Last week, I was invited to The Urban Tea Merchant to try out their new TWG iced teas and their brunch as well -- one of their fairly new offerings.
Based off of their loose leaf teas, their TWG Iced Teas are individually packaged in tea bags and come in a variety of flavours. More on that later!
I tried out my favouriteTWG 1837 Black Teain iced tea form. It was really refreshing yet still had that richness and smoothness of the original brewed tea.
Dorothy had the Pink Flamingo iced tea, a green tea with crimson hibiscus blossoms. It's such a pretty pink colour! The hibiscus was quite flavourful.
We also tried out The Urban Tea Merchant's newly offered brunch set. Although structured in the same manner as previous afternoon tea sets I've tried, the bottom tier has a brunch flair to it:
The brunch focused savouries included the mini poached eggs benedict with baby shrimp and scrambled egg with caviar -- both delicious and intricate, yet still satisfied my brunch cravings. I loved the smoked salmon ribbon with wasabi as well. They also had curry egg tea sandwich and smoked sandwich in sesame cone.
In the middle tier were the scones, which were butter and delicious as always. I still think Urban Tea has some of the best scones in Vancouver. On the top tier were the sweets. I really enjoyed the Pink Flamingo Tea panna cotta, which was simple yet rich and smooth. The Tokyo-Singapore lemon-mango tart was well constructed in a not-so-traditional tart form.
Oh yeah, back to the iced teas. Each box of tea comes with 7 individually wrapped tea bags that are quite intricately made. Fancy teas!
They're quite easy to brew -- just brew each tea bag with 1/2 litre hot water for 5 minutes and pour over 1/2 litre worth of ice to make just about one litre's worth of tea. So perfect for the hot Vancouver weather we've been having!
Yesterday, I went to the Vancouver Craft Beer Week Opening Night event at Gossip Night Club (as media) . Words cannot explain how much I was looking forward to Friday throughout the entire week. All you can drink is sometimes fun, but so much more when it's actually quality craft beer. The night was beer filled (I'm glad I didn't wear new shoes) and full of 90s hip hop.
There were over 20 breweries present, but since the space was so large, it didn't feel like too many. Actually, that's quite a reasonable amount, in retrospect... but the closing day will have so many more! Breweries in attendance included:
Last week, I was invited to go on a tour of several businesses in Strathcona. As one of Vancouver's oldest residential neighbourhoods, I realize I didn't know much about it, except that Railtown was kinda, sorta in it. (I think?) I've visited some of the microbrews there, and have always wondered about the sugar factory whenever I took the 135, so I was interested in the tour. As a part of the media tour, we made five stops including:
I don't know much about catering companies in Vancouver, since someone always mysteriously takes care of these things whenever I go to events. But this was a cool behind the scenes look at one of Vancouver's top catering companies. Those soup vats are huge!
Also this industrial looking thing is an oven! It looked like it could've been some equipment at the next place we were going to go to...
Yew Wood Shop is a wood production and design studio, using reclaimed and locally sourced wood.
The people who run it are Emily Carr graduates with industrial design backgrounds (which is neat since I know someone who is doing that degree in Ontario). And it's always interesting when friends come together to open something they're all passionate about.
Christine Lingerie is a luxury lingerie designer who supplies to high-end boutiqes and luxury department stores. All the lingerie is designed and manufactured locally, and they even have celebs who wear their pieces!
It was pretty cool getting a behind the scenes look on the manufacturing side... now that I work in fashion!
The last stop was Vancouver Urban Winery, which has recently expanded to serve food (yes, brunch!) and now beer. They just launched their microbrew area the day we went there and are set to pour soon! That's pretty exciting.
These fermenters are huge.
Thought this was a nice photo with the barrels and kegs and bikes. So hip! Also, I totally got photobombed, haha.
If you're interested in getting a behind the scenes look at these local businesses, you can purchase tickets to these tours here. I've also been provided with a promocode: BLOGGER50 for 50% off your ticket.
Agro Roasters / The Butler Did It / Vancouver Urban Winery
Hello it's been a long time... again! I was busy for the past little while travelling a little here and there, but now I am back. I just returned from California, and it was amazing! Sun and food all day, everyday! The sad thing was that I got sick there, despite the sun. Ah well, can't complain. The weather was so nice!
We walked around the water here at this beautiful beach and later found our feet to be stuck with oil. Yeah, there were some oil drills nearby. Boo!
It felt like we were driving perpetually on never ending highways. There are only a few rare moments where the smaller roads are lined with palm trees like in the movies.
Lilly's Tacqueria place was kind of a hole in the wall place. I went for the cachette (beef cheeks) as well as ojo (beef eyes). The beef eyes were quite mushy, and the more I thought about it while chewing on it, the more I disliked it. Tacos here almost half the price as those in Vancouver! They don't heat the tortillas though.
Beautiful view of the city and beach from the mountains.
Did you know that the Cobb salad was invented in Los Angeles? Me neither until I was looking up recipes and learned that tidbit from Sorted Foods... which is a British YouTube channel! My only hope is that this Canadian will teach you this as well for more irony.
The ocean is so blue, and I really like my hat!
Driving away from the sunset.
One of the last stops before my camera malfunctioned, Wurstkuche who call themselves "purveyor of exotic grilled sausages". Hell, why not. I got the duck and bacon with jalapeno peppers which was pretty darn good.
The restaurant is located near Little Tokyo and has a lot of artsy stuff nearby. It kinda reminded me of Vancouver, and I thought to myself: "I could actually live here".
I look so sick in this picture (yes, literally) yet so happy. All I want is just a damn picture with the LA skyline at the Getty!
Ah, one of the few places that have not been blogged
about, according to Urbanspoon. First! Kanpeki on Alexandra Road is one of the
few teppanyaki places in the Lower Mainland… and possibly the only one in Richmond
(if I recall correctly).
We each ordered our own sets, rather than a la carte. I
ordered the set with: steak, sliced beef rolls, and scallops ($28). All sets
came with miso soup, a salad, fried rice, and sesame. It was actually a lot of
food in retrospect.
The scallops were good. I think, perhaps the best thing
in my set. They were sashimi grade and cooked to order, so I had mine a bit on
the rarer side. Good decision. It was pretty lightly seasoned, and I enjoyed it
with the lemon-y sauce.
I liked the beef rolls which were fried garlic bits and green onion wrapped in thin slices of beef. The insides were crunchy, yet the beef outside (done to your liking) was soft and moist.
The steak was a bit thin and mine in particular was quite greasy. Once again, it was done exactly how I wanted it to be, and although it was good, it was really greasy.
The fried rice which was done on the teppan as well was alright. It had bits of beef and other stuff, but I found the rice a little bit unevenly coated for the egg and oil. I wasn't that fond of the vegetables, which were a bit greasy and plain. By then I was quite full anyway, though.
We also ordered the special set (which was available for a limited time) with scallop, duck breast, lobster, and
the extras ($25). There was a lot more lobster than that (probably about four pieces more) and this was cooked pretty well -- as in not overcooked nor undercooked.
The duck was a bit of a disappointment as it was overcooked, probably because it was sliced beforehand and quite thinly, too.
Overall, I didn't dislike Kanpeki, and it was a very visual experience. Some hits and some misses, food-wise, but still a feast for the eyes.