January 2015 ~ 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 January 2015

The Cheesecake Factory (Las Vegas) - I Love Cheesecake Factory!

While in the states, one must go to The Cheesecake Factory. I absolutely love the Cheesecake Factory even though I know most of their dishes are incredibly heavy and probably over 1500 calories a dish. Oh well, indulging while on vacation is not new to anyone. :P

Do any of you guys always go to The Cheesecake Factory knowing you'll get a slice of cheesecake, but wind up being too full to order it? That t'was me.

This specific location is stationed inside Caesars Palace. In front is the talking statue performance and giant aquarium so you can't miss it.

I came here for lunch with my family and most of us ordered from the Lunch Specials section of the menu. It's a little cheaper and the portions are a bit more manageable.

And who can resist the cheesecake display case?!

 The Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake.... the most fattening cheesecake of their entire line. But no one cares because it's absolutely delicious!!

They always start off your meal with warm rye and white bread with butter. Delish!

Kirbro went off the regular menu and got the Smokehouse B.B.Q. Burger. It consisted of smoked bacon, melted cheddar, beef patty, crispy onion rings, and BBQ ranch sauce.

He really enjoyed it and said the barbecue sauce was surprisingly really good.

Kirpa ordered the Renee's Special ($10.95) which consisted of a cup of cream of turkey soup, small green salad, and one half of a fresh turkey sandwich.

I absolutely love their pastas (my favourite is called Garlic Pasta) so I chose their Lunch Pasta Special - Pasta Da Vinci ($12.50).

Although I loved the huge chunks of chicken breast, it was almost too much meat for me! It came with shittake mushrooms and the angel hair pasta had lots of delicious Madeira wine flavour. Yum yum yum! Can't say enough good things about it.

All in all, The Cheesecake Factory is a great option for lunch or dinner if you want lots of options to choose from and affordable prices. If you're worried about calories, they have a SkinnyLicious menu you can order from!

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

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

                 who remembers this scene from Friends?!

Click here to check out my other Vegas post:
 - The Buffet at TI (Treasure Island)
- BurGR (by Chef Ramsey)

The Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon

26 January 2015

Ten Ten Tapas (Dine Out Vancouver) - Come Here for Tapas only...Skip the Dinner

I like Dine Out Vancouver because it gives Vancouverites the opportunity to try out new restaurants at a relatively discounted price. I've accepted the fact that it's usually a hit or miss because set menus are usually never as good as ordering a la carte. Nonetheless it's still a good opportunity to taste a bit of everything.

With Ten Ten Tapas, I'll preface this with.. it was a miss. A pretty big miss. I'll try to be as constructive as possible.... but to be honest, (most of) my friends and I left this restaurant pretty disappointed.

Their menu looked promising on the dine out website, but I quickly realized the item I was most excited about got changed... :( More on that later.

I'm sad to say that the Spicy Tuna Barley Sushi was a complete disappointment. The presentation looked incredibly sloppy and I literally had less than half a typical spicy tuna roll. For an appetizer on a $28 menu, I expected MUCH more than this.

All my other friends got the Dungeness Crab Bisque and the general consensus was that it was bland. The soup lacked depth, seasoning, and overall crab flavour.

 I applaud their freshly made pasta for this Winter Squash Ravioli dish. However, the portion similar to the appetizer was quite small and none of us were close to being full after this.

Though the brown butter sauce and golden beets were quite good, the blanched spinach was really odd and felt like it was just put there to add some greenery.

These Braised Beef Short Ribs. I only have one thing to say about them: it tasted like Chinese style beef brisket in mash potatoes and blanched spinach.

Overall, it wasn't a horrible dish. It was solid and if I was paying something more reasonable and it was coming out of a casual restaurant, I'd be happy. But again, for $28, I expected the quality of the food to be higher and more compelling to eat.

This was the item I was most excited about and I can't believe it disappointed me as well. The menu on the dine out website described it as "Fudge Brownie S'more By Candlelight with Walnut Fudge Brownie and Graham Crumb, Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce, Housemade Marshmallow to roast by candlelight". Where's the ice-cream, graham crumb, or roasting of marshmallow by candlelight?! Sigh.

Lil Sis's brownie was also cold so the marshmallow didn't melt. She left her dessert mostly untouched.

The (slightly) saving grace was the live music during our dinner. They were lively, great with the crowd, and sang the jazzy blues everyone knows and loves. Fon loved it so much she said she would come back just for the music.

Ten Ten Tapas seems to be a great place to have drinks, eat the occasional pita and dip, and enjoy live music. It's not a place for full meals or dine out so I definitely suggest coming with that in mind to avoid disappointment like us.

Service Rating: 2.5/5
Food Rating: 1.5/5
Price: $$$-$$$$

Overall Rating: 2/5

Happy Eating!

                  unimpressed face during dinner

Ten Ten Tapas on Urbanspoon

25 January 2015

Coast Restaurant - Delicious Noms

I always found Coast to be a very cool place to lounge and chat with friends. Their Happy Hour which happens daily from 3-6pm is also very enticing so Meta Knight and I came one day for an early dinner.

