A Source for All Things Yummy!

The Flying Pig-Olympic Village

The Flying Pig opened up their third location in Olympic Village recently which is right in ma hood. So of course we had to go for lunch on Friday! The interior looks really nice with a wood theme going on and the wall behind our booth was lined with wine bottles.

The Flying Pig Olympic Village

We started off with some Complimentary Bread served with EVOO on a large plate convenient for dipping. Probably a little too convenient since I accidentally drenched my slice of bread. Not sure what kind of bread this was but it was really soft and served at room temperature.

The Flying Pig-Olympic Village

We shared the Devilled Jumbo Chicken Drumettes served with a side of parmesan basil sour cream. As you can see, they gave us two huge celery stalks for the garnish which was really weird. Usually they cut it up into pieces for you! Not sure why they didn’t do it here… The drumettes were glazed with a sweet sriracha BBQ sauce and there was suppose to be sriracha sauce in there but I couldn’t taste any. The meat was very tender though but besides the BBQ sauce on top the meat had no other flavour so it felt like it wasn’t seasoned/marinated enough. The parmesan basil sour cream helped though!

The Flying Pig

This was one of the specials of the day. Jumbo Macaroni with cheesy garlic bread, chicken breast, bacon and a 3 cheese cream sauce. I was debating between this or the braised short rib jumbo macaroni. Despite how good it sounded on paper (or their chalkboard), we felt that the dish fell short of our expectations. It wasn’t bad per se but it could’ve been a bit cheesier or more flavourful. The chicken breast wasn’t dry though and the cheesy garlic bread was really good!

The Flying Pig

For our side dish, we ordered the Truffled Cauliflower Gratin. When we received it, we complained that it was too watery and our server overheard us and offered to replace it for us! My foodie friend suspects that it was frozen before so that’s why there was so much water.

The Flying Pig

This was the replacement and it looked much better. It was less watery and more cheesy but we still thought the 4 cheese cream sauce could’ve been creamier and thicker in consistency but it was an improvement.  The service was great! They even took it off the bill for us.

Maybe my expectations were too high since I’ve been wanting to try the Flying Pig for a while but our experience wasn’t as exciting as we hoped for. I would still like to try them again for dinner or happy hour though.

The Flying Pig on Urbanspoon

Brunch at Forage

I organized a meet up with Carmen (CuriouslyCarmen) and David (PickyDiners) and we decided to go for brunch at Forage! Unfortunately Meg (MsElephantHeart) and Cynthia (Eatmunchlove) couldn’t make it this time =(

None of us have been to Forage so we were excited to see what they had in store for us.

Forage

The special of the day was the Pork Belly Eggs Benedict. Crispy potatoes with an addictive house made ketchup were served side. Not sure what else was in the ketchup but it was probably some sort of spice. The pork belly was fatty but not overly so and there was a good amount of it too. My eggs were poached to a medium as per my request. I found that the hollandaise sauce was quite buttery and rich as but a tad salty as well especially when eating with the pork belly. David also said that he could taste the tarragon in this dish but since I’m not sure what that tastes like we’ll take his word for it!

Forage

This was the Classic Benny served with back bacon and the same crispy potatoes and ketchup as above.

Forage

This was the Corned Bison Hash with sunny side up eggs, kale, house made sauerkraut and IPA mustard hollandaise with lots of multigrain toast on the side. This dish was bigger than the eggs benny dishes! It will definitely fill you up. I tried a bit of the bison and it was good… can’t really describe it since I haven’t had much bison before!

Forage

There was also house made blueberry and strawberry jam available for the toast as well and they were both fruity but not too sweet.

We had an enjoyable brunch together and I was surprised that the restaurant wasn’t busier for brunch but maybe it was because it was pouring earlier.

Forage on Urbanspoon

Dine Out Vancouver: The Sandbar

The Sandbar actually extended their Dine Out menu to Feb. 8th which was when I went with my friends. Yeah it’s a little late to be posting it but you can always check it out next year! The restaurant actually has three floors and they also had a live pianist sing and play after a certain time that night which was really nice. It really added to the ambiance which was the dark and candle lit kind.

The Sandbar

We started off with some warm Complimentary Bread. It looks like a lot but it was for five people.

The Sandbar

This was the House Made Clam Chowder, a popular starter dish at the table. I tried some of this and it was rich and creamy! Not that much clam though.

