Eating With Kirby

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.

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.

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).

17 September 2014

Torarenbo Japanese Restaurant - Sushi Sandwich?!

I always eat in the tiny strip mall on Cook Road (across Richmond Center) but I never had the urge to try the Japanese restaurant called Torarenbo. 

The exterior looks unappealing but surprisingly, it looked very different on the inside.

The decor reminds me of other Japanese houses in Richmond like Seto and Ichiro. It was completely different than what I expected going in (thanks Meta Knight for the recommendation :D).

I read online that people found their menus expensive. I went during lunch time and I actually found their prices pretty reasonable for the lunch sets.

Standard miso soup.

I liked how they left the teapot at our table. Makes for easy self-refills considering how tiny the tea cups are.

Meta Knight got the Sushi Combo ($11.95) which consists of udon, fresh fruit, green salad, tempura, nigri sushi, and miso soup.

The fish was fresh, though nothing particularly outstanding. Overall, Meta Knight enjoyed his set and thought it was a great value.

I got the Sushi Sandwich Combo ($9.75) because when have you ever come across sushi sandwiches?!

The set also included miso soup, udon, fresh fruit, and this fried squid/taro fried cake (I think).

The sushi sandwich was totally interesting and up my alley in unique foods that taste good. The 'filling' of the sandwich tasted like egg salad except made with cooked salmon. Combined with the crunchy tobiko on top, this was a winner for me.

I honestly had no idea what this was made of but it was executed well and left no feeling of grease.

Surprisingly, I really liked Torarenbo even though I was SUPER skeptical about it before going in. I say give it a try for lunch if you're around the Richmond Center area and want to sit down from some good Japanese eats.

Service Rating: 3.5/5
Food Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Eating!

Torarenbo Japanese Restaurant 虎連坊 on Urbanspoon

11 September 2014

Tasting Plates YVR: West End Edition

It's another edition of Tasting Plates YVR! This time, its a foodie tour in the West End, all around downtown Vancouver. 

Curtis (foodobyte) was kind enough to bring me along as media and boy did we have a great time. It took us a full 2.5 hours to get through all eight restaurants.

We started our journey at the registration point: Marquis Wine Cellars. The two wines from Domaine de la Provenquiere were absolutely delicious. Both under $20 and not dry at all, that's my kind of wine.

Morocco West is located near Ebisu on Robson and has been a place I've always overlooked when around the Robson area. After this tour, I might just give this restaurant a try one night.

Here they served us Hummus, Zaalouk (eggplant), Chermoula Prawn, and Merguez Sausage Samosa.

The sausage samosa was out of this world and I would easily get this over and over again.

I've wanted to visit the Pappa Roti on Robson ever since I tried it in Seoul, Korea. They specialize in coffee buns with a crisp caramel topping that's unlike any other... the 'father of all buns' if you will.

I was kind of disappointed that they gave us only half a bun each because it was so good I wanted more! It came with two toppings (labeneh cream cheese and coconut jam) and a sample drink (Kara Ginger Milk Tea). The cream cheese was smooth, savoury and sweet all at the same time. I was in absolute heaven. Does anyone know where to purchase this type of cream cheese?

The bun, though deflated a little, was incredibly buttery yet airy. I understand why they sell one item and pretty much one item only. It's delicious. However, one normal roti bun costs $3.50 which seems a bit overpriced.

Pizza Fabrika has a really neat vibe to it. They serve 12" pizzas made with a sourdough crust and San Marzano tomatoes for their sauce.

We tried their Vegetarian and Chorizo, both equally saucy with fresh ingredients you can taste. They brought out the Margherita which also looked mighty tasty but they didn't give it to us. :( All in all, the pizza was good but I don't know if I'd purposely come back  again to have it.

Spaghe-Tei is a spaghetti joint with a Japanese fusion twist. Their menu includes items like Mentaiko, Barayaki, and Yakiniku, all unlike your typical spaghetti fare at say, Anton's.

I was pleasantly surprised by both the Mentaiko and Barayaki, as they were flavourful without needing to be saucy. They all soaked up an incredible amount of flavour in the cooking process and tasted true to it's name. The Barayaki tasted like a Sukiyaki hot pot pasta while the Mentaiko had a strong fishy roe taste (my favourite).

Honestly, Buck Stop was a disappointment for me. Not only did we have to wait in line to get in, none of the items they presented were any good.

Their Autumn Slaw on the left was missing salt and some sort of acid to balance the flavours out. The Corn bread in the middle was as hard as a rock, and the housemade smoked sausage on the right was grainy and too spicy.

Milestones on Denman is new and the location is fantastic as it sits right on Beach Ave overlooking English Bay.

The halibut was served out of a heating tray so it was not flaky or tender to the touch. Overall though, it was a nice dish.

My favourite was the Roasted Poblano Soup. It was spicy but not in the way where it just hits you in the face. It slowly builds and after four spoonfuls you realize you're sweating through your pores. That's the nice kind of spicy. :)

In a very unassuming location on Nicola street lies this cute little pop up shop called West End General Store.

The environment is totally hipster and they sell items that one would normally label quirky and eccentric.

For the Tasting Plates tour, Oollo Tea sampled their two cold brewed teas, Milky Oolong Gold and Red Jade Black.

