Corner 23 Richmond

New location in Richmond Continental Plaza right at the corner where G-Ramen used to be. (Original location is across of King Edward Skytrain Station in Vancouver. As I entered the Taiwanese Bubble Tea place I noticed right away how beautiful it is renovated! Lots of mirrors and tall ceiling with beautiful lanterns on top gave it a very nice and grand feeling. It is very gorgeous for a bubble tea place.

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As I was seated, I can’t help but keep looking at the ceiling and the walls. The mirrors and lanterns! I just can’t take my eyes off of them. I absolutely loved it! But anyways, aside from pretty decorations the food is also very important.

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So here is what I ordered to share between two people:

Wan Luan Pork hock with noodle soup

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I haven’t had pork hock Chinese style in a while. There is always this rich and heavy flavours in pork hock, but along with the garlic sauce provided the flavour becomes just right. The strong garlic sauce takes away a little bit of the heavy meat flavour and worked great together. Which is also very good on rice or plain noodle to truly taste the pork hock. Pork hock is not easy to make and is very time consuming. It’s either love or hate because not many appreciate the flavour of pork hock, but if you do like it then you should come and try this out.

Stir fried Water Convolvulus – I would consider them a little ‘old’. The veggie itself is not tender enough but flavour is fine. Maybe just the veggie is not in season?

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The food is decent, like many other Taiwanese bubble tea places. But I would consider this a little better than average. But their decoration truly takes my breath away (I know I kept walking about the lanterns…. : P) It is really pretty for a bubble tea place! So even maybe just an afternoon to have a chat with a few friends with some Taiwanese snacks and bubble tea place, you can consider this. (But it is quite a small place.)

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I would come back, it’s convenient and quick. Also beautiful. 😛

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Thierry

After dine out at Black & Blue, I walked across and enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate (because I wasn’t really satisfied by their carrot cake :P). This is the second year I am back for their hot chocolate festival, I remember last year I tried out this rare hot chocolate is was rich, smooth and smooth. Yes I couldn’t get over how smooth their hot chocolate was, I recommend their hot chocolate to many friends because I was absolutely in love with it.

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This year they have several kinds as usual, I picked the one with ice cream in the middle. I made my friend took pictures of it getting ready as I was hogging a seat (well you know this place is 24/7 busy). An ice cream is put into a clear glass cup with a chocolate disc on top. They will then pour hot chocolate into the cup for you (which I sort of wish we would be doing that ourselves like Chocolate Arts), the presentation is just awesome. How you sort of see them putting the hot chocolate together for you.

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But I wish was that the hot chocolate was hot enough (like Bella). So I think from that brief description you can tell this hot chocolate was only moderate (or maybe I just expected a little more from Thierry). The hot chocolate was tad bit warmer than luke warm, which made the whole experience pretty bleh. Because really hot chocolate needs to be HOT.

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They serve with a little cream puff, wasn’t too sweet and is fresh cream. :9

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Oh how I missed that “One in a Million” hot chocolate from last year. 😥

Sometimes I do feel Thierry is overpriced, but late night and I want dessert and not many choices left I will choose Thierry. (But knowing the amount of people that will be there always stops me…)
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Graze

I haven’t been to a lot of western vegetarian cuisine out there, so this year Dine Out Vancouver I decided to try something new. “Graze’s all plant-based menu (including all of our wines, beers & spirits) incorporates as many locally & organically produced ingredients as possible.  Building on this foundation, we also grow our own herbs & vegetables, collect rainwater for our garden, compost our kitchen waste, reduce/reuse/recycle everything we can, support ethical suppliers, reduce our power consumption, solar heat our hot water, are very particular about our paper and cleaning products and are always looking for ways to do even more.” http://grazerestaurant.ca/ This is written on their website, and this is what sold me on trying them out.

When I first walked in their restaurant I noticed right away their beautiful wall full of people. Yes it is a giant wall with paintings of people, but it was so dark that I couldn’t take a photo of it. But you really need to look at this beautiful wall. Seriously.

They actually have quite a bit of selections for the dine out menu, each course has about 4 selections which I think is great! After we placed our order, my brother unrolled his napkin to lay out his utensils… then he saw this.