The Sandbar

I had the Wok Charred Albacore Tuna with wasabi aioli, crispy wontons and pickled ginger. The tuna was lightly seared and crusted with sesame on the sides which gave it a slight nutty flavour. The tuna was really soft and almost melted in your mouth but the wasabi aioli could’ve had more of a kick to it. I avoided the crispy wontons though since they don’t usually taste like much. Wish there was more tuna though!

The Sandbar

This was the Raspberry Lemonade (not part of the dine out menu). Actually not very sour despite the ingredients in this! I thought it was well balanced and tasty.

The Sandbar

This was the Seafood Hot Pot with salmon, snapper, clams, mussels, prawns, scallop, and red coconut curry. Didn’t try this but we ordered extra complimentary bread so my friend could dip it in the sauce!

The Sandbar

This was the Wood Grilled Steelhead Salmon with tomato fennel broth, coconut jasmine rice and bok choy. Whenever I see bok choy, it makes the dish feel a lot more Asian! I could really taste the wood flavour in the skin of the salmon and it was a pleasant interesting flavour. The salmon was also not over cooked! It was moist and flaky and I could taste the wood flavour occasionally. I felt that the tomato fennel broth was a bit weak though and the rice felt too broken up.

The Sandbar

The more popular entree was the Braised Lamb Shank with rosemary, red wine, garlic mashed potatoes, and market vegetables. The lamb was very tender and fell off the bone easily while the mashed potatoes were creamy and buttery. I wish I had ordered this instead! But I was trying to be different…

The Sandbar

For dessert, here we have the Lemon Cheesecake with raspberry coulis. There was just enough lemon flavour present and you can taste the creaminess of the cheesecake. The cheesecake didn’t actually feel that heavy.

The Sandbar

This was the Chocolate Oatmeal Brownie served with a creme anglaise. The brownie was chocolatey and moist but may be too sweet for some.

The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Yew Seafood and Bar <3

For Valentine’s day, I decided to go all out with my boyfriend by having dinner at Yew Seafood and Bar. They had a 4 course set dinner for $89. Yes that’s an exorbitant amount to me too. BUT IT WAS SO GOOD!!! (I’m a crazy person…) Read on to find out more (or just look at the pictures)!

Yew Seafood and Bar

Here was the menu! It was a 4 course menu but we both get the milk bun and then for the other 3 courses you get to choose what you want. I like how they named each course! Very appropriate.

Yew Seafood and Bar

First we started with some complimentary savoury scones: Smoked Salmon and Cheddar and Chive. Both flavours were flaky and warm and buttery!!! The smoked salmon was my favourite although it was a tad salty. These might be some of the best scones I’ve had! I knew the meal was off to a good start. =)

Yew Seafood and Bar

This was the Milk Bun with a haskap berry ham, tiger blue cheese and hazelnuts. The milk bun actually didn’t have much flavour by itself. I was expecting it might be sweet like a Chinese bun but that was ok since the blue cheese was very strong! This might actually be the first time I’ve had blue cheese and it felt a bit overwhelming for me. I thought about eating this like a sandwich but decided to just eat the two halves of the bun separately with the blue cheese.

I think the haskap berry jam was suppose to help balance it out but I probably needed a lot more jam! I’m not even sure what a haskap berry is… Nonetheless it was an interesting creation and if you like blue cheese, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it more than me. Funny thing is, this course is called the “Flirtation” and it turns out flirting with blue cheese doesn’t work on me.

Yew Seafood and Bar

For the first course “Temptation”, my boyfriend had the Black Pearl Oysters with northern divine caviar served with a dollop of creme fraiche. These were so remarkably fresh and tasty it didn’t even feel like I was eating an oyster!!! I can’t even describe the flavour going on here it was kind of acidic from the lemon juice and slightly salty. I’m not an oyster expert since I actually only had my first raw oyster last year. Yes I don’t know why it took me so long! The caviar is a nice touch but I don’t think I’ve learned to appreciate it yet since it didn’t actually taste like anything… or did it contribute the salty flavour? I have no idea.

For my first course, I had the Outlandish Scallops with kelp and sea lettuces and lime vinaigrette. I was so busy taking pictures of the oysters I forgot to take a picture of my own dish. FAIL. =_______= Anyway I will try to describe it for you. There were 3 medium sized scallops cooked to medium and they sat in a cauliflower puree. The scallops had a nice seared flavour on the outside and it was a bit salty and you can taste a bit of the lime vinaigrette. The inside was still slightly firm and pinkish. The cauliflower puree was very smooth.

