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Richmond Night Market

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on July 21, 2014 at 11:10

So wonderful to be visiting the Richmond night market!

Weather was nice and so many people — queueing up for food, waiting for food and it was so much fun!

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There were way more food that I wanted than my already flexible stomach could hold in one go.

As a result, the plan of attack was to get the food that I really missed!

Number one being curry fish balls!

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I could make that easily for myself at home, but having curry fish balls on the street was very nostalgic for me —  it was one of the quintessential street food in Hong Kong.

Next, delicious lamb skewers.

Had to admit that we might have gone to the wrong stall as the famous stall might be an aisle down.

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This stall still had non-stop business with a long line, a tell-tale sign of a good place, Asian way.

They served chicken, beef, pork and shrimps as well, but I was partial to lamb.

The lamb skewers were still very fresh, delicious and spicy hot!

Tender and perfect balance between meat and fat, slightly charred with slight burnt meat/fat flavor – such a delight!

I was happy to find stinky tofu!

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Rumor was that night market had stopped serving stinky tofu because it was still too stinky for the public.

Stinky tofu were tofu that had gone under fermentation, and the process imparted an almost blue cheese flavor to the tofu.

They were then fried or sometimes steamed to serve, and was considered one of many Chinese delicacies.

These stinky tofu were Taiwanese style with hot sauce, sweet soy sauce paste, cilantro, and pickled cabbage.

They were not nearly as stinky as what I was used to having growing up (I remembered literally able to smell the stinky tofu street vendor blocks away).

In fact, I saw the sign on the stall front, rather than reaching them via my nose.

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It was still a tasty rare find, and I was glad the night market still had this dish!

We walked past stalls that was making the fine art of dragon beard candy…

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Yummy fried chicken fillet and mochi dessert…

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Our friends got the grilled calamari that was tender and delicious, cooked in its own juice.

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On our way to night market, I saw a girl with a cup of Chendol that looked delicious; since then I had kept my eyes peeled on finding one for myself.

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Eventually I got the Chendol while DH got a mango drink.

Chendol was a popular Indonesian drink dessert with hard-to-miss green rice noodle, coconut milk and palm sugar.

This stall version also consisted of red and green beans, almond tofu and jelly.

It was refreshing and filling at the same time.

DH was not quite full yet from all the teaser nibbling, and we landed on the pancake roll.

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The pancake wrap was similar to roti and we opted for pickled vegetables and pork filling.

It was buttery delicious mixed with crunch and tartness of pickled vegetables.

The stall also had kimchi and beef, and the traditional Chinese dry shredded pork with eggs filling.

At this point, my stomach was nearly at end of its stretch.

Passed by a fried Mars bar bus…

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…and would really loved to try the new Korean crazed ice cream-filled spiral called IceCane…

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At the end, went for my little eggs as some of my friends had never had this classic Hong Kong street food.

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We walked and ate until it got dark.

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Went back to our hotel with a happy, satisfied and full stomach!

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Granville Island

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on July 16, 2014 at 11:02

Granville Island — one of the touristic highlights of Vancouver BC.

Especially around this time of the year when the Pacific Northwest had beautiful sunny days and gorgeous colors in our surrounding.

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The market was bountiful and vibrant with abundance of produce.

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Seafood were other highly prized items from the Northwest.

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Many food vendors also occupied the market.

Pastry shops….

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Specialty pie shop…

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We bought lunch at Laurelle’s Fine Foods.

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The salmon pie was good with a tangy fresh beet salad.

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Unfortunately my own Shepherd’s pie was better than theirs — of course I am biased!

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The filling was not tomato-ey or herby enough and the mashed was a little hard and dry.

Laurelle's Fine Foods on Urbanspoon

Found ChocolaTas in the Public Market after lunch.

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A few of the pieces were interesting: Kyoto cherry rose and rooibos tea. 

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Their dark chocolate ganache were smooth and with lovely roasty chocolate flavors.

