Splitz Grill on Main St in Vancouver

Nanzaro is like a pitbull. When they latch on to you they never let go. Nothing makes them let go of their deadly jaws.

For some unknown reason, he had been hankering Suanne and I for “gourmet” burgers … not just any burgers … but GOURMET burgers. McDonalds, Burger King and the likes will not do.

Nanzaro did some research over the net and narrowed his choices to either Splitz, Burger Etc or Moderne Burger. We settled for Splitz because the slogan on the http://splitzgrill.com website says “a true gourmet burger joint”.

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It had been quite a while since Suanne and I last had burgers. Moreover, it is good to have non-Asian food for a change.

Splitz is located on Main St at 27th in Vancouver. This place is actually a spin off from the very popular burger joint in Whistler.

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Ordering here requires you to go through the process of first placing your order at the front of the aisle. You then move on to the garnish station where you tell them the sauce and toppings you want. Most of the toppings are included in the price but some are extras, like sauteed mushrooms and bacon.

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The dining area is spacious and clean. It was not really comfortable but I do think that this is really fast food where people pop in, grab a sandwich, eat and go.

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Both Nanzaro and Arkensen ordered the Legendary Splitz Burger Combo. The combo costs $9.45 which included a small fries and small fountain drink. I am not sure why but Nanzaro ordered his pretty plain. He hates greens and so just opted for honey mustard despite me telling him he can have as many sauce or toppings he wants.

Despite the simple burger, it really looked very enticing — moist and juicy. This really shows how well they do burgers.

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Arkensen had the same as Nanzaro’s but he had the basics … ketchup, honey mustard, tomato and lettuce.

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Suanne and I shared a burger because we know it will be too much for if we ordered one for ourselves. We had the Grilled Lamb Burger (no combo) which costs $7.75. I asked for the Splitz Sauce and Medium Salsa for the sauce and everything but pickles (I don’t fancy pickles). (more…)

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Traditional Chinese BBQ House on Kingsway, Vancouver

I think we’re getting the hang of it.

Suanne and I are getting more comfortable going to a Chinese restaurant. I am not talking to just any restaurant but ones that has ghastly bright yellow and red signs with an equally unimaginative name to match. These are the type of restaurants that are almost always a mainland Chinese restaurant serving authentic Chinese food.

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Suanne and I chanced upon this lonely Chinese Restaurant while driving along Kingsway. The Traditional Chinese BBQ House is located on the Vancouver section of Kingsway, between Joyce and Rupert. Although we did not know anything about this place, we decided to just chance it.

We were pleasantly surprised.

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This is a really small place but was quite busy for a restaurant located at such a quiet stretch. As we suspected, their customers are basically of mainland Chinese origin from the unmistakable sing-song Mandarin accent.

When we got seated, we were handed their Chinese menu. We told them we don’t read Chinese and he snickered at us … well, in a friendly way but still a snicker. So he brought out the English menu which he told us (TWICE!) that it is just delivered and he is not familiar with it. We did not trust the menu with their odd description.

We thought we order by pointing to the neighboring tables. Know what he did next? He actually walked to the neighboring tables and point directly into their dishes (which the customers were still eating) and explain the dishes for us loudly across the restaurant. We were so embarrassed with his blatant intrusion into his customer’s meal. He’s a nice and extremely helpful guy but it’s just that he doesn’t realize it is rude to others.

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For starters, we had Steamed Bun Slice. It costs 75 cents each. It is basically man tao, just that it is sliced and grilled with some kind of sauce or spread which we could not identify. I recommend you try it … it is unique.

For those who does not speak chinese, “man tao” is translated as “ten thousand heads”. This is the staple food to the Chinese and is the kind of food that is used to feed the masses.

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The owner also recommended us their most popular BBQ item, the House Grilled Lamb. The restaurant actually smells of this item from the heavy use of cumin. It costs 75 cents each. It came served in metal skewers. The taste is rather strong … it is both very spicy and salty. The meat is tender and not gamey. But really, we prefer the Malaysian satay better than this.

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We also had the Chef Special Escargot ($8.95). The sauce is awesomely tasty and lightly sweet. The sauce went very well with steamed rice. (more…)

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Qoola on Denman, Vancouver

Updated: 22nd Dec 2014; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

ChowtimesNoWord32x32This post is written based on a complementary meal from Qoola.

A week ago, Suanne and I received an invitation to checkout a new frozen yogurt place called Qoola. Since we were going to be in downtown anyway for the Taste BC event on the same night, we decided to pop over. I know it is kind of weird … we were going for yogurt, waffle and crepes immediately after wine and cheese, sushi, burger … all on the same night.

So, Suanne, Angie and I took a short drive to the western end of Denman to where Qoola is. Qoola is actually located at the old location of Cupcakes (1116 Denman).

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We were met up front by Warrick who is the man behind the entire idea of Qoola. Warrick came across to us as a bright, energetic young man with great passion in what he does.

Qoola had been opened for just one month so everything is spanking clean. We love the bright greenish interior. Qoola is green … more greener than what we expected and we soon realized how seriously green they are.

We had a crash course, to say the least … much of which went swosh over my head. Too much data and too technical for me after all the wine from Taste BC.

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Not really a person who knows what is what, we left the choice to Warrick and his partners. The only thing we asked is that they surprise us. First came their Green Tea Yogurt with blueberry and marionberry sauce. It was good and we like it.

I don’t care much for frozen yogurt. The only time I had frozen yogurt of note is Red Mango which we had in Bellevue,WA. I was told that many frozen yogurt places uses powdered yogurt which contains only about 1 million bacteria. However, Qoola uses only fresh yogurt despite its limited shelf life of a couple of weeks only. Fresh yogurt has 400 times more bacteria than powdered yogurt.

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The next surprise is the Original yogurt with apples, cinnamon flakes and caramel sauce. We love this more than the earlier one. I like especially the fresh looking and crunchy apple chunks. (more…)

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Taste BC 2009

You know, one of the things we enjoy a lot with food blogging is when we get invited to events. Suanne and I was invited as “media” to cover the Taste BC event which held on Thursday last week. Ooooo … “media”, fancy huh? LOL!

Angie (Sea Salt with Food) who is a wine enthusiast joined us. We like that because we are such babes when it came to wine and we wanted to learn from the event. I thought that we would only spend like 30-45 minutes but ended staying for almost 3 hours. We had a great time at the event.

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Taste BC is more of a wine than fine food event. The event is presented by the Liberty Merchant Company in the effort to bring together the best of BC wines. All proceeds from the event went to the Oak Tree Clinic of the BC Children’s Hospital. I am afraid we did not take many photos of the wine although I did try quite a lot that night.

Our favourite was simply the Ice Lady ice wine from the Forbidden Fruit Winery. Surprisingly, almost all the food blogs that covered the event also picked this as a favourite. I want to say that no one pushed this to us to blog but for some reason it just stands out. It is made of Pink Lady Apple and is very sweet and fruity. It does not reek of alcohol at all. Suanne who does not drink loves this.

I also like the Victoria Gin. They first gave me a shot of Victoria Gin which was awful, like drinking jet fuel. Then they added Tonic Water which made it like a million times better. Nice.

We also had sake and learned a lot of flexibility of this brew … that how this is about the only liquor that can be served both hot or cold and its ability to be paired with any type of cuisines.

The Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale (from the Howe Sound Brewing Company) was another one I like … it was smooth and light with a hint of honey.

In all, there are over 60 wine and drink participants with an average of 5 types of wine showcased. It was impossible to try every one of them for sure … for us at least. On to food …

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The Wild Sockeye Salmon on Artisan Bread was presented by a “baby” restaurant in Gastown. It is interestingly called “2 Chefs and a Table” which had just opened for 7 months.

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We like the sushi from Miku Restaurant a lot. As a matter of fact, we went back for seconds … and thirds … and fourths. (more…)

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McKim Wonton Mein Saga in Richmond

The past week was awfully foggy here in Vancouver. We got only a few breaks of the sun. It was kind of drabby, makes one so lethargic. In weather like this we did not want to really go far.

So we went to this place called McKim Wonton Mein Saga because it was just a few minutes drive from home and we get to avoid driving down the dreaded No 3 Road.

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McKim Wonton Mein Saga is quite a name, huh? It is named McKim because it is located on McKim Way and Garden City Road.

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Although the name does suggest that this is principally a noodle house and their menu tout themselves as “The best Wonton Noodle House in Town”, we were told that we should try their Set Lunch/Dinners.

Service wasn’t particularly great. There were hardly anyone there at 5:00PM (we eat early most days) but it took an awfully long time for them to set us up and take our orders. What irks me really is how they took our order … at times acknowledging our order with grunts. *mmm* *argg* *mmm*. Speak up!

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Their Set Lunch/Dinner allows you selection from about 120 different dishes ranging from seafood, vegetable, beef, pork, duck, chicken, etc. Since there are just the three of us, we ordered the Set Dinner for 3 which costs $40.

Besides a selection of 3 dishes, the set dinner also includes soup, rice and dessert. We were surprised the soup came in a pot. Normally, one would just get a bowl each.

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The soup was pretty good too and does have really big pieces of meaty pork. That was a good start. Unfortunately, I have to say that it goes downhill after this. (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver 2009: Elephant & Castle Restaurant – Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel

Updated 18th Nov 2010: This restaurant has been closed according to Urbanspoon.

Polly and I also take the opportunity to go for a Dine Out Vancouver meal in place of our regular cake meet. Since we can only go for lunch as Polly has to pick her twin daughters from school before 2:30 pm, our choices is very limited. We ended up with Elephant & Castle Restaurant at the Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel which offers the lunch option from 11:00 am.

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Elephant & Castle Restaurant is on the banks of the Fraser River and has a panoramic view of the oceans and mountains. Parking is free if you dine in the restaurant.

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Unfortunately, it is a very foggy day and the view is very limited. Nevertheless, the mistiness adds a sense of mysteriousity to the dining experience.

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Elephant & Castle is North America’s leading British Pub and Restaurant chain across Canada and United States. This location has a fairly large seatings on 2 levels. It has a bar and thus minors are not permitted.

Elephant & Castle offers a 3 course menu for the Dine Out Vancouver 2009 for $18.

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For appetizer, we opted for a soup and a salad. Polly and I decided to share our dishes and we asked the waitress for extra bowl to share the soup. The waitress is kind enough to serve the soup in 2 different bowls and gave us extra serving plates for sharing for the rest of the meal. I like their services. Back to the soup, the soup of the day is Seafood Chowder. It’s a creamy soup with salmon, prawn and potatoes with crackers served on the side. It’s quite an ordinary chowder.

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There is a choice of Classic Caeser Salad and Tossed Green Salad in Raspberry Vinaigrette and we opted for the latter. We like the flavour of the vinaigrette which is very fruity. (more…)

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