March 16th, 2013.  Eunice Makes The Best Soup Ever~ 

homemade chicken vegetable soup

homemade chicken vegetable soup

 

 

 

I come home from a long day and what do I come home to?????  My talented sister lovingly working on the most delicious homemade soup!

homemade chicken vegetable soup

homemade chicken vegetable soup

 

 

 

The clearest soup base full of natural flavor. Sweet, savory, rich, and clear all in one go.  Tender real turkey, gorgeous vegetables.  Honestly, I am so lucky to be living with such an amazing cook!

March 16th, 2013. Fancy Time at Yew @ The Four Seasons 

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

 

After brunch with Joyce I rendezvoused with Tracy downtown.  It’s been a while since Tracy was downtown with a gal-pal!  We strolled through Holt Renfrew trying on high-end shoes, and browsing the gorgeous and (some not so cute) haute couture bags ;)

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

 

 

 

 

Tracy was just so happy to be out of the house and having some much deserved me-time that we also stopped in at Yew at the Four Season’s for a snack!

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

 

 

 

Tracy was intent on getting a cocktail to make the most of the experience, but since I’d be driving us back I opted for a delicious little Cappuccino.  It joyfully came served with an in-house made Biscotti :)  Gotta love the extra little touch and detail that I’ve come to expect from Yew ♥

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

 

For my nibbles I ordered the Organic Local Apple Tart.  Of course this wasn’t just your average apple tart.  No, this was an apple tart made of Cox’s Pippin and Liberty French apples,aged cheddar ice cream and hazelnuts.  Thin shavings of the cheddar and a caramely glaze garnished the slate that the dessert was served on.

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

Rich, buttery pastry encompassed the sweet and tart apples which were not soggy and still retained a hint of that great apple crunch.  I’m not a huge fan of nuts, so the hazelnuts were just nuts to me, but I loved nibbling on the cheese shavings held between my fingers and that ice cream was super creamy and smooth with just a breath of that rich cheesy flavor.

 As always, a very satisfying experience and service, as always, was prompt, pleasant and helpful.  Yew gets a thumbs up every time :D

March 16th, 2013. Miura Waffle Milk Bar

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

Reunion brunch with Joyce! Since leaving Sylvan I haven’t seen Joyce, but we’ve been able to keep in touch through Facebook and judging by each others’ posts we both love food! What better way to reconnect than over Vancouver’s newest fad….Waffle sandwiches!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

Miura Waffle Milk Bar is a Japanese waffle joint that’s small but clean. Already gaining acclaim by being featured on hit foodie show “You Gotta Eat Here” it’s one of those places considered a hidden gem.

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

We couldn’t just choose between savory or sweet so we went for 1 of each and split them: First the Hoisin Sando! Sweet and savory hoisin ground pork sausage sandwiched in with bright and aromatic cilantro, refreshing and clear cucumber and a mildly tangy carrot and radish pickle. Reminiscent of a bahn mi but slightly milder. I found that the waffle was appropriately crispy and soft at the same time although bordering on that very thin line of being slightly more dense than I prefer. Delicious? Yes!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, And I also got a Maple Yoggy Milk. Because….I love maple and I what goes better with waffles than milkshake! Not overly sweet with a hint of maple. I would have liked a stronger maple flavor, but it was certainly refreshing and creamy!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

Next we had the Fruits and Cream Sando! Served between the same waffle with the season’s fresh fruit and cream, today’s fruit was strawberries! Okay, what’s more fitting than tart, sweet, juicy strawberries with a rich and creamy whipped cream against delicious waffle! The hoisin sando had filled us, but the fruits and cream sando put us over the edge ;)

Busy stuffing our mouths I’m surprised we got so much talking done in between! It was wonderful to reconnect and to see how much had happened in our lives since we worked together :) Thanks for suggesting such a fun place, Joyce!

Pearl Hot Pot (Burnaby)

February 14, 2014

March 11th, 2013. Sister Date Day~

pearl hot pot

pearl hot pot

 

 

 

Eunice suggested a sister date of hot pot and a movie.  How could I resist?  What a wonderful idea!  She recommended a place she’s been to in Burnaby called Pearl Hot Pot.

pearl hot pot

pearl hot pot

 

 

 

Usually hot pot is a communal food activity, but in this case they bring out individual pots per person and you can choose your own hot pot type.  There are base “combos” dependant on the protein that include veggies and choice of noodles and each combo comes with a soft drink and dessert, too!

pearl hot pot

pearl hot pot

 

 

Dim sum meets hot pot; you choose off the menu which base hot pot you want and then you have the option of checking off on your menu sheet any additional items your’d like to add on such as vegetable, seafood, or meat items.

pearl hot pot

pearl hot pot

 

 

It is fun to eat as a group out of a big pot, but I felt that the individual is a nice way to go as well especially if you want different things or if you come by yourself.  Also, it comes with a raw egg, which I love!  I’m egg poacher ;)  I like to drop it in gently and swirl the egg whites but keep the yolk intact and give it a slow poach so it cooks through!

pearl hot pot

pearl hot pot

I think the ingredients are not bad (just not great), the fish balls can be kind of a miss as you can see from the gray-ish color it is in the photo….but the meat and seafood are fine, the veggies are firm, and the broth is decently flavored, so I would say that overall it’s okay :D  As always, hot pot is just super fun to eat and hot soup and dipping things in it is always yummy and interactive!

 

March 10th, 2013. Kumare – Filipino Group Dinner!

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

 

 

 

My lifegroup is a bunch that love to eat, and for the most part we are eager  to try new things.  Despite about one third of the group being Filipino we have never gone out for Filipino food and many of us are not familiar with the cuisine….so we planned a spontaneous Filipino food adventure!

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our resident experts suggested we go to Kumare in Richmond, a pretty reputable Filipino restaurant.  Sunday dinner with my family of friends?  Yes, please!  Kumare is a clean restaurant/bakery accented with modern furnishings.  Call me silly, but to me that is inviting :D

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The menu has great photos that help even novices to Filipino food navigate the cuisine!

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

 

 

Crispy Pata is an item that came highly recommended in Yelp reviews, so I definitely wanted us to order that.  Crispy deep fried pork hock with a yummy dipping sauce, the skin was nice and crisp, and the bites had a nice marbling of fat throughout to add tenderness and flavor.

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

 

 

 

Of course no Asian meal is complete without rice…and what’s even better?  Garlic Rice!  The garlic definitely added more pizazz without being overpowering :)

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

 

Since this was one of the only times I didn’t really have any weight on the ordering when THIS came to the table I was quite kerflummoxed!  Dinuguan is essentially a pork blood stew with chunks of pork simmering in a vinegar pork blood “gravy”. This dish is true Filipino soul food!  It took all the courage in me to take a small bite of this…and I have to be honest I didn’t really like it.  It was tangy and gloopy and it’s most definitely an acquired taste.  The Filipinos at the table enjoyed it though, which means it must be pretty close to what they are familiar with!

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

 

Beef Caldreta is another stew, but in a tomato based creamy gravy with beef shank, bell peppers and potato.  Because of the tomato based sauce and the large pieces of bell pepper this dish really brought a brightness to the mix.  Really yummy with the rice, too!

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

 

The fun thing about Filipino food is the way they repeat words! Beef Kare Kare!  True to it’s roots and not wasting any part of the animal this dish consists of oxtail, trip and tendon and the peanut sauce lends a subtle sweetness and creaminess that’s quite delightful :)

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

Sinigang is another staple Filipino dish and I can’t remember whether this one was pork or beef based, but it incorporated okra, eggplant and veggies in a sour tamarind soup base.  This sour tamarind is such a signature flavor of Filipino cuisine and not like any other soup I’ve ever tasted!

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

Another popular dish is the Sizzling Sisig!  Crispy pork face, red onion, chili and ginger on a sizzling hot plate with a raw egg on top!  Now this was an exciting dish that employed the sense of smell, sight and audio.  Mix mix that egg in with the aromatic pork and splash that wedge of lemon over everything and you have hot, crispy, zippy, bright and rich flavors bursting in your mouth!  Loved this :D

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

We were stuffed with dinner but the display case up front with such interesting looking desserts tempted us to stretch out stomachs some more! Halo Halo~~~  No, it’s not a greeting, it’s Filipino shaved ice!  Assorted beans, jellies, jackfruit, sweet banana, leche flan, ube, and taro ice cream…the ultimate Filipino dessert!

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

I couldn’t resist the Sansrival: Almond meringue topped off with chopped almond.  Now I’m usually not a fan  of nuts, but this just looked so decadent and lovely!  Layers and layers of airy but super rich meringue with the crunchy almond crumb, it was just the right amount of sweet and nutty, creamy and crunchy!

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

 

Finally, this purple dessert creation, Ube Macapuno Cake!  It’s not a sweet dessert, but super moist, the cream is super light and the macapuno strings of jelly add a bit of texture.  A nice way to conclude a big meal :)

kumare restaurant & bakery

kumare restaurant & bakery

 

How was the meal?  Warm, communal, and adventurous!  I would say that the act of sharing heightened the experience.  Since we really ordered the full spectrum of Filipino cuisine I feel like I can go back and will be able to figure out what I want next time!  It’s been a long while since I’ve been in the side of learning about a new food culture, so for me this was a great experience of taking a back seat and just enjoying exploring the flavors and offerings!

March 10th, 2013. Relate Bake Sale! 

 

relate macarons

relate macarons

 

 

Our church was holding a bake sale and there were homemade macarons!  I definitely had to get some :D

As you can see they are perfectly risen, super delicate and airy and let me tell you….delicious!

Kishimoto on Commercial Drive

December 24, 2013

March 8th, 2013. Kishimoto on Commercial Drive

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

So, my lunch date suggested that we meet up at Kishimoto on Commercial Drive for lunch.  He claimed that it’s the most solid sushi joint he’s discovered since moving to Vancouver and that he’s becoming a regular there.

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

He also warned me that it’s small and is always extremely full, so it was a good thing I arrived a little early to get us a table!  True to prediction it was packed when I got there and I was actually feeling lucky when I got sat about 15 minutes in!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

When I saw Chawan Mushi on the menu I got super excited!!  There is nothing more exceptional than a perfect chawan mushi!!  Super silky, soft egg custard steamed so that there’s almost this umami-like broth or consomme, this one had bits of chicken, prawn, mushroom, gingko nuts, and fish cake.

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing mouth feel as you take a spoonful, it was as delicate as a cloud and mind-blowingly simple in taste but complex in the intricacy.  Every singly component was perfectly cooked and was singing in harmony.  LOVE!!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

Give it up for presentation!  When the rolls came out the plate was decked out with a coconut bowl of dry ice, crispy edible adornments and and edamame and daikon decorations!  Hahaha, whimsical and delightful!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the plate: A simple Spicy Salmon Maki.  Fresh, uncomplicated and straight forward.

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, the Spicy Cactus Roll. To the naked eye it may just look like a California Roll rolled around in sesame seeds, but it’s actually spicy crab, tempura bits and avocado THEN rolled around in sesame seeds and topped with tobiko ;)  Yum!!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

Mmmmm~ I love a good Tuna Tataki!  Perfectly seared tuna just melting in your mouth with the freshness and kick of the green onions, rustic flavor of garlic chips and the sweet and salty of the ponzu sauce.  So delicious!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

I also just really enjoy the fatty richness of Salmon Kama.  Simply a baked salmon cheek with garlic chips and ponzu sauce, it can be very tender, succulent and has loads of flavor!  One of my personal favorites wherever I go :)

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

To round off the lunch I couldn’t resist this gorgeous Yuzu Sorbet.  The perfect palate cleanser, it was refreshing, light, and a great way to end the meal on a pleasing note :)

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

I feel like the constant thread throughout the lunch was simplicity done at such a level of excellence that it transcended into intricacy.  I loved it and would come back again and recommend it to everyone!!

Homemade Strawberry Pie-Cake!

December 24, 2013

March 5th, 2013. Lifegroup~ 

 

homemade strawberry pie-cake

homemade strawberry pie-cake

 

 

 

  It doesn’t feel like a complete week without our weekly lifegroup evenings :)  

  Carmi is so sweet and always makes a point of having some sort of goodies when she and Evangel host.  Tonight she made this awesome Strawberry Pie-Cake!  Looks like a pie, but it’s cake inside~ :D

 

homemade strawberry pie-cake

homemade strawberry pie-cake

 

 

 

 

 

  Indulgent but light, delicious and fresh, hot out of the oven goodness!  I don’t know how she has time to do this after a full day of work, but she’s a super-woman!  Thank you~ 

homemade strawberry pie-cake

homemade strawberry pie-cake

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing life, shooting the breeze, praying together and eating delicious snacks?  All good things, in my book ;D

Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar

December 14, 2013

March 2nd, 2013. Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar

 

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

 

 After our delightful izakaya dinner we were in a bit of a daze…but ever determined to make the most of the night I steered us to Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar just a few blocks up on Robson for some dessert!  May as well go full on and make it a Japa-night!

 

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

 

 

 

My favorite little dessert place on Robson with exquisite treats!  Even though this place has been here for so long because it’s understated and so tiny I find it goes overlooked, which is why it’s so fun bringing people here!  Despite the tiny space and almost NO seating when you are lucky enough to snag one of the handful of wooden benches available you are good to go ;)

 

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always excruciating trying to decide on what to have because everything looks so good!

 

 

 

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ordered a couple of Lattes and went with the tried and true Green Tea Truffles as well as the Green Tea Parfait!

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The parfait is this gorgeous layering of soft, delicate sponge cake, cornflakes, green tea jelly, and whipped cream topped off with a scoop of green tea ice cream, sweet red bean, rice cakes, green tea marshmallow and a green tea “biscotti”.  Decadent, crunchy, creamy, chewy: a textural symphony!  

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t let this pretty thing fool you, though, it’s a hefty portion and can require 2 to finish it off!  Richard and I made a valiant effort to polish it off and do it justice!

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We just couldn’t resist an extra bit of decadence and what goes better with coffee than velvety smooth melt-in-your-mouth truffles dusted with matcha!  A wonderful accompaniment :)

chicco coffee & dessert bar

chicco coffee & dessert bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a great night out eating with a great friend!  As always, such honest and real conversation, delicious eats and so much joy!  Thank you, Richard :D

 

 

March 2nd, 2013. Yum Time @ Zakkushi!!

zakkushi on denman

zakkushi on denman

 

 

 

 

After a bit of a social dry spell I was more than excited about an evening of eats with Richard to explore a place we’d heard so much about… Zakkushi on Denman!

zakkushi on denman

zakkushi on denman

 

 

Zakkushi is a Japanese Izakaya bar space that focuses on one main thing….grilling anything on a stick!  What’s not to love about that?  I love everything about it!  In true Vancouver style the main food station is right in the open with the delicious aromas of grilled meats wafting and filling up the small and cozy space.  With the house packed full Richard and I got seats right at the bar to start off the night.

zakkushi on denman

zakkushi on denman

 

 

 

After drooling all over the menu we finally put up a mass order and waited for the skewered barrage to start flowing in!  And the food kept coming ;D

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, so the first trio of skewers to show up were the Kurobuta Pork, Wasa Beef and Uzura Maki.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

The Uzura Maki really was a no-brainer for us since it was what I had used as my bait to get Richard interested in coming here! Uh, bacon wrapped quail eggs topped off with a sweet and creamy mayo and seaweed shreds?  Yes, yes and YES!  The epitome of everything I enjoy including the fact that it comes on a stick!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

Usually I associate Kurobuta Pork with Japadog and their Kurobuta hotdogs.  This was a different application and just as super tasty!  The char flavor coming through on that juicy pork with the sweet marinade was really the clincher here.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

The Wasa Beef is AAA grade slices of beef topped off with fresh wasabi and those seaweed ribbons.  Simple, clean, flavorful and that wasabi is just the right kinda kick!  Another winner :)

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

As indicators of the rest of the meal to come these first 3 were having us chomping at the bit and wanting more!!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

We also wanted to order some special items and the Charcoal Grilled Yellowtail with Oroshi (grated radish) and Ponzu Sauce sounded like just the thing!  Tender, light and melt-in-your-mouth fish with that light and refreshing touch with the ponzu and oroshi!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

The special of the day was also an Octopus Carpaccio with Spicy Sauce, which was actually kind of like a Korean Gochujang sauce.  The sweet Korean chili paste goes GREAT with fresh octopus and really highlights the natural sweetness and meatiness you get from octopus.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

Back onto beef, we had the Oropon Beef, which was again AAA grade beef, this one topped with the grated daikon and ponzu.  Great for flavor and cutting the richness to add an underlying layer of sweetness and acidity and brightness.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side dishes?  Yes, why not go for a trio of them!  Gomae, Chilled Tofu and some Pickled Veg!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

I told Richard he MUST try some tongue so I also went ahead and ordered the Negi Tongue.  Now, when you go to Asian supermarkets and see these gigantic frozen cow tongues studded with tastebuds you just kinda wanna keep walking…and walking…and walking.. until you are far far away!  But when done well they are actually super tender and yummy!  Japanese izakaya places seem to get it consistently right and I always like to order a portion!  This one with the almost caramelized onion sauce was no exception and even had Richard lapping it up!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

Who doesn’t love duck?  Fatty, rich, and full of amazing flavor!  We definitely had to order the Duck Breast with Yuzu Citrus Chili Sauce.  Rendered down just right with the signature duck texture and unctuousness.  Just gorgeous :D

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

Mmmmm~~ P-Toro!  Just pure, simple crunchy, juicy pork served up with a slice of lemon.  So simple, but nothing comforts your palate like delicious pork belly!  Drool worthy, for sure :D

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

And yes, I had to do it… Takoyaki!!  Delicious fried balls of light Japanese batter filled with bits of octopus and topped off with light and salty bonito flakes and that yummy yummy sauce!  I can’t help myself, I love this especially when it’s hot & fresh!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

How happy were we with this meal?  So much that we were both on the verge of major food coma and delirious from the many many foodgasms!

Mmmmm~~~ Such yum and much happiness!!

 

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