Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Archive for August, 2015

Restaurant Review: Bistro 101

Location: 1505 W 2nd Ave

This is our second time at Bistro 101. The first time was with our family and we had gone on a Friday night without a reservation. Friday nights are buffet, while Monday-Thursday have a set course dinner. Each month has a different menu,

Tonight was a great way to finish off our trip to Vancouver. Though wait times are bit longer for dishes to be served because Bistro 101 is a place for culinary arts students to practice, the price is a little cheaper, but they are by no means less delicious. With three choices on the menu and four of us, we were pretty much able to try everything on the menu. The only person who ordered a drink was my friend Julia and she got a Carbonated Rose Lemonade. We all placed our order and I was surprised when our server Shelton brought out a complementary amuse bouche. It was cream cheese wrapped in salmon topped with capers and lemon zest served on a fried wonton wrapper. Other than being on the salty side, it was actually really good! They also provide complementary bread with whipped butter. There was so much variety, but my favourite was the muffin looking one that reminded me of the biscuits at Red Lobster and the other looked like a small loaf with really chewy crust (if you haven’t noticed, I love food with a chewy texture, hence Korean crystal noodles and al dente pasta). Since there were four of us, we had to double up on one of the appetizers.  Two of us got the prawn bisque, one got the chickpea fritters and the other got the calamari. The calamari was well seasoned, I had no problems with anything on the plate being over salted. There were only four piece of calamari arranged around a mound of cooked greens. The presentation was a bit lacking, but what it lacked in appearance it made up for in taste.The greens were like salad greens but cooked and I thought that I wouldn’t like it but with the garlic based Asian sauce made a huge difference. They were so delicious! However, I did have a problem with the oiliness of the dish as a whole.  If there had being something tart, the dish may not have come off as being so heavy. The prawn bisque was creamy and the addition of the chili oil “really made the dish man” to quote my sister’s friend, Vi. Or more eloquently put, the chili oil added added a new level of depth to the dish. My sister, Valerie, however, wishes that the prawns were a little smaller as they were hard to cut through and made it difficult to eat and still look decent. The chickpea fritters were well crisped on the outside, but had a very smooth consistency within. The chickpea fritter was topped with some sort of aioli and lemon zest., served with grilled eggplant roses on a bed mixed greens. According to Julia, “the lemon zest was very fresh~~~~.” Personally, I would have liked to have seen the eggplant seasoned a little more aggressively. Of the three dishes, this had to be the most beautiful one. Overall, appetizers were small portions that did what they were made to do, stimulate our appetite for the meal to come while holding us for a bit longer until the mains came.

We were so immersed in the view and our conversation we didn’t even notice that it took longer than usual for our mains to come. I only knew that it had taken longer than usual because Shelton apologized for the delay. There were three options for mains, but we only chose two of the three. Vi and I ordered the Grilled Salmon, while Julia and Valerie ordered the Pork Tenderloin. Both entrees turned out a little different from what was described on the menu, which was good and bad in some ways. Instead of fresh pasta, the salmon came with potato patties. As the patties were fried, there was a lot of oil for this dish too. In someways the fresh pasta would have been so much better because that would have given the chef the choice to go with a light, citrus or fresh herb sauce. The addition of capers to the asparagus was the only only saving grace to this dish. The inherent tartness of the capers helped to counterbalance the potatoes. However, that was nullified by the fact that the asparagus and capers were drowned in a sauce that was in and of itself quite oily. The star of the dish, the salmon, was really the star. The meat was light and came apart easily, the seasoning was not so overpowering that it destroyed the tender salmon’s taste. The tenderloin was succulent and started out pink, but as the meal went on the pork continued to cook so that in the end it was completely cooked through. It was lightly seasoned, but still flavourful. The pork was served on a bed of white beans that were a little undercooked for Valerie’s liking and also lightly seasoned. Instead of swiss chard and rhubarb, the pork was served with one floret of broccolini and grilled bell peppers. The broccolini wasn’t bitter as is often the case and the bell peppers were unseasoned, but this allowed for its naturally sweet flavour to shine.

