Riverway Clubhouse

I thought I knew Burnaby well enough but I was wrong because I did not know of the existence of the Riverway Clubhouse. Located at the golf course, this place looks absolutely beautiful on a bright summer morning. Window light everywhere and those crazy high ceilings...my favorites!

We made our brunch reservations several weeks in advance after getting some raved reviews from family friends. We decided to book the earliest time available (10am) to accommodate for my work schedule but learned they open behind schedule sometimes especially on the days in which private events are held the evening before. There was no rush on our part so we wandered around enjoying the scenery until we were seated. The tables did not start filling until make 10:30am or 11am. I suppose 11am is a better "brunch time" but I was too eager!

The brunch buffet was small in selection but we were all very happy with the food. I assume the food might be different every brunch so better to experience Riverway Clubhouse for yourself. It's a treat!

As for me, I want to come back for the lunch menu and be seated at the gorgeous patio next time. Who wants to take me out on my birthday? :P

Riverway Clubhouse (Riverway Golf Course) on Urbanspoon


Okonomi Sushi

Do you ever get excited looking at pretty sushi rolls? I do. I have made my own rolls before and nothing even compares to some of these rolls at Okonomi Sushi. They photographed so well and they tasted great too. I'm waiting for the day to go back and try some more rolls.

This is coming from a person who rarely ever goes to New Westminster to eat. It was only after we saw an ice cream tempura photo on facebook did we decide to hunt some down for ourselves. It was confusing to find the location because there were two restaurants of the same name relatively close together. We decided to go to the 6th street location after reading not-so good reviews from the 4th street restaurant.

Actually, the reviews for both places seemed inconsistent but the the craving for ice cream tempura was too strong to make rational choices. We just picked the most convenient location. Nevertheless, my expectations were low entering Okonomi Sushi. The waitress serving us was shy and obviously new to the job. I felt sorry for her as other tables were complaining about missing water, waiting exceptionally long for any service and etc. Our table just waved our hands to get her attention. She was new so we tried to be patient.

When our orders came I was pleased! The rolls had a lot of filling, the flavor was awesome and gee, did they look good. The special pink rice they have was unique and I was excited to try it. It didn't taste anything different about the rice though. I have a hard time picking a favorite roll because all were so good.

Seeing that icecream tempura was why we were there in the first place, I was slightly disappointed by this dessert. I have never tried deep fried ice-cream before but I did not expect the batter to be so soggy. I may have to make a trip to the Richmond Night Market in search for another deep fried ice-cream experience.

That would be for another day. :)
Okonomi Sushi Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Practice with Portraits

And to finish off...a portrait of a Canada Goose.

Despite having multiple photos of myself in this photo set, I really am trying to take more portraits of other people. This new lens is helping me get there. I am loving the clarity, the shallow depth of field and the colors of my photos lately. Lovely weather has finally hit Vancouver (it may have been here for a while now but I was too busy studying to notice) and I have been outside a lot. Either I am outdoor working on home projects or having adventures around the lower mainland. This year might be the year I finally get tanned! *fingers crossed*

Happy Weekend!


Han Ju Hot Pot

V has requested I start reviewing restaurants again so here is a quick attempt. I get so self-conscious about sticking my camera in food in busy restaurants. If I had it my way, no one would be around to stare so I could grab a chair and stand on it to get the right angle. That's right, I am that type.

So...Han Ju Hot Pot. This little restaurant is located at Crystal Mall but there is no entry from the mall itself. You must walk around the perimeter to find this corner restaurant. Despite this inconvenience, it is still a popular choice and seats can get filled quickly during lunch time. I often go during the weekdays for a guaranteed spot. Groups larger than 4 may have some trouble due to the small space available.

This is the type of restaurant V and I go for a quick, decent, cheap meal. Actually, most meals at the Crystal Mall food court could fit all these qualities but we pick this location for the seating and to avoid the chaotic environment of the food court. On this trip, we ordered the Kimchi & BBQ Pork with Rice (first picture) and Crispy Chicken with Noodle Soup (I can't recall the exact name). The Kimchi & BBQ Pork with Rice comes with miso soup and is a big hit with many customers. We like it for the flavorful meat, generous portions and because it looks like a somewhat balanced meal. I often see other tables get the exact same dish. As for the noodle soup, it had a strong garlic flavor to it which I did not expect. I generally like garlic but it may be a deterrent for others ordering it. I am a sucker for Taiwanese-style deep fried chicken and Han Ju's version is good overall.

It is definitely not a place to visit for service but I will continue to come back for the convenient comfort food.

Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot 韓州豆腐鍋專門店 on Urbanspoon



As a full time student, school ideally comes first and hobbies come second. I am back though! The final stretch felt especially long but I am happy that I made it through intact. To treat myself for finishing the term strong, I bought a new-to-me lens. It was spontaneous. It was random. But I am so happy I did it. I had saved up for the past few years for a new lens but never committed to anything. During one of my "study breaks" I stumbled upon a few craigslist ads with lenses below my budget and I could not pass up the opportunity. Several big dollar bills later I am the new owner of a Sigma 30mm f/1.4. For my crop-frame camera, it's perfect. I'm so excited!


April + Finals Season

The end of April is near and only means one thing, Finals. I will be done soon, I just have to hang in there! 14 days! 14 more days!

According to my instagram and my phone gallery, April mostly revolved around 3 main themes.

1. Spring Flowers: Cherry Blossom season in my neighborhood came quickly and was gone just as fast. I made weekly trips to Home Depot or Rona with my dad and was inspired to start my own garden. I built my first raised garden bed on the long weekend and now I have a home for the tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos and strawberries. My window sill sunflower plants are still thriving and will be planted outside in a few weeks. Oddly enough, I've been hit with allergies this season. It hasn't stopped me yet! *knocks on wood*

2. Study Sessions

3. Food: What month doesn't revolve around food? I splurged on snacks for the long weekend. This is a pretty big deal considering I don't snack often.

