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Archive for the ‘Beverage’ Category

Another hot chocolate stop I’ve made was Chez Christophe in Burnaby. I remember meeting Christophe at a work conference years ago when he was doing cooking demonstration. That was before he opened his shop in Burnaby. Since then, I’ve been there a few times for pastries, but this was my first time trying their hot chocolate fest creations.

Both of Chez Christophe’s creations are inspired by popular fantasy stories. First, the Ruby Slippers was true to its name, donning a pretty hue of pink thanks to the use of ruby chocolate. I could taste the fruity, acidic note in ruby, combined with the fragrant, floral note of rose water. The two notes actually complemented each other very well. The ruby covered macadamia nuts were a nice combo of sweet and salty.

The Golden Genie was a tumeric white hot chocolate with turmeric, served with a macaron with caramel cardamom ganache.

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While Dine Out Vancouver is happening, did you know there’s also Hot Chocolate Festival? In fact, this is the 10th annual Hot Chocolate Festival. 44 different locations offering more than 110 flavours over a 4-week period, up until Valentine’s Day. Of course, I take this opportunity every year to discover local chocolatiers and find whimsical, creative hot chocolates.

First stop this year is the new 1931 Gallery Bistro at the Vancouver Art Gallery. They have recently renovated the bistro space upstairs from the art gallery and renamed it. They are also part of Dine Out Vancouver but I thought its $45 menu wasn’t quite worth it and they didn’t make it on my list.

Anyway, onto the hot chocolates. I was very intrigued because all their creations were inspired by art. Unfortunately, they were having technical difficulty so at the time of my visit they could only offer 2 of the 4 creations listed on the official website. As per my usual, I ordered one of each.

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Where have you booked for Dine Out this year? If you are still deciding, I’m going to start sharing my experiences, whether it’s an invited dinner or out of my own pocket. I was invited as a media to preview the menu at PiDGiN. Their food is a fusion of Asian and French cuisines, and they decorate the interior by rotating artworks by local artists.

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They have designed their $45 DOVF menu to be as close to their regular prix fixe menu as possible, which is a 6-course menu shared family style for a minimum of 2 people. You have the option of an omnivore menu, or a vegetarian one. You can also order drink pairing for an additional $40-50 per person. The Dine Out website didn’t include the vegetarian menu, so I suggest you to visit PiDGiN’s website for the menus, and I’m posting them here as well. Note that the following plates are all meant to be shared by 2 people – they will adjust the portion based on party size.

Food

In addition to the 6-course menu, you can also order snacks a la carte. The Beef Tendon Chicharron was addictive. It’s crispy, and it wasn’t greasy. There was just enough seasoning, and the gochugaru citrus spice reminded me of sour plum flavour, with the tiniest hint of heat.

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They use different vegetables to make their Daily Pickles. On this day, it was cucumber, ume-infused daikon and shitake mushrooms. They were just slightly pickled, so they weren’t overly briny or vinegary.

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Halloween is just around the corner. Are you hosting a party, having friends over? Are you looking for cool yet easy entertaining ideas? How about a 2-ingredient cocktail?

Recently, I was sent some samples of Hounds Vodka. What’s special about Hounds is that the vodka is black in colour and naturally, I thought of using it for Halloween. What’s an easy cocktail recipe for this mysterious looking vodka? The classic Screwdriver came to mind.

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Going to Starbucks is often a treat for me, or any coffee shop for that matter. I don’t go there for drip coffee — that’s what you have at home, at work, at brunches. One of my go-to drinks at Starbucks is its Earl Grey Tea Latte aka London Fog. Maybe it’s the vanilla syrup, but I just really like its flavour. So when Starbucks launched the Black Sesame Tea Latte earlier this week, I was intrigued.

Black Sesame Tea Latte – Starbucks Official Pic

I was particularly intrigued because black sesame is also one of my favourite flavours when it comes to bubble tea. Reading its description, “black tea steamed with milk and a rich, black sesame sauce topped with a tasty black sesame brittle,” I immediately thought of black sesame bubble tea. And I’ve liked my black sesame BBT hot. Now I really have to try this.

So I did. Verdict?

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In case you haven’t heard, Starbucks Canada opened its biggest location yet here in Vancouver – a new Starbucks Reserve at CF Pacific Centre, at 700 West Pender Street. It’s the second one here in Vancouver, with the first one being on Main Street in Mount Pleasant.

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This new location holds a special place in my heart. Its predecessor being a man’s clothing store was the very place where Mr. rented his wedding suit. It was sad to see it closed but I was equally excited to see a Starbucks Reserve go in its place. Especially it’s very close to work.

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The store is beautiful. It’s long and spacious. (more…)

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While I’m on my quest to a tasty cup of brown sugar pearl latte, I’ve also noticed the increasing number of bubble tea franchises popping up in Vancouver. One of the latest addition is Onezo Tapioca in Burnaby, with its location only steps away from Metrotown.

Bubble Teas

Of course, I had to order its Dirty Tea Series to try its brown sugar pearls. For an apple-to-apple comparison, I chose the Brown Sugar Dirty Milk 脏脏茶. As usual, the brown sugar pearls are of limited availability. We caught it just in time, showing up at 3:45pm for the 3:30pm batch on a Saturday. Luckily, there was barely a line up, only a few people in front of us. The pearls were nice and warm when the drink first got into my hands. They had good, soft yet chewy texture. The flavour reminded me of creme caramel — the warm toffee, caramel flavour. Almost buttery.

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