Sunday Morning in Stanley Park

This post had been lying on my draft folder for ages. It must had been 3-4 months already. I am digging up all these old posts which I neglected to blog earlier because, well, I need to stock up on posts before we leave for our 2 week vacation next week. I want to make sure you all have something to read everyday … LOL!

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It was a spring weekend when we decided to go to the Stanley Park for a morning walk. It had been ages since we were there.

Of all the urban parks in the world, Stanley Park surely must rank as one of the most beautiful in the world. All visitors to Vancouver MUST make a visit to this park and take a picture of downtown from here. I always tell visitors that their visit is not complete if they did not take a picture from here.

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We woke up real early and brought along some Chinese buns to eat at the park. We bought the buns from the Osaka Supermarket the day before. For sheer variety and freshness, not many places can beat Osaka. (Osaka is located in the Yaohan Mall along No 3 Road in Richmond).

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Their Pineapple Bun is really good. Known as Bo Lo Bau in Cantonese, this is one of the most popular Cantonese pastry and is available in almost any Cantonese bakery. Suanne makes it at home but had never quite achieved the same level of quality (or even look!) as those we bought from the stores. Here is the recipe for those who are interested.

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The one above is good. Osaka called it Cake Roll with Dried Pork. It is a fluffy cake with cream and pork floss. It gives a very delicate balance of sweetness from the cream and a tinge of saltiness from the pork floss.

I still have not quite figured out why white people can’t stand the thought of eating pork floss. LOL! It is one of the best topping and fillings that one can use on almost anything (rice, noodles, pastry, sandwiches or even eaten by itself). One theory is that it looks like fur, while others says that the name, pork floss, is absolutely gross.

Suanne made it once at home … it was a very laborious process. Here is the recipe if you want to know how it is made. We normally buy pork floss from the stores.

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Tim Horton’s coffee is our favourite. We like it over Starbucks anytime. We always had the same … “double double”. For those who are not familiar with Tim Hortons, double-double is Timmy Ho speak for two sugar and two cream.

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We had a good walk around the park and covered 14 kilometers the whole morning. Enjoy the rest of the pictures we took below. (more…)

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Sweet William’s Dessert in City Square’s Food Court

It’s high sugar Tuesday again. Polly and I met up to satisfy our sweet craving. This time we went to Sweet William’s Dessert which is located in the Food Court of City Square. City Square is located at 555 12th Avenue, Vancouver between Ash St and Cambie St.

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We were not aware that Sweet William’s Dessert is inside a food court until we were at the location. Anyway, City Square looks like a high end mall with some offices too. It is not a very big mall.

Polly and I ordered 3 items to share. We ordered two slices of cheesecakes and a slice of Pavlova cake. Sweet William’s Dessert also specializes in chocolate cake which we are sold whole. Too bad they don’t sell them in slice, otherwise, I would like to try it.

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This slice of Cafe Au Leit Cheesecake costs $2.50. It is a small slice but for that price, it is reasonable. It is lightly chocolaty and not too sweet. We like it.

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The next one is a Frozen Berry Cheesecake which also costs $2.50. (more…)

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Mix the Bakery in Vancouver

Polly and I resume our cake meet after a couple of weeks break. This time we visited Mix the Bakery on 4430 West 10th Avenue. Mix the Bakery has about 6 to 7 small tables but very good traffic.

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I had a list of places to visit which I had researched some time ago. Mix the Bakery is one of those with awards. Mix the Bakery had been awarded first place n the reader’s choice from 2004 to 2007.

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Mix the Bakery has an open kitchen where customers can actually see the bakers at work. It seems that they are popular for their Artisan bread as we saw some ladies at the table next to us bought some bread for take away.

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Other than Artisan bread, Mix the Bakery also has quite a good range of cakes, cookies, scones and sweet treats. Polly and I were so enthusiastic that we ordered four items this time.

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This is a Key Lime Cake. (more…)

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Angel Cake House in Vancouver

Last Saturday morning, we had to go downtown to pickup the Vancouver Sun Run package. So, we decided that we should just go out for breakfast for a change … and to Vancouver, for a change too. I know, we had been eating out a lot within Richmond.

So, we ended up at Fraser and E 44th. Suanne and I had stumbled upon the the Angel Cake House once before and so this is our second visit.

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You can’t really find many other places that can beat the Angel Cake House for value. Here, you can get a hearty Chinese breakfast for under $5 with drinks included. Parking is quite plentiful along the street but it was early morning when we were there when traffic is light … especially for a Saturday morning.

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Suanne opted for the so-called “Western Breakfast” selection. For $4.95, you could select 2 items from the section. For the first item, Suanne had the French Toast and Shrimp and Mushroom Omelette. The French Toast were two thick sandwiches with Kaya (coconut jam) in between.

The omelette had a generous helping of shrimps. The mushrooms complimented the shrimps well … absolutely great with soya sauce. The only problem with soya sauce is that it is horrendous for the French Toast — we have to be extra careful not to “contaminate” the toast.

That above is considered ONE item …

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For the SECOND item, Suanne chose the vermicelli in soup with shredded pork and some pickled thingy. (more…)

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Italia Deli & Cafe on Granville St.

Updated 4 June 2009: Replaced by Chloe Cafe (Vietnamese).

For this cake meet, we had Angie joined Polly and me. Since Angie lives in West Vancouver, we try to meet in Vancouver. We decided to meet at Italia Deli & Cafe on Granville St.

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Italia Deli & Cafe is family owned and operated since 2004.

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This is a small cafe with about 5 tables and few high seat overlooking the street. There are a few chairs outside the cafe, good for warmer weather. There are also some sofas at the inner side of the cafe with a large TV. It will be great for nights with game telecast. I like the nostalgic black and white photos of old movies stars (I presumed Italian) which decorated the wall.

Angie was late that morning, so Polly and I started off with some coffees and sweet treats.

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Polly had a small Coffee Mocha for $2.50 while I just ordered regular coffee. (more…)

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Trees Organic Coffee revisited

Polly and I revisited Trees Organic Coffee for their best cheesecake in Vancouver. It’s been more than a year since we visited Trees Organic Coffee, our first cake meet place.

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Trees Organic Coffee is along the site of the Canada Line construction. The view from Trees Organic Coffee at the moment is not very nice. Nevertheless, the business is still pretty good when we were there.

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Trees Organic Coffee is located just at the site where the 440 tonne tunnel-boring machine broke through into the construction site for the line’s Waterfront station. This finishes the second of side-by-side bored tunnels from just south of False Creek to just north of Pender Street on Granville.

Polly and I ordered two slices of cheesecakes and a piece of cinnamon bun to share.

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This is a Banana White Chocolate cheesecake. (more…)

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Cafe In in Vancouver

Updated: 3rd Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

Polly and I met again for coffee. I found this Cafe In from a Chinese Food Magazine. It has two locations in Vancouver, one at 5707 Balsam St and another in 3335 W. 4th Ave. We went to the one on 4th Ave.

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There are banners with the words ‘Award-winning Intelligentsia Coffees on the store front of this cafe. I wonder what it means?

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When we walked into this cafe, we noticed there are many signs of Godiva chocolates. First of all, there are two wall shelves loaded with Godiva chocolates.

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There is this gold mosaic mural on the wall which represent Godiva’s divine chocolate. The logo was inspired by the popular legend. It tells of the persistent Lady Godiva who rode naked in order to persuade her husband to abolish his onerous taxation of Coventry. This mosaic mural is also found in the washroom but in silver.

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We like the simple and yet cozy interior deco. Potted plants are placed at strategic locations which brings some freshness and liveliness to the interior.

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I also like these mosaic pieces of coffee art and cup and saucer. It brings out the mood for a cup of coffee. (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – Gastropod

Updated 4 June 2009: closed (source from Urbanspoon)

Suanne and I had always been mesmerized by the legend of the top restaurants in the world. Namely, the El Bulli and the Fat Duck. Some day, we hope to have the opportunity to dine out in one these places. For now, we settle for something more attainable … a restaurant owned by a chef who had worked in one of these restaurant.

