CACAO 70 Dip Shop

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I’ve been wanting to try CACAO 70 for a while now, but the other locations were a bit out of the way for me. So when I heard the dip shop opened in Steveston Village in Richmond, I was excited to go check it out. The shop is quite small with only a few seats, so it’s more of a grab and go spot. Love the cute decor inside the store though! You can get waffles, drinks, and of course their famous dipped ice cream.

 

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There are a variety of melted chocolate or dips to choose from. The ice cream itself is a vanilla soft serve that comes from the machine. The ice cream is then inverted and dipped into your dip of choice. I found the dip to take a while to really harden though.

 

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Sesame Dipped Soft Serve

I chose the Sesame Dipped Soft Serve and like I said, I found the dip to take too long to harden. Even after getting my pictures, the dip didn’t really harden to a shell. You would need to wait quite a while if you wanted that texture. Instead, it’s a soft flexible shell. The sesame dip has a white chocolate base so I also found the dip to be too sweet for me. However, S didn’t seem to mind it. The ice cream itself was creamy but I wouldn’t say it’s anything to go crazy about.

Overall, the soft serve is decent and if you have a sweet tooth, then this is a nice option if you’re looking for something other than Timothy’s at Steveston Village.

Pros:
– Unique twist to traditional soft serve
– Soft serve is creamy and smooth

Cons:
– Some flavours are on the sweeter side

Price Range: $5-10 per person

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

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free and paid parking in Steveston Village Overall: 3

 

CACAO 70 Dip Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Salt & Straw

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A trip to Salt & Straw is a must when visiting Portland. Now that they opened a location in Seattle, I guess that makes it more convenient for us to visit as well. After lunch at The Waiting Room, we walked by Salt & Straw and of course a line up had formed.

 

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The line moved a bit slow this time so we probably waited 30 minutes before we got our ice cream. The nice thing is that you can try as many flavours as you want once it’s your turn.

 

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The waffle cones are freshly made and smells delicious throughout the store. They have classic flavours but also seasonal flavours that switch up every month.

 

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Honey Lavender and Smoked Sea Salt with Chocolate Covered Feuilletine

The last time I visited, I had the Honey Lavender and I loved it. So of course, I had to get it one more time. Both the honey and lavender are sourced in Portland. If you enjoy floral flavours, then this is perfect for you. As for the Smoked Sea Salt with Chocolate Covered Feuilletine, this was part of their limited edition flavours. The ice cream features a cherry-wood smoked sea salt-base with chocolate-covered feuilletine folded into it. The feuillentine are light and crispy! Love the sweet and salty pairing of this ice cream.

Overall, Salt & Straw did not disappoint once again! Worth the wait and a must when visiting Portland!

Pros:
– Great flavours and well executed

Cons:
– Be prepared to wait in line!

Price Range: USD$5-7 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free street parking on weekends Overall: 4

 

Salt & Straw Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ruby Jewel Scoops

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Ruby Jewel Scoops was nearby our hotel, so after doing some shopping, I suggested we grab a snack. The shop features handmade ice cream and are also famous for making ice cream sandwiches with their cookies! There was a bit of a line up in the afternoon, especially because they only had two people scooping. You can choose to have your ice cream in a cup or add an extra dollar for a waffle cone.

 

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Caramel with Salted Chocolate

We decided to get a single scoop of Caramel with Salted Chocolate to share. The ice cream was creamy and it was not too sweet because the salted chocolate balanced it out. The waffle cone itself was okay but I prefer the ones at Rain or Shine. Decent size for the price and nice that it’s conveniently located where all the shopping is.

Pros:
– Great variety of flavours to choose from – many of which use local ingredients

Cons:
– Waffle cone is just average

Price Range: USD$3-8 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Paid street parking Overall: 3.5

 

Ruby Jewel Scoops Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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

Milk & Eggs

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Milk & Eggs is one of the newest spots in Richmond, located in the plaza on Odlin and Cambie. They started off with only dessert, but looks like they have expanded their menu for dinner. I decided to check it out with J on a weekday for dinner, but was surprised to find we were the only patrons dining. Seems like not many people know about the place. However, later in the night, it did pick up but most people only came here for the desserts and not dinner.

