I visited Firebird Cafe in Richmond as part of a tasting with Chinese Bites. This Hong Kong style cafe offers the typical menu items like Western Style dishes (such as spaghetti or baked rice dishes) as well as Taiwanese appetizers, bubble tea, thick toast, customizable soup + noodle bowls and sizzling plates.
Overall food rating: 6.5/10
Service: 8/10 (as this was complimentary dinner, this may not reflect true service)
Would I return? Yes
I found Firebird Cafe to be a fairly typical Hong Kong style cafe, except that they offer more menu items than most. I liked being able to order Taiwanese appetizers (seaweed not pictured) and the customizable sizzle plates and soup bowls. The food is good, but not amazing- which is what I would say about many Hong Kong style cafes.
Thank you Firebird Cafe and Ray Chow (Chinese Bites) for having me!
Having dined at many brunch spots in Vancouver, Medina Cafe still tops the list as one of my all-time favourites. I fell in love with Medina years ago, when they had just opened in Crosstown and most of Vancouver hadn’t yet caught wind of their amazing waffles and lavender lattes. Serving Mediterranean-inspired food, delicious liege waffles and note-worthy coffee, it’s no wonder that Medina still has hour long waits despite their recent space upgrade.
I visited Medina on a Wednesday morning around 11:00am, hoping to dodge the lunch crowd and join the tail end of the breakfast crowd. My theory proved wrong, because there was still a 45 minute wait! At least I was able to stay positive about the 45 minute wait having seen the lineups down the block on the weekends.
The food, as expected, was beautifully presented and tasted great. The latte I had was one of the best lattes I’ve had in a while. The short ribs were tender and soft, and the portion size was good for one person. Between the latte, fricassee meal and half of the cheese potatoes, I was quite full and couldn’t finish all of the food. The Peameal sandwich looked a little plain, and despite being tasty, my friend wished she had ordered something else. Unfortunately we were too full to order waffles, so we will have to make another trip back to Medina!
My first visit to Hawksworth was made possible by attending Brunch Club- their 2 for 1 Brunch special they offer on holiday long weekends. I don’t often eat at “fancy” restaurants, 1) because my wallet really wouldn’t be able to handle that, and 2) I’ve often found that just because a restaurant is higher priced and “more fancy” it doesn’t necessarily mean that they serve better food. My overall opinion: the food is good, but not fantastic- with all of the hype Hawksworth has gotten, I expected a lot more. I probably would have been even more disappointed with the food if I’d had to pay full price for the food. I preferred my boyfriend’s burger and fries over the steak and eggs I had ordered. No complaints, but I was expecting more.
Of course, after our meal I had to go next door to Bel Cafe for some macarons for dessert. I liked the flavours (Passionfruit and Cookies And Cream were my favourites), but Thierry’s texture still trumps anyone else!
I’ve passed by this cafe tons of times, but to be honest, the outside never looked appealing to me, and I never googled the place! (Bad foodie/blogger move!) I’ve learned the lesson, “don’t judge a book by its cover” thousands of times, but because food (and restaurant) aesthetic is important to me, I kept procrastinating googling Trafiq. Lesson learned. Again. After hearing great reviews of their cake from some of my foodie friends, I decided to give it a try. Now I’m kicking myself for the years of amazing cake I missed out on!
A couple things you should know:
Two of my most favourite flavours in the world are early grey and lavender.
I’m super picky about cake. Dry cake or cupcakes are a pet peeve of mine. I think cakes should be moist and easy to swallow! So when I tried Trafiq’s super moist, super flavourful and what I think is the perfect cake:icing ratio, I was so excited I went back to Trafiq three weeks in a row! I wanted to share this cake with everyone I knew!