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Macarons at Cafe Joie

On a night out with friends, Mr. went to Cafe Joie on Sussex near Kingsway. I didn’t join them but Mr. was so sweet and bought me some macarons afterwards.

There were 3 flavours: Mango, Black Sesame and Almond (in this order from the left of picture below). As you can tell, the cookies were of various sizes. While I understand that it’s home made, I would have liked more consistent look and sizing of the macarons.

Macarons

The Black Sesame one was my favourite. The flavour was prominent and the butter cream wasn’t being too sweet. Continue Reading »

Taking PaPa Lam to a Canucks game on one Saturday brought us to downtown for a quick bite. We wanted something closer to the stadium so we ended up at Jimmy’s Tap House. I have only been there once for a power lunch and I thought its fish tacos weren’t too bad.

Food

Turns out everyday (yes, including weekends) between 3pm and 6pm is half-priced appies at Jimmy’s. All it requires is purchase of a drink. And guess what, they have daily drink specials and on that day, house lager was only $3 per sleeve. Not to be too cheap, we grabbed a house lager and a Stanley Park Amber Ale ($6) for drinks.

We could have just feasted on appies but dad prefers something more substantial. Therefore, I only ordered a couple of things to try — something commonly found so I could relate to.

You have a number of options for Chicken Wings: salt & pepper, dry rub, JD BBQ, butter hot, sweet chili and Jimmy’s hot. I picked one of my favourite flavours, the Sweet Chili. It’s nothing crazy or innovative, but the wings were well coated with the sweet chili sauce, while still crispy and hot. The sauce did have a bit of heat to it. And I like that they didn’t give us the tiny wings that you usually get on wing nights. Not too bad for $5 (originally at $10).

Sweet Chili Wings

Yam Fries weren’t great. Continue Reading »

With an invitation to a Chef’s Table at Earl’s North Vancouver, Mr. and I sampled a number of dishes from their brunch menu. Before this, I never knew that Earls has an actual brunch menu, and it never came to mind when I looked for brunch spots.

Similar to the Chef’s Table we had at the Port Coquitlam location, it was a meal for 6 and we were joined by Tila at Fat Panda, Dee at Gastrofork and their respective guest.

Food

For drinks we had two options, Mimosa or its Signature Caesar. The Mimosa was the classic combination of sparkling wine with orange juice; it wasn’t too strong in alcohol, making it a great option for women. And for the manly men, Caesar would be for you. I’m not a huge fan of the savoury taste in Caesars, but I was quite impressed to hear the long list of ingredients in Earls’ version: Red Tabasco, Green Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce, Horseradish, Onion Powder, Soy Sauce, HP Sauce, Roasted Pepper.

MimosaSignature Caesar

We got to sample 4 dishes on the brunch menu. First up, the Granola + Yogurt Parfait was quite pretty to look at, and tasty, too. It had a lot of crunchy elements from the house made flax, toasted almonds and pecans, and rolled oats. The use of fresh blueberries, along with agave syrup, gave it a sweet balance. You can control the sweetness by adding as much, or as little, agave syrup as you wish. This makes a healthy yet fun breakfast. I tend to prefer fruit yogurt and never pay much attention to plain yogurt; but now I’m inspired to create my own version of yogurt parfait for breakfast.

Granola + Yogurt Parfait

Next is a classic brunch menu item, Eggs Benny. Continue Reading »

To be honest, after our experience at Menchie’s, I was hesitant to take Mr. to another frozen yogurt bar. But then, I really can’t resist the temptation of facing so many frozen yogurt flavours and toppings, and building a frozen yogurt to my liking. With a deal voucher, I took Mr. to the Qoola at Metrotown.

Qoola Metrotown

Food

Each Qoola location seems to have different product offerings. At the Metrotown store, you can get frozen yogurt, smoothie or their “wannawafel” (aka Belgian waffle). We just went for the frozen yogurt. There were a total of 10 flavours to choose from; unlike Menchie’s, they didn’t have a system in place for you to sample the flavours. We chose to get a little bit of Pure Organic, Lemon Organic, Pumpkin, Strawberry and Chocolate, and not knowing how they taste, we’re basically in for a surprise.

10 Flavours to Choose From

It seems like they have fewer topping options than what we saw at Menchie’s. Continue Reading »

Recently my family and I discovered a new spot for Korean food near Coquitlam Centre – Jeong Ga Nae, located in the strip mall facing Glen Drive. We’ve been there a few times and tried a number of dishes. Here I’m highlighting what we’ve liked.

