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Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Dine Out Vancouver is back and it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary! Running from January 14-31, 2022, over 300 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus for dine-in or take-out priced between $20 and $59 (side note: this was up from $15-$54 last year). It was very exciting to be able to dine in again when things opened up last year. Things may be a bit iffy now but you can still enjoy Dine Out Vancouver whether it’s dine-in or take-out.

As per previous years, I took the time to review the menus and here are what caught my eyes, based on past experiences (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.). Also keep in mind that I curated the list based on my preference (as you know, I’m a meat lover and I’m biased against chicken and salmon) and my way of thinking, so it may not necessarily suit your taste. But hopefully this gives you a place to start.

Same as last year, with the varied price points, I have organized my list into Lunch, Dinner, Take Out, and Special Offer. I’ve included a link to the menu, as well as listed price, to make it easier for you. Remember, my recommendations are for that specific menu and specific location(s) only, even though the restaurant may have other locations and menu options. If you have been to any of them, let me know what you think!

Lunch

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While we are working towards establishing some new normalcy, it is still important to remain vigilant and stay safe. Most restaurants are open for dine-in again now, but some of us may still prefer to eat in the comfort of their own home. Therefore, this Thanksgiving, some local restaurants continue to offer a to-go option so we can celebrate with friends and family safely at home. Here is my round-up. I will continue to update this list as restaurants continue to promote their offering.

And make sure to check the order details for each one to not miss out!

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Hello Nori opened its first location on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver earlier this year. They specialize in sushi hand rolls (temaki). It became popular very quickly, with line ups at the door. Since I’ve been almost a hermit during the pandemic, I haven’t ventured out downtown for a number of months. Finally last month with a nudge from my friend CC, we went to check it out.

Hello Nori has a rather small menu, which isn’t a bad thing, keeping it focused and making food prep easier. They have a few set menus or you can order a la carte. They may also have a couple of featured items on the “fresh sheet”, which were ikura and futomaki when I went. While their set menus offer decent selections and a great sample of their hand rolls, I opted for a la carte because I had my eyes on the unagi hand roll.

Food

Toro – which is their version of a Negitoro (toro with green onion) – there’s nothing spectacular about it but it’s flavourful.

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Being Chinese, we celebrate Mid Autumn Festival 中秋節 every year. It is always on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, promising the roundest, fullest full moon of the year. Part of the tradition is to eat mooncakes月餅, a baked pastry with fillings. The most popular versions we used to get in HK are with lotus seed paste or mixed nuts filling, plus salted egg yolk(s). Over the years, mooncakes have evolved. Bakeries have introduced other flavours of fillings such as red bean and lava custard; and some places sell a version called “snow skin” where the exterior is not baked and is made with glutinous rice flour.

Origin of Mooncakes

Do you know the origin of mooncakes? The one version that is forever stuck in my head is that it was created by rebellions in the Yuan Dynasty, who hid secret messages inside baked pastries, and distributed them to plan a revolt to overthrow the ruling Mongols, leading to the fall of Yuan and the rise of Ming Dynasty.

Buying Mooncakes in Vancouver

This year, Mid Autumn Festival lands on September 21, 2021. If you are interested in making your own mooncakes, check out Mama Lam’s recipe for Baked Chinese Mooncake with Salted Egg Yolk Custard Filling that I shared last year. Otherwise, if you are looking to support local businesses and buy some at a store, here are some ideas for you.

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Mr. and I got a taste of our post-pandemic world while exploring Vancouver’s North Shore Ale Trail for three days in early July. That’s 16 long months after the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020! We checked out a total of 17 spots in North Vancouver, including 9 craft breweries.

On our trip, we made a stop at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, kayaked for 3 hours in Deep Cove, explored the Shipyards District, went for a waterfront stroll, and were basically in a constant food and beer coma.

I wrote a guest post on BC Ale Trail’s website detailing my 3-day trip. Here are some of the beer highlights for us:

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