January 22, 2016 § Leave a comment
This Lebanese restaurant is a favourite of mine and the lunch special comes with a variety of healthy and vegetarian items. I often meet one of my good friends there for lunch as her office is right around the corner from their Kitsilano location. I usually get either the Falafel($12.75) or Najib’s special($13), crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and sea salt. The lunch plate comes with hummus, salad, pickled cabbage, pita, olives and brown rice or potatoes. I get the potatoes and my friend orders half and half.
It’s a pretty big plate of food so I time my appetite and go fairly hungry. The service is quick at lunch and it caters to those who work in the area. Sometimes I get a seat a few minutes before my friend arrives and place our order so that we can relax and not feel rushed. The great thing about Nuba is that each of their four locations are designed differently and each one has its own unique personality.
I often run from Kitsilano beach along the Burrard Street bridge and eventually end up at the one downtown on Seymour Street. This one is more like a quick service cafe and after a 10K run, it’s a great reward. www.nuba.ca
December 5, 2013 § 1 Comment
My son and I went shopping for the Black Friday Sales that were happening in Vancouver. We left our house around 11am on Sunday morning and went to 3 stores including Costco. In less than 3 hours my 12 year old had bought gifts for all seven people on his list and within his budget.
I commented that I was so impressed with his budgeting and decision making skills and the amount of time that it took him to shop. He replied that he thought that it took long because I kept looking at stuff. He also said that he already had an idea of what to buy people and researched prices online.
We had worked up an appetite and decided to stop at the Noodle box Restaurant downtown on 839 Homer Street. I got the Spicy Peanut Noodle box and my son got the Kung Pao, both with tofu.
Mine had ribbon noodles with a coconut curry and veggies. My son’s was an egg noodle with a sweet chilli sauce and veggies. I love the Noodle box because the meals are huge and you always have leftovers. The wait is never more that 15 minutes and the atmosphere is nice for a casual quick service restaurant. Plus they always play good music and usually hip hop. Best of all, it’s a place that both my son and I enjoy and can share an experience over a bowl of noodles. Visit their website for locations, hours and menu, www.noodlebox.net.
July 11, 2013 § 1 Comment
Heirloom Restaurant is a beautiful open space concept restaurant just off Granville Street on 12th Avenue. It has been open for some time, but it took an invitation to a going away party, to get me in the door. I have no idea why I waited so long to try this vegetarian haven. The menu has many vegan and gluten free options to choose from and they source their ingredients locally and from organic suppliers.
The restaurant has a casual laid back vibe with an artistic edge. Our party of eight was seated at a long banquet table off to the back. The restaurant was packed on the friday night with couples on dates and groups out for the night.
As I looked over the menu, I was overwhelmed and could not decide what to order. I snuck a look at the food around me and noticed that the portions were very generous. I decided upon the vegan and gluten free coconut curry alfredo ($18.50), with the Aloe Rose ($11) cocktail to start.
My cocktail took forever to come and I even had to remind the server. She said that it was coming and that there was a long wait ahead of us. My drink finally arrived just before the food. The Aloe Rose was quite lovely. It had hibiscus infused vodka with cointreau, rose water, lemon, agave and aloe vera. It was quite refreshing on the warm summer’s evening.
When the food finally arrived I was very hungry. The coconut curry alfredo was a clever spin off of the classic pad thai. The thick rice ribbon noodles were taught and chewy. The transparent and creamy sauce tasted more like coconut oil than coconut milk which left a clean taste on the palate. Each bite was delicious. The firm asparagus and eggy tofu with crispy fried onions perfectly complimented each other.The dish was so full of flavour that I could not finish it.
Overall, I thought the food was amazing and I will definitely go there again. The beautiful atmosphere in combination with a chill vibe and amazing vegetarian food guarantees a good night out. Heirloom Restaurant is located on 1509 West 12th Avenue in Vancouver. You can contact them at (604) 733-2231 or email them at email@example.com.
June 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
To celebrate a close friend’s move to Toronto, I took him out for dinner and he suggested the restaurant SKP in my neighbourhood because of the gluten-free options. The Italian Restaurant in Vancouver Point Grey has gluten-free pizza dough and gluten-free fusilli pasta.
We arrived at the restaurant at 8:30pm and were the only table seated in the dining area. The bar area was busy with guys hanging out who had come to watch a basketball game and were having drinks.
While we looked over the menu, I noticed that the restaurant had two floors.One which is perfect for private parties and large groups. The downstairs, where we were seated had a comfortable atmosphere which is inviting for a first date.
The owner, Travis Davidson came by to say hi and was very helpful at explaining the menu and telling us what was popular. I love a basic Margherita pizza and wanted to try their gluten-free crust. So I ordered one with a glass of Pinot Grigio.
