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Everything posted by Rhea_S

  1. Muzi (Cordova St across from Waterfront Center) has several green teas including an organic gyokuro. Tends to be pricey, but I do like their tea.
  2. I'm currently using Cacao Barry Extra Brute. I found a 1KG bag ($16?) at Ganache Patisserie in Yaletown. I like it much better than Bensdorf and it's cheaper.
  3. Thanks Chef! Early weekday is preferable for me anyway. I have no issues eating at the bar and I've even eaten at HSG on my own a couple of times.
  4. Someone else asked this earlier and I'm curious to also see popular opinion: how do the restaurants view single diners during DineOut?
  5. I'll add a vote for l'epicerie. Excellent customer service and I find their prices very reasonable.
  6. Two more recipes tried: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake, plain pound cake. I loved the cheesecake. It's not too sweet and is like an apple tarte tatin smushed into a cheesecake. I sometimes find that flavoured or non-plain cheesecakes end up tasting like regular cheesecake with a small bits that taste different, or a flavour that I would refer to as "muddy." The apple cheesecake definitely tasted of apples with a creamy background. I brought it to a 2 yr-old's birthday party and both adults and children enjoyed this cheesecake. It was the birthday cake, so I frosted it with a thin layer of vanilla mousseline buttercream. There were several dissapointed people when they found out that this wasn't a cake they could buy at a bakery. However, I did tell them where to find the recipe and recommended this book. The plain pound cake was not as much of a success. It came out very dense and dry. I suspect that it was baked too long. I mixed up the batter, but I had to go out and left it for my mom to take out of the oven. I'll reserve my final judgment on this recipe until I make it entirely on my own.
  7. First recipe tried: Coconut Orange Tea Cake. I loved this recipe. It's quick, simple, and smelled amazing in and out of the oven. I couldn't resist slicing off a piece even though the cake was barely cool. The coconut flavour isn't all that prominent, more of a nice background note to the orange. The texture is almost as light and fine as a chiffon cake. I had every intention of savoring each bite, but I must admit that I wolfed down the fairly large slice and still want more. It reminds me of Orange Glow Chiffon Cake from The Cake Bible. I didn't use the full 2 cups of sugar and the cake only took 40 minutes in the oven instead of 60-65 minutes. Prep time: 15 minutes... told you it was quick.
  8. Plastic wrap! I loved how you decorated your cake and wanted to make one with the gold bottle caps. I happened to have modeling chocolate, so I thought I was all set. I didn't think of using plastic wrap and I couldn't get a clean-looking bottle cap. I abandoned the bottle caps after several failed attempts and ended up making a Guinness harp out of tempered chocolate and painting with the gold lustre dust and vodka. Thanks for the tip and bringing this delicious cake to our attention. I've already had several requests to make this cake again.
  9. Ling, thanks for the chocolate cookie recipe! I baked a double batch last night and ate 3 before they were even cool. I had another one that "broke" while I was packing some up to bring to work. One of my co-workers described them as crispy and soft in all the right places. They disappeared very quickly. Next batch will be with chocolate chunks and dried cherries.
  10. Nightscotsman made that leap a few years back. I think there may be a few threads somewhere in eGullet that could provide you with more inspiration.
  11. You probably already know this, but most celiacs have to be careful with soy sauce and I think many Asian restaurants in North America tend to use soy sauce with wheat derivatives.
  12. Favourite Items: Kabocha squash in the crab dish - worked well with the coconut-curry sauce BBQ Pork Bun - I thought it was weird to have at the end of the meal, but its sweeetness made it work almost as a dessert. Could have done without: Almond Soup - bland and the egg white bits where unappetizing. I would rather have drunk a bowl of flower syrup. I would have preferred red bean. Steamed Fish - also a little lacking in flavour. I had the same dish the next evening at Fortune Seafood (Oakridge) as part of another Chinese banquet and that was much better. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thank you Canucklehead and Mooshmouse.
  13. The Popeye's in Coquitlam is nothing like Popeye's in the US except maybe the decor. I loved Popeye's when I lived in Illinois and ate there often, so I was excited to see one when I moved to Coquitlam last year. Big disappointment. The fried chicken tasted like it had been fried in oil that was starting to turn rancid and used too many times. Also, the spicy version wasn't anywhere near as spicy as in U.S. Popeye's. I gave them three chances because I needed a fried chicken fix and I was hoping that the first two times were simply bad days for them. Sadly, they were consistently awful. Time to fry chicken at home.
  14. Congratulations! It's good to read that you have reliable staff and do not have to worry so much about your business.
  15. I know exactly where I'll be going after my first Vancouver paycheque! I've been looking online for a Canadian source for E. Guittard, but I much prefer buying locally. Do they sell Valrhona feves or bars only?
  16. I saw a preview of the cake show and the one cake they showed looked very simple and elegant. It looked like 3 oblong layers with each oblong set off-center. I didn't get too close a look, but I thought it was white with pink flowers. It looked as if the team had an accident as they attempted to put the assembled cake into the van. It wasn't covered in any way. Just on a board of some sort.
  17. My mom's menudo is one of my comfort foods. Same ingredients as soba's minus the raisins. I don't mind them, but my mom hates raisins in any Filipino savory dish. The must-have ingredient for me is the chickpeas.
  18. I tried a hole-in-the-wall (around 10 tables covered with cheap plastic) restaurant in Port Coquitlam last night and was impressed. It's called PoCo Ocean Restaurant and is in the same strip mall as Mayan Art Cafe but on the opposite side and around the corner from Pier 1. There's an English menu, but the best items are on a dry erase board and written only in Chinese. The waitress told us that they are well known for two dishes -- a large piece of pork and soy sauce fish. Not exactly appetizing descriptions, but we thought we'd give them a try. The pork was a large pork hock braised to perfection. The fat and skin melted on the tongue, and the meat fell right off the bone and silky soft. The soy sauce fish was lightly coated, garlicky fried fish fillets. I thought it was tilapia, but my parents thought it was something else. There's no sauce. It's somewhat like salt and pepper shrimp but more garlicky and less spicy although you can ask for the dish to be made more spicy. The coating (egg white?) was nice and light and the dish was not greasy at all. Our vegetables for the night were ordered from the English menu, "abalone" mushrooms with stir fried vegetables. I really enjoyed this dish. The mushrooms have a vanilla and mocha taste, and the vegetables, mostly gai lan and bok choy, were very fresh. All the dishes were seasoned exactly to my taste, not the least bit salty, no overly seasoned sauces masking the flavours of the meat and vegetables. If any of you happen to wander out this way, give the place a try. Definitely a better alternative to Hon's which is across the street.
  19. Glad I checked eGullet today. I enjoyed the entire blog. I don't leave Coquitlam much aside from job interviews, and it sometimes feels more like I'm somewhere in Asia rather than Canada. Is Josephine's somewhere on Fraser? I think we've ordered a whole lechon from them before. I really liked the food at the old Galing-Galing (attached to Goldilocks) and when the cooks there opened up a place further east on Broadway. No point in eating Filipino food at a restaurant in my case since I have my own personal Filipino chef, aka Mom. What's your least favourite Filipino dish? Of the ones I've had in my life, I would have to say it's a tie between pinangat or paksiw na isda. I love fish, but the smell of cooking fish in lots of vinegar or tomatoes turns my stomach. And I've never understood how cooking fish in vinegar ends up making the fish taste even more fishy.
  20. It doesn't seem like any of the posters on this thread are in the Philippines at the moment, but I was wondering if any of you have been to Manila recently. Stagiare mentioned the surge of Filipino restaurants in Manila, and I wanted to add some comments along those lines. My parents arrived from Manila about a month ago and I was surprised that they ate mostly Filipino cuisine. That was certainly not the case in past visits when the only Filipino restaurant we would go to is Kamayan, and there only because you can choose to also get food from the adjoining Japanese and American buffets. This time around, friends and family brought them to a new place in The Fort (Fort Bonifacio?), Masa's in Greenbelt, Mangan in Alabang, and a couple of others I don't recall. These places appeared to serve more of the traditional dishes both with or without a spin. Mom said the nilaga at Masa's was basically just beef cooked with leeks. In any case, she was surprised by the very good quality of the dishes they tasted. Service was another matter in some of the restaurants, but I still think it's great that I can go to Manila and eat decent Filipino food outside of friends' homes.
  21. It has various names: ginataang bilo-bilo, ginataang halo halo, ginataan, etc. Ginataan is the most generic and describes anything cooked with coconut milk. It's also one of my favourite Filipino desserts although I can't ever eat a big serving -- a bit too rich. It can be eaten hot or cold. My preferred variation includes taro, plantain, and jackfruit. It looks like a thick whitish soup with different colours floating about due to the fruit.
  22. Since I'm currently living at home, dinner is Filipino food most nights. Tonight was ginataan na manok with dilao (chicken cooked in coconut milk and flavoured with turmeric), pancit bihon, and pesang isda (a fish soup with ginger and upo -- hairy gourd?). All served, of course, with steamed rice. The chicken is one of my favourites, but I wasn't much of a fan of the fish soup. I don't think the fish was too fresh (dug out from the depths of my mom's freezer), so it wasn't for me.
  23. I have some of those non-absorbent ones as well that I also got for Christmas one year. I now prefer those cheap microfibre towels that can be found in the automotive section of Walmart-type stores and sometimes at the dollar stores.
  24. Yup, tis me. Croissants and danishes have been on my "must-try at least once list" for a very long time. I think it's finally time and it'll get me back on this thread again.
  25. Not at all. One of my favourite cookbooks is The American Boulangerie. The recipes work for me and I like the non-recipe parts of the book as well. The acknowledgement section at the back of the book is one of the most thorough I have ever seen. I remember thinking that I'd love to work in a place like that when I first read that part of the book. I was so happy to read from your post that I wasn't wrong. Congratulations on your new career! P.S. I'm very sorry to hear about your cat. That was a lovely thing for your supervisor to do. It certainly doesn't happen often enough in other work places.
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