Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Old Spaghetti Factory : New Westminster

SPAGHETTI FACTORY + SOURDOUGH BREAD pretty much sums up what the Old Spaghetti Factory is all about.

I cannot think of many above average restaurants in New Westminster off the top of my head and when trying to find a restaurant for dinner that is neither a pub or chain establishment around 8:00p.m., it is a pretty tough choice. So after circling around the city we decided to try the Old Spaghetti Factory on pure nostalgia. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Milestones : Coquitlam location

Would you believe that I have never been to any Milestones restaurant before?! Cactus Club, Joey and The Keg have always been my preferred chain restaurants and for some reason Milestones has never really appealed to me. The same goes with Moxie's.

Like many chain establishments, Milestones can hold a large capacity of diners and there are are plenty of booth seating arrangements. The service for a chain restaurant was surprisingly disappointing though. The hostesses did not appear friendly and it was hard to find servers, especially during a slow dinner service. On two occasions.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Arc Restaurant : Fairmont Waterfront

It is quite rare for me to find more than three dishes that I truly want to try at a non-Asian restaurant so when I took a peak at Arc's menu at Fairmont Waterfront, I was quite excited! Chowder, tartare, bone marrow and foie gras all sounded good to me.

The atmosphere was fairly loud as there was live music playing at the bar and it did not really give off a fine dining vibe as the music was neither relaxing nor soft. We did not mind however since we were not here to celebrate a special occasion.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Liu Yi Shou Hot Pot Restaurant

After a few unsuccessful Japanese restaurants at this particular location on Robson Street, I hope Liu Yi Shou Hot Pot is here to stay! Chongqing Liu Yi Shou is a popular chain in China and the establishment highly focuses on quality. The first Chongqing Liu Yu Shou chain to open in B.C is Thumbs Hot Pot restaurant in Richmond, which I have not visited yet and would not be opposed to now. The restaurant is also a la carte rather than all you can eat.

And of course previously renovated to suit a barbecue restaurant, it is well ventilated and there are plenty of spacious booth table seating arrangements.

To top it off, there is an amazing sauce bar for only $2.50!

And a large selection of garnishes.

Yes, and even WATERMELON!

Soup bases run from $9.95 - $13.95 and specialities from $21.95 - 35.95. For those who are new to hot pot or cooking, the restaurant provides a list of how long it takes to cook the ingredients too (a first for me to see in Vancouver).

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Browns Socialhouse : New Westminster location

Having no sense of food direction in Coquitlam, Burnaby and New Westminster and coming up blank for a restaurant to try, Browns Socialhouse did not seem like a bad option. When Browns Socialhouse first came to Vancouver, my thoughts were very meh. Cactus Club and Joey are still on the top of my list for preferred chains and Browns, Milestones and Moxies are the ones I told myself that I am not in a rush to try. So finally after a few years, why not Browns?

Located at the Brewery District in New Westminster with floor to ceiling wall windows and two patios with a fire, I am already interested in atmosphere. Most of the time the atmosphere is not really all that important to me, but it was really nice having the whole patio to ourselves and sitting right in front of the fire where it kept us warm. We had the best seat at the restaurant and lots of privacy! Or I guess I mean lots of peace because diners have a really clear view of the patio from the inside.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Provence Marinaside

Restaurants with a view are not my first choice of establishments to visit anymore when it comes to dining out because I am biased and believe the food may not be great, such as the Boathouse chain, Top of Vancouver, Fraiche, Seasons in the Park, Sandbar and Horizons. So when my friend wanted to try Provence Marinaside located in Yaletown and with a view of False Creek, my initial reaction was meh... Well, it was more like could we try Bella Gelateria next door instead? Okay fine, it was more like a beg instead of a suggestion!

Trying to be selfless however, Provence Marinaside was fine and we came here for lunch. When we entered the restaurant, we were a bit put off because the hostess kept her back facing towards us and seemed very indifferent. No worries though since all the servers we encountered including the manager was very personable and friendly. Given the option of patio or indoor, we chose the latter since it was chilly out. The atmosphere at Provence Marinaside is casual, laid back and inviting. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Kirin Seafood Restaurant 玉麒麟海鮮酒家 : City Square location Dinner

Kirin Seafood Restaurant used to be known as the Chinese restaurant for fine dining, before restaurants like Peninsula at Oakridge Centre and Chef Tony in Richmond surfaced. Apart from being known as a fine dining establishment, the Kirin chain is known for their peking duck (or should I say used to be...) so when my sister and her friend had a craving, I suggested to come here. Let me get this straight however, I suggested Kirin not because their peking duck is amazing... but because everyone should try Kirin's just to say they have.

The most convenient Kirin restaurant for us to try would have been the one on Alberni Street in Downtown Vancouver, but that is the worst location I have been to - service and food wise, on multiple visits! So this brings us to Kirin on West 12th, which is another location I do not prefer because of their lack of service unless you are here with your family and the food is just not that good. The best Kirin I have been to is the location in Richmond, from the atmosphere and service to the food quality.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

BiBo Pizzeria : Richmond Location

BiBo Pizzeria is an Italian restaurant specializing in Neapolitan style pizza and focuses on using fresh and natural ingredients along with straight from Italy products. The first BiBo restaurant to open is on West 4th in Kitsilano and their second location is at McArthur Glen in Richmond, where Sherman and I were invited to visit along with Nick and Joyce. There are not many restaurants at McArthur Glen too, only BiBo and Neptune Noodle Restaurant. In addition, there are not many Italian restaurants in Richmond!

