7.31.2012

Wings & Wings @ Indochine Kitchen + Bar

Since Stanley was leaving for Japan, Tiff and I planned to have a dinner with him at Zakkushi (he said he wanted Japanese food despite the fact he was going to live in Hokkaido for a year).  However, since it was a Wednesday, I had a really good light bulb moment and suggested we try Indochine.  This new establishment has been the talk of town recently, since they have Phnom Penh style wings for half-price on Wednesdays.


To start, we ordered the mango and avocado salad ($8.50) -- half an avocado topped with seasonal greens dressed in balsamic vinaigrette, fresh mangoes, and sliced almonds.  Although simple, the dressing went well with the salad, and the toppings were quite generous.  It was probably a good idea to order this dish since the rest of the meal was all meats.


Stanley chose the thit ko ($7.75), because of the name, but it was pretty good.  The Vietnamese style spicy and caramelized braised pork shoulder was a bit firm for my taste, but he enjoyed it.  The blend of black pepper, fish sauce, and chilli sauce actually reminded me of "sugar and vinegar" spare ribs in Chinese cuisine, and it was pretty good with rice.  Although it was seemingly small, there was actually a lot of meat in it and we nearly could not finish this.  We noticed that most tables ordered this dish.


After a good 30 minutes of waiting, the first plate of wings finally arrived.  The Indochine garlic butter wings ($4.25 at 1/2 price), purportedly the Phnom Penh wings, were very fresh and piping hot.  It was definitely spicier than the ones from Phnom Penh, as confirmed by Tiff who is not fond of spicy foods.  These ones seemed to have less MSG and were therefore less delicious, but I liked them because of it's freshness.


The second type of wings were the sriracha buffalo wings  ($4.25 at 1/2 price), which had a strong taste of the tangy hot sauce.  The weren't bad, but they weren't impressive either.


The last type of wings available were the honey garlic ($4.25 at 1/2 price), which were pretty good and dangerously hot. The wings absolutely blew Tiff's mind and were "the best honey garlic wings she had ever had".  Stanley and I agreed that it was good but it didn't impress us to that extent.  Mama Leung makes a pretty good honey garlic sauce for spare ribs, and it's pretty similar.

Compared to Phnom Penh which serves their signature wings at $7.95 for 10 pieces according to Kevin, the Indochine wings are definitely a steal on Wednesdays since they're $4.25 for 9 pieces.  Import beers on Wednesdays are also only $5.  I'll definitely be back for more wings on Wednesdays and perhaps for their ladies' special on Tuesdays.

Indochine Kitchen + Bar
1 E Broadway   
Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-0828
Indochine Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon

7.30.2012

Food Truck Monday #8: Street Meet Truck

Despite having a cold and feeling absolutely miserable, I braved the sudden change in weather so Food Truck Mondays could live on.  In search of something different, Andy and I drove to Railtown, since that was where Street Meet Truck was today. Neither of us had ever been to Railtown -- for those who haven't been either, it's at Railway and Alexander.



Street Meet is one of the newer food trucks, and it seems like this is one of the few that actually moves to different locations regularly.

7.29.2012

ChineseBites #2: Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

As a part of ChineseBites.com's Signature Dishes Tour, a series of dinners in the Lower Mainland for food bloggers to try different Asian restaurants, I was invited to try Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot.



On this occasion, I was joined by fellow bloggers Kevin, Rick, Romina, Sherman, and Alvin for some all-you-can-eat hot pot as well as other seafood.



We ordered two soup bases: the Fatty Cow hot and spicy soup and the home-style with peanuts satay.  Although both soup bases were delicious, I sometimes prefer the normal plain soup bases more since these ones are sometimes to overpowering.  I did enjoy the ma la one though, and it wasn't too spicy for my taste.



I was excited they had deep fried fish skin.  Clay Pot Hot Pot in Richmond used to have the best, but ever since management changed, it hasn't been that great.  This one is definitely good and not overly oily.  Kind of like chips with amino acids I guess.



We each got a freshly steamed scallop served with garlic, which is separate from the hot pot menu.  This was delicious and the scallops were quite large.



