Kalvin’s Szechuen Restaurant 松林居

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Kalvin’s Restaurant is one of the most authentic Taiwanese restaurants in the Lower Mainland that I know of. I have heard of this restaurant before but never had a chance to try it. After reading Carlos’ post, I thought I must try it before leaving Vancouver for my India trip. Ronald, the co-organizer of Food Bloggers Meetup, helped organize my going away dinner at this restaurant, so I got to try some good Taiwanese food with other foodies and bloggers before I leave. I was joined by Vincent from EatMarketing, James from HelloVancity, Jeffrey from Got Roo?, Dave from Gnarly Dave’s World, Lee Ann from Powderate, and other foodies.

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The menu was big, but we had some recommendations so it wasn’t too difficult to decide what to order. We put together people’s choices and ordered a variety of dishes. We had chicken, beef, pork, vegetables and a few “snack” dishes to share.

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#12, deep fried pork in red fermented sauce ($6)

This dish was my choice because it was one of my childhood favourites and I have not ordered it in Vancouver before. I was very pleased with the quality of this dish. The meat was moist, fresh, crispy and the taste was definitely authentic!  The meat by itself is $6, and it is only $0.50 extra if you want to order rice on the side to make it an individual meal.

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#139 diced chicken & peanut w/ chili pepper ($10.75)

I have a love and hate feeling about this dish because I like the chicken with peanuts, but this dish is always very spicy. At Kalvin’s Restaurant, they did indeed put a  lot of pepper in this dish.  I ate this dish with a lot of rice and water. This was not my choice and I personally would order #143 diced chicken w/ cashews, or #144 diced chicken in plum sauce.  Aside from being too spicy, I think this was a good dish.

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#198 five spice beef in Chinese Pan Cake ($5)

Normally I don’t order this because my Mom makes it at home, but I really liked this dish! It was actually tastier than how my Mom made it (sorry Mom). The pancake was fresh and really crispy, and the beef was moist and flavourful. Compared with other beef pancakes I’ve tried, the pancake was not as fresh and the meat was often dry or without sauce. At some places, you would have to add the sauce that is served on the side, but at Kalvin’s the sauce was already inside the roll. I had two pieces but I still felt like I wanted to eat more. It was a super deal to have all these rolls for $5!

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#176 Napa Cabbage braised w/ dried shrimp ($9.5)

This was my choice again because I was craving for the vermicelli noodles that are often served with this dish. When it was served, I was disappointed to find it without any vermicelli noodles. The taste was good, like how my mom would make it, but with its $9.50 price this was not of good value at all, with or without the vermicelli. Next time I will pick another vegetable dish, possibly #132 pork & ton choy in BBQ sauce or #178 string bean with minced pork.

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#60 shredded beef w/ bamboo shoot w/ chili pepper ($12.50)

This dish was good. After eating the spicy chicken with nuts, this appeared to be only a little spicy. I realized that all the meat dishes we had pairs really well with rice.

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#202 Shanghai Style Dumpling (XLB) ($7.5)

We ordered two baskets of Xiu Long Bao because one XLB per person was not enough! At some places I’ve tried before, the XLB tasted pretty much like a dumpling because of the lack of juice. The XLB at Kavlin’s was pretty good because it was juicy.

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#137 smoked duck ($17).

The smoked duck was ordered because of Vincent’s demand. I thought this dish was like the duck version of Char Siu (barbeque  pork) because of the addition of spice and cooking method. I thought this dish was okay because I don’t normally eat duck or smoked meat that much. I found this dish a bit hard to eat because the duck meat was a bit dry.

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Food Blogger's Feast

Kalvin’s Restaurant was pretty small so with 20 people, we had to split into two tables. The other table had recommendations from me (which were actually what my friend Carlos had) and they said they liked their dishes.

The other group of foodies ordered #138 chicken w/ three spice, #83 dry squid with shredded pork, #111 pork w/ bamboo shoot w/ chili pepper, #209 Taiwanese style cold noodles, #178 string bean with minced pork, and a few identical dishes that my table ordered: XLB and beef pancake.

