Faubourg

02262014



I finally got a spot after returning 30 mins later. I am at their new location in park royal. It seems more popular here than the downtown location.

Today I am having Marco Polo tea. I believe they are one of the few that has imported Mariage Freres tea to Vancouver. I only know about this tea because one of my beloved friends often brews me a cup. I remember her telling me that it has a bit of chocolate in it or something.

I also ordered a lavender earl grey and salted caramel macaron. I am disappointed. One of my friends assured me that they have improved, and brought me some macarons one day. Indeed they did, but as of today I realized that they are inconsistent.  The flavours are good, I love it!! Normally I don't like lavender tasting food, but with earl grey and buttercream it really makes a difference. It has barely an air pocket, and it's not crunchy or chewy. The texture is like a cookie. The salted caramel filling looks like it was melting and curdling. The shell rose enough for this one to have an air pocket and it was crunchy but barely chewy. Both batches of macarons did not sport a pretty skirt =( 

Anyways, on a more cheerful note, the fragrant tea goes very well with the lavender earl grey macaron. The two together almost tastes like some sort of milk shake!

The first time I reviewed this cafe/bakery, I rated it so-so. Today I give them 65%
They've improved in their recipes by reducing the amount of sugar. However it's hard not to be impatient when the line up is out the door and there is only one person serving and doing cashier. Shouldn't it be all hands on deck? I know the owner is there and there is 4+ employees somewhere ..

This location doesn't seem to handle large crowds well even though they are bigger. Their recipes have improved so I shall be back in a while to try again!

Libre

02232014


Today I had a short lesson on how to pour myself a coffee. The pay out is coffee that I was desperately needing. 
We are using Hario equipment.. Something about a bloom, 30secs, anti clock wise, don't touch the sides and VOILÀ!! Instantly way too strong coffee =D

Okay, but today we are not talking about coffee, it is about the tea tumbler in the picture.

This is tumbler by Libre, and there are only a few places that carry this. It took me a while to end up finding a product such as this. My pathetic plastic cup is well pathetic and my amazing stainless steel has a metal taste or worst, a hint of what I had last  O_O... The Libre tumbler is unique because the inside is glass, while the double wall is plastic. Also, this has a tea strainer inside, so there's many different ways to use this for floral, herbal tea to black tea

There is a set back for this though, it will keep your drink hot for about 1.5hr PROVIDED
that your drink is boiling hot to start, otherwise it will not help you at all.  This is irritating because espresso doesn't come out piping hot (it would be burnt!)
I'm thinking maybe I can make an Americano with heated cream instead or smth... Idk

Milk pot!

02192013


Finally a new place!! I'm so relieved! It's not the same but just as good! Best of all is the price. 

$11.99
Drink
Hot pot with some usual ingredients
+2 of your choice of extra toppings
Sauce
Rice

Also they have a soup noodle set combo. I can't remember what exactly you get but it is something along the lines of this
$7.95
Choice of noodle + soup base
Choice of # of toppings 
Drink
+1.99 for a mini appy

1.99 appy is the perfect serving size of TW chicken nuggets. If you haven't tried it, you are missing out!


Seattle rush

02162014

Sometimes it's really hard to get out of bed when you are on vacation. Why the hell do I want to wake up at 9?!! Eventually, we left at 1130 ish. We went to our favorite restaurant and missed the morning special by 30mins -__-..... 

After eating, we went to the container store. I got another two acrylic 3 level drawers to organize my make up. Also, a stick-in pen for my diary. I also can't believe I forgot to buy the dry erase calendar.



After that, we quickly went to the mall. I found a great deal at Nordstrom, which was, buy any two Deborah lippman polishes and get a "turn back time" base coat for free. ^_^ I'm at this nordstrom because I know they have "Mermaids kiss" (limited edition from last summer?) in stock. I also got one of the spring reveries too!



We had another pit stop before we hit the heart of seattle. The award winning Bakery Nouveau. Rustic and modest looking, cutie pie is almost shadowed by the other modern looking stores. By the time we got there, the displays were very bare but we still found a few things to order.


The macarons here are pretty good!! We had the strawberry flavour, which had buttercream filling and jam in the centre. 

