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Dumpling Girl

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  1. Great tips, Saborosa (including the room key one, hee hee)! Thanks! I checked out your site too, nice work! - Nancy
  2. Just wanted to thank everyone for the Barcelona (and nearby) suggestions in here. I am going to Europe for my first time in about a week, and will be spending several days in Barcelona. This forum has been invaluable in helping me decide where to eat. (El Bulli was already booked up when I thought to try to make reservations 9 months ahead of time. Not quite early enough, heheh). Here is my tentative food plan: Sat night - arrive in the evening, in time to go for the 5 course dessert meal at the second shift reservation at Espai Sucre Sun - maybe try to find some paella for lunch, hit tapas or pintxos bars in the evening to have an extended dinner at multiple locations. Interested in Mam I Teca, as I'll be staying in Raval (Caasa Camper). Might find myself in Barceloneta, depending on how far I get in my sightseeing. Interested in Agulla, El Vaso del Oro and Cal Pep. Interested in Quimet y Quiemet as well. Mon - Pinotxo and El Quim in La Boqueria for breakfast and lunch. Again, casual and simple dinner in tapas or pintxos bars. Tues - Travel to Figueres. Find somewhere to eat in town near Dali Museum. Tasting menu dinner reservation and overnight at Mas Pau. Wed - Lunch reservation at El Cellar de Can Roca Fri - dinner possibly at Abac or Cinq Sentis. May not be in the mood for another heavy meal. If anyone has any particular suggestions for a Sunday paella lunch or particular tapas recommendations for Sun and Mon, or lunch in Figueres, please let me know. All comments welcome. If anyone is planning on travelling to Vancouver, BC, Canada, I'd be happy to make recommendations (http://nancyland.blogspot.com). - Nancy P.S. Ooo, almost forgot. I will try to fit in a visit to Jamonisimo. Is it worth making the trip to the shop, or should I just eat ham in the restaurants?
  3. Wow, it's nice to see that Capones is looking to improve themselves. I'm of the latter group - I was relatively pleased with the food, (as well as the drinks and music) on my one visit during the Jazz fest in 2005, but I felt like I got the "look you up and down to decide if you're worthy of sucking up or not" type of snobby service, from both the man who showed me to the table, and somewhat from the server, and never returned. My dining companion, who arrived separately concurred. We're both self-proclaimed foodies who spend a lot of money on dining out, and clean ourselves up to dine in a restaurant, but neither of us are terribly interested in flashing any sort of bling. The attitude ruining the experience was very unfortunate, because I love jazz, love the experience of being able to enjoy live music and food and drinks at the same time, and I live fairly close by too (downtown). The actual logistics of the service - timing, knowledge, etc. were fine. But at the price point of Capones, there should really be no service issues. If the changes result in a snobbery-free evening, I'd be willing to give it another try. Thanks for the invitation to give feedback.
  4. Little donut/mini donut I can't remember if the place actually has a name. I remember sugar or no sugar....was there a cinnamon flavour to? ← They used to be called Tom Thumb Donuts a long, long time ago. I think they're still called "Those Little Donuts" (at least they were last year) and they're so much better than the imitations sold in the Playland area, or at the Celebration of Light fireworks. I've never had them without the cinnamon sugar, but they coat them in front of you, so I suppose you could have them without. Those mini donuts are my raison d'entrer (as opposed to my raison d'etre) for the PNE. I eat all sorts of crap when I go though - cotton candy, candy apple, those fair scones with jam, corn on the cob dipped in butter (don't think about the price) or the skewer of garlic butter prawns at that corn stand, the annual corn dog or foot long hot dog, Curry in a Hurry, BBQ pork sandwich, those freeze dried ice cream dots. Everything is overpriced of course. I remember Banh mi's being there, but have never gotten them. Maybe those are reasonably priced relative to the other food. I've always wanted to try the JJ's, and I've always wanted to win the meal after the cooking demonstrations. My parents have always gotten the overcooked, dry barbequed chicken. Mini donuts are really the only thing I have to have. Check out my blog if you're interested in the offerings at the Richmond Night Market - all the the PNE needs is a takoyaki stand or meat on a stick stands.
