I had been wanting to visit Sushi Loku for a long time but somehow kept forgetting about it. After seeing a great post on my Mimi’s (Indulge with Mimi) feed, I told my boyfriend we had to go the next chance we got!
As a lover of all things aburi, I decided to try as many of the aburi items as possible!
Would I Return? Yes.
Overall, I enjoyed the food and aburi but was hoping the salmon oshisushi would be similar to Minami’s. I would return knowing that I would get decent quality sushi, but probably wouldn’t bother ordering the oshisushi. I would recommend the regular aburi nigiri!
Check out my very first Bites of Vancouver Dining YouTube Video! Click Here
Named after Executive Chef Curtis “Lips” Demyon, Lips Resto takes classic cuisines and adds their own modern bistro touch. Newly opened, Lips celebrated their grand opening with a bang- a red carpet, free drinks, a DJ and lots of food! I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening on May 31st, 2015 and had a great time with some of my fellow foodie friends.
The management at Lips was also kind enough to invite myself and a guest for a private dining experience, on the house. They were very accommodating even when I had to short-notice cancel my first reservation.
When we arrived, we were greeted warmly by the Maitre D’ and were seated right away. The manager and head chef personally greeted us. They asked if I would like to order dishes off the menu or if I wanted to let the chef send out what he wanted us to try. I chose to let the chef send out his dishes of choice, because I thought it would make it a more interesting dinner. I’m glad I did, because my favourite dish turned out to be the Salmon (which is something I don’t usually order at restaurants).
Overall I had an amazing dining experience. The service was excellent and I appreciated innovation of each dish.
Food Rating: 8.5/10
Would I return? Yes
Many thanks again to Lips Resto, Chef Curtis + the entire team for being so attentive and providing great service and hospitality!
BitesOfVancouver disclaimer: I was invited for dinner by the management at Lips Resto Restaurant. The service may not represent their usual service as Lips was aware of the invitation.
Locations: 1274 Robson Street, Downtown, Vancouver, BC
1545 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC
450-9100 Blundell Road, Richmond, BC
BitesOfVancouver disclaimer: I was invited to try Chatime’s Robson Location by ChineseBites.com. The service may not represent their usual service as Chatime was aware of the invitation.
With over 1200 locations worldwide, this Taiwan-founded bubble tea company brews their tea leaves in-store. Chatime’s bubble tea is made with precise timing, temperature and proportions. Their drinks are fully customizable, allowing you to choose your tea, toppings, sugar levels and ice levels.
The Top 10 Drinks:
Pearl Milk Tea
Grass Jelly Roasted Milk Tea
Taro Pudding Milk Tea
Brown Rice Green Milk Tea
Taiwan Mango QQ
Matcha Red Bean Milk Tea
Red Bean Pearl Milk Tea
Matcha Tea Latte
Customize your drinks:
o 8 toppings available: pearls, grass jelly, coconut jelly, red bean, coffee jelly, aloe vera, rainbow jelly, pudding.
o Ice level: regular, less, no ice
o Sugar level: extra, regular, less, half, slight, no sugar
Thank you to Raymond of ChineseBites (chinesebites.com) for inviting me to celebrate and enjoy the opening of Chatime!
I tried the Taiwan Mango QQ and the Jasmine Green Tea Mousse.
Even at 50% sugar, I still found the Taiwan Mango too sweet for my liking (although I usually drink my tea and coffee with no sugar). I think I would like it if I had ordered it with “slight” sugar, or perhaps if there was no coconut jelly. It had good mango flavour so I would recommend it to all those mango lovers out there!
I preferred the Jasmine Green Tea Mousse over the Taiwan Mango. I was curious to see what the mousse texture would be like. I think the best way to describe it is when you get regular milky bubble tea and the top is foamy/frothy. More of the Jasmine Green Tea Mousse was foam/froth although it seemed to be more blended and liquid-y at the bottom. 50% sugar level was perfect for me, but I would assume most people would like it with a higher sugar level.
Overall, the bubble tea was good, but I didn’t find it extraordinary. Although they do offer some things I haven’t seen elsewhere (the “mousse” and the ice and sugar levels), I think that their bubble tea is pretty comparable to other popular bubble tea restaurants. I would return, but I wouldn’t make the trip downtown (30-40 minutes for me) for a drink.
June is Nova Scotia month in the Coast to Coast Dining series! To celebrate, Chef Michael Howell offered a collaborative menu with selected wine pairings from Benjamin Bridge, a Nova Scotian winery. This dinner celebration showcased the culinary best of the Atlantic from seafood to wild foraged food.
A special thanks to Meghan at Edible Canada for inviting me to experience and celebrate this part of the Coast to Coast Dinner Series. Also, thank you all of the staff at Edible Canada for the great service and hospitality!
Happy Hour at Joe Fortes is offered every day of the week between 4-6pm. The Happy Hour menu is only served in the bar area of the restaurant. It gets pretty busy and they don’t take reservations for Happy Hour, so I would recommend getting to the restaurant right at 4:00pm. (I actually got there at 3:50pm and they seated me right away but wouldn’t take my order until right at 4:00pm.)
The Happy Hour menu prices are significantly cheaper than the regular prices. Everything that I had ordered was good, nothing blew my mind but I would definitely come back for Happy Hour! I think most of the prices and portion sizes were appropriate, and that being said, I would not pay full price for the Happy Hour items.
