Saturday, November 28, 2015

Celebrate the Holidays at the Vancouver Christmas Market

The annual Vancouver Christmas Market is back for it's sixth year at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza in downtown Vancouver, from November 21 to December 24th. It's the perfect place to get some handmade creations including holiday ornaments, soaps, wooden toys and knitted sweaters. Don't forget to bring your appetite - there are over 20 food vendors this year, serving favourites such as pork hock, schnitzel and spatzle. Enjoy the performances and join in on the Christmas carols as well!

I was invited by Zomato to join them for a night out at the Vancouver Christmas Market and we hit up the food stalls. I had my eye on the roasted pork hocks at Haxen Haus, which they roast on spits. They were crackling in the heat, my mouth was literally watering when I was looking at them. I had the shredded pork hock served in a bun and covered with sauerkraut. The pork hock was very flavourful and very filling. There is the option to get a half or whole pork hock as well, which I might do next time I visit the market! I also had a mug of hot cider, which was perfect for the cold weather! 

Someone in our group decided to go with the traditional German egg noodle, Spatzle. The noodles are boiled then heated on a pan and then topped with cheese. It had a very chewy consistency, and was pretty tasty!

We wanted sweets afterwards so we visited I Love Chocolate, which serves hot chocolate and various skewers smothered in chocolate from their chocolate fountain - yum! Their best seller is the strawberry and cream puff skewers and I can honestly saw it really hit the spot and satisfied my sweet tooth! Honestly anything covered in chocolate is fine by me!

Of course after eating, we had to go on the carousel, and we had so much fun on it that we went on twice!

There are plenty of vendors selling holiday goodies so we went around to take a look. 

Cookies, mugs of Gluhwein, nutcrackers galore!
Plenty of cute and intricate handmade holiday ornaments, more cookies and crafts.
There is plenty to see and eat at the Vancouver Christmas Market and it's a fun place to bring your family. Normally tickets are $8 each but Social Shopper has a promotion right now where you can get a pair of tickets for only $11. The market will be downtown until Christmas Eve.

Friday, November 27, 2015

EB Games Funko Mystery Box

Because I'm crazy, I ventured out early in the morning on Black Friday to do some shopping. Since I've been collecting Funko Pop toys lately, I decided to grab a special Black Friday EB Games Funko Mystery Box that was advertised. There were five different Funko pops you could get, with a gold variant of them all. As well, each box has a Pocket Pop, Pop Pin and two ReAction figures, all for $25. 

I ended up getting the gold version of Borderland's Claptrap, a Anna pocket pop, Loki pin and a Breaking Bad and Tomorrowland ReAction figure. Not too shabby! Mystery boxes are so much fun!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sal Y Limon - Taco Tuesday!

My coworker took me to Sal Y Limon, a little Mexican place on Kingsway, since we've been trying to plan a taco night for a while now. This restaurant offers tacos, burritos, quesadillas and other yummy Mexican fare. The tacos are quite small so make sure you order several, or make it a combo (I got a side of tortilla chips and a lemonade).

Grilled beef, grilled chicken and slow roasted pulled pork tacos.
Fish, grilled chicken and vegetarian tacos.
The tacos were pretty good (they come with 2 tortillas, so you can make them into 2 tacos each!) and I think I'll be coming back here soon to try some of the other things on the menu soon!

Sal Y Limon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Mimibuloveme Desserts

Just across from Oakridge mall is a little dessert place with a really interesting name - Mimibuloveme. The name itself isn't shown on the entrance of the restaurant though. I went for dessert with C and J since we were in the mood for sweets. They offer bubbletea and parfaits, and even pasta! 

Really funky artwork on the wall.
J ordered the small sized black sesame parfait - the ice cream is topped with corn pops, cakes and mochi balls.
I ordered a scoop of black sesame ice cream. It was a bit too sweet and didn't have the taste or aroma of  fresh black sesame seeds like I've had at other restaurants.
The desserts and drinks here are very sweet so make sure you request less sugar in your drinks. This place is opened quite late so it's one of the few places in Vancouver you can go for late night dessert!

Mimibuloveme Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro - Sharing Plates

I visited The Oakwood Canadian  Bistro a few weeks ago with C and J since I enjoyed their food a lot when I went during Dine Out Vancouver a few years ago. I was surprised to find that they had switched to a sharing menu, which I'm not really a huge fan of since I always think the portions sizes are too small. We decided to get a few dishes.

Pulled pork, miso pancake, smoked korean BBQ sauce, apple, crispy onion. Comes with three small pancakes on a platter.
Warm kale salad, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, buttermilk onions, lemon parm. This was surprising really good, as the veggies were roasted and while I'm not a fan of Parmesan cheese, it wasn't too overpowering in the dressing.
Seared scallops, crispy and roasted celeriac, pear, dijon mousse, boudin noir puree. A gorgeous dish with three scallops.
Mussels, tomato chipotle cream, cilantro, house baguette. The sauce was very creamy and perfect for soaking up with the bread.
The food was delicious but like I was afraid, the portion sizes were very small for the price. That being said, the restaurant is very homey with a roaring fireplace and cool decor and it's a cool place to go just to share food and chat!

 The Oakwood Canadian Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, September 25, 2015

Taste Of Aberdeen - Food Adventures at the Aberdeen Food Court

I was invited to Aberdeen Mall last week by Chinese Bites to the Taste of Aberdeen media event to join other foodies to sample items from every vendor at the food court. The food court at Aberdeen is smaller than most malls, but there were still twenty, so I was prepared for a night full of eating.

Clockwise from top right:

We started off with drinks from several vendors:

8 Juice House  - special (mango coconut juice with tapioca, mango and pomelo bits)
Estea Express - Milk tea with pearls
Strike - Matcha soy bean
Saboten - Iced Genmaicha (Japanese green tea)
Teppan Kitchen - Iced honey matcha tea
Bubble Waffle - Iced lemon Ribena

I love drinks and I had a hard time deciding which one to choose, but I ended up with the 8 Juice House special. It was a rich and refreshing drink, though I think because the pomelo is out of season, the fruit bits were hard. The tapioca made it quite filling too!

Aji Hana provided us our first dish - a Sakura roll with prawn tempura, avocado and chopped scallop. This was a pretty good roll and I would definitely try it again!

Bubble Waffle Cafe - I usually have bubble waffles at the night market so this one of my favourite treats. We had the original flavour but there are different flavours you can order as well.

Szechuan House - Hot sour noodle. I am not a fan of spicy things and this one packed a punch!

Pan fried Chinese chives with pork dumplings from Chef of Dumplings. They were served with soy sauce and vinegar. Tasty!

Curry Fish Balls from Bubble Waffle. I used to eat curry fish balls when I was in highschool, so I really enjoyed these. They had a mild spicy curry taste.

Clockwise from top left:

Deep fried chicken wings and deep fried squid from Wu Fung Dessert. I love squid so this one one of my favourites. A bit salty though.

Sticky rice from Leung Kee. This was pretty good and a large serving size!

Lung Kee served prawn wontons. It would have been better with some noodles!

Popcorn chicken nuggets from Yougo Chicken. You can't really go wrong with fried chicken!

Kitchen Korea - Chicken bulgogi & pork belly. These were okay, but it was near the end of the meal so I was slowing down.

Drunken chicken hotpot from Tofu Hotpot. This was a really hearty Chinese soup and you could really taste and smell the wine.

Clockwise from top left:

Club house sandwich from Strike. This was a really filling sandwich with so many layers. Egg, sausage, tomato, cucumber, you name it!

'A' grade ribeye teppan with egg and corn from Teppan Kitchen. This was a really large serving size (a lot of rice) so definitely share. The food comes on a sizzling hot plate so you can mix the raw egg in with the other ingredients. Our plate wasn't hot enough, but it was a really good.

Mambo Café served baked pork chop on rice. The pork chops were very tender, however the tomato sauce tasted like it was from a can, so I wasn't that much of a fan.

Egg rolls from Strike. These crepes were filled with an odd combination of egg, corn and tuna. I wasn't a fan of this dish but I think if they changed the ingredients inside, I would have enjoyed it more.

Two types of chicken from Leung Kee - Soy sauce and Long Gong chicken. Both were very good, though the soy sauce chicken was a tad too salty.

Clockwise from top right:

To start off dessert, we had shaved ice ‐ A Dream in Eden (strawberries, kiwi, mango, mango ice cream) from Frappe Bliss. This was one of my favourites of the night.

Choco banana fresh cream mini crepe from Mazazu Crepe. Delicious!

Mini cream puffs and cheesecake stick from Beard Papa's.

Saboten set (prawn, pork tenderloin, pork loin) from Saboten This came with rice and miso soup. I only tried the pork, and it was decent.

Hainanese chicken on rice from Café D'Lite Express. The chicken was good and the rice was very flavourful. If only I wasn't so full...

Matcha Delight shaved ice (matcha ice cream, chewy rice balls, red bean) from Frappe Bliss. I liked the fruit flavoured one better but I can't really say no to shaved ice!

Some of the food were hit and miss but with so many vendors and food choices, there seems to be something for everyone at the Aberdeen food court!

Disclaimer: The food mentioned above were provided free of charge by each of the vendors at Aberdeen. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Savvy Shopping, Deals and Reviews and have not been influenced in any other way. 

Friday, September 04, 2015

Hakkasan Bistro and Canada Berries

I was invited to an event hosted by Hakkasan Bistro and Canada Berries, a local winery in Richmond that specializes in fruit wines. We started off the evening with a tour of the winery and some wine tasting. The staff were very passionate and knowledgeable about the wines. I never even knew we had a winery in our own backyard! While I am not a huge wine drinker, I do enjoy fruit wines and we got to sample several of their most popular wines. My favourites were the Blackcurrant and Cranberry wines. Popular among some of the other guests were the Peach and the Blue Queen Gold (blueberry) wines. There were also some appetizers to munch on, including grapes that were grown in their own vineyard! The green grapes are smaller than those you find in stores and very sweet!

After the wine tasting, we were shuttled off to Hakkasan Bistro. The restaurant is located in an industrial area so it's quite hidden. It's a small space but very modern looking inside. Hakkasan is a fine dining establishment that features authentic Cantonese and modern Chinese cuisine. Their dishes originate from the Hakka culture with popular Hakka dishes such as Ancient Style Salt Baked Chicken and Hakka Mui Choy Braised Pork Belly, with other dishes that fuse more contemporary styles.

Canada Berries provided fruit wines to pair with the meal.
To start off, we had an appetizer dish of Jasmine tea smoked mushroom beancurd crepes, balsamic cloud ear mushroom, honey roastsed BBQ pork cheeks. The pork cheeks were very tender.

 Next was a bouble boiled whole young coconut pork soup. Easily my favourite dish of the night, this is one of the specialties at the restaurant which require ordering a day advanced. It is double boiled for over 3 hours and the soup is infused with the flavour of coconut.

I was looking forward to the specialty odourless garlic lobster on Jasmine rice. You all know I love garlic! This did not leave any garlic breath, and the lobster and rice were delicious!

Next was the ancient style Hakka salt baked chicken. The chicken is marinated with a combination of herbs and spices, wrapped in parchment paper and the slow baked. The parchment paper allows the chicken to remain moist without being overly salty.

Country style fish fillet - the fish were tender and the peppers and onions gave it that extra kick. 

Hakka homestyle steamed egg, pork and duck yolk. This one another favourite of the night, as my family used to make steamed egg all the time. It has a very smooth texture, similar to tofu, and the duck yolk on top made it even better! I definitely recommend ordering this if you visit Hakkasan.

The braised pork hock comprises of very fatty meat that is cooked in sauce. It was a bit too salty for my liking, but could go well with rice. The restaurant staff will cut the pork hock up into serving sizes for you.

For veggies, we got the mui choy stirfry seasonal Chinese greens. This dish was very flavourful, since it had some pork bits in it too.

We ended the night with a steamed milk dessert. It was very smooth and creamy, and wasn't too sweet. Delicious!

Overall, it was an excellent dinner with many unique traditional and modern dishes that are must tries. They offer fixed and tasting menus as well as a la carte, so you can go and try some of the dishes mentioned above! I had a wonderful time - thank you Hakkasan Bistro!

Disclaimer: The food and wine mentioned above were provided free of charge by Hakkasan Bistro and Canada Berries. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Savvy Shopping, Deals and Reviews and have not been influenced in any other way.  

Hakkasan Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato