Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rehannah's Roti - Where the Reggae Artists dine.

What you wouldn't expect from the most popular restaurant when it comes to reggae bands visiting, is that Rehannah does everything by herself. It's a One Woman show. She's the kitchen, the support, the cleaners.. everything... so don't expect regular hours! She's open til sold out, so lunch is the place to be! Rehannah's Roti has got to be the spot you not only want to eat at, but you also want to buy your concert tickets before what ever reggae scene is going on and tickets are on sale for! This place got introduced to me by my coworker Denise as she used to order from here a lot, even pre-orders for dine in or take out. They have everything from your jamaican patty's to lamb curries, roti's and vegetarian double doubles and Ting! When it comes to tickets, you walk in and see all sorts of Reggae legends on her wall that have visited, Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown, Toots & the Maytals, Luciano, Buju Banton & Byron Lee etc.. So at least you know you are getting the authentic Carribean Food, the Carribean artists are coming to get!!! Below is some pictures of Charles enjoying some chicken roti.

Here is a picture of their Chicken Roti. The only thing I wish I could control is that I alwasy ask for extra spicey, and she only ever gives me slightly hot.. even though I always ask!!! At least you know she's looking out! The roti is still great! Huge Potato and she used organic free range chicken. The roti is so filling, but the melon is a great addition for cleanse after the roti.



Below is some pictures of Charles enjoying some chicken roti.


Cornder Tandoori - Indian on the drive.

Corner Tandoori has always been the spot we go to when we are craving Indian Food on the drive. One thing I love is this place is it's authenitic, and caters to people on a budget, but doesn't break quality. It's really not that great when it comes to ambiance, as it has plastic food hanging on the ceiling in a pattern. What they do have is a family run small kitchen that makes everything to order. They offer great specials like butter chicken with naan or rice or 1/2 of each for 6.99$ on almost everyday daytime or evening. They offer take out discounts, and you can also get any type of samosa, veggie - beef - chicken 2 for 2.99$, they are really big and come with dipping sauce. They also have a huge menu of vegetarian dishes. If you are on the drive and looking for some Indian, or a meal under 10$ this is the place.
Below is a picture of our butter chicken dish for 6.99$

Friday, February 26, 2010

LIFT - Best Patio in Vancouver

My mom brought Charles and I to LIFT as she lives in the heart of Coal Harbour, so this was a must try! It's located in the prime area of Coal Harbour, and has one of the best views there! You can either eat inside, or on the patio if the weather is nice. You get a great view of Stanley Park & Coal Harbour. For a party of 3, we each had 1 drink, 1 shot, 1 appy and 1 entree each and the bill came to just over 300.. so make sure you come here for a special night out, and not when you are looking for a cheaper meal! However this is one of the finest spots to dine in Vancouver, and I think even if you are looking for a patio with drinks, make use of this place as it has 2 floors of patio with a great view!

Time for Tequila! My mom Barb and our awesome view at LIFT. It was a little of gloomy day so we sat inside, but still an AWESOME view! I can only imagine how nice it would be to sit on their patio on a nice day during a sunset. Also by patio, I mean they have 2 layers of patio - one on the same level outside and one also on the top floor. This place is deffinately the patio of all patios.



Ordered a round of Tequila shots to go with the meal. We got sauza silver instead, as that one is gluten free (like my mom). Thought I'd take a picture of how cute the table is before the shots. We also were drinking VOSS one of my favorite sparkling waters.



Charles ordered for his appetizer crab cakes, pico de gala, avocado, creme fraiche and tomatillo salsa. This dish was really good! Seen as though I tried I had to share my Calamari with Charles. It was really great, although we wish it had 5-6 pieces instead of 4! The mini crab cakes were great though, and I think they make their own tortilla chips which is great.




I ordered the Calamari as a starter... I know it's so common, but I love Great Calamari, and seen as though we were at one of the best restaurants in Vancouver, I wanted Better than Great Calamari. This was really great, one of the best I've had. I love that it wasn't oily at all, and all of the pieces looked attractive enough to eat.. (you know how some restaurants serve you pieces you wonder about putting in your mouth!) What Also was great about this dish was that it had a really great seafood cocktail sauce along with the tzatziki.


My mom ordered for her appetizer the Organic Baby Beets, Ricotta, Toasted Walnuts, Carrot Julienne and Red Wine Vinaigrette. When she got this dish I was thinking, why didn't I order this also! I mean as much as I love my Calamari, I can get that anywhere and this looked so fab! Along with being very healthy and fresh!




Charles had the grilled 10oz AAA New York Steak, pommes frittes and peppercorn sauce. Charles loves his steaks if they are done right and this is a steak lovers delight. It was cooked well done to perfection, and it was amazing that actually having a peppercorn sauce, you actually get full peppercorns and not just ground pepper. There were also a basket of fries that came with this, although Charles was so full after his appy and steak he could barely finish the fries.




I ordered the Weatheredvane Scallops, St Jaques Style with bay shrimp, cremini mushrooms, sherry, cream and guyere cheese. Man was this good. I don't think I have ever had scallops better than this. I loved how they served it in the shell, but baked it slightly in the oven to have the cheese melted in. They served a nice portion with it heaping out of the shell. This was a great dish and I'd deffinately recommend it.


My mom's main dish was served so AMAZING also! She ordered the Artic Char with Spinach, Roasted Parsnips, Beluga Lentils, Bacon, Honey & Thyme Butter Sauce. This dish was cooked the way Fish is supposed to, delicately. Everything was perefct about this dish, and it was Gluten Free.

Mig'z BBQ - BBQ on Broadway

As a BBQ Lover, I had to check out Mig'z when I came across a 2 for 1 entree in the entertainment book. This is my 2nd favorite spot to go have BBQ. What makes this place a great BBQ joint for me is the variety of dishes that are available for someone who doesn't eat red meat. As a duck lover, I had to try duck on my first visit! I had only tried BBQ duck from asian restaurants, so I was really excited to try it from a real BBQ spot. They didn't let me down. The skin was really crispy - similar to a peking duck dish, but one that would have been marinated in BBQ rub. I loved how it actually didn't taste too fatty like some duck dishes do. They also have a great selections of sides, if you are leaning towards something more authentic with BBQ such as Hush Puppies and Cornbread. This place also has a small patio that's open during the summer. I suggest trying this place if you happen to be on west broadway and are looking on trying some more BBQ fusion dishes rather then your usual pulled chicken etc..

Below is a picture of me with my BBQ Duck dish.

Steamworks Brewery - Drinks in Gastown

Steamworks has always been a place we frequent when we are in the waterfront/gastown area. This place is great for a lot of reasons. They have a huge outdoor patio, thats even open in the winter (covered though), and the inside has 3 floors. The bar area and restaurant area are upstairs, and downstairs they have the lounge/bar area. This place also takes reservations so it's usually really packed with large groups. This is a great place to go if you are planning on going out to a club or event in the gastown area later that night, as several clubs are less then 5 blocks away. This place has it's own selection of beer on tap, so you won't find your canadian, kokanee, stella etc... but they do have some great options including a raspberry lager that's really tasty! They also have amazing Mojito pitchers where they use a lot of mint. I don't have too many pictures to display of food, but more of drinks from a few visits. Check out the pics below.


We ordered nachos for a party of 3 to split during the olympics while watching a hockey game in their lower lounge area. As I'm not a fan of olives, I requested extra Jalepenos instead. The waitress informed us the kitchen is really busy and not taking any substitutions at the time, but she'd put in a request. We figured it would probably take awhile for our food, and were surprised when the nachos came in under 10 minutes. Also they had no olives and had more jalepenos then I expected. I was pleased! Only complaint was that the cheese was really baked on, and not as stringy as I prefer - but besides that they were HUGE! 2 hungry guys and me couldn't even finish these.


Allen having some Honey Lager for pre-drinks upstairs in the bar area before we head out to Shine to celebrate his birthday. Another Honey Lager fan!




One of my favorite drinks is one I call the Pacific. I tried it a few summers ago at a bar down on Davie, and its Bombay, Blue Curaco, and pink grapefruit. I've never seen this anywhere else, and when I order a Pacific, they either don't know what it is or bring me the Pacific beer. Allen having my favorite drink at Steamworks for his birthday!


Tropika - Malaysian Thai Fusion

I've been to the Tropika down on Robson, and also the one on Cambie. Sadly I've only taken a picture of one dish - however it's one of their best dishes, the KL Crab. Tropika is a great place to go when you want Thai or Malaysian food. It's also great to go if you are in a group of about 6-8, then you can order a whole bunch of dishes (as they are ment to be shared). Tropika also has a 2 for 1 in the entertainment book you can use on any entree except their live crab and lobster. Some of my favorite Tropika dishes are the Sambal Prawns, Red Curry Duck, and Green Beans with Shrimp. This place also makes really great exotic cocktails where you can drink out of a coconut or pineapple.

Below is a picture of the KL Crab.

Bogart's - Great spot for live Jazz

We checked out Bogart's one sunny evening in the summer during the Jazz festival, and were delightfully amazed! We opted for a spot on their nice sunny patio with a view of west broadway, while they were getting ready for some live jazz inside. Bogart's apparently is really big on live Jazz, even when the festival is not on, so if you want to listen to some of vancouver's best jazz artist's, you will most likely find them performing here at night. Our waitress was really great, different then the usual kind at most upscale restaurants. She was dressed in a 50's trendy black dress, and very knowledgeable about what was happening in the city that night. This is a great spot to come and chill on the patio and watch the nightlife on west broadway in the summer for sure. Below are some pictures of our night out at Bogart's.

Charles trying Bogart's Prawns and Chillies dish. This dish had Huge prawns as you can see. I tried some and it was an amazing pasta. I'm usually picky when seafood is mixed with a marinara sauce, as sometimes it's not the best combo - but Bogart's hit it right on. The Chillies were a milder green chilli, so don't let the name fool you.



I tried their Chicken on puffed Phyllo with seasonal veggies. I always love having broccollini! This dish was really smooth. I'm not too sure what else they added to the puffed Phyllo to make it so firm yet tender, but it went well with the grilled chicken breast and sauce. They also have smaller sparkling water bottles here if you're not looking for the regular huge bottle.

DIX BBQ & Brewery

Dix BBQ has always been one of our favorite spots to go have BBQ. I actually prefer it way more then Memphis Blues which a lot of others seem to like better. We have been coming here for years, and it's the perfect spot to come before a game, or even to watch a game. It's a real manly enviroment. Here Beer is pouring constant, and they provide you with peanuts which you can throw the shells on the ground. It's not exactly the date type spot, but it's the spot you come with your boys to relax. It's also only a few blocks from GM and BC Place, so it makes a great spot to meet up for drinks and food before your event. They also offer a 2 for 1 in the entertainment book, and there's no restriction on how many can be used per table - so it makes for a cheap party! This place is also great becuase they take huge reservations, even last minute - so it's a great spot to plan a birthday for your man. Below are some pictures from some of our visits @ Dix.

Charles tried the BBQ Beef Meatloaf, as he had never had his meatloaf BBQ'd before, and he said they did a great job. It was nicely seasoned, and they added some beef gravy to go with it. It was a pretty big portion, (2 Big pieces). If you come to Dix and get an entree, you don't need an appetizer for sure!



Here you can see how HUGE their nacho's are. We actually asked for the majority of the items not be included as they are supposed to load it up with Chilli, (which contains pork), but they were still really good. They added pulled chicken for us instead. The nacho's at Dix don't come with your traditional toppings like jalepenos, banana peppers, onions etc... I think they are ment to be more Chilli Cheese Nachos.



Charles trying the Jambalaya dish before we are off to the Globetrotters. They provided a HUGE selection of tender Prawns, Chicken and Chorizo, with nicely cooked Basmatti rice. This dish is actually not spicey, like Jambalaya should be if it's authentic so we added a bit of hot sauce!




Allen trying my Pina Colada Martini @ Charles bday. Looks like he approves. Although this place is famous for its beer, they still make really good Pina's. You can see the metal baskets on the table which contain menus, napkins and utensils.




Bunny and Charles @ Dix for Charles 30th bday, taking a break from some of the really yummy beer wings.




