Archive for the ‘Meat’ Category

Earlier this month, as media, I was invited to attend the 3rd annual Science of Cocktails event at the Science World. It was the perfect venue as the Science World was transformed into a giant lab where drinks were changing from blue to pink, bananas being sous vide in honey, popcorn was frozen with liquid nitrogen, a “toothpaste” palate cleanser, smoking herbs, vaporized gin & tonic, fermentation, a sniffing station, foodies pulling themselves up a lift… the list goes on!

Science of Cocktails 2018

Science of Cocktails 2018Science of Cocktails 2018

Science of Cocktails 2018

Science of Cocktails 2018Science of Cocktails 2018



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Does the snowy weather just make you want to cuddle up and sit around the fireplace all day? Us Chinese have another way to fight the cold weather — hotpot.

While we usually have hotpot at home, we do go out for it sometimes. There are many hotpot places in Vancouver, with a mix of all-you-can-eat and a la carte options. Recently, I was invited to check out one of the a la carte hotpot places called Liuyishou Hotpot. It’s a worldwide chain, with a few locations in the Lower Mainland in Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby.

At the Burnaby location, one thing that caught my eyes right away was the Sauce Bar. It’s probably the largest in BC, if not Canada. You can choose from minced garlic, cilantro and sesame oil, to mushroom paste, spiced vinegar and preserved bean curd. They have even posted some suggested “recipes” of sauces to pair with different soup bases they offer.

Sauce Bar

Sauce recipes

Making sauces

Of course, the more important part is the menu items. Do they offer a lot of options? Are the ingredients fresh? Any interesting items worthy of note? Let’s break it down.

First of all, the soup base. We had half and half Original Chongqing Spicy Soup and Special Pork Rib Soup. The spicy soup base was molded solid into a cattle shape, and it was melted down in front of our own eyes as the server poured hot broth into the pot. I was told that there’s no extra charge for the cattle shaped soup base, but there’s limited quantity everyday so it’s first come, first served.

Pouring broth to melt the cattle shaped soup base

At medium spicy level, I was still worried that the Original Chongqing Spicy Soup would be too spicy. (more…)

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Having done Dine Out Vancouver for so many years now, frankly I’m feeling burnout. To me, a lot of the menus are not very inspiring; or I question the value for the money. So this year, I set out to try to discover gems that don’t require you to pay $40 yet still feel hungry afterwards.

I was invited to bring a guest (guess whom I brought?) to sample the Dine Out menu of a Donnelly Group restaurant of my choice, including wine pairings. They are all $20 menus. After perusing them, I decided on the Granville Room. Why? I will get to that in a moment.


There are two choices for appetizer. Naturally, we ordered one of each. The Coconut Fried Prawns were nice and crunchy. Mr. (ding-ding!) thought the coating was too thick to taste the prawns but I thought it’s okay. The prawns had good texture, a bit bouncy and not mushy. What’s intriguing is the dipping sauce. It’s a coconut hoisin sauce. When it said hoisin I expected the sauce to be darker in colour, but it’s just a tinted creamy white colour. It had a lot of coconut flavour but it’s not too sweet thanks to the subtle use of hoisin sauce. The prawns themselves did not have any coconut; it’s all in the sauce.

Wine pairing: Desert Hills Viognier – The fried prawns actually mellowed out the acidity in the viognier.

Coconut Fried Prawns

Beef Rib Empanada was also a hand-held appy. There were two pieces on the plate, served with a mole sauce. The sauce was rich, thick, and had some smokey flavour that didn’t overpower everything. (more…)

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[Editor’s Note: Keep scrolling past the delicious food pics for a meat-sweaty giveaway!]

Mechanical bull, southern BBQ, country music…do they all exist in one place in Vancouver? Yep, Yale Saloon.

I was invited to a tasting at Yale Saloon, featuring their southern style BBQ selections. Right away at the door I was greeted by a mechanical bull. Then country musicians, the front-end of an old Chevy pick-up, and a moose head mounted on the wall.

Yale Saloon Yale Saloon Yale Saloon

We got to sample a number of items on the menu:

  • Pulled Pork Tacos
  • Cauliflower “Wings”
  • Bite Sized Brisket
  • Texas Smoked Spare Ribs
  • Mac n’ Cheese
  • Smoked Chicken Wings
  • Potato Salad
  • Nacho

BBQ menu at Yale Saloon

My favourite bites were the Pulled Pork Tacos; the meat was flavourful and juicy. The Cauliflower “Wings” — which are supposed to be the veggie substitute for wings — were surprisingly tasty. They had a nice tang, spicy, almost reminded me of buffalo wings. On the other hand, the real Smoked Chicken Wings had a good coating of BBQ sauce, yet the skin remained crispy. The Brisket and Spare Ribs also had good flavours. 

Texas Smoked Spare Ribs Smoked Chicken Wings Pulled Pork Tacos

Bite Sized Brisket Potato Salad

We also got to take home one of their Jalapeno Cornbread and it was very moist, with nice crumbs. One of the best cornbreads I’ve had around.

The restaurant has a nice, casual atmosphere. It’d make a good hang-out spot with friends on the weekend.

In case you are wondering, I didn’t get on the mechanical bull. I heard it’s fun, though, especially if you’re tipsy. Not recommended for when you’re drunk.

So, would you like to check out Yale Saloon? Here’s your chance:


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[Editor’s Note: Giveaway has ended. Congratulations to @devouryvr on winning!]

Speaking of Two Rivers in my last post, they just opened their first public-facing shop and eatery last month, which includes a traditional butchery, a deli counter and an eat-in grill.

Two Rivers - The Shop Dining Room (Photo Credit Adam Blasberg)

Two Rivers – The Shop Dining Room (Photo Credit Adam Blasberg)

With the butchery, customers can find house-made sausages, dry-aged beef, and hand-tooled cuts, etc. At the take-out deli counter, there’s artisanal salumi and charcuterie. (more…)

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[Editor’s Note: Read till the end to enter our giveaway!]

The Butcher & Bullock is very close to my office. One time when I was hanging out with friends at the Butcher & Bullock, I discovered the “Build Your Sausage Plate“. You get to choose two sausages crafted in collaboration with Two Rivers Meats + two types of mustard + fries & kimchi. I paid extra for a piece of pretzel on the side because I didn’t think there would be enough food. (Excuse the grainy photo – like the mustard haha – it was an impromptu meetup so I didn’t have my camera with me!)

Build Your Sausage Plate - The Donnelly Group

I chose a bratwurst and a chorizo. The sausages were juicy, flavourful. (more…)

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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.


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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