Swiss Bakery

Swiss Bakery
Swiss Bakery

Let’s go have some famous frissant/cronut – this flaky pastry with mouth watering creamy filling is a must try. Although their available hours and flavours are not very stable. I suggest checking out their website or calling before heading in.

Swiss Bakery

There is a very good reason why this is so popular, the super flaky pastry is just so delicious.

I so far tried three flavours:

Chocolate – Is this a classic flavour? I hope so, and I hope they always offer it. Because I absolutely love it!

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Raspberry Rhubarb – Refreshing light tart flavour from rhubarb balances out the sweet pastry.

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Cafe Au Lait (coffee) – I don’t really know what went wrong here. The pastry is still great, but something about the cream is very odd tasting. It doesn’t taste like coffee, I am not sure what I am actually eating. It was indescribably flavour but not in a good way.

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Also try out their other pastry, they all look very delicious. I had a fresh croissant which was so yum. I believe they do their flaky pastry really well. So anything with flakes, take a bite. 😉

Swiss Bakery

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Rose House

 

I have heard of this place mentioned in lots of Facebook posts, so of course I needed to give it a try. This café is almost invisible, I barely noticed it and drove by it as I was searching for the place. It is tucked away and also doesn’t have a stand out entrance. When I walked in, it gave me a  feeling of royalty and glamorous. It is actually a verily small place, not many seats available, but it was able to give off a grand atmosphere.

 

They offer many different types of food but many (many as in 80 to 85%) are rose infused in one way or the other. Few sizes of afternoon tea, a la carte dessert items, various types of floral or fruit tea.

 

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Few of my friends had recommended this Rose Water to me. The moment it was brought to our table, everyone just couldn’t stop saying how beautiful it looks. Yes, iced pink rose water in a clear glass jar. Something probably not many girls can resist. :3  It taste as pretty as it looks, swift of rose fragrant as you sip down this water. Makes you feel like you’re in a rose garden. (But if you are not into flower scented food, I wouldn’t recommend this.)

 

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Cheesecake Waffle – both infused with rose essences. Waffles were served warm on the side, light and crispy. But I really enjoyed the rose infused cheesecake, you can taste light rose scent with the smooth fluffy cheesecake. I probably would just order this next time I return. :p

 

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Savory Tier: Deviled Egg, Salmon Sandwich, Pepper Tuna Open Toast, Egg Salad Sandwich, Cocktail Shrimp

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In general, their savory items are very standard and to me some seems to be quite odd to show up in a high tea set. But they were decent, nothing quite outstanding.

 

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Scone, quiche were served with rose infused (yes again, but I’ve warned you)  jam and whipped butter.

 

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Sweet Tier: Macaron, Strawberry Philly, Honey Jelly, Cream Puff and Panna Cotta

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I especially liked the honey jelly, refreshing jelly with a little bit of whipped cream.

 

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We also ordered a Tiramisu on the side. This one is not rose infused, traditional tiramisu. Traditionally basic and good.


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Fresh Fruit Tea – very basic tea that you can order at many cafes or tea places.

They have quite bit of tea selection and they would explain on the menu what are the benefits of certain type of tea. You can also ask the staff and they can explain to you the flavours of the tea.

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I would recommend this place as they have many options not like many afternoon tea places where you can only order afternoon tea. And if you really like rose scent, this is definitely the place for you as you get to enjoy many items rose essence infused. Of course, everything is just so pretty.

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Please enjoy the tea, your highness. 😉

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Maji Restaurant 麻吉台式熱炒

This new addition on Alexander Road in Richmond, BC has been creating a lot of noise recently among the locals. I went there two times before I wrote this review, because I wanted to try out a little bit more dishes before I say anything. According to a few Taiwanese friends of mine, their food is very authentic.

Here are some of the dishes that I get to try (some I do not have photos because I was seated in a very dark area.).

Ginger Chicken – chicken leg stir fried with ginger sauce and green onions

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First thing my friends noticed was that, wow that’s a lot of ginger. Which got me excited for a moment, because I was trying to imagine in my head how gingery it will taste like. But it didn’t. It tasted like soy sauce, lots and lots of ginger but none of the flavour came out onto the chicken. I can see it but cannot taste it.

Hakka-Style Pork and Squid – shredded pork belly stir fried with squid, bean curd, dried shrimps and chili

Spicy stir fry of thinly cut squid and pork shreds along with crispy dried shrimps. I liked this dish, very flavourful and full of different types of textures all in one dish. This is quite a spicy dish, I would suggest you ask for mild if you cannot handle spicy.

