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BCinBC

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Everything posted by BCinBC

  1. I have no opinion about the restaurant, but is anyone else having visions of this Chris Kattan character running through their head?
  2. I was there just before Xmas, but the night was ruined by two adjacent and loud tables of ne'er-do-wells. Seriously what is up with these people, I think they each ordered their own bottle of wine, they were laughing hysterically and rather loudly, and a bunch of them kept getting up to have a smoke (and opened the door numerous times to let in a chill). I'm kidding. Slightly. The food of the night was, as I recall, the BBQ chorizo, the piri piri prawns (as always), the salt encrusted hen, and the BBQ ribs. Good stuff. Be forewarned, Daniel has brought in a dude to play his keyboard and sing - and there is a big dance floor. This may only be for weekend nights, but it makes for quite an enjoyable show if your thing is observing the surreal. The night I was there, some fox got up and led a conga line, so that was good.
  3. I feel that the "The last 3 restaurants... fast food too!" part has also been lost. I love Harvey's. I love Home Depot visits solely because that also means a Harvey's visit. I mourn the loss of the Big Angus.
  4. Caution: this is a cross-post with WF, so don’t blame me if you read this bloated crap twice! N and I were lucky enough to grab a reservation at La Buca for last night. We arrived just before 7, and right off the bat I had a star-spotting: one Mr Sean Heather and I believe his lovely wife (whom I've never met, so Sean please excuse me if this assumption if it is wrong). He kindly stopped by later to say hi, and had good things to say about his meal. The room. No offence to Henry, but the room is much nicer than what was there previously. You know how Parkside exudes an understated elegance, well La Buca is similar but kind of “understated casual.” Cream coloured walls with brown trim, and dark red curtains cutting accents through in a few spots. It is still a little shoeboxy, tightly packed with tables yet completely uncluttered. We got the end of the room table beside the FOH station / kitchen and it's separated from the others, but if you got seated at one of the tables on either long side, you might feel close-elbowed to your neighbor. However this is a necessity of the space, and the optimist would call it “cozy.” We were presented with “local” water (as opposed to sparkling, ha ha) and fennel bread sticks, to help while perusing the menu. For her starter, N ordered the buffalo mozarella and shaved fennel (and grilled raddichio and pine nut and...) salad, which I believe was slightly different than what appears as Antipasto on the current online menu. Tried one bite - nice dish, the cheese is beautiful. I had duck proscuitto with green beans, potatoes and arugula (similar to the Bresaola di manzo on the online menu). Another nice salad, keeping with the understated theme – which surprised me with the presence of duck proscuitto. Also tempting us from the appetizer list were the mussels and chorizo, La Buca’s take on the Caesar, and the fisherman's soup. I then opted for an intermezzo, a half-order of tagliatelle alla panna. Super good, and not a bad sized “half portion” either. Looking around the room, the main sized pasta portion was very generous, and I could see myself putting my face into a bowl of the tagliatelle with regularity. The proscuitto / pea / parmesan combo is unsurpassed in my books, and as Andrey said they not trying to reinvent the wheel, just present simple dishes with top notch ingredients. And isn't that what Italian food is supposed to be? I came that close to trying one of the bolognese, the vongole and the gnocchi with hunter's style chicken ragu too. In fact my new mission is to one day go in for a massive carb overload, those plus the mushroom risotto – 5 full servings – then immediately fly to Dr Atkins' grave to say “howdy.” Mains were the aforementioned wild mushroom risotto for N (naturally), and the osso bucco with saffron risotto and green beans for me. Mushroom risotto is outstanding! First taste is porcinis, but there were also a bunch of others in there (chanterelles, oysters, ah I forget what else but a bunch). Wonderful creamy consistency. Before the osso bucco came out, our waitress / busser delivered to me a marrow spoon. Good sign! And then it arrives... A massive portions of veal covered in a rich red wine sauce atop beautiful risotto, and possibly some gremolata? (I got a bit of orange peel.) The meat is still firm though tender, the surrounding tissue all broken down and gelatinous, and the marrow! Due to sheer richness, I eat osso bucco maybe once a decade, but it is always worth it. And did I mention the massive portion? I came nowhere close to finishing it, the remainder is waiting to be eaten for lunch minutes from now, after which I will surely have an open-eyed nap. Dinner was accompanied by a bottle of Renzo Masi Basciano Chianti 2004, which when opened and tasted sucked the moisture not only from my mouth, but the surrounding air within a 3' radius of me. The waiter asked how it was; I paused and said “tannic.” Yet it went beautifully with the food. We did not need dessert, but I had to ordered a coffee and and apple strudel (with whipped cream and caramel) anyway. Surprisingly I did not order the panna cotta, but this was only because it was with guava – of which I am not a big fan. Other options were tiramisu or biscotti. Strudel pastry was nice and crispy, but the best part may have been the apple chips on the side. As Canucklehead would say, Delicious! They have dessert drinks too, including Moscato – or grappa, if your liver really deserves a haymaker. One day, maybe after the 5-pasta extravaganza. What else? The wine list is well done, succinct and almost all bottles are available by the glass (both of these points I admire). The service was really enjoyable, the room is such that the small FOH staff can keep a close eye on what's going on. From walking in the door to waddling out, our meal was just about 2 hours on the dot (during a peak time with a full room). The total for our meal was $136 nic tip, which really for the quality of the food and the service is outstanding. I stopped by the kitchen before departing to say hi, thanks and good luck to Andrey; and to lament to him that he wasn't able to secure the old Coco Pazzo / current Senova location. This IMO is the pinnacle of the “CFD” concept, screw the other pretenders. Plunk this concept into that space, and N and I would have made a standing weekly reservation as it would be so easy to drive over – or ride our bikes in the summer – for a glass of wine and a salad or a big bowl of pasta on a Friday evening. As it is, I'm pretty sure we can afford the 15 minutes worth of gas to get to this location regularly. Nice one guys!
  5. Went to Gastropod (which always, always evokes images of Donald Sutherland screaming - to me anyway... Invasion of the Body Snatchers, for those who are shrugging shoulders) with a group just before Xmas. I tasted: - the oysters w/ horseradish (very soft both texturally and flavour-wise), tuna mille-feulle (having trouble with my spelling today, but an oustanding dish - loved the daikon and slight vinegary tang) - beef short rib (only okay, perhaps in comparison with the other stuff that was coming to the table - texture excellent, but imo it was slightly undersalted), pork (beefiest pork I've ever tasted, great charred edges) and lamb (best main I tried that night). Others were raving about the duck, which is now on my to-try list. For dessert I had the panna cotta w/ butternut squash ice cream - very interesting. The chocolate cake was well received by others. Before, during, between and after we had the Quails Gate riesling, Nota Bene, and the last bottle of the La Frenz reserve 03 (my favourite of the evening). Finished with a nice espresso, made nicer with their rock chip sugar. Mr Moosh and I were eating those afterwards like candy. Server - Chinese fellow, didn't catch his name - was really great, professional in service yet casual in conversation. Good first impression, I'll definitely return.
  6. I have heard some hit and miss things about Figmint, but I was there for drinks with some folks on Friday night and I would agree that they have a nice bar / lounge setup. If you are wary of the food just sit at the bar and drink the $20.
  7. I too recently had that exact menu there! (Well with deep fried dough and condensed milk too.) I concur with Canucklehead - the crab / rice and beef brisket are both excellent. Even the soft tofu with ginger syrup, I was pretty reluctant about at first but it was really good. It ain't gonna change KT's mind, but I was certainly pleasantly surprised. They tried to foist red bean on us "for free" (ie please take this shite off our hands, please) but I was vehemently shaking my head. Service staff were "characters" shall we say. The blonde guy was awesome.
  8. Dude, you were the second person to eat the xiao long bao and you still burned your tongue. Next suggestion. ← Do as I say, not as I do!
  9. The Place SLB are served really damn hot, and also they are huge (relatively) - so I imagine the full "soup" effect, if your steam observation was off, would be blistering to say the least. Maybe the best thing to do is be the second person to eat the bao.
  10. Water discussion on Waiterforum. My guess is with the gigantic refillable bottles at Safeway, that water is filtered. That is all. I do not know this for a fact, again just a guess, but if that is the case then my advice would be to just buy a Brita and save yourself a lot of backache lugging those things around (not to mention dough). Or just drink the damn tap water. Keep you strong like bull.
  11. Part of the water treatment upgrade works at all 3 watersheds will include addition of soda ash (sodium carbonate IIRC). The main purpose of this is to prevent copper pipe corrosion and leaching, but a side effect will be a slight hardening of the water, which perhaps will be pleasing to our local dough producers.
  12. I have been, it is very close to my office. They mostly deal in frozen goods, ie they bake on premesis (sp? why does that look so wrong?) and then freeze for bulk sales. However you can also go and special order stuff. I have only had bagels and a few sweets from them, they are okay but the bagels from Solly's IMO are a million times better.
  13. Actually the dish I am describing is "bo jai fan" - or little clay pot rice. A clay pot of steamed rice and preserved meats that is almost a one pot meal in its simplicity - and deceptively hard to do right. In HK - you see restaurants with jet burners lined up on tables outside cooking up little pots of rice as the weather cools. I have not seen this dish done properly in Vancouver - and not sure how you could make it at home. Not a simple rice cooker dish I think given the super high heat that I've seen used in restaurant preparations. "Wo Bah" is crisped up sheets of rice (usually deep fried) with a sauce poured over the top - the classic sizzling rice dishes you seen on alot of old school chinese places - it's traditionally a northern dish. Completely different from 'bo jai fan'. ← Last night my Mom and Uncle showed up in town, and we ended up on an impromptu trip to Northern Dynasty - which is about a block west of Jade on Alexandra Road. I'd link it but Google doesn't seem to know where it is. My Richmond connection also says it's next to Nan Chu, if this helps. (Edit: a search here has shown PaoPao has posted about this place a couple times: Northern Dynasty, 1180 - 8391 Alexandra Rd., Richmond, BC (604) 303-1192.) I've never been before, but it is a pleasant little room. Stick to beer as there is no wine service (saw someone unplugging a bottle of Yellowtail though, the manager said they let you do that sort of thing - but you might want to phone ahead to check first). For the table we ordered XLB (v good, v soupy), fish poached in chili oil (great heat, not overpowering but good Szechuan buildup type of heat; fish I believe was tilapia), krispy puffed rice with shrimp broth (I've never had this before, so I am not totally sure but I think it is the wo bah that Canucklehead was talking about above; very good, the rice is neat as it soaks up the broth and becomes soft yet crispy, and the broth is nice and thick with shrimp, bamboo shoots and mushrooms), tea smoked duck (good skin, duck super tender but tea flavour a little too subtle - still as good or possibly / potentially better than SR), bean curd and fava beans (I was curious; it was okay, N really liked it but I would probably not order it again) and stir fried rice cake noodles with salt pork and cabbage (really really good, I love the noodles despite being so filling - great glutenous chew). All that plus 4 beers was $115, NIC tip. Steal! And we have enough left overs for another meal for 2 of us tonight. Based on one visit, I'd put it over Shanghai River, as the room is much cozier and the food just as good if not better, and cheaper. Some other notes - Alaska King Crab was on for I think $11/lb or so, but they were huge ~9lbs. Peking Duck, super fantastic steal of a deal at $28 for a whole duck - the 2 courses we saw were skins in wraps (looked awesome - large cuts of skin instead of the usual smaller pieces - and housemade pancakes it looked like (as they were imperfect and a bit larger than usual)), and then the meat stir fried with some bean sprouts and peppers. Am not sure if you can sub in lettuce wraps instead, but probably. Also they had the 8 treasure stuffed duck for $48 or so.
  14. Re: folds - I've heard the magic number is 18. As with all things Chinese, there is a backstory to this but I can't remember what it is.
  15. Well BCinBC I didn't know it was possible to turn a restaurant review into a sexist, somewhat offensive and yucky "I am a male stud" commentary, but you managed. Yuck! ← Dear FannyBay, Thanks the compliment - I would never actually proclaim myself a "stud," but the ego boost of someone else thinking so is tremendous! I heard through my PR girl (Not Dakota) that there was a stirring on the G about this long-ago post of mine. Unfortunately I was unable to reply, being offline in Mexico researching taco-licious offerings (loved the lengua!). But I'm back, and glad to hear what you have to say. The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about - right? One other thing: I told my friend Jon about your excellent input, and he mentioned that he would love it if you might take a moment to read a piece of his, over on the Ireland forum. For your convenience, I've included a quick link here: link! He is a real writer, so of course his writing is vastly superior to mine (let's be honest, not even in the same league), but please be frank with him as you have with me. Thanks again!
  16. Yes. 1st Hunan, previously of Main & Marine, is no more. Chocomoo, are you talking about Red Star (place at Granville @ 64th)? It's not new, changed hands about a year ago or so - used to be the Granville Seafood something or other - but they have niced it up a bit. I had dim sum there on Saturday, and despite a lengthy wait, it was very good.
  17. So the 1st Hunan place is gone, replaced by Yang Wok Chinese Restaurant. So long, old oily slightly soiled but delicious friend, we hardly knew ye.
  18. I would have to agree. VQA is not the be all end all of locally produced wine. As with any product, if you care about it enough to do a little research, you can easily call up a defensive play to counteract non-locally-grown grapes.
  19. Tina and Chefs Fowke and NWyles were on Global news this morning, yes she is looking very good and seems to be in great spirits! I bet the Rare website is bogged down with hits today, and a lot of people are going away disappointed that the event is sold out. It's a veritable all-star line-up!
  20. Hey is that a quote from me? I agree, actually stuffing the bird is a requirement. "Stuff" outside of the bird - talk about dry! Also if you include sausages / fat in your stuffing, it helps keep the bird moist. Why don't people stuff, is there some sort of health concern or something? Vancouver. There, it's still locally relevant.
  21. I have to agree, great report and congratulations again to you two. Glad you enjoyed your trip!
  22. Thanks for the photos Lemon Girl, I have to concur that the RCMP plates are pretty amazing with the detail etc. Well done.
  23. Nice report Arne. Now which one of us is going to France next year?
  24. Does this mean you like the taste of your knives? $19 for a 4-star 8" is insane. While I prefer the now-discontinued 5-star, it would be good to pick up a backup - or for that price, a "traveling" knife. Do you recall how much the 10" Pro was? And thanks for the tip!
  25. Since we're in town for less than 24 hours and have quite the list of places to go (shopping-wise in addition to food-wise) we decided to stick to Vancouver. Next time it will be Richmond for sure! So is Red Star have cart or menu service? ← Red Star has menu service, and while a convenient choice for me location-wise, Kirin is actually much better for quality. (Nothing wrong with Red Star, but Kirin is IMO one of the best if not the best for dim sum in town.) I'm curious to hear about Nu. After Jay's departure, who is handling the bar? How will it stack up? Inquiring minds...
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