Friday, November 28, 2014

Cucina Manila

  I haven't had filipino food in weeks! Definitely 'bout that time I satisfy that craving haha! Since I was in a pinch for time being that it's finals season, skytrain food was the only way to go LOL! I didn't have the time to go to an actual sit down restaurant, so I went to Cucina Manila for some quick filipino homestyle grub! It's like the Sushi Garden of sushi LOL! It's not the best filipino food ever, but it's pretty decent for what it is! :D

  Cucina Manila currently has 3 locations in the GVR, all strategically placed in close proximity of skytrain stations: one in Van, near Joyce Station, another in Richmond, near Richmond-Bridgehouse, this one, across from Surrey Central, and another one opening soon underneath the New West skytrain! This one is one of their larger locations, with tons of seating! This one was also the most well stocked, and had a larger selection of food!

Pork Adobo
2.5/5 stars
  This was a pretty standard version of pork adobo. Checked the boxes, but nothing out of the ordinary. The base had a heavy vinegar hint, with was levelled out with a sweet soy sauce element. The chicken pieces were chewy but soaked up the flavours of the broth nicely.

3/5 stars
  The next three dishes I honestly don't know the names of LOL! The dishes weren't labeled or anything, and I was in a hurry so I didn't ask. 
  This was my favourite one out of the bunch! It was sweet-savoury, and the fatty pieces on the pork were really tender! The lean pieces were really dry though, but it wasn't a big deal.

2/5 stars
  This tasted really similar to chinese stewed pork! It was predominately salty, with a heavy soy sauce base. The pork pieces were semi tender, with a few fatty pieces.

1.5/5 stars
  This was the most disappointing of the bunch. The beef pieces were really hard, and the base tasted predominately like soy sauce, and was rather flat toned. The onions didn't help that much either.


The rice portions here are also really large! :D Yayy!! hehe 

Buko Pandan Hopia

They also sell a ton of pastries/cakes! They also have these mini cakes in a ube, yellow bean, and red bean version!

Cucina Manila on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chau VeggieExpress - Hipster Vietnamese food!

  What do Vietnamese food, vegans, and hipsters all have in common?  Not much really LOL
...unless you're at Chau Veggiexpress! When you first walk in, you're greeted with reclaimed wood, industrial light fixtures, and a hipster kitchen crew. You're expecting quinoa. Or kale. Or something gluten free. (Don't get offended LOL, I'm only joking ;)
You take a look at the menu. There's pho. There's vermicelli.  There's spring rolls. What's going on here? You look again. There's no meat in the pho. None of your beloved rare beef! Instead, the broth is made out of lychee/ dates. Hmm, sounds interesting, so you order it. Then you spot taro chips. That's new...then you realize they also have vegan icecream, with exotic flavours like rose and Thai iced tea. The food finally arrives, in huge bowls, covered in a mountain of kale. My waistline will thank me, you think.

Sidenote: I'm testing out a new writing style! I think it'll be pretty fun and it'll give you guys a different perspective on my dining experiences at restaurants! :D I came up with this idea at 7:30 in the morning when I was lying in bed half awake LOL...

Another Sidenote: this was my last meal with my grandma...until she comes back from Taiwan in march *sadface* no more weekly epic feasts! :(

Taro Chips $6.50
4/5 stars
  asdfsdf...taro, in chip form?!! This was so awesome!! Don't you just love the presentation? The chips tasted as good as they looked, they were super crunchy, airy, and full of taro flavour! It also came with a spicy siracha/chipotle dip on the side!

Golden Temple Coconut Curry $10.75

3/5 stars
  This was delicious as well! The broth was really thick and hearty, full of coconut-ny flavour with a dash of tumeric! It was loaded with kale, broccoli, califlower, tofu pockets and shredded carrots! Doesn't look like a lot, but the bowl was huge and really filling! It also came with a side of quinoa!

Diving For Pearls Pho $10.25
4/5 stars
   Meatless pho? I never thought food sans meat would taste so good LOL! The broth is made out of a lychee date base, so it's sweet-savoury! The lychee adds a tartness and the date lightly sweetens the broth! There was a ton of al dente pho noodles which soaked up all of the flavours of the broth. This one also had a ton of kale, broccoli, tofu pockets, and mushrooms in it too!

The curry also came with a bowl of quinoa!

 Taramind Soda
3/5 stars
  The taramind spiced soda tasted exactly like taramind! It was actually really sour, but I liked how it wasn't sweetened! Super tasty and a great way to end a meal!

 Thai Iced Tea Vegan Icecream
3/5 stars
  Thai Iced Tea...in icecream form? Andd it's vegan?! Get out! Obviously I had to try this! It did taste like thai tea, with a strong ceylon flavour. The ice cream was really smooth and decorated with coconut flakes on top!

Sesame w/ Rose Syrup Vegan Icecream
3.5/5 stars
  I couldn't resist getting another icecream hehe...this was one awesome as well! The rose syrup really tasted like rose petals, and it smelled heavenly too! The sesame was strong, and the ice cream was super creamy!

Ginger Spiced Tapioca Pudding with Cranberries, Cardamon Spiced Pavloca, Coconut Meat and ginger spiced caramel $5
3/5 stars
  This is one of their holiday features! I loved how they added small tapioca pearls, because I love my pearls LOL! The cranberry sauce added a nice tartness, and the pudding itself wasn't overly sweet. The cookie bits on top were soft and crumbly, and the cardamon added an extra punch of flavour!

Artichoke & Goji Berry Tea
3.5/5 stars
  This was super refreshing! It was actually pretty sweet, but the goji favour was really strong! I couldn't really pick up any artichoke in it though LOL!



CHAU VeggiExpress 素食速遞 on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Wallflower - Main St.

  Rrmember I told you guys I drank coffee yesterday? Andd I NEVER drink coffee...so I pretty much got zero sleep last night LOL. I'm still buzzing from the caffeine, 18 hours later lol.

   Anyways...I digress (like I always do haha)
A few days ago I decided to go for "brunch" (i didnt really order brunch lol) at the Wallflower! I fell victim to another "This place was featured on the food network!"...lol. I know, I know, just because a place was featured on TV doesn't mean they're good! Nevertheless, I wanted to check this place out!  The Wallflower was featured on "You Gotta Eat Here!" basically Canada's version of Diners, Driveins, and Dives. Located on Main St, aka Hipster Central, their menu caters to vegans, the gluten intolerant, meat eaters, and everyone in between!

Their daily specials! 

Wellington Meatloaf (2 pieces) $14
2/5 stars
  This was...meh. Considering that this is one of their signature dishes, my expectations were alot higher. The entire thing just tasted overwhelmingly like relish. And not in a good way. The relish favour was so strong it completely masked the gravy. On the up side, the meat was sufficiently tender. I liked how the edges were breaded and crispy. But other than that, this was a disappointment. As for the mash potatoes, they weren't whisked in butter, so they were a bit plain, but they were fluffy haha!

Wallflower Modern Diner on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Root's Cafe - Main St

  Roots is a little cafe on Main St, famous for their butter chicken poutine!! Apparently it won first in Vancouver Foodster's Butter Poutine challenge!  Sadlyy, I didn't try it, because lately, for some weird reason I've been getting a rash on my face everytime I consume something with butter/milk in it! It usually goes away in an hour or so, but it still suckss, because almost everything has milk in it LOL!! And I'm a food blogger haha!! I can't have food restrictions! What would that mean for my blog?!

  Anywayss...LOL Roots serves breakfast and lunch, but they also have an impressive selection of dairy free/nut/gluten free house made pastries! Interesting items on the menu that I really wanted to try were their vegan fafalel burgers and curry mayo fries!

 Quinoa Bowl w/ Mango Curry Sauce & Chicken
4.5/5 stars
  Woww, this was SO good!! The combination of flavours meshed together beautifully! The sweetness of the beets, paired with the tanginess of the mango curry, with the grassy flavour of the vegetables was a winning combination! The vegetables were steamed and everything tasted really fresh! This was actually served warm instead of cold!

I loveddd it, clearly LOL ;)

They have a ton of nut, dairy, gluten, free goodies!! :D

Later in the day I had a gingerbread latte (with almond milk) from Blenz,to keep myself preoccupied while I was waiting for the bus haha! This was actually pretty disappointing, it didn't taste like gingerbread at all!! I want my $5 back!! :(

Roots Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jethro's Fine Grub

   I use to watch the  food network alot back in highschool with my mom LOL...especially reruns of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives! So turns out Guy Fieri visited this place LOL...so being the sucker that I am, I decided to make a visit after I saw a picture of their gigantic pancakes on instagram!! And no haha, we didn't end up ordering their pancakes because we knew we wouldn't be able to finish it! Their pancakes are so big they can easily feed 4 people! The place was completely packed, you have to put your name on a list and we ended up waiting outside for 20 mins!

'Gater Nuggets $14 w/ basmati rice & salad
3.5/5 stars
  My grandma had the gater nuggets because she really wanted to try alligator meat LOL!! When it came, I thought it looked really similar to Taiwanese chicken nuggets haha! The batter was very well executed, it was super airy, crunchy, and not oily at all! The meat was similar in texture to chicken! It was dusted with a light coating of spices and served with white bbq sauce on the side!

