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Archive for the ‘Lower Mainland’ Category

If going out for afternoon tea is a tradition for Mother’s Day, then same can be said about BBQ for Father’s Day.

While it is easy enough to visit your local butcher or a grocery store to pick up some meat and veggies for the barbecue, local restaurants have also put together gourmet BBQ kits that you can bring home and surprise your father. Here is a round-up of local BBQ kits this year. Make sure to check the order details for each one to not miss out!

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Durian – yay or nay?

This tropical fruit has a hard, spiky exterior. Inside, you would find pieces of soft, creamy fruit meat embedded in several segments. Growing up in HK, I watched market vendors went to the extent to use a screwdriver to ply it open. And fresh durian smell is more pungent than frozen ones. We could only find frozen durians here in Vancouver and the smell is nothing compared to what fresh, ripen durians smell at those markets in HK.

Durian is definitely an acquired taste. Those who love it would find the fruit sweet and fragrant. Those who hate it would say the fruit stinks like rotten egg. In fact, the opinions are a split in our household. Mama Lam wants nothing to do with it, yet Papa Lam enjoys it once in awhile.

Right now, for a limited time only, participating Chatime locations are selling Durian Milk Tea and Durian Roasted Milk Tea. I was provided complimentary drinks to taste test it.

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As we are all practising physical distancing, we are also cooking more at home. Even though Mama Lam does most of the cooking in my household, it’s still nice to offer her a break. And that would also help support local businesses to keep them afloat during this challenging time. Even though I’ve been mostly active in Vancouver and Richmond, I actually live in Coquitlam (I’m willing to travel for food!). Here is a round-up of my favourite places near Coquitlam Centre that are available for pick-up or delivery right now.

fave-coquitlam-restaurant

Click on image to view map

Personally, even though it’s a hassle, I prefer to call the restaurant directly to order, and pick up my food order. That way, the restaurants don’t have to pay the hefty fees that delivery companies charge. However, not all restaurants take orders via the phone because that may take away their time to focus on fulfilling the orders.

Since last week, there’s a campaign called Canada Take Out, which encourages Canadians to support local restaurants by ordering take outs. The official #TakeOutDay is every Wednesday, but don’t forget, your favourite restaurants need your support everyday.

Lastly, of course there are more options in the area than the list below. These are simply my favourite places to go. And if you have suggestions for me to try, let me know! (more…)

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Does the snowy weather just make you want to cuddle up and sit around the fireplace all day? Us Chinese have another way to fight the cold weather — hotpot.

While we usually have hotpot at home, we do go out for it sometimes. There are many hotpot places in Vancouver, with a mix of all-you-can-eat and a la carte options. Recently, I was invited to check out one of the a la carte hotpot places called Liuyishou Hotpot. It’s a worldwide chain, with a few locations in the Lower Mainland in Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby.

At the Burnaby location, one thing that caught my eyes right away was the Sauce Bar. It’s probably the largest in BC, if not Canada. You can choose from minced garlic, cilantro and sesame oil, to mushroom paste, spiced vinegar and preserved bean curd. They have even posted some suggested “recipes” of sauces to pair with different soup bases they offer.

Sauce Bar

Sauce recipes

Making sauces

Of course, the more important part is the menu items. Do they offer a lot of options? Are the ingredients fresh? Any interesting items worthy of note? Let’s break it down.

First of all, the soup base. We had half and half Original Chongqing Spicy Soup and Special Pork Rib Soup. The spicy soup base was molded solid into a cattle shape, and it was melted down in front of our own eyes as the server poured hot broth into the pot. I was told that there’s no extra charge for the cattle shaped soup base, but there’s limited quantity everyday so it’s first come, first served.

Pouring broth to melt the cattle shaped soup base

At medium spicy level, I was still worried that the Original Chongqing Spicy Soup would be too spicy. (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver is back! Running from January 19 to February 4, more than 300 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus and more than 35 special events are planned over this 2-week period.

Ocean Wise Pop-up Cafe 2017 Dine Out

Vancouver Aquarium Pop-up Restaurant 2017 Dine Out

The 3-course dinner are priced at $20, $30 or $40. Some restaurants may charge extra for special menu items. Some restaurants are also offering a lunch menu, which could be at a cheaper price point. The menus are now live and reservations are open. Pretty excited about some of the participating restaurants this year. After perusing the menus, here are our suggestions, based on past experience (Dine Out or not) as well as menu attractiveness. I’ve included links to the menu to make it easier for you:

$20 Suggestions

$30 Suggestions

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