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I was invited to the menu preview of the 2017 Taste of Yaletown. Organized by the Yaletown BIA and similar to Dine Out Vancouver, participating restaurants in Yaletown are offering a $25, $35, or $45 menu until Oct 27. At the preview event, I got to sample the menus at two restaurants, one of which was House Special, serving Modern Vietnamese cuisine.

Food

House Special offers a 4-course menu for $45. The first course was Mekong Wonton. Shrimp and monkfish mousse wontons were sitting in a sweet, sour and spicy tamarind seafood broth, which was inspired by a traditional Vietnamese dish Canh Chua Ca. It’s different from other types of Asian sweet and sour, or hot and sour soup. I could taste the sweet and sour combo from the tamarind but I was definitely caught by surprise when the pineapple flavour hit my palate. Being so familiar with the Chinese style wonton soup, this Vietnamese version was almost refreshing to me.

Mekong Wonton

The second course was Caramelized Pork Jowl Banh Hoi, which is their take on a lettuce wrap but with endives. (more…)

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It was the final week of the Claude Monet Secret Garden exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I had no idea why it took me so long to finally check it out, but I made it! CC and I planned a fancy girls’ day out.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet at Vancouver Art Gallery

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit, witnessing the evolution of Monet’s work. In addition to the Water Lilies, my favourite pieces were Taking a Walk Near Argenteuill, Wisteria, and Weeping Willow.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art GalleryClaude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

A pleasant surprise was Stephen Shore‘s photo exhibit in conversation with the Monet’s exhibit. (more…)

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On Monday, September 25, 11 professional barchefs and four apprentice bartenders competed at the 2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regional Competition. The professionals were competing for a spot to represent the region at the Nationals next year.

2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals

At the event, not only were the barchefs trying to win the judges’ heart, but they were also trying to impress every event guest. We were given two “dogtag” necklaces, to vote for our favourite barchef and apprentice bartender.

2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals

We got to sample each cocktail, along with some canape pairings.

(more…)

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As you all can figure from my posts, I love meat. Even my coworkers are fully aware of it (and sometimes make fun of me for that). So when our beloved, vegetarian friends JG and BD visited Vancouver from Toronto, it pained me a little that DV and DH chose a vegetarian restaurant — The Acorn — for our brunch together, instead of a regular restaurant with good vegetarian options. But hey, how else would I get to try The Acorn?! I’m game!

Food

The brunch menu at The Acorn isn’t big, but there are some interesting items that even a carnivore like me was intrigued. For beverage, I ordered a non-alcoholic Citrus + Spiced Iced Tea. It has grapefruit, Vermouth reduction sherbet, and mandarin spiced tea. It’s refreshing, herbaceous yet borderline medicinal. It’s quite light in the spiced flavours, but it would make a good summer drink.

Citrus + Spice Iced Tea

As for my main, I opted for the Fried Egg. What caught my eye? The fried poached egg. Yes, a poached egg battered with cornmeal then fried. You would think that the egg would be over-cooked. Impressively, my egg was cooked perfectly — I cut it open and the yolk just oozed out. The smoked chanterelles were in the place of meat; they were earthy, hearty, and they tasted so good. I wished there were more! Overall the plate was well composed. The soft polenta and parsnip puree were creamy, and the fried poached egg and roasted parsnip added some texture. Everything tasted very good, but it wasn’t very filling for me.

Fried Egg

Mr., DV and BD all ordered the Skillet, and this was a hearty dish! (more…)

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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.

(more…)

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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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