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 20th, 2013. Chilled Minty Sesame Soba Noodles with Soy-Wasbi Dressing

minty sesasme soba noodles

minty sesasme soba noodles

Don was having a potluck and karaoke birthday get-together at his place and of course my immediate thought was “what can I bring on a budget?!”  I also had to factor in the fact that I’d be working all day and would have very limited time to actually cook anything if I wanted to get to his place on time.

I looked in my fridge and staring back at me was this almost whole bunch of mint that I seriously didn’t want to waste. “Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!”, I thought, cold soba!  I’d been having a craving for something like this anyways and Don’s birthday potluck was a perfect excuse to try my hand at something new 🙂
minty sesasme soba noodles

minty sesasme soba noodles


Although I did end up going out and buying most of my ingredients for this dish it was actually very affordable to procure all I needed.  So I went out and got some grated lemongrass, cucumber, asian white radish, tobiko and wasabi and started developing the dish.

I actually made my own pickeld vegetables! And even bought a mandoline slicer just for this occassion!  I hoped the dish would be a hit just on this fact alone.  Hey, I went out and bought a kitchen appliance just to make this dish. You better all like it!  I made a pickling liquid out of vinegar, salt, sugar and grated lemongrass.  Then I dunked the julienned radish and cucumber and left it in the fridge overnight tasting every few hours to see how much the veg had soaked up the juices.  I wanted it to be crisp, but packing lots of flavor.
minty sesasme soba noodles

minty sesasme soba noodles


After cooking the noodles and putting them in an ice bath I drained them and then coated them with a little sesame oil, salt and pepper.  I then mixed in the pickled veg and mint and even used some of the pickling liquid to keep the noodles nice and moist.

I rolled the noodles into “balls of yarn” slightly smaller than the size of my fist and sprinkled with tobiko for that “POP” and then dusted it with ground sesame seeds.
minty sesasme soba noodles

minty sesasme soba noodles


The dressing I made with soy, wasabi, grated lemongrass and some sugar and took it on the side so guests could add to their preference level of spiciness.

You know what? I impressed myself!  The dish was simply aromatic with a juxtaposition of sweet, savory, minty and tart.  It even had umami making me crave more after my first taste!  Mmmmmm~~~ this was a success in my books and I think everyone at the party enjoyed it as well!  Yay, me!!!!

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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Tagine-Inspired Moroccan Chicken Dinner

June 3, 2014

April 11th, 2013.  Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

tagine-inspired moroccan chicken

tagine-inspired moroccan chicken




So, I was looking through Epicurious and saw this delicious Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas and Mint recipe and thought to myself “I don’t have a tagine, but this looks delicious and somewhat do-able.  I’m going to make it!”
tagine-inspired moroccan chicken

tagine-inspired moroccan chicken








I got some chickpeas, a pack of chicken drumsticks, a bunch of mint, some chicken stock, ginger and grated lemongrass.
tagine-inspired moroccan chicken

tagine-inspired moroccan chicken









Sorry I don’t have a step-by-step this time around, but trust me when I say, this turned out REAL WELL!  I put mine over rice and it was delish!

For the Epicurious recipe go HERE 😀

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Pizza Hut Lunch Buffet

June 2, 2014

April 9th, 2013.  Pizza Buffet Pig Out!

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet

When was the last time you’ve done all you can eat pizza?  That’s right, probably not in a long time 😉  We’d seen this sign come up recently and being the Pizza Hut die-hards that we are it didn’t take any arm twisting on my part to convince Eunice to come with me 😉  Besides, $7.00 for all you can eat?  Best deal in town!

 

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet






Pizza of our childhood, deliciously crispy soft crust, super hot ooey-gooey satisfaction.  And yeah, even the salad bar, plain as it is, holds a sentimental place in our hearts and our stomaches!
pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet









Howard came along for the ride, but obviously he is not as consummate as me and my sister.  I mean, come on, you are talking to some pizza fanatics 😉

We even ordered a pitcher of Coke.  Because even though neither of us are huge pop drinkers when it comes to Pizza Hut we know that nothing tastes better than  a tall icy cup of Coke ;D
pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet













The obligatory salad.

