It’s The Greatest Time of the Year

Cozying up with mountains of furry blankets, watching old Christmas movies with my gals, having daily brunch, no worrying about due dates… This is the sound of the holidays my dear ones. Though the weather is getting chillier by day (and wetter), I’ve found myself on a little granola kick… I used to be the type of person who thought it was pointless to order at breakfast places since it’s so easy to make at home (and cheaper too!), but nowadays, I’ve become so smitten with trying as many versions of it as possible that it seems to be the only thing I order when I go out. How adventurous, I know. Even though I’ve been MIA on here, I still have been keeping up on my Instagram, @longlivefeasts to highlight some meals I’ve enjoyed without going through the whole shebang of writing a blog post. Don’t worry, I’ll slowly start rolling them back again since I’m officially all done with exams! I’ve seriously had such a great first term experience, it’s surreal and I couldn’t be happier. Anyway, I’ve included snippets of some outings, which hopefully will inspire you to make plans yourself this holiday season. Better yet, maybe create a spread similar. Those are always a winner.

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- Granola from Butter Baked Goods

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- Granola from Le Marche St. George

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- Granola from Terra Breads

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- Latte by Au Comptoir

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- Croissant and Granola by Au Comptoir (My favourite croissant in the city!)

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- Pancakes at Yew Restaurant at Four SeasonsIMG_3148.JPG

- Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal By Myself

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- Fish Tacos from Market by Jean-Georges

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- Almond Croissant from Beyond Bakery

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- Tiramisu from Doughgirls

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- Chicken Sandwich from The Sweet Spot

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- Mac And Cheese from Doughgirls

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- Whole Wheat Scone from The Secret Garden Tea Company

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- Croque Madame from Au Comptoir

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- Cannolis from Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill

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- Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce from Rain or Shine Ice Cream

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- Apple Pie from Bella Gelataria Yaletown

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- Siciliana Pizza from Bella Gelateria Yaletown

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- Pies from The Pie Shoppe

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- Prosciutto and Arugula from NOVO Pizzeria and Bar

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- Mushroom Pizza from NOVO Pizzeria and Bar

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- Stuffed Mushrooms from Felico’s

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- Sweet Potato + Cashew Soup with Charred Brussel Sprouts at The Acorn

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- Vegetarian Platter at Felico’s (All my favorite components!)

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- Brownie Mountain at Seasons at the Park

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- Gnocchi at Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill

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- Lunch at Joe Fortes

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- Pumpkin Cheesecake at Bel Cafe

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- Turkey Sandwich and Tomato Soup from Bel Cafe

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- Lemon Tart from Seasons at the Park

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- Pasta Bake by Myself

L’Opera Patisserie

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After a few months of hiatus, I’m so happy to be blogging again. While I was offline, I had been thinking of where I want to take this blog. Should I keep it as a reviewing website or make it more… personal? I decided on the latter. I’m still going to continue writing about new places that I’m visiting, but instead of going in detail on how the food tastes, I want to make it more of a diary entry – snippets of what I’m feeling/doing that day. Maybe that’s something that might not interest you, but I want to give it a try. Who knows, maybe it won’t even happen! My mood changes frequently after all.

Recently, I visited a little Paris-inspired gem tucked in Minoru Blvd that I’ve been to a couple of times to try their macarons. Today, I finally dined inside and had one of their pastries, the mont blanc to be specific. I don’t know why, but I’ve been finding myself really enjoying new flavours, things that I would never think to gravitate towards when I was younger. It’s funny how taste buds change so unexpectedly that you don’t really have a reason for why it is.

Sitting in the cafe with my mom and having a little afternoon treat was so calming, especially with the dripping rain outside. Sometimes, I forget how much fun surprises are. With such a structured routine of waking up, having breakfast, going to school, doing homework, having dinner and then going to bed, a little change-up is a reminder of how there’s always room for fun. Making room for that balance is really what makes life worth living, and not so dull and mundane.

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The pastry case

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Pastries on pastries…

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More pastries…

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Cappuccino

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Chai Latte

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Raspberry Mille-Feuille

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Mont blanc

L'Opera Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Birthday Celebrations

IMG_3517.JPG Before it opened its doors, Boulevard was pronounced by multiple social media outlets as being Vancouver’s newest hot spot. The man handling the position of executive chef is no other than Alex Chen himself, setting high expectations for many interested diners. After catching sight of the Vahlrona soufflé on one of my news feeds, I knew I had to make a visit for dinner. With my birthday not too far away, I knew I didn’t have to deliberate anymore on which restaurant to choose – Boulevard would be the verdict. The whole night unwounded smoothly (minus my glass dropping and shattering), with the presence of impeccably well-mannered staff. I could not have been more pleased. The space was bustling, enchanting, and the food didn’t disappoint either. The mussels were simply perfect: briny, meaty, and juicy. Though the burrata won’t be a dish I would re-order as I wasn’t a big fan of their version, the ingredients were so fresh with a strong connection to seasonal availability at home. I have to say though, the highlights of the meal were the risotto and soufflé. From presentation to the execution, I could not have been more happy with my decisions… IMG_3519.JPG burrata peas, mint, frill mustard greens, heirloom tomatoes, white balsamic IMG_3514.JPG summer vegetable risotto summer beans, peas, fennel, chanterelles, braised artichokes, tomato fumet, parmesan IMG_3515.JPG oceanwise oysters a seasonal selection of west & east coast oysters IMG_3516.JPG spaghetti alle vongole sawmill bay clams, wild white shrimp, basil, fresno chile, d.o.p. san marsano tomato IMG_3512.JPG grilled beef ribeye balsamic onion, chanterelle mushroom, béarnaise, red wine sauce IMG_3513.JPG alpaco chocolate souffle valrhona alpaco chocolate, creme anglaise

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Main Mall Harvest Feast 2014

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I love the concept of community dinners. It’s an incredible opportunity to connect with individuals who share similar passions as myself on eating good, sustainable food. When I heard about this event, I was ecstatic! It was like a re-visit to Diner en Blanc, which is… impossible to put into words. Nonetheless, along with two of my friends, we dined famiglia-style with a few others at our table and seriously had a grand ol’ time catching up! It was the perfect mid-week treat that we all needed… If you see another event happening like this one, I would highly recommend it. For the price of $18, it was a steal.

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Wild Mushroom and Zucchini Pasta

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Chorizo and Roasted Vegetable Penne

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Butternut Squash and Kale Fall Salad

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UBC Farm Blueberry Crumble with Whipped Cream

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Okanagan Apple and Fraser Valley Cranberry Pie

Nothing Says Fall Better….

IMG_3414.JPG It’s that time of year again – the clean, crisp air, the golden sunlight, the sound of leaves crunching as you are walking, oh, and the remarkable array of pumpkin goodies available throughout bakeries. Most of the time, all I can dream of is cozying up on my couch, wrapping myself in furry blankets, while re-watching my favourite childhood movies with friends. Oh, and enjoying all that comfort food that has been shelved since the spring season started… I seriously love this time. With that said, I do acknowledge my lack of posts recently. My instagram @longlivefeasts is more frequently updated since it’s much easier taking a photo then finding the time to write an entire post about a certain place. As well, I’ve realized that I want to slowly transition this blog into something more personal. Not just a long review with photos, but a place where I upload photos I’ve taken of recently, of sentimental value and wish to write a little blurb about… Anyway, aside from that long spell, here is my recent visit to Butter! Seriously, I could not imagine being anywhere but here on a Saturday morning. Enjoying one of their house-made cinnamon buns or something off their daily menu, it epitomizes brunch with it’s charming set-up and jaw-dropping sweets. A little girl’s wonderland, it’s a corner cafe that every neighbourhood wish they had, like Le Marché St. George. IMG_3413.JPG IMG_3412.JPG IMG_3410.JPG My friend and I decided to share a tomato burrata sandwich and the french toast of the day (with vanilla butter and strawberry sauce)… not the best brunch fare I’ve had, but it was such a treat being in their space! IMG_3409.JPG Of course, my visit there was prompted from all the pumpkin goodies they were offering (darn Instagram!), so of course, I couldn’t resist trying one of their offerings. I’m not going to lie, if you are an indecisive person, it’s painful trying to make a decision. Everything on display looks too tempting! Nontheless, I chose their pumpkin pie and a package of their pumpkin biscotti! Their biscotti I’m really digging (as I’m eating one currently), but their pumpkin pie was underwhelming. It wasn’t as flakey as I presumed and it just didn’t feel right without a scoop of vanilla ice cream…

Butter Baked Goods on Urbanspoon

Empire Seafood Restaurant

Time after time, I always enjoy coming here because provided by their extensive menu, there is always room for me to try something different. If you know me well, even if I have discovered a favourite, I usually tend to order new items. I love developing my palate and being able to become inspired… Anyhow, below are some of the dishes offered here. If you are a fan of baked tapioca pudding, this is the place to go. The dessert isn’t typically offered at many establishments for dim sum, mainly for dinner service, so I’m happy to see that they serve it here! Especially since it’s a fantastic representation of what it should be (minus the taro).

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Steamed Mushroom Dumplings
Not as good as I remembered them being. The skin was too thick for my liking.

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Baked Tapioca Pudding
The crust was exactly like a pineapple bun topping; it blended in with the custard base. It wasn’t too sweet and the portion was large enough for 2-3 people.

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Baked Egg Tart
Their egg tarts are much bigger than what I’ve been served at in any restaurant. They shell was super crispy, in fact it seemed like it was spent in the oven a little too long. They’re decent, but I prefer Kirin’s hands down.

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Buddha’s Feast
I would pass on this. The only place I’ve enjoyed this dish so far is at Dynasty on Broadway.

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Deep Fried Shrimp Spring Rolls
These were really good! They weren’t oily, with ample filling of shrimp and garlic.

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Steamed Shrimp Dumplings
I didn’t try these because I’m not the biggest fan of shrimp dumplings… I guess I grew up eating them way too much.

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Pan Fried Tiger Prawn and Egg Plant
Super flavourful with the sweet and salty sauce coating the dish. The prawns were batter-fried first so they had a nice crunch to them but it also allowed the sauce to be more easily absorbed.

Empire Seafood Restaurant 帝苑皇宴海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

Kirin Seafood Restaurant

Everyone in Vancouver has heard of Kirin. It’s a go-to institution acclaimed for their consistency, their multiple branches a representation of their success. Their Richmond location is one I frequent often, especially for dinners. This is one of the few restaurants in Richmond where reservations for dim sum are required. Trying to find a table by showing up is almost impossible because they always are at “full capacity”. Strangely, once seated, you see many empty tables around you… I’m not sure why that is though. Nonetheless, for well-executed plates, Kirin is a safe bet. Their dim sum menu is more creative though they still keep the basics. Take note, each establishment under the chain has something different on their menu, so some of your favourite dishes from one location might not be available at the other.
Still, their signature plates of BBQ pork pies and egg tarts are not to be missed out on if you see a server carrying them out. They’re baked fresh daily and are absolutely delectable with their crispy golden skin…

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Pork Knuckle in Chinese Vinegar

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Pork Dumplings

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Tofu Stuffed with Minced Pork

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Rice Noodle with Minced Fish, Shrimp, and Squid

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Steamed Prawn Rice Roll

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Baked BBQ Pork Pastry

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Baked Egg Tarts

Kirin Seafood Restaurant 麒麟海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon