February 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.

26 February 2015

Kongee Dinesty (Richmond) - Not Just Congee

Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to a try out the menu of a new Chinese restaurant that just opened up in Richmond (on Capstan Way, next to Manzo and Capstone). 

It's called Kongee Dinesty and it is playing on the fact that they specialize and serve congee in the morning (8am-5pm) while at night they switch to more traditional Cantonese dishes.

The owner of this establishment has really put her heart and soul into this restaurant. She's been working on this project for over a year and finally her dream is starting to come true. From the design of the faucet in the washroom, to the specific ingredients used in each dish, she has her hand in everything.

Similar to Western restaurants in downtown, they have the open kitchen concept which I really appreciate. It honestly takes a lot of courage to have everything out on display because you're providing customers full visibility. Only restaurants with nothing to hide will opt for a concept like this.

Their congee master cooking up some liver and pork congee for us.

For dinner, they have many seafood options, most of which are market price.

Their breakfast menu consists of primarily congee. For $8.95, you get a big bowl of congee, a side of your choice which can also be upgraded for a buck twenty five more.

To me, their lunch menu seems the most unique. Think Deer Garden or Cattle Cafe but with congee. You choose a base (I'd totally go for the black pepper base), two types of meats, a drink (black sesame soy milk?? Hell ya!), and unlimited garnishes. The owner even said you can ask the server for more garnishes if you want them mid way through too!

We all shared the Liver and Pork Congee and yeah... it was delicious. I normally don't love the taste of liver but they somehow got that weird taste out of it and made it pretty enjoyable. The pork too was also of really good quality.

If you're from Hong Kong, you would recognize these two Chinese Donuts. I don't know what it's called in English but the front one is sweet and the back one is salty (made with fermented soy bean).

 Chef making the chinese donuts by hand.

 This is the god almighty. The traditional, light, fluffy, freshly fried, chinese donut. It goes great with congee and tasted exceptionally good straight from the fryer.

If you have gone to a Chinese wedding or a really special dinner at a Chinese 'Seafood' Restaurant before, this may look familiar to you. In Cantonese it's called "Dong Gua Zhong" which means Melon Soup. You have to order this one day in advance because they have to carve out a gigantic winter melon, boil it for 6 hours with a billion other ingredients like chicken feet, ham, scallops, shrimp, crab, chicken, and stock so everything melds together.

The soup was beyond delicious and the flavours were really bright.This soup is quite a treat because it takes an incredible amount of effort to make.

Eight Treasure Duck was next on our list. This also has to be ordered one day in advance because they have to stuff a whole duck.

I love love love this dish! If you ever want a saucey, meat heavy, sinful dish, this eight treasure duck is the way to go. I can't recommend this enough.

Here comes the star of the show. This Russian King Crab comes in at about 7.5 lbs and is slightly different in taste and texture to the regular Alaskan King Crab. They served it to us two different ways: Steamed with garlic and onion (best way in my opinion), and deep fried with spicy salt and garlic.

The steamed version was glorious and the crab was juicy as hell. The texture of this Russian crab was slightly softer and less buoyant than the Alaskan one which is good for people who don't like to chew a lot. I like the bouncy chewy kind so I prefer the Alaskan.

The 'knuckles' of the crab were deep fried in spicy garlic and salt.

If you like the molten egg yolk buns from dim sum, you'll like this Prawn in Salty Egg Yolk dish. The prawns were super plump and went really well with the salty egg yolk sauce.

Because I was so full I didn't fully try the Honey Beef with Peppers in Birds Nest. The beef was really tender though.

The owner said she normally detests eating Sweet and Sour Pork outside at other restaurants. However, she wanted to serve it in her restaurant and she wanted to do it differently. She wanted to use quality meats (in her case, she uses Pork Cheek which is definitely of higher quality), and less batter to keep the dish healthy and unique. I have to agree with her. It was absolutely delicious.

We ended off the dinner with Red Bean Soup and Almond Tea.

I'll be returning to Kongee Dinesty for their unique breakfast congees and chinese donuts. My mom in particular is super intrigued by the 'choose your own' congee so I can't wait to come back to give it a try.

Happy Eating!

                      our dinner felt like this ;)

Kongee Dinesty 金津粥品專門店 on Urbanspoon

23 February 2015

Momofuku Noodle Bar - Crack Pie Tastes Like Crack.

I've always wanted to try Momofuku, the famous restaurant chain owned by chef-founder David Chang. They're only in New York, Sydney and Toronto so I knew I HAD to try it when I went to T-Dot for a business trip. 

I went to the Noodle Bar and Milk Bar because I mainly wanted to try their 'famous' ramen.

In Toronto, they have something equivalent of our "Dine Out Vancouver" where restaurants participate in a month long prix fix menu program called Winterlicious. What a weird name eh? Haha. My colleague and I opted for that and the menu was $25 for three courses.

