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Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

This year’s Dine Out has 4 menu price points: $15, $25, $35 and $45. Not many places offer a $15 menu but I was most intrigued by Popina on Granville Island. The restaurant concept is created by some of the most celebrated chefs in Vancouver. The space is made up of shipping containers, located right by the Granville Island Public Market.

Popina on Granville Island

Popina on Granville Island

The $15 menu is pretty straightforward. A sandwich + a side of fries and its signature puffcream for dessert. CC and I went there on the sunny Sunday afternoon, 3 hours before our dinner reservation. Luckily for us, because it’s just counter service, we were able to just order one set and share between the two of us.

Popina on Granville Island

Food

For the sandwich, you have the option of BC Beef Cheeseburger or Crispy Chicken Burger. We chose the Crispy Chicken Burger.

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Another restaurant that we previewed for Dine Out was Dockside Restaurant. They are also offering a $35 menu. Similar to the Sandbar tasting, we had the full portion for photos and small bite size for tasting. But luckily for us, here we got to try everything on the menu.

Food

Dockside’s menu offers 3 appetizer options, 4 entrees, and 2 desserts. Here they are:

Cucumber Caprese – This didn’t seem like much, but it’s refreshing and light. I really like the mint on top. Simple 3 bites to start the meal.

Dockside Restaurant - Cucumber Caprese

Beef Empanadas – This had good flavour. The crust wasn’t too thick and there was decent amount of filling.

Dockside Restaurant - Beef Empanadas

Korean spiced Arancini –  This is an Asian take on the Italian appy. (more…)

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Last week, prix fixe menus of Dine Out Vancouver 2019 were revealed. With that, I was invited to a menu preview at a few restaurants on Granville Island. One of which was The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant.

Sandbar offers a $35 Dine Out menu, with a couple of entree options that you can upgrade with $10 extra. For the menu preview tasting, we were shown a full-size portion for photos, and then canape-size for tasting. Therefore, what you see below is what you will get, but what I tasted may not be the best representation of the dish as I only had a small portion of it.

Food

There are three appetizers to choose from:
Sablefish Croquette – The croquette was mostly potato with some flakes of sablefish. The miso ailoi had a hint of lemon. The pickled fennel on top brought a good amount of acidity.

Sandbar DOVF 2019 Sablefish Croquette
Beet & Arugula Salad – A classic combination of beet, arugula and goat cheese, with a fig balsamic vinaigrette. You can’t go wrong with that.

Sandbar DOVF 2019 Beet & Arugula Salad
Clam Chowder – My favourite appetizer here. It was creamy, it was rich, and it was hearty.

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West Oak recently celebrated its 5th anniversary in the Yaletown neighbourhood. As a follow-up, Areta, Alice (Double A!) and I were invited to a hosted dinner at the restaurant. I’ve been here a couple of times beforehand, one of which was an evening out with a few of my girlfriends a few years ago.

Disclosure: This meal was provided to me complimentary of the restaurant. However, the views and opinions are my own.

Food

We got a sneak peek of some of their new cocktails (from left):

New Cocktails at West Oak

The Aperol Spritzer Mimosa is their new take on the classic brunch cocktail. This is available only during brunch, but the restaurant made one for us to try. Aperol, prosecco, fresh juice (orange, grapefruit, etc.) — it was juicy, citrusy, fizzy, refreshing. Great for a patio brunch. There’s no reason a mimosa fan wouldn’t enjoy this.

Tiffany Blue could become a local IG sensation. The Ciroc Apple came through and gave it some tartness, almost face puckering. You can really taste the apple here. The addition of edible silver makes it sparkle like a precious piece of jewelry.

Tiffany Blue

The last cocktail, at the time this was written, hasn’t been named. It just had a nickname “Green Thumb“. It had gin, elderflower liquer, basil, cucumber. It reminded me a bit of mojito – it’s light and crisp, and herbaceous.

Then, we dove into dinner, with a couple of appies to share. (more…)

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It’s Chinese New Year (CNY) a couple of weeks ago, and us Chinese know how to celebrate — eat, feast, and repeat. Of course, there are many regional Chinese New Year traditions throughout China, and being from HK, the HK tradition is what I’m most familiar with. On New Year’s Eve I was invited to a feast with food expert Lee Man, and it just heightened my appreciation for my culture.

Calling it a feast, obviously it was a multi-course dinner with an abundance of food. We are all about good meanings 意頭 when it comes to choosing the dishes or even naming them for CNY. On Instagram I showed a glimpse of what that means with the CNY dinner made by Mama Lam this year. It’s being realized here once again at Golden Paramount in Richmond.

Food

“Togetherness” is one of the main reasons for CNY celebrations so families often take the opportunity to gather together and dine out during CNY. For that, the restaurant was hustling and bustling and it’s just full of energy! It was a late dinner for us (7:45pm start) and the room was still full and more were being seated as our dinner progressed. And here’s our menu, some background about them, and what they symbolize:
Pan Fried Oysters – Oysters are a homonym for “good”, indicating good luck for the upcoming year. Traditionally we eat dried oysters because it means “good business” 好市 but it does have a more distinctive fishy taste to it and not everyone likes it. This was a Chinese Restaurant Award winner.

Pan Fried Oysters
Pepah Tofu – Fried food is usually in a golden colour so it symbolizes gold and fortune. The tofu here is shaped into a Chinese lute, Pipa. Fun fact: I learned to play the Pipa when I was in middle school in HK. Not easy to master but it was fun to play. This was later extended to my involvement with the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble.

Pepah Tofu
Crab Meat and Fish Maw Soup – At a CNY feast you would want to serve some luxurious items.

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To celebrate my parents’ wedding anniversary, we went to Honey Salt at the Parq Vancouver for dinner. Since its opening, I’ve been seeing photos on Instagram and I’ve been curious about it. Finally our turn to check it out.

Honey Salt Vancouver

So it’s our first time at the restaurant AND the casino. Everything looks shiny new to us. The restaurant interior is quite cute. It reminded me of a modern cottage kitchen/nook, with cupboards and shelves, hanging lights, and a lot of white and green. I quite like the style.

Honey Salt Vancouver Honey Salt Vancouver

Food

The four of us shared a few appetizers. First, the Tofino Fry. Fried calamari and side stripe shrimps on one plate. The batter was thin, outside was crunchy, and the meat was tender. The Japanese mayo dipping sauce had some subtle heat; in my opinion the heat could be dialed up a bit. What surprised me was the few slices of fried lemon. Perhaps the batter took away some of the acidity, so it wasn’t face-puckering sour. The citrus flavour worked well with the seafood.

Tofino Fry

The Crisped Bacon Brussels is listed under Sides, and it’s in small print, so make sure you don’t miss it.

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Since the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver renovated the ground floor restaurant space, naming it Notch8 Restaurant, I’ve been wanting to eat there. I really like the big light fixture in the middle of the restaurant (in case you forgot, I’m often fascinated by lights!) and it just looks like a huge upgrade/improvement from what it was before. Then, without much hesitation, I made a reservation there for Dine Out.

Notch8 Restaurant & Bar

Priced at $40, Notch8’s menu was intriguing and interesting. The menu has items or ingredient combinations that you don’t often see on a Dine Out menu, or they have some unique way of preparing the usual ingredients, so I was quite excited going into it.

Food

The dinner was off to a good start. I was immediately blown away by how pretty my appetizer was. Look at this Savoury Macaron! Caviar, smoked salmon, scallop mousse, roe…all sitting on a piece of slightly sweet, slightly chewy macaron cookie. There was a good balance of sweet and savoury, and umami flavours from the seafood. It’s so pretty!!

Savory Macaron

It was a bit puzzling to us why they would serve the Forest Mushroom Tart on such a big plate, but I guess having negative space on a plate is also a thing. (more…)

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