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Partnering once again with the team at VANEATS, we were invited to sample the #SpringFling package at Mosaic Grille & Bar at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. I haven’t been back since the Taiwanese-inspired dinner with former Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich, so I was quite excited to try their new offering.

Food

The $27 package comes with 1 appetizer, 1 entree and 1 dessert. We sampled the entire menu, so we can give you some insight as to what you should pick.

The first appy choice was the Earth Apple Farms Mixed Kale. What a pretty plate! There was fresh and pickled radish and edible flowers, and a good mix of greens including baby kale. It’s refreshing with a good combination of texture, and the salad dressing had a good amount of acidity. It may be a salad but it wasn’t a boring plate.

Earth Apple Farms Mixed Kale

The White Asparagus Bisque reminded us of a cauliflower soup. Mr. liked the fact that it’s not fully strained so it still had some grainy texture. It had a hint of sweetness, it’s creamy and rich. The parmesan lavash was a good idea to add a crunchy element, but I personally prefer just a hearty slice of baguette.

White Asparagus Bisque

We often incorporate quinoa into our grain, but we never make quinoa risotto before. The Green Garlic Quinoa Risotto is the vegetarian entree option, and it was surprisingly good! Continue Reading »

During our search for the best Chinese restaurants in town, we made a stop at Uncle Lu in Richmond. It’s the sister restaurant to Corner 23 on Cambie Street.

Food

Suggested by its Chinese name 萬巒豬腳, the restaurant’s signature dish is its pork hock. My mom is really good at making pork hock dishes so I had high expectations. This Pork Hock was legit! The skin was gelatinous, a little bit fatty, while still giving you a bit of a bite. The meat was tender, well-seasoned and flavourful. They could have done a better job plugging the hair out of the skin, though, as pieces of hair were still visible. The dipping sauce added some garlicky flavour, but it was cold. If the sauce was warm, it would help maintain the temperature of the meat, which would make it even more enjoyable.

Pork Hock

Their Three Cup Chicken is a dry interpretation of this Taiwanese classic. The portions size was quite big here. Continue Reading »

As you know, for about 2 months I was out and about eating at many Chinese restaurants in Lower Mainland to help discover the best restaurants for the Chinese Restaurant Awards. If you are following our Twitter and Instagram feed you would see pictures of some of the places I visited, without leaving you a clue of what I thought about the food. Well, it’s secret no more! Together with Sherman, Chloe and Jesse, here are the results of the Food Bloggers’ Choice Awards.

Food Bloggers’ Choice Winners

Best Har Gow (shrimp dumplings) 蝦餃
Yue Delicacy 鮑粵軒

Shrimp Dumpling, Yue Delicacy

Best Five-spice Beef Wrapped in Pancake 大餅夾牛肉
Long’s Noodle House 小龍記麵家

Five-spice Beef Wrap, Long's Noodle House

Best Tea-smoked Duck 樟茶鴨
Shanghai Elan Restaurant 上海粗菜館
Continue Reading »

Catelli, the Canadian pasta maker established in 1867 in Old Montreal, recently launched a new product line called Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains. It’s made with 100% Canadian whole wheat with five ancient grains: quinoa, teff, amaranth, millet and sorghum. I was invited to its launch event in Vancouver, over an intimate cooking experience with Chef Lynn Crawford.

Chef Lynn Crawford Cooking Demo

We got to taste-test the doneness of the pasta and find out what our preference was between 7-minute, 8-minute or 9-minute cooking time. For me, I thought cooking the pasta for 8 minutes would give me the perfect al dente texture without being too hard. Overall, the pasta texture is firmer than white pasta, but less grainy and more flavourful than regular whole wheat pasta.

Scroll to the bottom to find out how you can win a year’s supply of Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains pasta!

Taste test doneness of pasta

We also sampled the pasta with Chef Lynn Crawford’s marinara and pesto sauces. Now, if only I could get a hold of those recipes!

Rotini with Chef Lynn's Marinara SauceSpaghettini with Chef Lynn's Pesto Sauce

The cooking demonstration was quite interactive. Did you see my video of Amy Bronee from Family Feedbag jamming with Chef Lynn while making the pesto sauce? It’s all about the basil!!

