Tasting Plates Gastown & Chinatown – recap

A pleasant Vancouver evening, was filled with pleasant company and great food as Tasting Plates visited Gastown & Chinatown on Wednesday October 23rd.

Tasting Plates patrons found something sweet and savoury as they walked between the evening’s eateries in the two downtown neighbourhoods. Four of the more recently opened eateries were new to many of us, and Trees is a firm favourite for many Vancouverites.

As with all Tasting Plates events, patrons checked in to receive their Tasting Plates map at the first stop – Wara Thai Eatery. Then it was off to try each restaurant’s ‘tasting plate’ or ‘tasting cup’. Check out #TastingPlatesYVR on social media to see some of the other patron’s posts of their experience.

Tasting Plates Gastown & Chinatown visited the following locations;

Wara Thai Eatery :
Spaghetti Bites with Thai Basil Chicken Sauce, Toong Tong – Thai Gold Bags, Thai Salad Cups
Buttermere Patisserie Café :
(clockwise) London Fog Cake Roll, Korean Citrus Cheesecake Tarts, Galette Bretonne Cookies, Earl Grey Chocolate Bar
Moltaqa Restaurant :
Bessara Green Pea Soup w/ Cumin, variety of lentil, bean tomato and egglant stews with bread and Iced Hibiscus Tea
The Praguery Gastown :
Sweet Prague Cone “Marie’s” – Nutella lined Coconut Cone, filled with Whipped Cream, cinnamon and Raspberry.
Trees Cheesecake & Organic Coffee :
Pumpkin Spice and Classic New York Cheesecakes.

If this edition of Tasting Plates visit to Gastown & Chinatown whet your appetite, check out Tasting Plates and Vancouver Foodster’s upcoming events Dumpling Fest November 6th and Curry Fest Vancouver November 13th.

Picks of the Week – October 16, 2019

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the next occasion, Halloween, brings us plenty of picks to entertain us over the next week.

Alpen#DasOriginal Oktoberfest wraps up another year of fun, this weekend, at Vancouver Alpen Club

Spooks: The most frightful time of the year, Fright Nights at PNE, fills the fair with haunted houses, thrilling rides and ghoulish ghosts until Halloween

Trolley: Get spooked and learn some of the dark side of Vancouver’s history on the Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour, from October 11 – 31

North: It’s the last week to, take off and see the Great White North meets the Land of Fire and Ice as Flyover Canada welcomes Flyover Iceland to the cinematic adventure

Improv: Vancouver TheatreSports is hosting a world of laughter until October 20 as the 2019 International Theatresports Institute Conference and Festival comes to Granville Island.

Train: Head into the Rabbit Hole when you follow Alice in Nightmareland at The Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train until Halloween night.

Jivesh Parasram – Take D Milk, Nah?

Diwali: The Cultch partners with Diwali in BC to present Pandemic Theatre and Rumble Theatre’s Take D Milk, Nah? a solo show from Jivesh Parasram about his Indo-Caribbean heritage, running October 16-26, at the Vancity Culture Lab

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil brings their latest show, Luzia to the Big Top at Concorde Pacific Place, continuing through the end of the year

Country: American country star Luke Combs brings his Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour to Rogers Arena on Saturday night

Bedrooms: The Arts Club Granville Island Stage opens The Birds & the Bees is a Canadian bedroom comedy about love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys, until October 26

China Doll photo: David Cooper

Opening: Gateway Theatre in Richmond opens its 2019-2020 season with Marjorie Chan’s historical drama, China Doll, running October 17 – 26.

Jazz: Friday Jazz is live at Tyrant Studios, this week featuring Joan Bessie + Raene

Comedy: Saturday Comedy takes the stage at Tyrant Studios, this week’s stand-up finds Katie-Ellen Humphries on stage, supported by Stuart Jones and Randee Neumeyer

Indie: Irish singer/songwriter Hozier returns to Vancouver with his Wasteland Baby! Tour, at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre Friday

Art: Full Circle First Nations Performance and the Vancouver Public Library co-host the art and film installation pîkiskwe-speak: An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation from October 16th to December 15th in the Samuel & Frances Belzberg Family Exhibit Space at Vancouver Central Library.

La Traviata

Opera: The Vancouver Opera 2019/20 season gets underway Thursday with the opening of La Traviata at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, also playing October 19, 24 and 27th.

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

Corey Hart Never Surrenders

Corey Hart with Glass Tiger – Rogers Arena – June 25, 2019

Corey Hart wrapped up the Never Surrender Tour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. His first tour after over two decades away from the music spotlight was supported by Glass Tiger, themselves celebrating the 33rd anniversary of their debut album.

Glass Tiger

As the early audience arrived, they were treated to a set filled with nostalgic hits from three of the original members of Glass Tiger. Alan Frew, who just two weeks prior to the start of the tour underwent surgery on a broken neck suffered in accident, was in fine form and voice. Covering the stage to reach out to their fans who were having a great time singing along to old favourites, plus a couple of new tracks, he built up the energy in the arena.

After a short intermission filled with other retro tracks, Corey Hart bounded on stage to a roar of approval from the now ample audience. The 2+ hours that followed were filled with an array of hits from the Montrealer’s catalogue. From the energy and engagement, you would never guess that the singer had taken a 22 year break from the stage to raise his family with wife (and back up singer) Julie Masse-Hart. While he made light of the fact that he, and we all, were older, he performed like he was years younger than his 57 years.

Corey Hart thanks his fans

However, there were moments of father-figure, maturity as he spoke passionately of his signature theme to Never Surrender and when speaking of his family. A couple of the more nurturing moments came with a couple of surprises. Mid-set the singer regrouped to a grand piano at the centre of the arena, to reach out to more audience members. At this time, he told how he’d had to cancel a 1987 tour and as a result the fan who’d won a meet-and-greet with the singer missed out on her prize. At the start of this tour, she’d reached out on Facebook to remind him of the long lost prize, she was at the show, so keeping true to his word he invited her to the stage to finally claim her meet-and-greet, 32 years later. At the opposite end of the fan spectrum, Corey was also joined onstage by a new supporter, 13 year old singer, Tyson, from the Sarah Mclachlan School of Music. Tyson blew the audience away with his powerful vocals on Goin’ Home.

Not letting any of his fan favourites slip past, the setlist was filled with sing-along tracks, and a couple of new songs from his latest EP, including First Rodeo, with Glass Tiger’s Alan Frew joining onstage to perform a part sung by Jim Cuddy on the record. Boy In The Box, Everything In My Heart, It Ain’t Enough, Can’t Help Falling In Love, Sunglasses At Night and, of course, Never Surrender, all found new life and old memories. Those old memories were joined by new ones from this stellar performance from a genuinely warm, and engaging performer, who seems to be back and ready to bring more music to his fans.

Never Surrender

Here We Go Again, Cher!

Cher – Rogers Arena – May 30, 2019

The Goddess of Pop, Cher, brought her “Here We Go Again” tour to Vancouver.

Rogers Arena was abuzz with excitement as Nile Rogers and Chic, legends in their own right, took the stage in support. With a songbook covering a wide range of genres, decades and artists, Nile Rogers and Chic were a perfect pairing with Cher, and the perfect openers to get the party started.

After a short break, filled with more upbeat disco tunes and a chance to see the audience’s stellar styles, filled with sequin, boas and glitz. Even more style was on display as the curtain fell to reveal a montage, of Cher through the ages; from early hippy days with Sonny, the glam of Bob Mackie gowns for TV, Academy Award recognized roles, over the top Vegas and concert tour costumes. As though descending from the heavens, the Goddess of Pop appeared, as expected, in another magnificent costume and wig, from that moment on it was this Woman’s World, and we were invited to witness another extravaganza concert.

Closing off the North American leg of the “Here We Go Again” tour, the tour moved along like a finely choreographed work. A multi-media show always had something happening, even when the icon wasn’t onstage. Dancers, video, trapeze artists, and a stellar band, all kept the 90+ minute show on point. Even though it’s been 14 years, two tours and two Las Vegas residencies since her “Farewell Tour” the 73 year old finds boundless energy to keep entertaining. In her sixth decade of performing Cher has perfected her showomanship and the ability to create a magnificent spectacle. There are no half measures in a Cher show, it’s All or Nothing.

