Polly and I resumed our cake meet after a long break due to her change of work schedule. I saw a review on the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in the Vancouver Sun some time ago and decided to give it a try.
The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is located at the entrance to Granville Island. This school has a restaurant which serves three course gourmet set menu prepar3ed by the students. The menu ranges from $24 for weekday lunch, $26 for Saturday brunch to $36 for dinner from Monday to Saturday. The restaurant has a great marina view overlooking the North Shore mountains.
The institute also has a Bakeshop and Cafe which serves specialty breads, pastries, gourmet cakes, light lunches and dinners for dine in or take away. This is where Polly and I indulged our craving for cakes.
We ordered three items to share. It is just too tempting looking at the array of items offered at the Bakeshop & Cafe. Those with chocolate cost $3.25 while the rest cost $2.95 a piece.
The first item we picked was the Cheese Cake topped with blueberries. It tasted like lemon filing in cookies.
The next item, we picked a Chocolate Mousse Cheese Dome. It is a chocolate glazed chocolate mousse dome with cheese cake in the center. Very pretty and taste good too.
The last item is a Hazelnut Cake with Milk Chocolate Mousse. The crust is crunchy and the cake is layered with milk chocolate mousse. The cake itself is quite dry.
We also had a Mocha and Latte to go with the cakes. The total bill came up to $18.97.
After the indulgent, we walked to Granville Island Public Market to burn off some calories. There are a variety of stalls in the market which sells flowers …
…cured meat and sausages…
…cakes and etc.
This is a view of the Granville Bridge from the Granville Island Public Market.
I enjoyed the day out a lot and I look forward for the next cake meet.
Polly and I went to a Chinese Herbal Shop for dessert soup instead of cake. We went to Fook Po Tong in Yaohan’s foodcourt in Richmond. We had passed by this small lot many times but have never try the food there before.
Fook Po Tong is a shop which specializes in herbal tea and jello. The shop’s specialty is Guilinggao or Herbal Jello.
The shop is decorated with large banners of its menu in Chinese. It also has displays of Chinese herbs on shelves which lined the walls. An old fashion clock which chimes every half an hour brings back memory of my old home which also had a similar clock.
The tables and stools in the shop has an old fashion feel to it.
Polly and I decided to share the shop’s specialty, Guillinggao. A large serving cost $8.50. On the wall, there is a large Chinese poster which talks about the benefits of Guillinggao. The benefits includes cooling of the body, removal of toxic from the body, moisturizes the skin, removal of allergy symptoms and more. The Guillinggao is served warm with syrup on the side for you to add sweetness to it.
We also shared a dessert called Papaya and White Jelly Fungus. This dessert is double boiled with rock sugar. It has a mild sweetness to it. This dessert is rich in Vitamin A, B and C and also rich in fiber and minerals. It is also great for your lungs and intestines and also moisturizes your skin. This cost, $6.
The owner also recommended us a snack which is popular in the store. It’s a vegetarian snack. It’s some fried dough serves in four flavours. A small plate costs $3.
I would love to come back again to try other desserts and herbal tea and learn about the benefits of these Chinese herbal remedies. When I was young, I remembered my grandmother used to boil herbal tea or herbal soup once in a while for the family. She said some are to cool the body from heatiness and some are to warm up the body. Unfortunately, I never learn the trade from her as I was too young then.
Update 27-Feb-2008: This restaurant could have been closed based on the status as seen on various restaurant review websites. Suanne and I had not personally verify this.
Last weekend, we did not know where to go for lunch. We wanted to go somewhere we had never blogged on before. So I drove to No 3 Rd in Richmond — can’t think of any place. Then I continued over the Oak St Bridge to Vancouver’s South East Marine Drive — nothing fancy. Then I drove up Main St — also nothing we liked. Then we drove through Broadway — sigh, also nothing we fancied. By that time, Nanzaro and Arkensen was complaining that they were hungry and asked why do I have to always go to someplace to blog … and why I can’t go just to eat!
After driving around for 15 miles, I decided to just go to the Orchid Delight. The Orchid Delight is a Singaporean-slash-Malaysian restaurant located on Burrard and Broadway. They were located some years back at Willingdon and Moscorp in Burnaby.
The owner is the same but it is much smaller now. However, because of their new location right smack in downtown, they now cater a lot to more non-Asians. They are much cleaner. I like the new look. Parking is limited to only two spots behind the restaurant. Otherwise, there are plenty of street paid parking.
Suanne ordered their special of the day, Fried Oyster Omelette. This is better known as oh-jian and is a popular Penang dish. It is rather expensive … 13 bucks. That is the special price of the day. The normal menu price is $16.
Parts of it is crispy and others are moist — it is a very good balance of texture. Suanne ordered this spicy. One thing though, there were hardly any oyster on this — or at least we can’t see it.
