2013 ~ 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 2013

Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant - Why am I the Last to Know?

A couple days ago, Meta Knight and his family brought me to Western Lake Seafood Restaurant on 33rd and Victoria for his brother's birthday dinner. Apparently this is their go-to place for dim sum and it's highly rated on Urbanspoon. 

After some investigation, I realized it IS highly rated on Urbanspoon! Yet, I don't think I've heard of this place before.

In any case, we waited only five minutes and were escorted into the back of the restaurant to get seated. The place is noisy, crowded, and service is crappy...typical Asian restaurant.

We started off with the Crab Meat with Fish Maw Thick Soup ($15.50) which was super tasty and filled with large chunks of real crab meat.

This was a Sizzling Beef Brisket Pot and had tendon, brisket, and radishes. The brisket was a little tough and stuck to my teeth whenever you try to bite into it. 

This was my favourite dish of the night. It's made of whipped egg whites, seafood, and tobiko on top of steamed broccoli. It may look bland but it was incredibly light, savoury, and went perfect with rice. I can devour the whole plate myself, no joke!

The Deep Fried Crispy Skin Chicken ($18.00) was delicious and was not dry at all, even the breast. 

I don't know what this dish is called in English but its essentially stewed veggies and air bladder of the fish. It's hard to describe but the air bladder that allows fish to float in water (and what turns them upside down when they die) is the thing that is cooked and eaten. It's delicious and packed full of collagen which is SUPER good for the skin.

Some people may find the Diced Chicken with Salted Fish Fried Rice ($12.00) a bit too salty because of the salted fish but I really liked it. Great dish.

This was my favourite dish of the night and a favourite all around the table. Deep Fried Prawns with Salad Dressing and Walnuts is exactly as it sounds. Deep fried prawns, slathered in a creamy savoury salad dressing, and garnished with candied walnuts. I don't know what it is about this dish but you've got to order it. Especially if you like prawns, because this is amazeballs. Yes I said it. Amazeballs.

Overall, Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant really impressed me so I can't wait to come back for dim sum. Parking is free around the restaurant and not too hard to find. I feel like most people know about this restaurant already but to me, this is a new hidden gem and I'm glad I was finally introduced to it!

Service Rating: 2/5
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

Western Lake Chinese Seafood 西湖海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

30 December 2013

McDonald's Poutine: Hit or Miss?

McDonald's recently came up with a new product that I feel like should've been on their menu a long time ago. The 'Poutine'. The Canadian Classic of fries, gravy, and cheese curds.

However, after having a taste of it I realized why it isn't on the permanent menu and only offered as a promotional item. It sucks.

The well known McDonalds fries are way too skinny and limp for the poutine so it adds nothing texturally to the dish. The gravy was really sweet (I don't know why), and the cheese curds were alright. Overall, it just wasn't good. Especially if it's going to cost me 4 bucks. I'd rather go to New York Fries and get their more expensive poutine there.

Service Rating: 2/5
Food Rating: 2/5
Price: $

Overall Rating: 2/5

Happy Eating!

McDonald's on Urbanspoon

25 December 2013

Sura Korean BBQ Cuisine- Not as Great as It Looks

There is a new Korean restaurant at Aberdeen (in Richmond) that just recently opened up and I went with a couple of friends to check it out. It replaced the old Tropika (which I'm still sad about) and completely renovated the interior.

They have a lunch special which is a set menu consisting of all the items below. It seemed like a pretty sweet deal because you get about 15 different items for 15 bucks.

Here is a closer look at exactly what was included in the set menu that we chose. We went with the Course SU ($15).

Our Daily Congee and Green Salad was quite unamusing. The congee was favoured with red bean which was kind of cool but weird at the same time.

I quite liked the Mung Bean but most of my friends didn't particularly enjoy them. They just taste like gelatin strips with sesame oil.

The Sweet and Sour Pork didn't have enough sauce and wasn't crispy on the outside.

