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Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Since the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver renovated the ground floor restaurant space, naming it Notch8 Restaurant, I’ve been wanting to eat there. I really like the big light fixture in the middle of the restaurant (in case you forgot, I’m often fascinated by lights!) and it just looks like a huge upgrade/improvement from what it was before. Then, without much hesitation, I made a reservation there for Dine Out.

Notch8 Restaurant & Bar

Priced at $40, Notch8’s menu was intriguing and interesting. The menu has items or ingredient combinations that you don’t often see on a Dine Out menu, or they have some unique way of preparing the usual ingredients, so I was quite excited going into it.

Food

The dinner was off to a good start. I was immediately blown away by how pretty my appetizer was. Look at this Savoury Macaron! Caviar, smoked salmon, scallop mousse, roe…all sitting on a piece of slightly sweet, slightly chewy macaron cookie. There was a good balance of sweet and savoury, and umami flavours from the seafood. It’s so pretty!!

Savory Macaron

It was a bit puzzling to us why they would serve the Forest Mushroom Tart on such a big plate, but I guess having negative space on a plate is also a thing. (more…)

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When Mr. and I planned a dinner out with my colleague SM and fiance CD, we were looking at a number of restaurants in Gastown. In the end, we decided on Wildebeest because its menu was quite intriguing.

Intriguing, how? There’s a lot of game meat on the menu. And we ordered a lot of them.

Food

I don’t think I’ve seen duck hearts on a menu before. These Popcorn Duck Hearts were addictive – they’re crispy outside, meaty inside. Slightly bigger than chicken hearts, and not gamey (to me). The batter was thin, and it wasn’t greasy. The yogurt sauce was like a dipping sauce, bringing freshness and creaminess to the dish. You really could keep popping them in your mouth like popcorn.

Popcorn Duck Hearts

This Bison Carpaccio looks like a typical carpaccio, except with the use of bison instead of beef. The bison was lightly seared on the outside so it’s practically rare. Even though it’s leaner, it’s still tender, buttery. The sorghum “popcorn” added some crunch. The highlight of the dish was the sous vide egg yolk.

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Did you know WildTale’s Dine Out menu is only $30 this year? When my family and I went there for Dine Out last year it was $40! I was invited to a preview of this year’s menu and I was curious to see how it has changed.

Turns out there are a couple repeating items on the menu, which makes this $30 menu a pretty good deal.

Food

One of the repeating items is the WildTale Seafood Chowder. Well, it’s not entirely the same as last year’s, but the idea is there. The chowder was the most memorable appetizer last year, and this year’s chowder was my favourite appetizer on the menu. It was rich, creamy, flavourful – and the corn and crab fritter was nice and crispy, adding some texture to the soup.

WildTale Seafood Chowder

If you look for something lighter in the appetizer, either the Organic Beets & Watercress salad or the Albacore Tuna Carpaccio would make a great option. I love beets, so any beet salad could easily win my heart. These beets were sweet, balanced by the hint of bitterness in watercress. It’s missing some tang and acidity, though – I love me some goat cheese in my beet salad. (more…)

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Have you checked out the Dine Out Vancouver website yet? Are you doing any prix fixe dinner? I was invited to a tour on the Granville Island to visit some restaurants for their menu preview. First up, Dockside Restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel.

Dockside has been around for a long time. I remember going there for the first time for Dine Out back in 2008, then Christmas brunch with family in 2013, my bridal shower in 2015, then here we are again for Dine Out. Food quality was always solid and we always had a good time.

Food

There are three options for appetizer. First, the Winter Green Salad was so pleasing on the eyes. It’s colourful, with a good variety of vegetables. I like that it uses polenta as croutons; not only does it give a crispy texture, but also creamy, cheesy flavours.

Winter Green Salad

My friend JX loves her crab cakes, and I think she’ll enjoy these Dockside Crab and Shrimp Cakes. Perfect two-bite size, crispy on the outside and meaty inside. Not much filler there. The sweetness of mango salsa and creamy aioli balanced it really nicely.

Dockside Crab & Shrimp Cakes

My favourite appetizer was the Duck Prosciutto Tart. (more…)

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During the Christmas Break, Mr. and I went to the States to check out some holiday light displays. We drove through various neighbourhoods in the Seattle area and were amazed by how the houses came together to put on some fabulous displays.

The highlight of our trip was visiting the Lights of Christmas in Stanwood, at the Warm Beach Camp. With more than one million Christmas lights spread over 15 acres, this is known to be the largest holiday light display in the Pacific Northwest. I’m always fascinated by lights, the more the merrier, so I wasn’t going to miss it.

The Lights of Christmas

And it didn’t disappoint. There were 6 themed areas, each with its own unique lights. Some of my favourites include the light tunnels, a light maze (although not as elaborate as what Enchant offered here in Vancouver), the Fireball Tree (that looks like fireworks itself), the Cascade mountains, Christmas Tree Island, the angels, the snow-capped mountain, and the waterfall.

The Lights of Christmas

The Lights of Christmas (more…)

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On the rare occasion that CC and I got to hang out we chose to check out CandyTown in Yaletown, and we decided to first grab a bite at Small Victory Bakery.

Food

While CC opted for a sandwich, my eyes were set on those fluffy croissants in the showcase. I didn’t simply go for a butter croissant, though; I wanted a Breakfast Croissant. Sadly they sold out of it, so I went for the Bacon & Cheese Croissant instead. It’s light, fluffy, buttery. Then, as I got to the middle, there’s melted cheddar cheese with some meaty bacon. Of course, for the meat lover in me, I wish there’s more bacon. But because the cheddar cheese was also salty, too much bacon would’ve shot the salt level through the roof. This was perfectly balanced, and seriously, I could’ve easily had another one of these.

Bacon & Cheese Croissant

Christmas is just around the corner, so obviously I had to order a seasonal item. Cue the Mont Blanc. (more…)

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Imagine you arrived at a restaurant where the exterior was all wrapped up so you couldn’t see the inside, and all you could see was the LED marquee sign by the door. Then, as you were led into the restaurant the interior d├ęcor made you feel like you entered a night club, and you started thinking to yourself, what the heck did I get myself into?!

0755 Restaurant & Lounge0755 Restaurant & Lounge

That’s kind of how I felt when I went to 0755 Restaurant and Lounge in Richmond. As part of the Chopstick Fest preview, a few of us were invited to sample the menu of this restaurant. Frankly I didn’t know what to expect even by the time we were seated inside.

0755

According to the menu, 0755 is an area code in Shenzhen. It symbolizes that the restaurant menu is inspired by the food culture of this city in Southern China.

Food

And we were all pleasantly surprised. We tried a number of savoury items and there were many high points. Some of my favourites were:

Sour Jellyfish Head – Jellyfish head is actually the edge of a piece of jellyfish, so it has a crunchier texture that regular jellyfish. Because it didn’t have much flavour on its own, it really took up the black vinegar and chili pepper in the marinade. It’s quite refreshing and the sourness helped whet your appetite.

Sour Jellyfish Head

Garlic Steamed Scallop – This is one of my favourite ways to prepare fresh scallops. It reminds me of my visit back to Hong Kong where we had a big seafood feast in Tuen Mun. The fresh scallops would be steamed on the half shell with a garlic sauce. If you are a garlic fan, you would really enjoy the prominent garlic flavour. It’s light, but luxurious at the same time.

Garlic Steamed Scallop

Braised Spot Prawns – I usually prefer lighter sauces for spot prawns so I could taste their natural sweetness, but this dish really surprised me.

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