Kenzo Japanese Noodle House

Located on Kingsway and Griffiths in Burnaby/New West area. I found this place a long long time ago, and recently visited due to low on ideas. This place is ran by Koreans, therefore their Korean dishes are generally verily decent. However they are also quite famous for their ramen.

When we got in, we were being seated at a table very close (or directly in front of) the door. It is not exactly warm these days and this totally made me think – “Really?” So we sat down anyways, and after a couple people in and out I just need to ask for a seat switch. She was really nice about it and let us pick our table (away from the door).

We weren’t too hungry so we simply ordered a bibimbap and a pork bone soup ramen.

Like most bibimbap, hot and fresh. Though I will have to say it wasn’t one of the best bibimbap I’ve tried.

This is favorite is soup base for ramen aside from miso, so usuually I would order this at different ramen places. Pork bone soup takes a very long time to make (the good ones at least) and Koreans seems to do this really well. So this is almost a must order every time I come here. Their pork bone soup base is very smooth and rich, but it doesn’t give you this very gross feeling after drinking its soup. 🙂 But if you are a meat eater, I would suggest you getting something else on the side. Like all ramen, it only comes with 3 pieces of meat. 😛

Kenzo Japanese Noodle House on Urbanspoon

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Accord Food House (一心麵典) – Afternoon Tea

Recently found out this restaurant is named Accord Food House! Anyways previously I mentioned about their afternoon tea (3pm-5pm). So I did go back and visit during their afternoon dessert time.

Sorbet made in house served with fresh fruits – sorbet flavours: strawberry, passionfruit and orange. I would have to say I loved the orange! It is very tangy and fresh!! It almost taste exactly like the real orange next to it. 😛 And of course the whole plate looks great with all these colorful fruits. 🙂

Palace Garden Earl Grey Tea Latte – well i always loved earl grey tea latte, but this palace garden mix earl grey is very delicious. Full of beautiful floral scents in every sip, if you are into floral tea just like me you will for sure like this one. 🙂

Caramel pudding milk tea – if you remember my previous post of their pudding cake, this pudding in the milk tea is that pudding. Ever so soft pudding! With a little burnt caramel flavour made it very unique indeed. IF you don’t mind the burnt caramel flavour, this is great to try! 🙂

I always love this place, will visit again soon. 😀

Yi Xing Mian Dian (Noodle House) on Urbanspoon
Accord Food House 一心麵典 on Urbanspoon

Sweet Revenge

Haven’t been there for a while. I came here about two years ago on a Valentine’s evening. This time I revisited again for a friend’s birthday, the decor hasn’t changed a bit. I still love the vintage look to the restaurant, the redness tint – this feels like grandma’s home. And I just love it. ❤  Sweet Revenge is located 4160 Main Street (between 25th & 26th). It is a little dark one, so pay attention if you are driving.

Since we didn’t have a large dinner, we had more room for dessert. So I have ordered a lavender latte and Sweet Revenge Cake.

(Sorry for the dark images, it is very very dark inside and I didn’t want to go crazy with flash.) The latte was good, I also requested some honey on the side (because that’s usually the sweetener I use for my tea). Though I felt like the lavender flavour could be much stronger (personal preference). Maybe because lavenders are very tiny, they kept sneaking through the presser and into my tea. I kept drinking bits of lavender in my latte. 😛

The Sweet Revenge cake is a torte-like cake, very very rich and dense, coated with dark chocolate ganache. If you are not into chocolate or very sweet dessert, I wouldn’t recommend this one. I thought I would give it a try because it is trademarked by them. I couldn’t finish this dessert because it was very heavy. But was very smooth and chocolatey. 🙂

This is the hot chocolate my friend ordered with whipped cream, was very very sweet also. But was smooth. The whipped cream however sort of tasted like canned whipped cream.

The Smooth Operator, I had this before the first time I visited. So I recommended it to my friend. This is a very yummy one.

