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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Dine Out Vancouver 2007 – A Kettle of Fish

Updated 9th Nov 2010: This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.ca.

We booked a seating to a seafood restaurant. A Kettle of Fish, or more affectionately known as “the Kettle” is located on 900 Pacific St on Hornby in downtown Vancouver.

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The Kettle is known as perhaps one of the best west coast style seafood restaurant in the city. Although their menu consists mainly of seafood, they do have limited selection of meat and pasta. The names of their dishes off the menu reads of lobster, sockeye salmon, tiger prawns, scallops, dungeness crab, clams, mussels, artic char, tuna, alaskan black cod, and so on. Doesn’t that make you hungry?

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For once in this year DOV events, we have sort of graduated from “water only” meal to … Virgin Margarita! 🙂 I had the Virgin Strawberry Magarita which is sweet and served in a sugar coated glass rim. Suanne ordered the Virgin Lime Magarita. It was lightly salty and and tastes like plum juice.

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One of the appy we ordered was the Oven Baked Oysters Rockefeller with Spinach, Pernod Scallions and Smoked Maple Bacon. There are two large succulent oysters which taste reminds me of cockles which I like a lot. This is good especially with a squeeze of lemon on the crisp topping.

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The other appetizer is what is known as the Pear, Celeriac and Irish Cashel Blue Cheese Vichysoisse with Creme Fraiche and Chives. Well, it’s easier for everyone if they name this simply soup. The soup is rich with a sandy texture. This is probably due to the mashed pear in it.

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Dine Out Vancouver 2007 – Sequoia Grill at the Teahouse

We went to the Sequoia Grill at the Stanley Park for our next Dine Out Vancouver 2007 event. I’ve always enjoyed the drive down wide Georgia heading to the world famous park. It’s just never ceases to amaze me that I will driving down the heart of downtown Vancouver with high-rises on each side and down the street is the 400 hectare park. Stanley park has millions of tall trees that are hundred of years old.

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At Stanley Park you have the best view of downtown Vancouver. This is a must stop place for any tourist. Everyone gotta take a picture from this spot to prove that they have been-there-done-that. What I hate about the scenery is the ugly Chevron gas station right smack in the middle of the Coal Harbour. This scenery will undergo some dramatic changes over the next few years once the Shangrila (a new tall building being constructed along Georgia) and the new waterfront Convention is completed.

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The Causeway to the Lions Gate Bridge cuts right across the park. This suspension bridge, built in 1938, is very much a Vancouver landmark as Canada Place and Stanley Park.

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A few weeks ago a huge storm ripped through Vancouver and destroyed quite a bit of Stanley Park. We learnt about the destructions on the TV and in the papers but what I saw in person really broke my heart. I have always seen Prospect Point to be dark and full of trees. You can now see the sky. I heard that it will take $9 million to clean this up. Stanley Park is going to be slightly different but time will heal it.

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The Sequoia Grill at the Teahouse is located in the western side of the park.

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It has one of the best view of the North Shore and English Bay. It was very chilly and dark when we were there but on a warmer day this is a great place to go for a walk after dinner.

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This place used to be called the Teahouse. They underwent extensive renovation and converted their menus from English teahouse to cater for a more contemporary crowd. There are great views all around with large windows out in the direction of the waters.

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The Sequoia Grill is surrounded by tall sequoia trees. Many trees fell all around the place but the restaurant was not affected.

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We saw that there are three separate dining rooms — each with it’s own fireplace. We were early again and were ushered to a great table by the window with a great view of the ocean.

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Windows all around. Even the roof is glassed. Its setting is dim and romantic with a great view of the sea. One thing though, this place was really noisy once it is filled.

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On to the food. When we booked for this place, they had their $25 fixed price menu on the website. However, we were presented a menu with an option of either the $25 or the $35 menu. We chose the $35.

It started with the usual bread. They were served warm and is really flavourful. They have a nice crunch to the crust. They were so good that we asked for more.

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For appetizers, Suanne had the Teahouse Mushroom. There are three pieces of large mushrooms, each of them stuffed with crab, shrimp and mascarpone. The stuffings were baked and crispy.

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Dine Out Vancouver 2007 – Herons Restaurant & Lounge – The Fairmont Waterfront

The Dine Out Vancouver 2007 event is held from January 19th to February 4th. One can enjoy delectable three-course prix fixe (fixed price) menus at some of the hottest restaurants for $15, $25 or $35 per person. We went to only one event last year (see here). This year we planned for quite a few. This is our series on Dine Out Vancouver 2007.

The first restaurant we went to was the Herons Restaurant and Lounge. It is at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel which is located just across the street from Canada Place.

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Locating the place is easy but finding an affordable parking space is not. Count on paying something like $10. We booked for a table two weeks in advance for a 5:30pm seating.

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We have never been here before. Herons is quite large with tall ceilings and windows all with a view … of the street! They opened at 5:30 pm for dinner. We were the first there.

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Table setting were elegant. We noticed that even the table cloth is embroidered with the Fairmont Hotels logo. The service was prompt and attentive, despite the fact that we are one of those “water only” customer. I always hated to see the service change when we did not order drinks. This place is different.

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We started off with the usual basket of bread. The butter was perfectly soft.

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For appetizers, I ordered the Wild Mushroom Cappuccino. This is served in a unique dual plate — with one “cappuccino soup” and the other a brioche shaped like a spoon with warm mushroom salad.

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Nibbles and Bites of Richmond 2006

We have just stuffed ourselves silly today. I had gained 1 kg the past few weeks and it was really hard shaking it off even having biked to work almost everyday to work. I just managed to keep it down below my target weight and now here I am eating so much today at the Nibbles and Bites. Oh well, I will have to work doubly hard next week to burn off these extra calories.

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The Nibbles and Bites of Richmond is a two day event in late summer (09Sep-10Sep). You can still make it for today. If you have really nothing to do this weekend, I suggest you make your way there and try out all the delicious food from some of the top restaurants in Richmond.

We went early at 11am. Already there were a lot of people milling around the stalls even before they are ready. We bought a few strips of coupons. Each coupon costs 75 cents and comes in strips of 10.

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Kudos to the organizers, made up mainly of volunteers. They did a great job in making the entire event so comfortable. Although they have always setup a tent, we noticed that this year is much better — nicer looking tent and table cloth too.

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Nanzaro wanted KFC. I tried talking him out of this. I mean, we should be trying more exotic food than just plain old KFC. Anyway, he can spend his tickets anyhow he wants. He spent 3 tickets on some KFC Popcorn Chicken and Fries. Does not look appetizing, it looking so dry and all.

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Arkensen wanted burgers and in BC we swear there are no better burger than the good old White Spot Triple ‘O’ Cheeseburger. What makes this so special is hamburger sauce — a savory mix of mayonnaise and red relish.

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The Triple ‘O’ Cheeseburger always have a strip of pickle garnishing the bun. The sauce on a juicy patty really makes this burger great. Arkensen complained that the patty was not thick enough.

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The Moxie Classic Grill stall has about the longest queue of all — year after year. Their specialty is the Baby Back Ribs and Honey Roasted Garlic Sirloin. The Honey Roasted Garlic Sirloin is aged 28 days that makes it so tender. A skewer costs 3 tickets.

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Richmond Salmon Festival on Canada Day

It’s Canada’s 139th Birthday Today.

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Each city has it’s own celebration every year. For Richmond, it’s always the Canada Day Parade in Steveston. It’s also the day when the city Richmond celebrates its Salmon Festival.

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The parade starts at 10:30am. By 10, the street was already filled with people reserving their spot along the route.

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