Chef’s Plate

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NOTE: The two meals were sent by Chef’s Plate for free but all opinions are based on my own experience.

Don’t you hate it when you buy too many groceries because everything comes in bulk and you end up wasting all of it since you simply don’t have enough time to cook? I remembered that happening to me all the time when I lived alone in Spain. That’s when Chef’s Plate comes in handy! On their website, you can select the receipes you want each week (which changes every week), and Chef’s Plate will deliver you all the ingredients you need in a refrigerated box. The ingredients are already portioned exactly as you need for each recipe so nothing goes to waste and you don’t need to measure anything. Plus, the refrigerated box comes with ice packs to ensure your food is still fresh when you get home.

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Your box will also come with colourful detailed recipe cards. I love the step by step instruction with pictures so you won’t mess up any steps! All recipes are categorized as easy, medium or hard when you select it on the website and most of them can be cooked in no more than 30 minutes.

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Since I was cooking for a family of 4 that night, we decided to go all out and cook both recipes, since we were given 2 recipes with each recipe portioned for 2 people. The first recipe was the Steak and Chili Roasted Potatoes. I really liked how all the ingredients were portioned and were even labeled so if you have never used an ingredient before, you’ll still be able to identify it.

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The meats were all locally sourced too which is always a plus!

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And this was our finished product! Looks pretty good for someone who barely ever cooks right? My family was surprised how fresh the steak was too! The recipe uses flat iron steak which is a cheaper cut, so the meat was obviously a little chewier, but we were still surprised by the quality and how you could really taste the beef.

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The corn was also absolutely delicious with a lime crema topped with Monterey Jack cheese. A little tangy from the lime but the cheese really made the corn creamy. The corn itself was also very sweet! As for the potatoes, they were seasoned with chili powder and is a recipe I look forward to making again!

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The second recipe was the Pork Steamed Buns. As you can see, Chef’s Plate has a variety of different cuisines, from Asian, Mexican to American flavours. It’s got something for everyone and that includes vegetarians.

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Although the recipe card said to just steam the buns over boiling water and a colander, we have a steamer, so we turned this on instead and got it done very quickly. You can definitely adapt to the recipe card, but the recipe can be done with a very basic kitchen. Salt and pepper would be the only additional ingredients you need to have.

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And here was the finished product! Everyone agreed that the buns were so soft and fluffy! They were filled with a savoury pork filling that was seasoned with ginger and Korean black bean sauce so definitely had the Asian flavours. Alongside was a side of pickled radishes and cucumber to open your appetite.

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Overall, my family was very impressed with the quality of the ingredients and the recipes from Chef’s Plate. I think this is great for those who want to learn how to cook or have small families and don’t have a lot of time to cook or buy groceries because of work.

If you’re interested in giving Chef’s Plate a try, use the promo code #EVERYDAYISAFOODDAY or use this link to get 3 FREE plates on your first order! That’s over $30 of savings!

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PeakFine at Sparkling Hill

Last month, S took me to Sparkling Hill Resort to celebrate my birthday. I’ll write a separate post on the resort itself and our adventures in Kelowna at a later date, but this post will focus on the restaurant inside the resort. PeakFine is the only restaurant they have, other than the cafe downstairs, but the cafe serves up snacks and drinks more. Be sure to reserve in advance, since we tried to reserve on the day and ended up having to eat very early. The interior is beautiful with the crystals adorning the ceiling and walls, just like the rest of the resort. Although this was fine dining, they did not seem to have a strict dress code. There is a pianist playing live music during dinner time.

Dinner started off with complimentary bread and sun-dried tomato whipped butter. The bread was warm and soft and I especially loved the sun-dried tomato butter. Light but flavourful.

