Monday, June 30, 2014

Globe @ YVR, Afternoon Tea at Fairmont


Vouchers from Groupon, SocialShopper or Travelzoo may be considered risky to purchase because some of the restaurants are not that great, hence the need to promote themselves. However, when I noticed SocialShopper offering afternoon tea for two at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, I quickly snatched it up! Hotel Vancouver is one of my favourite places for tea because I love their scones. And, well, that is about it... other than for the professional and attentive service along with the cute antique table setting. However, I have never been to the Fairmont Vancouver Airport for tea or even dinner.

There is an entrance from outside (as pictured above) and if coming from the airport there are escalators which lead to the restaurant. The SocialShopper voucher we purchased includes afternoon tea for two along with two hours of parking for $49.00. Additional parking starts at $4.50 which we found out later on, since we were ten minutes past the two hours while waiting in line to leave the parking lot.

Walking in, we walked up to the host and despite making a request on Opentable that we were willing to change the time as well as date for a window seat, it was overlooked. After seating, the host explained the menu and mentioned our server Josephine would be with us shortly. When Josephine arrived, she introduced herself and explained the menu to us again. In addition, she mentioned the restaurant also offers chai and maple maple which is a black tea that is not listed on the menu.

The interior has a high ceiling along with window wrapped walls and the seating arrangements are not tight. As for the service, the staff was very professional in the beginning but disappeared after. Throughout the tea service, we were left with finished plates on the tier and no one checked up on us. Although to be fair, service is not that big of a deal during afternoon tea because as long as guests have what they need, it is really fine. 

However, at a fine dining restaurant and with Hotel Vancouver to compare (where there is always perfect service), there is an expectation of finished plates to be removed from the tier and the tier to be taken away when there is only one plate left with food. In our case, all three empty plates along with the tie, stayed on the table throughout the tea service.

TEA MENU ($42.00), JUNIOR TEA ($18.00).

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Zhao's Soup House 趙記湯館


Zhao's Soup House is a new Chinese restaurant which is located underneath Jade Seafood along Alexandra Road, in Richmond. Having passed by the restaurant numerous times, I never really thought much of them. However, when CrispyLechon posted some photos on Instagram, I knew I had to make a visit because 1. the restaurant offers slow cooked soups and 2. the interior looks amazing.

The interior looks like a house or a room in China, and there are protective and longevity patterns which are often found at palaces. Furthermore, the ceiling has a mandala flower pattern and there is a poster print of Chinese art along the wall, of a palace during the Song Dynasty. As for the seating arrangements, the replicas of old wooden carved tables with a glass top, are spaced evenly apart and not cramped. If anything, I wonder how the restaurant plans to keep the floor clean. The flooring looks nice and is laminated wood with deep grooves in the pattern, where dirt can get trapped.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lee Garden Seafood Restaurant 利苑海鮮酒家 : Dinner


Lee Garden is the new replacement of the old run down Grand Buffet Restaurant. Furthermore, Lee Garden is also the newest Chinese restaurant to join Kingsway Street in South Burnaby. Coming for dinner on a Monday evening around 7:30pm, the restaurant was packed! The parking lot was full and we ended up parking in a residential area. Perhaps the restaurant was busy because we visited a day after Father's Day? 

Walking in, I was amazed. Wow, the restaurant totally renovated. The atmosphere at Lee Garden is definitely similar to Kirin and is the nicest looking restaurant in South Burnaby, including New Startlet. After waiting fifteen minutes at the front along with a large crowd of people, the hostess showed up, seated everyone and mentioned we had a thirty minute wait. Honestly, it is really rare for me to wait at any restaurant, but because of the nice interior along with no other restaurants to visit in the area, I did not mind. Plus, Lee Garden had a full house and it would be great to gauge how the food and service is.