Last was dessert. Four people, four desserts. Valerie had the Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Poached Peaches in a Hibiscus Syrup, Vi had the Caramel Semifreddo, Julia had the Red Velvet Mousse Cake with Mint Chocolate Ice cream which was the dessert of the day, and I had the Neapolitan. The Panna Cotta was by far the most beautiful. Valerie’s favourite part of the dish was the candied nuts in the house made granola. I thought the caramelized sugar twill was pretty cool, it would have added more aesthetic appeal if it had been made into a longer, more graceful shape. The hibiscus syrup was light and not overly sweet and eaten as a whole was a truly amazing finish to an already amazing meal. Vi ate the Caramel Semifreddo so fast I didn’t even see what had happened. The next thing I knew she was asking the waiter if it’d be okay to order a second dessert. The semifreddo was served on top of a pistachio financiers and garnished with an apricot Earl Grey coulis. I didn’t get much feedback on this one, but based on what I know about each individual element, it would have been a pretty good dish. The Red Velvet cake, though it got a big reaction from everyone wasn’t really that special. What was special was how beautiful it looked. The colours on this plate were more vibrant than anything we ordered all night. I loved my Neapolitan so much so that I strayed from the original plan to share and try out everyone else’s desserts; I was not sharing this with anybody! The balance in this dish was perfect, better than anything else I had ordered all night (not a sweet person, usually I’d be the one raving about the savoury, but not tonight). The Neapolitan comprised of strawberry vanilla mousse cake, strawberry gelée, chocolate ice cream garnished with a strawberry, white chocolate chip on top of each slice of cake. A great twist on a classic.

Bistro 101 was one of the higher class restaurants we’d been to on this trip. It’s always been a great experience here and for the price you pay, this place is without compare. I would come here time and time again for the friendly service and amazing food. I will come back again the next time I’m in Vancouver. My rating for this place is 4.75/5.

Complementary Bread

Complementary Bread

Amuse Bouche: Salmon wrapped Cream Cheese topped with Capers and Lemon Zest

Amuse Bouche: Salmon wrapped Cream Cheese topped with Capers and Lemon Zest

Wok Fried Calamari with Asian Flavours

Wok Fried Calamari with Asian Flavours

Prawn Bisque

Prawn Bisque

Chickpea Fritters

Chickpea Fritters

Grilled Salmon

Grilled Salmon

Pork Tenderloin with White Beans

Pork Tenderloin with White Beans

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Poached Peaches and Hibiscus Syrup

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Poached Peaches and Hibiscus Syrup

Caramel Semifreddo

Caramel Semifreddo



Dessert of the Day: Red Velvet Mousse Cake with Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

Dessert of the Day: Red Velvet Mousse Cake with Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

Restaurant Review: Jang Mo Jib

Location: 1575 Robson St

I’m pretty sure that our cousin Jenny took us to this restaurant when we were last in Vancouver. I mean it’s something I remember, Jenny remembers, my dad remembers, so if that many people remember, I can’t be crazy.

This place is awesome! Portion sizes are huge, so unless you’re a big eater or have a large party, don’t order too much. For the four of us, we ordered three dishes and even then, we had trouble finishing it. We ordered the Regular Non-spicy Gam Ja Tahng, Beef BBQ, and the Jab Che. The Gam Ja Tahng is a traditional Korean pork and neck bone soup with green onion, white onion, vegetables, and potatoes. Normally we’re all pretty good at holding our own when it comes to spicy food, but my cousin said that since the soup was hot, a little bit of spiciness would make us cry. The soup had large chunks of fall of the bone tender meat, but I found the soup to be a little too meaty in taste for my liking. For me, potatoes in a clear broth soup, especially an Asian soup is a little weird. Now that I’ve tried it, I can say that I don’t like it. Next time I’d like to try the Duk Bok Gee Hot Pot. The last two dishes don’t have an option for level of spiciness. The Beef BBQ isn’t just the meat, it was more like a stir-fry. I would have preferred if there was more meat than veggie, but maybe I was just feeling carnivorous that day. A staple for me is Jab Che (also spelled Jap Chae). Eating this one I knew immediately that I have been to this place. Like a friend of my sister’s said, this dish is really accessible and is a great introduction to Korean food for people who haven’t tried it yet. I really like it because of the sweet potato noodles which are super chewy and I love chewy.

Because the portion sizes are so big, I would love to come back again just to try out some of these other things. Hopefully next time I’ll have more people to come along with me so we can try out everything. I would rate this place 3.75/5 based on the experience and dishes I tried here, but that may changed based on what I order next time.

Restaurant Interior

Restaurant Interior

Side Dishes

Side Dishes

Gam Ja Tahng

Gam Ja Tahng

Jab Che

Jab Che

BBQ Beef

BBQ Beef

Restaurant Review: Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant

Location: 4989 Victoria Dr

This was our second last full day in Vancouver and we spent it with our cousin. Dim sum is a must in Vancouver. She said this place has some of the biggest siu mai she’s ever seen, setting my expectations. We walked in with a giant cluster of people around the entrance but we decided to go up to the counter anyways and put our name down. The lady at the counter told us that the wait would be about an hour and a half. Our cousin was shocked, in all her time coming to that restaurant, she had never had to wait that long even with a line winding around the corner. We waited for about twenty minutes inside the first set of doors before moving into the restaurant to wait. In total we only ended up waiting about half an hour before we were seated. However, when seated and got our order in we waited for twenty minutes before anything came out.

The first dish we got was the prawn spring roll. It’s the closest thing to the bean curd spring roll that I love so much. It came with worcester sauce just like the bean curd things do. I’m not sure if I prefer this one because spring roll wrapper is substantially crunchier and way less messy than the bean curd one. The siu mai and beef tripe came at the same time. She wasn’t kidding about the size (look below for a picture of the sui mai in my bowl next to my teacup for reference). The sui mai had: pork, scallop, shrimp, fish roe, and shitaki mushrooms. It looked like the wonton wrapper could barely contain it. My cousin didn’t like tripe, but that’s fine because that means more for my sister and me. The tripe was plain in comparison to the siu mai and spring roll, which was not a bad thing. I think I prefer the tripe marinated in garlic and chilis than in ginger and green onion. Next one that came was one of my sister’s favourite: the deep fried Chinese doughnut in rice crepe with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and peanut butter. I usually only can eat one or two pieces, since it’s primarily dough (or all dough), it fills me up so that I can’t eat too much else. One reason we order doughy/carby things at dim sum are to make sure we don’t overspend on food (in particular, for those with a larger appetite). The next dish was the ha gow. It was equally large. Maybe not as big as the siu ma, but still large in its own right (look below for another comparison picture). The last, is another favourite of my sister’s, the shrimp in rice crepe. Even though I took a rice crepe from the bottom, it had not soaked in enough soy sauce.

This place may look dingy and run down and you’re willing to wait a little longer, this is a good place for dim sum. The portion size really stuck with me and I hope to come back here again with family or friends in the future. I’ll give it a 4.25/5.

Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant

Restaurant Interior 1

Restaurant Interior

Prawn Spring Rolls

Back: Siu Mai Front: Tripe

Siu Mai compared to my teacup

Chinese Doughnut wrapped in Rice Crepe

Ha gow

Ha gow compared to my teacup

Shrimp wrapped in Rice Crepe

Restaurant Review: Deer Garden Signatures

Location: 1213-8338 Capstan Way (Richmond)

On visits to Vancouver with our family, this restaurant has been a favourite among us. Besides being incredibly affordable, the meal is completely customizable. You start with choosing the soup base, there are about 11 different soup bases to choose from. Next you choose what kind of noodles you want out of a choice of ten (though one of them is not actually a noodle). Included in the meal is the choice of two add ins,additional add ins are $1.50 extra. Only two people in our party stuck with two options, the other three had four. Every dish comes with mushrooms, fresh bean curd, cilantro (menu says coriander, it’s not coriander), and siu choy. Lastly, the meal comes with a drink. Cold drinks are a dollar extra, but hot drinks aren’t. Pretty much every drink on their drink menu has a hot and cold option. The complete dishes ordered were as follows:

Peanut Sauce & Chili; Korean style sweet potato crystal noodles; pork liver, sliced beef, watercress, and century egg; cold almond milk

Thai Tom Yum Goong Soup; Udon; fish balls, bok choy; cold house  milk tea with pearls

Malaysian Laksa Soup; Egg noodles; deep fried fish cake, enoki mushrooms, beef brisket, and beef tendon; cold coffee and tea

Szechuan Spicy Soup; Vermicelli; beef brisket, century egg, bok choy, (one more that no one remembers); cold milk tea

Watercress & Almond Fish Soup; Egg noodles; deep fried fish cake, corn; some kind of lychee drink

The Peanut Sauce and Chili soup is never what I expect it to be. It’s really creamy in texture, but doesn’t have much of a peanutty taste. The main reason my sister loves this place so much, other than the customization, is that it is one of the last few places that still serve pork liver in noodle soups. She also happens to love century egg (also called thousand year duck egg), but I’m not so sure that it was any good in soup, she assures me that it was fine.

My friend struggled quite a bit with the udon noodles. It was adventurous her to try to eat udon with chopsticks. Even as an experienced user of chopsticks, undon noodles often pose a challenge with their annoyingly round shape and slippery texture. And as usual, she nibbled away at her dish and was full having barely made a dent.

I had the Malaysian Laksa. I know I’ve had it before somewhere and I’m probably the worst at describing such a thing, but it is so delicious. The soup is really creamy and has a lot of depth. I used to never know what to get from here, now I do. I’m still trying to find the perfect noodle, but a couple more times here should fix that.

I didn’t end up trying the other two, so I have no idea what they were like, but those who ordered them ate a lot of it, so I’m assuming they liked it (no complaints were heard).

The portion sizes are huge, the food customizable and delicious, what more could a person ask for? I guess they could work on their service, but when they’re trying to help a restaurant that is full with a line out the door, I guess running around like a chicken with its head cut off is a thing (a thing which I’m beginning to think is exclusive to Chinese restaurants). The thing that surprised me most was how busy the place was because it was way past the formal lunch hour (we went at about 3 o’clock). But in this case, the good outweighs the bad and I would give it a rating of 4/5.

Watercress & Almond Fish Soup

Watercress & Almond Fish Soup

Thai Tom Yum Goong

Thai Tom Yum Goong

Malaysian Laksa

Malaysian Laksa

Szechuan Spicy Soup

Szechuan Spicy Soup

Peanut & Chili Soup

Peanut & Chili Soup

Restaurant Review: Cork & Fin

Location: 221 Carrall St

This is my first time going to a bar/pub/drinking establishment in B.C. One thing I didn’t know was that we’re required to present two pieces of ID. One must be government issued like a passport or driver’s licence. The second piece is used to verify identity, so something like a university ID or credit card. Under normal circumstances I don’t drink because I don’t hold my alcohol well, but one drink caught my eye and I thought, why the heck not. I ordered myself a Sherlock & Co which was cucumber, mint, pimms, and something else, served in a champagne glass. The friend who recommended it said it was like champagne and as far as I knew, it should have been pretty light. However, it wasn’t and after a couple sips I was ready to give in. My friend, a B.C. local had a Moon Session Lager which was surprisingly not bitter and disgusting like I find of most beers (can you tell I’m not a beer person?). My sister and her friend both got a Lime in D’ Coconut, the girliest cocktail on the menu at the recommendation of the waitress. You could taste some of the alcohol, but it was far milder than anything I’ve ever had.

We were at the place at around 5:30, in the middle of happy hour so we got some appies since they were kinda cheaper than normal: wings and tacos. The wings were lightly breaded, seasoned and drizzled with what looked like ranch dressing. There wasn’t many and they weren’t all that good. I didn’t think that I’d like the Albacore Tuna Tacos as much as I did. Though it wasn’t all that flavourful and my hand slipped with the tabasco sauce, it was decent and much better than the wings. 

Once the appies were out of the way, we could focus on ordering mains. We debated about getting chef’s table or getting some of the individual dishes, which the waitress described as tapas. They were nothing like tapas when they came out. For me and several others, they constituted a meal. We started with one round, three of us didn’t make it beyond that. My sister had the mussels and fries, her friend had the veal cheeks, I had the gnocchi, and my friend had the ceviche. The mussels were impressive. I could understand that they would be finished off very quickly if shared, but for one person, it was a meal. The mussels were served in a miso broth and garnished with bacon bits. On the side was a basket of fries and a garlic aioli. I loved how crunchy the fries were. The garlic was light and the aioli smooth; it was a delicious combination. The one piece of mussel I did have was actually pretty good. I don’t like mussels, clams, and oysters because they can have a very strong fishy taste, which I dislike, but that wasn’t the case with these. The veal cheeks were melt in your mouth flakiness. The seasoning on them was fairly light, as with almost all their other dishes, which was good because I hate nothing more than something overseasoned and having me reach for my water glass between every bite. The cheeks were served on a creamy bed of mashed potatoes and topped with crunchy potato chips, giving it a varied texture, which I appreciated. In the one bite I had, I could understand how overwhelming it could become for one person to finish it all because it was pretty rich. My Parisian gnocchi was way overcooked. The gnocchi could barely maintain its shape and was kinda a pocket of mush rather than heaven. It melted in my mouth, but not in a good sort of way. It wasnt too salty, which was good because the pancetta was pretty salty on its own. The good thing about this dish was that the ratio of peas and asparagus to  gnocchi was just right. The addition of the peas and asparagus complemented the gnocchi, making the gnocchi the star of the dish, as it should be. The ceviche, as described by my sister was legit. It was marinated long enough in lemon juice that only the surface “cooked” while the inside remained raw. The shrimp was served with tostadas and garnished with microgreens and what looked like chopped cilantro. The bit that my sister had didn’t really have much of a bite to it, but it would have been nice if it did. My friend was the only one who got a second round, a steak tartare served with what looked like nori chips. My friend really enjoyed it, but my sister absolutely hated it. I don’t do raw, so even if I had tasted it, I wouldn’t have known if it was good or not. 

We finished the night off with a salted caramel ice cream and I had an Earl Grey for myself. This was my first time having salted caramel and as my sister’s friend remarked, it was a lot like taffy. 

The inside of the restaurant was gorgeous and cozy. From our vantage point we could see a series of seats on the balcony. It’s obviously not a place to go with your parents, but it certainly is a nice place to go with friends after a long day or for an intimate date.

Price wise, it is a little on the expensive side, but it’s kinda like a tapas bar, so what can you expect. The service was good and it was clear the waitress really knew her stuff. I’m not sure if I’d come back to this place, but I would still recommend it. I’d rate this place 3.5/5.


Cork and Fin Exterior


Flower at our table


Moon Session Lager


Lime in D’ Coconut


Drink: Sherlock & Co, Wings in foreground


Albacore Tuna Tacos


Prawn Ceviche


Parisian Gnocchi


Mussels and Fries


Braised Veal Cheeks


Beef Tartare


Earl Grey Tea Ensemble


Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Restaurant Review: The Old Spaghetti Factory

Location: 53 Water St

Located in Vancouver’s historic Gastown, this place has been one of the coolest restaurants I’ve ever been to. Ever since my parents introduced this to me. Maybe this is why I started falling in love with pasta in the first place. No, I’m kidding, but that’d be an interesting story: the origins of how I came to love pasta. As I’ve grown up, I’ve learned to eat real pasta, pasta that is al dente and this place no longer meets that requirement. Don’t get me wrong, the food here is still delicious, but if it had been al dente, it would have made it so much more amazing. 

Late lunches have now become a thing for us. I’ve always believed in having a late or early lunch and never one on time especially when eating out because crowds usually gather at the appointed lunch and dinner times and I like to avoid the rush. Lunch here is a great deal because they always start you off with a loaf of sourdough bread with whipped garlic and plain butters. Then you have a choice of soup or salad as a starter, followed by a main of your choice, finishing with a hot tea or coffee and Spumoni ice cream. One person ordered a house salad with the low fat sesame dressing, the other three had soups; two had French Onion and one had the Clam Chowder. While the dressing is low fat, that does not mean that the salad should be doused in dressing. In other words, the salad was way overdressed in that there was a puddle at the end. The Clam Chowder and French Onion are upgrades on the soup option (the original “free” choice would be Minestrone). The broth of the French Onion had a full bodied flavour and it wasn’t overseasoned. The cheese was stringy and chewy and that was the only thing that made it hard to eat. The Clam Chowder was so creamy and rich, but not so much so that it made it hard to finish. In fact, I was left hungering for more. Only one person took advantage of the tea or coffee deal our meal the others ordered soft drinks and just had water. 

The main courses we ordered were Chicken Alfredo with Mushroom and Mascarpone Cheese Ravioli, Red Thai Curry Linguine with Chicken, Spaghetti with Clam Sauce, and Hot Roast Beef Sandwich with Fries. The Ravioli, despite being in a cream sauce was not too rich. When they first brought me my Linguine, they brought me the wrong one, prawn instead of chicken, but our waitress quickly noticed and took it a way before I had a chance to react. When she offered parmesan I said yes without thinking because I absolutely love fresh parmesan. After she left I stared at my dish for a minute before realizing that maybe putting cheese into an “Asian” dish wasn’t the best idea. The first few bites of the Linguine were delicious, but after a while, especially near the bottom where the oil had pooled, it got harder and harder to eat. In terms of aesthetics, the prawns looked so much better in the dish than the chicken. The chicken was tender enough to cut with a fork, but looked rather torn up. The Spaghetti was pretty ordinary. The clams sauce had basil in it and I find that basil is great for reducing that fishy taste often associated with seafood. My friend described it as being fairly light for a cream based sauce. Going to an Italian restaurant and ordering roast beef is probably not advised, but my sister has never been a fan of pasta so she decided to give it a try. Bad idea. The gravy, other than being overly abundant, was extremely salty. Fries are just fries and if someone messed those up…well, then they just suck.

Dessert was ice cream. It was tri-coloured so we were trying to figure out all the flavours. The obvious two were vanilla and chocolate, but the third one, a green on was a little harder. We narrowed it down to some sort of melon, but didn’t get farther than that. The vanilla was a lighter flavour than I was used to, but maybe because I’ve been having vanilla bean ice cream a lot more lately or maybe it was just overpowered by the other flavours.

Overall, my experience here has been really good. I was very impressed by the service and our waitress was really attentive to our needs. It’s definitely a family friendly restaurant and the quaintness of the place is a plus. I would come back again, but next time I’ll stick to the Italian fare and try out that Manicotti as I had originally intended. I would rate this place 4/5.


The Old Spaghetti Factory Exterior


Sourdough Bread with Whipped Garlic and Plain Butter


House Salad with Low Fat Sesame Dressing


Clam Chowder


French Onion Soup


Spaghetti in a Clam Sauce


Hot Roast Beef Sandwich with Fries


Chicken Alfredo with Mushroom and Mascarpone Cheese Ravioli


Red Thai Curry Linguine with Chicken


Restaurant Review: Wendel’s Bookstore & Cafe

Location: 103-9233 Glover Rd (Fort Langley)

After an exhausting pre-dinner walk and exclusion from a pub (as one of our party didn’t have any IDs that are considered sufficient as BC laws differ greatly from Alberta ones) we headed to this cafe. Sure I love books, coffee, and pastries, but I wasn’t enthusiastic about going to a cafe for dinner. I was about to be proven wrong on so many levels.

Two of my party ordered daily special items. One had the Chicken Avocado Quesadilla and the other had the Driediger Farms Berry and Goat Cheese salad. The other orders were a West Coast Prawn Fettuccine, a Jack & Avocado Quesadilla, and a Pad Thai. Drinks ordered were an Iced Caramel Macchiato, a Mocha Frappe, a Yogurt Yerry smoothie, and a Wild Berry Frappe. The Fettuccine was heavenly! It was prawns in a white wine, garlic and cream sauce over fettuccine noodles topped with parmesan and served with two pieces of garlic focaccia. The focaccia was a lot lighter than I was used to and the sauce was so creamy! But as I neared the end, it got tougher and tougher to finish because of its richness. It probably would have been nice to share it with someone who got a salad. The feature salad was quite large and the citrus vinaigrette was exactly what my friend needed after that heavy lamb lunch. The fresh berries, creamy goat cheese, and candied pecans added a layer of depth to the salad, making it more filling than you’d expect from a salad. The quesadillas didn’t really interest me and I didn’t try them, but the two who ordered them said that it was pretty good (and that’s all I could get out of them). The quesadillas came with a salad and choice of dressing. The Pad Thai was also really refreshing. I’ve never had a Pad Thai and I suppose a cafe isn’t the place to try it, but this place actually did a really good job on it. The noodles they used were about the size of my fettuccine, but were made of potato starch instead giving it a nice chewy consistency.  There was a lot of variety of protein in this dish: egg, prawns, and chicken, which was really nice. The lime definitely helped to whet my appetite and I assume that it would make it go down a lot easier than the creamy fettuccine I had. However, the only complaint my sister had about this dish was after a while it got really sweet after a while.

The two desserts that were ordered were a berry cheesecake and a peanu st butter and chocolate bar. The cheesecake looked really good and it would be the kind I’d go for since for me, cheesecake is so rich it needs the tartness to counterbalance it. The crust/base of the peanut butter chocolate bar was described as being quite dry. I’d love to come back just to have a dessert and coffee while looking around at the books sometime in the winter.

As this place is technically a cafe, it functions much like Vendome. You order at the counter, take a number and they will bring it to your table. The staff are friendly yet remained professional. I would certainly love to come back here after a long day out on the river or just to relax and have a coffee with friends. I would definitely recommend coming here if you have the pleasure of visiting Fort Langley. I’e always wanted to live in a small town and this place has become yet another reason why I should. This has been one of the best places we’ve been to so far on this trip and I would give it a 4.5/5, giving Vendome a good run for its money (might even be better than Vendome since it has a much wider selection of food).

Avocado and Jack Quesadilla


Driediger Farms Berry and Goat Cheese Salad


Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar


Berry Cheesecake


Chicken Avocado Quesadilla


West Coast Prawn Fettuccine


Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Restaurant Review: Locus Restaurant and Lounge

Location: 4121 Main St

Our original intention when we went to Main street to type up some letters and poetry at the Regional Assembly of Text was to go for some Vietnamese food, but as most of our repetoire for the last few days has consisted of Asian food we decided to switch things up a bit. A preliminary perusal of their menu yielded a good variety of items and we thought, “why not give this place a try?”

Online, the restaurant was described as Gothic. We wondered if it meant Gothic as in the archetecture or the other one. It was the other one. The place was more a place for drinks rather than a restaurant, hence lounge, but we were still up for giving it a try.

We started with drinks: freshly squeezed pineapple and grapefruit juices. They then gave us unlimited complementary bread. Two types: a cinnamon bread (they ran out of their signature apricot bread) and a Russian potato bread. Each came with their own specially made whipped butter. There was a nutmeg vanilla butter for the cinnamon bread and a red pepper butter for the potato bread. As a savoury person, I preferred the latter of the two especially since there was some heat in it. For our mains we ordered the Baja Tilapia, the Grass-fed Lamb burger, and the wild boar eggs benny. The Tilapia was pan-seared and rubbed with a key lime-chili, served atop a black bean and bell pepper rice pilaf and garnished with guacamole, salsa fresca, red pepper aioli and corn tortilla hay. I found that the portion size was just right. When I was finished, I didn’t feel bloated, nor did I still feel hungry. The seasoning was spot on and incredibly refreshing. There were no flavours that overpowered any other and everything was perfectly balanced. My friend ordered the Grass-fed lamb burger. Personally, I dislike lamb, bison, elk, and the like primarily because of their gamey flavour. This burger was no exception. The gaminess was very strong and even in the one bite I took, I was overpowered. However, as per her regular experience, the portion size was huge. Even as she tried to take large bites out, she barely made a dent in the burger. It ended up being that she had to deconstruct the burger and even then, she couldn’t finish it all. The burger came with a side of roasted potatoes, onions, and carrots and a salad. The salad had a very light, almost undetectable amount of dressing. All I could gather from it was that it was some sort of oil based dressing. The roasted potato side was a natural pairing for the hearty richness of the lamb. The duck sandwich was the one I was most excited for. My sister and I have an affinity for duck, her more than I, so I wondered if it’d be anything like the duck confit from Vendome. The duck sandwich consisted of pulled duck leg confit, mizuna greens, and brie, brushed with honey-whiskey bbq sauce and served on a toasted ciabatta bun and a side of roasted house potatoes and organic mixed greens. The duck sandwich lived up to my expectations and I was very pleased with the one bite I got of it before it was devoured by my sister. The eggs on the bennie were cooked to perfection. When sliced open, the golden egg yolk spilled forth. From my vantage point the wild boar looked to be well cooked, not too dry or anything, but have no clue what it tasted like.

This place was very quaint but they don’t have an extensive menu. The service was good, but some word choices seemed odd to me (ex. instead of saying I’ll be there in a minute, or I’ll just be right there, the guy said, please standby.) The decor in the place was one of a kind, not sure if it really works though. I would recommend trying this place out once, but there may not be much for you try on a return trip back. Based on my experience, I’d rate this place 2.75/5.


Bathroom interior 1


Bathroom interior 2


Giant bug above our table


Painting over our table


Paintings behind us


Cinnamon Bread and Russian Potato Bread with Nutmeg Vanilla Whipped Butter and Red Pepper Whipped Butter


Grass-fed Lamb Burger


Wild Boar Eggs Benny


Baja Tilapia


Duck Sandwich


Restaurant Review: Shabusen Yakiniku

Location: 202-755 Burrard St

Tonight we went for all you can eat Japanese and Korean BBQ. This place was the recommendation of the parents of my traveling companion, Vivienne (a friend of my sister’s). We made a reservation just in case and from the looks of it, it was totally necessary. We arrived to a busy restaurant and were promptly seated. A pitcher of water was delivered and a sheet to mark of the food we wanted. In round one we ordered beef short rib, BBQ beef, spicy gyoza, 2 toro nigiri, 4 unagi nigiri, 8 pieces of salmon sashimi, 2 pieces of tuna sashimi, 1 chopped scallop temaki (hand roll), 4 oyster motoyaki, and 3 agedashi tofu. The beef was the first to come and slowly the other things started to come out. The beef was so good we ordered another two servings of it, but by the time we had finished of all the beef, the temaki, tofu, and oysters still hadn’t come out. We asked one of the staff and she curtly said “it’s coming” even though she didn’t even check. Regardless, we were still hungry and ordered another round of food: 2 more toro nigiri, deep fried spicy gyoza, 8 more pieces of salmon sashimi, and 2 more tuna sashimi. Some more of the food came out and we still hadn’t received some of the dishes from round one. I was becoming increasingly impatient. Both times we ordered the gyozas the meat was raw. I don’t know if that’s how it’s supposed to be but every time we order gyozas, including in Calgary, the meat has always been raw. The pieces of sashimi got thinner and smaller as the night went on and the temaki had way too much rice (so much so that my sister expressed the fact that she was starting to feel sick because eating a roll of just seaweed and rice is kinda gross). To me, the oyster motoyaki was just weird. It is essentially cooked oysters in mayo and oil. That didn’t look or sound appealing in anyway to me. This was my first time trying the agedashi tofu. It’s a pretty ordinary dish: tempura soy sauce and firm tofu cut into cubes, covered in tempura batter and deep fried. Our last round was dessert, a coffee jello. It was kinda weird tasting. Coffee in a jello topped with evaporated milk? I dunno, I feel ambivalent about this one.

The service at this place was atrocious. We had one table who waited for about 15-20 minutest to get a table and all they got was a bowl of edamame that wasn’t meant for us (they mixed up the order and so they just gave it to that table instead). They were so frustrated that everyone just got up and left. That combined with my experience with that waitress has left me feeling disrespected. The only saving grace of this place was one of the waiters, who’s name I can’t currently recall. He was very attentive to our table and made sure we got everything we ordered. Wait times between dishes were ridiculous as well. I will never come back to this place and I give it a 1/5.


BBQ Beef and BBQ Beef Short Ribs


Spicy Gyoza


Unagi and Toro Nigiri


Salmon and Tuna Sashimi


Chopped Scallop and Toro Nigiri


Oyster Motoyaki


Agedashi Tofu and Deep Fried Spicy Gyoza


Coffee Jello


Restaurant Review: Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna

Location: 1124 Davie St

Another day with a late lunch. After an exhausting morning of shopping, we made our way to Stepho’s. Finally, after a recommendation from my coworker two or three years ago, we finally got a chance to go. And we were not disappointed. Even at two o’clock, the restaurant was packed. We waited for a short period of time and were seated near the kitchen. It was apparent that the restaurant had been around for a long time as the building interior looked quite weathered. We speculated that perhaps the building was a house prior to it being a restaurant based simply on the fact that the setup was very homey.

Not wanting to spoil our appetites for the all you can eat tonight, we omitted appetizers and each just ordered a main. My friend and I had the beef souvlaki pita and my sister had the large beef souvlakia meal. The pitas came with fries and a side of tzatziki sauce. Inside the pitas were coarsely sliced onions and tomatoes sprinkled with a light seasoning. The beef came on a skewer and the first piece of meat was stuck on pretty good. As is the norm at Greek restaurants, garlic features quite heavily in their dishes, especially the tzatziki. But I didn’t find that the garlic was too overpowering, although I would not recommend this place if you were on a date, especially if he was a vampire, for he would have died upon entrance into this establishment. Still the sauce was to die for, both refreshing and well seasoned. I would have preferred if the onions in the pita to have had been more finely chopped, but other than that it was amazing! The beef souvlakia meal is essentially the same as the pita except with bread, potatoes, Greek salad, and rice pilaf instead of fries. The rice is similar to something my dad makes at home, except with a lot less seasoning. The Greek salad was kinda sad, it only had one olive…The potatoes are just roasted, not lemon potatoes like at Van Gogh’s that my sister loves so much. I think the only difference between the large and small meal is that the large gives two skewers instead of just one. The beef was cooked spectacularly. It wasn’t charred, overseasoned, overcooked, or undercooked. Sometimes, the problem I have with beef is that it is too tough to bite through and in the case of pita, oftentimes I just rip large cubes of beef out leaving sections of just plain pita, veg, and sauce.

Although their menu isn’t particularly extensive, I would love to come to this place again. The food is well cooked and the servers (or at least ours) are delightful. What I didn’t understand was why our waitress had to take on several tables that weren’t originally hers and when the guy who was supposed to be managing his table took back his table, he was pretty rude to his guests. It was a good experience for me here, so I’d give this restaurant a 4.25/5


Beef Souvlaki Pita


Large Beef Souvlakia Meal


Tag Cloud