Refuel on West 4th Ave, Vancouver

Updated 19th Nov 2014; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com

I had always wanted to go to Fuel and it was just for one thing. People had been raving about their fried chicken which they served only on Fridays. It is not that I like fried chicken a lot. I just want to find out what the big deal is and how Fuel could charge $21 for just three pieces of chicken.

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Back then, the name of this West 4th Ave was Fuel. It had recently been renamed to Refuel. They closed for a few days for some renovation and reopened again as a lower priced establishment. And guess what. Fuel/Refuel retained their star fried chicken dish and serves this everyday now … and at a lower price too.

That’s a good thing. No matter how good the fried chicken are, I don’t think one can sustain justifying it at $21. Some things are not meant to cost that much no matter how good it is.  Just like Taiwanese Beef Noodles are not meant to cost $11 no matter how good it is, if you know what I mean.

Talking about TBNs … Gosh, I don’t know what it is with Chef Hung. Until today we are getting tons of traffic and is the #1 restaurant review of all time on chowtimes. The long lines are still there even today after all the bad reviews they had been getting. They must be doing something right somewhere.

Sorry, I digressed. Back to Refuel.

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The loud music, warmth and aroma from the cooking hit us the moment we walked in. It was not ear drum splitting loud but was very noticeable having walked in from the quiet of the street outside. It’s kind of like walking in from another world.

They have an open kitchen which you could see the action if you are seated by the bar. It was only later after we had very much settled down that it occurred to us that it might be better to have a seat by the bar. We did not bother to switch since we were all setup already.

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Refuel tagged themselves as the neighborhood restaurant and bar. Never been here and with thoughts of $21 fried chickens, I thought it would be like a place you hang out with friends … you know, kids unfriendly kind of place.

We were surprised to see there were families with kids and babies at two other tables.

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Service was good as I well expected. Our server was cheerful and came by really quickly. It is our usual Friday date night and we took our sweet time to settle down. I decided to order the Vancouver Island Brewery. It is a dark beer, well balanced and smooth. Suanne just had water.

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Their menu is small. It is just a 1-pager. There are only seven items on the Mains section with the rest of the menu dominated by snacks and starters. Go ahead and click on the menu above to show it in extra large size.

Our server explained that they have specials which are not on the menu. There were two specials that night which are sharing plates. The first is a Whole Confit Duck meant for 2-3 people and the other is an 18oz Steak for Two. We were so tempted to get the Whole Confit Duck but decided otherwise because it would mean us not ordering the fried chicken.

We stayed the course. The Confit Duck will have to be for another visit.

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Refuel also had something called Whipped Lard in the snacks section of the menu. We did not order that but I thought it sounded kind of interesting.

Instead we had Piggy Puffs. That is $5 and is deep fried pork skin. It was interestingly served in a brown paper bag. We looked around for the tell tale oil stain on the paper bag. There wasn’t any. I only assumed that for $5, this is made fresh.

The Piggy Puffs were very crispy and crunchy but some part is very hard and impossible to chew through. For the most part it was good — just that it was not perfect all round.

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The white Vinegar with Thai chili above is for drizzling onto the piggy puffs. It added a different flavour dimension to the snack which I thought was very nice.

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Talking about Piggy Puffs. We have a pack of this at home too. This one is $1.50 and this actually tastes better. LOL!

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So this is it … the famed Buttermilk Fried Polderside Chicken. It came with Jalapeno Biscuits, AJ’s Gravy and Coleslaw.

It is no longer $21. It is cheaper. It is now … (more…)

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White Spot on No 3 Road, Richmond

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Disclosure
This post is written using a $10 gift card given by White Spot.

Suanne has a big collection of coupons like you never believe. She clips coupons from the papers diligently and stashes it in her small drawer. So we get a lot of them. Some of them are sent directly from businesses to us with the hope that we will write about it.

Over the Christmas holidays, Suanne took out all her coupons and checked the expiry dates. She knows that a lot of them expires at year end.