Roasted Pork Loin
Dinner is not cheap at PeakFine. Well, I mean, everything at Sparkling Hill is expensive, so not a surprise. There are many options for food in Kelowna and even Vernon, but the problem is where Sparkling Hill is situated. It’s up on a hill, and literally requires driving quite far to get to city centre. With that, if you want to drink, you’ll need to call a cab to get around. Hence, we ended up having to dine at PeakFine. S got the Roasted Pork Loin which came with creamy peppercorn sauce, potato gratin and local vegetables. Not bad, but also not the best I’ve had. Nothing wrong with it, but it was quite average for the price we paid.

Pan Seared Salmon
For myself, I had the Pan Seared Salmon on white and wild rice with almond broccoli and topped with orange and maple beurre blanc. This was not bad with the salmon being moist in the centre, but it could’ve used a little more salt. Again, it’s quite expensive for what it is.
Overall, we both agreed that the food was quite average for the price we paid, but we were surprised that the portions were quite generous. Not like the fine dining where we’re used to having to catch another meal after.
Our stay also included complimentary breakfast buffet every morning, of which is located in PeakFine as well. I actually quite enjoyed the variety at breakfast and found that more pleasing.
Service is decent and the views are quite spectacular. Be sure to arrive early in the morning for breakfast to get seated next to the window.

Pros:
– Beautiful ambiance and great views by the windows
– Great selection for breakfast buffet

Cons:
– Mediocre food
– Quite pricey, although portions are decent

Price Range: $40-60

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 4.5 Parking: 4 Overall: 3

Peakfine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

AnnaLena

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For my birthday, I gave a list of restaurants I wanted to try to S and told him to surprise me with something. He ended up choosing AnnaLena which I was super excited about! Located in the Kits area just before the Burrard Bridge, the kitchen is run by the talented executive chef, Michael Robbins.

The interior is whimsical but cool with modern art and lego toys. The restaurant is quite small, so I’ve heard that people have had to make reservations well in advance. I’m guessing S did just that to secure us a spot.

Because S had mentioned it was my birthday when he made reservations, I guess they noted it down and surprised us both with a complimentary cocktail. That was a really nice touch and the cocktail was delicious!

Chicken

As I had just came from happy hour, I really wasn’t that hungry so we ended up just trying out a few dishes. First was the Chicken, which was buttermilk fried, with a sesame dashi mayo, and accompanied with charred shishito peppers. These were so light and crispy! And the Asian style mayo was a nice twist and complemented the chicken so well.

Scallop

The second dish we tried was the Scallop which were seared, and came with smoked pork jowl, roast turnips, pickled apples, and cauliflower puree. The scallops were cooked to perfection without them being rubbery and the pork jowl was tender with a nice rebound texture.

Chocolate

For dessert, we had the Chocolate, which featured white chocolate mousse, sesame toasted mango, and passion fruit sorbet. Perhaps I took too long to take pictures, but the sorbet began to melt quite quickly. Still, I loved the different textures in this dessert and the strong passion fruit flavour in the sorbet.

Overall, just based on the few items we tried, I already enjoyed AnnaLena a lot and am looking forward to return and try the rest of the items. The portions are quite small for the price, but the quality and execution of the dishes are spot on. A great place if you want to celebrate a special occasion.

Pros:
– Quality and well executed dishes
– Professional service

Cons:
– Portions are on the smaller side for the price
– You’ll need to make reservations way in advance!

Price Range: $30-60

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 5 Service: 4.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: 4 Overall: 4.5

AnnaLena Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lift Bar & Grill

Looking for a spot to go happy hour, I suggested we try Lift Bar & Grill. It’s situated by the water along the seawall before you enter Stanley Park.

The restaurant has an awesome patio outside perfect for the summer.

Happy hour is from 3-6pm daily, but unfortunately, you can only sit at the bar for happy hour. The bar seats around 10-15 people, so be sure to arrive early!

The decor inside is elegant and perfect for date night. I would highly recommend sitting outside if the weather is nice, or by the glass windows inside to enjoy the views.

Their happy hour menu is pretty good with a variety of food other than their select drinks. Plus, they have buck-a-shuck oysters! As you can see, the prices for happy hour isn’t extremely cheap though. Their regular menu is quite pricey normally, so this is already discounted.

