RSSArchive for April, 2010

Hanwoori Korean on Imperial and Kingsway, Burnaby

Karl, fmed and I met up for lunch a few weeks ago. It was a rather impromptu call for lunch the day before. Karl suggested Hanwoori which I had wanted to try for a long while already. I always remembered Hanwoori as the one who was awarded the Best Korean Restaurant by the Vancouver Magazine in 2009. Despite me working so close by, I had never visited that restaurant. So, when Karl said let’s go, I said let’s go.

Hanwoori is located at around the intersection of Kingsway with Imperial. It is not exactly at the intersection but you can see the green roofed restaurant from there.

The restaurant is not really that big. From the outside it looked larger than it is. But the place is noticeably neat and organized. Service was really personal which I like a lot. I can sense it the moment I was there. They are very polite and visibly helpful.

Come to think of it, I had never been to a Korean restaurant that has bad service. All the Korean restaurants that I can think of have exceptional service.

I did not even pay much attention to the menu. I just left the choices to the fmed and Karl.

At a glance, it is obvious that the prices are on the high side. Korean meals are generally more expensive than Chinese meals.

The banchans were pretty standard. My favourite is sweet potatoes.

Come to think of it, almost all the banchans I have come across are the same. I am sure that there are a lot more types of banchans. Does anyone know of any Korean restaurants where the banchans are different from those above … like, which restaurant has the best banchans?

One look at the kimchi above and you will agree that Hanwoori’s banchans is of top quality. They were neatly cut and stacked in layers. So I can be sure that these are not recycled ones.

I know I am touching a raw nerve here saying this. Every time I eat banchans, I keep on thinking of the news that many of the restaurants in Korea recycles unfinished banchans and serve it to the other customers. I am sure that happens. So, I am really careful about banchans. The ones in Hanwoori is definitely not like that.

The first dish was amazing. It was beautifully arranged. So beautiful that it took a moment for us to decide how to start.

One thing though … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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Seri Malaysia Restaurant on East Hastings, Vancouver

Updated: 4th March 2012; This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

Malaysian cuisine means a lot of different things. This is because Malaysia is a multi-racial country. While the Malays makes up about two third of the population, a large percentage of the population is made up of Chinese and Indians.

So when you mention Malaysian cuisine, it could mean either Malay cuisine, Chinese-Malaysian or Indian-Malaysian cuisine. They are distinctly different. Malay cooking is influenced a lot by Indian cuisine and is characterized by the use of spices.

There are many Malaysian restaurants in Metro Vancouver. Most of them are actually Chinese owned. As far as I know, there are only two pure Malay-Malaysian restaurants. Do you know why there are so few Malay owned restaurants? This is because most of the emigration from Malaysia are the Chinese and not Malays. I have a lot to say about the reasons and such but I guess this blog is just not the forum for it.

One of the Malay restaurants is Kedah House. We like their weekend buffet which is only $10. It is not a big spread but it is pretty good.

The other Malay owned Malaysian restaurant is called Seri Malaysia. We had been eating at Seri Malaysia many times already. If it had not been so far from home, we would have eaten there more. The food is authentic and good but the service is something else. Jamal, the man behind the restaurant often runs everything in the restaurant! But we expect that and have a lot of patience eating here simply because his food is good … well, most of the time.

You may click on the menu above to see a larger image. The menu is a 1-pager which includes a very good selection of Malay food.

When fmed organized a chowdown to Seri Malaysia, it was not hard to say “yes” even though the timing sucks for me. Actually, I ate there just two weeks prior.

I got to Seri Malaysia on the dot but everyone was already all settled down and ready to eat. I felt like I was late. Then I found out that all the food were already pre-ordered!

I was thinking … “Oh no, I hope they ordered my favourite dish”.

Whew!

They did order the Briyani Kambing (lamb). Nine out of ten time, I would order this dish. Seri Malaysia makes this very well and is simply the best Lamb Briyani in town. While the serving is still big, I thought it used to be bigger. It was like ridiculously big that will be enough for two people. Of late the serving appears big, just no longer ridiculously huge.

Just underneath the rice is lots of … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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Green Lemongrass Vietnamese Cuisine on Kingsway, Vancouver

OK. I admit. I get excited very easily.

The new Green Lemongrass on Kingsway is something you want to take note off. They offer something different. They are not like many of the Pho restaurants out there. I am so bored with most Vietnamese restaurants because they have unexciting menus.

Vietnamese cuisine has a lot more to offer, I am sure. Some of the more interesting Vietnamese food I had tried are as follows:

  • At Song Huong, where we had 7-courses of beef
  • At Thiem Kim, where we had four types of noodle soups, none of which is Pho.

The Green Lemongrass falls into this special category of specialty Vietnamese restaurants in my books.

Suanne and I was there at Green Lemongrass just last weekend. We were there for a team meeting for the 8GTCC project. Even though I had never been to Green Lemongrass Kingsway before, I was told it was better than the existing Green Lemongrass in Richmond. It turned out to be an excellent choice because the food was unique and we had a big round table to ourselves.

Before I walked into the restaurant I already decided what I wanted. The sandwich board outside has the Duck Soup on it. If they choose to put that one item on the sandwich board, they must be proud of that dish. You can’t go wrong.

The interior is nothing fancy. I think they try to make it as traditional as they can by placing those plants you see above atop low partitions that sectionalize the seatings into three sections. Those low partitions does not appear to me to be particularly efficient way to layout the dining area if you ask me. But I guess it is there for some reason.

There were some old traditional display cupboards too which I find it kind of interesting. They are so ornate. They don’t seems like it is something you could buy anywhere in Vancouver and has to be imported from Vietnam.

Even the teapot too seems like they were imported from Vietnam. Well, at least they don’t look like ones that they buy from the local restaurant supply stores.

It is this kind of attention to details that I get a kick out of seeing. It shows me that the people behind the restaurant cares about being different, unique and exclusive. It is a value I admire.

The menu above is what makes me excited. Go ahead and click on it for a larger image. For the first time, I see a Vietnamese Breakfast menu!

There are twenty items in the breakfast menu and each one of them is $5.

What do you think? Does that make you want to go to Green Lemongrass the next time you had to decide where to go for breakfast?

The Green Lemongrass on Kingsway opens very early, at 8AM. I am not sure if the one in Richmond opens that early though.

On the flip side of the Breakfast Menu is the Dinner Menu. They said it is served family style which I guess that means communal style. This is a departure from many Vietnamese restaurants who tend to serve individual servings.

Communal style eating is something I enjoy more because I get to taste greater variety.

The menu at Green Lemongrass Kingsway looks bigger than the one in Richmond too. I think everyone had a tough time deciding what to get given the vast menu here.

Me? I stayed the course … Duck Soup! I know I should have ordered breakfast items but I remained true to the cause of only ordering their special of special.

My eyes popped when they brought the bowl to me. For a moment, I thought … wait a minute, do they have noodles in this or is this just duck and soup?

This, my friends, is called the … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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Panaderia Latina Bakery Near Joyce Skytrain Station, Vancouver

Often when we mention anything about Bo Laksa King, we get emails and comments suggesting that we should check out the Latina bakery next door. We did and we were quite pleased that we did.

The Panaderia Latina Bakery is located just next door Bo Laksa King. If you go to Bo’s the next time, I would suggest you also drop by next door to check it out. You will not be disappointed.

Actually, I think you will be awed. The above is just a small section of what Panaderia has to offer. We were totally overwhelmed with all that they have. Pastries we had never seen before and every single one of them looked so delicious.

For a moment, we were quite uncertain how to go about it without asking stupid questions like “what is this?”. It is perhaps the same feeling like my Mexican friends asking the dim sum lady the same question.

The Panaderia is very South American. They are actually Chilean. And they are very friendly Chilean too. So we were glad they entertained our questions although most of the answers were totally lost in translations.

The young lady who attended to us told us that they had been running the bakery for the past 5 years having taken over from the previous owner.

One surprising thing I learned is that in the Chilean culture, these pastries are taken during our dinner time at about 6PM! This reminds us of how it was in Spain when we vacationed there last year. For the Chileans, their meal times are as follows:

  • Breakfast: very light consisting of toast and coffee
  • Lunch: Main meal of the day from 1PM to 3PM
  • Afternoon Tea: Pastries and sandwiches from 6PM to 7PM
  • Dinner: After 9PM

They make very elaborate cakes too. If you can ignore the reflection on the glass display above, you will find that the cakes are beautifully made.

With the help of the young girl, we had bought some to go. She was so sweet to even write down the names of each and every items we had when she saw that we were struggling with trying to remember them. We could get some of the names wrong below because we relied on our own assumptions when matching the written list with the pictures.

Each of them is very cheap too. The prices ranges from $1.75 to $3.00.

We couldn’t resist going home to eat them. So we stayed and ate a piece.

The above is called Cone Dulce de Leche (milk caramel) and custard.  It is unbelievably … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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The Grayelf Guide to Push Cart Dim Sum Restaurants in Vancouver

Some comments made on chowtimes deserves elevation to a full post … like the one made by Grayelf here.

So I had taken the liberty to take her awesome list and make it into a … tada … The Grayelf Guide to Push Cart Dim Sum Restaurants in Vancouver. You can click on the blue markers to see the details of the restaurant.


View Grayelf’s Guide to Push Cart Dim Sum Restaurants in Vancouver in a larger map

Taken verbatim from Grayelf’s comment, please note the following:

These listings are for Vancouver proper only. They are up to date as of April 2010 but please call ahead to ensure they are still correct before going to avoid cart-free disappointment. Also please note that this is a list of where carts are, not necessarily where good dim sum is :- )

You might find the following ratings/reviews interesting too:

Golden Ocean Seafood on UrbanspoonGolden Swan on UrbanspoonGolden Phoenix Chinese Seafood on UrbanspoonSzechuan Chongqing (Broadway) on UrbanspoonRoc Seafood on UrbanspoonDai Tung on UrbanspoonFlamingo House Chinese on UrbanspoonGarden Villa Seafood on UrbanspoonFloata Seafood on Urbanspoon

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Join Us for Dim Sum at the Golden Ocean, May 1st (Saturday)

Hi All:

I had made tentative reservation for Dim Sum at the Golden Ocean and am opening this up to chowtimes readers to join Suanne and I for a “Dim Sum 101″ session. I am hoping to make this along the lines of what I did when I brought some of my Mexican friends for an intro to dim sum (see this post).

This session will be the precursor to the Extreme Dim Sum (XDS) some of you are asking for us to organize.

So far we already have 12 names. It would be great if you some of you could take the time to join us too. Depending on the number of people attending, we are going to have at least one person to lead each table so that you will be hosted properly.

We made a visit to Golden Ocean last weekend. The place is spacious. Although we did not eat there, we saw quite a lot of unique dim sum dishes. The most important thing is that this restaurant serves dim sums in push carts so you can choose what you want — and making it a truly “picking to the desire of your heart” experience.

Here is the details … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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Pineapple with Lemon and Coconut

For dessert, Minoo made Pineapple with Lemon and Coconut at the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. When pineapple is in season, they are sweet, juicy and cheap. Minoo also shared with us how to select a good pineapple. Always look for bright yellowish pineapple. Do not get those with dull brownish bottom.

The Pineapple with Lemon and Coconut is refreshing and yet rich with the aromatic coconut.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 lemons (or limes), zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1-inch ginger root, peel and grated
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1 kiwi, peel and slice


Source: adapted from Food Network

Prep time: 30 minutes;  Serves 6

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Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

Minoo served the Black Bean Enchiladas along with a salad with beans. This time, the recipe uses Pinto Bean.

This Pinto Bean Salsa Salad is refreshing and filing at the same time. It can be a light meal by itself.

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 1 x 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 orange, red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small avocado, halved, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems

Dressing:

  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons) or lime
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Source: Food Network

Prep time: 20 minutes;  Serves 4 to 6

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