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I exchanged some samples with the other table and I think the chicken w/ 3 spice and the string beans were pretty good.

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Finally I ordered the red bean pancake ($4) because I really liked the five spice beef in Chinese Pan Cake.  It was actually not as good as I thought because the pancake was not as crispy as the beef pancake, but it was flaky instead. However I liked that it was fresh, hot and it was not too sweet. After I ordered this dessert, I came to realize that I should have ordered the deep-fried buns instead!

When we split the bill, it was only $13.50 per person inclusive of taxes and tips! That is why I love eating Asian cuisine because I get to eat a variety of food at a very inexpensive price. 🙂 As I’ve had lots of really good Taiwanese food from Taiwan and my mom’s cooking, Kalvin’s Restaurant would be one of the top choices I would go to outside of those two places.

I definitely enjoyed this going away dinner. It was fantastic to share the good food with many foodies who appeared to enjoy Taiwanese cuisine as much as I do.  I would definitely recommend Kalvin’s Restaurant for its affordable and delicious Taiwanese food.

After dinner, we went to Mimibuloveme for desserts, which is for another blog post…:P

  • food was absolutely delicious!!
  • authentic Taiwanese food
  • great value esp if you dine with a group
  • food was served really fast!

  • some dishes are not so worth it (particularly the vegetables)
  • small space in the restaurant makes it a little difficult to reserve tables
  • the location is far

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Kalvin's Szechuen Restaurant 松林居 on Urbanspoon

Kalvin’s Szechuen Restaurant 松林居
5225 Victoria Dr, Vancouver

-by Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny

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The Eatery [VFBM] – Japanese, Vancouver

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The Eatery is a popular sushi joint located in Kitslano. I’ve been wanting to try this place after reading reviews and hearing good things about their sushi. Like dim sum, sushi is best shared with other foodies, so I organized a meetup with the Food Bloggers Meetup Group. I was joined by Jun (Kunio Photography), Danielle, Jeffrey, Ronald and Vincent (Eat Marketing), Anabelle, and other FBM members.

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The interior of The Eatery is certainly different from most Japanese restaurants. I felt like I was in a haunted house or a science museum of some sort..

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The menu of The Eatery features more than 30 different sushi rolls and many other items! It was pretty difficult to decide on which items to order. In the end we chose a few sushi rolls, appetizers, and 2 sushi platters to share.

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Tuna Tempura ($7.25) – The foodie Danielle told us this is her favourite & must-order item at the Eatery. At first I was pretty excited to try it, then I was startled when I tasted the half-cooked tuna. Since I don’t eat raw fish, I did not like this dish although the sauce and flavour was good. The other foodies seemed to like this though.

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Assorted sushi rolls

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a different angle

All the individual sushi rolls came in this platter. There were Spicy Salmon Crunch ($5.25), Toyko Roll ($4.95), Devil’s Tail ($7.75), The Figa Roll ($5.95), X-Rated Roll ($6.95), Godzilla Roll ($6.95).
I did not try the rolls that have raw fish or scallops, but I like The Eatery’s sushi in general, especially you can substitute sushi rice for brown rice for $0.50!
These were the sushi platters we shared. If you want to know what rolls were in these platters, the menu pictures provide the description. Since it was so dark in the restaurant and there were so many sushi rolls, I had no idea what I was eating either!
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Big in Japan sushi platter ($59.95) – I really liked the yam fries that came with the platter. It was nice to eat some comfort food in addition to good sushi.

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My favourite was the Captain Crunch roll (bottom right)! I did not expect a deep-fried California roll to be so crunchy and delicious. I wish I had more than one piece! I thought I would like the Viva Las Vegas roll too, but the spicy mayo was too much for me.