Red Truck Lager, House White Wine

We started off with some drinks which were part of the happy hour menu, all for $5.

Buck-a-Shuck Oysters

I wanted some oysters, so I got the Buck-a-Shuck Oysters. I don’t remember the names of the oysters but they were quite small, but sweet. I think they could’ve done a better job with the shucking though as I found some bits of shell in my oysters. The typical cocktail sauce, Tabasco and vinaigrette comes on the side.

Lobster Mac & Cheese

As I was quite hungry, I decided to get the Lobster Mac & Cheese which was on deal for $10. It came with atlantic lobster, grana padano white cheddar and mascarpone cheese.

This was a pretty good deal since there were chunks of lobster meat in my mac n cheese! Usually, you just find little strands of meat in this dish, but I was surprised how much lobster I found in here. It’ll definitely fill you up as the cheese is very heavy. I also loved the crispy coating of bread crumbs on top.

Fish & Chips

S got the Fish & Chips which normally comes with a single piece of local beer battered halibut and french fries. He was quite hungry, so he asked to add another piece of halibut. The normal size is $14 and I think the additional piece was around $6. So it came to around $20 which isn’t too bad for getting fish and chips (halibut) at a high end restaurant.

Overall, we were quite pleased with the happy hour selection of food and drinks at Lift Bar & Grill. However, service was pretty much non-existent. We sat at the bar without menus for the longest time and we ended up having to ask for the menus. It also took incredibly long to get our bill. I would hope that their service is much better during regular hours, since this is the perfect place to take your date to, but if service is so poor, I wouldn’t risk ruining your date night here. Ambiance is spot on though!

Pros:
– Beautiful ambiance and views
– Great selection for happy hour – $1 oysters, deals on food and drinks

Cons:
– Service was poor
– Not exactly cheap even for happy hour

Price Range: $20-30

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 1.5 Ambiance: 5 Parking: N/A Overall: 3.5

Lift Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Torafuku – Dine Out Vancouver 2016

Our first Dine Out Vancouver for 2016 was at Torafuku. I’ve been wanting to try this new restaurant ever since having a good meal from their sister food truck, Le Tigre. The Dine Out menu was $30 per person.

The interior is minimalist with barely any renovations. There is one long communal table and some booths on the side. We had made reservations early in advance but unfortunately we were still given bar seats. S was quite disappointed since he had wanted a more intimate seating. Bar seating was fun to watch the kitchen, but it definitely wasn’t very comfortable.

Love the wooden plates. Definitely has that hipster ambiance.

Since we were seated at the bar, we got a good view of what was going on in the kitchen.

One Fish, Two Fish

Apparently, we were only allowed to choose one appetizer per two people for the Dine Out menu. We were slightly upset with that since we had already heard that portions would be small. (It did say in fine print at the bottom of the online menu, so my fault for missing that!) Anyways, we chose One Fish, Two Fish. This was a bowl of sashimi salad with salmon, tuna, and geoduck sashimi on top of salad greens and wakame mixed with a sesame dressing. I quite liked this as the mix of seaweed and greens gave a nice texture, but I wish there was more dressing as it was slightly bland. Loved the texture of the geoduck though and the sashimi was quite fresh.

Pickled Cucumber and Radish

While waiting for our entrees, the server brought us a complimentary side dish of Pickled Cucumbers and Radish to share. I enjoyed the pickled flavour and it definitely opened up my stomach for more food.

Call of Duty (CoD)

For my entree, I chose the Call of Duty (CoD). If you go through Torafuku’s menu, they have such witty names! This consisted of crispy ling cod, clams, root veggies, and handmade gnocchi in sake a kumbu broth. The fish was moist and my favourite was the handmade gnocchi. The broth was very flavourful as well and I could’ve had a whole bowl of this. Veggies were slightly undercooked for my preference. Overall, a good dish, but the portion was way too small! The fish was almost half the size of usual portions.

