June 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.

30 June 2013

Richmond Night Market- I Only Go For The Food.

With the weather finally starting to look like summer (finally!!), its the perfect time to go check out the Richmond Night Market. Hey, we need to utilize the extra hours of sunshine we get at night somehow right?

There are two night markets going on in Richmond right now, one is called Summer Night Market (my post on it here), and this one is called Richmond Night Market. This one is A LOT larger than the other one (not to mention double the food stalls :D) and is apparently the 'official' night market.

Meta Knight and I went cray cray over this food stall. We ordered the Mango Tapioca Icy ($5)...TWICE. We got one right when we arrived and went back for another to wash down all the food we ate. Like I said, cray cray.

Their Mango Tapioca Icy had incredibly fresh ripe mango chunks, tapioca pearls, coconut milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and icy. This is probably the coolest, fruitiest, most refreshing drink you can get at the Richmond Night Market and I urge everyone to try one before you leave.

Mogu has a stall at the Night Market but they also serve out of their food truck on Howe & Dunsmuir. I heard their Sweet and Spicy Chicken Karaage ($5 for 3 pcs) was to die for so how can I just skip over this food truck? The friendly and flamboyant Japanese service was also a plus.

The Chicken Karaage was beautifully presented and they weren't kidding around with the portion sizes. Three pieces were enough to bring both Meta Knight and I into satiation. The spicy component was just enough to tingle my tongue without burning my taste buds off.

Mogu Japanese Street Eats on Urbanspoon

Saucy Pops is another food stall serving up chicken, but this time, in the form of Homemade Chicken Wonton Lollipops ($5 for 4 pcs)! Cool concept right?

If you are cool enough, you can get posted onto their Hall of Fame!

After lots of experimentation, they came up with four mouthwatering aiolis to go with their chicken lollipops. The citrus chili gave a burst of bright warm flavours while the wasabi surprisingly cooled things down. The honey mustard was my personal favourite because it reminded me of eating chicken strips with White Spot's famous honey mustard sauce. The slightly heated korean spicy sauce was also delicious and should not be forgotten.

I highly recommend these to people who like to eat things on a stick and love tasting new flavours. Thanks Louis for providing these lollipops! They were delicious and actually exceeded my expectations in the flavour department! Great job :)

Even though a lot of food items are overpriced at the Richmond Night Market, I still enjoy coming from time to time to try out new vendors and for the sole purpose of eating on the street. I don't know why, but I LOVE street food! Check out my street food adventures in South Korea and Hong Kong. :)

Happy (Street) Eating!

courtesy of http://www.foodragon.com/2012/09/19/china-food-and-drinks-meme-collection/

Richmond Night Market on Urbanspoon

28 June 2013

Rumpus Room - Calling All Waffle Addicts!

If you subscribe to The Food Network, you've most likely watched the show 'You've Gotta Eat Here!' which features John Catucci eating his way around Canada. When he was here in Vancouver, he visited a bunch of restaurants like Via Tevere Pizzeria, The American Cheesesteak Co, Miura Waffle Milk Bar, and among the comprehensive list was The Rumpus Room. You can watch their segment here

The Rumpus Room is located on Main Street and is hard to miss when you drive by. You will know you're at the right place when you see a fake green grass patio and flamingos in the yard.

I told you the outside looked catchy! The interior is even more weird and vaguely resembles your friend's grandma's basement.

I came here with Curtis from Foodobyte and Amy from Food Queen and the first thing we had to get was 'Deep Fried Bacon and Avocado ($9.50)' also known as Sh'bang.

This fat filled appy contained... listen up, tempura battered bacon and avocado with house aioli and hot sauce. I KNOW. Who in their right mind would order this? Actually, more like, who in their right mind would even create and make this?! Daring people that's who. The battered bacon was actually tastier and less greasy than I thought. The avocado was unsurprisingly delicious with its crispy exterior and creamy smooth center.

Both Curtis and I ordered the Breakfast Waffle Burger ($14) which contains a house made, hand-pressed all natural beef burger patty topped with bacon, fried sunny side up egg, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, all served inside two freshly made waffles. These are suppose to be served with potatoes but we both opted for the salad. As much as we are adventurous and gluttonous, we need some balance of veggies yo!

I stupidly made the mistake of getting a Wedge Salad which was another word for more bacon (honestly, I haven't STOPPED eating bacon since I got to the restaurant), blue cheese, and a creamy dressing slathered all over my delicious crispy greens. The salad was delicious but was way over dressed for my liking. Next time, I'll definitely say dressing on the side.

