Honey Doughnuts & Goodies

Quarry Rock is a hike that I do pretty much every year just because it’s probably one of the easier hikes yet you still get an amazing view once up top. For years, people have been telling me about Honey Doughnuts & Goodies and that you must get some of their doughnuts after your hike. Well, since I came to hike, I thought it would be more wise to eat it first and then hike it all off… Anyways, when we arrived, they said they only had their honey doughnuts left, but they do normally have other doughnuts available.

Honey Doughnuts

We ended up all getting the Honey Doughnuts since there was nothing else available. Man, these are big doughnuts! The texture is more like a cake batter with the outside very crunchy. It sort of reminded me of the sweet Chinese doughnuts if you know what I’m talking about. Is it as amazing as how everyone says it is? I wouldn’t say so, but I wouldn’t mind coming here to grab it after or before a hike. I wouldn’t make a trip here just for the doughnuts though. I think these were around $2-3 but they are quite large and dense so can fill you up. Service was mediocre. They seemed very busy and in a rush to move the line.

Pros:
– Love the crunchy exterior
– Reasonable price for the size

Cons:
– Other doughnuts can sell out quickly
– Some people might not like this cake batter type of doughnut

Price Range: $2-5/person

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

Food:3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: 2 Overall: 3

Honey Doughnuts and Goodies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chef Tony

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Chef Tony has been the talk of the town for quite some time and even won Vancouver Magazine’s 2015 best dim sum award.

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The restaurant is known for their high-end Chinese cuisine and you can tell just by the interior of the restaurant. Crystal chandeliers and VIP rooms with closed doors perfect for hosting parties.

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Even the entrance has a gallery of expensive Chinese liquor as well as tea. We made reservations ahead of time on New Year’s Eve for dim sum and we waited less than 10 minutes and were seated. Pretty good since dim sum restaurants never get you seated on time based on your reservation.

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Dry Shrimp and Chives Rice Noodle Roll

We started off with the Dry Shrimp and Chives Rice Noodle Roll which had loads of dry shrimp. The rice noodle roll was very smooth and thin.

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Black Truffle Shrimp and Pork Dumplings

Next up were the famous Black Truffle Shrimp and Pork Dumplings. Once placed on our table, we could smell the strong black truffle. This definitely made the typical dim sum very luxurious. The black truffle gave the dumplings an earthy flavour which I quite enjoyed. The wrappers were also thin and filled with a large shrimp and abundance of pork.

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Baked Barbecue Pork Bun

The Baked Barbecue Pork Buns were glistening on the top. They were soft and fluffy and filled with lots of meat.

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Marinated Chicken Feet

The Marinated Chicken Feet was a bit of a disappointment as I found that they were rather bland. They had a bit of chili flavour but nothing else.

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Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf

The Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf came with three servings.

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These were different from the usual as they had wild rice mixed in. This made it rather dry. It was also filled with some minced meat and salty egg yolk.

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Deep Fried Taro and Abalone Dumplings

The Deep Fried Taro and Abalone Dumpling was another dish that was elevated from a simple dim sum to a high-end dish. The deep fried taro were topped with mini abalones. Crispy and flaky on the outside with a slight chew from the abalone.

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Deep Fried Sticky Rice

An interesting dish was the Deep Fried Sticky Rice. It was essentially sticky rice which used wild rice again and was coated in a thin batter and deep fried. I thought this was average as it was rather dry and the rice would stick to my teeth.

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Braised Mushrooms with Egg Tofu

We also ordered a larger dish which was the Braised Mushrooms with Egg Tofu. The sauce was thick and gooey as it should be. The tofu was smooth in the inside and crispy on the outside.

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Steamed Egg Sponge Cake

Lastly, we finished off with some desserts. First was the Steamed Egg Sponge Cake. I found this to be rather dense and wasn’t my favourite.

