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Archive for the ‘Surrey’ Category

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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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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A new pork katsu (aka cutlet) shop opened up in Surrey. Turns out it’s a chain with multiple locations in Toronto. This Surrey location is the first in BC.

Mr. Tonkatsu Surrey

The menu is quite simple: variations of pork loin or tenderloin katsu, or chicken or shrimp katsu if you don’t feel like pork. Alongside there’s also appetizers or fried chicken to add to the mix.

Mr. Tonkatsu Surrey

Food

As suggested by the restaurant name, obviously we had to order a tonkatsu. We had the Pork Loin Katsu. Mr. made a comment, “This is one of the few restaurants whose food comes out exactly like the pictures in the menu.” Sure enough, it looks just like the menu, down to one piece of cutlet flipped to its side. In fact, I think the portion size is even bigger than the picture.

Mr. Tonkatsu Surrey Pork Loin Katsu

The cutlet was crispy, with just the right amount of breading. Panko breading was light and flaky.

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Dine Out Vancouver is back! Did you know I’ve been doing Dine Out Vancouver since, like, forever? My first year was when Rob Feenie still had his restaurants and I was there for DOVF.

Running from January 18 to February 3, the prix fixe portion of this year’s program has changed to 4 price points – $15, $25, $35 and $45. There are also more lunch and brunch options, usually at a cheaper price than dinner. This would give an opportunity to try the pricier restaurants with less.

The menus are now live and reservations are open. Actually, Aeroplan members already had access since Monday, so I had the opportunity to go through all the menus. 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), 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

  • Brewhall
  • Chutney Villa (Last year was $20 so I’m guessing portion size would be smaller this year, or it’s super deal for $5 less!)
  • Popina

Chutney Villa Dine Out Vancouver 2018

Chutney Villa Dine Out Vancouver 2018

$25 Suggestions

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A 5th location of Chatime, a bubble tea franchise originated from Taiwan, has just opened in Surrey. Thanks to our friends at ChineseBites, I checked out the location before its grand opening day.

Drinks

At Chatime, not only do you get to choose from some 80-90 different drinks off the menu, you also get to customize your drinks by adding toppings and selecting your desired ice and sugar level:

  • Toppings ($0.50 each): Pearl / Grass Jelly / Pudding / Coconut Jelly / Coffee Jelly / Red Bean / Aloe Vera / Rainbow Jelly
  • Ice Options: 0% / 80% / Regular (100%) / 120%
  • Sugar Options: 0% / 30% / 50% / 80% / Regular (100%) / 120%

Chatime Pyramid

With that, here are the few drinks I tried:

Mango Green Tea (80% ice, 80% sugar, with Coconut Jelly) – This is often my go-to bubble tea because I’m a big mango fan. I only ordered it with 80% sugar, so it wasn’t overly sweet like most other ones I’ve had in the past. I could taste both the mango flavouring as well as the green tea. Nothing too special because it’s just a mango green tea, but definitely one of the better versions I’ve had in town.

Matcha Tea Latte (80% ice, 80% sugar) – Matcha Latte seems to be a popular item everywhere, including chain coffee shops such as Blenz and Waves. Naturally, I decided to order one at Chatime. (more…)

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