August 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 August 2011

Deer Garden Signatures- Incredibly Flavourful Fish Broth!

It was about 10pm and Meta Knight and I just finished watching "Captain America" at Silvercity. We decided to go to Deer Garden Signatures on Alexandra road for a late late dinner (slap on the wrist for eating so late =.=) and because it was cold outside, what better way to warm yourself up than with a giant bowl of fish broth noodle in soup?! :D

One word of advice, park far away!! We had trouble finding parking for over 20 minutes and in the end, we had no choice (and patience) but to park far away. The restaurant was packed even though it was so late at night and we had to wait for an additional 15-20 minutes for a table. Why do so many people eat so late? 

We both ordered the Choose-It-Yourself Noodle Combo ($7.50). You basically choose your own soup base, a type of noodle, two toppings, and a drink. You can also add side dishes for $1.50. To order, you have to write down your choices on a selection sheet (you can view it here).

Before we received our noodles, we asked the waitress for XO Sauce. It is fragrant and loaded with chunks of dried scallops. I never knew they had XO sauce until I read it on Food For Buddha's post, so thanks for that because I get it every time now! :P

Meta Knight ordered the Original Fish Soup with Fish Balls and Beef Brisket. He chose Rice Noodles for the carbs. He said the fish balls were great because they were very bouncy. The thickness and texture of the rice noodles were also very good so it made him a very happy man :)

30 August 2011

Applebee's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill- Not Coming Back To This Location Again

 After a great camping trip at Golden Ears, my friends and I decided to hit up Applebee's in Port Coquitlam for a quick breakfast. Too bad none of us knew that Applebee's stopped serving breakfast many years ago. :( We reluctantly agreed to order from the lunch menu.

Meta Knight ordered the Hand-Battered Fish & Chips ($11.99) and it was not very impressive. It came with one piece of fried haddock, cole slaw, fries, and tartar sauce. The fish was over battered, the fries were average, and the cole slaw tasted pre-made. Definitely not worth $11.99. I'd rather get fish and chips from Pajo's in Steveston.

This came from the "Pick 'N Pair Lunch Combo" in which you choose a soup and salad, soup and sandwich, or salad and pasta. You can check out the menu here. I ordered the French Onion Soup and Spicy Shrimp Rollup for about $7.99 (can't totally remember).

29 August 2011

What8ver Cafe- Intrigued By The Honey Toast Box Fad

I first heard of 'Toast Box' and What8ver Cafe a while ago through food blogs and I thought it was just the coolest thing ever. It was quite a new concept in Vancouver at the time and no other restaurant served anything like that before. I know Flo in Richmond now has a Honey Toast Box as well so after I try that out, I'll let you guys know whether it is worthwhile :P 

The restaurant itself is very small. It can seat about 5-6 tables max and it fills up super fast during late night hours (8-11pm) so make sure you make reservations beforehand. The interior is quite cozy, especially when you get the booth. In terms of service.. I do have something negative to say about it, because when I was eating here with Trixie, the waitress was incredibly cold and unresponsive. She did not answer my question when I asked her something about the menu, and looked bored when taking our order. The service on my previous visits were not as bad, so maybe it was just this one waitress.

Trixie and I shared the Wheat Germ Milk Tea ($3.50). One thing about What8ver cafe that really stood out to me is the fact that HST is already included in the price you see on the menu. Cheap me says: Score!! 

I gotta say, this Wheat Germ Milk Tea is the best I've ever had. The brand of wheat germ/ cereal they use is perfect for this drink and they are not stingy with the amount too. Not too bland or overly sweet, it's perfect.

We also ordered the Chocolate & Condensed Milk Thick Toast ($4.25). We were both happy to see that the chocolate was baked because that made it a bit fancier than just spreading some nutella and condense milk on a slab of toast.