Marc Smith of 30 Days of Adventures also got called up to help with plating the pasta dishes.

Interactive demo with attendee participation

At the end of the evening, we all had a chance to replicate Chef Lynn’s recipe of Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing. It was easy to make and tasted light and refreshing; it would be a great dish for the warmer days to come this summer. I’ll share the recipe with you at another time.

Joyce cookingWith Chef Lynn Crawford

Now is your chance to get your hands on some of these nutritious pasta! I’m giving away ONE-YEAR SUPPLY of the Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains pasta. Yes, one year’s worth of pasta! I’ve won a year’s supply of product before, and let me tell you, it’s a pretty sweet deal :)

3 ways to enter

Continue Reading »

My family and I used to frequent Nagano near Coquitlam Centre a lot, before it’s closed temporarily due to a fire. Since then, we have been going to Matoi at Sunwood Square by Lougheed Highway.

Food

This time around, in addition to our usual staple, we also tried a few new things. First, Fresh Sea Urchin (uni). I mean, the whole thing! If you follow me on Instagram, then you would see the video of the live sea urchin as it arrived at our table. The flesh had some natural sweetness, not stringy, and didn’t have the unpleasant fishy taste that some may have. It was served with strips of nori (seaweed), and with a few drops of soy sauce, the taste of sea was accentuated. It’s not cheap but definitely an occasional treat that’s worth every nickel (as we phased out our pennies hehe).

Fresh Sea Urchin (Uni)

Usually Japanese restaurants serve Beef Sashimi almost tataki style, with a quick sear on the outside. Not here. It was straight up slices of raw beef, and with a dip into the yuzu based sauce, you can actually taste the beefy flavour. Our order had some nice marbling, so the meat slices just melt in your mouth. I was hesitant about the 100% raw beef but it was actually really good.

Beef Sashimi

We usually add conch to our soup, so Conch Shell Sashimi was a first for all of us. Continue Reading »

Even though I work in downtown Vancouver, I don’t usually get to enjoy Happy Hour. Generally runs 3-6pm, by the time I get off work, and I don’t leave work right at 5pm on the dot, it would be near the tail-end of Happy Hour or worse, I would miss it completely. Luckily for me, Rodney’s Oyster House offers its Happy Hour menu on Saturday, and my girlfriends and I checked it out as part of a birthday celebration.

Food

With the 4 of us, we went through most of its Low Tide (aka Happy Hour) menu. First, we ordered a dozen of Raw Oysters to start. They were $1.50 each Fanny Bay oysters. The sizes were pretty consistent, maybe with a couple that were slightly smaller. The taste was light and crisp, not creamy. We ordered another half-dozen afterwards.

Raw Oysters

The Raw Oysters came with a number of sauces, from mild to super hot, and it was quite fun to test our spice tolerance. Turns out I didn’t do so bad; I think I got to the 4th jar!

Sauces for Oysters

Next, there was an abundance of Steamed Clams! Continue Reading »

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What happens when you have 5 Chinese people having dinner at a Taiwanese restaurant? You order weird food!! Flipping through the menu at Maji and we basically picked out some of the weirdest items there.

Food

OK, so it’s “weird” in terms of Canadian standard but the ingredients were no stranger to the 5 of us. Did you know you can order just chicken skin as a dish? The Crispy Chicken Skin was basically Chicharrón with chicken. It’s like eating chicken-flavoured chips. It was crispy, crunchy, seasoned with some garlic, salt and pepper, and a little bit of heat from the sliced chili peppers. It reminded me of the Taiwanese popcorn chicken, except it’s all skin. And because it was really just the skin, there was no fatty bits and it wasn’t too greasy either. Perfect to go with beer!

Crispy Chicken Skin

The Five Flavour Squid was very refreshing. The squid pieces were beautifully scored so they curled up to a nice presentation. They were blenched just right, not chewy, and with a hint of sweetness in the meat. Then they were mixed with a “five flavour” sauce, which had the savoury, umami flavours. The cucumber slices were lightly pickled, so it’s a perfect starter to whet your appetite. It looked simple but a really tasty dish.

Five Flavour Squid

Having had Fried Pork Intestines for quite some time, and I forgot how good they could taste! Continue Reading »

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