A Source for All Things Yummy!

New Dessert Shop: Crackle Creme

Crackle Creme just opened last month in Chinatown, or more like the outskirts of Chinatown on Union St. with a lovely view of the Georgia Viaduct and some very dead grass since it was super hot that week. This was the nicer side of Chinatown though! The interior is pretty small as expected and has a few bar style seats along the walls.

Crackle Creme Menu

The menu is written on a piece of glass at the front. Sorry it might be hard to read but there was an impressive variety of flavours! I had trouble deciding as usual… Unfortunately they were sold out of the Earl Grey and the Matcha already. The owner said that he was still trying to figure out what sells and what doesn’t. We went on Wednesday and he said that since they are not open on Monday and Tuesday he wasn’t at work to make more creme brule! He also let us try some of his home made Earl Grey ice cream. It was really hard and frozen from the freezer but the distinct Earl Grey flavour was there.

Crackle Creme MenuThey also serve coffee and liege waffles! Might give those a try sometime!

Crackle Creme

The creme brules are torched on the spot for us and it was pretty cool to watch. My friend had the Mango Passion flavour. The flavours were definitely there!

Crackle Creme

I finally decided on the Espresso flavour. The carmelized sugar on top was nice and crunchy while the soft custard inside was packed with flavour. It was quite creamy and rich but I thought the texture could’ve been more firm? It was super soft and smooth like cream from a cream puff but thicker?

Crackle Creme

There was also a container of water that you can help yourself to. It had some type of leaves (mint?) and raspberries inside so it was nice and refreshing.

I would recommend giving this place a try since there aren’t any other dessert places that specialize in creme brule! I’m also excited to try some of the other flavours as well (Earl Grey and matcha!).

Please note that they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Crackle Crème on Urbanspoon

Cafe de L’Orangerie

Cafe de L’Orangerie is in a small plaza on W73rd and Hudson. It’s right next to Penang Delight Cafe. They serve a lot of Japanese style spaghetti and other Japanese takes on other dishes.

Cafe de L'Orangerie

We shared this Beef Stew Poutine with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. It comes in a small or large size and this was the small but it was still a pretty big portion to me. The beef stew was just minced beef with some small pieces of carrot and onion. The cheese was actually in slices under the sauce so a lot of it wasn’t melted yet when it was served but it did eventually melt more. The fries were exactly like Costco fries!!! I love Costco fries since they’re quite crispy but still soft so this was a win for me! I could probably eat this for my entree.

Cafe de L'Orangerie

This was the Masago de Creamy Spaghetti and it was indeed very creamy! There were bits of squid and mushroom mixed it as well as fish roe. I liked this pasta over the one I ordered although both were pretty good.

Cafe de L'Orangerie

This was the Wafu Style Spaghetti with bonito flakes, mushroom, garlic, bacon and cabbage. I think I picked this because it had bacon hehe The noodles were al-dente and the dish was savoury from the bacon and soy sauce? I’m not sure what sauce it was… The portions for the pasta were also really big and I couldn’t finish mine! Especially not after the poutine appetizer.  Also it’s only $10 so it was a good deal! You will be full from all the carbs for sure.

They also have a display case with all their desserts which are home made so maybe I will try those next time! I was pleasantly surprised by how good the food was and I think I will visit more since I live nearby! It’s also a nice place to chat and hang out if it’s not too busy.

Cafe de l'Orangerie on Urbanspoon

New Ramen Joint: Ramen Koika

Vancouver has quite a few ramen restaurants now but there’s always room for more right? Ramen Koika has opened on Davie and Bute St. and they just had their grand opening last week. I went while they still had their soft opening special where every bowl was only $6 with tax included! What a steal!

Ramen KoikaThis was the Cheese Smile Ramen with a light miso flavoured broth, shredded pork, corn, bamboo shoots and mozzarella cheese. My friend also added a side of soft boiled egg. The broth did have a nice light flavour but I only had one sip so I’m not sure about how heavy it would taste after all the cheese!

Ramen Koika

This was the Smoky Miso Ramen with corn, stir fried shredded pork, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts. I was debating between this ramen or the Black Garlic one and ended up getting the Black Garlic one. The broth did have a very slight smoky flavour but it was still  subtle and I wouldn’t know it was considered “smoky”. There was also lots of shredded pork and my friend who usually doesn’t like ramen said she liked it!