They're all about the communal tables at Momofuku. I ordered a Thomas Lavers Ginger Beer and it was spectacular. Really gingery and really potent if you like the kick.

I didn't order the Chicken Meatball Bun but my colleague insisted that it was good. It had kind of a spicy Thai chili sauce going on.

I went with their signature Pork Belly Bao and it came with two THICK fat pieces of pork belly inside a steamed bao. There was such much fat it dripped down my wrist! That's when you know it's a good burger.

Their Dan Dan Mien consists of ramen, spicy pork, scallop XO sauce, and peanuts. I like lots of broth with my ramen (I drink it all!) so I was glad I didn't choose this.

I instead went with the Winter Ramen which had smoked chicken, kale, squash, and egg. This was definitely a fusion ramen. A very poshy one too.

I think I'm too used to authentic tonkotsu ramen so I didn't love this as much as I wanted to. The grilled onions tasted a little out of place but everything else was great. Loved the addition of kale too (my favourite green as of now).

I didn't get to taste the brownie topped chocolate mousse but I heard it was delicious.

For my dessert I chose the soft serve ice-cream. Even though you can't see the colour difference, this was actually half Cereal Milk, half Fried Apple Pie. Boy was this delicious. I would come back to Momofuku just for this.

You know you're gluttonous when you continue to shop for food after being stuffed to the brim. That's what I did. I shopped at the Momofuku Milk Bar upstairs to grab some snacks to bring back to the hotel.

Their famous "Compost Cookie".

Apparently this "Corn Cookie" is also really popular.

I ended up choose the compost cookie and crack pie. You cannot go to the Milk Bar without trying these to signature items!!

Their signature Crack Pie is essentially a pie made of eggs, flour, sugar, butter and cream. It's ridiculous. I honestly didn't expect it to be so freaking delicious. Before I could think twice about how many calories I was putting into my body, the whole pie was gone. True story.

The compost cookie on the other hand was okay but I didn't understand the hype.

The Momofuku Noodle Bar and Milk Bar is worth checking out if you are visiting Toronto. If you can't make it for a meal, at least buy the crack pie!! You won't regret it.

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

Overall Rating: 3/5

Happy Eating!

                       me after inhaling dat crack pie

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon Momofuku Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

18 February 2015

The Bellagio Buffet (Las Vegas) - Caviar and King Crab?!

Soo.... I went back to the Bellagio Buffet. Again. It was way too good the first time for me not to come back again. If you missed my first experience, click here. Otherwise read on... because this one is epic. 

So as you know, Bellagio Buffet is known as one of the classic, a bit boring, typical buffets in Vegas. Their decor is nothing special and it might even look pretty old and outdated at first glance. However, their food makes up for it in my opinion.

The day I treated my parents to this buffet, they had a 'special event' going on so the price got jacked up to about $50 CAD. Crazy, I know. My wallet was feeling a world of hurt so I was determined to stuff my face until I explode. Good thing that had Alaskan King Crab or else I would've been really sad. They replenish the stash quite often so you'll always be able to grab some good ones.

Their desserts were alright. Nothing to rave about.

 Strawberry and cheese tarts. Interesting.


I quite enjoyed their kale/butternut squash/lentil concoction, gnocchi (back), and pesto mash potatoes (right).

As I was walking around, I saw the coolest station ever. It was a caviar/tartare/poke station! On the very left is a beef tartare on toast which was quite good and didn't get me sick. For caviar, they had red tobiko (the fish eggs they use in sushi), salmon roe (also called Ikura in Japanese), and traditional English caviar (most likely sturgeon).

The caviar gets served on a pancake or waffle disc with some cream cheese. The pancake was merely a tool to get the caviar in your mouth so it was essentially tasteless. All in all it was okay and made me feel slightly better about paying $50/person because I've never gotten the opportunity to try sturgeon caviar before.

 Watermelon and feta salad.

I have never been to Hawaii before so it was my first time trying 'poke'. For those of you who are not familiar with poke, click here.

 It was absolutely delicious! I already love the individual flavours of soy, sesame, chili, garlic, and seaweed so when this was combined, WITH raw fish, it was heaven.

Some other items include Southern crawfish boil, meat and cheese platter, individual cups of mac and cheese, and creamed spinach.

 The Alaskan King Crab.

Mushroom gnoochi, homemade ravioli, prime rib, and shrimp cocktail.

The chocolate raspberry mouse in waffle cup (right) was to-die for. It's a must get item!!

The creme brulee was solid but nothing compared to the one at Wynn.

Even though this buffet is not a fancy one and is pricey considering how old it is, it's always reliable and the flavours blow me away each time. Also, if you really want all-you-can-eat Alaskan King Crab, you can be sure you'll get it here.

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

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

    Anyone else have to roll out of the buffet like me?

Click here to check out my other Vegas post:
 - The Buffet at TI (Treasure Island)
BurGR (by Chef Ramsey)
- The Cheesecake Factory (Caesar's Palace)

The Buffet at Bellagio on Urbanspoon