Eating With Kirby

Thierry Patisserie- Pastries and Macarons are Worth a Try

Their selection of cakes are sooo breath taking! If it tastes as good as it looks (anybody know?), then I am definitely coming here from now on to buy birthday cakes.

Mosaic Bar and Grille- Italian Chef Tasting Menu

The barely cooked runny yolk is meant to be popped and enjoyed along with the risotto...and enjoy I did. The golden lava coated every kernel of rice with its warm embrace and made the risotto that much more comforting.

Forage- Pretty Decent Food.

All six of us ordered their Award Winning Seafood Chowder with soft poached quail egg and crispy pork rind. While the soup was smokey, full of flavour, it was too thick and tasted a bit more like sauce than soup. The quail egg added a certain richness to the soup too which was nice.

Jethro's Fine Grub- That's Some Tasty Grub.

Overall, Jethro’s is an awesome breakfast and lunch diner serving up good eats with a twist. I most definitely will return for some alligator nuggets or pancakes!

Teppan Kitchen and Mambo Cafe (Aberdeen Food Court)- Crazy Sauce.

They serve this to you with a little sleeve around the plate to catch any splattering oil that radiates from the oven hot iron plate. If you are noob (hehe) at this Teppan Rice business, you can read the "How To Cook" instructions on the sleeve.

Ask For Luigi- Hidden Gem

Ask For Luigi specializes in fresh handmade pasta (only available during dinner service) which I am a total fan of. They also don't take reservations so Meta Knight and I purposely arrived at 5:30pm (when they open for dinner).

16 April 2014

Double Double Restaurant - Legit Housemade Rice Rolls

My mom recently introduced me to this new restaurant called "Double Double Restaurant & Wonton" in Richmond. They specialize in congee, chinese donuts, wontons, noodles and comfort HK food.

 Their parking lot is free and slightly difficult to manoeuvre around. If you can't find parking, there's additional multi-level parking in the building right next to it.

Chinese Donut wrapped in Rice Roll ($4.75) is one of their specialities and my parents loved it. Everything is made in house and you can really taste the difference.

I absolutely adore the Steamed Rice Roll with Mixed Sauce ($3.50) and its one of the best rice rolls I've had in a while. My dad chose the Hong Kong Style Congee ($5.25).

I always get the Preserved Egg and Salted Pork Congee ($4.99) whenever I eat congee and while this congee was flavourful and satisfying, it tasted a bit like msg. I also would've liked to see the pork shredded instead of chunks as it gets a bit chewy.

The Special Cuttlefish Cake Lo Mein ($7.50) was highly anticipated because my mom said their cuttlefish cakes here are housemade and delicious. They were indeed bouncy and fresh. Not mind blowing though.

Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 3/5
Price: $-$$

Service Rating: 3/5

Happy Eating!

Double Double Restaurant 老油條大牌檔 on Urbanspoon

14 April 2014

Western Lake - I Can No Longer Go To Another Dim Sum Restaurant

I have the luxury of choosing from a plethora of amazing restaurants when I want dim sum because I live in Richmond. However, I think I've finally found my favourite one, and the dim sum restaurant is not in Richmond.

I was recently introduced by Meta Knight to a new (but not actually new) restaurant in Vancouver called Western Lake, and as the name suggests, it blew my mind. Click here to see my earlier post on their dinner menu. Meta Knight and his brothers already gave me high expectations but it still exceeded them.

For dim sum, you will usually see a line up of people waiting for a table outside the door at any given time because it is THAT popular. On weekends, don't even try to get a table without a reservation. We called in the day before and they surprisingly had a table for us the instant we arrived. Apparently that usually never happens.

 The Pan Fried Chive Dumplings ($4.50)  were absolutely gigantic. They are easily the size of eight regular dumplings you get at any other dim sum restaurant.

I wasn't only wowed by the quantity, I was also super impressed by their quality as well. The entire dumpling consisted of shrimp and chives with very little filler. What a steal for just $4.50.

The Hand Shredded Chicken was off their speciality menu and consisted of chicken, celery, carrots, pickled vegetables, crispy wonton skins, and jelly fish! Delish.

