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The Fish Shack, along with other members of the Glowbal Restaurant Group, extended their Dine Out menu for a week. With the full intent to try the Fish Shack’s DOVF menu, we ended up ordering off the regular menu, because, the Fishermen’s Catch was calling.

The Fish Shack

Food

For the 4 of us, we created our own seafood feast here. First, a dozen of Kusshi Oysters, my favourite.

Kusshi oysters

Fresh oysters here come with 4 sauces: mignonette, cocktail sauce, yuzu and house-made hot sauce. With the exception of the hot sauce, they were all on the light side. Not necessarily a bad thing, since the light sauces added some flavour to the oysters without taking away the taste of the sea. Another good way to eat fresh oysters? Ketchup with a bit of Tabasco.

Sauces for fresh oysters

Then, we shared the Small Fishermen’s Catch. You need to order a minimum of two; even though an order of 4 would give us more to share, we wanted to try other things so two orders made more sense. And as expected, the amount of food was probably more appropriate for two people. It had a good amount of mussels, clams, calamari, prawns, 2 snow crab legs and half a dungeness crab, as well as corn and chorizo sausages. It definitely reminded us of Crab Pot, but the tools here were much more refined than the wooden mallet at Crab Pot.

Tools for the Fisherman's Catch

As the seafood boil arrived, the server helped toss some seasoning and butter into the seafood. The seasoning is quite light, so I would suggest to be slightly less conservative with the seasoning shake.

Adding the seasoning

Everything tasted fresh, with its natural sweetness. Continue Reading »

It’s date night. And once again, we were craving for sushi, so we continued our journey in exploring sushi restaurants in Richmond. Tokyo Joe’s is always busy whenever we are in the area and take a peek inside, so on this day, we finally walked inside.

Food

We ordered a number of things, and unexpectedly, they all arrived on one big plate. The Salmon Sashimi tasted fresh, not too fatty and with firm texture. The slices were pretty big, too, and cost us $13.25. BanZai is still on top of our list for offering the best bang for the buck.

The Stamina Roll had unagi (BBQ eel), avocado, crab meat and smoked salmon. It was packed with lots of ingredients; with a good mix of sweetness from the BBQ eel sauce and saltiness in the smoked salmon. It reminded me of a dragon roll (crab meat, fake or not, with avocado, unagi and tobiko – but some dragon rolls may not have the crab meat part), which is what I usually order because I like unagi.

Salmon Sashimi + Stamina Roll + Chopped Scallop Roll + Negitoro Roll

The Chopped Scallop Roll, my sushi staple, was quite good.
Continue Reading »

The Chinese Restaurant Awards has returned for its 7th year. From now till February 18, 2015, you can nominate your favourite Chinese restaurant in each of the 21 categories of the Diners’ Choice Awards. The organizer will then list the top 20 nominees of each category, and the general public can vote for their favourite between February 19 and March 22, 2015. Every year the organizer adds new dishes to the award program to allow the dining public to discover new restaurants and new favourite dishes. The 5 new categories are: Best Har Gow, Best Five-Spice Beef Wrapped in Chinese Pancake, Best Tea-smoked Duck, Best Three-Cup Chicken, and Best Original-Flavour Egg Waffle.

2015 Chinese Restaurant Awards

Photos from Chinese Restaurant Awards and Mayowill Photography

New this year is also the addition of the Food Bloggers Choice Awards. Four bloggers, two English and two Chinese bloggers, were invited to submit their favourite of the 5 new award categories. The restaurants that receive the most votes will be the winners of the Food Bloggers’ Choice Awards.

The best part of this announcement? I’m one of the food bloggers judging the Food Bloggers’ Choice Awards! Continue Reading »

If you haven’t noticed the pattern, I’m actually reluctant to eat at restaurants that don’t take reservations. I enjoy the comfort in knowing that a table will be ready for me at around the time I want, instead of having to live through the stress of lining up and waiting impatiently for people to pay the bill and servers to clear the table. Or I have to be early and wait for the restaurant to swing open the door right at 5 or 5:30pm. And that’s why it’s been awhile since I last went to Twisted Fork. They don’t take reservations.

But lucky me, working downtown and getting off work at 5, I was able to get to Twisted Fork right at 5:30pm, as the door opened, and checked out their Dine Out menu.

Twisted Fork Bistro Menu

And you must be wondering about the post title. When I was trying to look up the dishes on the menu in advance of the dinner, what they looked like and what other people thought about them, I couldn’t find anything online. No Twitter, no Instagram, not even Urbanspoon; that actually piqued my interest even more.

Food

Escargots on the menu? Sign me up! I was really surprised to see that on a Dine Out menu, but hey, I wouldn’t give up the opportunity to have them. The Escargot and Mushrooms was actually like a warm salad. Escargots were diced up and sauteed with mushrooms and arugula. The texture of mushrooms and escargots matched quite well, and the earthy flavour was nice. Mixing in the tomato sauce and putting them all on the baguette crostini was like building my own bruschetta. At certain bites, though, I couldn’t really tell which I was eating, mushrooms or escargots. I suspect there weren’t very many escargots on my plate.

Escargot and Mushrooms

The Braised Lamb Shank was filling! The lamb shank was braised beautifully, meat fell right off the bone. Continue Reading »

I usually use Dine Out Vancouver as the opportunity to try restaurants that I’ve never been before. Even some of the institutions that have been around for a long time. One of which was Salmon House in West Vancouver. This year, they had a pretty appealing menu for DOV, and so Mr. and I invited Mama and Papa Lam to join us for dinner.

Food

The first appetizer was the Lobster Bisque. It was rich and creamy, and you can taste the lobster essence. Mr. found it borderline salty, but to me it’s normal for most lobster bisque. What made this better was the addition of candied salmon; it added some sweetness to the savouriness, as well as accentuated the seafood flavours in the bisque.

Lobster Bisque

We ordered some House Made Bread to go with our appetizers. For $3, 4 dinner rolls may seem pricey. But fresh, warm, house-made bread is always good and worth more. This was even better because two were regular bread, and two were cheesy bread. They were served with smoked salmon butter, and the salmon flavour was very prominent. If we were not conscious of the fact that it’s butter, we could probably keep eating it.

House Made Bread with Smoked Wild Salmon Butter

The Salmon House Sampler was a generous sized appy. Continue Reading »

While we’re continuing our Dine Out Vancouver coverage this week, I’m pleased to let you know that some restaurants have decided to extend their menu offering for a few more days. Here are their end dates and menus (some are on their own websites; some are from the Dine Out Vancouver website which may get taken down any day now):

Until Feb 7

Until Feb 8

Until Feb 11

Until Feb 12

Until Feb 13

Until Feb 15

Until Feb 28

I noticed that some menus have gone up in price, compared to previous year, with similar menu offerings. That, I was a little bit disappointed. Therefore, I have been more picky about Dine Out menus this year, but so far I have been quite happy with what I chose. We have more reviews coming so be sure to follow them!

For a triple-date night, we went for Dine Out at Chicha, a Peruvian-inspired eatery in the Mount Pleasant area. There were lots of options on the $28 menu, with some interesting combination of ingredients. I was intrigued.

Food

Because of its “tapa-style” menu, instead of 3 courses, you actually get 4 plates at Chicha. Definitely a bonus, I’d say. To start, I ordered myself a Chilcano (left), a ginger-beer based cocktail. It had some nice acidity to it, with a bit of heat from the ginger root. Mr. ordered the Inka Cola, a Peruvian soda which we were told “taste like cream soda.” And it did taste just like cream soda, not much fizz, and a bit sweeter than the actual cream soda we’re used to.

ChilcanoInka Kola

And then the feast began! First, my Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder was pretty good. I was expecting a bit of heat with the aji amarillo chili pepper, but rather on the mild side for me. In addition to fish pieces, there were squid in the chowder, tender and not like chewing bubble gum, which I thought was different from most other ones.

Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder

Mr. had the Palitos de Yuca, which was basically cassava root fries. They were a lot starchier than potato fries, and had a harder exterior too. The Peruvian Huancaina sauce was spicy, creamy, reminded me of a curry mayo. This was quite filling as an appy. While it’s good, I think we prefer regular potato fries.

Palitas de Yuca

Each of us received two entrees, i.e. 4 for us! Each of the Pan Con Chicharron Sliders had a hearty slice of pork belly, and the fatty part just melts in your mouth!
Continue Reading »

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