Bo Laksa King’s Delivery

Updated: 17th Nov 2014; Bo Laksa King is closed.

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Full Disclosure
This post is written based on complimentary samples from Bo Laksa King’s new delivery service.

There is something really different about Bo Laksa King’s.

Some of you would remember me writing about Bo’s Laksa about two months ago. I went out of my way to check out Bo’s Laksa simply because of rave reviews from Chowhounders. It is not often that Chowhounders gets excited altogether at the same time.

It is definitely a find. I think it’s because Bo Laksa King’s has this certain element of surprise because they operate in such humble setting. You will never expect to find a laksa counter inside a convenience store anywhere else.

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Not only is the laksa great, both Bo and his wife Tiffany are genuine people. People do find them very approachable. I remember Michelle telling me during the 12B dinner that they had such a great time chatting with Bo for TWO hours! They are obliging and can easily relate to just about anyone.

A lot of people are rooting for Bo. I sense a lot of support for him to expand his business. Well, he had finally done so — but said that he wants to not grow too fast and have the quality of his food suffer. So he had decided to start a delivery business — with an expanded menu. He just started the delivery business earlier this month.

Last week, Bo wrote me an email asking us to provide him our home address and phone number. The reason is he wants to send some samples to try. We were hesitant to accept this because we live in the south end of Richmond and he operates from Vancouver near the Joyce SkyTrain station. It is a long way to do delivery.

But he was very persuasive and seeing that Bo and Tiffany are such great people, we did not hesitate to help him promote his business to chowtimes’ readers. The only condition is that he must send us his Laksa! Other than that he can send us anything else he wants.

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The timing were perfect. Bo sent the samples to us just in time when we  were about to get settled down to watch the Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony on TV. We love it and certainly very different from getting pizzas for sure.

Bo’s Laksa is second to none. It is still the same price ($7.50) and equally as good. The laksa soup was still really warm when we got it and he delivered this in two containers … one for the soup and the other for the noodles. This is a good way to prevent the noodles from getting too soggy. We like our laksa soup really hot and went to microwave it really hot.

From just serving a few dishes at his counter on Joyce St, he now has 33 items, many of them new. You can check all of his offerings on his new website: http://www.bolaksaking.com/

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After the Laksa, the next thing we tried was the Papaya Salad. We had heard also good feedback of his papaya salad but have never tried it before.

Bo’s Papaya Salad is $6.75 and consists of shredded green papaya, tomato, onions, cilantro, crushed peanuts, fresh red chilli, dried shrimps, green beans, mix with garlic, lime, and vinaigrette dressing.

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What we like best about the Papaya Salad is that it has a lot of dried shrimps and a few chili sprinkled throughout that gives a bit of heat in some bites. It was crunchy as we munch on it. Taste-wise, it has a pleasant sourness and spiciness to it.

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The Pan Thay Stir Fry is $7.75. This is described as … (more…)

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Cobram Estate’s Premium Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Complete Disclosure
This post is written based on an invite to an Olive Oil promotion event from Cobram Estate Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We were given 8 sample bottle of extra virgin olive oil at the end of the event. We were also provided with $1 Off Coupons as give away to chowtimes readers.

Suanne and I were invited by Cobram Estate Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil to attend a learning and tasting session about olive oil.

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The event was held in The Dirty Apron. We had heard a lot about the Dirty Apron but never had the opportunity to go there. As I understand it, The Dirty Apron is a cooking school operated by the same people behind Chambar and Medina Cafe. It is located just a few doors away from the two very popular restaurants.

Gosh, have you ever parked during Canucks game night? I haven’t and was quite shocked that the parking rate was $26 at the parkade across the street!! Not wanting to waste that kind of money, I drove a block away and got a street parking spot.

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The demonstration kitchen was very impressive with a lot of expensive looking appliances. It makes me want to cook, really. But this is just a cooking demonstration.

