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Archive for the ‘Noodles’ Category

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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Partnering once again with the team at VANEATS, we were invited to sample the #TurnOnTheRajio package. If you remember, last time we checked out Rajio we quite enjoyed it, so I was happy to plan a return visit and I invited LW to join me.

#TurnOnTheRajio by VANEATS.ca

Food

Before we began eating, we ordered a Smashing Hit Punch. At first it looked a bit steep at $12, but it was more than a drink. First, it’s served in this cute watermelon cup. In addition to the cocktail, they also cut the watermelon in cubes and placed them in the cup. Did you know that watermelon works like sponges? The fruit pieces just soaked up all the alcohol so when you eat them they’re extra delicious! It’s like a spiked fruit salad!

Smashing Hit Punch

Now, onto the food. The VANEATS package includes 4 items:

The Kushikatsu is the house specialty. For this package you will be given 4 deep-fried, panko-breaded skewers at random, upon chef’s recommendation. I have looked at other bloggers’ photos and we all seemed to get different things. I got to try 1) Camerbet cheese, 2) Takoyaki, 3) Beef, and 4) Asparagus. All these skewers come with the house dipping sauce. The skewers themselves do not have a lot of seasoning, but the sauce adds some sweet and savouriness to them, accentuating the flavours. Now remember, only one dunk per skewer. Why? It was recommended by the restaurant; I suspect it has to do with softening the breading and affecting the crispy exterior.

Kushikatsu

The Bagna Cauda is your Japanese twist of veggie and dip. (more…)

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A spa date brought CC and me to Davie Street. For dinner we decided to be spontaneous and picked whatever that caught our eyes. We ended up at the door of Thai Basil on Thurlow.

Food

We started with a Thai Iced Tea each. It has the essence of the HK style milk tea but sweeter due to the use of condensed milk. It was quite good, had a good blend of tea flavours, thirst-quenching and surprisingly refreshing. But I felt like my blood sugar level went up just by drinking this.

Thai Iced Tea

Then we shared two entrees. The Tom Yum Noodle Soup builds on the classic Tom Yum soup base, but not as sour and spicy as I have had at other Thai restaurants. It used the same type of rice noodle as Pad Thai, so the texture remained al dente and not mushy. It was a big bowl of noodles, with a decent serving of shrimps. (more…)

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Himalayan cuisine? Yes, there’s such thing. Do I know much about it? Not at all! But with a group-buy voucher, CC and I decided to check out Yak & Yeti in Kitsilano. It’s actually a sister restaurant of Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen on Davie Street. I went there last year but didn’t find it too memorable (and didn’t even write about it!)

So, what does Yak & Yeti serve? This is what their website says: “Yak & Yeti Bistro selects the best of the high altitude cooking primarily from Nepal, Tibet and India combining it with a host of other cuisines thus creating a unique fusion. Yak (the large Himalayan-dwelling animal) is known for its strength and endurance while Yeti (the giant snowman) is a mystery to most of us. The culinary creations at Yak & Yeti Bistro are thus expected to be just as enduring and mysterious but you will have to first taste it to believe it.”

We were quite intrigued by the menu and frankly we had no idea what to expect until the dishes arrived at the table. Not having a clue about its authenticity, let me try my best to describe each dish.

Food

According to the menu, the Yak Momo is a meat-based favourite street food of the Himalayas. They looked and tasted like Chinese shumai. Not 100% sure if these dumplings are actually made of Yak meat (I thought they call it Yak Momo because of the name of the restaurant; now I realized it may be referencing the animal) but the filling tasted like ground beef. This dish came with 2 dipping sauces, mint cilantro and a tomato-based sauce. We both preferred the mint cilantro sauce with the dumplings, which complemented the garlic, cilantro and other aromatics that were already in the filling. Not listed in the description, this dish also comes with a small-sized Y & Y Soup. More to follow.

Yak Momo

Had we known that a small Y & Y Soup is included with the Momo, we wouldn’t have ordered the full size version. (more…)

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A few weeks ago I was invited by Dishcrawl to check out its A Taste of Vancouver’s West End tour. Suggested by its name, it was a tour of four restaurants on the West End of downtown Vancouver, along Robson Street. Throughout the evening, we stopped by each restaurant and tried a trio of dishes. We didn’t know the list of restaurants ahead of time, only to be given a meet-up location and be ready to be surprised.

And so we met up at our first stop, Ap Gu Jung Korean Cuisine. Did you know how many Korean restaurants are in that area? A lot! Finally I spotted the place and met up with our host Jennifer.

Ap Gu Jung Korean Cuisine

Ap Gu Jung Korean Cuisine

Ap Gu Jung Korean (1642 Robson Street)

Each of us was given a tasting plate of some of the more popular Korean dishes: Beef BBQ (bulgogi), Pork on Fire (spicy pork), Seafood Pancake, Kimchi Pancake and Chicken Skewer. (more…)

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Even though I live in Coquitlam, quite honestly I don’t eat out in the area a lot. If I had to pick a restaurant, it will likely be somewhere in Vancouver. One, I’m more familiar with what’s in town; two, there aren’t many to choose from (or I’m just being picky). We heard that there’s a new Korean grill restaurant near Henderson Place in Coquitlam, so my parents and I decided to give it a try.

Food

The menu isn’t very big. A few items each in categories such as grill, appetizer, skewer and mini hotpot. It’s only until recently that I realized Korean restaurants make great fried chicken — I had to order some here. The Vesta Fried Chicken comes with 3 options: mild, Korean spicy sauce or soy sauce. And you can order 1/2 chicken or whole chicken. We ordered 1/2 chicken with the spicy sauce, but only medium spicy. It was some great fried chicken! The meat was moist (even the white meat), the skin was crispy while each piece was covered/well-tossed in the spicy, garlicky sauce. For me, the spice level at medium was just right. It had a good amount of heat without killing your taste buds or burning your lips.

Vesta Fried Chicken

Vesta Fried Chicken – with Korean style spicy sauce

The skewer section also caught our attention. There are 5 kinds of grilled skewers to choose from, along with hot oden skewers. (more…)

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At my office, there is a huge interest in healthy, balanced eating (which, obviously, singles me out as one of those who has a rather unhealthy eating habit). Many colleagues have been to Freshii on West Cordova and raved about it, so I was intrigued and invited my friend CC to join me for lunch there.

Food

Being there the first time, the menu seemed a bit daunting because there are so many options. You could order something off the menu, or build your own meal. Overwhelmed, I decided to take the safer route and order something off the menu. Spicy Lemongrass sounded pretty good to me. I was picturing something similar to pho, a nice bowl of noodle soup with a bit of heat that warms you right up on a winter day.

Spicy Lemongrass with a thin slice of pita

Spicy Lemongrass with a thin slice of pita

Before I took my first bite, I took a sip of the broth. My heart sank. It didn’t have the heat that I was looking for, nor did it have much flavour. I had a feeling it was going to be a disappointing lunch. (more…)

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