Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vancouver: I Cafe

Day after day
:Fairview:



I've been looking for the Vancity equivalent of Hong Kong cafe in Tdot's Chinatown. You'd think in a city with the largest diverse Chinese speaking majority I wouldn't have a problem. Course, my social circle is about one percent of what it was. It really does take a village to feed me. So I've been right here waiting...



Until I decided I couldn't take it anymore and tapped into the sister's network who unanimously suggested I Cafe. Then I surveyed a work colleague, and she ditto-ed it. So said co-worker and I popped in for lunch.

Hong Kong style cafe food is its own cuisine - at least in my books - and my favourite meal is Portuguese baked curry and a dong-lai-cha. I'm pretty sure I butchered the latter but I say it with love. It's just milk tea and it's sooooo good. The curry is a creamy yellow chicken curry and if I'm right (which I like to think I am) the dish originated in Macau. It's an organic fusion dish - organic in that it's a natural cross-over of cultures and flavours. This is the fusion food I live for. Forced fusion on the other hand? Recall my thoughts on Pidgin

We shared the spaghetti:


Egg? Sure, it makes the sauce carbonera-creamy. I brought some leftovers back to Riri. She's a spaghetti lover and she thought it was delicious.
The curry was not what I expected. The consistency was thinner and there was no gratin top that you get from a baked dish, but the flavours were there and it successfully squashed my craving. And it was an intense craving. I waited a year to eat this. 



With it's extensive menu, I Cafe is the perfect place for a big bite: the portions are large, the prices are good and the food is delicious. Winner winner Chinese chicken dinner.

I Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vancouver: South Ocean Seafood Restaurant

all hail king crab
:Richmond:






It's King crab season here on the west coast and that means feast! If you've never had fresh King crab you are missing out. The best way to eat it is in courses where they celebrate every bit of the goodness it has to offer. It's limited edition and it's a treat - the meat is juicier, flakier and tastier. The King of Chinese feasts.


Fresh King crab is subtly sweet and is best when it's prepared to showcase every bit of that subtly.

I joined the sister and her friends at South Ocean Seafood Restaurant. It's not commuter friendly since it's in Richmond, but we made it there in one piece. Apparently this place is at least $10 a pound cheaper than anywhere else.

The five of us gathered in your run of the mill setting: round tables, Lazy Susan, white table cloth, straightshootin' service and lively environment. We started with this:


Steamed with garlic. Simple to the point goodness.
Then we moved onto this:


Deep fried garlic-spice greatness.
And ended with this:


Baked rice awesomeness.
With tomalley (the gooey insides that many find disgusting but I find delightful)
You can add another course but there were only five of us which meant I spent more money that I intended. The ideal number is 6 to 8. It makes the meal bigger and the cost per person smaller. What was the damage you wonder? $64 per person. Yikes. Wouldn't do it again unless there were more mouths to feed.

South Ocean Seafood 南海漁村海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vancouver: Aphrodite's Pie Shop

oh my gosh
:Kitsilano:




Pie, there's so many ways to love you. Apple, blackberry apple, raspberry rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, pumpkin, pecan, cherry, chocolate banana cream...baby that's a whole lotta love.

Since I was literally next door to Aphrodite's I dropped in. You should probably know I would have just walked by if Ceecee hadn't told me about it. Last week when I told her I was heading to Bioethique she told me there was a great pie shop next to it. That's all it takes to get me to notice you. Get name dropped by one person I respect.

Course it takes a lot more for you to hold my interest. Aphrodite did with this:

$8 for a mini pie.
Expensive but delicious.
They don't have an extensive selection of mini pies, but I'll take what I can get and lucky for me...I like simple and standard: classic apple.

Great crust - held together well but still flaky.
Great ratio of filling to crust.
Great filling - sweet and tart.
I wouldn't trek all the way to Kits for this pie, but I will get it every time I'm there. I guess that makes Aphrodite a friend of convenience. Better that than no friend at all.


Aphrodite's Organic Café and Pie Shop on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 17, 2014

Vancouver: The BoatHouse Restaurant

memories carry on
:West End:



I am not down with the BoatHouse. At no fault of his own, he just doesn't do it for me. I think it's because he seems outdated. But I had Momma GG to think about, and by now we all know she loves seafood. 

The more important deciding factor was actually a $100 gift certificate I was sitting on. 

Free food. No brainer.

Papa GG took me to the one in Richmond long long ago. When I was a young pipsqueak. I still remember going even if I have no other details to go with that memory. It makes me smile. Momma GG felt the same way.

Now that I've disclosed the why, here's the what. Beautiful view. Friendly hosts. Sloppy table service. Our waiter failed to tell us about the specials, which would have saved me some money. But seeing as it wasn't my money in the first place, I'll let it slide.

The food was surprisingly okay. I was expecting it to be terrible since the chain has been going downhill for a decade. He's failed to adapt and one could argue the restaurant's staying true to himself but considering the many empty tables...hm. 

Here's the bottom line: The Boathouse is like dating a no-go-getter in your 30s. There's no upside. It's not going to go anywhere, you won't be better for it, but it will be a waste of your time and money even if it gives you a good memory or two. So if your choice in men is as bad as you are with money, you can eat here. The view is awesome, the food won't kill you but that's as good as it gets.

Coconut shrimp appetizer with over-salted sauce and pretty good mango salsa.
Momma GG's halibut was really good, everything else on the plate was mediocre.


My steak was terrible, but the lobster was alright - a tad overcooked but good.


It goes without saying I wouldn't go back. In fact I wouldn't have gone but for the fact the sister re-gifted the gift certificate. It's shamefully mediocre food at a premium cost. Public opinion rules and they say: why go here, when there's Joey or Cactus. I agree.

Overpriced and underwhelming but it was a perfect date night for Momma GG and me. She had fun, enjoyed the view and her food. Thanks Boathouse but sorry, I don't ever want to see you again. But I commend you, even though you're sinking like a stone, (you) carry on.

Boathouse on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 14, 2014

Vancouver: Earnest Ice Cream II

on repeat
:Multiple Locations:

I get obsessed. When I want something, I have to immediately go out and get it. When I like something, I must keep buying it. And I do this on repeat for a while. Not everything lasts through the honeymoon phase, but if it does, I usually love it for life.

Thank god this doesn't apply to humans. Only materialistic objects and things with no value or meaning or altruistic intent. Does that make me shallow? OMG. I think I just had a psychological breakthrough. I'm laughing. Are you?

Anyway, yes I'm posting about Earnest Ice Cream again. Yes, it's still a best ever. I'll stop posting on it after this. And not because my love affair with this ice cream ended, but because much like Facebook status updates, I know no one really cares.

Whiskey Hazelnut. The best flavour of the best ice cream.

Whiskey-fueled creamy goodness with whole roasted hazelnuts riddled throughout.
That's really all there is to say.

Well, and this:

P.S. Edible Canada seems to have the best selection, with the sweetest staff. It's $0.95 more, but if you're paying $11 for ice cream, is that really an issue.

P.P.S. I know I skipped over the fact I've been MIA. Was lost traveling, but now I am found.