Vancouver Craft Beer Week 2014: Opening Night

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:

Four Winds & Parallel 49

vancouver craft beer week (vcbw) 2014 - opening event at gossip night club

Stanley Park Brewing 

vancouver craft beer week (vcbw) 2014 - opening event at gossip night club

vancouver craft beer week (vcbw) 2014 - opening event at gossip night club

33 Acres

vancouver craft beer week (vcbw) 2014 - opening event at gossip night club

Bomber Brewing

vancouver craft beer week (vcbw) 2014 - opening event at gossip night club

Deep Cove Brewing

vancouver craft beer week (vcbw) 2014 - opening event at gossip night club

Phillips BrewingHoyne Brewing

vancouver craft beer week (vcbw) 2014 - opening event at gossip night club

Prohibition Brewing

vancouver craft beer week (vcbw) 2014 - opening event at gossip night club


Made in Strathcona Tour

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:

Agro Roasters

made in strathcona - agro coffee roasters

We learned a bit about the coffee and bean origins, which they source straight from the producer and roast here.

made in strathcona - agro coffee roasters

I never really appreciated drip coffee, but i didn't mind this! My coffee palate is expanding! (But only to fancy single origin coffee. Ha.)

The Butler Did It

made in strathcona - the butler did it

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!

made in strathcona - the butler did it

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

made in strathcona - yew wood shop

Yew Wood Shop is a wood production and design studio, using reclaimed and locally sourced wood.

made in strathcona - yew wood shop

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

made in strathcona - christine lingerie

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!

made in strathcona - christine lingerie

It was pretty cool getting a behind the scenes look on the manufacturing side... now that I work in fashion!

Vancouver Urban Winery

made in strathcona - vancouver urban winery

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.

made in strathcona - vancouver urban winery

These fermenters are huge.

made in strathcona - vancouver urban winery

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
Agro Annex Café on Urbanspoon The Butler Did it on Urbanspoon Vancouver Urban Winery on Urbanspoon


Tacos & Beaches in California

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!

santa barbara beach isla vista

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!

driving on highway in california

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.

tacos in santa barbara

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.

view of santa barbara from little caliente hot spring california

Beautiful view of the city and beach from the mountains.

cobb salad california

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.

janice on the beach in california

The ocean is so blue, and I really like my hat!

back of car sunset california

Driving away from the sunset.

wurstkuche hot dogs in los angeles california

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.
art area little tokyo in los angeles, california

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".

la skyline guggenheim

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!

Lilly's Tacqueria / Wurstkuche
Lilly's Tacos on Urbanspoon Wurstküche on Urbanspoon


Richmond: Teppanyaki & Meat @ Kanpeki

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).

 Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant in Richmond
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.

 Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant in Richmond

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.

Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant in Richmond

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.

Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant in Richmond

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.

Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant in Richmond Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant in Richmond

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.

Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant in Richmond

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.

Kanpeki Restaurant in Richmond Kanpeki Restaurant in Richmond

The duck was a bit of a disappointment as it was overcooked, probably because it was sliced beforehand and quite thinly, too.
Kanpeki Restaurant in Richmond

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.

Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant
#140-8351 Alexandra Road
Richmond, BC
(604) 821-1323
Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Vancouver: Cherry Blossoms & Tea @ The Urban Tea Merchant

Spring has finally sprung here in Vancouver! Has anyone seen the cherry blossoms out recently? Of course, as I'm typing this, it's raining... so who knows how long they'll last. To celebrate spring, The Urban Tea Merchant has graciously invited me to try out their Sakura Tea Service ($38 per person).

urban tea merchant sakura tea service

Serve on a platter, rather than the more traditional 3-tier tea service, the Sakura Tea Service definitely has a more west-coast and fusion feel to it.

urban tea merchant sakura tea service

We sample some TWG teas, including the geisha blossom tea, a green tea with peachy notes; the white spring tea, a white tea with blossoms; and the tung ting, a white tea which we chose. My favourite was the geisha blossom, which smelled so much like fuzzy peaches, even when pouring! At first it felt like I was drinking the fuzzy peach candy, but afterwards, I really enjoyed the flavour more and more.

urban tea merchant sakura tea service

This is what the tea service looked like! It's actually quite a bit of food for two people, even though we hadn't eaten anything prior and were starving.

urban tea merchant sakura tea service

The savouries here are always fancy and delicious. I love their attention to detail! The miso-maple glazed sable fish in butter lettuce and smoked salmon ribbon with ponzu jelly which are favourites at Urban Tea Merchant were present. The smoked salmon is less fancy, but always one of my favourites with that light wasabi horseradish taste and that strip of ponzu jelly. The “Dignitary’s Tea” chicken cone looked and felt a bit different from before -- they do have a new chef, so that could be why. It's a bit chunkier than before, but I still enjoyed it. I don't think I've tried the “Red Chai” beef carpaccio with horseradish foam, nor the “Singapore Breakfast Tea” seared tuna tataki before. I liked the addition of the shiitake mushrooms on the tataki.

urban tea merchant sakura tea service

On the dessert side of things, there was a mix of new and classic items. As always, the TWG Tea macarons were great. As I sometimes complain, there are those macarons that I bite into and it's all air in the shells. Never the case with these ones! The “Rum Tea” pecan tart, which I hadn't tried before was good and delicious. Although the “Sakura! Sakura!” dessert sushi is a cool concept, I didn't really enjoy it. The “Matcha Nara” madeleine felt quite big after a whole meal, but was good nevertheless.
urban tea merchant sakura tea service

Overall, it was a great experience at The Urban Tea Merchant, despite the groggy day. Oh yeah, try to get a seat near the window with all the cherry blossoms and admire them while you can!

1070 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 692-0071
The Urban Tea Merchant on Urbanspoon Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...