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Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

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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If you are asking for suggestions around Mid Vancouver Island, almost everyone would tell you about this little town named Coombs. According to Wikipedia, the town of Coombs has a population of 1,300+ but they welcome thousands and thousands of visitors every year. So what’s there?

The biggest draw is definitely the Old Country Market, better known as the Goats on the Roof Market. Namely, there are living goats on the roof! We were lucky to see a few of them grazing and chilling on the roof.

Old Country Market in Coombs - Goats on the Roof

Inside, it’s a giant grocery store/market. A lot of local and imported food products, as well as a deli/food counter. I have picked up some candied smoked salmon jerky there and they were very good. And best find at the market? Mr. found a Panama Hat that fits his gigantic head, and I scored a $5 Sun Hat!

Mr. and I with our new hats

Mr. and I with our new hats

While we were there, we had lunch at the Cuckoo Trattoria Italian Restaurant next door. It has a good selection of pasta and pizza dishes. (more…)

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For those of you who follow me on social media, you would know that we took a trip to Vancouver Island. It was a pretty epic trip — travelled from Nanaimo to Port Hardy and San Josef Bay in the northwest corner, and everywhere in between — 2,300km in 9 days.

First stop, Nanaimo. It was brunch time when we arrived in Nanaimo. Downtown Nanaimo has no shortage of brunch options, and Gabriel’s Cafe caught my eyes. Gabriel’s is about eat local, farm to table.

Gabriel's Cafe, Nanaimo

Food

Ordering wasn’t an easy task for me, because I was just recovering from a bad stomach flu. I had to pick something light so I avoided pulled pork, braised beef, or anything rich and heavy. I opted for the Breakfast #11 — Coconut Milk Pancakes with Roasted Apples, Seasonal Fruit and Yogurt. I thought coconut milk pancakes wouldn’t be too heavy and there would be a good dose of fruit on the plate. Haha the portion size was not for the faint of heart. (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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Snowy Village opened its Coquitlam location in late December. The cold winter and rainy spring didn’t seem to stop people from getting their shaved ice/bingsoo fix. Everytime I went (3 times now, in the last 2 months), there was always a short lineup at the door.

So we noticed some new items on the menu – Mini Watermelon and Honeydew Bingsoo, Golden Cheese and Injeolmi Toasts, and Cheesy Mochy. Naturally, we gave some of these a try.

Food

Cheesy Mochy sounds like a perfect item for the night market (by the way the two night markets are now open) and would make a nice savoury option here. There were 9 pieces of oblong shaped mochi, topped with gochujang sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan sprinkles. As I picked up the mochi ball I got a tiny bit of cheesy pull, but nothing Instagram worthy so to speak. The texture of the mochi ball was harder than I thought; not jaw breaking hard, but dense and chewy much like the ones at Korean restaurants. The mochi balls are stuffed, with what looks like cheese, but there was zero pull and nothing gooey ooey. And no flavour too! The gochujang sauce was good, sweet, slightly spicy, and with mochi balls they have formed a great combo. But, overall it was a bit underwhelming.

Cheesy Mochy

The Injeolmi Bingsoo is one of my favourite flavours so I was really curious about the Injeolmi Toast. It’s like thick toasts you find at Taiwanese restaurants. It was an almost inch-thick mochi sandwiched between two pieces of bread, toasted.

Injeolmi Toast

The heat of the freshly toasted bread melted the soybean powder on top so it kind of turned into a nutty syrup. (more…)

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[Editor’s Note: Sorry we took a writing break, but it’s good to be back!]

When I was contacted by our friends at Ford Canada that I’d have a Ford Focus for a week, the hopeful boy racer in Mr. asked, “is it an ST? Is it a hatchback?”

As it turns out, it was neither. It was a fully loaded (Titanium) sedan with a pretty blue paint job.

Ford Focus Titanium 2017

It also happened to be the same week as we threw a surprise birthday weekend in Whistler for CL, one of Mr.‘s close friends. So we gave the Focus a thorough test on a 36-hour trip.

Ford Focus Titanium 2017

36 Hours in Whistler

We kicked off the weekend at Stonesedge Kitchen, where we surprised CL with a birthday brunch.

Stonesedge Kitchen Whistler

There were 6 of us – and there were 5 orders of Breakfast Poutine. Except for me, the adventurous one. I ordered the Woodsman’s Bowl, with pulled venison and roasted butternut squash. Let me just say, I was happy with my choice. There was a good combination of flavours and texture. The slightly gamey venison made the dish more interesting than the maple sausage in the Breakfast Poutine.

Breakfast Poutine, Stonesedge Kitchen WhistlerWoodsman's Bowl, Stonesedge Kitchen Whistler

Then, a stopover at Whistler Brewing.

(more…)

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