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Archive for the ‘Hang-Out with Friends’ Category

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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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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I was quite excited when Choco Coo Cafe opened in Coquitlam earlier this year. There are not many dessert/cafe options in the area, so it’s always nice to see another addition, especially seeing all the beautiful photos on Instagram. I was intrigued.

So one weekend evening after dinner with a bunch of friends, we all went to Choco Coo for desserts.

Choco Coo Cafe

Food

It wasn’t a super hot day, so I ordered a hot Green Tea Latte. Check out the cute bear latte art! haha it looked a bit sad/grumpy/mischief depending on how you look at it, and it took me awhile before I finally decided to stir it in! The latte was light and frothy, yet rich and creamy, with a right amount of matcha flavour. I tend to like my drink hot, so I found this to be just on the luke warm side.

Green Tea Latte

Mr.┬áis a huge red velvet fan so we shared a slice of the Red Velvet Cake. The sponge was airy; and I liked the even layers of cake and frosting. (more…)

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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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Another Dine Out dinner that we did this year was a re-visit to the Oakwood Canadian Bistro in Kitsilano. I still remember Mr.‘s meat sweat over his 16oz ribeye when we went there a few years ago. This time around, I’ve arranged a big group – all 9 members of our Garibaldi Beer Club, which also includes Kathryn, Bryan and Mr. The Oakwood had a very appealing menu and I was surprised that I was able to make reservations during prime time (6pm) on a Sunday evening.

The beer club doesn’t usually eat out together. We usually go over to someone’s place, bring over some food and/or beer, and enjoy each other’s company potluck style. So to remember this milestone, in this post not only will I share my experience at the dinner, but I will also include comments from fellow beer club members.

Food

Mr. ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I was expecting one or two pieces of regular-size fried chicken, but to my surprise, they were bite-size nuggets. “Though simple presentation,” according to Mr., “the succulent fried chicken pieces were perfectly balanced by the acidity of the fennel salad.”

Buttermilk fried chicken

For the Lemon Pepper Calamari, DV said: “the lemon pepper was a unique take on calamari, not the Greek style most people would be accustomed to.” I really liked the lemon pepper seasoning dusted on the outside of each calamari piece; the calamari was tender and cooked just right. The rouille sauce (the red sauce) and the garlic aioli added creaminess and spices to the dish. (more…)

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A 5th location of Chatime, a bubble tea franchise originated from Taiwan, has just opened in Surrey. Thanks to our friends at ChineseBites, I checked out the location before its grand opening day.

Drinks

At Chatime, not only do you get to choose from some 80-90 different drinks off the menu, you also get to customize your drinks by adding toppings and selecting your desired ice and sugar level:

  • Toppings ($0.50 each): Pearl / Grass Jelly / Pudding / Coconut Jelly / Coffee Jelly / Red Bean / Aloe Vera / Rainbow Jelly
  • Ice Options: 0% / 80% / Regular (100%) / 120%
  • Sugar Options: 0% / 30% / 50% / 80% / Regular (100%) / 120%

Chatime Pyramid

With that, here are the few drinks I tried:

Mango Green Tea (80% ice, 80% sugar, with Coconut Jelly) – This is often my go-to bubble tea because I’m a big mango fan. I only ordered it with 80% sugar, so it wasn’t overly sweet like most other ones I’ve had in the past. I could taste both the mango flavouring as well as the green tea. Nothing too special because it’s just a mango green tea, but definitely one of the better versions I’ve had in town.

Matcha Tea Latte (80% ice, 80% sugar) – Matcha Latte seems to be a popular item everywhere, including chain coffee shops such as Blenz and Waves. Naturally, I decided to order one at Chatime. (more…)

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My friend CC told me about this waffle place near Coquitlam Centre — Miracle Belgian Waffle. Having moved to Richmond, I’m not in Coquitlam as often anymore; so when CC wanted to meet up in Coquitlam, I took the opportunity to check it out.

Food

There are close to a couple dozens of waffle items to choose from, mostly sweet but with a few savoury options. You also get to choose between Brussels (crispy) and Liege (soft) waffles. It reminds me of Nero in downtown.

As a huge fan of mango, without hesitation I ordered the Mango Paradise on a Liege Waffle. On top of the waffle were fresh mango and strawberries, mango ice cream and a yogurt sauce. The waffle had a nice texture, denser than Brussels waffles, soft yet chewy. While the waffle could be a shade darker in colour (especially around the edges), you could see speckles of sugar still glittering on the surface. The sweetness and tartness were balanced quite well between the sweet waffle, mango chunks, strawberry slices, ice cream and yogurt sauce. The plate looked very inviting and overall it’s a very satisfying plate for a mango fan. Could’ve used a few more pieces of mango or a bit more mango ice cream but I just really like mango!

Mango Paradise on Liege

My eyes went wide open when the Waikiki Brothers arrived. (more…)

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