Chocolate Chip Banana  French Toast $12
2/5 stars
  This was alright, not as good as I was expecting it to be! The description made it sound amazing, but in reality, it was rather mediocre. It just tasted like a doughier, weak version of banana bread. On the up side it wasn't overly sweet! We shared this as a dessert and we couldn't finish it, so we packed most of it home!

La Nina - Corn Cake w/ Tex Mex Chilli $12
2/5 stars
  This was just okay as well - I found the hollandaise sauce to be on the weak side and not flavourful enough. The chilli was mushy, a bit spicy but rather one note. The corn cake was tasty though, it was soft, fluffy, and really moist! The salad that came on the side was fresh and crunchy, and quite large!

Here's a look at the chilli!

They also have some Mexican sauces on the tables! My grandma really liked the salsa chipotle! 

LOL at their tagline "Please Eat Responsibly!!" You could do some serious damage here ;)


Jethro's Fine Grub on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rosemary Rocksalt - Amazing Bagels!


  Soo, I've been having a hankering for a good ol' bagel lately. And ever since I spotted Rosemary Rocksalt on my way to Miura Waffle Bar, I've been dying to try it out! I've actually never had a "proper" bagel LOL, the last time I had a bagel was from superstore 3 years ago...haha. But Vancouver isn't really known for their bagels anyways haha, New York bagels is where its at!! ;)

  Rosemary Rocksalt is the sister store to the famous Segel's Bagels on the West End, soo my expectations were high! They're known for their namesake Rosemary Rocksalt bagel and their montreal smoked meat, which is supposedly as good as the real ones far east!

I think I've died and gone to bagel heaven <3

This is seww cute haha! For all you indecisive people out there! ;)

(Click to Enlarge) here's a look at their menu!

Lox and Cream Cheese on a Rosemary Rocksalt Bagel $9
4/5 stars
  This was awesome!! I forgot to ask them to omit the onions haha, so I ended up picking them off! The bagel itself actually wasn't that big, so I was still hungry after lol, so I got a side of fries!Their namesake bagel, the rosemary rocksalt, was delicious! It was salty, fragrant, with a hint of rosemary! The combination worked really well together, the smoked salmon had a strong smoky flavour, and the cream cheese was creamy and smooth, but didn't overpower the other flavours. The lox was salty and added an extra punch!

Fries $3
3.5/5 stars
  I really like their fries, they're thick cut, full of potatoey flavour and well seasoned! I also really like how they serve it in a cute little bowl LOL! It didn't look like alot, but after polishing them off I was stuffed haha!

Harney & Sons Jasmine Tea $2
3/5 stars
Woww, this tea slapped me in the face...hard LOL! It was insanely bitter, but in a strangely pleasant way haha. It was super zippy and the jasmine flavour was really strong. Quality stuff!

Indeed my friend, indeed ;)



Rosemary Rocksalt on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bon Vietnamese Cafe - Main St


  I never use to be a sandwich type person LOL! But lately, I've been really into carbs. There's just something about that chewiness that's SO comforting lol! Well, I decided to kill my bread craving with a visit to Bon Cafe for some bahn mi!

  With the ever so popular Au Petite Cafe just a few doors down, you'd think that Bon wouldn't survive! But Bon does, and after a meal here, I can see why! So the next time you don't want to wait in line at Au Petite, come here instead haha! The food's well made, large portioned, and pretty tasty! Don't hate me for this haha, but I actually prefer Bon's Banh Mi over Au Petite's! I'll definitely come back to try more of their food hehe!

  I've heard that their pho is pretty solid, and that they use real pork bone for their soup base, and from what I observed, that was what most people were ordering!

Grilled Pork Bahn Mi $6.50 Combo
4/5 stars
  This was really yummy! Is it wrong that I actually like this better than Au Petite's Meatball Bahn Mi? lol! The pork was lightly charred and flavourful, but what really made the sandwich was the sweet mayo/hoisin sauce! The bread was lightly toasted and really crunchy, and there was not shortage of veggies!

Spring Roll
4/5 stars
  These were great as well! I like "bubblier" spring rolls, as opposed to conventional rice wrapped ones! The exterior was crunchy and exhibited a nice crunch when I bit into it. The interior was moist, and the mushroom flavour really came through! The fish sauce that came on the side was more of a sweet chili based sauce than a fish sauce.
  
The combo also came with a side of pop, pretty good deal imo! :D



Bon Cafe 捧牛肉粉 on Urbanspoon
 

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