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…)
Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Bacchus Restaurant (Wedgewood Hotel)

I had been to Bacchus a couple of times, and until now I still really like this restaurant. I liked the atmosphere (their weekend live piano), some of their seats (cozy love seats), and their very adorable hotel washroom. 😛

From previous times, I can never forget about their crispy baked chips. I loved the crisp and sesame!!
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Dine Out Vancouver 2013 Appetizers:

Chicken Liver and Cognac Parfait – I really like the baked toast, it is so buttery. Almost feels like a baked toast. 🙂
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Woodland Mushroom Velouie – basically a mushroom soup, very delicious soup! IF it has a hint of truffle oil, would be so good. 😛

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Iceberg Wedge Salad with blue cheese dressing – this is my first attempt at blue cheese. And I am in love, more than goat cheese I have to say. With bits of bacon and green onion, I never thought I can eat an iceberg wedge this way.IMG_7617

Entrees:

Pan Seared Filet of Northern BC Salmon – on top of tomato risotto. Salmon was cooked good, but not the best I have had. However the tomato risotto is very delicious.IMG_7619

Confit of Fraser Valley Duck Leg – a little above average, not overly cooked. But it lacks something that made me said “Oh!”IMG_7621

Roasted California Cut New York Striploin – this however made me “Oh!” I was surprised how tender this is. Very juicy also. 🙂IMG_7623

Dessert:

Dark Chocolate Ganache & Praline Tart – very very rich. But I absolutely loved it!! It wasn’t sweet, just rich. I just couldn’t help but kept indulging on this even though I was quite full from my main course. :pIMG_7625

French Vanilla Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream – this was a special item mentioned by the waiter. Also another delicious treat.IMG_7626 Ginger & Cardamom Creme Brulee with poached pear and spiked sable – the ginger is so nice the milky egg mixture.IMG_7628

Overall I still think their quality of food is still living up to their reputation (I do like their dessert and appetizers better). However their service wasn’t too great, maybe because it’s dine out? But I would except it to be a little less rushed and just a little more care.
Bacchus Restaurant and Lounge on Urbanspoon

Soirette Afternoon Tea

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I have been here for their macarons and in my personal opinion I like their macarons the best. Not overly sweet, see my other post for review of their macarons. My girlfriend told me about them having afternoon tea service starting this summer, so I had to give it a try!!

Of course they are known for their clean and chic decor with a sunny day really makes the perfect place to have afternoon tea. We had 7 girls and it was a small store – therefore we took over the whole store. 😛 Their afternoon tea is 1.5 hour seating (which is half an hour shorter than most afternoon tea places).

You get a choice of tea and macaron with each afternoon tea service. View their menu here. Because of the limited time seating, I couldn’t finish my afternoon tea. (Plus a few late friends we really only had 45mins or so.)

I have selected Empress for tea and Earl Grey macaron. Empress is a yummy black tea with mango and peach blend. Oh it’s so yummy. 😛 Earl grey macaron looks and tastes like anything earl grey but the chocolate ganache inside was truly a treat. Mmm for chocolate. 😛 Maybe I should have had it first before sipping on my tea??

So here’s what I have tried and stood out to me:

Salmon Dill Quiche – The crust is good, fluffy pastry. The salmon also worked well with dill and the creamy filling.


Hazelnut cream puff – this cream puff was filled with hazelnut cream. IF you like hazelnut you’ll like this one. I was surprised by the hazelnut filling, however I think they could have done better for the pastry part of this puff.


Citrus grilled cheese sandwich (I think??) Essentially this is blueberries with cream cheese cream sandwiched between two slices of pound cakes. (They taste like pound cakes to me, but menu says sandwich.) The ‘sandwich’ was like a heavy butter pound cake texture. I was sort of confused if I was eating a sandwich or just cake-sandwich.

