Thursday, 5 May 2016

Jam cafe: pulled pork pancakes please!

I saw on Vancitybuzz that there is a restaurant called Jam cafe, Victoria's breakfast spot, taking over the previous Cafe Medina location. After seeing a photo of their pulled pork pancakes and I was  sold.  I was planning to have brunch with a couple of girl friends so I suggested the place and off we went. We went at 9:30 in the morning and still had to wait for about 20-30 minutes. The line up was piling!

The interior felt very rustic and I felt in love with this world map right away. I really liked the wood/nature on top of the white bricks. It took us a little while to choose from the menu because they all sounded good and there were many options. I was tempted to order the red velvet pancakes but I naturally gravitated towards the savoury dishes.  I am a savoury breakfast person so I really wanted to try their pulled pork pancakes.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Re-Up BBQ: Fried chicken? No. Best biscuits EVER

My friends and I went on a fried chicken crawl, looking for the best fried chicken in Vancity. I've been to LA chicken before and it was delicious but it was unfortunately too far for us to travel by transit. We looked up a couple of other places and many recommended Re-up in New Westminster so we decided to make a trip out there to try out their fried chicken.

I am not very familiar with restaurants in Richmond but I've been seeing more photos of New West restaurant food on social media (i.e. Longtail etc.). I think the city has developed a lot over the last couple of years and numerous delicious places are starting to pop up where rent is more affordable.

Re-up is inside the River Market inside the New West Quay and it is nested in a cafeteria like environment. I was pleasantly surprised to see Longtail right beside Re-up. From the IG photos I've seen of Longtail, I assumed that it was a restaurant.

We ended up ordering the chicken bucket which turned out to be more like a chicken platter. It came with a whole chicken and also four biscuits which was perfect for the four of us.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Fat Mao: Lucky Cat serving Asian noodles (not ramen!)

This is my second time at Fat Mao. The first time I went to Fat Mao, I thought it was a ramen restaurant, only to find out that they serve various types of Asian noodles. They had Beef noodle on the menu last time but it was all out by the time we got there so Zach and I settled for the braised duck noodles. I remember the food being good but nothing spectacular. The duck was cooked well as it fell right off of its bones. I really wanted a beef noodle soup though so left the restaurant half satisfied.

This time around, we really didn't want to make dinner so we opted to go to Fat Mao. We checked out Phnom Phenh first but of course it was packed with people.

Fat Mao wasn't too crowded and we were guided to our seats right away. I liked their manga menus and how they've decorated the restaurant with physical copies of mangas. Apparently Fat mao means lucky cat in Cantonese which I didn't know. This explains why there were cats everywhere in the restaurant, including on the menu.

The water was served is mason jars (so hipster) 

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Hawker's delight: A Hidden Gem on Main Street

So I am taking 3 week off in May to travel to South East Asia! I am embarrassed to say this but I am extremely unfamiliar with South East Asian cuisine.  I think I only started eating it maybe a year ago and I tried laksa for the FIRST time this year #foodiefail.. but as we say.. better late than never! To enhance my South East Asian cuisine experience, my travel buddies decided to meet at Hawker's delight to discuss our travel plans. 

I've never heard of this place until Aldi suggested it. It is apparently a Singaporean style restaurant but for some reason when he said a Singaporean restaurant on Main St. I imagined a large scale restaurant similar to a dim sum place. My boyfriend and I took the public transit and we almost missed the place because it was very small. It is not a fancy looking restaurant in any way but it does have a nice, cozy feel to it. It reminded me of local, unknown but delicious restaurants that are hidden inside the streets of Seoul.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Sunny Dragon Restaurant: Korean Chinese food 101

If you've never had Chinese style Korean food, you're missing out. These are sold everywhere in Korea and they also deliver everywhere on their motorbikes. You will easily find a place that will deliver right to your doors, and also pick up the dishes afterwards. It is inexpensive to order them in Korea but in Vancouver, it's like going to an average restaurant. 

The choices you will get from "Joong kook jib" (Chinese house) varies. The most popular is a black bean paste noodles (Jja jang myun) or seafood spicy noodles (jjam bbong).

Any joong kook jib will come with these particular side dishes. The yellow stuff is picked radish (moo, or dan mu ji) and the white things are raw onions. We pour vinegar on the picked radish to give it a sour taste. The black paste sauce is also served on a mini plate because people like to dip the onions in them. Korean Chinese restaurants isn't necessarily about being fancy or delicious. Well, it is to a point but I think they are more known if they are not tasty versus being tasty. Saying that, it is difficult to find a restaurant that doesn't make good Korean Chinese food because it is considered something so basic for Koreans. Almost as if it is a convenience store next door.

We ordered special combo A - $27.99

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Bodega On Main: My first go at Spanish Tapas

I've passed by Bodega many times but I didn't know what type of restaurant it was until recently. I am not familiar with Spanish tapas but I love the concept of sharing small dishes with others (i.e. Japanese izakaya). Similar to Korean cuisine, the smaller dishes are shared with everyone and this way, you not only get to try various dishes but also share a moment with those at the table.

The restaurant was nicely designed with unique posters on one wall, a beautiful bar on one side and rest were kept quite minimalistic.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Afghan Horseman Restaurant: the first Afghan restaurant in Vancity

This was my first time trying Afghan food and I assumed it was similar to other middle eastern cuisine I've tried before (i.e. Lebanese, etc.). I was surprised to find out that it was middle eastern cuisine with a Greek twist to it. I believe this restaurant is the first Afghani restaurant that opened in Vancouver and it's been open for 41 years now. If they've been open for that long, they must be doing something right!

Friday, 29 January 2016

Forty Ninth Parallel Cafe & Lucky's Doughnuts (Kitsilano): donut worry, be happy

So the reason Zach and I didn't get dessert at Maenam was because we wanted to drop by 49 Parallel for donuts. I personally enjoy this location much better than the one in Mount Pleasant due to the brightness of the cafe. I also used to live around here so naturally, I came to this one more often. Now that I am in East Vancouver, I have not been here since the summer.

It was a Saturday afternoon but I did not expect it to be SO busy. There was a lineup far outside the cafe and everyone was looking for seats. Luckily, Zach and I were going to get a coffee & donut combo to-go and walk down to Kitsilano beach for a stroll. While in line, we realized that they were hosting the hot chocolate festival. They had a deal on hot chocolate & donut for $6 (it may have been $6.50) so we decided to get that instead. I've tried many of their donuts already: peanut butter & jam, salted caramel, oreo, lemon mergue and etc. but they had a couple new ones I never tasted before.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Maenam: pomelo salad for days!

I've heard of Maenam for a long, long time but frankly, I never understood the beauty of Southeast Asian food until recently. I think it's because I grew up eating JUST Korean food and I was very much used to the flavours and ingredients used in Korean cooking. Korean food is delicious but we don't use ingredients that are used in Southeast Asian cooking (i.e. coconut milk, cilantro, limes, lemon grass, curry leaf etc.). More recently, tried a couple of recipes with coconut milk and realized that it wasn't so bad. I also went to Laksa King a couple of weeks ago and tried laksa for the first time and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I've  heard that Maenam is Seth Rogen's favourite place to eat in Vancity (I may be completely wrong) but a couple of my friends did see him at the restaurant here and there. So when I saw Maenam on the Dineout list and I knew that it was my time to finally try it (not because of Seth Rogen). The lunch menu was only $25 so I booked a reservation and went on a Saturday at 12:30. It was empty when we arrived and we were provided with an option of ordering from the normal menu or the Dineout. The Dineout menu was basically 1 appetizer, 3 main dishes (one salad, one stir fry and one curry) from the regular menu. These dishes are normally $15-16/ dish so by choosing the Dineout option, we saved about $10. Unfortunately, the lunch menu did not come with desserts but they were on the menu for $3.  In the end, it would've been cheaper even with desserts to go with the lunch option versus. dinner.

I wasn't a big fan of these tables... and the restaurant was a lot smaller than what I thought! They had a beautiful bar and it was big enough to sit several people.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant: finger lickin' good

The first time I had Ethiopian food was in Montreal and it was at a restaurant called Nil Bleu (Blue Nile). I left the restaurant with such a positive impression of Ethiopian cuisine because it was finger lickin' good. If you order a platter, it will come with a huge dish with variety of different options. I always opted for the meat option but I generally found the veggies to be extremely tasty as well. The 2nd time I had Ethiopian food was in Kenya and of course it was as good as I remembered it to be. 

Recently,I was meeting up with some of the girls I went to Kenya with and we really wanted to go to an East African restaurant. We weren't aware of any Kenyan restaurants in Vancouver so we decided to try Harambe Ethiopian restaurant on Commercial Drive. 

I was the first one to arrive and when I opened the door, I was welcomed by a friendly waitress. The place was quite empty and it was a lot smaller than I had anticipated. The tables and the setup was slightly tacky but I didn't want to judge the place without trying the food first. 

One thing I did really appreciate was the art work that was all around the restaurant. It was colourful and very pleasing to the eye!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Torafuku : Worth the hype?

 This was my second time at Torafuku and I was excited that my friends wanted to come here for Dineout 2016. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed for the first two weeks of January so my friend had to make the reservation through e-mail. Those without reservation were turned away. Apparently no one picks up when you call even when they are open. So if you're still wanting to go.. e-mail them.

Another interesting thing was their water! They put a cinnamon stick in it so it had a hint of cinnamon flavour which I actually enjoyed.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Jethro's Fine Grub (Fraser): Cake for breakfast

I've only been to Jethros on Dunbar so this was my first time visiting the one on Fraser. I was surprised to see that there was no lineup and we got seats right away. The menu was exactly the same but I was surprised when I walked in because this location wasn't as nice as the one on Dunbar. It felt a little dingy, like an old diner that badly needed a renovation.. 

The menu and everything else was the same.  

We decided to come to Jethro's because of their pancakes. Zach was craving pancakes and I've never tried their massive pancakes before. I've been to Jethro's plenty of times during undergrad but I've always been scared to order the pancakes due to its size. When I saw people getting takeouts in a pizza box, I was like.. "Oh hell no". I didn't want to eat a whole cake for breakfast.