Friday, July 23, 2010 Episode 10 - Cali and Neal's Pierogies Episode 06 - Sopapilla Cheese Cake

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Pop Bottle Dining

Pop Bottle Dining: "

“This is to confirm your reservation

for the media dinner aboard

the Floating Dining Room.”

On Friday afternoon, with two designers down and minor fires to be put out on all fronts, the above words sat buried beneath the layers of apps, chats, browser tabs, new windows, reply-alls, tweets and calendar reminders. It was only at the end of the day that I found myself with the chance to sit back and actually take in exactly what I had been invited to: that this coming Saturday would see me sitting with 12 others on a raft in False Creek with 1,675 plastic 2-litre bottles built into its frame. and enjoying a six course sustainable seafood menu prepared by Chef Robert Clark and his team at C Restaurant.

This event, which is being held every night between July 21st until the end of September, 2010, is a fundraising effort by the School of Fish Foundation. Created by Clark and Shannon Ronalds, the SOFF’s mission is to persuade culinary schools throughout the world to include a comprehensive sustainable seafood course as a requirement prior to graduation. A number of Vancouver’s finer restaurants and associations are partners with the organization including C Restaurant, Bishop’s, Cabana Bar and Grille, Joe Fortes, NU Restaurant and Lounge, Mission Hill Winery, Raincity Grill and RM Seafood.

More to come on this throughout the week and, of course, there will certainly be a follow up report. In fact, since my initial shock and excitement upon learning about this event, a piece aired on Global and went on to be picked up by CNN so the momentum is definitely building. The video can be viewed below. For those interested in making a reservation, I encourage you to visit the SOFF website.


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Cabin 5555 on West Boulevard, Vancouver

Cabin 5555 on West Boulevard, Vancouver: "
Oh, this must have been a couple of months ago when we visited Cabin 5555.

That was when Suanne and I invited a few Friends of Chowtimes for a fun coffee tasting event in the neighborhood. Since many of the people are coming all the way to West Vancouver, we thought we also organize a lunch there. This being just a side event, the turnout was great.

Cabin 5555 is a Taiwanese style cafe very much the likes of Corner 23, The One and Chill, to name a few. Part of the name is derived from the street address of the restaurant — 5555 West Boulevard.

The other part of the name (the “Cabin” part), I guess is derived from the low-ceiling feel in the restaurant. The dining area is like half a floor up from the street level and the low ceiling does have that claustrophobic feel. I felt like I was in an airplane cabin.

The place is clean which is accentuated by the all white decor. The restaurant is quite busy even though you don’t get that from the picture above. We were there early before the lunchtime crowd came in.

Cabin 5555 seems like a neighborhood restaurant. I don’t think there are many people who will drive all the way here just to eat in this restaurant. Anyway, I noticed that they have free wifi here. We don’t see many of those in Chinese restaurants but then Cabin 5555 is in an upscale part of the city.

The menu is made of pretty standard Taiwanese favourites. You have bubble tea and all its derivatives at the back of the menu. Other than that, there are the usual appetizer, noodle, dim sum, hot pot, soup, fried rice, special meal, vegetarian and main dishes sections.

Big menu and peppered with lots of common dishes from Taiwan and in between there are some interesting ones. There were about eight of us for lunch that say. They left the ordering to me and Carol who lives in the neighborhood. Since some of them are not familiar with food in a Taiwanese cafe, we decided to pick a selection of simple Taiwanese food and some “adventure” food too. The dishes are meant for individual servings but we shared them.

Yeah … “adventure food” such as the Thousand Egg with Tofu ($5) above.

For me the century egg is a delicacy, but I know this is strange food to Karen. :-) She was game enough to try just a teeny-weeny bit of the egg white (or should I call it the egg black). She did not want to risk her health by eating the disgusting looking blackened egg yolk.

Yeah, I understand. This is an acquired taste and the Chinese have really weird tastes. Firstly, black mushy egg yolks are supposed to be beyond rotten and not fit for consumption. Secondly, egg white is supposed to be white and they are not supposed to be transparent. The rest of the world’s wisdom says that you just “transparentize” the egg white with chemicals just so that it looked cool. And no … they don’t soak the eggs in horse urine to blacken the eggs … that is urban myth.

But it tasted good to me *shrug*. And I don’t think I am about to die anytime soon eating it. After all, this had been consumed for thousands of years already by the Chinese and is considered a delicacy. LOL!

The other unusual thing is that this is a cold dish. The tofu is topped with bonito flakes and green onions. Oh, when Suanne is lazy to make real dinner at home, that is what she does sometimes at home (sans the century egg).

