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Archive for the ‘Culinary Events’ Category

Taste of Yaletown is back for its 17th year! For the first time, it will run for the entire month of October, with restaurants offering special menus created especially for the event.

This year, Taste of Yaletown (TOY) is putting an emphasis on community and bringing the community back together safely. For every TOY menu sold, Yaletown Business Improvement Association (YBIA) will be donating $2.00 to The Greater Vancouver Food Bank and Yaletown House, a not-for-profit long-term care home for seniors. In addition, the YBIA has partnered up with Earls Yaletown to buy lunch for all 150 staff at the Yaletown House to give thanks for keeping Vancouver seniors safe during the pandemic. Yaletown House is the only seniors home in Vancouver with zero cases thus far. All 150 staff members will be able to book their lunch at any time that works best for them.

Also new to TOY this year is the “Healthcare Happy Hour”, to honour and celebrate every healthcare worker that has been on the frontlines of the pandemic. Taking place every Wednesday during TOY at 4:00-6:00 pm at Bill Curtis Square, healthcare workers can stop by the event for some live music, and pick up a gift basket put together by Yaletown businesses and restaurants. The YBIA will also be setting up a community board where Yaletown visitors can share their own messages of appreciation and support for healthcare workers.

Participating restaurants include Banter Room, Bistro Sakana, Brix & Mortar, Cactus Club Cafe, Grand Chinese Restaurant, Hapa Izakaya, Provence Marinaside, Robba da Matti, Sushi Maro, The Flying Pig, The Greek by Anatoli, and WestOak. Restaurants will be sharing their special menus on their social media channels.

For more information, visit yaletowninfo.com/tasteofyaletown/

Photo credit: Yaletown BIA

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Do you sometimes get this giddy feeling when you come across something new and unique, knowing that you’re among the firsts to know about it, and you can’t wait to tell people? I get that when I try a new restaurant, or spot a new product at grocery stores. And I just had a moment like this when I attended a food and beverage product trade show at the Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre in Gastown.

Named “A Flavourful Journey to Indonesia”, the purpose of the event was to provide Canadian businesses with a glimpse of the food and beverage products Indonesia offers, thus bringing these products to Canada and making them available at local retail stores. So naturally, many products I saw at this event are not yet available in Canada, but I had the opportunity to sample them and I seriously hope they will be available here soon.

Here are a few that got me really excited:

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Life has been busy so I didn’t really look into Dine Out Vancouver until there were only 2 weeks left. There were a few interesting, attractive menus but many came from restaurants that I’ve been before. Since I don’t dine out very much these days, I wanted to use the opportunity to try some place new. Then I spotted a good deal at Social on Commercial Drive. Social has only been open for a few months, back in October 2020 in midst of the second wave of COVID.

Social offers a 3-course menu for only $25, and it’s available for lunch or dinner. Sure, you don’t get to choose your appetizer or dessert, but there are 4 options for entrees, including trout and 8oz sirloin baseball steak. I thought that’s really good value for your money. On their regular menu, the trout would be $28 and sirloin baseball steak costs $36. I decided to take Mama Lam there for lunch.

Food

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Dine Out Vancouver is back and reimagined! Running from February 5 to March 7, 2021, 366 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus for dine-in or take-out priced between $15 and $54. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the past year has been tough for the restaurant industry. I was glad to see the return of the iconic food festival, while it’s made some adjustments to accommodate the current situation. For one, the festival has been extended to run for 31 days, to allow more opportunities for diners to participate while restaurants are offering lower capacity and limited seating. Also, there’s flexibility in how each restaurant prices their menu so it’s no longer just the 3-4 price points in the past.

Even though the festival is well underway, restaurants are still open for reservations and there’s always room to accept take-out orders. I took the time to review the menus and here are what caught my eyes, based on past experiences (Dine Out or not) as well as menu attractiveness (e.g. value for the money, choice of ingredients, creativity in the menu, enough options for two people, etc.). Also keep in mind that I curated the list based on my preference (as you know, I’m a meat lover and I’m biased against chicken and salmon), my way of thinking, so it may not all suit your taste. But hopefully this gives you a place to start.

Because the prices vary a lot this year, I can’t break them down by price point like previous years. Instead, I organized my list into Lunch, Dinner, Take Out, and Special Offer. And my recommendations are for that specific menu only, even though the restaurant may offer other menu options, after weighing in my preference and my perceived value of the menus. I’ve also included links to the menu to make it easier for you.

Lunch

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Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is back! Given the global COVID-19 pandemic and Public Health Order restrictions in BC, most participating vendors not only offer dine-in hot chocolates, but also to-go options and DIY kits. On the top of my list to try was Mon Paris Patisserie because both flavours on the menu sound so good!

On an almost snow day this weekend, we went to Mon Paris for a taste. I was hoping to sit inside the patisserie actually, but both tables were occupied so we could only take them to-go and enjoy them in our car ride.

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