Shrimps with Egg – shrimps stir fried with egg and green onions

This dish was very interesting, because when I first saw it sit down on the table I immediately thought “Where is the egg?” I see lots of shrimps, then I realized it was deep fried bits of egg stir fried with the shrimp. I personally liked this dish because it gave crunchy texture to the shrimps and no slimy egg-sauce like most places would do.

Stir Fried Vegetable – season vegetable with garlic

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Pi-Egg Tofu – silken tofu drizzled with thick soy sauce, sprinkled with green onion and dried pork floss

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This is a very classic and easy Taiwanese family dish. I would recommend it if you have never had such dish anywhere else, it is one of my favourite Taiwanese homemade dish. I often make this at home when I am feeling lazy and a perfect summer dish. 🙂

Chinese Yam Chicken Soup – clear broth with fermented glutinous rice, Chinese yam, chicken leg, chicken date, goji berries and mushrooms

This soups sounds so healthy for your body that I really had to order it. Soup was not too salty and has light aroma of fermented rice. Chinese yam had been cooked so well it tasted like mash potatoe.

San-pei Squid – squid stir-fried with San-Pei sauce; tossed with basil

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If you have tired San-Pei Chicken (which means three sauce chicken) it pretty much taste exactly the same instead of chicken they used squid. I need to give prompts to the squid, they were tender and chewy at the same time. Perfectly cooked to the right tenderness.

Golden Fried Rice – friend rice with diced ham and corn

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It is basically what it is, very simple but instead of bowls of plain rice we got fried rice instead.

Overall, I have to say their stir fries are generally good but I noticed they are all very oily and full of MSG? I became super thirsty while I was having these dishes (both times I was there). But some dishes are great ideas and they are perfect with a few beer. A very traditional way of eating these dishes at late night in Taiwan.

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Cafe L’Organerie

A Japanese café ran by Japanese, used to be on Grandville but now they have moved in just a little bit away from the big street. I have been to the old location, which you always see if you drive down Grandville. This time my friend suggested couple of us going and I was delighted to visit again at their new location (because I tried to visit last time for dessert but they were closed already).

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Rustic is the decoration theme, everything looks and feel like children and things were simple. Wood, handmade, cozy are the feelings that I got when I stepped in. The restaurant gave out a warming home feeling, which is just so adorable.
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They have lots of typical Japanese home style dishes such as Japanese style spaghetti, Japanese curry rice, Japanese rice bowls and lots of Japanese desserts such as parfaits and puddings.
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Wafu Spaghetti – this is the most Japanese style spaghetti in the menu, I remember eating something similar in Japan and just thought I would try it here again.
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Indeed, it was delicious; served in a clean clear sauce (most likely soy sauce) base with bonito and mushrooms, vegetables. I fell in love with this style in Japan and I am so glad I found the flavour again here in Vancouver so I can have it again! :9

Japanese Style Neapolitan Spaghetti– made with ketchup and tomatoe sauce. But unlike other Italian restaurant it is lighter in flavour with less cheese.
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Masago de Creamy Spaghetti – creamy tomato sauce with a little bits of masago that gave it a little ‘pop’ to the texture and other seafood.
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Curry with Fried Prawn served with Rice
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Matcha Greentea Pudding Parfait – my friend thought it’ll be a parfait, but it turned out to be a house made green tea pudding with some mocha and ice cream. But nevertheless it is still very good! The matcha pudding is so rich and smooth!
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Black sesame dango parfait – black sesame with chewy mocha and soft café pieces topped with whipping cream. Greatest thing? Not too sweet, my kind of dessert. :3 But mind you the mocha does fill you up, so many save some stomach space during entrée.
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Should really try this place out, it was good then and is still good now. You won’t be disappointed and it is definitively something different!

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Chocolate Arts Cafe

Snowball's Chance in Hell's Fire

I am back again for their hot chocolate this year.  Last year I got to try the Amour (raspberry drinking chocolate), then I said to myself I will revisit again next year for chocolate festival so here I am again.

Their hot chocolate name caught my eye when I was browsing through the hot chocolate festival website: A Snowball’s Chance in Hell’s Fire. Wow what a dramatic name then I wondered what it was so I had to order it.

It was served in a bowl, yes in a bowl which is a little big bigger than a Chinese rice bowl. In the center there is a cold cold chocolate ice cream ball with a little bit of hot chocolate they pour for you and also provide some on the side. In comparison to the Thierry’s ice cream hot chocolate I felt this is much better. Reason? It stays hot! The hot chocolate they serve is pipping hot, which is great!

The ice cream is stayed intact unless you went to stir it. But I loved the spicy chili powder that comes at the end! Just a little bit (but at the bottom and you drink up then it’ll hit you).