“”Fresh raspberries and mascarpone cheese with whipped cream, layered over raspberry liqueur-soaked chocolate sponge cake, sprinkled with white chocolate shavings and drizzled with raspberry coulis.”” – Sweet Revenge

It is exactly like it is described and look, the layering and the liquor made this cake very good. Fluffy and has fresh raspberry and cheese. :9 If I ever visit again I would recommend this to others again. 🙂

And another great thing about this dessert place, it opens late! But cannot make reservation on weekends. (I have made it once for my friends and I ended up not being able to make it, they are very very strict on all guests must arrive at the same time before seating you. So pay attention to that.)

Go indulge when you have a sweet tooth craving. 😉

Sweet Revenge Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Toshi Sushi

Located on corner of E 16th and Main Street. This little hidden gem has a line up for a reason. I went there after hearing a few things from my friends after I noticed it always being closed when I passed by (I often pass by the area during the afternoon), they open for only very short hours per week – Something along the line of 5-10 five days a week? I can’t remember clearly. So I visited for a friend’s birthday.

We started with calamari and seaweed salad. The calamari wasn’t one of those typical ones full of batter and gets you full because you are eating all the batter, and they weren’t crispy. They were lighly frieds with little batter and served with mayo. This was not bad, at least I didn’t feel too grossed out after eating this. But if you are looking for a crispy calamari, this wouldn’t be the one to order. Salad wasn’t what I was having in mind… I was expecting the whole salad made of seaweed. We got a salad with seaweed on top. The dressing was good, but maybe it would taste better if the whole salad is actually seaweed? 😛

Going to any sushi places, you just need to order sashimi, because this can easily reveal if the restaurant serves good and fresh food. We ordered the sockeye salmon, a little less fat but was nice and tender. And it wasn’t freezing cold, I notice too many sushi restaurant trying to keep their raw fish fresh they freeze it. But without defrosting it too much they serve it to the customer. These sashimi was at room temperature. Wasn’t cut into very large pieces, size was just right.

Almost at most sushi place I always order chipped scallop roll and negitoro. My favourites. The scallop was interestingly chewy. Wasn’t too too chewy, but it wasn’t very very soft either. Which surprised me a little bit. The negitoro was fresh and so yummy. :9

These are the house roll (I believe) and the tobiko sushi. I normally are not into the large tobiko (I think there’s another name for it, I just can’t remember at the moment. Reason is because they are usually too salty and too fishy….. (haha yes I know :P)  But these ones were not salty and not too fishy, but has a great pop in your mouth for sure. I actually didn’t mind it at all.

Overall the restaurant was busy but wasn’t overly noisy with attentive and polite service. Everyone working in the restaurant are authentic Japanese. (At least I think they are because they kept speaking Japanese to each other.)

If you ever is around the area, this is a great little sushi place. I would revisit. But I would suggest one person go a little earlier to wait for a seat, because it’ll take a while.
Toshi Sushi on Urbanspoon

Bistro Pastis

Decided to try out this French bistro with a few good friends of mine for Dine Out Vancouver 2012. Bistro Pastis located towards the further end of West 4th Vancouver – famous for being an authentic French bistro. Loving French cuisine, I must give this a try.

Since these are dine out menus, we tried out the asparagus(?) soup and pate. The soup was pretty good (but it wasn’t my dish). My pate was a little too dry, it doesn’t fill like normal pate that I usually have…

For my main, I have selected a steak. I liked how they have cut the steak into small slices. However that is not my favourite item on that dish, my favourite item is the potato! It is layered with butter I believe, but what ever is going on with the potato. I love it. 😀

My friend tried out the duck and the trout. The duck was pretty tender with very good beans. If you are into ducks, you should give one a try.

Last but not least, the dessert.

Crepe and chocolate mousse – I would have to say this restaurant seems to do their dessert a little above average. Both of these items were pretty tasty.

The chocolate mousse was very very rich but without being too sweet. But since it is a very sweet dessert, non of us were able to finish it. The crepe I tried a bit with apple caramel was also very delicious with very nice soft crepe.

This restaurant rates an above average to me, but wasn’t worth the price I will have to say. Maybe it would be a little better not during dine out times? I will probably pop by later to have a dessert and see if it will change my mind.

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The District

Also known as The District Social, located in North Vancouver by the water at the end of Lonsdale Ave. Late night hours everyday, makes this a great tapas place. It is a very crowded place, if no reservations are made I believe it will take quite a while before getting a seat during busy hours.

To start we ordered a special salad unfortunately I cannot recall the name. Mixed greens with a crunchy pastry at the bottom. The pastry is delicious and warm which helped with melting the goat cheese. And the goat cheese add wonderful flavour with the balsamic and pinenuts. All the flavours were mixed perfectly I loved this salad! I really do. ❤

For Entree we ordered The District Mussels and The No. 13 Sandwich to share. 

Mussels were cooked with red onion and garlic as sauce, but wait there’s more – Russell Black Death Porter Beer. Of course no doubt onion and garlic would work wonderfully with mussels but the beer adds a very interesting flavour. It was actually pretty good. Mussels were fresh with very yummy fries. 🙂

The No. 13 burger’s patty is made from tenderloin and sirloin ground in house, therefore the burger is very juicy and tender. And your choice of cheese and soft burger buns. Umm. I am sure you can go wild and come up with a “You” burger.

Overall, The District is a decent restaurant with pretty good service. I love their open kitchen where I can see them work. Though it is quite far for me (I live in Burnaby) but I am sure this will make a great place to be during summer and ending the meal with a walk by the water. 🙂

The District on Urbanspoon

Maenam

About two years ago I have went to this place for dinner, and this year I went back for Dine Out Vancouver. Maenam located on West 4th. And once again it didn’t disappoint me. 🙂 Their dine out menu is a little different from everyone else, dishes are being shared instead of your own portion (Which I loved because I can try everything!! 🙂 )

Creamy hot and sour soup of chicken thighs, salted chicken thighs braised in coconut cream, with oyster mushroom, lemongrass, and galangal. If you are into hot and sour soup, this is definitely a must try along with coconut cream made the spice pops out.

Unlike most mussels that you will taste at other bistros, these mussels were cooked in a very light broth (almost like soup) with cherry tomatoes and celery. It was a little sour and spicy with a a hint of lemon grass and basil. I couldn’t make out of what is in the soup itself. Comes along with a special sauce – nahm jim, for dipping mussels which was also very tasty. :9

This is one interesting salad, I never had anything like this. Fresh basil leaves with grilled chicken and pieces of crispy garlic? It was very yummy, if you are into basil leaves you will definitely like this salad.

(Sorry for the blurry image, it was very dark in there!) Here’s the Sloping Hills Pork Salad – slow roasted then grilled, young lotus, fried shallots, lemongrass, chilli jam. This is a very filling salad because of the pork and it is a spicy dish. I generally like this salad as well, very interesting flavours going on.

8 spice fish, I generally is not into cooked fish (I enjoy sashimi, the fish has to be relatively good for me to tell others it’s a good cooked fish.) And this was a good cooked fish, very rich in flavours and crispy!! 😀 Served in a caramelized tamarind and palm sugar sauce, topped with eight different fried herbs and spices. It was an enriching experience. 😛

Aromatic curry of oven roasted maple hill farm chicken and southern style dry curry with grilled sirloin. I couldn’t decide which one is better, both very good curry that is great with the jasmine rice provided. Beef curry has peanut and coconut (which is a great match). The chicken curry served with cucumber relish to help cut through the thickness of curry. Oh both so yummy. 😀

Stir-fry beef and squid. The squid was quite normal (much like something I can easily whip up last minute at home) but the beef was good with peppercorn and baby corns. But compared to rest of the dishes, this seems lacking excitement.

The donuts were really good and soft. The coconut ice was very refreshing after all the curry and heavy flavoured food. The chocolate however was a little too sweet with an extra flavouring that I wasn’t sure what it was (but has the best presentation).

Overall I liked the restaurant, I knew it was a little rushed as for all dine outs. But the food were good and service was decent. I would totally revisit as this would make a great place for small parties. 🙂

Maenam on Urbanspoon

2011 Beauty Search

I’ve always love dining out at new interesting places, especially if the decor and atmosphere interests me. Here are the top ten must visit restaurants in Vancouver BC (Not in any particular order):

1. Marche St. George (St George and E 28th)

This is definitely a neighborhood gem. Adorable rustic French corner store/cafe located in a quite neighborhood off Main Street. Black chalk board menus, vintage silver wares, glass jars and wood furniture covered with fur rugs to add the home-y touch. Since it is a small corner store, there are seats outside of the store and it’s a perfect way to enjoy a beautiful afternoon.

2. Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe (2095 West 4TH Ave)

If you have been to this cafe you will know why this is on the list, with large amount of retro signs, toys, painting, posters and photographs from the 50s all over the whole restaurants walls. Place mats on the table where you can paint and sketch and pops of vintage colours all over the restaurant. You will almost felt like you went into a retro diner.

3. Oru Cuisine (Inside Fairmont Pacific Rim by Canada Place)

You will fall in love with the beautiful origami paper look light that stretches from the lounge all the way up the to restaurant. This Japanese fusion restaurant in Fairmont Pacific Rim adds a nice touch to this relatively new hotel by the harbour. At night you will be able to see these beautiful globe from Canada Convention Centre right across.

4. West Restaurant and Bar (2881 Grandville Street)

One of the Araxi food group of lower mainland located by the Grandville area. Maybe I am just a sucker for hanging decor :P, this restaurant has this swirly reflective hanging from their ceiling with lots of mirrors and symetrical patterns all over the restaurant. With a nice warm orange on the walls and red chairs gave it a beautiful color harmony.

West

5. Salade de Fruits (1551 West 7th)

A nice french bistro that serves full entrees without the fancy attire, but the decor will make you feel you’re in France to the fullest. French street signs and labels across tables and walls of the restaurant with playful servers with French accents. The energetic servers and owners definitely adds a French touch to the whole restaurant, you’ll for sure have a great time there.

6. Top of Vancouver Restaurant (555 West Hastings Street)

For sure everyone would think of Top of Vancouver or Cloud 9 when it comes to breath taking views, what beats being high up and see the whole Vancouver in a 360 revolving restaurant? Now I must say this restaurant other than its view and service, the food isn’t just that worth going for. But you just need to see the view up there at night, it is just so beautiful especially after a glass of wine. 🙂

7. Chop Steakhouse Richmond (10251 St Edwards Dr)

There are many Chops across BC, and of course I haven’t been to all. But the decor of the Richmond one is fantastic. First of all, it’s really clean and dim is the first thing I noticed. It uses bold big decor with these very beautiful soft hanging lamp at each table to create this almost eating the stars atmosphere. I just cannot take my eyes off all those beautiful lamps in this dim restaurant.

[Cannot find a photo online, but should def visit and take some good ones. ;)]

8. Brix (1138 Homer Street)

Another restaurant that has a outdoor area to sit in. I actually went to this restaurant during winter, but the open garden area was well protected with heavy drapes and warmed with lots of heaters. Through the sunroof I can see the stars but feeling very warm inside the heavy drapes, with vines and outdoor furniture having the dinner right there just made it so perfect.

9. Joey’s Restaurant Burrard (820 Burrard & Robson)

Surprised? Yes I was too. When I went to this Joey’s I couldn’t believe I was at Joey’s! The waiting area is so beautiful with pure white sofas and beautiful wallpaper on the ceiling. The wine rack is so large that it completely takes up one wall but created this eye catching point to the restaurant. With the dim restaurant and illuminated walls give the restaurant a futuristic look touched with modern furniture. Once again I just LOVED their sofas.

