gracecheung604 | write on time: January 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Taste of BC by Liberty Wine

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On January 18th, I had the delight of attending the Taste of BC 2011 hosted by Liberty Wine Merchants. I got to sample a ton of wines, and lots of food. I was so busy eating that I only managed to snap a few photos.
I have always been a fan of terrines, and this one from the Savoury Chef is amazing. It's a Sloping Hill Farm headcheese with some North Arm Farm baby beets, some Okanagan quince preserves all on top of a rosemary focaccia crisp. They are tiny little bites, so I had about four of them. Really fresh focaccia and nicely made headcheese.
One of my other faves was the offering that Central City Brewing offered up. They did Grilled Cheese, done on the spot, with a bit of Stout Cheddar, smokey bacon, and a ball of tomato soup. Yes, molecular gastronomy here at Taste of BC! The grilled cheese was one of the more satisfying samples I had at this event...and yes, I ate another four. The tomato soup was amazing...just pops in your mouth, and they served it warm...so surprisingly good!
Here is the balls of tomato soup...it deceptively looks like little cherry tomatoes, but really, it's SO much more delicious and tasty than that.
Another yummy offering was the Pork Rillette and Chorizo served up the The Butcher (at 10th and Sasamat)...I'd have to say...though I didn't have four servings...I was tempted!
There were lots of other foods available, and I did have about a dozen oysters from Rodney's...sadly, that photo didn't turn out well. I loved their cocktail napkin quote: Fresh out of bed...so Punny!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pizza Hut - home of the stuffed crust!

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I don't care what you say about thin-crust versus deep dish pizzas, but sometimes, I just have to go for a pie that brings back memories of my childhood. Growing up with a mom that wasn't (and isn't still) the best cook, we ordered pizzas a lot!
Since we had B's son with us, we started off with a plain cheese pizza for him. I don't know about you, but the bubbly cheese on this looks pretty good...Not that I would steal food from a child, but I was tempted...
For us adults, we indulged in the Supreme Pizza. As their menu says, when what you crave is everything, this pizza is for you. Packed with pepperoni, sausage, and ground beef for the meat lover you, there are also green peppers, sliced mushrooms, and red onions. Top it all with mozzarella and color me happy, Supremely Happy!
Oh, and did I forget to mention...we got it with Stuffed Crust? That's where they put cheese inside the crust so that you get some ooey-ness even at the last bite. To be honest though, I eat this slice from the crust in, the cheese is that good. What do you do when faced with a stuffed crust pizza? 

Pizza Hut (Royal Square Mall) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

West End Eats - Motomachi

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Yes, Vancouver has its share of ramen places...here is my latest post on Vancity Buzz.
As usual food porn will be featured here, don't despair.
Clever use of chopsticks holder and rest.
Extra BBQ Pork Ramen in a Shoyu broth - get the extra...
Bamboo Charcoal Dark Miso Ramen
Gyoza - only four, but they're pretty big!
Liked the photos? Check out the rest of the post.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sloppress Launch

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See the amazing selection of cheeses that Benton Brothers brought to the Sloppress Launch? I was just at their booth at Taste of BC and this was the exact opposite...no BC cheese here at all. in the upper left is my favourite cheese in the world...Epoisse...if you like your cheese stinky...run and get this!

Below are a selection of items from Re-Up BBQ and Dragon Truck - in fact, that's how we found the place, because the truck was parked out front! 
The infamous pulled pork sandwich...
It was good, but I think I will need to try it from the truck for full effect. I scored some chocolate too, but had it in my purse and then nommed it before I took a picture. I do recall, it was from Hagensborg and waas their Truffle Pig...sort of what my nickname should be. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Earls, the same, but different

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As many of you already know, I love Earls and have written about them for brunch, meet and greet with the Seahawks and their yummy smores. But I decided to try yet another location...over the Lions Gate Bridge.
They have a gorgeous heated and covered patio, so this was where we decided to park ourselves. It's still Earl's, but it's different! Started off with a bottle of wine, I loved the bottle.
One of the things I always order at Earls is their Sicilian pizza, loaded with Italian meats such as Genoa salami, spicy capicollo, and bacon! To make it cheesy, they use a blend of cheddar (for flavour) and montery jack (for ooeyness). Sprinkle some fresh sliced basil and colour me happy! For non-meat-lovers, give their Californian a try. It's loaded with baby shrimp and topped with pesto and sundried tomatoes. Not loaded with tomato sauce, it actually is brushed with garlic butter and a sprinkling of feta cheese to finish it off.
Another standby is their wings...I love the crispiness of the skin and am horrified at the thought of it going all soggy because it was tossed in hot sauce. To avoid this, I've started ordering these wings dry with a serving of sauce on the side. This time, I asked for their Thai-style sauce, which is thick and tangy sweet. And yes, I do actually eat the celery with the blue cheese dip. But sometimes, I pour the Thai sauce all over it instead of the cheese dip...
And so, as the night goes on and the bottle of wine is drained, dessert is needed. My favourite other than the Smores? A Grey Goose martini was ordered...olives make a perfect dessert, don't you think? Earl's (West Vancouver) on Urbanspoon

Chow Mein, Wontons and Bbq Duck at Congee Noodle House

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Congee Noodle House on Urbanspoon
After a rather disastrous dinner of chicken chow mein a few weeks ago at Honolulu Cafe, I decided to go back to my tried and true Congee Noodle House to get my fix.
Super crunchy...I love how they don't pour the sauce over ALL the noodles and leave some unsoaked bits. The sauce fairly mild, chicken broth based and loaded with bean sprouts, sliced mushrooms and chicken strips. 
Take some of the crispy bits out, then spoon some sauce over it, and then if you're like me, pile a load of chili oil on it. For chow mein, I prefer chili oil because it is easy to drizzle all over. For fried rice noodles or something like that, I use chili paste, because it's easier to spread that way. I know...it's a very personal thing.
We also ordered Wonton with Rice noodles, a very easy version of comfort food. Soft noodles easy to slurp, a clean and clear broth that you can sip. It's a classic. One complaint I have about rice noodles is that they are really absorbent, and as such, they absorb the broth quicker than I can eat them. I've been left with a bowl of noodles and no broth at all.
The wontons here are amazing...loaded with chunks of shrimp in a very thin wrapper, it's perfect.
But my absolute favourite noodly comfort food is the BBQ Duck with Lai Fun. I've always loved the gamey, livery like texture of duck. The skin is crispy with a thin layer of fat. I could eat this everyday.
Theses noodles are less absorbent, which is a good thing, because these slippery noodles are tough to eat. Chopsticks and patience are the two tools you need to enjoy this dish. Be sure to ask for plum sauce when you get this, it's perfect for dipping the duck in. The sweetness of this sauce is a great way to balance the game-i-ness of the duck.
Do you have a favourite noodle combination? I would love to try new options because quite honestly, I'm getting a little bored of mine!
Oh, and two very important notes: they are "cash-only", and they do run out of stuff. Friends of mine have gone there post-Canucks action, and they were out of the BBQ Duck and the Roast Pork. Go early to avoid disappointment!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Phnom Penh Favourites

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Here is my latest post on VancityBuzz - this time, I review Phnom Penh, one of the only reasons I still make the trek to Chinatown. Here are the food porn photos. Click here for the review.
Order by numbers: Butter Beef #71
Order by numbers: Chicken Wings #78
Order by numbers: Dry Mix Noodles #6
Order by numbers: Lu Lac Beef with Egg on rice #35 (#34 if you want to go egg-less)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My first time at Kintaro...

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In my pursuit to venture away from Pho (which I love) I have decided to focus on another form of soup noodle bowl...namely the ramen. So one afternoon, having a chance to check out Kintaro at 1pm (instead of their insane-o lineups at noon), we decided to head over.
As we sat down and were about to order, one of the waitresses walked by with a bowl of meat...um, HELLO! We asked our waitress what it was and she said it was the Hanpayaro BBQ Pork...for $0.95! Um, yeah, we'll take one of those please an thank you. It's similar to what the Chinese serve when you order homemade soup at restaurants...it's all the stuff you get after the soup is made. The pork is super tender, as you would expect, and with a bit of kick to it.
I ordered the Miso Ramen, noted as Kintaro's best...it's essentially chunks of BBQ pork, with a handful of corn and then loaded up with bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and green onions. I loved the broth...I was drinking about four scoops of it before I even stirred the broth. The blend of soy bean paste is supposedly from various regions of Japan and then another twelve spices are added. I think having the pork as chunks instead of slices is a nice touch. (Tip: If there isn't enough pork for you, add the pork from Hanpayaro pork chunks.)
B decided to go uberhealthy and get the Vegetable Ramen. The noodles are buried under a massive pile of veggies, such as cabbage, nori (wakame), broccoli, cabbage, and bamboo shoots, along with the usual bean sprouts and corn. Oh, and the delightful addition of a boiled egg, but not marinated like the one we had at Sanpachi
We had planned to order their Gyoza before we spied the Hanpayaro BBQ Pork, so we ended up ordering it anyways. Nothing amazing here...nice crispy skin, but otherwise unremarkable. The dipping sauce was way too tangy, to the point of sourness...so not my cup of tea. I would definitely skip this and just stick with the Hanpayaro.
Look ma...it's an empty bowl...neither of us actually finished our bowls, but we liked our noodles enough to pay an extra $0.50 for their takeaway boxes.
Ironically, we both mocked three teenaged boys for not finishing their bowls, so we hung our heads in shame as we packed our leftovers.
Oh, one good thing about this place...you can ask for your soup to be "rich, medium or light" and you can get the pork slices in either "fatty, medium or lean". I like places that will cater to you...putting your preferences first. When you ask for rich, you get an ice cream scoopful of miso...it's insane.
Though they have takeout boxes for purchase if you can't finish, their menu actually states that they do not do takeout. Weird, right?
Kintaro Ramen on Urbanspoon

Ramen at Sanpachi

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Sanpachi on Urbanspoon
Looking to expand my ramen horizon, I invited @Maurice and @bennettchin to join me at Sanpachi for lunch back in December. Maurice had been there once, but was willing to join us to give it a second whirl.
Those familiar with this blog know that I like my food spicy. So of course, I ordered their Spicy Ramen. Maurice suggested I add an egg...so there it is. The ramen wasn't as bright red as it was shown in the menu (thank goodness) and it was spicy, but not overly so.
B ordered the mini combo of Nori Mayo and the Shio Ramen. His soup was quite tasty and probably better than mine overall. The chasu pieces of both noodles were really thin...papery slices. I'm not saying I want chunks like the kind you would get at Kintaro, but something I can't see through would be nice.
The Nori Mayo was interesting...reminded of me of Onigiri. Just a chunk of rice with some minced pork marinating with mayo, and wrapped with crispy nori. I really liked it, something about eating with your hands and the tiny bite-sizedness of the dish.
As part of the combo, you can actually order a half-sized portion of the ramen to go along with this. Or, if there are three of you...just share, which is exactly what we did!
Here is a closeup of my noodles...the chasu looks a little thicker here than B's Shio, but what I want to draw your attention to is the egg. It's an $1 add-on, and they call it the "tasty egg", as opposed to a bland egg, I suppose. What struck M is weird is that they serve you the egg whole, as in unsliced (is that a word?). It makes it a little weird to eat...as good as I am with chopsticks, I was having problems picking it up and slicing it open. But alas, success!
The yolk perfect...soft-boiled and as you can see, the marinade does permeate throughout the egg white, right through to the yolk. I would order this again, but perhaps would ask them to slice it in half for me...better presentation, wouldn't you say?
And you have to love the Japanese for their innovative way of saying 1am. I had no idea time 25 o'clock was...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Keg Thurlow - steak salad

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Keg Steakhouse and Bar - Thurlow on Urbanspoon
One of the best salads I've had in a long time - probably because it was loaded with STEAK! I went to the Keg last year with some co-workers for lunch and I didn't feel like something heavy (French onion soup and a Beef Dip are my go-tos) so I tried something different. 


I decided to go for the Steak Salad - and oh my goodness...when you order a salad and they ask you how you want your steak done? The Best! As you can see, medium rare is what I asked for. 
The chunks of steak are abundant and the bed of salad makes you feel quick healthy. Best of both worlds! 
One my of dining companions got their open faced steak sandwich with a pile of gravy...yeah, that looked good too! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dineout Preview for VancityBuzz

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Yay, we were invited to the Dineout Preview for Charm Modern Thai! Got to sample everything on their dineout menu and we even mad the event trending on Twitter!
Here are the food shots, but as usual...for the review, please click to the post on VancityBuzz.
The appetizer selection - Tiger Prawn Satays with Garlic Bread (two-year anny special), Duck Sticks and Rock Salt Prawns
Yummy Salmon Linguine...in green curry (two-year anny special).
Coconum Jumbo Scallops
Green Tea Chicken
Thai Tea ice cream, vanilla tapioco and chili choco torte
Ice cream! Charm Modern Thai on Urbanspoon

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