Unfortunately, I had a gift card I wanted to use but the waitress said it didn't work with other promotions (ex.happy hour). Boo.

I forgot what drinks we ordered but they were on special and it tasted delicious.

I always like the open kitchen concept. I love watching chefs at work doing what they do best.

Their Crispy Garlic Calamari (50% off $13.95) comes served in a little bamboo dim sum steamer. It's a really cute concept that's more for presentation than anything.

These Truffle Parmesan Fries (50% off $8.95) were the bomb! If you like the taste of truffle oil, parmesan, and rosemary, you will love this rich combination.

I enjoyed the Prawn Mac' n Cheese (50% off $12.95) the most out of all the dishes we ordered. I liked the fact that it wasn't too rich, yet the robust cheese was still prominent throughout.

You can never go wrong with buck-a-shuck oysters. :)

This is a must order dish! The Thai Steamed Mussels (50% off $19.95) consisted of a lemongrass and spicy coconut curry, served with a big piece of crusty garlic bread.

The broth was spectacular and really held it's own. I recommend dipping your fries or getting extra bread on the side to soak up all the broth.

At the end of the day, Coast is a solid seafood restaurant with great variety and affordable prices during happy hour. It's not one of the restaurants in Vancouver I'd recommend to a tourist staying for, let's say, a few days, but it is good for an occasional birthday birthday or romantic dinner.

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

Overall Rating: 3/5

Happy Eating!

            Don't you ever feel like this at some fine dining restaurants?

Coast Restaurant on Urbanspoon

18 January 2015

Maenam (Dine Out Vancouver) - So. Impressed.

Throughout the years I've always passed by Maenam and heard great things about their Thai food. However, for whatever reason, I never made the conscious effort to really give it a try.

This year during Dine Out Vancouver, I finally got to try it and I'm SOOO glad I did.

Their menu is $28 and is truly a tasting menu for people who love variety. It's a little complicated because for every pair, you choose one starter, one salad, one curry, and one stir fry to share. For dessert, each person gets their own. This process made it difficult for our table of 7 to order so the hostess recommended that we just trust the chef to give us a variety of dishes fit for 7 people. We were apprehensive about our decision at first, but it was actually the best decision EVER.

 Green Papaya Salad had a bit of a spicy kick but overall quite refreshing.

This one was probably the least favourite dish of the bunch. The Hot and Sour soup of Halibut and Thai Basil was too sour for our palate but the abundance of mushrooms and fish made up for it.

OH OH OH. I can drink a gallon of this stuff. If you go to Maenam, make sure you get the Creamy Hot and Sour Soup of Chicken Thighs. The creamy, slightly spicy broth is incredibly flavourful and boosts the right amount of coconut, chicken, and mushroom.

The Lemongrass and Thai Basil Mussels were also a hit with the crowd. Plump, fresh, juicy. Yum.

I forgot the name of the drink but it's essentially a Passionfruit Ginger Beer concoction. The left one is alcoholic and the right is non-alcoholic. I really enjoyed the non-alcoholic version way more and definitely recommend it.

Thai Iced Tea with Rum was also surprisingly good. Who can already see a great night with a couple of these eh? ;)

3 Flavour Pork Ribs is a vague name so I don't know exactly what it is. But I think these pork ribs are flash fried, coated in an indulgent sticky coating, and tossed with thai basil, fresh baby corn (I've only ever had the canned ones so this was a treat!), parsley, and deep fried onion.

A few of my friends thought this Aromatic Curry of Braised Duck Leg was the best dish of the night. I don't like it when curries are just 'sauce'. I like it hearty, meaty, and bountiful. This curry was exactly that so it was a big thumbs up for me.

The Southern Style Tumeric Curry of Seafood had black cod, clams, and mussels. Highly recommended.

I also loved the Grilled Tuna Salad with Green Mango. This was so refreshing to eat in between bites of curry and the mint/tuna combo was just fab.

Unlimited rice!

Oh that Caramelized Pork Belly doe. Think of the most indulgent thing you can think of, and times it by two. This will beat that in one bite. It took the sweet and savoury combo to a whole nother level.

This is essentially a Deconstructed Passion Fruit Tart. With some torched meringue on the side, fresh raspberries, passionfruit sorbet, and tart shell crumbles on the bottom, this was an amazing finish to the dinner. Nothing was too sour, too sweet, or too cold. Everything was where it needed to be.

Rice Doughnut with Pandan Custard was freshly fried and delightfully light despite it being a fried item.

Maenam completely surprised and impressed us from beginning to end. From the aromatic curries to the well balanced broths, everything was spot on and I can't wait to come back again. What we thought would be an underwhelming DOV experience ended up being one of the best DOV experiences we've ever had!

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

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Happy Eating!

    my reaction when I accidentally eat a hot pepper X.X

Maenam on Urbanspoon