Category Archives: Canada

Richmond – Night Market

I can’t believe I’ve never been to the night market despite living so close to Canada. Went up with a few friends, strength is numbers is essential in order to try many more dishes than one could do solo. After doing a lap to check out all the stalls we started our feast of mainly pork belly and various types of fried chicken. One friend and I couldn’t pass up deep fried crab in some tortillas. My favorite was the Cambodian chicken wings, nice batter with salt, pepper and lemon flavors.

DSC00820_edited

Spicy pork belly with kimchi

DSC00821_edited

Korean fried chicken

DSC00822_edited

Softshell crab taco

DSC00823_edited

Smoked pork belly

DSC00824_edited

Crab and shrimp takoyaki

DSC00825_edited

Phnom Penh wings

DSC00826_edited

Chocolate and condensed milk roti

Vancouver – Nightingale

Before heading out for my mom’s birthday dinner K and I headed to this new “light maze” instead of going to the Van Dusen’s Festival of Light. The maze was really to see some lights and find all nine Santa’s reindeer.

After enjoying the maze it was off to dinner. This was my second time at Nightingale and it’s one of the best Western restaurants in Vancouver, sadly there aren’t many since there are significantly more Asian restaurants, specifically Chinese, that are frequented more often. While they have pizza, best to skip it to have many shared plates. The chicken, bison and beef cheek were the best ones we had.

dsc00125_edit

dsc00126_edit

Citrus & Avocado Salad: Thai basil, crispy shallots, lime vinaigrette

dsc00127_edit

Marinated Beets: sumac, labneh, orange, dukkah, mint

dsc00128_edit

Burrata & Anchovy Toast: peperonata, parsley

dsc00130_edit

Fried Chicken: preserved lemon yogurt, dill, espelette

dsc00131_edit

Bison Tongue: carrot escabeche, celery root, grilled bread

dsc00132_edit

Bone Marrow: dill pickle, garlic aioli, radish, grilled bread

dsc00133_edit

Beef Cheek: semolina polenta, pickled mushrooms

dsc00134_edit

Merguez Sausage: baba ghanouj, shishito pepper, mint

dsc00135_edit

Clams and Mussels: n’duja, roasted tomato broth

dsc00136_edit

Valhrona chocolate cheesecake, pretzel, blood orange caramel

 

Vancouver – Vij’s

Vij’s is an incredibly popular and amazing Indian restaurant in Vancouver. I had only eaten here once during the Olympics back in 2010 so for our date night K and I headed over on a snowy evening. They don’t accept reservations but since moving to a new location they have a large enough lounge area that accommodates guests, thankfully as it was Boxing Day there weren’t many people and we only had to wait 15 minutes.

The naan was incredible, the only restaurant in Seattle that comes close is Nirmal’s since the restaurant Vij’s wife opened here sadly closed after a short run.  The goat curry was tasty but could’ve have used more spice and while the duck had great flavor you can see the meat was overcooked.

20161226_193533_edit

Pork Belly: apple mint chutney

20161226_193655_edit

Samosas: lamb and beef, sauteed in fennel and sumac

20161226_195439_edit

Marinated duck breast on ground fennel seed curry – Punjabi style goat curry with spiced vegetables

 

Toronto – Momofuku Shoto

Another visit to Toronto means another dinner at Shoto. Most of the staff was the same and recognized me which was nice since it’s been two years. The menu is almost completely different yet stays the same, the oyster had a different garnish and the pasta again was my favorite course. I added the caviar course but skipped the foie gras as that was the same as Ko and I was there just over a year ago. Other favorites were the kimchi soup and lamb. It was great seeing some ingredients that would be out there for many like the beef heart and fiddlehead. I’m impressed that all three meals I’ve had at Shoto have been excellent and each menu has been very different, love to see the chefs and cooks continue to push creativity with new ingredients.

