This week, Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates introduced a gaggle of hungry foodies to the global flavours of Coquitlam. Whether locals or visitors to the Metro Vancouver suburb, many were surprised by the array of global inspiration found in the dishes prepared by the chefs at the participating restaurants.
From the Malaysian roots of PappaRoti, to the Korean street-style snacks at Seoul Truck Street Food, the Filipino dishes at Kulinarya, or the Latin American tastes at Polito’s Latin Cafe, all the cultures washed down with European inspired locally made brews at Mariner Brewing. For those of us who don’t venture out to Coquitlam often, we expected some new discoveries but were surprised to find we weren’t alone, even the locals we spoke to were finding new spots to try out again in the near future.
Over the evening Tasting Platers were welcomed to visit and taste the following locations;
PappaRoti: a recent addition to Coquitlam, the dependable cafe offered their Signature coffee caramel coated Roti Bun and a coconut cream filled Coconut Rollie plus and Ice Blended Signature Chocolate, Karak Tea or JJ Bean Coffee. The perfect combination to get us off and running to explore the area’s other offerings.
Seoul Truck Street Food: within an unassuming second floor food court in Henderson Place Mall, the surprising site of a food truck gives you a clue to the style of snacks being served by this Korean kitchen on wheels. The K-Town Sandwich, is a soft bun filled with crispy Dak-Gang-Jeong (Korean Fried Popcorn Chicken), either Red Pepper Spicy, Soy or Garlic flavoured. As a side snack, fried Ddeok-Ko-Chi (rice cakes) came in two flavours; Red (sweet & spicy sauce) or Yellow (cheddar cheese sprinkled with sugar).
Polito’s Latin Cafe: just down the street but half a world away, the large, airy cafe offers Latin American flavours to its food fans. El Salvador’s favourite dish, mini Pupusas, were a soft, thick filled corn tortilla topped with curtido (cabbage slaw & tomato sauce), Vigorón from Nicaragua, is a cabbage salad, yuca and chicharones on Banana Leaf. Patacones “Tostones” take inspiration from Columbia as the deep fried Plantain is topped with vegetables and meat. To compliment the trio of dishes and quench our thirst a zesty, creamy Horchata or a refreshing Jamaica were just right.
Kulinarya: a stop at a strip mall finds us in a quaint Filipino Cafe where we were served bite-sized BBQ Pork skewers, Lumping Shanghai (spring rolls) and a sweet take out container piled with Rice Noodles tossed with a light sauce and crisp vegetables.
Mariner Brewing: Coquitlam’s first craft brewery was the final spot on our Tasting Plates adventure. Following four flavourful restaurants, what better than four flavourful brews to finish the evening. A flight of Northeast IPA, Golden IPA, Horizon Pale Ale and Night Sky Mocha Stout gave us a nice look at what Mariner Brewing is brewing.
Besides the food, one of Tasting Plates best features is the ability to get us out of our comfort zone (neighbourhood) and discovering and trying new locations and chefs around the city.
If this sounds appealing to you, join Vancouver Foodster and other food fans on the next adventure; Tasting Plates East Village is coming April 18, 2018.