4. BONUS: My latest ebay purchase!

Thanks for all the support in the last post about my studies. I will be back when finals are over. Then it will be time to stalk my friends for photoshoots, muahaha. Have a great end of April and MAY the force be with you.


Tagged Q & A

I was tagged by Jane from Always with Yoo to answer some questions (Thanks Jane!).

01 // if you could listen to any conversation between two famous people - alive or dead {or combination of either} - who would they be and why? 
This is a tough one because I am not too caught up on famous people. Since I am in a home/garden mood, I will say Martha Stewart and Sarah Richardson for their tips and insight.

02 // where were you born? 
I was born in Hong Kong!

03 // what does your name mean and is there a story behind it? {ie. how you were named, why you were given your name} 
My Chinese name is Chung Yi and my father looked through family records and various naming books before deciding on it. He put so much thought into it but I don't think he remembers what it means anymore.

I had to have an English name as well and since my parents did not know English very well (at the time) they asked the best English speaker they knew - a friend who happened to an ivy league graduate. He named me Joany because it sounded close to my Chinese name. I really wonder why my name is spelled with a Y though.

04 // what was the most recent compliment you received?
A family member of a patient thanked me for my efforts and told me I was going to be a great nurse. It had been a tough week so her compliment made my day.

05 // have you ever won an award? what was it for?
In high school, I won the achievement award for Graphic Arts, Photography and Marketing. I somehow managed to get 100% in all 3 courses.

06 // what is typically in your bag?
My wallet, keys, phone, external battery, sunglasses, chap stick, earphones and random receipts. I also hoard pennies and no one even accepts those anymore!

07 // what was the strangest thing you believed as a child?
I believed the adults that took care of me (teachers, student teachers, day care assistants, etc) had their lives completely figured out. Its only now that I have reached the age of some of these roles I know this is most likely untrue.

08 // what is a favorite local place you would recommend to your friends should they ever visit your town/city for the first time?
It's totally "tourist-y" but one of my favorite places in Vancouver is Granville Island. It's the place I visited often as a kid and the whole atmosphere around there is artsy, fun and awesome.

09 // what does your life so far say about you?
I am super indecisive but I really force myself to try everything...at least once. This might be because I am not super talented in one particular aspect so I just keep trying stuff in hopes of finding my niche. How does this reflect in my life? Well, I'm going back for a second degree, I run this blog on the side and I have a bunch of projects (home/garden/photography/cooking/etc etc) lined up too! I'm just too indecisive to pick a focus really.

10 // what is a really great advice you've received?
Be like water seems like a good one.

11 // what was your first job ever?
My first real paycheck was from a printing company. I restocked gigantic rolls of paper, was trusted to cut/trim fancy architect blueprints&design boards and did some photo retouching. Back then I had the dream of being in publishing and print. (Indecisiveness, ha)

1. What is your favorite number and why?
2. What is one weird food combo you absolutely love?
3. What app on your phone do you use on a daily basis?
4. What do people trust your advice in? What are you an expert of?
5. What is one thing you are really bad at and wish you could be better at?
6. If you had to eat one thing for a whole week, what would it be?
7. Describe the perfect adventure.
8. What is your favorite word and why?
9. What is something most people assume about you and is it correct?
10. What would be the first thing you do if you won the lottery?
11. What is your life motto?

It will be difficult to find 11 people to tag so I will open the floor to whoever reads this and wants to answer my questions! Answer them in the comments or on your own blogs, I will take this as an opportunity to learn more about you. :)


End of Term Laziness + Photo Dump

I mentioned before that my term was about to end...turns out I underestimated things and I still have until May! My life till then is going to be all about research, papers, studying and practicing. Fried rice with anything left over in the fridge has been my savior on mornings with clinical as I'm trying to eat breakfast and lunch at the same time. Not eating regularly will usually dampen my mood but the extra hours of sunlight is helping a lot. I am at the point of the year where I am getting lazy with project365 though. Hopefully it's a slump that will go away once I have more time on my hands.

In blogging news, I renewed joanytang.com for another year. I was quiet hesitant to at first but if I let it go I risked losing my own name forever (other people convinced me of this, haha). This means I've been semi-regularly blogging at SOJOO for more than a year now! I've noticed several new followers and commenters lately and I just want to high five all you friendly people. 


Springing Forward...(Project365 highlights)

Happy Spring! Here are some highlights:

  • Still super happy about flowers in my room. Pretty sure I'm slightly allergic but that's okay. :)
  • Sunflower seedlings are growing! I'm growing them by my window sill and I have to rotate the container every day so it doesn't grow sideways.
  • My daisy seedlings are growing too! The issue is I got impatient after 1 week of nothing so I planted a few more seeds in the same pot. You know, just in case. Now I have a mess of seedlings growing at variable rates.
  • I'm enjoying my newest lip balm. Live Clean lip balms are 100% natural which is reassuring since I probably eat most of it anyway (not on purpose of course!) 
  • A little Chinese-Korean place is where I've been visiting a lot this past year. They usually run out of their deep fried dumplings but I finally got a chance to try them. Yummmm
  • I randomly ordered a photobook from ArtsCow since they had a 99 cent promotion. 99 cents+Free Shipping. Seriously. It's an assortment of photos from 2013 that I quickly threw together. The book turned out well and exceeded my minimal expectations. I may order something else later! Perhaps a phone case?



The name "sojoo" roots from "this is so Joany". Somehow in my convoluted thoughts, the name makes sense. On this blog you will find a collection of photos from my every day life. Hope you enjoy and stay for a little while.