Pierre Marcolini – Brussels

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I love to eat chocolate, but to say that I’m anything close to understanding chocolate is definitely an overstatement. So while we were in Brussels, chocolate was literally everywhere! Belgian chocolate is so well known, but honestly, I can’t say I could tell the different brands apart. They all tasted pretty good! Like for instance, Godiva was everywhere, and very accessible in Canada, and personally, I think Godiva is pretty good chocolate. And when I compare it to some other Belgian brands like Leonidas, I honestly can’t say that one is way better than the other. Since these two Belgian brands are easily accessible in Canada, C and I were looking for chocolate brands that we weren’t able to find back at home. Pierre Marcolini was one of them. Pierre Marcolini opened his first store in 1995, and since then it has stores in major cities like Paris, New York, London, and Tokyo. We had walked by this store the previous day, but we forgot where it was. We were desperate to get some hot chocolate here, and ended up walking in the rain for probably 30 minutes, but it was well worth it!

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Each hot chocolate comes with a speculoo. We found that speculoos are very popular in Belgium. They are a shortcrust biscuit that is spiced, usually with pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg. We found that it was very similar to a gingerbread. I believe they were offering this because it’s a tradition to eat these biscuits before St. Nicholas’ feast. Their Santa is called St. Nicholas, and he looks a bit different!

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And this was the hot chocolate. Unlike the hot chocolate in Barcelona where it’s basically melted chocolate, this was something I was much more used to. The chocolate was very rich and strong though. I think it was also lightly seasoned with nutmeg. Very smooth as well.

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After, C bought a cake to try. Their cakes are beautiful but definitely quite pricey! This one had a hazelnut filling with layers of crispy wafers inside. The filling was smooth and rich in flavour. A good splurge if you want some visually beautiful and tasty cake! I probably should’ve have spoiled myself on a piece of their chocolates since I hear they are one of the best in the city!

Serrajordia – Sant Cugat

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Mousse Cups

ESADE is located in Sant Cugat, and honestly, I don’t find food that appealing there. I guess it’s just that there’s limited choices, and the prices are higher than out in the city. However, on our walk to school from the station, we always pass by Serrajordia. K made it almost like a habit, to always grab a small breakfast there. He said their little pastries, like their mini cookies and biscuits were really good! I, on the other hand, always had breakfast at home, so never really got to try their pastries. However, most of my friends said they are a great bakery! One day, C invited us to her dorm for dinner she would cook, and I decided to stop by Serrajordia on my way to get some desserts. They have a variety of cakes, and also individual mini cakes, but I looked in the freezer and saw these little mousse cups. How convenient and cute! They aren’t the cheapest desserts out there, but definitely worth the money when you think about places like Thomas Haas. I got two Lemon Mousse Cups, one Triple Chocolate Layer, and one Chocolate Mousse. Each one were topped with little crispy chocolate balls and some had chocolate or berries on it. Everyone enjoyed them! They were smooth, but because we had fridged them and they hadn’t cooled enough, they were almost like an ice cream texture, which none of us minded. My favourite was the triple layered chocolate!  Now I wish I had tried some of their other pastries. I doubt I would come back here since it’s so far from the city…

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Anyways, if you haven’t realized, I’m putting a little twits to my food blog and introducing some places I’ve visited while on exchange. I guess it’s a way for me to remember and document some of the things I’ve done and to help others who are traveling in Europe. One of the first places I visited in Barcelona while my sister visited, was Park Guell. It’s basically one of the top tourist destinations for Barcelona tourists. It’s a little difficult to commute here, just because the metro doesn’t take you straight to the entrance. However, if you take a bus, it’ll get you right to the station, and the last bus stop is Park Guell, so not that hard. It’s a garden with amazing architecture designed by Antoni Gaudi, who you must recognize when you visit Spain. I feel like pretty much all architecture Barcelona is famous for is done by him! It’s extremely tourist-filled during the summer months. During September, when my sister visited, it was also free to go in. We got lucky and didn’t need to pay!

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Many people refer to this place as looking a bit like Candy Crush or a Candy House. I do agree. Everything seems like it’s sugar coated with frosting. And I absolutely love the mosaic you find at the top. You’ll also see the statue of a salamander that is popularly known. This park is basically one that you won’t experience any where else. It’s not one of those romantic parks you find yourself in London or Paris, but one that is whimsical, artsy and fun. You’ll find yourself taking pictures of literally every angle of this park. There’s so much to see, you won’t even feel tired climbing up to the top of the park with the burning sun on you! A must see!

Kit Kat Craze!

Not a restaurant post today! Just sharing some crazy Kit Kat flavours with you thanks to K who brought them back from Japan 🙂 I don’t even remember all the flavours, but some were Green Tea, Cinnamon, Honeydew Blueberry, Apple, and Cookies and Cream. Some of them were exclusive to Japan I believe. Green Tea is my all time favourite, and you can get them in Vancouver as well at places such as Candyland. Honeydew was also surprisingly pretty good. A bite in, and you were literally filled with honeydew madness. The flavour was so strong! Another flavour that really struck me was the Cinnamon flavour. It was…spicy. Not too good!

Twisted Fork Bistro

Snails – Tender garlic snails cooked with shallots, mushrooms, herbs and white wine served with tomato basil sauce, arrugula and crushed croutons


Scallops and Bacon – Pan seared scallops marinated in thyme and chipotle oil served with caramelized onion, potato puree, Vancouver Island’s double smoked bacon and house corn relish

Stuffed Portobello MushroomFilled with arrugula, and pesto vinaigrette, topped with a cashew dill crust served with lentils, baby carrots and tomato basil sauce

Fresh Mussels – One pound, with cream, herbs and fresh tomatoes, served with frites


Confit DuckCrispy Confit duck served with bacon braised cabbage, duck jus and finished with fruit ketchup

Lavender Creme Brulee

Chocolate TerrineFrozen dark chocolate mousse layered with raspberry sorbet, with biscotti crumbs and raspberry coulis

Twisted Fork Bistro has been on my go to list for quite a while now. I was so excited to try it finally since there’s always huge line ups for it. Waited a little more than 15 minutes and finally got a seat. The place is really small, so it usually gets packed quite fast. It’s got a warm, homey feeling to it which I love. They serve cozy French cuisine, and are known for their great desserts.

