31 January 2012

Edible Canada at the Market (Granville Island)

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Ah ha - I was so happy to see this name on the Dine Out selection. I have been wanting to try this place ever since I learned of what it is about. The last time when I was taking a casual stroll at Granville Island, I even went in to take a peek. Without hesitation, I took the liberty of everyone and made a reservation.

Edible Canada features ingredients from around Canada. Formally named Edible British Columbia, the original idea was to feature ingredients and items from BC. Then it expanded the idea to the entire Canada, thus changing their name to Edible CANADA.

The bistro was quite spacious with open kitchen and earthy tone furnishings. It was quite comfy to dine in and I bet it'd be more so under the sun. The bistro and the culinary shop were connected together; you can easily get the culinary products from there.

For the menu items, it definitely brought out the adventurous side of oneself. It didn't take me long to decide what to order.

30 January 2012

Little Nest (Commercial)

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It has been a while since we last saw C, T and Miss Little Vi. Since C is back in town for the weekend, we were up to a catch up lunch. Just so that Miss Little Vi would join us, I spent some time researching online to find a place where it would accommodate Miss Little Vi.

Little Nest seemed to be a name mentioned over and over as a kid-friendly place. From their website, it also seemed like there's lots to place for kids to place. That is just perfect!

When we arrived there, we were lucky to find parking fairly quickly. Inside the place, it definitely felt like eating at a kindergarten. No, I rephrase - it's like dining at a pre-school. The kids were everywhere ranging from new born babies to probably about 3 years old. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great place for kids to play. In fact, I think Miss Little Vi was quite liking it as well.

29 January 2012

r.tl (Yaletown)

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It was a rare occasion where it started out as a small group, turned into an event that was memorable. It seemed like food is the source that brought everyone together. Using Dine Out as the stem, the group at work decided to visit r.tl on a Friday night.

The fire pot right outside of the restaurant was very interest, and it's REAL! Inside, it wasn't as big as I thought it would be. The colour tone was mostly brown towards red. My attention was immediately drown to the wine display along the wall - very interesting looking. There were also a couple round mirrors reflecting on the interior.

Before our tables were ready, we were just chilling out at the bar section where the bright white light and dark red have strong contrast to each other. Right underneath the wall of wine, there was a basket of bread. I really like how it's situated - making it looked like inside a bakery. We didn't order the bread but I assumed it would have come with the chipotle-like butter.

The menu has quite a number of items that I would like to try, which always makes the experience interesting. It's better than having nothing that I want on the menu.

Cassis Passion ($6) - 6/6
It's a non-alcoholic drink that combined cassis puree (dark portion) with passion fruit concentrate on top. It was nicely presented and very enjoyable.

Mussels & Frites with Thai Green Curry - n/a
You have a choice between Thai Green Curry or Chipotle for this item. It was a good portion topped with what was characterized as authentic frites. The feedback from the people having this was definitely positive.

Tomato & Fresh Italian Burrata D.O.P. Salad - 6/6
I was having difficulty between this item and the salad as they both seemed interesting. At the end, I went with this since I was having Seafood Linguini as my main. I would easily be "mussel'd out" if both my appy and main were seafood! The server mentioned that the burrata was imported directly from Italian with the D.O.P. standard. My best friend Google spelt out the word - Denominazione di Origine Protetta - meaning Protected Designation of Origin. In short, it's a mark of optimal quality and high standards. Sounds intriguing, eh? Well - at least I was sold on this.

It turned out that the burrata was very creamy and soft; it literally melted in the mouth. Paired with a bit of balsamic reduction dressing, it was a light start of the meal. Presentation-wise, it was certainly very appetizing.

Seafood Linguini - 4/6
This has quite a bit of mussels and shrimps in it (with one piece of scallop). The linguini was cooked to just over the al dente texture. I like the flavour from the sundried tomato - it wasn't overly salty or anything. However, there were only a few pieces of it which was a pity.

New York Cheesecake - n/a
Typically, I would go for cheesecake as dessert. Perhaps I was trying to be a bit adventurous that I didn't go for this. Though I only have a small tasting bite, it was fairly creamy with just right amount of sweetness. The feedback from the group was also positive.

Saffron Gelato - 3/6
There were two scoops of the gelato with pistachios sprinkled over it. I thought the presentation was lacking a bit, making this looked blend. Personally, I would add on a little piece of mint leave just so it's a bite more inviting. Taste-wise, I have to admit I'm not a very big fan. The saffron (flowery) taste was a bit overpowering for me. Maybe I should have gone with the cheesecake? Oh well, I wouldn't know until I try right? =)

Overall, I think everyone enjoyed the food, the atmosphere, and the companies. It was definitely a nice ending to the work week and great start of the weekend. More than that, I was given the chance to explore a place that's been on my list for a while.

21 January 2012

Water St. Café (Gastown)

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An interesting piece of décor that fits the weather outside
It's that time of the year again - the 2012 Dine Out Vancouver event. It has became something that we tend to do every year. The event itself was good in the sense that we were more open to trying places we would typically hesitant to try. Usually, price would be the factor of it.

This year, Greeny and I started out our 1st Dine Out at the "Water St. Café" along with Lun and Yogi. Never heard of it? Perhaps you have passed by it so many times without realizing. Located right across from the Gastown Steam Clock, the restaurant has been there for more than 20 years! The interior was mostly black tone with quite a bit of historical feel to it. Given it was the 1st day of Dine Out Vancouver, it was a pretty busy night for sure.
I never knew the place has a second floor to it until we sat nearby the staircase. The location definitely gave it an advantage on the view of steam clock. No more waiting in the cold just to wait for the steam clock action. If you're lucky, the steam clock is just right in front of you. I bet the view in the morning would be even better.

11 January 2012

Le Panier (Seattle)

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By the time we finished the chowder, I was beyond full that I couldn't eat any more. Still, I didn't want to miss the chance of visiting Le Panier. It's a French pastry shop that many people mentioned online as well. We took a walk in the market before making our way there.

10 January 2012

Pike Place Chowder (Seattle)

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After the delicious mac-n-cheese, we went to hunt for Pike Place Chowder. I've been looking for chowder in a bread bowl for so long that I was very determine to have this. Anyone knows where I can find chowder in a bread bowl in Vancouver?

The store is inside the alley - there's a Lego like sign at the entrance, pointing people to the right direction. By the time we got there, most of the seating were taken already. It was obvious that a lot of people knows this place.

09 January 2012

Beecher's Handmade Cheese (Seattle)

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Even though we've drove down to Seattle a couple times already, this was the first time I did "food" related research before heading down. Beecher's Handmade Cheese is a name that kept coming up. It just so happened that I was having some serious mac'n cheese cravings at the time. So without saying, it made it to my "to eat" list.

08 January 2012

Thierry Chocolaterie Pastisserie Café (Downtown)

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There seemed to be many new chocolatier café popping out lately in the Metro Vancouver area. That means more choices for people and more excuses to indulge oneself. =)

Located at Downtown, Thierry has the look of high-end chocolate/pastisserie shop. Greeny and I were having lunch near-by and decided to go for a visit. Using the dark colour tone, it felt like shopping in a boutique store. The dark colours helps to bring out the colourful pastries that were in the display windows.

07 January 2012

Thomas Haas - Revisit (North Vancouver)

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There's no bad excuses to visit Thomas Haas, though mine is usually the same. But it's OK - what matters was that I got to enjoy it. It was business as usual - lots of people in the tiny North Van store. We were lucky to find seats pretty quickly and got our food at around the same time.

Moroccan Chicken Panini ($7.95) - 5/6
The moroccan chicken came with grilled chicken breast, apple slices, cinnamon, lettuce and chipotle mayo. The flavour blends well with each other and I like the bit of crunchy texture from the apple slices. The aroma also provided the sense of refreshing-ness and act as nature sweetener to the panini itself. Very lovely~

White Chocolate Pistachio ($5.50) - 5/6
It's the daily special when we visit. Although it's white chocolate based, it wasn't insanely sweet. It could be the citrus filling (possibly passion fruit) that balance out the taste.

06 January 2012

Next Noodle Bar (Robson)

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My first encounter with the Next Noodle Bar wasn't overly good - it was for lunch and I wasn't overly impressed with the food. So even though there were a number of times I could have visit again, I didn't. Still, I decided to give it another shot and try their dinner instead.

The interior felt different than the typical Chinese restaurant - the wooden tone that they used made the environment quite inviting. Probably due to the somewhat open kitchen design, the space may at times seemed smoky.

05 January 2012

Verace Pizzeria (Yaletown)

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I passed by this place a few times and was quite curious about it. From the menu they displayed outside the restaurant, I thought the items seemed to be a bit pricey. The solution? Try for their weekend brunch as it seemed most economical (compare to dinner). Somehow we managed to miss the timing whenever we were suppose to go. Finally, we made it there with R for brunch.

The interior feels very grand - definitely interesting lamp and ceiling choices. It was nice with the patio for people who want to enjoy a bit of sun.