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She found two from White Spot. There is a coupon for a free Legendary Burger Platter which is worth about $9 which Nanzaro got for doing some community work. We also had another gift card (with $10 value) which White Spot gave chowtimes.com four months ago when they were promoting the Pirate Pack.

So we decided to go and use them before they expire.

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It had been very long while since we had been to White Spot. It must have been at least 5 years already. Which is kind of strange I guess for a Vancouver food blogger not to have written about a very successful Vancouver based chain.

White Spot started in 1928 and that make it over 80 years old. Given that long history, White Spot claim themselves to be the “oldest successful chain in North America”.

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We went to the White Spot in No 3 Road and Ackroyd. There is another White Spot in the Richmond Center but we decided to go to this one which is bigger. Our boys did not want to go out because they were “too busy” … with their new PS3 games and notebook they got over Christmas. Nanzaro had always wanted to use the coupon for himself but this time he just said “It’s OK, mum. You just go ahead with dad.” — without taking his eyes from the video game.

We were rather surprised how busy White Spot is. There is a wait for tables despite that this restaurant is quite big. We are thinking that it could have been the holidays where people tends to eat out than cooking at home.

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White Spot has a weekly Bar Specials. We ordered one of their frozen cocktails called the Mango Madness which costs $4. It is a frosty blend of mango and rum.

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It was good. It was more mango than it was rum actually. I can tell because my face did not turn red.

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I got a question. How do you get to the sugar at the rim of the glass? I mean, they provided a drinking draw. If they did not have the straw, then drinking straight from the glass makes sense. Do you drink from the straw and then lick the rim? Is that how you do that?

Suanne was hysterical when I did that and the people at the neighboring table laughed too. *shrug*

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We got their biggest burger platter. It is called the … (more…)

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Teahouse in Stanley Park

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Disclosure:
Suanne and I were invited by the Teahouse Restaurant to a personal tasting prepared by François Gagnon, the new executive chief. This meal is complimentary from the Teahouse Restaurant. However, it is written based on 100% of our own opinion and experience. Teahouse was ready for any questions we had but at no time provided us any additional info for the purposes of this review.

I think the disclosure above means a lot to our readers. Going forward Suanne and I will make sure we provide clear indication in case we have any freebies provided. We might not be able to go back to all our previous 1,500 posts to put in the disclosure statement but we will do so for every such post forward. With that out of the way …

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When we were invited to Teahouse Restaurant, the first thing that came to my mind is to go take a picture of the Olympics ring from Brockton Point. It was totally dark and yet when we got there, we found that there were a few other photographers taking pictures from the same spot. The picture above is my HDR shot. It was hard to get this image made because of the long exposure time needed and that the barge where the Olympic rings are were not totally stationary.

Vancouver is simply stunning don’t you think?

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We had been to the Teahouse before. We even blogged about it when it was then known as the Sequoia Grill at The Teahouse. They had dropped the Sequoia Grill name and reverted back to the name it was first opened over 30 years ago.

The Teahouse is located at the western end of the Stanley Park where it has a great view of the Burrard Inlet and West Vancouver. It is a perfect setting for spending a romantic time. Particularly during summer months, it is great to have a walk along the beach and see the sun set. It was too cold that night we were there three weeks ago.

The Teahouse used to be a military garrison during the World War II — believe it or not.

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This picture of the Conservatory was taken from our old post

The Teahouse is divided into three sections known as the Tea Room, the Drawing Room and the Conservatory. The most spectacular room has to be all glass the Conservatory. On brighter days, it is quite awe-inspiring being surrounded by majestic trees on one side and the ocean on the other.

We were greeted at the door and they offered to take our coats. Not many places does this and it just gives us that feeling of impeccable service and exclusivity. What Suanne and I appreciated a lot during this meal is that they gave us the space to enjoy ourselves (he he he, without coming by every minute to make a pitch to us!). This restaurant has class and let the experience speak for itself.

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We were very pleased with the table given to us. Scoping around the filled up dining room, it seems like this is the perfect table. It’s close to the fireplace and we had the best view of the ocean. On a better time, I am sure it would have been spectacular watching the sun set from this table.

We did not get wine although it would have been wonderful. Truth be told, we were unsure and so we stayed with just sparkling water, S. Pellegrino.

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We were served baguette with butter. It was served warm but it was just a few slices — we like bread and so we asked for more bread throughout the meal. While the bread was crusty and unexpectedly light, it does not really shout out as great. It was just … well … good.

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This we did not order. Our waiter, John who had been phenomenal that night, brought this amuse-bouche. He said that it is to get our taste bud going. We don;t know what this is called but as far as we can see, this is some spiced squid on sour creamy sauce and some grainy side.

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For appetizers, I asked for the small portion ($9) Salt Spring Islang Mussels but John insisted that they are so good, I must have the full portion ($16).

This was every bit I expect it to be. The mussels were big. I just like them big and succulent.

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The sauce was a tad bit too salty but tasty. It is made with white wine, basil and olive oil. Not wanting to waste perfectly great sauce, we asked for … (more…)

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12B Underground Kitchen

I was pretty stoked when I learned that the Vancouver Chowdown’ers were planning to visit 12B for the monthly chowdowns. The moment that the date was announced, I immediately responded and requested for two seats. Well, it was so popular that all the places were snapped up already. We were put on a waiting list in case someone pulls out at the last minute.

Just a week before the night of the supper at 12B, fmed (who organized this chowdown) informed me that there is one, and only one, seat that had just became available. Fmed asked if I am still interested. So instead of passing it up this chance, I went alone. Suanne was game enough to let me go alone (thanks honey!).

12B is an Underground Kitchen and is run by Chef Todd. A couple of days before the dinner, I called Chef Todd asking for permission to write about 12B. He was agreeable but did lay down some ground rules. I could write about anything but I must help protect his anonymity.

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So I can’t tell you where 12B is. If I tell you, I have to kill you. Let’s just say that it is located somewhere in Vancouver. I was only given the address of 12B days before the dinner. And that too, I was only informed via individual email of the location. Such secrecy!

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Chef Todd hosts 6 to 12 people each night. Twelve is about the maximum number of people he could fit in comfortably. There is only one sitting for everyday he works the kitchen.

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At a glance I was wondering how Chef Todd could fit twelve people in the two long tables but we could actually fit all twelve guests quite snuggly.

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I think if Chef Todd wants to, he could fit in more in the adjacent lounge. But I think twelve is all he could manage. After all he is a one man show who does everything …

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… and it is not just cooking. I did not realize how much work it is for just one person to run the whole operation. I am just amaze thinking about it. Oh … that is Chef Todd at the end of the corridor playing the role of the reception welcoming his guests.

I can imagine his job description reads as follows:

  • cooks
  • takes reservation
  • entertains
  • wash dirty dishes
  • mops the floor
  • reception
  • interior designer
  • menu planner
  • shopping
  • serves

When I called him at 10AM in the morning, he was already working preparing for the dinner that night. He said that he works pretty much a 16 hour day.

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12B is tastefully decorated with some nice art pieces. The event starts at 8PM. Being one who normally have dinner at 5-6PM, this is considered a really late dinner to me.

The only person I know personally at this dinner is fmed. Some of the rest I know of their names from hanging out at the Vancouver Chowdown forum. So it was kind of awkward in the beginning especially in the presence of such accomplished foodies. These chowdown foodies sure knows the restaurant and food industry like the back of their hand. They would talk about who owns what restaurant, who fought with who and went their separate ways, the secret techniques used by certain chef and all that kind of stuff.

You know, I think these guys should start a food blog on their own given all their knowledge.

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When everyone is assembled. Chef Todd burst into the room and declared that “smoking is mandatory”. It is his way of saying that “make yourself at home”.

It is a BYOB event too. Almost every one brought a bottle. So there were a lot of wine to go around the whole night. I thought it was a nice touch to sip wine from mason jars. Small touches like this sets the casual tone for the night.

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Chef Todd’s kitchen is just next to the dining area. It is roomy for one chef and he keeps it very well organized.

The guests keeps popping into the kitchen to chat with him. He was very accommodating even though he was working non stop all the time. There are not many chances where one gets to observe the chef preparing the meal.

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I guess you will also notice the same thing I did when I saw his stove. It does look unremarkable isn’t it? Why … even one of the knobs were broken. He keeps a plier handy in case he needs the knob. Go on … click on the pictures above in case you are curious as to the kind of sauces and herbs that Chef Todd uses.

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One thing that surprises me was that Chef Todd varies his menu everyday. I thought it would be easy for him to just repeat his menu for at least a period of time. Given that weekend reservations are booked solid right through February next year and the limited number of guests he can host every night, the chances of returning guests are very slim.

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Dinner was served at 9PM. I was way past hungry at that time. I did not realize it would start that late. For some reason, no one asked about what is being served for the night. It is like Omakase — we trusted Chef Todd to surprise us.

Here comes the food … (more…)

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Salt Tasting Room in Gastown, Vancouver

Another Friday.

This time Suanne and I wanted to try something that is out of the ordinary. We went to a “restaurant” that is somewhat shy of publicity. You don’t normally read about them but you hear about them by word of mouth.

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The Salt Tasting Room for all its reputation is located in the unlikeliest of all place. It is located in a dark alley called Blood Alley. The alley is lined with garbage bins with some clearly homeless people hanging around. Oh yeah, it is not an alley you would normally go down.

If you are not sure if you got the right alley, look for the upside down salt shaker banner before you venture down it. Really, it is safe but this place can easily give one the creeps.
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That is the alley where the Salt Tasting Room is located. He he he … even Google Streetview happen to capture someone rummaging the garbage bins.

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But right in the middle of the creepy dark alley is one of the most inviting restaurant entrances you will find. It really feels strange.

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The decor in the Salt Tasting Room is simplistic and minimal with exposed brick walls, unfinished concrete floors and simple wooden tables. I would even venture to say it is spartan. Although the ambiance is very unique, this is not a place where you will call it cozy or comfortable.

One thing you want to know before you continue is that the Salt Tasting Room does not have a kitchen. This is very much a meat, cheese and wine place.

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All their offerings are hand written on the large chalkboard at the end of the “restaurant”. Interesting concept. We looked at the chalkboard for the longest time and don’t know most of what is on it. We were clearly lost!

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Our waitress was really great in helping us understand their offerings.

Basically, for $15 you get to choose a combination of three cheeses or meats from their vast array of choices along with three condiments. In addition, you may also opt to have the each of the cheese/meat paired with a flight of wine ($15) or non-alcoholic drinks ($7.50).

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To take the guesswork out of the equation, we opted for the Butcher Plate. The $15 Butcher Plate consists of a selection of 3 meats of their choice along with 3 condiments. Each of the plate were accompanied with a write up of the meats. This might be meaningless to you (it is to us!) but here are what we had from top to bottom:

  • Chorizo Rioja (from Oyama Granville Island) with Quince
  • Smoked Beef Salami (also from Oyama Granville Island) with Cipolinni Onions
  • Toscano Salami (from Moccia’s Granville Island) with Picalilli Relish

With this info, we could actually get this from Granville Island on our own if we want.

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To go with the meats and cheeses are two types of bread and one crispy biscuits.

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The above is the Cipolinni Onions with Smoked Beef Salami. That is how it is eaten. For an Asian, this looks like … (more…)

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The Cannery Seafood House on Commissioner Street, Vancouver

Updated on 12 April 2010: This restaurant has closed according to Urbanspoon.

It’s such a shame.

It’s such a shame that such a fine restaurant like The Cannery are forced to close through no fault of theirs.

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Last week, I had a week long strategy planning session with our core project members who came from several countries. The meetings were grueling to say the least. On the last day of the meeting, it rested upon me to organize a team dinner. I love planning dinners like these and chose one of the best place one could go to for such team dinners — The Cannery.

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If you have never heard of The Cannery, you will never accidentally bump into this place. It is because it is located out of way. As a matter of fact, it is located right in the middle of the Vancouver Port.

To get to The Cannery you need to clear the port security although it is generally no fuss. They will ask where you are going and they will let you through if you just say you are going to The Cannery.

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It will feel kind of weird because located in the middle of warehouses, silos and train tracks is a restaurant very unlike what you will find elsewhere in Vancouver.

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activeness and charm. When I told them this place will close in just a few months, they said the same thing … “what a shame”. That is said even before we had started eating.

Gail was saying that they can never replace a place like this. They can’t just close this and hope to reopen it in another place with the same experience. Sha said that it will never be the same again. I agree.

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You really got to see this place for yourself. I felt it is just the perfect restaurant for just about any occasion. There are nice little corner with the view of the Burrard Inlet for a nice cozy romantic dinner. At another corner is a casual setting at the fire place.

We got ourselves a very nice corner for our group of 13 people. I could not be happier myself. 🙂

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Our waitress was a cheerful person and knows the food and drinks they serve very well. Too well, because she rattled off such a long description of the martini that most of us just did not understand what we got. Most of us had that martini “with a dash of raspberry” you see on the right.

We had a few bottles of wines to accompany the food. One of them was Syrah which they all raved about. I had the strong red wine but really, I can’t tell the difference between this vs other red wine. Our waitress offered someone in our party to taste it before they are poured for the rest of us.

Looking at the number of bottles we ordered throughout the night, I can imagine how much this is all gonna cost. Good thing I am not the one who had to expense it!

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It was very dim in the restaurant. I had to push the ISO setting to “enhanced” in order take these pictures. Even that, it came out with motion blur for some picture. But really, am glad it turn out mostly OK even with these difficult lightings.

The bread was nothing to shout about and does not wow us at all. I had tasted better … but …

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… the lobster oil with the balsamic vinegar pretty much made up for the ho-hum bread. This is produced and bottled in Vancouver and is the invention of their Executive Chef. You can actually buy them at $25 a bottle.

I had a lot of the bread with this dip.

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Their menu is laid out as “first course” and “second course” instead of the normal Appetizer and Main.

My first course is the Roasted Mussels ($16). The mussels was kind of OK — no big deal. It was served on a sizzling cast iron pan resting on an iron stand. The better part was not the mussels but the gravy and the really crispy bread.

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Here are some of the other first courses that the others in our party ordered. The Cannery’s first courses are … (more…)

Continue Reading The Cannery Seafood House on Commissioner Street, Vancouver

Go Fish at False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf Near Granville Island, Vancouver

The best fish and chips in Vancouver is not a a place where you would stumble upon despite its close proximity to the one of top tourist destination in Vancouver, Granville Island.

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Even if you so happen to stumble upon it, you would probably not give this shack a second glance if not for the hordes of customers.

But believe it or not, this humble looking fish shack is started by no other than the same chef behind the Bin 941 Tapas Parlour. That alone explains pretty much the popularity of the food.

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Besides the food, it also had a million dollar view of the False Creek. This is certainly a gem of a place.

It is the type of place where you would recommend to tourists and you can be quite sure that they will be impressed with it. Go Fish is so Vancouver — beautiful view and good fish.

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Their prices are not too expensive considering that they include GST. Click on the image of the menu above to get a clearer view.

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Their specials are shown on the chalkboard. We wanted to just order the Scallop Sandwich but they were JUST sold out.

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You place your order at the side of the shack. There was not a line at all when we were there. We had expected a long line as that day was beautiful with the sun out. I guess it was because it was cold and windy that afternoon.

Even that, we were told that it will be 10 minutes for our order. One can just imagine how long the wait is on a busy day. They make the food only when you order it, even the fries, so that you get absolutely the best.

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For fish and chips, they had cod, salmon or halibut. Too bad they don’t have a combo of all three. They only have it either-or.

We thought we try the more expensive halibut. It is $10 for a piece of the fish and fries. Interestingly, it is served in a Dim Sum bamboo basket. It is so practical.

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The fish looked and smell great. It was piping hot too having just been taken out from the fryer. The menu mentioned that the batter is made with … (more…)

Continue Reading Go Fish at False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf Near Granville Island, Vancouver

Bin 941 Tapas Parlour on Davie and Burrard, Vancouver

“Oh My God!”

That is how we would describe this Friday dinner we had recently.

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We had heard so much about the Bin 941 Tapas Parlour … read a number of reviews about them. We never thought it would be our kind of place. Reviews after reviews pointed out their loud music … and that it is dark … and that it is dingy.

Looking at Bin 941 from Davie just off Burrard, you will probably give this place a miss. With rusted looking frontage and just next to a pawn shop, what would you expect? We walked passed by Bin 941 many times. We did not think much of them.

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It is cramped. And really small. If you had not known better, you would probably call this a hole in the wall.

There are only tables lining one side of the restaurant … really small tables. Put on a couple of plates and drinks, there is hardly any room left for anything else. The rest of the seats are at the bar.

Regardless, people tell me that the food is great. So I called ahead in the afternoon trying to make a reservation for a table for two. Well, they said that they DON’T take reservation. They told me that if I wanted to be sure of a table, we got to be there early. They open at 5PM for dinner.  Only dinner, no lunch. They close late too. Real late … like 2AM.

So we went early. Too early as a matter of fact. It was 15 minutes before opening time. We just walked in because it was cold and windy at that time. Guess what … they shoo’ed us out! Where is the compassion?!? It was frigid cold out there. So we waited outside. It was awkward to say the least. At this point, we thought this whole place is a bad idea.

After 5 minutes, they came out and beckoned us in. “Sorry” they said. They added that it will be a few more minutes before they can tend to us. Fine by us. We were not in a hurry.

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Got a drink. Beer on tap for me — $5. Suanne’s is just water — no charge. The drinks menu is just dominated by wine and beer. Certainly no bubble tea here for Suanne.

This place wasn’t that bad. The music was not loud. Certainly not discotheque loud as a reviewer claimed. The place kind of grew on us. Being the first customer that night, we snagged that great little table by the window. It was cramped with hardly any legroom to move.

But it was a fantastic window seat to enjoy the food … a cosy private little corner of our own … and watching the world go by.

It is people watching at its best.

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Their menu is just a 1-pager. Very simple. Every single item looked great.

The menu said “Serious About Food” … “Serious About Fun”. They are right … Suanne and I had great food and we had fun too. You will see.

The waitress asked if we were here before. “Nope” we replied. She wanted us to know that they serve the meal one dish at a time. The concept is sharing. We like that. Anyway, between Suanne and I, we had ALWAYS shared our food.

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Then the fun began.

We ordered their Pomme Frites. It was only $6. I had never had a taller pile of fries in my life. It was at least 6 inches tall, maybe 7. We have no idea how they managed to pile it so high.

No ketchup necessary. It was drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar. The shoestringy fries very crisp. It was great. Simply some of the best we ever had.

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Suanne tugged on one piece and the whole structure … (more…)

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Rodney’s Oyster House in Yaletown, Vancouver

Suanne and I went to Hamilton Street in Yaletown for our Friday dinner out. Of all places, we chose a restaurant along Hamilton St because I want to check out the “happening street” during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. I read in the papers that Hamilton street will be made pedestrian only and will be THE connector between the two main party sites for the games.

It will be interesting to see how these restaurants will gear up to maximize on the biggest event ever to be hosted by Vancouver.

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We went to Rodney’s Oyster House. Frankly, we are not fans of raw oysters ourselves. I eat it but Suanne, she can’t stand the slimy texture when eaten raw.

We did not have a reservation but on hindsight, it would have been better if we had. It was because they only have one table left when we arrived just before 5PM.

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Rodney’s Oyster House has two levels of dining area. We got seated upstairs on the table that overlooks the whole of ground floor. We like that table — great for people watching and observing how the staff shucks the oysters.

Rodney’s is a noisy restaurant. It was not so loud that one could hardly keep up a conversation but it has a very noticeable din.

