Last night, this group of rockstars helped me celebrate my Halfway post. That’s right, we are SIX MONTHS IN, and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure where that time went. Could someone adept with time, watches, and calendars please explain this to me? How am I, Lindsay Lauren Anderson, halfway there?
Disbelieving as I am, I knew I wanted to do two things for my 183rd post: eat Japanese izakaya with friends, and go to Party World for an all-you-can-sing karaoke buffet. Yes, there is an entire world of party in Richmond, and it’s that neon, spaceship-like wonder at the end of Alexandra Road.
Jillian, Codi, Dave, Zoe, Ariel, Joel, and Dana met me last night at Manzo Japanese Restaurant for dinner. In true izakaya style, we drank pitchers of Asahi beer and feasted on robata skewers, various deep-fried snacks, udon, and rice.
So instead, I’m going to share some highlights, which include:
Grilled chicken hearts. Originally, these were a “heeeey let’s be craz-ay and try chicken hearts” order, but it turns out, grilled chicken hearts are actually really good. There wasn’t a single one left.
Miso eggplant. This soft, roasted Japanese eggplant came in a sticky and sweet miso sauce, and was topped with bonito flakes. This was one of my favourite dishes of the evening, and an excellent non-meat option (though there is seafood in it).
Grilled chicken skin. Upon biting into these, Jillian announced “I could eat this, and only this, for the rest of my life.” Of course if she did, that life of hers might only last about another six months, but I understand the sentiment – this chicken skin was addictingly crunchy, fatty, flavourful, and accordion-like. What’s not to love?
Butter fried potato balls. Cheers to Dana for ordering these. They were like mashed potato croquettes, but without the bread crumb coating, and came with a sweet butter for dipping. They were soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and the sweet butter was unreal. We came pretty close to ordering seconds.
Takoyaki. These were soft, chewy, and phenomenal. The best I’ve had in Richmond so far.
On average, Manzo’s dishes were about $5 – $15 each, and for the most part were beautifully done. It’s not as ‘shouty’ as Guu, but still very high-energy, and the staff were friendly and efficient. I’d definitely go back.
Once we’d had our izakaya fill, we wandered down the road to Party World.
Here’s how it works: they have soundproof rooms that you rent by the hour, each equipped with a touch-screen karaoke machine, TV, couches, a table, and a service button.
They’ll give you a little lesson on how everything works, bring you a bowl of chips, and leave you to it. They offer drinks, but you must go up to the VIP lounge on the second floor to enjoy them.
We got right down to business with our pop star friends. There was Alanis. There was Gaga. There was Nicki, and of course, there was Beyonce.
Half the entertainment came from watching the videos that songs were paired with – trust me, they weren’t always the original. Many tunes were set to montages of a pretty, fashionable 1990’s girls, twirling and laughing on docks by the ocean or gazebos in gardens. Select “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” and you’ll see what I mean.
It it wasn’t 1990’s girls, it was buildings in the shape of fruit. Take this video for example (and just a warning, you’re about to hear karaoke at its ABSOLUTE FINEST):
After warming up our vocal chords, we took a break to eat coconut mousse cake from Anna’s Cake House in Lansdowne Mall. I love milestones – they always involve dessert!
Our party at Party World was crazy amounts of fun. We had to add another half hour to our time, because two hours just wasn’t enough.
The evening’s pièce de résistance was a choral effort:
Thank you to Jill, Codi, Dana, Ariel, Joel, Dave and Zoe for coming last night, and allowing me to film you doing karaoke. Not everyone is up for that, and I love you for it.
Also, a HUGE thank you to everyone who’s fed, helped, encouraged, and supported me over the past six months. While this is a wickedly awesome marathon to be running, it’s definitely tiring at times. I know I’ve got another six months in me for sure, though. And how do I know that? Because I have coconut buns for nourishment, and bubble tea for hydration. As any marathon runner will tell you, that’s really all one needs.
I’m looking forward to six more months of eating, learning, and hopefully, singing. In honour of this six month mark, over the next week I’ll be sharing some of my favourite Richmond finds. Stayed tuned for the best of the best, and of course, another 182 posts!
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian and vegan options available
Food and drinks available