A Source for All Things Yummy!

Bottega Italiana-Amazing Gelato!

On my summer day trip to Seattle last month, we stopped for some gelato at Bottega Italiana which is pretty much right next to the Pike Place Market. It’s about a block away. As with many other gelato stores, they make everything on site daily with fresh natural ingredients.

Bottega ItalianaIt’s a lot cheaper than Vancouver! They also offer affogato.

Bottega Italiana

They’re also the winner of best desserts in Seattle! The store is super small and there are only like 4 seats inside and 2 small tables outside.

Bottega Italiana

Sorry for the crappy rushed photo! The 2 cups in the back are small and the one at the front is a medium. The flavours were all better than I expected! And I’ve eaten a lot of gelato! Unfortunately I don’t remember what everything was but there was a Mojito, Straciatella, Mint Chip, Sea Salt and Caramel Chip and Chocolate Hazelnut. The flavours were light, creamy and not too sweet. Surprisingly I quite liked the Mojito flavour since it had a strong minty lime flavour which was refreshing. Overall I was pretty impressed and it was cheap too.

Bottega Italiana on Urbanspoon

Taishoken Ramen

For our weekly Friday lunch last week we decided to try Taishoken Ramen near Tinseltown. Fortunately we got a table pretty quickly but they said that they only had 2 types of ramen left… It wasn’t even 1pm yet! Anyway the two they had left were tomato ramen and the tsuke-men. We were here for the tsuke-men anyway so that was fine for us. They also have a special version of the ramen where you can get a soft boiled egg added to it and I’m not sure what else was special about it.Their ramen comes in either a regular size or a large size.

Taishoken Ramen

The ramen noodles are served cold and were quite chewy but in a good way. The broth was served on the side and although the portion looks small, it was very concentrated and full of rich fatty flavour. I opted for the pork shoulder and pork belly since I couldn’t decide so the waitress said I can actually get some of both. There was 2 slices of pork shoulder and 2 slices of pork belly and it was actually a lot of meat! The pork belly was mostly fat while the pork shoulder was lean meat but it was on the chewy side. Since the meat was in the broth, it soaked up a lot of the flavours from the broth. Besides the pork and egg, there were just some bamboo shoots and green onion.

So if you didn’t know already, you’re suppose to take some of the noodles and dip it in the broth. This was my first time trying this kind of ramen so I can’t compare it to anything. I thought that the broth could’ve been hotter? Or I’m just not used to eating cold noodles. The portion here doesn’t look that big but it was soooooo filling!!! My friend and I only finished half so in hindsight we should’ve just shared one. It’s good if you can eat a lot though! Also, we tried to pack it up to go but they said they didn’t have any take out containers so we felt like we wasted a lot of food. =(

I wouldn’t mind going back to try their other dishes and they seem pretty big too! Price wise it’s about the same as other ramen joints. They are known for their dipping ramen though so you should give it a try! Gyozas will be on the menu soon.

PS. Check out my GIVEAWAY for 3 gift cards to Yakinikuya BBQ if you haven’t already.

Taishoken Ramen 大勝軒 on Urbanspoon

Waffles at Belgium Place

A new waffle place  opened up where Death by Chocolate used to be on the corner of Fir and Broadway. My friend who was craving waffles suggested IHop and I’m just like no… after some research I found Belgium Place! It’s got the word Belgium in it so they should make good waffles right? They also serve some soups and sandwiches too. The cafe space has a lot of wood furnishing and they also have a shelf with a few French kid’s books. It doesn’t seem too busy so it could be a nice place to chat with some friends.

Belgium PlaceThe waffles are all Liege waffles and cost $3.80 plain. They also have waffles with chocolate and waffles with chocolate and almonds. and they are both $4.75. This was the Waffles with Strawberry and it was one of the special creations on the menu. It was served with 2 scoops of vanilla gelato and strawberry compote with a side of whipped cream. The size of the waffle was pretty big! Price wise it’s a bit cheaper than some other waffles joints coming in at $7.80 but pretty close.

Belgium Place

I have a thing for chocolate as you can tell by the 2 scoops of chocolate gelato here and the chocolate on the waffle! This was not a special creation but I just made my own and it was a bit cheaper too since mine had no compote. I had the Chocolate Almond Waffle with 2 scoops of gelato and whipped cream on the side (the whipped cream comes with it anyway). The waffle was soft and slightly chewy but mine had way too much chocolate and nutella on it so that it became very overwhelming and I couldn’t really taste the waffle itself. Also, I had the chocolate gelato too so it was just too much chocolate! Oops… I did like the texture of the waffle though. The gelato just tasted like regular ice cream. I wish they put it on top of the waffle because it just starts melting on the side anyway so maybe it would be better if the waffle soaked up the melted ice cream?

They also serve savoury waffle creations for $10.50. So Belgium Place is not bad for some cheaper waffles if you don’t need anything fancy since they don’t really seem to have that much variety despite their special creations.  We were also really full after!

PS. Check out my GIVEAWAY here for your chance to win one of 3 gift cards to Yakinikuya BBQ!!!

Belgium Place on Urbanspoon

GIVEAWAY: Yakinikuya BBQ

Hi everyone!!! I’m having my first ever giveaway courtesy of Yakinikuya BBQ! They have generously provided me with 3 $10 gift cards to giveaway! Hurray!