The Spicy Squid Salad was INCREDIBLY spicy and had barely any squid. We also had a couple of Banchans (little side Korean side dishes) but it didn't have any of the common sweet potato or seaweed so nobody really touched it.

The Potato Pancake is pretty much the Korean seafood pancake without any seafood. Not very good at all.

The Grilled Atlantic Croaker had a lot of bones in it so only a couple of people ate it. Shinto just ate them with bones and all so I guess they're technically edible.

At this point, nothing that came before this was very good so I was happy to see the Bulgolgi. The meat wasn't bad and the sauce was quite good with rice.

The Pork Belly was another item that was also pretty good but nothing spectacular. It would've been cool if we could grill our own pork belly though and eat it hot because this dish was pretty lukewarm when it was served to us.

The Soybean Paste Soup, was super spicy but good with rice.

Tea in the rice stone bowl.

Two of my friends ordered Bulgolgi Bibimbap instead of the set course and because the waitress mixed it with spicy sauce before we could stop them, it was too spicy and they didn't like it.

All in all, my friends and I all think that while it was a cool idea to have a set course for lunch, the quality just didn't cut it. We most likely will not be coming back.

Service Rating: 2/5
Food Rating: 2/5
Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 2/5

Sura Korean BBQ Cuisine on Urbanspoon Happy Eating!

14 December 2013

Mosaic Bar and Grille - German Chef Tasting Menu

Mosaic is at it again with another tasting menu, this one focusing on German cuisine. It is available until Dec 19th for $45 without/ $65 with wine pairing, so make your reservations asap if you want to give it a try. 

For this menu, Chef Heinrich gave the execution rights to Chef Jo and she did a fantastic job with each and every dish. You can tell she is extremely passionate about food and has an eye for perfectionism.

Foodobyte and I were served 6 courses in total including the 'bread'.

Normally, we're served warm smoked salt biscuits for the complimentary starter bread, however, this time it was replaced by their housemade Warm Pretzels. It came with a seriously addicting mustard butter which I unintentionally slathered all over my pretzel.  These are one of the best warm pretzels I've had anywhere.

The second course is the Bismarckhering which is a combination of pickled herring (done in house!), liquid egg, salad, flax seed tuille, chives and fennel sugars. It was a great dish to open up the appetite, similar to the sour Sunomono of Japanese cuisine. 

The liquid egg coated the herring nicely so it didn't become too overwhelming.

Curtis was particularly excited about the Two River Meats Bratwurst which was served with three different types of mustard (grain, hot, apple) and watercress puree. If you know me, you know I love sausages (get your head out of the gutter!) so I was thoroughly impressed by the housemade sausage. It had the perfect amount of seasoning and it was fun combining the different types of mustards with it to get all new flavours.

I personally was eager to try the Spatzle which is essentially a German egg pasta that is usually eaten with cheese and onions. While this Spatzle was good, I thought it lacked flavour within the pasta and it was a little too soft. The ones I've had in the past had a crispier and drier texture which I liked better. I'm not an expert of German cuisine though so it is just my personal preference.

The Jagerschnitzel consisted of fraser valley veal schnitzel and it came with local foraged mushroom jus. The mushrooms were my favourite part and the jus? Divine. The veal itself felt a little tough but when dipped in the extra jus that we asked for, it was great.

I love black forest cake so I was so excited to see Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte (which is black forest cake) on the menu. When I first heard they were made with maraschino cherries, I was a little afraid because I was envisioning a sugar soaked cake. However, it was surprisingly light, fluffy, and not overly sweet! It was PERFECT! If I wasn't so full I would've gobbled the whole thing up.

Mosaic did a great job preparing this tasting menu and after speaking with Chef Heinrich, I absolutely cannot wait for the next one which will be inspired by Taiwanese cuisine!

Mosaic Grille & Bar on Urbanspoon

11 December 2013

Empire Seafood Restaurant -I Love Food That Oozes

I haven't been to a dim sum restaurant in forever so when my family told me they wanted to have lunch, this was the first thing I suggested. 