Meta Knight's favourite dish: Deep Fried Squid with Spicy Salt. I absolutely agree with him because the squid was not chewy, drowned in garlic spice, and deep fried to perfection. A bit too oily but that is to be expected of a deep fried dish. The dish behind is Rice Rolls in Clay Pot with Beef Inner. It actually says "beef inner" on the menu.

Meta Knight's bro said the Sticky Fried Rice was a bit small compared to previous visits.

Top Row:  Steamed Beef Balls with Steamed Sheets ($4.00) , Steamed Siu Mai Dumplings ($4.50), Steamed Fish Mau with Shrimp Paste ($5.25). 
Bottom Row: Steamed Chicken Feet, Steamed Prawn Dumpling ($4.50)

You can't really get the full scope of how large each of these items are in this picture but let me tell you... these shiu mai and beef balls were the size of my palm each and were the largest dim sum I've ever seen in my life.

One shiu mai is the size of the entire bowl! And it was mostly shrimp with 30% pork. They don't skimp on the ingredients here at all.

The Panfried Turnip Cake with XO Sauce was good but to be honest, it didn't appeal to me as much as the other dishes. Plus, my stomach was occupied eating all the MEAT.

  Panfried Eggplant with Shrimp Paste ($4.50) was very large and oh so delicious.

Western Lake absolutely did not disappoint and having finally had dim sum here, it's hard to go back because I don't see other dim sum restaurants comparing in size of quality.

Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 5/5
Price: $

Overall Rating: 5/5

Happy Eating!

  Western Lake Chinese Seafood 西湖海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

10 April 2014

Caulifredo Sauce with Zucchini Pasta Recipe

Everybody nowadays wants to eat a healthier diet with more vegetables, more lean protein, less fat, less calories, and to be frankly honest, I'm one of them. I always scrounge the internet looking for healthy recipes I can make at home for a low cost and I recently found one which seemed super interesting! 

It's a healthy take on the classic Alfredo Sauce which is typically made with butter, flour, cream, and milk, served over pasta. This healthier version is called Caulifredo Sauce which is made of.. guess what, pureed Cauliflower!! To take the health factor up a notch, I decided to serve it over zucchini pasta instead of regular wheat pasta.

Caulifredo Sauce with Zucchini Pasta  (Serves 2-4)
(low in carbohydrates, fat,and calories/ high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate)

1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
4 small or 2 large turkey sausages
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella 
3-4 garlic cloves
1 cup of milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini
1 vegetable peeler (that has the options of making twirls and spaghetti strips)

1) First, use your vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini into either long linguine style strips or thin spaghetti like strips.

My vegetable peeler had the option of making it into really thing strips so I went with that because it most resembled 'real spaghetti'.

Once you've finished peeling all the zucchini, set it aside. Doesn't it look gorgeous?!

2) Mince garlic and chop cauliflower into smaller florets.

3) In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and throw in the garlic. Let the garlic release its aromatics and turn slightly brown.

4) Add soy milk, salt, and cauliflower. Add mozzarella and stir throughly.

5) You can omit this if you want a vegetarian dish, but I oven baked some turkey sausages and sliced it up.

6) Be careful not to overheat your milk or else it will curdle!! Cook for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower can be pierced easily with a fork.

7) To cook your 'pasta', blanch the zucchini linguine in hot boiling water for 2-3 minutes to soften it.

8) Turn off the heat and let the cauliflower mixture sit for 10 minutes to cool down. Then toss the mixture into a blender and blend away!

There you have it, Cauli-fredo sauce over zucchini pasta!

This is an extremely healthy and easy recipe to make at home with very little ingredients required. Because I only used a little bit of salt, it tasted a bit bland so for you guys I suggest throwing in some spices before blending it to give it more flavour. OR.. throw in half a cup of delicious Parmesan to make it extra CHEESYY.

All in all, worth a try if you're looking for a healthy alternative to butter based cream and white pasta. :) Let me know how yours turns out!

Happy Eating!

7 April 2014

Hi Genki - Hidden Gem in a Seniors Home

Hi Genki is truly a hidden gem in Burnaby. It is a hidden gem in that it is actually physically hidden... inside a retirement home called Nikkei Home near Kingsway.

