April 27th, 2013. Spring Break in Vancouver!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

So what to do in Vancouver? Eat as much food as possible! Continuing on our food-cation in Vancouver: a bite in Yaletown at El Azteca Modern Tequila Lounge 😀

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

Sure, Yaletown can be hit and miss in terms of actual good food and compared to how beautifully gussied up the interior is the service and authenticity of the cuisine can be a disappointment…but you can’t help trying.  Yaletown is like that really popular, pretty girl at the party that you just keep hoping is going to be your future wife, but then she opens her mouth and starts talking…and you realize that she thinks scalloped potatoes are made of scallops and that macaroons are the same as macarons…..

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

Anyways!! I digress.  With a preamble of cocktails, Robert and I started the evening with the Chicharron de Rib Eye; deep fried bites of rib-eye and guacamole served in a martini glass and a side of tortillas.  So, I really wanted to love this, and on paper it all sounded so good!  Not that it wasn’t good…the crunch on the rib-eye was great…but I think I’d have to say that rib-eye should just be left alone…not diced up small and that fried. Really ended up masking the flavor. But hey! It was still pretty yummy…just didn’t need to be made of rib-eye!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

Robert went ahead with the Tacos Camarones of fresh Pacific shrimp, bacon, onion, peppers, and smokey habanero. The shrimp was plump, the flavors all worked together, and of course the true test of a taco is how much finger-lickin’ you do! I’d say this was a decent effort 🙂

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

I did my usual hemming and hawing over the menu and even picked our server’s brain.  In the end I ended up with the Cochinita Pibil. Pork slow-roasted in banana leaf (supposedly) and then served in a traditional peltre bowl served with a side of beans, pickles, and soft tortillas.

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

Did I enjoy it? YES! The pork came shredded, moist and smothered in a flavorful sauce that was sweet, tangy and had a little kick to it. 2 things I loved about this dinner: 1. It’s interactive. I get to build my own taco and play with ratio of ingredients.  LOVE THAT! 2. I was eating with a close friend whom I didn’t have to feel self-conscious about eating with my hands and having food juices dripping down my wrist. Hahaha!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

 

I would NEVER order something like fajitas on a first-date situation, so the fact that I can order anything with Robert is a sign of true food-friendship ;D

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fun and playful touch to the end of our meal at El Azteca was the Jacob’s Ladder block toy that our check came in! Holy blast from the past!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

Don’t judge my love for Churros. Or donuts. Or anything deep-fried.  With a tagline like “served with white chocolate dipping sauce” there is NO WAY I could resist an order to take out with me. Midnight snack here I come~!!!  Crispy, sugary, cinnamon-y, hot doughy goodness.  Yes, heaven, I’m sure, is full of churros 🙂

 

In conclusion, El Azteca is warm and inviting and service with cute Latino accents is always a plus, but the food doesn’t stand out, the flavors don’t pop, and for what you pay the portions are pretty meager. Is great for maybe a drink and small bites pre-party, but wouldn’t want to sink my entire night here.

Banana Leaf on Robson

January 22, 2015

April 27th, 2013. Banana Leaf Robson

banana leaf robson

banana leaf robson

So I felt like a bright lunch would be a great way to go so I had planned for us to go to the new Banana Leaf that just opened up on Robson.

I ordered the appetizer platter as my lunch and I was pretty pleased! I love love love options and this dish came with the Papaya and Pineapple Salad, Chicken Satay, Spring Rolls, Roti Canai and Calamari.

banana leaf robson

banana leaf robson

Finger food, check. Sauces, check. Flavor, check! The roti canai was stretchy but with a crispy crust, the calamari was a tad dry, but acceptable with a salty and crumbly crispy coating, the spring rolls were deep fried goodness and while the satay could have been punchier with the flavor, it was still not bad! As for the salad, the dressing was bright, sweet, acidic, and overall was fresh!

banana leaf robson

banana leaf robson

 

 

Robert, on the other hand, was very disappointed with his curry dish. Being well traveled and also being from LA he’d know!  He said it was bland and forgettable and he even left a scathing comment card! Yikes!

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.

Alpha Global Sushi Bar

January 22, 2015

April 26th, 2013. Alpha Global Sushi Bar

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

In Vancouver you definitely have to have sushi!  It’s a must. Like, really. I mean it!

To kick off our spring break I took us to Alpha Global Sushi Bar. Yelp and other food reviews have almost always steered me in the right direction and I’d been hearing about this place for a while. While it’s at a higher price point than many the promise of unique twists and good quality just outside the Yaletown neighborhood had me anticipating a good meal 🙂

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 


The space is small, with very limited seating, typical of your more traditional Japanese style joints. It’s cozy.  The interesting thing about Alpha is that you also get a hefty book on Japanese history along with your table and menu. Intellectual!

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mojitos are a must on sunny days and when reuniting with a friend! Refreshing, minty, subtly sweet and crisp!  My favorite cocktail 🙂

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ebi Fry seemed to be a fan favorite, so we ordered it. Light, crispy, and super hot on the inside! The cool tartar sauce helped cool down our tongues and added a tangy punch!

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

We ordered the Spicy Tuna Sashimi with sliced onion, seaweed, green onion with a spicy ginger sauce.  Fresh tuna has a clean, sweet flavor and your teeth sink in the surface and then you get a slightly bouncy give towards the middle.  The spicy ginger sauce was refreshing and paired in a lovely way with the tuna!

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar


The famous and namesake Alpha Roll has mango, tobiko, mayo crab, wrapped in albacore tuna, and avocado with a plum wine mustard mayo sauce.  You know me, I love sauce!  This roll was again, quite clean tasting and the sweet and rich sauces just added a decadence to it.  I am usually not a fan of mango, but this roll was nice 🙂

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

For our second roll I went with the Philly Roll.  Sure, it’s one of those “been there, done that” items, but I can’t help my love for cream cheese and smoked salmon 😉  While not being exactly exciting I was happy that they didn’t skimp on the smoked salmon as many places do.

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

Mind blowing moment: The Mentaiko Udon. Like, MIND. BLOWN. It was essentially udon noodles in a spicy cod roe sauce…..but what made it so amazing was that it was tossed in BUTTER! Like, WHAT???!!! How could something so simple, make something SO AMAZING!! Oh, right, IT’S BUTTER!  Okay, maybe I’m just a little crazy, but this was so so so so awesome. I loved it!!

Despite the fact that it seemed like a solid meal I couldn’t help feeling at the end that I wasn’t quite satisfied. Like, even though we were both full it still left me feeling like I was wanting something more. Hmmmmmm………

April 24th, 2013. Girls’ Night!

milestones langley

milestones langley

A much needed night out with my girls!

A light dinner at Milestones included the Baked Goat Cheese and Roasted Garlic plate. Wow!! When you go to Milestones you are really just there for the atmosphere and the company because for the most part you’re going to be let down by the food…..but this was a huge hit with all of us!

milestones langley

milestones langley




The roasted garlic was so sweet and flavorful, the baked brie was creamy and pungent with the black sesame giving a pleasant nuttiness to it and the spiced cranberry relish and fig jam both added a beautiful sweet note to counter the cheese and the garlic.  Super yum!
milestones langley

milestones langley




We also had the Butternut Squash Ravioli, which was pleasant but not special. I mean, Cactus Club Café does this much better. The Roma tomato sauce felt clunky and almost canned, the pesto was just kinda mild, and the pasta seemed slightly thick.



All in all though, we had a fun time catching up and the food was really just a thing for our hands and mouths to be doing as we bonded and just shared life 🙂

April 14th, 2013. Baby Aiden & Destin’s 1st Birthday~!

vancouver golf club

vancouver golf club





Flown in from Singapore, Yoonchan Oppa and Yong Eun Unni had brought their little family to Vancouver so that they could celebrate their twins’ 1st birthday with all the family and friends here in Vancouver!

vancouver golf club

vancouver golf club






The Vancouver Golf Club was a really nice venue for them to hold the party and with the help of their friends they even had the whole place decorated with the babies’ photos, party favors, and pots of ballots for the traditional “what occupation will the babies choose” game 🙂

vancouver golf club

vancouver golf club

The food was buffet style and what a nice spread! Rivaling any nice wedding, the selection was wide and sumptuous and quite tasty as well!  Eunice and I definitely approved of all the delicousness 😉

It was our first time meeting our new twin nephews but with all the activity going on and with so many people there wanting to meet them it was difficult for us to get personal time.  I can say that they are quite the adorable pair and look nothing like Yoon Jai Oppa’s kids!
vancouver golf club

vancouver golf club






All in all we had a really fun time.  Any time getting together with family is a good time 😉

Posted by jenn c.
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Muffin and Iced Tea on a Sunny Day!

May 19, 2014

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 😀
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Capstone Tea & Fondue!

May 10, 2014

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!

 

 

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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!

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Perfect Korean Mini Meat Patties (동그랑땡)

April 18, 2014

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 😀

 

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!

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