October 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.

23 October 2013

Fratelli Bakery - Mmm...St.Honore Cake

St.Honore cake is named for the French patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, Saint Honore. This cake usually consists of a ring of pate a choux, as well as chocolate dipped cream puffs attached all around so it makes for an sinfully delicious dessert.

Since I have the best freakin coworkers in the world, I was surprised by a St. Honore Cake for my birthday at the office.

It's made by Fratelli Bakery which supposedly has the best St.Honore cake around. 

The cream puffs... oh the beautiful chocolate dipped cream puffs. They were all around the outside edge and bursting with sweet custard.

It's really hard to describe what I actually ate because it all tasted like whipped cream, custard, and cake. Not that its a bad thing. It was a wonderfully delicious cake but I wouldn't be able to handle more than one slice, or more than one of these babies a year. It's truly decadent so if you aren't a fan of sweets, don't get this.

My boss also bought an assorted variety of pastries from the bakery and needless to say, they were gone within seconds. I only tried the ham croissant and I have to say it wasn't the best. Not flaky, and lacking a lot of volume.

All in all, check out Fratelli if you want some authentic Italian pastries or their famous St.Honore cake.

Service Rating: N/A
Food Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $$-$$$

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Fratelli Bakery on Urbanspoon

19 October 2013

La Mezcaleria - Molten Cheese Fondue Served in a Volcanic Rock

There is a new Mexican joint in town! From the owners of La Tacqueria, they've opened up a Mezcal bar  in Vancouver, the first of its kind here. I didn't know what Mezcal was, so upon further investigation, I found out that it is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant native to Mexico.

I was invited to try out this restaurant and I was surprised to see that it was completely packed by the time Meta Knight and I arrived. We were so glad we reserved in advance! 

Their tasting menu. So many choices.... so little time.

Meta Knight started off with the Agua Fresca del Dia con Piquete which was spiked fruit water of the day. For us, it was lime day and he said it tasted like limeade with an alcoholic kick. I ordered the Horchata which is non-alcoholic. It is made from rice water, cinnamon, and condensed milk. Meta Knight found mine way too sweet while I found his to be even sweeter. Oh well, to each their own.

There was no way for us to try La Mezcaleria without trying their famous Queso Fundido which is Mezcaleria's molten cheese fondue served in a volcani rock molcajete. You have a choice of salsa verde or Mexican chorizo for the topping. Unless you are vegetarian, there is absolutely no reason for you not to get the chorizo!

We had four sauces to accompany our fondue. It goes from the least spicy (which is the Salsa Verde), to most spicy (Habanero of course). Meta Knight and I never touched the Habanero. We are wusses. :P

As oily and guilty as this was, it was probably one of the most indulgent delicious things I've ever had on this planet. 

The way to eat this is to actually stir the cheese around with the fork, and put some of that cheesy chorizo mixture onto the tortillas they provide. Listen, there is no nice way to eat this, cheese will hang out of your mouth, the oil will drip down your chin, the chorizo will burn your mouth like fire.... it's all part of the process.

Ta-da! Add some salsa verde and this baby is good to go.

The Parillada consists of grilled beef short-ribs marinated in their home made pasilla chile sauce, mexican chorizo, cactus, peppers, and green onions.

I personally thought the dish was overall on the oily side and the beef ribs didn't compare to the ones I make at home. However, the cactus was really interesting to eat and the flavours of all the meat and vegetables worked well together.

Last but not least is the Tostadas De Pato which is a tostada topped with Fraser Valley duck confit, guava, fruit mole sauce, chayote squash, and radish. This will be a hit or miss with you depending on whether a) you like sweet fruity sauces in your savoury main dishes, and b) whether you enjoy confit that has cooked for so long you no longer texturally feel the meat. To us, the meat was like a sauce which was fine because the flavours were incredibly complex. However, for people who like something to bite on and chew, this duck confit is not for you.

All in all Meta Knight and I had a wonderful time at La Mezcaleria. The cheese fondue is THE thing to get here and is the perfect appetizer for cheese lovers. My only criticism is the oiliness of each dish. We felt like we each ate a bucket of oil during dinner.

