August 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.

30 August 2014

The Keg (Yaletown) - New Menu, New Offerings

The Keg location in Yaletown has got to be one of the swankiest Keg locations in Vancouver. With its triple level interior and beautiful patio, it made me feel a bit more 'sophisticated' just dining there.

A couple days ago, they revealed a new test menu that just rolled out in the Yaletown and Dunsmuir location. They are looking to permanently add/remove certain items on the menu so it's not just a seasonal or promotional menu. Go give them a try and provide feedback before it's actually locked and running in all locations across North America!

 I started with a Frozen Mango Margarita and it was indeed as fruity and tasty as I expected. I ordered it as a recommendation from my friend and I believe this is an off-menu drink.

The Cucumber Collins (Keg Size) is another delicious and refreshing drink for people like me who don't love to taste a lot of alcohol in their concoctions. Gin, cucumbers, and rosemary are the primary ingredients for this drink.

 Some of their new appetizers include: Beef Carpaccio, Tuna Tartare, Crispy Shrimp, and Tuna Tacos. I tried the Tuna Tartare ($14) and not only was this visually stunning when it arrived, it also lived up to my expectations. The tuna was fresh and lightly seasoned with sesame oil and soy sauce. The wonton crisps were perfectly fried (not oily to the touch) and held the avocado tuna mixture nicely.

I wasn't a huge fan of the Beef Carpaccio ($14) only because I felt like it was missing some acid. The salad did a nice job of balancing it out a bit, but some lemon or other acidic liquid would've been better.

For my main, of course I had to order something new! The Shrimp and Lobster Salad ($21) is one of two 'Dinner Salads' on their new menu. This salad had artisan greens, black beans, corn, cremini mushrooms, tomatoes fresh avocado, pine nuts, and a mango sesame dressing.

You'll also notice that The Keg added a lot more non-beef items on their menu, specifically expanding on their fish and chicken selections, and even adding on ribs! This is the Pistachio Crusted Salmon ($30) served on garlic mash potatoes, bacon brussel sprouts, and maple butter. Meta Knight really enjoyed the flavor combination of salmon and maple butter, and even said he will definitely be getting this again. The bacon sauteed brussel sprouts were quite limp and can definitely be improved.

I've been LOVING this new dessert lately. It's their Sorbet ($6) which comes with a scoop of Chocolate and Raspberry. This fruity dark chocolate combination is like a party in my mouth. Honestly. You've got to try this if you like raspberry chocolate.

Their Brownie Sundae ($7) always satisfies the sweet tooth with its warm brownie, vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream, chocolate syrup and caramel.

All in all, I can see that The Keg is improving it's menu with more modern flavour combinations (like bacon brussel sprouts) and trendy ingredients (quinoa salad). Their must order item in my opinion is their TunaTartare and Chocolate Raspberry Sorbet!

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

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar on Urbanspoon

25 August 2014

Yeti Yogurt (SFU) - Froyo Yolo

Vancouver already has an abundance of frozen yogurt establishments like Menchies, Qoola, Pinkberry, Scoop!, Timothy's, and Yogen Fruz, so its no surprise for another one to hit the market!

This new froyo place is called Yeti Yogurt. There are two locations in Vancouver, one on the North Shore (North Van) and one on SFU Burnaby campus (Cornerstone area).

Look, it's the abominable snowman! Their interior design is super cute and there's even a big Yeti mascot figure eating froyo near the door.

For all you lactose intolerant folks (like my friend Piggley), there are some options here that you might enjoy. Not only do they have lactose free options like sorbet, they also have lactose free yogurt Forget the icy fruit 'slush'-like ice cream... there's actual creamy 'ice-cream'!

They have 16 different flavours to choose from including french toast, nutella, sweet coconut, euro tart, pink pomegranate, yogi yeti 'green tea', and salted caramel.

We also noticed that they have a lot more toppings to choose from including four different kinds of popping pearls (near the back), two types of mochi, cookie dough chunks, and cheesecake chunks.

Normally I only see one type of gummy offered but here they have 6! They also have chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate rocks, kit kat bars, yogurt covered pretzels... cool stuff.

Doesn't this look like a breakfast cereal station?

Meta Knight and I went with two tart flavours: Euro Tart and Pink Grapefruit ($5.60). These two flavours actually complimented each other very well and tasted oh so delicious with sweet fruit, chocolate chips, gummies, lychees, chocoalte rocks, and popping fruit pearls.

Their Pink Pomegranate tasted really fresh and like it was made with pure pomegranate juice. The lactose free yogurt was indeed creamy and not like a sorbet at all.

