Panos

Today I went to Panos near Dongmen station for lunch with CF and MM. Panos is a coffee chain store in Belgium (according to MM, there are over 400 stores in Belgium!), and they have brunch items, sandwiches, pasta, salad, and smoothies. It’s interesting to point out that the smoothie flavours at this particular restaurant were created by the lady who opened up the famous mango ice on Yong Kang St. She’s also a major shareholder of Panos Taipei! Another fact pointed out by MM during our visit. She sure knows a lot of random but interesting facts. :)

Overall I found the food and place to be alright, but the service was horrible. It took them 40 minutes to make MM and my Paninis. Even the group that came after us got their order first! I won’t be back.

CF’s tuna brunch:

image

My cheese panini:

image

MM’s smoked chicken panini:

image

It was nice to see CF after not seeing him for over a month! Even though the meal was disappointing, the conversations we had were certainly far from that.

The end of another relaxing and fun weekend; I’m now ready to face another week of work!

Perfume Dance

Last week I went to Perfume Dance for dinner with MilkTea, CF, and Vicky. I think Taiwan restaurants are all so exquisite and cute, and Perfume Dance was no exception. It’s located between MRT  Zhongxiao Fuxing and Zhongxiao Dunhua stations (closer to Zhongxiao Fuxing).

The interior was mint green (one of my favourite colours!), and there were chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. They also offered masks for girls who’d like to enjoy their afternoon teas in style. This place is famous for their unique honey toast boxes and “golden bricks” dessert (variation to toast boxes), so reservation is usually required on weekend afternoons.

image

This was my scallop vegetable soup. It was a light soup that tasted fresh but not overly salty.

image

Fruit tea that we ordered to share. We chose hot rather than cold, because I think hot fruit teas taste better. I love passionfruit so I was delighted to find passionfruit at the bottom.

image

CF’s pumpkin and eggplant risotto. CF doesn’t like eggplants, so he gave them to Milktea and me. Perfume Dance’s risotto are apparently very popular, and I usually don’t enjoy risotto, but this dish was surprisingly good! The rice and pumpkin sauce blended together perfectly, but the portion size is not too filling…

image

Milktea’s chicken pasta. I forgot what the sauce was, but it was tomato based and tasted slightly spicy. The chicken was tender, and the pasta cooked al dente.

image

Vicky’s matcha and red bean Danish toast box. The Danish toast box is quite unique as most places only serve regular toast boxes. I got to try a bite of this, and I thought it tasted just okay. The bread was a bit on the dry side, and the filling was mediocre at best.

image

This was the best dish of the night. It’s called “Golden Bricks” and it’s so named because instead of the conventional toast boxes where bread sticks are toasted then stuffed back into the box, “Golden Bricks” are bread that’s cut into cubes, toasted, and arranged into a pyramid. The flavour we picked was Tiramisu, with vanilla ice cream, and milk and chocolate sauce drizzled on top. It sounds so simple, but it’s honey toast at its best!

Overall, we had a great time at Perfume Dance. The service was good, but I thought the price was a bit steep for what we were paying for. Maybe because I am so used to the cheap eats in Pingtung, and I’m still adjusting to Taipei’s prices. Next honey toast destination: Dazzling Cafe!

Dai Tung Chinese Restaurant

I am craving dim sum again.. The last one I went to is Dai Tung Chinese Restaurant on Kingsway. The place was crowded when I got there so I was pretty excited. Since there were so many people, this restaurant was bound to have something good about it.

I liked how they used pushcarts to wheel the food around. A lot of restaurants don’t use pushcarts anymore, for fear that food would not be fresh. However at this restaurant, that is certainly not a problem. The turnover for food is very fast!

Overall the service here was pretty good for a large busy restaurant such as Dai Tung. There was a large variety of different dim sum’s and I would definitely come back again. Inexpensive and delicious!

Let’s look at the food:

Panfried dumplings

I didn’t have any of this dumpling. The next time I looked, it was all gone. But I think there was meat and chives inside.

蝦腸粉

This one is my favorite dim sum~ Sorry for not giving the English name for it.. Mainly because it’s so hard to translate a lot of these dishes into English. This is basically shrimp wrapped around glutinous rice flour, with sweet soy sauce poured over it.

Cow Tendons

Yes, it might sound disgusting to eat cow tendons for some of you out there, but it tastes really good! Apparently it’s good for the skin? Keeps your skin nice and bouncy. :)

叉燒酥

This delicious dish is made up of a flaky pastry exterior and a sweet meat interior.

Chicken Feet

My mom’s favorite!

Shanghai Style Steamed Buns

Shanghai style steamed buns: Very thin skin filled with flavourful meat and hot soup, with vinegar to dip! It’s not the best Shanghai steamed buns, but it’s what you’ll expect from a Chinese restaurant that doesn’t specialize in Shanghai style food.

涼拌鴨掌

This dish is duck feet. It’s a cold dish and it’s more like an appetizer. This one was also very good! The duck feet were nice and chewy.

Shrimp Dumplings

Yum~ Another winner!

叉燒包

Another classic dim sum dish. Fluffy and soft exterior made from rice flour and sweet meat inside.

Mango Pudding

Dessert time! I was looking for steamed cake but I didn’t see any.

Salad Spring Rolls

A spring roll shell filled with mayonnaise and shrimp. It was a bit too oily for my taste. In general, I don’t really like spring rolls that much. It was nice to try something new though!
Dai Tung Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Boston Pizza

Last night I went for a late dinner at Boston Pizza in Burnaby (beside Metrotown). There was a line-up because of the Canucks playoff game that was going on at the time. It was the end of the third period and Nashville had tied the game at 1-1.. It was going into overtime. Finally a table opened up. By this time, I was starving.

First off, we ordered BBQ chicken wings to start.

BBQ Chicken Wings

The sour cream dip that came with these wings were delicious! The wings tasted great by themselves too. The meat was tender and flavorful and came right off the bone.

Next up, the pasta and burger:

Boston Lasagna

Whiskey River Burger with Fries

The lasagna was alright, but I liked the burger better. The lasagna noodles were kind of dry and the sauces didn’t mix together all that nicely. Compared to the whiskey river burger, it just wasn’t as appetizing. The burger came with a juicy beef patty as well as a few slices of bacon and BBQ sauce. The whiskey river burger at Red Robin’s is still the best though!

Ratings:

Food 3/5
Service 3/5
Value 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Boston Pizza (Burnaby Metrotown) on Urbanspoon

The Sandbar

Last night I went to the Sandbar to attend a friend’s birthday party. It has been forever since I went to Granville Island, and whenever I do go, it was only for the public market. So eating there was an entirely new experience for me.

The Sandbar is located at 1535 Johnston St. Granville Island Vancouver. It is actually a bit tricky to find if you have never been there.. It’s located behind a souvenir shop; past a silk store, all the way by the water. When I got there, it was just a bit past 7pm. The first floor had a sushi bar and it did not appear to be too busy.. That was, until I got up to the second floor. It was really lively up there! The restaurant looks like a large wooden cabin. The scenery was amazing as well.

The interior of the Sandbar Restaurant

Our hostess for the night was really friendly and helpful. The complementary bread was the first to be served. It was a crusty white bread with butter on the side to spread. The bread was still warm when it arrived and it went perfectly with the bread. Next, my 7oz. sirloin steak arrived.

7oz. CAB sirloin $19CAD

My medium rare steak arrived after a 2o minute wait. The garlic mashed potatoes were a bit cold for my taste, but other than that, this steak was great! It was tender and juicy. The asparagus and tomatoes were not too salty (unlike the ones I had at Mosaic). The bourbon peppercorn demi-glaze also went very well with the meat. The 7oz was a perfect size for me. I was satisfied but not too full in the end.

Ratings:

Service 5/5
Food 4/5
Value 3/5
Overall: 4/5

This restaurant is located on Granville Island so naturally the price would be a bit pricier than usual. I did not feel like seafood last night so I did not try any of the fish or mussels. However, I was happy with my steak. It wasn’t spectacular, but it satisfied my craving for meat.

The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Guu on Thurlow

Tonight I went to Guu (838 Thurlow Street) with M for dinner. Compared to the Richmond and Robson Guu’s, this one is definitely the best!

It was a Friday night and we arrived at 7pm and found the tiny place packed. After waiting for 20 minutes, we finally got seats at the bar, right next to the kitchen where all the action was. The servers and chefs there are all Japanese and they were enthusiastic to say the least. They were constantly shouting out orders and greeting customers loudly in Japanese.

Cherry Blossom $5.50

Here is the Cherry Blossom: ramune soda with soho and strawberries. A very sweet and fizzy drink! I didn’t even taste the bitterness of the alcohol~ It was really delicious and better than the drink I ordered at Robson Guu (Asahi beer with mint and lemune).

Ebi Furai $5.80

Deep fried prawns with spicy mayonnaise. This one was very good~ Prawns and mayo went very well together. Om nom nom~~

Kimchi Udon $7.50

Kimchi Udon: udon with spicy cod roe, soy sauce, butter, kimchi and green onion. My favorite dish of the night~ Very chewy noodles and spicy fish roe.. simple yet delicious. It leaves me wanting more.

Takoyaki $4.00

Deep fried octopus balls with tonkatsu sauce and mustard mayonnaise. Crispy shell and soft center with a couple of chunks of octopus inside. Yummy~ It’s like Richmond night market all over again, but more authentic.

Kabocha korokke $3.60

A must-have for those who visit Guu. It is a Japanese pumpkin and boiled egg croquette with original mayonnaise sauce drizzled over it. This awesome creation is one of Guu’s signature. The light sweet taste of pumpkin paired with a delicious boiled egg makes this a must-try for any first timer.

Mochikin Oden $2.00 each

Oden is a new addition to the Guu restaurants. The most unique oden on the menu is the mochikin, a stuffed sticky rice cake in a soy bean bag.. The tofu soaked up the light yet flavorful soup really well. Biting into the tofu bag, I was happy to find a large piece of mochi hidden inside. Mochi~ My favorite~ Even the string is edible.

Ikageso $4.80

This one was ordered for M. He still did not forget the Richmond night market grilled squid legs. This dish is grilled squid legs with spicy mayo dip. It wasn’t too chewy and it was easy to bite. With or without the mayo, the squid legs tasted very flavorful.

Guu is probably one of the most authentic Japanese izakaya’s that we have here in Vancouver. I felt like I was really in Japan for the time that I was there. I got to experience the Japanese culture as well as tried out some great food in the process! Time to go on a trip to Japan~ Next summer! : )

Rating:

Service 8/10
Ambiance 8/10
Food 10/10

Guu on Urbanspoon

Sushi Oyama

Sushi Oyama, located in a beautifully furnished two story building at 5152 Kingsway Burnaby, appears beautiful and welcoming upon first sight. According to sis, this place used to be a funeral home back in the old days.. Which adds some mystery and lore to the place.

Beyond the wooden doors, the interior of the restaurant does not disappoint. The wooden decor and furnishing matched up perfectly to this restaurant’s elegant exterior.

Interior of Sushi Oyama

The staff were friendly and seated us immediately. It helped that it wasn’t busy since it was Monday, just a bit after 12pm. I was craving for sashimi so I ordered a tuna & salmon sashimi (9pcs). M decided on an assorted sushi lunch combo, which is basically just the assorted sushi combo plus miso soup and salad. We also ordered a special roll, the smoked salmon cream cheese roll (8pcs).

The service here was fast and efficient. Within minutes of taking the order, the miso soup and salad arrived.

Miso soup and salad

The soup was flavourful and had just the right amount of salt, unlike some places where their miso soups are just way too salty. The salad was fresh and really tasty. It was a great appetizer thanks to the sour sauce that was drizzled on the salad.

Tuna & Salmon Sashimi (9pcs) $8.50

There were 5 pieces of tuna and 4 pieces of salmon. The salmon sashimi were smaller than the tuna sashimi. They tasted very fresh and satisfied my sashimi craving.

Assorted Sushi Combo $11.99

This one took the longest to arrive.. probably because there are so many different things to prepare. This combo comes with 1/2 roll Tuna, 1/2 roll Salmon, and 1 piece each of ebi, tuna, salmon, ika, amaebi, hokkigai, tako and chopped scallop nigiri sushi’s. It was apparent that the hokkigai wasn’t fresh (the colour was not bright red but instead a dull red-brown colour). Other than that, the sushi’s were delicious.

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Roll (8pcs) $4.90

Last but not least, the special roll. This smoked salmon cream cheese roll has, as the name suggests, smoked salmon and cream cheese. There is also red pepper, mango and crab meat. They gave a generous serving of cream cheese. Everything went well together in this roll. I couldn’t really taste the mango since it wasn’t really sweet. Otherwise, it tasted really good. I want to try more of their special rolls next time!

I would rate this restaurant 9/10 for good service, nice ambiance, and yummy food. Will definitely be going back!

Sushi Oyama on Urbanspoon