Maybe it is time to switch over from Thierry…. 😛

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Black + Blue

Being a member of the Glowbal group, their decoration/interior design needs to live up to an expectation and this one does for sure. With a beautiful lit bar in the center of the restaurant and geometry globe lamps hanging from the ceiling and with seats surrounding the center made the restaurant sparkles. I have been to Black & Blue before for a graduation dinner party and we were seated at the roof during a fall evening. It was pretty up there and could get romantic with dark clear skies. This is indeed a very beautiful restaurant, inside and out.

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Josper Grilled Vegetable Napoleon – goat cheese, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms. The name comes from the stacking of the vegetables similar to lasagna, it was so visually pleasing to see with all these beautiful colours. I personally likes goat cheese but I still find the goat cheese is a little over powering the vegetables. I had to push off some to the side to get a real taste of the vegetables, but this is a good vegetables dish.

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup – double smoked bacon, chive crema, cheddar. I have to say there is really nothing special about this soup. It’s a potato soup alright, just a potato soup really. Bacon was a little salty but acceptable.

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Slow Cooked Guinness Braised Short Rib – applewood smoked cheddar spätzle, winter greens. The ribs is quite soft, the meat comes off verily easily when you lift it lightly with your fork. However I wish it was more juicy, it is a little on the dry side. But flavour is great.

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 6 Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin truffled mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and red wine jus. I had the biggest debate whether I should get the steak or the trout, but then I thought to myself that if I am in a steakhouse I should get the steak. They sure live up to the steakhouse standard, the steak was nice and tender and juicy. But what I found the most amazing about this dish is its mash potatoes, truffled! Oh my god was it good, I normally do not eat a lot of the mashed potatoes but this one just kept me going. I almost wanted to eat that instead of my steak. 😛

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B&B Carrot Cake – coconut & ginger macaroon, cream cheese candied carrot. I am not into carrot cakes, I never order carrot cake to eat anywhere. So I was a little sad to see their only dessert option is carrot cake. I asked the to server to see if I can switch to another dessert (pay the difference) but wasn’t able to do it. For two of us I told him we only need one carrot cake, because I probably won’t eat the second one. But he was kind enough to take the carrot cake price off the bill for us. Anyways, since I am not into carrot cake so I don’t know how fair this part will be. There is nothing special about this carrot cake, it’s carrot… and cake. But the frosting on the top is a little sweet.

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Overall I had a good dining experience here, but both times I was here the service seems to not pop out at me. Or I was expecting too much? It is a very upscale downtown steakhouse, I would expect close to supreme customer service. But both times I didn’t get any, was good service just not good enough. For their normal price, I might consider going somewhere else. Because even if they have good food, I just cannot justify the price. It is not THAT good for that kind of pricing. I will return if anyone books a dinner here.

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Sushi by Yuji

I saw this new sushi place that popped by on Kingsway and Nanaimo, oh new sushi place! But at a glance it looks like a very quiet place not many people. Then later I saw photos of my friends visiting this sushi place and they recommended it so I decided to really try it out myself.

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It’s very quiet, there were only one extra table there with my friends and I. It is also a very clean place, ran by Japanese – their whole staff crew speaks Japanese to each other.

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Wild Salmon Sashimi – fresh and tenderExif_JPEG_PICTURE

Yuji’s Roll – shrimp, ika, cucumber, salmon. I really like how the ika (squid) played in this roll, gave chewy texture and light sweetness to the roll. Then there are these very bouncy shrimps and velvet like salmon. Mmm, I high recommend this.

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Negi Shio Saba Roll with  Ginger – do you like ginger? IF you do you will like this one. It also tasted real great with saba, I have never eaten saba with ginger (mostly just onion) but it is great to balance out the over powering saba flavour.

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Ika Mentaiko (Gunkan) – fresh chewy squid sashimi with mentaiko (marinated roe of pollock). These mentaiko which you can find in many Japanese udon. They are extra delicious with squid and seaweed.

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Hamachi Avocado Roll – I never thought of the combination of hamachi of avocado would be perfect harmony. The nice creamy avocado adds to the smooth rich hamachi, they really do work great together.

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And I have to say, even with different types and new creative combinations of sushi the sushi chef still roll his perfect Japanese sushi rolls. (You should notice in my other posts how important it is for me for sushi to roll in the perfect firmness.)

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With great sushi this place comes with great service and friendly staff. I would revisit for sure, It is at a very awkward location that most people would probably not notice. So if you go, open your eyes and look hard for their sign! Enjoy everyone. 🙂

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La Brasserie’s

I have heard many good things about their food cart stand in downtown which only sells their famous burger. I couldn’t make it for their food cart because of their short hours so I decided to pay their restaurant a visit to try out that burger.

