Tasting Plates visits Gastown and Chinatown

Tasting Plates Gastown and Chinatown invites you to find out what’s new in the oldest neighbourhoods. October 23, at 6pm, join other food fans to explore the restaurants and cafés in the downtown Vancouver food scene.

As with all Tasting Plates, participants will get to explore the neighbourhood with their friends, and family meet fellow foodies, while sampling the fare that Gastown and Chinatown’s chefs have prepared for the evening.  Vancouver Foodster has invited the chefs to create a tasting plate unique to the evening or bites curated from their existing menus. 

Tasting Platers will check in at the check-in location to collect their Tasting Plates maps, get their assigned first stop and then they’re off an running to taste the world of flavours.

Tasting Plates Gastown and Chinatown on October 23rd, includes the following restaurants in the line-up…so far;

Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings Street
Trees Cheesecake + Organic Coffee, 321 Water Street
Wara Thai Eatery, 509 Main Street
Buttermere Patisserie Café, 636 Main Street
The Praguery Gastown, 221 Abbott Street

Watch for more restaurants to be added as the event gets closer.

Tickets are available now via Eventbrite (fees may apply)
Advance Tickets $45 per person after October 11, 2019
Regular Tickets $60 per person after October 20, 2019

Prepare for a Taste of Yaletown

Yaletown is about to burst with flavour as the 15th Taste of Yaletown gets underway.

Running October 12 to 27, 2019, Taste of Yaletown is an annual celebration of Yaletown’s restaurants. Every year the neighbourhood chefs present unique sets of cuisine, tasting plates and pairings for the distinctive festival. Yaletown restaurants are offering special prix fixe lunch and dinner menus that show their eateries at the very best.

Set menus are priced at $35, $45 & $55 with some restaurants making offerings at multiple levels.  Taste of Yaletown lets patrons explore the world through the diversity of its restaurants, from Japanese cuisine at Bistro Sakana, Vietnamese at Little Saigon, to Mediterranean at The Greek by Anatoli, and French fare at Provence Marinaside, or Italian at Robba di Matti.

For the full list of participating restaurants and menus visit yaletowninfo.com

Vancouver Foodster Sandwich Challenge Wraps Up

Since the start of September, readers and fellow foodies have been searching for their favourite entry in the Vancouver Foodster Sandwich Challenge, and the results are in. Finding something to savour between slices of bread has been the privilege of the media judges and public, who tasted the four entries.

Vancouver Foodster challenged Metro Vancouver cafes and restaurants to create a sensational sandwich and they came up with a diverse line-up of dishes. With most of the entry locations only having recently opened, it was an opportunity to see what they could do with such a menu staple.

 In addition, a group of judges, David of @BCFoodieBlogger, journalist Tara Lee  @VanGlutton and myself tried all the sandwich entries to select the Judges’ Choice Sandwich. The public was also invited to try any or all of the entries, then vote for their selection to claim the title of People’s Choice Iced Summer Drink.

With such diverse flavours to sample, the voting was tough but very enjoyable to sample all the entries. The Judges Choice came out in a result for Food By Fanta’s The Trans-Atlantic Sandwich. The People’s Choice result was a win for MixxBao’s Stewed Pork Bao.

For the full details of the drinks and all the results of the Vancouver Foodster Sandwich Challenge online at vancouverfoodster.com

West Village Cafe creates a community

Tucked into a shopping complex in Surrey, the recently opened West Village Cafe is an urban oasis in a suburban sea of chain store conformity. Even as you enter the bright, contemporary, cafe you are aware that you’re in for something good.

Arriving on a Sunday morning, West Village Cafe was bustling and alive with groups of friends and families socializing, studying and sipping a great smoothie, or coffee while digging into their brunch or lunch dishes.  Owners Paul and Jas, and their staff greet guests with friendly and fast service, creating a comfortable, welcoming room. Even though almost everything is housemade the small kitchen turns out food in a rapid pace, comparable to the fast food restaurant.  Paul, Jas and Chef Tim Cuff have created a menu which offers a diverse selection of Breakfast/Brunch, Salads, Soups, Sandwiches, and their speciality Rice Bowls, along with Grab-n-Go baked goods and drinks.  Ingredients have been carefully selected from local sources and the freshness is reflected in the taste.

My meal of the Turmeric, Cous Cous & Grapefruit Salad, with one of best classic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches was comforting and fresh. The AntiOxidant Smoothie and Chocolate & Peanut Butter Energy Seed Bar were a tasty, healthy combo to take on the road back to Vancouver.   West Village Cafe may be out in Surrey, (we wish it there was one near our Yaletown neighbourhood) it’s definitely now on our list of places to visit on a day out and a place to meet with friends in the area. 

West Village Cafe is located at #160 – 5620 152nd Street, Surrey BC
Visit westvillagecafe.ca to check out the menu and more information then make a visit in person.

Brunch at Morocco West

Located just off Robson Street, on Jervis Street, in Vancouver’s West End, Morocco West takes patrons’ taste buds on a trip.

While any meal is great at the small bistro, brunch is a brilliant combination of exotic flavours and comfortable plates. Benedict, omelette, scrambled eggs, flatbread all sound familiar but Chef Nourdine Majdoubi adds his own unique flavour and flair to elevate the dishes to achieve Morocco West’s standards.

