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Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Opening on Feb 2, one of Vancouver’s popular ramen shops Zubu makes its mark downtown on Hornby Street. The new restaurant is spacious and I have learned that it has 3 exclusive menu items that are not available at other Zubu locations. I was invited to a media preview and let me tell you more.

Food

First of all, drinks. Their cocktail menu is quite unique, using Asian spirits as well as Asian flavours. We tried the Yuzu Cream and Suutsu Fashion and they were both delicious. Suutsu Fashion is their take on Old Fashioned, smokey and citrusy. Yuzu Cream was creamy and refreshing – and all flavours that I enjoy.

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Dine Out Vancouver is back for its 21st season! Running from January 20-February 5, 2023, 366 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus between $20 and $65 (side note: this was up from $20-$59 last year). Now that we’re settling into our new “normal”, I think more people would want to do this again this year. However, with the increasing food costs that we have been experiencing, I have my doubts about the value and attractiveness of these menus.

As per previous years, I took the time to review the menus and here are what caught my eyes, based on past experiences (Dine Out or otherwise), Google review (if it’s a restaurant that I’ve never been), 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) and my way of thinking, so it may not necessarily suit your taste. But hopefully this gives you a place to start.

Because of the arbitrary prices, I have organized my list into Brunch/Lunch and Dinner. You will find a link to the menu, as well as listed price, to help you make decisions. Remember, my recommendations are for that specific menu and specific location(s) only, even though the restaurant may have other locations and menu options. If you have been to any of them, let me know what you think!

Brunch/Lunch

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Hello 2023!! 2022 is a wrap and there’s so much to be grateful for and to celebrate. With things returning to a new normal, I had the pleasure of discovering a lot of new places last year. Many are worthy a repeat visit and of them all, here are my 10 favourite bites/sips. Now keep in mind this list is about the specific item listed, because one can’t possibly like everything at every single place. These dishes just really stood out for me. Interestingly, only a couple of these places were hosted tastings. The rest were paid out of our own pockets. Also remember, restaurants rotate their menu on a regular basis so what I had listed here may not be available anymore (and I will try my best to specify below), but I’m sure you would find something you like if you decide to visit these restaurants sometime soon.

And without further ado, in no particular order, here are the 10 items:

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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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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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