Our food arrived quite quickly as we were the only table in the restaurant. The pizza crust was thin and a bit chewier than a regular crust. The toppings were very fresh and the pizza was delicious. For $13 the pizza was a good deal as I ate 4 pieces and my friend ate 2 with his starter.
All in all, I had a surprisingly great experience at a neighbourhood restaurant that I had not tried before. The service was good and staff was very friendly plus the food was delicious. I will definitely go there again with friends who are gluten-free or when I feel like a Margherita pizza. SKP restaurant is on 4409 West 10th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6R 2H9, (604) 222-0220.
July 30, 2012 § 2 Comments
On Saturday July 21, 2012, Chef Ned Bell cooked an heirloom tomato soup at the Vancouver Farmers Market, Market Kitchen series. The second installment out of four, I was not only curious to see the Chef in action, but to see how the kitchen was set up during the event. To my surprise, they had transported a full kitchen with a gas range and fridge to the outdoor parking lot at Trout lake. A crowd gathered around to watch the demo and learn insightful cooking techniques.
The heirloom tomato soup is simple and something that everyone can make at home. Chef Bell added layers of ingredients and flavours that made the soup heavenly. After the demo, samples were given out with recipes cards and all the ingredients were available at the market.
I was quite excited to get a sample and try the soup. My first bite had a chunk of sorbet which made the soup feel cool though there was a spicy after note. On my second bite, I scooped up some of the cherry balsamic which was warm and tangy. The cucumbers were refreshing and felt like a palate cleanser. Overall the soup was delicious and I will make it soon.
This is Chef Ned Bell’s recipe for Heirloom Tomato Soup
2 lbs heirloom tomatoes – assorted and seeded
1/2 lb cucumber – peeled and seeded
2 roasted red peppers – char grilled, peeled and seeded
1 clove fresh garlic
2 tbsp sea salt
fresh herbs – your favourite in-season variety
1 jalapeño – seeded and chopped
Puree all ingredients in a bar blender until smooth. Season to taste. Chill for at least an hour until very cold.
1 cup honey
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 of 1 medium English cucumber
Bring honey and vinegar to a boil. Slice cucumber thin and soak in honey vinegar. Chill.
Cherry Balsamic Syrup:
1/2 litre white wine vinegar
2 cups honey
1 cup salt
1 lb cherries – stemmed but not pitted
1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
Put cherries in a heat-proof bowl or jar. Bring vinegar, honey and salt to a boil. Pour over cherries. All balsamic vinegar. Let cool.
Chef Ned Bell brought this spicy sorbet to add to the soup. It was amazing.
To serve, ladle the soup out into chilled bowls or a large family style bowl. Garnish with the cucumber pickle, cherries balsamic and fresh herbs. Optional, add one scoop of fruit sorbet per serving. Crack some fresh black pepper over top and enjoy.
July 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
This morning I met a friend at one of my favourite coffee shops, Matchstick on East 15th Avenue at Fraser Street and Kingsway. Matchstick Coffee shop serves single origin coffees and if you are a coffee snob like me, you will thoroughly enjoy their americanos. For those of you who like drip coffee, you will love their pour-over selection of beans that are freshly ground and brewed per cup.
An hourglass shaped carafe sits on a digital scale and near the top rests a stainless steel filter which does not impart taste from previous use. The coffee is ground fresh when you order a cup and is place in the filter. They measure the amount of water used by weight and set a timer to the brewing time. The result is a beautiful cup of drip coffee. In general the pour-over coffees taste, light and clean and this style of brewing allows the characters of the coffee to shine on the palate.
Matchstick is also known for their pastries which are baked on site and my favourites being their muffins and croissants. This morning I tried their banana coconut muffin which was delicious and not too sweet. I love everything coconut and the flavours of the banana and coconut complimented each other beautifully. Their almond croissants are to die for and probably the best that I’ve tried.
For an americano and muffin, I paid $6.50 with tip. Matchstick is located on 639 E 15 Avenue in Vancouver, BC. They are open from 7 am – 6 pm, every day.
June 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
This Saturday June 16, 2012, the Vancouver farmers’ market starts up their market kitchen at the Trout Lake market. Join chef Karen Barnaby from the Fish House Restaurant in Stanley Park who will cook up a dish using fresh local ingredients from the market. After the demo, you can pick up the ingredients from the market and recreate the meal at home.
The farmers market kitchen features high-profile Vancouver chefs and the demos are scheduled every month until October. Be sure to write down the dates on your calendar so you don’t miss your favourite chef. The other chefs scheduled are Ned Bell from the Four Seasons on July 21, Andrea Carlson from Burdock & Co on Aug 18, Angus An from Maenam on Sept 22, and Quang Dang from West on Oct 20, 2012.