Crackle Crème

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Crackle Crème has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. To my knowledge, we don’t really have a shop that specializes only in crème brûlées. Well now we have it! It’s located in Chinatown, but on Union St., which seems to be a pretty nice area now. The shops around it were all very modern.

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The shop is run by one man and offers what I would like to call hipster crème brûlée. It’s literally all those flavours that you find people talking about these days, especially with ice cream. From earl grey, salted caramel, to black sesame, the flavours are always changing!

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Other than crème brûlées, they also offer liege waffles. The crème brûlées are pretty expensive, at $5 each. You can get the mini trio for $7.50, but you cannot select your flavours.

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The crème brûlées are taken out of the fridge and the owner will torch the sugar in front of you. You can also take these to go, although they should be eaten within 4 hours.

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We chose three flavours. They look pretty much the same from the top.

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Honey Lavender, Earl Grey, Matcha

The crème brûlées were very smooth and creamy. I’m actually not a huge fan of crème brûlées, since the traditional ones are very eggy in flavour. However, these are completely different! Full of the flavour you choose, they are extremely delicious! The crystallized sugar is also torched perfectly, so it’s not burnt. I found the Matcha to be quite average. It’s good, but nothing too special. The Earl Grey was very strong in flavour. My favourite had to be the Honey Lavender. At first bite, you will think that it’s very “herby”, but soon after, the flavour sinks in, and it’s absolutely delicious! Perfect, if you like floral flavours.

Overall, we were extremely pleased with Cracke Crème. Quite pricey, so it’s something to splurge on, but I will definitely be revisiting to try the rest of the flavours!

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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!

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Portobello Ristorante

Italian Rice with Prawns, Squid, Sea Scallops, white wine, fresh herbs

Fresh mussels, steamed with butter garlic and white wine, touch of tomato sauce

FUNGO PORTOBELLO GRATINATO  Portobello mushroom stuffed with bread crumbs, fresh herbs  Served with roasted red pepper sauce
 Amaretto Di Saronno crème brulee

Torta di Nocciola

Hazelnut chocolate Cheese cake

Portobello Ristorante is said to be hidden gem in the neighbourhood when you have a look at the reviews online! So of course, I decided to go try it out! I had imagined it to be a very fancy restaurant, but it was actually quite family-oriented. It is apparently an Italian family owned restaurant and therefore, the food is quite authentic. Both the risotto and mussels were very delicious! It had great flavour. The portobello mushroom stuffed with bread crumbs was my favourite. I’m guessing this is their signature dish since the restaurant has the word portobello in its name! It was extremely moist and juicy, and crispy at the top. The hazelnut chocolate cheesecake and creme brulee were also exceptional! Definitely need to check this restaurant out! It’s casual, but the ambiance is lovely!

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Urban Tea Merchant

Mango Sorbet with Strawberries

Petite Afternoon Tea – macaroon, chocolate dipped strawberry, cinnamon chocolate tart, scone, curry sandwich, cucumber sandwich, tuna in crepe.

Creme Brulee Green Tea – subtle bouquets of red fruits and strawberries

Urban Tea Merchant was offering a great deal for a petite afternoon tea so my friends and I decided to go. At a regular price of $25, the afternoon tea was offered for  $19 for a specific time from 12-2pm. This set also included $5 that went towards your choice of tea. We were quickly greeted and seated by our server and he had a great knowledge of the teas, helping us figure out what we would like based on our personal tastes. My favourite was the mango sorbet as the strawberries and hint of mint complimented it very well. It was refreshing on a hot, sunny day and was great to start the meal off with. And although the high tea set looked very small, it was plentiful and filled me up by the end. The creme brulee tea was also nice as it had a hint of fruits. Ambiance was wonderful with the sound of water and soothing music in the atmosphere. They are also offering chilled teas for the summer which sound delicious! A great place to have some tea as they have such a large variety to choose from!

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