Monday, December 3, 2012

You say 'macaroon', I say 'macaron'

oh, say, little discs
of sweet almond meringue bliss

...just a few of the more aesthetically 'unique' macarons I've discovered to date:

macarons clad in Vancouver Canuck hues
heart-shaped macs...♥
Rudolph's heart is as sweet as chocolate ganache..who woulda thunk? ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

You had me at...Alaskan King Crab!

 It came. I saw. We conquered.

Oh, spring. While images of butterflies a fluttering, chicks a chirping and bunnies a hopping are usually envisioned upon hearing about the arrival of this much beloved season, there's one very prominent thing that comes to my mind: Alaskan King Crab! Yes, I'm talking about the king of all crabs -that tasty, succulent crustacean that's highly sought after by diners and restaurant patrons alike during this time of the year.

On this night, the family was herded and called upon to congregate at Rose Garden Seafood Restaurant for the annual king crab feast.  I, along with my brothers, sisters, nephews and parents in tow, was ready to gorge the living legs out of those sea monsters! ...(And gorged, we did!)

First up were the steamed crab legs topped with raw minced garlic and green onion.  The meat was incredibly soft, tender and juicy.  And although I wished that the garlic had been more browned (and perhaps even fried), I still very much enjoyed picking the flesh out of these babies!

Next to arrive were the joints which were deep fried and doused in aged soy sauce, minced garlic, and onions.  I thoroughly enjoyed the hefty and meaty knuckles.  They were very flavorful and although, we hadn't ordered any white rice to go with it, it would've complemented and balanced the flavours perfectly.

Finally, the last king crab preparation was the incredible visually-pleasing (and equally as indulgent) Baked Alaskan King Crab Fried Rice.  Baked in the crab's shell (known as a carapace) and topped to its capacity, the fried rice was prepared in a Portugese style cream sauce.  The red bits you see scattered throughout is the carapace meat - which itself was a bit tasteless - but definitely served as a nice touch to the last Alaskan crab course!

Rose Garden Seafood Restaurant 嘉好海鮮美食之家 on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All Hail the Caesar!

Clang, clang, rattle-bing-bing" 
Gonna drink my Caesar all day
Clang, clang, rattle-bing-bang
"Gonna drink my Caesar all day

[my adaptation of Mortimer's bedtime song 
from a Robert Munsch classic]

For those who know me personally, you are probably aware that I have increasingly become quite the avid Caesar guzzler.  Yes, I'm talking about that uniquely spicy, wonderfully savoury and dangerously addictive cocktail.  Though a blatant rejector of Caesars at first ("Yuck! Clamato juice? Puke!"), I have developed a relationship where I just can't live without it.  Similar to the onset of your typical romantic comedy (where initial absolute disgust, between characters of differing personalities, turns into 'accidental' romance over time), I can vow that my love for Caesars will never subside

It is here, where I would like to dedicate my absolute affinity for this wondrous cocktail.  Visualize as I take you on a whirlwind tour on my magic carpet of Caesar adventures throughout Vancouver. I've had my fair share of Caesars in and around town, but these are more of the 'memorable' ones.  For me, a great Caesar has the right proportion of Clamato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, and tabasco sauce.  It must also have an adequate amount of garnish (extra is always better) and just the right amount of ice.  

The Caesars below are based on a 5-star rating system (*****):

suspected secret amazing ingredient: pickle juice!
Rating: ****
"Neo Caesar" with kimchi!
Rating: ***
The Mill Marine Bistro
quail eggs and bacon, anyone?
Rating: ***½
♪ ...these boots are made for sippin'... 
Local Public Eatery
Rating: ***
The Sin Bin
'Make Your Own Caesar'
(as you can see, I went all out ;))
Rating: ***½
Cactus Club
what an aesthetically savoury line-up of garnish!
Rating: ****
Rodney's Oyster House 
hellooo, horseradish!
Rating: ***½
 'Rustic Caesars' with basil
Rating: **** 
The Keg 
(with request of extra beans :))
Rating: ***
Pink Peppercorn
(why hello you tasty buttered garlic prawn twinsies, you!)
Rating: ****