Walking in, the interior is bright, spacious and the high ceiling helps with the ventilation. There are a couple of long communal tables, a large bar, tables on the other side of the restaurant and of course a wood burning oven.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Coast Restaurant : Cocktail Hour

Coast is my favourite Glowbal Collection restaurant and the reason as to why will sound pretty silly. It is my favourite restaurant out of the collection because the hostesses are very well trained! Every time I pass by Coast or before entering, the hostesses always smile and say hello every single time. Every. Singe. Time. Including whenever I am only passing by and have no intention of dining at the restaurant. Yet I can never say the same for Black + Blue or Italian Kitchen, including when I have plans to dine at those restaurants! Weird right? I honestly love the hostesses at Coast.

Another reason as to why I prefer Coast is because of the atmosphere, which has a lot of potential to be more extravagant. Coast has a private dining area, lounge, seafood bar at the centre of the restaurant, heated patio seats and two floors. The dark blue tiffany seats allure me the most and I feel like it adds a feminine touch making it a great restaurant choice for a girls night out. My sister and I dropped by after work to try Coast's Cocktail Hour however, which offers a selection of food at 50% off.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cafe Salade de Fruits

Tucked in the French Cultural Centre on West 7th is a casual French bistro serving good quality food with fine dining service, Cafe Salade de Fruits. For a few years now I have heard a lot of about the bistro such as the prices are reasonable, mussels are a must order and the place is small so make sure to make reservations. Fortunately arriving out of the blue on a weeknight reservations were not needed! I still recommend reservations however since there are not many seats.

Cafe Salade has a homey and inviting atmosphere from the friendly staff with authentic thick French accents to the dim lighting. When you walk in, you notice the high ceiling immediately along with the brick wall above the kitchen and the wooden tables along with chairs. After seating, our server took our order and when we asked if she could make sure not all the dishes are sent out at once, she responded, "why would anyone ever do that?". And I was like girl... every restaurant always does that to us! So I knew we were off to a great start for dinner already.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Angie's Malaysian Eatery

Angie's Malaysian Eatery is a small family run restaurant where the husband is the chef, the wife handles the front of the house and their children help out whenever needed. The restaurant is small with less than ten tables available and has a homey atmosphere, as if you are having dinner at a friend's. From the fabric table cloths to how place mats are placed underneath every plate, the little things add to the homey vibe.

A chalkboard menu is posted at the back of the restaurant with photographs attached and the owners also came by to show us pictures of each dish that the restaurant has to offer. On top of that, the owners provided a thorough description and were helpful in explaining what each dish was like, which we found helpful for those who are not familiar with Bruneian cuisine.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shirakawa by Itoh Dining


It is pretty evident that I fell off the blogging world for a while and writing about older restaurant experiences do not always work out, especially in this case because Shirakawa closed their doors. Shirakawa was a Japanese restaurant located in Gastown, Downtown Vancouver that offered modern and traditional cuisine. And of course the authenticity of the restaurant appeared to be a wow factor as well.

Floor to ceiling glass windows, an open kitchen and the irezumi mural were my biggest eye catchers when I walked in to the restaurant. The atmosphere also makes Shirakawa one of those Japanese restaurants that are not on the top of my list to visit because I worry the quality is not there or the quality does not match the higher prices, but I decided to make a visit for lunch. You never know until you try right?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sushi Loku

Sushi Loku has been on my list of restaurants to try for the longest time, like two years! It is one restaurant where I have very high expectations for because after spending hours looking through every photo I could find on Zomato, Yelp and Instagram, I determined that Sushi Loku is one restaurant that will consistently serve fresh sashimi. From the sashimi to the nigiri and even the carpaccio that Sushi Loku offers, I could not find one slice of oxidized Hamachi. And hamachi is one type of sashimi where the freshness cannot be questioned because the color does not lie.

So after sampling ten wine chickens to determine which restaurant offers the best for the Chinese Restaurant Awards of 2016, Sherman and I headed to Sushi Loku for dinner. The restaurant is not very big and there are around less than fifteen tables. The seating arrangements are not cramped however and there are a a couple of seats by the sushi bar. A thank you to Sherman for taking some of the photos for me too!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mango Yummy

After having dinner at Shanghai House, we headed to Mango Yummy to try their Mango Sago for the Chinese Restaurant Awards. Like many dessert restaurants, Mango Yummy is fairly small restaurant and the seating arrangements are cramped. There are a couple of tables and a few chairs outside for when the weather permits however.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Shanghai House Restaurant 上海人家

This year I was invited by Rae Kung from Chinese Restaurant Awards to be a judge on the Social Media Choice Awards panel and to join Jesse Tsao, Cathy Zhou and Sherman Chan. The five dishes we are seeking to find the best of in Vancouver consist of Sichuan Water Boiled Fish, Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice, Hong Kong Style Roast Duck, Shanghai Style Drunken Chicken and Mango Sago with Grapefruit/Pomelo. So for our first meet up, the choice of restaurant was Shanghai House. 

Shanghai House attempts to offer a nicer atmosphere compared to many Chinese restaurants where the staff wears black and white, the seating arrangements are not entirely too crowded and there are chair covers.


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