Tibisti Foods & Grill on Victoria Drive, Vancouver

Tibisti Foods & Grill has been on our wishlist for a long while. Ben had been away for business trips a lot. Finally we managed to go to Tibisti before his long assignment to Beijing again.

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Tibisti Foods & Grill is an all day grill which serves Mediterranean food and middle eastern food. It is a halal restaurant.

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We should have come on a Wednesday as the Roast Lamb Meal is at promotional price of $9.99 on Wednesday.

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There is nothing much on decoration in this restaurant. Just some tables and chairs which are spaciously set. I came here for the food and I’m not bothered by the decor as long as it’s clean.

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Ben ordered the Lamb Chop Meal for $14.99.  All the meal here is served with biryani rice, Greek salad, Tzatziki sauce and baked potatoes. Somehow, Ben’s plate is missing the baked potatoes.

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The server told us that the lamb chop is made with fresh lamb. There were 5 pieces of lamb chops. (more…)

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Sciue in Yaletown, Vancouver

Polly suggested to go to Sciue in Yaletown for our cake meet. She past by this Italian bakery when she and her son came downtown for her son’s provincial exam. We took the Canada Line to downtown. Sciue is just a short walk from the Yaletown Roundhouse station. There is another Sciue located at West Pender, Vancouver.

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It was a beautiful summer day. The patio of Sciue is full. Sciue opens early on weekday, from 6:30AM and closes at 7:30PM.

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Sciue is pronounced as “shoe-eh”. Sciue in Italian means good and fast. This particular location is warmly decorated. Booth seats lined the wall. Sciue’s breakfast includes daily baked goods, donuts (Ciambella), and their famous ‘”Pane Romano” creations.

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For drinks, I had the Caffe au Lait (picture on the left). A medium cup costs $2.50. I was hoping that it’s going to be like the Cafe Con Leche that I had in Spain. Unfortunately, it’s not. It’s just not thick and strong enough. Polly had a medium Chai Latte for $3.80.

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We started our breakfast with Pezzetta which is Sciue Flat Pane Romano Filled with Prosciutto Cotto and Fontina Cheese. The above is … (more…)

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Argo Cafe on Ontario and West 3rd Ave, Vancouver

The Argo Cafe is certainly a place I would not have found on my own. It was HM who alerted us about this hidden gem. After doing a bit of research on line, it appears that it is very well known and popular with people who works around the area.

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The Argo Cafe is perhaps one of those place you will not bother check out. At a quick glance, you might not even think it is a restaurant. The painting outside is very gaudy. There is the heavy metal door and the windows are barred. If I did not know anything about this restaurant, I don’t think I would even go in for a cup of coffee.

Maybe that’s the way it should be. The Argo Cafe is already … (more…)

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The Diner at West Point Grey

In lieu of watching the Royal Wedding of William and Kate, Polly and I decided to go for an English breakfast for our cake meet. We found an English diner at West Point Grey with 53 years of history.

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The English diner is simply called The Diner. You will not miss it as the Union Flag decorates the front of the the diner.

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There is a scale model of the Tower of London bridge complete with a state coach and horses that decorates the front of the diner.

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The interior of the diner is decorated with lots of photos of the Royal Family and memorabilia like plates and cups featuring the Royal Family, red English telephone booth, etc. The moment you enter the diner, you will be struck by the royal blue booths and tables cloths. You can click on the photos to view them at larger size.

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Of course, the recent addition to the decor are wedding photos of William and Kate.

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Back to food, we must have … (more…)

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Mis Trucos on Davie, Vancouver

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

One of the things Suanne and I enjoy in life is having dinner with friends — dinners that are unrushed, with no agenda and purpose other than get together and talk, talk, talk. We had a great time with TS and JS (Eating Club Vancouver) and ET and Christina (Doesn’t Tazte Like Chicken) last Friday.

TS and JS organized this. When they invited us, we dropped our Friday date plans for this. It had been a while since we last met up for Dim Sum at the Top Gun J&C in Richmond.

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All these while I thought Mis Trucos was on Commercial Drive. I am not sure what made me thought of that. I almost drove to Commercial Drive!

That Friday night was the Opening Ceremony night of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics. Driving across the Granville Bridge, we were caught in a traffic snarl — almost a gridlock. So, instead of chancing it, we parked our car immediately after the bridge to walk. And guess what … the road was so empty and quiet all the way from the foot of the Granville Bridge to Mis Trucos on Davie and Thurlow.

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Mis Trucos calls themselves a Mediterranean tapas bar. We were kind of surprised how simple and small this place is — just about 8-10 tables in a very casual setting. We were also surprised how empty Mis Trucos was on a Friday night.

The interior was very dark — while romantic to some, but for us, it’s difficult taking pictures.