(garnished with steak rub spices, could've used more of a bit of everything!)
Rating: **½ 

(not enough worchestershire sauce, but still satisfying with the prawn and all ;))
Rating: ***

(love these chic tall slim glasses...and wish I asked for an extra prawn!)
Rating: **** 

chez moi :) 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dine Out Vancouver 2012

When Dine Out Vancouver (DoV) was first launched about a decade ago, I was thrilled.  Three-course dinners at a number of notable restaurants with $15, $25, and $35 prices? Sign me up! 

Unfortunately, in the recent years, DoV has been mostly a disappointment.  I guess with greater hype come greater expectations...and greater chances of a letdown.  First of all, prices have gone up.  Secondly, albeit the number of participating restaurants has surged in the past few years, I find that the overall, the course selection for DoV isn't all that impressive.  Thirdly, there's always the doubt of whether the quality of the food served during DOV is reflective of the quality you would receive had you dined at the same establishment on a 'regular' day.  I guess it's up to each individual to be the judge of that, but for me personally, the DoV fan in me has increasingly waned over time.

One place that is almost always consistently satisfying is none other than the beloved steakhouse, the Keg.  It is also almost the only place that I recommend for DoV.  The DoV value is awesome. Plus, you get free bread and comfortable seats - definitely a win-win situation in my books!

DoV stop #1: The Keg, Burnaby

my go-to drink...with extra beans to boot :D

Baked Garlic Shrimp
10 oz. Prime Rib with Keg Fries
Billy Miner Pie

 Keg Steakhouse & Bar on Urbanspoon

DoV stop #2: Oakwood Canadian Bistro

Radiccio salad with goat cheese, candied pecans, bacon lardons

Braised Lamb Stew

Nanaimo Bar Brulee
Our DoV experience was Oakwood was alright.  Portions were good and I enjoyed the appetizer and dessert.  The stew was overly salty though.  We had also ordered mussels and the burger off their regular menu.  I really enjoyed my super moist and juicy burger but the mussels were a little underwhelming with the broth being once again, overly salty.  I've also had brunch here and really liked it.  Overall, Oakwood is a great culinary establishment that's committed to serve fresh homemade food made from locally sourced ingredients.  I will return!

 The Oakwood Canadian Bistro on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 9, 2012

Holiday Gluttony

This holiday, I sure jingled my appetite bells and had myself a very merry pig-fest for it was the most wonderful time of the year! I mean, "everybody knows a turkey (and some mistletoeeee) helps to make a season bright." But what I really wanted, most of all, was to roast some of my own chestnuts on an open fire (although I eventually had to settle for someone else roasting them for me, instead). Do you hear what I hear?

:: dinner at Les Faux Bourgeouis Bistro ::

lamb tenderloin brochette with goat cheese salad

beef tenderloin in a peppercorn cream sauce

my candy cane cocktails ;)
:: brunch at Hawksworth ::

brioche french toast with caramelized banana, lavender honey, cream

halibut cake benny
:: lunch at Au Petit Chauvignol ::

cup of tomato soup

              reuben sandwich served with pomme frites 
:: lunch at Meat & Bread :: 

what do you get when the chicken meets the duck meets the turkey? 
:: snackin' on euro treats at the Christmas Market ::

my blurry bratwurst
waffles on a stick
:: dinner at my most beloved Chambar ::

Qualicum bay scallops, smoked kurobata pork cheek, pickled green beans

Smoked foie gras terrine with truffled brioche french toast...amaaaazing
moules frites congolaise...absolute necessity
poutine a la belge...avec le fromage bleu. Formidable!
:: dinner at Pivo Public House ::

Cajun Chicken Cobb Salad

:: NYE dinner at Tableau ::
(last meal of the year, hence the splurge ;) )

6 oz. beef tenderloin topped with foie gras & black truffles