2011 ~ Eating With Kirby

Mosaic Bar and Grille- Italian Chef Tasting Menu

The barely cooked runny yolk is meant to be popped and enjoyed along with the risotto...and enjoy I did. The golden lava coated every kernel of rice with its warm embrace and made the risotto that much more comforting.

Adorabelle Tea Room- Catching Up With the Girls

This is an Onion, Chive, and Bacon Savoury Cupcake. Even the icing was savoury! It was super delicious and was really innovative. Overall, the ambiance was great (loved the fake sky ceiling!), food was well thought out and executed, and the service was attentive.

Forage- Pretty Decent Food.

All six of us ordered their Award Winning Seafood Chowder with soft poached quail egg and crispy pork rind. While the soup was smokey, full of flavour, it was too thick and tasted a bit more like sauce than soup. The quail egg added a certain richness to the soup too which was nice.

Jethro's Fine Grub- That's Some Tasty Grub.

Overall, Jethro’s is an awesome breakfast and lunch diner serving up good eats with a twist. I most definitely will return for some alligator nuggets or pancakes!

Teppan Kitchen and Mambo Cafe (Aberdeen Food Court)- Crazy Sauce.

They serve this to you with a little sleeve around the plate to catch any splattering oil that radiates from the oven hot iron plate. If you are noob (hehe) at this Teppan Rice business, you can read the "How To Cook" instructions on the sleeve.

Basho Cafe - Quaint, Cozy, Delicious

You get the real deal here when it comes to their Matcha Latte. Served in a traditional Japanese bowl the way its suppose to be (not cup), its not only fragrant but it has incredibly depth. Be forewarn, this latte isn't sweet. There is no additional pre-sweetened sugary stuff here.

31 December 2011

Palki Indian Restaurant- Fantastic Potato Stuffed Naan and Prawn Goan Curry

Last night, I went with a few friends to Palki Indian restaurant located on Commerical drive and I was very surprised by the quality of their food. Before I went, I did some research on Urbanspoon and I was surprised to see that not many people know about this place.

some photos courtesy of Yoshi
Palki Restaurant was started by Bhupinder Mroke twelve years ago and he first opened a location in North Vancouver. They recently opened their second location on Commercial drive.

The exterior isn’t the best looking and I bet you can easily walk past it on the street without a second glance. However, once you go inside, it’s a whole different story.

When I walked in, I was very impressed by the interior. It was elegant, pretty, and had a romantic feel to it with their candles and flowers on the table.

28 December 2011

Italian Kitchen- Pasta Platter Lets You Try a Bit of Everything

Italian Kitchen is part of the Glowbal Group (as well as Coast, Society, etc) and is one of my preferred restaurants in the downtown area whenever I’m craving pasta. My friends and I ventured to Italian Kitchen for Trixie’s birthday a while back and it has taken me a while to decide whether to write this post because of the hideous quality pictures provided by the dim lighting in the restaurant. I really REALLY dislike dim lighting in restaurants because 1) I want to be able to see the menu clearly, 2) I want to be able to see my food clearly, and 3) it’s hard for me to take good quality pictures. So, needless to say, Italian Kitchen was a major disaster for me in the photography department. I apologize for the ugly pictures in advance!

Again, I used a Glowbal Group “free tapas” coupon so we were each given a complimentary Spicy Kobe Meatball. It was served on a bed of marinara sauce and topped with freshly shaved Parmigiano- Reggiano.

The meatballs were very soft and delicious as always. There was only a small hint of spiciness which I appreciated as it did not overpower the flavour and texture of the meat.  To me, the softness of the meat stole the show.

26 December 2011

Wo Fung (Aberdeen Food Court)- Always Amazing Deep Fried Chicken Wings

Trixie and I have a thing with the Aberdeen food court. We don’t particularly love their food court, but we always somehow end up eating there... ALL the time.

A week or so ago, Trixie and I went again to Aber (my short form for it) to have a quick snack. Their Christmas tree was so beautiful I just had to share it! Very unique and modern, no?

We chose Wo Fung Dessert because I wanted their awesome chicken wings and Trixie wanted their noodles in soup.