I thought that the Taiwanese Style Oyster Omelette ($6.75) was kind of weird looking. I was expecting a bit more eggs in it. After all, they did call it an omelette on the menu. Instead it is starchier than I expected. The sauce is sweetish.

Naw … not too good as far as I am concerned. I haven’t tried a lot of oyster omelette in Vancouver because they are all Taiwanese style. I guess not many people have tried the Malaysia style oh-chien which is more egg with a little bit of starch.

When in a Taiwanese restaurant, you got to order beef noodle soup. I asked for it to be mild-spicy in consideration of those who could not stand it spicy.

This one above is called Beef and Tomato Noodle Soup ($7.50). Is tomato common in Taiwanese beef noodles? I thought it just doesn’t go with something like a TBN.

The beef noodle is just passable. Certainly not in the league of …
More after the jump. Click to read the rest of Cabin 5555 on West Boulevard, Vancouver (373 words)

© ben for Chow Times, 2010. |
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Review: Go Go Curry Food

Review: Go Go Curry Food: "
Copyright © 2010 Visit the original article at
One of the good things about working downtown is that there are a variety of options available to you if you are in need of procuring a lunch. Most of the time, I try my best to bring a packed lunch but every once in a while, I am inclined to go out or I just plain forgot my lunch at home. On one such occasion, I needed to buy my lunch and Louis and Amelia decided to join me. We were all in the mood for Thai food so we decided to go to Go Go Thai. It’s nothing fancy, but the food is decent and with lunch specials for $8.95, it’s not too bad for Thai food.

I decided to order the Green Curry with Beef lunch special, which came with a bowl of won ton soup, a spring roll, and a small salad. The won ton soup was basically chicken broth with two pork won tons. It was pretty standard fare and the won tons had more flavour than I expected.

Go Go Thai - Won Ton Soup

I forgot to take a picture of my spring roll and salad but below is the spring roll and salad that came with Amelia’s dish. Similar to the won ton soup, the spring roll was pretty standard. It was fried to order and the veggies and spring roll wrapping provided the requisite crunch. I should also note that Amelia enjoyed her eggplant with chicken, which was the special of the day. The portion for her special was actually quite large and she ended up packing half of it to take home.

Go Go Thai - Eggplant Chicken

I normally order my green curry with chicken, but I decided to switch things up that day and ordered it with beef instead. The green curry was actually quite flavourful and did not have too much coconut milk in it, which can sometimes be the case. The beef had obviously been marinated and tenderized with some corn starch but still went quite well with the curry. However, I think I still prefer my green chicken with chicken more than beef.

Go Go Thai - Green Curry Beef

I’ve eaten at Go Go Thai a few times now and their food is fairly consistent. It’s nothing special but I find their lunch specials to be a pretty good value and is comparable to some other Thai places downtown with slightly lower prices. The ambiance is pretty bare bones though so I suppose that’s where the cost savings come from. :) There is also a lunch counter with premade Chinese food but I’ve never tried it before.


682 Seymour Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-688-3218


Food: 3 out of 5 stars

Service: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Price: $

Go Go Curry House on Urbanspoon


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Red Card’s “Summer Beer Series” Headlined By Unique Pairings…

Red Card’s “Summer Beer Series” Headlined By Unique Pairings…: "
Red Card is located at 900 Seymour Street (at Smithe) | Vancouver | 604-689-4460 |

News from Scout supporter Red Card

Vancouver, BC | Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery celebrates the spirit of summer with its Summer Beer Series, a showcase of distinctive brews from around the world. Every Friday from August 6th to September 10th, Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery will showcase a feature beer paired with a specialty pizza crafted by Executive Chef, Andreas Wechselberger.

Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery’s Summer Beer Series kicks off on Friday, August 6th with Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, a new Belgian Witbier brewed in Alsace, France. Crafted from a century-old recipe that utilizes oranges and spices, 1664 Blanc is a refreshing white fruit beer that possesses vibrant citrus notes.

Executive Chef Andreas Wechselberger has created a feature pizza to pair with the 1664 Blanc. Cooked to perfection in Red Card’s world-class Marana Forni brick oven, the Olive E Caprino pizza feature accentuates the nuances of the beer by with its combination of San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, orange scented olive tapenade, soft goat’s milk cheese and fresh arugula dressed with limoncella.

To celebrate the arrival of Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc to British Columbia, Red Card will be featuring it as the first beer in its Summer Beer Series. On Friday August 6th at Red Card, the Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc will be on special for $5.00 per pint or $17.00 for the beer and Olive E Caprino pizza pairing. Guests that visit Red Card for the Summer Beer Series will enjoy select beers on special for the day paired with a delicious complementing pizza and a variety of prize give-a-ways from the featured brew company. Upcoming events will highlight exclusive beers from R&B Brewing Co., Rogue Dead Guy Ale and Whistler Brewing Company.

About Red Card Sports Bar

With inspired Italian cuisine, prepared with the freshest ingredients to the highest standards and a beautifully-restored heritage building, Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery offers a dramatic and elegant environment in which to enjoy your favourite sports game.

Red Card Sports Bar is located at 900 Seymour Street, adjacent to Moda Hotel, on the corner of Seymour and Smithe Streets, Downtown Vancouver. Open Monday – Saturday: 11.00am – 1.45am and on Sunday: 11.00am – midnight with pizzas served until 01.00am!


3252051211_7ece320f8a1In addition to providing daily editorial, Scout is dedicated to supporting and promoting cool, interesting, and independent British Columbian businesses through the publication of their press releases and event info. To learn how to get your news up on our front page, check out our supporter details page here.


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McLean’s Hockey & Heritage

McLean’s Hockey & Heritage: "
Post image for McLean’s Hockey & Heritage

The Le Magasin space in Gastown has been through many reincarnations since its inception in 1911 and with the most recent, McLean’s, it appears to be going through several all at once.

The awkwardly named So.Cial at Le Magasin has been renamed and re-outfitted by former Vancouver Canuck hockey star Kirk McLean in a grey-on-white style accented with white roses and serving continental-inspired West Coast fare.

Like So.Cial, this restaurant ambitiously comprises the formal dining room, downstairs bar, sidewalk patio and sandwich shop and squarely occupying the “something for everyone” camp serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. The main dining room is fairly muted and formal, with a special area set aside for “Kirk’s table” where Kirk is able to communicate with the kitchen and his guests from an always reserved wing-back chair. But downstairs, “Kirk’s bar” is a schizophrenic mélange of antique books, flat-panel TVs, retro throw cushions, a back-lit Rampant Lion…and more white roses. In a small space below street level, it feels part attic and part rumpus room.

Mingling in this space over sangria and wine at a recent event it seems that this venue is best served as an after work drinks spot, where standing and nibbling would be on the agenda. We had Tuna tartare with avocado and nori chips, easily sampled with one hand while holding a glass of pinot gris in the other. The nori chips are a nice touch, both visually and flavour-wise and make a nice scoop for the tartare although the tartare could have used some more ponzu as the predominant flavour was bland avocado.

Fior di Latte, an appetizer size salad of fresh cow’s milk mozzarella was served with roasted cherry tomatoes and arugula tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The menu cites this dish’s ingredients as including fresh basil rather than arugula, so I’m not sure if the intention was to be more along the lines of a Caprese salad or if they’re making some last minute menu changes. Regardless, the way it was served positioned the bitter greens at one end of the plate and the bland cheese at the other, with only the dressing to join them. This dish could be greatly improved with a little tweaking.

The seared flat-iron steak tataki is done in a tangy Asian-style with citrus soy and grapes, garnished with flat-leaf and black sesame seeds. The grapes are an interesting contrast to the richness of the meat and I enjoyed both the flavour and crunch from it but the Humboldt squid with chorizo, lime and sansho pepper aioli was my favorite dish, spicy and full of flavour.

They seem to be trying to do some innovative things with the menu and with some more refinement and tasting, they might be able to sort out the inconsistencies in flavour and pull it off. However, they are open seven days a week and are virtually guaranteed to be busy with their fail-safe affiliation with hockey fame and location on Water Street.

~ Degan Beley

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Refinery’s Cocktail Kitchen

Refinery’s Cocktail Kitchen: "
It’s like finding a 100 dollar bill in your pocket. Oooo, maybe it’s more like the sudden realization that you are in the middle of such a good book you can’t put it down. No, actually it’s exactly like finding a hidden gem of a restaurant where the staff is so passionate about their imaginative and delicious fare that they want to share it with the entire world.

I guess it’s kind of unfair to describe the Refinery as hidden when it’s plunked as big as life at 1115 Granville street, but then so are dozens of other 50 seat establishments vying for our night-out dollars. It is not however any degree of exaggeration to say they want to share it with the entire world. The infectiously enthusiastic staff is serving up dishes from a different part of the world every month from now until January. Each week a different bartender is invited to match a set of 3 cocktails with the monthly plates. The celebrity mixers must use the chosen spirit of that month, and must utilize at least 1 of the 19 house bitters created by Refinery’s Bar Master, Lauren Mote.

The kick-off night featured Lauren herself creating the 3 Hornito Tequila based cocktails paired with chef Ben de Champlain (ex-Bin 941) Central American inspired plates.

Chef Ben de Champlain's 1st Course - Central America theme

First up, inspired by the west coast of Central America, we had a Qualicum scallop ceviche, chile, cilantro balanced with grapefruit and orange citrus. Beside was the braised fennel with guajillo chili dressing, which had a green tea flavor with berry overtones.

Refinery's Cocktail Kitchen - July 2010 - Central America
Lauren Mote's Aguas Fresca

Lauren paired this graciously with what she called

Aguas Fresca

1.5 oz Hornitos tequila

.5 oz homemade fennel seed and orange sherry bitters

1.5 oz watermelon water

.75 oz lime juice1 oz cane sugar

mint and cucumber foam

A refreshingly dangerous cocktail, whose nose of cucumber dissolved to a light watermelon affair on the way down. Lauren’s secret: A pinch of gelatin to hold the foam.

This was closely followed up with a Caribbean region inspired jerk spice poached prawn, tomato chayote and pineapple salad, pimento dressing (all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, habanero hot sauce), served with avocado crema and a homemade fluffy soft tortilla.

I could have easily eaten a dozen of those prawns. Some may like to be able to experience the flavours together with a little less effort, but this is casual Caribbean.

Refinery's Cocktail Kitchen - July 2010
2nd Course with paired cocktal

Lauren countered with a cooling cocktail:

Tamarind Bushy Tree

1.5 oz Hornitos tequila

.5 oz homemade house bitters (Hi-proof whiskey base with coriander)

.75 oz lemon juice

1 oz tamarind allspice syrup

.25 oz cilantro water

That amazing crusty rim was a stucco of chili powder & dehydrated mango salt – truly inspired as it mirrored the plates spicy fruitiness.

Refinery's Cocktail Kiychen - July 2010 - 3rd Course
3rd course, Flank Steak

The finale featured a traditional Mexican flank steak, a fairly tough cut of meat which required a long marinade of Achiote & Driftwood Whitebark beer to make it tender. The slightly sloppy greens were a jicama, watercress and cucumber salad, jalapeno and cilantro dressing, grilled onions. All inspired by the Yucatan region of Mexico, it was rustic, hearty, and held a mild sneaky heat.

Lauren saved the best for last with a silky cloth in liquid form…

Refinery's Cocktail kitchen - July 2010 - 3rd Cocktail pairing
3rd cocktail pairing - Horchata Picante

Horchata Picante

1 oz Hornitos Tequila

.25 oz homemade ancho & chipotle bitters

.5 oz homemade chocolate vermouth

4 oz almond and rice milk horchata

Chocolate vermouth! Did you hear that! Wow, this sealed the deal for me. I walked out of the Refinery a happy and better man, glowing from the inside as I truly believe that this level of care put into food and drink becomes part of the being.

I would reserve now… at a paltry $30, every Thursday, this will surely sell out every week.

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Dim Sum at Continental Seafood Restaurant on Cambie Road in Richmond

Dim Sum at Continental Seafood Restaurant on Cambie Road in Richmond: "
This will be my last dim sum meet with Polly before the summer holiday starts. For this meet, we also invited a couple more friends, Joyce and Angie. For dim sum, the more the merrier as we can try more items. Besides the adults, we also have Nanzaro, along with Polly’s son and Joyce cute toddler joining us.

We met at Continental Seafood Restaurant on Cambie Road in Richmond which we have not been to before. The restaurant is big, perhaps occupying 3 or more shop lots.

This is another restaurant with Chinese style banquet decorations at one end of the restaurant. The restaurant is not too busy as we were there on a Friday.

This is one of the few cart system dim sum place in Richmond. Such places are more user friendly as one can see the food before you order them. Good for people who are not familiar with dim sum.

The restaurant offers 20% discount on Sunday nights. Perhaps, Sunday nights are the quieter nights.

Click on the photos above to see larger view of the specials.

A typical dim sum practice to serve two pot of drink, one for tea and another for hot water. You may refill the tea pot with the hot water yourself.

A common condiment served at dim is chili sauce and Chinese mustard sauce.

We started off the the very common ‘Har Gao” and “Siew Mai’ for the kids. Siu Mai is Elliot’s favourite. The steamed items were served piping hot.

We had the ‘Sin Jook Guen’ which is Steamed Bean Curd Roll and Deep Fried Prwan Spring Rolls as a contrast in texture. More dim sum follows …
More after the jump. Click to read the rest of Dim Sum at Continental Seafood Restaurant on Cambie Road in Richmond (172 words)

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