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Archive for the ‘Gastown’ Category

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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Dine Out Vancouver is back and it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary! Running from January 14-31, 2022, over 300 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus for dine-in or take-out priced between $20 and $59 (side note: this was up from $15-$54 last year). It was very exciting to be able to dine in again when things opened up last year. Things may be a bit iffy now but you can still enjoy Dine Out Vancouver whether it’s dine-in or take-out.

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 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) and my way of thinking, so it may not necessarily suit your taste. But hopefully this gives you a place to start.

Same as last year, with the varied price points, I have organized my list into Lunch, Dinner, Take Out, and Special Offer. I’ve included a link to the menu, as well as listed price, to make it easier for you. 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!

Lunch

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If you are looking for suggestions for Dine Out Vancouver 2022, click here.

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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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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If you are looking for suggestions for Dine Out Vancouver 2022, click here.

Dine Out Vancouver is back! Running from January 17 to February 2, the prix fixe portion of this year’s program is the same as last year, with 4 price points at $15, $25, $35 and $45. There are also lunch options, usually at a cheaper price than dinner. Menu may not be the same as dinner, though, so the value for money is a bit debatable.

The menus are now live and reservations are open. As I was going through the menus, I noticed a lot of new restaurants, ones that I’ve never heard of before. There’s been a lot of openings and closures last year so it makes sense – but it’s also nice to know it’s not the same old list. Here are some suggestions, based on past experience (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.). Now keep in mind 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.

I’ve included links to the menu to make it easier for you.

$15 Suggestions

Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Fries, Popina

$25 Suggestions

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