Also, we ordered a grapefruit mousse. I was very suprised the milk didn't curdle! The taste was so-so....they probably couldn't make it creamier because it was a citrus fruit, but I am very delighted it didn't taste like fake grapefruit! The cookie that it was on was soggy by the time we ate it at the hotel.

When we got to Seattle downtown, it was pretty late. We didn't know the bakery was so far off, (also we had to take a detour because there was a train crossing) if it weren't for the train it would have only taken us 10 mins.

Anyhow, we checked in at the beautiful but unfortunely dated Sheraton. We got the corner room, which had a very beautiful view. The most amusing thing is the location of this room. The floor plan is a triangle and the elevator is in the centre. I'm in the corner right? So when I walk out of my room I am presented with two hallways and they are identical. It's like being in some sort of freaky movie where you are lost, and given two roads that look the same and one will result to tragedy.

We went out and got my brows done and we had a run around nordstrom rack. Nothing good to buy this time. Then we had Vietnamese food. We forgot pho noodles the American pho served bigger portions....Well you get the picture right??



Time for movies!!! Just my luck, they had Austen Land! And Gatsby!! And it was up as a special for $4.99

We nommed the mousse cake and the delicious valentines chocolate cake with some decaf coffee

 The next day was going to be brutal, I'm sure you can imagine ! We need to be back by 12pm so we've got to start the day around 7am

Joey's in Bellevue

02152014

Went straight to the states after work. What a long and very windy and rainy ride! When we arrived at Bellevue it was only light showers here and there. We bolted to our favorite restaurant, but sadly we were 30 mins late and they were closed =( we also went to the Italian restaurant and we were amazed how big and beautiful it actually was. Nobody could tell from the mall entrance how grand it really was. They too were closing for the night.


Anyways, we spotted a Joeys here and I am craving ribs! I was so disappointed that there were no ribs and sad that we were seated next to a table of 2 men who were obviously on the prowl. You could see their ego practically leaking out of them as they tried not to obviously be look at the pretty girls drinking at the bar. The pair, also they were strained to talk in a deep and very manly voice about how one of them was a personal trainer.  

Anyways ... We had burger sliders, rotisserie chicken, and a summer sangria.
i don't know what people do here differently with the chicken but it's so succulent and delicious, it can't be compared. Also,THAT sangria !!! Wow!! I love cocktails but there is only a few I like and the ones I like are not always made well. This was so refreshing, and brimming with strawberries and there was a dash of alcoholic peach slush I see??? 

I wish I could sit longer and finish my drink but I couldn't as it was already 1230am and we still haven't even checked in yet =(

I really like Bellevue! Many people say they're snooty and full of it. So they are, but whoever says this has obviously not been to Vancouver. I find the biggest difference is that people in Bellevue actually care about how they look. Regardless of the fact that they look like trout-faced Barbies. Although some of these people are a bit big, they wear nice clothes that fit their body shape, have their hair done, and have a full face of make up. I can't say the same for Vancouver though because au natural and organic "is so good for you"

Valentines 2014


You know, if you don't show up with flowers, any girl would be angry. Such idiotic moments can be avoided easily if you just held flowers when you picked me up.

It's important what you do for Valentine's day. The key to success is making it romantic. It doesn't matter where you are, it's about the eye gazing, the puppy face, cuddles and smooches.

Flowers is a must, along with maybe a cheesy gift and chocolates. Oh! And I almost forgot, a card with an extremely long crammed hand written message in it too =)

So don't forget this checklist !

Rose House


02122014



Isn't this adorable? Afternoon tea with Rara (I decided to shorten his name). I had a date, but she was busy on the phone. So much for themed tea!

Rose house has done it again! They really put a youthful Asian flare to their menu. For example, jasmine jello, rose cheesecake and the most intriguing thing would be the shrimp thing. 

You know what ? Their macarons are not bad at all. I'm not a fan of the earl grey or floral flavours, but I do like the crunchy-ness and chewy-ness it has! Taste wise it's not bad, it's not over killed with sugar nor is it grainy from the almonds, but you can taste a lot of almonds. 

If anything, I can taste a little oven in it, perhaps it was the slightly burned oven aroma? (That can usually be tasted in home baked goods.)