There was not a lot of people who were invited. Among the food blogger community, Matt of VancouverSlop and Jonathon of Food and Tell were present.

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The night’s event was organized by Cobram Estate who wanted to promote the use of Australian Olive Oil. We hardly use olive oil at home. Our perception was that olive oil is mostly used for salad and we don’t normally make salad at home. Suanne has a bottle all the time but it just takes forever to finish a bottle.

So we wanted to attend this to learn a bit more about Olive Oil.

Our first question is … why Australian Olive Oil? We had always thought that olive oil is almost entirely produced in Mediterranean region. The answer was “why not?” LOL! After all, Australia also produces some of the best wines even though it is not native to the country. The best reason we learn was that being in the southern hemisphere, it works to their advantage. This is because when it is off harvesting season in the Mediterranean, Australia will be in full production swing and this ensuring continuous world wide supply.

Along with this fact, unlike wine, olive oil does not get better with age. The fresher it is the better it is.

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Cobram Estate ensures freshness by pressing the olive at the spot and not more than 2 hours after picking. We learned about the advanced production processes that Cobram Estate traces quality in every step right to the consumer.

We were introduced to four types of Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

  • Light and Delicate
  • Fresh and Fruity
  • Rich and Robust, and
  • Lemon Twist

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It got a bit more interesting when we get to taste the olive oil. We were instructed to warm up the olive oil with our hands and swirl it around. It was fine except that my cup were leaking and made a mess. LOL!

We were supposed to swallow and then breathe out through the nose. We were not used to consuming olive oil like this. It was supposed to be peppery and spicy at the throat. Instead, I just choked at it, especially with the Rich and Robust.

I was told that this is what is sometimes called a three-cough oil. So, the more intense it is the more cough rating it has. LOL!

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Cobram Estates wanted to let chowtimes readers also have a try at their Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They gave Suanne and I a total of 8 bottles. Because it was logistically impossible to distribute it, we gave it away to the readers who attended the 12B dinner and also to the leadership team of the Richmond Community Kitchen.

They had also kindly given us a LOT of $1 coupons to give away. The Cobram Estates Extra Virgin Olive Oil retails for $9.49 to $10.49 for a 375ml bottle. If you like to try the olive oil, please send an email to suanne@chowtimes.com with an address and we will snail mail a few to you.

I want to let you know that your mailing address will NOT be shared with Cobram Estates or anyone else. Neither will we keep your mailing address other than to use it to mail them to you.

The award winning olive oil is available in Safeway, H.Y. Louie, Thrifty Foods, Save-On-Foods, Price Smart, Cooper’s Foods and Overwaitea Foods stores throughout Western Canada.

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The best part of the night is the cooking demonstration. Well, not so much of the cooking but the tasting that comes after!

The demonstration was conducted by Sally James who is an award winning Australian chef, author, television presenter and an ambassador for Australian food and wine. She has also published 18 books that have won international acclaim for food and wine pairing, health and creativity.

During that night, Sally demonstrated the preparation of four delicious dishes using the olive oil. That was the best part of the night … the tasting. If you are interested, below are the dishes that were prepared by Sally and its recipes.

Olive Oil Poached Kingfish with Pumpkin Puree, Lemon-Dressed Fennel and Rocket Chiffonade

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  • 1 bottle Cobram Estate Light and Delicate Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 sprig each thyme and rosemary
  • 4 (about 6-8 ounce/180g) Kingfish Filet, skinless boneless (you can also use
  • Ocean Trout, Grouper or other firm fleshed white fish)
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds or pine nuts, finely chopped
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • 14 ounces peeled butternut or Kaboocha pumpkin (squash), chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons Cobram Estate Fresh and Fruity olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chiffonade
  • 1 handful rocket (arugula), finely sliced
  • 1 cup shaved fennel bulb
  • 2 tablespoon finely sliced basil
  • 3 tablespoons Cobram Fresh and Fruity or Lemon Twist Australian Extra Virgin
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more…)

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Tangthai Cuisine of Thailand on Robson and Denman, Vancouver

Updated: 27th July 2012: This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Complete Disclosure:
Suanne and I were invited by the Tangthai Cuisine of Thailand for a tasting session. This post is based upon the complimentary tasting session.

