Search This Blog

Saturday, 31 August 2013


Despite it being golden and walking distance from somerville kitchen, I only discovered this place last month for dim sum.

In fact, I have been to Golden Harvest Seafood Restaurant twice for dim sum; twice it was excellent and twice I forgot my camera to blog it.

So tonight, too tired to cook, I opted to try it for dinner with my camera.

The difference in the experience between night time dinner and day time dim sum is like night and day.

During the day, the place is buzzing, the service is abrupt and the food is amazing.

At night, the place is calm, the service is exceptional but the food is just alright.

One thing though about the dinners at Golden Harvest is the beautiful presentation of the food.

The hot and sour soup was way more colourful than any other I ever tried.

While tasted good, it was on the bland side.

And just look at how beautiful the beef chow mein is presented - you don't want to mix it up.

The broccoli was incredibly tasty (is it cooked in broth I wonder?). 

The noodles crunchy, but again a bit on the bland side.

The lemon chicken looked so yellow I felt  transported inside a comics book to eat Chinese food.

Yellow, gooey, and artificially tasting, it tasted like it was made in a comics book kitchen.

Don't get me wrong, it is a good restaurant and I am going back (for dim sum).

Golden Harvest Seafood Restaurant
4818 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

Golden Harvest Seafood Restaurant 金稻海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

Friday, 30 August 2013

Secret Spot

I was invited to meet a dear friend for breakfast at a secret location. "Just meet me at 4663 Byrne Road and don't look up the place until you arrive there". This is where I landed.

With opening hours at 6 am and hidden in a growing industrial park area, Fraser Park Restaurant (it is more like a diner) caters to hungry hard working construction guys.

Not surprising this place is packed; a $9 breakfast here is a meal to last you till the next morning.

Of course, a German Breakfast would have been my choice.

Three eggs scrambled served with half a plate of meat - cured ham, bacon and home made sausage; all piled up on both hash browns and fried potatoes.

An amazing eating experience. They are open for lunch and many days I find myself working in that neighbourhood. That is when I am trying the Schnitzel sandwich!

Fraser Park Restaurant
4663 Byrne Road
Burnaby, BC

Fraser Park Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 29 August 2013

A Rose Like No Other Rose

What is this drink you ask?

Is it a milk shake? A smoothie? Almond Milk? 

Guess again, it is way wackier than that (it is a Wacky Thursday article afterall).

So what can I tell you about this drink.

It has milk. It is a production of My Dear Lovely Neighbour. And if you read the title of the article you'd guess it has something to do with roses.

But it is way more than this. It is Roohafza.

An Indian style rose syrup to keep you calm in the heat of the summer. It is soothing, cooling and satisfying.

Unlike the Lebanese style rose syrup that is made of roses only, the Indian one is much more sophisticated.

It is made of, in addition to roses: pineapples, coriander, carrots, spinach, mint, saddle wood, orange and all sorts of other wild flowers.

And yes, it is mixed with milk and it is exceptional.

Of course my dear lovely neighbour will not have me over for a drink only.

There were pakoras, chicken liver curry, dahl and tarot roots meal. All served with home made red rice idly.

Thank you my dear lovely neighbour for introducing me to the rose like no other rose.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

More Stories of A Grape Vine

You already read The Story of a Grape Vine Part A & Part B (if not, click and read).

Today, and one night before the racoons invaded the grape vine, all the almost fully ripe grapes were harvested.

They are seedless and sour sweet.

But the skin is a bit on the thick side, not to mention the volume of grapes harvested. What to do with all those grapes?

Hmmm, freshly squeezed Grape Juice!

The most efficient way to do it was the old-fashioned way.

Grapes on the stems went into a colander; grapes got squeezed by hand; squeezed grapes produced a big mess.

But squeezed grapes produced an abundance of beautifully coloured, fresh grape juice.

Now prior to filling up jugs, a taste test was in order.

The average score was, well average, even though it was a very fresh and not-tasted before experience.

And the next day there was the never previously seen grape juice separation.