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The menu is also simple. Just a 1-pager. Most of them are tapas size items. Actually some of them are so small I don’t know if I want to call it tapas. It is so small, I might not even call it bite-size.

Not knowing what most of these are like, we just left all the ordering to TS and JS.

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Like this one. The Gilda is Black Olive wrapped with anchovy. This is $1.90 … each!

OK, you may call me cheapskate — permission granted but I thought it was overpriced.

On the menu, it says that it is $1.90 each or $6.00 for four.

But we have six of us and when we ordered one for each of us, we were billed $9.80. Basically they bill is one order of four for $6 and the other two orders of one for $1.90.

It tasted really salty. Moreover Suanne and I are not fans of olive as much as we tried to like them.

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Got to hand it to Mis Trucos. The Foie Gras was excellent. I recorded four long “Mmmmmms” from ET. ET is a picky eater (Christina said so many times! LOL!) … and so I reckon if he approves, it has to be good.

It was. The sweet and tangy jelly balanced the rich creamy foie gras. This is $17.40 for six bite sizes. Good but expensive.

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The Coca is a Catalan flatbread topped with chorizo and anchovy. We got two Coca at $4 each.

This is really nice and especially with the really … (more…)

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DB Bistro Moderne on West Broadway, Vancouver

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

The one meal I had always looked forward to each week is Friday dinner with Suanne. It is not that you don’t already know that if you had been following this blog.

The one place we had always wanted to go to is DB Bistro Moderne. Frankly, we held back from going there because it is not exactly cheap and requires a special occasion to justify it … until now.

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DB Bistro Moderne is located on West Broadway. It is just next door to its more illustrious sister restaurant, Lumiere. Just a few doors away is a place called Moderne Burger. DB Bistro Moderne and Moderne Burgers are two totally different and unrelated restaurants. Just thought we point out the obvious.

Before DB Bistro Moderne came to being, this was Feenie’s which we blogged about oh, so long ago. It is a long story and so I won’t go into that. Needless to say, it is stuff that one could creatively write a story about Feenie’s rise to fame (and fall). Did you know I worked with Rob Feenie before? A few years ago, I was the Project Manager for the launch of a range of high end home appliance in Canada. We had Rob Feenie do a demo and invited the media and public. Gosh, I still can’t believe the bucks the company paid for a 1 hour appearance.

Enough of Feenie … today DB Bistro Moderne is inspired by another great chef, Daniel Boulud of New York.

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I had no idea. We had assumed that DB Bistro Moderne a lot like Feenie’s. We were wrong. This is certainly more upscale than Feenie’s ever was.

As usual, Suanne and I went very early at 5:30PM. That was the time that DB Bistro Moderne opens for dinner. We were the first one there. So it is kind of misleading seeing a lot of empty tables above. The place was absolutely filled by 6PM.

With dim lights and soft music, the ambiance was beautiful and it was perfect for a dinner date. The place is very dim for picture taking but who other than us takes pictures in dinner, right? Wrong! When we were there we could see TWO other tables taking pictures of their food too. Gosh, I have a feeling that this is getting so common that restaurants is so used to this nowadays.

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As expected, service was excellent … and very French-y. Too French-y for us. We were surprised by some Amuse-bouche. As much as we tried to understand what it is called, we couldn’t understand, despite asking twice. Rather than end up looking stupid, we decided not to get the server say it a third time. Some Frenchy name. All we got was that it is some kind of cured fish. There you go. But nice touch!

Our server told us that their special of the day is Prime Ribs. Well, it was not just called Prime Ribs but a very longish description that really captivated us. It is one of those sharing plates. You know, big big portions for two people that many restaurants are doing these days. Our server was doing such a great job in describing that I was having half a mind already of ordering that. Then she said “This is $40 …”. Oh … interesting … now we are talking.

And she added “… per person”. Hmmm … on second thought maybe we’ll get the burger instead.

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Le Bread came next. Pardon my French but this is what I call Le Bread de la Excellente. Very good, very nice.

There is even three different types and served with butter. The first is cheesy and crusty. The second was herb-y and soft. The third was regular baguette.

We gobbled that down rather quick. The server came and asked if we wanted more. “Of course” we said. We had more.

Two things was on my mind before I came. It was “foie gras” and “burger”. I was quite set on getting that. We finally decided get between the two of us a selection from the prix fixe menu ($35) … and a burger and … a foie gras appetizer.

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Foie Gras. I said I can’t remember if I had this before. Suanne said I had and I had forgotten. Whatever right? If I can’t remember, I might as well not had foie gras before. Well, at least not as big as this.

I think they call this Torchon. Twenty one bucks. This was not on the menu and we were told this is the special of the day. The foie gras is made in a pate with a fig in the center … and …

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… served with fig puree and 2 very crispy toast. Two very, very toasty crispy toast. Four would have been perfect’er.