Nanzaro ordered the Salted Salmon Chicken Fried Rice — same old stuff! Good to know from our readers that there is redemption for our boys when it comes to food. Whew!
This one costs $9. It is not as salty as those we find else where. The chicken, we noticed, were not fresh. It seems like it’s from some leftover fried chicken. This is strange — they had bean sprouts fried together.
Arkensen ordered the Hainanese Chicken rice. The chicken had been de-boned. The dipping sauce were the normal garlic chilli plus a serving of oiled green onions. The traditional dips should include minced ginger. Seven bucks … not bad.
Me, I ordered the other Special of the Day, which is the Sweet Chilli Prawns served with steamed rice and tofu soup. This is the cheapest at six bucks. Lots of nice, large, juicy prawns fried with sweet chilli sauce.
So, the total damage is $42 including tips. Pretty expensive, eh? The food is nice but I don’t think I’ll drive all the way from Richmond for this in the near future.
There’s a good reason why Anton’s Pasta had been one of the most popular restaurants in Burnaby. I believe that reason is because they serve the biggest serving of food anywhere in Vancouver. Anton’s had been a fixture in this part of the city for over 20 years. Their vision is to offer good food at affordable price … and lots of it too.
Driving past Anton’s along the 4200 block of East Hastings in Burnaby, I often see people actually waiting outside the restaurant for a table. At lunchtime, the wait could be very very long but definitely worth the wait.
They serve bread for free. What do you call these kind of bread? I am sure there’s a name for this. It’s crusty, hard and dry — a tad too dry for my personal liking.
Since we’re in an Italian restaurant, we ordered something Italian for drinks. The Sanpellegrino Limonata is an imported lemon soda from Italy. Pretty expensive … a can costs $3.25. Well, at least they gave us a glass with a wedge of lemon.
The servings at Anton’s is a legend by itself. In the few times I was there I had never seen anyone finishing a plate of pasta on their own. Everyone had to take home what is left — that includes many big sized guys (6 footers and above).
The plate below is the Fusili Tsocana served in creamy white sauce. The dinner plate below costs $14.
We also ordered something red. The Linguini Siciliana, in red sauce. This is also $14 for dinner plate. Lunch plate is $9.95.
This is a common sight in Anton’s — they offer to pack it for home without even you asking.
Total bill is $40 inclusive of tips and tax. That is for the four of us … times two meals. You simply must try Anton’s at least once. Go stuff yourself silly …
I bet this posting will put some people off. :-) But who cares .. what I am blogging here is a delicacy to people in China. I am adventurous when it comes to food. I’ll try anything … well, almost anything.
We chanced upon this place in the Empire Centre, the strip mall along No 3 Rd where Hon’s is.
Parking is always a challenge at this strip mall. Many people comes here to either go for their meals at Hon’s or do their chinese grocery shopping at the Empire Supermarket.
Lai Leung Kee Delicatessen is located in food court in the mall across from Hon’s. It is a very little known food court. This shop sells really exotic chinese food and for a very low price.
I tried what they called the Stewed Beef Organ Meat which is served with a bowl of rice. The meat is boiled in a claypot.
So, what do we have there? Oh, I don’t really recall. Well, I know there is some pieces of LUNGS! That was the worse tasting piece of meat I have ever tasted … the texture is horrible. However, the other organs was not too bad. Well, I just did not bother to know what the organs were. It is better that way, don’t you think? The soup was hot and flavourful.
The claypot also had mung bean noodles (vermicelli) and lettuce.
All this is just for $6.00. I think it’s really cheap. It is really good but I advise that you ask them not to put in the lungs (yucks, again).
We also tried the Tai Sze Snake Soup. It is really made of snake, believe it or not. The pictures I took of this soup did not come out good. A small serving cost $3.50.
If you’re looking for some exotic chinese food, check it out.
Polly recommended this place to us. The Hollywood Steak House located on Leslie Road (just behind Wendy’s on No 3 Rd) is basically a HK Style Cafe despite the name. We would not have found this place on our own perhaps because the signs in the restaurant front is almost all in Chinese and it’s located out of the way from the busy No 3 Rd.
So, what defines a HK Style Cafe? Why … it’s the Milk Tea! They came with every dish we ordered.
Suanne ordered a Personalised Combo which allows a selection of two dishes from a menu of perhaps 15. The Combo also comes with a soup, garlic toast and spaghetti. All these for only $9.95. Here is what she had:
The Corn Cream Soup is very creamy and very rich of corn flavour. It has chunks of artificial crab meat in it. It looked nice and tastes great.
Oh, the Garlic Toast were the prettiest we had ever seen. A ring of burnt outside crust which was crispy but the insides were soft … not sure if this is freshly baked bread but it sure tastes like it. We could just have this toast for lunch! Too bad they gave only one piece.
Remember the choice of two from the menu? Suanne chose the Garlic Mussels and Albertan Beef Cube. The Albertan Beef Cube is crisp on the outside and tender and moist inside.
There were four large mussels too. We felt that this dish is worth more than $9.95 else where.
Nanzaro ordered Malaysian Style Rice Noodle for $6.95 . Its Fried Kway Teow with sliced onions, sweet peppers, prawns, BBQ pork and eggs. Nothing special about it. Sigh, my son had not acquired their parent’s fine taste for good food. :-)
Arkensen is no different. He ordered Yeong Chow Fried Rice ($5.95). There was a generous helping of prawns, peas and BBQ pork. Both the boys are the same … they will always order either fried rice, fried noodles or a bowl of noodle soup. Tell me, is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Total bill came up to $27 (inclusive of taxes and tips). Not bad, right?
Nothing beats a steaming bowl of Pho on a cold and rainy winter day. Pho Hoang is one of our favourite Vietnamese restaurants. Located along Main at East 18th Avenue, it is easy not to miss this restaurant with a wide store front. What we like about Pho Hoang is not so much for their Pho but the fact that they had a very extensive menu beyond just Pho.
From the many reviews we read of Pho Hoang, the biggest beef (pun intended) is with their slow service. I think it is because of the way the restaurant is laid out. It is wide with two wings separated at the entrance. It took about 10 minutes before they came with the menu and our pot of tea.
It is without a doubt that it’s a very popular restaurant. The place were simply packed when we arrived late for lunchtime. Unlike a lot of other Vietnamese restaurants, this place has a good mix of Asians and non-Asians customers.
Thai Peppers! I love Thai Peppers but they game only one — unchopped. This means that they expect the customer to bite into it. They are lethally hot. They are 50,000-100,000 on the Scoville Rating. As a comparison, Tabasco is 7,000-8,000, while Jalapeno is only 2,500-8,000.
The Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring Roll) costs $3.95 for a serving of three. The skin is deep fried and crisp. The fillings were seasoned with lots of ground black pepper. This is one of the best spring rolls I have tried. I like the way the skin is deep fried. Do you know how they make it so different from the normally smooth skin?
Arkensen ordered the large Pho Bo Vien (Beef Ball with Rice Noodle in Soup) for $5.95. Anything below $6 for a large bowl is a deal. The characteristic of a great bowl of pho is that it must be served piping hot — you must see the steam. This one came served with the all important steam. The soup was great and had a full beefy flavour.
Me, I ordered what they called the Com Bi, Cha, Ga Nuong Sa (Shredded Pork, Meat Cake, Lemon Grass Chika with Steam Rice) for $7.45. I liked the taste of the pork chop. It is both sweet and salty at the same time. The best part is the charred parts — carcinogenic? *shrug*.
The Meat Cake is nice but I don’t know what’s in it. The dish is served with both rice and vermicelli which is great drizzled with the fish sauce. For $7.45, this is like having three dishes for a price of one. Highly recommended.
Suanne and Nanzaro shared the Bun Mang Vit (Duck and Bamboo Shoot with Vermicelli in Broth Soup). This one costs $6.95. They ordered this because they sound unique. They had no idea how it looks like. It was a good choice.
The Duck Meat was so soft that they fall off the bones. Duck meat is known to be tough but with this you don’t need to cut, you just pull the meat apart. It is served on a separate dish filled with crunchy fresh onion rings.
The Bamboo Shoot served in the bowl of vermicelli soup were chewy. This is a good departure from the Phos. We’ll try this one again the next time round.
To us, this is one of the best Vietnamese restaurant. They have a good variety of Vietnamese and Cambodian cuisine, the food is great and the price very reasonable. Be prepared to wait for service, they are a bit slow.
Total bill is $28 inclusive of tax and tips. Not bad.
Suanne and I were still hungry after the Air Supply Concert. It was quite late by the time we got back to the city of Richmond from Coquitlam. There are not many places opened at almost midnight. There is one place we know is opened 24 hours. It’s the #9 Restaurant on the No 3 Road.
On the cold winter night, we wanted some hot drinks. The #9 Restaurant is a Cantonese/Hongkong restaurant. So, we ordered the milk tea.
Although #9 is really a chinese restaurant, we opted for sandwiches. We ordered their No 9 Club House Sandwich. It was a huge serving — more than enough for the both of us. It is just $7.95.
Oh, I can’t remember what is on it but I think they have everything! They were piled so high that they needed a long toothpick to hold it together.
When you are hungry in the middle of the night, go to #9. Does anyone know any other places which are opened 24 hours in Richmond, Vancouver or Burnaby?