Exploring the Limits of Chinese Cuisine at Bambudda in Gastown

I learned some hard truths:

  • Food isn’t the only determining factor in the success or popularity of a restaurant.
  • Tuesday nights after a long weekend are brutal for a restaurant just a mere block away from all the action — a block away in the wrong direction, unfortunately. So, location does matter.
  • Vancouver is still a small city with grand, lofty goals but not enough density to support such goals.
  • Social media is prone to faddism, hype and can generate big restaurant launches. But to sustain the momentum in the long run, well…it’s up to you (the “you” is left purposefully vague here).
  • Four “foodies” sitting at a table can easily burn four hours just talking about food.

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First Look: Thai on the Drive at Kin Kao Kitchen (BONUS: Soft Peaks Ice Cream in Gastown)

I was both excited and nervous about trying the newest Thai restaurant on Commercial Drive, Kin Kao. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I have the highest regard for Longtail Kitchen in New West. But Kin Kao is closer to my house and also has good beer…it feels I’m being unfaithful to my spouse. Are the menus different enough so that I can frequent both places? Do I have anything to worry about? Do I need to make sure I don’t have glitter all over my clothes when I get home?

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Chicken Ramen Day, and boy are my wings tired…

I salute anyone who attempts to make ramen at home from scratch. I used the Serious Eats Chicken Ramen recipe and it turned out great!

I originally wasn’t gonna post this, so I didn’t take uber-detailed photos of the process, but I feel like I must exorcize this ramen demon before it consumes me! I can see why people can get obsessed with the seemingly simple ramen. The variations and permutations are limitness! And the rewards are delicious!

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33 Acres x Juno Kim: Monday Night Dinner Series (Episode 2)

Vancouver Instagram-famous chef to the design community Juno Kim (@jun0k) has started a “Monday Night Dinner Series” at 33 Acres Brewing. My interest was piqued with last week’s premier dinner that featured Wild Mushroom Risotto and Pork Belly:

 

The menu is different every week. Not sure how long they’re gonna do this for, but follow @33acres or @jun0k for the latest news.

Note: This is “episode 2″ cuz I missed the first “episode” :P Unfortunately no re-runs so you gotta experience it live!

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Oh hey Bao Bei, I didn’t see you there…how’s it going?

Bao Bei has been open for 5 years and we’ve never tried it until Wicca’s friend came to town recently and gave us an excuse to eat somewhere nice on a weeknight :D We decided on an “Asian with a twist” theme that night, with other possibilities including Pidgin or Bambudda. Luckily, we were able to get into Bao Bei without too much trouble. In a nutshell, our food experience here ranged from ok, to good, to awesome. We were surprised and enlightened by their take on “modern Chinese”.

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Dirty Burger Double Patty Date Night at Upstairs at Campagnolo

It’s been way too long since my last dirty burger from Upstairs at Campagnolo. The dark, cozy, friendly, casual vibe is perfect for a dirty ‘n delicious date night with Wicca.

Note about the photos: it’s super-dark in there. I tried to do the best I could with the photos! Hope it still gives you a good sense of the food.

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Eh-spaña: Tricky Tapas at España

I had been wanting to try España for the longest time. The idea of small plates dining still appeals to my small appetite…being able to experience a bunch of flavours and textures in one meal without being committed to a single entree. But what if not every dish hits the mark? Have all the good cooks moved on to their sister restaurant, The Fat Badger?

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Trying to do something a bit different: Mui Ngo Gai Vietnamese

The owners at Mui Ngo Gai on Kinsgway near Victoria Dr. really have their heart in the right place. The menu is varied, but not in an unfocussed, sprawling sort of way, but more of an adventurous, curious way. On paper this would be the kind of place that I’d die for, but unfortunately it’s held back a bit by spotty execution.

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A Porkken Christmas

I’m posting this on Christmas Day, but I hope that you aren’t reading this on Christmas Day. You should actually be spending time with your family and loved ones instead of eating vicariously through me. Unless you’re lonely, then I hope that reading my Christmas experience gives you some holiday comfort.

The big reveal right away…this is a “Porkken”:

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It’s a deboned chicken with stuffing, wrapped inside of a butterflied pork loin (including the baby back ribs), all wrapped in bacon. You already know Turducken, so please meet Porkken. Now read on for the story of how this all happened.

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