Blue Parrot Coffee in Graville Public Market

It’s cake meet time again. Polly and I ran out of idea of where to meet. It’s hard to find a dessert or cake place which opens in the morning. Do you know any? We would surely appreciate some recommendations.

So, we decided to revisit Granville Island again. We visited Granville Island in early March when Polly and I had our cake meet at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. This time we went to the Blue Parrot Coffee inside the Granville Public Market. This stall is located at the end of the Public Market which overlooked the Burrard Bridge and the Vancouver skyline.

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The Blue Parrot Coffee sells organic and specialty coffee and tea. They also serve gourmet sandwiches and pastry.

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Polly ordered a Tuna Sandwiches as she did not have her breakfast yet. She was too busy preparing her kids and husband’s lunches and getting them ready for school that she had no time for herself. That’s sounds like a typical mom’s morning.

The Tuna Sandwich was big and garnished with lettuce, pickled cucumber, sliced red onions and lots of tuna.

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Taiwan Beef Noodle King in Richmond

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PLACE HAD NOW CLOSED

Helen had always mentioned how good the Taiwanese restaurant right next door to Ellie is. When we blogged about Ellie, Lauren also recommended that we tried this place. We finally made it to the Taiwan Beef Noodle King restaurant.

We normally would shy away from such places because they looked like a Chinese language only place — I can’t read Chinese and Suanne can barely pick up some odd common Chinese characters. We decided to brave it this time.

This restaurant is located in the strip mall on Cambie and Sexsmith in Richmond. Specifically, the address is 3779 Cambie.

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It is pretty common in Taiwanese restaurants to offer “side dishes”. We normally treat this as appetizers but for some reason the menus usually describes this as side dishes. Side dishes normally costs $3-$5 for a small plate.

Pardon our literal translations … we ordered what we translate to as the Big Intestines. I think most Caucasians will balk at eating stuff like this but we simply like it. It is chewy and great as a munching snack. For $3 a plate, it’s a steal.

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Nanzaro is growing up to be young man now and he is beginning to insist that he gets a dish on his own. It does not matter if he can finish the entire dish but he wants his own and not share it with his mum. He ordered what we called the Taiwanese Sausage Rice for him. I know he loves simply rice dishes with lots of meat and a little gravy.

The rice came topped with minced pork … which is a very popular dish in Taiwan. Lots of sausages and came also with half a hard boiled egg. $6 only for this dish … cheap right?

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Red Palms Malaysian Pondok in Richmond

Updated: 20th March 2011 as notified by Crispy Lechon; This restaurant is closed and replaced by Jazz Cafe (Japanese izakaya/robata).

Suanne and I stumbled into this new Malaysian restaurant in Richmond. It had just been opened for 10 days only. For us, it is like striking gold. Woweee, another Malaysian restaurant!!

The Red Palms Malaysian Pondok is such a long name I think. If they had shortened it to just the catchy Malaysian Pondok it would have been better. It is located in the small strip mall just across the Richmond Public Market on Westminster Highway.

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Surprisingly, the restaurant is pretty packed when we were there. We went early but within 30 minutes, the place was full of customers. The service was quite slow and it took a while before our food came. I can see that they were trying their best to be attentive but for some reason they forgot to serve us drinks until we asked for it.

The interior is pretty basic but is very clean. The chairs, lightings and blinds are made of rattan.

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Things looked somewhat familiar until we began to realize that the entire restaurant is basically made from items bought from IKEA, not that there is anything wrong with it. The cutleries, plates, mugs, tables and even the cashier tables are from IKEA.

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They have a very unique way of showing their curry dishes in the menu. Each meat type had a fixed price … it’s something like $9 for beef, $15 for fish, etc. You get to choose 9 (I think) different ways to cook the curry and spices. It ranges from Rendang to Coconut Curry and even Tomato Curry!