10. Thierry (1059 Alberni St)

This modern pastry is the talk of the town, I was attracted by its entrance. Full length dark wood doors with little circle windows that just makes you want to look more! When I walk in I just love how the whole place is dark wood (makes you think of chocolate), and marble counter (oh so fancy). It’s just so pretty I couldn’t resist sitting down and have a coffee instead of ordering to go.

Hope you enjoyed my little ventures (of course I haven’t visit everywhere, so if you know any good places please let me know!) 😀

CinCin (Dine Out Vancouver)

I thought I would give this one another try. I only tried this once a couple years ago during Dine Out Vancouver with a few friends. Few of my friends claimed that they would never visit the restaurant again. I thought back then it wasn’t that bad.

So this year I went with a different group of friends and gladly they have different menu items from the last time I checked. As I entered the restaurant once again it is a very energetic restaurant, crowded with customers. This is one of those restaurants that you MUST reserve otherwise they will tell you they are fully booked (can’t even wait for a seat type of pack). [To my friends it is a bit noisy, you will need to talk a little louder to your friends across the table.]

For my set I have ordered grilled tofino octopus, chorizo sausage, saffron potatoes and salsa verde. The octopus was very chewy, sausage was a bit salty but the potatoes are very delicious. I liked this appie, I couldn’t really tell I am eating octopus though. 😛

Friend’s cream of garlic soup – oh if you love garlic you will love this soup. Was so so yummy and a mouth full of garlic. :9

Then I ordered the braciola di maiale – wood spit roasted pork chop, guanciale braised cabbage, pork cheek cappelletti with apple cider puree and fennel pollen. I know this might not look very appetizing but it is a good dish. Although because it is straight meat so it filled me up very quickly.

My friend ordered rigatoni con cardi e noce – house made parsley rigatoni with cardoons, walnuts, fontina, vegetable nage and baby spinach. The taste was great, I really liked the right amount of saltness to this pasta. But sadly I had three friends who ordered it and all of them had not fully cooked pasta. 😦 The taste is good but not cooked pasta is just no good.

Dessert – my most anticipated course. 😛 We decided to order one of each to try it all out.

Tiramisu – very very rich coffee liquor and not the traditional shape. I liked it.

Pear Panacotta – pear in a pudding, a little bland without the caramel pastry but with it made the dessert just right.

Caramel Apple Cake – oh this was very very yummy, wasn’t overly sweet like most caramel items.

Service was alright, I had to ask for hot water twice before I actually got it. And for some really odd reason the waiter just never came back to fill my hot water where he kept filling my cold water glass. But he made sure my friend enjoyed his dinner (the not cooked pasta).

I probably would revisit for dessert. 🙂

CinCin Ristorante + Bar on Urbanspoon

Footo Delight

Saw this place from a foodie friends’ post, so I went down to try it out. It was a rainy cold day and I was very excited to try Footo – Fresh Out of The Oven croissants that everyone is talking about! Upon entrance I like their logo already. 😛

 

When we got in the owners were busy with a designer/photographer, they were discussing about photos and files etc. They were a little too busy to deal with us…

The interior is a very clean place, you can smell the fresh bakery filled the air. I had already lunch so this is a light snack, so I decided to go with a chocolate croissant and a matcha latte. After ordering the food, we didn’t know where to sit. The store has two sitting areas and they were both piled with files from the guest. The owner had to quickly remove a few things for us to sit down. Then very quickly we got our croissant and latte. Then I thought, wow that was fast.

Matcha tastes good, but of course it cannot be compared to Sajin’s. But it was a decent matcha latte. 🙂

Then the most anticipated croissant… It’s not warm! 😦 I was so disappointed the moment I touched it. I was expecting a warm croissant, it was cold just the weather. The croissant was good, very flaky and soft inside. Wasn’t overly sweet for the chocolate, it’s just I was wishing it to be warm. I asked my friend what he thinks and he said, “I was expecting a warm croissant… from their company name.” Exactly what I thought, especially after reading all the reviews from others. If I am ever in the area and need a snack bite I might pop in there again, otherwise I wouldn’t purposely go there.

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