dsc08949_edit

dsc08950_edit

Oyster and green chili

dsc08952_edit

Kimchi soup

dsc08955_edit

Arctic char: wasabi, celery root, lemon

beef heart_edit

Beef heart: broccoli, bone marrow

dsc08959_edit

Caviar: branzino, creme fraiche, potato chip

dsc08960_edit

Dumpling: lobster, watercress, black vinegar

dsc08964_edit

Macaroni: moreal, bamboo, snap pea

dsc08966_edit

Spanish Mackerel: green lentil, maitake, kohlrabi

dsc08968_edit

Lamb: fiddlehead, radicchio, Szechuan

dsc08969_edit

Fennel: granny smith, sweet soy

dsc08971_edit

Rhubarb: goat milk, brazil nut

Squamish – Copper Coil

In over 20 years have never really stopped in Squamish while on the way to Whistler. To save a lot on this last-minute trip to ski for the weekend I decided to stay here and just deal with the drive. I’m glad I did as the Copper Coil was great, looked like mainly locals and had an interesting Cajun-themed menu. I combined an appetizer and main onto one cutting board. Even though they were called bacon fries, it was thicker so pork belly would be more appropriate. The biscuit was very flakey which was nice, but then also made it very hard to eat it like a sandwich. Small restaurant with lots of personality.

Bacon Fries: Our in-house, double smoked, thick cut pork belly bacon with whiskey maple syrup and maple dijon for dip.

Brisket in a Biscuit: Southern style brisket, Louisiana style bbq sauce, jicama slaw, chipotle mayo on a buttermilk biscuit. This baby has got style.

20160312_182925

20160312_185120

Apple Crumble

 

EAT! Vancouver – Tojo and Susur

For the first time in its 13 year history EAT! Vancouver had a dinner series bringing together chefs from around the country. Tojo and Susur Lee from Toronto collaborated on one of the dinner that showcased their different cooking styles through a series of six dishes, Tojo’s were simple with only a few  ingredients while Susur’s were extremely complex. We were lucky and sat at the sushi bar so we could see the dishes being plated. Having worked in a kitchen before, I always hated having a banquet style meal as it meant you were slammed trying to get dishes out at the same time and keep the food hot. I was impressed by two teams working together to get everything out quickly. The venison course in particular was difficult and had to be plated in two waves as they had to wash the dishes from the previous course. While the meal lasted for over three and a half hours, I appreciated the time between courses to recover and chat with the chefs when they had a second to breathe.

DSC03445

Original Sushi: tojo roll, golden roll, g canadian roll, pacific roll, tataki nigiri

DSC03458

Tempura: zucchini blossom, asparagus, morel

DSC03466

Char siu squab with Beijing duck garnish (squab was deep fried and roasted, blueberry compote instead of hoisin sauce, sesame seed paste, pickled ginger, and there was a bit of foie gras as well. My favorite dish since could put it together in many different ways and had non-traditional garnish)

DSC03471

Smoked sablefish with a cabbage salad and pickled onions

DSC03473

DSC03475

The packet was cut open to reveal the morel sauce. It had hints of Chinese medicinal soup.

DSC03477

Cardamom & coffee marinated venison loin with marsala reduction, Jerusalem artichoke and parsnip puree

DSC03479

Rack of lamb thailandaise with three chutneys

DSC03481

Valrhona chocolate and azuki yokan

DSC03446 DSC03455 DSC03468

DSC03485_edit

Eastern BC – Ski Lodge

Skiing is my other passion besides food and always great to combine the two at remote lodges. Snow was great over four days and had some tasty meals.

DSC01630_edit

DSC01629_edit DSC01638_edit

lunch

Lunch on arrival day. Ribs, brats, smoked salmon, caprese, etc.

lunch dessert

Dessert spread after lunch, the berry crumble in the back was fantastic since it wasn’t too sweet and more tart.

DSC01592

Buttermilk panna cotta and berry compote

DSC01607_edit

Black truffle (oil I’d say by lack of black flakes) risotto, confit tomatoes and arugula

DSC01610_edit

Alberta beef with mushrooms, morels, potatoes and broccoli

DSC01654

Beef and mushroom in yorkshire pudding (when it’s hard to get fresh food in, you use all of it)

DSC01661

Scallop and grapefruit trio, Madagascar vanilla bean (the fresh grapefruit didn’t match well with the scallops, their sourness was too much)

DSC01662

Porkchops, brown butter, white wine & tarragon sauce, kale, beets and yam puree

DSC01667

Blackberry chocolate torte (I had two)

DSC01668

Breakfast was slightly different everyday, here was blackberry stuffed french toast (I had three pieces). Notice the huge jug of maple syrup too.

DSC01673_edit

Sushi with unconventional Japanese garnish

DSC01676

Sabelfish, fried rice & stir fried veggies

DSC01677

Passion fruit custard, tropical fruit & orange tuile