Friday, December 30, 2011

G-Be Izakaya - Hot Pot is a must

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G-Be Izakaya

4331 Dominion St, Burnaby (connected to Grand Villa Casino)

 G-Be Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Food: 4
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair 
 
It's officially winter, and I have yet to go out for any sort of hot pot (not counting the ones at home). So when a recent deal popped up for Japanese hot pot, I was more than happy to snatch it up.
The weather was perfect, windy and cold, so R and I decided headed out for some hot pot.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Meat & Bread - Finally I can cross it off

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Meat & Bread
 
370 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Meat & Bread on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Price: Fair

Finally, and I mean finally I have tried the famous Meat & Bread. I been wanting to try this place for at least over a year now. The problem was that it never opens on Sunday, and for some bazaar reason, I am always in downtown on Sunday. Finally, I manage to get myself to downtown on a Saturday and this place was packed, definitely a good sign. 

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Wholefood Market - Holiday Preview

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About a week ago, I received an email from Lisa asking if I would like to attend a Wholefood Market Holiday Preview event. Since most of these event lands on a weekday, I typically skip them. However, this time I really wanted to go, because I had purchased a $20 voucher awhile ago and really wanted to use it.

The event was held at their Cambie store which was easy to find, as it was just on the corner of Broadway and Cambie.
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Bubble 88 - finally another BBT with food in Surrey

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Bubble 88

10209 King George Hwy, Surrey


Bubble 88 八十八 on Urbanspoon

Food: 4
Service: 3
Price: Cheap

Whenever I crave Taiwanese food, I always either end up at Bubble World Surrey or Richmond. To be honest traveling 45 minutes just for some bubble tea food is not exactly ideal, so when I heard a new place popped up in Surrey, I was ecstatic.
Bubble 88 is located next to Surrey Central and really close to SFU campus.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Penang Delight - delightful and delicious

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Penang Delight Cafe
  
3885 Rupert St, Vancouver (map)

Penang Delight Cafe 馬來檳城美食 on Urbanspoon 

Food: 3.5
Service: 4
Price: Fair

The last time I was at Kimura, I noticed a Malaysian Restaurant called Penang Delight. Since I love Malaysian food, I immediately add it to the list of restaurant to try.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Around the Mediterranean in 16 days - a summary

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I know I been MIA for awhile now, but I am finally back and jet lag free. Ever since I went on a cruise back in Dec. of 2009, I been wanting to take another one. Finally that wish has been fulfilled with my 16 days trip to Europe.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yellowstone National Park

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Wow, it's been awhile since I last blogged. Instead of the usual food talk, I am going to post about my recent trip to Yellowstone park.
Although Yellowstone Park is not terribly far from us, but still driving down there requires at least 12 hours. We left Seattle around midnight on a Thursday, and finally arrived next day at around 1pm. At this time of year, the road condition was still pretty good, only some rain showers along the way. However it was pretty cold in Idaho and Montana, just take a look at those snow capped mountain range.

By the time we arrived, everyone was super tired with the look to match. So the question is "Was it worth the drive?", and my answer is
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Kalvin's - good but be prepare to wait

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Kalvin's Restaurant (松林居)

5225 Victoria Dr, Vancouver
 
 Kalvin's Restaurant 松林居 on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Service: 2.5
Price: Fair

This is not my first time at Kalvin's restaurant, but it is my first time dining here. Well you see, the first time I came here was at least 5 or 6 years ago for a friend's birthday. We made a reservation and arrived on time, but our table was not yet ready. The waitress specifically told us which table will be ours and walked away. After 10 min. another group showed up as the people from our table were leaving. They walked up to the waitress and she told them to sit at our table. We informed her that we were here first, but she pretty much ignored us. By this time, we were hungry and angry and just left.

With the above experience in mind, once again we went to Kalvin's restaurant with a reservation for our large group of 12. This time, everything went smoothly and we were promptly seated in a rather small restaurant. We had to squeeze in at a table really meant for 10, but good things we were all good friends :).
First dish we ordered was their large pork blood (large).
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Ah Beetz - worth the drive

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Ah Beetz New York Pizza

2664 Gladys Avenue, Abbotsford

Ah Beetz New York Pizza on Urbanspoon

Food: 4
Service: 4.5
Price: Fair for the quality

I been meaning to check out Ah Beetz pizza for at least over a year now. The last time I went down to Abbotsford it was around lunch time. Unfortunately at that time, they did not open for lunch, but apparently now they do.

After a fun filled day at Castle Fun Park (it's more fun than you think), we decided to grab dinner, so I immediately suggested Ah Beetz.