Yew Seafood and Bar

My boyfriend had the Maple Apple Cider Glazed Kurobuta Pork Chop with wild mushroom composition and truffle jus. Based on the description, we were not expecting such a large and thick cut of pork chop! It even had the bone in. Our server let us know beforehand that the inside would be slightly pink due to the nature of the pork chop and we were fine with that. From the two bites I had, it was a bit on the chewier side for me even though at this angle it looks like there should be enough fat on the pork chop for it to not be chewy. Also, I thought kurobuta pork was suppose to be really soft but I’m not sure.

Yew Seafood and Bar

For my main, I had the Red Miso Glazed Sable Fish with butter milk potatoes and cloud berries. I love sable fish so this was the perfect dish for me. The fish was perfectly cooked and very flaky. I wasn’t sure what red miso is suppose to taste like but the glaze made the edges of the fish slightly crispy which was nice. The butter milk potatoes were notably smooth and creamy. They also had a sweet chili type of sauce on the side of the dish. Not sure what the crispy chips were but they were a nice touch and provided some contrast to the smooth silky fish. I loved every bite of this! It was just so juicy and moist! I was undeniably infatuated! ;)

Yew Seafood and Bar

Finally we have dessert, “Sweet Enough for Two”; dessert is my favourite part of any meal! Yes I still had room for this. I loved the beautiful plating here and I was practically drooling as our server described each dessert. In fact I wanted to jump in before he finished talking haha I really appreciate how they take the time to describe every dish though! I wish more servers/restaurants did this.

On the left we have the Chocolate Bambolini with red velvet ice cream. The bambolini is a type of Italian doughtnut cream puff with powdered sugar on the outside and cream on the inside. The main attraction was the raspberry coulis covered chocolate pate surrounded with chocolate cookie crumble. The chocolate pate was rich and creamy like a mousse but heavier? It was very chocolatey! The red velvet ice cream had red velvet cake crumbs in it and helped make the dessert less sweet. At the back of the dish there is also an edible candied rose petal which tasted like sugar basically.

On the right we have the Passion Fruit and Vanilla Vacherin with lychee sorbet on a candied rose petal. I’m glad we had the Chocolate Bambolini first because this dessert refreshed our palates after. The frozen dessert was basically like ice cream so it was cold vanilla cream on the bottom and a very intensely flavoured passion fruit sorbet? on top. I forgot what it is but it’s similar to the sorbet but more dense and creamy? Then the top was decorated with cream and a meringue stick. The cold tart flavours were absolutely refreshing after the sweet chocolate dessert! The ball of lychee sorbet was also very flavourful and tasted exactly like eating real lychee.

DESSERT WAS DIVINE. *DROOLS*

These desserts were just the perfect way to end the night! The desserts were so good I couldn’t stop gushing about them and I’m pretty sure the tables besides us were looking at me weirdly… I don’t fine dine very often so this was all new and exciting to me! We also devoured dessert really fast!

Yew Seafood and Bar

But wait! There’s more!!! We were also served complimentary heart shaped shortbread cookies after. These were adorable! They were buttery with a hint of lemon in the icing. I was waaay too full at this point so I just had a few bites of my cookie. When the server brought it over he was like “You don’t need to chase the crumbs off [the dessert plate]!” *BLUSHES* I was trying to eat the rest of the cookie crumble hehehe ^^” I was really stuffed though! It was basically a five course meal + cookies. My wallet and waistline probably hate me.

This is the most expensive dinner I’ve ever paid for in my entire life but I feel like it was worth it for the fantastic food and service! On the other hand, I can’t afford to do this often so this is probably going to be a once a year experience for me but it was really good!!! Our water glasses were filled constantly and service was very friendly. I highly recommend visiting at least once! Except I still haven’t tried their regular menu yet soooo guess it means I’ll be back!

Thanks for reading if you made it to the end of this post!

Yew Seafood & Bar on Urbanspoon

L.A. Chicken: Deep Fried Goodness

I’ve heard a lot about L.A. Chicken and I finally got the chance to try it last week! I actually tried some leftover chicken before that my brother brought home and it was still delicious so I knew that the freshly deep fried chicken would be amazing. You know how much I love chicken kaarage!

The place is quite small and there are only 3 tables but we managed to snag the last one! It’s located on No. 5 road near Cambie and across from a park. It would be nice to get chicken and eat it in the park in the summer! Like a picnic where you don’t have to cook.

There was a family special for 8 pieces of chicken (mix of breast and thigh) with medium fries and gravy and 2 drinks. All for $23. Sounds like a deal to me!

L.A. Chicken

You can choose to get a mix of spicy chicken and regular chicken. This was the Spicy Chicken and the batter looks different than the regular batter. It was more crispy? It had a very mild spicy flavour. If you didn’t tell me it was spicy I might not be able to tell.

L.A. Chicken

This was the Regular Chicken. I like the regular batter more since it felt like it had more flavour or seasoning? The chicken was moist and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It was so good!!!

The fries on the other hand were pretty average… it didn’t really have flavour and they were limp and not crispy. However, good thing it came with gravy because the fries dunked in gravy were perfect. The thick gravy was also seasoned well and had a strong peppery flavour to it. Ketchup was provided in packets but we didn’t end up using it.

Although we ordered 8 pieces, they actually gave us 10!!! Wow what a deal! According to my Instagram follower, they are known to give extra pieces if they feel that the pieces aren’t big enough. They seemed pretty big to me! We ended up having 2 pieces leftover so 8 pieces would’ve been perfect for us but I’m not complaining!!! I’m glad they’re far away from me or I could be there very often.

L.A. Chicken on Urbanspoon

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Revisit!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In case you didn’t already know, I have a love affair with waffles :3 Naturally I fell in love with Nero’s after my first visit and I got the chance to visit again last weekend! It was a dreary rainy day and after my brunch with Carmen (check out her blog CuriouslyCarmen!), we went to Nero’s! Yes I always have room for dessert. =)

Luckily nobody was there and there was no line up! Woot! Seriously it’s like a small victory to me everytime I go somewhere with no line up haha The space is tiny inside and you can expect line ups during peak hours for sure so if you’re reading this, it’s probably not a good idea to rush there for Valentine’s day…

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar

The special of the day was the Liege au Chocolat which we decided to try. The waffle comes with raspberries, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and plenty of dark chocolate drizzle. It just looked so beautiful! <3 Waffle will you be my valentine?

The waffle was crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside and the toppings went really well together. I like how the warm chocolate solidified on the cold ice cream. The raspberries were plump and offset the sweetness from the chocolate and of course ice cream goes well with any dessert!

You really must come here at least once if you love waffles! Read about my first visit here!

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar on Urbanspoon

Lucky’s Doughnuts – Main St.

I have been going through a doughnut phase lately so I dropped by Lucky’s Doughnuts!

Lucky's Doughnuts

I managed to snag the Matcha Bismarck on my visit! I’ve seen pictures of it and boy was I excited to eat it! Matcha everything ftw! =D

Lucky's Doughnuts

The inside was filled with a glorious matcha cream and there was plenty of it too. The matcha flavour was distinct but still fairly light. Also I was surprised that there was a tart lemon flavour from the icing on the outside as well but I like lemon so that was good for me! The bright green doughnut was soft and not doughy. I totally inhaled it… =D There goes my waistline…

Lucky's Doughnuts

Also tried the Memphis Hash. I had no idea what it was but the server described it as a peanut butter cream filled doughnut with Nutella icing on top and carmelized banana slices. Sounded like a  good combination to me! There was plenty of peanut butter cream but the dough part was more dry compared to the Matcha Bismarck. The carmelized bananas were stiff on the sides from the sugar glaze so it tasted a little unusual to me but it was a fun doughnut creation that successfully united peanut butter and Nutella.

Forty Ninth Parallel Café & Lucky's Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

Original Joe’s Happy Hour

My co-worker suggested we hit up Original Joe’s for their happy hour (50% off certain appetizers from 3-6pm) and since I’ve never really gone anywhere for happy hour I thought it was a good idea. Original Joe’s is located above Starbucks on Broadway and Cambie and the entrance is next to La Taqueria. I never really thought about visiting before since it just didn’t look that exciting.

The restaurant is a sports bar with lots of TV’s and even a nice pool table at the back! There were lots of large comfy booth seats as well but the lighting is dim as with most bars/pubs. Not all appetizers are available for the happy hour promotion though although I can’t remember which ones are not available…

Original Joe's Happy Hour

We all agreed that we love Sweet Potato Fries so we had to order it. the fries were long and crispy on the outside but flavour wise it was really meh … they just felt a bit under seasoned and didn’t have that sweet potato flavour. It was disappointing since it is hard to screw up fries but these just tasted kinda weird. Just not the addictive fries I was hoping for. I believe we ordered the chipotle dip but I think they gave us the dill dip instead as evidenced by the dill pieces in the dip.

