Trees Organic Coffee – Best Cheesecake in Vancouver

A few weeks ago, Polly invited me to join her in search for the best cheesecake in Vancouver. We both loves cheesecakes a lot. So, we did some research and found this place called the Trees Organic Coffee from the internet. Polly’s friends also recommended this place.

Trees Organic Coffee is located on Granville between West Hastings and Pender in Vancouver. The shop was decorated warmly with tables inside and outside of the shop. It is a trendy boheniam cafe. We decided to sit inside at a window sit to enjoy our cheesecake as the weather is a bit too cold for us that day.

Yup, they did put up a sign saying that they have the “Best Cheesecake in Vancouver”.

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We were there before 11:00 am and there was not many customers at the time. After browsing through the cheese cakes on display, I decided to order the New York Cheesecake. The New York Cheesecake was really creamy and just melted in your mouth. Most of the slice cheesecake cost $5.60.

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Feenie’s

Update: 29th May 2009 – this restaurant is closed.

Suanne’s favourite TV channel is FoodTV (or was it Food Network?). Among her favourite show is the Iron Chef America. Vancouverites are proud that one of the winners of the Iron Chef is one of our own — Rob Feenie. Rob Feenie beat no other than Masaharu Morimoto in the Battle Crab.

Feenie owns two award winning restaurants in Vancouver. The Lumiere and Feenie’s are located next to each other on Broadway in Vancouver. It would take a very special occasion to have a meal at the Lumiere — well, it’s because their signature menu, oh, costs only $160 … per person! The tips for a dinner for two is more than what I would normally spend for a nice meal for the whole family.

Cheapskate as we were, we went to the cheaper bistro next door to the Lumiere … Feenie’s. You gotta make reservation at Feenie’s because they are almost always packed. We booked a table for two through Feenie’s website. They called me the afternoon on that date to confirm our reservation.

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We deliberately booked an early time ar 5:45pm before the dinner crowd starts coming in. By the time we got there, half the restaurant was already filled. We were shown the inside table, promptly seated, and given the Feenie’s menu.

We were served bread with soft butter.

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For appetizer, we decided to share the Steamed Local Mussels. They are cooked with white wine, garlic, lemon grass, ginger, red and yellow peppers with garlic toast on the side. This dish was fabulous. The mussels were fresh and the soup base went perfectly with the toast. Great dish to start off the night.

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Duffin’s Donuts on Main St.

I can’t really describe this place. Duffin’s Donuts had been an icon in Vancouver Eastside for a long time. Driving past a Duffin’s Donuts, one gets the impression that it’s a shop selling donuts only but when you get into the store, you’ll find that it’s definitely much much more than just donuts.

Duffin’s is actually a Cambodian family owned joint, originally located on Main and 33rd. They are famous for their homemade fresh donuts and Vietnamese subs. But then they also serve all kinds of food from Mexican Tortas, bubble tea, fried chicken, Chinese rice and noodles, — the selection is amazing.

We went to the Duffin’s Donuts on 41st and Main.

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Arkensen ordered a double cheese burger for $4.79. The burger looks juicy. I like the buns in that it’s does not look dry at all.

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Suanne ordered Machaca sandwich for $3.50. The hot sandwich is made up of shredded beef, lettuce, tomato, slice onion, pickled pepper, avocado on a crusty roll — tasty and filing.

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Pho Tan Restaurant on Main and 30th

We did not have a specific place to eat out on a Saturday afternoon. So we tried to cruise down Main St in Vancouver knowing that there are a lot of cheap eats all along that street. We came upon this “new” restaurant called Pho Tan along Main and 30th Ave. We remember that there was a Chinese restaurant in this lot we tried many years back.

Click here for the Google Map of this restaurant.

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We took a peek into the restaurant and saw that the decor was not bad at all. Most importantly, there were a lot of people in the restaurant — the food must be really good. We had to wait about 10 minutes for a table, which is rarity for a Vietnamese restaurant.

For starters, we ordered the Stuffed Boneless Chicken Wings (Cinh Ga Rut Xuong). There are 3 wings in all. The skin were crispy and is stuffed with the kind of things you find in spring rolls. This dish is $6.50. It was very good and we recommend this.

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Vera’s Burger Shack

Last weekend we attended the HSBC Celebration of Lights fireworks finale night. As usual, we went very early just so that we can get a good place to park the car. Since we had over 3 hrs of wait we normally would eat out for dinner. We thought it would be great for the blog to dine out at the outlet that serves the “best burgers in Vancouver”

Vera’s Burger Shack had been operating since 1977 in a really small shack by a couple called Frank and Vera. They are no longer operating the shack but has since grown into quite a famous chain. There are a total of 6 Vera’s outlets throughout the Lower Mainland.

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Since we are watching the fireworks from the Vanier Park, we went to the Vera’s in Kitsilano (1925 Cornwall Ave).

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Nanzaro ordered the Chicken Fingers from the Kids Menu. There were 3 large pieces of real chicken meat, not breaded. The Chicken Fingers came with some fries.

