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Archive for the ‘Tea’ Category

Matcha lovers rejoice! Considered the Starbucks in Japan, Nana’s Green Tea has arrived in North America. In fact, their first ever North American location will be right here in Vancouver! On June 6, their Kerrisdale location will open its door to the public.

Established around 10 years ago in Japan, Nana’s Green Tea was brought to us by Kazuto Kutami. He was inspired by the Starbucks concept while wanting to preserve the history and tradition of Japanese tea culture. Their matcha is sourced solely from Uji, Kyoto. To-date, there are more 80 Nana’s locations around the globe.

Food

Lucky for me, I was invited to a media preview of their menu. Here are a few items we’ve tasted:

(From left) Hoji-cha Shiratama Float, Matcha Chocolate Latte, Azuki Strawberry Latte

These are only taster size. Of the three beverages, my favourite was the Hoji-cha Shiratama Float. Shiratama in this case means sticky rice, which means there are mochi (aka sticky rice) balls in them. Hoji-cha is roasted green tea, so there’s some nutty flavour in the drink, as well as in the Hoji-cha ice cream. It’s quite unique and I don’t think I’ve seen something like this in Vancouver yet.

Azuki (red bean) Strawberry Latte is on the sweeter side, but not overly sweet. There is red bean paste and small pieces of strawberry in the drink so it’s quite fun to drink. It kind of reminds me of the HK style Iced Red Bean Drink 紅豆冰.

Although tasty, relatively the Matcha Chocolate Latte wasn’t super interesting. That being said, the matcha flavour was very strong, with just a hint of sweetness from the chocolate.

Hoji-cha Shiratama Float, Matcha Chocolate Latte, Azuki Strawberry Latte

I should note that there are many other options for beverages on the menu. There are 12 matcha options, 5 for hoji-cha, 5 azuki, and 5 options for just green tea.

Fresh Tuna with Curry Tartar Sauce Donburi

The only savoury dish we tried. This donburi was very good. Tuna was flavourful; the curry tartar (think curry mayo egg salad) was fragrant with a hint of spices.

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Are you looking for gift ideas for your dearest? Or dining options on this special day? Here are some ideas:

Dining

  • Atlas Steak + Fish – $75 or $95 per person for a 4-course dinner
  • Au Comptoir – $80 per person for a 4-course dinner
  • Bacchus Restaurant – $130 per person for a 5-course dinner
  • Boathouse Restaurant – $49 or $59 per person for a 3-course dinner
  • Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar – $110 per person a 5-course dinner
  • Cardero’sA la carte menu
  • Chop Restaurant – $49 per person for a 3-course dinner, Feb 9-14
  • CIBO Trattoria – $68 per person for a 4-course dinner, including Albacore Tuna or Smoked & Slow-Roasted Pork Belly, Heart-Shaped Ravioli for Two, Butter-Poached Black Cod, Pan-Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Tiramisu and Blackberry White Chocolate Semifreddo
  • Federico’s – $100 per person for a 4-course dinner, with live music and dancing

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It was the final week of the Claude Monet Secret Garden exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I had no idea why it took me so long to finally check it out, but I made it! CC and I planned a fancy girls’ day out.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet at Vancouver Art Gallery

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit, witnessing the evolution of Monet’s work. In addition to the Water Lilies, my favourite pieces were Taking a Walk Near Argenteuill, Wisteria, and Weeping Willow.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

A pleasant surprise was Stephen Shore‘s photo exhibit in conversation with the Monet’s exhibit.

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I was quite excited when Choco Coo Cafe opened in Coquitlam earlier this year. There are not many dessert/cafe options in the area, so it’s always nice to see another addition, especially seeing all the beautiful photos on Instagram. I was intrigued.

So one weekend evening after dinner with a bunch of friends, we all went to Choco Coo for desserts.

Choco Coo Cafe

Food

It wasn’t a super hot day, so I ordered a hot Green Tea Latte. Check out the cute bear latte art! haha it looked a bit sad/grumpy/mischief depending on how you look at it, and it took me awhile before I finally decided to stir it in! The latte was light and frothy, yet rich and creamy, with a right amount of matcha flavour. I tend to like my drink hot, so I found this to be just on the luke warm side.

Green Tea Latte

Mr. is a huge red velvet fan so we shared a slice of the Red Velvet Cake. The sponge was airy; and I liked the even layers of cake and frosting. (more…)

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Summer is just around the corner and that means it’s the season for iced tea! How do you usually enjoy yours? Pure Leaf Canada sent us a few bottles of their unsweetened iced tea, and we came up with a few recipes for your everyday occasions.

Pure Leaf Canada Iced Tea

The unsweetened tea has 0 sugar, 0 artificial sweeteners and 0 calories, so it is the perfect base to add your own ingredients and make your own iced tea creations.

Sunday Brunch

A fruity iced tea is perfect for any brunch dishes. Mr. and I love having waffles for brunch. Now that mangoes are in season, we made some waffles and topped them with super sweet Ataulfo mango and maple syrup. To go with it, we made some strawberry & mango iced tea with the unsweetened lemon tea.

Recipe (4 servings)

  • 1 Ripe Ataulfo Mango, Diced
  • 1/2 lb Strawberries, Fresh or Frozen
  • 1L Pure Leaf Unsweetened Lemon Iced Tea
  • 4 Teaspoons of Maple Syrup (optional, to taste)

You can prepare this ahead of time, to allow the fruit to be infused into the tea. We actually froze the strawberries so they served as ice as well! When you drink the tea, muddle the fruit a bit to allow the flavours come through even more. Add some mint for some freshness and colour.

Mango & Strawberry Iced Lemon Tea for Brunch

A Day in the Park

Whether you are out for a stroll, or having a picnic by the water, this refreshing green tea would make a great beverage in your cooler bag.

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A couple of weeks ago I managed to steal a couple hours of free time from CC, so we went for afternoon tea at Cakes n Sweets. It’s a small bakery tucked in the corner of a strip mall in Coquitlam. It’s my second time for afternoon tea there; first time, I took Mama Lam and we quite enjoyed it.

Cakes n Sweets

Food

For $19.95 each person receives a selection of sandwiches, sweets, scones and a pot of tea.

High Tea at Cakes n Sweets

The Buttermilk Scones were freshly baked. The scones were flaky, slightly crumbly. They were still hot to the touch, so the devonshire cream kind of melted as I spread it on. (more…)

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This past weekend, we were invited to go to the Brunch Crawls as part of the Dine Out Vancouver festivities. Put on by Richard the Vancouver Foodster. The first of the brunch crawl series was in Gastown.

Gastown Brunch Crawl

In 4 hours, Mr. and I checked out 7 different spots in Gastown:

  • Prado Cafe
  • Zero Zero Pizzeria
  • The Capilano
  • The Birds & The Beets / Grain
  • Rodney’s Oyster House
  • Bao Down
  • Smallflower Cafe & Bakeshop

The crawl started with a cup of hand-crafted coffee at Prado Cafe. There were a few choices and we ordered an Americano and Flat White.

Prado Cafe

Almost right next door was Zero Zero Pizzeria. The portion was quite generous here. We had two options, including the pizzetta flatbread, but also a new topping combination that wasn’t even available on the regular menu yet!

Zero Zero Pizzeria

A couple of streets over we got to the new Capilano Tea House. They will officially open their door on February 1, so we basically got a sneak preview.

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