Claire from Livia Sweets purposely collaborated with Oollo Teas and created some Oolong Macarons. They were absolutely marvelous. At this time she only has her macarons sold at a few places but she's definitely looking to expand.

All in all it was a great edition of Tasting Plates YVR and I'd recommend it for anyone wanting to sample a whole bunch of restaurants in a short period of time. I definitely wish some restaurants provided bigger portions though because some bites were so small, I could barely comprehend the flavour. At the end of the entire tour, neither Curtis or I were that full which really says a lot about the portion size considering we went to eight different restaurants.

Happy Eating!

Spaghetei すぱげっ亭 on Urbanspoon Pizza Fabrika on Urbanspoon Buckstop on Urbanspoon Morocco West on Urbanspoon PappaRoti on Urbanspoon Milestones Grill and Bar on Urbanspoon

10 September 2014

Le Petit Saigon - Alright but Not Amazing

After our throwback party at PNE with BoyzIIMen, my friends and I went to Le Petit Saigon for some hot comforting pho. Who doesn't love pho on a chilly cold night? :)

We've heard of Le Petit Saigon before so we had some pretty high standards Walking in, the atmosphere was homey though service was lacking throughout the entire meal.

They had some pretty cool smoothie varieties including Durian, Sour Sop (what's that?!), and Avocado. I was SO tempted to get the Durian Smoothie but decided to spare my friends the car ride with me and my durian-breathe. :P

Number 22: Tai Sach ($7.75 Sml) consisted of only rare steak and tripe. For rare steak, I was surprised by the chewiness of it as it should be quite tender having just cooked in the boiling broth.

Though the broth had an intense umami flavour to it and was without a doubt delicious, we all thought it had a lot of MSG and slowly felt its effects thirty minutes after our meal. All in all, for eleven bucks and two toppings, I didn't think this was worth it.

Rae ordered the same thing as me except she had meatballs and Fon ordered the No.1 Special. Both were average and none of them were wowed at all by the pho.

I'm surprised by the 93% rating on Urbanspoon because I didn't think it was impressive at all. Their prices are on the higher range compared to my favourite pho spot Thai Son, and they use way too much MSG in their broth.

Service Rating: 2/5
Food Rating: 2.5/5
Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 2/5

Happy Eating!

Le Petit Saigon on Urbanspoon

3 September 2014

CRAFT Beer Market (Yaletown) - Big Kid Lemonade, Barrel of Nachos and Gluten Free Mac and Cheese!

CRAFT Beer Market is a casual restaurant located a few minutes away from Olympic Village and they specialize in all things beer. 

They have over 100 beer on tap and they offer the most extensive list of beer in Vancouver!

What I loved about this "Salt Building" are their high ceilings and lush furniture. We had a booth and god was it comfortable. Truly this restaurant could probably seat four hundred people- it was huge in size!

A lot of their entrees are made with some type of beer like their Craft House Beer, Beer Braised Brisket, Philips Beer Can Chicken, and more. If you're a beer lover, you gotta come here!

I had the Big Kid Lemonade (essentially tasted like Red Robin's Strawberry Lemonade but spiked) and a gluten free beer. Both were delicious and I was pleasantly surprised by the deliciousness of the gluten free beer!

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings ($13) came with carrot and celery sticks.

I wanted to try the Fast Food Sushi but unfortunately they sold out. :( Instead we got the Thai Lettuce Wraps ($12) which came with crispy noodles, tiny portion of veggies, rice, and a trio of sauces. T

The fact that this dish is vegetarian made it quite boring. The only substance were the crispy noodles which I don't particularly enjoy.

Their Nacho Barrel ($18) was no joke! Served in a legit barrel (weighing at least 10 pounds), the mountain of nachos, cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos, peppers were perfect to share amongst our large table.

I chose the Craft Mac and Cheese + Gluten Free Pasta ($16+$2) and it was made with a blend of cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, and fontina cheese. 

The cheese wasn't overly creamy or saucy but it did caress each pasta enough for me to enjoy it very much. I don't know if the pasta was made with quinoa or corn or brown rice, but it held its own and tasted exactly like regular wheat pasta! Two thumbs up.

Grilled West Coast Salmon ($24) served with quiona, almonds, and green beans were delicious.

This is my boss' favourite burger at CRAFT Beer Market. The Bacon and Blue Cheeseburger ($16) is stuffed with blue cheese and topped with bacon, caramelized onions, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

The Farm Fresh Chicken & Kale Salad ($17) is tossed with cranberries, goat cheese, pine nuts, shaved brussel sprouts, and tossed in a spicy orange and cilantro dressing.

This was my second choice but I didn't end up getting it. It's the House Made Bolognese ($16) and what caught my eye was that it's fresh pasta made in-house!

The Craft Signature Sticky Ribs ($24) is tossed in a black garlic and miso BBQ sauce, served with brussel sprouts and potatoes.

My friend really enjoyed the Dark Beer Braised Beef Brisket ($25). It's braised for 10 hours and dredged in their housemade sauce.

I'll definitely be coming back to try more of their dishes and maybe catch the Canucks game with some beer and wings.

Service Rating: 4.5/5
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $$$-$$$$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

 CRAFT Beer Market on Urbanspoon