On another note, I noticed a wonderful apparatus there! I first noticed this little contraption in the toilet. It made me think, "wow, what beautiful wallpaper and decor this lavatory has! And what is this spa scent that is in the air and what is the warm glow coming from over there?"  It is an electric and (I assume) porcelain lamp burner.  It is rather an odd shape, but it does have delicate roses moulded into it. If you still don't understand me, it's basically one of those essential oil heating things. Anyhow, whenever I have the spare change I will most certainly be returning for this!




Basho Cafe

02112014



Tea time with Prince Ramune at a cute Japanese cafe. It's a peculiar place with some art work hanging about and vinyl records for sale.  Also, the odd crochet bombing to add some fun to the decor. 

When you order a drink, it comes with a small treat! I got a cookie to go with the matcha and my friend ordered the espresso and got a matcha cake =)

I am looking forward to returning to try their lunch menu



Hair in my pot

02082014



Whhhyyyyy oh why?!
I like this place so much for their mini hot pot, especially their milk version!!! Why must it be ruined?!

There was a short hair, maybe an inch long and twisted in kinky ways!! Oh, so disgusting!!
Why couldn't it be like a long straight piece of hair instead?! 

I don't think I'll ever go there again !! Oh the tragedy !!

Spring nails 2014

02??2014


I could not wait to try out Deborah lippman new colors!

Which do you think is best? I'm not sure which to buy!! I'm undecided about the pink (not in picture) it's a nice cool tone petal pink with iridescent fine sparkles. It's also sheer and needs a few good coats too...

Originally I wa set to buy yellow and green but after trying it on the green is too much like 7up plus... I notice of all the colors the green chipped first and a lot too

Now I am set on buying yellow and ..?? Teal or blue or pink ??






Binging with Grandma part 10 finale

02072014

Yay our last binge sesh! It is also sadly the last day my aunt is with us in canada before she flies back to HK.

Tonight we celebrate her birthday by ordering king crab.



Apparently, this feisty little thing is just shy of 9lbs and also not an Alaskan king crab. It's some other deep sea crab.  I can't tell by looking at it, but I can taste that it's a little different than the Alaskan crab.
It's very crisp and naturally sweet? Or is  it because it's very fresh?  The poor thing was probably just caught today or the day before.



We had two dishes of legs steamed with garlic and the body was deep fried

The crab butter was tossed in with fried rice with some coconut curry sauce.

I prefer the steamed dish.  Honestly, something so fresh doesn't need much seasoning. The flavour itself is plenty beautiful. 

Adieu dear aunt! We shall binge again with your mother in a few years time!

Binging with Grandma part 9

02062014

Today I had to work, so I couldn't take part in the noon binge sesh.

I found out they went to steveston? They had fish and chips and also got Grams to have a raw oyster. Apparently she loves it and could not stop talking about it over dinner =)

Dinner wasn't really binging but the table was so full of food that it could feed 10 .. I guess you count it as binging lol.


Tonight, we had Vietnamese food! My favorite! And I also have an addiction to spring rolls! I asked if anybody wanted to share some (to decide if I should order a small or large) but everyone said no. Lo and behold...Everyone ended up having a piece.

-_-... They can be such losers..

Binging with Grandma part 8

02052014


After eating tacos and much shopping, we finally arrived at Guu Gastown. One of my favorites, but oh it was very disappointing. I don't think I'll be back. The only good dish there was my usual favorite "salmon and 7 friends", which they only serve at this location.
I'm surprised that they don't have oden or kimichi fried rice. Also, their staple menu of tuna tataki and beef sashimi was not up to par.


 Worst of all.. One of my favorite items to eat is the baked Saba...
Which was last to arrive because the kitchen forgot... And it was raw inside.


I know the black cod was going to be a very measly bit, but I forgot!!! Pretty right? Taste pretty good too!


I am so OD over kimchi mentaiko udon. I use to love this. I would order it every time I was here.


On a more cheerful note, the sisters (mom and her sister) decided they need to get their mom (Grams) to try out raw food, because grams thinks it may taste awful. To Grams suprise, the salmon sashimi was okay, and the medium rare beef was okay too!





Binging with Grandma part 7

02052014

Today started very late, but somehow I managed to convince my very Asian family to go try Mexican food. I had to constantly re-assure them that this is not Taco Bell quality (which isn't even human food, but i like it).

