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For the second year, Juke Fried Chicken in Chinatown is participating in Dine Out Vancouver. I was invited to a tasting of its $25 menu.

Food

The appetizer includes two options. The Country Biscuits are to die for! They were warm, had a nice crispy crust on the outside, and soft, buttery inside. Combining with the herbed schmaltz (think butter), mmm it’s one of the best biscuits I’ve had in town. There was leftover from the tasting, so I brought some home. Even with reheating, my family was still marvelled by how delicious these biscuits were.

Juke Fried Chicken - Country Biscuits

The other option is Fried Zucchini Pickles. Since it’s home made, it’s not pungent and acidic like the typical pickles. There’s a bit of sweetness in them. The corn flour-cornmeal crust was thin, making the exterior perfectly crunchy. The honey dill dressing goes well with it, and I tasted a hint of heat too. I didn’t think much of it when I saw this option on the menu, but it’s actually some good munchies before the highlight of the meal.

Juke Fried Chicken - Fried Zucchini Pickles

Suggested by the restaurant name, obviously fried chicken needs to be on the menu.

(more…)

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When Mr. and I went on a week-long road trip, ultimately reaching Crater Lake as our south-most point, we stopped at many cities in Washington and Oregon. We made a few trips to local grocery stores and whipped up some tasty bites in the hotel rooms, but we also checked out a number of eateries, including Beckie’s in Union Creek near Crater Lake.

Crater Lake

First of all, let me show you Crater Lake. This is a volcano crater turned lake, with water of this gorgeous deep blue hue. This is the deepest lake in the U.S. and is considered to be the cleanest large body of water in the world. We drove around the rim, spending a number of hours hiking and checking out the various viewpoints and taking in the mesmerizing 360 view of the lake. No wonder Travel Oregon names it one of the state’s seven wonders! If you haven’t been, add this to your list. It’s worth it!

Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake, Oregon

Food

Back to the food. This was actually recommended by @pitstopsforkids on Twitter. It was right on our way from Shady Cove to Crater Lake, so we decided to make a stop.

Beckie's Cafe

Before we got to the pie, which is a must-have there, we ordered something more substantial first. To start, we became a kid again and got a Float to quench our thirst. (more…)

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Richard, organizer of Tasting Plates Vancouver, once again invited me to check out one of its events. Because it focused on Central Richmond, my new neighbourhood, so I was quite excited to see what the area has to offer.

Funny enough, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m more familiar with Vancouver restaurants, so Richmond is still new to me and I know there’s much to explore.

At this event, we checked out the following restaurants:

  • Harold’s Bistro & Bar (Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel)
  • The American Grille (Vancouver Airport Marriott)
  • CAVU Kitchen Bar (Hilton Vancouver Airport)
  • The Apron (Westin Wall Centre)
  • Thai House
  • Fresh Press Coffee

I’ve used Storify to document the photos that I took and shared throughout the event, plus some commentary about the food and overall experience. CAVU is brand new, just opened on July 7 to the public, so it was great to be able to check it out during its opening week. The interior is nice and modern; LW even commented that she would return for dinner and drinks with friends.

In addition, we found this new coffee house Fresh Press Coffee, being tucked away in a street mall waiting for you to find it. They hand-craft all the beverages, including pour over coffee. It makes a much better hang-out spot than chain coffee shops or bubble tea house. I see a lot of potential in this and I hope they will do well.

Overall, I was very impressed by the quality of food and service we received at each participating restaurant. Tasty food, attractive presentation. Not only that, a number of actually included drinks in their menu, which is not common for Tasting Plates. It definitely helps that most of them are hotel restaurants and they have the brand and reputation to live by. This was by far the most enjoyable Tasting Plates that I’ve attended. I have found a few new spots for dinner and gatherings!

Click on the image or link below to check out my story:

 

Tasting Plates Central Richmond

Tasting Plates Central Richmond

Tasting Plates Main Street Recap on Storify

Tasting Plates is a good way to explore new and long-standing restaurants in different neighbourhoods. Check out TastingPlatesYVR.com for upcoming events.

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My second DOV is at Burnaby Riverway Clubhouse. I’ve been there for a weekend brunch once but I never got to write about it. The last experience was pretty good, so based on its DOV menu, I decided to take Mama & Papa Lam there.

Food

Let me just start by saying this menu is of great value! How so? Read on.

For appetizer, the parents ordered the Vanilla Poached Canadian Lobster Tail. Yes, a whole lobster tail. Now it may not be a gigantic lobster tail but it’s still lobster. Sometimes lobsters may have their strange, unpleasant fishy taste that may not be appealing to some; poaching the lobster tail in vanilla helps tuck away that taste and makes it very enjoyable. I thought they did a good job in combining different sauces (fennel sauce, orange foam with a drop of lobster oil) and making them work together.

Vanilla Poached Canadian Lobster Tail

As for me the recently recovered sickie, I opted for the Trio Onion & Potato Soup. It’s thick yet creamy, but I found it to be slightly salty. By mixing in the creme fraiche and maple glazed pork belly bits (the flavour reminded me of the BBQ sauce that you glaze Chinese BBQ pork with), the saltiness was balanced out and it became extra creamy.

Trio Onion & Potato Soup

When I ordered the entree, I didn’t realize the Queen Charlotte Islands Halibut was done in two ways (more…)

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We were invited by the Earls in Poco to one of its exclusive Chef’s Table evenings. The intention of the evening was to provide an opportunity to meet Head Chef Simon Zanotto, sample a number of their signature dishes, and gain a better understanding of the restaurant chain. I turned this into a triple-date and invited WK+MS and CC+DF to join Mr. and me for dinner.

At a young age of 25, Chef Simon Zanotto is currently the head chef of Earls Port Coquitlam. Since he’s a child, he has learned to love and appreciate food and through his families, he believes that food should be served fresh, simple and be bold in flavour. Simon went to the Pierre Dubrulle Culinary Art Institute, worked with the Glowbal Restaurant Group, completed his Red Seal certification, and has been with Earls for 7 years now. At the Chef’s Table, Chef Simon spent a lot of time with us and his passion for food was definitely shown through the food and our conversations.

Chef Simon Zanotto

Food

Here are the dishes we tried that evening. Chef Simon emphasized his belief in depth of flavours, and it’s clearly demonstrated in the layers of flavour that he developed in each dish.

Los Cabos Chicken Tacos – I liked how the cheese was melted on the tortilla (instead of sprinkled) and the tender chicken was met with the creamy avocado corn salsa and crunchy shredded lettuce. An excessive amount of valentina hot sauce could just kill your taste buds, but this was just the right amount to bring you some heat.

Los Cabos Chicken Tacos:

In House Sourdough with Confit Garlic Oil and Fresh Herbs – This was very good! You can taste the subtle sourness in the sourdough, and that herbs infused confit garlic oil added savouriness and a bit of spice, as well as introduced an Asian note to it. The grinding part was fun too! If we didn’t have that many dishes to go through, I think we could finish a few plates of this!

In-House SourdoughConfit Garlic Oil and Fresh Herbs

Dynamite Prawn + Mango Roll – Chef Simon made this fresh right at the table. (more…)

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