Some of the best Thai cuisine restaurants that we had tasted was at Tangthai on Broadway. I still remember that visit to Tangthai. It was just the day before we went on a 3 week gastronomic vacation to Spain (Barcelona, Seville and Madrid). It was a rush for us but we went nevertheless. Our mind was clearly not on blogging but it turned out to be more than we expected.

We were impressed at the tasting during summer at Tangthai Broadway and how Dhitichaya Ruengsamarnwong worked so hard to bring authenticity to her restaurant and her food. See our previous blog posting on Tangthai Broadway here.

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Since our last visit, Tangthai had just opened another restaurant with the same name. This new one is located on Robson at the intersection with Denman.

With floor to ceiling glass walls in front, Tangthai on Robson looks a lot more inviting. As we walked into the restaurant, Suanne and I were surprised that Dhitichaya pasted a poster of our review on the entrance of the restaurant. We are just small time bloggers and seeing our post in a poster form was simply surreal. LOL!

Location wise, this new Tangthai restaurant is way better than the one on Broadway. There are lots of foot traffic for sure.

Assisted by her husband, Deo, the main person behind Tangthai is Dhitichaya Ruengsamarnwong. It is such a long name that I am sure that most people will find it hard to remember. So, Suanne and I just called her by her nickname, Sonia.

The Tangthais of Vancouver is an offshoot of a successful Thai restaurant called Padthai in Edmonton.

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Tangthai tries to differentiate itself by being authentic. It is pretty evident as we walked through the doors and greeted with Thai carvings and statues.

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The dining area is adorned with wooden panel carvings. Even the carved table tops were made in Thailand and shipped to Canada. While it was a very nice and pleasant dining area, it is still a little rough around the edges. This is coming from a perfectionist me although I understand that they had just started operation just a few weeks back.

Tangthai has a two level dining area. At the time we were there, only the ground floor is opened to the public. Sonia told us that the upstairs dining area is just days from opening as they put in the finishing touches. I felt that the upstairs dining area would be a great place for people-watching because it overlooks the busy Robson street.

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Suanne and I were not alone this time.

When Sonia contacted us that they wanted to invite us to a media event of sorts to introduce the new Tangthai restaurant, we expressed that we will not like to go to an event that we just jostle with hoards of people and sample minuscule morsels of food. I think food bloggers should be treated with more respect than that! So, I suggested that it would be more meaningful for us if we have a proper sitdown dinner and sample proper food in a proper setting. Sonia liked the idea and then said “bring along your friends too”.

So we brought along friends … quite a lot of them. Blogger friends!

Suanne and I decided to invite some of the very best and most prolific Vancouver area food bloggers along for this tasting. Can you recognize any of them above? The ones that attended are:

I’ll put up a link to their reviews here the moment they post theirs. There were a couple other bloggers who could not make it unfortunately.

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We started off with something called the Prawn Skirt ($9 for four). We had this before and it is good. It is like spring rolls except that they used better ingredients. It is stuffed with prawn, minced crab meat and water chestnut which gives a very distinct texture.  With the sweet chili dipping sauce, it is a good combination.

Too bad we were eating this with friends. This is because I can only do one dipping on the sauce. If I am with Suanne, I will dip into the sauce before each bite.

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The Prawn Skirts were followed by another appetizer. This is Beef and Chicken Satay (4 for $7).

Hah! I did not know that Thais have satay. As far as I know, only Malaysia and Indonesia lay claim to having invented the satay. One of these days Malaysia and Indonesia could go to war over this claim. OK I am exaggerating but at times this is a heated topic.