Smoooooth … is how we say the foie gras is. Now I can say I had tried foie gras before … that is until I forget again.

Très joli mais vingt-et-un bucks … courtesy of Google Translate.

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The above is called the country duck terrine. It is the appy part of the $35 Prix Fixe menu.

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With onion compote, whole grain mustard, home made pickles scattered all over the plate, we debated how to deal with this. They even had sea salt and pepper placed in the corners of the plate that we almost missed because it was dim and that there was just a small portion on the side.

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This is IT.

This is what I always wanted to try. I call this the twenty-eight bucks burger. They call this the New York’s Original DB Burger.

I don’t think I had ever tried a more expensive burger in my life. For twenty eight bucks it had to be perfect. It WASN’T!!!

Well, let me explain … (more…)

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Belgian Fries on Commercial Drive at 3rd, Vancouver

After dropping the boys off for yet another of their top secret training, Suanne and I decided to go to Commercial Drive. We hardly ever go to Commercial Drive at all. Not sure why though, especially knowing that there are a lot of good eating places here.

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While checking out the restaurants along Commercial Drive, we came across Belgian Fries. I remember reading a well researched Foodospohy’s review just a few days earlier. Although the review came out negative from Foodosopher, we went nevertheless. We are not picky eaters and we can’t imagine how bad french fries could get.

I remember reading a lot of other reviews of Belgian Fries and each of them talks about having Poutine. I thought it was kind of funny, odd too, that the Quebec version of french fries is the thing to have in a place called Belgian Fries. On the awning in front, just beside their Belgian Fries banner is the tagline that says “CBC Montreal: Best Poutine in BC”. Perhaps they should name this place the Montreal Poutine or something like that … No? Yes? No?

Anyway, Belgian Fries is located on Commercial Drive at East 3rd Ave.

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The interior is bright and spacious. The music is loud. It is definitely a youngster hangout. We felt old in there. We could smell the deep frying from the edge of the restaurant where we park ourselves. One thing that irks me is that the floor is so sticky like they had never mopped this for ages.

They used to be half the size you see in the picture above. I am not sure when they had expanded but looking at this old picture of Belgian Fries, you can just imagine that business must have been very good.

To order, you pay at the counter and they will give you a number. They will call your number once it is ready. This means that they make the fries only on order — which is good.

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We got the Montreal Smoked Beef Poutine to share. The large one costs $8.50.

It sure looked unhealthy and I mean very, very unhealthy. It also looked very delicious and I mean very, very mouth watering.

We had a way to eat this. You really need a strategy because it could get very messy. We started off by … (more…)

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Campagnolo on Main Street, Vancouver

It must have been like 3 weeks ago when this happened. For some reason this is a hard to write post. Not sure why though. Maybe this is in the presence of food bloggers and I must be feeling like this had to be perfect. LOL!

So I had been sitting here for the past 30 minutes, playing Spider Solitaire on the PC and trying to get an opening line.

Suanne and I attended a food blogger photography workshop earlier this month. This workshop was organized by Jackie Connelly. This is actually the second workshop organized following the success of an earlier one. Jackie is a professional photographer specializing on food and beverage.

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Suanne and I were late getting to the workshop. We were punctual people but that Saturday was a nightmare. We ended up getting caught in two traffic snarls in Richmond and Vancouver because of road constructions. So we got in late and missed the first part where Jackie showed the various tricks used to touch up the food and “food”. Hah! Now I know that some of the delicious food pictures in magazines are not real food.

The 2-hour workshop covers basic food photography. Although I never had formal training in photography, most of the things discussed were not new to me. Suanne benefited a lot from it though. What I enjoyed in the course most was about the lighting techniques. That is the single most important thing in photography.

The other thing that I picked up is Jackie’s insistence of using the tripod, even when the light is good. My problem is that a lot of my photography is taken seated at the dining table. Even though I had a couple of table top tripod, it is too cumbersome to use and limited in the angles it can support. Since this workshop, I had been carrying my favourite table top tripod in my camera bag.

Three things I would like to learn outside of this workshop is composition, food styling and Photoshop techniques. Am hoping that Jackie will organize one for these topics in future. Anyway, Jackie is organizing another workshop similar to the one we attended on January 9th.

The workshop were attended by the following bloggers:

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The workshop was held in the wine bar at the back of the Campagnolo restaurant. I had been reading a lot about Campagnolo but did not check out until now.

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After the workshop, some of us stayed behind for a late lunch. Campagnolo closes for lunch at 2:30PM but they stayed open for us … which was kind of cool because we had the entire restaurant for ourselves. The dining area is spacious.

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Campagnolo is an Italian restaurant. Not formal but a casual sort of a restaurant. My eyes glazed on the Italian menu because I find it so hard to understand them. I am just not familiar with Italian and the menu are divided into so many sections. It’s easier if it is broken down by appetizers, main and dessert.

