Beautiful Island 風信子台式料理

I have been to this bubble tea place numerous of times, from before they have renovated until now. I think this place has been around for almost ten plus years and still going. Reason? I believe good food and great value. They are a Taiwanese owned family business, used to be very homey with the older decor. Right now the interior looks much more modern and sleek. Their menu has also changed after the renovation, it sells mainly meal combos much like any other Taiwanese bubble tea places. Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Their combo usually comes with a small cup of black tea (lightly sweeten), a bowl of rice, and three small side dishes (vegetables two hot and one cold) – soy sauce braised tofu  (I find this one quite salty for my liking, need to remove it from the sauce to prevent further soaking of the sauce), stir fried cabbage and picked cucumbers.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Simmer-fried fish steak – deep fried fish steak then topped with sweet soy sauce. When this was eaten fresh, you get to taste the crunch and crisp of the fish. But need to eat the moment they serve it because the sauce will deflate the crisp really fast and turns into not so good fish. Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Exif_JPEG_PICTURE BI Flame Grilled Chicken – house made sauce marinated chicken then flame grilled. There is a special aroma and somewhat close to teriyaki sauce but it is not. Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Buttered mushrooms. I find this one a little too casual, I know this is a family run restaurant but this mushroom was watering like crazy plus I think they’ve chopped everything up way too much made it very hard to pick up with all the water. Exif_JPEG_PICTUREScallion Ginger Chicken – steamed boneless chicken topped with onion and ginger sauce served chilled. This is my favourite so far out of all the ones I’ve tried so far. Delicious ginger onion sauce on top of cold boneless tender chicken, the texture and the flavour is so perfect together. And yes reminds me of home. Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Grass Jelly Milk – okay I don’t know where I’ve been but obviously I had been missing out. How come I never noticed they have this? Lightly sweeten grass jelly in sweet milk, the grass jelly I believe are also house made because they’re very soft and can be sucked through a straw. I couldn’t stop myself from drinking this and got full really fast. :p This place have always have good food, but do not expect service. I consider this an easy quiet bubble tea place I often visit to avoid crowd so I can talk to the people I share food with.

 

B.I. Restaurant 風信子台式料理 on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

Basho Cafe

It was one heavy rain afternoon, my girlfriends and I came out to meet for a Saturday afternoon catch up. This place gets pretty packed on weekend afternoon, so we had to come back later (an hour before they close up). Then I return for a early brunch visit with my family.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

This is such an adorable restaurant, every corner of this place shouts cute. This cafe is ran by a friendly Japanese family. Their decor reminds me greatly of Cafe de L’Organerie near Granville. 🙂

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

DSC_0443

Pot of loose leaf tea, they only have small collection of tea (I would say around 5-7 types). Served with black sesame butter cookies. They have a variety of cookies, small cakes, scones and other baked goods displayed.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Tuna Tataki (seared tuna) lunch set – similar to the grilled vegetables lunch sets comes with salad, baked good, soup and tea. Delicious tuna tataki with yuzu(?), which brought the flavour of the tuna out lightly without overpowering it.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Soy milk matcha latte – for almost any drink you order I notice they always give you a small piece of cookie. This matcha latte is smooth and not too sweet, very delicious.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Eat-In Lunch Set – comes with a few cookies as sweets, grilled vegetables on rice, salad, soup and a cup of tea. The colourful vegetables presented on a tray along with other colourful small cups and bowls. The vegetables were fresh and I especially loved the pumpkin mash – oh so tasty.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

 

For the baked goods, we got matcha cranberry cookie, mochi brownie. I LOVED the mochi brownie, I don’t know if this already existed long time ago but it was my first time discovering it. It was rich in chocolate but with a mochi texture, very chewy and bouncy. I am in love, it even made me attempt to make it at home later too! So much fun. 🙂Exif_JPEG_PICTURE
Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Black sesame cookie and miso madeleine – the miso madeleine was very strong in miso flavour therefore is salty. It was very interesting, I wouldn’t say I love or hate it. Though I think many will find this kind of odd. Black sesame cookies were delicious, I had to order another piece. :pExif_JPEG_PICTURE

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Breakfast Scone Sandwich – basically what it looks like. A scone cut open with an egg and a slice of tomatoe (similar to the BLT concept.)


Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

 

Another thing that I have noticed is that there are lot of home made textile pieces in this restaurant, from coaster to pot warmer all either knitted or stitch patches. Gives you the feeling of grandma’s place. :3

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

 

Overall I really like this place, although I think might be a tad bit (tad bit) hyped. It is cute and cozy with friendly staff service and great place to sit and chat with some friends. (Hard to get to without a vehicle in my opinion.) Everything they serve are done with delicacy and care which I really give props for that. I would revisit for sure!

Basho Cafe on Urbanspoon

Marutama Ramen

Now I know this place is already being hyped up and I just keep forgetting to write the review for it since I visited it when it first opened in the summer. After which I have been there at least three to four times I cannot recall. But every time I go I was not disappointed.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

On the Bidwell off Robson (relatively close to McDonald’s), it might take a bit to find. Just look for McDonalds and park you’ll see a bright door front shinning out form the dark. The entrance shouts Come In! It’s beautiful, made of wood and full of Japan. 🙂

As I enter, I notice how the whole store is just plain wood. Lots of wood everywhere, gave it a nice pleasant feeling. Service is really good; staffs are very friendly and tentative. They often make sure that you have tea or water in your cup.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

The first thing I noticed is that their noodles are not the typical ramen noodle you see everywhere in Vancouver. They are thinner, and softer I would say. They sort of remind me of Chinese egg noodle in wonton soup. It’s different; I’ve never eaten ramen with this type of noodle before. They are softer and less chewy.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Definitely their broth is much lighter than most ramen store. I actually quite like it because they are lighter and soup base is made with chicken instead of pork so it went great with their thin noodle. Because of the chicken broth, you don’t feel the pork oil staying on your lips from eating the noodle.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

I know they make their noodle in-house, they have a noodle machine at the corner of the restaurant. You can hear them make their noodles when they operate the machine when you are dining.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Overall I really liked this ramen place but if you into traditional kind of ramen noodle then this is not the place for you. But if you want to try something different then go and check this place out.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Marutama Ramen on Urbanspoon

Yuu Japanese Tapas 優

I was here, a long time ago (like couple years ago) when it first opened. I remember long long time ago it was Chinese sweet soup place, then when it first got switched over to Yuu I gave it a try. Food was good and it was the first place I would say during that time with wide variety of Japanese dessert. After couple years I came here with lunch with a friend.

The place has changed, renovated and furnished. I also believe the owner is different? Though that I cannot be sure.

When I got the menu I noticed right away a lot of their items have changed. But they still have matcha latte with black sugar! So of course I ordered it. :3

wpid-2013-12-06-14-27-21_photo.jpg

It was tad sweet, but just a little bit. I believe for most people it will be just right. Smooth and hot, I find this one hotter than most places I have been to. Which means it will stay warm while I am enjoying it through the meal. *happy* Because just like coffee, who likes it cooled? 😐

My friend ordered burger patty in curry sauce with rice. If you haven’t tried a dish like this, you should. This is not regular patty since it is usually hand made by the restaurant, therefore the meat tend to be looser and more tender and more juice. It also is a very popular home made dish in Japan, lots of Japanese moms would know how to make this and children usually loves it. I tried a small bit, it is similar to the one I have tried to downtown two years ago. (The restaurant is now gone and was owned by authentic Japanese.) I missed this! It was tasty, I almost wanted to trade my friend for it. 😛

wpid-2013-12-06-14-35-36_photo.jpg

For myself I ordered teppanyaki chicken with vegetables, I didn’t feel like carb so I just had chicken and vegetables. I would say other than the chicken the vegetables are quite bland. Now as I recall eating teppankyaki in Japan there should be some sauce (or at least soy sauce) fried with ingredients first. But don’t get me wrong, it is fine cooked just right but just lack flavour.

I wouldn’t mind returning.
Yuu Japanese Tapas 優 on Urbanspoon

Mosaic Grille & Bar

Sorry this really should have been posted three months ago, but I got really busy with vacation and the holidays so now I am trying to post some old posts and get caught up. :3 When it was early fall, I noticed that Mosaic is doing a coupon for $27.00 which they call “Harvest Dining Pass”. The pass includes one set menu with a few selections
similar to the Dine Out Vancouver. I thought it was a great deal, so I invited a bunch of friends to go with me.

Yes, we are a very very large party (of 16). We were seated originally at the end of the restaurant in two separate tables but I asked to switch to one long table and they did that for us. 🙂  My friends all chose different variety of the items so I was able to try out almost everything.

scones

You may choose from the following with the dining pass:
A.      Your choice of appie:
Fall Salad, baby carrots, beets, Tokyo turnips, fennel, pumpkins, tangerines dressing
The salad looks gorgeous, the beets were cut very thin. Almost like carpacio thin, but is beet suppose to be bitter and hard? You all should know from reading my other posts how much I love beet, but this wasn’t what I was expecting at all.

salad

A la Minute Smoked Skuna Bay Salmon, kale nori, wasabi cauliflower puree
It was served on a marble plate and a glass dome lid. They will place it in front of you and open the lid, then smoke will come out! I still do not understand how they were able to do that. The salmon is good, with it lightly smoked and the visual presentation made it better. (Trust me, presentation matters.)

smoked salmon
Apple Lane Orchards Apples Bisque, roasted chestnut, spiced brandy cream
I have never had warm apple bisque (soup) and this was yummy, nice and creamy with fragrant apple. I think the apple did the trick of cutting through the cream. It was surely yum.

apple bisque
B.      Your choice of entree:
Seared Baja Ocean Wise Scallops, sweet potato, figs, prosciutto
All I can remember is how salty this is. Like seriously salty, all I
can taste was salt and nothing else. If there were not figs to clear
out, I don’t think I can finish this. I had to keep drinking water.

scallop

Sous Vide Lamb, broccoli rabe, butternut squash, spiced walnutslamb
Grilled Curried Cauliflower Steak, baby carrots, dates
C.      Your choice of dessert:
Pumpkin and Nutmeg Creme Brulee
Pumpkin, yes I can taste the pumpkin. It is so strong and rich, quite heavy to finish the whole thing. But if you like pumpkin you will probably love this. The flavour is amazing. (But of course I only took one bit, most of my friends cannot finish it because it is too heavy.)pumpkin creme brulee
Mosaic Chocolate Cake, signature triple layer cake
I know this is a triple layer cake, but was I served triple layer triple slices?!! The cake was so big it’s unbelievable. I was so shocked at how large the cake is. I couldn’t finish, had to take it home and ate it for breakfast for two days. XD Yes, it’s seriously that big. Another rice and heavy dessert, I felt I was filled up from the dessert instead of entrée.chocolate cake
In my personal opinion, I think $27 is acceptable for this quality of food. If I were to pay full price, I probably would not be so satisfied. But having said that, you should go and try it out yourself because a few of them are pretty amazing. They have great service, good location and a beautiful restaurant; but kitchen needs work. They are almost there, almost!

Mosaic Grille & Bar on Urbanspoon