Original Joe's Happy HourThis was the Chili Lime Chicken which was breaded chicken tossed in a sweet chili sauce with lime, cucumber, crispy chow mein noodles and green onions. This dish was not bad since I really like the sweet chili sauce and it does feel a bit spicy after a few pieces.

Original Joe's Happy Hour

Next we also had the Calamari which came with a tzatziki sauce and also some breaded red peppers, onions and jalapeños. As far as calamari goes, this tasted extremely bland to me even though it looks good. The portion was a good size but it really lacked flavour and you need copious amounts of dip to help it out.

Original Joe's Happy Hour

I love wings so we couldn’t pass up the chance to order some! These were the BBQ Wings which were served with celery and carrots sticks and some ranch dip. The wings were not dry and had a decent amount of meat on them! It probably helped that the wings were coated in a wet sauce too. Each serving is 1lb and has about 8-10 wings.

Orignal Joe's Happy Hour

To further satisfy our wing cravings, we also had an order of Sweet Chili Wings as well! It came with the same sides and the wings were also the same quality as above.

So my favourite items were the wings and then the Chili Lime Chicken. For the happy hour price of $5-6 I can’t really complain about anything. It’s a cheaper chain restaurant so nothing amazing here but I would pass on the calamari and sweet potato fries … Our server wasn’t exactly friendly but she was efficient for sure.

Original Joe's Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Yu Xiang Yuan Restaurant

Yu Xiang Yuan Restaurant is on Fraser and 50th and a bit further down from Breka Bakery. The restaurant isn’t really noticeable but it has a big sign board outside. They seem to be known for their hand made noodles in house. There was someone making the noodles in the back and you can see him through a window. I forgot to post this earlier so my memory is foggy now and I probably got the two types of noodles mixed up…

Yu Xiang Yuan Restaurant

On the back of the menu you can see the different types of noodles you can order for your dish. I couldn’t read the Chinese character which would tell me the difference though but at least they had pictures… and sorry my picture is bad =(

Yu Xiang Yuan Restaurant

These were some Pork and Chive Steamed Dumplings. It came with 12 pieces. I wasn’t really into this since I prefer my dumplings pan fried usually and also the dumpling skin was also really thick too. Filling was flavourful though.

Yu Xiang Yuan Restaurant

This was the Ja Jiang Mein. I believe this was the Pushing noodles but I could be wrong. The noodles are really thick and chewy in a good way. There was a good proportion of meat sauce to noodles but I thought the sauce was different than what I expected (can’t really say how though). I just didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.

Yu Xiang Yuan Restaurant This was the Dan Dan Noodles with Cutting noodles. These noodles were flatter in shape but also equally chewy in texture. I preferred the Dan Dan noodles since it turns out I like the peanut flavour more than the meat sauce. The peanut sauce was smooth and thick enough to coat the noodles but it could’ve been spicier though.

The noodle bowls were about $8-9 and the portions are really filling (for me at least) since there is a lot of noodles! It was also interesting to see the different types of noodles they had and I like how you get to choose which one you want. I wouldn’t mind trying some of their other fried noodle dishes.

Yu Xiang Yuan Restaurant 豫湘園 on Urbanspoon

Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

I bought three boxes of cake mix last year when they were on sale at PriceSmart and then I never felt like making cake after. I just wanted cookies … good thing there are recipes for cake mix cookies! Last month I made some gooey butter cookies and this time I turned my Devil’s Food Cake into some chocolatey and moist cookies!

Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

All you need to do is get a box of cake mix of your choice, 1/2 cup of butter and 2 eggs and beat everything together! It really doesn’t get any easier than that. Then you just spoon it onto your cookie sheet. The batter is very sticky and spreads a lot so I came out with larger than expected cookies.

When they came out of the oven they were very soft and cake-like. After they cooled down though they were more chewy and still moist. I noticed some recipes used oil instead of butter but I think that makes it less chewy. My cookies were big so I baked them for 12-13mins instead of 10mins. I ended up with 21 cookies but could’ve had more if they were a bit smaller.

Check out the recipe here.

By the way, the cake mix brand I always use is Betty Crocker in case you were wondering.


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