We decided on having Fish Head cooked with Masak Kari Laut (Seafood Curry Sauce) which costs $15. They ran out of Fish Head and we decided instead of getting just the Fish which costs the same. They said that the fish used is called “Yee Gau” — don’t know what it is.

Actually we were a bit disappointed with the way the dish looked as we had always had Fish Curry with lots of curry gravy — this is rich and thick. Nevertheless, it tastes OK although it does not look very good. My main complain, there is hardly any meat in this. For $15, we should have tried something else.

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Northern Delicacy in Aberdeen Centre

Updated: 12th Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed.

We hardly go to the Aberdeen Centre, not sure why even though we know there are quite a few nice bloggable restaurants there. Suanne and I had an afternoon by ourselves and decided to go to the Aberdeen Centre to check out the restaurants there.

The Aberdeen Centre s actually named after the Aberdeen Harbour in Hongkong. This centre is actually a new reincarnation of the old Aberdeen Center which was demolished and rebuilt again to compete with the other new Asian Mall around Richmond.

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The Aberdeen Centre caters primarily for Asian-Canadian shoppers — mainly Chinese, Hongkong Chinese. The primary tenant is Daiso where everything is sold for two dollars. Unlike other Asian Malls around the Vancouver area, this one is very clean, spacious, bright and uncluttered.

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Someone recommended the Northern Delicacy restaurant to us sometime back. I can’t be absolutely sure but I think it was Daniel and Clarina. The restaurant has a very wide entrance, untypical of chinese restaurants and you can’t miss the two Terracotta warriors by it’s entrance.

I know very little about Chinese cuisines, especially the little subtleties of cuisines around the various regions. So, I got a question for you readers … what exactly is termed as Northern Cuisine? My impression is that it consists of things like steamed buns (especially xiao lung bao) and noodles in soup. Somehow, I felt that Northern food are more “steamy” because of the cold weather in the northern region. Any expert who can enlighten us?

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Suanne told me that the Chinese name for this restaurant does not translate to Northern Delicacy but instead it should translate to something like “Full House Restaurant”. Continue reading

Sweet Obsession on West 16th Ave, Vancouver

Polly and I missed our cake meet as both of us have a busy schedule. Finally, we get to have a break this Tuesday to go to Sweet Obsession at 2611 West 16th Avenue, Vancouver. Sweet Obsession is located in a small street mall in a residential area.

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There is hardly any signage except one small one in front of the shop.

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Sweet Obsession has a selection of exquisite cakes and pastries. You will be amazed at the selection available there; ranging from cheese cake, chocolate cake, mousse cake, tiramisu, torte, tart, flan, etc. They cater for all occasions from small dinner parties to weddings and formal affairs.

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Sweet Obsession also serves sandwiches, pastries, cookies and dessert bars.

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We decided to order our favourite cheesecake. We ordered two slices of cheesecake to share. The first one is a Chai Latte flavour cheesecake. The Chai flavour is very strong and overpowering somehow.

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We preferred the Lemon flavour cheesecake instead. The tanginess just goes well with the creaminess of the cheesecake.

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The cheesecake cost slightly over $5 per slice. We also ordered a Mocha and a Cappuccino to go with the cheesecakes. The drinks cost between $2.50 and $2.70.

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The total bill came up close to $20 including tips. This is the only cake place that we’ve seen with mothers coming in for a take out with their baby prams. Sweet Obsession has very good traffic with a lot of clients coming in for take-out. The traffic tells us that this is a great place for cake.

Click on the link below to see more cakes.

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Steeps Tea Lounge in Vancouver

Updated: 14th Jan 2011; This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

Polly and I met again for a girls day out. We went to Steeps Tea Lounge on West Broadway and Laurel in Vancouver. It was a lovely sunny spring day and as you can see, there are already people enjoying a cup of tea in the sun at the patio.

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Steeps Tea Lounge offers some two hundreds teas ranging from matcha (green tea), herbal teas, rooibos (black tea), chais and premium loose tea.