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Chicken Oko Nomi ($12.50) – Okonomiyaki with chicken. Since okonomiyaki is one of my favourite dishes, I want to find the best okonomiyaki in Vancouver. Compared to other places I have tried, I would say the one at The Eatery is the best so far because:

  • it was crispy, fresh and delicious
  • chicken made the dish more filling
  • the dish came with two different dips – mayo and seaweed sauce. I personally prefer the seaweed sauce because its sweetness was unique. However, a Japanese foodie in our group told me he thought this okonomiyaki was too sweet to be considered authentic

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The Wheel of Fortune ($54.95)

Most of the sushi rolls in this platter had raw fish, so I only ate the Found Nemo roll and some of the crab pieces (with spicy mayo). I personally prefer the other platter because of my dislike of raw fish.

Group photo taken by Jun of Kunio Photography. Click on the photo to read his blog post on The Eatery / Meetup event.

My first visit at The Eatery was a great experience, despite not sampling every sushi roll. Because the selection of sushi rolls is so impressive, I need to go back again to try more individual sushi rolls! In addition, The Eatery has a daily special menu with discounted items.

  • Chicken Oko Nomi (although it is pretty pricey given its small portion)
  • Captain Crunch roll
  • sampling many sushi rolls with foodies
  • brown rice option (big bonus!)

  • the pub-like atmosphere & loud music made it hard to have a good conversation
  • the location. With so many good sushi restaurants in Burnaby and izakayas in Downtown, I would probably choose The Eatery only if I happen to be in the area.

The Eatery on Urbanspoon

The Eatery

3431 W Broadway, Vancouver

http://www.theeatery.ca/

-by Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny

Ganache Patisserie [VFBM] – Desserts/Bakery, Vancouver

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On the quest to find the best yule log in Vancouver, a few food bloggers and I gathered at Ganache for the Bûche de Noël Party at Ganache Patisserie. I was join by Caroline (Food Persuasion), Vicki (Foodie On the 49th), Meana (Kitchen Improv), Chris (COOQ), Rachel (Posh Pudding) and other foodies from the Food Bloggers Meetup Group.

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Ganache's cake display

Some day I will try all the cakes.

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The group had a little hard time choosing which yule log to get because the yule logs all looked delicious. In the end we picked the Chocolat Amande Croquant, because the ingredients sounded most interesting.

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Chocolat Amande Croquant ($29.95)  – dark chocolate amaretto mouse, griottine cherry gelee, milk chocolate macadamian nut cremeux, caramel crunch, and chocolate financiers sponge.

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Of course, we food bloggers and foodies have to get the perfect snapshots of food at every meetup! 😉

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The cake was cut nicely and evenly. It is a skill mastered only by bakery staffs.

I liked the griottine cherry gelee layer a lot because it had of its texture. It was a little solid at first but it melted in the mouth quickly. This added a little surprise and flavour contrast in the cake. I like mousse with nuts but I don’t think macadamia nuts were the best choice. Even though I liked the outer ganache, the overall taste of the yule log was only okay.

A few foodies and I agree that the one at Giovane tasted better. The cookie and chocolate piece of the Chocolat Amande Croquant were pretty ordinary, although the name sounded fancy. It could be that the Giovane one has more decorations, and that it was richer and sweeter than Ganache’s cake. Because of Ganache’s reputation and others’ recommendations, I expected more from Ganache’s desserts.

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Concorde Praliné (Marie’s)

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Café au lait (Vicki’s)

This $29.95 yule log, split between 8 people, only costs $3.75 per person. That is a pretty good deal considering individual cakes are about $6 per piece at Ganache.

We had a good time chatting about food, and learning about COOQ from Chris. As long as we had a great time, I could call this meetup a success!

  • great selection of cakes
  • a yule log is inexpensive if you split it between many people

  • it’s a small store so it’s sort of difficult for large groups to share a cake in the store
  • the cake looks/sounds better than it tastes
  • too much French vocabulary that I don’t understand & cannot pronounce

Interesting read: Caroline’s review of Ganache yule log

Ganache Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Ganache Patisserie

1262 Homer St, Vancouver

ganacheyaletown.com

-by Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny

Japadog [VFBM] – Food Cart/Hot Dog, Vancouver

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Japadog – The famous Japanese hot dog that started the food cart revolution in Vancouver. The foodies from the Food Bloggers Meetup decided to make this the 3rd stop during our Food Cart Crawl.

I have heard about Japadog, and passed by the cart many times, but I have never tried one. I admit, I am not a big fan of hot dogs and I refused to give in to the hype, until this day.

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We visited the store on Robson, which opened in 2010. Visiting a “food cart store” made it much easier to share street food during the Food Cart Crawl in this cold weather.

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Menu on the outside

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Menu inside the store

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We got a combo to share. In this combo there are:

  • an Okonomi Japadog – Kurobuta sausage topped with bonito flakes
  • butter & shoyru fries – butter and soy sauce flavoured fries. It is $2.39 by itself
  • a can of soft drink

The combo costed $9.14 before tax.  Of course I had to order something sweet beside the combo, so we also ordered a Kurogoma Age Ice – sesame ice cream on fried buns ($2.99).

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We all ate the ice cream sandwich before it started melting. The bun tasted like Chinese fried bun, which is essentially the same thing. The ice cream was less sweet than I anticipated. I think adding condensed milk drizzles would make it look and taste more appealing, at least for someone who has a big sweet tooth like me.

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I have heard of shaker fries in McDonald’s in Asia, but I have never tried them. These were surprisingly good! These fries tasted a little salty and cheesy, and they were fresh. For $2.39 I would pick Japadog’s shaker fries over any fast food’s fries.

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Like any other hot dog stand, you can add as much condiments as you’d like.

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After I tried 1/4 of the japadog, my impression was – Japadog was really just a dressed-up hot dog. The Kurobuta sausage tasted almost identical to a Taiwanese sausage. It was good to finally try one, only to know that I was right with my prediction.

  • butter & shoyru fries
  • sesame ice age
  • having street food in a store

  • hot dogs 😐
  • the price of everything altogether ($13.59 for all the food shown above)
  • Japadog tasted like the one I made at home

I have made Japadogs at home before (See Picture), so I certainly have a higher expectation when I pay for something that is easy to make at home. The Okonomi japadog did not impressing me much. Perhaps other innovative flavours like seafood japadogs at the Waterfront will be better? I am actually looking forward to trying those at the next Food Cart Crawl with Food Bloggers.

For folks that like hot dogs and want something different at lunch time in Downtown, this could be one of your options. Just be aware that a lunch combo costs about $10 after tax, which is almost at the same price as many lunch specials in Downtown. Japadog is definitely not my cup of tea, because my idea of street food = cheap food. The Taiwanese “small sausage in large sausage” is more like my type of food. I hope you enjoyed my honest review of the famous Japadog!

Japadog (Robson Store) on Urbanspoon

Japadog
www.japadog.com
530 Robson St

-by Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny

Fresh Local Wild [VFBM] – Food Cart/Seafood, Vancouver

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Fresh Local Wild was the second stop of the Food Cart Crawl, organized by the Food Bloggers Meetup. This is a food cart that offers local sustainable fresh food, such as Albacore Tuna Melt Sandwich, Chicken Fried Oyster Sandwich, Fish and Chips, sashimi, fries and poutine. Compared to other food carts, Fresh Local Wild’s menu items are priced higher because of their focus and concept.

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Chicken Fried Oyster ‘Po-Boy’ ($10) – Sawmill Bay jumbos, trailer made tartar, sesame seed bun

Foodies MaxwellJeffrey, and Edwin and I shared a chicken oyster sandwich and fries. Although I do not eat oysters, I was fine with the decision because the others really wanted to try the oyster sandwich. The fries need to be ordered separately as they do not come with the sandwich.

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The sandwich was a lot smaller than what I expected. For the price of $10, I thought it would be at least the size of a Tim Hortons sandwich. I took a very tiny bite into ¼ piece of the sandwich, but I could not handle the oyster taste. It was like fear factor because I was never fond of oysters! 😐

Fear factor -Jenny chomping an oyster sandwich

I know several restaurants have oyster happy hours which let you get $1.25~1.5o a shuck. So I thought this sandwich was really pricey given its size.

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However, I tried the fries ($3) and they were really good! They were fresh, crispy and tasty even without ketchup or seasoning. I personally prefer crispy, thin fries with skin as opposed to soft, thick, and skinless fries. I would say Fresh Local Wild’s fries are comparable to Costco’s fries. Note that the staff at Local Fresh Wild was nice to us and gave us extra fries. Normally you would get the burger and fries in the big container altogether, so you don’t get as much fries as shown above.

The foodies who tried the sandwich said that the sandwich was alright. I personally would not spend $13 for a combo of a sandwich and fries, when there are many restaurants and food carts in downtown.

Stay tuned for the final stop at the Food Cart Crawl #1, brought to you by Food Bloggers Meetup!

Fresh Local Wild (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

Fresh Local Wild (Food Cart)
http://freshlocalwild.com
@freshlocalwild
Burrard St & W Hastings St

-by Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny

Giovane [VFBM] – Desserts/Cafe, Vancouver

Giovane is a café by day, winebar by night, inside the Fairmont Pacific Rim by the Vancouver Convention Centre. After discovering Giovane’s fancy desserts and seeing my friend’s photos of the cakes he got at Giovane, I knew I have to try this cafe. I organized a meetup for the Food Bloggers Meetup Group because it would be perfect for foodies who want to share many types of desserts together.

I was joined by Caroline from FoodPersuasion, Rachel from PoshPudding, Vicki from foodie on the 49th, Simon from Life in the Lower MainlandDanielle the enthusiastic foodie who came to most of FBMs, Yoko from Shizenya, and other foodies.

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#DesignTalk: Using the type g as the logo set Giovane apart. To me it seemed creative and memorable. Also I really liked their website with its fonts and colors. The only thing I have trouble with is the pronunciation of Giovane…

Giovane is a bakery/deli/cafe/winebar that sells coffee, pastries, breads, cookies, whole cakes, panini, pizza, drinks and soup. Just look at the vast selections!

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^Giovane’s manager Mark – who helped us with the reservation (along with Giovane’s Food & Beverage Sales Manager, Katherine) and reserving the infamous sugar buns which always sell out.

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Sugar Bun ($4) a Giovane signature – sugared sweet bun filled with vanilla pastry cream
I read reviews on the sugar buns, about how good they were and how fast they always sell out. I was a bit skeptical when I read its description because it did not really seem that special, and I was still skeptical when I saw these buns in person. These sugar buns were huge! It like a small sourdough bread! I imagined them to be like donuts with some sort of magic but these buns really just look like buns with cream.

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I wish I can say nicer things to make you crave these sugar buns too, but they were really just buns/donuts with cream. Someone like me, who eats T&T bread and buns a lot will definitely say that T&T, Maxim or other Asian bakeries make sweet buns better. Perhaps other reviewers and bloggers liked this for its size, but I was never a fan of cream or whipped cream myself.
Surprisingly this was not overly sweet and the cream did not feel very greasy. Although the bun was light and fluffy, I thought that the foodies at the table were not impressed by this dessert. Hearts: 3/10

Mark actually reserved 11 of these buns for FBM just in case each one of us wanted a bun. In the end the meetup group only ordered two to share and we couldn’t even finish the buns. It was a good thing that the reserved buns were all sold after we decided not to get them, otherwise I would feel bad.

Now that you probably lowered your expectation a little bit, let’s move on to other good desserts that really deserved to be ‘Giovane signatures’.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log ($30)

Presentation was stunning! I would give 98/100 for this. It was so beautiful with the macarons, hazelnuts, and the cake was cut so perfectly. I think the brown macaron was chocolate and green one was pistachio.

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A slice of Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log has chocolate hazelnut mousse, chocolate cream with chopped hazelnuts, wafers base. On the top: golden gooseberry, chocolate balls, and reindeer white chocolate. I took the piece with the pistachio macaron. 😛

This Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log was hands down the best dessert I ate in the last few months. (I will have to think harder to remember what I ate beyond that). The chocolate hazelnut mousse was on the rich side and it was really chocolatey. I really liked the different layers of mousse/cream/chocolate shell and wafers complemented the texture really well. Eating the wafers, hazelnuts layers and the hazelnut mouse together was like eating a cake made out of ferrero rocher!

The macaron could have a better presentation but it tasted satisfactory. The pistachio taste was not very noticeable but I definitely tasted the almonds in the macaron.

All in all, I loved this cake a lot. At the price of $30 per yule log, each slice was only $3. That is an amazing deal because compared to many $6-8 desserts I have tried, this tasted a lot better and it was cheaper. Hearts: 9.6/10

Mini Cakes & Tarts were $5-7 each. I believe most (if not all) of the desserts below are $7 each.

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Peanut Butter Hedgehog

This was the cake that I originally wanted to order, but since another meetup member got it, I just sampled a bite. It contained chocolate mousse, smooth peanut butter cream inside a rich chocolate shell. Some say this tasted like a big Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but I think otherwise. It is not ‘greasy’ like Reese’s and the peanut butter cream center was so smooth. Comparing this dessert to a chocolate bar at grocery store is an understatement. I really liked this dessert and I will order this next time so I get to have one myself! Hearts: 9.4/10

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Chocolate raspberry cake

I sampled a bite of it also. It had dark chocolate mousse, layers of chocolate cake with hints of raspberry. I’m not a fan of raspberry so I thought it was alright. People who don’t like sweet desserts will probably like this because it was the least sweet out of all chocolate cakes. Hearts: 7/10

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Black Forest Cake ($7)

This was my order. I wanted to get something less chocolatey but still with chocolate, and I was impressed by its presentation. In the cake there are layers of chocolate cake, hard cherry jelly, Kirsch cream (according to FoodPersuasion; I could only tell there was liqueur), on top: gold leaf, a piece of cherry and red dust. It was really hard to cut the cake without making the cake fall apart. I joked that it was like playing jenga with cake. :p

I liked the liqueur cream and the combination of textures. The presentation was great but it’s not easy to cut and eat. It did taste like a black forest cake but I still liked the other desserts better since I don’t really enjoy pairing chocolate with sour things. (why did you order this then?) I ordered this cake so other foodies can share it with me, and I was curious about how the different layers would taste. Hearts: 7.3/10


Image courtesy of Danielle

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Lemon Raspberry Mousse Cake – I sampled a bite. It was light, soft and smooth and lemon lovers would probably enjoy the lemon custard in the center. It was a nice break from all the chocolatey desserts but one bite was the most I could take from a lemon/raspberry dessert. Hearts: 5/10

I think I have found my new favourite dessert place, well, at least a favourite yule log. I can’t wait to go back to Giovane for other sweets, or even another yule log!

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Foodies and food bloggers who came to this meetup. Thanks guys and gals!

If you’re interested in dining with food enthusiasts and food bloggers, check out the FoodBloggers Meetup! Everyone is welcome to join!

Giovane
http://giovanecafe.com/
1038 Canada Place, Vancouver

-By Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny

Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant [VFBM] – Chinese/Dim Sum, Richmond

Dim sum is one of my favourite types of food because of the food variety, value, and delicious cuisine. I organized a dim sum meetup for the Food Bloggers Meetup Group because 1. I’ve always wanted to try dim sum restaurants that I have not been to, 2. I wanted to eat with foodies and bloggers who love eating dim sum like I do.

With the Food Bloggers Meetup it was the perfect opportunity to sample the best varieties of dim sum with many other foodies. Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant was chosen after asking around on Facebook and Twitter for dim sum restaurant recommendations. I was sold when four people recommended Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant as their first choice and I was told this restaurant has good qualitydim sum.

In addition to passionate foodies, I was joined by Alex (Food Vlogger & Exec. producer of Ragin Ronin Productions), David (General manager at Pearl Drops Teahouse), Maxwell (Eat Tweeter on Twitter), Jun (Photographer/Blogger of KunioPhotography), and Simon (Blogger of Life in the Lower Mainland).

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Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant 釣魚台海鮮酒家 is located on the 3rd floor at Aberdeen Centre.

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It has a classier interior design than most dim sum restaurants I have been to.

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$3.45 to $5.65 for each dim sum dish. Specialty dishes are from $6~9. Bigger rice/noodle dishes are about $10 but we ordered mostly dim sum and specialty dishes. We passed the order sheet around the table, and in the end the FBM foodies ordered 30+ dishes. This is what our list looks like. We were astounded by how much we ordered!
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Since we ordered so many dishes and I actually didn’t try all of them, please enjoy the photos and read about my favourite and least favourite items in the end. If you would like to know the names of certain dishes and you have no luck matching it with the order list, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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As the first round of food came, foodies including myself took out their cameras and phones and began snapping pictures. It was a scene in the restaurant. I personally had a lot of fun taking food photos with other foodies.

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More dim sum photos! Are you hungry yet?
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Our progress…the food just kept on coming!

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We finished almost everything except 1.5 sticky rice chicken wraps and the last bits of deep-fried squid. We were very stuffed in the end with all the good food. The bill came to about $20 per person including taxes and tips, much less than I anticipated! I was actually a little worried about the bill and too much leftovers, but it turned out well!

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Whenever I go to eat dim sum, I don’t expect good customer service because dim sum restaurants are usually very busy. Customers often have to wait for a while to have hot water refilled, and eventually some people end up doing it themselves.

One interesting thing I noticed at Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant was their fantastic service. I believe two of the managers came out to serve us and honestly it was the best service I have ever received at any Chinese restaurant. Throughout the whole meal, our dishes came really fast, and the waitresses and managers were really diligent to help us refill the water, clear the dishes, and combine the plates to make room for more food. I felt like we were being treated like VIPs and I’m 98% certain that it was because at least half of the people at the table were taking pictures and videos, so they must have figured that we were bloggers, reporters, or famous people of some sort.

The other highlight of the Dim Sum FBM is watching Alex Yu vlog! I’ve always been curious about how he can eat and film at the same time. We watched and took photos of him as he did it. It’s not an easy skill to master but Alex was very pro!

Here is the finished product and in the video you can see how much food and how much fun we had! Thanks Alex for the video.
Watch the video All Yu Can Eat – Dim Sum at Dew Yu Toy.

Alex in Action:
vlogger alex

——————-I am the conclusion——————–

I liked most of the dishes I tried. My favourite dishes at Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant are:

  • Chilled coconut cake with diced taro: I enjoyed this one-of-a-kind dessert and the sweetness of this coconut cake was just right.
  • Deep Fried Chicken Knees with Spicy Salt:  The garlic and chili spice made this dish really tasty. I loved the crunchiness of the cartilage & chicken knees.
  • Taro rolls wrapped in seaweed: I thought it was deep-fried scallops at first, but these were actually desserts. I like taro desserts and I would order this dish again.

Dishes that I did not enjoy:

  • Braised Pomelo Skin with Mixed Mushrooms. We had a seafood vegetarian in the group, so we ordered a few vegetable dishes, including this one, for this meetup member and for everyone else’s vegetable intake. When the dish arrived at the table, no one knew what it was because the pomelo looked like a thick layer of pork skin (fat). The pomelo was bitter and it did not pair well with the mushrooms.
  • Xiao Long Bao. I was quite disappointed with the XLB because there was no juice in the XLB and the skin was too thick. I felt like I was eating a mini pork dumpling but XLB is supposed to be better than that.

Overall I can say this was my best dim sum experience so far. Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant’s dishes were at least at a satisfactory standard. Having been to a few dim sum restaurants, the combination of quality food, great service and ambiance of Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant makes it better than the rest. Of course, eating with other foodies and b/vloggers just made everything seem tastier so that contributed to my positive experience as well.

If you’re interested in dining with food enthusiasts and food b(v)loggers, check out the FoodBloggers Meetup! Everyone is welcome to join!


Foodies at this meetup. Photo courtesy of Kunio Photography

Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant 釣魚台海鮮酒家
4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond
(604) 303-9739

-By Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny

Griffins Dessert Buffet [VFBM] – Buffet/Pacific Northwest, Vancouver

Today is day 8 of #EWJ30DaysChallenge. The project has been great so far – supporters, readers, comments. I have to say I really appreciated the support (to whoever’s reading this now) and without that I think I might have given up or get lazy on the posts. But today I have to be lazy and do a photo-rich blog post (I’ll add more details later on) because I am actually feeling quite sick. It is probably because I have been sleeping at 4-5am for several days in a row now. :/

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Griffins is the restaurant inside the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. In November, I have been to this restaurant twice for their Anniversary special.

  • $18.88 Lunch feature available in 900 West Lounge from 11:30 – 2:00pm – Menu changes daily
  • Griffins $23 Three Course Dinner Menu, based on seasonally available ingredients
  • 50% off food in Griffins – Sunday through Wednesday 4:30 – 6:00pm

I organized an event for the FoodBloggers Meetup Group and tried this place with 9 other foodies. The 50% off special includes everything on the regular menu, except the three course menu, and all entrees include the dessert buffet.

This is the appetizer buffet that you can add for $8 (?) with the 50% off discount.

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The appetizer buffet looks good and it was great according to the meetup members who had it.

While some people in the group were having the appetizers, those who did not started having the desserts because I told the group that the best desserts, if there is any, would be gone early in the evening. Last time I had the only panna cotta in the buffet and the kitchen didn’t make anymore afterwards. It was really good…

Maybe I should feel a little guilty about influencing people to eat desserts before their meals…

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The first batch of desserts
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1-milk and chocolate creme. It tasted like chocolate pudding except it was sweeter and a little cremier. I didn’t like creme types of desserts too much so I only sampled a scoop

2-creme caramel. I really like this dessert and I get this every time! The texture was perfect. It was not too soft and it was pretty smooth. However it is a little too sweet even for a sweet tooth like me.

3-creme puff. The filling was more like a heavy whipped creme instead of custard. This was not too sweet but one for me was enough

4-rum baba. This was my favourite dessert of the night! It was soaked in syrup but it was delicious. It was sweet but I ate 3, although I didn’t like the whipped cream.

Because I wanted to save my appetite for the dessert buffet, I ordered a Grilled Tiger Prawn Salad ($24) and I even made it half-sized ($14).

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Grilled Tiger Prawn Salad – baby leaf spinach, avocado, grapefruit & orange slices, strawberries, citrus dressing

I definitely expected more from a salad that comes from Griffins. The quality of the salad was as if I went to a buffet and put the ingredients together myself. The prawns did not have much taste, let along the “grilled” part. The dressing was a citrus one that did not go with the prawns. Prawn and fruits just don’t taste good together…what was I thinking? Although the dish came to $7 after the 50% discount, I can compare this to a McDonald’s salad ($6.79) and say that I like McDonald’s salad much better. Hearts: 4.0/10

Prime Rib Burger ($21)
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Slow Roasted Alberta Prime Rib ($38)
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And then I had more desserts; most of the desserts I shared with other meetup members.

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The rum baba and hazelnut cake were my favourites.

So I ate more.
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DESSERT OVERLOAD! We were so full after the buffet…

All the prices are before the discount. The deal is already over, so sorry if you wanted to take advantage of the special, they will probably have it again next year.

Griffins
http://www.fairmont.com/hotelvancouver/GuestServices/Restaurants/Griffins.htm
900 W Georgia St, Vancouver

-by Jenny Shen (Cake Monster), Eat With Jenny