Wild Sweets – 2017 Summer Collection

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

Wild Sweets is always coming up with innovative desserts each season. They have recently launched their 2017 summer collection, and we got a sneak peak to see what there is to offer!

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Cocoa Bean ‘Chocolate Iced Tea’

Last time I visited Wild Sweets, we got to try their Chocolate Tea, which is a drink made entirely from pure in-house roasted cocoa bean husks only and no sugar or any other ingredients are added except for a touch of vanilla bean powder. Now, for the summer, they have blended the tea with pure fruit purées and lightly sweetened with a vanilla syrup. You get this undertone of chocolate flavour, but the overall drink is fruity and refreshing when served cold. Currently, there are 5 flavours: Strawberry, White Pear, Lychee Raspberry, Morello Cherry, and Apricot Passion. My personal favourites are the Lychee Raspberry and Apricot Passion.

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Strawberry Cream C|Puff2

The new C|Puff2s are Wild Sweet’s take on the classic cream puff. However, their cream puffs are not round, but instead a square shape! The Strawberry Cream C|Puff2 features a choux pastry and almond cookie crust filled with a strawberry custard cream, white chocolate Chantilly mousse, fresh strawberries, red berry confit, and served with an encapsulated mint aroma pipette. It is then decorated with chocolate cereal pearls, paper thin hand-painted chocolate petals and chocolate ‘pasta’ strands.

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Chocolate Cream C|Puff2

The Chocolate Cream C|Puff2 features a dark chocolate custard cream, white chocolate Chantilly mousse, fresh raspberries, red fruit confit, red fruit Kirch aroma. I love how there are so many components to these desserts and they all work together. The amount of work that goes into each piece before it gets assembled is really amazing! What a piece of art!

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Praline Cream C|Puff2 

The Praline Cream C|Puff2 features a hazelnut praliné custard cream, white chocolate Chantilly mousse, fresh black berries, apricot passion confit, and orange liquor aroma. This is perfect if you love hazelnut, but can be slightly on the sweeter side.

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

CocoArt ‘Summer’ Limited Edition Collection

Each of the Summer 2017 Collection chocolates feature 2 types of fillings including a fruit-based liquid caramel while the other is a ‘Créme Fraîche Vanille’ – a lightly sweetened soft cream made by emulsifying fresh cream and butter scented with vanilla bean. All of the chocolates are hand-painted with cocoa butter colours in different artistic patterns. They are designed to be eaten cold from the fridge so make sure to keep them chilled! The following flavours are available:

  • Liquid strawberry / raspberry fruit caramel
  • Liquid apricot / peach fruit caramel
  • Liquid blackberry / cassis fruit caramel
  • Liquid mango / lychee fruit caramel

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Ice Cream Dessert

Last but not least, Wild Sweets has also come out with some Ice Cream Desserts. The one pictured above is the Dark Fruit Sundae which features:

  • Blackberry Cassis sorbet
  • Vanilla bean ice cream
  • White chocolate Marcona almond foam
  • Assorted fresh dark fruits
  • Blackberry cassis confit
  • Almond fruit brittle
  • ‘Burnt Ends’ custard cream crunch
  • BTB salted butter caramel popcorn
  • Vanilla ‘Salad’ cookie
  • Chocolate ‘petals & pasta’ decor

The other flavour is the Red Fruit Sundae which features:

  • Strawberry sorbet
  • Vanilla bean ice cream
  • White chocolate pistachio foam
  • Assorted fresh red fruits
  • Red fruit confit
  • Almond fruit brittle
  • ‘Burnt Ends’ custard cream crunch
  • BTB salted butter caramel popcorn
  • Vanilla ‘Salad’ cookie
  • Chocolate ‘petals & pasta’ decor

Yes – it’s crazy how many components there are to the ice cream! Each bite, you will find something different!

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Overall, there are definitely beautiful pieces of edible art for Wild Sweets’ new 2017 summer collection! You’ll have to pick these goodies up at the Atelier in Richmond, which is open Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM & Sundays from 12:00 to 4:00 PM. If you’re looking to pick them up from Mondays to Friday, you can also do so by making an appointment in advance. Check out their website for the full collection!