28 August 2011

Little Monk Pretzels- Great Guilty Pleasure

Whenever I go to Metrotown, I always want to get pretzel balls from Little Monk Pretzels. There is something about soft pretzels that make you instantly hungry the moment you smell it. I love that it's warm, soft, and can be any flavour you like. I wish they sold them at SilverCity... :( I would totally love a pretzel with my movies!

Little Monk Pretzels is located near Superstore and is next door to Beard Papas.

This is the super simple Classic Pretzel ($2.79). It is coated with butter and then sprinkled with coarse salt. 

27 August 2011

Kawawa Ramen- Broth and Noodles Need Work

Meta Knight and I have eaten at Kawawa Ramen on various occasions, mostly as an early dinner to a 7pm showing at Silvercity Metropolis (ya..we are movie buffs hehe). Our general consensus is that while this restaurant is far from the best ramen place in Vancouver, it is sufficient when you are craving ramen and not in the downtown area.

The storefront looks like this. It is attached to its sister restaurant called "Kawawa Japanese Restaurant" where they serve AYCE (all-you-can-eat) sushi.

Their ramen ranges from $6.95- $9.95 and is priced similar to places such as G-men, Kintaro, Benkei Ramen. I'd say it's not bad assuming the quality of their food is the same. But sadly it isn't. Their signature item is called "Kawawa Ramen" and is served with kimchi, roasted pork, bean sprouts, bamboo sprouts, and half a hard boiled egg. Meta Knight has ordered it before and he quite likes it. But he doesn't like it enough to be $9.95.

They have a section for special ramen and dons. 

The seasonal Cold Ramen ($7.95) was actually pretty good and refreshing. The ramen is served with a cold soy citrus sauce and strips of tamago, cucumber, crab meat, and ham. One thing to note is that they do not make their own noodles (we saw them use noodles from a bag). Even though this isn't a deal breaker for me, I feel that if you are to specialize in ramen, you should make it from scratch. 

26 August 2011

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie!

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but yet many people skip it. If you wait until lunch to eat, your body will be starving (even if you don't feel like it), and will conserve as many calories as it can during lunch. Therefore, in order to jump start your metabolism and get a kick of instant energy, I recommend making an easy and delicious smoothie. If you are in a rush, take it with you on the go!

I added a bit of whey protein and fiber powder to my smoothie as this was my post-workout drink.  (I heard eating protein after you exercise will help you lose fat, gain muscle, and curb your appetite, so I decided to give it a try) You can substitute protein powder with grounded flax seed (source of omega-3), soy protein powder, or green plant powder to give your smoothie an extra boost.

I used frozen strawberries, but you can use fresh ones if you have them on hand. Just make sure to include 3-5 extra ice cubes to your mix.

25 August 2011

Random Thought- Spray Cheese and Canned Gumbo?!

When I was at the Bellingham Walmart, I saw a few products that I have never seen in Canada so I just wanted to share them with you. You may have seen them before but it was the first time for me so when I saw it, I thought it was so cool!

These spray cheeses DO exist!! I remember seeing this in the movie "17 Again" when Zac Efron was eating the spray cheese directly from the can. LOL. Does anybody remember that scene?! I wonder if there is even any real cheese in that product :P

Peanut Butter Jelly Time! This jar has both peanut butter and strawberry jam so it's perfect for making PB&J sandwiches without the hassle of buying both spreads separately. 

They have this in Grape Jelly and Peanut Butter too!

Old Country Buffet- Major Improvement From Years Ago

While we were in Bellingham, my family was deciding between going to Applebee's or Old Country Buffet for dinner. We chose the latter and I'm glad we did. Old Country Buffet was surprisingly much better than it used to be a few years ago!

They were advertising their "Shrimp 5 Ways" and that made me want to try it out even more. :P

We got there at 6pm and there was already a line forming. I never knew Old Country Buffet was that popular.

The price for dinner is $10.49 for anyone over 13 years old, I believe. If you want unlimited drinks (pop, juice, coffee, milk, tea..etc), you have to pay an extra $1.99 per person. Maybe they implemented this recently but I don't recall having to pay extra for drinks a few years back. I personally would not get the unlimited drinks again because their selection isn't THAT great anyways and water is usually sufficient for me. But for $1.99, it's not that big of a deal :P

As you can see from the exceptionally poor lighting in this picture, I have awkward photography skills but here is a rough idea of what the interior looks like.

My whole family started off with soup and I was happy to see the classic Chicken Noodle Soup, Creamy Tomato Basil, and Vegetable Stew. 

The Chicken Noodle Soup was too salty, but I didn't mind it too much. It had good chunks of chicken, noodles, and assorted veggies. It tastes like canned soup though.

24 August 2011

Edaleen Dairy Store- Cheap Dairy Products

Yesterday, my family decided to go to Bellingham to do some grocery shopping and to walk around Bellis Fair mall. We took the "264St/Aldergrove-Bellingham Hwy/ BC-13 S" route to cross the border and came across Edaleen Dairy Store within 5 minutes of doing so. FYI, when you smell manure, you're here :P

Kirpa heard of this place from his friend and he was told they have amazingly cheap diary products and ice-cream. 

When we first walked in, we saw jugs and jugs of 4L juices in the front. I read the ingredient list and none of them seemed that healthy.

They have a selection of inexpensive cheeses. By the way, they sell bacon too for $2.50! We bought two packs but sadly, they weren't that great. It was 50% fat. But I guess you can't expect awesome quality for cheap bacon. 

22 August 2011

Sushi Oyama - Awesome Sushi Rolls!

Meta Knight LOVES Oyama Sushi and we have visited this restaurant too many times to count. Oyama is located on Kingsway and it literally looks like a big house. I have heard some weird stories about the building's past, but I won't repeat it since I am not even sure if it is true or not. :P

We find that this place provides the best quality sushi rolls for it's price. We know Bonzai and Samurai gives you bang for your buck, but these rolls here are way more spectacular for 'roughly' the same price.

Their specialty roll menu.. this is why we come here all the time. Meta Knight and I have tried almost every roll on the menu (although I never used to take photos of them! Oh well.. they will be in my revisit posts!) and none of the rolls have ever disappointed us. On this visit, Meta Knight wanted to specifically show me their new roll called Las Vegas Roll. I'll get to that later.

We started off with the Tuna and Salmon Sashimi 9 pcs ($8.50). The quality of the sashimi is always very fresh. The tuna especially, tastes different than the other frozen tuna sashimis in other lower quality Japanese restaurants. 

Maple Bacon Donuts- Enough Said.

Isn't it ironic that during my health and fitness craze, I am writing a post on Maple Bacon Donuts?  Heh. The only reason why something this unhealthy is on my blog is because 1) it tastes just absolutely too delicious to care about calories and 2) I happened to incorporate this interesting food item into my "New Product Development and Design" class in which this was my "product".  Pretty awesome excuse to make food as my project eh? :D

I first heard of Maple Bacon Donuts from "Voodoo Doughnuts" and then again on Vancouver Slop when he posted about making his own Maple Bacon Donut using Tim Hortons' donut. Since then, I've always wanted to try and make my own and this product class opportunity was too good to pass up :P

photo courtesy of Rae
As you can see, I had to make this Maple Bacon Donut from scratch and trust me, it was a battle. I followed this recipe for my donut, and this recipe for my maple icing. All that was left was to sprinkle some crispy bacon on top. 

First Attempt:

I have never deep fried anything in my life so this was an entirely new experience for me. As you can see, the donuts aren't in perfect ringlets, but oh well, the first batch is always just a test run!

21 August 2011

Meloty High Tea- Mmm..Scones..

Dirtygirl, Tea, Hungrygirl, and I decided to high tea at Meloty to catch up and do some girl talk. We originally decided on Faubourg or Adonia, but since the reviews on them weren't that great, we decided to come to Meloty instead.

It is located in Richmond and in the same plaza as Bubble World and Richmond Sushi. Meloty doesn't look that fancy from the outside, but it was gorgeous inside. Their bathroom especially, looked so beautiful! Not even kidding.

They have a staircase that goes to the second floor but I believe it is roped off from the public unless you reserve the second floor for a big party.

All of us ordered the Deluxe High Tea ($25.00) which is from 2-5pm only and it consists of all-you-can-eat pastries and desserts as well as one pot of tea per person. The teas were good but none really stood out for me.

The first part of the high tea (the savoury pastries) came in two tiers. I gotta admit, these were nicely presented and all the pastries looked so good that I didn't know which one to begin with!

20 August 2011

Yuu Japanese Tapas- Surprisingly Tasty Ramen

It wasn't until recently that I found out about this new Japanese Tapas place in Richmond. Dup recommended this place because he has been here a couple of times and he loves their katsu curry rice. So one day, Meta Knight, Dup, Cupcake, and I chose to come here for a fast dinner before going to the airport to pick up our friend, Pudding.

Yuu Japanese Tapas is located roughly in between Pearl Castle and the old G-Men. I wonder why they called it "Yuu"? There is Guu, and now there is Yuu... does anyone know if this "uu" business actually means anything?

The interior somehow feels like a hk cafe more than a tapas place. But I think it's only because I have been conditioned to think of a normal Japanese tapas place as a restaurant with dim lighting, wooden tables, and Japanese chefs yelling out "Irashaimase!" whenever I walk into the restaurant. :P Regardless, the atmosphere was still cozy and I love watching their TV because they always show Japanese cooking shows or weird Japanese eating competitions.

Meta Knight and I were not very hungry so we split the Traditional Japanese Ramen in Dipping House Sauce ($9.50) from their Seasonal Summer Menu.

 I was skeptical at first about their ramen abilities because I normally do not order ramen at restaurants that do not specialize in it (are you guys the same?). However, the ramen proved me quite wrong. It was very delicious and the texture of the ramen was perfect. 

18 August 2011

The Cheesecake Factory- Why'd You Have To Tell Me The Calorie Count?

After tons of shopping at Nordstorm Rack and walking around Pike Market, we girls decided to go to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I have eaten at the Cheesecake Factory several times and my general consensus is that their food is pretty awesome considering the price. However, the food is always quite oily and I tend to feel bloated/gross afterwards.

The interior gives off a warm and sophisticated ambiance.

They have a display in the front for their cheesecakes. I was just staring at the display the entire time we were waiting for a table *drool*.

The menu was literally like a book. It is freakin' huge! For indecisive people like FW and myself, this is like a death trap. How do you expect me to choose something to eat if you give me two hundred choices? Anyways, they also give you a separate book (that looks like a menu) which gives you all the nutritional information for each item. Okay, when I was reading the calories on this thing, I wanted to leave. Almost every item on the menu is over 1000 calories!! The Red Velvet Cheesecake alone is already over 1200 calories.. X.X  I'll just put down my fork now...

17 August 2011

Theo's Chocolate- Organic Fair Trade Chocolate Factory!

Continuing on our little Seattle adventure- We purposely allocated time to go on this chocolate factory tour at Theo's Chocolate (reminds me of Willy Wonka, ahh..the good ol' times).However, because the tour was so popular and we didn't book 3-4 weeks in advance, we got there only to find that the tour was full for the day :( 

Theo's Chocolate factory is located in Fremont which is suppose to be a very artsy district. They have a few popular attractions like a statue called "The Fremont Troll", an outdoor drive-in theatre, and a model of a rocket ship. I'll show you pictures of these attractions later in the post.

Anyways, back to chocolate! Because we couldn't do the tour, we just decided to look at the chocolate store located in the factory and do a little taste testing. Tee hee.

They let you try almost every chocolate bar they have  which is real nice. In this picture, they have Mint Chocolate (which was so refreshing and "real", not the kind of mint you get in ice-cream), Spicy Chile, Coconut, Orange, and Cherry & Almond.

The chocolate bars are around $4-5 each per bar.