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Garlic Butter Fries

We started off with the Garlic Butter Fries which came with a side of home made ketchup and aioli. The flavour was on point, but I have no idea why the fries were so short. It made it very annoying to eat and it felt like we were given the scraps. If they could fix this, then they would be perfect.

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Mussels in White Wine Cream Sauce

We ordered the Mussels in White Wine Cream Sauce but got it in the appetizer size, which was great for sharing. Sadly, we found these to be just average. Nothing wrong with them, but the sauce was not as good as many other restaurants we have tried. For the price, I would much rather go to Rodneys.

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Shitake Mushroom stuffed Meatballs on Fettuccine 

What we enjoyed the most for dinner was the Shitake Mushroom stuffed Meatballs on Fettuccine. The flavours for the pasta was spot on and we loved the cheese on top. The meatballs were stuffed with shitake mushroom and were huge and crispy on the outside. Really tasty, but the portions are quite small for $15. For a cafe style restaurant in Richmond, the prices are hard to compete even if the quality is there since there are so many options for diners.

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Ice Cream Party Bowl

We decided to go all out for dessert even though we were super full and got the Ice Cream Party Bowl. It’s recommended for a maximum of 4 people, but J is a huge dessert guy, so I was counting on him to finish this. Milk & Eggs is known for their homemade ice cream with many Asian flavours, such as durian and thai iced tea. We got M.E. Vanilla, Black Sesame, Thai Iced Tea, and Earl Grey. The flavours were all really strong and we especially liked the Thai Iced Tea. However, they can work on the consistency of the ice cream as it’s not creamy enough. As for all the decorations for the party bowl, I honestly didn’t really like it as they were too sweet with fruits and oreo cookies. Therefore, next time, I would just stick to the individual scoops of ice cream and skip the fancy party bowl.

Overall, service was friendly and attentive. Ambiance is dimly lit and very cozy for a restaurants in Richmond. However, I don’t know if I can justify coming back for dinner with some of the prices and portions you get. It’s hard to compete with chain restaurants and I feel like the clientele in Richmond just won’t pay these prices. However, I am excited about their ice creams as we really don’t have any homemade ice cream shops like Earnest Ice Cream in Richmond. Plus, they open late so it’s a great place to go for a date or hang out with friends.

Pros:
– Ice cream flavours are very strong
– Open late

Cons:
– Dishes for dinner are slightly on the pricey side

Price Range: $20-30

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

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

Milk & Eggs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rain or Shine Ice Cream

Rain or Shine Ice Cream has been around for quite some time now and they have even opened up their second location on Cambie. For whatever reason, I had never visited the shop and thank god I finally did! MH, MW, S and I visited the Cambie store in the afternoon on a sunny day after lunch.

They make their waffles fresh in store but you can also have your ice cream in a cup. Their signature flavours are always on the menu, and the seasonal flavours will switch up based on what ingredients are fresh. “The ice cream is made from scratch in house using fresh, natural and sustainable whole ingredients, source locally, seasonally and organically whenever possible.”

Malted Milk Chocolate and Honey Lavender

We ended up choosing the Malted Milk Chocolate (on top) which features homemade honeycomb (free of corn syrup) coated in 70% dark chocolate and mixed into a Belgian milk chocolate base. Malted Barley is added to enhance the richness of this ice cream. We absolutely loved the crunch of the malted chocolate along with the sweetness of the honeycomb. The Honey Lavender (bottom) is made with organic and floral alfalfa honey from Aldergrove Farms paired with lavender from Tuscan farms in Maple Ridge. I’m a huge fan of floral, so this was my cup of tea!

Overall, we loved the ice cream here and the creative flavours they offer. The price is on par with the other gourmet ice cream shops in Vancouver and I felt the portions were pretty good for a double scoop (perfect for sharing). And did you know that their ice cream is 100% dairy with no eggs, no modified milk ingredients or artificial extracts? What goes into our food is really important these days and ice cream is no exception! Will be returning for some more ice cream before summer ends, but I guess they are open rain or shine anyways!

