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Everything posted by flowbee

  1. wow, thanks for your words and photos, peter. sometimes it takes another person's perspective on our local scene to make me excited again and realize that what we have here rocks -- and that i need to get out more!
  2. i love salade de fruits! mussels and frites for me. i've GOT to try that new ramen place and that korean street food place! thanks for the tips! my latest 3: hin young vietnamese restaurant - victoria drive near 49th (right beside supreme pizza). really good vietnamese made by chinese chef who grew up in vietnam (i think). tastes just like my mother-in-law's homemade vietnamese food! haven't tried the pho yet though, but their crab noodles are great, as are their cuttlefish cake noodles. their beef stew on rice noodles is pretty good as well. their spring rolls use rice paper and has crab meat in it. they're not bad, but maybe a little expensive. the prices here are a bit higher than average, but then you're not just getting average food here imho. they definitely give the extra effort in their dishes (ie. proper herbs with each dish, "bac ha" in the crab noodles, etc). new age chinese cuisine - kingsway east of metrotown...in this motel complex...forget the name. anyways, their awesomest dish is their pork shank that you have to order in advance. it's steamed or something, until it's soooo tender. the fat just melts in your mouth. it's quite delicious and decadent. spicy green beans were good. the wife loved their tung choy. alvin garden - finally tried the hunan king for the first time since their old location on kingsway near crystal mall. super-fire hot hunan flavours. we got the hot pot duck, lamb with cumin, and the taro. towards the end of the meal, all the flavours tasted kinda samey. it's good, but we probably won't go back for a while. oh, and medium spicy was plenty hot for all of us! but my mouth felt fine as we left the restaurant. what a rush! bonus: plus alpha. japanese tapas place on corner of richards and helmcken. decent tapas, but what i really like is that it's waaay less crazy-busy than guu with garlic. bonus #2: guu with garlic. this was actually a while ago...during fireworks? pre-fireworks dinner, that is. i've eaten at and enjoyed the other guu's, but everyone tells me this one's the best. i kept my expectations in check, but the staff were on fire that night! every dish tasted great and the ebi mayo was executed awesomely. so many flavours that night. so many beers. my wallet took a pounding, but it was worth it. one of my best dining experiences so far this year
  3. I'm guessing you mean Windsor Meats ? ← ahem...yes.
  4. That is truly sad. Jacksons is an institution and one of the best butchers I've used. I'm surprised they didn't have staying power. I'll drown my sorrows over their departure with a large steak tonight. ← how ironic that i just had a thick monster steak from costco for dinner tonight. although in my defense, i try to shop at windows meats on main st. when i can...
  5. ooo, i've been wanting to try this place! it's called "Alenka" i believe.
  6. So, the lamb curry I had from Sweet Chili Cafe was really good! Very strong flavours, just the way I like my lamb curry. We went and tried the place for dinner. They're still pretty dead, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting a table We had the Tahu Nyonya to start. I've had the same dish in Malaysian restaurants, and this version is pretty much the same. It's ok, not amazing or anything. I think the tofu was the pre-deep fried tofu you can get in any asian supermarket. If it was fried in-house, that would improve the dish. Then onto some Chicken Satay. Not really impressed... I could swear I could see and taste Shake 'n Bake coating on the chicken. And it was drenched in peanut sauce. Too much. I wouldn't buy it again. Here's the Laksa Ayam (Indonesian style chicken laksa). It was also so-so. The best laksa I've ever had in the Lower Mainland was at Rasa Singapura at the Richmond Public Market, which is sadly no longer there. Maybe the Indonesian style is supposed to be more mild and coconutty? Beef Rendang. Now THIS was a fantastic dish. Very flavourful beef. We substituted the plain rice for coconut rice. Their coconut rice is very fragrant and delicious. At first glance, the portion of meat seems really tiny. But after eating it, it was fine. Quality over quantity, right? If you guys go, I'd recommend the curries. Definitely this restaurant's strongest dishes. I'd come back for the curries! Note, they should really do something about all the disposable dishware. Besides being a bad choice for the planet, it just cheapens the whole experience. I think the woven plates are leftover from Dona Cata, too
  7. A new Indonesian restaurant has opened up in Dona Cata's old location on Victoria Drive and 38th (right beside the fire station and across the street from the park). It's called "Sweet Chili Cafe" and is run by the people who used to run the Bali Restaurant on Broadway near Oak. (I never tried their Broadway location) I saw it on the way home after a party. I wasn't even hungry, but I had to check it out. I got a lamb curry to go: The couple bites I had were pretty good. Nice tang. The coconut rice was really fragrant. According to their menu, the rice is cooked with coconut milk, lemon grass and pandan leaf. Pandan leaf? Sounds good to me! I'll post more thoughts after I actually eat the whole thing tomorrow. They just opened 3 weeks ago. Their hours are m-f 11-3 and 5-8, sat 5-8, sun closed. They've got curries, satay, laksa, gado-gado, rojak, roti canai, tahu nyonya, lumpia and some other stuff.
  8. my wife's from edmonton and i've been there a few times. unfortunately, all of her family's moved out of there, so we're not sure what's new and good as far as food goes. we like pagolac in chinatown for vietnamese food. here's a blurry drive-by shot of it: i've had the "7 kinds of beef" course there, which was pretty good. the place is a little dingy, but the food's good. there's also a good banh mi place called nhon hoa a block away on 106 ave. they make their sandwiches with the real vietnamese sub bread that's thinner and has pointier ends. last time i was in etown, i had some decent jamaican food at irie foods in mill woods: oxtail stew (i think) curry goat (i think) i also had some pretty good thin crust pizza from famoso on jasper ave: i was impressed to see this kind of pizza available in edmonton.
  9. Too bad if they are gone for good. In addition to the Hungarian food (plate size schnitzels etc.), they had some killer old school pastries. Specifically, a very decadent and large Mille Feuille. ← NOOOOOOOOOOooo!! I loved their Transylvanian Wooden Platter with spaetzel The Alpen Club on Victoria Drive is sadly just so-so, and the Old Bavaria Haus in New West is good, but Budapest Cafe's schnitzel was GREAT... they will be missed... Has anyone tried Jagerhof Schnitzel House on Lonsdale?
  10. We're finalizing buying a house and want to redo the kitchen...expand it, knock out a wall if possible, add gas, make it more functional. Does anyone have any recommendations as to local kitchen/bath reno companies that can do work in south/east van? (Please PM me if you feel that that kind of info is inappropriate to be promoting in a public forum) Along the same lines, any recommendations on gas ranges? I've been using electric coil ranges forever, and have no idea what brands are good in gas ranges. Should I check out Edmonds Appliances or Trail or wherever? Are those wok attachments any good? We're excited and overwhelmed, so any advice would be appreciated!
  11. went to benkei ramen today: it's on robson, just before denman. kintaro ramen is just around the corner on denman. we were there around 2:00pm, had to line up for about 10 minutes. i love the feel of the place! lots of wood and paper. very japanese, very comfortable. feels like a ramen place in japan. the menu posted on their door. i was a little confused about the shio/tonkotsu soup thing. i always thought that shoyu and shio were similar in that the base broth is the same, except with shoyu they add soy sauce and the shio they add salt. tonkotsu was supposed to be an entirely different kind of soup where they cook pork bones for a long time until the soup goes milky/cloudy. on the menu they call the shio soup tonkotsu... i dunno... i think true "shio ramen" is something else, and their "shio" is actually "shio tonkotsu"... does anyone else besides insane food geeks hem and haw over stuff like this?! anyways... when are benkei ramen open? now you know here's the shoyu ramen. my wife doesn't do green onion, and the rockin' server offered to substitute the green onion with extra bamboo shoots! very nice (of her) and very tasty (of the bamboo). here's the tonkotsu. there's bamboo just under the surface. all in all, a good bowl of ramen. both soups were a little on the salty side for us. the noodles could have a little more firmness/bite/springiness to them. but we would go back because the service was great and the decor is awesome. they give you a stamp card. eat 10 bowls of ramen within a year and you get a free bowl of ramen and a chance to win a trip to japan and hawaii we haven't been to kintaro (down the street and around the corner) in a long while, so we'll have to go back there to compare the two...but we seem to remember kintaro's ramen being a little bit more tasty in general, and my wife liked their bamboo shoots better...a drier bamboo shoot, if that makes any sense, giving a tastier taste (yep i said that). zooms of the menu: enjoy!
  12. Ah.Should have specified. Please, no (a) frat boy antics or (b) painfully loud music. See Otherwise it was sounding good. Do we just need to pick a day/time when they're all relaxed and quiet? A Tuesday afternoon or some such? ← i've been to rodney's during a quiet afternoon. it was great! not busy. not loud. i could relax and enjoy my $40 lunch
  13. I wholeheartedly agree. Aberdeen's an award-winning mall, architecturally, but the parking lot is a dog's breakfast. Plus it always seems to be under construction. What's up with that?! But my wife loves Daiso and the dessert tofu in the food court, and I like to yoyo next to the water fountain.
  14. funny you should mention kintaro ramen, cuz we tried to find the richmond location today with no luck! i thought it was on westminster hwy, across from the richmond public market...or somewhere along those couple blocks? couldn't find it for the life of us... ended up going to rpm food court: yummy malaysian delights. used to be rasa singapura. now it's run by a malaysian guy. the mamak mee goreng was really good, with fried crispy bits of lard. the curry laksa was blah, as was the roti prata...
  15. off the top of my head: abdul's bbq (shawarma place at kingsway and willingdon at crystal mall), chilli pepper house (indian-style chinese at kingsway and rupert), hand-pulled chinese noodle place (can't remember the name, but it's a couple blocks east of chilli pepper house -- the food is great but the service sucks), happy day metro house (korean at kingsway and marlborough, just east of metrotown). these are all smaller-type places. good luck!
  16. yeah, we got 6 of the sale zotter bars, and 4 of the sale zotter "drinking chocolate". gotta love that term for "hot chocolate". have yet to try the drinking chocolate because me and my wife are sensitive to caffeine, and we're saving it for the weekend when we don't have to get to sleep and work the next day! i bought a chili zotter bar that wasn't on sale, just cuz i had to try a spicy chocolate for once in my life. it's not bad, just very very mildly spicy. i gotta find one that truly kicks ass! like a habanero chocolate bar?
  17. i'm a big fan of ab's shows (cook's tour, no reservations), and was surprised to see tian tian featured on the singapore episode of no reservations because we specifically hunted it down when we went to singapore a couple years ago. how do you know if a hawker stall is good? follow the lineup: maybe it was the singapore heat, but we thought that the chicken rice was damn good! i almost cried over that chili sauce! my wife's of hainanese descent, so she and her family definitely have their own opinions on what makes great chicken rice. tian tian was fantastic. closeup for drooling: and yes, we did a sort of anthony bourdain tour, cuz we hit banana leaf apollo after seeing it on a cook's tour. fish head curry, of course: i gotta say, his show is great for foodie tourists. berlin's very high on my list of places to go next.
  18. well, i scored major points i got some chocolates from monde chocolat on burrard and 8th. it was the valentine's box assortment. here's the top layer: bottom layer: and the "map": it was a little pricey ($24) but definitely worth it. my fave was the passion fruit caramel. the wife liked them all except for the milk ganache (too milky for her -- she's really getting into dark chocolate now, so she doesn't like anything that tastes too much like milk chocolate). the owners are latin american, so it was interesting for us to see a bit of their heritage in chocolate-making coming through in their flavours. we really hate purdy's cuz it's way too sweet and not enough real chocolate flavour. we love bernard callebaut...the first time we had them, it was a revelation. intense chocolate taste without all the sweetness getting in the way! the monde chocolat chocolates are the same idea. also, it's just a block away from work! no more driving to richmond for bernard callebaut. in fact, i think we might like these more than bernard callebaut because of the interesting twists monde chocolat puts in their chocolates.
  19. we have a few friends and family friends who are from singapore or are of singaporean descent. they've helped introduce us to singaporean cuisine. we've been to most singaporean and malaysian restaurants around town. we also stopped off in singapore for a few days a couple years ago during an asia trip. we got the makansutra guide and researched places to eat on the web. we absolutely love singaporean food, and love how hawker stalls in singapore concentrate on doing one thing and doing it well. we talked to a few hawker stall operators and they were all so passionate about their food -- it's just wonderful to eat their food and feel that passion. if sometimes i sound overly critical or mean, it's because i eat a certain dish and don't feel the same passion. i see someone who cut corners, or didn't put in enough care, effort or attention, and it just makes me angry. and i think that most of us on this board don't mind paying for quality -- but we must see and taste the quality on the plate! i'll make an effort to try your restaurant soon!
  20. i've been reading about the difference between roti canai (pronounced chan-eye) and roti prata. i always thought they were different names for basically the same thing, but there does seem to be a difference. roti canai is malaysian, which is supposed to be more soft and fluffy, whereas roti prata is a singaporean variation that is cooked with more oil and higher heat creating a more flaky, crispy roti -- which i confess that i like better. in any case, i think the restaurants here can do a better job at whatever kind of roti they serve. i'll have to try prima taste and see how they compare... i've always been put-off by the higher prices there. almost $10 for a bowl of laksa?? kiam, i have a few questions about prima taste: do you make your roti from scratch? do you use prima taste brand pre-prepared products in your restaurant? do you serve your chili crab with those man tou buns?
  21. i guess some people love their protein, no matter what the source...
  22. i took a photo of the bill and realized that they didn't charge us for one dish! so the total for 4 people should actually be ~$42. now, about tropika...i've had delicious food at tropika (eg. their saucy chili crab-like dish) but afaik they are hong kong people-owned and operated, with mostly cantonese staff. not sure about the cooks. i don't like how they water down their menu with thai dishes...doing too much at once. i've read on the web some people describing tropika as an hk take on malaysian food. i've been to the tropika in edmonton and asked the staff about their relation to the tropika's in bc, and they didn't seem to know what i was talking about...so maybe the only connection is the name.
  23. I dont' know if this has been reported elsewhere but if you're heading to Dona Cata, you need to go a couple blocks further north now -- they've moved down Victoria to bigger digs. Haven't been in yet but spied the change as we were heading home after pho lunch at Kim Phung today (yum). ← i've been there about 3x since they opened their new digs. they serve corona now! (limit 2 per person -- i guess to discourage drunkenness) their food's still great and cheap. they now have an expanded menu with about 20 different kinds of alambre, which is meats, cheese and veggies grilled and served on a plate with tortillas on the side. i had the dona cata special with includes a mix of all their meats with cheese and green peppers. very filling and tasty. eat it fast before the cheese gets hard!
  24. I was scouring the web for Malaysian restaurants in Vancouver, and came across this listing for "Chilli Padi" on Fraser St. between 41st and 43rd. We checked it out today, and first impressions are good. [brief aside] We went to Seri Malaysia on Hastings and Nanaimo the night before, and came away underwhelmed. Seems like owner there also runs Kedah House on Marine Dr., which did not bode well because we were extremely disappointed by the food and service at Kedah House. So rather than do a seperate post on our experience at Seri Malaysia, long story short: the bright, savoury spark that we like in Malaysian cuisine was missing from our meal at Seri Malaysia. 7/10, which in retrospect we downgraded to 6/10. We feel bad because Seri's a family business...two kids working the register and floor, and also taking orders. Sweet but the food let us down. We're sick of frozen store-bought roti canai... [/brief aside] Start of some confusion. The restaurant is called Chilli Padi, but it seems to be also called Aladdin Restaurant. Their menu isn't online yet, so here it is: This space used to be the original Kedah House waaay back. They've completely redone the interior, and it's very nice and clean: Mind you, they've only been open for 2 weeks. Cendol -- which is usually a dessert. Here it's a drink. It's served with palm sugar syrup on the side, so you can make it as sweet as you want. We ended up adding 1/2 the container We started off with their salad sampler, which includes (clockwise from orange stuff) Rojak Mamak, Fried Tofu (Tahu Goreng), Tebbole (Tabouli?) and Gado-Gado. Quite good! The tabouli was a bit too salty, which seems to be a common problem with tabouli (eg. tabouli at Abdul's BBQ in Crystal Mall). The tahu goreng was nice 'n spicy. My favourite was the rojak, which was done in a new style we've never seen before. The orange sauce was kind of pumpkin-like. Beef satay. Nicely carmelized on the outside, if a bit too sweet for my taste. Otherwise very tasty. Served with cucumber and pressed rice cubes!! We think this was the Mamak Fried Noodles, but we asked for it to be made vegetarian, so it's probably altered a bit from the straight-up version. This kind of noodle can be a bit oily, but it wasn't here. Nice stuff. "Iraqi Okra". Chunks of beef and okra in a gravy. The gravy part reminded us of those canned sardines in tomato sauce. The consistency of the sauce is the same, with more of a beefy flavour. We loved the okra but the beef could've been a bit more tender. A good, not quite great, dish. Sambal Mackerel. Fried mackerel with awesome sweet/savoury/spicy sauce on top. This is the kind of dish that tastes great with rice. We like the rice at this place. It's probably basmati rice, with long grains and the grains are all seperated, unlike chinese or japanese rice. We got a very good first impression of this restaurant. We'll *have* to try it again to sample their other dishes and see if the good vibes continue. We found it strange yet cool that there were quite a few Middle Eastern and Indian dishes on the menu...probably owing to the whole melting pot/multicultural facet to Malaysia. This place wasn't busy at all. Our food came out at a nice pace. Waiter was on-the-ball. Decent serving sizes. Four people were stuffed for under $40. Give it a shot if you've been disappointed with the Malaysian food around town. Side note: we're really missing the old Rasa Singapura (Richmond Public Market), especially their bright punchy laksa, homemade roti prata, yummy char quay teow and their awesome sambal sauce Does anyone know what the old owners are up to nowadays? The current owner does an ok job, but I think they really overextend themselves with the hugely expanded menu.
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