100% Healthy Dessert on Westminster Highway, Richmond

Updated: 11th Dec 2014; This restaurant is closed.

It was the night of the Chowtimes Readers Dinner at the Afghan Horsemen when we went to this little dessert joint in Richmond.  There was too much meat for us.  I can’t explain it, the meal felt lop-sided.

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We had walked past 100% Healthy Dessert countless times before.  As much as we had always wanted to try it, we did not because they open in the evenings (4PM to 1AM).

Surprisingly, it was quite busy that night.  I was expecting this place crawling with youngsters but do see quite a few older customers here.  That made us feel not too old,

There is nary a decoration in the place.  Quite spartan I would say.

Menu-side, there were lots of variety to choose from.  The menu is generally divided into hot and cold dessert sections.

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We thought that the Mixed Fruit with Stir COLD Noodle sound interesting.  So, we ordered that.  It was colorful to say the least.  At first, I thought that the noodles are rice noodles served with mango sauce but … (more…)

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Frappe Bliss in Aberdeen Center (And What Happened To Chowtimes)

We might as well just post about Frappe Bliss since it was while we were in the Aberdeen Center we first learned that chowtimes.com had been suspended.

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Food courts in shopping malls all around Metro Vancouver is so boring.  They all look alike with the same stalls selling the same stuff.  I find that all food courts are dominated by the same group of restaurants.

I find Aberdeen’s food court is different and a class above all other food courts around.  The layout is very pleasing and they have lots of tables.  It is bright and for an Asian food court, it is clean and well maintained.  The best thing about this place is the selection of food and it is well represented by some of the bigger names in Asian restaurants like Jang Mo Jib and Cafe D’lite just to name a couple.

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Having gone through the long cold winter, do you find that it’s kind of overly warm and hot this spring?  We do.  We wanted to just get out of the house and go out and look for a nice icy cold drink to cool down.  Usually we’ll just go to Timmy Ho’s for an Iced Cap but it is just too heavy for us.

The ideal would be an “ice plate” like the ones we had in Well Tea.  We thought the best place to look for one is in Aberdeen since we also wanted to go grab some small plates and place mats from Daiso.  The closest we got to an Ice Plate was Frappe Bliss.

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You have a choice … make your own ($2.36 Frappe with 71 cents per topping) or get one of their nine concoctions.  We had the one called the Peanuts Iceberg which is $3.80.

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Was it good?  It was awful … pretty tasteless.  It was also very light — I say it was very airy and had hardly anything in it.  I find it intriguing how they managed to make it so fine and that it did not melt much at all despite that.   Yucks.

Aberdeen’s Food Court has Wifi.  I must add that it was painfully slow.  It actually felt like those days when we had the 9600 baud rate modems!  We got connected and found chowtimes.com suspended.

If you want to read more about our saga … click below:

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Max’s Bakery & Delicatessen on Oak St., Vancouver

Polly and I met again for our cake meet. We cant meet as regular as we like due to spring break or school Pro-D days. We enjoyed our ladies only cake meet where we can indulge ourselves with sweet treats and chat about anything, mostly about our children. Girl just need a girl friend to talk to.

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We had our cake meet at Max’s Bakery & Delicatessen on Oak St. Max’s Bakery & Delicatessen has 2 other locations, one on West 8th Ave and another on Granville Island which is known as Stuart’s Bakery which I had blogged about here. I have no idea that Stuart’s Bakery is a branch of Max’s until I checked Max’s website.

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We knew that this must be a busy location because they have a numbering system installed where you take a number and wait for your number to be displayed or called upon. They have lots of bake goods, pastries and cakes to choose from. We knew we’ll like this place the moment we walked in.

One unique thing we noticed in Max’s is their one blade fan. I wonder if it’s more for decoration or function.

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This bakery not only has lots of cakes and sweet treats, but they also have lots of savoury items to offer, like sandwiches, lasagna, roast chicken, salad, etc. We will be back to try their savoury items on our next visit.

Max’s also does catering, whether it’s corporate luncheon, wedding reception, or a celebratory family gathering. (more…)

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Cafe Crepe on Granville at 12th Avenue, Vancouver

Updated: 17th Dec 2014; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

It was one of those days that Polly and I cant decide where to go for our cake meet. The outstanding list of places to visit does not appeal to Polly. So, she suggested to go back to Sweet Obsession on West 16th Vancouver as it’s one of the better cake places in town. While driving along Granville St, we remembered that we has always wanted to visit Cafe Crepe on Granville at 12th Avenue. So, we changed our plan to go to Cafe Crepe.

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There are plenty street parking along Granville St. Cafe Crepe is pretty easy to find with it’s striking red and black awning. It was pretty quiet as it’s still very early in the morning, just before 10am.

After we were seated and placed our orders, I took out my camera and took some shots our drinks and crepe. Just after I took a shot of the first crepe, a gentleman (not sure if he is the owner or one of the staff ) approached me and told me that it’s the company policy not allowing photography in the cafe. I respect his request and did not take any more photographs. So, here I am, trying to describe the food we had without a photograph. I find it a bit hard as pictures are the heart of chowtimes and pictures speak louder than words.

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The above was what we ordered. Polly had the Chai Latte. My regular coffee came in a very small cup, like those use for espresso. Luckily, the coffee has free refills.

We ordered a savory and a sweet crepe to share. I remembered I read about a review on Cafe Crepe by Doesnt Tazte Like Chicken who gave a thumbs up for their Tuna crepe. So, we went for the Tuna, Swiss Cheese, Egg and Mayonnaise Crepe. It was indeed pretty good. I’m kind of puzzled by the fact that Christina of Does’nt Tazte Like Chicken was able to take pictures of her food in the same franchise store. Don’t they have the same policy?

The sweet crepe we ordered was Mixed Fresh Cut Fruit with Apple Sauce and Cinnamon. It was after a few bites that Polly noticed that there was a strand of hair in the crepe. The waitress apologized for the unwanted hair and replaced the crepe with a fresh one. Hmm, that was not a pleasant experience for us. Anyway, the Mixed Fresh Cut Fruit crepe was just so, so; dominate by apple sauce. Next time, we’ll go for the more conventional chocolate and banana crepe.

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Dulcinea Chocolate Cafe on Denman, Vancouver

Updated 30th Oct 2010: this restaurant is closed.

You guys remember Rey? Well … if you remember, he’s the one who promised to bring us on a culinary adventure of Filipino cuisine. Rey is a Filipino community advocate and he wanted to create awareness of the third largest visible minority community in Vancouver by encouraging the creation of local Filipino content on the internet.

Last month, Rey introduced to us the Chinese Filipino food by bringing us to Little Ongpin in Richmond. In the second leg of the adventure, Rey next introduced us to Spanish Filipino food.

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The Dulcinea Chocolate Cafe is located on Denman in Vancouver Westside. We were met by Mari and David, who opened this delightful outlet with their daughter since October 2008. So this place is just 6 months new. Mari and David are both of Spanish descent from the Philippines. Mari told us she is a chocolate lover … and the place was started out of her love of chocolates! She’s so friendly and approachable that I can see that she connects to her customers very well.

I was told by Rey that pure Spanish Filipino makes up only 2% of the population in the Phillipines. Despite the low number, the Spanish has a lasting influence in the Filipino culture having colonized the country for 333 years. That is why most of the Filipino names are Spanish names.

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When Rey suggested Dulcinea and raved about their Hot Chocolate, we initially thought “what’s the big deal”? We soon changed our perception of hot chocolates after this experience.

The name Dulcinea came from the name of Don Quixote’s true love in the novel of the same name. We had always thought that Dulcinea was pronounced as Doo-See-Nea. A big sign on the wall says “Doo-see-nay-ah”. You learn something new everyday. The name Dulcinea means overly elegant sweetness — a perfect name for a chocolate cafe.

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Dulcinea started off as a Spanish Chocolate Bar in the Vancouver Westside neighborhood. Mari told us that the place evolved quickly since they started six month ago … from starting to serve tapas, then soup, sandwiches … and Dulcinea took life on its own when customers requested for certain food and Dulcinea responded.

We went to Dulcinea at 4PM. It’s an odd hour, I know but Rey wanted us to treat this like a Merienda. I had always heard that the Spanish culture has a really odd day … like taking a nap after lunch, having dinner at 9:30PM and Meriendas in between meal times.

We half expected the place to be empty at 4PM and thought that Rey suggested that time because Mari and David would be the least busiest. We were amazed that even at 4PM, Dulcinea was packed … with people … having … Merienda! The crowd actually taper off at about 5’ish.

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This is it … the above is what Dulcinea is famous for. Their signature Hot Chocolate which is called the 1528. It is a shot of thick chocolate. It is like the espresso of chocolates … but much more thicker. Any thicker it would not be drinkable! Even the spoon provided is designed to scrap off the thick chocolates from the sides of the cup.

The 1528 costs $2 per shot. If you have never tried it before, go to the counter and ask for a small sample. They pass out samples and once you take a sip, you’ll probably want one for your own.

Now … if you want a solo cup of the 1528 … listen here … FOR FREE … just go and tell Mari, David or whoever at the counter that “Chowtimes Loves Xocolatl” and you will receive a solo cup of the 1528. Serious! I suggested to Mari and David that they put in a little fun promotion to benefit readers of chowtimes and was surprised to hear a yes from them. I suggest you know what a Xocolatl is (see below) and how it is pronounced (pronounced as choco-latl).

Consider this is like Suanne and I buying you a cup of hot chocolate. 🙂

Update 05-Apr-2009: The offer for the free 1528 had now expired. Mari and David expressed their thanks to everyone who had taken time to visit their store and tried the 1528. However, Dulcinea will continue to offer samples of the 1528 (just not a solo cup of it). There could be more offers coming. Just stay tuned. I hope those who had the 1528 enjoyed it!

Oh … 1528 … that is the year that the Spanish took cocoa from Mexico and shipped it back to Spain. That year was the start of Europe’s love of chocolates. Nice name, I thought.

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If you’re not into thick hot chocolates, there is the Classico … a more watered down version but still really rich and creamy.

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I had the Hot Chocolate with Chai. These are not very large cups like I am used to (i.e. we drink Milo at home and we make really big cups and gulp them down real fast). Here I find that I took my time to savour every sip.

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The Xocolatl (how do one pronounce that again?) is quite exciting. I’ve never seen a dried chili served with hot beverage before. This one is a hot chocolate with chili nutmeg and cinnamon. The chili wasn’t that hot. Be brave and go try that one. You’ll probably love the contrasting flavours here.

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What’s chocolate without fondue? It’s something about fondue that makes it the favourite of just about everyone. I think it’s because it’s a fun food to have with friends. We noticed that the grapes were frozen … not sure why only the grapes were frozen while the banana and strawberry wasn’t.

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Besides the delightful hot chocolates, Dulcinea has absolutely the best cakes and pastries one could find in Vancouver. This is coming from our resident cakes fan, Suanne. Our fav has got to be the Lava Blanco above which is chocolate mousse with white choc inside of it.

Instead of ordering each item by itself, we actually ordered the sampler which gives us a little of everything we wanted. (more…)

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