I've been wanting this monstrous baby ever since I saw the segment on TV but because of the fear of having a heart attack, I haven't had the courage to actually try it until now. Boy, was this fantastic. I enjoyed the hint of sweetness from the pearl sugar in the waffles in combination with all of the other savoury components. If you like sweet and savoury things, this waffle burger is the way to go. 

Amy chose the Chicken and Waffles ($12) and it consists of buttermilk marinated deep fried chicken breast with two waffles, maple syrup, and gravy. She enjoyed this dish but found it lacking in quantity considering the not cheap price tag. For two dollars more, she said she should have gotten the waffle burger instead.

Based on these reasons:
  • you can get waffles with everything! Honestly! It's a side.
  • Waffle Burger here is massive and will give you a happy self inflected food coma for the rest of the day
  • cool atmosphere, tons of board games around
Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $$-$$$

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

Rumpus Room on Urbanspoon

25 June 2013

Marutama Ramen - The Perfect Egg

Everyone has an opinion on what their 'perfect egg' is. Some like it hard, some like it soft (that's what she said), some like it half cooked, and some like it slow boiled. My perfect egg you ask? Just take a look at the picture below. That is MY definition of 'the perfect egg'.

Marutama Ramen opened in May and if it were not for word-of-mouth and the buzz within the twittersphere, I would've never known it existed. They didn't do much advertising so it is pretty impressive that they've already reached such a large following within months of opening.

The actual location is pretty hidden on the side of Robson on Bidwell Street. My friends and I walked passed it twice before seeing it.

Its a quaint restaurant with no more than 30 or so seats. The atmosphere has a very inviting feeling and all of the staff were extremely attentive. At one point they refilled our tea three times within 10 minutes.

We started off with the Dashimaki ($7) which is essentially a Japanese steamed omelette. The texture was fluffy and it oddly went very well with the daikon which was served on the side. Though it was good, it was nowhere as good as the steamed omelette I had at Sushi Dai (Tsukiji Fish Market) in Tokyo.

All three of us ended up getting the Marutama Tamago Ramen ($10.50) because it had a bit of everything. It contained their homemade ramen noodles, Aosa seaweed, a soft boiled egg, cha-shu (roasted pork), and what they call, ultimate richly textured cloudy chicken soup.

This was no ordinary soft boiled egg. Oh no. This was a perfectly poached slow boiled egg that leaked a slow trail of golden lava yolk. Not only was the yolk at a perfect consistency, you can tell the egg was marinated through and through from the beige colouring of the egg white.

I honestly didn't expect to enjoy the noodles because I heard they were thin so an al dente texture would be harder to achieve. However, I thought the noodles were amazing and went perfectly with the rich chicken broth. The portion size was also great for me (almost too much actually) so I didn't have a problem with it contrary to what some other people said about it being way too small. I guess it depends on how big of an eater you are.

Based on these reasons:
  • great addition to the ramen scene in downtown Vancouver
  • the egg is a MUST TRY!!!
  • don't get 'spicy broth' unless you can actually handle spicy
  • great price, great food
Service Rating: 5/5 (they were SO attentive and treated us like we were in their home)
Food Rating: 4.5/5
Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Happy Eating!

courtesy of http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/anti-loneliness-ramen-bowl/

  Marutama Ramen on Urbanspoon

24 June 2013

Cattle Hot Pot Restaurant- Art of Sharing

When my guest blogger Peter visited me from the Netherlands, I promised to take him around to try the coolest and weirdest food offered in Vancouver/ Richmond. He has never really had Hong Kong Style hot pot before so I brought him to Cattle Hot Pot Restaurant on Alexandra Road.

In the Netherlands, he barely eats seafood or anything really that is not the basic cow, pork, and chicken meat. No innards, no organs, no weird stuff. Heh heh heh. We were in an Asian restaurant in Richmond, so come on, you already know I gave him an experience he will never forget.

The soup base is an extra charge on top of the AYCE (all-you-can-eat) hot pot. We opted for the half/half (yin-yeung) which means you get two bases in one pot. For one we chose the Tomato and Mixed Mushrooms while the other one was a simple Clear Broth.

We got a side of Minced Garlic ($0.60), Chili Pepper (free), and Satay Sauce ($0.60). These condiments definitely enhance the flavour of meat so I highly recommend getting some to share.

This is something I rarely see offered in Vancouver and during the odd times that I do find it, it is seldomly done right. Its called Chiu Chow Fried Fish Skin and it literally is just fish skin, fried. They did a pretty good job here and I dare say the best one I've had so far in Vancouver.

Random assorted items like king oyster mushrooms, cuttlefish ball, stuffed squid ball, fish ball with salted egg yolk, mushroom fish tofu, udon, and wontons.

I really enjoy playing with my food so this Cuttlefish Paste with Masago was right up my alley. You mix the paste around and just drop them in sections into the pot. The cuttlefish paste wasn't spectacular but it was fun to play with.

