Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lin Chinese Cuisine

Lin Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon mmm! I think I love Lin Chinese Cuisine. Growing up in a Chinese household, all I ate for most of my life was Chinese food. My parents would sometimes have "western nights" where we would eat slices of ham with cream of mushroom soup. haha. I don't really like Chinese food and I definitely do not like rice anymore. I went to Lin yesterday for my usual family lunch and it was a good experience :)

We sat down near the window.. the service was nice.. although a little confusing because some spoke mandarin and others spoked cantonese. I tried to use my weak ass mandarin but I don't think she understood me! haha.. I'll just stick with canto..

We ordered south asian pancakes with curry sauce, pan fried pork buns, xiao long bao, tan tan noodles, and rice. By the kitchen, there's an area where they knead the dough to make the noodles and buns and stuff I think. That made me happy because it meant everything was freshly made :)

The tan tan mien came first.. I couldn't eat it because it was too spicy for me.. but my parents really enjoyed it.. saying it's even better than the ones they had in some popular restaurant in HK (or it was popular but went downhill..). I really liked the xiao long bao.. I used to hate them because I thought the soup inside was undeliberate and actaully fat.. so I always avoided them. but the dumpling was very soft and tender. Very good.

The pan fried pork buns, for me, was too salty. but don't listen to me.. apparently they were good too. the pan cakes things were crispy and good with the curry- although I prefer roti more

Finally we had the red bean pancakes (dou sa wo bang) for dessert.. mm.. I've had better unforunately.

One of the women that worked there was so nice to us. Too bad i didn't understand anything she said (fucking mandarin.. I actually learned for 5 years but it was really early or Sat Mornings and we read Christian comics in Mandarin..) The sun was blinding our eyes and so she told us to move the table forward whenever the sun was in our eyes, and then when the sun moved, to move our table backwards again. haha! I think that was the only downside to Lins. so if you ever go, stay away from the window.

Apparently there's free underground parking in the back, so that's always good for busy broadway. We didn't know and had to pay stupid parking meter outside.

If you ever need good sichuan food, go to lin! :) It's cheap too- 4.99-5.99/dish ish. and at lunch, they have a special for 5.99 I think.. but the food sounds very western-asian .. like sweet and sour pork and lemon chicken.. so maybe stay away from that unless you want a quick lunch..

(pardon my navy blue nail polish.. it's my current obsession)
Oh we also went to Ba Le french Sandwich shop.. it's so small in the smallest little strip mall ever. If you didn't even know about it nor are you ever on Kingsway, you would never find it! Inside, theres one table but most people go there to get a quick banh mi. I got the bbq pork banh mi... but it was kind of cold inside.. hum.. I need to try au petit cafe.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lime

Lime is a hip Japanese restaurant on the further end of Commercial Drive. I've wanted to go to this restaurant for god knows how long.. but whenever I venture onto the drive, I always get suckered into eating something else.. After getting of the Skytrain this time, I was determined on trying Lime. Even though I was swayed by places such as Riddim & Spice and Clove, my heart was set out on crossing this place off my go to list once and for all. Even Tio Pepe next door couldn't stop me!

Upon entering, the restaurant was definitely a bit above the rest of the japanese joints in Vancouver. Interior designs were beautiful.. from the square plates to the raw sushi bar. There was live music being played which was kind of cool.. until it got too loud and me and my friend were basically yelling at each other the entire night. The music also reminded me of Charlie Brown.. I don't know if that's good or bad. Do I want a dancing Snoopy in my mind as I ate? not particularly.

My friend also ordered a green tea, expecting it to be complimentary like the water, but no. it was 3 dollars. damn. We also ordered the unagi roll, mini burgers, and crispy avocado.

The unagi roll were pretty good- but I personally love bbq eel. most of my white friends won't dare try it. wusses.

The mini burgers were really cute. I liked the concept of using tofu, rice crackers, and rice as the buns. Very delicious! Unfortunately, I didn't like the crispy avocado. I didn't even taste supposed mozza cheese inside. I just got rice and avo. ehhh.

We also ordered a dessert, we were interested in the mousse. It comes wiht a rice bowl on top of it, so we lifted up the bowl and it's this dinky little cuplet of mousse. Since we were sharing, we were each trying to take little mouse scoops of the mousse to make it last. but honestly, I could have ate it all in one bite. 6 bucks.. fucking serious?

The place was pretty dead.. maybe it's the price, maybe it's the location, maybe it's the loud music that causes no form of conversation to be had. I do believe it is a nice restaurant, but too many wrongs unfortunately do not make a right.