PATÉ DE CAMPAGNE – Bacon Wrapped Chicken liver & Beef, Dijon, Crostini – Very interesting pate wrapped with bacon, although I do find the bacon very greasy. (Do I sound stupid saying this? :P)

TRUFFLED POUTINE Fries, Cheese Curds, Gravy, Truffle Oil – This delicious poutine was to die for!! Fresh, hot evenly melted cheese with mouth watering gravy and truffle oil?!!! Oh my god on the truffle oil, it was a brilliant idea! I just couldn’t help myself from munching and munching even though I know it’ll easily fill me up. 😄

FRENCH ONION SOUP Slow Caramelized Onions, Gruyère Gratine

FISH of the DAY – halibut in a very ‘Asian’ broth, it smells like soy sauce, fish sauce combined with potatoes and bits of spinach.

MUSSELS & FRITES Lemon, Parsley, Garlic, Cream – tender mussels in a lovely garlic cream sauce, light lemon gives it a bit of tart to get rid of the heaviness of cream. Though I felt like the mussels could be fresher, lots of fishy smell.

BRASSERIE BURGER & FRITES Aged White Cheddar, Bacon, Crispy Onions, Truffle Aioli – No wonder they are so famous for their burgers that they have a little food cart in downtown for it. It was a very large (or I should say tall) burger, but it was very delicious. The crispy onions were perfect with the very soft patty and cheddar. My mouth is watering as I write this. 😆

This is a wonderful restaurant with great atmosphere, I would definitely return!

PS: Sorry I didn’t explain all the dishes, I’ve visited a while ago and I can’t recall the names. But I hope the photos speaks itself!

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Sushi Nanaimo

Wow, the review for this resturant had scored so high! But I felt tricked. Because the food was very disappointing. Let me tell you my experience, when we first got in we were greeted right away by the waitress. However she doesn’t seems like she cares for our business and just stretched her arm out to gesture we can sit at this empty spot.

Okay, so I saw down with my friend and we waited for a while before we got our menu. I don’t understand what took so long because she saw us and gestured us to sit down already.

To start I have ordered the chopped scallop roll with salmon bits on top mixed with spicy sauce. The moment I took a bite, I realized right away why is everything so loose?? Everything fell apart. Like seriously fell apart. I couldn’t understand why because this is such a small sushi roll.R0023940 R0023941

Frozen salmon?? Yup, that’s what this is. Very cold and frozen and bland. There is no flavour to the salmon. I am not sure where did they get their salmon from, It almost felt like I was eaten ice, no flavour and cold.R0023942 R0023943

Tempura Udon – Udon soup is alright, but the tempura were soooo oily. 😦 And so much batter, I understand they are trying to fluff it up. (I used to work in a Japanese fast food place, so I know that’s what we do.) But that’s too much and too oily, I think the oil had been used for a few days already.R0023946

And this is the Hawaii roll I believe, california roll with mango and prawn. This is probably the most horrific Hawaii roll I ever had. The prawns were cooked but with absolutely no flavour of prawn, I don’t know what intimation prawn I am eating. Then it’s the mango, it was so raw and so sour!

I probably would never return.

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eight 1/2 Restaurant Lounge

A friend recommended this place to me a while ago, I came here for lunch and dinner before and now I return again for dinner with a few girls. When I first heard the name, it kept my interested and I never forgot about it. I also remember because of it’s location had some filming done about two years ago, so it just stayed in my head forever.

Wild Mushroom Risotto – Medley of fresh BC mushrooms, pine nuts, spinach, parmesan with a drizzle of white truffle oil. I got a small bite of this, the rice is a little hard. But it is alright. Couldn’t really taste the truffle oil. 😦

Marketplace Spaghetti – Roasted vegetables, goat cheese, torn basil, sundried tomato base served with garlic toast. I think this is an evolve from the marketplace pizza, special item featured during the time I visited. I really liked it, it had eggplant and sun dried tomato which is very spicy. Oh I absolutely love the spice to this pasta.

8th Avenue – Hot calabrese, chorizo, banana peppers, and sautéed mushrooms. I also shared this with a friend. Very delicious pizza, another spicy item on the list. I really liked the banana peppers, sweet and spicy. 🙂 Very good crust also, I believe it was fresh baked and we had to wait a bit for this pizza.

Crème Brûlée – A true vanilla bean crème brûlée infused with Grand Marnier. Shared this among six girls. 😉

This place has an extensive drink menu, since it is a lounge it has a lot of tapas and interesting drinks for you to try. So if you want a place to go Friday night, give this a try!

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