The Kyoto cherry rose was very nice with a hint of cherry, green tea like flavor and hint of rose.

Flavors were just right and subtle; allowing the characters of chocolate to shine.

The rooibos tea flavor in the ganache was too light and unnoticeable.

ChocolaTas might not be Thomas Haas level great, but still enjoyable.

ChocolaTas on Urbanspoon

Vancouver Food Day Part III

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on May 21, 2014 at 12:42

My favorite Hong Kong style café in Richmond BC – Lido!

The must-get in Lido was the Hong Kong style milk tea.

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Hong Kong style milk tea with corn beef and egg sandwich

Black tea flavor was strong and the milk was silky, velvety smooth and creamy.

The milk tea came unsweetened and each person could adjust their sweetness-liking accordingly.

It was truly a little luxury in a cup and I savored every sip of it.

Alas, no establishment in the Greater Seattle area produced such delicious milk tea — it made crossing boarder a must!

Lido also served excellent Hong Kong style coffee and milk tea mix, yin yang 鴛鴦, which was exceptionally authentic, down to the use of not-so-great coffee.

Perfect balance of tea, coffee and milky goodness, it was another must-try.

To eat: my favorite toasted corn beef and egg sandwich.

At Lido, fantastically fluffy eggs and salted corn beef was sandwiched between 2 slices of perfectly toasted white bread.

Every bite was exciting — first there was the crunch of the toast, followed by soft pillowy eggs and flavored with corn beef.

My only wish was for more corn beef in the sandwich.

These drinks and sandwich brought back nostalgic memory of having these same food with the street vendor in Hong Kong market.

Lido was also famous for their pineapple buns, which were often sold out.

I found pineapple bun with satay beef on the menu and had to try that!

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The pineapple bun was fluffy, sweet and lovely as usual.

The best part of the pineapple bun was the top where the sweet flakes fell off as one bit into it.

It was unmistakably buttery and soothing.

The addition of satay beef introduced a sweet salty competition in the mouth.

The satay flavor was very strong albeit a little too salty, and the beef was super tender.

It was a little messy to eat and nonetheless enjoyable.

Lido Restaurant 麗都餐廳 on Urbanspoon

Another place I loved right next door to Lido was Excellent Tofu and Snack.

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They made some really smooth tofu here.

Usually I came for the plain tofu, or tofu fa 豆腐花 with ginger syrup.

The tofu was silky –  upon close inspection, there was no bump on the surface of the tofu.

It had a nice soy bean flavor and each spoonful would melt away in the mouth – it gave away exactly like the inside of seared foie gras.

I believe tofu fa was one of the greatest dessert in the world.

It was healthy — completely vegetarian, low in fat, high in protein and as long as we did not overdo on sugar or syrup, it was also low-calorie.

The shop offered this simple, light and healthy dessert in hot or cold form.

Each tiny table in the store or the counter area had small tubs of brown sugar which was customary to add into the tofu dessert for extra sweetness (also textural crunch), or when someone ordered the tofu plain with no syrup.

There were many flavors or combination possible with this simple food: the addition of red bean, grass jelly, barley; coconut flavor, peanut flavor, taro flavor, options were limitless.

This last visit, I went for something different, almond tofu.

I usually enjoyed the “fake tofu” almond tofu.

The fake one was made with agar, evaporated milk, almond extract and sugar.

This real tofu almond tofu was delivered with sweetened almond syrup.

On top of it, I had the full make up with the addition of fruit cocktail.

It was so delicious!

The shop also sold fresh soy milk and tofu curd for cooking.

I loved their tofu so much that I brought a box from Seattle to buy their tofu curd and transported them back.

Unfortunately it was an utter failure — due to its silky soft nature, the tofu curd did not survive the car ride and turned into tofu mush.

If I recalled, I made the tofu into a very mushy ma po tofu — never again.

Excellent Tofu & Snack 好好豆品專門店 on Urbanspoon

Vancouver Food Day Part II

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on May 5, 2014 at 10:39

Went to Guu Garlic, and we were disappointed.

The dishes were not as good as they used to be — very sad.

We ordered many small dishes to share.

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L: sweet shrimp sashimi — R top: roasted garlic — M bottom: fried shrimps — R bottom: chicken wings

The ama ebi, sweet shrimps, was ok and was not popping crunchy fresh.

The fried garlic and fried shrimps were not anything special.

Chicken wings with soy glaze was delicious but I was not wow by them.

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L: stir fried udon — R top: salmon sashimi — R bottom: beef carpaccio

In the past, I longed for Garlic Guu’s stir-fried udon.

I was expecting a delivery of my old favorite but not anymore.

It used to be cooked just right in noodle texture, this time around, it was overcooked and soggy.

It used to have this most amazingly mushroomy flavor that I loved, and that was gone — resulting in just a regular beef udon stir-fry.

The wild salmon sashimi was fantastic, fresh, sweet and firm, and my friend said the beef carpaccio was excellent.

To be fair, food was not bad; they just had turned ordinary — without the little something that made them special anymore.

Or perhaps, we were just there on a off night.

I will still go when my friends go, but I will not long for the place anymore.

Guu Garlic on Urbanspoon

 

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Nero waffle bar, on the other hand — I will be returning in a heart beat — really wish there is one in Seattle of that quality!

The waffles were definitely one of the best I ever had!

This very tiny store on Robson and stone throw from Garlic Guu had about 12 seats inside the store and 6-8 seats outside.

The minute the door was opened, one would be welcomed by the unmistakable creamy, dreamy aroma of sweet eggy waffles.

Nero served both the light and crispy Brussels waffles and the soft and sweet Liège waffles.

On the menu, there were equal numbers of savory and sweet waffle concoctions.

Our party actually stopped by Nero before Garlic Guu to kill time and put more food in the stomach; and I ended up sharing the strawberry cream waffle with DH.

If I knew I would be disappointed with Garlic Guu, I would have eaten another chocolate mousse waffle all by myself!

The Brussels waffle was the lightest I had ever had.

Took a significant bite, and it just disappeared in my mouth — light, airy and yet, the impact of the milky, eggy and buttery flavor was enormous.

The sweet hint of waffle carried through every bite and stayed pleasantly in the mouth afterwards.

The fresh strawberries were only for decoration as the waffle star was shining so bright that there was nothing that can dim its light  (and yes, lovely fresh strawberry flavors and fresh fruit texture).

I kept eyeing the delicious looking chocolate mousse with orange on the next table and I swore to myself that I would return soon!

Of course, must also try their Liège waffles!

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar on Urbanspoon

Vancouver Food Day Part I

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on May 2, 2014 at 10:07

Vancouver eating trip was always the best!!!

I was often surprised by my own flexible stomach at which large amount of food were deposited in a short period of time.

We started our trip at Michigan Noodle Restaurant.

I had heard a lot about the wonton noodle in this place for a very long time and finally made the journey.

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L: mixed pan fried noodle — R top: stir fried pea vines — R bottom: won ton noodle and salt and peppers chicken cartilage

The wonton noodle was excellent!

The noodles were thin and Q Q — the best term to describe the perfectly cooked noodle with a slight chewy texture, al dente and bouncy.

I usually avoided ordering egg noodles because most places could not cook them properly and had a soapy flavor.

These egg noodle was prepare fantastically without soapy flavor, and I would most certainly eat this!

The wontons were ginormous, crunchy with very fresh shrimps and thin wrappers, every bite was a treat; accompanied by the expected fish broth accented with yellow chives, it was a memorable bowl of wonton soup noodle.

The pan-fried crispy noodle was delicious as well — the contrast of crisp and soft noodle was always an enjoyable eating sensation.

There were some ingredients in our mixed pan-fried noodle I had not seen for a long while – livers and kidneys!

I believed DH had avoided them all as he was not a fan of inert.

I am not a fan of liver but a huge fan of well prepared kidneys.

Kidneys at Michigan was not bad: cooked perfectly – still crunchy and not overcooked, but there was still a little “piggy” flavor in them.

I guess nothing beat the kidneys that my Mom made at home with large amount of ginger and no piggy flavor.

The pea vine was sweet and had a crunch.

I had accepted the fact that vegetables, especially Chinese vegetables, were of much better quality in Canada than in the States.

Fresher and higher quality vegetables yielded a much tastier simple stir-fried vegetable dish.

Well, I will just have to eat lots of vegetables, along with plenty other food the next time I am in Vancouver again!

Michigan Noodle Restaurant 麥之根雲吞麵世家 on Urbanspoon

Must have ramen in Vancouver!

Normally, I went to Motomachi Shokudo.

This time, we heard about this chicken soup ramen place, Marutama Ramen and decided it was a must-try!

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I LOVED IT!

The chicken broth was really thick and rich; it was very comforting as if someone had put a blanket on me and tucked me in bed.

I opted for spicy and it made the soup tingly in the mouth both from the hot broth and the peppers.

The noodle texture was fantastic; it was an option to choose how soft we wanted the noodle to be cooked and I picked the chewiest option and I got that exactly.

The egg was excellent with its light soy flavor, runny egg yolk that was cooked just right.

The pork was extremely tender, thinly sliced, well-flavored.

It was such a textural trip: bouncy noodle, thick velvety broth, soft tender pork and the resistance of egg white at the first bite opening up to runny creamy egg yolk.

Every bite was fun, every bite was delicious, and I could drink the soup forever!

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Marutama Ramen on Urbanspoon

Teppanyaki, Nitrogen Ice Cream and 3D Foam Art

In Asia, Eating Out, Food, Travel Food on November 18, 2013 at 15:45

Doof Out

Got a fantastic short food tour of Tsim Sha Tsui.  Thanks MS!!

I had requested to have teppanyaki, since I could not get proper ones in the Seattle area (Benihana is NOT teppanyaki!!)

Couple months ago, I finally broke down and went to Gyu King in Vancouver BC.

It certainly was not wow, and the food was delicious due to the large quantity of butter used.

Nonetheless, it was enough to satisfy a long craving.

My friend brought me to Akita Teppanyaki 秋田鐵板燒刺身專門店  in Kowloon.

We got a 2 people set lunch and started with salad and this delicious steam egg.

It was cooked over the “teppan” (literally means iron slab) by steaming the eggs under cover.

The cook diligently added water onto the teppan to make sure there was enough steam to cook the eggs properly; resulting in a very smooth, soft egg.

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We ordered abalone and oysters on the side, fresh and delicious.

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The set came with shrimp that was crunchy and sweet.

We had steak and also my favorite, thin slice beef wrapped with garlic and green onion.

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The meats were followed by vegetables and this fantastic looking fried rice.

It was dry, fluffy and it was definitely fusion of Chinese and Japanese as it had dried shrimps in it.

Really delicious.

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Then on the street, we walked past this ice cream place – Lab Made.

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Super fun!

They poured the ice cream mix at the bottom of the kitchen aid, set it to stir, then poured liquid nitrogen into the bowl.

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The resulting ice cream was extremely smooth and melted in the mouth really quickly.

It felt lighter than gelato and super refreshing.

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They offered about 4-5 flavors and rotated them over time.

I got the Earl Grey with fantastic tea flavor, and it literally felt like I had a frozen cup of milk tea with no ice crystal.

Lastly, a cup of cappuccino – but with 3D foam art at Allegretto Viva Espresso!!

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It was soooo cute!

It took the barista almost 15 minutes to make my coffee but totally well worth the wait!

I carefully drank and savored the cappuccino.

What a wonderful afternoon!!!

Eating out in Victoria BC

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on August 19, 2013 at 20:07

Doof Out

Dragon Boat racing brought me to Victoria BC, Canada this last weekend!

