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Vancouverites will soon have access to interesting Indonesian food products. Sourced from Indonesia by Indonesians, Archipelago Marketplace curates and delivers a wide variety of unique, high quality products to North America, offering customers an authentic Indonesian experience and a taste of the culture. Their products will be available on Amazon as well as at the pop-up store in Gastown at the Indonesia Trade Promotion Centre at 310 West Cordova Street.

I had the opportunity for a sneak preview at the pop-up store. It carries products such as tempeh chips, cassava flour, vanilla sugar, various types of coffee, butterfly pea tea and ginger powder. They also have interesting products that I’ve never heard of, including curcumin powder and the Indonesian ginseng called Tongkat ali.

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This Christmas is nothing like before. There will be no big public events, no big company parties, and no big family gatherings. But hey, we can all still celebrate the holiday season with our core bubble.

Don’t feel like cooking this Christmas? Local restaurants and caterers are offering to-go options that you can celebrate Christmas safely at home, while still 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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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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