Lime on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

cooking!

I loveee to cook :) but I can't cook at my apt because of crappyass ventilation that causes the whole place to smell like fish or eggs after. gross. So when I go home, I look forward to watching random stupid tv shows (a la paris hilton bff one b/c I also don't have tv) and cooking. So here's what I made..
Pan Seared Steak Rolls with veggies inside. I wanted to make this for quite some time now, but haven't had the chance.. it was surprisingly good! Recipe
i Love crab cakes! they are so delicious.. I made this one on top of an asian slaw. My mother had this vegetable cutter thing, but I must be retarded because I couldn't get it to work at all, so I ended up cutting all the veggies by hand.. Which reminds me of that time I made a whole bowl of coleslaw.. it took me ages to cut up everything. and I used to have a huge fear of knives too! The asian slaw was pretty good, i think it's because I used peanut butter in it .

A Sweet Potato soup that was easy peasy. I love my big new york mugs. I know they are tacky NYC souvenirs that are overpriced marketed towards attract tourists, but damnit, it worked on me.
Dessert: Oreomisu. I think I went too mascarpone crazy because it was kinda overpowering- in a bad way. I don't like oreos much either but I liked the concept, that's why I tried to make it. Now i have a big bag of oreos at home.. oi.

Lastly, I made a pie! memories from grade 10 cooking class comes rushing back.. I used to have the most hardest time with pastry. fucking hell, and this time it was no exception. I just need more practice. It sure looks pretty on picture, but in real life, this pie looked pretty hellish haha.

Socrates+Pappagallo

It's nearing the end stretch for me in school.. everything is falling into place rather smoothly, except for one more big big paper I have. Me and my roomie were chilling in our living room, talking about summer exchange to europe and beautiful paris and how she wants to go to Spain and I want to go to Ukraine... when all of a sudden this loud awful beeping came on. It was the fucking fire alarm.
After taking 10 minutes of torturous ringing because concindentally it was time for me to enroll in classes, we left and decided to go somewhere close for a quick bite.

I've always wanted to go to Pappagallo Cafe.. home of the supposed ultimate cheesecake. Inside, there was one other table.. the cheesecakes were displayed prominently.. there were blueberry, strawberry, pb chocolate, cappuchino, etc... The fruit ones looked kind of weird but the chocolate cheesecakes sure looked yummy. We got the Turtles one to go for 3.75. I must say it was pretty cheap! The ones at Trees Cafe is around 7-9 bucks? Too expensive! but nice manager owner man :)

The cheesecake itself was very creamy and the crust wasn't very hard. I prefer hard cheesecakes so I wasn't too fond of the creaminess. You can definitely taste the cream cheese though. I didn't like the crust either, I felt like it overpowered the whole thing. But for 3.75, I won't be complaining too much.

We then crossed the street over to Socrates for an early dinner (we do mean early- 4:00. stupid daylight savings is messing my dinner time up! hah). I've been here one time before for my friend's surprise birthday dinner. I don't remember much from it except they ran out of glasses and stuff from the overload of people..

It was really dark inside, as they were preparing for some birthday dinner coming up. We were situated by the window, and the waitress quickly comes over. She seems to really despise her job.. She was basically a robot with her response to us, and it was just really awful. Like she would say Thank you, very good choice, quick and easy choices, I am fine thank you for asking.. stuff like that in the most monotone boring i-hate-my-life voice ever! Her attitude got me depressed! I personally find waitressing to be a lot of fun- communicating with customers etc.. I mean sometimes you get real jerks or some days is just off, but I don't ever SHOW it

Anyways, we ordered the roast lamb and lamb souvlaki. It took AGES to get out. We sat there staring out the window, beginning to contemplate that maybe Hong Sushi across the street might have been a better choice to eat at..

The food comes, and it was ok. We both thought the lamb was too fatty and not lean enough. Everything else was edible.. and standard greek food.

