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[Editor’s Note: This giveaway is now closed. Winner has been chosen and contacted. Thank you for entering.]

When I say “hotel breakfast”, what comes to mind? I would think of a la carte standard affairs, or varied quality of “continental breakfast” from 2-3 star hotels.

We are lucky in Vancouver in a sense that there are many hotels offering delicious, not your typical breakfast/brunch options, e.g. Tableau, Mosaic, Yew, Blvd. Enter the new player, H2 Rotisserie & Bar at Westin Bayshore, which offers a weekend brunch buffet.

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

Brunch Buffet at H2 Rotisserie & Bar

I was invited to sample H2’s brunch buffet and wow, it was a big spread. It certainly has the typical brunch items such as eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon and sausages. But what caught my eyes were the following:

Rotisserie chicken carving station – H2 prides itself for its rotisserie chicken so I wasn’t surprised to see it at brunch. Walk up to the chef on duty and they will get you a slice (or two) of white and/or dark meat.

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

Dim sum/congee station – it serves up har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork dumplings), BBQ pork buns, and sticky rice. Oh you can also build your own congee bowl, but it’s located in a different section of the buffet line.

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch BuffetH2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch BuffetH2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

Made to order french toast station – they literally soaked the bread in the yummy custard, heat up the pan with some butter, and made me my French toast right in front of me.

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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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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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Just a couple weeks ago it was Moon Festival aka Mid Autumn Festival. To us, it’s an occasion for family gathering, so Mr. and I, along with our parents, went out for a big dinner at Parklane Chinese Restaurant.

Food

Parklane serves Chiu Chow cuisine 潮州, which is quite different from most Chinese restaurants in Richmond as most of them serve Shanghainese or Cantonese style cuisine. Chiu Chow cuisine is seafood based and the preparation and flavours are quite unique. To make ordering easier, we decided to go for one of its special set menu. First of all, Chilled Crab. As suggested by the name, the crab was served cold — a chilled, previously steamed crab. Why chilled, you ask? Chiu Chow area residents used to be fishermen, so when they were out fishing, they could be at sea for days or even weeks and months. So to preserve the seafood that they caught, they would steam everything then chill them, thus maintaining the fresh seafood taste while prolonging their shelf life.

Chilled Crab

The Chilled Crab 凍蟹 was nice, firm and meaty. It came with a ginger dark vinegar dipping sauce, which brought out the fresh seafood taste. I like that they pre-cracked the claws so it’s easier to peel.

Next, a tummy warming Pepper Pig Stomach Soup 咸菜胡椒豬肚湯. The white pepper flavour was very prominent, giving the soup the depth of flavours and the heat that made it a perfect fall/winter soup. The pig stomach was treated properly so there wasn’t any unpleasant taste to it. And the use of preserved vegetables added some salt and a hint of sourness to the soup. Everyone around the table really enjoyed this.

Pepper Pig Stomach Soup

Marinated Duck 滷水鴨 is also a signature Chiu Chow dish. (more…)

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[Editor’s Note: After being MIA for a month planning and holding the “Joyce becomes Mrs. and Mr. officially becomes Mr. party, we’re back! Hope you didn’t miss us too much ;)]

Pepper Lunch opened its first Canada location in Richmond earlier this year. When it first opened, there was usually a line-up, so it took us awhile before we finally avoided the line-up and checked out the restaurant just a few weeks ago.

Pepper Lunch is a DIY quick service concept and the menu is relatively straightforward. Everything on a sizzling pan. Meat with rice, or just meat, served on a hot sizzling pan and diners have to cook the meat to their heart’s content. It reminds me of Stonegrill except this is a more casual meal.

Food

As first timers, we asked the staff for ideas and they suggested that we tried its signature pepper rice. And we did. For an extra $2.75, I made my Beef Pepper Rice into a combo so it also came with a drink and miso soup.

Beef Pepper Rice Combo

There was a good amount of thin beef slices, but boy, did they cook fast. It took no time to cook the meat, so I had to stir quickly to mix everything (meat, rice and loads of corn kernels) together.

Beef Pepper Rice

The basic flavouring of the pepper rice is black pepper, hence the dish name, and that on its own was already quite flavourful. For extra flavours, you are also given two house sauces to add to your plate: Honey Brown Sauce and Garlic Soy Sauce. (more…)

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