There are so many dim sum restaurants in Richmond that we actually had a really hard time choosing. I remember Empire Seafood Restaurant being pretty good so we ended up coming here. Plus, I remember they serve 'Egg Yolk Bun' which is one of my favourite dishes.

Empire is located next to London Drugs on Westminster in Richmond.

Their Shrimp Dumplings ($4.95) were plump, juicy, but slightly smaller than the dumplings at other places. Above average quality I'd say.

I haven't blogged for so long that I forgot to take pictures right when the food landed on the table so many dishes ended up being half complete because someone took a piece of two already. Clearly, there were more than two pieces of Eggplant & Shrimp ($4.95) when it arrived. :P

My family thought the XO Fried Rice Rolls ($6.75) were too spicy but it was just enough for me to get a good kick.

These Stuffed Chicken Wings ($8.45) were pretty expensive! We thought it would come with at least three pieces but it was only two so it averaged out to be $4.20 for one!! Crazy sauce.

I didn't get to try one (since there were so few =.=) but Kirbro and Kirpa quite enjoyed it.

And now... my love. The sweet flowy lava that is the Egg Yolk Bun ($4.45). It came with three decent sized buns and each of them were bursting with hot liquid egg yolk. This was so good I had 2 out of the 3 in the basket. I have no self control and I don't care.

Last but not least is the Duck Taro Pastry ($4.95) which was super tasty and fried fresh to perfection.

Overall, I really enjoyed Empire Seafood Restaurant and even though it's a little pricier than other dim sum restaurants, I would most likely come back because every dish was very delicious. I'm starting to value quality over quantity (now that I'm not longer a student! Yahoo!) so I think this might slowly become my dim sum go-to place. The service is very typical, abrupt, and not super pleasant but I'm used to it so I have no problem with it.

Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

 Empire Seafood Restaurant 帝苑皇宴海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

1 December 2013

Yaletown Brewing Company- Guaranteed Fun Times Here

I came to Yaletown Brewing Company with my coworkers twice, once for my birthday, and once for my other coworker's birthday. What's funny is that the staff ruined the birthday surprise for BOTH parties! Good thing we have a great sense of humor or else I can imagine other people getting peed off. The hostess ruined it by saying "Oh you're here for the surprise birthday party right?" when my coworker and I just got in. My coworker looked stunned and turned to me... "uh.. SURPRISE! We're here for your birthday!". 

Started off with some Deep Fried Pickles ($8.99). Lightly battered, these tangy dill pickles were served with a Parmesan sour cream dip. 

I chose the Vegetarian Wild Mushroom Bolognese ($16.99) which consisted of a five mushroom sauce with red wine Porcinis, tomato sauce, and white truffle oil and a gremolata fresh fettuccine. I could definitely tell it was fresh pasta which was amazing because you don't often get to eat fresh pasta in Vancouver. This dish was the perfect comfort dish.

My coworker Cher Bear chose the Grilled Shrimp Pizza ($15.99) which had sun-dried tomato pesto, red onion, goat feta cheese, and zesty gremolata.

Bing ordered the BBQ Short Rib Sandwich ($14.99) which looked freaking delicious. It has Nagila Pale Ale infused BBQ sauce...yum.

Robot chose Braised Beef Short Ribs ($20.99) which is the same short rib from the burger above, but served with mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies. From what I heard it was amazing.

Their Apple Tart was done quite well and not overly sweet.

The Cheesecake was also great and I liked how it didn't have any crust. Some people might disagree but that's how I like my cheesecake. :P

For your birthday, Yaletown Brewing Company shoots this huge confetti fun thing at your when they give you a complimentary dessert. They also gather a couple of employees to clap and sing to you as well so it's super fun.

For my coworker's birthday, a random magician (probably hired by Yaletown Brewing Company) came up to our table and did some pretty amazing magic tricks. He made a random glass of water appear out of nowhere and he also did some other cool stunts. So like the title says, you are guaranteed to have a great time here, even if they do ruin your bday surprise.

Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $$$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

Yaletown Brewing on Urbanspoon