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Posts Tagged ‘Seafood Chowder’

Did you know WildTale’s Dine Out menu is only $30 this year? When my family and I went there for Dine Out last year it was $40! I was invited to a preview of this year’s menu and I was curious to see how it has changed.

Turns out there are a couple repeating items on the menu, which makes this $30 menu a pretty good deal.

Food

One of the repeating items is the WildTale Seafood Chowder. Well, it’s not entirely the same as last year’s, but the idea is there. The chowder was the most memorable appetizer last year, and this year’s chowder was my favourite appetizer on the menu. It was rich, creamy, flavourful – and the corn and crab fritter was nice and crispy, adding some texture to the soup.

WildTale Seafood Chowder

If you look for something lighter in the appetizer, either the Organic Beets & Watercress salad or the Albacore Tuna Carpaccio would make a great option. I love beets, so any beet salad could easily win my heart. These beets were sweet, balanced by the hint of bitterness in watercress. It’s missing some tang and acidity, though – I love me some goat cheese in my beet salad. (more…)

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Last year, Beach Bay Cafe popped up in the space where Raincity Grill used to be. Since then, they’ve made some slight adjustments on the menu direction, as well as found a new executive chef, so with their Dine Out participation, I decided to give it a try.

Food

To start, Mr. ordered the Seafood Chowder. It’s creamy, wasn’t super thick, yet loaded with lots of ingredients. Every spoonful there were chunks of potato and carrot and seafood such as shrimp, mussels and squid. There’s smokiness and savoury flavours coming from the bacon as well as crispy leeks. I had a few spoons and I quite liked it; Mr. had most of it and thought it’s a bit too salty for him.

seafood chowder

For an extra $4, I had 1/2 Dozen Oysters for appetizer. The night’s feature was Little Wing oysters; they were not too big in size, but had a deep cup shell. The flesh tasted clean and crisp with a hint of sweetness. I’ve never had this kind before and thought they were pretty good. The oysters were paired with an apple mignonette, which was on the sweet side, so you had to add a squeeze of lemon juice to bring a bit more acidity.

half dozen west coast oyster

I’ve ordered mostly seafood dishes during Dine Out, so I switched things up with an order of the Confit Duck Leg. Wow loved the crispy skin on the duck leg! (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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Back in August, Mahony & Sons celebrated the opening of its 3rd location at Stamps Landing, where Monk McQueen used to be. It’s such a beautiful location with fixture imported from Ireland and a gorgeous view of False Creek. When Dine Out kicked off, my girlfriends and I decided to have our next dinner together there.

Mahony & Sons Stamps Landing

Food

Before we placed our food order, I got myself an Irish Rose. I completely forgot that I had it at the opening party until I saw the picture just now, but the description on the menu was just so appealing that I had to get one. It is actually really similar to a mojito, but it uses gin with a mix of lemonade. It was refreshing and fruity. Good girly drink, even better in the summer!

Irish Rose

Its Dine Out menu is only $18, serving some of its popular dishes. To start, we all ordered the Pacific Chowder. I had it at the opening party and really liked it, and this was no difference. It was rich and creamy, and was in no shortage of seafood. Every spoonful there were chunks of salmon and cod. You can tell they used some big prawns, and they were really good. Meat was still crunchy — I just wish they put in more of them. Fennel flavour was a bit subtle but overall a very good chowder.

Pacific Chowder

Then, I had the Mahi Mahi Taco. I was expecting a couple of small tacos, but arriving at our table was a cone-shaped tortilla wrap. (more…)

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November is Ocean Wise Month, and to celebrate sustainable seafood in the area, Vancouver Aquarium hosted the Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown last week. Lucky for me, I got to check it out, so let me tell you all about it.

Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown (photo by Three Sixty Photography, courtesy of Samuel Adams)

How does it work? As you enter the Vancouver Aquarium, you receive a wooden spoon and a plastic cup; and you just walk around with them to the 14 participating booths. You also have a ballot to take notes of each chowder and vote for your favourite.

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Each of the 14 competing chowders was paired with craft beer. I was quite impressed to see that there were restaurants from Prince Rupert and Pemberton competing in this event.

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Among the participating craft breweries, there was Samuel Adams, the only non-local craft brewery at the event. It partnered with Fable and Chef Trevor Bird not only in the beer pairing, but it’s also used in cooking of the halibut chowder. SA’s Boston Lager is darker than most lagers out there (has an amber-ish hue), yet it’s light and quite easy drinking; would be a good entry beer for most people and would make great pairing with rich food like a chowder or deep-fried goodness.

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Chef Trevor Bird at Chowder Chowdown

Chef Trevor Bird at Chowder Chowdown (photo by Three Sixty Photography, courtesy of Samuel Adams)

In addition to the People’s Choice Award voted by the general public, there were also 4 industry judges tasting all dishes to select the top 3. (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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