Tag Archives: Food

Phnom Penh Restaurant (Food)

Background
This is another classic that has stood the test of time and has emerged as one of the most successful restaurants in Vancouver. Unless you arrive once their doors open or right before they close, waiting for a table can take up to 90 minutes during peak lunch and dinner times. Phnom Penh has brought together Cambodian and Vietnamese flavors together and formed a true golden gem. The restaurant is family-owned, and staying true to their traditional roots is one of the many things that make them successful. No visit is complete their “golden trio” has been ordered, and I do just that at every visit.

#35 Filet Beef Luc Cac on Rice with Egg
Deliciously saucey meat served on top a bed of rice is one of the most comforting meals for anyone. First of all, this single dish sits at virtualy every table and has become a cornerstone item. Because of the sheer volume that this dish is being served, the restaurant is able to maintain a much higher quality of meat that is extremely fresh. For $10.95, this is virtually a bargain and a musttry for everyone that can eat beef.

#71 Marinated Butter Beef
Butter beef is really just a name for how smooth the meat is, rather than the preparation itself. A flat slice of beef is plated and topped with fried minced onions and an assortment of Asian green herbs. The marinade itself is probably made up of soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, and some sweetener like sugar or honey. Being another staple, This sells extremely well and would thus also ensure higher quality and freshness.

#78 Phnom Penh Deep-Fried Chicken Wings
Arguably the best chicken wings found in Vancouver, this lightly battered
crispy but flavourful dish has made many people rethink what it actually means. For starters, I am a believer that the oil used to fry to chicken wings have previously fried large amounts of shallots, garlic, ginger, and green onions. The chicken wings simply have a depth of flavor that is unachievable through marination alone. Seasoned perfectly, this dish is certainly friendly to anyone open to eating meat and is an absolute must.

Verdict
Phnom Penh is one of my favorite restraints in Vancouver. The dining area is always loud and crowded which is very reminiscent of eating in a classical restaurant in Asia. Despite not being a very luxurious restraint, they more easily appeal to people with small and large wallets increasing their overall popularity.

The Hottest ‘Instagramable’ Restaurants in LA you can’t miss!

It comes as no surprise that Los Angeles is a famous food palace, you can always find worldwide cuisine and some unusual restaurants in this beautiful sunshine city, food choices would never be repeated here. Want to know which restaurants are the hottest on Instagram now? let’s have a look together!

1.The Ivy (LA)

Flowers, artistic and vintage, those are bright features of this popular LA restaurant-the Ivy. If you want to have an unforgettable lunch in a wonderful garden, I really recommend you to come. Recently it has become a new favorite of the ins-bloggers, tourists and celebrities, if you are lucky enough, you can enjoy the cuisine while takes a close look at them. I really like the building itself, like the restaurant introduced that-a prettily decorated country-cottage rooms, distinctly, it looks really like a beautiful pastoral house of the grandmother in the 70-80s countryside, you feel really warm, comfortable and relax in this amazing atmosphere.

When you walk inside, you can see a big fireplace and the light yellow walls hung with retro plates, but compare with indoor, the flowery outdoor terrace with cozy sofas is my real love. Another adorable thing which really attracts my eyes is that every table was decorated with fresh roses, how romantic is it! Speaking of the food, the price is a little bit high and most meals are beautifully laid out. Besides, the lobster pasta is the signature dish and almost every table must be ordered. By the way, the fresh juice in this restaurant is my personal recommendation, I really like the apple juice which tastes really well. Noticed that this restaurant also needs an appointment, you can use OpenTable or just called the phone.

Address: 113 N Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048 USA

Phone: +1 310-274-8303 Hours: 08:00-21:30


2.BBCM-The Butcher, The Baker & The Cappuccino Maker Cafe

Have an amazing breakfast will cheer you up and bring a fresh new day! In my own view, this quote is definitely made for BBCM-the most popular restaurant in West Hollywood, LA. It opens daily for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, but the brunch and lunchtime are the busiest periods in a whole day, almost overcrowding! You can see a really long waiting line every day, which represents the popularity of BBCM, so try to avoid going there at weekends and vacation days! Also, making a reservation through bbcmcafe.com, OpenTable or phone call will help you to save time.

At first sight, all decoration of BBCM is based on white and designed in a modern simple style, which is totally different compared with the Ivy. The food is really really fresh and delicious, I believed the food placing is in a European style rather than American! My favorite is egg benedict and the smoked salmon croissant, Furthermore, the drinks are also nice and creative! I strongly recommend the specialty coffee beverages and craft cocktails, you will know that food is also the art when you see them!

color burst latte
Champagne flight

Address: 8653 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 USA

Phone: +1 310-360-6900 Hours: 08:00-22:00


3.The Living Room (The peninsula beverly hills)

If you are not much hungry, but want to have some food and chat with your friends, the living room in peninsula hotel (Beverly hills) can be your first choice in this situation. The afternoon tea offered in this hotel spreads fame the overseas, which attract many people to come and taste. It also served breakfast, dinner and some snacks, pianist will play the piano in the evening, and you can enjoy a lovely time with some cocktail in this romantic and exquisite room.

Accompanied by the music of a classical harpist, The Peninsula’s legendary Afternoon Tea start. There are two types of tea sets you can choose, an optional glass of Champagne and a tower of traditional high tea requisites; I order the Champagne including one, which is more fit for the atmosphere I think. For the tea menu, I do recommend the black tea and matcha, which are really rich and delicious. Moreover, from sandwiches to bite-sized pastries and scones, all the desserts in the selection are really tasteful, whole snacks inside the tea set are well-prepared and value for the price.

Address: 9882 Santa Monica blvd, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Phone: +1 310 975 2736

Live Like Joao

Live Like Joao
Food, Places and Everything About My Life

*Above image taken from Live Like Joao’s Blog

A PEER-REVIEW ON WEBSITE DESIGN

Live like Joao offers a personable and candid approach to food blogging. When it comes to creating his new blog, Joao’s honesty is refreshing; while this may be a daunting new task, Joao invites his audience into his inner thoughts as he navigates the unfamiliar waters of WordPress. According to the screenshots from Amanda‘s first peer review, Joao has implemented a lot of her recommendations and suggestions. Already, Live Like Joao is starting to have synchronicity between the website’s appearance and the content. To properly unpack the different design elements in this blog, I will be focusing on two important design umbrellas: user experience (UX) and User Interface (UI).

User Experience

Travis Gertz’s 2015 Design Machines: How to survive in the digital Apocalypse explains the UX design as how the website works, as opposed to how it looks. A hyper-simplified breakdown of the UX design category would include layout, interaction, information architecture, wireframing, prototyping, research, and testing. At first glance, Live Like Joao seems to work pretty cohesively and sensibly. There are subtle cues throughout the blog that indicate where I should look or click. For example, both the BLOG and POSIEL tab on the top righthand menu have a little downwards arrow to indicate a drop-down menu. These exemplify what Victor Kaptelinin describes as affordances in his article The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction.

The search function right above the categories list is a really helpful tool, especially when looking for a certain page or post that I particularly enjoyed, but was unable to retrace my steps. Since this blog is fairly new, I wasn’t lost in the content and it was easy to find my way back; however, once there are more entries and if Joao chooses to continue this blog post-PUB101, I suspect that this search function will become a really handy tool.

While there are affordances that create direction throughout the blog, I still seemed to have encountered some problems with Joao’s BLOG section. Firstly, I noticed that there is a category for “Blog” and “Blog Post”. This seems counter-intuitive, as these categories seem synonymous. Kaptelinin underlines that “Good designs are intuitive“; hence, I would always recommend going through the website fully – as a sort of informal audit – and paying extra attention to what is intuitive to you. What comes up when you click certain links? Does it take you where you would expect it to? This brings me to my second suggestions: make sure that  the information is stored in the right place. For example, when I click the BLOG POST on the drop down menu, the only post that is available is the “Short Essay 1”.

User Interface

In contrast to the former, UI Design encompasses how the website looks as opposed to how it works. Gertz explains that typography, colour, forms, illustration, photography, and detail can all be found within this realm.

Caution: Do not read when hungry!

This blog does a wonderful job at capturing mouth-watering cuisine. From a UI design perspective, there is a great use of white space and visual contrast with images. Blog Post 1 does a good job of separating chunks of text and using different fonts, especially by bolding the Ingredients title. The other blog posts could benefit by following the great example from that first blog. For example, my eyes are yearning for more contrast in the text in the Blog Post 3. There is a beautiful photo of gorgeous cuts of meats – perhaps I should have waited until after dinner to write this review – followed by the restaurant’s information and a short review. To better accompany the bold image, I would make the text larger and create a small text box containing the restaurant’s pertinent information. Currently, the review is the smallest group of text on the image: all these small modifications would allow for the sections of the page to be more proportionate to each other, and allow the important information to stand out.

The beautiful rustic table of food that act as the blog’s cover page sets the tone for a visually-enticing food blog. Keeping this in mind, I would recommend continuing with this theme by adding more images throughout the blog: as we are unable to taste this food with our taste buds, we do so with our eyes. Therefore, it is important to describe or visually show these through images and videos, as is done in the first blog post. If at all possible, ensure that photos and videos are the same size or are complimentary to the overall page layout to allow for synchronicity and fluidity.

Overall, I enjoyed joining Joao on his adventures through WordPress and discovering exciting new restaurants around the Lower Mainland through his reviews. I look forward to seeing the progress and reading more content from Joao. The recipes, reviews, and personable tone leaves me  hungry for more!

Check out Live Like Joao here.

Anticipated Visits

Here are some places I plan to visit, but have not tried yet! Let me know if there are any here that you have been to and how you feel about their food.

I can’t wait!

The Chick Pea food truck: I have always wanted to try this place, it looks really healthy but so tasty at the same time…. fun fact: I did not know hummus was made of chickpeas for the LONGEST time.

The Frying Pan food truck: Of course there is another fried chicken craving…. But this has been really popular on Instagram and I definitely want to give it a try.

The Praguery food truck: This one has been LONG over due. I always walk by this but never get it because I already stuffed myself with too much food before dessert. Such a perfect festive munch especially for Christmas

 

LET ME KNOW IF ANY OF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS ! Eat awayyyy

DIM SUM [CHINA EDITION]

Last China feature! Dimsum…who can say no to that.

Meatballs + Broccoli — tender and mixed with a lot of vegetables

Soup dumplings — some of them were lacking soup, but the ones that had soup were so juicy!

Spareribs — the softest meat I have ever had

Steamed buns with egg yolk — Perfectly round buns with the salty egg yolk that runs out after every bite

Sponge cake — made layer by layer, interesting texture but very moist

Durian custards — Alot of people do not like durian, but I loooooove durian. This pastry was not that strong and the outside crunch created a good texture. The oil that fried the crust was a bit old though

Overall rating:

Aesthetics: 5/5
Taste: 4/5
Price: Under $25 of everything in picture

Location: Taishan — not sure what name of restaurant was

Peer Review 3: Taking Life by the Love Handles

For my peer review, I am reviewing Jenella’s blog titled Taking Life by the Love Handles.

A quick glance of her homepage, I know why she chooses this theme. The pink tones and colorful photos of food are welcoming. The white is a nice contrast to highlight her blog content and it helps accentuate the colors of her photos. It’s appealing and easy on the eyes. It compels me to read more!

As you scroll down her homepage, her social media pages are easily available. To me, this is showing that she markets her personality with her blog. They go hand in hand and I believe she includes her own ‘self’ into her content. Where she eats tells something a little bit more about herself.

Food is the center of her brand, and she makes it clear. On her About page, she explains why she loves food and why it’s important to her. This idea and how she presents it is creating a space where she expresses herself and why she writes about food. She even addresses this when she shares her personal experience on doing something other than food on her Food and Friends blog.

These ideas are present and explained danah boyd’s It’s Complicated where she writes about the feeling of togetherness and through networked publics, communities can be connected through technology. For Jenella, she is creating this blog of togetherness. Almost all her times eating out are with friends! She shares her physical experiences through this network and her other channels.

She does a great job showcasing this physical space too. With her social media presence and her appealing photos, she is spreading wide on multiple channels. The pictures serve as a tangible step to a purely networked space. As seen in the Youtube stars’ trend on publishing books,  it’s good to have a balance of online and offline content. Her blog posts have a balance of media and text. It’s a bonus that she takes great photos!

I do want to suggest a way to have these ideas better presented in her blog. I feel that she has a lot to say, and it doesn’t have to sacrifice the content she already writes.

Hot Ones on Youtube

Hot Ones is one of my favorite web series because it brings a fresh take on interviews; eating very spicy wings and talking. What I want to highlight for Jenella’s blog is the fact that some guests do a great job conversing about the wings and about their careers well that it becomes an interview for both. Alton Brown comes to mind. Each restaurant she goes to does not necessarily need a ‘deep’ or ‘introspective’ conversation with her friends, but I see her as being part of the content too. I’m curious to see why she chooses this restaurant or what is exciting or familiar about this restaurant? These elements would give more ‘food’ to the readers about who she is and exemplify the reasons she loves the food.

Dirt Baked Chicken [CHINA EDITION]

So I made a trip down to Guangzhou, China Mid-November and this had to be my favourite dish. I know this is not in Vancouver, but if you guys ever travel down there you NEED to give this a try.

We also god sweet potatoes (look how purple they are!!) — very soft and very creamy not dry at all. It complemented well with the oily chicken and the starch soaked up most of the grease.

Aesthetics: 5/5
Taste: 4/5
Price: (((forgot cause I did not pay 🙂 )) — probably less than $1

 

THE DIRT BAKED CHICKEN!

So this was how people baked their chickens back in the day when ovens did not exist. They would dig a hole in the ground and then bake it for 4-5 hours. This is probably not foodsafe in Canada, but trust me it was soooo good. I have never had such tender chicken in my life! Be sure to wear gloves and eat it with your hands for the full experience!

It is wrapped in tin foil which contacts the dirt and then leaves to keep the chicken juices in place. Be sanitary and enjoyyyyy!

 

Aesthetics: 5/5 — looks messy but thats the traditional way
Taste: 5/5 — can I give this a 6/5 ?
Price: Also not sure but probably less than $12 for a WHOLE chicken

RAMEN #1: The Ramen Butcher

The Ramen Butcher is one of the best ramen places in Vancouver! 

Located in Chinatown, and a short walk away from the Main Street – Science World station. It’s a very small shop, with cute decor. Might be difficult to get a table, especially during peak times, or if you have a big group. But a great place to bring a date! 

   

This was my second time going to Butchers (what my friends and I call the restaurant), and both times we have splurged and ordered more than we should. Last time I had the Shoyu Ramen. It was a light broth, quite oily but that’s normal, great if you don’t want anything too rich. I also got the truffle gyoza, which has gotta be the most flavorful explosion ever. It’s basically gyozas with cheese and a truffle aioli on top. It’s so incredibly delicious, it feels almost guilty to eat.

 

This time, I coincidentally went during happy hour, so of course I had to order off the happy hour menu. My boyfriend got the Aburi Chashu and green basil Ramen. The Aburi Chashu was very disappointing. It’s a tiny bowl of little pieces of Chashu, that are a bit chewy and bland. Chashu should be a fatty piece of marinated pork that is seared, but it seemed to lack that fat and flavor. The green basil Ramen, is a combination of the Tonkotsu broth along with basil paste and Parmesan cheese. It’s almost like a pasta, since it’s so creamy and cheesy.

For myself, I ordered the cheese gyoza and the Ramen flight off the happy hour menu and added a chicken Karaage don to make it a combo. The cheese gyoza is a level down from the truffle gyoza, but still really good. For the Ramen flight, you get half a bowl of their classic Tonkotsu Ramen and then you get to choose either red and spicy, green basil, black garlic or orange miso for the other half. I actually really like garlic flavored things, so of course I wanted to try the black garlic flavor. It has a roasted garlic kind of taste, and I liked how it wasn’t overbearing, since black garlic a strong flavor. The black garlic went really well with the super creamy broth. The chicken Karaage don is some fried chicken on top of a bowl of rice. The chicken wasn’t crunchy but it tasted really good with the mayonaise and lemon juice on top. The rice is just plain Japanese short grain rice, so I added the Ramen broth, and IT WAS BOMB. Soup and rice go hand in hand. I was so incredibly full that I couldn’t finish the classic Ramen bowl, so I got to enjoy it later that night. I can’t get over how creamy the soup is.

On average I spend $20 at Butchers, but that’s because I order way more than I can eat. One bowl is enough to fill me up, and that would me about $11.50, or $10 during happy hour. They even give you an extra bowl of noodles for free, since the there will always be leftover broth. This place is WORTH it.

Til’ next food adventure,
keep munchin’!

Burgoo

Burgoo is a lovely mid-sized bistro located on Main Street in Vancouver. They do not have their own parking lot but there is plenty of street parking located around the restaurant. Specializing in comfort food, Burgoo may be one of the best places in Vancouver to stop by on a cold rainy day. I strongly recommend the mac and cheese which is combined with delicious earth mushrooms. Meanwhile they offer an excellent cocktail selection that is sure to blow you away. I found the servers to be really friendly and the crowd is usually looking to get away from the rain commonly found in Vancouver throughout the year. Overall, a great spot to warm up and catch up with friends that you haven’t seen in a while

Gringo’s

The name is both apt and ironic, as the clientele is overwhelmingly gringo, but the food does hold its own as it’s reasonably authentic. All the tacos I tried were satisfying and delicious, and you can mix and match to your heart’s content among the varieties they offer. They also have a modest craft beer selection.
Love Mexican food and they really delivered a fun version of that. The drinks were original fun to try and usually I will only get beer, so they really impressed me. The food was great, good prices on everything, everything you want in a restaurant. Still thinking about the burrito I got here, really really good.
Overall, an interesting, off-the-beaten-track venue for an inexpensive bite and drink in an interesting location.

POKE #2: Hula Poke

I have this addiction to poke, and I was downtown surrounded by poke, so I decided to try the closest one.

I was doing a photo shoot with my friend, and I needed a quick bite. In the Pacific Center food court, this cute new place opened, Hula Poke. It’s probably the prettiest looking place in the food court. They have a nice aesthetic, and they even have cool wooden utensils. I was a little disappointed that they don’t give you the option of creating your own bowl, since of course, I am the pickiest of eaters. Although they do let you pick what kind of protein (fish, etc) and what kind of rice. So there are all these flavors with their descriptions. The employee was nice and asked if I had any questions. It was kind of a hard decision with the overwhelming menu, but I tried to skim through the descriptions as fast as  I could (because I was starving).

I went with the one that wasn’t spicy, and had things I didn’t dislike, called Yuzu. Here’s what was in the bowl:

  • yuzu
  • ginger sesame
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • edamame beans
  • carrot
  • furikake
  • black sesame
  • crispy onions
  • kale

I also chose ahi tuna and coconut house blend rice. 

Honestly, I did not enjoy it. Maybe because I have a taste for unhealthy things and this was too healthy tasting for me. The fish, avocado, carrots, furikake and yuzu were good. But I feel like the kale didn’t go well with the bowl. Maybe I just don’t like kale. Also I thought that the coconut house blend rice had a weird texture, and did not taste coconut-y at all. I’m used to poke having a good amount of sauce mixed in, and this bowl was very minimal.

It reminds me more of salad than poke. So if you like salad this is the place for you! But if you’re a kid who doesn’t like eating her veggies like me, it’s time to walk to Poke Time or Pokeritto. Another thing, this bowl was about $12 and it felt small and not filling. But of course, it is downtown Vancouver and an average price for poke. I have to say, so far this is my least favorite experience with poke, but that’s because of how picky I am.

Til’ next food adventure,
keep munchin’!

Innovative Budget University Meals

Being a broke university student with not a lot of money, eating out all the time is not an option. But if you’re at school and you didn’t bring food and you’re stranded – you’re inevitably going to be spending money on food. But spending a ton of money even if it’s only on a 10$ sandwich a day – that can add up.

But if you’re going to be spending 10$ on a sad sandwich, might as well spend it on something more substantial.

If you go to a school close to a supermarket, here’s what else you can do besides eating out at a restaurant or buying expensive fast food. The other day I saw my friend eating a complete meal with stuff she bought from T&T and I thought it was the smartest idea ever!

The campus I go to is right next to a T&T, Walmart and Maxim’s. When I saw my friend, she bought a cup of instant noodles from T&T and a bottle of tea, as well as three pastries from Maxim’s – all for under 10$! Like if you’re going to be eating a barely substantial unhealthy fast food meal for over 10$, might as well be eating a cheap, pretty substantial unhealthy meal for less than 10$, you know what I’m saying?

If you’re not into instant noodles and there’s a Walmart near you or a grocery store with a frozen meals section you can buy a cheap frozen meal there instead. Most schools will have a microwave somewhere you can use to heat up your meals.

A quote from the aforementioned genius friend: “Always eat your salty foods with sweet foods but not a super cold sweet food, not that there’s anything wrong with cold foods but if it’s a solid it’s nicer like a cake or a bun.”

– My 200 IQ friend.

Here is my genius friend with her genius meal! I love her!!!!

So yeah! Next time, if you want to save money on food at school and you didn’t bring food, you can just head over to the nearest supermarket and get something!

Thank you for reading. Love, Joy.

DINER #1: Lucy’s Eastside Diner

I almost always want to eat at 2am, but there aren’t man restaurants open at that time, besides the usual fast food places. Luckily, Lucy’s Eastside Diner is 24/7!

This place is always busy late night on the weekends, so I often get takeout. But if you’re hungry after a fun night out, Lucy’s would be a great place to eat and hang out. I was really hoping to try a milkshake, since diners are known for milkshakes. Sadly, the ice cream machine wasn’t working. The only other downside is that it takes a while for them to prepare your food. Maybe it’s because the kitchen is small and staff is limited at night. Despite that, the staff is friendly and welcoming.

I always get the Mac and Cheese + Pulled Pork sandwich, which tastes great, but a little messy to eat. So I decided to try something new this time. The special of the day was the Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese. I absolutely love grilled cheese, so the decision was almost instant. The bread was golden and slightly buttery, and cheddar cheese was on each side of the pulled pork. The sweet, savory and tender pulled pork went well with the crispy toast. The reason why I went to Lucy’s was because I was really craving their fries, since they come with this sauce that is just amazing. I like my fries crispy and/or soggy (not in a gross way), and they delivered. The awesome sauce, reminds me of McDonald’s Big Mac sauce but butter, and I’m not sure what’s goes in it.

 

Minami | Japanese Restaurant

Today, I wanted to introduce one of my favorite Japanese restaurant in town, Minami. They are very famous for their oshi sushi – also they are a sister company with Miku (another beautiful restaurant located at Waterfront, downtown). Minami is located in Yaletown, which is full of famous and delicious restaurant. I love Yaletown because […]

SANDWICHES#1: Smokehouse Sandwich Co.

Not too sure what cuisine sandwiches would be under…

I didn’t know where to get lunch after class today, so I looked on google maps, which is how I like to decide on a place to eat.  I totally forgot about this little hidden gem in Downtown Vancouver. I’ve eaten in the Vancouver location once before, but the Richmond location is way more official. The Smokehouse Sandwich Co. downtown is hidden in an office tower, that overlooks a beautiful courtyard. Such a relaxing place to eat, especially if you’re alone, and on a nice day, like today.

The staff is really nice, they even gave me a free drink, a hot cup of honey ginger lemon. They gave me a free drink last time I came here too, which was a while ago. Although, it’s a free drink, I don’t like ginger… But I didn’t want to be rude, so I tried to finish as much as I could. It’s not bad, its sweet, a little sour and spicy from the ginger. It’s perfect if you’ve got a sore throat.

They also have cute mason jars for water and cold drinks.

The sandwich wasn’t the most photogenic sandwich ever, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover right? I ordered the Samson – coffee-crusted strawberry-glazed beef brisket with aioli, red bell peppers & lettuce. Honestly, I was disappointed, because it wasn’t as flavorful and juicy as I remember. I think they didn’t add enough aioli. And instead of just red bell peppers, there were also green and yellow, which isn’t a problem if you don’t discriminate between bell peppers.  Especially for a $10 sandwich, I was expecting more.

Perhaps this location is a franchise of the Richmond location, and they don’t make the sandwich as good as they do at the OG (original). 

While I was writing this post, I found out the Richmond Smokehouse Sandwich is on Foodora. Next time I’m stuck at home and hungry, I know what to get.

Til’ next food adventure,
keep munchin’!

5 Mindful Ways to Save Money on Buying Food

Okay, let’s be honest. No matter how hard you try to meal prep or bring food from home, it’s sometimes not satisfying enough or you’re still craving for more. I bring food sometimes, but other times I buy food; it’s all about the balance. No matter the reason, we eat out and that’s okay. Here are 5 little things you can keep in mind next time you go out for food:

 

1. Skip the Drink(s)

Try to opt for water because it’s free and good for you. Also, it adds up; but don’t be afraid to order that one drink once in a while though.

 

 

2. Keep Tips in Mind

If you’re at a sit-down restaurant, don’t forget to tip! It’s good to always add extra dollars/percentages when browsing the menu. Then, when you order your food, you will be fully aware of how much you will be spending.

 

3. Bring Food

I’ve yet to perfect the art of meal prepping, so I try to bring as many snacks or leftovers as I can with me. If I have a short class day, then I bring some snacks with me and wait until I come home to eat. If I have longer days, I’ll bring extra snacks and eat them throughout the day. However, if you’re not satisfied with that, try purchasing foods that are priced on the lower end (or something small aka something cheap). Then you won’t have to spend as much AND still satisfy your cravings.

4. Limit your Treats

Spending smart requires awareness. A way to limit yourself on overspending is to think, “well, I just bought ice cream a few days ago, I’ll skip this time”, or “I decided to not buy that frappuccino last week, I think I’ll treat myself today”. Another way to approach this is to limit ‘treats’ for celebrations such as finishing a midterm or overcoming an obstacle.

5. Plan Ahead

If your income for the upcoming week(s) isn’t looking too good, try to not eat out (or maybe just something small one day out of the week), but if it’s a thick paycheque, enjoy those cravings (or save your money!).

Dalina

Dalina is a cafe & mini grocery store that is located in Chinatown (Main St. and E. Georgia). I heard many rumours about this mysterious place this year as one of Vancouver’s must go-to place. They serve some of the healthiest yet tasty dishes that have foods that can cater for everyone. In fact, people seem to be more attracted to its overall layout and design with its very aesthetic vibe. When the first thing you see is a marbled design wall, you know what kind of place you’re entering.

Interior of this place is absolutely stunning. Overall, gives me a very welcoming and elegant vibe. 

I ordered the Bicerin  ($5.25) which is one of their house specialties. The blend of espresso, dark chocolate and steamed milk is so flavourful and I’ve never had this experience anywhere else. The drinks are pricier compared to other cafes, but the presentation and HUGE portions make up for the price. 

After this experience, I feel like I’ve been cheated on by other coffee shops. This drink actually tasted like mocha. Not the chocolate to steamed milk ratio of 1:4. 

Gnocchi Pomodoro ($14.95):

I LOVE pasta and this dish caught my eye. Again, presentation was great but the taste was just average. I’m sure whether gnocchi normally has a distinct taste or not (since I’m not familiar with it) so I’d say I was able to enjoy the it for the chewy consistency. Also, I do wish if the dish was served warmer because the luke-warm temperature made the sauce and overall pasta to taste a little bland. Price is expensive, but so is everything else in Downtown. 

Insalata Toscana ($15.49):

My friend ordered this dish with the recommendation of the friendly staff there and this was AMAZING! It consists of free range chicken, pumpkin, kale, and some really good dressing that made eating healthy taste a lot better. I usually stay away anything kale-related because of it’s bitterness and consistency, but the way they prepared it for this dish was something I’ve never had. The portion was 1.5 x larger than the gnocchi (which is reasonable since it’s a salad), and my friend totally loved it, so did I!

Click here to look at their full menu!

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Richmond, British Columbia

During the winter season, I’m always craving for noodle soup. I came upon this restaurant as I was driving to the supermarket.

The menu is very straightforward, you pick a soup base and the type of protein you want. There are also many side dishes to choose from. When you order your food it comes with 10 small dishes and your main protein in the middle. When they deliver the soup, it is extremely hot. You are suppose to put in the meat first to ensure that it will be completely cooked as well as your order ingredients.

You get a bowl a rice noodle that you put it last as it is already cooked and very hot it doesn’t need additional cooking time. *NOTE* you can get unlimited refills on the rice noodles. We also ordered the cold cut chicken with chili sauce which I think you can pass. The sauce was definitely not marinated enough and it seems to be lacking in the flavouring. I would still recommend you to go as the rice noodle soup is good and it’s not too expensive. You can also tell from the soup base that it tastes more natural and it advertises that there’s no MSG.

ORIENTAL RICE NOODLE
ADDRESS: 130-8100 Ackroyd Road, Richmond, BC V6X 3K2
PHONE: +1 604-370-3738
WEBSITE: N/A

La Verne, California

During Remembrance Day long weekend, I visited a small town in California. I was craving pasta and we stumbled upon this Italian restaurant. Their pasta meals comes with garlic bread (picture below, top left) and a soup or a salad. If you know me, you would know that I’m not a salad girl. The soup was surprisingly good. I was expecting soup similar to Olive Garden which tends to be salty but the soup was surprisingly good with little noodle pieces and it was not salty.

We ordered the Fettuccine Alfredo which was better than what we expected. The noodles were thinner than the usual fettuccine we had (thinner as in flatter). The sauce was creamy but not too thick so it wasn’t too filling. We also ordered the lasagna, which we were a bit disappointed with. The sauce was a bit on the sour side and the cheese on the top was just one big layer of cheese which made it hard to cut through. The layers was a bit lacking.

We also ordered the four cheese pizza. Their pizzas are thin crust which I like because when you have less dough you can eat a lot more (at least that’s my way of thinking). It was a cheese pizza so I didn’t expect anything to go wrong and it didn’t. I would definitely go again to try out some other items on their menu.

PASTA CUCINA RUSTICA
ADDRESS: 2086 Foothill Blvd #D, La Verne, CA 91750, USA
PHONE: +1 909-593-8800
WEBSITE: http://pastacucinarustica.net/

 

Richmond, British Columbia


It’s winter and ’tis the season for hotpot! Honestly, to me, hotpot is all seasons, yes even in the summer~ (please remember there is air conditioners). The other day my sister and I went to a newly opened hotpot place in Richmond called: DolarShop. I believe is a chain store from China.

*Please note: there is a huge line wait and it is not AYCE (all you can eat) hotpot*

The benefit of this hotpot place is that you order your own soup base so it eliminates the difficulty of everyone sharing one pot (such as food allergies or people not eating certain things). They have many soup bases and I order the tomato one. *Also to note* that there is an additional $2.99 for condiments and fresh fruit which would be the sauce section, little appetizers like kimchi and peanuts, and they were serving watermelon at the time. It is unlimited.

Overall, the food was delicious (I don’t know how hotpot can go wrong unless their food was not fresh). Service was good but be prepared to be spoken in Chinese as long as you look Asian/Chinese. The down side was definitely the wait time. I would suggest going in earlier to put your name down as they take your phone number down. When it is almost your time to be seated they will give you a call. The design of DolarShop is very clean, modern, and bright which makes me feel more comfortable eating there because I can see what I’m eating.

DOLARSHOP
ADDRESS: 720-5300 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC V6X 2C7
PHONE: 604-370-7077
WEBSITE: http://www.dolarshop.com/en/Global.htm

Burn-Your-Face-Off-Spicy Soft Cauliflower Wings

How ya’ feeling today, champ? Doing alright? Feelin’ tough?

Well, if you’re feeling like you want to prove your toughness to the world then today’s recipe is perfect for you: Burn-Your-Face-Off-Spicy Soft Cauliflower Wings. After eating these bad boys, you’ll be able to walk into the Salty Spittoon no questions asked. Hell, you’ll get into the VIP section!

The reason these wings are so spicy is because this recipe calls for both tumeric and chili powder. Chili powder, as we all know, is quite the spicy customer, and its effects are increased with tumeric, the ingredient which gives curry its distinctive flavour. If you are able to handle the heat, tumeric has many health benefits, including being an antioxidant booster and having anti-inflammatory qualities.

This recipe requires a lot of bake time, so make sure you have an afternoon to yourself which you can make these during. Having said that, let’s get into the recipe!

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower (1 head)
  • Almond Milk (1/2 cup)
  • Water (1/2 cup)
  • Flour (3/4 cups)
  • Granulated garlic  (2 tsp)
  • Tumeric (1 tsp)
  • Chili powder (1 tsp)
  • Ground pepper (1/4 tsp)
  • Salt (1/4 tsp)

Prep

  1. Cut up your cauliflower into bite-sized florets

Usually, the best method for this is to first separate the head from the stalk, and then cut the florets from there into smaller pieces

2. Mix your other ingredients (Almond milk, water, flour and spices) into a mixing bowl or equivalent dish.

The texture of the ‘batter’ you’ve crated should be thick enough so that you can coat your cauliflower without worry of it dripping too much. Obviously, it’s hard to get perfect, but as long as you can get somewhere close, don’t fret!

Once you’ve done this, set up a baking sheet big enough to fit all of your florets on it with room to spare.

3. With your batter prepped, begin coating your florets

Try to wipe off as much excess batter as you can as you go, as extra batter means the ‘wings’ will be doughier

All of your initial prep is done! Set aside you trays for a second a pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

4. This recipe requires 3 baking periods, in my experience, to reach the best level of crispiness.

During the first round of baking, your ‘wings’ will bake for 25 minutes at 450

During the second round of baking, they’ll bake for 20 minutes at 450

Finally, for the third round of baking, you’ll bake your ‘wings’ for 20 minutes at 350

Between every round, flip your wings. Pictured is my batch after the first round in the oven

 I made the awful mistake of drizzling sriracha sauce into my wings in between rounds (that’s why you’ll see the red stripes below)– do not do this, for the love of God. The wings will be incredibly spicy sans extra sauce, so don’t add anything else spicy unless you’re absolutely sure you want even more kick.

In my first attempt at this recipe, I only had my wings in for two rounds, and they came out far too soft, in my opinion, so I tried throwing them in one more time and that seemed to do much better texture-wise, and is why I have included three baking periods in this recipe instead of only two, like most recipes suggest.

When your wings are ready to eat, they should be slightly crisp, but not necessarily crunchy, and provide tons of natural spice from the chili powder and turmeric combined. A dipping sauce I’d recommend would be tzatziki, as it’ll provide lots of contrasting cool flavour in its ingredients.

Congratulations! You have now successfully made your very own cauliflower wings! Feel free to share this recipe around, and invite others to burn their faces off with you.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Summer 2017, back in Vancouver, I had the pleasure of spending my belated birthday dinner with my friends at Botanist. The restaurant took over the location where ORU used to be, at Fairmont Pacific Rim. When you first enter the restaurant it’s very nature-like. The colour scheme used is very soft, gentle, and natural. The cocktail drinks were delicious and most importantly free bread with whipped butter. The bread was delicious and they refilled it!

For appetizers, we ordered the scallops and the octopus. The scallops were delicious, cooked perfectly and the sauce matched nicely. However, the charred octopus was a little disappointing, a little difficult to chew and the sauce did not work for us.

The mains were excellent, we ordered different items and we all loved it. I ordered the roasted rib-eye, medium rare, it was cooked beautifully and so tender. This restaurant is a little on the pricey end but the food is definitely worth it. A good treat… once in a while.

BOTANIST
ADDRESS: 1038 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B9
PHONE: 604-695-5500
WEBSITE: https://www.botanistrestaurant.com/menu/