Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Tapas’ Category

Cuban inspired restaurant in Vancouver? You don’t see many of them around, but there’s one right in Mount Pleasant. Tocador opened just last year and it’s all about the cocktail menu and share plates. I actually had the pleasure to interview one of its co-owners, Guy, a few years ago. This time, I was invited to sample the menu at Tocador.

Cocktails

First of all, let’s talk about its cocktail menu. It’s two pages long! One page is full of the classics, such as Negroni, Mojito, Hot Buttered Rum, Manhattan and Mai Tai. The other, is a list of original cocktails created by the team at Tocador. The two owners both started out as a bartender so it only makes sense that they pay a lot of attention to the cocktail menu. They infuse a lot of their liquors so you would see something like mango butter infused rum, red bell pepper infused mezcal and paprika infused tequila.

The Escocesa, for example, uses beet infused Dewars scotch.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

For a triple-date night, we went for Dine Out at Chicha, a Peruvian-inspired eatery in the Mount Pleasant area. There were lots of options on the $28 menu, with some interesting combination of ingredients. I was intrigued.

Food

Because of its “tapa-style” menu, instead of 3 courses, you actually get 4 plates at Chicha. Definitely a bonus, I’d say. To start, I ordered myself a Chilcano (left), a ginger-beer based cocktail. It had some nice acidity to it, with a bit of heat from the ginger root. Mr. ordered the Inka Cola, a Peruvian soda which we were told “taste like cream soda.” And it did taste just like cream soda, not much fizz, and a bit sweeter than the actual cream soda we’re used to.

ChilcanoInka Kola

And then the feast began! First, my Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder was pretty good. I was expecting a bit of heat with the aji amarillo chili pepper, but rather on the mild side for me. In addition to fish pieces, there were squid in the chowder, tender and not like chewing bubble gum, which I thought was different from most other ones.

Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder

Mr. had the Palitos de Yuca, which was basically cassava root fries. They were a lot starchier than potato fries, and had a harder exterior too. The Peruvian Huancaina sauce was spicy, creamy, reminded me of a curry mayo. This was quite filling as an appy. While it’s good, I think we prefer regular potato fries.

Palitas de Yuca

Each of us received two entrees, i.e. 4 for us! Each of the Pan Con Chicharron Sliders had a hearty slice of pork belly, and the fatty part just melts in your mouth!
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Partnering once again with the team at VANEATS, we were invited to sample the #TurnOnTheRajio package. If you remember, last time we checked out Rajio we quite enjoyed it, so I was happy to plan a return visit and I invited LW to join me.

#TurnOnTheRajio by VANEATS.ca

Food

Before we began eating, we ordered a Smashing Hit Punch. At first it looked a bit steep at $12, but it was more than a drink. First, it’s served in this cute watermelon cup. In addition to the cocktail, they also cut the watermelon in cubes and placed them in the cup. Did you know that watermelon works like sponges? The fruit pieces just soaked up all the alcohol so when you eat them they’re extra delicious! It’s like a spiked fruit salad!

Smashing Hit Punch

Now, onto the food. The VANEATS package includes 4 items:

The Kushikatsu is the house specialty. For this package you will be given 4 deep-fried, panko-breaded skewers at random, upon chef’s recommendation. I have looked at other bloggers’ photos and we all seemed to get different things. I got to try 1) Camerbet cheese, 2) Takoyaki, 3) Beef, and 4) Asparagus. All these skewers come with the house dipping sauce. The skewers themselves do not have a lot of seasoning, but the sauce adds some sweet and savouriness to them, accentuating the flavours. Now remember, only one dunk per skewer. Why? It was recommended by the restaurant; I suspect it has to do with softening the breading and affecting the crispy exterior.

Kushikatsu

The Bagna Cauda is your Japanese twist of veggie and dip. (more…)

Read Full Post »

With different Japanese izakayas popping up around town, it’s been forever since I last visited a Guu location. I remember the Thurlow location was my very first izakaya that I’ve visited in Vancouver and it was such a unique experience: the screaming servers, the exchange of Japanese throughout the room and the long list of small plates that we could order. It was so much fun I took a visiting guest to Guu Garlic after. Now, years later, I’m back.

Food

Guu Garlic’s name came from the extra use of garlic at this particular location, and it still holds true to this day. With my girlfriends, we ordered a number of dishes. First, the Salmon Sashimi didn’t look super fatty at first, but it’s actually quite good. It tasted fresh and did have a bit of the fatty texture.

Salmon Sashimi

And so we had an encore of sashimi. The Assorted Sashimi included salmon, scallops and tuna tataki. Not very many pieces so I’m not sure if it’s the best value, but the scallops were sweet and the tuna tataki was skillfully thinly seared on the outside.

Assorted Sashimi

Funny enough, we also ordered the Tuna Tataki (when a bunch of hungry women blindly ordering food off a menu, there could be a lot of similar items lol). The difference here was that they made it more like a salad by including some greens, ponzu sauce and a generous serving of crispy garlic chips (remember I talked about the use of garlic? Proof #1). I prefer this iteration of tuna tataki, using the slightly acidic ponzu sauce, over the sashimi version with just soy sauce.

Tuna Tataki

The last raw dish was the Yellow Tail Carpaccio. The flavour of yellow tail (hamachi) is quite delicate, so the sauce was a bit too over-powering in my opinion. The garlic chips (Proof #2) and sliced onion were actually a bit sweet (though also a bit spicy) so they did work with this plate.

Yellow Tail Carpaccio

Ebi Mayo is my must-have at all izakayas. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Being a foodie couple, you can imagine date night with Mr. would most likely be a visit to a new or hot restaurant in town. Thanks to our partner at Lincoln Motors, we were sent on a Blogger Date Night experience that’s much more exciting and unique. Not only daid we get to enjoy a nice dinner at a restaurant of our choice, but we also got to drive a new Lincoln MKZ for a day, which was right up Mr.‘s alley. Many of you aren’t aware, but Mr. is a huge car guy; he reads up a lot about cars, and he enjoys fixing up his cars. The car guy in Mr. plus the foodie in me, this date night couldn’t be more fitting. And, it was the day before the blog’s 4th anniversary. Yes, this is how we celebrated our 4th anniversary — in style!

We went to Miku Restaurant for dinner. It has been on my list for awhile now, since its former Coal Harbour location. Now that it has moved to a prime location neighbouring Canada Place, I was quite excited to have the opportunity to check it out.

Miku Restaurant

Miku Restaurant

We started with a couple of cocktails and some appies. Of the two cocktails, I quite liked the Miyazaki Mango. It was strong with the dark rum, but the mango flavour made it tropical and the ginger beer gave it a subtle kick.

Miyazaki Mango

First of all, we ordered some of my favourite oysters, Kusshi. I like that they aren’t too big, but with a crisp, refreshing cucumber taste. Fresh Oysters here are served with 3 sauces. The kaffir lime mignonette and ginger cocktail sauce are a twist of the traditional mignonette and cocktail sauce, so they worked pretty well. Personally I didn’t understand the wasabi chimichurri. It reminded me of the green onion/ginger mixture that Chinese people dip their steamed chicken in; it was too overpowering and covered up the original taste of the oysters.

Kusshi Oysters

Miku prides themselves for their Aburi style of cooking (giving the fish a light sear directly from open flame then match each of them with a specialty sauce), so it’s on our must-try list. The Aburi Sashimi was a trio of fish: (more…)

Read Full Post »

Rajio is a sister restaurant of Kingyo and Suika Snackbar, located in Kitsilano near West 10th and Alma. With an invitation from the team at VANEATS, we checked out their latest Rockin’ RAJIO package.

Rajio Japanese Public House

Rajio Japanese Public House

Food

As soon as we were seated, we were given a bowl of Cabbage Salad to start. It’s given to each table for free at the start of the meal. It came with a simple soy-based dressing. I ordered myself a Honey Pom-Pom Mojito while Mr. grabbed a Sapporo. The Honey Pom-Pom Mojito was refreshing, sweet with tartness from the pomegranate juice and prominent minty flavour.

The 4-item menu started with our choice of Cold Tapas. With an exception of two items, you can basically choose from either the list on the regular menu, or from the fresh sheet. We went for the Seafood Marinated Mekabu Cold Tofu on the fresh sheet. The kelp marinate gave the scallop and topshell bits a savoury taste, which made the otherwise “blank canvas” tofu quite flavourful. The ikura (salmon roes) added extra saltiness to the dish, as well as a bit of a crunch. For some reason it reminds me of Chawanmushi, except this is in a cold form, and it’s tofu instead of steamed egg custard.

Seafood Marinated Mekabu Cold Tofu

Seafood Marinated Mekabu Cold Tofu – Seaweed kelp “Mekabu” with scallop, ikura and topshell on cold tofu

Continuing with another cold dish we had the Mini Carpaccio of Salmon, Tuna and Hamachi. (more…)

Read Full Post »

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the grand opening of the latest member of the Kamei Group – Kamei Baru. It took the space that was once Ensemble Tap near the Scotiabank Theatre. Since then it has changed hands a few times and it’s now part of the Kamei family.

Kamei Baru Opening

Kamei Baru Opening

Similar to Chinese celebrations, Japanese also has their version of lion dance. The ceremony officially kicked off with the Japanese lion dance accompanied by Japanese Taiko performance:

Kamei Baru runs on the concept of a Japanese tapa bar. In contrast to izakaya restaurants, the dishes at Kamei Baru has more of an European influence. Throughout the evening, we got to sample a number of items that are on their menu, which included marinated pork loin, tuna taco, paella, fresh oysters and sushi. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: