January 2014 ~ 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.

28 January 2014

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro (Dine Out 2014) - Sablefish. Roasted Porchetta. Smoked Chowder.

Last year I went to Oakwood Canadian Bistro for Dine Out Vancouver and I had a great time. This year, I couldn't resist and had to go again with my girlfriends.

Oakwood Canadian Bistro has a $28 DOVF menu and it includes three courses. The restaurant is located on West 4th across from the Naam.

The menu this year is pretty different but sounded absolutely scrumptious. Pork belly, smoked seafood chowder, roasted porchetta? You don't have to twist my arm.

I started with the Waldorf Salad which had bacon, grapes, celery, candied walnuts, blue cheese, and creme fraiche. I like really subtle blue cheese flavours so it was a little too pungent for me. Nevertheless, it was refreshing and not too heavy as a starter which I appreciated.

Rae chose the Pork Terrine with maple cauliflower puree, pickled shallots, and rye soil. The presentation was quite intriguing as it played on grass and dirt. Rae thought it was great but the appetizer was a little heavy.

I had a taste of Lil Sis's Smoked Seafood Chowder and it was da bomb. I should've gotten this because I love seafood chowder and this was definitely one of the best I've had.

For our mains, Rae chose the Roasted Porchetta which is a savoury, fatty, crispy-skinned, and moist boneless pork roast wrapped around pork belly. Now give me a second while I wipe off my drool. It came with spatzle (German pasta) and confit garlic broccollini. All I can say is: ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD.

The rest of us went with the Seared Sablefish dish consisting of sablefish, confit pork shoulder, lentils, carrots, and pork rinds. The fish was perfectly cooked and tender. Oddly enough, the pork rinds were a little too hard to eat and overly crunchy. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic entree and perfect for people not looking for something too heavy.

The Chocolate Mousse had a light dusting of coffee pistachio crunch on top which I enjoyed. Great dessert choice for any chocolate lovers out there. :)

If you are looking for something a little fruity and less sweet, the Maple Creme Caramel was a surprising winner. The description in the menu made this dessert choice seem like the sweeter option but in reality it was incredibly light and slightly sour with the cranberry puree on top. Must get!

Overall, The Oakwood Canadian Bistro is a solid choice for Dine Out and I have yet to be disappointed by their offerings. Just make sure you don't get Pork Terrine for appy, Roasted Porchetta for entree, and Chocolate Mousse for dessert all in one go, because it will give you a fat/sugar/salt overdose. Pick and choose the heavy and light options and you'll have a great time.

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

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

 The Oakwood Canadian Bistro on Urbanspoon

21 January 2014

Maxim's Bakery (Metrotown) - Have You Ever Had Purple Yam Cake Before?

It was my parent's 29th anniversary (yayy!) not too long ago and we decided to buy a cake to celebrate! We have a couple of bakeries that we frequent for cakes but my mom decided to try something new and go to the Maxim's at Metrotown.

I've always known Maxim's to have mediocre cakes compared to the other bakeries or patisseries in town. But she said they have this new cake called Purple Yam Cake that is pretty delicious. Knowing me, I'm for all things weird and delicious so I was all over that idea.

I was really impressed that the 6" inch Purple Yam Cake was beautifully decorated with cream roses and delicate designs. In addition, did I mention that it was only $16 something dollars?! How cheap is that?!!

Inside the layers of light sponge cake nestled a hearty amount of purple yam. Surprisingly, it didn't taste odd as a dessert which I was fully expecting. The potato wasn't very sweet which was nice and it weirdly complemented the whipped cream and fruits. It's truly an odd combination but it works. At least for me. :P

For the price and taste, I would definitely get this cake again! I believe it is in high demand so make sure you reserve this in advance if you want to try it out.

Service Rating: 2.5/5
Food Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $$

Overall Rating: 3/5

Happy Eating!

Maxim's 美心餅店 on Urbanspoon

19 January 2014

Kiku Sushi - Just Gorgeous.

For anyone who works near the Metropolis/ Metrotown area, I found a new restaurant for you guys to try. I would even say its a hidden gem. 

My coworker Robot recommended me to this place for fresh raw oysters and when we first got in, they told us they were out. We were so ready to leave because we REALLY wanted oysters at the time but decided not to be mean and stay.

What surprised us about the food was that it was actually really really delicious! For a restaurant that is pretty much unheard of, we were not expecting to be wowed like this.

We started with the Winter California Roll ($5.50). All of their 'winter' rolls are torched and we chose this which is essentially a California Roll with raw scallops on top and a dollop of Motoyaki mayo that has been torched. The combination of fresh scallops and decadent smokey mayo really made me salivate and I absolutely fell in love with this roll! Some people on Urbanspoon said they hated this roll but I loved it so you should taste this and judge for yourself.

The Kiku Roll ($10.95) had shrimp tempura inside, avocado and unagi on the outside. The roll was pretty standard but it could have been stuffed with more ingredients I think.

Lastly we shared the Tuna Oil Tataki ($9.95) which came with 10 pieces of tuna tataki smothered in oil and green onion. This plate was ginormous, gorgeous, and completely not what we expected. For ten bucks this was really worth it because they gave us such thick pieces of tuna. Must get item!

We ended up spending about 16 dollars each.

All in all, I think I'll come here instead of Sushi Garden whenever I want a sushi fix near Metrotown because the prices are reasonable and the rolls are pretty dynamite. Again, the Tuna Oil Tataki is amazing so I highly recommend it!

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

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

 Kiku Sushi on Urbanspoon

12 January 2014

Cupcakes (Metrotown Location) - Mini Cupcakes are the Way to Go

For a work event, I had to order a HUGE amount of cupcakes so I chose 'Cupcakes by Heather and Lori' because it just opened up not too long ago in Metropolis at Metrotown.