We arrived to find a tiny restaurant with only a few tables, but no air condition (it was so hot in there).
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Hart House - love the ambiance

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Hart House

6664 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby

Hart House on Urbanspoon 

Food: 3.5
Service: 4.5
Price: Expensive

Hart House restaurant is a picturesque mansion located inside Deer Lake park. Just from looking at it, you know it definitely has some history. This restaurant has been in operation since 1988, and still going strong.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Kedah House - Malaysian AYCE

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Kedah House Restaurant and Cafe

1652 SE Marine Dr, Vancouver

Kedah House Restaurant and Cafe on Urbanspoon 

Food: 3.5
Service: 3
Price: Fair ($9.95 for AYCE)

I probably would have never found this place if it wasn't recommended to me. A couple weeks ago, A. extended an invite to R and I to join him to try the AYCE (all you can eat) at Kedah House which is only available on weekends.
Kedah house is located on Marine Way in a small strip mall next to Visions Electronics. R and I nearly missed it if it wasn't for its bright fuscia colored sign.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alishan - had better else where

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 Alishan Restaurant 阿里山品味餐廳

4500 Kingsway, Burnaby (at Crystal Mall)

Alishan Restaurant 阿里山品味餐廳 on Urbanspoon


Food: 2.5
Service: 2.5
Price: Cheap

Sorry for the lack of post, I will try my best to update more often. Anyways, summer has finally arrived, and once again our group of beach volleyball lovers has resume our normal activity. The one thing I always look forward to is eating after a good game.
H suggested the new Alishan restaurant which is located on the outside circle of Crystal Mall.
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Monday, July 18, 2011

In-N-Out - good for the price

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 In-N-Out Burgers

6391 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach CA

In-n-Out Burgers on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Price: Cheap 

My life is a little hectic at the moment, and will probably stay this way for at least a few more month. So I will start a new style of blogging keeping it simple and short. The pictures for future post will probably remain raw imagine without cropping or watermark.
I have tried Five Guys Burger and many people suggested I try In-N-Out.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rockenwagner - delicious souffle

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Rockenwagner Bakery

311 Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica, CA

 Röckenwagner Bakery (The Market at Santa Monica Place) on Urbanspoon

Food: 4
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair

I been super busy lately, and most likely it will stay this way for quite awhile. Anyways, I will try to blog as much as I can (sorry in advance if I am MIA for a few days). A couple weeks back, R and I had to make a short trip down to LA. One of the places we visited was the Santa Monica Pier. Unfortunately for us, that day was windy and cold, so we sought out indoor shelter instead. Therefore discovered this beautiful bakery shop by chance.
The Rockenwagner Bakery location we visited was in 'The Market' at Santa Monica Place.
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Countryside - not your typical Chinese

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 Countryside Chinese Restaurant 田園東北人家

7506 Edmonds St, Burnaby (map)

Countryside Chinese Restaurant 田園東北人家 on Urbanspoon

Food: 2
Service: 3
Price: Fair + 

When people talk about Chinese food, they are usually talking about Canton, Sichuan or Shanghai style cuisine. If you head to Richmond, it seems every restaurant is one of these 3 types. A few weeks ago, my parents and I were driving past our old neighborhood and noticed this somewhat new resgtaurant the offered food from Northern China, so we decided to check it out.


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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mai's - a whole different experience

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Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant

20378 88 Ave, Langley (map)

Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Food: 3.5
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair+


R and I were out in Langley Colossus theater watching a movie, but the movie started at a awkward time, so we didn't really eat much before hands. After the movie, we decided to look around for some food, but it was chain restaurant after chain restaurant. We drove a bit more out of the area, and discovered this unique pho restaurant called Mai's.
This was not your typical pho restaurant with the mirrored walls, and vinyl tables. This place looked and felt different from the minute we walked in.
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cardero's - beautiful restaurant, but disappointing food

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Cardero's Restaurant

1583 Coal Harbour Quay, Vancouver (map)


Cardero's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Food: 2
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair +

I don't know what's with all the summer babies, but it's definitely the season for birthdays. A couple weeks back, J had a birthday party originally planned for Sand Bar, unfortunately they didn't take reservation (or was it our party was too big), so we had to relocated. The new chosen restaurant was Carderro in  Coal Harbor area.
I don't know if I been living in a hole or what, but I don't think I actually been to this area. This place was nice especially during a sunny day.
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

This is a rant, but one that I feel strongly about.

