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Archive for the ‘Vancouver’ Category

So far 2020 has been a crazy year and it doesn’t appear to change anytime soon. As we continue to embrace the pandemic situation, we shouldn’t stop celebrating traditions and holidays. We just have to change the way we do things this year.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Are you cooking up a storm as usual? Or have you been stuck at home a lot more this year and are getting tired of your own cooking? If so, local restaurants are offering to-go options that you can still celebrate Thanksgiving safely at home, while enjoying restaurant quality dishes. Here is my round-up. I will continue to update this list as restaurants continue to promote their offering.

Make sure to check the order details for each one to not miss out!

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Last year, a pop-up bakery took Vancouver by the storm with a cookie made with the Asian White Rabbit candy. This summer, Chef Andrew Han turned his pop-up into a cafe. Kouign Cafe is now open in Chinatown.

Since its opening, many have followed the white rabbit and tried the various cookies and pastries Kouign Cafe has to offer. The original vision for the cafe was to offer dine-in options with the addition of sandwiches and beverages. At this point, they are only offering pastries to go. I suspect Chef Han’s plan, like many others, was disrupted by COVID-19. The shop has been very popular, though, and some items would even be sold out before closing. While I was in the area, I swung by and purchased one of everything that was available at that time. I’ve never bought pastries from their pop-up shop before so this would be my first time trying them.

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For the last couple of years, the dynamics of Vancouver’s restaurant sector have shifted. More commissary kitchens have opened, some restaurateurs have closed their brick and mortar to switch to a ghost kitchen concept, some aspired restaurateurs and bakers are testing the water without a brick and mortar. It’s relatively lower-cost to run a restaurant operation without the investment of a physical location with equipment, tables & chairs, dishware and decorations, and everything else. It’s especially appealing during the COVID-19 crisis now when a majority of business comes from take-out or delivery orders.

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Coho Commissary

Earlier in the year, Takenaka opened its door, figuratively speaking, by offering different types of Japanese bento boxes. It operates in one of the Coho Commissary locations in Vancouver. Their concept is inspired by the traditional bento boxes created by mom, while introducing a more artistic approach and bringing in fresh and interesting ingredients. The owner/chef Shogo Takenaka came from Kingyo Izakaya and its sister restaurant Raisu. Sous-chef Daiki Ishikawa was trained in Niigata prefecture, known for its finest quality in rice, sake and seafood. I was provided a few of their menu items for a tasting.

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Food

Among the items I received, right away my eyes were drawn to the Kaiseki Bento.

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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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