The “Here We Go Again” tour is in support of her latest album of Abba covers, and features Waterloo, SOS and Fernando, reminiscent of the Mamma Mia movie set that inspired the album. This tour also featured her biggest hits, from I Got You Babe, sung with Sonny Bono on video, to If I Could Turn Back Time, to Believe. The setlist kept the demographically diverse audience on their feet, and in (or out of) tune throughout the evening. As with all spectacular shows, After All is sang and done it must, all, come to an end, leaving the audience wanting more. Thankfully Cher will sooner or later return to the stage to Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! another over-the-top tour.

Join Tasting Plates in Mount Pleasant & Yaletown

As Vancouver Foodster moves into its 8th year of Tasting Plates, a pair of events bring hungry patrons to the neighbourhoods of Mount Pleasant and Yaletown.

Like all Tasting Place events, guests will check-in at their starting location, collect their Tasting Maps & Menus then set off on a flavourful adventure.  Chefs will present tasting plates, dishes and cups that they think best exemplify what their kitchens are all about. It’s your chance to learn from them and mingle with other foodies and friends as you devour the tasting plates offered.

Tasting Plates Mount Pleasant is coming next week, February 27. Restaurants in the Mount Pleasant and Olympic Village area, starting off at Papparoti, include;

Registration Location: Papparoti – 1778 Columbia Street

Maizal – 2815 Main Street

Westcoast Poke – 463 West 8th Avenue

Uma Sushi – 450 West 8th Avenue

Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite: Advance $45 ticket sales close tomorrow, February 22, afterwhich, tickets are $60, GST and Eventbrite fees extra.

Tasting Plates Yaletown takes place March 6, starting at Living Produce Aisle in Yaletown, the restaurants in the neighbourhood include;

Registration Location: Living Produce Aisle – 1168 Hamilton Street

Manoush’eh – 620 Davie Street

Patron Tacos & Cantina – 265 Robson Street

Robba Da Matti – 1127 Mainland Street

Ticket Sales are on sale via Eventbrite: Early Bird $35 tickets are on sale until February 28, Advance $50 tickets are on sale from February 28 – March 3, afterwhich, tickets are $60, GST and Eventbrite fees extra.

Luke Bryan asks What Makes You Country

What Makes You Country Tour – BC Place Stadium – October 13, 2018

This weekend, Luke Bryan‘s What Makes You Country Tour made a stop at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.  The country superstar packed the tour with 4 other support acts, making it like a six hour country festival.  The dinner hour audience was warmed up by Carly Pearce, then Jon Pardi took the stage. In between sets, DJ Rock kept audiences energized and dancing.

Sam Hunt

Once Sam Hunt took the stage, the audience was filling the seats and the energy was filling BC Place to the roof.  The Georgia-born singer-songwriter was welcomed to the stage with a roar, in all-black outfit and ballcap, his swagger gave a hip-hop/pop vibe. Hunt led a singalong as he played his hits “Downtown’s Dead”, “Take Your Time”, “Body Like A Backroad”, “House Party”, and a mid-set Honky Tonk tribute to those country star he grew up listening to; Brooks & Dunn, The Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks.  His easy country/rock style has crossover appeal and he worked the audience to make sure everyone was on the Sam Hunt bandwagon.

Luke Bryan

The stadium was packed and roaring as headliner Luke Bryan took the stage with “Country Girl (Shake is for me)” which definitely prompted a lot of Vancouver girls, and guys, to shake it for him.  The affable platinum-selling country superstar worked the whole stage reaching as many of the audience he could.  While it was noticeable that something was troubling Luke, and he mentioned suffering from local allergies, his vocals didn’t seem troubled at all. His charm and energy shone throughout the set, high-energy tracks balanced with sweet acoustic ballads. After a rousing cover of Alabama’s “Mountain Music”, Bryan slowed it down with the audience favourite “Drink A Beer”. “Play It Again” and appropriate for Vancouver “Rain Is A Good Thing” closed out the main set.

Audience Fave: Drink A Beer

Even for those of us who didn’t attend the whole 6 hours of performances,  Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan alone definitely left the audience satisfied.  The What Make You Country Tour has just two more dates, wrapping up nearly a year’s worth of shows, in Rochester and Detroit.