November is Ocean Wise Month, and to celebrate sustainable seafood in the area, Vancouver Aquarium hosted the Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown last week. Lucky for me, I got to check it out, so let me tell you all about it.
Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown (photo by Three Sixty Photography, courtesy of Samuel Adams)
How does it work? As you enter the Vancouver Aquarium, you receive a wooden spoon and a plastic cup; and you just walk around with them to the 14 participating booths. You also have a ballot to take notes of each chowder and vote for your favourite.
Each of the 14 competing chowders was paired with craft beer. I was quite impressed to see that there were restaurants from Prince Rupert and Pemberton competing in this event.
Among the participating craft breweries, there was Samuel Adams, the only non-local craft brewery at the event. It partnered with Fable and Chef Trevor Bird not only in the beer pairing, but it’s also used in cooking of the halibut chowder. SA’s Boston Lager is darker than most lagers out there (has an amber-ish hue), yet it’s light and quite easy drinking; would be a good entry beer for most people and would make great pairing with rich food like a chowder or deep-fried goodness.
Chef Trevor Bird at Chowder Chowdown (photo by Three Sixty Photography, courtesy of Samuel Adams)
In addition to the People’s Choice Award voted by the general public, there were also 4 industry judges tasting all dishes to select the top 3. Continue Reading »
Posted in Beer, Cooking Competition, Culinary Events, Joyce, News, Seafood, Soup, Vancouver | Tagged #ChowderChowdown, chowder, Chowder Chowdown, craft beer, fable, fundraiser, Giovane Cafe, Ocean Wise, Samuel Adams, Seafood Chowder, Vancouver Aquarium, YEW Restaurant | Leave a Comment »
Sushi date night in Richmond and we decided that we needed to keep discovering new restaurants, so this brought us to the door of Seto Japanese Restaurant on the busy street of Alexandra Road.
Seto offers a “fresh sheet” that features special and interesting items such as horse sashimi and monk fish liver. As adventurous of a foodie as we are, we decided to stick with the basics, so it’s easier for us to tell how good this restaurant is, and compare it to others.
First, we ordered some sashimi. It was a small order each of the Hamachi Toro (Yellowtail Belly) and Salmon Sashimi. The portion was a bit small for the price we paid ($9 for salmon and $14 hamachi toro; a large order would be double the price), especially compared to what we paid at BanZai. That being said, they tasted fresh with great texture. The hamachi toro was fatty, melt-in-your-mouth; it was one of the better hamachi toro I’ve had. I suppose, you get what you pay for.
Onto sushi rolls, we opted for some of our favourite staple, Negi Toro and Chopped Scallop Rolls. Continue Reading »
Posted in Dinner, Japanese, Joyce, Restaurants, Richmond, Seafood | Tagged Alexandra Road, Battera Sushi, Chopped Scallop Roll, Hamachi, Richmond, Saba, Salmon Sashimi, Seto Japanese Restaurant, sushi, Toro | Leave a Comment »
Trafalgars Bistro at Trafalgar and West 16th has always been our favourite. It’s been our go-to place for Valentine’s Day, anniversary, birthdays and any special occasions in between. We were always impressed by the desserts, which were supplied by its sister operation, Sweet Obsession, located right next door; but it was only until recent days that we finally stopped by Sweet Obsession for some sweet treats.
On two separate occasions, we tried four different desserts. First, the Lemon Mousse Cake was creamy and had prominent lemon flavours. It had a good mousse to cake to lemon curd ratio. The lemon layers could be sourer but the flavours were well balanced. This was refreshing and very enjoyable.
On the other hand, Chocolate Hazelnut Zuccotto was just decadent. It reminded me of Ferrero Roche with nutty hazelnut flavours. The chocolate chiffon cake was light and airy, the hazelnut layer was a bit loose, but all layers combined made it a rich and creamy cake.
The Bittersweet Chocolate Buttercream was another rich dessert. Continue Reading »
Posted in Baked Goods, Bakery, Cafe, Chocolate, Dessert, Joyce, Restaurants, Special Occasion, Vancouver | Tagged cake, chocolate, Chocolate Cake, Cream Puffs, Hazelnut, Lemon, Mousse Cake, Sweet Obsession, Trafalgars Bistro | 1 Comment »
Famoso has always been on our list of authenticity when it comes to Neapolitan pizzas. Some may find its dough too soft or soggy but that was the texture of the Neapolitan pizzas we had in Naples, the birth place of this pizza variety. When Famoso recently launched new menu items, we gladly accepted the invitation to give them a try.
Before we got to the new items, we ordered the Polpette al Forno (Spiced Pork Meatballs) to start. They were meaty and juicy, not much filler, and the meatballs held together really well. What made this addictive was the tomato sauce. It was the same sauce you would find in the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls; it tasted fresh, tomatoey (if there is such a word) and we really liked the acidity in the tomatoes.
Then, we took our first bites of the new items. The Korean BBQ Pork Pizza could be deceiving. At first we found it a bit sweet from the BBQ sauce and hoisin sauce, then bam! the heat finally hit you and now it’s a fine balance of sweet and spicy. It didn’t look like a lot of meat in the toppings either, but turned out to be just right. If you like Asian food, you will enjoy this Asian twist to an Italian classic.
The Paesano Fire Bread Sandwich (Pulled Pork Sandwich) is different from most others. Continue Reading »
Posted in Bread, Dinner, Italian, Joyce, Meat, Pizza, Restaurants, Sandwiches, Soup, Vancouver | Tagged Bisque, Commercial Drive, Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, Korean BBQ Pork, Meatballs, neapolitan pizza, Pizza, Pork, pulled pork sandwich, Tomato Bisque, Tomato Soup | Leave a Comment »
Last weekend I went for a girls’ dinner with CC and LW. It’s Taste of Yaletown time, which means we were able to order a prix fixe menu for an affordable $25, $35 or $45. We initially wanted to try Brix because it had a more appealing menu; unfortunately they were closed for a private event so we were offered a table at the sister operation, George Ultra Lounge.
Turns out both Brix and George offer the same menu, which is a combination of what was posted on the Taste of Yaletown website. They kept the best part of both menus, i.e. lots of appealing meat options, so we could order a few different things to try. And they operate out of the same kitchen, so it didn’t make a difference whether we dined at Brix or George in this case.
For appetizers, I ordered the Lamb Bacon Salad. I don’t think I’ve ever had lamb bacon before so that was quite intriguing. It was similar to pork belly; it had equal distribution of meat and fat, fried to a crispy yet meaty texture. It wasn’t overly fatty or greasy either. It had a bit of gamey taste but that’s partly why I enjoy eating lamb. The salad was well balanced with soft and crunchy elements, and hint of bitterness from the endives and radish; they used a pungent, blue-cheese like cheese, which I wasn’t a fan of.
CC and LW both ordered the AAA Beef Carpaccio. Continue Reading »
Posted in Bistro, Culinary Events, Dessert, Dinner, Fine dining, Joyce, Lounge, Meat, Restaurants, Salad, Seafood, Taste of Yaletown, Vancouver, West Coast, Yaletown | Tagged apple tart, Beef Carpaccio, Brix Restaurant, duck breast, George Ultra Lounge, lamb bacon, ling cod, panna cotta, Prix Fixe, Taste of Yaletown, Yaletown | 2 Comments »