Kare Kare

S got the Kare Kare, which I preferred out of the two entrees. It came with seared beef blade steak, on top of a 3 grain risotto, with pickled veggies, oxtail, and peanut ragu. The flavours were delicious and the beef was cooked to a beautiful medium rare. Again, portions were way too small though. This was more like an appetizer.

J-E-L-L-O

For dessert, the menu online had said we could choose between two options and I had seen pictures of others from the week earlier order the second option. However, our server told us that there was only the J-E-L-L-O that night. Quite disappointed since I wanted to try different desserts. However, the J-E-L-L-O has got to be one of the best desserts I’ve had in a long time. It was an oolong infused yuzu jello, with condensed milk ice cream and topped with crispy salted caramel. The dessert was light and refreshing and the milky flavour paired well with the slightly citrus jello. I had nothing to complain about this and could eat this over and over again!

Overall, I was quite pleased with the dishes from the Dine Out menu. However, we both agreed that the portions were way too small! Especially the fact that we had to share an appetizer between the two of us and it still costed $30 per person. Service was also a bit cold. No one really checked up on us. We also ended up having to pay a visit to McDonald’s to fill up. I’m curious to see what it’s like during regular service though and will need to make a revisit to try their regular menu.

Pros:
– Great flavours on Asian-inspired dishes
– Jello dessert was the bomb!

Cons:
– Portions are small
– Seating isn’t very comfortable

Price Range: $30/person (DOVF menu)

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

Torafuku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Uncle Willy’s

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Uncle Willy’s brings back memories when you were a kid and buffets were the  best things ever. And that’s exactly why K and I were craving it… I mean it’s still around, so we decided to go check it out to see if the food has improved or what.

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Arriving on a Saturday night, the place was actually decently packed with 80% of the tables filled. Dinner on a weekend goes at around $17 after tax, so it’s not exactly the cheapest thing ever to get a meal for dinner, but quite a good price for a buffet.

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I had read reviews beforehand that pictures were not allowed in the restaurant, so I had to sneakily get these at my table. The choices are quite your typical and basic. I started off with some chicken noodle soup, corn, pasta salad, lasagna, lamb curry, mashed potatoes, ham and their famous fried chicken. I mean, everything was just average or below average. The fried chicken was decent, but the skin wasn’t very crispy. The ham is sliced when you ask, and I found this to be too salty for my liking.

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My second round was a different type of pasta salad, some more mashed potatoes with gravy, the roast beef, and fried chicken again. The mashed potatoes here are done quite well and the gravy is also not too salty. The roast beef was much better than the ham, and this is also sliced when you ask the server to. All in all, everything was mediocre. You could try to fill up on the roast beef and fried chicken to get your money’s worth.

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The main courses were pretty average, so I decided to go for their desserts. Most of their desserts look either overly sweet or just did not look appealing. Looked like they had sat there for quite a while, so I skipped the cakes and pastries. Instead, I went to another favourite of the regulars here which is their soft serve ice cream. I also got a bowl of jello, which of course is a no brainer to make. You can also get chocolate sauce on your soft serve. This was pretty good with the soft serve being quite thick so it wasn’t watery.

Overall, Uncle Willy’s is what it is. It’s a place to go back because it’s nostalgic, but K and I have both agreed that it’ll probably be our last time. Unless you can eat tons of roast beef and fried chicken, you’re better off spending that $17 elsewhere. Plus, the ambiance wasn’t the prettiest thing. I almost felt like it was a bit dirty…

Pros:
– Fried chicken and roast beef are pretty good
– One of the cheaper buffets around town

Cons:
– Rest of food was mediocre or below average
– Ambiance isn’t nice and felt a bit dirty

Price Range: $10-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 2 Service: 2 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 4 Overall: 2

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International Summer Night Market – ChineseBites Media Event

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NOTE: As part of the ChineseBites media event, all food and beverages were free, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

This weekend, I was invited by ChineseBites to sample all the stalls at the International Summer Night Market along with other food bloggers. This was the original night market back in the day, and it’s opened up once again this year. Located near Ikea, ISNM seems to have less traffic, but that also means less line ups and crowds! There is free admission and parking if you can find street parking, so definitely a good deal compared to the one by River Rock.

BBQ Squid

First up, we went for BBQ Squid, which offers all your favourite squid dishes. There are actually two squid stalls right across each other, but we decided to go for BBQ Squid.

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BBQ Squid

Of course, we went for the must order BBQ Squid, and they gave us the sample in a small size. We had it original with an added spicy sauce. The sauce ended up to be a Thai chili sauce, which gave it a sweet and spicy kick. The squid had a nice char on the outside with a smokey flavour. Very tender and not overly chewy.

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Halal BBQ

Next up is a night market must! Skewers! Surprisingly, Halal BBQ was the only skewer stall at ISNM. So if you wanted skewers, this was your only choice. The people are all dressed up in their Xin Jiang outfits and you can smell the skewers from a mile away! They offer lamb, chicken or chicken wing skewers.

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Lamb Skewer

We went for the Lamb Skewer and got it spicy. They basically dust on some spicy powder on your skewer. The meat was sizzling hot and full of flavour. We did find that the meat was slightly dry though. Wish it was more moist!

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Top Wok – Curry Fish Balls

Forgot to get a picture of the Top Wok stall, but you can’t miss it since it’s near the beginning and full of red decor. It’s a dim sum stall and we decided to try their Curry Fish Balls. They have a spicier version, but I chose their regular version. At $3 for a small size, you get around 5 fish balls. The sauce is slightly spicy, but not overwhelming. Another staple at the night market!

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CoCoRo

CoCoRo seems to be a new stall this year and is definitely an eye catcher with all the pink advertising. They feature tons of deep fried desserts, frozen yogurt and okonomiyaki.

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Deep Fried Ice Cream

First, we went tried the Deep Fried Ice Cream, which comes with chocolate sauce and icing sugar on top. The dough on the outside is a little tough to penetrate through with the fork, but once you do so, the vanilla ice cream oozes out. You get a mix of hot and cold in your mouth. It was surprisingly pretty good. I thought it would be really oily, but it wasn’t. The dough also tasted pretty decent compared to some other deep fried ice creams I’ve had.

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Japanese Seafood Pancake (Okonomiyaki)

We then shared the Okonomiyaki, which was a good size and perfect to share between four friends. Japanese mayo and a savoury sauce was drizzled on top and topped with bonito flakes. We found some squid in our pancake, but we wished there was more. Still, it was a very flavourful and good item to share with friends.

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Duang

Next up was Duang, which featured an assortment of deep fried goodies.

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Monkey Brain

What caught our eyes was the Monkey Brain, which I’ve also seen in some menus at other Japanese restaurants. The owner explained to use that it is imitation crab and avocado deep fried with a delicious sauce. He said it sounds weird but to trust him that it would taste good. And he was right! This was basically like a deep fried California roll, but so much better! The spicy mayo and teriyaki-like sauce was addicting. I don’t even like avocados, but I could eat this again and again.

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Long Hurricane Potato Fries

Next up were the infamous hurricane potato fries, also known as rotato these days. There are two stalls that sell it this year. They all claim they are the “original”, but I honestly don’t remember which one was here first. The stall we tried was called Long Hurricane Potato Fries, and the sauces they offers now are just endless!

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14 flavours to choose from and the pricing here is much cheaper than the one at the night market by River Rock (which I hear has over 30 minute waits). I believe that the other stall offers yam and zucchini now, so that would definitely be something to try! (We were way too full to try anymore starchy items…)

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BBQ Hurricane Potato

We got the BBQ Hurricane Potato, and when they said ‘long’, these were definitely long! I swear they are much longer than back in the day, which means a good deal for us! The potatoes are lightly dusted with the barbeque powder and they are sizzling hot! I almost burned my fingers eating this. I did wish that they were slightly crispier, but I hear that the second stall does just that.

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Soy Boy

Soy Boy offers fresh soy pudding and a variety of toppings which are house made. This had got to be K’s favourite stall of the night. She loved it so much she asked if they had a physical store. Unfortunately, they don’t right now, so I guess she will need to pay another visit here for this.

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The house made tofu pudding plus two toppings of your choice will set you back at $6.

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Toppings include: grass jelly, red beans, pearls, mung beans, kidney beans, taro, honey cubes, yam balls, and fruits. You can sample the honey cubes and yam balls, which are probably their most unique toppings.

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Tofu Pudding with Sweet Potato Mochi and Pearls

We got the Tofu Pudding with Sweet Potato Mochi and Pearls. You get a pretty big bowl of tofu pudding which is served cold. They then add syrup for you and you can choose between original or ginger syrup. We went for the original and it was the perfect amount of sweetness. The sweet potato mochi balls are a must order! They are home made and made with Hawaiian sweet potatoes. If you love mochi, you will love this. Chewy and with just a hint of sweetness. Along with the syrup, it works just well. As for the pearls, these are also house made and taste way better than your regular black pearls. I find those to be too chewy, so these are great, especially knowing that they are made in house. The guys here are also super friendly so feel free to ask them more about the toppings!

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All About Ice Cream

All About Ice Cream is a stall featuring parfaits, but what caught our eyes were the fruit juices! Yes, you get to carry around a watermelon or pineapple, filled with it’s blended juice! Definitely picture worthy and we had over 10 people ask us where they could get this while we were walking around.

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Watermelon Juice

How cute is this Watermelon Juice? It’s literally just blended watermelons, and I don’t think they add anything else like sugar. So depending on your watermelon, it could be sweeter or less sweet. I would’ve liked ours a bit more sweet, but it was still refreshing nonetheless. They do add some ice cubes as well, but I think there could’ve been more to make it more icy cold. A bit on the pricey side at $8 a juice, but if you share it with a friend, then it’s more affordable.

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TW Traditional Snacks

Taiwanese food is always great at night markets, so TW Traditional Snacks offers all your Taiwanese night market staples. From candied fruits to wheel cakes and pork sausages, you can get your real Taiwanese experience here.

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Deep Fried Stinky Tofu

But what’s even better is that they sell Deep Fried Stinky Tofu! It may be pungent at first, but the taste really isn’t as stinky as it smells. The tofu is fried to order, so you do need to wait a bit. It comes with some chili paste and a stinky sauce, although I thought it wasn’t as stinky as the authentic ones. The tofu itself is quite average, but I still enjoyed it because the sauce was flavourful. It also comes with a side of cabbage.

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Miss Lina

Miss Lina offers crepe cake, which is all the hype these days. Layers of crepe on top of each other is the way to go! They offer 5 flavours, including an exotic durian flavour.

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Matcha Crepe Cake

The cakes are pre-made and come out of the fridge when you order. They come in a case, so you can take it home to eat if you wish. Of course this is not comparable to the famous Lady M crepe cakes, but these are pretty good for what we can get in Vancouver. We got the Matcha Crepe Cake. The layers were very thin and the cake was creamy with a hint of matcha flavour.

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Yuja Ade and Fruit Icy

A new stall that caught our eyes was Yuja Ade and Fruit Icy. These are basically the two items they sell. Run by these Korean guys, the stall offers you a taste of what’s hit in Korea right now. The Fruit Icy is your famous Korean patbingsoo or shaved ice with fruits on top. We didn’t try this, but instead went for the Yuja Ade. Yuja is this marmelade that is made from the fruit, yuzu, and is combined with honey or sugar. It’s basically like making a jam. The guy told us that this is usually served as a hot tea, but since it’s hot in the summer, they have made it as a cold drink.

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Yuja Ade

The guy explains that the Yuja Ade is basically the yuja along with tonic soda. This is so refreshing and I love the sweet citrusy bits at the bottom. Plus, he said it’s great for women since it has three times more vitamin C than lemons. I want to make this at home now! Super friendly guys at the stall so definitely stop by when you’re thirsty!

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Mr. and Mrs. Poppins Popcorn Bar

Mr. and Mrs. Poppins Popcorn Bar is newly opened as well and offers gourmet popcorn! They offer three flavours: Cinnamon Toast Sugar, White Truffle Oil Parmesan, and Sweet Seaweed Furikake.

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The popcorn is popped fresh and seasoned as you order. You can also sample the flavours before you purchase. The seaweed flavour is definitely one that is unique. Run by couple, Victoria and Chris, they are super sweet people, so drop by to sample some popcorn!

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White Truffle Oil Parmesan Popcorn

We ended up leaving with a bag of White Truffle Oil Parmesan, which was a huge bag for a low price of $3. Perfect for sharing, and it still tasted great the next day for us too! The popcorn has a strong aroma and taste of white truffle oil, which I absolutely love. Pretty addicting!

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Sugar Twist Cotton Candy

Probably the most unique stall at ISNM would have to be Sugar Twist Cotton Candy.

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It’s cotton candy art here! Depending on how many layers you want, the price increases. Their popular art includes butterflies and flowers.

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It’s so amusing watching the guy spin the cotton candy!

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Butterfly Shaped Cotton Candy

We got the Butterfly Shaped Cotton Candy, and it was almost too pretty to eat! Another picture worthy item at the night market. They also ask if you want the flavour to be original or strawberry flavoured. We chose strawberry, so at the end, they spin in some strawberry flavoured sugar. It’s actually pretty tasty and not overly sweet like the ones at carnivals. The shape does deflate pretty quickly once you start pulling it apart.

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Takoyaki

I don’t remember the stall name for this one, but there are only two stalls for Takoyaki. Here we have the original flavoured one, and they were decent. Quite average and nothing spectacular.

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Lazy Den Tea House

And to finish off our long night of greasy food, we ended our adventure at Lazy Den Tea House. They offer basic green teas and some Taiwanese snacks. They actually have a physical store in Port Moody as well.

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Oolong Green Tea

We got the Oolong Green Tea, which was simple, but very good. I liked how it wasn’t sugary but rather had a strong tea flavour. Very refreshing!

Overall, ISNM is a great place to drop by for some snacks. The Richmond Night Market by River Rock has more stalls, but ISNM is less crowded and I found that the prices were relatively cheaper. With only two lanes of food stalls, ISNM definitely does not have as much to see and less variety for food though.

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Tuc Craft Kitchen

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I’ve heard really good things about Tuc Craft Kitchen, so K and I found some time to check it out on a Saturday afternoon. On the weekends, they offer their brunch menu and the spot is very busy.

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The restaurant is located in Gastown and has two levels. The interior has a European feel to it.

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Vegetable Frittata

K got the Vegetable Frittata, which featured three free run eggs, Swiss cheese, wilted kale, buttered leeks, sweet bell peppers, salsa verde, and toast. The portion was huge! Very flavourful and cheesy.

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Irish Stew Skillet

For myself, I had the Irish Stew Skillet, which had two free run poached eggs, grass fed beef, yakima valley lamb, roasted button mushrooms, and BC new potatoes. At first, I thought the portion would be too little, but there’s actually tons of meat and potatoes, so it fills you up just right. The beef and lamb were very flavourful, with the potatoes being crispy on the outside. The poached eggs had a runny yolk and mixed well with the rest of the dish. Really enjoyed this!

Based on the dishes we tried, I really enjoyed Tuc Craft Kitchen. I’m looking forward to coming back to try their famous fried chicken and waffles. Prices are quite reasonable for a Gastown location and service was pretty good. Will definitely return!

Pros:
– The dishes we tried were tasted great
– Friendly service

Cons:
– Usually need reservations

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4
Service: 4
Ambiance: 3
Parking: 3
Overall: 4

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