Dynasty Seafood Restaurant

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Vegetarian Bean Curd Roll and Vegetarian Chinese Crispy Pork Belly

Dynasty Seafood Restaurant has won many awards over the years. I have no idea why I have not visited it until now! Located on Broadway and Willow, there is actually free parking below the restaurant. It looks like there is pay parking, but if you tell the hostess which stall you parked at, then you will not get towed or ticketed.

To start, we had some vegetarian appetizers including the Bean Curd Roll and Chinese Crispy Pork Belly. The Bean Curd Roll was quite typical and I wouldn’t say it was anything special. However, the Chinese Pork Belly was super interesting because it has the flavour and texture of real pork belly! I can’t figure what the fatty part is made of, but the meat portion is made of bean curd and the crispy skin seemed to be fried bread. I’ve never seen something like this before!

 

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Chicken in Soya Sauce (half)

Next up was the Chicken in Soya Sauce which we got half an order of. I believe you have to pre-order this dish. The chicken remained moist and the soy sauce was light and therefore not overly salty.

 

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Deep Fried Bean Curd Sheet Wrapped with Taro

The star of that night was the Deep Fried Bean Curd Sheet Wrapped with Taro which is another dish you need to pre-order. The bean curd is shaped like a Buddhist’s prayer beads. Inside each ball is filled with mashed taro. The bean curd itself is deep fried so its really crispy. It is then served with a sweet and sour tomato and cucumber salsa which really opens up your appetite.

 

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Salt and Pepper Deep Fried Tofu

An item off their regular menu was the Salt and Pepper Deep Fried Tofu. The tofu was extremely crispy on the outside which the inside still soft and smooth. We loved the peppery flavours of this dish and it wasn’t too spicy at all.

 

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Chiu Chow Double Sided Crispy Pan Fried Noodles

To finish our meal, we tried a really interesting dish that is not commonly found or well executed in Vancouver. This is the Chiu Chow Double Sided Crispy Pan Fried Noodles which is served with sugar and vinegar. The noodles are extermely crispy and you are supposed to drizzle vinegar and sprinkle sugar on top of the noodles. They also provide you with some chopped up chives to pair. I have never tried this dish before but I really enjoyed it! I especially loved putting sugar on it! A must try if you are adventurous!

Overall, we were quite impressed with Dynasty Seafood and I can see why they have won so many awards. I think one key reason is because the dishes are much more creative than typical traditional Cantonese dishes you find at other restaurants. The dishes are also well presented and the servers were all quite professional and attentive. The ambiance is right on and has the same feel as Kirin and Sea Harbour. Although the prices are much higher than other restaurants, this is definitely the spot you will want to bring guests that you want to impress. I can’t wait to come back to try their dim sum!

Pros:
– Creative and well-executed dishes
– Nice ambiance and good service for a Chinese restaurant

Cons:
– Dishes can be on the pricier side
– Many of the more interesting dishes require pre-ordering

Price Range: $20-40 per person

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

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

 

Dynasty Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Boiling Point (Main Street)

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Spicy Fermented Tofu

Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Boiling Point now has locations all across Metro Vancouver. The latest addition is on Main Street and King Edward. If you’ve been to the Richmond location, you will know how busy it is! My friends are obsessed with Boiling Point, so they are excited that there is a new location now. Thanks to ChineseBites, I was able to check out the new space and samples some dishes.

To start, we tried some of their appetizers, including the Spicy Fermented Tofu. This is a typical Taiwanese snack and can have a funky smell. However, the flavour doesn’t taste weird at all. It just tastes like marinated tofu and this one was also spicy. The texture was medium to firm and great inside the hot pot as well.

 

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Spicy Beef, Garlic Pork Belly, Spicy Cumin Lamb

We also tried some of their cooked meats. These are essentially the meats you will find in the hot pots, but they have a sauce on top. The Spicy Beef came with the typical Chinese mala spicy sauce. However, it’s not overly spicy and the beef itself was thin and tender. The Garlic Pork Belly was seasoned with some soy, garlic and a bit of chili. Because it was sliced so thin, the fat didn’t bother me at all. The last was the Spicy Cumin Lamb which reminded me of the Mongolian skewers you can get at the night market. Again, it was overly spicy though.

 

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Korean Bean Paste Hot Soup

As for the hot pots, they come as individual pots, so perfect for those who hate sharing pots. For each pot, you can choose the spicy level and it comes with a complimentary bowl of rice or vermicelli. During lunch, the prices are slightly cheaper and also includes a free green or black tea. Our table each chose a different pot and one of them included the Korean Bean Paste Hot Soup. This pot includes soybean sprouts, nira, green zucchini, kimchi, pork belly, fish tofu, kamaboko, tempura, rice cake, enoki mushroom, fish fillet, wok noodle, lobster fish ball, crown daisy, seaweed, and Korean paste. This is actually one of the pots I always get because I enjoy the kick from the kimchi.

 

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Japanese Miso Hot Soup

The Japanese Miso Hot Soup comes with cabbage, udon, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, clam, Fuzhou fish ball, fish fillet, king oyster mushroom, crab, fried tofu skin, soft tofu, egg, and green onion. This one is more mild and will satisfy your Japanese cravings with all the Japanese ingredients like udon and the miso base.

 

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Milk Cream Curry Hot Soup

The Milk Cream Curry Hot Soup is a new addition to the menu. I remember they used to have just the plain Curry Hot Pot, but now they added this milky cream which I find a little odd. This features napa, vermicelli, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, imitation crab stick, fish ball, fried tofu skin, corn, tempura, jicama, chinese string bean, and sea salt cream. To be honest, I think I prefer the old version more as I don’t find the cream to add any flavour to the soup.

 

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Taiwanese Spicy Hot Soup

The Taiwanese Spicy Hot Soup is one of the pots where you cannot choose the spicy level because it automatically comes as flaming spicy! It features cabbage, instant noodle, sliced angus beef, tempura, enoki mushroom, clam, Fuzhou fish ball, cuttlefish ring, pork intestine, wasabi rice ball, fried tofu skin, maitake mushroom, iced tofu, green onion, and cilantro. Perfect for those who love spicy. My girl friend who loves everything spicy always orders this one!

 

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House Special Hot Soup

For myself, I decided to try something new for once and chose the House Special Hot Soup. The pot features napa, fermented tofu, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, kamaboko, pork meat ball, clam, quail egg, pork blood, pork intestine, nira, preserved vegetables, tomato, and cilantro. Because the pot has fermented tofu, this pot has a bit of that funky smell. The soup base is really flavourful though and perfect if you want to get a bit more of that authentic Taiwanese style hot pot. The only downside is I don’t really enjoy eating pork blood and intestines, so I end up skipping those ingredients! I also ordered the Hokkaido Milk Tea which is my favourite drink here. It’s so smooth and I always end up gulping this down quickly because of how good it is!

 

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Milky Soft Herbal Jelly

To end our night, we tried their latest dessert which was the Milky Soft Herbal Jelly. Look at how cute the take out box is! I love how it comes with the condensed milk as well!

 

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This is what it looks like if you eat in. Typical herbal jelly with a nice sweet condensed milk to pair. A nice way to end your flavourful meal.

 

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Overall, the food at this new location tasted just as good as the Richmond location which I usually visit. This location seems to be less busy which is a good thing for us since I hate waiting at the Richmond location. A perfect new spot for diners living in Vancouver! Always good especially during the cold rainy nights!

 

Boiling Point Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Soy Fish Private Chef

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Sashimi Salad

Back in the summer, S invited me to join a couple of her friends for a private sushi dinner. We contacted Takuya Motohashi, the chef at Soyfish, who can prepare your meal at your house. We ended up doing it at a friend’s clubhouse which had a simple kitchen. He brings all his kitchen equipment, so don’t fret if you don’t have any kitchen equipment. Takuya began learning the art of sushi as an early teenager working for his father. In his early twenties, he left for Japan to apprentice for some of the countries’ masters. For over two decades, Takuya has developed and mastered techniques and styles that he has brought back to Canada to offer his clients, to create a private dining experience like no other. Our dining experience was $100 per person before tip. Depending on what you want as part of your menu, the price can differ.

As our appetizer, we had the Sashimi Salad which had pieces of snapper and blue fin tuna, raspberries, tobiko, and an apple vinaigrette to drizzle. Such a light and delicious start to our meal. Really loved this salad!

 

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Miso Marinated Black Cod

Our menu had some cooked food which included the Miso Marinated Black Cod on a bed of kale and bell peppers. This cod was absolutely delicious! Sweet and moist, with the skin charred to a beautiful crisp.

 

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Pork Belly on Mash

On the other side of the board was the Pork Belly on Mash served with a spicy Japanese mustard. The pork belly had the right amount of fat to meat proportion and sat on top of a creamy buttery mash. My favourite was the Japanese mustard. I think it was spicy because of wasabi! What a nice twist to the typical mustard.

 

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Nigiri

Next up was the Nigiri board! We had a large variety of nigiri to share including Golden Eye Snapper, Aji, Hotate Scallops from Hokkaido, Hamachi, Blue Fin O-Toro, and Albacore Tuna.

 

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My favourite had to be the O-Toro and Scallops. The fish was really fresh and the proportion of rice was just right. I also liked how he already brushed a light soy sauce on top of the fish before serving so you don’t need to dip it into soy sauce anymore. The amount of soy is already set so it’s just the right amount. Seriously such a luxurious nigiri meal!

 

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Aburi Sockeye Salmon and Blue Fin Belly

To finish, there was what I believe was the Blue Fin Chutoro which again was extremely sweet and melted in my mouth! We also had the Aburi Sockeye Salmon which wan’t close to what Miku was but rather was a very light sear on the salmon and topped with some mayo and jalapeno. Not as oily for sure.

 

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Aburi Blue Fin Belly

Last but not least, there was Aburi Blue Fin Belly which was seared with a sweet soy sauce. This melted in my mouth as well! So good!

Overall, we were all pleased with our meal with Soyfish. I believe he required around 30-45 mins of prep time ahead of time. During this time, you and your friends can linger around and watch him do his thing while enjoying some drinks. The dishes are served in sharing plates or long boards and he provides all the cutlery and plates required. The amount of food is just right for each person. The price is not cheap, but the ingredients he uses is also the top of the ranks. The chef was very professional during our meal but also was able to relax and have some fun with us near the end. He can be sociable and chat with your party if you want or he can just do his thing and leave you to your own party. I highly recommend Chef Takuya for your next dinner party if you want to splurge a little and you can contact him at http://soyfish.ca/ or DM him on Instagram.

 

St Lawrence

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St Lawrence, a sister restaurant of Ask for Luigi, opened up earlier this year. The restaurant is located next to Cuchillo, the Mexican restaurant, in not the best area in town, but once you step inside, you will forget about the exterior. S brought me here for my birthday and she had called to make reservations before the restaurant even opened to only score a 9pm reservation. Yes, this place is in high demand! We decided to go half an hour early to see if we could get a seat, and luckily were told that there was a chefs table seat!

 

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If you are into cooking or are a major foodie, I highly recommend asking if the chef’s table is available. We got to watch the chefs in action and the whole plating process. The menu offers classic French cuisine with Quebecois inspiration. The restaurant also offers some daily specials which change up daily.

 

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We started off with complimentary bread served with pork pate and grainy mustard. That pate paired with the grainy mustard was seriously so damn good. They need to give us more bread to clean that plate up!

 

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Ravigote Smoked Bison Tongue

The dishes at St Lawrence are great for sharing, so S and I decided to order a variety of dishes to share. Our server was very knowledgeable and gave us quite a few recommendations. For appetizers, we started with the Smoked Bison Tongue which was seasoned with Montreal spices and served with a ravigote herb sauce. The bison tongue was really tender with a nice sear and paired well with the slightly acidic sauce with capers.

 

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Fish Quenelle

The next appetizer was the Fish Quenelle which was served with mussels and a cream sauce. I had never had a dish like this before but apparently fish quenelles are quite the traditional French dish. It is sort of like a fish dumpling where the fish is very creamy. It was served with some puff pastry.  The appetizers here are seriously great for sharing between two so you get a good amount to taste. I think it is quite a lot and too heavy for one to finish the whole appetizer.

 

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Ratatouille

Moving on, S suggested we get some veggies, so we chose the Ratatouille. I haven’t had many ratatouille, but this was absolutely delicious! The mixed vegetables were served with a parmesan custard and when you break it apart, the creamy cheesy custard spills over the vegetables. Highly recommend this!

 

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Pork Chop

For our entrees, I suggested trying the Pork Chop since I had read good reviews about this. If you are going to order this, then you can probably skip the appetizers because this plate is HUGE. It can definitely feed two if you are going to have some appetizers beforehand. The pork chop is served with Oka cheese and a butcher sauce. The plate is $37 but given how large the portion is, this is a great deal! Normally, I don’t order pork chops because it tends to easily be cooked dry. However, this thick cut of bone in pork chop was seared beautifully with the inside juicy and tender. The pork chop sat on top of mashed potatoes which were buttery smooth.

 

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Duck Ballotine

The second entree we chose was the Duck Ballotine. The tender duck was wrapped around these leaves which gave it a very interesting flavour. Definitely my first time trying duck this way. The duck was served with crisp potato puffs and maple sauce. I loved the potato puffs! So crispy on the outside while the inside was smooth and creamy. I don’t see this dish on the current menu anymore though.

 

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Rice Pudding

To be honest, we were both beyond full becuase we definitely over-ordered. Even the chef was impressed by us and said we did a good job! He ended up treating us both to dessert which was Rice Pudding with salted caramel. At first, I wasn’t too excited because I’m not a fan of rice pudding. Clearly, I have been having terrible rice pudding though, because this was next level! The rice pudding had the perfect creamy texture with rice not clumping together at all. The salted caramel brought a slightly sweet flavour without it being too sweet. Now I know what good rice pudding tastes like!

Overall, I was very impressed with St Lawrence and can see why it is so hard to get a reservation. The meal was not cheap, but the portions are actually quite reasonable (especially the entrees). We ended up leaving with half of each entree packed up and it made a whole meal the next day for me! Definitely a great spot to celebrate a special occasion!

Pros:
– Well executed classic French dishes
– Chic ambiance and friendly service

Cons:
– Not in the nicest place in town
– Can be quite the pricey meal

Price Range: $50-100

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

Food: 4 Service: 4.5 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 2 Overall: 4

 

St Lawrence Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yuji’s from Japan

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Funny enough, I had visited Yuji’s Japanese Tapas back in 2011 but the restaurant was closed after 7 years of operations because chef Yuji wanted to open a restaurant in Indonesia. Fast forward a year later, chef Yuji returned to Vancouver to open Yuji’s from Japan. The store is on West 4th and Alma and is quite small, fitting roughly 20-25 diners. You will find many Japanese diners here, which is always a good sign!

 

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Yu Junmai Sake

To start, we shared the Yu Junmai Sake. We had never heard of Yu but apparently the sake is brewed in Richmond! Had to give it a try and support local and it didn’t disappoint. Not a sake expert, but this was light and I enjoyed it.

 

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Beef Tongue

Moving on, we shared the Beef Tongue which was absolutely delicious! The tongue was thinly sliced and topped with this umami dressing which had just the right about of salt and soy flavour. The texture was perfect with a nice chew. My only complaint was the plate was too small!

 

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Shio-koji Marinated Grilled Chicken

Another appetizer we shared was the Shio-koji Marinated Grilled Chicken. There was fried chicken karaage on the menu, but I suggested we try the grilled chicken instead. Seriously, this was some of the most moist chicken I’ve had. The outside had a nice char but the center was so juicy! Again, it was topped with the same dressing as the beef tongue and was absolutely delicious. Such a simple dish, but I highly recommend trying this!

 

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Last but not least, we shared a variety of nigiris. The nigiris here are not cheap, but they are extremely fresh and constructed very well. Definitely worth the price! Perfect for those who enjoy authentic Japanese sushi. The restaurant is also famous for their omakases which are reasonably priced. I can’t wait to be back to try those out!

Pros:
– Fresh seafood and well constructed nigiris
– Cooked appetizer dishes are also very well executed

Cons:
– Seating is not the comfiest as the space is quite small

Price Range: $25-40

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 4

Yuji's from Japan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice (Marine Drive)

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Disclosure: All beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

CoCo’s latest location at Marine Drive has been open for some time now, and they will have their official grand opening this weekend. The location is short walk across the street from the Marine Gateway and Canada Line skytrain station.

 

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The location is brightly lit just like their other stores and has a decent amount of seating to enjoy your drinks. At Coco, you can customize your drink’s sugar and ice level.  Most drinks go for around $5 for a large. Regular is around $4.20.

 

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Of course they have the famous CoCo mascot here!

 

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Roast Pearl Milk Tea, Matcha Macchiato with Red Bean, Sago Taro Milk Tea with Pearls

I have tried a few of their famous drinks like 3 Guys and Bubble Gaga so I decided to try some drinks I haven’t tried before. The first was the Roasted Pearl Milk Tea which seems to be a new menu item. We had this at 50% sugar level but I think I would’ve preferred it at 70% sugar level as it was too strong in the roasted flavour. I think I still like Chatime’s roasted milk tea the most. In the middle is the Matcha Macchiato with Red Bean which I really enjoyed. Strong in matcha flavour and paired nicely with the red bean, it tasted like matcha red bean cake. Lastly, the Sago Taro Milk Tea with Pearls was my favourite. Although there are no taro chunks in this drink, I still enjoyed the tiny sago paired with the pearls. It’s like having Chinese dessert!

 

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To celebrate the Marine Drive’s grand opening, the Marine Drive location is having a buy one get one free promotion. From October 27 – 29, 2017, if you purchase any Top 10 Drink, you will receive a free medium Pearl Milk Tea. This is only valid at 491 SW Marine Drive.

The Top 10 Drinks include:

  • Red Bean Matcha Milk Tea
  • Lemon Yakult
  • Mango Smoothie
  • 3 Guys
  • Bubble Tea
  • Lemon King
  • Bubble Gaga
  • Black Tea Macchiato
  • Black Tea Latte
  • Sago Taro Milk Tea

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taste of Yaletown 2017 – Media Tour

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Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary as part of a media preview tour, but all opinions are my own.

The 13th annual Taste of Yaletown has officially begun! Running from Oct 13th to Oct 27th, Yaletown restaurants will be offering special menus at set prices. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to get a preview of what some restaurants would be offering during these two weeks.

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We started off at Xoxolat, a chocolate shop specializing in Single Origin and Estate chocolates. They also offer chocolate tasting and chocolate pairing classes which are perfect for a girls night out or date. They are new to Taste of Yaletown this year and will be offering a happy hour tasting from 4pm to 6pm Wednesday to Saturday. For $25, you will get 3 whiskey tastings and a selection of 8 chocolate treats.

 

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Now for those of you are who are like me and do not usually enjoy whiskey, you will be surprised when you pair it with chocolate. We got a sample of the whiskey along with three chocolates and were pleasantly surprised that the creaminess and fat in the chocolate paired very well with the strong whiskey. This is definitely a good spot to check out before dinner!

 

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After some chocolate tasting, our next stop was Lime & Moon Pie Company. Lime & Moon started in Bowen Island and now has their second shop in Yaletown. This is the shop where they get to experiment with more recipes so you will likely find a variety of changing pies each day.

 

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The shop is small with only two employees, but don’t underestimate the number of pies they can make! We were told that they made up to 60 pies in one day during Thanksgiving! Lime & Moon pies are all organic and they also have many vegan options. They make many pies for weddings and can also make pretty much any customized recipe you want.

 

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For the Taste of Yaletown menu, $15 will get you a slice of pie and a beverage. You can choose between a sweet pie slice of your choice paired with a scoop of organic vanilla bean ice cream or a savoury slice of tourtiere and side of organic greens. As for your beverage, you can choose between an espresso or tea. For $25, you can get two pies and two beverages. During the media preview, we got to sample the Caramelized Pear Custard Pie. The pie features organic pears in a subtle rosemary and brown butter custard. Love the hint of rosemary paired with the pears. The crust was flaky and the filling was not overly sweet.

 

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As for the savoury option, you get a Tourtiere which is filled with 100% alll-natural, non-gmo, no antibiotics, grain fed beef and pork from local suppliers. There is also organic onion, mushrooms, celery, garlic, stock, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and salt. This was served a bit cold for us since I’m guessing they weren’t completely sure what time we would arrive. However, I can imagine this to be delicious served warm as the filling itself is moist and flavourful.

 

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To finish off your meal, you can have a cup of espresso or tea!

 

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Overall, good pies and I love how they support the local community by sourcing many of the ingredients locally. Plus, this is the perfect place for vegans as they have a large variety of pies catered for vegans.

 

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As you can see, they have tons of fall pies right now! I really want to try their pumpkin pies now!

 

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Onto our second stop – West Oak. A beautiful venue with an open kitchen concept, the restaurant features a menu with locally sourced and sustainable selections of meat, vegetables and fruit. The seafood is also all Oceanwise certified.

 

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For the Taste of Yaletown menu, West Oak is offering a 3 course menu for $45. At first I thought it was a bit pricey, but given the portion size and quality of food, it is actually a pretty good deal!

 

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We started off with a half portion of the Truffle Cauliflower Soup which came with a crostini. The cauliflower soup had a medium consistency and was flavoured with truffle oil. You could smell the truffle once the soup arrived!

 

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Another option for appetizer is the Chilled Prawn Salad. The salad consisted of shrimp, smoked salmon, arugula, creme fraiche, and horseradish. This was a rather light dish, so perfect if you are going to have a meat dish as your entree.

 

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My favourite option for appetizers was the Burrata and Prosciutto Board though. This board also included fig jam, dijon, castelvetrano olives, balsamic reduction grilled bread. The star of the show was definitely the burrata which I believe the owner said is made in house. So creamy and great paired with the salty prosciutto. The fig jam was also spot on without being overly sweet.

 

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Moving onto entrees, we had the Roasted BC Salmon which featured scallion mashed potatoes, green beans, a citrus wild mushroom sauce with corn and prosciutto. I normally avoid getting salmon at restaurants because the chances are it’s overcooked. However, this was moist throughout with a delicious crispy skin on the outside. The cook on this was perfect!

 

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Another favourite at the table was the Mushroom Risotto with oyster and crimini mushrooms and Grana Padano cheese. The rice was cooked to al dente with the sauce being creamy and smooth. The cheese and slight truffle flavour really made it spot on.

 

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The Roasted Chicken was definitely a surprise for me. The dish featured grain-fed free range chicken, fingerling potatoes, broccolini, grainy mustard, and a white wine sauce. Apparently this is one of their dishes that has been on the menu forever. Well, they sure know how to cook chicken because the center was not dry at all. Pus, that grainy mustard sauce was absolutely delicious!

 

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My favourite of the night was their Seared Pork Chop though. This sat on a bed of gruyere mashed potatoes, broccolini, and apple dijon jus. Seriously, the pork chop was so tender! And paired with the apple dijon jus, it just felt so homey. This is actually a new item which they will add to their fall menu and I am so happy for this!

 

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To end the night off, dessert is Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Berry Compote. I found the panna cotta to be very smooth and creamy, but the berry compote was too sweet after a few bites. I liked how it wasn’t sour, but the sweetness was a bit too much for my personal liking.

Overall, the restaurants I got a preview at offered some really good food and I will defintely be back. Be sure to check out https://yaletowninfo.com/event/taste-yaletown-2017/ for menu details from the 26 participating restaurants!

 

West Oak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2017 Returns!

