February 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 February 2014

Patron Tacos & Cantina - Shrimp Tacos and Tortilla Soup

When I was working at Yaletown, my coworkers and I loved to get food from Patron Tacos & Cantina. It's a pretty nice Mexican restaurant on Robson if you want to sit down for a nice lunch.

As for ourselves, we opted for the takeout variety and got everything to go.

The Taco Lunch Combo ($12) consisted of two Tacos and a choice between Tortilla Soup or Salad. I opted for the shrimp soft shell tacos and tortilla soup.

I don't know why but I wasn't expecting anything great from them. Maybe it's all the Taco Time I've been eating... don't know what real authentic Mexican food is. Darn them Taco Tuesdays. Nevertheless, these tacos completely surprised me in all aspects. From the plump, perfectly cooked shrimp, to the freshness of their homemade salsa, everything was amazing. 

 Everyone at the office also raved about the Tortilla Soup. I totally agree and would absolutely get this again. Nice crispy tortilla strips, chunks of avocado, spicy hot broth...mmhmm.

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

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

Patron Tacos & Cantina on Urbanspoon

22 February 2014

Ask For Luigi - Hidden Gem

Ask For Luigi is a new Italian hole-in-the-wall that geographically replaced "Two Chefs and a Table" in downtown east side. I have to admit, you won't feel safe in this neighborhood so don't even try taking public transit here on a cold dark night. 

Ask For Luigi specializes in fresh handmade pasta (only available during dinner service) which I am a total fan of. They also don't take reservations so Meta Knight and I purposely arrived at 5:30pm (when they open for dinner). By 6pm, the entire restaurant was full.... so morale of the story: come early.

 Their dishes are meant to be shared family-style but we did not expect the appy Fried Cauliflower with Aioli, Fresh Mint, and Parmesan ($10) to be that huge! When it was brought to our table, everyone around us stared and asked us what it was. The cauliflower reminded me of Nuba's and was absolutely delicious.

One of their daily specials include Spaghetti and Clams ($17) which Meta Knight took fancy to. It came in a red sauce with fresh bottleneck clams (I think).

The fresh spaghetti was al dente and surpassed any pre-bought spaghetti we've had in the past. The clams were a little scarce so it didn't fill him up completely.

I chose the Duck Ragu & Pappardelle ($19) and it was soooooo good. I love thick pastas because I find them texturally better and does a better job of soaking up sauces such as this. At first I didn't think it would be enough food but by the end, we were both stuffed!

Yeah.. we were both full but could not leave without trying a dessert. Life of a fatty. We rarely eat prunes so their vanilla bean Panna Cotta ($7) with almond biscotti, dried prune sauce and fresh mint took us by surprise. We tested their panna cotta and... yes. They passed the jiggle test with flying colours!

Ask For Luigi is a hidden gem for me anyways because not only does it serve yummy authentic fresh pasta out of this little small house in DTES, its managed to garner such a huge following having only been opened a couple of months. That shows you how many people took notice of this affordable quaint little bistro.

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

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Happy Eating!

 Ask for Luigi on Urbanspoon

21 February 2014

Carl's Jr. - Can You Say FOOD COMA?!

I'm not a person to eat junk food often...but my new foodie friends and I saw Carl's Jr in Abbotsford and we just couldn't resist! This prominent US fast food chain also has a location in downtown Vancouver so if you are not near the Abbotsford area, you can check out the Vancouver one.

Funny Fact: There were rumours that Carl's Jr paid Kim Kardashian $10,000 to tweet out the following:

If someone wants to give me $10,000, I'll tweet it out too :)

My new foodie friends D.J, Kimchi Princess, BB, and Snorlax striking a pose.

We all ordered a meal and it was a just a big giant feast.

I got the poutine and though I really appreciated the squeaky cheese curds, the gravy was overly salty. The best fries in my opinion were their Crisscut Fries...aka Waffle fries. If you have read my old post on The Burger Pit in UBC, you know I go the distance for good waffle fries cause they're just that. good.

Snorlax got the Double Philly Cheesesteak Burger and though it doesn't look like it from this picture, it was MASSIVE. He thought the steak on top of the patty was dry and didn't add much to the burger.

I got the Single Philly Cheesesteak Burger and I also thought it was underwhelming. Not only was the steak rough, my bun was completely soggy from the oil when I opened the wrapper. 

Kimchi Princess ordered the Charboiled Chicken Club Burger and he was pleasantly surprised by how moist the chicken was! He enjoyed it on a multi-grain bun.

After eating our meal, we ALL fell into an intense food coma for the rest of the day which was NOT GOOD. Especially when we had to return back to work. To me, Carl's Jr. was a cool new experience but it honestly is the epitome of junk food. Fatty, greasy, and food-coma inducing.... Okay me go sleep now.

Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 2.5/5
Price: $

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Happy Eating!

Carl's Jr. on Urbanspoon

15 February 2014

Merchant Oyster Bar & BierCraft - The Story of Seafood and Wine

After an incredibly long and stressful week, Robot and I were both in desperate need of seafood and wine. We wandered along Commercial to find Merchant Oyster Bar which would satisfy both our wine and raw oyster craving.

We went with the Tableside White Wine ($10/glass) and 18 Buck Fifty Happy Hour Oysters ($1.50/ea). The wine was sweet and was smooth on the palate. The raw oysters had a bit of shell but was otherwise pleasant overall.

Having browsed the menu of Merchant Oyster Bar with nothing wowing us in particular, we left and walked another block or so until we ended at BierCraft. I know.. who goes to BierCraft and gets wine?! Well.. we do! They started us off with some complimentary potato chips.

