gracecheung604 | write on time

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Lunch and dinner at Glowbal

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Although I have been to the Glowbal bar many times for drinks, I've only recently started having meals there. This is a compilation of my most recent lunch and dinner over the past few weeks. 

I do love their bar, their bar stars as well as their amazing cocktails. Sigh, maybe I love them too much!

This is their Ahi Tuna Poke with bits of coconut, chunks of mango and avocado, with some cucumber and topped with black sesame and cilantro. The taro chips are amazing, light and crispy. It's a perfect way to have this dish. Great for sharing and a light way to start off lunch. 
I usually opt for a light lunch but since I forgot to eat the day before this, I decided to indulge and have a burger. Not just any burger, but the Glowbal Burger. The patty is topped with a portobello mushroom, some bacon (extra crispy by request) and cheddar. The usual mustard aioli, lettuce and tomato complete the burger, which is served with a brioche bun. After offering a third of it to my date, I tackled this baby as an open faced sandwich. Every bite was excellent, and I definitely inhaled the fries.
My friend chose a much healthier option, their Prawn & Quinoa Salad. I was surprised at how tasty this was. It was served with more prawns than I expected, and the blend of avocado, cucumber, gem tomatoes went well with the crunch of the almonds and the creamy goat cheese. Learn how to make this here
When I went for dinner again a few weeks later, we again got their Ahi Tuna Poke. It was as solid as the first time. Consistency is key! Behind the poke is the Smoked Sablefish Chowder, a creamy chowder with wild mushrooms and double smoked bacon, just a touch salty, but rich and satisfying.
When I went dinner, I opted for another heavy dish, their Short Rib Pappardelle. Chunks of short rib surrounded by mushrooms, spinach and pine nuts. The café au lait sauce was quite mild, and the pasta was done perfectly. I would definitely order this again.
This Bouillabaisse was amazing! Plenty of seafood, including sablefish and salmon, both with crispy skin. Add to that prawns, mussels, scallops and you've got a well-balanced dish. I really like the fact the fish pieces were large and not chopped up into little pieces. This was truly delicious. 
And because two rich entrees aren't enough, we also got their Short Rib Poutine...because fries with meat is a match made in heaven. We enjoyed this because it covers all the bases for a poutine, but I didn't like the large sections of the raw green onions. Personal preference and easy to pick out. It was also a bit on the salty side. The fries were kept warm during the meal with the cast iron pan. It's a good appetizer and side dish. 
To finish off one of my meals, we were treated to an amazing Dessert Assortment. There were macarons, gelees, chocolate nibbles and fresh fruit. What a decadent ending to a great meal. 

I'll be back and I will definitely eat as well as enjoying their drinks at their bar! 
Glowbal Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pizza Tasting at Firecrust Pizzeria

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A few months ago, I was a tagalong on a pizza tasting at Firecrust. Pizzas are made to order in a gas-burning oven. Yes, you read that right, gas, not fire. That's because of building regulations, a wood-fired oven was not possible. However, as you can see from the crusts, the fire burns hot in that oven.


We tried four pizzas (Margherita, Siciliana, Prosciutto Arugula and a Build Your Own), along with two salads (Chopped and Caprese), as well as their Italian Wedding Soup. 
Now the Margherita is a classic and if done right, the ingredients really speak for themselves. At just $8.95, this pizza was a great deal. It wasn't overloaded with toppings, but each bite showed off the San Marzan tomato sauce. I could have used a bit more basil or would have preferred it to be sprinkled on chiffonade style.
This Prosciutto Arugula pizza was probably my favourite. At $12.95, this pizza features both Romano and Fior Di Latte cheeses with a brush of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Garlic. It's then topped with Prosciutto and Arugula after baking. I liked how there weren't any heavy sauces to detract from the freshness of the ingredients. Give this a try next time you want a nice, light treat! 
To lighten things up, we also got two fo their salads. This one here is their Caprese, featuring mixed greens, tomatoes, basil and some Fior Di Latte.  The dressing of EVOO and Balsamic came on the side. It was really and a good refreshing bite. 
The next salad was a bit heartier and could probably be a meal by itself. It was their signature Chopped salad, with a base of romaine and grape tomatoes, but with some soppressata, cubed chicken and feta on top. The dressing was again on the side and was a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
Now back to another pizza, we got the Siciliana. Meats include Italian Sausage, Ham and Prosciutto, and Fior Di Latte, Romano, on a bed of simple San Marzano Tomato Sauce and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The is heavy and will definitely fill you up!
They also have an option of a Build Your Own pizza, which we thought was interesting. We chose a base of alfredo sauce and topped it with two kinds of cheese, Fior Di Latte and gorgonzola. For protein, we added some chopped chicken all topped with some grape tomatoes and mushrooms. Flavour additions included chilli flakes and fresh basil.
And for our very last taste, we tried their Italian Wedding Soup, with small meatballs, assorted veggies in a light chicken broth. It was nice and light and good for a chilly day.