The juice left in the fridge separated into different colours and textures. I wonder if this is the way grape juice should be made and only the clear part is drunk.

But who cares, I just shook the jar, mixed it all together and continued my indulgence in jardin fresh grape juice.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

West Oak

When my lunch guest said "let's try this new restaurant West Oak", I was skeptical. But I was happily surprised; this is not just another over-priced Yaletown restaurant.

It is not cheap (the above starter of Burrata & Prosciutto is $15), but the freshness, quantities, taste and ingenuity of this platter makes it a must.

Another starter that also impressed was the Dungeness crab cakes; served with a cucumber and watercress salad.

For lunch, the Ham & Cheese grilled sandwich was very good (and really good, not overly salty fries - loved it).

West Oak 
1035 Mainland
Vancouver, BC

West Oak Restaurant on Urbanspoon 

Monday, 26 August 2013

A Dear Dinner

A cheer to my dear lovely neighbour who the week begins and ends with your food.

What is on your beautiful spread tonight, dare I ask?

There is beef, chicken and goat curry. There is red rice filled with fiber for good health.

And pancakes with coconut for dessert.

The special feature tonight are those Goan style beans.

Filled with spices that gets you high for a while, I tumbled home with a big smile and tingling tummy.

Cheers to my dear lovely neighbour.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

somerville kitchen Cookbook Club Very Tasty This Month

A great book, Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen, was featured by our somerville kitchen cookbook club hostess for our monthly meeting.

The book, written by a cooking teacher, includes beautiful pictures, intriguing recipes that are very much detailed and extremely exact. 

From the book, our hostess served us perfectly made and delicious pork-cabbage dumplings with a rice, soy, chilies and ginger sauce (from the book).

The dumplings were made with two types of wrappers - home made and commercial. All voted for the home made as the best.

somerville kitchen featured mother's recipes, hand written on an old agenda (mainly in Arabic though).

Mexico The Beautiful Cookbook was a pleasure to the eye and The Best of Clay Pot Cooking by Dana Jacobi generated a wonderful discussion about the history of clay.

A beautiful spread, a delicious snack and a fascinating meeting marked our fifth somerville kitchen cookbook club.

But as the only guy in the club, I am lobbying for new guy members to join. Any guy out there loves his cookbooks?


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Jardin Party

Catsess welcomed Empress; ignored Blogger and recognized the cat lover in Cake Lady as all gathered in jardin for a leisure jardin party.

Watermelon juice kicked off the fun close to 11:30 a.m., with the wine bottle cracked after the mid-day cannon.

Summer food spread on the table, and 3 hours or eating, chatting and relaxing made this Saturday a memorable one.

somerville kitchen offered a jardin stuffed grape vine leaves, jardin kale frittata and non-jardin humus since no jardin party can happen without humus.

Cake lady dazzled our taste buds with freshly made vegetarian chili rellenos, with authentic poblano chilies.

Huge as they are, they were consumed with a beautiful fresh European Empress style bread.

The Empress  teased our taste buds with a dessert transition offering.

Sour cherries soaked in a secret sauce, eaten at room temperature and one of the best ways I have ever been served sour cherries.

Alas, the most exoticness a Blogger can offer are date cookies imported from Oman and grapes rescued from racoons off the jardin vine.

But wait, a home made honey wine could count as exotic?

Think not, says bored catsess.


Friday, 23 August 2013

Reporting From My Dear Lovely Neighbour

The investigation followed a sound of crunching tapioca papadum that lead to the talk of the street food discovery.

The bitter melon was easily identifiable, but the sauce needed to be sent to the lab to check for tamarind presence.

The white stuff stumped me. There is yogurt but what are the thick pieces underneath (they are green, have little seeds, a bit slimy and delicious - any guesses?)

Digging further, I identified eggplants smuggled from the south; completely camouflaged with vegetables and hot spices.

But the talk of the street must have been driven by the aroma of the deliciously simple potatoes and chickpeas.

I need to have you under arrest my dear lovely neighbour; so unfortunately you cannot leave the street until further notice.