Wild Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Advertisements

Sparkling Ice: Cocktail Recipe

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

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

With the summer heat getting real these days, I’m always looking for new beverages to try. It’s also time for patio season and barbecues, and of course cocktails must be present! I was recently sent some of the Sparkling Ice beverages to try and decided to whip up a cocktail recipe.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Sparkling Ice is a fizzy, flavourful beverage without all the calories! In fact, they are advertised as a zero calorie beverage! The best part is that they come in a variety of fruity flavours, so make a great addition in your cocktail. Some flavours include Lemon Lime, Coconut Pineapple, Kiwi Strawberry, Cherry Limeade, and Black Raspberry. You can drink it straight, or add it to cocktails, flavour your marinade, and even use it in baking for flavour!They are available at most retailers, including Walmart and Amazon if you want to shop online.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

S and I enjoy gin, so we decided to make a Gin Fitzey:

INGREDIENTS

1.5 oz of gin
Simple syrup
½ Lime (sliced into 3 wedges)
Splash of Sparking Ice Lemon Lime
Lime (garnish)

DIRECTIONS

Add gin, simple syrup, and lime wedges to shaker. Muddle. Add ice. Shake and strain into chilled martini glass. Add a splash of Sparking Ice Lemon Lime. Garnish with lime twist.

The cocktail was super easy to create, especially if you don’t have a lot of ingredients. I loved how the drink wasn’t too sweet, and the fizz isn’t overwhelming.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

To find more cocktail or cooking recipes that incorporate Sparkling Ice, check out their website and on Instagram. I especially love their cute and quick videos on Instagram! Cheers!

Caffè Artigiano – New Summer Menu

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

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

Last month, Caffè Artigiano launched their new summer menu with a selection of chilled caffeinated (and decaffeinated) artisanal iced coffee, teas, and sodas along with some new food menu items. I was invited to check out the location on Main and 24th.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

The Main Street location is extremely spacious with long communal tables as well as seating for smaller parties. Love the cool vintage Italian vibe in here.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

There are a number of new menu items for food this summer as Chef Dawn Doucette has curated some new breakfast and lunch items. Chef Dawn has worked with Michael, the Director of Coffee, to introduce menu items that pair well together for the summer.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

This also includes some pastry items.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Italian Sodas

For drinks, we tried the new Italian Sodas which guests can choose flavours like the frutti do bosco berry or peach syrup. The flavoured syrups are mixed with sparkling San Pellegrino and topped with fresh blueberries or mint. These make light and refreshing beverages and are great for those who enjoy a bit of a fizz.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Affogato

Another exciting addition is the Affogato, which features a dark espresso poured warm over a scoop of cold vanilla gelato from Mario’s Gelato. This item is available at locations that have freezer space, so this includes Park Royal, YVR (McArthurGlen Designer Outlet) and Hornby Street.

Other summer beverages included the Ice Cofffee, Iced Caffè Latte , Iced Spanish Latte, Frappé, Shakerato, and Ice Tea. What’s great here is that they do not use powders and syrups in their coffee drinks and therefore much healthier. Further, kid’s drinks are made with organic milk, soy, or almond milk, and also available for an added price for adults.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Pavarotti 

There are many new sandwich options which are drawn from Italy. The Pavarotti  features green olive tapenade, Italian mortadella, nitrate-free country ham, smoked salami and provolone served on focaccia. The focaccia is toasted beautifully and the ingredients inside are savoury with a hint of spice from the salami.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Paolino Piadina

The Paolino Piadina features rustic Italian flatbread, parmesan breaded chicken, roast garlic aioli, mozzarella, marinara sauce and arugula.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Breakfast Wrap

The Breakfast Wrap is filled with scrambled eggs, marinara sauce, potatoes, cilantro, green onion and served with a side of salsa and sour cream.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

There are also several new salad options, all of which are colourful and fresh. These are prepared at the commissary kitchen in Vancouver.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Overall, a great selection of new summer menu items. I especially love the new iced drinks and affogato, which are perfect for the hot weather.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

This summer Caffè Artigiano is giving away all things Vespa! Prizes include some of their bright red gift cards, loaded with $20 worth of great coffee drinks in their caffès; a Vespa LX50 day rental for two; and five bright red Vespa bags full of coffee, a travel mug and gift card, and in one of those bags, a key to a brand-new Vespa Primavera 50 Rosso Dragon. Follow them, comment and share pictures of the scooter at their various locations around BC this summer for your chance to win!

