Friday, December 19, 2014

ManCakes Bakery

My sister was surprised to hear from me and more ecstatic when she found out I would be visiting her at work. But little does she know, the only reason is because I wanted her to come with me to ManCakes LOL. I do like visiting her at work occasionally though because the building reminds me of the show Suits, but their Harvey Specter is already married and has a family. Back to the cupcakes… there are a few cupcake speciality stores in Vancouver, where the most known business is Cupcakes by Heather and Lori.

Personally I am not a fan of Cupcakes by Heather and Lori because considering the "premium" prices being charged, their quality and lack of consistency is not worth it in my opinion. There are also plenty of bakeries that offer cupcakes but the only other specialty cupcake store I know of is Cassia Cupcakery on Commercial Drive.

As for ManCakes however, I consider their cupcakes "gourmet". From the quality and consistency to the fun and innovate flavours, ManCakes does not offer basic cupcakes such as yellow, carrot cake or chocolate topped with a variety of buttercream icings. Instead, ManCakes provides a variety of basic bases with the addition of a filling and then the buttercream icing. The filling is what makes a big difference for me because I can easily bake cupcakes at home, but how often will I bother making a filling if I am short on time? Let alone unique fillings such as theirs!

With regards to the name ManCakes, the story behind the business is that three gentleman friends united to make boring and overly sweet cupcakes fun, unique and better. The store is small but spacious, and there are comfortable seating arrangements along with a few stool seats facing the window for people watching. ManCakes is also known for their DeathWish coffee, which is 200% stronger than any other on the market. I do not drink coffee but probably should have tried it, just for the heck of it on my three visits.

$3.75 || 2 FOR $6.95 || 6 FOR $19.75 || 12 MINI TOOL BOX $19.75

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Motomachi Shokudo 元町食堂

Located a few doors from Kintaro and sister to the restaurant, is Motomachi Shokudo. Motomachi Shokudo focuses on "healthier" ramen by using organic ingredients (chicken, egg and vegetables) and even offers bamboo charcoal which is known to absorb toxins from the body. Our first choice was actually Kintaro but the restaurant was temporarily closed for a few days.

When we walked in, the restaurant was not busy and fortunately there was no line up! There was also no greeting from the kitchen or the front of the house staff, which is odd for a ramen joint. Motomachi Shokudo has a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, and the restaurant is not cramped compared to other ramen joints. There are three small tables, one communal, and even hooks along the concrete wall to hang purses.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nine Dishes 九道

All You Can Eat? Nine Dishes? What kind of restaurant or buffet is this? These are some of the thoughts that run through my mind whenever I pass by the restaurant. When we entered, we were pointed towards a seat and a sheet of paper along with a pen were plopped on the table. We assumed the obvious and wrote down our order before proceeding to the counter, where we handed the sheet in. After the first dish arrived, we waited a while and noticed other tables with drinks, so we assumed we were supposed to order drinks at the counter and brought them back to our table.

Nine Dishes is one restaurant where service is truly non-existent, but at least the gentleman did not look miserable. He was not friendly either, just indifferent. As for the interior, the restaurant is really cold! I wanted to keep my jacket on but because it is a runway piece, I did not want it touching the table so placed it on a chair while hesitating at the same time because the furniture is not the cleanest. The cold temperature made sense throughout dinner however because every table ordered a Szechuan hot pot.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Temaki Sushi

Temaki Sushi is a Chinese and Vietnamese operated Japanese cuisine restaurant, but I had high expectations walking in. You see, I was trying to find a follower on my Instagram and stumbled upon @temakisushihil. His cute garnishes of carrot pagodas drew my attention and I could not believe the restaurant is located in Vancouver! I have not seen many chefs in Vancouver make cute garnishes including at higher end Japanese restaurants, so I decided that Temaki Sushi warranted a visit.

We were at the front for a bit and despite some of the waitstaff staring at us, we were not helped until later. The first question a waiter asked was, "do you have reservations?". Upon hearing this, I squealed in my head and believed that Temaki Sushi could be one of the best Japanese restaurants and perhaps a busy one which requires reservations all the time. The restaurant has a few suitable seating arrangements for larger parties and the dining area is not too cramped.

After seating, the menus and tea were impatiently placed on the table but the service warmed up after we started ordering. There were around five waitstaff at the front and during busier times, everyone made their way around refilling drinks. The staff were also friendly.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dallas Pizza & Souvlaki

Saying there is a lack of Greek cuisine restaurants on my blog is an understatement because by "lack of", there is currently only one. In addition, the only "one" happens to be Dallas Pizza & Souvlaki! Throughout my SFU years, I spent quite a fair time trying to find the best donair joints along with Greek restaurants serving up roast lamb. This was harder than it sounds and I soon discovered that the higher the price, the heavier the fall.

Formerly known as "Dallas 2 For 1 Pizza & Souvlaki", the family run business moved a couple of units down to a larger retail space. The interior is nicely renovated and looks less like a typical fast food joint. But more importantly, the interior is very clean too.


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