Pros:
– Creative and tasty flavours
– Seasonal flavours so you don’t get sick of the same ones!

Cons:
– Can have massive line ups on sunny days
– Waffle cones are okay in my opinion. I like the ones at Timothy’s more.

Price Range: $5-10

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: 4 Overall: 4

Rain or Shine Ice Cream Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wild Sweets

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

Thanks to Jacqueline, I was invited to Wild Sweets for a tasting of their new summer products. I live in Richmond and am always on the lookout for new restaurants, but looks like I’ve missed this one. Tucked away in the commercial offices behind Ironwood mall, Wild Sweets offers a small retail section but focuses on selling to retailers. However, they have recently launched their new summer collection: Prêt-á-Manger, which is only available at this retail location.

Mousse Chocolat Milk

We got to try their whole collection, with each container sold for $4.99. If you purchase 5, you can get 1 free. The first set were mousse based, so they were all very creamy. Each were topped with chocolate pearls. Flavours for the mousse included:

  • Mousse Chocolat Milk: milk chocolate mousse & passion fruit creme brulee cream
  • Mousse Chocolat Dark: dark chocolate creme brulee cream
  • Mousse Chocolat White: white chocolate lemon zest mousse & raspberry fruit creme brulee cream

Mousse Chocolat Dark

Mousse Chocolat White

My favourite was the white chocolate as I love the pairing of white chocolate and raspberry. I liked how it wasn’t too tart or sweet.

Tarte Banane

Next up, we sampled the tartes which containes housemade cookie, cream, and fruit. These are great if you want more texture as you’ll get some crunchy parts as well. The tartes come in four flavours:

  • Tarte Banane: banana custard cream & white chocolate
  • Tarte Citron: lemon custard cream & white chocolate chantilly
  • Tarte Chocolat: chocolate creme brulee cream & dark chocolate chantilly
  • Tarte Framboise: raspberry custard cream & white chocolate chantilly

Tarte Citron

This was my favourite out of the tarte collection as I loved the fresh lemon flavour without it being overly sour. It was just the right balance.

Tarte Chocolat

Tarte Framboise

Pistachio Strawberry Ice Cream

Lastly, we got to sample my favourite items, which were the ice creams! The ice creams come in 3 flavours:

  • Pistachio Strawberry Ice Cream: strawberry sorbet, vanilla ice cream & pistachio butter parfait
  • Peanut Butter & Banana Ice Cream: banana ice cream, chocolate ice cream & peanut butter parfait
  • Hazelnut Passion Fruit Ice Cream: passion apricot sorbet, chocolate ice cream & hazelnut butter parfait

These were all delicious but my favourite had to be the Pistachio Strawberry. The sorbet was so refreshing and I loved the nutty flavour of the pistachio.

Peanut Butter & Banana Ice Cream

Hazelnut Passion Fruit Ice Cream

I think what’s worthy to note is that the goodies at Wild Sweet go through intense research to get to where they are. The owners, Dominique and Cindy Duby, are world-acclaimed chefs, chocolate makers, and designer chocolatiers. They really know what they are doing and have even written cookbooks and won many awards.

They also use a bean to bar approach so all the chocolate is actually made in house from the start of the bean. I find that very amazing as their production facility is quite small and taking this approach can be very costly. Everything is produced in house, except for the chocolate pearls. They really pride themselves in the quality of their products.

Other than the new Prêt-á-Manger collection, you can find chocolates and fruit confits. Their fruit jams are to die for! The intensity of the fruit flavours are so strong and only contain 20% added sugar.

Their selection of chocolates and confections make great gifts for family and friends.

At the end of our tasting, we got to take home some delicious snacks, including some of their chocolate bars, the buttered caramel popcorn, and the dark chocolate bark. Everyone at home really enjoyed these and devoured them in no time!

Overall, I am extremely happy to have discovered Wild Sweets and learned a ton about chocolate from the owners. They are truly passionate about what they do and it is amazing to see how much time into perfecting each product. Currently, the retail store hours are only Saturday 10AM-4PM, but if you order online, you can arrange for pickup by appointment.

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