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There is a cabinet by the wall where stacks of china tea cups, old fashion tea cups and mugs for you to pick if you prefers.

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The decoration in Steeps creates an ambiance for relaxation. It is a great place for friends to meet and chat while enjoying a great cup of tea. Continue reading

Ikea Restaurant & Cafe

We blogged about Ikea’s $1 breakfast here. This time, I’m going to blog about other menu items offered by Ikea Restaurant & Cafe.

Polly, Ching Ching and I brought our kids to the Zone for bowling during the spring break. After bowling, we went to Ikea Restaurant & Cafe for a late lunch. The restaurant is always busy as usual.

Nanzaro and I shared the Swedish Meat Balls combo which consist of 10 Swedish meatballs served with boiled potatoes, cream sauce and lingoberry jam.

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The combo also comes with a kind of like Minestrone soup. This combo costs less than $6 (cant recall the exact price).

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Amsterdam Series: Pannekoeken Breakfast and Museums

I did not know exactly where I was this morning. I was on a tram trying to get to the city centre when I spotted a bustling flower market. I thought I just spend a few minutes here to check out this place. It’s still early spring and so one could hardly see any tulips around. However, there were quite a lot of bulbs on sale — some of which are bigger than a fist.

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There were quite a few restaurants along the street where the flower market is. My only impression of a Dutch breakfast is the pannekoeken (or known as pannekoek in Canada). We had once tried these dutch pancakes in De Dutch here in BC.

So I guess this is where I could get the real dutch breakfast.

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The interior is dim and cozy. It was early and I was their only customer.

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I ordered coffee as usual … always coffee with milk. And there’s the piece of cookie like they always give you with coffee in Europe.

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Amsterdam Series: Herrings and Fries at the Windmill

The best way to get around Amsterdam is by using the tram. I can never really understand the tram. It is slow and hogs the traffic. Still for some reason, it really works in Amsterdam for getting from point A to point B. It is long and articulated. I think this form of transport would be great for a city like Vancouver.

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Because it is long, one could actually get on and off the tram for almost any entrance. The tram drivers are some of the most helpful drivers I have come across. I enjoyed taking the tram. It’s because it’s on street level and I get to see where I am. And if I come across an interesting area, I just hop off. All stops were verbally announced and also displayed on board.

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My first stop in Amsterdam is to visit a windmill. I thought there are thousands of windmills peppered all around the landscape in Holland but I soon found out that they are now quite extinct. The only operating windmill in Amsterdam opened to the public is about 25 minutes outside the city centre by tram.

It was a pleasant walk from the tram stop to the windmill. Amsterdam is such a beautiful city. Everyone takes pride in keeping their neighborhood clean.

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Brussels Series: Dinner at the Plattesteen

One of the form of transportation within Brussels is thru what is known as the Premetro. It is narrow tram operating in an underground railway track. I find it so odd, the shape of the tram — it does not look like a good design for maximizing passenger load. It does actually feel like getting on a narrow bus that runs on underground tracks.

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Anyway, I was looking forward to trying a Belgian food called “stoemp avec saucissen”. The guidebook recommended a family restaurant called the Platessen and that serves old-fashioned Belgian food like the way they make it at home.

This family restaurant happens to lie in the middle of the gay neighborhood (“not that there is anything wrong with that”). I was determined to try stoemp that I went anyway. Oh yeah, there are a lot of guys on the streets and I kept my eyes to the pavement most of the time. I was afraid of the accidental eye contact … “not that there is anything wrong with that”.

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I don’t know if I made a mistake coming in here. Hmmm … I saw two burly man kissing each other in the lips (“not that there is anything wrong with that”). Also, right across from my table was another guy eating alone. I swear he was watching me. :-0

I looked around the restaurant for the tell-tale rainbow flag. Nope, none around.

Oh, guess what … the waiter told me that they don’t serve Stoemp that night. Shoot! Since it was quite late already and I had no Plan B for dinner, I decided to stay on.

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