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Yesterday was a historical yet unfortunate day for reasons more than one. I know I haven't been the die hard Canucks fan for very long, but the feeling of loss is all the same. I must congratulate the Bruins, as they fought hard and won it fair and square. I don't blame anyone for the loss, it simply means we have to do better next time, as the playoff is held every year. In fact, I think the Canucks did great, and took us on a good ride. I enjoyed it all while it lasted, and hope for the best for next year.

I am absolutely appalled and disgusted by the few (in comparison to all the fan as a whole) who started this riot. These people aren't fans, they were out looking for trouble win or lose. Also the bystander just fueled their desire to create more havoc, because they need the audience to "perform". I guess this is how the situation got out of control so fast. At this point, I am more disappointed/angry at the riot than the game.

We must all be responsible for our actions, and I hope those who caused the riot will be held responsible for theirs. I hope the city band together (like this facebook page) and help find criminals who started it all, and put them behind bars to think about what they did. Because if we don't, it will only get worse for next time. (pictures can be sent to robbery@vpd.ca to help identify the criminals)

The one thing I do hope is that the world will not view Vancouver as a barbaric city with sore loser, because the truth is so far from that. We have sportsmanship, we have class, and we love our city and our team. If anyone was watching the post game Stanley Cup presentation ceremony, should know how real fans acted. There was a standing ovation for Tim Thomas and lots of cheering for Lucic our hometown boy. Now this is the Vancouver that I love and hope to maintain. I think this tragic incident has brought people together, as there are tons of people downtown doing post game clean up, now these are the real fans and real Vancouverite. Kudos to them and THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pearl Castle - consistent food

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Pearl Castle

6060 Minoru Blvd, Richmond (inside Richmond Center)

Pearl Castle (Richmond Centre) on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Service: 2.5
Price: Fair

Pearl Castle use to one of my favorite 'go-to' restaurant, because of its convenient location, and their good food. I guess there was just not enough traffic in Coquitlam, because they closed the one location I liked the most. Since I was craving for some old favorite, I dragged R all the way out to Richmond for it. XD
There are two locations in Richmond, one is in Continental Square and the other one is in Richmond Center. I have actually been to both, but this review is for the one in Richmond center.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chez Meme - finally tried it :)

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Chez Meme Baguette Bistro

4016 Hastings Street, Burnaby (map)


Chez Meme Baguette Bistro on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair

I have tried at least 2x to visit Chez Meme after M recommended it to me. However this is one huge problem, it's closed every 2nd Saturday, so far luck has not been on my side. Since J and I wanted to plan a brunch together, Chez Meme has once again came up as a contender. This time I called way ahead to ensure that it was open for the Saturday we intended to go.
We arrived around 10:00am, and this place was already packed.
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Golden Spoon - not worth the drive

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Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt

5 - 7550 King George Blvd, Surrey (inside Superstore)

 Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon

Food: 2
Price: Fair

Once again it was another online deal that brought me all the way to Newton Surrey to try this new frozen yogurt shop. I think this is actually an American chain frozen yogurt store that has just opened up 2 locations in the Lower Mainland. There is one in Surrey and another in Coquitlam.

One look at the address, I thought it would be a breeze to find it, but I am so wrong. R and I drove in circles for a good 10 minutes, trying to find this place. Finally I had to call a friend for help to get the phone number. It turn out this particular location was located
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dasarang - deep fried chicken, but expensive

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Dasarang Chicken

4501 North Rd,  Burnaby (map)

Dasarang Chicken on Urbanspoon


Food: 2.5
Service: 3
Price: Fair +

I am usually not one to believe in FengShui, but when a corner location keep changing restaurant, it really make me wonder why. A relative new restaurant called Dasarang has opened up in the old location of Bool Chul Pan Korean Hot Grill. This is definitely not the first time this location has changed its restaurant. Throughout the years, there as been at least 4 different ones (2 Chinese, 1 Vietnamese and 1 Korean), while the restaurant (Ddoo Gau Bee) next door has been there since forever. I guess we will have to see how long this one will last.
Because I have actually been to the previous restaurant (Bool Chul Pan), I know that the new owner did some major redecorating. The place looked so much nicer with beautiful booth, soft lighting and vibrant color walls. I have to say I like the new look and feel.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stonegrill - lack of service

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Stonegrill @ the Met

259 - 4820 Kingsway, Burnaby

Stonegrill @ the Met on Urbanspoon

Food: 2.5
Service: 1
Price: Fair

I haven't been to Metrotown for ages, so I was totally unaware of any new opening. Apparently a new Stonegrill location has sprung up right next to the new Disney store (what, there is a new Disney store??). Anyways, since K and I had some major catching up to do, we decided to check out this new restaurant, and get some shopping done after :).
Stonegrill is located on the first floor right underneath the food court. Their doorway was so narrow, I nearly missed it. The restaurant was actually quite nice, as it was spacious and very bright due to the huge floor to ceiling windows. The decor was contemporary and upscale. Overall, the restaurant definitely looked nice, but the same can't be said for their service.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

La Petite France - solid dessert, lovely shop

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La Petite France

2655 Arbutus St, Vancouver (map)

La Petite France on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair

Although all these deal coupons are suppose to save me money, but I think I actually end up spending more than I normally would. Once again I fell for one of these, and this time it was the LivingSocial deal for $6 you get $12 worth of food at La Petite France. This was another dessert restaurant that I been wanting to try. I even went by once only to discover that it closes early (around 6-7pm).

