Breka Bakery

This place was recommended to me by a friend, he said this bakery place is open 24/7. Yup 24/7. ūüôā I was shocked when he told me because I was telling him sometimes late night I just want a¬†croissant¬†or something sweet all the bakery places are closed. ūüė¶ This solves that craving. ūüôā

I didn’t visit this bakery during mid night, but instead on a Saturday morning. Was quite busy! Lots of in and out getting their breads, all seats are all occupied. It was quite early with just two of us, we ordered a plain crossaint and an apple danish.

These were really nicely baked, very fluffy and crispy. But too bad it wasn’t warm – perhaps they do heat it up for you. (In the microwave? ūüė¶ ) Anyways, if you aren’t too too picky this is actually quite yummy.

This is what they are famous for. Their¬†strudel! Comes in Raspberry or Apple flavour. I ordered this to go home, because you need to purchase the whole long strip! But these are so yummy I can easily eat a few pieces. ¬†Not too sweet with very good pastry layers. I am sure it’ll taste great if I reheat it with an oven.

Breka also sell wraps and sandwiches and cakes. But I heard from a friend that they do not sell their ‘own’ cakes. I have yet to confirm this information, but I’ll revisit to find out more.

Banana¬†cappuccino¬†and Americano. Hmm maybe banana cappuccino is being too¬†adventurous. I couldn’t handle the¬†artificial¬†flavoured banana taste – reminds me of kinds syrup medicine. ūüėģ

I need go back to their strudel. :p Perhaps cake next time to find out where they are from. ūüôā

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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 ‚Äúsweet france‚ÄĚ 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. ūüôā

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 cr√®me & 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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā

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.

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Zen on Yew

So I saw the giant line up and wonder what is the hype all about. Searched it on Urbanspoon and everyone seems to be giving it a pretty good review. We were early so the line up wasn’t too giant. We waited for a bit.

As we got seated, I noticed how small and cramp the place is. Our seats had no settings on them. We waited a bit before we got our menus.

So I ordered a London Fog – wasn’t on the menu but I have asked them to make it for me. Was alright considering it is not a regular menu item. But a little too sweet.

When we got our food, we still didn’t get our settings. So I had to ask the waitress for them. (And she seemed to forgot…) So I asked another one and I finally got them. (Was so hungry with food on the table but no¬†culinary¬†to dig in!)

I can’t really remember what we ordered but I think this one is called Lumberjack Breakfast? Not sure. But anyways, it was served with French toast, smoked ham, two eggs and¬†hash-browns. ¬†The French toast was yummy, very fluffy and soft. Other things are decent.

Then for myself I got a spinach¬†Benedict¬†breakfast. I saw reviews and people say this is AMAZING! But I was disappointed. What is SOOO amazing about this? It was good, but not amazing. The sauce was very filling, is the spinach frensh? They almost feel like frozen spinach. Overall this benedict was good, but not super amazing. ūüėõ

But try the french toast! ūüôā
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Boteco Brasil

I have never had Brazilian food before, this is my first time! As I saw the entrance, I thought: “Oh this restaurant is made from a house.” There is an open yard at the front and the restaurant is downstairs. As I entered, everything feels very rustic. No air condition but there’s an old fan swinging. (I wonder if restaurants look like this in Brazil?) But I saw drums and music¬†instruments¬†on the side, they must have live music!

Anyways, so not knowing anything about Brazilian food I looked through the menu and picked the features of the restaurant.

We ordered a Brazilian soft drink to share – Guarana. (That’s one expensive pop.) It tastes like grape pop. Not bad, but don’t know about the price.

To start we ordered the Mandioca Frita – cassava fries. The texture and taste of this fries is great! I loved the spice on top and the small hint of sweet from the original plant. I really enjoyed this, but stuffed me up very quickly.

For our mains I got Fejioada.Fejioada is black beans broth with pork served with rice. The waitress was really nice and tried to explain to me how people usually eat the dish. Mixing the flour, black beans onto the rice was a great suggestion. Everything taste very yummy on the plate. The black bean broth was very strong and smelled great!

My friend got a dish with chicken and sauce similar to a curry butter chicken sauce. (Similar but not exactly the same.) It is really hard to describe the flavour. It was served with deep fried garlic(?) bits? Those are very good on top of the chicken.

But I liked my black bean pork better. ūüėõ I wonder when do they have live music?

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Asakusa

I have been to this place about two years ago for sushi. I was walking around with two friends trying to see what we should eat. We were waiting previously at the restaurant next to them and the waitress right away didn’t give us a positive service, so we just pop into this one instead.

They had special combos for lunch and dinner. So we all ordered the Beef Teriyaki combo which comes with miso soup, tempura, BC roll (bbq salmon skin) and you can select from rice or bean sprout to go with the meal. All together for $10

For the amount of food you get with that price, you really just couldn’t ask for much. The food was meh. Beef teriyaki was served really hot on a tenpan but very watery from the bean sprout, I tried to¬†separate¬†them as I eat but it was really hard. The BC roll was a little too dry, maybe too much salmon skin or barbeque too much. I don’t know what it was, but I just didn’t like it that much.

