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Going to Starbucks is often a treat for me, or any coffee shop for that matter. I don’t go there for drip coffee — that’s what you have at home, at work, at brunches. One of my go-to drinks at Starbucks is its Earl Grey Tea Latte aka London Fog. Maybe it’s the vanilla syrup, but I just really like its flavour. So when Starbucks launched the Black Sesame Tea Latte earlier this week, I was intrigued.

Black Sesame Tea Latte – Starbucks Official Pic

I was particularly intrigued because black sesame is also one of my favourite flavours when it comes to bubble tea. Reading its description, “black tea steamed with milk and a rich, black sesame sauce topped with a tasty black sesame brittle,” I immediately thought of black sesame bubble tea. And I’ve liked my black sesame BBT hot. Now I really have to try this.

So I did. Verdict?

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Are you looking for gift ideas for your dearest? Or dining options on this special day? Here are some ideas:

Dining

  • Bacchus Restaurant – $135 per person 4-course dinner plus amuse bouche
  • Black + Blue – $85 per person for a 3-course dinner
  • Boathouse Restaurants – $55 or $65 for a 3-course dinner
  • Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar – $120 per person for a 4-course dinner plus amuse bouche and petits fours
  • Burdock & Co – $80 per person for a multi-course dinner. Only two seatings available with 34 seats each: 5:30/6pm and 8/8:30pm
  • C|Prime – $45 per person for a 3-course dinner
  • Cardero’s – a la carte 3-course menu
  • CIBO Trattoria – $68 per person for a 4-course dinner. You can also order this menu a la carte.
  • CinCin – $85 per person for a 4-course dinner
  • Crowbar – $200 per couple for 32 oz organic dry-aged ribeye steak cooked to order, served alongside freshly baked bread, feature pasta and two sides, all capped off by a sinfully decadent dessert. Only 14 sets available.
  • Dockside Restaurant – $75 per person for a 4-course dinner
  • Federico’s – $100 per person for a 4-course dinner, with live music and dancing

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The official Dine Out Vancouver may have ended on Sunday, but some restaurants have decided to offer the Dine Out menus just for a few more days.

Sandbar DOVF 2019 7 oz Prime New York Striploin

7 oz Prime New York Striploin at Sandbar Restaurant

Here are their respective extended end date and menu. The list is very short this year. I will keep updating the list if I hear more.

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Dine Out Vancouver is back! Did you know I’ve been doing Dine Out Vancouver since, like, forever? My first year was when Rob Feenie still had his restaurants and I was there for DOVF.

Running from January 18 to February 3, the prix fixe portion of this year’s program has changed to 4 price points – $15, $25, $35 and $45. There are also more lunch and brunch options, usually at a cheaper price than dinner. This would give an opportunity to try the pricier restaurants with less.

The menus are now live and reservations are open. Actually, Aeroplan members already had access since Monday, so I had the opportunity to go through all the menus. Here are some suggestions, based on past experience (Dine Out or not) as well as menu attractiveness (e.g. value for the money, choice of ingredients, creativity in the menu, enough options for two people, etc.). Now keep in mind I curated the list based on my preference (as you know, I’m a meat lover), my way of thinking, so it may not all suit your taste. But hopefully this gives you a place to start.

I’ve included links to the menu to make it easier for you.

$15 Suggestions

  • Brewhall
  • Chutney Villa (Last year was $20 so I’m guessing portion size would be smaller this year, or it’s super deal for $5 less!)
  • Popina
Chutney Villa Dine Out Vancouver 2018

Chutney Villa Dine Out Vancouver 2018

$25 Suggestions

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In case you haven’t heard, Starbucks Canada opened its biggest location yet here in Vancouver – a new Starbucks Reserve at CF Pacific Centre, at 700 West Pender Street. It’s the second one here in Vancouver, with the first one being on Main Street in Mount Pleasant.

Starbucks Reserve West Pender 04

This new location holds a special place in my heart. Its predecessor being a man’s clothing store was the very place where Mr. rented his wedding suit. It was sad to see it closed but I was equally excited to see a Starbucks Reserve go in its place. Especially it’s very close to work.

Starbucks Reserve West Pender 01

Starbucks Reserve West Pender 05

The store is beautiful. It’s long and spacious. (more…)

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On October 20, 2018, winners of this year’s BC Beer Awards were named. The ceremony was held in conjunction of a tasting event with 60 breweries setting up shop at the Croatian Cultural Centre.

2018 BC Beer Awards

BC Beer Awards received 1,085 entries from 109 breweries. The judging took place over 3 days and was performed by a panel of BJPC (Beer Judge Certification Program), Cicerones and Pro Brewers from all over North America.

Like last year, there was also a Brewers Challenge. Participating breweries were challenged this year to brew something with fresh hop. It can be any beer style. The judging took place as we were given a tour of the space.

2018 BC Beer Awards

And I must say, it’s pretty awesome to see Lien Yeung at CBC as the emcee, especially with her on the step stool. I can totally relate!

2018 BC Beer Awards

BC Beer Awards Winners

A shout out to all the big award winners: (more…)

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Taste of Yaletown is back! Running from October 18-28, 2018, restaurants in the Yaletown neighbourhood will offer innovative pairings and special menus at set prices of $25, $35, and $45.

The Yaletown Business Improvement Association, the event organizer, just released the list of participating restaurants. They are:

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