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Posts Tagged ‘Crispy Pork Belly’

Having done Dine Out Vancouver for so many years now, frankly I’m feeling burnout. To me, a lot of the menus are not very inspiring; or I question the value for the money. So this year, I set out to try to discover gems that don’t require you to pay $40 yet still feel hungry afterwards.

I was invited to bring a guest (guess whom I brought?) to sample the Dine Out menu of a Donnelly Group restaurant of my choice, including wine pairings. They are all $20 menus. After perusing them, I decided on the Granville Room. Why? I will get to that in a moment.

Food

There are two choices for appetizer. Naturally, we ordered one of each. The Coconut Fried Prawns were nice and crunchy. Mr. (ding-ding!) thought the coating was too thick to taste the prawns but I thought it’s okay. The prawns had good texture, a bit bouncy and not mushy. What’s intriguing is the dipping sauce. It’s a coconut hoisin sauce. When it said hoisin I expected the sauce to be darker in colour, but it’s just a tinted creamy white colour. It had a lot of coconut flavour but it’s not too sweet thanks to the subtle use of hoisin sauce. The prawns themselves did not have any coconut; it’s all in the sauce.

Wine pairing: Desert Hills Viognier – The fried prawns actually mellowed out the acidity in the viognier.

Coconut Fried Prawns

Beef Rib Empanada was also a hand-held appy. There were two pieces on the plate, served with a mole sauce. The sauce was rich, thick, and had some smokey flavour that didn’t overpower everything. (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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The one Dine Out that I most looked forward to this year was at Forage. Since the menu was released, there has been a lot of buzz about it. And people had been raving about it since the event kicked off on January 17. Finally my day has come to give it a try.

Dine Out at Forage

Food

Forage has been a two-time champion of the Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown so obviously I had to order its Seafood Chowder. While it’s thick and creamy, it wasn’t overly rich; and there was no shortage of ingredients (and lots of salmon and shrimp) in the chowder, which I loved. I was hoping that the quail egg was soft poached and the yolk would ooze out, but it didn’t. I liked the addition of chicharron as a crunchy element but it became soft and a bit chewy after sitting in the soup for a bit.

Forage Award Winning Seafood Chowder

My friend CP ordered the Bison Carpaccio and she said it tasted very good. Unfortunately I’m still off red meat so I didn’t try any. I thought the presentation was pretty good despite the rustic feel.

Spruce Tip Smoked Bison Carpaccio

For entree, I went for the most-raved about Pork Belly. It looked and tasted like the Chinese-style Roast Pig. Skin was super crispy and meat was tender. The apple chutney/slaw had a bit of acidity that rounded out the richness/fattiness from the pork belly. (more…)

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