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¬†ūüėÄ

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

 

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.

November 20th, 2011. Hello Vietnam~~~

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

¬†¬† After a few activities on Unicorn Island, a canal boat ride and another boat ride we arrived at Coconut Candy Island and……….lunch!! Over looking the Mekong River, this little place specializes in the local delicacy…Fried Elephant Ear Fish! Caught straight from the murky waters of the Mekong. Well…when in Rome…..!

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

  So, this wonderful spread was waiting for us as we arrived. The Elephant Fish in the middle and on each of our plates and pancake. Time to dig in!!

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

We each had these Pancakes in front of us to start with. ¬†Nice and fluffy, light and thin ūüôā

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So our lunch attendant picked the fish apart and with the flesh, some veggies and some rice noodles wrapped it all up in a rice wrap and handed one to each of us.

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

How great does this look!  Wrapped right in front of our eyes~~!

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We dipped this Elephant Ear Rice Wrap in the individual peanut sauces in front of each of us and let the freshness just burst in our mouths!

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Shrimp yumminess!  Again, these were hand-peeled for us.  Tender, flavorful, and just so clean.

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

This very interesting puffed up Sticky Rice Donut!  Our server cut it up into pieces, and advised us to eat it with fresh basil.

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky, crispy, sweet, fresh, delicious!!

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some greens.  Nicely cooked, tender and vibrant.

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously a lot of Korean tourists must come by because the locals try to cater to a Korean sensibility when they see Koreans.  This was their version of Korean Kimchi Jjigae served in a flaming bowl.

coconut candy island - lunch

coconut candy island – lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gotta wash it down with some good ol’ Coca Cola ūüėČ ¬†Great way to polish off a great meal! ¬†Sure, we were all super full, but somehow it didn’t feel uncomfortable or heavy. ¬†Just this nice, satisfying feeling ūüôā