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Vancouver’s largest all white dinner party is back for the summer! This year, Diner en Blanc Vancouver will take place on August 24, 2017 at a secret location. This year, the dinner will take place at two secret locations and Vancouver will be the first city outside of Paris to do so.

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Hopefully by now, you’ve scored yourself one of those exclusive invitations. After experiencing the event last year, I can tell you that this event requires lots of work and preparation if you want the day to be perfect! Read along to learn what tips I have for preparing for this beautiful all-white event!

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One mistake I did last year was doing everything last minute. If it’s your first year, you’ll find that you likely don’t have a lot of the required items. When it’s down to crunch time, you’ll find that most items are sold out and you’re left purchasing the most expensive product and one that you may never use again. With less than one month to go, here are some tips for any first-timers:

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What to Wear

  • Shop early for your outfit! You can check out the typical retailers like Zara, Aritzia, or Forever 21, but chances are you will match with someone else. Try looking for outfits from vintage stores or independent retailers such as in Gastown or on Main Street.
  • Remember you need to wear all white! This means even your shoes need to be white. Don’t wear off-white or any other colours. You will stand out but not in a good way!
  • Wear comfortable shoes or at least bring a pair as backup. You’ll be hauling your tables and chairs to the venue so wearing sky high stilettos won’t help. If the venue is on the grass, wedges, flats or sandals would also be easier to walk in.
  • Accessorize with gold or silver accessories because you are allowed to!
  • Bring a light white scarf or cardigan in case it gets cold in the evening. Last year, it was hot throughout the night, but you never know!

2.JPG by ukijojo on 500px.com

 

What to Eat

Sure there is catering which you can purchase in advance through Diner en Blanc, but for most of us, the catering menu seems quite expensive for what it is. In fact, we purchased our wine in advance through their website since you’re not allowed to bring your alcohol, but the line up to retrieve it took extremely long. The good thing with ordering through them is you don’t need to think about packing your food though. Anyways, for those of you are packing your own food, think of items that can be served at room temperature. The fact is, it will be hot out and it’ll likely be a few hours from transportation to set up. So any food that needs refrigeration would likely spoil, and food that is typically served hot would become lukewarm. I would suggest charcuterie boards with some bread since it also looks great on the table. If you’re too lazy to get the board set up, I would suggest buying take out such as sushi.

1.JPG by ukijojo on 500px.com

 

What to Bring

This was probably the most difficult thing for us since we didn’t have white tables and chairs. I’d suggest purchasing or asking your friends as early as you can. We even tried rental stores, but they were completely sold out for the day.

For chairs, I would suggest foldable light chairs such as these from Ikea. As for your table, it actually doesn’t need to be white, since you can easily cover it with a white tablecloth. However, a table can be very heavy, so make sure it is foldable and light to carry. There are specific dimensions that you need to adhere to and the table must be a square shape since they will be placed next to a strangers so the line of tables need to look somewhat aligned. By the time I looked, most tables were sold out, and I ended up carrying a heavy and expensive table from JYSK. I saw some people carrying these roll up tables which were super handy as you can just sling it over your shoulder. I would also bring a trolley that can be folded up and hidden under the table if you want to ease carrying all the tableware. A picnic basket for the tableware may work, or else make sure to bubble wrap all glass and ceramic ware.

Other items to bring:

  • white table cloth
  • white cloth napkins (lots of fun to wave it around at the beginning of dinner)
  • wine glasses
  • white plates
  • silver or gold cutlery (no plastic!)
  • sparkling or still water
  • garbage bag and extra bags to put your dirty plates and cutlery in at the end of the night
  • paper towel
  • matches (to light your sparkler at the end of the night)
  • electronic candles
  • flowers or other white/silver decorations (try to find items that are light!)

7.JPG by ukijojo on 500px.com

 

Hope you’re ready for one of the most photo-worthy event now! Be sure to walk around the venue and check out other people’s outfits and table decorations. And remember to capture the moments at the end where they hand you sparklers to light. Probably one of the most magical moments of the night! Enjoy and have fun!