Yakinikuya Japanese BBQ Food Slide Image 2

Photo courtesy of Yakinikuya

Please read my previous post here where I reviewed one of their BBQ sets! Yakinikuya is located on Robson and Jervis Street and they serve authentic Japanese BBQ as well as some Korean dishes. Since fall is just around the corner, it would be a perfect time for some yummy BBQ!

HOW TO ENTER:

1) Like the Yakinikuya Facebook Page

2) Visit their website and leave a comment below stating what dish or dishes you would like to try if you win (click on the pictures for the menu items)

Contest ends Saturday, September 13th, 2014. Winners will be contacted shortly after by email and I will post the winners here too.

Thank you and good luck! =) Let me know if you have any questions!

 

Chewie’s Steam and Oyster Bar

So I’ve been to Chewie’s for dinner a few times now so I thought I’d do a more comprehensive post! They have a new location near Coal Harbour that just opened this year.

Also, I tried my first raw oyster last month!!! =O *gasp* yes what kind of a food blogger am I anyway? I just wasn’t interested before and it didn’t look that appealing to me but it turns out they’re not bad! Yeah I don’t know why it took me so long to try them haha Chewie’s has a buck a shuck oysters from 3-6pm everyday!

Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar

I can’t really say much about the oysters since I’m still new to them…

Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar

This is their famous Southern Fried Chicken! The chicken has a nicely fried exterior while the inside is tender and juicy. It’s also coated in a honey butter sauce giving it some sweetness.

Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar

This is the Southern Rice Bowl with dirty brown rice and lots of veggies! Probably one of the cheaper and healthier choices! The flavour was interesting due to the tamari which is apparently a type of soy sauce and the lemon sesame sauce.

Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar

I had the Mussels with bacon and garlic cream sauce. It came in a large pot with some buttered and toasted bread which was perfect for dipping in the sauce! I think I still like the mussels from the Twisted Fork more though. You can also add fries for $4.

Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar

I also tried the Jambalaya with house smoked chicken, Andouille sausage, shrimp and spicy Cajun rice. It was served in a piping hot cast iron pan and combined with the spicy Cajun rice it was really hot so I had to eat it slowly. There was a lot of shrimp but the chicken was a bit dry as I expected.

Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar

This was the New Orleans Style Gumbo YaYa with smoked chicken, fried chicken, Andouille sausage, okra, trinity (onions, bell peppers, and celery in roughly equal quantities) and steamed rice. I’ve never had gumbo before but I liked this and the fried chicken helped.

Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar

Lobster Salad. 

Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar

Beef Brisket with cornbread, sweet potato mash, southern slaw and collard greens. Beef was very tender like pulled pork and the cornbread was light and fluffy. I heard the sweet potato mash was delicious too.

Chewie's Steam and Oyster Bar

Last but not least, this is the Shrimp and Grits. I didn’t try the shrimp but the grits were very cheesy from the aged white cheddar.

I also tried Cajun fries from someone else and they were delicious! Food and portions here are pretty good. Go for the buck a shuck oysters! x) This location is also a bit bigger and less busy and less noisy than the Kits location. Our server was also great!

Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar - Coal Harbour on Urbanspoon

Late Night at Deer Garden

After watching Guardians of the Galaxy at Metrotown, we went for a late dinner! Actually we were going to go to Sushi Mura but they were closing already…so we ended up going to Deer Garden on Fraser and I’ve never been to this location before.

Deer Garden

Grilled Beef Tongue! I love the salt and pepper on top and the bouncy texture. They now serve this one some corn and veggies. Before it was just by itself on a plate I think.

Deer Garden

I ordered the Japanese Style Fried Pork Chop on rice with an egg. This came with a ton of rice as well as a bit of onion and mushroom mixed in. It really could’ve used some more sauce though. The rice was really plain with no sauce. The pork chop was kinda meh and could’ve been seasoned more. This cost $6.95 so it’s a good deal if you want to be full and if you don’t mind a lot of plain rice.

Deer GardenThis was the Japanese Style Unagi on rice with an egg. Pretty much what I had but with unagi instead and it costs $2 more. I think the unagi tasted better than my pork chop. Also needs more sauce though!

Deer Garden

Hot drinks come with the meal but cold drinks are an additional … $1? I just got hot chocolate which was the generic powdered kind.

Ok so maybe I should stick to their noodle soups… these two rice bowls turned out to be less appealing than advertised. I’ve had the pork chop rice with onion sauce before though and that was pretty good.

Deer Garden Signatures 鹿園魚湯米線 on Urbanspoon

Specialty Chicken and Wonton House

Specialty Chicken and Wonton House is located in the same plaza as Price Smart on No. 3 Road. Their previous location was closer to the Price Smart end but they have moved to the White Spot end a while ago. Most of the dinner items are around $12-15 so it’s pretty budget friendly for dinner. If you order more than 2 dishes, you get complimentary soup and rice! I didn’t take a picture of the soup though. It tasted quite watered down and mostly salty with not much flavour going on. It was free though so can’t have high expectations. On the other hand, I have had free soup that did taste much better…

Specialty Chicken and Wonton House

This was the Braised Beef Brisket with bean curd and some siu choy on the bottom. The meat was tender but I thought maybe the sauce could be a bit thicker?

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