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The chef behind Gastropod is Vancouverite Angus An who according to his biography is said to had a stint in the Michelin 3-stars Fat Duck. In the local scene, Gastropod had won many awards and perhaps one of the best restaurants along 4th Ave in Vancouver.

Featuring modern European cuisine, Gastropod had won the Gold Award for Best New Fine Dining and Silver Award for Best Design from the Vancouver Magazine’s 18th Annual Restaurant Awards. We knew that we would not go wrong with such a restaurant … and we were right.

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The setting is chic and inviting with white linen and simple lines. Best of all, the service is very friendly, sincere and unpretentious. They did their very best to connect to us which made our entire experience very enjoyable.

BTW, Gastropod’s DOV menu is $35 per person.

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Someone must make it mandatory for all restaurants to provide bread, like they provide glasses of water for each table … don’t you agree? Gastropod is one of those who had simple but great bread. Their butter had sprinkles of salt which really enhances the flavour. When we finished the bread, they promptly came by asked if they could give us more.

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For the appetizer, we had their Duck Two Ways which came as a “$5 supplement”. This is a 24-hour confit leg, liver parfait and cucumber salad (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – Chambar

I had been to Chambar twice before with the last time during last year’s Dine Out Vancouver. However, this year, I decided to go there again because Suanne had never been there before and wanted to try their famous mussels.

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Chambar is a Belgian restaurant located on Beatty St just outside that Stadium Skytrain station in Vancouver. Our reservation was for 5PM. By the time we arrived 5 minutes before, many had arrived earlier and waited at the lounge. We can see that Chambar is perhaps one of the most popular DOV venue.

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We got seated in the inner dinner hall which I preferred because it is wider and had a big window (not that there is a view from it anyway). One thing you will notice about Chambar is that the walls are decorated with art pieces which they help local artists showcase their work.

Just a couple of tables away was a group three Asian diners who also whipped out cameras and took pictures of their food. For a moment, we were wondering if they are one of food bloggers we know. We tried to establish eye-contact but failed. I thought it will be great to say hi to bloggers.

Oh, we were also told that we had only 1.5 hours for DOV. We understand the reason why.

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Since this is a Belgian restaurant, I chose a Belgian beer. They had a good selection Trappistes beer which is renowned to be “all one needs” and are known to be brewed in monasteries by monks. I got myself the Rochefort 8 which is 9.2% alcohol. Small bottle but packs quite a punch.

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For the appetizer, we had the La Salad d’Hiver. This is a Belgium endive and watercress salad with cranberry and vanilla vinaigrette. (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – Aurora Bistro

Updated 4 June 2009: closed (source from Urbanspoon)

It was Saturday night — one of those DOV nights that were unrushed, unlike some of the nights where we had to rush from work to dinners. It has unbelievably busy at work in that I hardly had time to to even have a proper lunch. So, I treasure my weekends a lot more these days.

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We went to the Aurora Bistro located on Main Street in Vancouver. This was a last minute change of venue from an earlier booking for Pub fare. It’s surprising that we even got a table considering how absolutely packed the bistro is on a Saturday night with a DOV event on.

We were the first in and within just 20 minutes, all the tables were already taken up. They had a sign posted by the door that due to the demand during the DOV, there is a 2 hour limit for each table.

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We had never been to Aurora before but had heard a lot about them. I had imagined that they would be rather big and posh. However, the place is long and narrow with just enough tables arranged in two rows.

I guess looks can be deceiving because for what it’s worth, the Aurora Bistro is actually a Gold Medal winner of the Vancouver Magazine’s Annual Restaurant Award. They won the 2007 Best Regional Restaurant of the Year for contemporary West Coast cuisine.

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We started off with the Aurora Cocktail. It is a gin, Elephant Island apricot wine, and fresh lemon juice served up with a splash of BC bubble. It’s Aurora signature sparkling cocktail. They loaded up the gin quite a bit which got me quite tipsy for a while.

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The appy was a great start with what called the Sloping Hill Pork Rilettes with quince mustard and cornichons. Rillettes are made by slow cooking pork in lots of fat until it’s very tender. (more…)

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