gracecheung604 | write on time: September 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Homer Street Cafe

Prior to the Lionel Richie concert earlier in May, we decided to pop into Homer St. Cafe for dinner. I had been previously, but only for brunch and was eager to try their dinner offering. 
20140529_191011 We decided to start with something slightly healthy, their Feature Salad. Fresh greens, croutons, and just a bit of quinoa. Not enough to be filling but definitely a great accompaniment to our next plate. 20140529_191020 We decided to go for the whole hog, or rather, the whole chicken...Rotisserie Whole Chicken. Half costs $26 and full is $32, so for me, this was no-brainer. Twice the meat for $6 more...c'mon. The skin isn't as crispy as I would like, but the meat is tender and juicy, even the white meat, which I am always hesitant to indulge in. I did like the thigh and wings just a bit better. The secret to happiness is finding an eating partner that likes the parts you don't! I do wish the skin was crispier though.  
20140529_191034 Four sides, we got the Pee Wee Potatoes, lovingly slathered in chicken drippings and a bit of sea salt...We also got some slaw, but they were more to satisfy appearances than to actually enjoy. 

Take Note:

  • Brunch was better than dinner
  • Close proximity to Rogers Arena, great for pre-game dining
  • Make reservations or just sit by the kitchen

Homer St. Café & Bar on Urbanspoon

La Cigale Bistro - French Eats in Kits

A few months ago, we tried out the new incarnation of Bistrot Bistro, now named Le Cigale, located in Kitsilano. I hadn't been to the old restaurant, but have been on a bit of a French cuisine kick lately, so I decided it was time to give it a try. 
IMG_5630 Instead of the usual bread and butter, dinner kicked off with little pastry puffs, sprinkled with sesame. These was delightful, flakey and just a hint of saltiness.
Loads of cheesy goodness, melting lovingly over the vessel, the French Onion Soup does not disappoint. It was all I could do to refrain from slurping it up at the danger of burning my mouth. I always get a teaspoon with my soups, I find this helps to slow me down, just a bit. It's also a great utensil to scrape off all the luscious cheese. The broth was dark, sweet and loaded with caramelized onions. It's definitely a rich dish, but if you are a fan of French Onion Soup, this is one of the better ones in Vancouver. 
IMG_5648 This is their Lamb Shank, love meats that are served on the bone. And this was literally falling off the bone. The veggies accompanying the lamb were super tender as well. The flavours are mildly Moroccan but my favourite part was gnawing on the bone. I eat with my hands, and not ashamed. 
IMG_5642 This is another "on the bone" dish...the Duck Confit, but it's one of their specials and not part of their regular menu. Call ahead if you want to ensure it's there the night you go. the skin is crispy, not crazy crispy, but has enough of a crunch. I really enjoyed the casual chop on the potato too, it's French food without being fussy. 

Take Note:

  • Weekend Brunch available - and yes, French Onion Soup is on the menu
  • Dinner seems to be better than lunch for food and service
  • $32 3-Course Prix Fixe menu available Sun-Thurs.

La Cigale French Bistro on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mahony & Sons - Stamps Landing

Last month, I was lucky enough to be invited to a media preview for the newest location of Mahony & Sons. Their first location was at UBC and the second location was at Coal Harbour with a great view. It's popular with those working in the heart of downtown. Now, they have opened a new location by Granville Island, taking over the old Monk McQueens location at Stamps Landing.
IMG_6287 This is the only Mahony location that offers an Oyster Bar. The new waterfront location was probably the inspiration for this. Although most people think a crisp white wine with some oysters, the brothers say that a pint of Guinness is a good accompaniment too! 
IMG_6280 Order up a platter and treat yourself after a long day at the office! 
downstairsbar The Downstairs Bar is welcoming and features lots of whiskey choices and lots of beer on tap as well. This is the largest of the three Mahony & Sons, at about 10,000 square feet! 
IMG_6292 This is a shot of the Upstairs Bar, again with a large variety of beers and spirits. Both floors seat 150 inside and another 300 on the patio. 
IMG_6290 Ah, yes, the Patio. The views are nothing short of stunning. There are semi-private patios, a double-sided fireplace, banquettes and hightops, pretty much everything you need to enjoy a fantastic sunset. 
Throughout the restaurant, there are hints of the ancestry of the Mahony family. For example, this is a homage to the brother's great, great, great grandfather Barney, who bought and operated The Good Woman Pub in Australia in the 1870s. 
IMG_6298 Also upstairs is a Semi-Private Patio. The 12-seater table would be great for small birthday parties, intimate family dinners and so much more.
Executive Chef Paul Ngyuen presented us with four amazing courses, each showcasing the wide variety of flavours on the menu. In addition to traditional Irish fare, you can also find items that truly reflect the cultural diversity of Vancouver.
Up first was the Scallop and Beet Salad. It's very lightly dressed, which I loved, and tossed with some Arugula and Goat Cheese. The key to the success of this dish is the Scallop...and it was perfectly seared. The beats were sweet and there were lots of them. Goat cheese is a classic pairing and this dish was a success overall. 
IMG_6305 The highlight of the night for me was their Pacific Coast Chowder. The chowder was pleasantly light with hints of lemon, with lots of seafood. The garlic buttered crouton was perfect for dipping. What really made the dish for me was the fresh seafood, which included Salt Spring Island mussels, chunks of salmon and cod, as well as some prawns, very West Coast!
IMG_6312 For a heartier entree, we tried out the Lamb Dip. The sandwich was loaded with shaved lamb, and the fennel jam was very noticeable. The dip is natural au jus with hints of lemon. The pretzel bun is a nice touch too, giving the sandwich a pleasant twist.
IMG_6315 And for something completely unexpected item, we were served a Thai Penang Curry. The chicken was moist and tender, and the curry flavours were mild and complemented the jasmine rice perfectly. I'm not an avid curry fan, but the presence of lemongrass, lime and chilies made this a winner for me. 

Take Note:

  • The patio(s) are breathtaking.
  • Valet is only $7.
  • The Mahony Platter is great if you're with a group.

Mahony & Sons on Urbanspoon


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