Their mussels are delivered fresh seven days a week and they have six options to choose from! We couldn't resist.. especially because we were (yes..) having white wine again!

We ordered a bottle of Gewurztraminer ($36/bottle) and shared a pound of Thai Mussels ($15.50). The broth was made with coconut milk which was oh so delicious, especially when dipped with bread.

I loved how the mussels were all really plump and juicy!

There is just something about Baked Brie ($12) that is completely irresistible. Flaky crust.. ooey gooey stretchy cheese, balsamic reduction... it's just a match made in heaven.

We probably could have done without this because we were so full when this arrived. The Blue Cheese Crimini Mushrooms ($10) were so pungent with the blue cheese taste that I couldn't have too many. But for all blue cheese lovers, this item is for you.

All in all we had a great time at both restaurants and I would recommend both for a girls night our or romantic date consisting of raw oysters, seafood, and wine. :)

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

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

Merchant's Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon BierCraft Tap and Tapas Bar on Urbanspoon

10 February 2014

Mangia & Bevi (Toronto) - Authentic and Incredibly Delicious Pasta and Pizza

When I was training for my job in Toronto, my coworker's wife suggested we go to Mangia &Bevi, an authentic Italian Bistro rated highly on Yelp and Urbanspoon.

The place was really hard to find so you might need a GPS if you want to try this restaurant out. 

Nice old bread basket with olive oil/balsamic vinegar to dip.

My coworker got a glass of Stella Artois after a long day. Smooth, crisp, Stella never fails to be the beer of choice.

I can't recall all the condiments they served alongside our dinner but there was ample amounts of Parmesan and dried red chili fakes.

The Carpaccio ($16) consisted of raw beef tenderloin, arugula, lemon, parmigiano shavings, and truffle oil. 

The Antipasto Misto ($15) had a variety of cold cuts, cheeses, and olives. Nice refreshing appetizer.

For my entree, I went with the daily special of Orecchiette Rompipasta ($18) and what sold me was the description. "Fresh pasta with shallots, garlic, chillies, organic red chicory, speck, walnuts and Fontina cheese in a white wine/butter sauce. Does that not sound mouthwatering already?!

The fresh pasta was everything I hoped it would be. Al dente, chewy, and soaked in the white wine/butter sauce. It was divine. The only mishap for me was the additional kale or veggie that they put into the dish because it was quite bitter.

The Pomodoro ($14) was light, refreshing, and my coworker really liked it.

I had a bite of the Burina ($17) which had tomato sauce, mozzarella, sausages, pancetta, garlic, and chili flakes, and it was delicious thought a little too spicy. This is a great sharing pizza but maybe not for one person to consume.

I was so jealous when I saw this because the Ragu ($17) looked absolutely amazing! The pasta was completely covered in their homemade bolognese veal and pork sauce and boy was it delicious.

The simple Pomodoro ($14) consisted of tomato sauce, garlic, and basil.

Boy, if you can only get one thing from this restaurant, get the Prosciutto & Funghi Pizza ($15) and add an egg for +$1. The end result is a yolky creamy egg sauce that will coat your entire pizza in deliciousness. Must get item for sure.

Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 3.5/5
Price $$$

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

  Mangia and Bevi Resto-Bar on Urbanspoon

9 February 2014

Mosaic Bar and Grille - Inspired by...Taiwan

Once again Chef Heinrich, Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency Vancouver crafted up a new Chef Tasting Menu at the Mosaic Bar and Grille. This time it was inspired by his trip to Taiwan for a show called 'Taste of Taiwan'.

It definitely takes a lot of courage to design a Taiwanese menu in a city filled with amazing culinary talent in Asian cuisine. 

Foodobyte and I at first thought four courses wouldn't be enough for us (yeah.. we eat a lot). But near the end we were so stuffed so don't let the items fool you. They're pretty hearty.

Complimentary Smoked Salt Biscuits and Multigrain Bread to start.

The Fish ball with Scallion & Pork Dust was definitely an interesting take on the ones I regularly eat because the texture was more soft and supple than chewy and bouncy. Maybe it's because it was made with ling cod and scallops and not something with a bit more buoyancy like squid.

The broth it came with was extremely light and refreshing but lacked a tad bit of salt. I can probably drink a whole litre of it regardless because I do love my broth!

The second dish was inspired by Chef Thomas' trip to Beipu and the Chihshang. The Hakka Tea Crusted Line Caught Ling Cod came with peanuts, peanut mochi (glutinous rice balls), and lemon vinegar fluid gel. My cod was a bit overcook so it didn't have the supple, flaky meat I was expecting. My personal palate found the tea and cod to be a weird combo but Foodobyte though it was pretty good.

If you have not heard of the 'pork belly' fad going around in Vancouver, you probably are a not a foodie. But for all people following this pork belly trend including me, this dish may intrigue your senses. It is a 5 Spiced Braised Pork Belly inspired by the Silk Palace Restaurant in Taiwan. The flavours were full of depth and very similar to the authentic pork belly in other Asian restaurants.

I was most intrigued by the Pineapple Cake item on the menu because I was wondering how Chef Thomas would recreate this beloved Taiwanese snack in a way that it could be a dessert on a chef tasting menu. I was super impressed with the chunks of pineapple and thick crumbly crust. I'm also a black sesame girl so the ice-cream totally won me over.

All in all, I don't think this was Mosaic's most impressive Chef Tasting Menu and there were hits and misses throughout the meal. However, it tells a story and I like how every item was inspired by his trip to Taiwan.

Happy Eating!

  Mosaic Grille & Bar on Urbanspoon