Ramen Koika

Finally I had the Black Garlic Shoyu Ramen with seaweed, bamboo shoots, soft boiled egg, black tree fungus, black garlic oil and cha-su. There was an ample helping of garlic chips which gave the broth intense garlic flavour! For the cha-su, you can choose to have it fatty or lean. I picked fatty this time haha but it actually was less fatty than I expected which isn’t a bad thing. The cha-su is slightly seared though so it gave it extra flavour but to me it just tasted a bit burnt so I’d rather they didn’t do that since the garlic flavour was already pretty intense. The egg was also pretty flavorful too. As for the noodles, they were cooked right for me since I’m not very picky about it. Overall this was one satisfying bowl of ramen so I think I’ll be back!

I also like how they have an open kitchen in front of the bar style seating area but it’s behind a glass wall so while you’re eating you don’t get really hot from all the smoke and steam if you’re sitting there! You can visit their Facebook page for more updates; it seems like they just came out with Icy Matcha Noodles (no idea what that is…)?

Ramen Koika on Urbanspoon

Ask for Luigi-Did It Live Up to the Hype?

Ask For Luigi has been one of the most talked about restaurants in town for a while and it was high time that I tried it out. They only take reservations for time slots between 5:30-6pm so we did not end up getting one. I got there around 6:20pm and was told that the wait would be about an hour and they were pretty spot on with that. The interior is pretty small I think there were only 12 tables that seat 2 or 4 people.

Ask for Luigi

We shared an appetizer which was the Crispy Polenta with Taleggio Cheese on some marinara/tomato sauce. The outside looked a bit like fried tofu covered with cheese. The outside was crispy and the inside was soft with some mild flavour from the cheese.

Ask for Luigi

The special of the day was Gnocchi with Rabbit. The gnocchi was pillowy soft and slightly chewy and while the rabbit meat was tender and had that pulled meat texture.

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Granville Island Eats

On Canada Day, my friends and I went to Granville Island to see the festivities. However, we actually didn’t really see much… so I’m not sure if it was the time that we went or we just didn’t know where to go. We did see a small dog show though.  Ok I have to admit we weren’t really there for the special events but more for the food ;)

First stop was gelato! There are a few gelato places in the public market as well as two other places you can get ice cream/gelato from. We went to Omi Gelato and there was a huge line up! Pricing was $4.30 for a single scoop and $4.75 for a single with a waffle cone. The gelato was not bad, nothing ground breaking but it satisfied our cravings and the scoop was really big! The waffle cones also tasted fresh.

Omi Gelato

Flavours from left to right: Pistachio, Chocolate Hazelnut and Tiramisu (better image below). Sorry the pictures aren’t great because there were tons of people around and it started melting!

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Salsa Agave

My friends and I wanted something quick to eat so we spotted Salsa Agave and it looked decently busy so we thought we’d give it a try. I’m all for trying new things! Most of the things on their menu are around $10.

Complimentary chips and dip were offered for the table but the dip tasted a lot like tomato sauce/marinara sauce and not salsa which I thought was weird. The chips were okay. For some reason my picture refuses to show up sorry!

Salsa AgaveSomeone ordered a burrito. Didn’t try this but it seemed really big and served with guacamole and sour cream on the side.

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Leisure Tea and Coffee

Leisure Tea and Coffee is a popular bubble tea and hang out place on Alexandra Road. The outside never looked particularly interesting and it just never stood out to me. It’s located in a corner next to Old Buddies Seafood Restaurant.  The inside is long and narrow with wooden chairs and tables. The counter where the staff make the food and drinks is adorned with many porcelain teacups. The menu has sweet desserts like crepes, blueberry pie, scones and the cake of the day as well as savoury snacks, sandwiches and waffles.

Leisure Tea and Coffee

We all shared the Fresh Mango Icy which was shaved ice with mango and condensed milk. I love condensed milk and mango so this was the perfect combination and desserts are tastier with condensed milk! My friends said the portion seemed smaller than before though. The portion was still good for sharing between 2-3 people.

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