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Okay, this is quite disturbing. Knowing the napkin you were about to use has someone else’s lipstick stain on it… Maybe they tried to wash it and it didn’t come off? The waitress made a witty comment about the stain is hers. But still…. =_=  Or I am just having my luck with these dirty restaurants experience… XD

Appetizers:

Organic yam & red pepper chowder, local corn, cracked black pepper, lightly curried, smoked paprika

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Now I know this soup is suppose to have smoked paprika, but something smelled real burnt here. Don’t get me wrong the soup is great aside from the burning taste, but you know if there is burning taste in any food it is very difficult to get out of it. Because you will simply keep thinking about it over and over – it is burnt.

Salad – Salad of persimmon, pistachio and pomegranate with arugula & almond chevre

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This salad took me by surprise, there is a light tangy taste to the dressing and with the refreshing taste of persimmon at the bottom was really great combination. There are also bits of persimmon along with the salad with crunchy pistachio and almond chevre.

Winter Salad – Winter Salad of lacinato kale with roasted golden & red beets, pear & fig with toasted hazelnuts

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My mom sometimes makes kale at home but usually cooked, this time I got to eat it raw with my favourite beets. 🙂 This is also another delicious salad. Kale is originally very tasteless with very chewy thick texture, but it was so great to be mixed with light beets, pear and fig to balance out the flavours and textures.

Entrees:

TAGLIATELLE – Yam and parsnip broad ‘noodles’ with farro cakes & saffron coconut cream sauce

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Their “noodles” are made out of very thinly sliced parsnip and yam. (Which I found amazing how they can slice them so thin.) Aside from the delicious ‘noodles’ I also adored their saffron coconut cream sauce. Oh my god it is delicious!  Although the only sad thing about this dish is that all ingredients are good, but they don’t blend. None of the flavours were able to blend and absorb into each other.

STEAK & MUSHROOMS – Tea-smoked grilled tofu steak & pepita crusted portabello, beluga lentils & porcini-red wine sauce

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I am not quite sure what is tea-smoked grilled, it was rich in flavour. But I little too heavy in my opinion, I wasn’t quite sure what I was tasting… However, the tofu steak was nice and chewy.

CREPES – Basil & chickpea crepes with marinated & grilled seasonal vegetables & organic tempeh

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The flavour of basil worked really well with the chickpea crepe, brings out the flavour of chickpeas flawlessly. However the crepes are tough, quite difficult to cut with my knife and chew on. They almost taste like overdone pancake that had been left on the grill for 3 hours….

PEROGIES   – Yam & eggplant perogies, sautéed oyster mushrooms, crispy shallots, pickled beet shred, smoky coconut cheddar sauce, spicy tomato jam

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Every since I started to see perogies selling in food trucks, it always reminded me of Chinese dumplings but except it is made of potatoe. This one is made of yam and eggplant, which gave it a lighter flavour than potatoes but sure does stuff you up quickly. The sauce for this perogies is delicious, but here comes another smoky item that also taste a little burnt. (At this point, I really question how they make anything smoky in the kitchen.)

Desserts:

You will surprise how filling all their portions are, I could barely finish my entrée and dessert seems so impossible to finish. But regardless being a sweet tooth of course I will eat the dessert. 😛

Hazelnut macaroons with cardamom pear sorbet and vanilla creme

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Delicious macaroons that are not too sweet, with flaky coconut bits and light hazelnut flavour. My favourite? The sorbet, although it melted with the speed of lighting but I absolutely adore the flavour.

Cacao & rose-infused black cherry trifle layered with toasted cashew crumble
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The flavour of rose shoots out as you take every bite of this black cherry trifle. Lots of overwhelming flavour, the cheei8es, rose and chocolate with bits of chewy cashew. This dessert is not for the faint of heart, they are powerful flavours that fights with each other for your attention.
Lemon mousse filled cannoli, lavender coulis

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I have to say this was the most disappointing ‘mousse’. I know they cannot use gelatin because that would make it not vegetarian but as a baker myself I know there are many many ways to make mousse without gelatin and it will keeps its form. But this just looked like melted ice cream. The flavours are fine, they taste great but presentation is really lacking on this dessert. I almost didn’t want to eat it at all. L

Overall I think there are many better vegetarian restaurants in the lower mainland. This one is priced fairly high but not living up to its standards. There are lots of room for improvement, some of the dishes are so creative just need fine tuning.
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