Our assorted pack of mini cupcakes included flavours like Blue Hawaii, Lemon Drop, Gingerbread, Caramella, Mint Condition, Red Velvet, Sweet 16, Diva, and Chocolate.

photo courtesy of http://cupcakescoasttocoast.blogspot.ca/2011/04/best-of-british-columbia.html 

My usual pet peeve about cupcakes is that it tends to be overly sweet, but mini version of these cupcakes made for a better balance between icing and cake. It's also bite size which means you can try out different flavours!

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

Overall Rating: 3/5

Happy Eating!

Cupcakes at Metrotown on Urbanspoon

11 January 2014

Adorabelle Tea Room - Catching Up With the Girls

Last week I caught up with a couple of girlfriends I haven't seen in a while. We went to an adorabelle little tea room called "Adorabelle". Get it? :P Okay I'll stop.

I've heard a lot of great things about this cute place in Steveston,  Richmond so although it was a bit far for the rest of the girls, I recommended we come here for a special treat. Their high teas are $25/person and are subjected to a one hour seating time. Luckily for us, no one was booked after us so we stayed for a good two hours.

It's a little hard to find but once you see the sign, you'll know you're there.

Their tea menu. You can choose from a variety of black, green, rooibos, and herbal teas.

The little details are what sets this place apart. From the cute rose napkin inside the cup to the shaped sugar cubes in their pots, everything was SUPER cute!

Love this motto. It's so true. :D

They even have cozies that keeps the pot of tea from going cold.

This three tier platter is for two people. Savoury items are on the bottom, scones are in the middle, and top tier is for sweets and dessert.

The cupcake looking thing on the right is an Onion, Chive, and Bacon Savoury Cupcake. Even the icing was savoury! It was super delicious and was really innovative.

The classic Smoked Salmon and Dill Cream Cheese Pinwheel. The whole wheat bread was fluffy and the caper on the top rounded all the flavours together. The Asiago and Fennel Shortbread on the left was sinful and oh so yummy. I really enjoy the Sundried Tomato and Asiago Bagel at Timmy Ho's and this one reminded me of that.

The rectangle sandwich was called Chicken Waldorf and the one to the right is the Cucumber Cream Cheese Open Faced Sandwich.

I rarely eat Egg Salad Sandwiches but theirs was really good.

Each person is given two scones each. One is a Regular Scone dusted with Icing Sugar, and the other is an Orange Scone with Glaze.

You can spread some of their Homemade Strawberry Jam and Cream on the scones. I would have preferred Devonshire Cream over regular Butter Cream but oh well.

We were so impressed by the top tier because high tea places usually screw this up with overly fat and sugar filled sweets.We all loved the Earl Grey Tea Shortbread on the right as it gave a subtle hint of tea without being bitter. I also really enjoyed the Fresh Strawberry Piped With Butter Cream. It was refreshing and you can never really go wrong with fresh fruit.

I thought this was a square piece of chocolate (like at Purdy's) but it ended up being a piece of Chocolate Cake Covered in Chocolate Ganache.

Overall, the ambiance was great (loved the fake sky ceiling!), food was well thought out and executed, and the service was attentive. Even though the seating is limited to an hour, I'd still come back because its one of the few places I find that execute high tea really well.

Service Rating: 3.5/5
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $$$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

Adorabelle Tea Room on Urbanspoon

1 January 2014

Tropika at Lansdowne - Just The Right Amount of Spice

Even though 'Tropika in Aberdeen' wasn't my favourite Malaysian/Thai restaurant in Vancouver, but I was sad to hear it had closed down. A fellow reader informed me that they actually just recently reopened in Lansdowne so I totally had to go check it out!

Tropika is a little on the pricer side but from my previous experiences, the food is always worth it.

I believe it replaced the old 'California Cafe' because the interior looked very similar.

My friends and I all agreed the interior was beautifully decorated and looked a lot nicer than the old Tropika in Aberdeen.

Ai reen ordered a really cool slushy drink that I cannot remember the name of. I had a taste and it was pretty good. Like a Shirley Temple.

We ordered ten Satays ($1.30/ea) but they only gave us eight. After much following up, they never gave it to us even though they said they would. The satays were pretty good but the service was a little lacking.

The Roti Canai ($2.95) was good but was not as flaky and buttery as I prefer.

Also, what you see here is three orders of Roti... so for almost 9 bucks, it's pretty pricey.

The Sambal Clams ($16.95) were surprisingly plump, large, and juicy. We saved all the delicious sauce and had them with steamed white rice. So gooood.

After much deliberation (and my failed attempt at getting the table to order Coconut Fried Rice instead), we decided on Nasi Goreng ($13.95)

I can eat fried rice like this all day and I wish I knew how to make this at home! I appreciated how it was flavourful but not just from soy sauce and excessive salt. They were able to get some really good wok flavour (wok hei) into the rice.

Tung Choi is always delicious so we ordered the Sambal Kang-Kong ($13.95). I could tell it was drenched in oil but it was delicious nonetheless. :P

This Thai Style Red Curry Duck ($15.95) dish was the one that surprised us the most. We ordered it on a whim but it turned out to be the dish that was the most popular amongst or table. The Thai style red curry had an amazing aroma, the duck was succulent, and the depth of flavours really wowed us. Must order dish.

Sambal Egg ($2.25 ea) is essentially a hard boiled egg, fried, then covered in a delicious XO type of sauce.

Overall, we were all pretty impressed with the food and everything had just the right amount of spice. The red Thai curry especially was amazing and besides the hiccup with the service about our satays, I'd say this restaurant is pretty solid.

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

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

 Tropika at Lansdowne 星馬印 on Urbanspoon