January 2012 ~ 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.

30 January 2012

Dine Out 2012: Monk McQueens- Succulent Lamb Chops, Mediocre Onion Mushroom Tart

For my third and last Dine Out of 2012, I visited Monk McQueens ($28 menu) with Rae, Trixie, Yoshi, and Sis. Monk McQueens is known for their beautiful view of False Creek and West Coast cuisine.

Lucky for us, they sat us near  the window so we enjoyed a beautiful view along with our meal which I think enhanced our overall dining experience.

We were first given a bread basket to share and it was delightfully warm and soft. The bread was so good, we had to get seconds!

For my first course, I ordered the Caramelized Onion and Matsutake Mushroom Tart with amaranth braised prune salad, burrata cheese, and Bristol cream vinaigrette. 

29 January 2012

Dine Out 2012: Smoking Dog Bistro- Candied Bacon Chocolate Fudge

Smoking Dog Bistro is a little French Bistro located in Kitsilano on W 1st Ave. I was intrigued by their dine out menu this year so I went to try it out with Dirtygirl, Cupcake, Dup, and Meta Knight.

I made reservations before checking their urbanspoon page and when I did, I was quite taken back by how many negative comments there were. Needless to say, after reading all the comments I began to doubt my decision of choosing this place for dine out.

The decor is very pretty and has a romantic feel to it. I particularly liked the flower centerpieces.

The presentation of their dine out menu is quite unique, no? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a menu in a form of a scroll before.

26 January 2012

Saboten (Aberdeen Center) Grand Opening/Media Tasting Event

Last Sunday, Janice (goodeat) kindly invited Steph (Krispy Bites) and I to the Saboten grand opening/media tasting event. We were joined by Gary and Taya from (Eating in Vancouver) as well. Feel free to click on their links to check out their reviews of Saboten!

Saboten originated from Shinjuku, Japan and they specialize in tonkatsu which is a style of deep fried pork cutlet. This is their first North American location so there was much anticipation about their grand opening.

While we were waiting, we were given a take out menu. Have a look and see what you think. Each meal is around $8-9 except for the Tenderloin Katsu Sandwich.

23 January 2012

Dine Out 2012: R.TL (Regional Tasting Lounge)- Delicious Appys and Entrees!

Every year during Dine Out Vancouver, I like to take advantage of the opportunity to try out different restaurants that I normally would not go to. I have a few planned for this year so I’m definitely very excited. I already went to Regional Tasting Lounge in Yaletown with Meta Knight a few days ago so here’s the scoop!

R.TL looks very fancy from the outside with its sliding doors and blazing fire at the entrance. They serve a $28 menu for three courses.

The restaurant is quite small and probably seats around 30ish people.

Meta Knight and I were not given bread to start and apparently you have to add an additional $6 for it. We obviously did not get it because we didn’t want to fill up on bread. So I chose the Tomato and Fresh Italian Burrata D.O.P salad as my appetizer. I absolutely love Burrata cheese so I wanted to give it a try here. It was not as good as the one from Coast (post here) but it was still pretty darn delicious. The cheese was very fresh, soft, and moist.

21 January 2012

Phnom Penh- Chicken Wings, Butter Beef, MSG Overload

Phnom Penh has been on my food radar since FOREVER and I have tried numerous times to go but it just never ends up happening. Luckily, Janice (goodeat) and Steph (krispybites) also have not tried this ever-so-famous restaurant yet so all three of us decided to go on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

Phnom Penh is located in a kind of sketchy part of Chinatown so you may want to bus instead of drive. Or if you are going to drive, don’t park too close to this area.

We purposely tried to go early to avoid long line-ups, but we still ended up waiting 10-15 minutes for a table.

Right when we sat down, we were given a huge textbook-like menu. They have some interesting items like frog legs but since we already knew what we wanted, I’ll keep it in mind for next time. First came a side of bean sprouts and dipping sauces.

20 January 2012

Sophie's Cosmic Cafe- Mmm.... Eggs Benny

I met up with my friend, Unger recently for a little weekend brunch. We were torn between Jethro’s Fine Grub and Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe, but we ended up choosing the latter.

Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe is located in Kitsilano and looks super quirky from the outside.

The inside looks quirky too with its old dinner style red booths and nostalgic randoms on the wall.

18 January 2012

Random Thought- Only Go To SFU's Triple O's When There Are No Other Choices

Up at SFU, there aren’t many good places to eat. Everything (except Tim Horton’s) is overpriced, mediocre, and boring. With that said, I still occasionally buy food at SFU because sometimes I don’t have time to pack lunch.

This semester, I happen to have class on Tuesday, which is when Triple O’s have their “Triple O’s Tuesdays” special. Their original burger becomes $3.33 and $6.53 (including tax) when you upgrade to a combo. I substituted my pop for “Red Rose” tea. It was really bad... I wanted to substitute water for pop instead but it was an “upgrade” with extra charge. I hate how pop is cheaper than water... =.=

The burger was, as expected, mediocre and poorly assembled. It became messy to eat because of the blobs of sauces everywhere. The bread was slightly warm but very thick and chewy.

As always, I like to show people what the product is advertised to look like. I always love to poke fun at advertisements where the ad product looks nothing like the real thing. :P It's a little disheartening sometimes but it IS the reality.

Ebisu on Robson- BBQ Cuttlefish and Cajun Tuna Tacos!

Ebisu is normally not my go-to Japanese restaurant for tapas and drinks. I always found it a bit on the expensive side and sub-par compared to other establishments such as Guu, Hapa Izakaya, Nan Chuu, or Gyo-o.

On this occasion, my friend chose Ebisu on Robson to celebrate her birthday.

When flipping through the menu, I noticed the “Crème Brulee Cheesecake”. This instantly caught my eye because I absolutely adore crème brulee. I did not order it this time around but maybe on my next visit I will.

Before our table ordered, Trixie asked for tea instead of water. The waitress came back with a cup and teapot, and that was when we knew it was not complimentary. We all found it weird because we thought tea would be complimentary, just like how it is with the majority of other Japanese restaurants in Vancouver. Also, the waitress never told her there would be a charge for the tea.

16 January 2012

HML Seafood Restaurant- Inexpensive Dim Sum and No Tea Charge

HML Seafood Restaurant is located on No.3 Road and Westminster in Richmond. It is on the second floor and the main entrance is through a parking lot.

It’s a fairly large and spacious restaurant so I have never had to wait more than 30 seconds for a table. If you don’t like line-ups when it comes to dim sum restaurants, this place is for you.

My family enjoys this restaurant because it’s pretty cheap and the dim sum is good. You get 20% off all dim sum items as well as free tea (other dim sum places normally charge you $1 per person for tea) everyday.

We were seated near the window and this is the view from our table. Not very pretty, but hey it gave me great sunlight to take pictures with. :P

14 January 2012

Sushi Garden (Kingsway)- Not Worth The 30-40 Minute Wait!

I never understood why Sushi Garden (Kingsway location) is always packed with people. I have been there once before but I didn’t find the sushi that great. I assume it’s the convenient location and relatively cheap prices that always draw customers back.

When Meta Knight and I arrived at 6pm, there was already a huge line-up to the door! We ended up waiting almost 40 minutes before getting a table.

I was craving some nigiri so I ordered the Assorted Sushi ($11.95). It comes with salmon and tuna maki rolls and eight pieces of assorted nigiri (ebi, tobiko, hokkigai, tako, tuna, amaebi, ika).

12 January 2012

Dunn's Famous- Tons of Meaty Goodness

Dunn’s Famous is located in downtown Vancouver and they are known for their authentic Montreal smoked meat sandwiches.

I met up one night with Diana (foodology), Gloria (i’m busyeating), Amy (foodqueen), Jenny (eatwithjenny), and Janice (goodeat) to give this place a try. Definitely check out their posts as well as we all have different tastes and opinions.

I was never too into smoked meat but I insisted on ordering it because I felt like it was a prime opportunity to try the most ‘authentic’ Montreal smoked meat in Vancouver. I ordered The Famous Dunn’s Reuben ($13.00) and I loved it! You get to choose the fattiness of the meat which is kind of cool. Our entire table chose medium and I think that is what you should stick to in order to get the perfect balance of fat and meat.

I liked how their coleslaw was not drowned in dressing like some other chain restaurants.

Accord Food House- Soft Mushy Noodles

After closing for a month during the holidays, Accord Food House finally opened today so Meta Knight and I instantly jumped at the chance to give this place a try. 

I’ve heard only good things about this hole-in-the-wall restaurant so we both had high expectations going in. Perhaps it was our high expectations that ruined us, but our visit was very disappointing.

Accord Food House is next to a XXX shop across from Metrotown. You really have to search hard for this place or you will miss it. The interior is quaint and seats probably 20 people max.

Their whole menu (aside from drinks) is on the blackboard. They serve primarily Taiwanese noodles, dessert, and drinks.

10 January 2012

Miura Waffle Milk Bar- Legendary Waffle Sandwiches!

Miura Waffle Milk Bar has been on my food radar for quite some time now. I rarely venture to Yaletown, and when I do, it’s usually for dinner and not lunch so I never found the right opportunity to go.

The day before school started, Trixie and I decided to go and give it a try despite the violent cold wind and pouring rain. It was horrible getting there, but boy were we glad we went.

They have a signage outside their store with pictures of their waffle sandwiches.

They sell hot and cold drinks in addition to waffle sandwiches. What caught Trixie and I’s eye were the flavoured and yoggy milk. :P

9 January 2012

East is East (Main)- Night Of The 1 1/2 Hr Wait and Vacuum Packed Seating

Yoshi is a major foodie and he often raved about how great the restaurant ‘East is East’ is (wow, tongue twister!). I had no clue what this restaurant was about so I was eager to try it out.  We went with a bunch of other friends and had a total of about 7 people. BAD IDEA.

East is East is located on Main Street and this is one of two locations. The other location is in Kitsilano and from what I hear, the other location is bigger.

When we arrived, the place was packed and there was already a line up to the door. We were told that it would be an hour wait since we had a large party and we reluctantly agreed. After an hour of walking down the streets and chatting with each other, we went back and we were told that it would be an additional hour wait!! WHAT?! We were all visibly frustrated and pretty fed up. We wanted to go somewhere else along Main Street but the other restaurants were full as well. We had no choice but to continue waiting... besides, if we left, I would have felt like we wasted all that time waiting.

To be fair, the hostesses did try and make us feel better by offering some samples of their famous chai and stuffed naan.  We all appreciated that. After an hour and a half wait, we finally got a table. A very small, squishy 4 person table... All 7 of us were basically shoulder to shoulder and I can honestly say it was the most uncomfortable dining experience I have ever had in my life.

7 January 2012

Matsuyama- Best To Come Here For Late Night Sushi

Every time Meta Knight and I finish watching a movie around 9pm and want to grab some late night dinner, we always have problem finding restaurants that are still open. We usually resort to Matsuyama because we know that they will be open for sure. They even have a late night menu too. Sometimes, people are still lining up to get in at 10pm.

The interior is quite cozy and they have a lot of booths. This place is not Japanese owned (most likely Chinese) so don’t come here expecting authentic, traditional Japanese cuisine.

Here is a picture of their Late Night Special Menu.

I like how they have Nigiri sushi for only 89 cents apiece and Sashimi for $4.25 (5 pieces).

Above is the Salmon/ Toro sashimi ($4.25) along with a Chopped Scallop ($2.95) and Unagi ($2.95) maki roll.

5 January 2012

Bella Gelateria- If You Have Never Tried Their Gelato, You're Missing Out!

Oh my gosh, I finally tried the famous Bella Gelateria! I have heard so much about their irresistible handcrafted gelato over the past few years and I’ve gotta say, why the heck have I not been here sooner?!

After having dinner with Diana (foodology), Gloria (I’m busyeating), Amy (foodqueen), Janice (good eat), and Jenny (eatwithjenny), we decided to get some dessert at Bella Gelateria.

We went around 9pm and the place was already full with barely any tables left. After we ordered, another rush of people came and the place was completely packed...and it wasn’t even a weekend!

They have a variety of unique gelato flavours such as Earl Grey Tea, Rosewater, Pumpkin Pie, Salted Caramel, Lavender, and Fior di Latte.

4 January 2012

Banana Leaf (Fairview Location)- Weird Music But Decent Malaysian Food

For my friend’s birthday, a bunch of us gathered at Banana Leaf (West Broadway location) to try their ‘award winning’ Malaysian cuisine. I’ve always doubted whether Banana Leaf serve truly authentic Malaysian food because I’ve always heard mediocre reviews by my Malaysian friends.

Anyhow, we arrived on a cold and stormy night and I was pleasantly surprised to see the restaurant booming with customers. 

The colour of their walls are really bright and it created quite an energetic ambiance. My friends and I however all disliked their choice of background music because it was like loud club music that you can never relax to. During the entire meal I was quite tense because everything was quite chaotic (or it could just be because of our large table).

We were given some roasted peanuts to munch on while deciding what to order.

3 January 2012

Victoria Chinese Restaurant- Better Stay Away And Go Elsewhere

Victoria Chinese Restaurant is located in the same complex as the Hyatt Hotel and I heard it used to be a very grand Chinese restaurant a decade or so ago. I was excited to try this place for dim sum, but it failed me and it is nothing compared to the better dim sum restaurants in Vancouver/Richmond.

Tea is $1.25 per person which is reasonable. First came the Shrimp Salad Roll ($4.65) and when this landed on our table, I was taken aback by how there was absolutely no garnish on the plate. I really am not a picky person when it comes to dim sum, but if it costs five bucks, I expect it to look a little more presentable than this.

The spring roll skin was crispy and nicely fried. The filling however was pretty bad. All I could taste were globs of heavy mayo and there were barely any shrimp.