Picnic in Whistler

Polly invited us to join them for a day trip to Whistler last weekend. Since we had nothing particularly planned for the weekend, we tagged along. We have actually never been to Whistler in summer before.

Whistler is world famous for snow skiing in winter having been voted many times as the premier ski destination in North America. Whistler will be hosting many of the events of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

We have always enjoyed the drive on Highway 99 (known as the Sea-to-Sky Highway) from Vancouver to Whistler. The scenery was spectacular to say to the least.

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When we got to Whistler we headed straight for the Lost Lake and set ourselves up for a picnic. It was a perfect day for a picnic.

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For once, we decided to bring along chinese style picnic stuff. Polly bought some siew yoke (roast pork) from Parker Place in Richmond. The roast pork from Parker Place seems to be the best around. There are people queueing up to buy them pretty much throughout the day. The roast pork were great.

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Polly also brought along some instant noodles. The one below costs $1.79 per pack. I am surprised this costs so much. I wouldn’t pay $1.79 for instant noodles, no siree.

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Picnic at Boundary Bay Regional Park

Polly initiated a get together among a few of families this weekend. We have been getting together for a gathering the past couple of summers. The amazing thing is that we had only gotten to know each other through a mailing list I created in 2000.

This summer we met at the Boundary Bay Regional Park, just south of Richmond and near the US border. We took a spot on the beach.

As always, our gathering has been centered around food! Each of the families brought a dish or two to share. Suanne brought the spinach dip and baguette.

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Suanne also made chicken curry, Malaysian style. For this she used the famous Malaysian Baba’s Meat Curry Powder. Malaysian curry are rich because of the coconut milk used. She also cooked Basmati rice to go along with the curry. Basmati rice is perfect as it has a drier texture and goes great with the curry.

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CJ and his family brought marinated drumsticks and chicken wings. I am not sure what marinade they used. They also brought some corns.

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Empire Seafood Restaurant

The Gilmore Church Community Kitchen decided to have a break on the last session of this season before the break for summer holiday. Instead of the regular cooking class, the group went for dim sum at Empire Seafood Restaurant.

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Empire Seafood Restaurant is located next to London Drugs on No. 3 Rd and Westminster Highway. This restaurant offers 20% discount if you place your order before 11:00 am. There are daily specials on discounted price. The restaurant has a menu of 82 items and the price ranges from $2.45 on daily specials to $7.85 per dish. I must say that it is not cheap.

Here are some of the dishes we ordered.

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This is Empire’s specialty dish; baked BBQ pork buns. Regular price is $3.95 but it’s on special today @ $2.45.

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Richmond Community Summer Open House

The Richmond Community Based Programs with includes Community Kitchens, Success by Six and Nobody’s Perfect Programs held a Summer Open House on the 15th June, 2006. There are 2 open houses in a year, once in winter and another in summer.

The guest of honour was the mayor of Richmond, Malcolm Brodie. All the leaders of the community kitchens and volunteers who made this happen were presented with flowers as an appreciation. A big applause for Minoo who is the coordinator of the Richmond Community Kitchens.

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From left: Lancy, Minoo, Julie, Vanessa, Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Tanni.

The high light of the open house is the potluck. Each family brought their favourite dish. There were two long tables setup for the buffet and the tables were full of delicious food.

Here are some of the dishes:

Beef Samosas with some chilli dipping sauce.

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Swiss rolls, I believed this is from Andrea of South Arm Community Kitchen.

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Smoke Salmon appetizer.

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For more pictures, click the link below.

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Allie’s Bulgogi Lunch

Aim high in your career but stay humble in your heart.
~ Korean Proverb

Allie invited Helen and I to her place for lunch. It’s her way of thanking both of us for helping her move to her new place earlier. Since she is Korean, she showed us how Bulgogi is eaten the right way … using hands. 🙂

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Bulgogi is a popular Korean beef dish, a kind of Korean barbecue. It is made from marinated steak that is cut into thin strips before cooking. Bulgogi is a specialty dish served when guests visit or eaten in restaurants. The dish is also often served to non-Koreans as a first taste of Korean cuisine.