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Check out their social media for more details!

Caffe Artigiano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Le Tea

1.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Le Tea opened up last year at Continental Plaza in Richmond and was probably one of the first to bring over the new “cheese lattea” hype that’s been popping up everywhere now. They have an extensive menu of beverages to choose from, but their tea based drinks are what they are noted for as they use fresh tea leaves in their drinks.

4.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Peach Oolong Cheese Lattea

I got the Peach Oolong Cheese Lattea which you can choose hot or cold and I chose the latter. You can also choose between salty or sweet for the cheese. Yes, it may sound weird to have cheese on your drink, but it was actually really good! The waitress told me salty is more popular, so I went with it. Essentially, the top white foam is the cheese flavour and you should drink it at a 45 degree angle to get both the foam and tea. It sort of tastes like cream cheese at the top and the sweet tea surprisingly goes well with it. I did wish that the tea was more strong and after Happy Lemon opened up, I have to say they do a better job at this drink.

 

3.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Oreo Smoothie

Of course S chose something off the “popular” charts. Instead of the teas, S chose the Oreo Smoothie which was topped with an Oreo cookie. The smoothie was not too sweet but I thought it was a bit too icy.

 

2.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Overall Le Tea has some decent drinks but with so many new Taiwanese bubble tea chains opening, it’s hard to compete. Their prices are comparable to the others at around $4 – $5 a drink, but I would probably go back to Happy Lemon or Chatime instead. Service was also not very friendly, but I do like the brick wall decor inside.

Pros:
– Large selection of tea-based drinks
– Decor is nice and nice spot to enjoy your drink

Cons:
– Tea flavour is not strong enough

Price Range: $5-6

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

Food: 3 Service: 2 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

Le Tea 樂茶 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

On Yogurt

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

Last month, I was invited to a media tasting at On Yogurt organized by Jacqueline to try their new menu item, Taiyaki Ice Cream. It was my first time visiting On Yogurt, and I was excited because I have been hearing about their ice fried yogurt. Ice fried doesn’t mean the yogurt is actually fried. Instead, the yogurt is flash frozen so the outside is icy and crispy while the middle smooth and creamy. The yogurt is then rolled and placed in cups and you can add various toppings. I believe this is a popular dessert in Thailand, but we luckily have it in Vancouver now!

 

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Oreo

They currently offer five flavours:

  • Strawberry
  • Oreo
  • Creme Brulee
  • Matcha
  • Chocolate

The taiyaki is filled with their famous ice fried yogurt and topped with complimentary toppings depending on the flavour. The filling below the ice cream is different for each flavour as well, including custard, nutella, red bean, and coconut paste.

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Crème Brûlée

When we first tried it, one side of the fish pastry was croissant, while the other side was the typical cake batter we are usually familiar with. This caused one side to burn quicker. Since then, they have revised their taiyaki so that both sides are croissant and therefore crispier.

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Matcha

I have to say, I really enjoyed the texture of the ice fried yogurt. You get a much firmer texture and once its in your mouth, it melts into a very creamy and smooth texture.

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Strawberry

Overall, I really enjoyed the ice fried yogurt itself, but I found that paired with the hot taiyaki, the yogurt melted too quickly even though it is already very firm. Still, it is fun to watch the ice fried yogurt being made, and I think I would stick with the yogurt just in a cup next time until they have perfected the melting issue.

On Yogurt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fresh Prep

commercial photography locations

NOTE: The two meals were sent by Fresh Prep for free but all opinions are based on my own experience.

Last month, Fresh Prep contacted me to give their service a try. Fresh Prep is a subscription service where you can select your meal each week and they will deliver it straight to your home or office. The ingredients are pre-portioned and some are even chopped up so that cooking is super quick. All the ingredients come in an insulated cooler bag to ensure they do not spoil.

commercial photography locations

I actually really liked how most of the ingredients were cut up already. I don’t know if this means my ingredients may not be as fresh, but it definitely helps save a lot of time. They currently only deliver to specific areas in Metro Vancouver and Richmond is not part of the delivery route. This was a bit frustrating for me, but they do deliver to work places, so I had it sent to my sister’s work place in downtown. You select the time frame that you want the meal delivered, but they ended up delivering past the time. I’m guessing it’s due to the traffic in downtown, but it was quite inconvenient if you need to leave on time.

