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Archive for the ‘Steak’ Category

I was invited to the menu preview of the 2017 Taste of Yaletown. Organized by the Yaletown BIA and similar to Dine Out Vancouver, participating restaurants in Yaletown are offering a $25, $35, or $45 menu until Oct 27. At the preview event, I got to sample the menus at two restaurants, one of which was House Special, serving Modern Vietnamese cuisine.

Food

House Special offers a 4-course menu for $45. The first course was Mekong Wonton. Shrimp and monkfish mousse wontons were sitting in a sweet, sour and spicy tamarind seafood broth, which was inspired by a traditional Vietnamese dish Canh Chua Ca. It’s different from other types of Asian sweet and sour, or hot and sour soup. I could taste the sweet and sour combo from the tamarind but I was definitely caught by surprise when the pineapple flavour hit my palate. Being so familiar with the Chinese style wonton soup, this Vietnamese version was almost refreshing to me.

Mekong Wonton

The second course was Caramelized Pork Jowl Banh Hoi, which is their take on a lettuce wrap but with endives. (more…)

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Taste of Yaletown is back! For the 12th year, 31 restaurants in the Yaletown area are each offering a special menu at $25, $35 or $45. Running from Oct 13 to Oct 27, this event has a “Sharing and Pairing” theme this year. Some menus are created grazing, share-plate style, allowing diners to to share with each other while pairing the food with wine, beer or a cocktail; and with smaller portions it would allow diners to even plan a restaurant hopping experience around the neighbourhood.

As part of the media preview, a number of us were whisked away to one of the participating restaurants. I was lucky enough to sample the menu at Provence Marinaside. It’s been awhile since I last ate there, so I’m glad to go back for a re-visit.

Food

Provence’s Taste of Yaletown menu is $45. To start, you would receive a Provence Tasting Plate. It includes 1) Tomato and Bocconcini Salad; 2) Rustic Country Style Pate; and 3) House Smoked Ruby Red Trout. You can’t go wrong with the classic tomato and bocconcini combination, and the basil added a herbaceous note. The pate was rich and flavourful; the meat had a nice, chunky texture. My favourite, and it’s a close call, was the smoked trout. It was flaky, lightly smoked, and for me it wasn’t fishy at all. I may have a favourite, but honestly I would eat any of the three appies again. And the good news is, you get all three!

Provence Tasting Plate

For entree, you have three options. We were able to try all three – but the pictures below are not actual portion size so I’ll try to help you visualize the actual portion as best as I can.

The Dijon and Fresh Herb Crusted Lois Lake Steelhead had a nice crispy skin, and the meat was moist and flaky. I personally found the dijon mustard to be a bit overpowering. The beurre blanc was creamy, perfect pairing for the salmon; the warm potato salad was pleasant on the eyes, and on the palate. The actual portion should be about two pieces of salmon on our tasting plate.

Dijon and Fresh Herb Crusted Lois Lake Steelhead

The second option is the West Coast Bouillabaisse. (more…)

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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

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Speech

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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In Vancouver, there is no shortage of fine dining options to celebrate your special occasions. The suburb, is a different story. Last year, Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam revamped its restaurants and introduced Stake, a fine dining establishment focused on sourcing local products. I was there when it launched its menu in the Fall (here’s the proof – check out 0:45 and the hand model at 1:17 – I could be a YouTube sensation one day!) and was quite impressed. So to celebrate CC’s birthday, a few of us girls went there for dinner.

Food

The menu isn’t very big, but there are a few good options. We shared a few appetizers to start. The Signature Smoked Crispy Pork Belly was our favourite appy. The meat was tender, the fatty bits were rendered nicely. Perhaps the edges were a bit too charred but it didn’t have any burned taste.

Stake’s Signature Smoked Crispy Pork Belly

Even though the Albacore Tuna Tataki was a standard affair, I had to commend on the nice sear they’ve had on the fish. I liked the thick cut on the fish, so it gave you a bit of a bite. They could probably up the acidity in the sauce to help cut through the rich tuna.

Albacore Tuna Tataki

The Pan Seared Scallops were nicely caramelized on the outside, and just slightly rare inside. (more…)

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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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A girls’ night out brought me to Gyu-Kaku on Broadway. My friend JX is a huge fan of Japanese food so a dinner with her means discovery of a new Jap restaurant for me.

Gyu-Kaku serves an a la carte BBQ menu with a huge selection of meat and veggie dishes to choose from. In addition to grillable items, they also have appetizers as well as rice and noodles to wrap up your meal.

Food

Because we are big meat lovers, we mostly ordered meat dishes. But each portion is not too big so even for the three of us we were able to order a number of things to try:

  • Harami Skirt Steak
  • Premium & Regular Beef Tongue
  • Kalbi Beef Short Rib
  • Toro Beef
  • Sirloin
  • Pork Belly
  • Bacon Wrapped Scallops
  • Duck Breast

Kalbi Short Rib, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Harami Skirt SteakPremium Beef TongueRegular Beef Tongue

Pork BellyToro Beef, SirloinDuck Breast

The setup is quite similar to Korean BBQ, where there is a metal plate placed on top of a fire grill. The grilling plate has a diamond pattern, which allows some decent grill marks (if you are doing it properly!).

BBQ

Because the grill items are not marinated, they offer three kinds of dipping sauce at each table for your choosing, from sweet soy, to spicy, to ponzu. (more…)

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It was Mr.‘s birthday and I thought a few of us were meeting up at the Teahouse in Stanley Park for brunch. Little did I know, it turned into a surprise wedding proposal and yes, I’m pleased and excited to tell you that Mr. will officially become Mr. soon (you will have to ask me in person for the full story hehe)! 🙂

Food

I have been to the Teahouse a couple of times before and it didn’t disappoint; this was no exception. And in this joyous moment, everything just tasted good. I ordered the Steak and Eggs. The meat was flavourful and tender. Even though striploin isn’t the best cut of meat, and we found a tendon in the meat, it was not chewy at all! I only wished it was more than 5oz so there were a few more pieces to go around. The scrambled eggs were nice and fluffy; overall a good pairing. I do think Edible Canada makes the best Steak & Eggs but this was up there with them.

Steak and Eggs

Mr. (hehe) picked Smoked Salmon Raft. It’s a unique take on the classic eggs benny. Instead of English muffin, it used roasted potato cakes. The potato cakes were rich and nicely seasoned, but it was missing the crunch from the toasted English muffin. The surprise was in the fried capers – I’m not a huge fan of capers but frying them takes away the strong pungent taste and they became much easier on the palate.

Smoked Salmon Raft

I also tried a bite of LW’s Montreal Smoked Meat Hash. (more…)

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