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Instead of barbequing it, Allie pan fried the sliced beef strips. She pan fried it with lots of slices onions, green onions and garlic. The cooking smelt good.

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Chinese New Year Pot Luck

Time flies when you are among friends.
~ Basque Proverb

Today is Chap Goh Meh, which is the final day of the 15-day Chinese New Year celebration. A few of our friends from Malaysia and Singapore met together at Eric and Sabrina’s new home. We last met together last summer — it’s good to meet again to celebrate the Chinese New Year together.

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Eric made three main dishes. He made a fried bee hoon, yam cakes and pineapple tarts. He always impresses us with his cooking. Sabrina is such a lucky girl.

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Polly made curry chicken and potato. She thoughtfully made two versions: one spicy one and another milder one for the kids. It was rich and thick — very nice. It never goes wrong to have spicy dishes for our group. Polly uses the Prima Taste brand.

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Deluxe Lunch from The Hub

Saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It’s the time we spent together that matters, not how we left it.
~ Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Today is my last day of work and I have one last lunch — this time with the folks of my Genco project. We normally celebrate project closeouts by eating out but opted this time to have the food catered from our cafeteria, The Hub. See that handsome chap below? He’s the employee of the month because of his effort on the Genco project — helped the company eliminated a bunch of unproductive work. This guy is a genius, I kid you not.

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Jackson (our Iron Chef) specially prepared Asian food because most of the team members are Asians. Jackson and his team prepared what he called the Deluxe Lunch with an Asian Twist. The costs were just $11.95 per head. (more…)

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Farewell Merienda and Balut

A brave man will face a situation no matter how dreadful.
~ Filipino Proverb

I learn new things everyday. Today, I learn of two new words – merienda and balut.

Merienda

Some of the folks in IT threw a little merienda for Alex and I. Our last day at work is tomorrow. I have never heard of the word merienda before. Well, I was enlightened that merienda is a spanish word that means snacks. I like the Spanish — they did give the world the idea of siesta, right? Isn’t it nice — having a siesta after a meal and then waking up to a merienda? Anyway here are the folks who threw a farewell merienda for Alex and I at The Hub (the company cafetaria).

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Balut (Duck Egg)

Balut is a Filipino delicacy. Zimrie made them for brave souls in the farewell merienda. This is how Balut tastes like … gross!

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Balut is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in a shell. He he he … it is considered aphrodisiac and considered a hearty snack. The filipino and filipinas in the group educated me on how to eat this: (more…)

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Grand Pacific Buffet in New Westminster

Updated 17th Jan 2011: This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

“I heard” is good; “I saw” is better; “I tasted” is best.
~ Ben Yap

The chinese employees at my workplace organized a Chinese New Year lunch celebration today. We do that every year. This year, they have graciously invited Suanne too for the lunch because they wanted to also make this a farewell lunch for me. For the first time, the organizer decided that we go to a buffet for a change. We went to the Grand Pacific Buffet in New Westminster. The Grand Pacific Buffet is a buffet with Western, Chinese and Japanese food with predominantly Chinese food.

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There were a lot of varieties. The food is so-so but then it’s not fair to compare buffets to the normal restaurants. I was wary of MSG with the tell-tale thirstiness after the meal but nope, it was not at all. Suanne and I went for two full rounds and ended up sharing the dessert. The photos below does not tell much but anyway, these are our second round plates. It’s about $8 for a weekday lunch.

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Good food goes best with good company. These people are not co-workers but has been friends to me for a long time. I was always the odd one out with this group because I do not understand their brand of Mandarin. It does not matter, as long as the food is good — they are the SME’s (Best Buy’s overused term for Subject Matter Experts) in Chinese food around Burnaby. (more…)

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