8.30.2012

Ladies & Wings @ Indochine Kitchen + Bar

To celebrate the end of summer school and MCAT studies, Andy, Dorothy and I wanted to meet up again and have a nice dinner.


Since neither of them have tried Indochine, we decided to go for their ladies' night special on Tuesday, where they offer 4 mojitos and 4 selected food items for $40. We each started with a few different flavoured mojitos including lychee, peach, and mango.  The drinks were refreshing on a hot summer's day, but they were not very strong at all.


 This seemed like a decent deal, but sadly, wings were not there on the menu.  Indochine offers half-priced wings on Wednesdays though!


The black pepper poutine ($7.50 regularly), which was topped with ground beef, black pepper gravy, cheese curds topped, and a fried egg.  The gravy was pretty good, though there seemed to be little to no cheese curds.  The fried egg, although pretty, did not really add value to the already saucy dish, and the fries were alright.  Overall, it wasn't bad.


The enoki and bacon ($5.50 regularly) caught our attention.  The four pieces of slow grilled enoki mushrooms wrapped in crispy bacon were laid upon a bed of sriracha sauce, which complemented the flavours perfectly.  The ends of the mushrooms were crispy, but as a whole, they were pretty chewy and hard to get through.


The lemongrass chicken skewers ($7.75 regularly) looked pretty good as well.  The grilled chicken thighs were tender and not chewy but not very memorable.


We decided to be adventurous and order the ramen bolognese ($6.50 regularly).  The noodles were of the instant variety, cooked with what is essentially tomato sauce.  It somehow reminded me of Ragu, though I had not had that in years.  (Maybe because of this video.) The sauce, which was not close to anything bolognese, was overly sweet and ketchupy, and the noodles were overcooked and soft.  Not a winner, but it did fulfill our daily intake of carbs.


We also had to get the garlic butter chicken wings ($9.50) since Dorothy had never had these nor the Phnom Penh ones.  It was also Andy's first time having these, and he agreed that they were spicier than the PP ones.  They were still quite fresh, just like last time, but also had a lot of MSG yet again.

Overall, not a bad deal on Tuesdays, since just the food itself would have been $27.50.  The drinks tasted mainly of syrup though, sadly, but four drinks for $12.75 is not bad at all.  The deal would probably not be enough for four people actually, since we ordered the four dishes as well as wings for three people.  I'd probably go back for the wings on Wednesdays instead.

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

8.28.2012

Oxtail & Corn @ Suika Snackbar

Apalled that I had never been to Suika, Rick brought me here for dinner after the Made With Love mixology competition. In my defence, I've tried coming here a few times , calling to make reservations and giving up since they were fully booked.


Although I initially refused to conform to blogger norms and take a picture of the famous bottle chandelier, it was too pretty and the photo turned out quite well. So here you go.  As with most other izakayas, such as Guu and Hapa, staff here were friendly. Actually, extra friendly and smiley. It was a nice change from the service I've grown used to from Chinese restaurants.


We started off with the corn kakiage ($4.80), which I've heard so much about. The deep fried niblets had a welcoming buttery taste and nice texture from being fried. It was not bad, but I'd probably skip this appetizer for their famous hell's chicken instead.


His go-to dish was the beef filet fried rice ($11), a very garlicky fried rice dish. It was definitely really fragrant, and the beef was not tough and chewy at all.  It was quite enjoyable but not life changing.


The tokyo oxtail ramen ($9.80) is one of the most popular dishes at Suika as well. Usually ramen broth is pork based, so the beef based soup was definitely a nice change. Despite being derived from ox tail, the soup, although rich in flavour, did not have much fat or grease floating around. The ramen noodles themselves were surprisingly good, with a nice al dente bite to them.

All-in-all, Suika was a bit overhyped for me.  The food is solid, but not mindblowing.  I would probably be back though to try some of its other signature dishes.

More: Good Eat - Yum

Suika
1626 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 730-1678
Suika on Urbanspoon

8.27.2012

Spring Rolls & Rice Rolls @ Good Eat Seafood Restaurant

Ever since the inception of this blog (over a year ago!) I've wanted to go to Good Eat Seafood Restaurant. Whoever came up with the name had the same thought process as me and took the literal translation of "delicious" from Cantonese! Except, sadly, I don't think it was a twenty-something year old girl. The Chinese name of the restaurant though is not "delicious" --instead, it's actually "food street" or "eat street", which so happens to be the Chinese nickname of Alexandra Road in Richmond.


A bit weary of the exterior, Rick and I came here for dim sum regardless because otherwise this place would remain on my wishlist forever. The interior is actually not bad, with clean tables and tableware. Also, something amazing about this restaurant is that it offers most dim sum dishes at $2.50! Most other restaurants in Richmond, although fancier, charge up to $4.99 for one.


Although more of a dessert dish, the egg tarts came first. I ended up having two and a half since I was craving some fresh egg tarts. Despite it's pale appearance, they were quite good and not overly sweet.  They were quite small though, around 2 bites in size, but this resulted in a good egg filling to flaky crust ratio.


The shrimp inside the shrimp rice rolls were really disappointing since they were very small and reminsicent of the ones that would normally be in fried rice. The rice rolls themselves were good though and I'd order these plain next time.


We ordered the standard shrimp dumpling as well.  These seemed to be doomed to be a disappointment since they were small and looked kind of soggy.  Actually, they weren't too bad, but they seemed similar to the microwaveable har gows.


The tripe and tendon was also a disappointment, since I neglected to read the Chinese and we both thought it would be the thinner type.  Instead, it was the honeycomb type, which I also like, but it was a bit tough.  It came with a lot of tendon as well, which was alright.


The seafood salad spring rolls caught our attention as well.  Piping hot, these were pretty good, though there was less filling that expected.  The prawns inside were once again quite small, but I enjoyed the mix of mayo and fruit. 


The steamed spareribs with black bean were also a disappointment.  They were quite flavourless (what with them being steamed with like 5 black beans...) and quite greasy.  There was nothing underneath them either -- most other dim sum restaurants put taro or pumpkin.

Overall, there are some cheap eats to be had.  I'd probably be back not just for the name but rather for some well-priced food.  The egg tarts, plain rice noodles, and spring rolls are decent, and expectations should be lower for dim sum dishes with seafood.  It is only $2.50 after all.

More: Rick Chung

Good Eat Seafood Restaurant 惠食佳海鮮酒家
8111 Leslie Road
Richmond, BC
(604) 249-0084
Good Eat Seafood Restaurant 惠食佳海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

8.26.2012

Marshmallows & Vodka @ Made with Love Mixology 2012

Last week, twelve of the top bartenders in Vancouver faced off at a mixology competition held by Made with Love.  Mixologists from the hippest bars and restaurants from Vancouver, such as Oakwood Bistro and The Union Bar, showcased their unique drink creations.


Keenan Hood of The Keefer Bar was the judge's choice with his drink, Unpredicted Season. This was definitely one of my favourites, with very unique salted plum and anise star syrup, along with Hornitos tequila.

Each guest cast their own vote, and the Clough Club's Shea Hogan's took the people's choice prize with the Girvän Märk, a drink featuring Hendrick's gin, along with a Maker's Mark bourbon foam.


My favourite of the evening was Jesse Bailey's Anastasia's Little Black Dress, which was a blackberry based drink featuring Skyy vodka and lemon juice.


Topped with a marshmallow, vanilla bean, and Skyy vodka infusion, it was really fruity and delicious.  The freshly torched mini marshmallows added a nice touch and made for a cute drink.


Another interesting drink was The Kentucky Float by Grant Sceney of the Lobby Lounge Bar at Fairmont Pacific Rim -- a simple drink with Maker's Mark, root beer spice syrup, and maker's mark maple ice cream. 



The prettiest drink was the work of The Keefer Bar's Julia Comu, with diamond shaped ice cubes filled with dill, as well as some fancy mixing with dry ice cubes.  Her drink, The Young Delinquent featured a simple mix of Hendrick's gin, dill infused sake, Martini Bianco, and peppercorn syrup.

All in all an enjoyable evening at the Roundhouse, with many more creative drinks from some of the best bartenders in Vancouver.

More: Good Eat - YumRick Chung 

The Keefer BarClough Club / Lobby Lounge at Fairmont Pacific Rim 
The Keefer Bar on Urbanspoon   Clough Club on Urbanspoon   Lobby Lounge at Fairmont Pacific Rim on Urbanspoon

8.25.2012

Birthdays & Canard Confit @ Les Faux Bourgeois

As a pre-celebration of becoming yet another year older, I gathered up two of my favourite ladies out for dinner at Les Faux Bourgeois.  Not-so-conveniently located in East Van, it's on a weird corner on Fraser and 15th, which is basically the same as Fraser and Kingsway.  Where I come from (Richmond.), all our plots of land are squares and rectangles.