If you want longer afternoon tea seating you shouldn’t come here. I would suggest ordering their items and sit outside of their shop (there are chairs in front). So you have lots of time to enjoy the goods and your chat. I also notice that they are starting to sell some other desserts aside from macarons, will need to try those! It’s close to Canada Place, you can always order to go and enjoy it at Canada Place area if you don’t like to be rushed.

Soirette Macarons & Tea on Urbanspoon

Guu Garden Oden

Heard about Guu Garden for a while and didn’t have a chance to visit. So finally I paid a visit, it took me a while to find the place. It’s located along all the office buildings and on a 2nd floor. Pay close attention to a directory sign if you are driving, because you’ll definitely miss it.

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When it comes to izakaiyas, it’s always more fun when you go with more people so you can order more to try. So I ordered a few things just for the two of us but here are some to note.


The BANG BANG G salad this is a pretty yummy salad. Chicken strips with cucumber and jellyfish with sesame sauce. I really liked the jellyfish chicken strip combo. It gives it a great springy chew to the whole salad with a very nicely fragrant sesame sauce.


If you have been to enough Japanese restaurants, you will notice they really like using gyu (ox) tongue. This is the first time I have eaten gyu tongue in soup with rice. I really liked the soup – oh so tasty. With strong flavour from the gyu tongue and eat with a little bit of wasabi, you just need to try. (once again only if you like eating gyu tongue.)


Fresh sashimi is a must for most Japanese places, this one you can choose a platter of three types of sashimi (anything they have) to make your own sashimi platter. The special things I noticed is the seasoned salmon – fresh salmon sashimi with pepper and salt on top. I never though of eating salmon in such a way but I totally didn’t regret it. It actually tasted pretty good like that. 🙂

This is a nice place to sit out on the patio on a warm day – would work great for big groups. Will revisit with a couple more friends for sure. 😀

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Urban Tea Merchant

About an year ago I visited Urban Tea Merchant for high tea service. This year I brought my mom to enjoy high tea service for her birthday. We went really early (10:30am), not your typical high tea time. Since it was a holiday they also offer their brunch menu as well as other all day dining and high tea menus.

You will notice this place if you go to Downtown often, you can see it on Alberni or West Georgia (connects to both sides). Since I went with my family, we had to order some savouries to satisfy the gentlemen’s appetites.

This is “sweet france” duck confit salad warm, shredded duck confit, fresh orange segments and watercress, tossed in Sweet France Tea vinaigrette served over a crispy crepe. This salad is very tasty, the duck worked well with the tea vinaigrette also with the crispy crepe adding texture to the salad. The sweet oranges balances out the light bitterness of the watercress.

For my dad, I ordered him smoked salmon with wasabi mayo & ponzu jelly 16 seasonal greens with 1837 Black Tea vinaigrette. He especially liked the wasabi mayo, this is a moderate though the salmon is really fresh and salad was good. But I have to say there is really nothing special about this. But you really like salmon you will enjoy this.

My mom and I shared the Westcoast Tea Set. Which includes tea-infused macaron, chevron strawberry, chocolate truffle & fresh exotic fruit open-faced smoked salmon & wasabi aioli with in-house ponzu jelly, miso-maple glazed sable fish wrapped in butter lettuce, Lapsang Souchong tea-infused chicken salad cone, boursin cheese mousse with crisp endive & candied walnut edible spring flowers.

    

Since there are so many items, I will talk about two that stood out to me.

The sable fish wrapped in lettuce is actually very good. The sable fish was nice and tender with a flavourful miso. Since miso is a stronger sauce, it worked great with lettuce which gave it a fresh taste. I really enjoyed this one. 🙂

I liked the candied walnut with cheese mousse. Yummy fresh endive with cheese mousse (something like cream cheese) and crunchy walnut. :9 I think I can easily eat a couple of these!

Along side we ordered ‘The Little Gourmet” tea set includes tea-infused macaron, chevron strawberry, petit fours, fresh fruit and fresh baked chocolate chips scone with crème & strawberry jam. Tiger Hill Tea-infused egg salad finger sandwich, cucumber, watercress & cracked black pepper tea sandwich, petit tea-infused chicken salad cone, chocolate & jelly tea sandwich.

The chicken salad cone is yummy, loves the idea of putting the salad into a mini waffle cones. 🙂

Overall I liked all the food I was enjoying, but that exotic fruit (pink) in the set were something we just couldn’t have. It was such a funny sour flavour with the wrong texture, almost made me felt like I was eating something that is about to go bad. But who knows, maybe someone else would enjoy that.

Mont Blanc (white tea) served in a cute little pot. Very nice fragrant tea without any strong flavours.

I had their signature 1837 black tea. (A unique blend of black tea with notes of fruits and flowers from the Bermuda triangle which leaves a lingering aftertaste of ripe berries, anise, and caramel. A timeless classic.) I had it last time and I had it again. Because it is such a nice tea with cream or milk. I even bought some home with me. 🙂

The other two teas we had were Alfonso and Happy Birthday. Alfonso is black with mango, if you like fruit flavoured tea this is a good one to try. Happy Birthday tastes something like a vanilla rooibos.

We felt a little rushed at the end when we got the bill. (We didn’t ask for the bill.) I am not sure if it is because there is another table coming after us, but we weren’t aware there are seating time limit. But overall the service was good and time was spent to explain to us when we had questions.

The Urban Tea Merchant on Urbanspoon

La Boulangerie

I saw this place so many times and they were always closed! (Fine I always pass by it in the evening. :P) So finally on a beautiful sunny day I see it open, so I popped in to have a slice of their pastries. 🙂

I picked the white chocolate mousse cake (there wasn’t much to choose from that day). To my surprise it wasn’t too sweet, most bakery I’ve been to (except the Asian ones) are generally really sweet. This one was really light and fluffy.  I would love to revisit and try out different items. 🙂

La Boulangerie on Urbanspoon

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 山頭火

I have been to this place when it first opened, and I really enjoyed their ramen soup. So this time as I walked by I decided to drop in again for a early dinner, this place gets pretty busy as the night goes on. So to avoid line up come early!

Even though we arrived at 5:45pm, we still had to wait for about 15 mins. The inside seating area was already full, so we were seated towards the entrance.

But as I looked over to the shoulder, I notice the big wood sign again. I couldn’t move over to take a good photo of it. But I super liked the sign. 😛

Santouka is run by Japanese that specializes in Hokkaido ramen. It sits on Robson really close to Guu. Let’s dig in!

This is the spicy miso ramen combo with ikura on rice. The combo is also served with house pickled plum and half egg. Maybe I am into really spicy food, this noodle is not too spicy. Just a little bit. The ikura sort of taste funny on the rice, cause the rice was so warm which made the ikura warm. Hmm, ikura is already very fishy therefore having it warm made it more fishy. I didn’t really like that.

Miso Ramen – I usually order this, or someone else will always then I can try the soup. The soup is good like I had tried before, their soup base is very rich and strong.

Tonkotsu Ramen – made with pork bone broth, even stronger than miso. But I really liked how smooth it made the ramen taste.

However I notice from the ramen that they leave a thin layer on top of the soup (something similar to hot milk skin). I couldn’t understand why – maybe it is because the soup base is too fatty therefore leaving the skin?

Overall I enjoyed the ramen but didn’t really like the service (the waitresses are not very friendly) and one of my friend found oily spoon (yikes!). I wouldn’t wait in line for this type of service and environment. Maybe to go would be suitable?

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La Bretagne Creperie

This authentic French crepe cafe is off Robson on Jervis. As I enter the restaurant I notice the casual French cafe furnitures and the French waitress and chef, but I also notice how smoky the place is. As we got seated towards the end of the restaurant next (maybe I should say right in front of) the kitchen, I notice the smoke gets worst as the chef cooks meals for customers.

When we placed our orders, the waitress told us there were few things they are sold out or missing that day. But she didn’t tell us right at the beginning, she told us as we order (which is sort of annoying).

To start off, we got a cappuccino. It was good, like any other French cafes.

I ordered a pear crepe topped with Swiss dark chocolate. The crepe is fresh and soft. I really liked it, however the overdose of chocolate and sugared pear got me. It was really really sweet! The whipped cream is from a can (yes I can tell. :P) Half way through, I tried pushing off the chocolate and the cream and ordered an orange juice to balance out the sweetness.

For savoury, I got the chicken asparagus with jack cheese. This one is very yummy, the cheese so nicely melted with fresh asparagus and bits of chicken. (Or maybe I am preferring this because the sweet crepe was too sweet for me.) Though their crepes tend to be a little burnt (compared to most places I have tried).

Their crepes is good, but I also saw a few customer having baked crepes (which I would love to try). However they really need to improve their ventilation system, my throat started to hurt from smelling all the smoke for the short 40 mins I was in there. I couldn’t sit and chat because my throat and nose simply just couldn’t handle it.

Maybe revisit during summer when I can sit outside.

La Bretagne Creperie on Urbanspoon

Thierry 2

Had a beautiful sunny weekend afternoon so popped Thierry in downtown after  a car show. Upon entrance my eyes went onto the colourful macarons right away, so I ordered three to have along with my Passion Fruit Cake.

Pink Praline (candied almonds), Lemon and Lychee. I would say I mostly taste the lemon out of the three. The other two tastes awfully similar to each other. But I am so disappointed at the macarons this time. They were so hard… like I used some force to take off a bite. I suppose I am comparing it at Soirette, these  ones were really sweet and hard (sorry I can’t get over the hard).

The Passion Fruit Cake was very very sour… (could it be because of the very sweet macarons?) I kept sipping on my green tea (with nothing in it), trying to get ride of the macarons sweet and passion fruit sour. I know passion fruit will be sour but maybe not that sour? I almost thought I was eating some sort of very strong lemon dessert.

My friend got the plain croissant. It was alright, not cripsy and fluffy enough. Doesn’t have the texture I usually look for in a croissant.

The latte however was very aromatic, very strong of the coffee aroma not being covered by milk. It was so nice and smooth, I liked it. (Their coffee are usually non sweet, so add as you please or tell them first before you order for cold drinks.)

Thierry is getting really huge in Vancouver and is one of the few dessert/cafe places opens til late. But I probably wouldn’t eat their macarons again (despite of the beautiful packaging they offer).

Nook

Nook is at the end of Robson on Denman (towards Stanley Park). I saw this place a couple of times during the summer when I went biking at Stanley Park. So finally one evening before a trade show, I popped in for a quick dinner. It was quite early (5:30pm) therefore there isn’t much customers (yay, no waiting in line!) The first thing I notice about Nook is that everything is so red. The lights are red and dim with lots of red furnitures, but very modern decor. Since we were going for dessert after the show, so we decided to share a pizza and a pasta together.

For pizza, we got the Margherita Pizza. It is a very simple pizza, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. The crust was thin but very crisp but wasn’t too dry. Maybe it’s the cheese or the tomatoes, I am not sure what it is but I quite liked this pizza. (I am normally not that into pizza)

As for pasta we got the a daily special spaghetti (which I forgot the name of it), but it has tomatoes, lots of parmesan, bits of fresh parsley and chicken. This is a clear sauce pasta (which I usually enjoy over any cream or tomato sauces). I liked it, just like the pizza the ingredients are really fresh. However this dish is a little salty, not too crazy but on the little salty side.

Overall this is a great little Italian restaurant tucked away on Denman, at times when I pass by I do see lines (on weekends). I would love to go back and try some other things. 🙂
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