24 December 2011

Tomoya Japanese Restaurant- I Highly Recommend The "Black Sun"!

On a random cold night, Meta Knight and I spontaneously decided to go to Tomoya Japanese Restaurant, a place we’ve passed by every time we go to Cattle CafĂ© but never tried. 

Tomoya is located in Burnaby and is across from Metrotown.

The inside of the restaurant is brightly lit and seats twenty or so people comfortably. We went during prime dinner time but there were barely any customers. :/

I have heard many good things about their “Black Sun” and their Specialty rolls. The prices are steeper than Oyama (post here) but it’s reasonable. They used to have a daily special where one special roll is half off for the day, but when I asked, the waitress said that they stopped the promotion and is now only offered for take-out orders only.

19 December 2011

Random Thought- Recipe to Riches: Luscious Lemon Pudding Cakes

I watch a lot of shows on the Food Network and one that caught my eye was "Recipe to Riches". It's a reality show where regular peeps like us send in their recipe in hopes to have their creation transformed into a President's Choice product and win the ultimate prize of $250,000. 

Glo McNeill from Nova Scotia won the grand prize for her "Luscious Lemon Pudding Cake" recipe and her cakes are now being sold in every Superstore location! I was lucky enough to find them as I heard these flew out of the shelves like hot cakes right after she won! It is sold for $6.99 and each package contains four pudding cakes. I find it a tad expensive given the quantity, but I wanted to see what was so delicious about these cakes for them to win 250 grand.

They look like this before heading into the oven. The cake is only slightly larger than my palm.

17 December 2011

Secret Garden Tea Company- Lovely Scones and Sandwiches, Not So Great Desserts

Secret Garden Tea Company is located in Kerrisdale and is probably one of the most popular high tea places in Vancouver. People always look at me weird when I say I have never been here, so on one particular occasion, I came here with a bunch of foodie friends for some high tea.

The atmosphere is very quaint and country like. It feels quite cozy, but at the same time, the wooden chairs weren’t the most comfortable to sit on. I suggest thicker cushions, haha, but now I’m just being picky. :P

Most of us chose the Demi High Tea ($12.95) because we all had lunch and were not very hungry. The Demi High Tea comes with two miniature sweets, two miniature sandwiches, a miniature scone, raspberry jam, Devon cream, and one of their Secret Garden Teas. Rae and I both ordered the Creamy Earl Grey so we were given a bigger pot of tea in a cute teapot cozy.

16 December 2011

Pinkberry (Metrotown)- It's Cute, It's Tasty, It's a Bit Pricey

Pinkberry just opened up a new location at the Metrotown food court and I went (on two occasions) to try out how their frozen yogurt compares to the other franchises like Qoola and Yogen Fruz.

Their store and colour scheme looked so cute! Quite girly too in my opinion :P Clearly females are their target market.

The line starts at the end of the row and you first choose your flavour of frozen yogurt, then your toppings, and then you pay at the end.

14 December 2011

Sushi Hachi- Saba Battera is Amazing!

A few weeks ago, I met up with Janice (GoodEat) and Steph (KrispyBites) for dinner at Sushi Hachi. Sushi Hachi is known for their sashimi and authentic Japanese eats. The whole restaurant is operated by a couple. The husband (I assume) is the chef and the wife does everything else (serving, taking orders, refilling tea). They are only open three hours a day (6-9pm) from Tuesday to Saturday. Crazy right?!

The chef seemed like he knew the customers really well because he was chatting with the couple in front of him throughout their dinner in Japanese.

The menu is simple. They have sushi by piece and sushi rolls on one side, and...

Sashimi, pressed sushi, rice bowls, dessert, and some cooked items on the other side.

First came the Saba Battera ($14.50) and Chopped Scallop Roll ($3.50). The saba battera was quite expensive for six pieces, but well worth the splurge on occasion. It was absolutely delicious! I normally dislike raw Saba because I find it fishy, but there was none of that here. I particularly loved the basil (or mint?) that was pressed into the middle of the sushi rice. It was subtle, but it made all the difference. The chopped scallop roll was ok but nothing special. There weren’t many scallops in the roll as you can see from the piece at the end.