Although we had attempted to call in for a reservation multiple times, they did not pick up! Fortunately they had a dinner bar for walk-ins like us.  We sat at a corner, and this boded well since we weren't sitting three in a row.


To start, we had the escargots de bourgogne ($9), with parsley and garlic butter, which was salty.  They were somewhat chewy and didn't have that much flavour to them.  With the garlic butter, it was alright.


It's been a while since I've had onion soup, and the soup à l'oignon gratinée onion soup ($9) did not disappoint.  Although it tended to be a bit on the salty side (which is typical of onion soup), it had a very strong sweet onion taste to it -- resulting in a very rich broth.  I found it interesting that there was bits of back bacon inside, and although some might favour this, I was not a fan.


The soup arrived with a generous layer of bubbling gruyère and mozzarella cheese.  It was super stringy and delicious.  I finished all the cheese but left a bit of back bacon and croutons since the soup was so salty.  


Kem ordered the longue d'agneau or roasted lamb loin ($19), served with with caramelized cauliflower, garbonzos and minted pea créme fraîche, which she enjoyed.  Her main reminded me of the meal at Nuba, with the cauliflower and various beans.  


Doro's filet de boeuf grillé ($21), a tenderloin cut with potato gratin and glazed vegetable.  Her steak arrived perfectly as she had ordered it --  medium rare.  She opted for the herb butter sauce, which we agreed was a bit too salty.


Having heard many good things about this dish, I ordered the canard confit ($18), a confit duck on a warm salad of pommes saladaise, arugula, goat cheese and snap peas with port jus.  It was a surprisingly large piece of meat, laid upon my favourite arugula!


The duck was quite moist, with a thin crispy outer layer, which I loved. The soft meat, combined with the arugula and goat cheese was delicious.  However, I did find it a tad too salty once again.



To my surprise, my friends ordered a cake as well! Thanks, Dorothy and Kemily! The nut-crusted chocolate silk cake ($7) was indeed quite smooth, with a very strong and rich chocolate mousse layer that was quite heavy.  It went well with the raspberry sauce on the side as well as the nutty bottom.

Overall an enjoyable meal at Les Faux Bourgeois -- the prices are quite decent, with a very enjoyable casual yet somewhat fance atmosphere.  Some of the dishes are quite strong in flavour and some tend to be a bit saltier, but it was negligible.

More: Good Eat - Yum

Les Faux Bourgeois
663 E 15th Ave
Vancouver, BC
(604) 873-9733
Les Faux Bourgeois on Urbanspoon

8.23.2012

Curry & Pineapples @ Green Basil

Since I was in the Metrotown area and didn't want to have a meal at the food court with the family, we went to Green Basil, which is actually right across the street on Kingsway.  It's a few units down Accord Food House, but it was a hot summer's day and no one really wanted noodles in soup.


We ordered several lunch specials ($7.50), all of which came with one spring roll each and soup.  The spring rolls, which were piping hot, weren't bad.


I have been here a previous time as well, and the "daily soup" seems to be the same everyday -- a light tom yum style soup.


I stuck with the same dish I had last time: the green curry chicken with eggplants and coconut milk.  At "three chili peppers" according to the menu, this wasn't too-too spicy.  The chicken breast was not overly cooked, but they were strangely perfect in such a way that reminded me of frozen dinners.... I liked it though, since the curry was quite good especially with the thinly sliced eggplants.


Mama Leung ordered the yellow curry chicken with pineapple and coconut milk.  I'm not a fan of pineapple in curry.


Papa Leung ordered the chicken with cashew nuts and Thai chili sauce.  I much preferred the curry dishes over this one, to be honest.  


The fried rice in pineapple was not on the $7.50 menu (sadly).  Served with pork floss and cashews, it had a nice taste of sweetness to it, from the small taste that I had.

At $7.50, lunch here is pretty much a steal.  None of us could finish our meals (not even Papa Leung, though he was close) since the portions were huge.  I totally understand why this restaurant can get quite busy with office staff during lunch hour.  Flavour-wise everything was great, though I think I would stick with something of the chicken variety, for fear that the beef would be heavily tenderized with baking soda.

Green Basil
4623 Kingsway  
Burnaby, BC
(604) 439-1919
Green Basil on Urbanspoon