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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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!

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 😀

 

 

October 22nd, 2012. Seattle Trip~!! 

molly moon's - wallingford

molly moon’s – wallingford

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a casual dinner with Henry’s roommates at the Korean chicken and beer place downstairs from their apartment Henry suggested that we go to Molly Moon’s for dessert!

molly moon's - wallingford

molly moon’s – wallingford

 

 

 

 

Molly Moon’s?  Artisanal homemade ice cream?  Uh…yes please!  I’m pretty sure the one we went to was the Wallingford location close to the University of Washington, since it was just a short drive from University Ave.  Side note: How can you not love the fact that their address is 1622 and a 1/2?  Too cute!!

molly moon's - wallingford

molly moon’s – wallingford

 

It’s a small little shop that has soft but bright lighting and seems so inviting.  The sweet tantalizing aroma of fresh dairy and homemade waffle cones beckon you inside…but there’s also a cramped line up so you’re kinda rubber-necking it from the door to see the menu and bouncing on your toes wanting to get in 😉

molly moon's - wallingford

molly moon’s – wallingford

 

 

 

 

 

There were so many interesting flavors to choose from and I really was very very torn…. In the end I opted for the Salted Caramel.  Smoooooth, creamy, decadent and delicious without being overly sweet or salty, this was a true ice cream made with care 🙂

molly moon's - wallingford

molly moon’s – wallingford

 

 

 

 

 

Molly Moon’s, you done good.  I’m not a cold foods kinda gal, but I would come back here to try more flavors and just soak in the sweetness and goodness of the atmosphere!  All thumbs up!

August 19th, 2012. Tea Shop 168 – Willowdale (North York, ON) 

 

tea shop 168 - north york

tea shop 168 – north york

 

 

 

Finally able to take a little time to ourselves, Yire and I ventured out of our nice hotel room at Novotel and took a walk down Yonge Street.  We saw Tea Shop 168 and looked at each other…Bubble tea??  Yes, please!

 

tea shop 168 - north york

tea shop 168 – north york

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps it was because it was our first time left to our own faculties at a place where we didn’t have to make a mass group order….but it took us a lot of time to figure out what we wanted to order!  It was as if we’d never ordered food in real civilization before!  Hahaha!

 

tea shop 168 - north york

tea shop 168 – north york

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yire ordered the Matcha Slush and I got the Red Bean Smoothie.  Holy moly, huge cups!  Probably the sole reason we took may too many photos of the drinks was the sheer surprise of how big the cups were!

 

tea shop 168 - north york

tea shop 168 – north york

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet, refreshing, and filling…these were a generous accompaniment to what was to come….the waffle!

 

tea shop 168 - north york

tea shop 168 – north york

 

 

 

 

 

 

Named the Stravaganza, there was no way we couldn’t order this!  A waffle topped with strawberry ice cream, strawberries, strawberry sauce, whipped cream and a sprinkle of white chocolate chips….man oh man, this was a real waffle delight!

 

 

 We spent this nice slice of afternoon relatively worry-free and eating some delicious sweets for lunch 🙂

A&W Somewhere in P.E.I.

August 4, 2013

August 12th, 2012. AllTV Korean Culture Caravan – Somewhere in P.E.I.

a&w coke float

a&w coke float

 

 

 

Thought we’d go try to do some grocery shopping for the next day….but apparantly in P.E.I. nobody stays open once dinner time hits.  Oh boo….

Instead we stopped at the A&W across the street where I was introduced to a Coke Float!!  The most amazing thing EVER!!  Cold, creamy, sweet….omg, how have I never had this before?

It was so delicious that I have to now reconsider my prejudice against A&W… 😉

Cactus Club Cafe (Burrard)

February 17, 2013

April 21st, 2012. Cactus Club Cafe (Burrard Street)

cactus club cafe (burrard)

cactus club cafe (burrard)

 

 

 

Since our group outgrew Guilt & Co. pretty quickly we had to try to find another place that would fit all of us. After being turned down by Chill Winston and Rogue Cactus Club on Burrard came in and saved the day saying it’s a slow night or them and they can seat us all upstairs! Sweet ;D

cactus club cafe (burrard)

cactus club cafe (burrard)

 

 

A few of us are inflicted with a case of late-night-sweet-tooth cravings, and I was so glad Anita was there to join in on my love for desserts!  With a name like Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bite how could we not???  A delicious crunchy bar with the best combo of chocolate and peanut butter with crunchy chocolate pearls, caramel sauce and served with Tahitian vanilla ice cream!  Deliciouly sticky, sweet, oozey, melty goodness!

cactus club cafe (burrard)

cactus club cafe (burrard)

 

 

 

Say what you will about these chain restaurants, but they are definitely stepping it up with their food and quality so that everyday people and foodies alike can have a party in their mouth!

Chinois (Yaletown)

October 31, 2012

February 4th, 2012. Chinois Dine Out Disaster

 

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

So Nabil really wanted to take me out to a Dine Out dinner since we’d never been together before. I gave him a few choices that I was interested in. Chinois was on the list because, hey, it’s a new Yaletown restaurant, it’s Chinese fusion, it must be hip!