  5. Hey! I've had a very similar experience. Dropped by late (well, I think it was only 9:30, but it was a Sunday in the late winter, so the room was fairly dead) for nibbles, drinks, desserts. I thought it was kind of funny that my my "crispy pork" wasn't crispy. I wondered if they had shut down the fryer and reheated it for me, but not quite high enough. They were soggy, and I didn't like them. I was disappointed, and I had that same feeling of regret that maybe I should have sent it back, but then again, I didn't want to go through that hassle (and yes, I was there on a date too). Good thing it was a second visit, after having a really good dinner there before, so I knew that they can do a lot better. I've had those olives another time, and when they're done right, I love them, and they are crispy (but yes, they are really really salty). Had wonderful service both visits, and haven't held the pork dish against them (just have a mental note not to order them again). I still wish I had ordered the chicken wings instead. Anyhow, I keep meaning to go back, because their patio seems like a perfect summer meal spot. Nancy
  6. Thanks for posting this, Tim! I'll keep my eye for the menus. Are you giving a sneak preview that Rare is participating? I really miss the Taste of the Nation event here that also supported charities that fight hunger. Nancy
  7. Just because some people go and have a positive experience and report on what they experienced, and you and your friend go and have negative experiences doesn't mean you need to dismiss the positive reports as "mindless" and as a "jerk off." So you didn't like it. I get it. Everyone's got their own taste, and that's fine. When they took a while to get our dessert wines, they were fully aware they goofed up and apologized profusely - I hope they did the same for you. Maybe give them a tiny bit of slack considering they're not even finished their third week of operation yet? Or not. But from my point of view, there's a lot to like about the place, and it's pretty mindful stuff
  8. See my blog for more gushing like a school girl. Also, for a bit of explanation behind Blood Alley. The alley has been nicknamed that for a long time. Don't know where the name Trounce Alley originated from. I like little city history stories, so I'm glad they went with Blood Alley on the business card. Hope this place doesn't get overexposed from our gushings. I think it has serious staying power though, so I'm not worried. http://nancyland.blogspot.com/2006/07/salt...up-to-hype.html Nancy
  9. At any rate, I like this trend of trying to improve the airline food, rather than taking all the food away, which seems to be where all the other domestic airlines seem to be going. Good airline food is definitely possible - I flew Singapore airlines' business class once, and it was great. And they even served it in multiple courses. Really, neither the White Spot commercials (hey, he grew up in BC) nor this promotion makes me think Rob Feenie is a sell-out. But it does make me wonder if Lumiere will suffer (more) with his absence. Anyone been lately? Nancy
  10. Does Gnocchi Quattro Formaggi from Amarcord count? Or are u very attached to the "mac" in mac n' cheese?
  11. Breakfast - almond croissant from La Baguette et L'echalote, coffee from PICA counter or from JJ Bean in the market. $6 I actually think Sen5es almond croissant is better, but Ling already said that one, and anyway, I find the entire experience of eating the croissant outside at Granville Island very satisfying. Lunch - Dim Sum at International Chinese Restaurant on Hastings - about $11 for anyone out of town who doesn't normally get a lot of dim sum. Dinner - now you've got $27 to have dinner at Yuji's Japanese Tapas, which should be plenty to get you a nice meal. Or save a few dollars for a candy store spree down the street afterwards. Alternately, For brunch, have a $2.99 breakfast anywhere with a coffee, or a big bowl of pho and an iced vietnamese coffee, and then have Rack of lamb at Senhor Roosters for an early dinner ($35). To be honest, I'm on a pretty tight budget in my normal life, so $44 isn't that out of the ordinary for me. Should we start a thread for "Vancouver on $440 a day"?
