The Beach House

The restaurant sits right in front of the water, as I was walking towards the restaurant I can’t help but stop and take photos of the beautiful British Columbia scenic view. Then I knew right away this would be a perfect restaurant for any romantic dinner. We arrived sometime around sunset and it was just beautiful to see the sunset from outside and inside the restaurant. They also has a patio area that is enclosed by glass, which would allow you to enjoy the view fully while having a Sunday brunch.

To start, we ordered a few appetizers to share:
Wok Tossed Calamari – charred poblanos, peppers and red onion
This is a good appetizer, full of flavours and texture. Crispy and chewy, although it says wok tossed but it does still taste like it has been lightly fried already. But I do recommend this calamari and in comparison to many other restaurants, I like how this one is lighter in flavour and not deep fried.

Another great appetizer to share is mussels and clams, they were put in a lime and lemogross broth with mile red curry and coconut. This taste like Asian, something I have eaten in a Malaysian restaurant. Too similar that I thought maybe it is a replica. I am not saying it’s not good, it is good just tasted like a copy cat. So it didn’t feel anything special.

For entrée I ordered Spicy Scallop and Prawn Linguini (warning if you do not eat spicy please do not order this, because as a spicy eater this definitely has a kick to it). Made with fresh herbs, chilies, olive oil, white wine and tomatoe sauce, maybe lots of chilies…. 😛 When I took my first bite, I really liked the flavour of chilies and tomatoe sauce went together with passion. However the spicy comes after, as you kept going and indulge more the spice comes back up from your throat and literally you can be sweating from this. So I would recommend this dish to those who eats very spicy.

I also get to try my friend’s North Pacific Sablefish made with maple soy glaze served with spinach, shiitake mushrooms and soba noodles in dashi broth. Somehow this dish seems very Asian to me again, but of course almost 50% of the ingredients in this dish is Asian. The noodle is not exactly done properly (it is not that easy to prepare soba noodles perfectly). The sablefish is alright, I have to say a little bit disappointed at this dish. Everything is good, but maybe not for that price.

Overall I think The Beach House has beautiful ambience and gorgeous view, but aside from that I am not sure if their food is worth its price. Food are good, service is decent but maybe I would expect more at that price. However if you want something romantic or a new view, you really need to come take a look yourself.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Riverway Club

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Inside the Burnaby Riverway Golf Club, the restaurant has a view of the river is a very popular wedding venue in Burnaby. I have been to the driving range of this golf club but never for the clubhouse restaurant. This year for Dine Out Vancouver I have finally gave this restaurant a try. Their set dinner menu is in the medium range ($28.00 for one person), which I think for the quality and portion of food is a great value for most people.

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For appetizer I have selected the seared scallop with pork belly. Seared scallop is crusted with sesame, which I absolutely loved. I never thought about how well scallop and sesame can go together. Usually seared scallops have a nice crisp crust, but this one has an extra fragrance that comes along with the sesame. Pork belly was done well and was not overly oily or too much fat topped with crispy pear (which add a lightly refreshing taste to the pork belly).

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Another appetizer being served is lobster tail. (Really $28 set dinner that serves lobster tail as appetizer is very good value… but of course they are doing dine out; basically they do not make much money.) However I would think this is alright. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t anything exceptional about this lobster tail, yes I can taste its freshness but aside from there. But hey you get the whole lobster tail, and it is fresh so what more can you really ask for?

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Roasted prime rib seems to be a popular choice while I was there that night. I see many of them on the rest of the tables in the restaurant. I normally don’t order prime rib, but I saw this: “shitake mushroom butter sauce” 😛 The sauce was indeed amazing, very creamy and smooth and worked perfectly with the tender and juicy prime rib. (And the prime rib was so big that I really only ate 1/3 of it….) This dish is served with chickpea panisse, a healthier alternative to fries. If you like chickpea, you will like this. I like chickpea. 😀 Although it falls apart when you try to pick it up, but was so delicious with house-made tomatoe sauce.

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Their dinner includes appetizer and entrée with a choice of chocolate (dessert) buffet or a cup of tiramisu. So I ordered a tiramisu while the rest of went for the chocolate buffet.

Tiramisu is good, traditional with ladies’ fingers that have soaked lots of coffee liqueur. :9

Now if you are a chocoholic you will fall right in love with their chocolate buffet. Various of chocolate flavoured dessert for you to indulge. Chocolate mousse, chocolate cupcake, chocolate tart, chocolate ganache, chocolate cake, etc. Yes, go right ahead and get fat. I tried out a couple and they were all good desserts, this is definitely a bonus point to many chocolate lovers.