But Sonia insisted that satay is as much Thai as it is Malaysian or Indonesian. I give her the benefit of the doubt.

There are a lot of similarities to the Malaysian satay but there are also some subtle differences that makes it unique.

It appears that the marinate used is largely similar particularly the use of turmeric which gives it the yellowish tint. I told Sonia that there is a big flaw on her satay and that is the absence of chicken skin. LOL! No seriously. In Malaysia, the best satays have the skin on the skewer which makes it more juicy. I understand why she did not have it because Vancouverites are such health freaks.

The peanut sauce is smooth and creamy unlike the original Malaysian version which is peanuty and chunky. My expectations are biased to the Malaysian version but in all fairness the satay is pretty good.

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Tom Kha Kai. That is spicy chicken coconut soup ($4).

Tangthai uses lean chicken meat in the coconut milk based soup. The soup was rich and lightly spicy. We find that this soup is thicker than what we normally get elsewhere. This is delicious. Personally, I would have prefer to try Tom Yam simply because Tom Yam is a national dish of Thailand.

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The first thing I noticed when the dish came was the food carving.

One of the thing we vividly remember from our last visit to Tangthai Broadway was their very impressive food carving. It seems like they had tone this down a little and not as spectacular here.

This dish is called Pla Rad Prik  ($16). This is deep fried tilapia with sweet and sour sauce. The sauce is more on the sweet side than it is sour which I prefer for fishes.

Tangthai deep fried this so crisp that the some parts of the bones and fins are brittle enough to eat.

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No one touched the head. Good!

I know Suanne would want to pick the flesh. She always does but in the presence of people she did not. Not me.

I had it … all mine!

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Sonia told us that this is a new dish she had just introduced to the menu. So we are kind of a guinea pig of hers for this new dish. LOL!

This is called Pla Mul Pad Prik ($16) or Stuffed Squid in Green Curry Sauce. Nestled among the squid is pieces of fig.

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Sonia said that this is a common dish in Thailand. This dish has a pronounced lemon grass flavour. Although lacking in color, it is quite spicy. I would say unexpectedly spicy despite knowing that it is curry.

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The squid is stuffed primarily with … (more…)

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Happy Planet Natural Sauces

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Disclosure
This post is written with sample sauces provided by Happy Planet. Happy Planet sent us 12 packets of sample sauces. We are not paid for this post.

As you well know, Suanne and I get quite a number of companies asking if we wanted to try their products. We are picky about what we want to write about because it is simply impossible to review everything that comes our way.

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Mostly companies will just send us coupons but once in a while they will go the extra mile to ship us samples. Happy Planet shipped us samples of the their range Happy Planet Natural Sauces. There are altogether six types of gourmet sauces with tastes around the world which includes:

  • Thai – Yellow Curry Sauce
  • Spanish – Red Pepper Sauce
  • Indian – Butter Chicken Sauce
  • Bengali – Coconut Curry Sauce
  • French – Mushroom Wine Sauce
  • Japanese – Ginger Miso Sauce

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We were quite surprised that Happy Planet took all the trouble to ship the sauces to us. We did not expect it coming in a large Styrofoam container but soon realize the reason why. It is because unlike a lot of other sauces, Happy Planet’s sauces are made with fresh, natural and organic ingredients. There are no preservatives in the sauces and so it needs to be constantly refrigerated.

Happy Planet sent us a total of 12 packets of sauces and each of them is meant to serve 2-3 people. So that was a LOT we had. We decided to share this with Whitney and Ken’s family by cooking dinner together so that we can try a few of the sauces at one time.

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Happy Planet’s Natural Sauces are easy to make and versatile. They sent us three recipes to go along with each of the sauces.

The beauty is that each of the recipes have just three easy steps. While the guys make guy talk and the boys execute head-shots on the PS3, the ladies whipped up the meal quite quickly in the kitchen. It seems to me like the most time consuming steps is the preparations.