Separate from the AYCE menu, lobsters are also available at Fatty Cow.  I've had lobster for hot pot only at home before, so this was nice to try out.
A variety of sliced meats were ordered, such as the rib eye, sirloin, pork jowl, pork slice, and lamb.  The meat here was decent and weren't overly fatty.  I rarely order salmon or beef cubes for hot pot.  The salmon was alright, but some of the pieces had a lot of bones in them.  I've had negative experience with beef cubes since they're usually tough, and this applied to the ones here at Fatty Cow as well.
Shrimp was also ordered.  I honestly hate shrimp for hot pot because they end up shrinking so much, and it's too much effort to put everything down and peel the shells.  I much rather just have beef slices.  I was the only one that ordered vegetables.  I was so happy they had tong ho because it's the most amazing vegetable for hot pot.  It was really fresh here and delicious.

Overall, it was a more than satisfying meal at Fatty Cow.  The interior is very clean compared to most AYCE hot pot places in Richmond, and I'd definitely consider going back again.

More: Small Girl Big Plate / Sherman's Food Adventures / Alvin Lee / ChineseBites

More ChineseBites.com's Signature Dishes Tour:

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店
5108 Victoria Drive   
Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-6630
Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店 on Urbanspoon

7.26.2012

Chicken & Oysters @ Chewies Steam and Oyster Bar

After spending the day listening to some local talent as a part of Kitsilano's Khatsalano Music and Arts Festival, Rick and I headed to Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar for an early dinner.  Having heard many good things about it, I was excited to try it out when Rick suggested it.



We started off with half a dozen of oysters, including the royal miyagi, kumamoto, and the sea breeze.  The oysters were quite fresh and sweet, and I liked the smaller ones more.  Some of them had bits of shell in them though.



Even before we had arrived, Rick was set on getting the southern fried chicken ($17), a 2 day marinated buttermilk fried chicken, Cajun honey butter drizzle, mash and beans.  This was really delicious.  I was surprised since the pieces of chicken were actually quite thick and really tender.  It wasn't dry at all, and since it was buttermilk fried, the it didn't seem greasy either.



To diversify, I ordered the pan fried fanny bay oyster po'boy ($14) and opted for the fries instead of the salad.  I don't know, I was feeling kind of carbs-ish that day.  On the bright side, it came in this cute little basket, reminiscent of a frying basket.  The fries were decent and seemed quite fresh.  The po'boy itself was quite good, and I liked it more than Kaboom Box, though I thought there was too much bread for this one at Chewie's.

I really loved the fried chicken at Chewie's and would definitely be back for that.  The po'boy was quite good as well, though, for the raw oysters, I preferred Oyster Seafood more since those ones are consistently shucked cleaner and without shell bits.

Photos / More: Rick Chung

Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar
2201 W 1st Ave   
Vancouver, BC
(604) 558-4448
Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

7.25.2012

Beef Rolls & Knife Shaved Noodles @ Peaceful Restaurant

After Dennis and Rick were judging me for not having been to Peaceful Restaurant, I felt a bit sad and had to go the next day.  Since Andy works right in that vicinity, we went together and successfully evaded #foreveralone meals.


Being featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, we had to try the beef roll ($7.25).  Where has this been all my life.  This was seriously good.  I've tried this dish a few times at other places, but this is definitely the best, hands-down.  The pancake layer was not too thick and quite flaky as well, which I appreciated.  The amount of green onions and hoisin sauce was just right and not overbearing.  The beef was flavourful and not tough.

7.23.2012

Food Truck Monday #7: Fresh Local Wild

Having attempted to visit Fresh Local Wild in January when it was closed for the wire, it's always been on the back of my mind.  After Andy mentioned he had a fish and chips craving, we made it our next destination for Food Truck Mondays.  Gwen tagged along as well since we were finally free from the horror that is accounting.



What I love about Fresh Local Wild is that they are "powered by fish n' chips"! It's really cool that they don't use a gasoline generator, but rather, it runs on vegetable oil. Oh and they have a patio, which we got to sit at after a short wait.