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The first thing they did was to bring the bread even before we got the menu and stuff. Our waiter is great. I read of reviews that Rodney’s wait staff are exceptional, playful and relaxed … they sure are. The waiters are all guys and they are exceptionally good with the ladies. LOL!

The bread was OK … a nice sort of OK. It was sourdough, we think. First thing we did was touch it.  Was it warm? No, it was not but we enjoyed it all the same.

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For drinks we had Heineken ($5.75) and Iced Tea ($3.50). I got Heineken because, you see, I am on training.

I am training to drink beer without getting flushed red all the time. Yeah, I know you people don’t think this can be trained. I’ll prove you all wrong. LOL!

I swear … my face was not as red as it used to. Don’t believe me? Suanne can attest to that.

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Rodney’s call their Happy Hours the Low Tide. Monday to Saturday 3PM to 6PM. We were there for this, otherwise a meal here could be pricey depending on what one order. I was reading this one review that has a couple spending over $90 just on 18 oysters and two bowls of soup.

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We see that a lot of people order the oysters by the platter with at least a dozen pieces, often more. We? We asked for … (more…)

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$2.95 Breakfast at Bon’s Off Broadway in Vancouver

Nanzaro loves camping. He signs up for every camp that he comes across. I don’t think he is bothered with what the camp is just as long as he goes camping. It could be leadership, survival, physical education, flying … anything. So over this long Thanksgiving weekend he was off again to another camp.

He needs to be at the Vancouver Meeting Point at 8:30AM. So we thought for once we take that long drive to Vancouver and have our breakfast before dropping him off.

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I have heard so much about Bon’s off Broadway and of their $2.95 Breakfast which includes GST. I can’t think of any breakfast cheaper than Bon’s in Metro Vancouver other than IKEA’s $1 breakfast.

We planned to wake up extra early and be there at their opening time of 7AM. When we got there, we found out that they only open at 8AM on weekends. Well, there was no way we could have breakfast and then drive to Nanzaro’s drop off point on time. So, I suggested that we take him to breakfast in McDonalds or something, drop him off at the meeting point and then the rest of the family return for the breakfast in Bon’s.

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Understandably, Nanzaro was upset because he was looking forward to the breakfast here. I had hyped it up the night before and shown him some pictures on the web.

So we ended up going to a nearby Tim Horton’s and got him a breakfast sandwich. And he insisted on having COFFEE to go with the sandwich, not hot chocolate. No siree. He is not going to take no for an answer because he was still fuming mad about not getting to eat at Bon’s. So we let him — that was about the only way to make it up to him.

We dropped him off. The moment he sees his friends, the whole issue was all behind him. LOL!
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Bon’s Off Broadway is located at the north intersection with Nanaimo. It is easy to locate, just look for the bright red sign and awning.

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We got back to Bon’s at 10 minutes past their opening time, so there were some tables open. “Anywhere!” someone shouted the moment we walked in. So we grabbed one of the remaining three tables available. Our waiter asked if we wanted the menu. I guess most of the customers are regulars and therefore do not need a menu. We need it for sure.

Bon’s off Broadway is obviously a neighborhood restaurant. You really don’t need to dress up eating here. It is very casual and nothing pretentious. The decor is garish … with neon lights in odd places and old movie posters slapped all over the wall. No frills. We like the casualness.

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We had coffee and hot chocolate. The are free refills but you should not expect them to come by your table regularly to fill it up for you. They are just too busy to do that even though they did fill it once for us. Many people just helped themselves with the refill. Truth be told, their coffee was nothing to shout about.

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One would have thought that a $2.95 (including taxes!) breakfast would be just plain toasts and eggs but this is a full-on substantial breakfast served on a large plate.  Just look at that picture above. The only thing you should overlook is the fact that the plate is all greasy and that it is chipped — not one but in several places. LOL!

Service is slow. Our orders took over 30 minutes to arrive. We were OK with that because we had read reviews about this issue. To their defence, it is not that Bon’s service is slow but it’s just that there are a lot of tables to serve and breakfasts to prepare.

For $2.95 we got two eggs done anyway we want and a choice of … (more…)

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