This time around, I decided to go in the early morning. R and I got there around 11:30ish, and the place was packed.I think a lot of people were there for brunch, as they do have a actual food menu. Their crepe looked amazing, as well as some of the breakfast sandwiches. Since we had somewhere to go for lunch, thus we just decided to stick with desserts.

For the drink, R got the double shot Americano, and I went for the hot chocolate. I am not sure, but I think they used Illy coffee beans. R certainly enjoyed it. Sorry, I can't remember exactly the cost, but the prices are at par with other places. When the waitress brought over my hot chocolate, she specifically pointed out where the sugar stand was. Although she was talking to me, but I automatically assumed she was talking about R's Americano. It turn out, she was indeeded talking to me, because this hot chocolate was non-sweeten. It was made with pure cocoa powder, so I had to stir for quite awhile before it got all dissolved. Although the drink was really strong, but I wished they used milk instead of water for a creamier taste.
They had quite a few desserts in the display case. After the server went through what each one was (she was really patient), I decided on Sacher ($5.50) and orange and white chocolate creme bruless ($2.75).
Sacher was described to me as a chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache and raspberry filling. Although the raspberry layer was rather tart, but it was balanced out nicely by the sweet and rich chocolate ganache. Overall it was a tasty dessert.

For the creme brulee, I loved the addition of the orange flavor for the caramelized sugar top. As for the white chocolate, I really couldn't detect it. Although the custard was creamy and used real vanilla, both R and I thought there was a lack of eggy flavor.

We loved the floor to ceiling windows that provided ample natural lights and the simple yet elegant decor. The service was personal and friendly. The food was solid, or more precisely the desserts were. Although judging from the amount of people who ordered from their regular menu, I would say it certainly looks good. Overall, I definitely recommend this place to any dessert lovers, just make sure you go early enough.

PS: I know I writing about these deals after they already passed, and thus you won't be able to take advantage of them. Would you prefer for me to post food deals that I think are worthwhile (meaning that I probably purchased it) while they are still valid?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Age Chinese - convenient location for good Chinese food

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New Age Chinese Cuisine

5411 Kingsway, Burnaby (map)

New Age Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon


Food: 3.5
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair

We needed a Chinese restaurant around Metrotown area, and a search on Urbanspoon didn't really yield too many options, as many didn't have favorable rating. However one restaurant did caught my eyes and I seem to recall hearing good things about it, so off we went to New Age Chinese Restaurant.

The restaurant was not hard to find, because all you need to look for is Best Western Hotel, as it is located directly next to the hotel.
I think this was the hotel restaurant prior to being acquired by New Age. The place looked more modern than traditional Chinese restaurant. The staff member here are also on the younger side as well, I guess this also may be the reason why service was not bad.

The first dish we had was the braised beef brisket hot pot ($10.75). This was also my favorite dish of the night. The beef brisket was just right, that it's soft enough, yet not mushy. The bottom of the dish was layer with lettuce which is really typical for Chinese restaurants.
Since I love eggplant, I chose to go with eggplant with shredded pork and basil leaf ($10.25). This dish was quite oily, but at least it was also very flavorful. Although they used basil leaf, but I didn't really detected in the sauce. I think maybe they didn't cooked it long enough or maybe they added it late during the cooking process.
Although the fish in spicy sauce ($13.95) was not authentic, but it was till rather good. The fish slice were of nice size and quite tender. The sauce lacked depth, as it was purely just dried chili pepper with oil. It did not consist of any Sichuan peppercorn. The bottom of the dish was layered with lots of vermicelli and big bean sprout.
The diced chicken in plum sauce ($10.50) was really delicious. It was tender and full of flavor. Each piece chicken and onion is coated nicely by the slightly sweet plum sauce. This kind of dish is perfect over rice.


Although this restaurant does not serve any specific Chinese food, but it does provide a good mix of their own version of traditional dishes. The food here was tasty, and the service was not bad. Given the easily accessible location, I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who is in the area.