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Whenever we go on our winecation with our friends B&K, we always include a “fancy night out” with a wine dinner at one of the restaurants in the area. For our trip in June, I had my eyes on the 112-year-old Naramata Inn.

Two years ago, famed Canadian chef and Okanagan-born Ned Bell, his wife Kate Colley, and two business partners have taken over Naramata Inn and breathed new life into this heritage building. Naturally, the kitchen is led by Ned, who is no stranger to the Vancouver restaurant scene and local foodies. The menu is all about fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, and quality is basically guaranteed. And with that, it’s been on my radar ever since and now was the perfect time to dine there.

Food

The menu is a prix fixe 2-course or 3-course menu, and we all opted for 2 courses.

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Over a five-day winecation in the Okanagan (yes, we have an “official” name for our wine vacation) with our friends B&K, we visited a number of wineries, eateries and attractions in the area. One of which was TIME Winery & Kitchen in Penticton. Back in 2018, we had a tour of the winery prior to its opening, having the opportunity to speak with the late Harry McWatters and his vision for the urban winery. Fast forward to 2022, TIME has changed hands to Ron and Shelley Mayert, with the McWatters sisters continuing to manage the operation. B&K are wine club members there, and there are perks such as a discount on food and complimentary wine tasting. We ended up spending 3 hours at TIME, starting with a lunch.

Food & Wine

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My family and I love steamed whole chicken and our go-to is always Loong Kong Chicken 龍崗雞, part of the specialty Asian chickens raised right here in British Columbia. We just find Asian chickens more suitable for our style of cooking, when we tend to cook more Asian-inspired dishes. If you remember, last year I shared a recipe of Steamed Chicken with Spicy Green Onion Broth and it’s one of my favourite ways of how Mama Lam steams a whole chicken. The chicken is tender and flavourful, and it’s even better overnight as leftovers.

Did you know?

All BC chickens raised for their meat are allowed to roam in the barns and are considered “free run.” Also, no hormones or steroids are fed to BC chickens.

Recently, we have discovered steaming chicken in an Instant Pot or any pressure cooker. The meat is juicier and more moist, and it frees up a spot on the stove top. This would be especially beneficial come this summer if we experience yet another heat wave; it will take the heat off cooking on a stove top while still enjoying some delicious steamed chicken.

One of the chicken dishes I sometimes miss is Salt Baked Chicken 鹽焗雞. I have always loved the complex flavours on the chicken despite its deceivingly plain appearance. It’s also not something you often find at restaurants these days. So Mama Lam has come up with an easy recipe to create something similar using Instant Pot. It only takes 8 minutes inside the pressure cooker, 30 minutes if you include the building up and releasing of pressure. And the best of all, there are only 5 ingredients in this recipe and they are all pantry staples!

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Live spot prawn season opens on May 6, and BC Live Spot Prawns & Seafood is now accepting pre-orders of live spot prawns for home or office delivery across Greater Vancouver or pick-up at Ladner Wharf.

Customers can go to the BCLSPS website at bclivespotprawns.com to to place a pre-order for live spot prawns. In-person pick-ups are available at Ladner Wharf starting May 7, everyday until the end of the season.

Alternatively, BCLSPS is proud to continue offering its delivery service four days a week. With a minimum of 10lb per order, customers can have the live spot prawns delivered to their home or office – it’s a great option to share with colleagues and friends. BCLSPS was the pioneer in introducing home delivery of live spot prawns during the COVID pandemic so customers could enjoy the tasty delicacy in the safety of their own homes.

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Tea lovers can find Walini Tea, a household Indonesian tea brand since 1998, in the International Foods aisle of 500 Loblaw locations across Canada, including the Real Canadian Superstores in Metro Vancouver. Currently, four flavours from the Walini Tea Bag collection are available in-store: Black, Jasmine, Green, and Lemon. The Tea Bag collection is perfect for those who are looking for an affordable, convenient option to experience Indonesian highland tea while still reaping the health benefits of the quality product.

Made from tea leaves grown at 800-2000m above sea level, Walini Tea products offer strong flavour, distinctive character and excellent taste. Walini Tea has its own tea plantation and processing operation that sees the tea leaves be processed directly from the farm into the finished product. It ensures consistency in quality and standards, as well as the preservation of the freshness and health benefits of the tea, including catechin and other polyphenolic content that are powerful antioxidants.

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