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I am not sure about their regular menu pricing, but with the dine out pricing for the portion and quality of the food this is worth a try place. I also did some research they also have some special brunch menus and promotions through until March that would give you an opportunity to try out their stuff at a great price.

Riverway Clubhouse (Riverway Golf Course) on Urbanspoon

Merchant’s Oyster Bar

You probably wouldn’t think such restaurant at this location and this neighborhood. This little restaurant at the corner of E 1st and Commercial Drive, you can see from the outside how clean and simple the place is. Once you enter you will see lots of different type of harbor lamps and anchors, making you feel like you are by the pier. We were greeted right away and seated right away without reservation.

They have only set menus, oysters or a la carte. With the four of us, we ordered three sets to share. Their set menus comes in different combinations:

1.       Snack, 1st course, 2nd course       $29

2.       1st course, 2nd course, dessert    $31

3.       Full four courses                           $37

I have to warn those who likes to have big meals to stay away from this place. This place is great for a drink with some snacks such as oysters and small bites. Even though they are written as course on the menu, they are verily small portions. Also they are quite slow with the meals, okay maybe I am just being nice. They are slow. So if you are hungry and want food fast, do not come here or else you will be pretty fungry.

So we did one set menu 1 and two set menu 2. For snacks we ordered oysters (of course you eat oysters if the restaurant name is Merchant’s Oyster 😛 ) I know the menu combination seems to a little hard to digest but you will understand more when you get there.

Oysters are fresh, good fresh. So if you like oyster maybe this will be a new oyster joint for you. Their quality is Rodney’s and Chewies, minus the noise and at times annoying waiters.

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1st Course:

Roasted Heirloom Beets – Moroccan spiced yogurt, citrus glaze and herbs

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Delicious sweet sweet beets with different colours and herbs, almost looked like a salad… I guess it is sort of a salad. But you know I just can’t get over how sweet the beets are! I absolutely love beets that these ones are so tasty! Sweet and right texture, they were perfect. Seriously, perfect. *in heavn~~*

Beef Tartare – sriracha, pickled shallots

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Don’t let the colours scare you, it is not as spicy as it looks. It is loaded with tomatoes, or maybe they are not tomatoes I don’t know what they are because they taste like tomatoe. But it is not that spicy. This one is actually very yummy also, the light refreshing tomatoe allows the beef to shine. Literally… XD I have eaten some tomatoes cooked with beef but never raw for both, but now I know the secret! It’s so great!

Linguine Carbonara – bacon, yolk, Parsley

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I would give this pasta a meh, because it is not that great. The pasta itself is a little too al dente. Flavour is a little bit lacking. Maybe they are good with meat and seafood?

2nd Course:

Pemberton Flank Steak – pan seared with herb puree, roast root vegetables, onion soubise

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Very good flavour steak, although of course it is not the best cut but the flavour of this totally makes up for it. It is hard to describe, I just really enjoyed it, not too heavy and just right. (Hahah, I guess they are essentially the same meaning. 😛 )

Pork Belly – with Brussels sprouts, House Mustard

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Was surprised how nonfat they were able to make this. Usually most restaurant pick a pretty fat cut, but this one piece is a good balance of fat and meat.

Spinach Ravioli – For some really odd reason I can’t even recall anything about this dish. It must means it is not just a very average dish. Nothing stands out (good or bad).

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Dessert:

Chocolate Ganache with brown butter and rose gelato

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Of course, if you order chocolate ganache you are expecting rich chocolate flavour, but I just don’t know about that think puree at the bottom… I didn’t know what I was eating, it’s just not good. I guess they are not very good at dessert either. But the rose gelato is so good, full of rose aroma in every bite.

They are participating in the Dine Out Vancouver right now, so you can for sure go try it out. Maybe they are still quite young and learning new stuff and styles. Maybe next time I will return with a few friends to see if anything has changes.

Sorry for the bad quality photo, I left my camera at home. 😦

Merchant's Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Yew Restaurant & Bar

This year I revisited a lot of my favorite places – Yew (at Four Seasons) is one of them. Let’s begin! 😉

Appetizer: Lobster Soup – this is so yummy, with a little bit of truffle oil and the very smooth soup. Oh I just couldn’t forget the taste of this soup.
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Appetizer: Seared scallops with BC cranberry sauce – what a great combination. Tender seared scallops served with a little bit of sweet fresh cranberry sauce.

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Entree: BC Trout with mashed yam – Yew IS just good with their seafood. Taste and texture are really well balanced. The trout was also not overly done with a citrus sauce.

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Entrees: Free run chicken with tiger prawns. This one is also good, though it feels little Asian fusion. But after tasting the salmon, just couldn’t get it out of my head.R0024343

Dessert: Apple Cake – this is pretty much cooked apple bits stacked into a cake with some raspberry filling. However I really liked their gelato – hazelnut. 😀R0024345

Dessert: Nanaimo Bar in a Jar – this rich pudding was very very delicious. Though it is so rich that you probably can’t finish if you already had a meal. But this dessert is so ‘Pinterest’. 😛R0024347
Just like the previous two times, I am in love with their fish and dessert. Of course very good service also. I would return again!

YEW Restaurant + Bar on Urbanspoon

Hart House

After my friend told me about their great lake view, I really just had to see what great lake view we get. So I went there on a Sunday evening it was still a little warm and dry therefore made it a perfect day to sit in the garden. Although half of the lake is being blocked by a temporary ceremony tent but I can still see the beautiful lake. And the lovely park/garden the patio extends out to. It is for sure a lovely place to have dinner on a warm evening.


SPAGHETTI VONGOLE – Double Smoked Bacon, Clams, White Wine, Cream
The pasta was cooked to Al Dante, just cooked but still remain some chewiness. :9 Hmm it was delicious. Bacons are fresh bacon lots of juice but could get quite oily and filling if you keep eating it. But overall this is a delicious pasta. 🙂


BRAISED PORK SHOULDER – Caramelized Apricots, Slow Cooked Fennel, Cannellini Bean Puree, Orange Apricot Glaze
The pork by itself can get quite try and tasteless, but with the caramelized apricots and glaze made this pork so much more better. It gave it the right amount of moist and brought out the flavours. They were made for each other. I couldn’t finish it because it was a lot of meat, I tossed the left overs with some pasta and it was another yummy pasta. 😉


SUMMER FRUIT TRIO – Goatcheese Cake, Raspberry Sorbet, Olive Oil Citrus Loaf
If you like goatcheese you will love the cheesecake. If you don’t please stay away from this. The goatcheesecake was super strong. Along with the raspberry sorbet toned it down a little bit. I liked this dessert trio because I get the cheesecake and the loaf which both went really well with the sorbet provided. But I couldn’t finish the cheesecake because it was really really strong (although it was such a small piece). But it is worth trying.

Hart House on Urbanspoon

Monk McQueens

When I saw a groupon for brunch, I purchased the coupon right away. Because I heard many good things about this restaurant and was excited to finally giving it a try.

First we were served with mimosas – the orange juice is fresh squeezed… and really sour.

Fresh Bacon Asparagus Salad with Russian Poached Egg (?) Anyways this salad is very filling, the bacon is very fat and juicy. Asparagus is roasted and cripsy. I especially liked the egg – crispy breaded outshell and soft runny yolk. However I would prefer it more if the outshell is not so oily. Since the asparagus and bacon already feel very oily, there isn’t enough items to balance out this oil that just stays in my mouth.

Smoked Salmon Scramble Egg with Croissant and Fresh Fruits – I have to say I never eaten scramble egg like this anywhere. Because it was really really bad. First the egg was super runny, I am not sure if it is the water from salmon but they should know how to deal with that. Croissant is flat (yes it looks flat too)  and when I ate it I felt like they left it out for a week already. And of course fruits are not fresh, pre cuts from Costco?

Ordered mussels with tomato sauce on the side. I would have to say this is decent, thought some mussels were not fresh (they cannot be cooked open). However I do like the sauce and it tasted delicious with bread, sweet and bit sour just perfect.

 

Overall I wasn’t impressed, because I have heard lots of good about this restaurant. But maybe I just hit a bad time? However I would not revisit if I have a choice.

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O’Doul’s

Went to try out this place before the place closes down. I have been here about an year ago for Dine Out Vancouver. Oh wait, before that I have tried their dessert and appetizer at Eat Vancouver. I heard they were closing down on Opentable so I decided to go one more time with a few girls before they close.

They are famous for their decor and live jazz. We were lucky and got the live jazz. 🙂 But I have to say, it was quite loud. To a point it was almost hard to hear. Maybe we were sitting too close to the band. But regardless I enjoyed the music. 😀

Whatever you order there, they always give you mini sampler in a Chinese ceramic spoon on top of their colourful plate. I didn’t know what I was eating, but something like ham and tomatoe?

Anyways, let’s hit the important stuff!

I always love sablefish, because they are always so smooth. 🙂 Citrus and Maple-cured BC Sablefish served with herb gnocchi, Pacific seaweed, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, shiitake broth. This one was very tender, but I really don’t know about all the sides that came along with it. First it was the soup/sauce? I have no idea what it is. It was very liquidity and it tasted almost like chicken broth with soy sauce. There are mushroom and bok choy, I really felt like I was eating a Chinese dish. for 28 dollars. The herb gnocchi was a little over cooked therefore very soggy. 😦 I was so disappointed, as when I was here before for Dine Out I enjoyed all the dishes.

So I had bites from my friends’ dishes to see if I could get anything different.

This was a vegetarian pasta with mushrooms and asparagus. I have to say I like this way more than my dish. The pasta was cooked just right with asparagus puree and mushrooms on top. At least this dish I can taste all the different flavours, not so bland…


Lamb Duo – crusted rack chops, braised cheek, potato and yam gratin, globe carrots, lamb jus
I am not into lamb, so I just had took the carrot. 😛 It was organic, and very sweet!! Pretty good. 🙂



Of course, the meal will have to complete with dessert. 🙂 We ordered the ginger apple mousse and creme brulee. The creme brulee was little on the sweet side, but everything else is good. But I really really liked the ginger apple mousse. It was ginger mousse with very very thin strips of apple on top served with ice cream and cracker. I loved the thin strips of apple. XD

Overall I was quite disappointed with O’Doul’s. I don’t know if it is because they are busy so the food quality went down. We were also very rushed because one of my friend was late and the waitress kept coming to ask me when she is coming. (With no one waiting for tables). I wasn’t impressed and left a bad ending to this restaurant.

O'Doul's on Urbanspoon

Sandbar

I have heard of this place for a while but never got a chance to visit. My dad told me that their oyster burger was very good. So finally for a friend’s birthday I have visited Sandbar on Granville Island. The restaurant is two levels high and sits half on water – the lower level is the restaurant and upper level is the Teredo Lounge. I am sure if you go as a couple and get s a window seat it would be very romantic and halfway through dinner it had live piano playing upstairs also!

This place has very interesting décor – lots of wood fishes hanging on sea blue walls. I liked the feeling the restaurant gives. 🙂

My stomach wasn’t feeling at its best that night, so I avoided seafood that tends to upset stomach. My friend had ordered the Blue Shell Mussels which was steamed with coconut red curry sauce. I had one piece to try, I loved the sauce! It was so delicious. Too bad I wasn’t feeling well. 😛

For my entree I had the daily special fish – Ling Cod with oven roasted tomato vinaigrette. Yes the cod is fresh and tender but I am not sure what sauce I was eating. It felt like water downed tomato juice? It was alright, I didn’t felt like that sauce was appropriate for the cod. I probably wouldn’t order this again.

I was looking over their brunch and lunch menus, they looked pretty good. Maybe they will do better for brunch so I would revisit for a nice summer weekend brunch to see. 🙂

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The Observatory

The Observatory located at peak of Grouse Mountain. You will need to take the gondola up, but the ticket is free if you are dining at The Observatory. I visited this place during the winter (a while back). I was dressed up and it was quite chilly on the way up because it was so windy!! But really the view is worth it, it’s beautiful on the way up and while you sit there looking over Vancouver.

Guess what this is. This cute little dish is the butter. Very pretty displayed with a light olive oil on top. It wasn’t a strong flavoured butter, but I liked the olive oil. 🙂

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I always like scallops so we shared a seared Qualicum Bay scallops as appetizer, the scallops were really fresh and tender. I really enjoyed this.

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Here’s the duck, was very very tender and soft. The sauce was also very good with gnocchi like objects at the bottom.

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The Lois Lake Steelhead Trout with baby radish, tomatoes and I really don’t know what those black things are. But they are very yummy, almost taste like cranberries. Trout was so nice and smooth. 🙂 With the right amount of flavour but I absolutely love the baby radish, so sweet!!

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Dessert :D! Crispy donuts with pear ice cream (if I remember correctly, the ice cream were house made). With small bits of jello infused with pear juice. I loved the jello. Of course these warm pastry with ice cream is always tasty, but the jello definitely adds the wow value. I really really liked the jello bits. 😛

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Meringue layers with vanilla ice cream and rhubarb berry sauce top with a few pistachios. If you have tried meringue layers are foamy and crispy at the same time. Works very well with soft vanilla ice cream and the rhubarb berry sauce. But the pastry layers are a bit sweet. If only a little less sweet. Otherwise, this dessert is very tasty.

I would for sure revisit maybe during a summer evening to enjoy the beautiful view again and a delicious summer menu. 🙂

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