Dine Out Vancouver 2007 – Chambar Restaurant

I brought my local Vancouver project team for a little celebration for meeting a critical phase of project deadline. Those guys and gals had been working lots of overtime and weekends and had a major delivery completed on schedule. They all truly deserved a break, a time to sit back and celebrate a job well done.

So, to celebrate we went to the Chambar Restaurant. Chambar is a popular Belgian restaurant located on Beatty St in Vancouver. Unless you already know Chambar, a lot of people don’t even know it exists. From the outside you would easily miss this place because the restaurant does not stand out at all.

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We ordered from their Dine Out Vancouver menu. It is $25 … and is a much more better deal food wise than some of the $35 ones I tried earlier. Some had the “La Salade” … the La Salade de Cresson – Watercress & endive salad, red wine poached pear, candied pecans, shallot crisps, gorgonzola dressing.

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For me, I had the “la prawns” … Crevettes de safran – Saffron marinated prawns, peashoot & soba noodle salad. Spiced raita. Nice large prawns.

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Dine Out Vancouver 2007 – CinCin Ristorante

I am glad to learn that at least one reader missed our regular daily blog. It was a hell of a week for me at work. I could barely do anything else after work, let alone blog. Suanne had some blog entries left but we decided to not release those just yet so that we can keep this series of Dine Out Vancouver intact … it is my job to blog on this series. Am now back in action …

Lets see … we started off with a west coast style restaurant, and then we went to a grill, then a seafood restaurant followed by a french restaurant. This next one is perhaps the best Italian restaurant in Vancouver. It is located in the upscale Robson Street. Robson St is famous for the fashion shops and dining. It’s our version of Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue.

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CinCin (pronounced as chin-chin) had won many awards especially in 2005 and 2006 in the Italian and wine categories. Some of the award mentioned were:

  • Best Italian – Where Most Memorable Meal Award, 06
  • Best Ambiance – Where Most Memorable Meal Award, 06
  • Best Restaurant in Vancouver – Les Clefs D’Or Silver Service Award, 06
  • Best Italian Readers Choice – Vancouver Magazine – Gold 06
  • Best Italian Critics Choice – Vancouver Magazine – Silver 06
  • Best Wine List in BC – Vancouver International Wine Festival – Gold 06
  • Best of Award of Excellence – Wine Spectator – 06

It is located on the second floor just above the fcuk Connection.

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A stone stair case winds up from the hustle and bustle from the street level to the first floor dining room and bar. The restaurant is decorated throughout in earth tone. Lighting was dim.

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I got to learn to order another type of cocktail. I have always had the same thing — Bloody Caesar. What is your favourite pre-meal drink? Give me some suggestion?

Anyway, the Caesar as always is spicy but this one is so much more heavier with vodka. Six bucks, small glass but perfecto!

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Starters were the normal bread but with some thingy that is made of Olives, Roasted Garlic, Herbs. We think this is called Tapenade. How is this pronounced? I said that it’s ta-pa-nah-dey but Suanne insists that it’s ta-pa-ned. Anyway, this tapenade thingy is, well, sourish and salty at the same time. It doesn’t taste bad but it’s not good to me. I preferred good old butter and so I asked for some.

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Dine Out Vancouver 2007 – Le Gavroche

Updated: 18th Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com

Le Gavroche is a french restaurant set in the middle of downtown. Tucked amidst tall high-rise apartments and office buildings, Le Gavroche is set on a pretty two-storey Victorian house.

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It used to have a sweeping view of the North Shore mountains and habour. There are high-rise now blocking the commanding view. The setting is romantic. However, I find that the tables are placed too close together.

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For some reason, I came expecting very formal service. Perhaps it’s because the exterior looked so Victorian. However, the service were quite informal and yet friendly — even loud. They talk to us like we’ve been eating there everyday. I like that.

We started off with a Bloody Caesar — spicy and with vodka. Caesar is a very Canadian cocktail.

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The bread was quite OK. The crust was crispy. Nothing particularly exciting to this.

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Atlanta Trip Report: Maggiano’s Little Italy

One last dinner before I get to go home. It has been a long week and personally, I am all tired and weary. This time, Mark and Mark joined us at the newly opened Maggiano’s Little Italy in the Cumberland Mall.

Maggiano’s Little Italy is a casual dining restaurant chain specializing in Italian food. This restaurant chain is operated by the same company which operates the Chilli’s, On the Border and Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

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It was a busy night at Maggiano’s that day. Rob volunteered to go early and make reservation while I pop over to the nearby Circuit City to grab NHL07 game for Arkensen (it’s cheaper by $10 here in the US). Despite making a reservation early, we still had to wait for quite a bit.

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These American chain restaurants are really something. We don’t have many close to these types of restaurants in Canada. The decor, the experience, the menu, the staff … they were so well designed to entice people to these places.

Once seated, the bread came quite fast. So tell me, do you prefer your bread with butter or olive oil? I have not really gotten used to having bread with olive oil (and balsamic vinegar, is that what the black blob is?). Not that I don’t touch it or that it tastes awful but I’ll take butter anytime over this.

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Kelowna Trip Report: Breakfast at DeDutch Pannekoek House

We saw some travel brochures saying that DeDutch has the “Best Breakfast in Kelowna” and decided to try that for breakfast instead of the ho-hum fare that the hotel dishes out for free. There were a few DeDutch’s in Vancouver but we have never eaten in them before.

Despite that name DeDutch is a BC company with franchises around BC only. Their specialty is a dutch pancake called Pannekoek.

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Knowing how large the servings are we ordered three different types to share. We simply had to try their Pannekoek and opted for their Farmers (Boer’s) Pannekoek. This huge plate costs $14.49.

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Pannekoek is similar to the traditional pancake and is slightly thicker then crepe. The dish consists of Hash Browns, Ham, Bacon, Bratwurst, and Hollandaise Sauce.

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London Trip Report Day 8 “Pork Roast in Greenwich”

I asked Paul (a Londoner) what would be the one traditional English food that I should try while in London. He told me that would be the Sunday Roast. I expected the answer to be Fish and Chips and have never heard of the Sunday Roast before. So, I told myself I should try that before I return to Vancouver. I found one in Greenwich — on a Saturday.

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Day 8 is a Saturday. This is my last full day to do sightseeing before I leave for home the next day. There were so many places I wanted to visit, most of all the museums but I thought that it would take too much time. So, I decided on doing the river cruise to Greenwich, attend the Euro event in the Canary Wharf and visit the British Museum.

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I started the day by making my way to the Tower of London to catch the City Cruise.

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The City Cruise from the Tower of London to Greenwich costs only about 4 GBP. In all it took 30 minutes. It’s a double decked boat.

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The cruise was not packed even though it was a Saturday. Everyone obviously took seats on the upper deck. It gives a better view.

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Just as when the boat departed, the bridge on the Tower Bridge was raised for a small sailing boat to pass through. Good photo op!

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London Trip Report Day 2 “Fish and Chips”

Towards the end of Day 2, I was really dead tired after all the walking. The jet lag is beginning to hit me. It’s feeling like I’ve been up the whole night. As tired as I was, I wanted so much to make my way to Covent Garden for Fish and Chips — not just any Fish and Chips but the original one.

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The Rock and Sole Plaice was established in 1871 and is possibly London’s Oldest fish and chips shop. This shop does a steady stream of business at its takeaway and restaurant. Although it did not take me long to locate this place, it was not exactly easy to find. It’s on a rather quiet street away from the Covent Gardens Market.

Despite the reputation, I must say service was awful! The blokes were busy watching football and I had to ask for service. Sheez!

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I took the seats outside the restaurant — low tables and bench for seats, kind of neat. Especially when my feet is so tired from all the walking, I felt so much like putting my feet up on the chair like a true-blue chinaman.

The menu was simple enough but I couldn’t make out one type of fish from another. So, I guess that I won’t go wrong is I ordered the most expensive one on the menu — must have been the Halibut, I can’t remember. Well, it just so happen that they don’t have the Large one and offered me the regular one. I declined because I wanted something LARGE because I was very hungry. I ordered something else, can’t remember what now.

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On every table is the condiments … tartar sauce, ketchup. and malt vinegar. I tried every one of them. I like the tartar sauce particularly.

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The large plate was indeed large. I was so glad it was that big. And the fries were thick.

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The meat was flaky between the crispy batter. I really enjoyed it and worth going out of the way for this. So, can you tell what fish I ordered? Was it cod?

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