Recently both DJ Fei and Meta Knight came here and raved about the food. Amazing Japanese food served out of a retirement home?! I knew I had to check this place out.

If you park in their free underground parking, just follow this sign to find the Hi Genki Restaurant.

The 'restaurant' just literally consists of a cash register booth and a large cafeteria style seating area. Something to note: they ONLY open from 6:15-8:15pm for dinner service. That's right, two hours! Robot, Bing, and I got here at 6:00pm and we were the first ones there. By 6:10pm...

It looked like this. Almost 15 people behind us! And this was all before they even opened. Clearly, locals know of this little place and are just as eager as I was to make sure they get in first.

As I mentioned, the tables and chairs are nothing fancy and seating area looks like a giant dining hall (which it is regularly, for seniors).

Service was prompt and the servers consistently refilled our teas.

They have a special menu in addition to a set one which keeps things interesting. And you'll notice that they don't really serve sashimi or raw fish here. Their speciality is "Japanese comfort foods" consisting of fried deliciousness, rice, and noodles.

The Satsuma Udon ($8.95) is essentially piping hot udon served with a side of prawn and fish cake tempura. I liked how the batter was thin and crunchy without being oily.

The portion size of  the Chicken Curry Katsu ($9.50) was GIGANTIC! Not only was the tonkatsu perfectly fried, it was underneath copious amounts of flavourful Japanese curry, carrots, and potato. Even for a person with two stomachs like me, you will probably have to pack some home.

My least favourite of the bunch was the Pork Tonkotsu ($7.95) because it was served in too small of a bowl. It overcrowded all the components so the egg and delicious tonkotsu sauce was lost.

My coworker recommended the Strawberry Daifuku ($3.95) which is a large mochi stuffed with red bean and a whole strawberry. This was delicious! Not overly sweet and you can tell it was made in-house with love and care.

Overall, while the ambiance was different and slightly odd at first, the food more than made up for it, and I felt like I was eating in my make-believe Japanese grandma's kitchen. I'd definitely recommend Hi Genki if you are looking for some inexpensive, nothing fancy, good quality food around the South Burnaby/ Metrotown area.

Food Rating: 4/5
Service Rating: 4/5
Price: $

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

Hi Genki on Urbanspoon

6 April 2014

Ole Wings and Tapas - Dang Good Chicken and Beer

My coworker BB introduced me to this hidden Korean chicken and beer joint on Robson Street and I am so shocked to find that no one has every blogged about this place! 

This restaurant is all upstairs and their sign kind of just blends in with everything else. I can confidently say that I've NEVER taken a second look at this place having walked on Robson Street billions of times.

What I instantly noticed was how busy it was and how most of the customers are Korean. There was even a line up when we got there at 8pm. Ole is clearly a much loved hidden gem for Korean locals.

Some of their menu items are written in Korean only. But essentially, you get to choose from Whole Chicken (with bones) or Boneless Chicken. After choosing that, you select your sauce. It ranges from salt and pepper to honey garlic to spicy sweet sauce.

We were ready for a night of drinking so we ordered a pitcher of Sapporo ($15) and a bottle of Soju ($11.99) to make... Somaek! *Sigh*... I remember buying Soju for a dollar in Seoul, and here it's 12x the price. :(

Edamamae to munch on while we waited.

We got half an order of the Boneless Chicken w/Honey Garlic Sauce ($12) and though the batter was slightly thicker than my ideal preference, the honey garlic sauce made up for it.

They use white meat for the boneless chicken so it'll definitely taste a little drier than the legs and thighs.

We also shared half a portion of the Original Chicken ($12) with bones and all that jazz. I would suggest getting either sauced chicken or a side sauce to go with it because it tasted kind of bland.

Overall, it was some good chicken and it tasted marvelous with the beer. They just go too well with each other... :D

All that came up to $60 per person so chicken and beer ain't cheap. Especially this place. But if you are a lover of all things fried and alcoholic, I think you'll like this place.

Service Rating: 5/5
Food Rating: 3/5
Price: $$$-$$$$

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

Olé Wings and Tapas on Urbanspoon