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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.

Food

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.

Bread

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.

Lamb Bacon Salad

CC and LW both ordered the AAA Beef Carpaccio. Continue Reading »

We are only a few days away from Halloween, so we made some monster fingers to celebrate the occasion. We adapted from a recipe on beanpanda.com and made some changes. This is super easy to make and there are ways to involve your kids (or the kids in you)!

Monster Finger Recipe

Ingredients

  • 50g Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 10g Whisked Egg (or Liquid Eggs)
  • 90g Low Gluten Flour (Cake Flour)
  • 20g Almond Powder
  • 16 Raw Almond (Approximate)

Monster Finger Cookies Continue Reading »

We don’t venture out to Fraser Valley often, so when I had to take Mama Lam out to Langley for some wedding related activities, I decided to find some eats there. A deal voucher led us to having afternoon tea at Frosting Cupcakery.

Frosting Cupcakery

Food

As with other afternoon tea experiences, we started with selecting a tea of our choice. They have a decent sized list, but unfortunately they were basic tea selection and were not very interesting. That being said, they have a really nice collection of tea pots. The two that we got, despite both being white in colour, were of different designs. They had simple, monotone design that reminded you of a bird nest and seashells.

TeapotTeapot

When the tower arrived, we were quite surprised. One, it seemed like there was a lot of food; two, it’s not two of each kind. For savoury items they provided two of the same, but for the cupcakes, they actually gave us four different flavours — I thought that’s neat, so you could try more varieties, but the downside was, we had to split every cupcake so we could try all the flavours.

High Tea Tower

Here is the list of items on the tower: Continue Reading »

Tucked away in a hidden corner of a strip mall in Burquitlam (i.e. the North Road area between Burnaby and Coquitlam), there is a restaurant specialized in an ingredient favoured by many Asians — rice cakes. With a recommendation from friends, we went and checked it out.

Food

And yes, their menu is indeed full of various interpretations of rice cakes. Korean rice cakes. You can have it savoury, spicy, or even sweet. First, we were quite excited when we saw the Rice Cake Pasta with Tomato Meat Sauce. It was still bubbling when it got to our table. At first glance, I thought of those baked pasta dishes that you can get at HK cafes. Then we dug in, it’s a spicy tomato meat sauce! It tasted different from Gochujang — the Korean chili paste — and it wasn’t overly spicy; but the level of heat was just enough to whet our appetite. The rice cakes were of great texture — chewy, good elasticity, but didn’t require you to chew a hundred times to break it down. This is like spaghetti bolognese with a Korean twist. A hearty dish.

Rice Cake Pasta with Tomato Meat Sauce

If you can’t eat spicy food, you can order the Royal Court Rice Pasta with Soy Sauce. It’s a simple stir fry of sliced beef, onion, bell peppers and mushrooms, and of course rice cakes, in a soy sauce. There’s a slight sweetness in the sauce, and the dish reminded me of a Chinese stir fry.

Royal Court Rice Pasta with Soy Sauce

Lastly, the highlight of this meal. Continue Reading »

Peter is back for another guest post! If you don’t remember him, he’s a friend of mine from Toronto. I met him while he’s working in Vancouver, but he’s moved back home since. Recently he returned for a short visit, and made around town for some sushi:

Now that I no longer live on the West Coast, people always ask me what the number one thing is that I miss about Vancouver. And my answer is always: sushi!

So when I returned to Vancouver for a week-long visit this summer, naturally I spent a great deal of time hitting up all my favourite sushi spots.

Sushi King House

First stop on the tour was Sushi King House in the Granville-Marpole area. This was a favourite years ago, and due to its proximity to our hotel, it was a great choice for our first meal of the day. As the name may suggest, Sushi King’s claim to fame is its larger-than-average nigiri (had to eat it in two-bites!), maki, and cones. The must-order here is the chopped scallop (roll or cone). Definitely one of my favourite rolls, and this was the best I’ve had all week – cold, crisp, clean-tasting scallops lightly dressed with mayo and tobiko. And the rice was perfect too. Sushi King is also one of my favourite places to order toro. Beautiful slices of albacore tuna belly. Melt in your mouth, and very clean tasting. The first bite instantly had me contemplating a move back to Vancouver. This is an extremely casual, little gem of a restaurant. And the friendly service will keep you coming back – our server still recognized us (after four years!) and asked us why we haven’t been back in so long. We returned two more times that week!

Sushi King House

8176 Granville Street, Vancouver
sushikinghouse.com

Sushi King House on Urbanspoon

Bay Sushi Cafe

Later that afternoon we headed downtown to Bay Sushi Cafe. Known as “Sushi Bay” to its many regulars, this is a busy, casual, lunch-time spot located on Seymour Street, directly across from Hudson’s Bay. The winner here is the spicy tuna roll – made with avocado, a small amount of tenkasu (tempura bits), and I swear I tasted a hint of gochujang (Korean chili paste) in the mix. It’s by far my favourite spicy tuna in the city. The chopped scallop is also great here, and their salmon and tuna nigiri are consistently good. Mainly a lunch-time spot, Bay Sushi Cafe closes early at 7pm each day and is closed on Sundays. (And yes, we returned just before closing that night to get a second round of sushi to go!)

Bay Sushi Cafe

678 Seymour Street, Vancouver
baysushicafe.com

Bay Sushi Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen & Sushi Bar

This was a new one for me. Having never been to Commercial Drive, my friend offered to take me to his favourite (and what looks to be the busiest) sushi place on the Drive. We headed out for lunch on the day of the World Cup final, and despite the lack of a TV, Kishimoto was packed. Continue Reading »

As mentioned in my earlier post, we were invited to attend the private Amex Platinum Cardmember Dinner at Hawksworth Restaurant, joining roughly 60 Amex Platinum Cardmembers at the York Room.

champagne to greet each guest

#DineWithAmex at Hawksworth Restaurantwarm bread

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of champagne. Chef David Hawksworth made an appearance and walked us through the menu that was designed to celebrate the kickoff of the fall season. Each course was paired with wines provided by WineOnline.ca. Let me tempt you with some delicious photos!

Chef David Hawksworth made an appearance

Food

Our dinner started with a Roasted Acorn Squash and Pear Salad. It’s finished with chèvre (goat cheese) and a walnut vinaigrette. What a perfect combination to represent the fall. Wine Pairing: Nicolas Maillart Rose Champagne.

roasted acorn squash and pear salad

Then our server brought over this plate of seared scallop with crispy cauliflower and capers. It was difficult to stop ourselves from digging into the perfectly seared scallop, but we had to wait till they poured the silky Cauliflower Veloute into the dish. The surprise was in the lemon supremes (the naked flesh of the lemon — no rind, pith, or seeds), as well as the fried capers; they helped cut through the richness in the creamy veloute. Wine Pairing: Vinos Sanz’s Sanz Rueda Clasico.

pouring the veloutecauliflower velouté

Next, the Duck Conft Raviolo was definitely encore-worthy!

Continue Reading »

Saffron Indian Cuisine

Dinner with friends brought us to Saffron on Kingsway near Metrotown. Many years ago I ate there once; the fact that it’s still standing to this day must be a good sign.

Food

After we placed our order, we received some complimentary Papadum with a mint and lime sauce. It’s like the comp bread basket at a western restaurant, but chickpea-based crackers. They were crispy, not salty, and the dipping sauce had prominent minty flavours and some acidity from the lime juice. That whetted our appetite.

Papadum

Because it was a Saturday, dinner buffet was not an option. A la carte style only. Remembering how much I liked the Lamb Saagwala at Palki, I ordered a Saag Gosht with Lamb and see how it fairs out. It wasn’t as creamy as Palki but it seemed to have richer flavours from the mix of spices. The meat was tender, not gamey though, and some even had a bit of fatty parts so it was even more enjoyable. The meat pieces could be bigger.

Saag Gosht

According to the menu, each entree comes with basmati rice, but you could actually substitute it with naan bread. Continue Reading »

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