Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wang's Beef Noodle House

To start off, I wouldn't say I am a die-hard fan of noodle soups per se (trust me, I know some people who just loooove noodles in soup!) but I do occasionally enjoy delving into a nice, steaming, heaping bowl of homemade Pho :), a spicy bowl of Bun Bo Hue...or a hot and savoury bowl of laksa (only from Bo's Laksa, of course)

Adding to that list of 'enjoyable savoury noodle soups' is of course the Taiwanese's very own version of beef noodle soup, also known as TBN (an acronym that I have acquired from some local food bloggers).  Their version generally consists of stewed beef, beef broth, noodles (either thick or thin), with various ingredients such as: star anise, white pepper, green onions, etc that is added to the flavouring of the soup.  Different variations of tbn also exist in the form of spicy, tomato, garlic and a herbal broth.


From Corner 23 to Bubble World to Tri-ty to The One,  I have frequented a fair share of bubble tea joints, (as well as Taiwanese eateries) and thus have sampled, tasted and devoured quite a number of tbns! Each bowl differed from the previous one in terms of the spiciness level, degree of stewed flavour, sweetness, amount of beef present, types of noodle(s) available, etc.  After recently reading about Wang's Beef Noodle House, a d.c of mine trekked out to the other side of town for our very own experience...


Marinated Pork Ears
My dining companion and I both decided on the usual picks: Marinated Pork Ear, Pork Potstickers, Beef Roll (Sliced Beef in Chinese Pancake) and we shared a large bowl of their Spicy Beef Noodle Soup.  The marinated pork ear (served cold) was a good starter - loved the crunchiness of the cartilage, chewy bits of the ear (I know, doesn't sound too appetizing but trust me, it`s good) and the sweet flavours of the accompanying sauce.  We also thoroughly enjoyed the homemade pork potstickers (prepared in a longer shape similar to the ones that Corner 23 serves) as well as the Beef Roll (though it was a little dry - but tasted really good when dipped into the same sweet soy sauce accompanying the potstickers).  As for the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup, we chose the thick (flat) noodles (as usual).  The heavily-stewed broth tasted and smelt divine, though I would've liked it a tad bit spicier.  The chunks of beef were huge and deliciously tender.  It was also topped off with specks of green onion and pickled vegetables, which I loved.

Beef Roll (Sliced Beef in Chinese Pancake)

Speedy and friendly, some English speaking servers




No real decor or ambience here - just a place to dine and go!

Overall: 8.10

Yay:  Come here for an authentic and delicious bowl of TBN, as well as crispy and tasty homemade pork potsickers

Nay:  Cash only

Wang's Taiwan Beef Noodle House 王記台灣牛肉麵 on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 21, 2011

Zest Japanese Cuisine

peace and serenity coupled with sushi and sake...ahhh true bliss


Dishes that were devoured:

Wakame Sunonomo: Seaweed and cucumber dressed in a light, tangy and uber refreshing vinegarette. The wakame was chopped up differently here and Scoe described it as tasting so fresh, it tasted as if it was just harvested from the ocean, right behind the restaurant, lol.

Spinach Gomae: Lightly dressed in an "original blend of saiyo miso and sesame paste", foodmatik appetizer staple

Tuna and Salmon Sashimi: Sockeye salmon and albacore salmon - freshness at its best

Tuna Takaki Salad: a generous amount of nicely-seared tuna sitting below a bed of fresh greens with a delicious miso-type dressing with a strong wasabi kick! Loved the dressing.

Tuna Amigos Roll: My favourite of the rolls - a Zest original spicy tuna roll with a homemade miso-based spicy sauce.  Coated in crispy flakes of tempura batter throughout - spicy, crunchy, soft flavours all in one roll!

Soba Crab Rolls:  Most unique rolls of the night. Buckwheat noodles and crabmeat wrapped in seaweed and deep-fried, served with a sauce similar tasting to tempura sauce.  Loved the uniqueness, crunchiness and distinct appearance to the roll, disliked the semi-tasteless aspect of it

Crunchy Ebi Avocado Roll? (cannot recall actual name): Listed on specials menu.  Nicely-battered and deep-fried ebi (prawn) roll and topped off with slices of avocado.  One can never go wrong with this combination!

Special Honey Pork Roll? (cannot recall actual name): Listed on specials menu. Honey-marinated pork roll with slices of mango (or egg) on top (can't believe I don't remember! :( ). The roll itself was ok - I like fusion but definitely think that pork and sushi should not be paired together, lol


Pleasantly warm and genuinely friendly service


Prices are on the higher end, but still more affordable than restaurants of similar calibre - e.g, Tojo's, Miku


Loved the serene and elegant ambience coupled with dim lighting and tables fancily clad in white table cloth, good thing we made reservations as we were seated in a very spacious corner window booth :)

Overall: 8/10

Yay:  Come here for fine, modern Japanese cuisine,  warm and genuine service, quiet neighbourhood, parking in back,

Nay:  Higher-end Japanese cuisine = $$

Zest on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whistler Eats!

This past weekend was spent up in the gloriously beautiful snowy slopes in Whistler in celebration of a dear friend's birthday.  It is one of the world's top ski resorts and a venue host to the 2010 Winter Olympic games (also, it was the destination where Seal proposed to Heidi Klum in a custom-fitted igloo).  Whistler is the perfect spot for your winter getaway, summer getaway (ziptrekking, anybody?) as well as home to fine culinary spots for tourists and non-tourists alike (hello, remember Hell's Kitchen being filmed at Araxi? Yeahh, thought so!)

best. brunch. ever.

Though no visits to fancy restaurants were planned or expected (Araxi will have to wait), a memorable brunch was had, indeed.  Conveniently located in the Summit Lodge and Spa, right in the Whistler village, Elements was nowhere near a disappoint.  It was here where I had the most perfect brunch ever- a Sauteed Spinach and Goat Cheese Eggs Benedict topped off with a sundried tomato hollandaise.  The eggs were perfectly poached and runny, there was a generous amount of spinach and goat cheese and I loved the sundried tomato touch to the perfectly-composed hollandaise sauce.  Throw in their signature potato tartlet with a dollop of their chive creme fraiche as well as a shooter-size sample of their breakfast smoothie - this meal had my tummy and appetite beaming for the rest of the trip! 

Elements' Classic Breakfast

My dining companion opted for the Classic Breakfast which was fully equipped with two free run (scrambled) eggs, duck sausage, honey ham, 2 slices of their artisan bread and paired with once again, their signature potato tartlet and a smoothie shooter - a standard but healtheir and fancier version of the classic breakfast!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings
in a garlic butter hot sauce
In the evening, we visited the Whistler Brewhouse - a sibling restaurant to Yaletown Brewing Co. in Yaletown here in Vancouver.  It was exactly how I expected it to be - a loud, enormously spacious, dual (or multi) level restaurant fit for small and large parties, as well as the perfect venue to catch a hockey game.  As a starter, we shared the Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings in a garlic butter hot sauce.  The batter was thick and crispy and served as a nice, flaming start to the meal.  For my entree, I went for the Bang-Bang Chicken Salad with romaine lettuce, oriental vegetables (loved the shitake mushrooms!), roasted cashews and dressed in a sesame-soy vinegarette.  I loved the crunchiness of the romaine lettuce and cashews paired with the sweet flavours of the sesame dressing. 

Bang Bang Chicken Salad
Though not very many culinary destinations were explored on this quick mini getaway.  The food aspect of it was definitely satisfying and is to be continued until my next Whistler adventure!