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With different Japanese izakayas popping up around town, it’s been forever since I last visited a Guu location. I remember the Thurlow location was my very first izakaya that I’ve visited in Vancouver and it was such a unique experience: the screaming servers, the exchange of Japanese throughout the room and the long list of small plates that we could order. It was so much fun I took a visiting guest to Guu Garlic after. Now, years later, I’m back.

Food

Guu Garlic’s name came from the extra use of garlic at this particular location, and it still holds true to this day. With my girlfriends, we ordered a number of dishes. First, the Salmon Sashimi didn’t look super fatty at first, but it’s actually quite good. It tasted fresh and did have a bit of the fatty texture.

Salmon Sashimi

And so we had an encore of sashimi. The Assorted Sashimi included salmon, scallops and tuna tataki. Not very many pieces so I’m not sure if it’s the best value, but the scallops were sweet and the tuna tataki was skillfully thinly seared on the outside.

Assorted Sashimi

Funny enough, we also ordered the Tuna Tataki (when a bunch of hungry women blindly ordering food off a menu, there could be a lot of similar items lol). The difference here was that they made it more like a salad by including some greens, ponzu sauce and a generous serving of crispy garlic chips (remember I talked about the use of garlic? Proof #1). I prefer this iteration of tuna tataki, using the slightly acidic ponzu sauce, over the sashimi version with just soy sauce.

Tuna Tataki

The last raw dish was the Yellow Tail Carpaccio. The flavour of yellow tail (hamachi) is quite delicate, so the sauce was a bit too over-powering in my opinion. The garlic chips (Proof #2) and sliced onion were actually a bit sweet (though also a bit spicy) so they did work with this plate.

Yellow Tail Carpaccio

Ebi Mayo is my must-have at all izakayas. Continue Reading »

I don’t eat out fast food very often; but when fast food joints release interesting menu items, I’m often intrigued and want to give it a try. Two recent items were Wendy’s Pretzel Burger and Tim Hortons’s Maple Breakfast Biscuit.

I’ve always been a huge fan of brioche buns, but lately I’ve found a new love in pretzel buns. Pretzel buns, not pretzels. In contrary to the eggy flavour, slight sweetness and pillowy texture in brioche buns, I also quite enjoy the slight saltiness and chewiness in pretzel buns. Traditional German pretzels are just too hard and chewy for my liking. That being said, Prohibition Tasting Room’s Pretzel Knots are also up there on my “have again” list of pretzel interpretation.

Not trusting burgers at fast food restaurants, Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, to my surprise, was quite good. Patty was of decent thickness, still juicy; I was worried that the bacon strips would be cooked to death, to extreme crisp, but they were still moist and added oily dripping mess to the burger. Pretzel bun was soft with a bit of a chew. By the way, you know how McDonald’s burgers look nothing like what they show in pictures/ads? My burger looked just like what they have on the website – now that’s impressive! Overall, a burger that I would actually eat again, and Mr. concurred.

Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger

Breakfast sandwich is another indulgence for me, a change of pace from my regular cereal breakfast. Continue Reading »

In Richmond, you will never run out of ideas for Chinese food: seafood restaurant, Hong Kong cafe, noodle house, Shanghainese, etc. There are many long-standing restaurants, but new ones also pop up all over the city. Recently, a soup house was opened on Alexandra Road, specialized in hearty soups without the use of MSG. I took the soup expert, aka Mama Lam, along with Papa Lam and Mr., to give them a try.

Zhao's Soup House

Food

Of course we had to try their soups. The small size, which serves up 3 bowls of soup, costs $12 each; some soup items are available in a bigger size for $48. To allow us to try more, we ordered two small soups. The Dried Vegetable, Almonds & Lung Soup brought nostalgic feelings to us as my grandparents used to make it for us when we were living in HK. You can taste a hint of sweetness from the dried bok choy and meaty flavours from the pig’s lung. The lung is soft and mushy yet spongy, not at all an unpleasant texture (for me anyway, non-Chinese may think otherwise). I quite liked eating it.

Dried Vegetable, Almonds & Lung Soup

The elegant clay soup pot was piping hot when it arrived at the table and we must leave it to the trained server to pour out the soup, to avoid burning our hands. And as advertised, it’s not heavily salted (borderline under-seasoned) nor do you feel thirsty afterwards (the common side effect of eating a lot of MSG). I was convinced that they didn’t use MSG in their soups.

Dried Vegetable, Almonds & Lung Soup

The second one was the Zhao’s Free-Range Chicken Soup. It’s named after the restaurant so I would assume it’s their signature soup. Continue Reading »

If you have been keeping track, you would know that we are just one day away from White Spot’s annual Pirate Pak Day. Tomorrow, and tomorrow only, August 13, 2014, White Spot will once again make available its popular Adult Pirate Paks.

Unleash your inner child on this day and indulge in classic Pirate Pak items including the Legendary Burger, Bacon Cheddar Bigger Burger and BC Chicken Burger. For each Pirate Pak sold, White Spot will donate $2 to Zajac Ranch for Children. To-date they have raised close to 269,000 for Zajac Ranch through this initiative!

The special edition “Adult Pak” is only available on August 13 and starts at $11.99. Continue Reading »

Trees Organic is no stranger to me, as I often schedule coffee meet at the centrally-located Granville store. I have also bought its cheesecakes for birthdays before, a bit pricey but they are very good. So when I heard that they are running a promo on National Cheesecake Day on July 30, I jumped on the opportunity to learn more about it.

Trees Organic Granville

On Wednesday, July 30, and that day only, all Trees Organic store will be selling their cheesecakes at half price. That means you can get a slice of their cheesecake at the very affordable price of $3.5-$3.75 or a whole cheesecake starting at $10 each.

Celebrate National Cheesecake Day

Talking to the Director of Operations, Chris, I learned that they make their cheesecakes in-house at the Kits location then ship to all other stores. The process takes about 2 days from start to ready-to-serve, so the bakers probably have been quite busy getting ready for National Cheesecake Day, and if they run out, they are out!

Cheesecake ShowcaseCheesecake Showcase

In addition to the regular flavours, right now they are featuring the Mango Splash. Not only does it have mango flavour but it also has real mango pieces, I mean big chunks of mango inside the cheesecake. Continue Reading »

I still remember a couple years back we checked out Palki on Commercial Drive and really liked it. Fast-forward to current time and they have renamed that restaurant to something else to avoid confusion. And when we were invited to try the North Vancouver location, the nostalgic feeling just came rushing through. We had to say yes.

Food

We started with a couple of appetizers, along with some Papadum. Papadum are crispy lentil wafers, a little bit salty; you can snack on them like chips and it’s quite hard to stop eating them.

Papadum

The Fish Pakoras were really good! Big fish pieces coated with the chickpea pakora batter and deep fried, yet they were not greasy at all. They didn’t have a crispy exterior like fish and chips but the meat was flaky and very flavourful. The plate came with two dipping sauces: tamarind sauce & a mint, cilantro and green chili sauce. The tamarind sauce added a hint of sweetness to the fish while the mint, cilantro & chili sauce added extra heat. It was quite a big portion for appetizer.

Fish Pakora

We also ordered some Beef Samosas. Often times we get the vegetarian version so we decided to go for the meat version. Continue Reading »

[UPDATE: Our partner has generously donated another $25 gift card so we are now giving away 3 White Spot gift cards! Deadline has been extended to Monday, August 4, 2014]

Summer has officially started, which means our local farms are also busy harvesting. BC produces a huge variety of fresh ingredients — cherries, blueberries, apples, peaches, corn, cheese, salmon, tomatoes, etc. — everything is so close to home! Earlier this week White Spot launched its new Celebrate BC summer menu to celebrate exactly that, featuring local ingredients and select wines from farms and vineyards around the province.

Available until September 7, the Celebrate BC menu offers six seasonally-inspired creations:

  • Prawn & BC Brie Flatbread
  • Candied Salmon Spinach Salad
  • BC Beet, Brie & Bacon Bigger Burger
  • Gala Apple & BC Brie Chicken Burger
  • Lois Lake Steelhead with Warm Crispy BC Potato Salad
  • Legendary Burger, Caesar Salad & Fresh BC Blueberry Pie Combo

To make sure you get to try these items, we are giving away three $25 White Spot gift cards. Yes, three chances of winning!

3 ways to enter

Continue Reading »

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