I guess it's a good thing both our dishes cost lest than 11 bucks. We couldn't help it and had to go over to Hong Sushi after to look at their menu, and dang do their sushi rolls look good for their cheap price. I might have to come one day! (sure as hell not go to Tataya sushi a block away.. all you can eat sushi for 10.95, but it's really sketchy and gross..)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vita Bella


I live in burnaby and I have to travel down hastings everytime I go downtown. I love staring out the window and looking at various shops and restaurants. Some are funny (double one? peninsula with a cow and chicken on the sign? best one yet .. tin tin.. hahahahaha..then laughter dies down. and Tan tan appears LOL) some remind me that I have to go to them one day.. like sfinaki, pear tree, papagallo cafe, and baci... but when I do go down hastings, it's always for downtown, never FOR hastings.. but this time I finally went to one of these restaurants.. vita bella

Before my friend's play, we decided to check out this super cute restaurant. We arrived around 5:30 and I saw people eating chopsticks inside.. wtf, is this some japanese restaurant in disguise? it was just their staff eating a quick dinner before the dinner rush came in... that's fine, but in front of the window?? The service was ok.. nothing spectacular or bad.. The complimentary bread tasted a little stale.. my friend ordered the fettucine and I had the penne del vio.. It took a while to arrive, when it does, there's this stick coming out of both our pastas.. It wasn't a very pretty presentation..

The pasta itself wasn't cooked al dente.. it was undercooked. The fettucine was ok apparently. We didn't have time to complain since we had to go see the play! We barely made it back too :S Til the time we left, no other tables were filled except one (7:00).

I don't think I"ll be back, but I can't wait til I try that japanese restaurant.. tenkatsu?? I don't know but it looks good!

Vita Bella Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Benkei Ramen+ Jang Mo Jib

my parents recently came back after a month stay in hk, we decided to try out shiro on cambie but it was closed on remembrance day :( so we opted for korean food on Robson st. From my recent discovery of free parking on Robson (sorry it's a secret that I cannot reveal. parking is too damn expensive!) we weren't afraid of going downtown to eat anymore. We used to stay away from that area from the conjested traffic, flocks of people walking on blinking hand sign, and the one way streets that add the confusion of it all. I would much rather walk around downtown over driving!

Anyways, we went to jang mo jib.. We've heard of this restaurant a lot but never been because there hasn't been an opportune time. We went inside, and was a little confused because there were two doors.. and we weren't sure whether or not it was one or two separate restaurants. There seemed to be a lot of koreans as well which comforted us to think it should be authentic. We ordered a tofu hot pot, bibambap, and bulgohgee. The kitchen was open and it was a little messy, but as long as it was clean :) It got a little stuffy/hot inside though from the kitchen..

The bulgogee was pretty good, although I found the beef to be sometimes too tough. I couldn't eat some of it.. The seafood tofu hotpot was o-k and the bibambap had a lot of veggies and rice. But I think I prefer the one from seoul dookbeangi (sp) much more. Everything cost 50 bucks at the end.. a litle expensive imo..




Next we went to Benkei Ramen.. My parents were so used to eating in hk they were ready for another meal. Me on the other hand just wanted to go there and see what it was like :)
We went at a very busy time, having to wait in line for about 20 minutes.. The good thing about this place is everyone just wants to have a bowl of ramen and that's all. No one is dwelling around or having a big feast, hence there's always an in flow of hungry customers and outflow of happy ones :)


Upon looking at the menu, I was glad they didn't have a minimum charge of 8/person (a la kitaro and motomachi) because I was really full and wasn't exactly in the mood for a big bowl of ramen after the rice and beef at jang mo jib. I ordered a cha siu onigiri. my parents each ordered a bowl of of ramen (the light miso one and chicken and tonkatsu). The onigiri was not good. It was way too salty for my liking and fell apart so easily that it was really hard to eat. The bowls of ramen were normal.. however I think I prefer them over the ones from motomachi. They weren't as salty and more light tasting.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Non Foodie: Jason Mraz

video

Plane Nov 10/08
The Paramount: Special Acoustics Show .. so intimate and amazing


video

Dynamo of Volition Nov 8/08
The Centre: Vancouver, bad seats :(


video

Gypsy MC Jul/05
Malkin Bowl Stanley Park... Really bad quality.. I broke my camera couple days ago and had to use a shotty asian one. but I was soo close to him haha

He threw a guitar pick at me, but I didn't know what it was and ducked, the guy behind me and the girl next to me fought for it. damn. I should have just let it hit my head.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Palomino: Seattle



Before the jmraz show, we went to a restaurant called Palomino in Downtown Seattle because the prices seemed reasonable and close to the Paramount. It's on the top floor of a mall which is kind of cool. Once we were seated, our waitor hastily walks over and pours our water, getting ice and water onto the table. Then hastily rushes away. I thought, great, crappy waitor- tip is going down by the minute. I was wrong..

