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[Editor’s Note: Read till the end for an exciting giveaway!]

When I say “hotel breakfast”, what comes to mind? I would think of a la carte standard affairs, or varied quality of “continental breakfast” from 2-3 star hotels.

We are lucky in Vancouver in a sense that there are many hotels offering delicious, not your typical breakfast/brunch options, e.g. Tableau, Mosaic, Yew, Blvd. Enter the new player, H2 Rotisserie & Bar at Westin Bayshore, which offers a weekend brunch buffet.

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

Brunch Buffet at H2 Rotisserie & Bar

I was invited to sample H2’s brunch buffet and wow, it was a big spread. It certainly has the typical brunch items such as eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon and sausages. But what caught my eyes were the following:

Rotisserie chicken carving station – H2 prides itself for its rotisserie chicken so I wasn’t surprised to see it at brunch. Walk up to the chef on duty and they will get you a slice (or two) of white and/or dark meat.

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

Dim sum/congee station – it serves up har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork dumplings), BBQ pork buns, and sticky rice. Oh you can also build your own congee bowl, but it’s located in a different section of the buffet line.

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch BuffetH2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch BuffetH2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

Made to order french toast station – they literally soaked the bread in the yummy custard, heat up the pan with some butter, and made me my French toast right in front of me.

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I can’t believe we are just under 7 weeks away from Christmas! In fact, my work Christmas party is exactly 29 days away – that’s less than a month!! If you haven’t started panicking about holiday gifting, you probably should. I know I am now.

Here are some ideas to get you started. I was invited to a preview of Superstore’s holiday collections and after confirming with the agency, I can tell you that the new products should be in store now (I was told 2nd week of November). Let me share some of my favorites with you.

2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore

The Midnight Wish collection was definitely my favourite of them all. It is inspired by the starry sky on Christmas Eve and highlights the navy and gold trend. I was sold as soon as I saw the constellation line up!

2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore

Adding to my shopping list include the Dutch Oven, Galactic Water Bottle (or I call it the constellation bottle), Zodiac Mug (I’m a Sagittarius, by the way!).

2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore

The Winter Green was also quite nice.

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On October 21, 2017, winners of this year’s BC Beer Awards were named. The ceremony was held in conjunction of a tasting event at the Croatian Cultural Centre. Over 65 breweries set up a booth and showcased their beers while celebrating with their peers as winners of 30 award categories were being announced.

BC Beer Awards

This year’s theme was SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop), so participating breweries were challenged to create a single malt and single hop beer to be considered for the Brewers Challenge Award.

BC Beer Awards

BC Beer Awards

BC Beer Awards received 879 entries from 97 breweries. The judging took place over 3 days and was performed by a panel of BJPC (Beer Judge Certification Program) and Cicerone judges from all over the Cascadia. Continue Reading »

The other restaurant that I visited during the Taste of Yaletown media event was La Pentola at the Opus Hotel. La Pentola also offers a 4-course menu for $45.

Food

It’s a big menu, with two salad options for first course:

Beets, Frisee, Pickled Onion, Hazelnuts, Whipped Ricotta

Beet Salad

Duck and Radicchio, Frisee, Grapes, Pecans, Balsamic, Parmesan

Duck Salad

Both salads were tasty. Frankly I was so focused on the hot dishes I only had a small bite of each salad. They looked good, with just the right amount of dressing. I probably would’ve chosen the beet salad because I like beets, but the duck salad sounded more interesting.

Second course is pasta. The Linguine Vongole was quite good. Pasta was al dente, clams tasted fresh. Continue Reading »

I was invited to the menu preview of the 2017 Taste of Yaletown. Organized by the Yaletown BIA and similar to Dine Out Vancouver, participating restaurants in Yaletown are offering a $25, $35, or $45 menu until Oct 27. At the preview event, I got to sample the menus at two restaurants, one of which was House Special, serving Modern Vietnamese cuisine.

Food

House Special offers a 4-course menu for $45. The first course was Mekong Wonton. Shrimp and monkfish mousse wontons were sitting in a sweet, sour and spicy tamarind seafood broth, which was inspired by a traditional Vietnamese dish Canh Chua Ca. It’s different from other types of Asian sweet and sour, or hot and sour soup. I could taste the sweet and sour combo from the tamarind but I was definitely caught by surprise when the pineapple flavour hit my palate. Being so familiar with the Chinese style wonton soup, this Vietnamese version was almost refreshing to me.

Mekong Wonton

The second course was Caramelized Pork Jowl Banh Hoi, which is their take on a lettuce wrap but with endives. Continue Reading »

It was the final week of the Claude Monet Secret Garden exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I had no idea why it took me so long to finally check it out, but I made it! CC and I planned a fancy girls’ day out.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet at Vancouver Art Gallery

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit, witnessing the evolution of Monet’s work. In addition to the Water Lilies, my favourite pieces were Taking a Walk Near Argenteuill, Wisteria, and Weeping Willow.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art GalleryClaude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

A pleasant surprise was Stephen Shore‘s photo exhibit in conversation with the Monet’s exhibit. Continue Reading »

On Monday, September 25, 11 professional barchefs and four apprentice bartenders competed at the 2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regional Competition. The professionals were competing for a spot to represent the region at the Nationals next year.

2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals

At the event, not only were the barchefs trying to win the judges’ heart, but they were also trying to impress every event guest. We were given two “dogtag” necklaces, to vote for our favourite barchef and apprentice bartender.

2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals

We got to sample each cocktail, along with some canape pairings.

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