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The first one Suanne and Whitney used was the Japanese Miso Sauce. They could cook the Miso Sauce with Salmon Fillet, or Stir-Fried Tofu or Sauteed Chicken. They decided on Salmon.

Like I said it is just three easy steps. Step 1: Saute salmon fillets until cooked.

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Step 2: Add sauce and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.

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Step 3: Serve with steamed rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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Simple! Even Ken and I could have done that ourselves but then we had bigger things to do … you know, things like figuring out why the HDMI cable does not send sound to the receiver, dishing the local politicians, moaning the lack of snow, where to buy pirated movies in Richmond … you know what I mean,right? Basically big stuff. LOL!

The Japanese Ginger Miso Sauce with Salmon Fillet is pretty good. We just love the texture of the crispy skin along with the savoury and … (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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Space Food of Space Shuttle Atlantis

ChowtimesNoWord32x32This post is written upon free samples from beefjerky.com. Beefjerky.com sent us 2 packets of jerky to try. We are not paid for this post.

Last week, on November 16th, NASA launched it’s latest Space Shuttle mission.

Image Credit: wikipedia.org
Image Credit: wikipedia.org

That mission, code named STS-129 is to send spare equipments to the International Space Station to prolong the operations of the 11-year old space research facility. STS-129 is the first of five missions needed to complete its objectives.

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A few weeks ago, a food manufacturer wrote to us asking if we would like samples of one of the food that had been selected for this NASA mission. What do you think?? I know this will be interesting reading to our readers … so we said, bring them on.

Three days before Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a package landed in the chowtimes Operations Center in Richmond. That is Richmond, BC … not Richmond, VA.

Have you ever tried Space Food before? I bet you have. Tangs comes to mind for one. Do they still make it these days? Anyway, we did not get Tangs. What we had was … (more…)

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Red Espresso – Rooibos Tea Espresso

ChowtimesNoWord32x32This post is written upon a package of free sample from Red Espresso. We are not paid for this post.

This came in the mail and oh yeah, its a sample for us courtesy of Red Espresso. Please note we are not paid for this blog post if that matters to any of you.

Actually there is a specific way to write the name of this unique product. It is not Red Espresso …

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… it is red espresso. That is what I noticed … they made the word “red” red all the time and spelt them all in lowercases. Weird. But smart. That’s branding at its finest if you ask me.

red espresso is the world’s first espresso made of tea. It is made with Rooibos tea which is gaining popularity around the world and we had read about them before. So when red espresso asked if we would like a sample, we said sure. We were curious and wanted to see for ourselves what the fuss is all about.

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What we found out was that Rooibos has all the versatility of espresso coffee. With this you could make latte, cappucino, americano, white mocha and even iced tea with apple juice. They even trademarked the red espresso names so that when you ask for these items below, it means Rooibos tea from red espresso:

  • red latte
  • red cappucino
  • red canadiano (he he he … not Americano!)
  • red symphony (is actually white mocha)
  • fresh red (iced tea with apple juice)
  • iced red (iced tea)

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Before I continue, I want to point out that these pictures here are all mine. How did you like it? It is not exactly pro level but I am pretty pleased how they all came out.

Anyway, you can prepare a red espresso in a few ways. You could use an espresso machine, a stovetop espresso maker, a french press or even a drip coffee maker.

I don’t have an espresso machine at home. I had always wanted to buy one but Suanne kiboshed that idea because she said does not have anymore space in her kitchen. So we opted for the next best way to make this. We bought ourselves a stovetop espresso maker (above).

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So I did a bit of research. Apparently the Rolls Royce of stovetop espresso makers are made by Bialetti. But Bialetti are so expensive with some fancy models costing over $100.

I found the basic one above in HomeSense. It is less than $10. Cheap but it works the same. He he he … I hope this is safe! OK we admit. We are noobs when it comes to this thingy. So, please don’t roll your eyes as I attempt to explain the basics OK?

With the stovetop espresso maker, you basically prepare your brew on top of your stove burner. The pressure from the boiling water will apply sufficient pressure to express a thick concentrated coffee from the beans. There are three sections: on the left is the boiler where the water goes. The middle part is the metal filter for the coffee (or in this case the red espresso). And on the right is the chamber where the espresso is collected.

It is a simple device. It is also the way the Italians make their espresso as I was told.

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The Rooibos tea looks kind of like … (more…)

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Frito Lay’s Flavoured Potato Chips

ChowtimesNoWord32x32This post is written upon free samples provided to us by Frito-Lay Canada. We are not paid for this post.

We did not think that they were serious.

Frito Lay wrote to us some time ago alerting us that they had recently reduced the level of sodium in its entire lineup of Lay’s flavoured potato chips by at least 25% and up to 50% in some flavours.  They asked chowtimes if we would be agreeable to feature this in our blog.  We replied saying that we do not mind doing so as long as it benefits our readers.  We asked them for coupons that we can give away.

Well, they said did not have coupons but said they can ship us samples instead.

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Even though they said shipped us some but I did not think that they would ship an entire box.

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We always have a bag (or two) at home … but we never had so much before.  Oh yeah … Nanzaro was estatic over all the chips.

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Frito Lay shipped us six different types of flavours.  What’s your favourite?  I like the Bar-B-Q the best but hate the Ketchup.  The Sour Cream and Onions are not bad.

Oh … about the sodium level of Lay’s potato chips … (more…)

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McDonald’s Angus Third Pounders in Burlington, WA

ChowtimesNoWord32x32This post is written upon free coupons from McDonald’s. We are not paid for this post.

Our flight to Spain was from the Seattle-Tacoma (SEATAC) Airport.  Flights from the US are way much cheaper than if one flies out from the Vancouver International Airport.  Frankly, I don’t have much of a choice of the departing airport when it comes to staff travel.  Flying from SEATAC is the cheapest they could route me.  Otherwise it would have been about $200 more … per person.

It was very much down to the wire.  He he he … Suanne was quite nervous but I knew our travel services will come through.  On the day before our scheduled departure date, we still had not had the e-ticket issued.  We only received the e-ticket about 18 hrs before our departure time.

Lots of Hotels and Long Term Parking along International Blvd
Lots of Hotels and Long Term Parking along International Blvd

Since our flight is in the morning the next day, our plan is to drive to the SEATAC Airport the day before and stay the night in one of the many motels around the airport.  We chose one that has a night stay with discounted long term parking.  Found one that had crappy hotel rooms but at least the long term parking was cheap at $8 per day.  One tip about the long term parking in the hotels in SEATAC — you can actually bargain with them on the posted rate.  We had our parking reduced to $8 from $9 per day.  All long-term parking and motels provide free shuttles to the airport.

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Our original plan was to have a nice lunch in Seattle at Mae Phim.  But because by the time we gotten the e-tickets in our hands, it was already too late.  So we decided to just take it easy and take a slow drive and just settle for burgers.  We stopped at the McDonalds outlet in Burlington along I-5.

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If you remembered, McDonalds sent chowtimes quite a number of McDonald’s Angus Third Pounders coupons last month (see our post here).  We have given away all we had except for two.  So we used that.  To our slight dismay, this coupon is only for the sandwiches, not the meal deal.  Oh well, at least it was free.

For those of you who received the coupons from Suanne, have you used your coupons yet?  Let me know what you think.

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The Angus Third Pounders are only officially launched in the US.  They are not in Canada yet and if you see them here, it is probably under trial or test or whatever they call it.  The Angus Third Pounders came in three different different offerings:

  • Deluxe
  • Bacon and Chesse
  • Mushroom and Swiss

The sandwiches alone costs $3.99 USD.

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One thing we noticed differently is the bun.  They are much better tasting than the normal ones.   They are toasted sesame seed buns and are sweetish and soft.   (more…)

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