12 December 2011

The Pit Burger Bar- Cheap Waffle Fries!!

Have you ever had a sudden craving for something that is totally not crave-worthy or special at all but you still want it anyway? Well, I had exactly that a week or two ago, and it was for...waffle fries. I know, totally weird and random. Since The Pit Burger Bar at UBC is the only place I know that serves waffle fries, I made myself an excuse and studied with Trixie at UBC just so I could get my hands on those delicious greasy carbohydrates.

I got an order of Waffle Fries ($2.95, includes tax!) and Curry Mayo ($0.60) as dip. The curry mayo wasn’t necessary since the fries had seasoning on them already but Trixie recommended it, so what the hey, we still got it. :P

10 December 2011

Thierry Patisserie- Pastries and Macarons Are Worth A Try

I have always been intrigued by Parisian Macarons and I feel like I still haven't found a place in Vancouver that makes them well. So on the day that Yoshi, Rae, and I went on our food cart binge, we decided to finish off our gluttonous day with some macarons at Thierry!

 photo courtesy of Rae
Thierry is a little cafe located on Alberni next to Italian Kitchen and across from Coast. The signage doesn't really stand out so we almost walked past it!

The inside is bright, modern, and quite cozy. There aren't many tables though so I feel like it wouldn't be a good place to study for long periods of time or something.

Their selection of cakes are sooo breath taking! If it tastes as good as it looks (anybody know?), then I am definitely coming here from now on to buy birthday cakes.

7 December 2011

Izumi-Ya Japanese Marketplace (Re-visit)- My Favourite One Stop Shop For Japanese Goodies

Since my last post on Izumi-Ya Japanese Marketplace (link here), I've revisited this place a billion more times whenever I'm short on time or want a quick lunch or dinner. So... here is my re-visit post! 

I always find their assortment of sushi and bento boxes very affordable and I like how everything is made fresh daily. Their Negitoro Temaki ($3.95) is pretty much a Negitoro maki roll before it's cut. 

The minced tuna and chopped spring onion mixture (negitoro) always tastes fresh and you are also given seaweed to wrap the roll with right before consuming.

At Izumi-Ya, I realize they sell Cream Caramel cups from a Japanese dessert bakery called Cake-Ya. They come in a variety of flavours ranging from Original to Black Sesame.

4 December 2011

Osa Tako Hero- Pretty Good Takoyaki

Osa Tako Hero is a new food cart that opened not too long ago and they specialize in only one thing. Takoyaki. The food cart is quite cute and has a bunch of signs with cartoon animation on it.

Their Takoyaki is made of: Secret Magic Batter, Tako (Octopus), Green Tea, Green Cabbage, Carrot, Onion, and Aonori.

I found it unique that the concept for their food cart is like a Super Mario Game (or something like that), however, it can get a bit confusing. It actually took us a while to find out how the ordering process worked.

1 December 2011

Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck (Revisit)- Can Never Get Enough

After our disappointing experience at Re-Up BBQ Food Cart, Yoshi, Rae, and I headed over to Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck to get something better. This time around, I KNOW the food will be good because I've visited Mom's Grilled Cheese truck before (post here) and it was extraordinary.

  photos courtesy of Yoshi

 I heard their Roasted Tomato Soup is the bomb but I was too full at that point to get anything. Next time!!!

30 November 2011

Re-Up BBQ Foodcart- This Is The Famous Pulled Pork Sandwich?

Continuing on the food cart binge that Rae, Yoshi, and I had a few weeks earlier, we stopped by The Re-Up BBQ. I told them this cart was famous for their pulled pork sandwiches (from what I heard and read online). I had never actually tried their pulled pork, but because it was highly reviewed and talked about, it expected it to be a for-sure-win. Oh how wrong was I.

There was only one person running the truck and she was in charge of collecting money and making the food. I wasn’t surprised that everything was pre-made because it IS a very small truck with limited cooking space. However, seeing pulled pork come out of a container didn’t really wet my appetite.

They sell only three items at this food cart, Pulled Pork sandwich, Beef Brisket sandwich, and Sweet Tea. We opted for 2 Pulled Pork sandwiches ($7.00). One for Yoshi, and one for Rae and I to share.

28 November 2011

Roaming Dragon Food Truck- Korean Short Rib Taco!

I remember hearing of Roaming Dragon ever since the food cart craze hit Vancouver because there was so much hype and every food blogger reviewed it. Heck, they were even featured on the Eat St. program on the Food Network! However, even with all that hype, I never cared to try it out, until last week with Rae and Yoshi.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from their menu because I didn’t know if the food was Asian fusion or “authentic” Asian. They have a few interesting items like Fried Rice Balls, Roaming Dragon Sub, Chinese Pork Slider, and Lychee and Basil Lemonade.

27 November 2011

Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ- Healthy AND Delicious

Last week, Rae, Yoshi, and I went on a food cart binge and tried out five different food carts in one sitting! It was a bit savage. We ate continuously for 3 hours... :P

The first food cart we visited was the ‘Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ’ because it was recommended to me by Sean of Sean’s Adventures in Flavour Town.

Mangal Kiss’ main item is the Shishliks ($7.00). The menu looked confusing at first and it took us a while to understand it even with Phyllis’ (I believe is the owner) help. But you basically choose either the Fraser Valley rib eye or the Rossdown Farms chicken and the rest will take care of itself. If you don’t request anything else, you will get all the vegetables (hummus, tahini, purple cabbage, beets, radish, onions...etc) and sauces (spicy and savoury mango sauce, hot sauce, and BBQ sauce) in your wrap.

26 November 2011

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka- Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pork Jowl, Very Salty Broth

After having croissants at Footo Delights, Meta Knight and I checked out Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. I have heard so many great things about this place through blogs and word of mouth but I distinctively remember trying Ramen Santouka when it first opened and was not impressed with their ramen.

Their display case is so eye-catching. I bet a lot of people who walk by stare at it and decide to try the restaurant because of it.

24 November 2011

Footo Delights- Made With All Natural Ingredients

Footo Delights is a local bakery that specializes in fresh-out-of-the-oven (footo) croissants. It is owned and operated by Brenda Yip, an SFU and Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts graduate. All of the pastries and desserts are handmade daily by Brenda and she uses only the most natural ingredients such as fresh eggs, fresh milk, Himalayan crystal salt, fresh yeast...etc.

The bakery is quite small and quaint but its attractive storefront definitely stands out from the neighbouring cafes and restaurants. The store hours are from 7:30am-5:00pm Mon-Fri, so you can pick up a croissant in the morning as breakfast or at night when you get off work.

In addition to selling croissants, they also sell natural frozen yogurt and individual desserts.

21 November 2011

Frozen Chocolate-Dipped Banana Popsicle Recipe

I have a super quick and easy recipe for you guys today. It’s called ‘frozen chocolate dipped banana popsicle’! What a mouthful eh? It’s a delicious and (relatively) healthy treat when you’re craving a snack in the afternoon or a chocolatey dessert at night.

First, you need to cut the bananas into threes. I suggest using bananas that are no longer green but not ripe to the point of getting spots yet. Stick each piece of banana through a popsicle stick (or in my case, disposable wooden chopsticks :P) and lay it on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Then freeze for a few hours or overnight.

Toyotomi Restaurant- An All-You-Can-Eat Hidden Gem!

Toyotomi is a Chinese-run Japanese restaurant that opened on Anderson Road (in Richmond) over a year ago. I dined there once before when it just opened but found their Japanese dishes to be a bit underwhelming. Thus, it fell off my food radar and I never bothered for a re-visit. Recently, I heard about this restaurant again and specifically about their Hot Pot/ Sashimi All-you-can-eat deal. Their AYCE hot pot is only $13.99 and you can have AYCE sashimi (not sushi) if you add an additional $6.00. So...$20 for AYCE hot pot and sashimi?! I’m there.

The front area contains an elaborate display of different Japanese beer/wine and other trinkets.

The restaurant is actually quite large and nicely decorated. I don’t think most people would expect that just from looking from the outside.