Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Aotoya Blue Door Japanese Restaurant

Blue Door, a little hole in the wall in my neighbourhood, was recommend by my coworker for authentic Japanese food. They offer teishoku and donburi combos with a main dish and several side dishes that change daily (according to what is available in the market).

Agedashi tofu.
Sushi combo - one of the only non-authentic dishes offered.
Spicy chicken.
Simmered mackerel teishoku.
Unagi donburi.
Ebi fry teishoku.
Green tea pudding.
Black sesame mochi with red bean.
A free dessert is offered when you spend $20. They also offer a 20% discount on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. Blue Door is definitely a great place to try - my family has been back three more times since our first visit.

Monday, February 02, 2015

LEGO February Promos

With a new month comes new promotions at LEGO. This month, spend $35 or more and receive a free City Demolition Driller polybag. A great addition to your city scene!

As well, don't forget to use your February coupon from the calendar you might have gotten in November and December. You will receive a Han Solo Hoth minifigure polybag. This polybag was given out during Star Wars Day in a previous year but it is still great for collectors!

Itadakimasu Izakaya

J took me to Itadakimasu last week, a Japanese Izakaya place in her neighborhood. The place was small, but busy as it got near the dinner hour. While there was nothing too special, they did have a lot of great looking dishes that I saw coming out for other tables. I got a bit of food envy! I think I will go back to try some different things soon.

Tuna tataki with ponzu jelly.


Cute temari sushi box - round balls of sushi with different toppings.

Sashimi salad. Not really worth it since there were only a few pieces of fish. The salad is served on top of a deep fried rice cake.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2015 - The Butcher and Bollock

The Butcher and Bollock was my last restaurant during the festival, and I went with my coworkers. Located downtown on Pender St, they offered an $18 menu that was definitely worth every penny!

Scotch egg - organic egg with pork sausage.
Braised pork belly with sour cream mashed potatoes, spinach and apple cider jus.
Banana and caramel strudel with walnuts and vanilla bean ice cream. They forgot the caramel on mine :(
We had a rather large party and it was definitely a fun place to go for drinks, games and good food. Everyone was so full from the pork belly (all that fat, mmm) that we had trouble finishing the dessert!

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2015 - Reflect Social Dining

J and I took the family to Reflect at the Hilton in Burnaby. I wasn't even aware that this dining lounge existed, but the $28 menu looked pretty tasty so I thought I would try it out!

A bread basket to start, with flatbread and baguette.
Brome lake duck confit with baby frisee, pickled radish, fingerling potato salad and pommery mustard vinaigrette.
Squash bisque with coconut kaffir lime creme.
Trio of seafood paupiette. It came wrapped up in parchment paper...
And opened to this: tiger prawn, ling cod, salmon with root vegetables
Red deer elk osso bucco with andouille sasauge, atomic baby glazed carrots, wilted kale and cranberry confiture.
White chocolate mango mousse cake with a medley of seasonal pearls.
Peanut butter chocolate crunch with Nutella and raspberry coulis.
This menu was definitely worth the $28 and my whole family thoroughly enjoyed it! (I thought dessert was the best part). Definitely check out Reflect if you're looking for some West Coast fare!

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2015 - Cork and Fin

With the end of the Dine Out Vancouver Festival coming to an end, I thought I'd share some photos from the restaurants I went to! There was definitely some good food to be had, and I'll be looking for the 2016 festival!

The first restaurant I went to was Cork and Fin. Located in the heart of Gastown just outside the entrance of Blood Alley, this restaurant offers fresh seafood and a quaint little place to dine. For the Dine Out Festival, they offered a 3-courses of savoury dishes, for $28.

Lobster bisque - brandied apples, charred scallions.
Smoked ricotta croquette with spiced tomtato jam, leeks, potato.
Octopus and chorizo, with salsa roja, toasted brioche.
Arctic char with gnocchi and edamame.
Flank steak with confit potato, braised purple cabbage (+$3).
I thought the food was good, though some was a bit burnt. The service was a bit slow, and my friend wasn't satisfied with the portion size so we ended up going to another (two) restaurants for more food and dessert. Cork and Fin might be a good place to go for oysters during their happy hour, where they offer 2-for-1 oysters!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Lost Missions - Now Out on Blu-ray!

Star Wars is a favourite with my family and I was excited when Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions was released on Blu-ray. Clone Wars is several seasons in, episodes take place between Episode II and Episode III. I'm a fan of the original trilogy, but the Star Wars expanded universe is huge and it's always fun to read or watch things spin-offs. I was delighted to review The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions. There are 13 episodes with nearly two hours of bonus features including a documentary celebrating the entire "Clone Wars" series, and four additional unfinished story reels. With tons of sci-fi action, drama and humour, Star Wars: Clone Wars might make the perfect stocking stuffer for the Star Wars fan this Christmas!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Free Exclusive 2015 LEGO Wall Calendar WUS $75+

A new month brings new promotions at the LEGO store. For the next two months, get a free exclusive 2015 LEGO wall calendar when you spend $75 or more in stores or online at LEGO Shop @ Home. There are exclusive offers included inside the calendar (Free set when you spend x amount) for the following months. A clever way for LEGO to keep you coming back to the store!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sawmill Creek Wine - Life is Simpler Here (BzzAgent Review)

The perfect way to relax and unwind after a long day is to sip on a glass of wine. I was invited by BzzAgent to join the Sawmill Creek campaign, so I picked up a bottle of dry white. There were many different types of Sawmill Creek wines to choose from, in 750mL and 1.5L bottles.

I decided to go with a dry white wine to sip on and to use for cooking.

The wine was easy to drink and was smooth tasting, with nice fruity green apple notes. It was a well balanced wine that was perfect for cooking and paired great with this chicken dish that used a white wine cream sauce.

The meal suggestions on the back of the bottle include: serving as an apertif, with poultry, seafood, pork and mild cheeses. 

If you are in need of a re-aquaintance with the art of unwinding, here are a few simple ways to start:
  • Take 10 minutes at the end of the day to reflect on the day's accomplishments (big or small) and treat yourself to a glass of Sawmill Creek.
  • At the end of the week, challenge yourself to carve out the time and space to unwind. Pour yourself a hot bath, let yourself sink in and enjoy a glass of Sawmill Creek.
  • Invite your friends over and enjoy Simple Sipping as you create a bucket list. Then commit each of your friends to crossing one off by the end of the year. Big or small - they all count.
  • Savour a moment of gratitude and share it. Enjoy some Simple Sipping while you send a simple, unexpected note of gratitude to 5 people.
Disclaimer: The product mentioned above has been given at a discount from BzzAgent for review. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Savvy Shopping, Deals and Reviews and have not been influenced in any other way.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LEGO Star Wars Rebels Make and Take (Nov 1)

Toys R Us is hosting another make and take event. This time, build your own LEGO Star Wars Ghost Ship! The even starts at 11am on November 1, and is for kids between 4 to 14 years, while quantities last. Go early to avoid disappointment!