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Posts Tagged ‘pork belly’

Once in awhile we organize an “in-law dinner” where my parents and Mr.‘s parents can hang out and catch up. They always look to me for picking a unique place to go. No pressure. Well, this time around, Toe Dam in Coquitlam.

The restaurant is located in the “Korea Town” — the North Road area — alongside many other Korean stores and restaurants. It’s in the same strip mall as H-Mart. Online reviews all seem decent and I was intrigued.

Food

On the menu was a Roasted Duck, so I thought it would be like Man Ri Sung in Richmond, serving roasted duck Peking Duck style, with crepe and all the fixing. When it arrived at our table, our jaws dropped. It was a big plate of duck meat, raw, waiting to be cooked on the BBQ grill in the centre of our table. Well now it makes sense why they removed the grill cover, I thought it was for the soup later.

Roasted Duck Korean BBQ

And then we adapted, we changed gear, and went into grilling mode right away. The sliced duck meat all looked quite uniform, so we think they were all breast meat. And there’s easily meat of 6 duck breasts! (more…)

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CC bought a Travelzoo voucher to a 6-course tasting menu at Bauhaus Restaurant and invited me to join her. Since its opening I’ve been wanting to try Bauhaus, and find out what German fine dining could be like, and now is my chance.

Food

The Chef’s Tasting Menu changes seasonally, and when we went, they just launched a new one.

Before we got into the six courses. We were first greeted with some Bread, served with whipped butter with sea salt or butter with paprika.

bread

We also received an amuse bouche, which was a White Bean Veloute. It was light, with a hint of smokiness from the drizzle of paprika oil. There’s some horseradish foam at the top but I didn’t get the pungent peppery flavour of horseradish. It was just the right few spoonfuls of veloute to whet the appetite.

white bean veloute

First course was Tuna, soy marinated Yellowfin tuna. It’s an Asian-inspired flavour profile. The fish was lightly seared on the outside; the flesh texture was nice and firm, and the marinate wasn’t too overpowering. The salt in soy was balanced by the sweet orange carrot meringue and slightly tart orange gel. The presentation of this plate was stunning, loved the colour, but there were a lot of components on the plate and I wasn’t too sure how to approach it.

tuna

Next, Cod. The little piece of cod was sous vide; because the cooking temperature was well-controlled, the meat texture turned out very nice. (more…)

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Mr. and I were planning a dinner with his friends one weekend, and we’re all craving Asian food. In Richmond. Endless options, I know. We narrowed it down to Taiwanese, and came to Memory Corner just steps away from Richmond Centre.

Food

Between the two of us, we shared a few things. First, the Taiwanese Deep Fried Crispy Chicken 鹽酥雞 is like a staple item for us whenever we go for Taiwanese food. This was a generous portion! It was crispy outside, and the meat was tender, moist inside. The breading was quite thin so it wasn’t all breading that we were eating. The Thai basil on top was not just a garnish; because it’s slightly fried, it actually added some aroma and subtle flavours to the chicken nuggets as well.

Taiwanese Deep Fried Crispy Chicken

LH told us that the Satay Lamb series at Memory Corner is really good. According to its website and signage at the restaurant, this is a 3rd-generation of a family restaurant that specializes in lamb cuisine. We had to order one of those dishes.

The Satay Lamb with Fried Noodles 沙茶羊肉炒麵 was very good!
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Our friends at ChineseBites invited me to a Chinese fine dining experience at Chang’An Restaurant. It’s located right under the Granville Bridge, where Nu and Stonegrill used to be, with the gorgeous view of the False Creek.

Chang'An Restaurant

It turned out to be an elaborate 17-course dinner. Hold the drool! This is going to be a long and delicious post!

Food

As each table of guests is seated, they would be greeted with Guo Kui Pita 鍋盔. This was like complimentary bread served at western restaurants. The pita bread was served warm, crispy on the outside, and soft inside. I really liked the fermented bean sauce that came with it; it’s nutty and spicy, kinda like XO sauce too.

Guo Kui Pita 鍋盔

But we were all distracted by what’s happening on the table-side. It’s the Chang’an Roasted Duck 長安炙鴨! This was what we came here for. It’s the restaurant’s signature dish, and you must pre-order ahead of time. Why? Because it takes 72 hours to prepare the duck, then it’s roasted in-house for over an hour. According to the restaurant, they actually schedule the cooking time based on your dinner reservation, so it would be served roughly 15 minutes after you are seated, ensuring the optimal tenderness of the meat and crispiness of the skin.

