Archive for the ‘Pub’ Category

Having done Dine Out Vancouver for so many years now, frankly I’m feeling burnout. To me, a lot of the menus are not very inspiring; or I question the value for the money. So this year, I set out to try to discover gems that don’t require you to pay $40 yet still feel hungry afterwards.

I was invited to bring a guest (guess whom I brought?) to sample the Dine Out menu of a Donnelly Group restaurant of my choice, including wine pairings. They are all $20 menus. After perusing them, I decided on the Granville Room. Why? I will get to that in a moment.


There are two choices for appetizer. Naturally, we ordered one of each. The Coconut Fried Prawns were nice and crunchy. Mr. (ding-ding!) thought the coating was too thick to taste the prawns but I thought it’s okay. The prawns had good texture, a bit bouncy and not mushy. What’s intriguing is the dipping sauce. It’s a coconut hoisin sauce. When it said hoisin I expected the sauce to be darker in colour, but it’s just a tinted creamy white colour. It had a lot of coconut flavour but it’s not too sweet thanks to the subtle use of hoisin sauce. The prawns themselves did not have any coconut; it’s all in the sauce.

Wine pairing: Desert Hills Viognier – The fried prawns actually mellowed out the acidity in the viognier.

Coconut Fried Prawns

Beef Rib Empanada was also a hand-held appy. There were two pieces on the plate, served with a mole sauce. The sauce was rich, thick, and had some smokey flavour that didn’t overpower everything. (more…)


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[Editor’s Note: Read till the end to enter our giveaway!]

The Butcher & Bullock is very close to my office. One time when I was hanging out with friends at the Butcher & Bullock, I discovered the “Build Your Sausage Plate“. You get to choose two sausages crafted in collaboration with Two Rivers Meats + two types of mustard + fries & kimchi. I paid extra for a piece of pretzel on the side because I didn’t think there would be enough food. (Excuse the grainy photo – like the mustard haha – it was an impromptu meetup so I didn’t have my camera with me!)

Build Your Sausage Plate - The Donnelly Group

I chose a bratwurst and a chorizo. The sausages were juicy, flavourful. (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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We were invited to go on a tour to check out the various Donnelly Group properties and their Dine Out Vancouver menu. Executive Chef Alvin Pillay has recently returned to the company group, and he’s quite proud of the menus that he’s put together. Ten of the Donnelly Group properties are offering similar items. Specifically, there are 6 core items that can be found at all these locations, which we tried on this tour, along with their respective beverage pairing. Each Donnelly Group location also offers an additional entree option on their Dine Out menu.


Our first stop was at The New Oxford, where we tried the two appetizers.

The Curried Parsnip Soup could definitely warm you up on a chilly winter day. The curry spices really came through; I could taste a lot of ginger. Soup was creamy, and the roasted apple offered some texture in contrast. Suggested wine pairing is the Volcanic Hills Pinot Gris. The apple note in the white wine was a great match with the soup.

Curried Parsnip Soup

The Winter Salad sounded and seemed simple, but there’s an interesting depth to it. The buttermilk sumac dressing brought tartness and spice, black sesame added some nutty flavours, and the Moroccan pita bread gave it some crunch. The 50th Parallel Riesling isn’t as sweet as a typical Riesling, which worked well with this light salad.

Winter Salad

Next, on a trolley, we were taken to The Blackbird Public House, right upstairs from Royal Dinette.

Bar at Blackbird

The first of the two core entrees was the Bangers & Mash.

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Having lived in the Tri-Cities area ever since my family and I moved to Canada, there is always a special place in my heart to promote awareness of what’s in the area. When I was invited to the Eat Your Heart Out event, not only was I attracted to the idea of a restaurant crawl in Tri-Cities, but I was also drawn to the fact that this was a fundraiser for the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation to ensure the Eagle Ridge Hospital is well-equipped and staff are well-trained to serve the community.

I was happy to see such a great turnout at the event. After a few speeches to kick off the evening, we all hopped on a trolley supplied by the Vancouver Trolley Company.

Trolleys await



Now how often do you see a line-up of trolleys outside of the Port Moody City Hall, or on the road in Port Moody?! It’s quite fun to travel in style. (more…)

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Back in August, Mahony & Sons celebrated the opening of its 3rd location at Stamps Landing, where Monk McQueen used to be. It’s such a beautiful location with fixture imported from Ireland and a gorgeous view of False Creek. When Dine Out kicked off, my girlfriends and I decided to have our next dinner together there.

Mahony & Sons Stamps Landing


Before we placed our food order, I got myself an Irish Rose. I completely forgot that I had it at the opening party until I saw the picture just now, but the description on the menu was just so appealing that I had to get one. It is actually really similar to a mojito, but it uses gin with a mix of lemonade. It was refreshing and fruity. Good girly drink, even better in the summer!

Irish Rose

Its Dine Out menu is only $18, serving some of its popular dishes. To start, we all ordered the Pacific Chowder. I had it at the opening party and really liked it, and this was no difference. It was rich and creamy, and was in no shortage of seafood. Every spoonful there were chunks of salmon and cod. You can tell they used some big prawns, and they were really good. Meat was still crunchy — I just wish they put in more of them. Fennel flavour was a bit subtle but overall a very good chowder.

Pacific Chowder

Then, I had the Mahi Mahi Taco. I was expecting a couple of small tacos, but arriving at our table was a cone-shaped tortilla wrap. (more…)

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During Dine Out time, there are a number of culinary events happening in the same two-week period, including the Brunch Crawl series put on by Vancouver Foodster. It’s similar to his series of Tasting Plates, except it happens on a weekend morning, perfect timing for brunch.

We were invited to check out the Kitsilano edition this past weekend. In 4 hours, we visited 6 restaurants in the neighbourhood:

  • Darby’s Public House
  • Krokodile Pear
  • Linh Cafe
  • Momento Coffee
  • Novo Pizzeria
  • Rain or Shine Ice Cream


The event started at Novo Pizzeria where we were served a trio including Arugula and Blood Orange Salad, Novo Breakfast Pizza & a Sicilian Canoli. Pizzas at Novo have always been great – this one was no exception, especially with the use of a sous vide quail egg on each slice. The canoli was light and flaky, with nutty flavour from the pistachios and citrus fragrant note from the orange blossom water and citrus essence.

Novo Breakfast Pizza, Arugula & Blood Orange Salad and Canoli

Next, we beat the football fans and made our way to Darby’s Public House, a popular pub in the neighbourhood. They served a generous portion of their brunch items: Half an Eggs Benedict, Hangover Hash and Mini Huevos Rancheros. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, with runny yolks bringing everything together. Although I’m not particularly interested in Mexican food, I found myself enjoying the Huevos Rancheros with the subtle heat in the jalapeno ginger sauce. A fried egg would have worked well but poached egg was just fine.

Eggs Benedict, Hangover Hash & Huevos Rancheros

Then, a coffee stop at Momento Coffee. (more…)

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