Food

I’m sucker for Korean tofu soup; it’s one of the few things I crave on a cold winter day, or simply my go-to dish at a Korean restaurant. At Jeong Ga Nae, you can order your Spicy Soft Tofu Soup with just kimchi (i.e. vegetarian), pork, beef or seafood. The broth was flavourful, and at the right spicy level, making me sweat and sniffle just a little bit without embarrassing myself and/or my dining companions. Without prompting, I usually ask for a medium, but I never knew if you could actually control the spicy level haha. I’ve had beef and seafood, and they were both very good. I do prefer the beef version, though, because the meat makes it richer and more satisfying. The seafood one was relatively lighter in flavour. This was the standard portion size, with a cracked egg and lots of veggies in the soup.

Spicy Soft Tofu Soup

Another one of my favourites there is the Potato and Pork Bone Soup. This dish sometimes serves two or more people, but this was an individual serving, and it arrived bubbling hot (as were other soups!).

Bubbling Potato & Pork Bone Spicy Soup

Despite the size, there was no shortage of pork bone pieces in this soup. Continue Reading »

The contest is now closed. Thank you for entering. We will draw a name and announce the winner soon!

Wendy’s Canada recently added 3 new chef-inspired flavours to its permanent salad menu: Asian Cashew Salad, BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad and Taco Supremo Salad. To be honest, my guilty pleasure fast food joint is McDonald’s, so I rarely go to Wendy’s. But frequently seeing its commercials on TV and learning about this new line of salads, their food doesn’t look half bad. I was intrigued. That’s why when I was offered to try one of the salads, I decided to go for it.

And I opted for the classic BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad. You may think it’s a safe choice but the use of applewood-smoked bacon caught my eyes. Who can say no to bacon? And look how much bacon you get in the salad:

Wendy's BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

This full size salad was huge! It’s packed with lots of ingredients: roasted corn, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, a blend of lettuce and a whole grilled chicken breast. I was glad to see that the greens were not wilted and everything tasted fresh. There was a barbecue sauce drizzled on top of the bacon pieces, which was a bit sweet. Combining with the BBQ ranch dressing, which also had honey and brown sugar, the sauces on this salad were more on the sweet side for me. Therefore I would recommend starting with a small amount of dressing then add more as needed; otherwise, it may get too sweet and you can’t revert it.

Wendy's BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

For $8.49 I thought it’s not too bad as a lunch option. Looking at the nutrition details, though, the BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad has higher calorie and sodium count thanks to the addition of bacon. The sacrifice you have to make for something good haha. On the other hand, the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad is lower in calorie and sodium, and with the Asian spicy flair it sounds like a decent choice. I might give it a try some other day.

Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (image provided by Wendy's)

Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (image provided by Wendy’s)

Giveaway

Now is the chance to try these salads yourself! We’re giving away $20 worth of Wendy’s gift cards to one lucky winner. To enter:

Continue Reading »

Last week Chocolate Arts launched a brand new, enhanced take on high tea – they call it the Haute Chocolate service. I was invited to try it out and my friend JX has joined me for some girly time. The good thing about this is that you don’t need to make reservations ahead of time, so it can be a spontaneous date with your favourite girl(s), or an afternoon chocolate break from a stroll around the city.

Haute Chocolate at Chocolate Arts

Food

For $15.95, the Haute Chocolate service includes a carafe of hot chocolate along with 4-6 house-made chocolates, pastries, petits fours and pâte de fruits, as well as a small piece banana bread with butter and seasonal jam.

For hot chocolate, you have endless options. You can select its classic house blend of semisweet or bittersweet, or the spiced chocolate with chipotle, cardamom and cayenne, or you can go to its collection of chocolate chips, sample some of them and pick out your favourite. It’s not an easy choice. Here are a few that we’ve tried: Lactee Superieure (38%) gives you the rich milk chocolate flavour; Madirofolo (65%) has a good balance of semi-sweetness; Alto el Sol (65%) has a hint of banana because the beans are grown near banana trees; Araguani (72%) is a single-origin dark chocolate with a rather complex flavour, slightly sweet and fruity. In the end, I chose the Araguani for its fruitiness. The hot chocolate comes with whipped cream, or vanilla or raspberry marshmallows. If you chose neither, which I think is a silly thing to do, you will receive an extra piece of chocolate on your plate. OK, maybe it’s not so silly anymore.

Chocolate ChipsSampling Chocolate Chips

The next difficult decision is to choose one piece of chocolate from its display case to add to your plate. There were caramels, truffles, chocolate bonbons, and some seasonal offerings that they rotate every few months. I chose the Fleur de Sel Wafer.

Chocolate Display CaseChocolate Display Case

Continue Reading »

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