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[Editor’s Note: This giveaway is now closed. Winner has been chosen and contacted. Thank you for entering.]

When I say “hotel breakfast”, what comes to mind? I would think of a la carte standard affairs, or varied quality of “continental breakfast” from 2-3 star hotels.

We are lucky in Vancouver in a sense that there are many hotels offering delicious, not your typical breakfast/brunch options, e.g. Tableau, Mosaic, Yew, Blvd. Enter the new player, H2 Rotisserie & Bar at Westin Bayshore, which offers a weekend brunch buffet.

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

Brunch Buffet at H2 Rotisserie & Bar

I was invited to sample H2’s brunch buffet and wow, it was a big spread. It certainly has the typical brunch items such as eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon and sausages. But what caught my eyes were the following:

Rotisserie chicken carving station – H2 prides itself for its rotisserie chicken so I wasn’t surprised to see it at brunch. Walk up to the chef on duty and they will get you a slice (or two) of white and/or dark meat.

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

Dim sum/congee station – it serves up har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork dumplings), BBQ pork buns, and sticky rice. Oh you can also build your own congee bowl, but it’s located in a different section of the buffet line.

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch BuffetH2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

H2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch BuffetH2 Rotisserie & Bar Brunch Buffet

Made to order french toast station – they literally soaked the bread in the yummy custard, heat up the pan with some butter, and made me my French toast right in front of me.

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The other day I overheard my colleagues AM, JN and JL talking about their lunch at Dim Sum Express. Because they had wanted to go back, it piqued my interest and I thought I would join them on their adventure.

Dim Sum Express is one of the first food trucks appearing on the streets of Vancouver. It’s currently located near the Canada Place, outside of the new Miku Restaurant. Definitely a good spot for the summer with lots of foot traffic from the cruise ships.

Dim Sum Express

Dim Sum Express

Food

With four of us, we decided to order an assortment of dim sum a la carte style, and share among ourselves. A la carte items range from $3.50 to $4.50, and depending on the item, you may find two to five pieces per order. That’s great for sharing dishes like we did.

So here’s what we ordered. We ordered multiples of everything so there’s enough food to share:

  • Pork Dumplings (Siu Mai)
  • Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow)
  • Juicy Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
  • BBQ Pork Buns
  • Pan-Fried Dumplings
Assorted dim sum

Assorted dim sum

Verdict? (more…)

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Warning: This will be a fairly long post.

You’re wondering, why am I reviewing two Chinese restaurants when I traveled so far? Frankly, because these two stood out for me…and I may have forgotten to take pictures while I was traveling. You can falcon punch me if you ever meet me. I spent two weeks in Australia, going from Sydney, to Melbourne, to Gold Coast, and back to Sydney again.

Bridge in Sydney by the Opera House.

While in Melbourne, though there are different kinds of cuisines, I didn’t get to try much, or get any photos. I can tell you they have one full street dedicated to some amazing Italian food though. Unfortunately, the Chinese food was terrible and very overpriced. I won’t name this restaurant, but it was in one of the casinos. They charge 6 dollars for a single spring roll that tastes very similar to a microwavable one you can buy from Costco.

My brother is unimpressed by their $6 spring roll. He had to eat both.

Though the food wasn’t the most spectacular, there seems to be a lot of museums and art galleries. And of course, if you’re like my mother, there is a Chinatown by the downtown area.

Gold Coast was my favourite, golden sands and blue waters. I did get washed out by a wave while sitting on the beach though, while fully clothed. By the beaches are all West Coast style cuisines, but I didn’t get any pictures of the food. It was quite delicious, I tried some seafood chowder and lobster linguine.

Golden sandy beaches... cause I don't have any pictures of food.

The mentioned restaurants are both located in Sydney, Australia, where I spent the majority of my time. Both are Chinese restaurants found in the downtown core of Sydney. (more…)

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