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

We arrived at the restaurant to find it extremely low-lit….perhaps they are being frugal with the electricity to help save the planet? I don’t know….but al the decor was seriously lost because the place was so dark.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

We opted for both the Dine Out Cocktails, the Lotus Flower (Lychee infused simple syrup, fresh pressed orange juice and soda) & the Silk Route (Chivas Regal, Drambuie, honey infused syrup, green tea and ginger beer).  The Lotus Flower was more tart than I would have liked, and despite being too strong for my liking I actually thought the Silk Route had a lot of intersting stuff going on.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

Nabil wanted to be extravagant and add a half BBQ Duck to our already 3-course meal.  It came with a side of shrimp chips and hoisin sauce and a ginger garlic sauce for dipping.  Uh…for $25 we got the greasiest half duck I’ve ever encountered!  It was such an embarassment of a BBQ duck

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

Really….We barely made an effort for fear that the greasy coating in our mouth would make it difficult to eat anything else.  This was our first sign of things to come….

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so the first appetizer off the Dine Out menu was the Deep Fried Crab Claw with Red Vinegar Sauce.  Decent, if a bit greasy….but really.  A crab claw is a crab claw.  One dinky crab claw.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

The other appetizer was the BBQ Sampler of Crispy Pork Belly and BBQ Pork with a side of hot sauce.  More grease and dry pork….we were starting to feel pretty yucky with all this grease.

 

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

The Spicy Kung Pao Chicken with Ghost Chilies, Roasted Cashews and Tofu was really mediocre.  No authenticity whatsoever in terms of Chinese cuisine.  Really…so pedestrian.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

Uh….the Jumbo Prawns with Candied Walnuts, Broccoli and Creamy Spicy Sauce?  Is this some joke?  Holy huge florets!  And the creamy sauce was just bad…..Wow….Chili Mayo gone terribly wrong.

chinois

chinois

 

 

Nabil insisted we try all 3 of the Dine Out entrees, so we also had ordered the Black Pepper Steak, which is AAA Tenderloin, Wok Fried Onions and Mushrooms.  Again…a total let-down.  Are we in a mall food court here??  It was better than the Kung Pao and the Jumbo Shrimp…but it was also quite greasy  :/

 

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

Do we dare stick around for dessert?  Eh…why not.  Coconut Ice Cream and Mango Pudding with Fresh Mango and Lychee.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmm…my 2 least favorite flavors….but they weren’t terrible.  I appreciated the fresh fruit on top of the pudding and it both desserts had good consistency.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

Will I be back?  Not likely.  The food is definitely not worth it, there are virtually no lights in the place, so it’s like you’re eating in the dark, the seating is so cramped that you can literally join in on the conversation of the other diners and the manager is a complete sleaze  (a couple sat down next to us and when the girl went to the bathroom he came by and commented to the boyfriend about her artificial physicial enhancements and wanted to to know if the guy’s banged her yet).

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

Second time I learned my lesson that “Chinese-Fusion” is a baaaaaaaaaaad idea. Chinois….more like Chin-Naaahhhh!

November 19th, 2011. On The Way to Vietnam
korean air prestige class (dinner)

korean air prestige class (dinner)

 



After a short stop-over in Korea we’re back on the plane again. Headed to our first destination: Ho Chih Min City, Vietnam, formerly known as Saigon!!

  Dinner time again~!!
korean air prestige class (dinner)

korean air prestige class (dinner)











This time we started off with an appetizer of Roasted Eggplant with Chicken.  It was slightly bland, but the sauce helped.

korean air prestige class (dinner)

korean air prestige class (dinner)

 




The salad was Parma Ham with Melon and Baby Salad and Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil Dressing.  For my bread I opted for a Bao.  The salad was quite lovely.  The parma ham was nice and salty, which was a great contrast to the sweet melon and I just dipped the tender salad greens in the dressing for a light splatter of flavor.

korean air prestige class (dinner)

korean air prestige class (dinner)

 





Since I ordered a western entree I also was given an extra appetizer, the Pumpkin Cream Soup.  Now I love pumpkin and I love soup, so this was a treat!  Creamy, sweet, savory goodness.

korean air prestige class (dinner)

korean air prestige class (dinner)

 

 



My main was the Seared Prawn and Scallop with Chinese Black Pepper Sauce served with Egg Fried Rice and Vegetables.  Um…the prawns were definitely over-cooked, although the sauce was good, and the scallops?  Oh….i thought they were mushroom stems…..those were scallops????

 

korean air prestige class (dinner)

 

 




We got to choose between ice cream and fresh fruit for dessert.  Haggen Dazs ice cream?  Uh, no brainer!!  I absolutely love these individual-sized cups.  Perfect!

Lifegroup Thanksgiving #1

February 11, 2012

October 10th, 2011.  Thanksgiving with Lifegroup~

thanksgiving dinner

thanksgiving dinner

  It was the first Thanksgiving dinner Patricia and Ricardo were hosting as newlyweds!  I was literally salivating on my way just thinking about all the delicious food that was bound to be there!  Patricia’s known to be a great cook 😀  I, myself, was bringing a ceasar salad to contribute to the meal.

  Arg!! I missed the turkey action!  Ricardo already carved it all up..but trust me, it was a good lookin’ bird

thanksgiving dinner

thanksgiving dinner

 

 

 

  The spread: Maple+Ginger Carrots, Corn, Patricia’s Delicious Meatballs, Oven-Roasted Asparagus, Stuffing, Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Gravy, Pickles and Ceasar Salad!

thanksgiving dinner

thanksgiving dinner

 

 

  I swear, this meal was EPIC!  I don’t even like cooked carrots..but these were the best I’ve ever tasted!  The meatballs were DElicious, Turkey was perfectly cooked, the mashed potatoes were whipped within an inch of their lives, and even my garlicky salad was great!  Ahhhhhhhhh~~~ this is why I LOVE Thanksgiving!!

thanksgiving dinner

thanksgiving dinner

 

 

 

 

  Even homemade desserts!  A super delicious Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie Crumble and the most amazing Lemon Squares!  SO GOOD!!