I found their frozen yogurts to be creamy, light, and very true to its flavours which I appreciate. It also wasn't saturated in colouring (which shows they don't use food colouring) nor had any weird after-taste like "watermelon flavoured froyo" I've had in the past.

In my opinion, Yeti Yogurt is a big contender for the froyo market in Vancouver even though they only have two suburban locations right now. For all you SFU goers and North Burnaby residents, don't miss out on this 'cool' little place. :D

They open till 10:00pm on Sundays, 10:30pm from Mon-Thurs, and 11pm on Fri and Sat.

Service Rating: 2.5/5
Food Rating: 4.5/5
Price: $

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Happy Eating!

Yeti Yogurt on Urbanspoon

24 August 2014

Boiling Point (Burnaby) - Yummy Dipping Sauces

The Boiling Point in Burnaby is one of twelve locations all over Seattle, Southern California, and Canada region. They specialize in individual Taiwanese hot pots, stinky tofu, and drinks.

Their main menu consists of 10 different hot pots, all with a different main protein has the star. For example, they have lamb, beef, curry fishball, Japanese miso, tomato veggie...etc. You usually order them as a 'set menu' which gets you a bowl of rice and a drink as well for $10.99.

What I really enjoy about Boiling Point are their dipping sauces. I don't know exactly what they are but they taste AMAZING with meat and rice.

Both the Black Tea and Green Tea were super aromatic and more concentrated than expected. It was quite good but I actually would have preferred something lighter to wash down the rich flavours of hot pot.

 I don't know what it is about me but I keep on making the same mistakes. Last time I got the Lamb ($10.99), didn't enjoy it, vowed to not get this next time, and guess what I ordered this time? Gah! Anyways, I just didn't like this hot pot mainly because the copious amounts of sour mustard turned my broth all sour.

The Beef Hot Pot ($10.99) contained nappa cabbage, vermicelli, beef, enoki mushroom, tomato, tofu, tempura, corn, meatball, kamaboko, imitation crab, and tofu skin. Having the broth simmered on low heat with all those ingredients made it incredibly rich and complex.

All in all, Boiling Point is pretty average and an okay place to go if you are craving something hot on a chilly cold day. However, my favourite place for individual hot pots is still Gokudo Shabu Shabu in Richmond.

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

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Happy Eating!

  Boiling Point (Kingsway) 沸點臭臭鍋 on Urbanspoon

22 August 2014

Blossom Teas (North Burnaby) - Specialty Bubble Tea Near SFU

For people living in north or south Burnaby, you know there are very limited choices when you're suddenly craving bubble tea. Well don't fret! Because there is a new bubble tea place in town!

Blossom Teas is located randomly in a completely unassuming residential area near the bottom of SFU mountain. You can even walk here from the bus stop if you are taking the 144 to Metrotown.

They specialize in fresh mango bubble teas, similar to Bubble Queen in Richmond. I have to say though... it doesn't compare because my slush was nowhere as good as Bubble Queen.

In addition to bubble tea, they serve slush, mochi balls, smoothies, thick toasts, savoury noodles, and shaved ice. They also have a small area to sit and a dart machine.

Meta Knight and I didn't have dinner so we were super tempted by these savoury noodle options. In the end though we decided to get a speciality bubble tea each and a thick toast to share.

He chose the Fresh Mango Supreme ($5.95) which essentially is a fresh mango slush topped with mango cubes. I appreciate the large size but the only let down was that the mango was sour. Granted we came just after peak mango season but it really disturbed my tastebuds to eat sour mango cubes. I on the other hand went with their Matcha Matcha Shake ($5.00) which came with a small scoop of matcha ice-cream and pocky stick. I enjoyed this one very much. The ice-cream was authentically bitter, an essence of true matcha.

As mentioned, we shared a snack to share and I wish we never got it... The Hokkaido Milk Toast was $5.00 and looked just like two pieces of toast with a heavy drizzle of condense milk on top. As a saving grace, Meta Knight though the toast was PERFECTLY crispy and tasted more delicious than any toast he's ever made before.

I have mixed feelings about this place. I wanted to like it and be a hidden gem but it failed to meet my expectations. Perhaps I'll give them a try again in case this was a one off before making that judgement.

Have you been to Blossom Teas before? What did you think of their bubble teas?

Service Rating: N/A
Food Rating: 2.5/5
Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Happy Eating!

Blossom Teas on Urbanspoon

16 August 2014

Havana Restaurant (Commercial) - Strawberry Ginger Mojitos and Truffle Fries

My coworker has been telling me nonstop about how wonderful the Strawberry and Ginger Mojitos are at Havana so needless to say, that was enough to get me to visit.

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon so their patio was packed with a twenty minute wait. We endured because who can give up eating on the patio when it's sunny in Vancouver?!!

 Do note though, they made all four of us share a table meant usually for two (every other table we saw were also super squished). We definitely invaded each other's personal bubble throughout the whole meal and we didn't like that.

So of course, I had to try the famous Strawberry Ginger Mojito (~$7-8) and it definitely did not disappoint. It's made with Bacardi Superior Rum, strawberries, mint, fresh lime juice, and ginger ale. Definitely one of the best strawberry mojitos I've had. I think it's because of the addition of ginger ale (I like myself some bubbly :D).

These Truffle Fries ($9.95) were absolutely to die for... The combination of parmesan cheese, parsley, and truffle oil is killer on it's own but it's elevated one step further by that smokey dip on the side. Must try item!

The Enchiladas ($16.95) consisted of two baked tortillas stuffed with roasted plantain, black beans, corn, green onions, and peppers with house made mesa sauce, cheddar and goat cheese.

I thought the Latin Burger ($17.95) was a little pricey for what it is but it did come with a 6.oz beef patty, grilled turkey sausage, bacon, swiss cheese, lettuce, mayo, and guacamole. My friend liked it overall but thought the patty tasted like it was steamed instead of grilled which turned him off.

I chose the Chicken Taco ($13.95) which was made with chicken breast marinated in coconut jerk sauce, lettuce, guacamole, and pico de gallo. I was mildly disappointed with this dish because not only was the chicken super dry, something in the taco made it incredibly wet. It was so wet I couldn't eat my second taco with my hand and had to resort to a knife and fork. I definitely will pass on this next time. :/

All in all, Havana is a really cool hip place for cocktails and tapas. I very much enjoyed the mojito and truffle fries so maybe next time I'll stick with their appys instead of ordering their entrees.

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

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

Havana Restaurant & Gallery on Urbanspoon

Screamers Soft Serve & Treats (Steveston) - Dole Whip in Steveston!

Ever since my vacay to Disneyland in LA, I've been dreaming of Dole Whip, the pineapple infused soft serve ice-cream. I thought it was going to be a lost love because I didn't know any other place that sold Dole Whip besides Hawaii Dole Plantation and Disneyland.

My friend Stely told me one day that "Screamers" in Steveston, Richmond sold Dole Whip and I absolutely could not believe it until I saw it with my very own eyes! Dole Whip? In the very city which I've lived my whole life? No way...

Lo and behold.. he was correct. I got the Mini Dole Whip ($3) in a cup which was filled to the very top. It tasted exactly like how I remembered it in Disneyland. Refreshing, intense sweetness coming from the pineapples, and light. If you've never tried Dole Whip before and want to get your hands on it without purchasing a plane ticket to Disneyland or Hawaii, go to Steveston and give it a try!
They also serve screamers (soft serve swirled with slush), and other ice-cream flavours.
Service Rating: N/A
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $
Overall Rating: 4/5
Happy Eating!

Screamers Soft Serve and Treats on Urbanspoon

13 August 2014

Lao Shan Dong Homemade Noodle House - Surprising Find Near Metrotown

To my disappointment, I realized recently that the Cattle Cafe near Metropolis at Metrotown has closed down. I used to love their convenient location and inexpensive bowls of fish soup noodles. Sad.

Lao Shan Dong is located actually right next to Cattle Cafe but I never gave it a second glance. Since Rae and I didn't know any other place nearby, we gave this noodle house a shot.

Their prices are inexpensive ranging from $6.25 for a small to $10.95 for a large.

We came at around 5pm to a relatively empty restaurant but by the time we left, this whole restaurant was full.

We started off with a small jellyfish dish to share. It was about three bucks and just enough to get our taste buds tingling!

They pride themselves on their beef noodles and say it's worth driving across town. For a restaurant to boldly state that on their menu, they must have a lot of confidence in their product.

I had the Braised Beef Tendon with Noodle in Soup ($7.95) and I was oh so happy with my order. Big fat pieces of tendon beautifully floated on top of the rich dark broth.

The handmade noodles also didn't disappoint. They weren't under or overcooked and maintained its strength throughout my entire meal. Some other noodle dishes get soggy or overcooked as you eat it but this one didn't which was great.

 Rae ordered the Braised Beef Flank with Noodle in Soup ($6.95) and thought it was pretty good for the price.

Overall, this is a pretty decent place to have Taiwanese beef noodle soup in South Burnaby. The plus is that it's walkable distance from Metrotown so if you need to have a quick dinner before catching a movie at Cineplex or meeting friends, this is the place to go.

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

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

Lao Shan Dong Homemade Noodle House 老山東麵莊 on Urbanspoon