This is what I just found out from Wikipedia. With Italian cuisine there is a distinction between courses. These courses are called aperitivo, antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno, formaggio e frutta, caffe and digestivo. Fancy isn’t it?

Italian cuisine connoisseurs can correct me as I attempt to recap my understanding.

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Aperitivo and antipasto are basically appetizer but am not able to tell the difference between them.

For the mains, there is the primo, secondo and contorno. Italians start with the primo which is pasta or soup followed by the secondo which is the heavier main where meat or fish is served. Accompanying them is the contorno — the side dish.

They then move on to Formaggio e Frutta (cheese and fruits), coffee and ending with this fancy thing called digestivo. Digestivo is the “coffee killer” … basically liquors like grappa.

Italians sure know how to eat huh?

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The Antipasti — “before the meal”.

Everyone on the table was raving about Campagnolo’s … (more…)

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Damien’s Real Belgian Waffles in Steveston Village, Richmond

Just last week, I blogged about our breakfast at the Cafe Medina. One of the more popular items at Cafe Medina is their Belgian waffles which is not surprising given that it is a Belgian owned restaurant. In that blog post, Jonnek responded in a comment informing us that there is a Belgian waffle place in Steveston. That reminded us of the post we read just weeks ago from Yum-O-Rama of that same place.

What we learned about this unassuming place was surprising. Read on …

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It is called Damien’s Real Belgian Waffles. It is located in the picturesque Steveston Village in Richmond. More precisely, it is on Chatham and No 1 Road, just slightly to the west of No 1 Road.

The sign outside is so small that you can’t pick up the name Damien written on the logo of a boy holding a waffle. We learned later that the name and the logo does not matter as much. It is the words “Real Belgian Waffle” that is more important.

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Since it was just a short drive from our home and I was not working on Friday, we decided to go to Damien’s for breakfast after our boys went to school. Damien opens at 9AM and so we went close to their opening time so that we can get freshly made waffles.

It was a bright spacious place with a few tables scattered in a smallish eating area. We could see way to the back where Philippe and Miho Leroux were working. Damien’s does not look like they have lots of customers coming for breakfast here. As a matter of fact, we were the only customers.

With no walkin customers other than us, we were kind of surprised to see them making hundreds of waffles.

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Their offerings are mainly waffles. Anyway we were there for the waffles only.

I opted for the Breakfast Waffle combo. For $5, I get to choose one waffle from a selection which includes … (more…)

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Cafe Medina on Beatty Street, Vancouver

Updated: 20th Nov 2014; Cafe Medina had moved to Richards St., Vancouver.

Life is good — especially not having to work on Fridays.

So, after the boys went to school, Suanne and I went to have a real nice breakfast. I just love those unhurried mornings. It is unhurried because it felt like a bonus day off and I had nothing specifically I need to do.

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The Medina Cafe is located just next door to the Belgian restaurant, Chambar (our previous reviews here and here). The address is 556 Beatty Street and is just outside from the Stadium Skytrain Station.

Look at the stacks of food by the window (above). That is what Medina Cafe is known for … Belgian Waffles.

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Suanne and I went to the Medina Cafe. We had been wanting to go there for a long time but could not because … well … it is not exactly a conducive place for a family breakfast. I don’t know, I felt it has a Parisian Cafe feel to it.

The Medina Cafe is super busy. They will only take reservations for parties of six or more. So if you are in a smaller party of six, you could be in for a wait during mid mornings on weekends. I have heard that waits could be up to 1 hr.

We did not have to wait. We were early. Moreover, it was on a Friday. But we got a really crappy table. It was the only one clean and it was by the door. So, each time someone walks through the door, the freezing draft hit us directly. We had our coat on the whole time.

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Suanne had coffee — the largest 16oz Latte which is $3.60. The latte was … well just latte. I had always wanted to learn how to do that fern thingy.

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I tried to be fancy right?  So without knowing what it really is, I ordered the Moroccan Mimosa.

The menu said that it is “Fresh OJ infused with cinnamon and fig”. No mention of alcohol.

Mimosa as I learned later is a mix of orange juice and champagne. Not nice. I did not like it. I just felt that liquor and orange juice is not a good mix. But I finished it nevertheless. The reason is simply because this is $8.

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The Medina Cafe serves breakfast and lunch only. Breakfasts starts at 9AM to Noon while lunch is from Noon to 3PM (4PM on weekends).

The menu is not very big. Two columns … one for breakfast and one for lunch. That’s it. But each item is interesting and so it was hard to choose.

Service wise, not good. They are busy and you need to flag them down if you wanted anything extra. But when you got their attention, its OK.

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As simple and humble the Belgian Waffle is, this is the hero of our breakfast. This is what we were here for. It is $3.15 for the waffle and an extra $1 for the fig orange marmalade.

But the waffle is so … (more…)

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