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Baked Durian Paste Pastry

The last was the Baked Durian Paste Pastry. The outside was extremely flaky with the inside filled with some durian paste. The paste was actually not very strong but still pungent nonetheless. If you want strong durian pastries, I would suggest trying Shiang Garden’s.

Overall, I was quite pleased with Chef Tony. The food is carefully prepared although there were some hits and misses. It’s nice that the chef is getting creative with traditional dim sum and adding other complex flavours to the dish. This of course comes with a price but the service and ambiance is also much better than many other Chinese restaurants.

Pros:
– Pretty solid dishes
– Great service and ambiance

Cons:
– Pricier
– Parking is a pain here

Price Range: $20-30 / person

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

Food: 4 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 2 Overall: 4

Chef Tony Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Belgard Kitchen

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Belgard Kitchen has been on my list for a long time and thanks to K’s gift card, I finally got to go try it! Belgard is located in a very random area east of Gastown, and past Ask For Luigi near the Railtown area. It’s mostly industrial area there, but those who know about Belgard Kitchen will make their way here.

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The building is actually called the Settlement Building and houses Belgard Kitchen, Postmark Brewing, and the Vancouver Urban Winery. High ceilings and super cool area for the Postmark Brewing. You can also purchase beer in bottles here.

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The interior is rustic and hip.

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Be ready to wait for a seat though… We arrived on a Saturday at around 2 pm and wanted to make it before brunch ended at 3pm. Even though it was really late already, the place was packed and we still had to wait for around 15 minutes. We were still able to get the brunch menu though! A very late brunch for us!

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They change up what’s on tap and they usually have food features.

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Tasting Paddle

I started brunch off with a Tasting Paddle. You can choose the beers you want or have the waitress choose for you. I told her to choose some lighter beers for me. If I remember correctly, from left to right is the Lager, Pilsner, Strawberry Blonde, and West Coast Pale Ale. My favourite was the Strawberry Blonde since it had a hint of fruitiness to it. The West Coast Pale Ale was too bitter for my liking. For $8, this is a great way to try different beers.

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Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe

S got the beer on tap which was the Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe. I actually really enjoyed this one since it was light and fruity.

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Steak and Eggs

For food, S got the Steak and Eggs, which featured Argentinian spice rubbed flank, chimichurri, and poached eggs. It normally comes with Parmesan cream, but he asked for it without. I thought the portion looked a bit small, but it’s still quite acceptable.

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S said the steak itself was a bit chewy though and wished that there was a bit more seasoning to it.

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Brunch Spuds and side of Grilled Sausage

The Steak and Eggs also come a side of Brunch Spuds. These are basically roasted potatoes. Not bad, but could be more seasoned. We also added an additional side of Grilled Sausages to share. These came in a glass jar and the sausages are cut in half. It basically equals one sausage but is quite pricey for $5. Flavourwise, we thought it was just average. I personally thought it was rather dry.

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Belgard Meatball Brunch Skillet

For myself, I got the Belgard Meatball Brunch Skillet, which features fresh mozza, San Marzano tomato sauce, poached eggs, smoky onion and Parmesan cream, and a side of brunch spuds. I loved the meatballs! The Parmesan cream sauce mixed with the tomato sauce was delicious. At first, I thought four meatballs and 2 poached eggs would not be enough, but the heavy cream made the dish very filling. I loved how the poached eggs were cooked just until the yolks spilled out.

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Overall, I was quite pleased with the food and drinks at Belgard Kitchen for brunch. Definitely the place to go if you want drinks. Prices can be a bit pricey and there is often a wait. Cool hip ambiance though and service was decent.

Pros:
– Large variety of beers and wine
– Decent eats

Cons:
– Some items can be a bit pricey
– Usually a wait to get a seat

Price Range: $20-30

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

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

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Save On Meats

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Save On Meats has been on my list of “to try” restaurants ever since it was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. So when K suggested we give it a try, I was excited to see what it’s all about. What’s cool is that the building was actually built in 1891, so it has over 100 years of history! You cannot miss this building driving down Hastings because you’ll see the neon pig sign. Save On Meats also has a butcher shop next to the diner, so you can conveniently head over there for some fresh and local meats.

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You can see that the interior has that retro old diner feel to it, but the seats and tables were well kept and clean. Funny paintings and signs decorate the walls of the diner.

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Coffee SOM Milkshake

SOM is famous for their milkshakes, so I decided to share the Coffee SOM Milkshake with K. It’s quite the large one and it’s great since they give you all the leftovers from making it in a metal cup. You end up getting 1 and a half cups of the shake for under $5. The milkshake is thick spun and I loved the light coffee flavour we chose. It reminded me of an iced cappuccino! There are also various other flavours you can choose from.

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Real Nova Scotian Seafood Chowder, Caesar Salad

We were supposed to be here for brunch, but it ended up more like lunch as usual… Well lucky us, since they feature breakfast and brunch items until 4pm on weekends. Both of us didn’t end up going for their breakfast menu though. Instead, K went for a simple soup and salad. She had the Real Nova Scotian Seafood Chowder, which came with a cheese scone on the side. She said the chowder was not as thick as she had expected, but filled with lots of ingredients. She was thinking it would be something like canned soup, but nope, it seemed to be homemade. She also got a side of Caesar Salad which was lightly dressed and topped with croutons and Parmesan.

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Shepherd’s Pie

For myself, I was feeling like it was a pie day. I chose the Shepherd’s Pie, which showed up on a skillet with a side of green salad. I was slightly disappointed at first because I was expecting a pie, but this was rather deconstructed. Nevertheless, it actually tasted pretty good. There was a mixture of ground beef and vegetable stew and it was topped with a cheesy mashed potato crumble. It was very simple and probably something very easy to reconstruct at home but tasty.

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Overall, I was quite pleased with Save On Meats. You will find simple diner food here – nothing extravagant or fancy. I wouldn’t say it blew my mind, but I don’t think I was expecting much anyways. Prices are kept low and probably the most expensive item is roughly $12. Plus, I think what makes SOM very special and worth a visit is that they are a strong supporter of the Downtown Eastside community and partner with various organizations in giving back to those in need. They also have a token program where you can purchase a token for $2.25 and this will allow you to redeem a Breakfast Sandwich. You can either distribute this yourself or have SOM do so. A great way to help those in needs and I personally think it’s a better way than donating money. Definitely a cool place to check out!

Pros:
– Cool retro ambiance
– Cheap simple food

Cons:
– Service was a bit slow at times

Price Range: $5-15

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

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

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Kongee Dinesty 金津粥品專門店

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Kongee Dinesty opened up earlier this year in the complex on Garden City. It offers congee and limited dim sum items during breakfast and lunch, but becomes a typical Chinese restaurant during dinner time.

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They offer a kitchen with glass windows so you can watch the chefs prepare your food. The restaurant itself is pretty nice with your typical dim sum restaurant decor. The restaurant itself is quite small though. We were lucky to score a spot at around 11:30 am, but it soon became packed by the time we left. The waitress basically put our bill down before we asked to shoo us out, since there was a line forming at the door.

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Sampan Congee

Of course we had to try their congee, so we went for the Sampan Congee. We ordered this off their pre-customized congee menu, but you can actually customize your congee for $8.95. With this option, you can choose two toppings of your choice, the congee base and garnish. If you order from 8:00am to 11:30 am, you can also choose an extra side, like Chinese donuts, free of charge. Anyways, we ordered the Sampan Congee and added preserved eggs in addition. Sampan Congee comes with just about everything and it definitely had a lot of toppings. We shared this between four people, and everyone had at least one bowl or more. Quite delicious!

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Gingko Nuts and Bean Curd Sheets with Baby Bak Choy

Next, we got some veggies, so we went for the Gingko Nuts and Bean Curd Sheets with Baby Bak Choy. This was a healthy choice and the bak choy was very fresh.