The waiting area has marble tiles, a nice chandelier and even a brass plated umbrella rack. Furthermore, there is a nice hallway from the entrance, cashier and seafood tank, to the dining room. In addition, the restaurant has a high ceiling and is definitely going for the higher end prestigious look. 

As for the dining room, there are grey drapes with golden tassels, a golden phoenix cut out, more chandeliers, and spacious seating arrangements. Furthermore, the restaurant is huge. As for the table setting, there are double plates along with a brown napkin which is a typical set up for pricier restaurants. 

However, in our case seating at 8:15pm, we only had a single plate with a white napkin. Usually most restaurants change their table setting to a simpler one on slow nights, or an hour before closing for next morning's dim sum. But, for a new restaurant during a busy period, I expected more. If everyone around us has double plates and a brown napkin, I except the same..

Friday, June 27, 2014

Maekhong Thai Restaurant & Grill

Formerly known as Little Thailand, is now Maekhong Thai which is still under the same ownership. The Thai cuisine restaurant is located in Port Moody and we found out later on, at a small residential building. Furthermore, the outside looks really creepy. At first, we were confused why there was a trailer here and when we walked up, there were police officers speaking to a resident about a domestic dispute. Turns out, the restaurant is located at a residential building. In addition, we thought it was nice how the restaurant offers patio seating. However, the patio may be for the whole apartment building and not the restaurant.

Walking in, the owner's daughter was friendly as well as welcoming, and let us choose any seat. Every table has purple coloured linen with gold and navy accents, along with a plate and utensils folded in a napkin, placed on a bamboo sheet.

Maekhong Thai gives off a traditional Thailand home feeling. The interior has a few Thailand symbols such as a brass figure of Asian elephants hanging on the wall along with a portrait of a goddess, and a buddha statute head. However, asides from a few Thailand symbols, the restaurant looks old and well, not going to lie, it was quite stuffy.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Marpole is a convenient location for me to grab lunch or dinner, but I never know where to go! Asides from Red Star, where else is there to eat in Marpole? Well, after searching around, Mirchi caught my eye. Alright, some of the dishes look average online and one cannot judge how the food may taste by looking at just photos, especially with curries. However, what sold me is their naan. For a restaurant to have a tandoor on site and good looking naan, it is a must try.

Walking up to Mirchi, BF did not want to try the restaurant and we walked down the street to look for something else. After walking two blocks down, I called him stupid and to trust me, I know good naan when I see it. So, we headed back to Mirchi and when we walked in, our immediate thoughts were that the restaurant looks old. Not only that, but the restaurant looks equivalent to a Chinese wonton house which to be honest, was not a big deal because I was wearing laundry day clothes.

We were given the option to grab any table and chose a window seat. After receiving the menus from our friendly waitress, the owner came by to fill our glasses with water. He was very humble as well as polite, and I felt bad asking for hot water or mentioning the glasses were dirty, which kind of screwed me over later on for choosing not to drink anything. The table setting is pretty generic, glasses with folded napkins and utensils placed on the side. Furthermore, there are photos of celebrities who have visited the restaurant along with a few family photos. The restaurant has a nice homey vibe.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Go Gung 古宮

Go Gung was recommended by a family friend in Vancouver, and for her to rave about the galbi beef ribs at a Korean restaurant in Coquitlam? It must be a must visit. Go Gung is located in the Westwood Plateau neighbourhood which is past Coquitlam Centre, at the Westwood Plateau Village. When we arrived, we thought holy shit, this is the Korean restaurant to dine at.

Walking in, the interior shocked me. Go Gung is the nicest looking Korean restaurant that I have ever been to! There is a gorgeous water wheel fountain at the waiting area and the restaurant has window wrapped walls. Furthermore, there is a nice stonewall divider which separates two dining areas, and the restaurant has private rooms. In addition, although not pictured, there are cute little Korean figurines on the stonewall.

After seating, we took a look at the menu and the first page really got to me. I believed every single word of it, seriously, especially being big on service… I was already excited before ordering!

Go Gung means "the old palace" in Korean and it is our intention to make you feel like royalty during your time with us. Whether you are an experienced diner or new to Korean food, our knowledgeable staff witll help you discover the tantalizing flavours and aroma that will please your senses. From the moment you arrive, you will be treated to a memorable culinary experience including an extensive menu, specialty bar, spacious seating and an amazing view. And you are invited to participate! Every table has its own gas barbecue and ventilation fans [so] you can prepare our specialty meats to your liking in a smoke free environment. Experiment with a vast selection of condiments and satisfy every appetite with entrees, soups and salad from the main menu. Korean food is all about flavour! Our reasonably priced dishes are made to order using the freshest ingredients.

Moving past the first page, we noticed the prices on the menu are quite high but when looking closer, only around $2.00-$3.00 pricier than most Korean restaurants.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

C-Lovers Fish & Chips : Burquitlam location

With only $50.00 cash in our pockets, we decided to be adventurous and find out how much $50.00 can get us. In the Burquitlam area, there is pretty much only Chinese, Korean, Japanese, a few Vietnamese and a couple of chain restaurants. Theoretically, $50.00 is more than enough for a two item combo at a Chinese restaurant, sushi rolls if having Japanese, and a hot pot at any Korean joint. But, without having to calculate right to the dot or worrying about being short on cash considering the amount of food BF and I eat, we settled on something simple. Fish n' Chips.

In addition, not just fish n' chips, but all you can eat as well! This way, there is no need to worry about being hungry after dinner. C-Lovers is a fast food chain restaurant that serves pretty much fish n' chips and burgers. Having visited C-Lovers once before at the location in Coquitlam, I was interested in trying the one in Burquitlam. When we walked in, our waitress Stephanie mentioned we could seat ourselves anywhere. After taking a look at the menu, we decided to pay it safe, go for the AYCE and if we enjoy the meal, come back for a la carte next time.

As for the interior, the restaurant is much cleaner than the location in Coquitlam. Furthermore, the waiting area is quite spacious which makes those who grab orders to go, more comfortable. Every table is preset with utensils along with a menu, and larger tables are labelled "reserved for six or more". As for the cosmetics, the walls are painted a muggy swamp green and there are brown painted pillars, pretty much similar to the location in Coquitlam.

TODDLER ($2.99), CHILD 4-10 ($5.99), ADULT ($11.99).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Come Along Seafood Restaurant 金龍船海鮮酒家 : Dinner (2nd visit)


Having experienced more negative than positive experiences for dim sum at Come Along and only one undocumented horrible dinner, I decided to give the restaurant another try, half a year ago. On my last visit for dinner at Come Along, the food was surprisingly not bad! The two memorable items were the cream and butter sauce crab as well as the taro fried rice. Furthermore, Come Along frequently offers promotional prices on their live seafood and peking duck.

The peking duck special seems to be always available and is priced at $28.99. So, with two pretty good dishes from the last visit and a great peking duck value, we decided to head to Come along. Throughout the dinner, the service was great. The staff was friendly and attentive! Was it my birthday? Furthermore, the staff provided plenty of plate changes (not too excessively) without having to ask, which is a first for us here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

On the day we tried out Marutama, the choice was actually between there or Santouka! What I really like about Santouka are the plastic displays at the front of the restaurant. The plastic displays of pretty much every item on the menu, includes the price along with a description. In addition, what you see is what you get, honestly.

As usual like at many ramen restaurants, the staff was cheerful, welcoming and friendly when we walked in. In addition, the seating arrangements are tight as expected. However, Santouka has one of the most comfortable seating arrangements out of many ramen joints, especially for those who sit at the half booth seats. Furthermore, the front of the restaurant has communal tables for larger parties or to share, and bar seats are available as well.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Double One Chinese Restaurant 美味閣

Driving from Burnaby to Vancouver along Hastings street which is literally only ten minutes, there is a large variety of restaurants. Competition wise, it is very competitive as most restaurants step up their promotions or quality of food; whether it be a lunch special or promotional prices regarding live seafood. However, at some restaurants, the quality of food along with the service is a total fail (IPOH Asian House).

When I heard the sentence "lets go for Chinese on Hastings Street", I could not think of which restaurant BF was talking about. Pelican? Um… we only go for late night. James on Hasting? Isn't that another late night restaurant? Golden Lake? The food was not good enough for a revisit after trying them out twice. Tung Sing Chin? NO. What else is there? Double One? Where is that? By Burgers Etc? Huh?

After doing the usual when we pull up to a restaurant that I am not interested in trying but yet, have nowhere else in mind, "oh… is that what you really want? Are you sure? No… I do not care what we eat. Really? Chinese? You sure? How about sushi? No… really, whatever you want it is fine… Italian? Oh Chinese? So Chinese right? You sure?" LOL. We headed to Double One and decided to check out the menu first. After seeing scallops on the menu, yup, let's do it and we took our seat. Well, more like stood at the front for a while until a friendly owner (the husband) came up to seat us.

The interior is very simple and there is nothing fancy. Double One appears to be family operated with the husband along with the son, working at the front of the house.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

La Amigo Restaurant 雅谷餐廳

A post I have delayed for a while is my pre-dinner at Amigo Restaurant because I never took a photo of the restaurant's exterior LOL. I mean, I could have, but on my visit, it was pouring rain and well… obviously not worth it. In addition, I kept forgetting to take a photo every time I went back to Richmond! However, fortunately a long time reader and IGer of mine, crispylechon, actually took the photo for me! He joked (or I hope he was joking...) about almost getting hit by a car while snapping away. So thanks to crispylechon for this photo!

I always struggle when finding a restaurant during the 2:30pm-5:00pm period in Richmond. Usually it is because I do not want to visit a Chinese restaurant earlier than 6:00pm, and am not a big fan of Hong Kong style cafes or bubble tea food. Especially when I am really hungry. Furthermore, my last experience at a Hong Kong style cafe, ABC HK Cafe, was horrible, the absolute worst. So, after circling around for thirty minutes, my friend and I decided on Amigo because I was making her really mad with my indecisiveness. Plus, she has been interested in trying the restaurant for quite some time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Taishoken Ramen 大勝軒

After grabbing a snack at Pourhouse, we headed to Tinseltown to pick up sunglasses. On the way there, we noticed an extremely long line up outside of a ramen restaurant, Teishoken. As it turns out, people were lining up to try a newly opened ramen joint while taking advantage of a great promotional value, $5.00 for a bowl. This is a great marketing strategy; lose a little, gain a lot.

As two hours passed, yes, two, it was finally our turn. In general, I would never line up for any restaurant but because my schedule is extremely busy with business, working out and making sure my dogs get enough exercise, I considered the two hours as a time for me to "relax". Sad, but true. Taishoken was offering three types of ramen, shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt) as well as miso, and we went for the miso along with the shio.

On every table, chilli pepper, pepper, chilli oil, vinegar and soy sauce is provided on the side. As for the interior, the table as well as chairs are all wooden and like most ramen joints, diners can peak into the kitchen. The kitchen has an organized assembly line with a cook cooking the noodles, another dealing with the chashu and one adding the broth. As for the seating arrangements, there are window seats to shared tables, and half booth seats.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pourhouse Restaurant

After shopping at a few local boutiques in Gastown, I needed a snack and remembered C'est la vie a Maggi instagramming a photo of a large bone marrow from Pourhouse. In addition, she mentioned it was only $12.00! So, since BF and I were in the area and needed something light, it was pretty much meant to be.

Walking in on a weekday around 4:30pm, the restaurant was not very busy and a couple of people were drinking at the bar. After waiting at the front for a while, the bartender asked if we were here for drinks or food, along with providing us a choice of a table or bar seat, before calling the waiter.

The atmosphere at Pourhouse is very homey and feels like a relaxing place to socialize, although of course the restaurant will get loud during busier times such as dinner through to late night. Asides from the comfortable atmosphere, the high rustic wooden ceiling along with the pillars to the bricked walls, resemble a traditional European style interior. As for the seating arrangements, there are comfortable booth seats, padded chairs and stools by the bar. Furthermore, asides from the squeaky clean restaurant, I like the laminated wooden tables.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hi, Dozo Sushi

After being rejected at Tamarind Hill because the restaurant was booked for the night, we headed to the next restaurant which was across the street, Hi, Dozo Sushi. In general, every Korean restaurant, to be exact, Korean owned Japanese cuisine restaurant, is always friendly and welcoming. Some great examples are SushiUOmo, Tokyo Hon, Kaya Japanese and even Sushi California.

But… walking into Hi, Dozo Sushi, the vibe felt like Congee Noodle King or even worse, Rose Garden. There were no greetings from the sushi chefs or a word from the waitress when we walked up. The restaurant seemed cold for a Saturday evening.

Hi, Dozo Sushi is located in New Westminster and the restaurant is fairly spacious. There are wooden booth seating arrangements as well as  seats by the sushi bar, and a large waiting area at the front.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tre Galli Gelato Caffe

Tre Galli Gelato Caffe is located at the River Market in New Westminster Quay, and after an unpleasant meal at Re-Up, we headed across to the shop. I believe this is the only gelato shop in New West too. The prices include tax and are $3.50/child, $4.10/single, $5.15/double and $6.50/triple. Furthermore, there are take home containers available as well. Some of the flavours include amaretto, passion fruit, chocolate chip mint, blood orange, stracciatella, lemon, french vanilla, pear, kiwi lime, greek yogurt, blueberry, banana chocolate chip, pineapple, black sesame, panna cotta and tiramisu.

Before grabbing some gelato, we came here for a frappe while having a meal at Re-Up. Surprisingly, despite sitting right in front of the caffe with no line up (at the moment), the male cashier dropped our drink to the other side (presumably where the drink pick up area is) without mentioning it to us. Comparing the customer service to Re-Up, it was pretty… not welcoming or friendly. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Duotian Fish Soup Noodles Restaurant 多田魚珍米線餐飲

After finishing dinner at Sushiholic, my friend and I were still hungry and decided to try out Duotian Fish Soup Noodles. The restaurant is located at the 1st Avenue plaza along with Fortune City, T&T Supermarket, Thai Son and Venice Garden. As for the food, the restaurant serves "build your own" noodles (like Deer Garden and Cattle Cafe), congee and clay pot rice, along with Hong Kong style cafe food.

When we walked in, the interior surprised us. The restaurant looks clean and is fairly large. In addition, the seating arrangements are not cramped. Not sure why but we were expecting a sort of run down Chinese restaurant. Furthermore, the staff was friendly!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cho Sun B.B.Q. Korean Restaurant

BF has been interested in trying out Cho Sun BBQ for months. Months. As for myself, I heard through Instagram that the food is average at best and typical me, hesitant towards wasting money on mediocre food (hey! Korean food is pricey…), never wanted to visit. However, since I was responsible for four below average to mediocre restaurants in a row, I caved and we finally came here for dinner (which actually ended our streak of bad luck restaurants!).

Cho Sun is a Korean barbecue restaurant located on Kingsway Street in Vancouver, and offers Japanese food as well. In addition, the restaurant is open late until 2:00am. As for the seating arrangements, there are divider walls everywhere and unlike some Korean restaurants, there is no push bell service! I never thought much of push buttons before, asides from worrying about annoying the staff… but, Cho Sun desperately needs one. The restaurant was only half full but because of the layout, it is impossible to get a waiting staffs' attention unless they happened to be walking by.


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