Archive | BC RSS feed for this section

I Think I’m Turning Japanese

14 Dec

If you live in the city of Vancouver, B.C., then you’re familiar with the infamously delicious Japadog. If not, I feel sorry for you. Truly I do. Because you’ve never bitten into and savored an Oroshi (below) or a Terimayo. Come to Vancouver, send me a message and we’ll fix that right up.

 

Foodie Tour: Downtown Vancouver

3 Aug

I’m going to be honest: I work in Downtown Vancouver, and, despite my love of food, when it comes to getting lunch or after-work drinks, sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to find a new place to eat. Most of the time, I’ve got a good ol’ sandwich from home tiding me over as I get through my workday. Needless to say, I was excited to get an invite to go on the Downtown Vancouver Foodie Tour by the owner and tour host- the wonderful Michelle Ng.

Dan Close Food Concepts
604.562.2634

Dan's meal in a bag!

The tour started at Victory Square, where we were only a few steps away from our first restaurant…which turned out to be nothing more than a white delivery van! No, this isn’t a bizarre abduction story. Dan Close Food Concepts is actually an online store the delivers meals made from organic, locally sourced ingredients. Once you get your meal, all you have to do is boil the food (it comes in a vacuum sealed bag) for a few minutes to finish it off.

On the Menu: Grilled Lois Lake Steelhead Salmon with Charred Lemon, Manitoba Wild Rice Salad with barley, dried fruit and curry citrus vinaigrette, and Grilled Asparagus.

I always forget how much I love wild rice. It was hard to believe this meal came from a bag it was so delicious!

Bon Chaz
426 W Hastings Street
604.626,7215

On the Menu: Original with Sea Salt, Banana Walnut and Matcha Green Tea flavoured Bon Chaz.

A cross between the French brioche and Mexican concha pastry, the bon chaz buns were eagerly polished off by my tour mates. I tried Bon Chaz at Eat Vancouver and loved the Original, so I gave the Matcha a try. The green tea flavour was hard to find. Owner, Michael, said that they had originally made the buns with strong matcha flavour, and people had complained it was too strong. Hmm… guess, I’ll stick with the Original for now.

Shangri-La Hotel Lobby Lounge
1128 West Georgia
604.689.1120

On the Menu: Freshly Baked Scones, Clotted Cream, In House Made Compote, Assorted Pastries, Loose Leaf Tea

This was my favourite stop on the tour- afternoon tea at the Shangri-La Hotel! This was my first high tea ever and it couldn’t have been any better. From the tea to the scones to the sinful pastries, everything about this was amazing. Wish my tea parties as a kid had been like this, sighhhh.

Fun facts:

During the construction of the hotel, monks blessed four items and buried them in the four corners of the foundation. These are said to be luck and good omens for the Shangri-La.

Head to the Lobby Lounge for the free tapas hour every weekday from 5-6pm

MARKET by Jean Georges
1128 West Georgia
604.695.1115

On the Menu: Black Truffle Pizza, Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna, House Soda

Dubbed “one of 100 things you have to try before you die,” the black truffle pizza was literally a food orgasm in my mouth. The smell of truffle always does something magical to my senses and it practically melted in my mouth. The house soda’s were made with fresh ingredients not the kind I got on the Refinery stop of the Granville Foodie Tour.

Sutton Place Wine Merchant
855 Burrard St.
604.642.2947

On the Menu: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cremeux with Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse Sable, Elephant Island Framboise 09 Fortified Wine

I’ve been meaning to take a wine course so I can properly understand how wine and food go together. This stop at the wine shop outside the Sutton Place gave me a nice lesson on pairing chocolate with a sweet, fruity wine. It was a great way to end the day and my education on yummy alternatives to the homemade lunch.

I’m going to be honest: I work in Downtown Vancouver, and, despite my love of food, when it comes to getting lunch or after-work drinks, sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to find a new place to eat. Most of the time, I’ve got a good ol’ sandwich from home tiding me over as I get through my workday. Needless to say, I was excited to get an invite to go on the Downtown Vancouver Foodie Tour by the owner and tour host- the wonderful Michelle Ng.

Dan Close Food Concepts

The tour started at Victory Square, where we were only a few steps away from our first restaurant…which turned out to be nothing more than a white delivery van! No, this isn’t a bizarre abduction story. Dan Close Food Concepts is actually an online store the delivers meals made from organic, locally sourced ingredients. Once you get your meal, all you have to do is boil the food (it comes in a vacuum sealed bag) for a few minutes to finish it off.

On the Menu: Grilled Lois Lake Steelhead Salmon with Charred Lemon, Manitoba Wild Rice Salad with barley, dried fruit and curry citrus vinaigrette, and Grilled Asparagus.

I always forget how much I love wild rice. It was hard to believe this meal came from a bag it was so delicious!

Bon Chaz

On the Menu: Original with Sea Salt, Banana Walnut and Matcha Green Tea flavoured Bon Chaz.

A cross between the French brioche and Mexican concha pastry, the bon chaz buns were eagerly polished off by my tour mates. I tried Bon Chaz at Eat Vancouver and loved the Original, so I gave the Matcha a try. The green tea flavour was hard to find. Owner, Michael, said that they had originally made the buns with strong matcha flavour, and people had complained it was too strong. Hmm… guess, I’ll stick with the Original for now.

Shangri-La Hotel Lobby Lounge

On the Menu: Freshly Baked Scones, Clotted Cream, In House Made Compote, Assorted Pastries, Loose Leaf Tea

This was my favourite stop on the tour- afternoon tea at the Shangri-La Hotel! This was my first high tea ever and it couldn’t have been any better. From the tea to the scones to the sinful pastries, everything about this was amazing. Wish my tea parties as a kid had been like this, sighhhh.

Fun facts:

During the construction of the hotel, monks blessed four items and buried them in the four corners of the foundation. These are said to be luck and good omens for the Shangri-La.

Head to the Lobby Lounge for the free tapas hour every weekday from 5-6pm

Market

On the Menu: Black Truffle Pizza, House Soda

Dubbed “one of 100 things you have to try before you die,” the black truffle pizza was literally a food orgasm in my mouth. The smell of truffle always does something magical to my senses and it practically melted in my mouth. The house soda’s were made with fresh ingredients not the kind I got on the Refinery stop of the Granville Foodie Tour.

Sutton Place Hotel

On the Menu: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cremeux with Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse Sable, Elephant Island Framboise 09 Fortified Wine

I’ve been meaning to take a wine course so I can properly understand how wine and food go together. This stop at the wine shop outside the Sutton Place gave me a nice lesson on pairing chocolate with a sweet, fruity wine. It was a great way to end the day and my education on yummy alternatives to the homemade lunch.

It’s a social world out there and There’s no shortage of Vancouver restaurants that you can follow on Twitter or like on Facebook or become mayor of on Foursquare. The most savvy companies aren’t just

Foodie Tour: Granville Street

2 Jul

Last week, my friend and I were invited to be a part of the media launch for a food tour of Granville Street. Foodie Tour is a great company started by Michelle Ng, a foodie with a love of people. Her company is a marriage of these two passions, bringing people from all walks of life together to meet and eat all in the name of delicious food.

Michelle Ng of Foodie Tour and Charles Gauthier of Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA)

There are three tours you can go on: Granville Street ($10), Downtown Vancouver ($40) and Richmond ($40). The Granville Street tour is sponsored by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), which sees Foodie Tour as another great addition to this growing entertainment and cultural district within the city.

Each of the three tours takes you to 4-6 different restaurants, where you’re greeted by samples of their signature dishes, cocktails and summer specials. You can sign up for a tour right now here: Foodie Tour events.

(Note: Unfortunately, I was only able to stay for 4 restaurants as I had to go to my friend’s dance show. So I’ll put a link to another review at the bottom of this post)

Michelle took us to 7 restaurants that will be showcased on the Granville Tour throughout the summer. The complete list of restaurants on the tour are: Creme de la Crumb, Culinaria at the Art Institute, ShuRaku, Cinema Public House, Granville Room, Dougiedog, Cafe Barcelona, The Edge, Refinery, SIP, Twisted Fork and Wings

Twisted Fork
1147 Granville St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-0749

Weekdays 6pm-12am; Weekends 10am-12am

Twisted Fork samples

Samples: Cured Duck Breast on Brioche crouton; Roasted beet, Grilled pear, Goat Cheese and Arugula atop a Baguette crouton with Balsamic reduction; Frozen Chocolate Terrine with house made Raspberry Sorbet and Fresh Wild Mint. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sorbet, but I’ll still always be a fan of chocolate. We also had a really refreshing strawberry and basil sangria- a first for me!

The Refinery
1115 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
604.687.8001

5:00pm – 1:00am Tuesday to Thursday
5:00pm – 2:00am Friday to Saturday

Refinery Shandy Cocktail

Resident Refinery mixologist, Lauren Mote, told us the surprising fact that their cocktails are actually good for you! This is because she makes her own bitters from fresh fruits, herbs, roots, etc. I could tell what a difference this made with the shandy she concocted using freshly squeezed ginger beer, rhubarb bitters, sugar cane juice and topped with ginger ale. They have offer a Cocktail Program where you can learn more about making cocktails with bitters as well.

SIP Resto Lounge
1117 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 687-7474

5:00pm-2:00am 7 Days a week
**$10 Brunch available Saturday and Sundays, 12pm

Southwest Kicka** Benny a la SIP

I LOVED the Southwest Kicka** Benny brought up from SIP (it’s located directly below the Refinery). I’ve never had a fried poached egg before, but it was DELICIOUS. Take note everyone: SIP is now open for Brunch on weekends starting at 12pm- and this Benny is on the menu!

Edge Social Grille and Lounge
1100 Granville St. at Helmcken
Vancouver, BC
604-681-EDGE (3343)

Edge Social Grille and Lounge Samples

Boasting one of the biggest patios on Granville Street, this seemed like a great place to chill out with girl friends after a day of shopping. Samples: Flatbread with Beef Tenderloin and Blue Cheese; Flatbread with Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese; Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho; Chocolate and Van Gogh Expresso Vodka Truffles; White Sangria. I especially liked the chocolate truffles made with Van Gogh vodka, which really deepened the chocolate flavor for me (like I said, I’m always a fan of chocolate lol).

Granville Room
957 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 633-0056

Daily: 4pm – 2am

Mr. Pink at Granville Room

Sample: Mr. Pink- Belvedere vodka, muddled watermelon, mint syrup and lime juice. This drink was easily my pick for Summer cocktail of 2010 for it’s sweet, fresh and only slight alcohol taste. We were also served a sample of Seared Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Cucumber Tomato Salsa on a Flatbread Crisp (I didn’t get a picture of it unfortunately).

Alas, this was where I had to head off. For the rest of the tour, check out Follow Me Foodie’s review here.

From the sounds of her review, I really missed out. So I’ll have to make it a point to drop by ShuRaku Sake Bar and Bistro, and  Culinaria this summer. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time 2 weeks ago and actually got to sample the Cinnamon bun with vanilla bean cream cheese at  Creme de la Crumb. It’s decadent and oh so sinfully good!

Eat, drink and be foodie 🙂

HST vs. ijustlovefood, Round 1

30 Jun

Tomorrow HST will finally go into effect in British Columbia. This means that many things that we once only paid one tax for, will now get two, more than doubling the tax added to the bill of many of our favorite things. Including food. I’m truly sobbing on the inside at this fact.

Here’s what’s changing:

  • Restaurant food: from 5% to 12% tax
  • Snack food (aka the best things ever!): from 5% to 12% tax
  • Alcohol: from 5% to 12% tax
  • Groceries (aka the necessities that don’t fall under sugary happiness inducing “snack foods”): still no tax whatsoever

Clearly, part of this is a government ploy to encourage people to cook more at home, eat healthier and curb their drinking habits. How very Conservative.

And yet, after I thought about it for awhile, this HST thing on food didn’t seem as bad. Sure, you’ll see less restaurant reviews (and possibly less restaurants in Vancouver– eep!) from me, but that means I’ll probably get better at cooking and baking. Which I’m actually really excited about. I’m even trying out a new recipe tomorrow for a Canada Day BBQ in honour of HST and the holiday…

…then again, paying more to enjoy a Ben and Jerry’s, Almond Pocky and Lays BBQ chips doesn’t sound very appealing either.

How do you think HST going to affect your favorite food and drink obsessions?

Goodbye sweet thang!

John’s Place

26 May

John’s Place

www.johnsplace.ca

723 Pandora Avenue
Victoria, BC V8W 1N9
(250) 389-0711

Monday – Thursday: 7:00am – 9:00pm
Friday: 7:00am – 10:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 4:00pm | 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Sunday: 8:00am – 4:00pm | 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Food: 5/5

Ambiance: 4.5/5

Service: 5/5

I’m a huge fan of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so when I went over to Victoria, BC last Easter, I couldn’t pass up the chance to eat at what could only be called a “dive”. John’s Place is the BEST dive I’ve ever been to. It was so good that we had breakfast there two days straight! (Wish I’d gone for lunch and dinner too, but that’s what return trips are for..)

I forgot to take a picture of the actual place, but when you walk in all you see are walls covered in pictures of famous people. In true dive style, many are autographed by the celebrities who’ve visited John’s Place and loved it just as much as the locals and many Vancouverites (like myself) that are willing to take a 2 hour ferry ride for the delicious fare at John’s. Here’s a picture from the website:

Every plate at John’s was enough to fill you up till lunch (we often food coma’d for several hours afterwards). Here’s what we had:

Strawberry Smoothie- 4.5/5 and Mimosa- 4/5

My smoothie was too sweet, but otherwise yummy. I’m not a fan of alcohol before noon, but this mimosa wasn’t half bad. I think it was made with fresh squeezed orange juice..

The Belgian Waffle with Special Cream Cheese Syrup and a side of Italian Chicken Sausage- 5/5

Described on the menu as being “cake-like” and “a little soft on the inside”- it was one heavenly bite after another. Airy with a crispy crust, this was more like a the best waffle I’ve ever had than a Belgian waffle, which is thick and sponge-y with sugar crystals present in every bite. I still really liked this interpretation though, especially with the cream cheese syrup- a first for me! It was really sweet, but creamy and silky smooth. I got the Italian Chicken Sausage because the waitress made it sounds too good to pass up and it really was divine. Full of flavour and seasoned well, this really rounded out the whole dish for me.

Yankee Corned Beef Hash- 5/5

I’ve never had Corned Beef that wasn’t from a can (I am Filipino after all..) and I’ve gotta say I may never eat corned beef from a can again. The onions were cooked perfectly and gave the meat a great sweet, nutty flavour. I also really enjoyed the potatoes that came with it, which were nicely seasoned with salt and pepper. We got scrambled eggs instead of poached, and while these weren’t any greater than average, they were still yummy.

The Chicken Sausage Eggs Benny- 6/5

Next to pancakes, eggs benedict are my absolute fave breakfast food. You can have your Benny put on top of either a bagel, English muffin or their homemade cornbread. I got the cornbread, which was made savoury with spices and red pepper. The eggs were cooked to medium perfection and the holliandaise sauce was delicious. The chicken sausage was just as good as I remembered from my waffles, and the potatoes were equally as memorable.

The Verdict

My Top 5 faves: the benny+hollaindaise, the waffles, the cream cheese syrup, the chicken sausage and the potatoes.

If you’re ever in Victoria, BC- definitely go out of your way for this place. You won’t find a bad review anywhere- only people urging you to get there as quick as you can because it fills up fast. No doubt why 🙂