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Archive for the ‘Pan Asian’ Category

An impromptu dinner on a Friday evening took us to Torafuku, the new brick and mortar location brought to you by the Le Tigre food truck team. Frankly, and feeling guilty to admit to it, I never ate at Le Tigre. With the rave reviews about Le Tigre, I was quite excited to try Torafuku.

TorafukuTorafuku

Food

The Rye So Messy Chicken Wings was an award winning dish. The gochujang marinate really came through as you can taste this garlicky, spicy flavour. The skin was crispy, meat was juicy, and I like the ramen crumble to add even more texture to it. These were really good wings, but 5 wings for $12 maybe a bit too expensive.

Rye So Messy Chicken Wings

Dr. Octopus vs. Mr. Tuna seriously sounds like a superhero movie title!
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Perhaps with the exception of downtown Vancouver and some Richmond hotels, hotel dining doesn’t usually have a good reputation. That doesn’t stop me from being curious and wanting to try. So when the Executive Hotel in Coquitlam got a new restaurant, the Wild Fig, and was offering a coupon deal, CC and I gave it a try.

Food

Our coupon covered 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and 1 dessert. They actually have many appetizer options and some interesting ones so we couldn’t really decide on just one. With extra charge we ordered two appies instead. The Charcuterie Plate had a good combination of cured meat, including cold smoked chuck flat, pork loin, salami and sausage, with Little Qualicum cheese. Overall we were quite happy with this; the cured meat had good texture (some drier, some more moist) and a mix of flavours (smokiness and spices), but some could be borderline salty for my liking. My favourite was the cured pork loin. What also caught our attention on this plate was the Brie & Fig Chutney Pastry Rolls; you could order this as a separate item but it came with the charcuterie plate so bonus for us. It was freshly baked – warm (almost too hot to hold at the beginning), crispy on the outside and soft inside. I liked the sweet fig filling (I’m a sucker for anything fig too) but they could put more filling in the pastry.

Charcuterie plate

The Coconut Breaded Prawns had prominent Asian and tropical flavours. The prawns had a nice bite, a crunchy meat texture, although the breading was a bit too dark for my liking. It didn’t taste burnt, though. The menu said “horseradish marmalade” but I didn’t taste the pungent horseradish flavour; the sauce just reminded me of a house-made Thai chili sauce, more on the sweet and spicy note, which I thought worked well with the prawns and tasted quite good. Perhaps they just didn’t add enough horseradish in the marmalade.

Coconut bearded prawns

As for entree, I had the Zinfandel Lamb Shank. Huge portion! (more…)

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With the number of foodies at the office, we went out one evening for Dine Out. After much consideration, we decided on Prestons because of its location (pretty close to the office) and its approachable menu (something for everyone). I remember a couple years ago when we blogged about a tasting event there, I said I would return for its regular service because that media event wasn’t their best. Well, here I am.

Dine Out at Prestons

Dine Out at Prestons

Food

For appetizer I ordered the Prawn Gyoza. If you have been following my posts, you would know I’m not a huge fan of Pan Asian food, so obviously I had reservations about this dish. The verdict? It was Lisa’s favourite at the media event 2 years ago, and it didn’t disappoint me this time around. No, these aren’t the traditional, authentic gyozas, but they were very tasty. (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver 2012 is set for Jan 20-Feb 5, 2012 and is now open for reservations. In its 10th year, 230 restaurants are participating in this event, offering prix fixe menus at $18, $28 or $38.

While I understand this event is meant to be a filler to help restaurants through its down time (January is usually the slowest month due to post-Christmas blues), I have always hoped and expected restaurants to treat this as an opportunity to showcase and market themselves and bring their A-game. Not usually the case. In fact, I’ve heard many stories where restaurants completely flopped during Dine Out, but redeemed themselves afterwards on a separate visit. I don’t quite get why restaurants would want to ruin customers’ first impression on them if Dine Out were their first point of contact. Perhaps thinking people are being cheap to go the Dine Out route?

Grilled Alberta AAA Beef Striploin from La Terrazza

Grilled Alberta AAA Beef Striploin from La Terrazza

Anyway, I thought I’d round up some past Dine Out experience that we have had in recent years (2009-2011), good and bad. Maybe this will help your research as you try to determine which ones to try. Here’s the list in alphabetically order, but I also included its menu price: (more…)

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Joyce and I attended the media launch event at Prestons for its fall menu — my first food blogger-type event. Socializing and Lisa equals: out of comfort zone plus awkward, which also equals to complete social misfit. Nevertheless, still had a good time, met some really cool people, some really flamboyant people, and a couple of drinks.

One of those occasions where cameras are definitely allowed

One of those occasions where cameras are definitely allowed

Menu at the event included a selection of its fall menu items, served appetizer style. Preston states on their menus that they are a West Coast style restaurant with Mediterranean and Asian influence. I’m definitely not an expert in Mediterranean food, but the Asian influence on the dishes was present on many items served that night.

Our first item was the Thai Red Curry. I loved the colour of the dish and the flavour of the curry was pretty spot on, until the heat kicks in at the end. The vegetables were overcooked as well as the rice. The presentation in the tiny glass cup was adorable, until I realized I had to eat it with a giant Chinese porcelain spoon.

Mini Thai Red Curry

Mini Thai Red Curry

My favourite for the night was the Gyoza, described in their menu as seared shrimp and vegetable dumplings with miso vinaigrette. This was definitely not your traditional gyoza, but the presentation couldn’t be better. Each gyoza was served in a bamboo steamer on a leaf, with the vinaigrette drizzled over. (Note: This is a tasting event so items were served/plated in cute, miniature fashion. Chances are you won’t get the same presentation when you dine off the regular menu.) The gyoza itself gave a nice, light finish, but the “vinaigrette” was very heavy and creamy, almost like the consistency of mayonnaise. I’m a sucker for creamy food, so I felt like the pairing was in harmony, light finish from gyoza with the drizzle of heavy cream sauce.

Gyoza

Gyoza

Their Asian-influenced Baby Back Ribs had a decent texture. The meat was tender, fall off the bone, and didn’t leave that nasty fatty feeling in your mouth like some ribs do. The hoisin sauce on it was oddly sweet, but the ginger component was definitely lacking. Would love to come back to try it again, as I think the idea of having an Asian style rib sounds really interesting.

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs

This next food was probably one of my least favourites, the Eggplant and Parmesan Slider. (more…)

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