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Archive for the ‘Group Lunch’ Category

As you all can figure from my posts, I love meat. Even my coworkers are fully aware of it (and sometimes make fun of me for that). So when our beloved, vegetarian friends JG and BD visited Vancouver from Toronto, it pained me a little that DV and DH chose a vegetarian restaurant — The Acorn — for our brunch together, instead of a regular restaurant with good vegetarian options. But hey, how else would I get to try The Acorn?! I’m game!

Food

The brunch menu at The Acorn isn’t big, but there are some interesting items that even a carnivore like me was intrigued. For beverage, I ordered a non-alcoholic Citrus + Spiced Iced Tea. It has grapefruit, Vermouth reduction sherbet, and mandarin spiced tea. It’s refreshing, herbaceous yet borderline medicinal. It’s quite light in the spiced flavours, but it would make a good summer drink.

Citrus + Spice Iced Tea

As for my main, I opted for the Fried Egg. What caught my eye? The fried poached egg. Yes, a poached egg battered with cornmeal then fried. You would think that the egg would be over-cooked. Impressively, my egg was cooked perfectly — I cut it open and the yolk just oozed out. The smoked chanterelles were in the place of meat; they were earthy, hearty, and they tasted so good. I wished there were more! Overall the plate was well composed. The soft polenta and parsnip puree were creamy, and the fried poached egg and roasted parsnip added some texture. Everything tasted very good, but it wasn’t very filling for me.

Fried Egg

Mr., DV and BD all ordered the Skillet, and this was a hearty dish! (more…)

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It was Mr.‘s birthday and I thought a few of us were meeting up at the Teahouse in Stanley Park for brunch. Little did I know, it turned into a surprise wedding proposal and yes, I’m pleased and excited to tell you that Mr. will officially become Mr. soon (you will have to ask me in person for the full story hehe)! 🙂

Food

I have been to the Teahouse a couple of times before and it didn’t disappoint; this was no exception. And in this joyous moment, everything just tasted good. I ordered the Steak and Eggs. The meat was flavourful and tender. Even though striploin isn’t the best cut of meat, and we found a tendon in the meat, it was not chewy at all! I only wished it was more than 5oz so there were a few more pieces to go around. The scrambled eggs were nice and fluffy; overall a good pairing. I do think Edible Canada makes the best Steak & Eggs but this was up there with them.

Steak and Eggs

Mr. (hehe) picked Smoked Salmon Raft. It’s a unique take on the classic eggs benny. Instead of English muffin, it used roasted potato cakes. The potato cakes were rich and nicely seasoned, but it was missing the crunch from the toasted English muffin. The surprise was in the fried capers – I’m not a huge fan of capers but frying them takes away the strong pungent taste and they became much easier on the palate.

Smoked Salmon Raft

I also tried a bite of LW’s Montreal Smoked Meat Hash. (more…)

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As part of Dine Out Vancouver 2014, Street Food City is returning for its 3rd year. Between January 22 and January 26, 23 food trucks will be gathered around the north side of Vancouver Art Gallery and serve some fantastic food truck goodness at this festival. This is probably the best and worst time to try out any food trucks: It’s the best because there are so many of them together at once; it’s the worst because it’s also attracting the most amount of people which means you will be faced with long line-ups at every truck.

Crowd @ Street Food City

Crowd @ Street Food City

Regardless, this is an event that I look forward to every year. Here are some of our favourites that will be participating this year:

And here is my wishlist for this year:

  • Feastro: Heard good things about its tacos
  • Le Tigre: Always want to try Clement Chan’s food. Another Asian food truck that I think I will like.
  • Yolks: Breakfast food truck? Yes, please!
  • Mogu: Heard great things about its chicken karaage

Hopefully I can make it to the Street Food City this year (my body is in the process of fixing itself). Otherwise, I’m looking to you to let me know how it goes!

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For a team lunch, KB, AM, MP (yes a new member!) and I headed over to the p2b Bistro at Renaissance to grab a bite. It was one of my suggestions for lunch because I remembered the nice environment when we attended the Blue Ribbon Classics Menu launch last year, and the food was decent for a hotel restaurant.

Food

Turns out at lunch p2b offers a “In 30 under $20” menu, targeting business professionals with very little time to eat. It’s a two-course prix-fixe lunch menu (including coffee or tea) for $19, with a promise that you will be out the door within 30 minutes. Although we weren’t really in a hurry to finish lunch in 30 minutes, $19 is too good of a deal to resist. And yes, in the end, we all ordered from this menu.