We had fish burger and oyster burger at Barb’s.  The fish and oysters were both very fresh, and the sandwiches were flavorful but greasy.  DH and I opted for healthier grill versions of our food rather than fish and chips since we were racing.  We also got a side of steamed clams.  Unfortunately the clams were dry, perhaps because there was no juice.  In fact, it was probably the first time I had steamed clams without juice (I suspected that the juice were saved for making chowder).

Barb's Place on Urbanspoon

Most exciting eating event for me was breakfast at Murchie’s!  Their scones were to die for!  Luckily we were in Victoria, and I was able to indulge myself.  Murchie’s had stopped serving scones in their other BC locations.  I got currant scones every time with clotted cream.  Their scones were light and buttery with plenty of currants.  The currants were moist; sweetness was just right.

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We had ham and cheese croissant there and it was ok.  They had a huge array of desserts as well.  Over the years we had tried different ones and they were all good.  Their coffee and teas were great as well.  This year I was surprise to find something I did not enjoy!  I tried their African Swirl tea latte, which was made with pomegranate rooibos tea and caramel.  It was too sweet and it felt like the flavors did not work well together.  The pomegranate flavor was non-existent.  The second surprise was with the flourless chocolate cake.  The chocolate flavor was fantastic and sweetness was perfect.  However, the texture was springy and seemed gelatinous.  They also had a gigantic macaroon with cream and raspberry.  My friend had it and said it was good!

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Murchie's on Urbanspoon

We had our team dinner at Irish Times Pub.  The highlight was the crab bisque.  It had strong and fantastic crab flavor with crab meat chunks at the bottom of the bowl.  It was served with a nice touch of Guinness cream.  The soup was smooth and creamy.  We also had Shepard’s pie.  The flavor was good but had very little meat.

One day we went to lunch at 10 Acres.  It was lovely to find a place serving local ingredients, and they served their own organic produce.  I had an excellent fresh salad with lettuce, squash, pickled beets and onions.  The onion soup was great as well with a mild broth and great onion flavor.  Most of the times, onion soups were too salty at restaurants, and 10 Acres’ was a rare find for just right saltiness.  DH had fish tacos that were excellent.  The fish was super fresh and the pickled jalapeno was a nice compliment to the tacos.

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10 Acres Bistro, Bar & Farm on Urbanspoon

The second day, lunch was at Ayo Eat.  It was a tiny to-go place at Market Square serving Indonesian Food.  It had a very small menu (about 6 items).  We had the satay with rice, a gado gado wrap and chicken fried rice nasi goreng.  The peanut sauce was thick and smooth, and with great peanut and garlic flavor.  I wish the chicken meat was dark meat for better texture.  Curry sauce was drizzled on top of the rice which was a very nice touch and the curry sauce had great flavors and SPICY!  The nasi goreng was excellent.  The fried rice was dry and well-flavored with spices and shrimp taste.  The gado gado wrap was a new twist to the traditional dish.  The usual gado gado Indonesian salad was wrapped in rice crepe (usually used in Vietnamese spring roll).  The addition of yam noodles was great for both texture and as a vehicle for the peanut sauce!

Ayo Eat on Urbanspoon

The final delight was at Red Fish Blue Fish.  We got the fishtacones: salmon and a special miso pacific fish.  The fish was fresh, prepared very well and portion was generous.  The coleslaw was crispy and the tortilla texture was fantastically chewy and definitely held up well with the saucy content.  The only one downside was the texture of the pacific fish.  It was quite dry and it reminded me of the texture of canned tuna.  The flavors were great together.  We also tried their Pacific Rim chowder which was made with coconut milk.  What a fantastic idea!  The flavor was complex and it had a great balance of sweetness from the corn, spiciness from the chipotle and saltiness from the broth and fish.  The chowder did give me a quick gut bomb which I believe was from the coconut milk.

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Red Fish, Blue Fish on Urbanspoon