Andy, in an attempt to be healthy, forgot his original mission for fish and chips.  Instead, he ordered the BC fish shawarma ($10), filled with salmon, cod, halibut,  hummus, as well as a whole load of veggies in a pita.  Andy had a bit of trouble eating this, and a lot of the veggies fell out, even outside his reasonably sized box.  The three types of fish were actually closer to the middle and end of the pita, so he had to bear out the veggies first.



I still wanted fish and chips after last time's meal at Pajo's, so Gwen and I shared an 2 piece order of fresh ling cod (2 pieces for $17).  It was so delicious.  The deep-fried exterior was thin and ever-so-slightly crispy, not overly oily, and perfect.  The fish inside seemed quite fresh as well.  The fries. The fries were heavenly.  Already, when we were walking towards the truck, we noticed the fries were beautiful, and they were indeed.  Not overly starchy, slightly crisp, and fresh.

I really quite enjoyed the fish and chips here, though they are quite a bit more expensive than regular places.  Still worth it though, since fish and chips isn't something one eats regularly anyway.  Plus, sitting on that patio in the food truck is pretty cool.

More Food Truck Mondays:

#10: Feastro the Rolling Beastro
#9: Mangal Kiss*
#8: Street Meet Truck
#7: Fresh Local Wild*
#6: Cazba Express and Holy Perogy

#5: Roaming Dragon
#4: Guanaco Food Truck
#3: Vij's Railway Express
#2: Kaboom Box
#1: Mom's Grilled Cheese


Fresh Local Wild
Burrard St & W Hastings St   
Vancouver, BC
Fresh Local Wild (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

7.22.2012

Birthdays & Meat Loaf @ Charlatan Restaurant

To celebrate his birthday, Andy invited his friends to The Charlatan.  Since they served food as well as a somewhat large variety of beverages, I guess it could be classified as a "gastropub".


To start I got a tasting paddle ($7).  Maybe it was because I'm a girl, but the server suggested some lighter varieties of beers, such as the Kronenburg Blanc (middle).  Meh, this was my least favorite but I've wanted to try the Kronenburg before so whatever.  It was light with a hint of fruity flavour.  I ordered the Erdinger Dunkel as well as the Phillips Blue Buck; both of which I enjoyed a lot more.
I later ordered the Big Rock Grasshopper Wheat Ale, which is on special for $4.49 on Wednesdays, and Dorothy ordered a virgin mojito.


We also tried the "not your mom's meat loaf" ($14.95), a bacon wrapped meatloaf with a spinach and mushroom stuffing and laid upon a bed of mashed potatoes.  I'm not huge on meatloaf to begin with, but I enjoyed the flavour the bacon added to it.  The potatoes were very buttery and delicious, though we agreed the gravy was a bit too salty for our tastes.  The vegetables were notable and had quite a strong buttery flavour as well.


We also got the maple bourbon cheesecake ($6.95), which is housemade with Kentucky bourbon, Quebec maple syrup and candied walnuts. It had a subtle cheese flavour, and the texture was a bit firmer than creamy.  The sauce tasted more of maple than bourbon.

Overall, the food was more than okay for a gastropub.  I wanted to try out their Traditional Breakfast which is on special for 2 for 1 on the weekends if you bring a receipt from that week, but sadly I did not.  Maybe another time.

More: Janice Leung

The Charlatan
1447 Commercial Dr   
Vancouver, BC
(604) 253-2777
The Charlatan on Urbanspoon

7.20.2012

Wine & Beer @ Viaggio Hospitality Group: Cibo, Uva, Red Card

Located on Seymour and Smithe and spanning half the block is Viaggio Hospitality Group's Moda Hotel, with Cibo TrattoriaUva Wine Bar, and Red Card Sports Bar sitting right under it.  We were invited to visit their venues while trying out some food and drinks.



We started off at the quaint Cibo Trattoria for some white wine and canapés, such as the panelle (Sicilian chickpea fritter), various sourdough bites, and veal crudo, which I absolutely loved.  It had a wonderful texture to it and the addition of parmesan was quite nice.

7.19.2012

Bennies & Brunch @ Jethro's Fine Grub

Brunches with Andy never seem to work out as planned.  Usually, on our escapades to weekend brunch, we already plan a bit more conservatively knowing that we would probably be checking into #604lateriser on Saturdays and Sundays.  On this particular day, I woke up 30 minutes after our planned meeting time, but fortunately, Andy didn't wake up that much earlier than me.  What can I say, that's what happens when one does accounting until 3am on a Saturday night.



We went on with our plans to go to Jethro's Fine Grub though, since he was craving a good benny.  I've also heard much about it faster it appeared on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  We arrived around 1:40pm, thankfully and there was no line.  After a few minutes though, people started accumulating.  We ended up waiting for around 20 minutes.

7.18.2012

XLB & SJB @ Suhang Restaurant 蘇杭人家

Sunday dim sums can be difficult.  In Richmond, almost every Asian family is out and about trying to find a dim sum spot.  Craving some xiao long bao, we tried going to the somewhat new NingBo at Parker Place.  We quickly gave up and racked our brains for another Shanghainese restaurant, and Mama Leung thought of Suhang Restaurant on Ackroyd Road.


Suhang is another one of those Shanghainese restaurants owned and operated by previous staff from Shanghai River.  It's been quite a while since we've been here, and actually, I don't think we've ever been here for lunch. One thing I love about this small restaurant is their mural.  It's so Asian, but a bit modern at the same time.  Don't judge me.

7.16.2012

Food Truck Monday #6: Cazba Express and Holy Perogy

Stop #1: Cazba Express

After yet another failed attempt to try Pig on the Street and a quick look on Street Food App, Andy and I made it out to the newly opening Cazba Express.  Since it was the first day the restaurant from North Vancouver opened its food truck on Robson and Burrard, all the proceeds today were donated to charity.



The menu is simple, with three chelow kabab wraps available: koobideh (beef), joojeh (chicken), and barg (steak).  We didn't actually know what they were, but a nice gentleman in front of us explained them to us.



I ordered the barg ($7), which had steak that was not overcooked and in fact, slightly pink.  This resulted in meat that was definitely not tough at all.  With the light mix of vegetables wrapped snugly inside as well, I liked the flavour.  However, the wrap itself was a bit tough at the ends.


Andy's koobideh ($5) had a very similar flavour, though the amount of meat seemed to be more generous.  I did like the texture of my barg halal more though.

Overall, though it was tasty, we were hungry for more food, probably due to the lack of carbs in the wraps.

Stop #2: Holy Perogy

In a hunt for more carbs, we ended up at Holy Perogy, which is a couple blocks down.  Usually it's not open on Mondays, so Andy absolutely had to go after we had talked about it for a few weeks now.



Located right outside the Vancouver Public Library, I really liked this food truck.  Aside from the cute perogy mascot (which reminds me of Lard Lad Donuts), they set up a table and chair in the shade for patrons.  I don't think any other food trucks except for Fresh Local Wild offers that, so I appreciated this nice touch.


We had an order of "Greek" perogies to share ($9) with spinach and feta filling, topped with onions and dill sour cream.  As much as I wanted to squeeze sriracha sauce all over it, Andy thought it would not bode well with the sour cream.  The owner insisted it was delicious though, so we got that on the side.


The perogies were cooked when we ordered since they had just sold out.  Spinach and feta are always a winning pair, and this was no exception.  To be honest, the perogies that I'm used to are those from my high school cafeteria.... so this was definitely way better, especially when they are made fresh.

I really liked this food truck because the people were so nice, and the food was definitely not bad as well.  A tad pricy for perogies, but it is a food truck after all.


More Food Truck Mondays:

#10: Feastro the Rolling Beastro
#9: Mangal Kiss*
#8: Street Meet Truck
#7: Fresh Local Wild*
#6: Cazba Express and Holy Perogy

#5: Roaming Dragon
#4: Guanaco Food Truck
#3: Vij's Railway Express
#2: Kaboom Box
#1: Mom's Grilled Cheese


Cazba Express
Granville St & Robson St
Vancouver, BC
(604)9807373
Cazba Express on Urbanspoon 

Holy Perogy
700 Homer Street   
Vancouver, BC
(604) 619-2269
Holy Perogy on Urbanspoon