Friday, August 23, 2013

The Jade Restaurant

Our epic dinner at The Jade Restaurant in Richmond.

Continuing with our Monday tradition, we decided that we needed a Peking Duck dinner. So after looking high and low for a decent Chinese restaurant in Richmond I decided that we should give The Jade Restaurant a try. I've been to The Jade with family for dim sum but never for dinner. Originally it was going to be four of us having dinner, but it went down to three and of course I over ordered. We had Peking Duck two ways - (crispy skin wrap and lettuce wrap), Roasted Squab, Black Cod Clay Pot, Garlic Pea Shoots and a Chicken and Coconut soup. 

Out of all the Peking Ducks I've had The Jade Restaurant is probably not the best - almost borderline bad. All three of us didn't like how tough and thick the pancake wraps were, especially the rim of the pancake wrap was very stiff. Also the pieces of duck was carved too thick and it made it hard to wrap. Usually the duck should be carved thinner and closer to the skin. The Roasted Squab and Pea Shoots were pretty good no complaints there. As for the Black Cod Clay Pot that dish no one really touched and it was a poor recommendation by our server - we asked for a recommendation because they were sold out of fresh fish and scallops.

Now lets talk about the service. It was a typical Chinese restaurant service - which means you get no service. It took 20 minutes for someone to take our order, none of the servers were very good at making eye-contact. It was near the end of our meal before anyone gave us new dishes - our old dishes were piled high with bones from the squab. It also took several tries to flag down a server so we could pay our bill because everyone was too busy standing around and not making eye-contact. Oh and one more thing one of the servers "complained" that we ordered way too much food for 3 people because he was having trouble finding room to fit each dish. In my defense the restaurant staff should be intelligent enough to know how to organize a table full of food and its just bad manners to complain in front of your customers. Anyways I am going to stop here, because we won't be back anytime soon, not because of the typical bad service but because the food quality was pretty poor.

Until next Monday.

The Jade Seafood Restaurant 玉庭軒海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Edible Canada

I have a love & hate relationship with Mondays.

Monday mornings are the worst - it's so hard to wake up and go to work I feel like Garfield and his Monday woes. Thank goodness that at least almost every Monday I can look forward to my Dinner Group! Nothing beats a nice dinner after work, especially on a Monday. Continuing with my fascination of farm-to-table dining we decided to have dinner at Edible Canada located in Granville Island. What's neat about Edible Canada is that they have a retail store-front attached to their restaurant where they sell Canadian-made products/edibles and Canadian wine/spirits.

I am going to keep this short and simple because it's a Sunday and I don't feel like writing such a detailed review. For the appetizers we ordered two soups and two salads to share. I had a Watercress and Cured Fish Salad, B had the Curry Spiced Albacore Tuna Salad with sauteed Kale. T had the Spiced Carrot Bisque and Q had the Market Seafood Soup. My favourite were the salads - they were so fresh and the seasoned fish added a nice meaty touch to the greens. The salads were perfect patio appetizers. As for the two soups, they were a bit of a disappointment. Both the soups were under seasoned and I couldn't really taste the coconut broth and the other spices in the Seafood Soup.
For the entrees Q and I both ordered the Roasted Ling Cod with Creamed Kale and Crispy Potatoes. B ordered Wild Spring Salmon with chowder and shoestring potatoes and T had the Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Stripe Prawns and a crispy soft poached egg. Having poked my fork in all my friends food I think my favourite was the Roasted Ling Cod. The Cod was cooked to perfection and the texture of the fish was very buttery and the skin of the Ling Cod was nice and crispy. I also loved the creamed kale and the crispy potato was a nice added starch to the whole dish. B's Wild Salmon was okay probably a dish that I would only try once and T's Pork Belly was very flavourful and I loved the crispy poached egg - it takes skills to deep fry a poached egg without popping the yoke.

And knowing me, I always want to order dessert. The four of us shared the Farm Fresh Strawberry Tart because B loves her tarts. I really enjoyed the vanilla custard and the macerated strawberries with the strawberry balsamic sauce. What I didn't like was the shortbread crust. I found it to be too soft and it didn't really go well with the vanilla custard. I think if  the shortbread had more crunch to it then the whole dessert would of been magical. Overall it was a pretty successful dinner and I would love to come back to Edible Canada to try out their brunch menu and probably check out their retail store for some Canadian Maple Syrup!

Bye for now.

Edible Canada at the Market on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hello Sushi

Say hello to Sushi - our new Tuxedo Kitty.

She's black and white with four little white paws and she's a darling kitty.
Sushi loves to play and she hops around like a little bunny.

Meow for now.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lily Mae's

Brunchin' at Lily Mae's in Gastown.

I love Sunday Brunch Days, especially in stormy weather like today. 

My friend A, is a closet foodie and wanted to try Lily Mae's which is a little rustic restaurant tucked away in the heart of Gastown. There's also a pretty cool story behind Lily Mae's, it's owned by a couple that have been living in Gastown for many years and the restaurant is named after one of the owner's mother who's a fantastic baker and a very stylish lady. You can read more about the restaurant's history on their website - 

Finding parking in Gastown is another story worth its own blog entry, but maybe later... Anyways, we arrived at Lily Mae's around 11:30 am and the place was already quite busy. Good thing we didn't have to wait too long for a table, and I must say it was worth the wait! I love how they decorated the dining area with brick walls, vintage mirrors and fresh flowers on each table. 

I felt like I was having brunch in my grandmother's kitchen. The place had a very homey feel to it and our server was very welcoming. We each ordered something different from their brunch menu. I had the Smoked Salmon Benedict, L had the Sunny Day Benedict which was made with crab instead of smoked salmon. C ordered the daily Frittata Feature and A having a bit of a sweet-tooth ordered the Cardamon and Orange French Toast. 

The Benedicts were really tasty L and I both had it with the salad which had fresh berries and a sweet berry vinaigrette. A's French toast was yummy, but just a little bit too heavy for me in the morning. I didn't try C's frittata because I just met him and I didn't want him to think I was odd for sticking my fork in his food (hehe) anyways, I'm sure his frittata was pretty good since he was the first one to clean his plate. Overall I think we all had a really enjoyable brunch at Lily Mae's and for sure A and I will be back to try their dinner menu. - P.S. dear G, I hope you decided to go to Lily Mae's for brunch too today! (tad bit disappointed that I forgot my camera... was in such a hurry this morning!)

rain, rain go away, come again another day.

bye for now 

Lily Mae's Comfort Café on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 9, 2013

Adesso Bistro

I need a cool name for my Monday dinner group. Basically what we do is we pick a restaurant to go to every Monday - at least we try to have dinner together every Monday, and so far it's been pretty successful. Anyways, last two Mondays ago we went to Adesso Bistro, which is a little Italian restaurant tucked away in a neighbourhood in the West End. I read about Adesso Bistro on B's food blog - and I liked the fact that it was in the middle of a neighbourhood, which means the patio space outside would be nice and quiet and away from any type of traffic. We also got lucky with parking, usually that isn't the case when it comes to parking in downtown! We started the night off with two appetizers. Since it was our first time at Adesso Bistro, our server kindly recommended the Pizza ai Funghi - truffle fonduta, roasted mushroom, fontina cheese and truffle oil. 

I am glad she recommended the pizza because it was delicious! I had to fight Q for the last slice (kidding, he was kind enough to let me have it). We also munched on a platter of hand crafted cured meats and sott'olio vegetables (pickled vegetables) while we waited for our entrees. For the entrees Q ordered the Tagliatelle Nere which is pasta with slow cooked squid, baby tomatoes and garlic. B had the Linguini alle Vongole - pasta with white wine, garlic, chili and clams. I had the Filetto di Maiale which is the pork tenderloin served with carrots and asparagus. I really liked both the pastas that Q and B ordered, it was simple and delicious. My pork tenderloin was okay, a little bit on the dry and tough side but the carrots and asparagus were nice and crisp and still had a good crunch to them. 

As for dessert I had their daily sorbets, the flavours were raspberry and basil and surprisingly the basil sorbet was delicious! I have never had basil sorbet before and I loved it. Q had the Limone - lemon and pistacchio semifreddo with raspberry pate and fresh berries and B ordered their tiramisu. The sorbets were probably my favourite just because the basil sorbet was so refreshing and unique! I think Q and B could both agree with me that it was a very enjoyable dinner we had at Adesso Bistro. The prices were fair and the atmosphere was great and the food was pretty amazing. I am definitely taking T here for dinner next time.

Bye for now.

Adesso Bistro on Urbanspoon

Gourmet Camping

♥ Camping

Camp fire hot dogs and pickles

A hearty breakfast of toast bacon and scrambled eggs - - - Fancy instant noodles for lunch

More hot dogs and grilled mushrooms and pickles

Grilled veggies and taco night

Bye for now.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Restaurant 62

Farm to Table Dining with Q & B

I finally found some friends who are willing to eat at a different restaurant every week with me, and the best part about all this is that I get to pick the restaurant! So this week I was looking for a farm-to-table kind of restaurant and what caught my eye was Restaurant 62 located in Abbotsford. The restaurant is co-owned by Chef Jeff Massey, who use to work at Cioppino, Glowbal and Coast.

With Restaurant 62, Chef Massey's goal was to create a menu where the food is locally sourced. He uses seasonal ingredients and supports the local farms in the Fraser Valley area. Another reason why I chose Restaurant 62 was because they were part of the Abbotsford Circle Farm Tour and after reading review I just had to go try it! The drive out to Abbotsford wasn't too bad, good thing we left Vancouver before rush hour started. We were all very hungry and excited to eat! When we arrived we immediately wanted to sit at the patio because it was so warm and beautiful outside.

We started with three appetizers the first one was a grilled lamb chop with risotto croquette, the second appetizer was steamed mussels and the third was a Sampling Platter of salami, prosciutto, Maple Hill chicken confit and pear Gouda. My favourite was the grilled lamb chop, it was seasoned just right and the meat was very tender. The cured meats in the Sampling Platter was all done in-house. I highly recommend the Sampling Platter to share, it's great with a glass of Sangria. For the entrees I had the Seared Fraser Valley Duck Breast, B had the Seared Salmon and Q had the Seared Halibut Filet. My duck breast was cooked just right and very flavourful. I also took a bite of B and Q's salmon and halibut, the flavours were nice and light but both the fish was a little over-cooked, slightly dry to my liking. Oh, Q also had these two giant prawns which were very delicious but B only allowed me to have a small bite because she knows that I will start to get clown lips if I ate the whole prawn. Now let us move on to dessert, my favourite part of a meal.

Q and B were pretty full after their entrees, but I insisted on ordering dessert! I am so glad we ordered dessert because the "Cookies and Milk" dessert was amazing. I loved the warm cookie with the ice cream. It was a fantastic end to our meal! Restaurant 62 was a nice little adventure for us, but what I love most was how they are so supportive of their local community by providing a sustainable menu for their diners. We had a good time at Restaurant 62 the weather was amazing and the food was good. I can't wait till our next dinner party! 

Enjoy, because we sure did!

Restaurant 62 on Urbanspoon