Let’s Get (Social) Talking

It’s something we use daily, accessible everywhere, and how we connect conveniently. Yet, sometimes – particularly for our generation – people have a hard time separating the two worlds: online versus real life. We often need a good remember that what we see online is not necessarily the whole truth, how our feelings of jealousy or need to compete are all powered from beliefs based from perspective.

I love instagram, how one is able to create an online photo diary of whatever they may please. I love twitter, the ability to know what’s happening, in under 150 characters. And let’s not forget about the ancient Facebook, where social media basically started for many of us. All these things, they all have their strong suits. They’re powerful tools. Still, I don’t feel that they should dictate the way we perceive the world, as it is merely just a source.

We base most of ourselves online nowadays, to share happy moments in our day that people might not be able to see. Let’s not forget the main bit though, they’re only fractions of our day. Social media should be used to create the best version of ourselves, for self-growth or unleashing one’s inner creativity – to drive and provoke one’s curiosity. What we see online is typically a façade. It’s basically second nature to do it, but it’s important to keep that in mind when we are surfing the web. It’s easy to get lost and be pulled in by what we see. We are succumbed to compare ourselves because we feel alone and incompetent in contrast. That’s not how we should view it though – let technology get the better of us. Instead, take it as inspiration… motivation! What we really see is something that pertains to our interest, energy that can be used to better ourselves. Be your own form of approval, rather than let someone else define that.

Once in a while, step back and try to take a breather from using technology. See how much it affects you. Do you feel better without it? Why do you use it? It’ll give you a better perspective on how much control media has on you.

An Afternoon In Kerrisdale

I haven’t had sushi in a while – no craving for it, that’s all. Well, actually until I saw my beloved friend’s instagram, @foodeinsti… She’s currently in New York eating about, but while she was in Vancouver, she reminded me of how much I miss the taste of unagi with her sushi posts. If you know me well, the two things I enjoy about japanese cuisine are unagi and yam tempura. It’s all I need. Since I’ve never been to Ajisai (despite the fact that I went to high school so close to it), I decided to make a stop for lunch. Plus, it was en route to class so I had no excuse not to.

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Unagi, Anagi, and Tamago Nigiri

That gloss on the unagi. Unreal. Meaty and minimal skin, just how I like it. I keep forgetting what anagi tastes like and after having them side by side, I’m definitely sticking with unagi from now on. The texture reminds me of halibut… The tamago was really soft, almost pillowy, and definitely home-made; a light sweetness but very refreshing. Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

Lobster California Roll

They definitely did not skimp on the lobster meat, or the Kewpie mayo for this matter. I really enjoyed this, especially with the contrast from the roe eggs.

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Seared Saba and Salmon Aburi Roll

I have to admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of their aburi-styled rolls. The mackerel roll had ginger and green onions incorporated into the rice, reminding me of the typical dipping sauce for hainanese chicken. The flavour combination was overpowering, rather than a compliment to the creamy flavour of the mackerel. The salmon was also a miss for me. I felt the rice portion was too much for the thin layer of salmon because rather than being a mouthful, it was quite hard to eat without it falling apart.

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After a simple, but delicious lunch, I couldn’t help myself but go over to Gem Chocolates for some hot chocolate. Yet, I came out with gelato. I guess it wasn’t cold enough for me? Behold, the best pistachio gelato I have ever put into my mouth. It tasted like a caramelized white chocolate base, but the pistachio flavour is incredibly prominent. There are even pieces of nuts in the batter.

Ajisai Sushi Bar 味彩 on Urbanspoon

Gem Chocolates on Urbanspoon

Brunch Game Strong

After leaving his stint at The Acorn, Chef Skinner has been holding a few supper clubs, showcasing Vancouver’s bountiful produce. His talent of highlighting vegetables has not gone unnoticed, for those who have tried his dishes. Taking something so simple and making it the star attraction – playing with the colours, the textures – the marriage of ingredients is inspiring and tantalizing that anyone will enjoy vegetables through his interpretation.

This first brunch event was a partnership with no other than Erin Ireland herself, Vancouver brunch queen and someone who I’ve admired since my tenth grade of high school. She has changed my perspective on plant-based foods, and has educated me, among many, about the importance of eating ethically nowadays.

These two are changing up the local food scene, driving it to be more sustainable and representable of what we have to offer. I cannot wait to see what they have planned for their future endeavours because I know it will never fail to disappoint. Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

The menu for this special afternoon…Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Persian Rice Pudding

Reminded me of the coconut pudding I had at the Bird’s Nest a while ago. Simply stellar, especially with the texture of the pistachio nuts – a nice crunch without overpowering the other aspects.

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Green Smoothie with Cashew Butter

This was unique as I’ve never had a nut butter in my smoothie. I really liked it! Besides, what can go wrong when you throw a banana into the blend?

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Sunchoke, Red Kale, and White Bean Hash

Everything about this dish was perfect. The pomodoro sauce was great for marrying all the vegetables together. Also, look at those egg yolks? The brightest hue I’ve ever seen.

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Cauliflower and Smoked Gouda Scones

I wish these scones had a firmer crust as it reminded me more of a biscuit than a scone. The vegan harissa coconut butter was the highlight for me; the most phenomenal taste I could spread on that fluffy bun.

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Treat #1

I believe this was a ginger coconut pudding and it acted as a palate cleanser for our taste buds. The first bite was robust and a little overpowering, but it eventually was refreshing.

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Treat #2

Raspberries with olive oil and chocolate ganache. A quintessential Valentine’s day pairing.

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Treat #3

Erin’s To Die For Lemon Loaf with BC blueberries. So, so moist… Despite not being a fan of coconut shavings, the toasted crumbs gave a really lovely texture.

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Though this sign was appropriate. Can you tell why?

Small Victory Bakery

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I’m hooked. This is the newest hub for instragrammer’s, I swear. The gold 3-D decals play voodoo with your eyes, like a form of hipster magic (if that exists). Every baked good is made on-site, another asset you quite need in order to achieve a large portion of consumers in this city. If you happen to come in the morning, you might be one of those lucky enough to get a warm baked scone, smothered with clotted cream and jam. Bliss, I tell you. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Latte with Almond Milk

I’m not a coffee drinker. Not because I don’t like it, it’s just that I can never have a good sleep after it. So as a consequence of consuming this, I did have to pull an all-nighter, to my dismay. Yet, I can only blame myself. Anyway, I wanted to try it here because I heard they were featuring NuezMilk and I’m a big fan of hers. Unfortunately, my cup was bitter. I tried pouring cream to attempt to finish it but the weird aftertaste made it impossible. I thought it might have been the milk at first, but the barista said that it shouldn’t be – rather, it should be creamy with an “apple fragrance” due to the coffee bean of that day. Despite the experience though, the service here is exceptional. He was so willing to make me another cup, that I know how passionate they are about their craft. I’ll definitely be back to give it another chance.

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Chocolate Pistachio Cheesecake

Rich, luxurious, creamy, smooth, all things that epitomize a cheesecake is in this slice. It’s certainly on my top favourite cheesecake, with Season’s at the Park a top contender too…

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Lemon Tart

My friend’s little bite of sunshine. She preferred my cheesecake though.

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Small Victory Bakery on Urbanspoon

BBT Shop

Everybody’s trying to make a mark these days – take a classic treat and make it gourmet. Something desirable. In such a food-swooning city, it’s important to create a product that sets you apart from the rest. Let’s take SoftPeaks, Nero Belgian Waffles, Crackle Creme, and the recent burst of fresh-churned ice cream shops as examples. They all serve one thing (no pun intended), but it’s artisanal. That’s what gives them their edge. Using simple quality ingredients to advertise is key, and if it’s sourced-locally, you’ve certainly won their hearts.

BBT Shop is the newest assertion into the market, tucked underneath Richmond’s Superstore. It’s located farthest from the underground parking and is in a good neighbourhood of some local favourite mom and pop shops. It was quiet when we went, but we knew it had been busy since its instagram account has stirred quite the attention.

The wait for the waffles wasn’t long, with the bubble tea arriving first. Despite loving the concept of the store, I left with mixed feelings. It’s gourmet to a certain extent. You have your fun flavour combinations, a plethora of items to top your waffle with, but not everything is made in house. In fact, there are quite a few short cuts – powdered milk, store-bought whip cream, etc.

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Milk Bubble Tea Slush

They weren’t quite sure how to make this at first (as they are new) but they figured it out after a while. It’s good, but you can definitely tell it’s not as creamy as one made with real milk. I’m so happy they put some many pearls in though. It’s the best part!

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Matcha Red Bean Waffle

I saw this on instagram and it was why I had to visit so quickly. My stomach just couldn’t go on without coming soon. I accidentally ordered the wrong one because I had expected ice cream on it! Oh well, I was really content with how crispy the bubble waffle was. They are on their A-game with the timing for this stuff, as each shell breaks apart seamlessly with still some dough inside to chew on. It seems like they don’t just rely on white flour as the basis because the batter had a nutty aftertaste to it (perhaps whole wheat blend). I wasn’t a fan of the red bean on top. It didn’t go well being cold and just sprinkled on top (definitely from a can). If it was blended into the batter, that might have been something memorable.

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Green Tea Waffle

Just the same as mine, minus the red bean. Little J really liked hers.

Bubble Tea Shop on Urbanspoon

The Fat Badger

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Bar Snacks. Late night munchies. This is the spot if you are in the need of some proper British pub fare. It’s located in the house that I believe used to belong to Le Gavroche. The same owners who founded España on Denman, this place is still a gem to be discovered as it’s still quite under the radar with a menu that’s daily changing. Heard they are also doing a brunch service on weekends now, so that’s something new you can add to your list of weekend adventures.

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Yorkshire Pudding

I’ve been wanting to try one of these for the longest time. It’s essentially puffed dough drenched in gravy with a little slice of roast beef. Perfect sampling on a British classic.

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Scotch Egg

This was crispy, with the yolk still being slightly runny. Nothing to compare it to since it was also my first of this, but I really enjoyed it. I think if the meat was slightly thicker, it might have been even better. The thin layer lost its flavour on me. The smokey ketchup at the bottom was so good to wipe it with, the perfect accompaniment.

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Curried Squid with Lentils

My favourite dish of the night. The lentils were super soft, with still some texture to it. The spices however, marinating all the flavours was delicious. With the spicy yogurt dressing and the battered squid, it was ceremonious to the mouth. Truly.

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The Fat Badger on Urbanspoon

Call Me Smitten…

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFrom home-made financiers to BC’s very own The Farm House products (my personal favourite dairy brand!), this little cafe/grocer has all a locavore needs to be content. As I sat there with my sampling of goods, I couldn’t help myself admiring all the knick-knacks on their shelves – they have a selection of their own canned fruits and arguably some top-rated artisan olive oils out on the market. It’s almost like a more expansive version of Le Marché St. George. Minus the silver trays and vintage cups, of course. I’m enamoured with the whole shop, the philosophy, the people behind the brand, and the community they are trying to reach. If it wasn’t such a trek, I would find myself eagerly waking up to have breakfast there, chaque jour, sipping perhaps a decadent hot chocolate with thick slices of country bread and jam slapped on. Oh, definitely the quintessential breakfast of a leisurely morning.

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Vegetable Gratin 

It’s simple, but done so well. Think of it as your vegetarian version of a croque monsieur. It’s richer with the goat cheese, with the crispy bits that you get from a grilled cheese from Burgoo. ADORE.

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Lemon Tart

You can tell they used fresh lemon juice for this! Though I found it slightly tart for my liking, the shell was delicious. I think it’s a pâte sablée dough, so it was much richer in taste. I found that the custard was a little loose after cutting it.  I have to say, I’m still a loyal fan of Faubourg’s…

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Kouign-amann

Where have you been all my life? I can’t believe this was my first time trying this pastry. I’ve seen it at many bakeries, but never thought twice about it ordering it since it looked so simple. Now? I’m addicted to this little morsel of delectableness. Think of it as the edge of an almond croissant. Mmmmm…

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Batard Boulangerie and Cafe Moderne on Urbanspoon