First off, we got the Escargots, which I didn’t find particularly special or anything. There were a lot of escargots, but the flavour was nothing special. The Scallops and Bacon had a sauce that basically tasted like salsa with corn, and I found it a little too sour for my liking. The Stuffed Portabello Mushroom was just alright again. Nothing too special. As for the Fresh Mussels, I found that there were not enough flavour. It was a little bland for me, and I usually don’t eat very feisty flavoured things too. My favourite dish had to be the Confit Duck. The duck was cooked really tender and the sauce complemented the duck breast very well. And finally, we ordered desserts! Tha Lavender Creme Brulee was really delicious! It was infused with a lavender flavour, which I found very special since not many restaurants serve creme brulee with lavender. The lavender actually worked very well with the creme brulee. Lastly, we also ordered a Chocolate Terrine, which had raspberry sauce, and was extremely rich and creamy.

Overall, the main dishes were just alright, but I really enjoyed the desserts, and would probably come back again for that. Always so packed though, so I’ve got to come here earlier!

Twisted Fork Bistro on Urbanspoon

Fatburger

Old Style Bacon Cheddar Burger – AAA Angus beef patty topped with real Canadian Cheddar and maple bacon, lettuce and tomato
Homestyle Onion Rings

Ultimate Backyard BBQ Bacon Burger -Two onion rings atop a BBQ sauce basted patty, with maple bacon, mayo, mustard, lettuce and tomato

Chocolate Milkshake

Fatburger is pretty much like Vera’s since in a way they are the more deluxe version of burgers. I went to the one on Dunsmuir, and the place reminded me of a diner. You basically order at the counter first, and then a server brings you the food. We tried two different burgers – both from the specialty menu since we wanted to be a little more adventurous than the original Fatburger. I especially liked the Old Style Bacon Cheddar Burger, but I do find the burgers a little expensive. I don’t think the quality is very deluxe or anything, but I have to say the portions are quite big. So I guess that makes up for how much I’m paying for a burger. I believe it was around $8-9 for a burger. We also got the Homestyle Onion Rings, which were a little on the oily side, but still very delicious. The Chocolate Milkshake was also pretty good! I think they use hand-scooped ice cream, so it’s quite comparable to Triple O’s milkshake. Come to think of it, they taste quite similar.

Fatburger (Dunsmuir) on Urbanspoon

Bel Cafe

Crispy Choux, Orange & Milk Chocolate Ganache

Rose and Raspberry Macaron & Cookies and Cream Macaron

Happy belated International Macaron Day!! And yes, it’s macaron, not macaroon. Honestly, I didn’t really know the difference until sometime late last year after getting all confused and deciding to do some research into it. But what I’m talking about here aren’t the coconut macaroons, but those colourful Parisian desserts that are made with almond flour. And I believe there is a difference in pronunciation too, but I guess most people don’t realize. So yes, International Macaron Day was on March 20th, and honestly, I did not know about this big day until Steph told me. She is clearly the bigger foodie here! So yes, of course we had to celebrate and get some macarons! We wanted to go to Soirette but it was kind of far from where we were, so I did a little googling, and off we went to Bel Cafe. And we discovered it was actually right next to Hawksworth, and is the sister cafe to it! So they are both situated in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Honestly, I’m not a crazy fan of macarons as I think there are tons of other desserts that are more worthy, but Vancouver has been on a macaron craze these past few years. Everyone talks about them, and I’m no expert to judge which ones are better. The rose and raspberry macaron definitely had a very strong rose taste to it, but I actually didn’t really taste any raspberry flavour. I did like the strong rose flavour though, as I love rose flavoured desserts! The cookies and cream macaron was really good too. You could totally taste the cookies and cream flavour with a strong vanilla flavour as well. Almost tasted like a chewy Oreo! Overall, they had a consistent smooth texture with a little chewiness inside which I like! Next, we also got the Crispy Choux, Orange & Milk Chocolate Ganache. It was basically a cream puff with a strong orange flavour to it. Not bad, but I found the puff a little tough, but I think it was supposed to be the “crispy” part of it. Service was exceptional, and the cafe is extremely busy! We almost couldn’t find a seat and had to go for take out. Busy busy cafe with exceptional desserts and savoury items as well!

Bel Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thomas Haas

Caramel & Chocolate Brownie Cake
Chocolate pecan brownie, caramel cremeux and caramel Bavarian

Totally haven’t been updating since I’ve been so busy with school and exams! But I’m back! I’m guessing they usually have specials that they have for a certain time, since they had a chalkboard with specials written on it. And of course I decided to try something new and special! Here’s a Caramel & Chocolate Brownie Cake. It’s supposed to look much nicer than this, but unfortunately I had probably swayed the box around too much, which I guess wasn’t the best idea… But hey, it still tasted great! The caramel made it a little more special than just regular chocolate cake, although I found it a little sweet for my personal liking.There were also pecans at the bottom which gave the cake a great crunch. Be sure to try it out before they aren’t on the menu anymore!

If you want to read about my first experience at Thomas Haas, check out the previous post: http://everydayisafoodday.tumblr.com/post/16270765615/thomas-haas

Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates & Patisserie on Urbanspoon