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Everything posted by BCinBC

  1. Nondual, do you have any Thai recommendations (in the area or not)? Maenam has been getting a lot of good "press," the official kind and the online kind. Having said that, there have been a small number of less-than-impressed opinions, yours is not the first. Again, I haven't been yet so I don't have an opinion - only high hopes.
  2. I haven't been yet myself, but you might want to check out Maenam, the newer, Thai-er incarnation of Gastropod. (Also on Opentable.) Chef Angus An worked under icon David Thompson and supposedly brings a lot of that to us in Vancouver. Coincidentally, Alex Gill reviewed Maenam in today's Globe .
  3. Thanks for the info. No, I'm not looking specifically for small plates. I was originally going to book Terroni, but they don't accept resos. JK was my second choice, but same deal. Though I now notice that JK at Gardiner does accept resos for Friday nights. Any thoughts on this outlet, and anywhere within walking distance to go for drinks afterwards? (They close at 8:30.)
  4. Hey folks, sorry for yet another Where To inquiry, but. Am looking for a place for tomorrow night, three sets of out of towners converging on Toronto. Probably in the vein of JK or Nyood, and closest to the Casa Loma neighborhood would be best. I would reserve at JK except for the fact that they don't take resos for dinner. Should I just stick with Nyood? Thanks. PS: Any thoughts on Kultura? These names sound immeasurably pretentious, which is kind of scaring me off. Otherwise the food looks good.
  5. Safe trip home (or home away from home), Peter. And don't worry, it never snows in Richmond.
  6. "Legacy participant." Don't worry, he's still on the internet, as is everyone else - just not here.
  7. That actually is one of the coolest things about Hunan spice, besides the endorphin rush, how it pretty much dissipates once the eating stops. My favourite dishes, besides the lamb and cumin, are the beef with pickled chilis and the house-cured pork belly with garlic bolts. Also, try it on the big heat next time, it will be even better!
  8. As investigated by fmed, the Xiang is still there, it has just undergone a reno and rebranded as Alvin's Garden. Phew.
  9. Hey, I went by the Xiang today to pick up some lunch, and they were all papered up. Was driving so I did not bother to stop, but does anyone know what's the what?
  10. Rare is currently closed, but I would sub in Parkside in a second. In fact Parkside should be on your first team, period. Aurora is west-coast-centric in ingredients and wine, which will probably prove interesting to you as you can contrast it to ON. Vij's is an institution, and although I hear we don't hold a candle to [just about anyone] for Indian food, think of this as a highly successful marriage of Indian and BC. Remember they don't take resos so you may want to keep this one for the least busy night that you are here. If you want to stay close to downtown, go to Kirin on Cambie and 12th instead of SSW for dim sum. Otherwise go to Richmond.
  11. I agree, high alcohol wines have a limited appeal to me. (I like alcohol just fine, don't get me wrong - but burning hot wine is generally not the way I like to administer it.) My take is that they are modeled after big sellers from the US (California), presumably in reaction to the market. Which is fine - there are still other, smaller BC producers that continue to make very good products at decent value that I can continue to support. And as you say, Spain always presents excellent options as well.
  12. Anchoress - by "East Indian" I am assuming you mean "Indian" as in the subcontinent of India, as opposed to Eastern India (vs North vs South vs West). Not that I am an expert in any, just want to try to make sure I'm answering your question. We live in the Nanaimo/1st neighborhood and have been ordering delivery from Ashiana Tandoori (originally tipped off about this place by our neighbor Mooshmouse). To be honest they are hit and miss, but I chalk that up to being a fact of life with delivery food, any delivery food. And they are more hit than miss. I do think Indian travels better than other traditional take out such as Chinese. Ashiana tends to shine with their curries, and (IMO) falls short with their breads. We've tried their naan and roti and both, though leavened, come out more like tough crackers than puffy and chewy bread. But yeah give one of their Goa curries a go, it's something I really enjoy from them as it gives the familiar "Indian" curry flavours with a coconut milk base. Timely thread though; I was thinking about Indian take out tonight, maybe we'll give Saffron a shot.
  13. Thanks for letting us know CH. The jellyfish and sharks fin salad looks to be the most intriguing dish to me, a true departure from a more traditional Chinese plating. Did you get a chance to ask the chef about his steamed live crab dish? I'm still trying to understand how he does this for less than say 4 people (given the serving sizes that appear above). Unless he does not use dungeoness?
  14. I like the range because it has 5 burners including a simmer (none of them turn off when you set them to the lowest setting, so the 16,000 btu burner will still boil on its lowest setting), the convection oven is good (though I am still learning roasting times with it), it had the best grate configuration IMO, and it was the most aesthetically pleasing of all the mid-high end units. Basically the best bang for the buck that I could find. For wok hei, to be honest I don't know if you can ever truly replicate commercial Chinese in a home kitchen (without buying something like this). You know when you see Chinese cooks working those gas valves with their knees while flames are leaping into the hood? I'm pretty sure those valves are 3/4" minimum. Even if they are only 1/2", compare that to what is likely a 1/2" feed to your entire range (probably totaling about 70-80,000 btu) - the amount of gas going to one restaurant wok is, well, a lot. The previous link said even that home wok ring produces 100,000 btu's. But the Frigidaire range works for me, the 16,000 btu burner gets pretty hot - and I'm pretty sure it was the highest heat rating that I found in the comparable model range. Plus if you got a heat diffuser / ring to concentrate the heat on your wok then I'm sure it would produce pretty good home results. For cabs, we went with Liljestad - the colour is very rich, and even though it is dark, we get enough natural light (south facing kitchen) to offset. You know what, though - unfortunately the pic on the website is not very flattering, now that I look at it. PS - Above I meant to say Coast Appliances gave us a very good quote on appliances, not Trail.
  15. I don't think the local scene in general is insulted or threatened by DB's arrival. At the intro lunch last week there were quite a few big local names in attendance (so I've read, Fiona was there and has more details). As I recall the list included Hawksworth, Vij, Pino, etc. Apart from Neil Wyles, that is about as grand a list of chefs as you can find in the city. So I think the local industry is actually excited to see what happens. When it comes to individuals' reactions, though, that is where I think we're seeing the full spectrum: some are very excited, some less so.
  16. GP - just out of curiosity, HD was cheaper than who? In our case, we actually discovered the product at HD, got it priced, then found the same product with a small guy (Kingsland) who priced it a lot more reasonably. YMMV of course, market forces and workloads and all that, but yeah just curious. I always feel like I'm not necessarily getting the best deal on stuff at HD, that I am paying for a measure of convenience - but good to know that sometimes that may not be the case.
  17. We reno'ed our kitchen last summer, and went with Frigidaire pro or gallery series just about everything (except the microwave / hood, which was a Panasonic). I didn't want to go overboard with the appliances; function and form were both important, but in that order. Once you step up to the Vikings, Wolfs, Sub-zeros etc, well that is a completely different tax bracket that I'm in. I'm very happy with what we got. Frigidaire CPLGF390DC gas range Trail gave us a very good quote, that is until we got a contractor's line at another place. Another plug: we got Silestone counter tops from Kingsland Stone Works in Richmond. Very happy with these - they are "engineered quartz", which is like granite except they are not porous so if you spill say red wine on them, they will not stain. They don't have a website, just a small company - but their quote was a fraction of everyone else's and they did a quality job including install. Good guys. Google map for Kingsland Stone Otherwise it was Ikea for cabs (note: other friends were reno'ing concurrently and they went with a "custom" cab millwright. Not actually custom, from what I gathered they do basically what Ikea does, which is make cabs in several standard sizes, and then work with you to fit what they have into what you have. But they worked out to be a similar price point to what we got, which was I think about as high end as you can go with Ikea), Home Depot for floor tiles / drywall etc. Oh yeah and these guys for faucets, refered by our very own Snacky_cat: Save More on Kingsway And a lot of blood, sweat and beers. (Ha, on that crappy joke of a note, remember to turn up Classic Rock 101 when you are working the Skil saw.) And yes some sage advice from the ex-Daddy-A. Good luck.
  18. Great article by Fiona. In that short column, she managed to answer a lot of questions that seemed to be floating around. And although I did love the full on Lumiere tasting menu when I had it, it's true that it was too special-occasion. Even a four or five course menu spells "occasion" to me, just one that is more accessible multiple times a year.
  19. just...wow. If a restaurant were to fail in Vancouver, you would blame the city/diners? It's not up to the chef and the management to position a restaurant effectively for a given market? the Vancouver dining scene has much to be proud of. Even if "world-class classical French" turns out to be a dimension in which Van doesn't excel, I don't think it's a condemnation of the scene as a whole. It isn't as if that genre is Vancouver's only food claim to fame or a genre the city in which the city should excel. I should add that I'm not saying that Chef Boulud's involvement is bad (I can't see how it could be). I just think it's odd to consider a hypothetical restaurant failure as being a failure of the city. ← First off, I agree with you - that when a restaurant fails, that it is most likely the concept or some other factor - and not the audience - that is the root cause. "Blaming" someone for not subjectively liking something is, of course, silly. The idea that I'm throwing out there is, if DB walks away from the city in a couple years, does that mean that we are too small town for the likes of big New York guns? A parallel might be, again hypothetically, if Tiffany decided to close up shop on Robson. Would that mean anything? Just thinking aloud, but yeah I think it would make some sort of statement. (Maybe that statement is, Vancouverites don't have enough disposable income.) Now if that were to happen, would I care? Not really. As you have noted, our city has much to be proud of. We have home grown some of the best talent in the country. Feenie and Hawksworth are both native to the city, and returned to it to shine. Same with a lot of other folks. There's plenty of stuff out there left to explore. I'm merely speculating - and have probably dragged this out long beyond what it was worth in the first place. With the dough being thrown into this venture, plus DB's marquee value, the soon to be ex Lumiere will probably be just fine.
  20. I'm confused by this comment. Why should Vancouver or its restaurant scene be embarassed if a hypothetical Lumiere-under-Boulud closes within a few years? The scene at large certainly isn't responsible for the menu or business decisions that Boulud / the Sidoos will make. I'm probably missing some subtext...too early in the morning. ← What I was trying to say was if we (Vancouver) could not support such a world class chef, wouldn't that be a confirmation of what a non world class town we were? *added missing word from orig post
  21. I'm getting a little scared for having to agree with Andrew twice in a week, but - exactly. Olympic revenues are one thing, but how embarrassing would it be for the city, not to DB himself, to have a location close within a couple years?
  22. Will all apologies and respect to Chocoholic - I cannot, in good conscience, let the Wild Rice recco stand. If you were here for a month then maybe, but for 3 days or less, just... don't. Go to Richmond, and try say Chen's for dim sum / lunch, then Aberdeen or wherever to kill the afternoon, then Sea Harbour for dinner. All Lower Mainland drivers are bad, so what the hell. It's only one day. And it will be an experience you will not be able to recreate in NYC, or anywhere else in North America for that matter.
  23. I finally had a Beard Papa puff. Very good custardy filling and chocolate topping. And I didn't even have to wait in line. All good. And I hope the hype is still going to encourage them to open more outlets.
  24. Oooh...I just went by this place last week. It looked good, but I had no idea it was the Crystal Hunan folks. Thanks for the tip canucklehead! I'm going to try to hit it this week. ← Finally got a chance to drop in at The Xiang this week at 4850 Imperial @ Nelson in Bby. I had the Mala Niurou Mian (Spicy Beef Noodles) and came away very impressed. The room is nothing special, as I would have expected for its location. The server I had was friendly and attentive, which was a happy surprise. I initially asked for medium-spicy, but was advised that I should try mild, since medium was a real Hunan medium. Oh yeah, the mild was spicy enough for me. Hooo~! But it's a good spicy. You know those meals where the spice lingers in your mouth and you have to eat rice to try to cool your mouth down? Hunan spices aren't that way at all. It's a quick spice hit which doesn't sit and burn your tongue. Price was $6 for a big bowl with lots of meat. It took about 15 minutes to arrive, and the waiter actually apologized for the wait, saying that as the noodles were made to order it took a bit longer. No worries! I'll go for fresh over speed every time. He said that if you're in a hurry, the dishes with rice are the best bet. Hours are 11-3 and 5-9 seven days a week. Well worth visiting if you're in the hood. ← So I finally tried The Xiang last night and was also very impressed. Apart from being delicious, I also felt like I was getting an authentic glimpse of this under-represented region of China (I say authentic, having little frame of reference). My favourite dishes were the sliced cold beef brisket, the lamb and cumin dish, and the beef with preserved chilis. The heat is interesting, I found it quite different than Szechuan or other SE Asian cuisines. It just kept building and building on the roof of my mouth, and it was addictive. I resisted the rice as long as I could, but broke down about 2/3 of the way into the meal. Couple of Tsing Taos also helped. The very interesting thing, as you kind of noted Kentan, was about 15 minutes after I was done eating, the heat was gone. The heat came back this morning though.
  25. What are you gonna do? If you have star power, issues with former partners still to be resolved, and a pregnant wife I bet you'd do the same to pay the bills if someone offered you a fat cheque. What interests me more is whether it makes any difference in the food. I don't recall that any of the former big name chefs who have signed on with Earls etc. have really made any difference in the menus. (Am I wrong?) It seems it's more about bragging rights for the chains and the hit of publicity that they will get vs any real thought that the food will evolve or markedly improve. ← eatrustic, I concur. A few friends were having this conversation yesterday, and we came to the conclusion (I think) that there is very little Rob can bring to the CC table. What does he bring that Noble couldn't do at Earls or Julian Bond at CC (remember that revolutionary burger)? Rob is a great cook, no doubts, but he is not going to say improve the efficiencies of the kitchens or even necessarily give the menu any greater appeal. Certainly he will not give it a broader appeal. There is a reason there are 18 CC's and 1 Feenie's (aside from the oft predicted 2nd location in Burnaby, no, Toronto). I would venture that in general, and definitely outside of the City of Vancouver, the "Cactus Club" brand has more recognition power than name "Rob Feenie." That said, I hope that the no competition clause with the Sidoos (if any) expires after a short period of time and Rob gets back into his own kitchen somewhere in the city.
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