The next time he came over, the whole demeanor changed. I ordered the pork, to which he replies: it's a lot of food you know. me:"Well I am hungry. I'll be fine". him"do you like salads or soups?" me: "no". him:"what.. do you like anything?" me"is it free? if it is, bring anything that is complimentary over, we like anything"

He comes over with the bread and a plate of salad on the house. I looked around thinking he was just bsing me, but no one else had it. o-k.. The bread was ok but they served it with a salsa that I didn't like. The salad wasn't my thing because I don't like eating chunks of mozza. He comes back and I express my dislike, he quickly takes it away and replaces it with a free mushroom and shallots. uhh wthell I am not complaining about this complimentary service here, but mushrooms and shallots? gross.

Then he brings us the main course and my dish looked like a chinese dish my mother makes. It was a pot was pork. ew! I thought it would be a piece of pork with the apple chutney on top, but no no.. a pot of just pork. Barbaric??

He knew I was not happy so he brought over a lobster ravioli for me and took the pork off my bill. We were hurried to go to the concert, but if we stayed any longer he said he was going to bring shellfish over or even free desserts..

Ok tip went back up.. I don't know why he was so nice?? but thanks. The lobster ravioli was ok, it got to be a little too much after awhile, but def better than a pot of pork!

Palomino on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 10, 2008

Morton's

Morton's is a famous steakhouse situated in all the big cities of the world.. New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, etc.. The steaks are around 40-70 dollars, or the lobster+steak: 85/person. They also sometimes have a promo going on for 120 for 2.

Being a uni student, I am usually too broke for the upscale restaurants. Being an asian girl, I usually cannot finish a steak by myself- it's wayy too meaty for me. After flickring morton's and seeing their giant ass porterhouse steak, I knew I wouldn't be eating that unless I wanted to go into cardiac arrest tonight. my friend and I decided to go to Mortons and I told my roomate who is like the same size as me and issteak crazy. When I said Morton's, she just widened her eyes, smiled, and said ooohhhh..

damn.

The restaurant is downstairs with dimly lit lights everywhere. There's not a lot of tables occupied, I think only 5 were for the entire time we were there.. I got a riesling and she took my glass to go fill it up, I don't really like that, I like it when they pour it in front of me. but w/e, personal preference. The bread comes out and it's this massive ball. I thought it would be disgusting because it looked cold and sourdough. To my surprise it was piping hot and soft! mm I had to have some haha, too bad the butter was cold.

The server wheels this trolley over with all the steaks and vegs and begins to tell us everything. wow. Those steaks are huge, even the single cut! Anyways, I ended up ordering a salmon and he had the promo 20 dollar burger. She wasn't very impressed with our orders (probably because she wasted her time describing every single steak menu item.. sorry)

The burger was gigantic- but he said it tasted like White Spot burgers. my salmon was o-k. It was too expensive for the price in my opinion.. It was also overdone for my liking. We had desserts, which took more than half an hour to come out, even when we "pre ordered" it while we ordered our main. My apple pie looked like crap, but it wasn't bad. The legendary chocolate cake was yummy I was told. I am not a big chocolate dessert fan, so I'll take his word for it. for 14.50, it better be damn mouth watering delicious.

So ya, that's my morton's experience. I am glad I've been and can be crossed out, next steakhouse on my list: gotham! :)

Morton's - the Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Aria+Cibo

Before my love Jason Mraz's concert, we went to Cibo for a quick lunch. Since we've been eating the whole day and my friend wasn't used to this lifestyle, we wanted something small at Cibo. Inside is very very small, much smaller than I imagined, but the design was very nice and upscale. My friend couldn't get over the "candles" that were battery operated. She was so tempted to take one because they were so amazing. Don't worry, we weren't in the stealing mood tonight :) haha

The service was nice, except she kept saying ya ya a lot.. which was a little annoying.. "you girls just went shopping? ya ya ?" "do you want me to take these dishes away? ya ya ? " "ya ya are you girls done ya ya? " oh my god. It almost drove us insane.

I just had the gnudi and she had the gnocchi. The gnudi was pretty light and packed with spinach and cheese. they were soft and tasted like my safeway bought spinach/cheese tortellini with alfredo sauce, but better? well it must have been for the price! they were small dishes for a little higher prices. But if I ate more, it would have been too filling I think.

