks and cold sides in the fridge:
There is a limited seating area inside the restaurant. It was still quite busy on the Friday before xmas even with students out of class for the winter break. We found some seats but be prepared to be elbow to elbow and back to back with other patrons.
Our first item was a plain udon:
It was in a clear broth with some fresh green onions and topped with shredded tempura batter. The broth was basic and not too salty. The udon was a bit too soggy for our liking. We prefer a more chewy al-dente texture.
What ruined this udon more was the shredded tempura. It seemed like it was fried in oil that had not yet reached optimal temperature. Thus, the tempura tasted super oily like it soaked up too much oil during frying. This also made the soup taste oily too as we were unable to remove the tempura in time.
We also picked up a side order of fried chicken.
Unfortunately it was not hot at all. It was probably sitting around for a long time. The chicken pieces were already very hard to chew.
Next we ordered a teriyaki chicken rice bowl.
It was a good sized portion for lunch and was not too expensive. There was also plenty of tender chicken pieces to enjoy. The only problem was that everything in the bowl was lukewarm. This was odd because it was not a pre-made bowl waiting to be picked up. After ordering, we waited for the kitchen to put the rice bowl together so we expected a hot rice bowl. This would have tasted better hot.
It’s great to see more food selection for the UBC community available as more modern buildings get built around campus. Nori offers a good selection at fair prices. Unfortunately not everything worked out as we would like during this visit. Serving cold and lukewarm dishes is just unacceptable.
Hopefully Nori is still working out the kinks in their operations and will have better quality prepared food next time we visit.
SFDD gives 2.5 out of 5 Delights.