Service Rating: 4.5/5
Food Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $$-$$$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

  La Mezcaleria on Urbanspoon

11 October 2013

Le Crocodile - Perfect For a Romantic Night

For my birthday, Meta Knight brought me to Le Crocodile, the restaurant I've been dying to try ever since I heard about it a year ago. 

Le Crocodile is a fine dining French restaurant located on Burrard near the Scotiabank Theatre. The restaurant was packed full of people even when we arrived at 8:45pm.

I started off with a cocktail consisting of champagne and some citrus notes. I can't remember the name of the drink but it was absolutely delightful.
The complimentary Dungeness Crab, Spinach, and Lemon Tart was nice and flaky but I thought it was a little heavy to start off a meal. 

We chose the Escargot Maison ($14.50) as our appy which were snails baked in pastry 'shells' soaked in a pool of garlic butter. Aside from the overwhelming amount of oil drowning our snails, the escargot was indeed cooked perfectly.

For my main, I had to go with the Pan-Seared Veal Sweetbreads w/ Black Truffled Foie Gras Cream Sauce ($34). It came with four pieces of crispy scalloped potatoes which were incredibly addictive.

I was surprised by the abundance of sweetbreads  they gave me (btw, sweetbreads = pancreas for anybody that doesn't know :D). There was so much I could barely finish it all. This is an awesome, awesome dish for all you adventurous eaters.

Meta Knight went with the Double Cut Veal Chop on the bone, Pan-Seared with Caramelized Onions, Chanterelles, Artichokes, and glazed Pan Jus ($39). The veal was tender and amazing but he found the sauce to be a bit on the fruity, sweet side. It was a little odd and he just wasn't use to that taste.

At the end of our meal, they served us a complimentary palate cleanser, sorbet of lime or some sort, and two delectable milk and dark chocolate crocodiles. We were so full we only bit off the heads and legs. :P

We had a fantastic time at Le Crocodile and would highly suggest this restaurant to anyone looking for a quite, romantic night out on the town. The prices are reasonable for the quality you get so it is definitely worth the splurge once in a while.

Service Rating: 4/5
Food Rating: 4.5/5
Price: $$$$$+

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Happy Eating!

  Le Crocodile on Urbanspoon

6 October 2013

Mosaic Grille & Bar - French Chef Tasting Menu

Chef Thomas is at it again with another beautifully constructed chef tasting menu. This time, it is inspired by French cuisine. 

When I think of French food, I instantly imagine escargot, foie gras, frites, and sweetbreads. Chef Thomas incorporated many of the popular elements of French cuisine that I thought of as well as incorporated a bit of his own style and ingredients as well.

First up was the Foie Gras Parfait which was paired with little balls of apple, marcona almond butter, and calavados. I am normally accustomed to eating pungent foie gras so this mousse was a bit too light on flavour for me. Presentation wise however, was sublime. Who woulda thought of using a mirror as a presentation piece?

I absolutely adore Escargot so I was excited to see that this was on the menu. These Burgundy snails were little balls of buttery goodness. I particularly liked the creativeness of presentation, imitating dirt and grass by placing pumpernickel crumbs, garlic chips, and micro greens all around.

This was the absolute winning dish of the night. The Lobster Thermidor with kale nori, lobster roe pomme puree, and a sous vide lobster tail had both me and Curtis' hearts after the first bite. The lobster tail was cooked for 20 minutes at 120 degrees which allowed it to lose some of its elasticity and 'snap'. The result was a buttery, melt in your mouth piece of lobster meat that I would easily pay big bucks for.

The Duck A L'Orange was one of the most tender duck breasts I've ever had. Paired with the orange leather piece, the flavours completely changed and became an amazing combination of sweet, sour, and savoury.

To complete the meal, we were served the Mille-Feuille which consisted of a poached pear, puff pastry layers alternating with lemon cream and vanilla salted chocolate. I thought it would be heavy due to the puff pastry but it was surprisingly light as can be. Needless to say, this was the perfect way to end the night.

The 5 course French Chef Tasting Menu is on until October 18th for $55. In my opinion, the lobster dish in itself is worth the money.

Happy Eating!

  Mosaic Grille & Bar on Urbanspoon

5 October 2013

Swiss Bakery - At Last. The Cronut.

The definition of a Cronut: A hybrid between a croissant and a donut. 

Cronuts have been all the rage this year ever since a bakery started selling it in New York. Apparently, people line up for hours to get them and they get sold out within minutes. The only bakery in Vancouver that currently sell Cronuts is Swiss Bakery.

Swiss Bakery is on 3rd Avenue tucked behind a bunch of industrial buildings. Their cronuts are called 'frissants' but they are the same thing. If you want to get some you have to go early (around 7am) because they sell out pretty quickly.

I got half a dozen Frissants ($4/each.. I know!! Expensive!!) for my coworkers and I, since none of us have ever tried them before. I got three Cookies and Cream and three Lemon Mojito. Their flavours vary every day so you never know what you're gonna get.

I tried the Lemon Mojito and oh my god it was the best thing I've ever tried in my life. All of my coworkers were slowly peeling away the layers piece by piece and eating it in complete silence. We were all transported to food heaven and honestly we didn't resume talking after every single one of us have demolished it and licked our fingers.

The exterior is flaky yet crunchy while the interior maintained a fluffy, light dough. You essentially can (and should) eat it layer by layer from top to bottom. In the middle of the cronut you will encounter a cream of some sort. For mine, it was lemon custard and it was absolutely foodgasmic. No other way to describe it.

You know you're gluttonous when you eat cronuts twice in one week. And thats exactly what my coworkers and I did after having that amazing first experience. This time, the two flavours were Pumpkin Spice and Apple Strudel.

The cronut was fried to perfection yet again but I personally enjoyed the filling and flavours of the Lemon Mojito the most. The Pumpkin filling was a little too rich and dense for my liking whereas the lemon custard was light and went perfectly well with the flaky pastry.

All in all, YOU HAVE TO TRY THE FREAKIN CRONUT. I know it's overhyped. I know it's extremely overpriced. But if you enjoy food and consider yourself a somewhat foodie, you should absolutely experience this at least once to try the magnificent creation that is, THE CRONUT. Whoever thought of combining a croissant and a donut is an absolute genius.

Service Rating: N/A
Food Rating: 4.5/5
Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Happy Eating!

Swiss Bakery on Urbanspoon

1 October 2013

Kumo Sushi Japanese Restaurant (Toronto)- Le Bella Roll

When I went to Toronto, I didn't think I was going to experience really good sushi because Vancouver is just a gold mine for fresh, great quality seafood.

My coworker is originally from Toronto and she brought us to her favorite Japanese restaurant for dinner one night.

Kumo Sushi is not in the downtown core and it actually took us a pretty long time to find it. What a hole in the wall! The exterior looks dull and nothing special, but the place was full for most of the night which makes me think it is a local favourite.

We actually asked the servers to give us whatever they wanted because we had such a hard time making a decision. The Deep Fried Hamachi was delightful and drowned in mayo and a special sauce.

Their gyoza looked pretty standard.

This is called Beef Negimaki ($6.95) and it was super interesting! It was essentially beef wrapped around tons of green onions so I really enjoyed it but if you don't like green onion, don't get this.

This Bella Roll is my coworker's favourite item and after tasting it, I absolutely agree. It is for sure up there with the salmon aburi from Miku. You can't really see it but they torched some of the mayo on top which added a real smokey flavor to it.

The Sushi Tiramisu was an interesting item but it wasn't my favourite of the bunch.

If I'm not mistaken, this is called the Etobicoke Roll which consisted of a shrimp tempura, salmon, avocado, imitation crab, tuna, spinach, and fried tempura bits.

This roll is essentially the same roll as before except with a few changes. No spinach or tempura bits, but it was still mega delicious.

This spicy avocado California roll was hot hot hot! Pretty good.

 This roll consists of avocado, tuna, and cucumber, topped with salmon, avocado, and a special sauce.

We ended our meal with some fried bananas and ice cream mochi. Obviously we inhaled that in a second so there's no need to tell you we loved it.

All in all, Kumo Sushi is a wonderful sushi joint in Toronto and is as good as and better than some of the Japanese restaurants in Vancouver. I highly recommend checking this place out for their Bella Roll.

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

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

Kumo Sushi Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon