February 14, 2014
March 11th, 2013. Sister Date Day~
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 As always, hot pot is just super fun to eat and hot soup and dipping things in it is always yummy and interactive!
February 13, 2014
March 10th, 2013. Kumare – Filipino Group Dinner!
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!
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
The menu has great photos that help even novices to Filipino food navigate the cuisine!
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.
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
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!
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!
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
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!
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
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!
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!
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
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!
December 25, 2013
March 10th, 2013. Relate Bake Sale!
Our church was holding a bake sale and there were homemade macarons! I definitely had to get some
As you can see they are perfectly risen, super delicate and airy and let me tell you….delicious!
December 24, 2013
March 8th, 2013. Kishimoto on Commercial Drive
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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!
On the plate: A simple Spicy Salmon Maki. Fresh, uncomplicated and straight forward.
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!!
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!
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
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
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!!
December 24, 2013
March 5th, 2013. Lifegroup~
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~
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~
Sharing life, shooting the breeze, praying together and eating delicious snacks? All good things, in my book ;D
December 14, 2013
March 2nd, 2013. 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!
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
Always excruciating trying to decide on what to have because everything looks so good!
We ordered a couple of Lattes and went with the tried and true Green Tea Truffles as well as the Green Tea Parfait!
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!
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!
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
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
December 14, 2013
March 2nd, 2013. Yum Time @ Zakkushi!!
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 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.
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
Alright, so the first trio of skewers to show up were the Kurobuta Pork, Wasa Beef and Uzura Maki.
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!
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.
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
As indicators of the rest of the meal to come these first 3 were having us chomping at the bit and wanting more!!
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!
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.
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.
Side dishes? Yes, why not go for a trio of them! Gomae, Chilled Tofu and some Pickled Veg!
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!
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
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
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!
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!!
November 29, 2013
February 26th, 2013. Chili Cheese Hot Dogs!!
I had the most ridiculous craving for chili cheese hot dogs. Like, you don’t even get it, I was salivating just at the thought of it. Sometimes with cravings I leave it alone to see if it’s a legitimate craving…let me tell you, after a week the craving was even more pronounced!
It was getting to the point where all I could think of was chili cheese hot dogs….. Hey, don’t judge! I finally went out to get some ingredients to make some at home. I had a plan and was ready to put it into action!
I actually do most of my grocery shopping at Superstore and I find the President’s Choice products are not only fairly priced, but very tasty! Chili? Let’s give it a go!
I made tin foil “boats” for the hot dogs so I could pop them in the oven and then take them out and eat them easily. Best idea ever, if I say so myself! No dish to wash later! I scored the smokies and pan fried them and then popped them into the buns.
I then added the shredded cheese into the sides in between the bun and smokies, then smothered with heated up chili. Sprinkle some more cheese on top!
Stuck these babies into the oven and let the cheese melt down. MmmmmmmMmm!! Yes, hot and ready to devour. Success!!!
Chef Paul Shufelt: Root Beer Braised Heritage Angus Beef Short Rib Shepherd’s Pie – BC Home & Garden Show 2013
November 28, 2013
February 23rd, 2013. BC Home & Garden Show!
Scored some free tickets to the BC Home & Garden Show via work, so made plans with Rachel and Shelly to check it out at BC Place Stadium on Saturday! This year the cooking was all about home comfort food. Score!!
Chef Paul Shufelt from Edmonton took the cooking stage to show us how to make the ultimate cold weather comfort food: Root Beer Braised Heritage Angus Beef Short Rib Shepherd’s Pie!
The most tender and flavorful short ribs shredded and topped with truffled cream corn, and parmesan mashed potatoes! Super rich and cozy and delicious! I wish I could have this every week!!
Thank you, Chef Paul, for the awesome demo (really, you made it seem so easy…although I’m sure it’s more complicated if I try to do it in my own tiny kitchen) and the yummy bite! This was super amazingly yummy and though I’m not a fan of root beer it made the beef soooooooooooooooo good!
November 21, 2013
February 21st, 2013. Matcha Latte @ DAVIDsTEA
I never really used to be one to add milk to my teas, but since working at DAVIDsTEA and realizing the true amazingness of the world of tea lattes I’ve been going latte crazy! Inspired by the Brown Rice Green Tea Latte at Bubble World, I thought I’d try to make something similar at work
This particular concoction is 2 perfect DAVIDsTEA spoons of Genmaicha and 1 shot of Matcha Matsu with frothed Soy Milk with a good dose of agave for sweetner.
The sweet toasted rice flavor of the Genmaicha with the brightness of the Matcha and the milk bringing balance to the cup….Ahhhh, perfection! Just call me the Latte Master