Photo 2014-10-05, 12 33 46On our recent visit, a nice sunny autumn morning invited us to take advantage of Morocco West’s streetside patio for brunch.  After much deliberation and a recommendation from our friendly server, I decided to try Chef’s Signature Moroccan Benedict; free-range eggs, merguez sausage, hummus, paprika hollandaise. The dish is usually served with breakfast potatoes but I requested to change to their very flavourful Truffle Parmesan Fries.  Billy chose Moroccan Omelette; free-range eggs, mushrooms, cheddar cheese served with potatoes.MoroccoWest_omelette

Both dishes were perfectly satisfying for Sunday brunch as well as nicely prepared and presented.  The benedict’s poaches eggs were cooked just as I’d requested, with just enough yoke to dip the truffle fries into and mix with the paprika hollandaise. The omelette was soft but firmly cooked and the ample mushrooms with melted cheddar made the vegetarian dish plenty satisfying for the heartiest meat-eater.

A sunny day helps, but not required to enjoy a flavourful brunch at Morocco West.
Check it out for yourself at 795 Jervis Street. Phone: 604.563.8466
Follow them on Twitter @MoroccoWest and Instagram @MoroccoWestVancouver

Exile on Bute Street

Photo 2014-05-24, 12 51 00Located on the 1200 block of Bute Street (at the rainbow crosswalk) in Vancouver’s Davie Village, Exile Bistro is a great new addition to the West End dining scene. The small 25 seat bistro and cocktail bar prides itself on using ethically grown, locally sourced or foraged ingredients that are as organic as possible.  While there are many vegan or gluten-free options on the menu, Exile doesn’t forget the meat eaters with BC Bison, Trout and Boar as options.

I recently visited for brunch with my friend Michael (@vegandall) choosing to sit outside on a nice spring day, the fresh air balancing the fresh ingredients.  I choose the gluten-free breakfast biscuit benny; a pair of nicely poached eggs with wild kale and mushrooms, sitting atop a flakey rusk-style, gluten-free biscuit with a yoghurt based hollandaise sauce.  A nice balance between the flakey biscuit and the egg yolks and hollandaise.  Michael opted for the Farinata, an eggless omelette alternative made with chickpea flour, topped with mushrooms, shallots, and juniper aioli (cheese can be added if you don’t want to keep it vegan). The Farinata was more of a flatbread or frittata style than a classic folded omelette but all the flavours worked to create a satisfying breakfast.  A side of multi-coloured potatoes sauteed in olive-oil added a simple addition to round out the brunch.

 

 

A return visit is in order to try dinner and cocktails, with a patio still to be built along on the quiet block of Bute Street, a summer evening of al fresco dining will be perfect.

Exhile Bistro is located at 1220 Bute Street, Vancouver. Hours: Monday to Sunday 5pm – late, Saturday & Sunday Brunch 9am-2:30pm  Phone: 604.563.8633 Facebook.com/exhilevancouver

 

Dine Out 2014 – Bistro Sakana

The 2014 edition of Dine Out Vancouver Festival is well underway with the first weekend seeing restaurants and events filled with Festival goers.  This year I start the Festival off with Billy (@billyforce) and Mary (@maryinvancity) at Bistro Sakana, in Yaletown. I’d only ever been for lunch and know it’s a great spot for quality sushi. Happily it is a participant in Dine Out and from the constant stream of patrons coming in and out of the doors it was a popular inclusion.  This was Billy & Mary’s first visit and none of us were disappointed.

Bistro Sakana-18 50 23 Executive Chef Etsuko has carefully chosen a selection of menu items to highlight Bistro Sakana’s fine blend of Japanese, Italian and French style cuisine.  Everything on the menu stimulates all the senses, the plates are presented beautifully to stimulate the eye, the flavours stimulate the palate with many layers of flavour, and scents to stimulate your sense of smell.
The $38 three course menu starts with Wild Sockeye Salmon Miso Chowder – a hearty, but light broth with a hint of miso and cream topped off with chunks of Sockeye.

 
Bistro Sakana-19 18 30The beautifully plated main included five tastes; Wild Sockeye Jalapeno Aburi & Toro Red Chili Aburi Hakozushi – fresh, perfectly torched, bite full of flavour, Caprese Roll – like its namesake salad, tomato, bocconcini & pesto with scallop sashimi accented with balsamic reduction, Crunchy Filo Scallop & Prawn – light & crispy, filo wrapped prawn and scallop with miso hollandaise sauce, Ahi Tuna Tartare – ahi tuna, fresh house-made guacamole, mango & yuki sauce served with a crispy nori slice to wrap it in.  We also added on their unique Caterpillar Roll – crab, smoked salmon, cucumber with brown rice wrapped in fresh, creamy avocado.

Bistro Sakana- 20 17 44During the meal we sipped on their signature cocktails; Geisha Girl – pineapple juice, blackberry liquer & vodka and The Salty Samurai – grapefruit juice, ginger, & vodka.  The meal was then topped off with Oka San’s Rich Chocolate Brownies – bites of warm dark chocolate brownies served with chocolate sauce and vanilla bean gelato, a great treat to wrap up an excellent meal. And a great way to start of 2014 Dine Out Vancouver Festival.

 

 

Bistro Sakana is located at 1123 Mainland Street, in Yaletown.
Open for lunch weekdays and dinner Monday – Saturday, closed Sundays & Holidays.
For reservations phone 604.633.1280 or email bistrosakana@shaw.ca
Follow @BistroSakana on Twitter or Facebook