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Archive for the ‘Casual’ Category

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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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.

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Planning a double date with WK and MS and man, was it difficult to decide where to go! We all love to eat and there are just too many options. We finally decided on Italian and chose Pronto Cafe on Cambie.

Food

As a meat lover, I ordered the Porchetta Plate. I had this once at Pronto before and I really enjoyed the crispy skin and tender meat. This time around, the skin wasn’t crispy. In fact, it was a bit tough and chewy and not very pleasant to eat. Felt like it wasn’t rendered well so the skin couldn’t crisp up. That being said, the meat was still tender and flavoured nicely with herbs. Perhaps a tiny bit too dry for my liking, but the roasted pepper sauce helped. Part of the highlight on this plate was the roasted potatoes & yam – they were seasoned well with just simple rosemary, salt and pepper, and the natural sweetness in the yam really came through.

Porchetta Plate

Mr. always has a thing for gnocchi (and you should ask him how he used to pronounce “gnocchi”. It’s cute.), so when he saw Gnocchi with Pesto and Pancetta on the menu, he couldn’t keep his eyes away from it.
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There have been a number of shaved ice shops popping up around Vancouver. One of them is Snowy Village in Central Richmond. It’s been a few months and there’s still lineup out the door. Finally one Friday I was determined to try Snowy Village, whatever and however long it takes!

Taking Mama Lam and Papa Lam with me, we waited for 30 minutes before we were seated. We had ample time to study the menu, Instagram photos, and what other customers were eating, and we ordered a few things to try.

Food

To start, the Taiyaki, the fish shaped waffle with filling. This is commonly found at night markets and I’ve seen them at Korean supermarkets as well as street carts. The texture of this Taiyaki is quite different from the other ones we’ve had around town because it uses croissant pastry. Other ones are more like Belgian waffle, crispy outside and fluffy inside. This Taiyaki is more like Leige waffle, more dense and chewy, and it had speckles of sugar on top. We went for the traditional red bean filling but the Taiyaki was rather thin so it didn’t hold a lot of filling inside. For that reason I think I prefer the fluffy kind, even though this one tasted really good and I quite liked the texture of the pastry.

Red Bean Taiyaki

As for the shaved ice, here they call it Bingsoo, a derivative of the Korean dessert (I think it stands for “iced water” in Korean). (more…)

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One Saturday afternoon I was going to take Mama Lam to a restaurant on Fraser Street for lunch, but that place was opening much later on that particular day than its usual hours so we were greeted with a “Closed” sign. We decided to go somewhere else for lunch. And we stopped at the doorstep of Jethro’s Fine Grub.

This is the second location of Jethro’s and the lesser known one, so the line up was not as crazy as the Dunbar location, where the “You Gotta Eat Here” episode was filmed. In fact, we were able to get a table as soon as we arrived.

Food

Jethro’s serves breakfast all day long. There is a wide selection of savoury and sweet items to choose from. Mama Lam and I chose one of each. The Crab Cake Benedict was smothered with a lot of hollandaise sauce. The crab cakes had a good crust and didn’t feel like having a lot of filler. The eggs were poached just right to medium softness. I wish the crab cakes were slightly thicker so it could hold up to the eggs. It’s also a carb-loaded plate, with lots of hashbrowns and four pieces of toasts on the side.

Crab Cake Benedict

For the sweet item, we opted for the Apple Cobbler French Toast. (more…)

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In case you haven’t heard, and I would seriously question where you’ve been in the last two months, there is a cat cafe in Vancouver! Catfe is located at the International Village/Tinseltown on the edge of Chinatown.

Last year during our trip out east, we visited Cafe Chat L’Heureux, one of the cat cafes in Montreal. So when there was an invitation through the YVR Bloggers group to visit Catfe, I jumped onto the opportunity. I was curious to see how they compare.

Catfe

The Experience

Catfe isn’t the same as Cafe Chat L’Heureux, as it’s not a sit-down restaurant. In fact, Catfe has two components, a cafe where you can make your food & beverage purchase or even to sit down to enjoy your drink, and the cat lounge, where you can hang out with the cats.

Inside the cafe, the menu items are reasonably priced. (more…)

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