It fills you up for sure, but I remember their sushi was decent. So probably revisit for sushi only.

 
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French Made Baking

Saw this place and got attracted by the tower of macarons by the window.

It is very pretty, the bakery is very cute and full of fresh bakery smell. I went there to buy a box of macarons for Mother’s Day dessert. Since I was preparing a Mother’s Day dinner at home, so I got these desserts to go.

Earl Grey Ganache Tart – just by the name of it, I started drooling. Sounds so yummy! It was yummy but I really just couldn’t taste any Earl Grey at all. Maybe the chocolate ganache was too strong, which covered the light Earl Grey flavour. But tart crust is very good with soft and smooth chocolate ganache.

This is¬†lemon meringue tart with rosewater. Very beautiful presentation and good lemon filling without being too sour but where is the rosewater? Once again I didn’t taste much difference than an original lemon meringue tart.

Since I got them to go and I got so many I really couldn’t tell what’s what by the time I ate them. ūüėõ The flavours include:¬†Jasmine white chocolate ganache, Passion fruit, Pistachio, Litchi/Rose, Earl Grey, Raspberry and Yuzu.

Okay there are few¬†distinctive¬†ones that I can tell such as Pistachio. Mint with dark chocolate ganache? Raspberry – quite good. Yuzu sort of taste like butterscotch. Or it was butterscotch… I tasted the Litchi/Rose a lot, it was actually the best one that I enjoyed. (Or maybe I can actually taste what it is) Overall the taste of the macarons were a little sweet but okay if you have them with tea or coffee, texture were also very good.

But here is the horror, my brother got a piece of plastic object in one of the Yuzu. At first he thought it was a nail so all of us almost threw up. But after a closer look it was a piece of hard plastic (we assume it’s from some sort of container or packing). This scared me a bit, I don’t know if I will ever go back.

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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.

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Tokyo Joe’s Sushi Factory

Was looking for a cheap sushi place in Richmond so I found this. I heard about Tokyo Joe’s from a couple of colleagues (I work in Richmond), so I thought I would give it a try. Close by Lansdowne on Ackroyd Road in a little plaza.

Half size tuna and salmon sashimi – fresh.

Not sure if it is because I went with a boy but there is a heart in our sauce! XD (I went previously with my family and we didn’t get a heart :P) Anyways, very neat presentation of the maki rolls.

TJ Garden Roll and Spider Roll

TJ Garden Roll is very good – wrapped yam with avocado and pacific green salad (seaweed) on top. I liked the flavours and the texture, seaweed adds the chewy and freshness to the sushi. Very good combination.

Spider Roll – crispy fried soft shell crap with the special sauce (not sure what the sauce is but sort of taste like okonomiyaki sauce) This one is alright, but good thing that the soft shell crap didn’t get soggy and stayed crispy through our meal. ūüôā

Of course, I order chopped scallop roll. ūüėõ This one tastes great with bits of tobiko (fly fish roe), it gave it extra little texture and pops. I liked it!

They serve unlimited miso soup and green tea while you are there. Miso soup is self served, but they will always ask you as you place your order.

This sushi place is ran by Koreans and has very energetic servers and waitress who are friendly and fast. I would recommend this if you are looking for something affordable and fast in Richmond.

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Saboten

Generally I don’t blog food court items, but if it is interesting enough or there is a hype I would like to try. (But really seems like everytime Aberdeen food court gets something new, there is a line up. :P) So I saw the line up a couple of times and finally I gave it a try when there were less people.

This is the pork tenderloin set (around $9.00) includes pork tenderloin cutlet, salad, rice, miso soup. (So many sauce that I almost didn’t know what to do with it.)

The cutlet is actually pretty good, it is very tender and crispy on the outside. With the right amount of sauce, it is very yummy. But I really don’t know if it is worth the price I am paying for. Yes the breading is extra fluffy and crispy compared to any other katsu (cutlet) I have tried before, but really nine dollars? Hmm, I probably wouldn’t order again unless I feel like something fried and crispy.

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Adonia Tea House

I am sure for those high tea enthusiast would have heard of this small high tea place in Kerrisdale (high tea paradise :P). Adonia is located on West 41st Ave which offers afternoon tea, lunch and to go.

They use really adorable antique chinas, to match the overall theme of the cafe. Floral wallpaper and green cabinets, gives you a warm homey feeling to this cafe.

I have been here before for afternoon tea and I can never finish their food! (But really I can never finish any high tea sets and always have to bring some home. So this time I ordered the mini set (without having lunch prior) and still I could barely finish the set. (Mini set gives a sample of the afternoon high tea set, good for girls with small appetite and wants to try everything. ūüôā )

The mini tea set (6 pieces of mini sweets and savouries) is served with curry chicken croissant sandwich, ham and cheese crust-less sandwich, tuna sandwich, chocolate brownie cake, fruit tart/lemon meringue tart, chestnut tart with raspberry. I am not too into their savouries, they are very average. However their sweets are decent. (Though I have tried better, but Adonia is really good price for the environment you get.)

Usually I go for this place if I am feeling casual. Otherwise there are many more high tea places you can choose from around the neighbourhood at a little more price for a little more quality.
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