commercial photography locations

We selected the Shrimp and Tomato Orzo with Basil and Skillet Chilaquilles with Fried Eggs and Avocado. For me, I found the choice of dishes was quite limited and it often repeated the next week. In addition, the meals are definitely on the healthier side compared to the other meal delivery services. That’s definitely a positive!

commercial photography locations

In your cooler bag, you will find the recipe cards. There aren’t any pictures but the instructions are still pretty understandable. We didn’t have too much trouble figuring out what we needed to do. The only downside was that we didn’t have a cast iron skillet, so we had to work around that.

commercial photography locations

The Shrimp and Tomato Orzo was very easy to make and definitely took less than 30 minutes. I pretty much just had to dump everything together and throw it in the oven.

commercial photography locations

This actually turned out very presentable! We loved how fresh and big the prawns were. They were super bouncy! However, it was our first time trying orzo and we didn’t like it at all. Just a personal preference I guess, but we didn’t like the texture of orzo.

commercial photography locations

Onto the Skillet Chilaquilles which required us to fry our own tortilla chips. I would’ve liked it if they were already fried since this does take up quite a lot of time and you can’t get it as crispy as the store bought ones.

commercial photography locations

Because we didn’t have a cast iron skillet, our presentation definitely lacked. We also found that it had too much tomato paste and our chips were not crispy enough. It was quite saucy and we didn’t think it tasted that good. Way too tart.

Overall, our experience with Fresh Prep was quite average. Perhaps we personally didn’t like the meals we had. I can see these dishes being quite healthy though. Also, the portions are huge! Even though these are made for two people, you can definitely feed up to 3 people. A very good deal for sure if you enjoy the dishes they offer.

Ice Pik Shavery

commercial photography locations

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

IcePik Shavery has been around for over a year now and features a hybrid between Hawaiian shaved ice and ice cream. They claim that this “snow cream” therefore has a nice fluffy snow-like texture. I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time now, but I don’t go to Burnaby often. So when Jacqueline invited me to a tasting, I couldn’t say no!

commercial photography locations

You first order at the counter and then you can eat in as there are a decent amount of seats. They have ready-made combos as well as the choice to customize your own.

commercial photography locations

Matcha Snow Cream

First, you will need to pick your size: regular ($4.50) or large ($5.50).

commercial photography locations

Earl Grey Snow Cream

Next, you select your snow cream flavour. Flavours include:

  • Sesame
  • Mango
  • Taro
  • Original
  • Green Tea
  • Mint
  • Coconut
  • Earl Grey

commercial photography locations

Black Sesame Snow Cream

Next up are all the toppings you can choose from. Each topping is 60 cents. My favourites are fresh fruit like mango or strawberry and mochi balls. They have a variety of mochi flavours, like mango, original, green tea or strawberry.

commercial photography locations

Mango Snow Cream

Other toppings include tapioca pearls, flavoured popping pearls, mango jelly, almond jelly, grass jelly, lychee jelly, red bean, and crushed Oreos.

commercial photography locations

Mint Snow Cream

You can then pick a flavour from their drizzle station which is complimentary. The drizzles include caramel, condensed milk, chocolate and strawberry sauce.

commercial photography locations

Coconut Snow Cream

If you don’t want to worry about choosing the wrong ingredients and ending up with a funky tasting dessert, then you can choose their ready-made combos. They will be slightly more expensive at $5.95 for a regular and $6.95 for a large, but keep in mind that it includes 3-4 toppings already so is actually a better deal.

commercial photography locations

Sea Cream Coffee

Other than snow cream, they also have coffee and milk tea for drinks. We tried their Sea Cream Coffee which I quite enjoyed. It was slightly sweet but salty at the same time because of the sea cream.

commercial photography locations

Overall, I quite enjoyed the snow creams at IcePik Shavery. The shaved ice is not as powdery as Snowy Village’s, but it is very fluffy. I also like how they have an assortment of flavours and toppings to choose from. Will be back for sure!

Icepik Shavery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chef’s Plate

commercial photography locations

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.

commercial photography locations

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.

commercial photography locations

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.

commercial photography locations

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

commercial photography locations

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.

commercial photography locations

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!

commercial photography locations

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.

commercial photography locations

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.

commercial photography locations

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.

commercial photography locations

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!