You gotta get Steamed Fish Meat Dim Sum. Its the bomb. These chewy bouncy morsels of fish paste go perfectly with a cold refreshing drink.

Here is the story about the Pig Blood (red cubes). I wanted Peter to try the pig blood without knowing exactly what it was or else I knew he would get freaked out. I told him to taste it and guess what it was and indeed he did! When he found out it was pig blood instead of red coloured tofu (his guess), he was in complete shock but he didn't find the taste bad at all. :D

I think I would choose to go to Cattle Hot Pot over other hot pot places in Richmond just because they offer these Deep Fried Plain Buns. Though they are just plain buns, when dipped in condensed milk, these deep fried buns become magical. Try it or you'll regret it. And DON'T forget to dip it in condensed milk!

Overall, we had a great time at Cattle Hot Pot catching up on old times and enjoying copious amounts of food. It was definitely a great choice on a chilly and rainy night.

Based on these reasons:
  • must get items include: deep fried plain buns, deep fried fish skin, fish siu mai (dim sum), cuttlefish
  • come hungry because it is an all-you-can-eat
  • parking is a pain the butt (make sure you don't park in the plaza across the street or you'll get ticketed)
Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $$-$$$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

Cattle Hot Pot Restaurant ็‰›ไป”็ซ้‹ on Urbanspoon

21 June 2013

Mosaic Bar and Grille - A Feast For The Eyes

To celebrate the first day of summer, I got a chance to try out Chef Thomas Heinrich's new Chef Tasting Menu inspired by the delightful light flavours of summer season. Bring out those shorts, its gonna get toasty!

As I was browsing the menu, it is apparent that Chef Thomas created each course with the purpose of utilizing the freshest in-season ingredients while incorporating the radiant flavours of summer. The courses were light, refreshing, and conceptually beautiful.

I asked for a Strawberry Mojito but it turns out they only had all the other berries (blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries) so I got a Mixed Berry Mojito instead. The fresh berries were muddled and there was an intense amount of mint.

Meta Knight went with the Alexander Keith's Pale Ale.

These Smoked Salt Biscuits never fail to impress us with its rich buttery texture and flaky layers. Absolutely irresistible.

The first course consisted of a Roasted Sweet Corn Bouillon with feta foam, chanterelle, corn kernals and tomatoes. The bouillon was served table side which allowed us to fully envelope in its aroma and senses. The corn was as fresh as can be and popped with each bite. It was a beautiful way to open the five course meal.

Chef Thomas surprised us with a dish he was experimenting with for his next tasting menu (when does he find the time to sleep?!) and it consisted of sockeye salmon, mint gelee, sour cream gelee strip, caviar, and a type of pickled vegetable.

The G.B.E Heirloom Tomato Salad consisted of heirloom tomatoes, basil gel, pickled okra, shaved Parmesan, and crispy potato skin. The bright vibrant colours reminded me of a vegetable laden garden and though it looks like a simple summer salad, the thought and preparation that went into making the potato skin chip, basil gel, and pickled okra, is undeniably complex.

This was my favourite dish of the night and it is called Skuna Bay Sockeye Salmon with sorrel puree, popcorn sprouts, and sweet garlic gnocchi. It was my first time trying sorrel, a member of the spinach family, and boy was it divine. I loved the acidity of it and when paired with the crispy gnocchi, my palate was in heaven. The salmon was caramelized beautifully on each side while maintaining a medium rare flesh.

I had no clue whether this was a dessert course because it was the perfect example of a sweet and savoury dish. On the left is melted Taleggio D.O.P which is a cheese from Italy and it was topped with granola or a pistachio museli mixture, if you will. The little pot in the middle contained fig jam, and on the right, some grilled white bread. I wish I wasn't so full by the time I was given this or else I would have polished the whole thing off- jam and all.

To end off the lovely meal, we were served a gravity defying concoction of Watermelon Panna Cotta, lemon sorbet, marinated watermelon, black pepper, and chocolate shavings. To say this was refreshing is an understatement. The lemon sorbet was sweet yet tangy at the same time and paired nicely with the dark chocolate shavings. The ingredient that stood out to me the most, however, was the black pepper. I didn't taste it at first, but bite by bite, it creeps up on you and near the end, it releases its pepperyness with all its glory and you will leave thinking your palate is on a roller coaster ride.

This Chef Tasting Menu is available for $45 ($65 with wine) and ends June 28th, 2013. If you have an upcoming anniversary or birthday, this would be the way to go.

View my previous post on Mosaic Bar and Grille here.

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

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

courtesy of http://www.mememaker.net/meme/brace-yourself-summer-is-coming/

Mosaic Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon