Buggin’ Out at Hawkers Market – Feb 28 2015

It was the first Hawkers Market of the year and it was a fun one. Way too much for one person to eat, but I hope you enjoy the pics and thoughts below. You can read about my previous Hawkers Market visits here, here, here and oh also here. As you can tell, I enjoy the combination of music and food in a warehouse party-type environment. :D
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Humble and Tasty Turkish Homecooking on The Drive. No, not that Drive, the other one…

I don’t know too much about Turkish cuisine. There’s way more Persian and Greek restaurants in Vancouver than Turkish. But I love Anatolia’s Gate, if only for their amazing lavash bread straight out of their brick oven! Their Turkish pizza (lahmajun) is great too…so thin and crispy, and the meat mixture they spread on top is delicious.

Now cut to last week, where after navigating the tough parking situation at London Drugs at Victoria Drive and 41st, I spotted a newish Turkish restaurant called Istanbul Lounge & Gourmet on 41st beside the VanCity! I got takeout from there a few days afterwards and was pleased with their humble, homecooked flavours.

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I Choo Choo Choose You at Longtail Kitchen

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Lisa & Ralph 4ever.

Wicca and I sometimes differ on restaurants. Some I like more than she does (Alibi Room), and of course she has her own preferences and favourites. One place we BOTH agree on is Longtail Kitchen with their punchy, powerful Thai flavours in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. We find it quite easy to make the effort to drive out to New West, even though everyone we talk to groans about how far it is.

Longtail put on a special Valentine’s Day menu for $55 per person, so we went and here’s what happened!

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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”.

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