Soirette Macarons & Tea

April 18, 2014

March 23rd, 2013. Soirette

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

A girls’ day with Anita calls for something special… Soirette!  On the West End at towards the end of Pender before you hit Stanley Park territory, this newish macaron and high tea place is tiny, but perfect for girly girls who love macarons!

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the coming of spring their cute window displays and sweet little décor details inside are just too cute not to take pictures!  Anita was running a little late, which gave me plenty of time to ogle the beautiful and dainty Macarons :)

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

All their desserts sweets are crafted in their baking kitchen in their back-of-house and every time the doors swing open you get tiny glimpses of the magic that happens behind the doors.

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tiny establishment is always booked full since there is such limited seating and limited time.  We had to do with just buying some to go.

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

 

 

 

I bought a dozen gorgeous little macarons of varying colors and flavors.  I can definitely say I prefer them to Thierry.  Light cloud of pastel colors imparted with dainty flavors.  I love how creamy and jammy  the centers are.  I was definitely impressed!

March 22nd, 2013. Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger~!

A&W Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger

A&W Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger

 

I kept driving by posters of a new limited time only A&W Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger.  Usually I don’t do A&W but after my enthralling encounter with an A&W coke float last year and occasional good impressions of their burgers I’ve been warming up to A&W’s fare.

A&W Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger

A&W Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger

 

 

Nab contacted me and said we should catch up so I suggested A&W!  Ah, finally I could now try the burger that had been tantalizing me through the posters!

The spicy factor came from the jalapeno and the guacamole seemed fairly fresh.  The southwestern sauce on the bun gave a nice creamy zesty flavor against the sweet and tart tomato, cheese, and the rich bacon.  I enjoyed it!

A&W Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger

A&W Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger

 

But the Onion Rings….oh boy….these were my first introduction to A&W over 10 years ago and had been the reason for my injust bias against them.  I had thought at the time “Man, if the onion rings are this bad the burgers must be worse!”  I can definitely say this: the onion rings are still bad.  The coating is strangly mealy and crumbles off the rings and they just aren’t good.

A&W Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger

A&W Spicy Guacamole Teen Burger

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coke Float, though?  AWESOME!  Cold, creamy, sweet and everything delightful!  Definitely quenched my coke float craving :D

March 20th, 2013. Eunice’s Perfect Korean Mini Meat Patties (동그랑땡)~

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

People wonder why I never cook Korean food. Why would I need to when I have a sister who cooks it so well and lets me eat it ;D

Tonight I came home and Eunice was just about to make some Korean Mini Meat Patties (동그랑땡) and said that I was going to help. Yes, sister! At your command :D

 

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 A traditional Korean side dish, these mini meat patties are like a Korean bite-sized version cross between meatloaf & meatballs.  Made with a ground pork and tofu base mixed with your base aromatics such as garlic, carrots, and onions, it’s crucial to have a perfect mixture if you want the perfect moist and flavorful bite!

 

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

Not overworked and perfectly uniform patties just small enough to fit in the cup of your hand!

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

After a flour and egg coating the next important step is cooking it slow on medium heat in oil. Just like many grilling techniques flipping it over should be at a minimum.

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

Wait until the oil starts to bubble up and the bottom of the patties get that gorgeous yellow color from the egg wash, then gently turn them all over and do the same.

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too brown and it’s dry and tough, but that beautiful golden yellow with a slight brown hue makes this my personal favorite Korean side dish!

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!!

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