I think the best thing about Happy Hour are the Buck A Shuck Oysters (it’s not listed on the actual menu!) The next time I come, I want to try the Oysters Rockefeller and the Calamari.
Food Rating: 8/10 Value Rating: 7/10 Wait Time: I was seated immediately, was served water, but was not allowed to order until 4:00pm Would I Return? Yes
Vancouver Foodster & Dine Out Vancouver Festival teamed up for a series of weekend Brunch Crawls in the different neighbourhoods around Vancouver. These Brunch Crawls take you on a journey visiting 7+ trendy restaurants with a wide variety of different brunch food ranging from classics to modern twists.
The Gastown Brunch Crawl, the first of six Brunch Crawls was a great success. The check-in was at Milano Coffee, one of the Brunch Crawl restaurants for the event. Upon check-in, you are given your ‘passport’ that is required to show to each restaurant as well as a list of the menus you will be served at each restaurant. The passport includes a map of all of the restaurant locations, which are conveniently within walking distance of each other. There is no specific order in which you must visit the restaurants. This allows you to customize your crawl, letting you choose which restaurants you want to try first or which route will minimize your walking.
When starting the crawl, I was a little concerned that I would not be able to make it to all of the restaurants within the four hours you are given (10:00am – 2:00pm.) The four hours proved to be more than enough time, and I was also pleasantly surprised that I did not have to wait for a table any longer than ten minutes at any of the restaurants. In most cases, I was seated immediately.
The restaurants were all well prepared for us Brunch Crawlers. Quickly and efficiently, the food was served timely at each restaurant. Some portions were larger than others, with many of the locations serving more than enough food to collectively put you into a full blown food coma. Prepare your stomachs for the biggest brunch you will ever have!
As a first-time Brunch Crawler, I was unsure of how the Brunch Crawl would pan out. I ended up having an amazing time, delicious food and met some new people along the way. I enjoyed that every stop of the crawl was a unique experience, and was introduced to a variety of restaurants that I may have never tried! It also turns out to be great value for the price! ($40 per person.)
Brunch at Ask For Luigi! Popular, good reviews from many people I’ve spoken to, and always busy. I attempted to go a couple of times earlier in 2014 but didn’t want to have to wait a long time to be seated. I really wanted to try their dinner menu, but one day decided to go for brunch. I went right when it opened, and was luckily seated immediately. The restaurant filled up quite quickly, and had I gone 20 minutes later, I would have had to wait. Smaller than I had imagined, it’s cute and cozy inside. I don’t normally associate pasta with brunch, but I knew that I had to try their pasta! I was curious about their noodle textures and was pleasantly surprised. My noodles were truly al dente, a lot firmer than most places serve their pasta, but I appreciated the fact that they were cooked properly. I’m a pasta connoisseur, but it felt right if that makes any sense. The pasta flavours were also very good. My favourite item was the meatballs, but as you may or may not know, I’ve got a thing for meatballs. The pork belly, although tasty, I felt like I could have done without having it. I will be back for the dinner menu one day!
My long awaited visit to The Acorn was well worth the wait! My first attempt was actually a couple of years ago. My friend and I were walking down Main Street after a long, sweaty gym work-out and were on the hunt for some good, healthy grub. I had never heard of The Acorn before, but was intrigued by the lack of signage and cool looking interior. The hours showed that it was not yet open (it was lunchtime) so we decided we would go back for dinner (attempt #1). Attempt #2, dinner time, I rushed over to The Acorn as soon as I could after work and put my name down for a table. The wait would be over an hour, and my friends and I were too hungry to wait! Attempt #3, drove to The Acorn with full intent to wait for a table but we saw that the line outside went down the street. Attempt #4: see Attempt #3. Attempt #5, I finally smartened up and decided to go right when they opened. My sister and I got there 15 minutes past opening time and the restaurant was already half full! I was seated in a dark corner, and was really looking forward to taking some beautiful food pictures, so I asked if I could move and be seated closer to the window. The server (who I later found out through Instagram was the owner) completely understood and let me choose a different seat. She smiled and told me to make sure I tagged The Acorn!
Onto the food. My sister and I ordered Rosewater Iced Teas, which were refreshing and had that nice hint of rose flavour. For appetizers we ordered the Fried Cauliflower (my favourite) and the Kale Salad. The spices they use in all of their dishes really take the flavours to a whole different level. For entrees my sister had The Harvest, which that day was a Truffle Mac & Cheese, and I had the Zucchini Linguini. Even though we were full, we really wanted to order dessert. We ordered the Plum dessert, which was roasted plums with Thai Basil Panna Cotta and Coconut. Dessert was deeelicious!
For my third Tryphe item, I received a salmon filet! My usual go-to recipe for cooking salmon is actually a recipe that was told to me by a patient at work (I work in a dental office). He promised it was a guaranteed fool-proof recipe that everyone loves, and he made me memorize it and repeat it back to him! Brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. I met him about 5 years ago and have made salmon the same way ever since! What he had told me was true- it was fool-proof, easy and a definite crowd pleaser. So, I would officially like to thank you, Mr. Patient for the awesome 5-ingredient marinade that I will forever remember!
Now that you’ve heard the story of how I usually make salmon, I will go on to tell you that I decided not to use my usual salmon marinade. In true “challenge” fashion, I wanted to try a new recipe to see if I could add one to the recipe bank. This one turned out to be a success!
Pan Seared Honey Glazed Salmon with Browned Butter Lime Sauce