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Since the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver renovated the ground floor restaurant space, naming it Notch8 Restaurant, I’ve been wanting to eat there. I really like the big light fixture in the middle of the restaurant (in case you forgot, I’m often fascinated by lights!) and it just looks like a huge upgrade/improvement from what it was before. Then, without much hesitation, I made a reservation there for Dine Out.

Notch8 Restaurant & Bar

Priced at $40, Notch8’s menu was intriguing and interesting. The menu has items or ingredient combinations that you don’t often see on a Dine Out menu, or they have some unique way of preparing the usual ingredients, so I was quite excited going into it.

Food

The dinner was off to a good start. I was immediately blown away by how pretty my appetizer was. Look at this Savoury Macaron! Caviar, smoked salmon, scallop mousse, roe…all sitting on a piece of slightly sweet, slightly chewy macaron cookie. There was a good balance of sweet and savoury, and umami flavours from the seafood. It’s so pretty!!

Savory Macaron

It was a bit puzzling to us why they would serve the Forest Mushroom Tart on such a big plate, but I guess having negative space on a plate is also a thing. (more…)

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When Mr. and I planned a dinner out with my colleague SM and fiance CD, we were looking at a number of restaurants in Gastown. In the end, we decided on Wildebeest because its menu was quite intriguing.

Intriguing, how? There’s a lot of game meat on the menu. And we ordered a lot of them.

Food

I don’t think I’ve seen duck hearts on a menu before. These Popcorn Duck Hearts were addictive – they’re crispy outside, meaty inside. Slightly bigger than chicken hearts, and not gamey (to me). The batter was thin, and it wasn’t greasy. The yogurt sauce was like a dipping sauce, bringing freshness and creaminess to the dish. You really could keep popping them in your mouth like popcorn.

Popcorn Duck Hearts

This Bison Carpaccio looks like a typical carpaccio, except with the use of bison instead of beef. The bison was lightly seared on the outside so it’s practically rare. Even though it’s leaner, it’s still tender, buttery. The sorghum “popcorn” added some crunch. The highlight of the dish was the sous vide egg yolk.

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Did you know WildTale’s Dine Out menu is only $30 this year? When my family and I went there for Dine Out last year it was $40! I was invited to a preview of this year’s menu and I was curious to see how it has changed.

Turns out there are a couple repeating items on the menu, which makes this $30 menu a pretty good deal.

Food

One of the repeating items is the WildTale Seafood Chowder. Well, it’s not entirely the same as last year’s, but the idea is there. The chowder was the most memorable appetizer last year, and this year’s chowder was my favourite appetizer on the menu. It was rich, creamy, flavourful – and the corn and crab fritter was nice and crispy, adding some texture to the soup.

WildTale Seafood Chowder

If you look for something lighter in the appetizer, either the Organic Beets & Watercress salad or the Albacore Tuna Carpaccio would make a great option. I love beets, so any beet salad could easily win my heart. These beets were sweet, balanced by the hint of bitterness in watercress. It’s missing some tang and acidity, though – I love me some goat cheese in my beet salad. (more…)

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Have you checked out the Dine Out Vancouver website yet? Are you doing any prix fixe dinner? I was invited to a tour on the Granville Island to visit some restaurants for their menu preview. First up, Dockside Restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel.

Dockside has been around for a long time. I remember going there for the first time for Dine Out back in 2008, then Christmas brunch with family in 2013, my bridal shower in 2015, then here we are again for Dine Out. Food quality was always solid and we always had a good time.

Food

There are three options for appetizer. First, the Winter Green Salad was so pleasing on the eyes. It’s colourful, with a good variety of vegetables. I like that it uses polenta as croutons; not only does it give a crispy texture, but also creamy, cheesy flavours.

Winter Green Salad

My friend JX loves her crab cakes, and I think she’ll enjoy these Dockside Crab and Shrimp Cakes. Perfect two-bite size, crispy on the outside and meaty inside. Not much filler there. The sweetness of mango salsa and creamy aioli balanced it really nicely.

Dockside Crab & Shrimp Cakes

My favourite appetizer was the Duck Prosciutto Tart. (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver is back! Running from January 20 to February 5, more than 280 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus and more than 100 food-themed events are planned over this 2-week period.

Beach Bay Cafe

The 3-course dinner are priced at $20, $30 or $40. 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 as well as menu attractiveness:

$20 Suggestions

  • Banana Leaf (our review)
  • Butcher & Bullock
  • The Fish Shack (our review) – price reduced from $30 last year
  • Gyoza Bar
  • Rocky Mountain Flatbread
  • TAPshack
  • Timber

$30 Suggestions

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Recently, we had the opportunity to test out a 2017 Ford Fusion Energi for a week. We thought it would be fun to see what it’s like to live with an Electric Vehicle.

There’s no denying that EVs are the future. Every year, there are more offerings popping up in this segment. They range from econoboxs to high end luxury cars. The Fusion Energi falls somewhere in the middle.

Ford Fusion Energi 2017

The Energi is a plug-in hybrid. Simply put, it’s a hybrid with the ability to drive on electric only mode for extended periods of time, and the ability to charge the larger battery pack by plugging in.

So what did Mr. like most about this Plug-in Hybrid? (more…)

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On the rare occasion that CC and I got to hang out we chose to check out CandyTown in Yaletown, and we decided to first grab a bite at Small Victory Bakery.

Food

While CC opted for a sandwich, my eyes were set on those fluffy croissants in the showcase. I didn’t simply go for a butter croissant, though; I wanted a Breakfast Croissant. Sadly they sold out of it, so I went for the Bacon & Cheese Croissant instead. It’s light, fluffy, buttery. Then, as I got to the middle, there’s melted cheddar cheese with some meaty bacon. Of course, for the meat lover in me, I wish there’s more bacon. But because the cheddar cheese was also salty, too much bacon would’ve shot the salt level through the roof. This was perfectly balanced, and seriously, I could’ve easily had another one of these.

Bacon & Cheese Croissant

Christmas is just around the corner, so obviously I had to order a seasonal item. Cue the Mont Blanc. (more…)

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