Chang’an Roasted Duck 長安炙鴨

Usually for Peking Ducks, restaurants would just skin the duck and serve it with crepes, etc. Here they actually serve the skin two ways: first of all, they serve the crispiest part of the skin, and skin only with just a thin layer of fat, and you dip it in brown sugar. (more…)

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Having some 1:1 time with CC and I was suddenly inspired to try a new restaurant (I usually wait a bit before going to a new place, just to give them time to work out the kinks, etc.). There were a few options but the name AnnaLena, as well as its menu, intrigued me, so we checked it out on a Friday night.

Food

Its menu is not too big, but with a good variety highlighting a key ingredient in each dish. Between the two of us, we shared a few things:

The Grilled Octopus reminded me of a potato salad, an elevated version that was executed well. The octopus was cut into small pieces so they were easier to cook and could absorb flavours easily. They were tender, and the suction cups were so much fun to eat. The lobster mayo offered a hint of ocean taste. The dill was quite prominent but I liked the fresh element that it brought.

Grilled Octopus

The Cured Salmon was basically a deconstructed lox and bagel. The house cured salmon had a good meaty texture thanks to the thick cut, and it’s not overly salty. The croutons were perhaps a bit too greasy for my liking, but I absolutely loved the chewy texture. Especially when you combined the croutons with the everything bagel spice, it definitely reminded me of the Montreal style bagels we kept on going back for when we visited Montreal this summer.

Cured Salmon

Even though pork belly was supposed to be the star of Tamari Marinated Grilled Pork Belly, what surprised and impressed me was the braised beets. (more…)

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For a triple-date night, we went for Dine Out at Chicha, a Peruvian-inspired eatery in the Mount Pleasant area. There were lots of options on the $28 menu, with some interesting combination of ingredients. I was intrigued.

Food

Because of its “tapa-style” menu, instead of 3 courses, you actually get 4 plates at Chicha. Definitely a bonus, I’d say. To start, I ordered myself a Chilcano (left), a ginger-beer based cocktail. It had some nice acidity to it, with a bit of heat from the ginger root. Mr. ordered the Inka Cola, a Peruvian soda which we were told “taste like cream soda.” And it did taste just like cream soda, not much fizz, and a bit sweeter than the actual cream soda we’re used to.

ChilcanoInka Kola

And then the feast began! First, my Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder was pretty good. I was expecting a bit of heat with the aji amarillo chili pepper, but rather on the mild side for me. In addition to fish pieces, there were squid in the chowder, tender and not like chewing bubble gum, which I thought was different from most other ones.

Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder

Mr. had the Palitos de Yuca, which was basically cassava root fries. They were a lot starchier than potato fries, and had a harder exterior too. The Peruvian Huancaina sauce was spicy, creamy, reminded me of a curry mayo. This was quite filling as an appy. While it’s good, I think we prefer regular potato fries.

Palitas de Yuca

Each of us received two entrees, i.e. 4 for us! Each of the Pan Con Chicharron Sliders had a hearty slice of pork belly, and the fatty part just melts in your mouth!
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A girls’ night out brought me to Gyu-Kaku on Broadway. My friend JX is a huge fan of Japanese food so a dinner with her means discovery of a new Jap restaurant for me.

Gyu-Kaku serves an a la carte BBQ menu with a huge selection of meat and veggie dishes to choose from. In addition to grillable items, they also have appetizers as well as rice and noodles to wrap up your meal.

Food

Because we are big meat lovers, we mostly ordered meat dishes. But each portion is not too big so even for the three of us we were able to order a number of things to try:

  • Harami Skirt Steak
  • Premium & Regular Beef Tongue
  • Kalbi Beef Short Rib
  • Toro Beef
  • Sirloin
  • Pork Belly
  • Bacon Wrapped Scallops
  • Duck Breast

Kalbi Short Rib, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Harami Skirt SteakPremium Beef TongueRegular Beef Tongue

Pork BellyToro Beef, SirloinDuck Breast

The setup is quite similar to Korean BBQ, where there is a metal plate placed on top of a fire grill. The grilling plate has a diamond pattern, which allows some decent grill marks (if you are doing it properly!).

BBQ

Because the grill items are not marinated, they offer three kinds of dipping sauce at each table for your choosing, from sweet soy, to spicy, to ponzu. (more…)

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