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet











We attacked that pizza buffet like nobody’s business!  We actually managed to power through quite a good amount of pizza and by the time we threw in the towel we were extremely happily stuffed and ready to pass the heck out!

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet









Sure, artisinal pizzas, thin crust this and fresh herbs that are all the rage.  But Pizza Hut is in a league of it’s own.  Unapologetically rich and hearty and the cheese is piled on, it’s just sooooooo good~~~!!

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet









Don’t try to get in the way of us Choi’s and pizza.  It won’t be pretty and we won’t be nice ;D
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Kumare Restaurant & Bakery (Richmond)

February 13, 2014

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!

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Hot Chocolate at The Coquitlam Grill

November 20, 2013

February 19th, 2013.  The Coquitlam Grill

the coquitlam grill

the coquitlam grill

 

 

 

Been really loving on The Coquitlam Grill for the last little while.  Great neighborhood spot with a huge menu (lots of options!), fantastic breakfasts, decent lunch specials and just that great down-home feel.

Solid food and reasonable service all add up to many repeat visits ;D

(Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream piled high!)

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Sunday Breakfast @ Ricky’s Restaurant

November 9, 2013

January 27th, 2013. Sunday Breakfast with Eunice 

 

ricky's restaurant

ricky’s restaurant

 

 Breakfast food cravings are contagious!!  Eunice woke up with a massive cravings for Ricky’s breakfast food and it didn’t take long at all for it to be transferred to me!  Really no surprise though, since food is always on my mind and breakfast food is one of those sacred “I’m down for it anytime” kind of things.

  Gone-ish are the days of Ricky’s being known as an eatery for seniors.  They’ve spruced up the look and the menus even have a lot more interesting things!  Stuff that you actually would want to eat!

 

ricky's restaurant

ricky’s restaurant

 

 

 

  The newly built Ricky’s on King Edward Street & Lougheed by the IKEA is shiny, modern, clean and BUSY!  Eunice and I were seated right away but we could tell already that our server was a little swamped.  We asked for coffees and dove into the menus.

 

ricky's restaurant

ricky’s restaurant

 

 

 

 

  Eunice was dead set on the Chorizo Brekkie Bowl – of course with extra hollandaise on the side 😉  I did get to try it and have to say.. I can see why she craves these!  You really can’t go wrong with spicy salty chorizo, fluffy eggs and crisp & tender hash!  The onions and peppers in the dish had a sweet almost caramelized quality to them.

 

ricky's restaurant

ricky’s restaurant

 

 

 

 

I wanted the Famous Pancakes.  3 stack with eggs over medium and deliciously crispy bacon!  Mmmmmm~~  the pancakes were super fluffy and the eggs were done to satisfaction.  Simple, classic breakfast food.  Can’t complain!

 

ricky's restaurant

ricky’s restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday breakfast YUM!!  Good call, sister, good call indeed 😉

 

(Also, I figured it was a fancy scarf day because you can never be too fabulous first thing in the morning!)

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Birthday BBQ @ Burgers Etc BBQ House

November 8, 2013

January 19th, 2013. Birthday BBQ 

 

burgers etc bbq house

burgers etc bbq house

 

 

  Now that the weekend’s upon us time for a real birthday dinner!  I wasn’t feeling like a large get-together, so it was literally Eunice, Howard, Chris, Rachel and myself,  What did I want to eat?  BBQ!!  Vegetarian I am not… LOL!

 

 

burgers etc bbq house

burgers etc bbq house

 

  Originally I wanted to do Re-Up BBQ at the New West Quay, but they close too early and also it’s more of a food-court style venue in the market there and parking is just a hassle, so I switched it to Burgers Etc BBQ House on Hastings on the border of Vancouver/Burnaby.  A small little BBQ house that I haven’t been to in a long time!  I had a good impression of it the last time so I was anticipating another casual yet yummy meal 🙂

I had to have the Coke Float as soon as I saw it on the menu and what a good thing I got it… sweet, icy cold and delish!! Perfect for a BBQ meal!

 

 

burgers etc bbq house

burgers etc bbq house

 

 

 

 

  I wanted to share the combo platter so that I could have a little bit of everything!  It’s the obvious way to go at a place like this, DUH!

 

burgers etc bbq house

burgers etc bbq house

 

 

 

  Our platter was piled high with Sausages, Chicken Wings, BBQ Ribs, Smoked Chicken, Beef Brisket, and Pulled Pork!!  With fries, and my choice of macaroni and baked beans!  Everything was sooooooo yum and so much more food than it  seemed!

burgers etc bbq house

burgers etc bbq house

 

 

Everything was sauced really well and seasoned well too.  But that doesn’t mean it didn’t call for a good dose of BBQ sauce!  Come on, we’re talkin’ BBQ here!  Tender pulled pork and wings, delicious char on the ribs, big meaty chicken and briskets and sausage for days!

 

burgers etc bbq house

burgers etc bbq house

 

 

 

 

 

Chris also ordered the Pulled Pork sandwich for good measure.  

 

 

 

Super food coma again!!!  Awesomely satisfying birthday dinner with great company! 

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Birthday Brunch @ Red Wagon Cafe

November 3, 2013

January 1st, 2013. Best Birthday Brunch @ Red Wagon Cafe!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

Happy Birthday, Eunice!!  A great sister deserves to start off the year right.  Who doesn’t love brunch and who doesn’t want brunch from a little cafe made famous on the food network?  But even before Red Wagon Cafe was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Thrus and Dives” this tiny, ghetto-looking East Hastings cafe was seeing line-ups down the block and acquiring die hard fans!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

Since they don’t take reservations we were in the huddle of awaiting diners gathered around the front just anticipating for the waitress to come out and call our names!  Oh, and the hunger was setting in…. Setting in reeeeeeeeeeeeeal good….!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

When they finally come out and call your name you almost feel as if you’re “the chosen one” as you are suddenly possessed by this feeling of elation and are looked upon enviously by the others that remain outside!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the establishment there’s very much a retro feel and it’s quite tiny!!  Literally within earshot of the other blissful diners!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mimosa for the birthday girl!  Eunice loves orange juice, so why not start off the day with a bright, special drink!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

 

 

Eunice went for the Crispy Pork Belly Brunch which consisted of confit pork belly, 2 eggs, griddled tomatoes, homefries, salsa verde, hollandaise and toast.  A plate FULL of just delicious, hearty, flavorful goodness!  Eunice had no problem just digging right in and getting down and dirty 😉

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

She got her eggs scrambled and they looked soft and fluffy!  The pork belly had me drooling and after a taste of it myself I had to say… daaaaaaaaaamn, that’s some good pork!  Crispy exterior, juicy interior and the salsa verde was great in cutting the richness without masking it!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

I love a good eggs benny.  To my disappointment by the time we were seated their special of the morning, the Pork Belly Benedict 😦  So default to the next choice?  The Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict 😉  Served with the signature homefries and hollandaise.

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

Moist, savory sweet and tender pulled pork over english muffins and topped with medium poached eggs and gorgeously smooth, rich hollandaise sauce poured over.  Perfect poach on the eggs added just the right amount of sauce and moisture needed for the muffin and the crispy, deliciously seasoned homefries!  Oh really, I was so extremely happy with this slice of brunch heaven!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

And just because no breakfast/brunch is complete without bacon…we ordered a whole plate of it And since the Jack Daniels spiked Maple Syrup seemed too awesome to pass up we had to order some of that as well! Uhm….HELLO!!!  Most Amazing Combo…EVER! I was slathering it all over my homefries and also dunking that bacon in it with every bite! I guess they don’t cook off the alcohol cuz there’s a serious smokey-boozy kick to the maple syrup that is JUST ADDICTING! I could not stop!

 

So how was this birthday brunch?  Judging from the state of food coma we were in and the drool and JD maple syrup down the front of our shirts and our sticky fingers I’d say we were pretty darn happy!

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