We went off to Aria next for dessert and wine and to chill. I've been to Aria once a long time ago before clubbing. It is a nice open restaurant/lounge. It's rather small, but it seemed to match the atmosphere of the whole hotel. I had another glass of wine (not as good as the one at Cibo). and I had the zuccoto and she had the apple fritter.
Look at all those strawberries! yuck! oh well, the gigantic blueberries made up for it because they were really sweet. The cake was ok. The pistachio gelato didn't really have a pistachio taste.. The apple fritter was half an apple that seemed to be deep fried with ice cream. They were both really hard to eat with a spoon. oi I don't understand why people give spoons for desserts, everything would work so much better with fork! (minus ice cream, but it's plausible)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

So.cial/Beard Papa


So.Cial at Le Magasin on Urbanspoon The first time I went to so.cial, we ended up having drinks downstairs at the bar and small bites.. It probably wasn't the best impression of so.cial since we never got a taste of the food or the atmosphere upstairs but I quite enjoyed it since the bartender also made us free shots for no reason :)

Even though it was a stormy rainy morning, we made our way to so.cial for brunch. We were actually going to go to chill winston but at one point when I was tugging on my umbrella to keep it from inverting and battling against the wind, even Steamworks next door to the waterfront station looked appealing. I just wanted to get out of the rain!!

Inside so.cial it was very quiet and only about two three tables were filled. I wasn't very impressed with white paper on the tables.. I know various restaurants do this but it seems very cheap :S
My friend wasn't very hungry so she had a caesar salad and I had the eggs benny. The complimentary scones that came were very delicious! they were soft warm and tasted very good with the jam .. mm

The eggs benny was ok, the potato wedges weren't as soft as I hoped for and the english muffin was too hard. Overall, it was adequate. The bacon and poached egg was yummy.

The only downside is the window is right next to the staircase downstairs. As we ate, there was the same semi creepy random that walked downstairs and stared at us repeatedly.

It's a cute place, I'll probably be back one day...

Beard Papa's on Urbanspoon We also walked down to Beard Papa on Denman st for these supposed world famous cream puffs. Inside, they share the space with St Germain Bakery. which is nice to know because I am always looking for a chinese cake shop downtown!
The cream puffs are gigantic! for 1.84, I think it is a good price. I think it's funny they wrote only 223 calories in one cream puff! as if it's a total healthy steal. I am sorry, but I usually eat 223 calories for my breakfast in total, not one dessert cream puff. :|
Anyways, we each got a regular flavored one and decided to sit down and eat it- which is probably the best thing to do because I probably looked like a savage eating them. They are definitely not date food. The cream puff was very light and flaky but not as sweet as I thought it would be- which is a good thing! If it was any sweeter, I would have definitely not been able to finish it. It was very yummy :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Motomachi Shokudo


Motomachi Shokudo on UrbanspoonI was craving a big hot bowl of something today and ramen seemed to fit the description perfectly. Even though I am not a ramen fan, you know how you don't have something for a very long time and then you think.. oh maybe I'll give it a shot, maybe it wasn't as bad as I remember. and then you eat it and then you go what the hell was I thinking, I didn't like this food for a reason.
sorry that was a random thought. It always happens to me.. with mac and cheese. Ugh. and now, kinda with ramen.

After eliminating kintaro ramen and benkei ramen from the list, we headed off to motomachi shokudo on Denman St. The place is very small but clean and cozy. We really dug the wooden seats with the step stool thing on it. Since I am not the tallest person around (or tallest person ever.) it was good to have a place to put my feet comfortably :) We both ordered a bowl of ramen. I had the charcoal bamboo dark miso ramen and she had the spicy chicken. The food came quickly and the service was so nice. She's like "Sorry for the wait, please enjoy" or something along those lines even though it wasn't very long and I have definitely had longer waits at other places without being apologized to (ahem, below posts).

The bowl of ramen were pretty decent for 10 dollars. Apparently the spicy chicken was very good. The bamboo charcoal was o-k.. except it was a little too salty for me. I didn't enjoy it too much unfortunately :(


Afterwards, we went to gyoza king for deep fried taro yam balls and gyu yukke. The yam balls were... weird.. They were solid balls of taro yam. ok. that wasn't a very good description of the crappiness of the dish because you are probably thinking obviously it is balls of taro yam balls.. given by the name of the dish. But it wasn't what I had expected?? I don't know how to explain, but it wasn't very good. The gyu yukke on the other hand was very yummy. I think it was because I didn't expect the sauce to be sweet and it really balanced out the dish. mm yum. And another plus- no wait today! (but I didn't need to see my waitress put on even more makeup than she was wearing behind the counter).