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Archive for the ‘Hang-Out with Friends’ Category

Cuban inspired restaurant in Vancouver? You don’t see many of them around, but there’s one right in Mount Pleasant. Tocador opened just last year and it’s all about the cocktail menu and share plates. I actually had the pleasure to interview one of its co-owners, Guy, a few years ago. This time, I was invited to sample the menu at Tocador.

Cocktails

First of all, let’s talk about its cocktail menu. It’s two pages long! One page is full of the classics, such as Negroni, Mojito, Hot Buttered Rum, Manhattan and Mai Tai. The other, is a list of original cocktails created by the team at Tocador. The two owners both started out as a bartender so it only makes sense that they pay a lot of attention to the cocktail menu. They infuse a lot of their liquors so you would see something like mango butter infused rum, red bell pepper infused mezcal and paprika infused tequila.

The Escocesa, for example, uses beet infused Dewars scotch.

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We’ve been to Ramen Koika a few times over the years, to both locations on Davie and Robson. We always ended up ordering a ramen. The black garlic one was my favourite and Mr. fell in love with the beef ribs one. Little did we know the Robson location actually has a K-Pocha Menu, serving up their version of many Korean favourites. We were invited to sample a few items off that menu.

Triple Black Garlic Ramen

Food

We love KFC! As in Korean Fried Chicken!! Their crust is always lighter and when they fry the chicken it’s always less greasy. And moist chicken breast.

It’s no difference here at Koika. The Soonsal Chicken can be either in sweet chilli or soy garlic, and we went for the sweet chilli as it’s our favourite sauce for KFC. There was a decent amount of boneless chicken pieces. The meat was moist, the exterior still held its crispiness and the sweet chilli sauce definitely packed some heat.

Soonsal Chicken

Next, the Gogi Tteok-bok-ki was spicy rice cake with pork belly. (more…)

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Another bubble tea shop opens in Vancouver. Hailed from Taiwan, Baroness is by design a boutique franchise with only 3 locations in Taiwan, 1 in Hong Kong, and now 1 in Vancouver. They are located near Broadway and MacDonald.

Baroness specializes in brown sugar pearls, so when you order pearls, you are guaranteed to get the brown sugar pearls in your drink. The franchise owner created his own recipe of brown sugar and he continues to oversee the production of this secret recipe to ensure quality.

Drinks

I was invited to a tasting of some of its signature drinks. They included:

Brown Sugar Milk (pictured right below) – Obviously I had to try this drink, since I’ve been on the hunt for the best Brown Sugar Milk. The drink was quite tasty. There was a lot of caramel flavour from the brown sugar, without being super sweet. I found the pearls to be softer than others but after talking to the franchisee, they explained that their pearls are typically softer in the first hour, while they are still warm. It worked out because as the drink was being brought to temperature with the ice, the pearls were of just the right texture for me. It had a softer exterior but nice and chewy inside.

Purple Yam Milk (pictured left above) – What a pretty drink! (more…)

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It’s always been on my list to try La Foret but for whatever reason I never did. When I took Mama Lam out shopping at Metrotown one weekend, I decided to take her there first.

The entrance could be deceiving because it seems like a small space, but it’s narrow and long with lots of seating available. You will find numerous 2-tops that can be turned into 4-tops, but also a few long communal tables for big groups.

La Foret

Food

For Mama Lam, she ordered Chicken + Waffle, with buttermilk fried chicken and squid ink waffle. I’ve never squid ink waffles before. The texture of the waffle was quite interesting; it’s denser than typical Belgian waffle yet it’s spongy and lighter than expected. There’s a hint of fishiness from the squid ink. Chicken was boneless thigh meat; batter was thin, crispy, and meat was juicy. It’s a good portion size, quite filling for brunch.

Chicken + Waffle at La Foret

The Sausage Platter was marked as a new item on the menu. (more…)

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When I asked for restaurant recommendations for Las Vegas, most people suggested Eggslut. So we went. At 12:30am on a Friday night/Saturday morning.

Eggslut Vegas Late Night

It’s amazing to be in the sin city, where a restaurant would open at 12am. Yep, Eggslut opens at 12am on Saturdays, to cater to the clubbing crowd I assume. We flew in late that evening so we figured we would grab a late night meal. There was still a line outside Marquee, right across from Eggslut.

Eggslut Cosmopolitan Vegas

Food

We ordered the Slut, one of their specialty items. Coddled egg on top of potato puree, topped with gray salt and chives, served with slices of baguette. It’s cooked with an immersion circulator so the egg was in perfect consistency. (more…)

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While I’m on my quest to a tasty cup of brown sugar pearl latte, I’ve also noticed the increasing number of bubble tea franchises popping up in Vancouver. One of the latest addition is Onezo Tapioca in Burnaby, with its location only steps away from Metrotown.

Bubble Teas

Of course, I had to order its Dirty Tea Series to try its brown sugar pearls. For an apple-to-apple comparison, I chose the Brown Sugar Dirty Milk 脏脏茶. As usual, the brown sugar pearls are of limited availability. We caught it just in time, showing up at 3:45pm for the 3:30pm batch on a Saturday. Luckily, there was barely a line up, only a few people in front of us. The pearls were nice and warm when the drink first got into my hands. They had good, soft yet chewy texture. The flavour reminded me of creme caramel — the warm toffee, caramel flavour. Almost buttery.

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Have you heard of the trendy Brown Sugar Pearl Latte? Almost all, if not all, bubble tea shops are making those. I have jumped on this BBT bandwagon and the most recent stop was visiting the Exposure Social House in Richmond. It took over the Shake Shake Tea space at Empire Centre.

Exposure Social House in Richmond

Bubble Teas

Their Devil’s Fresh Milk (aka the Brown Sugar Pearl Latte) uses Avalon Organic Milk. The choice of milk made it taste quite rich, along with the caramel flavour in the brown sugar pearls. The pearls were warm, soft yet remain in good texture. Their sign said the Devil’s Fresh Milk is available at 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 8:30pm but we were there at 2:30pm on a Saturday and they still had it available.

Devil's Fresh Milk at Exposure Social House

I’ve always liked a good roasted milk tea at BBT places.

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