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Posts Tagged ‘calamari’

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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Another Dine Out dinner that we did this year was a re-visit to the Oakwood Canadian Bistro in Kitsilano. I still remember Mr.‘s meat sweat over his 16oz ribeye when we went there a few years ago. This time around, I’ve arranged a big group – all 9 members of our Garibaldi Beer Club, which also includes Kathryn, Bryan and Mr. The Oakwood had a very appealing menu and I was surprised that I was able to make reservations during prime time (6pm) on a Sunday evening.

The beer club doesn’t usually eat out together. We usually go over to someone’s place, bring over some food and/or beer, and enjoy each other’s company potluck style. So to remember this milestone, in this post not only will I share my experience at the dinner, but I will also include comments from fellow beer club members.

Food

Mr. ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I was expecting one or two pieces of regular-size fried chicken, but to my surprise, they were bite-size nuggets. “Though simple presentation,” according to Mr., “the succulent fried chicken pieces were perfectly balanced by the acidity of the fennel salad.”

Buttermilk fried chicken

For the Lemon Pepper Calamari, DV said: “the lemon pepper was a unique take on calamari, not the Greek style most people would be accustomed to.” I really liked the lemon pepper seasoning dusted on the outside of each calamari piece; the calamari was tender and cooked just right. The rouille sauce (the red sauce) and the garlic aioli added creaminess and spices to the dish. (more…)

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An impromptu dinner on a Friday evening took us to Torafuku, the new brick and mortar location brought to you by the Le Tigre food truck team. Frankly, and feeling guilty to admit to it, I never ate at Le Tigre. With the rave reviews about Le Tigre, I was quite excited to try Torafuku.

TorafukuTorafuku

Food

The Rye So Messy Chicken Wings was an award winning dish. The gochujang marinate really came through as you can taste this garlicky, spicy flavour. The skin was crispy, meat was juicy, and I like the ramen crumble to add even more texture to it. These were really good wings, but 5 wings for $12 maybe a bit too expensive.

Rye So Messy Chicken Wings

Dr. Octopus vs. Mr. Tuna seriously sounds like a superhero movie title!
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My next DOV dinner was a date with Mr. (finally his turn!) We went to Le Parisien for my favourite food, French cuisine. I went there once for a birthday celebration and I thought the food was pretty good. Since the menu was pretty decent, I decided to take Mr. there to give it a try.

Le Parisien

Food

Before I start, I should let you know that Le Parisien actually offers a $38 menu on-site. The appetizers and entrees were different from the promoted $28 menu with dishes such as Chicken Liver Pate, Tuna Tartare, Pan Seared Ling Cod and Beef Bourguignon. We decided to stick with the $28 menu because we’re more interested in that menu.

By the way, this is the only place so far that offers bread free of charge. Restaurants these days tend not to offer free bread during Dine Out in order to save on costs, so this is very much appreciated. And I like that it’s warm with a jaw-friendly crust. It’s not rock hard like traditional French baguette.

Bread & Butter

I had the Butternut Squash Soup to start and it wasn’t quite what I had expected. It’s usually creamy and thick, but this one was rather thin. It tasted like a broth flavoured with some butternut squash, instead of pureed butternut squash thinned out with broth. Even the creme fraiche was foamy and airy so didn’t add any creaminess to the soup. It tasted pretty good but it’s lacking the richness that I was looking for in a butternut squash soup.

Butternut Squash Soup

Mr. ordered the Crispy Calamari, which I thought was quite good. (more…)

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I don’t usually go to chain restaurants, because I find them to be generic (work with a formula) and over-priced. For the same price I feel like I could get something better, something that’s made with love and care for ingredients, at independent restaurants. But due to its convenient location, I selected the Earls in Port Coquitlam to be a lunch meetup with my girlfriends.

Food

Because it’s lunch time, I didn’t want something rich, so I ordered the Grilled Chicken and Baked Brie Ciabatta. It was very good. The grilled chicken wasn’t dry at all and baked brie gave it extra moisture and creaminess. I really liked the use of apple slices and sweet fig jam in the sandwich. The sweetness of the fruit paired very well with the chicken. The sandwich was not greasy; it’s light with refreshing flavours.

Grilled Chicken and Baked Brie Ciabatta

Grilled Chicken and Baked Brie Ciabatta – grilled chicken, melted brie, roasted apples, spinach, sweet fig jam, garlic mayonnaise, house baked ciabatta

CC ordered the Baby Calamari. I tried a few pieces and they were pretty standard calamari. (more…)

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To reward Mama Lam for all the yummy food she cooks, I decided to take her out for some VIP treatment. Well, perhaps not to that extent, but I invited her along to share a complimentary package at SalaThai thanks to Kev and Billy at VANEATS.ca. This is their 6-course package called Oh My SalaThai! – to be available for sale as of April 18.

Sala Thai Interior 1

Sala Thai Interior 1

Before we start, please keep in mind that this is a special package so the following dishes are not necessarily available on its regular menu, and even so, the portion size may be different from what you see here. However, this post could serve as an indication of the food and service quality at this restaurant.

Food

Browsing its drink menu, a cocktail caught my eyes – Patong Cooler. It was nice and refreshing. The tartness of lime and grapefruit juice whet my appetite and I think it makes a perfect cocktail for spring/summer days.

Patong Cooler

Patong Cooler - Vodka, Sake, Cassis, Lime Juice with Splash of Grapefruit Juice

And then we dived right into our 6-course meal. First up, a trio of appetizers.

Appy trio

Appy trio

Som Tom is a green papaya salad, which was a bit too salty for my liking. However, I did enjoy the crispiness and crunchiness of the shredded green papaya and beans, as well as the little heat from the fresh chilies. It was just lacking some acid, so I squeezed the lemon wedge and then it was great. (more…)

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Part of a birthday celebration, six of us went to Monk McQueens for a Sunday brunch. It’s a great location for group dinner or lunch, because it’s a huge space. In fact, it’s one of the popular wedding venues.

Food

More people means more items to try. Yay for me! First of all, 6 of us shared two orders of Crab & Shrimp Cakes. What surprised us wasn’t the size or the number of crab cakes, but that each plate came with two crab claws. It was so much fun to crack open those claws and dip in the chipotle sauce. The crab cakes were of decent size, and I like that the crab and shrimp meat wasn’t minced to mushy patty. They were big chunks of meat so it still gave you a bite. Each plate also came with two slices of poached pear, nice and sweet, but feeling a bit out of place especially it was sitting right on top of a slab of chipotle sauce. Overall a great start to our meal.

Crab & Shrimp Cakes

Crab & Shrimp Cakes

I ordered the Fish Tacos, 3 soft tacos filled with fish, scallops and corn salsa, paired with two sauces – avocado & lime creme fraiche (like guacamole) and tomatillo jalapeno sauce (think hot sauce). As expected, it was quite messy to eat them. The corn salsa was a bit watery, so juices were trickling down my palms and front arms. Not recommended if you were all dressy, unless you are a trained soft taco eater. The tacos were great. I found the fish pieces a bit fishy, though, if weren’t covered by the sauces. Other than that, I would order it again. Very filling and great value.

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

Being the traditional guy, Mr. picked Monk’s Classic Breakfast. (more…)

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