August 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 August 2015

Shiang Garden - Grand Dinner Selection

I feel so blessed to be a part of the ChineseBites crew because I get to explore all these different Chinese cuisines with similar foodies like myself. Recently, I got to go to Shiang Garden for a 13 course dinner with Sean, Grace, Sherman, Rick, Diana, and Nancy. The noms are real.

We started off  with a Prawn Salad which consisted of half a juicy ripe papaya topped with huge prawns, melon and Japanese mayo. I absolutely adore prawns that have a good snap when you bite into it, and this was the case. I'd come back just for this appetizer alone.

The venue and restaurant itself is quite grand, with chandeliers at every corner and elaborate chair covers.

 The Sauteed Mixed Seafood came with large plump scallops, shrimp, snow peas, sea cucumber, and a gorgeous decoration of sliced oranges and cucumbers.

 This is called Tremella with Chicken & Crab Meat Soup. For those familiar with crab meat and fish maw soup, it tastes kind of like that. Otherwise, think of it as a very thick broth based soup.

The presentation of this Diced Beef Tenderloin with Honey and Pepper dish blew me away more than anything. Look at that thinly sliced cucumber! I absolutely love the combination of honey and pepper so I thought this dish was really delicious.

Time for seafood! It was nearing the end of spot prawn season so the Steamed Spot Prawns with Garlic were more on the smaller side. The presentation was stunning though and left everyone wanting more than one piece.

This was probably my favourite dish of the night! Definitely a must get item. It's called Lobster with Salted Egg Yolk and it satisfied me in so many ways.

Not only did it glow in a beautiful gold colour, the salted egg yolk coated every piece of lobster perfectly. Not too little, not too much. If I wasn't in the company of others, I would have totally licked that plate clean.

I'm not sure if the presentation was especially exquisite because it was a special blogger dinner, but this Whole Chicken with Abalone Sauce looked ridiculously cool. The soy chicken was quite tender on its own, but became elevated when paired with the slick abalone sauce.

BC Dungeness Crab with White Wine Sauce was simple, fresh, and brought out the natural sweet taste of the crab. I'm normally not one to eat the crab shell cholesterol, but it did look damn enticing.

Another honey and pepper dish, yummm. This one was in the form of Lamb Chops.

I feel like "baos" have been a thing lately. There's Bao Down in Gastown, Bao Bei near Chinatown... everyone just can't get enough of baos! Including me. :) My favourite version is deep fried baos with drizzled with condensed milk. Oh gawd, I'm drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it.

The braised pork belly had the quintessential ratio of 50% fat, 50% meat. Clearly it melted in the mouth and made me feel like I just committed a sin after eating it. :P

As if we did not have enough protein in this meal, we were offered an En-Ping Style Whole Tilpaia. I didn't try much of it so I can't comment on it too much.

The Buddha's Feast Cabbage Roll was a nice break from all the meat and delivered on a lighter note which was super necessary at this point. It contained carrots, wood ear mushrooms, and enoki mushrooms.

When they set the plate down I was SO excited. Both the Durian Pastry and Osmanthus Flower Cake Pudding was super delicious. I'm a big fan of fresh durian so I found the durian flavours to be quite muted in the pastry dish. However, I know it's just right or even too much for novice durian eaters so don't follow my palate if you don't ADORE durian like I do. :P

All in all, the 13 course dinner at Shiang Garden exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend the durian pastry and lobster with salted egg yolk dishes!!

Service Rating: N/A
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $$-$$$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

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everyone's face when I tell them i like durian...

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17 August 2015

Sugarholic Cafe - Surprisingly Delicious!

Sugarholic Cafe is located inside Aberdeen Mall on the ground floor. It's been open for quite some time now and is a restaurant you can't ignore. Why? It shines of fluorescent white with long sheer drapes, chandeliers, and plump couches. On numerous times, I've seen people peer in, curious as to what the heck this restaurant/cafe is all about.

Going in, my expectations were very low. I mean, it's pretty hard not to when every single business before this lasted only a year or two at most.

I've got to say, I love their visual bright menus. Pictures speak louder than words so I naturally gravitate towards menus with big large pictures. :P

They actually have a pretty good "Lunch Special" menu for weekdays only between 12:30-2:30 (something like that). For $12.50, you get a choice of an entree and a drink. Of course, there are limitations to what you can choose for both entree and drink.

Their honey toast tower looks freakin' amazing... and sinful...and ridiculous.

They also offer various levels of high tea.

My mom got the Creamy Masago Pasta with Crab Meat ($9.95). It comes spicy but you can order it without any spiciness. The flavours were prominent and definitely on the heavy side. My mom found it almost too salty, but she likes her flavours on the bland side. I thought it was a good version of the classic Japanese fusion masago spaghetti.

Cheese Omelette Beef Fried Rice with Black Pepper Sauce ($10.95) was my choice and it was hella peppery!! Just the way I like it!

I liked the rice and frozen veggies throughout. The omelette was thin and acted as a good barrier between the rice and black pepper sauce.

In the end, Sugarholic Cafe surpassed my expectations and I found their items quite delicious and affordable. The atmosphere is much nicer than a typical Hong Kong style cafe so I will definitely be back to try their lunch menu on a weekday.

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

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

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                                         I am SAO fancy

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10 August 2015

Blue Bottle Coffee and Bowl'd Acai (San Francisco) - Ah-sigh-EE Bowls and New Orleans Iced Coffee

It's hard to get your veggies in while on vacation, which was why Rae and I were so happy to stumble upon a vegan, gluten free smoothie food truck while in SOMA.

 They serve acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) bowls, smoothies, juices, and power up 'shots'.

By the way, I absolutely love how they serve gluten free granola. As a person with a recent wheat allergy, it's good knowing there are still healthy eat out options for me even though I can't eat flour/wheat.

Rae and I split a These Nuts Acai Bowl (reg $9.60 US) composed of a smoothie on the bottom that is blended with acai, strawberry, banana, and almond milk. The toppings include one planet gluten free granola, banana, hemp seed, bee pollen, honey, sliced almond, and peanut butter.

Oh my god it was sooooo good! It was totally a refreshing and healthy way to start our day. It was so delicious, we tried experimenting with our own version of acai bowls at home after our vacay.

Next to the Bowl'd Acai food truck was a Blue Bottle Coffee stand. The area was quite industrial and just a little side street but there was already a lineup forming in front of the stand. Most people got the New Orleans Iced Coffee ($4 US) which was what we got too. The coffee was drip so it took a little while, but it was definitely worth the wait. It was so smooth, so creamy. I want one now just thinking about it.

Blue Bottle Coffee also serves freshly made waffles. Rae and I got one to share and thought it was only okay. The batter was too cake-like and dense for the morning. Also it was a little greasy so it didn't stay well in our stomachs.

Blue Bottle Coffee: 
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $
Overall Rating: 4/5

Bowl'd Acai:
Food Rating: 4.5/5
Price: $-$$
Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Happy Eating!

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8 August 2015

The Fish Shack - Happy Hour Time!

The Fish Shack on Granville street is part of the oh so famous Glowbal Group restaurants. It's a more casual take on seafood if you don't feel fancy enough for COAST. 

Meta Knight and I came on a weekend around 2:45pm not knowing we were 15 minutes away from the Happy Hour Special where select items are 50% off. Luckily the waitress told us and we were able to save some monies. :)

Kusshi oysters are always around the 3 dollar range and they NEVER go on promo, so Meta Knight and I flipped out when we saw that it was part of the Happy Hour menu!

In total, we ended up getting 1.5 dozen of Kusshi oysters. They were soooo good! The oceany salt brine flavour is so much deeper than regular bay oysters. You've gotta try them.

The Rock Crab Jalapeno Poppers were filled with 90% cream cheese and we barely tasted any crab. I definitely would not get this again.

I actually had high hopes for the Creole Fish Tacos but they unfortunately let me down as well. The liquid from the fish all came out and made the tacos soggy. When we tried to pick it up, the entire taco fell through and made a big mess. :( The fish itself was alright and nicely seasoned.

For 6 dollars during Happy Hour, this is of really great value. I just hope they tweak the recipe a bit or let the fish rest longer before putting it on the taco shell.

We quite enjoyed the Popcorn Shrimp! They were nicely battered and the shrimp was plump. The crispy shrimp from The Keg is still better though.

Last but not least were the Deep Fried Brussel Sprouts. They were tossed in lemon juice, parmesan, and some spices. Even though it's deep fried and obviously not healthy, it was still good and a veggies dish is always better than no veggie dish. :)

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

Overall Rating: 3/5

Happy Eating!

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              I loveeee Seafood - who's with me?!

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3 August 2015

Marcello Pizzeria and Restaurants - Gnocchi it Up!

To many people's surprise, I don't often eat on Commercial Drive. I know there are a bunch of amazing restaurants down the drive and it sounds crazy, but I live far so what can I do. :P Luckily, my coworkers gave me a reason to go because they decided on a dinner at Marcello Pizzeria.

 I didn't try the Al Due Formaggi but it looked really delicious.

 The Pasticciati ($14.95) is a gnocchi that's sauteed in a cream and meat sauce. It looked stunning and judging from the reaction on my coworker's faces, they all loved it.

This is the Al Pomodoro Gnocchi ($14.95) with extra sauce. I was really close to getting this but I couldn't stand the thought of having absolutely no protein! I need my meat!

What I ended up doing was I asked the server if I could get a tomato meat sauce (kind of like a bolognese sauce) since I knew they serve a cream and meat sauce. In the end, they let me, and it was sooooo good!!! The meat made a big difference and the gnocchi was just perfect. They were little pillows of fluff.

We all ended up getting a Mascarpone Cream ($9.50) because they were highly recommended and I would absolutely say the same. It's fat in a glass but I didn't care at all. Every single bite of that cream along with the soaked lady fingers were heaven. I would come back just for this dessert alone.

Overall, Marcello completely exceeded my expectations and I have to say it's up there for authentic Italian cuisine in Vancouver!

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

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

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             SO YUMMY!

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