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Chinese Donut Wrapped with Rice Roll

Then we went for a dim sum item, with the Chinese Donut Wrapped with Rice Roll. The Chinese donuts were fresh and crispy with the rice roll being relatively thin.

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Yee-Fu Noodles with Golden Chives

Lastly, we got the Yee-Fu Noodles with Golden Chives. The noodles were chewy and were not too oily. It came with baby scallops and vegetables, so pretty good for the price you pay.

Overall, I was quite satisfied with Kongee Dinesty. Prices are reasonable, but the restaurant is quite small, so I can see it being packed very quickly. Great place to go if you want to get congee. I especially like how you can customize it.

Pros:
– You can customize your congee
– Items other than congee are pretty good too

Cons:
– Not a place to have long chats – they tend to kick you out
– Not a lot of seats

Price Range: $10-20

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

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

Kongee Dinesty 金津粥品專門店 on Urbanspoon

Twisted Fork Bistro

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Twisted Fork is a busy little bistro on the Granville strip in downtown Vancouver.  No reservations mean long waits, but as we arrived at the restaurant around 6:00PM, we managed to get seating almost immediately.

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The restaurant features an open kitchen concept with seating that features an ample amount of pillows. In a word, it’s “chill.” Service is friendly.

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The menu features a “fresh sheet”, featuring dishes which may change daily (updates are provided on their website).

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The complimentary bread was average, suffering from being both cold and tough to the chew.

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Duck Confit

S ordered the Duck Confit with bacon braised cabbage, jus and pickled pumpkin. He said that it was “not bad.”

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Mussels with Frites

I got the Mussels with Frites, which feature a pound of mussels tossed in cream sauce and topped with fries. I think the fries were actually yam fries, so that’s always a plus. However, the fries were quite soggy. The mussels were small, but sweet. Quite good

Pros:
– Quality food
– Cozy ambiance with friendly service

Cons:
– Bread was disappointing
– Usually long waits and no reservations

Price Range: $20-30

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

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

Twisted Fork Bistro on Urbanspoon

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

Tuc Craft Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Flying Pig (Gastown) – revisit

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Not too long ago, I visited Flying Pig at their Gastown location for lunch. A few months later, here I am again checking out their brunch menu. Restaurant was busy, but we made reservations ahead of time, so we were seated right away.

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Complimentary Banana Bread

Service begins with their complimentary Banana Bread. I love this since it’s very moist but a little sticky. It’s also not too heavy or dense.

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Featured Corn Beef Hash

They offer some daily features and that day they had the Featured Corn Beef Hash, which SP got. It came with two poached eggs on top of corned beef and hash. It also came with Hollandaise sauce and a side of salad. I really liked the sauce it came with and the potatoes were crispy on the outside.

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Smoked Salmon Benedict

For myself, I got the Smoked Salmon Benedict, which also came with a salad. The house smoked salmon came with dill cream cheese on top of a piece of toasted bread. The Hollandaise sauce topped the poached eggs which I asked to be done to medium. The yolks oozed out as you broke the egg, and was delicious when mixed with the cream cheese and smoked salmon. My only concern was I found the bread to be too toasted, hence it was difficult to cut into with a knife.

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Country Style Breakfast

SK got the Country Style Breakfast, which came with 2 eggs, back bacon, baby greens, and some sourdough bread. She got the eggs sunny side up.

Brunch is pretty good here, but the prices are slightly higher for the food you get. Service was also very cold this time around. Our server took the wrong order for my friend and when the dish came and we said we hadn’t ordered that, she got very defensive and said we were wrong. Quite disappointed, since I had some pretty good service the previous time I visited.

Pros:
– Conveniently located in the heart of Gastown
– Great place for brunch type of food

Cons:
– Prices are slightly high for the portion size and what you get
– Service wasn’t so great this time

Price Range: $15-25

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

Food: 4
Service: 2
Ambiance: 4
Parking: 3
Overall: 3.5

The Flying Pig on Urbanspoon