Sometimes I wonder, why do you not trust me? You ask me to take you out to open your eyes to new food, yet you protest.

-_-.. Grams didn't need any persuasion at all, because she's more then willing to try new food.


We finally arrive at Le Taqueria.
One of my favorites!
I always order the fish taco because there is just smth indescribable about the taste. The other meat ones are good too. The cashier also suggested for us to try the beef with pineapple one as well.
Sure? Why not?


Fruity savoury ! I likie!! 

Grams saids she can't wait to have more fish next time ^_^..

Sometimes I think I should probably make her some cue cards because she can't speak English. For example, a sign that says, "I would like to buy two fish tacos please" so she can order food.




Binging with Grandma part 6

02042014

This very cold and miserable night we are having BBQ at my uncles house. He is an amazing cook.

So what's on the menu today

Cocktail shrimp and salad

Foie gras 


BBQ lamb

BBQ various vegetables

BBQ prime rib roast - biggest thing I've seen from home cooking. This massive honking thing just shy of 8?lbs


Oh no, but he's not done yet though, especially with the ever flowing bottles of wine.

Next up is soft ice cream and 20yr old port. In uncles new and very cool antique absinthe glass that can take high temperatures yet still looks like a very beautiful dessert wine glass ^_^;?

Anyways, port is one of grams' favorite. She likes it even more now with ice cream. 

She's learning so many bad eating habits, but she keeps saying "better do this before I die"

As you wish grams, who am I to deny your life's little pleasure?


Binging w/o Grandma part 5


No pictures

Surprisingly, grandma is not part of this morning post!!!
She had a party go to in the morning with her friends.

So where do you take ur aunt who has been to vancouver once and most likely already went to all the touristy places?

First we go to one of our iconic food carts. Japa dogs!! Where else?

One spicy terimayo and oroshi dog please!

After that we visited two local churches. I'm surprised my aunt did not go to Sunday service @_@.. But I guess it's vacation time! Prayers by the bed side will do??

Not much to see as one of the two churches was closed.

Next up: Fish Shack

I'm not sure what's wrong with our server. I asked for one dozen and he thought I said two. Which was okay.. because we were going to order another dozen anyways.

Then we decided, okay let's finish off with the most expensive one! 3 please! We got 6!

Wth?!  I mean $3/oyster isn't that expensive, but this was supposed to be a light snack before dinner binging. I spent $50 on oysters alone?! Because that guy doubles all my orders... I should have refused the last order... =_= but I knew my mom and her sister really wanted it anyways.... It's one of those "look at their face how could you say no" moments.

=_=.....

Binging with Grandma part 4

02042014



After tea, we went for a walk, but we didn't manage to go very far. As time was the essence, we needed to be at gyu kaku by 6pm.



I got to cook, which personally I am very happy to do, as I like everything medium rare with sexy grill marks =D


Grams thoroughly enjoyed the gyu tongue and various cuts of meat along with refreshing beer and cheese fondue dip !!!

Binging with grandma part 3

02042014

So why am I eating so lavishly? First, it's because my aunt from HK is here. This would be her second time in Vancouver. Second, it's because grandma won the lottery of $2000 and intends on using all of it to eat at nice restaurants with the family of (5ppl).
I am certain that it will be easily spent since grams likes to eat western food.

Thusly (is that even a word?) I will name the following post "Binging with grandma" from now on.

Part 1 & 2 would of been the minami and chambar posts

Today, we 4 ladies went to Shangri La for tea. I am sure grams has never been to afternoon tea before. After some urgent etiquette run down, like how to use the weird tea strainer that hangs, we were all relaxed and lounging on the couch.



It was even more special when the live music started playing ^_^!

The only problem was that the volume was high and some notes were played so strongly that it blared out of the speaker. As well, there was a rude Asian (that gives other Asian people a bad name), who decided to watching youtube videos on his phone during the performance.  I'm glad the waitress noticed and adjusted the volume accordingly. Finally, the Asians started to feel the mounting pressure they've caused and decided to stop. From then on, I had a enjoyable time.

I am pleased with their new Asian fusion tier. I especially like the savouries. 

The food did not come in a timely manner (approx. 45 mins) and when I prompted them, they told me it will come when it's ready because it needs to be made fresh.

Wow! So.. What's my reservation for ? There's got to be more items on the tier that is already made to be plated. If anything, I'm coming at 2:30pm, then maybe take down my credit card so you can start making my food 15 mins before I arrive so that it'll take you 20mins to bring me food from when I sit down??

I think the waitress had a translation error because she was very apologetic afterwards.

Overall, I had a very positive experience. I  also found out grams likes afternoon tea very much. I'm thinking of taking her to urban tea merchant next ^_^ 

Oh and if you didn't know,
Shangri la is having a special this February. People born in the year of the horse is eligible for free tea! 
Don't forget to read the fine print. 

VDO2014 - Chambar $38

02022014

I give up, it's like I never get to use my own computer! I can't get a hold of the appetizer pictures, I was dumb forgot to extract them.

I'm not really sure where to begin with Chambar. We ate so much it's ridiculous!

Have you guys noticed the better pictures since the last post?? That's because I'm stealing my dad's photos!! Also.. Because it was too dark to take photos with my phone.

Les petits plats

Saladed’hiver
Charred baby carrots, macerated kale. Crisp pappadum. Pomegranate. Tahini &miso emulsion. Espelette vinaigrette
-I didn't try this one but according to Grams she loved it!

Gamas et chorizo
Olive oil poached prawns grilled chorizo escabeche vegetables avacado & peruvian peppers
- prawns tasted delicious, I ate it too fast and forgot about the chorizo

Choux fleur et topinambour
Cauliflower soup, barbequed sunchokes scallions mint pistou
- I love soup.. It was divine. What is up with restaurants using sunchokes. It's like a trending thing with chefs =) or maybe the name is cool?

Foie de canard “villa Lorraine” +$8
Spiced foie gras terrine port reduction kriek granita truffled brioche french toast
-finally something I can tell you about!
I love truffle oil I love it even more in a toasted brioche. I don't think I've ever had whole brioche before. Let me tell you, I didn't want to share... The brioche had a buttery flavor .. Light fluffy texture but with just enough weight in it to be bread ( maybe lots of eggs??) it was heaven!! As if that was not enough, I got a good slice of pate. Perfectly spiced with a slight sweetness from the port ...served up slightly melting on warn brioche bun... As I write this now a month later oh how I wish I wish I wish! I could re-live this moment again.

Les grosses pieces


Duo de truites
Cured&pan seared steelhead trout,swiss chard, sultana capers, shavedzucchini, meyer lemon & parsnip puree mustard sauce
Okay I think it's very funny that people would order this. Well I ordered it before (sides were different back then) but it was just as pathetic looking as it is now. Maybe they could have the fish serving a little bigger so it's more visually satisfying?? Let me tell you, it's cooked beautifully. But I wouldn't pay much for it.


Moules frites “vin blanc”
Mussles white wine butter celery & leeks corse black pepper
- I came here for this, my favorite. Every part of it was perfect. The only sad sad part was too much wine! They practically drowned it! Might as well call this drowned and drunk mussels with butter and celery ! It had so much wine that it became bitter.


Canard aux marrons
Spice rubbed duck breast wild berry chestnut hummus Brussels sprouts & pistachios
-standing ovation. It was cooked perfectly! I was worried that it was going to be some weird Asian fusion dish. Grams and my dad had this. I got some, I got a good helping too... =)


L’entrecote grille +$10
10 oz new York 100% natural Okanagan angus beef, celeriac & boquefort remoulade. Pomme boulangere. Black pepper & shallot jam
- isn't this disappointing. What happened? I mean it was a great piece of steak but that's it! All this extra stuff didn't taste very good. I remember years ago it was amazing. Perfectly cooked steak and lemon herb ? Butter on top and some boiled potatoes and gourmet sausages as sides and some green stuff..

Le dessert


Chocolate brule 
Chocolate espresso torte apricot puree pecan brittle caramelized apple lemon ice cream
- it was very refreshing with the lemon icecream


Meli melo de fruits
Coconut raspberry panna cotta green apple sorbet macerated asian pear
-I'm not a fan of coconut but I am a fan of panna cotta =D it was a very contradicting taste and feeling in my mouth. 


Selection of cheese tomato jam mulled wine jelly and mixed nuts
I didn't really want to order this, I wanted the other two but my parents insisted. My favorite was the blue cheese with roasted tomato jam? I'm not usually accepting of blue cheese but this was pretty good. Lately , my dad is really into cheese. He liked the ?? Cheese with cherry wine jam!
The Brie with nuts and cracker was okay. I think they could have been more successful with a good size and cut of a triple cream Brie with all the same sides they provided and maybe some of that brioche too ;)

VDO2014 - Minami $38 menu

02012014


MINAMI

APPETIZER
Sushi

Aburi Sushi Sampler
Minami’s signature sushi appetizer

- I loved it, I often think this is over priced but for dine out, it's not bad!


ENTREE
Zen

Slow Roasted Beet Salad
toasted walnuts, crumbled blue cheese, roasted grapes,
cabernet-cassis tarragon vinaigrette

Jidori Chicken Foie Gras Gyoza
truffle dashi

Saikyo Miso Baked Sablefish
kale goma-ae, yuzu-miso sauce, wasabi relish

Soy Braised Boneless Beef Shank
warm potato salad, mulled red wine-peppercorn demi

- I was surprised to find out that for the main course, i get all of what is listed. It's like a bento concept. My favorite of he 4 is the sable fish. Its a biased liking because I Ike almost any baked fish. However the least liked is the braised beef. It could be fatter and more flavorful.


DESSERT

Apple Cranberry Crisp
berry coulis, crème anglaise, salted caramel-miso ice cream

-so many different elements going on in this dish. It was a very buttery yummy apple crisp. Was there cranberry?? I couldn't taste the miso =( it's a good apple crisp, with a unnoticed twist.  





Touch Down

02011014
My aunt has finally touch down from HK. i wonder if she's ready for all we have in  store for her. She arrived in the afternoon, had a nap at her moms'(grandma) place before heading out for her welcome to Vancouver dinner lol... maybe it'll restore some energy in her.


Hey hey hey Mickey you're so fine you blow my mind

01292013



I still don't get to have a dog but I did just finally baby sit one for the first time in my life. Pretty much as soon as I learned to read. I read all I could about dogs. Even till now. There is always something new to learn for example: history, health, general personality, needs, life expectancy, training, grooming and common illnesses of the breed.

Mickey is really calm and generally well behaved. I must of have been on my toes, trying to entertain him because he cried when his owner just left him with me. After many hours later with me, he cooled off and spread himself out on my blanket and finally took a nap.

I still think,it'll be different when it's my dog. I would know how to play the games my puppy wants to play and understand his signs.

VDO2014 - Cardero's $28

01272014


I spent all afternoon researching on "how to do Veronica Lake holly wood hair" as you can see, it didn't work out. Especially after about 2.5 hours going at my hair I am majorly disappointed. My hair doesnt even faintly resemble her beautiful waves. I have concluded i must have failed at the combing stage. I blame not having the right clips and also blame that I suck at doing finger waves let alone doing finger waves on my own head!


Further more I had 3 hair styles while at the restaurant. I walked in with one. Then halfway through dinner i got sick of how heavily perfumed my hair was from the hairspray, so I clipped it up. Finally sometime when i finished my main I got sick of my hair poking me to death at my neck so I let it down and combed and pinned it to the side.



Appetizer
Manhattan style clam chowder finished with dark rum
I just love love the tomato based chowders. It always taste so good!

Fresh oysters +$??

Main
Grilled BC Salmon
Cauliflower purée, haricot vert, beets, truffle chive butter

Well ... It had THE perfect done-ness. However, I am amazed it escaped from the kitchen, the bottom of the fish is burnt black. Thats how you kill a dish ladies and gentlemen! By bitter tasted of charcoal!

I was served another immediately with apologies. OMG our served was extremely polite and gentle that you can't help but shy away a little and sit a little more properly.

Second time around it was a touch over cooked but everything tasted fantastic!



Dessert
Carrot Cake 
Orange cream cheese frosting

I find it very weird to have carrot cake for dessert. Its not bad... It's very odd =)


And lastly got caught camera whoring. How could I pass on beautiful candle light?