  12. Thanks Everyone for your help! I did wind up going to Ya Ya's and had a nice time. We went for deep fried oysters, oyster platter (1/2 dozen, each oyster having a different sauce, their dry ribs, and a fried feta and spinach salad). The different sauces were fun to sample, but almost all of them felt like too much, and seemed to take away from the oyster itself. My favourite thing wound up being the dry ribs. Had a blast on the boat ride too. Nancy
  13. Hi Everyone, I'm going to be going on an eco-tour from Horseshoe Bay Village today and will be looking for a really late lunch (3 pm) afterwards, and don't really know much about the area. I once ate at the Boathouse, and that's an option. Any body have any recommendations? Thanks! Nancy
  14. Not to be defending the article too much, but just wanted to bring up the idea that as a consumer, the negativity of this review would be quite useful to me, if I hadn't been to Tojo's and I was interested in plunking down $200 for a meal, and all I had heard about the place were raves. This review would alert me that it may not be as good as "everyone" used to say. And I think a negative review may inspire a restaurant to strive to keep up their own standards, or better themselves. I agree though, that I wouldn't want to see only bad reviews. But I also wouldn't want to see only good ones. A mix of both, from many different reviewers, helps me discern what restaurant seems to be consistantly impressing a wide range of people, and is likely to be enjoyable. Same with movie reviews. Ultimately, I just want an idea of which ones are a good bet, and which ones might be more risky.
  15. It's certainly fair to note the huge difference in treatment between being an a la carte diner at Tojo's and being a sushi bar diner doing a hefty omakase. I went with a couple of friends, well dressed, reservations, with someone who back in the old days used to be a regular, and known at the restaurant, but we were just ordering off the menu, had a seat the patio, and were virtually ignored. I had previously been for my birthday, and my female friend had treated me to dinner at the sushi bar, omakase. And the snobbery is really not hidden much there, even when you do spend the big bucks - my server, when doing omakase with reserved seats at the sushi bar, let us know that Tojo was in the house, but he doesn't meet customers on their first visit at Tojo's. That's saved for the SECOND visit. Her explanation had the tone of what the British monarchy entourage might have explaining the proper way to curtsy in the presence of the queen. We never saw a glimpse of him. But we were still absolutely wowed by the meal. This was a few years back, but it was really wonderful. Flavours were really remarkable. (this didn't happen a la carte. Those dishes were okay, I think, but it was overshadowed by the snobby service, so I can't even remember). If Alex Gill had wanted different dishes on her second visit, she could have let the restaurant know what she had on a first visit. And when experiencing "ethnic" restaurants, one can bear in mind that the service is very much influenced by the culture of the nation that the people and the food are from. In other words, don't expect a Japanese person in restaurant trying to be an authentic Japanese restaurant to warn someone that the food is going to be hot. Japanese people don't do that. It's better to have something served as piping hot at possible, and people can wait for the food to cool down to their preferred temperature in Japan. That's pretty normal, and that means that some people build crazy tolerances for super hot noodles in soup, and prefer them really, really hot. (by the way, I just had what would have been a perfectly good meal at Fortune Garden on Mother's Day absolutely ruined because they were trying to turn the tables quickly that day, and served all the dishes at once, rather than one at a time, like they should at a fancy Chinese restaurant, and everything got lukewarm. Made a huge difference. Quite annoying, and some dishes suffered so much, even though I could tell that they were probably really good when they were hot). Same with "not even offered water." You get tea. That's what people drink in Japan. You could ask for water if you need it. The little nuances of culture is part of why it's fun to dine out in different restaurants in the first place. Maybe explaining a dish is going to be very hot is kind of like when you're at a Chinese restaurant (doesn't happen too often in Vancouver, but other places), and the table is set with chopsticks, and then someone comes over and places a fork in front of the white guy. We take a bit of offense to that. (Hey! He's good at eating with chopsticks! He's not an ignorant hick!). They're pretty brazen at Tojo's when they tell someone not to use wasabi or soy on some sushi. Instead of a suggestion, it sometimes comes across as an order. I don't really mind that either. It would be fun to stop someone just before they soak their rice with soy sauce in a Chinese restaurant, and say "No soy! NO!", like a citizen's arrest. Heee hee. I'm a little surprised she wasn't wowed by the food, but then again, I haven't been in years, and I've been wowed by another big name restaurant in town with tasting menus several years ago, and then visited after a couple of years, and thought "meh." If there's something to talk about in A. Gill's reviews, then she's done a big part of her job (even if they're complaints). At least it's interesting. That's more than can be said for the reviews in the Province? Nancy Edited to add: Oh my god, what have I done... I've just left myself open for the reviewer of the Province to write some article mocking eGullet, and portray me in some caricature fashion...eeek!
  16. Cheap and cheerful: Go Fish! A Patio Without a View (but quite pleasant anyway for drinks or a casual meal): Kingston Taphouse and Bar. I just tried out a patio I had never been to before - Seawall Bistro at the Bayshore in Coal Harbour (between Lift and Carderos). While Carderos was packed, Seawall was dead. (I had a 50% off discount, and figured it was worth a try, as the location is very good for me). The food is not great, but the patio was a nice spot. It's all in the shade, though. Which was a bit chilly on the day I went (even with the heaters), but might be very nice on a very hot day if you want an off the beaten path stop after walking around the seawall. Prices of drinks seem a little high, (which is to be expected since it is really just a hotel restaurant). Service was stellar though. They have a regular dinner menu, plus standard "appy's" type menu like chicken wings, nachos, peel and eat shrimp, so it might be a good place for snacks and drinks on a really hot day. Of my meal, the dessert was the only thing that was really good. The creme brulee was made in a very shallow wide dish - higher surface area to volume ratio, so you get more of the crispy caramelized sugar top. Yum. B52 ice cream served with it was unnecessary. My salmon entree was a bit like that too. Didn't seem like the different components were chosen because the flavours worked well together but instead picked by some sort of crap shoot, with the primary objective to make the menu description sound enticing (or at least they didn't work for me, salmon was with a decent citrus glaze, but the grapefruit segments, and watercress garnish, and somewhat bitter zucchini "noodles" and grilled asparagus were all fine alone, but didn't really taste good together, no matter what combination I put in my mouth). Surprised about the comment on food at Lift. I just went there for a quick drink one night at the bar, and had their mini food and drink pairings (mini cocktail and bite), and thoroughly enjoyed it, and it made me want to go back. Nancy edited to add: oops, didn't really pay enough attention to the title of the thread. Hmm...a view AND excellent food is tough. I like Nu though. And I guess there's always C!
  17. While Pink Pearl used to be very good for dim sum in the 80's, I'm not too sure about it now. I'd much rather go further east on Hastings to International Chinese restaurant. It's definitely not a very fancy place (and not one that caters to Caucasian people), but the food was excellent when I went. Here's a link to a blurb I wrote about it. http://nancyland.blogspot.com/2005/09/dim-...al-chinese.html I've heard good things about a place off W. 41st Ave, and E. Boulevard (Arbutus St. becomes this street). Upstairs. Ocean something. I've been there for dinner which was really good. Hmmm...three days of dim sum in a row though...won't you get sick of it? Nancy
  18. Chiyoda is no longer in operation. Sakae just lost three of its chefs together with the restaurant manager at the end of April, so I don't know if it is a good time now to bring in a group of 50. For traditional style Japanese cuisine, Kamei Royale can easily handle 50 people since they are used to catering to large Japanese tour groups. ← My fav Japanese place is Yuji's, W. 4th at Maple (worth the trip over the bridge), but I'm not sure if it's capacity is just under or just over 50. They might not be able to deal with one big group though. They were pretty hesitant when I talked to them about a group. You'd have to talk to the owner. Too bad about Chiyoda, I was just reading a thread where someone mentioned it was a great place for lunch.
  19. Did they think of the Naam because of the casual, bohemian feel? (I wouldn't want to go there either - I don't like the food, and don't understand why it's so popular). If it's the atmosphere, then maybe Slickety Jim's Chat 'n Chew (on Main St. near Broadway) would be similarly comfortable. They have breakfast dishes mostly, but salads and sandwiches too, I think for lunch type food. I think of them mostly because they're known for not rushing you out. But it will probably be very busy. More kitcshy than the Naam, but it's got that same run-down-house-that-university-students-live in feel. Closer to downtown than the Naam. For that sort of old building feel, there aren't as many options downtown. Maybe The Templeton on Granville St. They also seem to have a similar style of food to the Naam (veggie-friendly, whole grains), but better (plus there is meat on the menu). The neighbourhood is sketchy/has character though - it's flanked by a couple of porn shops. I agree that Steamworks is a nice choice for lunch - especially if you get a window seat. Caffe Artigianno's got good coffee, but I agree with the comments above - I would rather have full service, in a quieter place, if going for a nice lunch with out of towners. If you're looking for something fancier, Teahouse in Stanley Park? Ethnic? Banana Leaf on Denman. (close to English Bay) Nancy
  20. The Cheesecake restaurant is a classic haunt for the young asian crowd for many years. I suspect the cheesecake style is aimed to that group. They seem to like their cakes very light. I, being a nice jewish boy, like my cheesecake dense, and creamcheese thick. ← I can see that. Chinese birthday cake, with whipped cream and fruit is light and airy, and I love that sometimes. I'm of the not-so-young Asian crowd these days, and like my cheesecake both ways. I started going to Cheesecake Etc. about 14 years ago in my university days (wow...), and liked the atmosphere then (not as Asian, live music), and am still comfortable now in the more Asian, still university, but less bohemian crowd. But I really like their light airy cheesecake, which I think is the same stuff they were serving when I first went (they've never had any crust in the time I've been going). Don't get the chocolate cheesecake though. The other side (Tiger something) looks like another restaurant, but it's not. It's got the same menu, just with brighter lighting and bad decor. Maybe an attempt to get a different crowd... I find it hideous. Guess I'll stay on the Asian side
  21. Just a warning that maybe this is not available for everyone? I tried to make a reservation for a group for my birthday (for a Monday night, calling 3 weeks + in advance) when Nu first opened and was told that they can't have more than 8 people together at a table, because of the layout, and that groups larger than 8 require arranging a set meal ahead of time. When I asked to have someone contact me with an example of a set meal, they said they would, but they never got back to me, and I couldn't get a hold of them because of their clogged phone lines at the time. I did get an apology from Leonard when he learned of this. But it may not be the easiest place to do a group event (unless you're making arrangements to take the entire restaurant, or you have some connections). Maybe they've ironed out the wrinkles now. And now they have their patio open on nice days too, so that's another potential area to stay separate from the rest of the restaurant, aside from the lounge. Nice place to have dinner with a small group though. Steamworks was really on the ball for a group of 25 downstairs. Really comfy. I've had great service at Kingston Taphouse and Grill (when going in small numbers), and I know that they have large groups there all the time. Guu in Gastown would be a top pick for me for a group. Lots of funky cocktails, and Granville Island pitchers, and some Asian beers available. Maximum 15 on weekends, but no maximum on weekdays. I haven't brought in a big group yet, but I probably will one day (wanted to for this Monday, but all the Guu's are closing for some sort of meeting). (I've had a group at Alexis also, and they were great. If variety in food is an issue though, Guu might not be good if you have any unadventurous eaters in the group). Same with Afghan Horseman. Great place for a group, from what I can tell, if you have a crowd who would find sitting on the floor fun, and who would enjoy that kind of food. Edited to add: Oops! Didn't see the line about parking. Yah, parking is an issue at all the the ones I mentioned (except maybe Afghan Horsemen). I use transit when I'm drinking, so they're all pretty accesible by transit, if that helps.
  22. Also, wasn't really thinking of a sit-down restaurant kind of place. More of a bar/loungey type place (Honey came to mind).
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