All in all, I would say this is reminiscent of Subway, but in a Pizzeria-style. You can order from the standards or you can build you own, made to order. Prices are reasonable but you should be prepared to wait at peak times.

Disclaimer: This was an amazing meal, graciously hosted by Firecrust. All opinions are my own.

Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 13, 2016

TOY2016 - Provence Marinaside - October 13 – 27, 2016

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Taste of Yaletown is sponsored by the Yaletown Business Improvement Association and is in their 12th year. This year, the event showcases 31 restaurants in the Yaletown area, with price points ranging from $25-45. Menus range from Italian, Vietnamese, Thai and West Coast, something for everyone. And as usual, YBIA will be making a donation to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank; they have raised over $11K since 2004!

Last night, I went for a tasting for the Taste of Yaletown preview at Provence Marinaside. Their menu for the two weeks is $45 with an extra $20 for wine pairings.


Their appetizer features three distinct different textures and flavours. Everything was good in their own way, but if I had to rank them, I'd say the House Smoked Ruby Red Trout was my favourite. It had a good hint of smoke and the trout was tender and smooth. 
The Pate was amazing as well, I actually ate my friend's portion, it was that good. So rich and creamy, it was really decadent. 
The Tomato and Bocconcini Salad is always a sure winner...I actually prefer bocconcini over burrata...I know, it's almost blasphemous. The Synchromesh Riesling was a refreshing wine to accompany this dish.


For the entrees, we got to try a tasting plate of all three choices. We started with the Dijon and Fresh Herb Crusted Lois Lake Steelhead Filet. This was served with a warm potato salad, some pickled onions and sautéed spinach. The fish itself was done perfectly but I found both the Dijon topping and the pickled onions a bit overpowering, but that's a personal comment. This was paired with the Vin Blanc by Evolve Cellars but it seemed a bit light with the rich flavours of the entree.


Our next entree was the West Coast Bouillabaisse, which I thought was the best dish of the night. There were prawns, scallops, clams and with, all served with a few fingerling potatoes. The best and most interactive part of the night was the crostini with gruyere and la rouille. When you're done with the yummy seafood, you make a little crostini topped with the cheese and the rouille (a reduction of the broth in the bouillabaisse). It's decadent and richly flavoured. Fun and delicious!


Our next dish was the Seared Bavette Steak. I have to admit I was a quite full at this point, but could still enjoy the beef. The little tartlet filled with zucchini and smoked tomato atop of the wilted baby kale was a great accompaniment. The warm mushroom made the dish even more earthy. The wine pairing of the Beau Vantage Cabernet Sauvignon was our only red wine of the night, a perfect pairing.


For dessert, we had a Lemon Tart (my fave!), as well as the Berry and Chocolate Clafoutis. There was also the Chocolate Cake and a Pumpkin Bailey Cheesecake.  

Disclaimer: This was an amazing dinner, graciously hosted by Taste of Yaletown. All opinions are my own. To make your reservations, please visit Provence Marinaside

Provence Marinaside Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tasting at Torafuku...

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A few weeks ago, I went for dinner with some fellow foodies, Sherman, Nora and Jenn at Torafuku. The room is open concept with cozy booths and a long communal table. The vibe is very chill and is a great place for group get-togethers. We went on a Wednesday night, arriving as the doors opened. We stayed for three hours and by the end of the night, the room was packed with diners. The menu is eclectic loaded with lots of little appetizers and plenty of sharing plates. Be warned, this is one of my longest posts in a while!  

All the items have a very tongue-in-cheek name...you'll see. We started off with “The World is Your Oyster”. Served individually in little jars. It's a shucked oyster with little bits of tempura for crunch, bonito flakes for flavour. I loved the edible flowers and there was a nice hit of freshness from the shallot and ginger salsa. This is a fun dish. When you open the lid, a wisp of smoke escapes and it's a very pretty presentation a well.


When you think of a sushi handroll, you don't think "pork". But that's exactly what “Get in My Belly" is! It's a sushi hand roll with juicy pork belly, pork floss and cucumber. It was seasoned with furikake, perhaps a bit overly so, since the dish was quite salty. Lots of pork, and even a bit of crackling too, and just a bit of rice, normally, there is a lack of filling, however, in this case, perhaps an extra bit of rice would have offset the saltiness. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night. 


I love corn, butter and popcorn! This “Miso Corny” starter had all of the above, talk about a homerun. The buttery grilled corn was highlighted with miso flavours and a sprinkling of togarashi. So good! I could have had the whole thing all to myself! 


You might not expect tacos at a Japanese restaurant, but give the “Taco Time” a try! Filled with pulled pork hock braised in miso, and topped with pickled onions, shallots, strips of nori and salsa verde, this is an explosion of flavours. Just a bit too salty, and I could probably use the double taco help balance everything out.


Buns...oh “Bun Me”...Chinese steamed buns are quite the rage at the moment, and there's a good reason for it. The buns are soft, supply and comforting. The beef brisket was tender, but the sheer size of the portion made it a bit difficult to eat. Just a few cuts and this would have been great since the cabbage and BBQ sauce gave the entire bite a good balance. It was more of a texture issue versus flavours. 


And now onto one of my favourite dishes of the night, the “Quack Addict”...BBQ Duck Spring Rolls. The meat was very tender and the addition of the carrots and enoki make for a great mouthfeel. The crispiness of the skin was great, and the plum sauce made each bite juicy and rich. 


The next dish was a challenge for me. I like my ramen hot and steaming...so this "Lucky Tiger Ramen” was a bit off the beaten path for me. I'm not familiar with cold ramen (zaru soba, I'm good with), but this was definitely different for me. The noodles were cooked perfectly, with a good bite and loaded with cucumbers, sprouts and radish. And the soft boiled egg added a nice richness to the bowl. It's not something I'd re-order, but others at the table really enjoyed it. 


The next dish was awesome! I love these “Rye So Messy Chicken Wings”. If I didn't have to share, I think I could have eaten the whole thing...no, not really. The rendered skin held up against the zesty rye and gochujang marinade and didn't get soggy due to the mango glaze. The crispy ramen noodles gave the dish extra crunch too. It was a fun dish and I'd definitely order it again! 


As with all restaurants...they have to provide gluten free options...and they did this with the "Calamari The Way I Like It". The batter is gluten free and stayed crispy and crunchy. The squid was slightly chewy, good mouthfeel, flavoured with "angry tiger sauce". It wasn't spicy at all, just a hint of heat. I did like the corn served with it, as well as the pretty mushrooms, beans and edible flowers. 


Despite us saying that we didn't want any "veggie" plates, they surprised us with the "Veggie Tales", and I'm so glad they did! The pappardelle is made in-house, and it's topped with kale, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. The texture is enhanced by toasted hazelnuts and the richness comes from the parmesan and yuzu butter. It's also available as a gluten free option. You really don't miss the meat here at ALL!.


I'm not really caught up in the whole poke craze but we also did try the
"Dr. Octopus and Mr. Tuna". I had a small bite and I did like the spicy sauce and pickled veggies, and the rice was amazing. But since I'm not a huge fan of poke, I have little to offer in terms of comparison. 



Okay, this was another one of my favourite dishes..."Give a Dog a Bone". I love bone marrow and I also love beef luc lac. The combination of these two on a single dish was heavenly. I would have preferred a few bits of baguette to sop up the marrow, but I ended up using the buns from the bun me for that purpose. The flavours were astonishing rich and the marrow was so creamy. Must have. 


If you prefer fish, then do yourself a favour and order the "Don't Be So Cheeky". These halibut cheeks are super tender and done just right. The sake marinade and the veggies (mushrooms and apple) are a perfect complement. They don't overwhelm the dish but provides great texture to the dish. This would be perfect for my mom because she's just not a red meat eater. 


Next, we had another one of their housemade pasta, this was their "Unicorn". There was tasty, although the uni was just a touch less than what we expected. Thankfully for my friends, I'm not a huge fan so they managed to split the portion into thirds quite easily. I liked the pasta along with the clams, corn and fresh tomatoes.


The dessert was a mix of their offerings at the time and that menu changes frequently. We all thought the coffee flavoured one was excellent as was the cereal inspired version. These are delicate and best eaten quickly. 

This is a great place for a leisurely meal with a group of friends, and I'd go again to sample their constantly changing menu! Oh, and the drinks are fun and fabulous too! 

Disclaimer: Our meal (food and beverages) was complimentary. However, all opinions are my own.   Torafuku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Vital Supply Trial

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Dinner made easy tonight! Thanks to @vitalsupplyco #vitalreset Chorizo and Kale stuffed Porchetta and the Short Robs with seasonal veggies. Oh, and the Stanley Park Bar is dessert!
I was invited to try Vital Supply Co as part of their Real Food Reset, which is a food delivery service designed to kickstart a healthier diet through eating clean and feeding your vitals. This Reset provides three meals and a snack for a full 20 days, with various options of entrees and snack as well. Other customizable plans include 10 days of Vital as a trial for new customers, as well as shorter term plans (5 days), such as Foundation, Evolution, Acceleration and Vital Life.

As per the website, "Vital meals are strategically crafted to deliver ample energy and taste. Our food refuels your body with the nutrition necessary to heighten performance and increase alertness."

The meals can be customized for your food preferences such as paleo, vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian options too. Meals include breakfasts, salads, mains as well as snacks. In addition to those choices, all food are prepared fresh, gluten and dairy free and sourced locally and organic when possible. As someone who is a bit OCD, I loved that the nutritional information is available on their website. 

The reheating instructions are super easy. If you are in a rush, you can just microwave it for 2 minutes or for a more home-cooked feel, you can put it in your oven for 10 minutes. I heated it up in the oven and the results were great. Being too lazy to do any dishwashing, I kept it in the original container and it was a no-mess cleanup! The container is    
Untitled One of the two entrees I decided on was the Short Ribs with Seasonal Vegetables. The beef didn't get overcooked and the yams were heated through. The au jus was delicious and the meat was quite moist! For my tastes, I took the short rib out after 8 minutes and let the sides keep going for another two. I was ridiculously full from this meal, and actually saved one piece of the short rib and half the yam for lunch the next day.
Untitled My other entree was their Chorizo and Kale Stuffed Porchetta. (Note: this seems to be off their menu for now, but I hope it returns). The sides were the same but the portion was just a bit smaller. The porchetta was nicely rendered and not too fatty. There was a mild hint of heat from the chorizo and the kale was barely noticeable. I finished this entree but I was stuffed. 
Untitled For a snack, I chose the Stanley Park Nutrition Bar, made with dates, raisins, oats, almonds, hemp hearts, dried coconut. coconut oil, chia seeds, cinnamon, all organic. The bar was a bit crumbly, but had a good mouthfeel and was quite satisfying.

If you are looking to eat a bit healthier and are just too busy to plan, shop and cook, this is a worthy option to try. They deliver to registered offices and other partners. You can also go and pick up the food at their Powell St. location. 

For more information, please visit the website at https://vitalsupplyco.com/.

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