Each table receives some Cheese Herb Bread. It looks really good, nice and puffy. We were wondering if it’s baked or fried, and as soon as we bit into it (or tried to rip it apart), we immediately knew that it’s fried. You can never go wrong with fried dough, but it did get a bit heavy after a few bites. The tomato chutney was a bit tart and helped cut through the grease in the fried bread.

Cheese Herb Bread

Cheese Herb Bread

For appetizers, I chose the Tender Baby Spinach Salad. It’s a standard affair with spinach, tomatoes and bocconcini cheese. The cheese is really soft, lacking the spongy texture that I usually taste in bocconcini, so I was slightly taken aback. (more…)

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Thanks to work, a few of us were treated to a nice lunch at Hapa Izakaya near the Convention Centre. Even though it’s always been part of the Hapa family, this location was formerly Hapa Umi which went for a more fine-dining direction, serving Japanese/fusion cuisine. A few months ago, it was converted back to be another izakaya, doing what Hapa does best.

Hapa Izakaya Menu

Hapa Izakaya Menu

Food

There were five of us, so we each picked out 2 dishes to have 10 dishes to share. Well, we only had 9 dishes at the end because the last one never came. Here are the dishes in no particular order.

The Ebi Avocado Salad was quite refreshing. I like that it had a generous amount of shrimps, instead of giving you just a few as “garnish”. The citrus dressing was tasty, although nothing special about it. And I can really do without the sprinkle of green onions on top; it felt a bit out of place to mix green onions together with a green salad.

Ebi Avocado Salad

Ebi Avocado Salad – Prawns, avocado, organic greens, citrus dressing

Ebi Mayo is my izakaya staple – something I order at every izakaya restaurant. Thankfully everyone at the table is also willing to give it a try so it made it on the list. (more…)

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Part of a birthday celebration, six of us went to Monk McQueens for a Sunday brunch. It’s a great location for group dinner or lunch, because it’s a huge space. In fact, it’s one of the popular wedding venues.

Food

More people means more items to try. Yay for me! First of all, 6 of us shared two orders of Crab & Shrimp Cakes. What surprised us wasn’t the size or the number of crab cakes, but that each plate came with two crab claws. It was so much fun to crack open those claws and dip in the chipotle sauce. The crab cakes were of decent size, and I like that the crab and shrimp meat wasn’t minced to mushy patty. They were big chunks of meat so it still gave you a bite. Each plate also came with two slices of poached pear, nice and sweet, but feeling a bit out of place especially it was sitting right on top of a slab of chipotle sauce. Overall a great start to our meal.

Crab & Shrimp Cakes

Crab & Shrimp Cakes

I ordered the Fish Tacos, 3 soft tacos filled with fish, scallops and corn salsa, paired with two sauces – avocado & lime creme fraiche (like guacamole) and tomatillo jalapeno sauce (think hot sauce). As expected, it was quite messy to eat them. The corn salsa was a bit watery, so juices were trickling down my palms and front arms. Not recommended if you were all dressy, unless you are a trained soft taco eater. The tacos were great. I found the fish pieces a bit fishy, though, if weren’t covered by the sauces. Other than that, I would order it again. Very filling and great value.

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

Being the traditional guy, Mr. picked Monk’s Classic Breakfast. (more…)

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America, the land of the plentiful and home of the obese. A country where the only thing bigger than their stomachs are the size of their portions.

This is a manly man’s playground.

Enter the Red Lobster.

Overview

The four of us went down to the States to spend a day with my guy crush, Chris, to celebrate his birthday. He has always expressed an undying love for shrimp. So we thought Red Lobster would be a fun place to go eat.

I have fond memories of Red Lobster from 2 summers ago, when they had the unlimited shrimp promotion going. I had plates after plates of shrimp, deep fried, grilled and boiled. This time around, the Lobster Fest was on.

What went in

The two of us shared a Lobster “Pizza”, Coconut Shrimp, and the Bar Harbour Lobster and Shrimp Trio.

Lobster Pizza

The lobster pizza isn’t really a pizza at all. It’s pizza toppings placed on a crepe, which actually tastes much better than it sounds. It’s topped with fresh tomatoes, basil, a light layer of mozzarella cheese, and chunks of lobster. Being that it’s a crepe, it takes thin-crust to a whole new level. What makes it work well is the fact that it has no sauce. It reminds me of an open-faced quesadilla. (more…)

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