April 27th, 2013. Spring Break In The City!

the betty (the burrard hotel)

the betty (the burrard hotel)

 

 

 

 

Good morning, Vancouver! It’s spring break!  It’s a typically rainy day, but that’s not going to stop us from making the most of it!

the betty (the burrard hotel)

the betty (the burrard hotel)

 

 

 




Another reason why I love The Burrard Hotel is that it has this incredibly sweet café attached to the lobby that has Blenz coffee and tea, very delicious looking baked goods and treats and is licensed for wine! The white and wood interior and teal and yellow accents make it that much more chic 😀

the betty (the burrard hotel)

the betty (the burrard hotel)

 

 

 

 

In keeping with the rest of the hotel even the café offers cheeky little sayings and touches 😉  What’s not to love!  Makes starting the morning even more fun!

 

 

 

*Update (Jan. 22nd, 2015): The Betty has been re-vamped and is now The Container.

April 12th, 2013. Chaiyoung’s Getting Married!

casa del pane bakery

casa del pane bakery




My dear friend Chaiyoung finally met the man of her dreams and is getting married!  She had kept everything very low-key so it came quick and sudden, but after seeing her photos with her fiance and hearing her talk, you can’t help but see how happy she is 🙂
casa del pane bakery

casa del pane bakery




Only the best for my Chaiyoung Bebe, I got a pretty Black Forest Cake from Case Del Pane, and Italian Bakery in Newport Village in Port Moody. Delicously decadent with big, rich white chocolate shavings and sumptuously juicy cherries in abundance this cake was just as gorgeous to eat as it was to look at 😀

April 1st, 2013. Sunny Day at Rocky Point 

rocky point park

rocky point park



When the sun is out the day is warm it’s hard to resist heading out to Rocky Point to soak in some Vitamin D!

The remnants of a McDonalds Blueberry Muffin and an Iced Berry Good Pu’erh from DAVIDsTEA!  I’m feeling berry today 😀

March 23rd, 2013. Capstone Tea & Fondue 

 

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

  Since we couldn’t sit down for teas and treats at Soirette we headed over to Capstone Tea & Fondue on Robson instead.  Nab just started working here as the manager and I wanted to be supportive of his new job.
 
 

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

With a clean, white and green color scheme and plenty of efficient seating space for a small cafe. Capstone offers variations of tea and tea lattes to accompany the chocolate and cheese fondues.
 

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

Since we’re sweet, we went the sweet route with the Chocolate Fondue Sampler 😉  The café states that they offer 56% semi-sweet Blegian dark chocolate for dipping.
 

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

 

I was surprised to find out that all their pastries and baked goods are made in house.  Delicious little biscuits, moist cakes, I probably could have just eaten a whole plate of just that!
 

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

 

The fruit is your usual fare.  The grapes were slightly difficult to dip because it was so slippery and the skewer kept bouncing off, but I loved the strawberries and pineapple 😀
 

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also ordered an add-on side of the ice cream truffles and cheesecake truffles!  
 

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

 

 

  The fun part was the different kinds of toppings we could roll our fondue dipped treats in!  Compliments of the house 😀

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

 

 

The chocolate had a sort of sheen and coated the items well. We were definitely having fun dipping and noshing on the abundance of goodies!

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

 

 

 

I worried that the ice cream truffles would melt too quickly, but it didn’t turn out to be a problem 🙂

capstone tea & fondue

capstone tea & fondue

 

 

 

 

 

How much fun did we have?  Lots of fun!  The establishment was constantly busy the whole time we were there and the atmosphere was nice and cheerful 🙂  We had  really fun time!

 

 

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 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 😀

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 😀

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 😀

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 😀

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

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~ 😀

 

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 😀