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Suanne ordered the Thai Me Up Burger — which happen to be the winning entry in Vera’s “Build a Better Burger Contest”. The burger was very juicy with Thai Chilli Sauce, harvati, fried onions, bacon, sauteed peppers, mayo, mustard, lettuce and tomato. The burger was too tall for Suanne’s mouth!

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Red Star Seafood Restaurant

Andy Lai and family from Portland visited Vancouver this week. Andy was Ben’s primary and secondary school mates. They only found each other back last year through the wonder of internet. Andy and Ben has not met one another for more than 25 years. It was very unfortunate for Ben as he was in London this week and unable to meet up with Andy.

Nevertheless, Andy met up with me and the kids while they were in Richmond on Wednesday. We went shopping at Parker Place and Aberdeen Centre. Andy and family love to come to Vancouver for shopping and food. According to Andy, there is not many Chinese restaurants in Portland. Andy will go all the way to look for good food.

After a day of shopping, we went to Red Star Seafood Restaurant on Granville St and West 67th Avenue for dinner. Andy’s friends, Tom and Marina recommended this restaurant.

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Andy and Tom ordered a lot of dishes that evening. Here are some of the dishes they ordered.

Lobsters stir fried in ginger and green onions.

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Kedah House on SE Marine Drive

I was glad to see last month another Malaysian restaurant has opened on SE Marine Drive in Vancouver — just off the Knight Street Bridge. This Kedah House restaurant is owned by the same operator of the Kedah House along Fraser St. It looks like they are going to close the one along Fraser and moving (or have moved?) to this new larger premises. They have a website at http://kedahhouse.com and listed their menu … go check it out.

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Unlike the many other Malaysian restaurants, this one is owned and operated by Malays. Most other Vancouver area restaurants are chinese owned. So this adds a lot of authenticity to the claim of being truly Malay restaurant.

Don’t expect too much in terms of decor or ambiance from this place. The food was not bad and the prices are, well, berpatutan (reasonable in Malay). We had been to the old restaurant several times before. This new place is surprisingly quite busy on a Saturday afternoon.

I ordered the Lamb Nasi Beryani which is basmati rice with aromatic spices and turmeric. Although it was flavourful, I was somewhat disappointed with the lamb — they are boney and does not have much meat at all. I prefer lamb meat in chunks. This dish is served with a bowl of curry.

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Arkensen and Nanzaro wanted fried rice and opted for the Nasi Goreng Kedah (Kedah fried rice). This dish is served with a flat Malay-style omelette covering the entire dish.

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Dim Sum in Pink Pearl Restaurant

For long timers in Vancouver, Pink Pearl is perhaps the most well known dim sum restaurants. It’s also one of the first upscale dim sum places in Vancouver. Located in East Hastings between Main and Commercial, Pink Pearl had over the years been somewhat surplussed by newer and fancier dim sum restaurants located in Richmond and Burnaby. Opened in 1981, before the start of big scale inflow of newcomers from Asia, this restaurant must have been one of the top restaurants in it’s early years. This is evident from the fact that they have won numerous best Chinese restaurant award in the 1990’s.

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I must say that the menu is pricey but the quality is very good. They may be amongst the best in class of traditional cart-arounds of the good old fashioned way. The somewhat drawback is the location. Many people are put off going to eat in East Hastings where car breakins are known in this part of the city. However, we were not concerned because the restaurant has a security guard patrolling the car park which is also very visible all round.

The most notable difference between this restaurant and other dim sum restaurant is that there are as many Caucasian as there are Chinese customers. I think it is because of the good reputation that the restaurant has built over the years. Despite such varied clientele, the dim sum is as authentic as any dim sum places you’ll ever find anywhere in the world.

We especially like the setting of this restaurant as the dim sum is served on carts pushed by the waitresses. Here, you can look at the items and decide what looks appetizing to you. There is also a cart with frying action on the spot. It makes the selections look much more inviting.

Suanne and I decided not to order the normal steamed buns and dumplings but instead decided to order some dishes we don’t normally order. Here are the dim sums we ordered … starting with Jar Leong which is basically yeow jar koay wrapped in cheong fun. It is crunchy on the inside and served with sweet soya sauce.

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The dish below is Pepper filled with fish and prawn paste. It’s fried to perfection.

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Singapore Restaurant on Broadway

Update 26-May-2009:  This restaurant had been reported on Urbanspoon as closed.

Coarse rice for food, water to drink, and the bended arm for a pillow – happiness may be enjoyed even in these.
~ Confucius

After six years, we still crave good old Malaysian food. We tried to locate the Cafe De Light restaurant this weekend but for some reason we just can’t find it. Oh well, we were pretty hungry and just picked the Singapore Restaurant which is located along the same street, Broadway.

We’ve been to this place once before.

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The parking was plentiful seeing that it was a weekend. The restaurant was quite empty too. The owner of the restaurant told us that they get very busy on weekdays but is slow on weekends. I can understand that seeing that Broadway lies smack between office buildings.

The owner was from Indonesia, looks like Chinese Indonesian to us. He told us he came over 28 years ago and has since owned this restaurant. I find that amazing because I always thought that restaurants that lasts so many years are rare. (more…)

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