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Posts Tagged ‘Sliders’

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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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!
(more…)

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Last weekend we checked out the Columbia StrEAT in New Westminster, featuring more than 50 food trucks from the Lower Mainland. We tried a few trucks, including Fliptop Filipino Fusion. This food truck is usually in the Fairview area during the week, not in my ‘hood, so I was quite excited about the opportunity to try them.

Fliptop Filipino Fusion

Food

Suggested by the truck name, their menu is a fusion of North American favourites with Filipino flavours. You would find pulled pork sandwich, philly cheesesteak, sliders and tacos with a Filipino twist. Two things caught my eyes.

First, Lumpiang Shanghai is the meat version of Lumpia, which are deep fried spring rolls in rice roll wrappers. These mini spring rolls were perfect for sharing, and they tasted awesome! I would’ve preferred just a bit more soy or seasoning in the meat, but I liked that there was a lot of meat in the filling, no fillers! Spring rolls were crispy, and we really enjoyed the sprinkle of nori (seaweed) and fried leeks on top. The dipping sauce reminded me of Thai chili sauce, but thinner and more acidic. $7 for 6 of these springs rolls was a pretty good deal.

Lumpiang Shanghai

Next was the Pacman Pandesal Sliders. Pandesal is Filipino bread roll; they were firmer, denser with a cake-like texture. (more…)

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Joyce and I attended the media launch event at Prestons for its fall menu — my first food blogger-type event. Socializing and Lisa equals: out of comfort zone plus awkward, which also equals to complete social misfit. Nevertheless, still had a good time, met some really cool people, some really flamboyant people, and a couple of drinks.

One of those occasions where cameras are definitely allowed

One of those occasions where cameras are definitely allowed

Menu at the event included a selection of its fall menu items, served appetizer style. Preston states on their menus that they are a West Coast style restaurant with Mediterranean and Asian influence. I’m definitely not an expert in Mediterranean food, but the Asian influence on the dishes was present on many items served that night.

Our first item was the Thai Red Curry. I loved the colour of the dish and the flavour of the curry was pretty spot on, until the heat kicks in at the end. The vegetables were overcooked as well as the rice. The presentation in the tiny glass cup was adorable, until I realized I had to eat it with a giant Chinese porcelain spoon.

Mini Thai Red Curry

Mini Thai Red Curry

My favourite for the night was the Gyoza, described in their menu as seared shrimp and vegetable dumplings with miso vinaigrette. This was definitely not your traditional gyoza, but the presentation couldn’t be better. Each gyoza was served in a bamboo steamer on a leaf, with the vinaigrette drizzled over. (Note: This is a tasting event so items were served/plated in cute, miniature fashion. Chances are you won’t get the same presentation when you dine off the regular menu.) The gyoza itself gave a nice, light finish, but the “vinaigrette” was very heavy and creamy, almost like the consistency of mayonnaise. I’m a sucker for creamy food, so I felt like the pairing was in harmony, light finish from gyoza with the drizzle of heavy cream sauce.

Gyoza

Gyoza

Their Asian-influenced Baby Back Ribs had a decent texture. The meat was tender, fall off the bone, and didn’t leave that nasty fatty feeling in your mouth like some ribs do. The hoisin sauce on it was oddly sweet, but the ginger component was definitely lacking. Would love to come back to try it again, as I think the idea of having an Asian style rib sounds really interesting.

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs

This next food was probably one of my least favourites, the Eggplant and Parmesan Slider. (more…)

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