Water St. Cafe

Beautiful Gastown at night!

Complementary Bread

Caesar Salad – romaine lettuce, fresh grated parmesan, anchovies and garlic

Sunshine Coast Seafood and Corn Chowder

Fanny Bay Oysters – sautéed with smoked chipotle peppers, cream, sundried tomatoes and parmesan gratinée

Baked Portobello Mushroom – topped with grilled vegetables, cream cheese and parmesan gratinée

West Coast Crab Cakes – Dungeness and blue crab, Pacific shrimp with a roasted corn salsa and garlic aioli

Potato Gnocchi – hand rolled potato dumplings, prosciutto, fresh Pacific shrimp and a butternut squash with sage sauce

Duck Confit – with a balsamic and pineapple chutney glaze on garlic mashed potatoes

Tiramisu – classic Italian trifle

Flourless Double Chocolate Espresso Cake – Served with a black cherry compote

Gastown is so gorgeous at night! I love the historic brick buildings and flooring! Makes me feel as if I’m walking in Europe or something! During the weekend, I went to Water St. Cafe for Dine Out with my girlfriends for a girls night out dinner. We each chose a different appetizer and I  had the fanny bay oysters. I have to say they didn’t look too appetizing but it tasted really good! The sundried tomatoes were a great complement to it. I also took a  bite from my friend’s stuffed portabello mushroom and it was delicious too! Next, I had the duck confit for my entree. I kind of wanted to try the crab cakes too but I wanted to see what everything else looked like! The duck confit was quite tender, and the pineapple chuntney glaze gave it a nice flavour. I took some of my friend’s crab cake and it was delicious! I really liked the bread crumb coating and you could taste a lot of the crab and shrimp in it. The gnocchi was also quite good, with a very nice sauce and was the right chewiness. Last but not least, the desserts! The tiramisu was very good! One of my favourites. It was quite strong in alcohol, but something about the right amount of cream and all was perfect. The chocolate cake was also pretty good, but I found it a little too fudge-like. But I guess that’s why it’s flourless! Overall, this dine out was quite delicious! It was only $28 and it was actually very filling! Service was okay, but not superb or anything. The ambiance is quite nice though. It’s a very cozy place; a very nice place to talk and to enjoy some food. It’s also directly in front of the steam clock which is beautiful to look at at night while enjoying dinner.

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Hapa Umi

ALBERTA AAA BEEF TATAKI
Garlic ponzu, green onion oil, spicy daikon

Ahi Tuna

SCALLOP
Scallops, cucumber, ume mayonnaise, egg crepe wrapping

DYNAMITE
Tempura shrimp, green beans, mayonnaise, teriyaki sauce

KAKUNI AND SCALLOP
Soy-braised pork belly, seared scallop


WARM CHOCOLATE CAKE
Banana tempura, ginger caramel, coconut ice cream

I saw that there was a Groupon for Hapa Umi for $30 for $60 worth of food and thought that was a pretty good deal and decided to get it. Even though I had my Groupon, I really don’t think the food was worth its price. Portions were quite small, and there weren’t many choices to choose from on the menu. The sashimi selection was very limited and they didn’t even serve tuna toro. It seemed like they were trying to westernize their menu, so it wasn’t a lot of authentic Japanese food. Food was however quite fresh, and the desserts were okay. The beef carpaciccio was not bad, but nothing spectacular about it. I guess nothing was bad, but just not good enough to make me want to keep coming back. Going in with the perception that Hapa Umi was a higher end izakaya, which the ambiance gives and their price points prove to be, I was left disappointed and felt the food really wasn’t worth the price. I think if you want to go to a good izakaya place, I would recommend to go to Guu instead!

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Faubourg

Cakes

Savouries

Types of Teas

Vert Provence – A grand green tea with flowery aroma combined with tastes of Provence, red and black fruits plus sweet lavender

3 sets of Purple Afternoon Tea – choice of 2 sandwiches, 2 pastries, and a scone with cream and jam, and choice of tea

My Purple Afternoon Tea Set! – Mini Opera, Chocolate Mousse, Smoked Salmon and Wasabi Cream Sandwich, Cucumber, Roast Beef, and Corriander Cream Sandwich, Scone with Cream and Mandarin Orange Jam

Went to Faubourg a little late in the afternoon, so most of their pastries and savoury  items were already all sold out. We decided to have high tea, and they had a smaller set called the Purple Afternoon Tea for $16. We got to choose 2 sandwiches and 2 pastries, and it came with a scone and choice of tea. I have to say that service was quite terrible. We were served by a rude man who wasn’t very polite when we asked questions about the teas. He almost seemed impatient and didn’t want to serve us. Funny, since he was dressed in a dress shirt and all, and looked almost like a manager. He might’ve been, actually, but I don’t know. Food on the other hand was good, and everything was presented nicely. I extremely liked the Chocolate Mousse and the Smoked Salmon Roll. They also have another afternoon set for a slightly higher price, but it includes all the different pastries and sandwiches. I guess you have to go earlier if you want to try their full size pastries!

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Thomas Haas

Chocolate!

Cakes!

Mmmmm

Macarons!

Tree made of Macarons!

Dark Chocolate Orange – Layers of thin chocolate manjari cake, orange bavarian, orange confit, caramelized cocoa bean crunch and dark chocolate mousse, Exotic Cheesecake – Classic cheesecake with passionfruit, mango and orange zest , Crispy Chocolate Raspberry – Dark Manjari chocolate-raspberry mousse, light vanilla Bavarian, chocolate sacher cake, and crispy hazelnut wafer

Double Baked Almond Croissant

I finally got to visit Thomas Haas! After a disappointing visit to find out it was closed on Tuesdays, I decided to go again on a weekend. Probably a bad idea though, because it was packed with people and there was nowhere to sit! The lineup almost reached the door! I decided to try a few desserts since it took me twice to finally get some desserts! I’ve had Thomas Haas chocolates and truffles from gifts before, but I never visited the store myself, so I was extremely excited to see all the desserts in the behind the window! The Dark Chocolate Orange was quite good, although I found it a little too sweet. The Exotic Cheesecake was not bad too, but the fruits were a little sour, so I probably would have preferred to an original cheesecake. The Crispy Chocolate Raspberry was definitely my favourite though. It had a wafer bottom, and it wasn’t too sweet. Really delicious. Another one of my favourites was the Double Baked Almond Croissant. I don’t know what it was, but something about it was REALLY delicious. You don’t get that really buttery oily flavour to the croissant, and the almonds make it extra delicious. I would definitely go back for that croissant. And there are still so many other cakes I would love to try! The chocolates and macarons also look delicious! I was also able to see Thomas Haas, himself, at the store, and he was kind enough to let us try a new cake, I’m guessing. I believe it was some sort of fruit cake, and it was quite delicious as well! Would love to go back soon now!

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Kumare

Lumpiang Shanghai
Deep fried bite sized pork spring rolls

Beef Mami
Beef, egg, spring onions, and vegetables

Inihaw na Pusit
Grilled squid

Pancit Langlang
Stir-fried vermicelli and egg noodles, diced chicken and pork, and assorted vegetables.

Leche Flan

Ube Macapuno Cake
Ube chiffon cake and cream cheese icing

This is my second time at Kumare now! First time, I have to admit that I had no idea what I was ordering and wasn’t ordering the right “Filipino” food, so this time, I brought a Filipino friend with me for lunch! First off, we got some spring rolls that were filled with pork. They were really good and the filling was quite different from the ones I normally eat. Then, there was the soup, which I found quite interesting. It had a lot of vegetables and it had a sour taste to it. Not something I would normally order, but it wasn’t too bad. The squid was really interesting, as it was filled with green and red peppers, and then it was grilled. I have never tried something like this before! It was delicious other than the parts that were grilled a little too much. Those parts had a burnt taste to it.  This time, my friend ordered noodles that were supposed to be Filipino – not those Pad Thai noodles I ordered last time that clearly were originated from the Malaysian and Thai Cuisine. The noodles were like vermicelli and had an interesting flavour to it. Quite delicious! And last but not least, I finally got to try their desserts, since Kumare also has a bakery section to the restaurant. I insisted on trying the Taro Chiffon Cake as I wanted to for the longest time, but my friend also suggested the Leche Flan, which is basically like a caramel pudding. So glad she ordered that because it was so delicious! Definitely one of my favourite desserts now! The Taro Cake was also not bad, as it had a nice taro flavour to it and the cream wasn’t too thick. It was also topped with some coconut that seemed to be freshly peeled off! Overall, it was a great experience having Filipino food.  I think I might have a better idea of what to order next time and I’m definitely coming back!

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Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar

Cheesecake Parfait & Green Tea Parfait

I’ve been seeing pictures of these delicious parfaits in food magazines for a long time but never really knew where Chicco was. Finally decided to search it up, and found it was on Robson St, past all the shops. A very small store, but greeted immediately with friendly employers that seemed to be Japanese. They have a variety of hot and cold drinks, cakes and other small desserts, and their famous parfaits. My friend and I decided to try the Cheesecake Parfait and Green Tea Parfait. Both have pieces of cake at the very bottom, then a layer of cornflakes, then a layer of jelly depending on the flavour, and some whipped cream along with ice cream. The cheesecake parfait came with vanilla flavoured ice cream topped with a piece of Japanese soft cheesecake and drizzled with strawberry sauce. The green tea parfait came with green tea ice cream, red beans, mochi, and a piece of green tea sponge cake. Definitely satisfied my sweet tooth!

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Bell’s Bake Shop

Red Velvet Giant Cupcake

Did I make this myself? Nope…but it sure looks like one after a really disappointing cake fail story! I got my friend a giant cupcake for her birthday at Bell’s Bake Shop in Steveston Village, and by giant, I mean it’s supposed to be equivalent to around 20 cupcakes, so it feeds around 10 people. This one was red velvet with buttercream frosting. So I picked it up at the store, and they showed me how it looked inside the box, and I went back into the car carrying it on my lap while I was driven to the restaurant for dinner. I was told to just put it at room temperature so I handed it over to my waitress. Around 15 minutes into dinner, my waitress comes over and tells me that I should take a look at my cake. The manager was also there and said that he had opened it and the cake had fell. Basically the whole top half had toppled to one side. I was extremely disappointed and asked if they could do anything to fix it up. And this is what they came up with. Pretty good compared to what a mess it had looked like…The red colouring is from the birthday message I had paid to get written, and I told the chef to just smother it around since the message was ruined anyways.  I had paid $35 for the cake with $2 extra for the birthday message. I don’t know if it was my own fault from the way I carried it, or the cake shop themselves, but I am definitely not going back there again – at least not for a giant cupcake. Yes, the giant cupcake looks really cool and presentable at the table, but if it is so unstable and just topples over, I really don’t think it’s worth it. I might as well just buy 20 different cupcakes.

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Trees Organic

Mango Cheesecake

Trees Organic is an European style cafe with many locations. This one is take-out from the downtown location. They serve 100% Organic & Fair Trade Coffee, decadent cheesecakes, fresh pastries, sandwiches, vegan treats and more. I tried the featured special – Mango Cheesecake! It actually had bits of mangoes in it which was a surprise. Quite delicious! I would love to try their blueberry cheesecake next!

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