Posts Tagged ‘panna cotta’

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.


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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Have you checked out the Dine Out Vancouver website yet? Are you doing any prix fixe dinner? I was invited to a tour on the Granville Island to visit some restaurants for their menu preview. First up, Dockside Restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel.

Dockside has been around for a long time. I remember going there for the first time for Dine Out back in 2008, then Christmas brunch with family in 2013, my bridal shower in 2015, then here we are again for Dine Out. Food quality was always solid and we always had a good time.


There are three options for appetizer. First, the Winter Green Salad was so pleasing on the eyes. It’s colourful, with a good variety of vegetables. I like that it uses polenta as croutons; not only does it give a crispy texture, but also creamy, cheesy flavours.

Winter Green Salad

My friend JX loves her crab cakes, and I think she’ll enjoy these Dockside Crab and Shrimp Cakes. Perfect two-bite size, crispy on the outside and meaty inside. Not much filler there. The sweetness of mango salsa and creamy aioli balanced it really nicely.

Dockside Crab & Shrimp Cakes

My favourite appetizer was the Duck Prosciutto Tart. (more…)

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This year’s Dine Out brought us back to some restaurants that we’ve been to in the past. Baru Latino was one of them. We checked it out for Dine Out 2010 (when it was held in April to not get in the way of the Winter Games), and six years later we’re intrigued to give it another shot.


The Beef Tiradito was like beef carpaccio; instead of the usual vinegar-based sauce that we are used to, it came with a chimichurri sauce. The beef itself didn’t have much flavour, but the chimichurri was seasoned well with herbaceous notes. There was a lot of flatbread to go with just a few pieces of beef slices.

Beef Tiradito

Between the two appetizers we ordered, I liked the Baru Ceviche more. There was a decent amount of ceviche, with a good mix of seafood, tomatoes and avocado. It tasted fresh, and creamy, but it could use a bit more acid to brighten it up even more, so make sure to use that lemon wedge on your plate.

Baru Ceviche

Mr. opted for the Chicken Mole Stew. (more…)

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Last weekend I went for a girls’ dinner with CC and LW. It’s Taste of Yaletown time, which means we were able to order a prix fixe menu for an affordable $25, $35 or $45. We initially wanted to try Brix because it had a more appealing menu; unfortunately they were closed for a private event so we were offered a table at the sister operation, George Ultra Lounge.


Turns out both Brix and George offer the same menu, which is a combination of what was posted on the Taste of Yaletown website. They kept the best part of both menus, i.e. lots of appealing meat options, so we could order a few different things to try. And they operate out of the same kitchen, so it didn’t make a difference whether we dined at Brix or George in this case.


For appetizers, I ordered the Lamb Bacon Salad. I don’t think I’ve ever had lamb bacon before so that was quite intriguing. It was similar to pork belly; it had equal distribution of meat and fat, fried to a crispy yet meaty texture. It wasn’t overly fatty or greasy either. It had a bit of gamey taste but that’s partly why I enjoy eating lamb. The salad was well balanced with soft and crunchy elements, and hint of bitterness from the endives and radish; they used a pungent, blue-cheese like cheese, which I wasn’t a fan of.

Lamb Bacon Salad

CC and LW both ordered the AAA Beef Carpaccio. (more…)

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It has been a couple of year since Mama Lam and I went to Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for its signature Afternoon Tea. Back then, it was still at the 900 West Lounge on the ground floor. This year, as they are giving the ground floor space a face lift, they temporarily turned the 15th floor ball room into The Roof, continuing its service of breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. I thought, why not taking afternoon tea to a new height?! I decided to take Mama Lam there for a Mother’s Day celebration.

The Roof at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver


We went on the Saturday instead of Sunday. Believe it or not, a day difference equals $10 difference in price. The Afternoon Tea is priced at $49 per person where on Mother’s Day it’s $59.

As usual, we were given an extensive tea menu with a variety of black, green, white and herbal tea. This time I chose the Lovers Leap, a floral black tea. Not super fragrant on the nose, but as you drink it, it had a lot of floral note on the palette.

Lovers Leap in a Tea Pot

Interestingly, the afternoon tea was more than just the typical tiered tower of scones, finger sandwiches and pastries. We first received a Honey Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries. You can see the vanilla bean seeds in the panna cotta; the panna cotta was creamy with the right texture and the fresh berries made a good pairing.

Honey Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries

And then there’s more! We also got an Asparagus Tart and Apple & Chicken Roll. (more…)

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I must confess, as soon as my body felt better and I got an OK from my home doctor (aka Mama Lam), I got out the door right away and went for my first Dine Out dinner this year. While I was sick I missed a few DOV dinners so I have to make up for it. First up, a girls’ date with CC and LW at Catch 122 on Hastings across from the Woodward Building.

Catch 122


Because I can’t drink just yet, I ordered myself a mocktail, the Gastown Riot. It’s refreshing, with subtle flavours from raspberries and basil. I liked that it used actual raspberries puree, although it also means that you’d be chewing some raspberry seeds while drinking. For some reason it tasted gingery so I’m not sure if it’s mixed with a bit of LW’s ginger beer.

Gastown Riot mocktail

For appetizer, I chose the Cold Smoked Salmon and in my head I was picturing something similar to what I had at Mosaic. Not even close. In fact, it looked nothing like smoked salmon – it looked and tasted like seared salmon filet (it’s served warm). That being said, the salmon was well seasoned, nicely cooked to about medium so it’s moist and a little bit pink inside. It paired quite well with the dill sauce. (more…)

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As part of our Valentine’s Day dinner, I made Panna Cotta with a Pomegranate Glaze. (Looks like it becomes a tradition that I would make some sort of dessert on Vday. This is the 3rd year in a row!) This dessert is very easy to make and is perfect for amateur cooks. It doesn’t need a glaze but it looks and tastes better with a sauce. I chose pomegranate as the base of my glaze because of its colour – the red/purple-ish colour was appropriate for the occasion – but you can substitute it with other glaze such as passion fruit and mango.  I also used an ice cream glass instead of ramekin, but for your reference, each serving is approximately 200 ml.

Panna Cotta


Ingredients for Panna Cotta

Ingredients for Panna Cotta

  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin powder
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Pour skim milk into a small bowl, and stir in the gelatin powder. Set aside. (more…)

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