Obe, Charles and Drench @ Charles 30th bday celebration. Perfect place if you need a reservation of 20+ in a testosterone enviroment.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sip Resto Lounge on Granville

Sip Resto Lounge is where Charles brought me for Valentines last year, as they had a set 3 course meal for 35$ person that looked amazing!!! This place is an awesome spot to go for late tapas and drinks before your night at a concert or club scence. This spot has an open kitchen where you can see your ticket being called and all of your food being made. This spot deffinately makes you feel welcome as I've never had a better server then the one I had at Sip. She was the sweetest, prettiest waitress who brought us to our private booth, and offered us champagne. She also kept coming to refill my sparkling water everytime the glass got halfway. Also every dish at Sip has some sort of alcohol infused in it, so it makes you wonder how it will taste. Below are some pictures of our valentines at Sip.

For my appetizer I selected the Sip Seafood Salad. Dish was sort of like Mixed greens with Seafood Carpaccios and prawns. The dish consisted of poached prawns, smoked salmon, grapefruit marinated tuna, mixed greens, absolut citron vinagrette. The dish was really great to start, and I love the fried capers with the tuna and salmon. I also got to have my favorite sparkling water San Pellegrino!



For Charles main entree he selected the Prosciutto wrapped 6oz AAA Alberta Beef Tenderloin, with seasonal veggies, crispy potatoes and a sherry demi-glaze. He said the beef was cooked perfect (he has his steak well done), and there was no red at all. They served this dish on a HUGE plate, but I love plates that are the type you'd buy at home outfitters (the type we have at our house).



For my main entree I selected the Sake Miso Baked Wild Salmon, with seasonal veggies, warm sushi rice and ginger cream. This dish was so delightfully refreshing. The salmon was still flakey for being baked, and the rice had a perfect consistency. The ginger cream was also a perfect combination to go with the Salmon.



Our dessert was the Sip dessert platter with 3 different options to taste. We tried the Lemon Tart, Pecan Pie, and Chocolate Raspberry Tortee. The sizing was perfect for these 3, and even with Charles lack of sweet tooth, he had an equal share! The Pecan Pie was really sweet, and I loved the Raspberry filling on the tortee. I think my favorite was the lemon tart though, as it was more refreshing than sweet.


Thai House - Best Thai Chain

Thai House has always been one of our usual restaurants to frequent, mainly because I am always stacked up on 2 for 1 entree dishes from the entertainment book, so it makes for a healthy yet cheap dinner! Only thing I wish they had was a better ambiance, I mean it's not bad, but they could make it better! I've only had one bad dish here out of the 20 something times we have been here... which was recieving a chicken dish (Gai Pad Ma-Maung Hin Ma-Pan) with WAY TOO MUCH fish sauce. I don't know who likes their chicken to taste like fish but it surely isn't me!!!! They have a HUGE menu which makes it so hard to order! For the most part we result back to the same dishes each time, although we have tried our share of the chicken, prawn and duck dishes. One thing that has never let me down is the Tom Yum Gai soup. I am a sucker for good Thai Soup, and I've never had better at a restaurant then at Thai House. I really want to explore other great Thai restaurants like the one my friend Jaree works at downtown, Sala Thai, as the only other Thai restaurant I tend to frequent is Tropika and other Thai House chains (Thai Chilli House, Urban Thai Bistro).

One of our favorite dishes is the Goong Sapparod, which consists of Stir-fried Tiger Prawns with red curry paste, fresh pineapple and coconut milk - served in a pineapple shell. This dish can satisfy anyones palate!



Another one of our usual dishes is the Gai Pad Ma-Maung Hin Ma-Pan, which consists of Boneless chicken, with Thai Chilli, onions, mushroom and fresh basil. We used to order this dish almost everytime until the fish sauce incident! Now we always make sure to tell them not too much fish sauce if we order it.



My mother Barbara and my father-inlaw Ruben at Thai House. This is at the metrotown location. This is probably the best place to sit at Thai House as you have a round table that can sit 8, and it has the best view within the restaurant.



My mother-inlaw Dinah and my mom Barbara also at the metrotown location.




Thai House has a specialized cocktail list infused with Thai Traditions. This is a picture of me with the Lychee Martini. If you are looking to drink some rum out of a coconut or pineapple with fancy fruit on your straw, you can come here for that!


Kobe - Vancouvers Best Japanese Steakhouse

Charles 32nd birthday was coming up and we had been wanting to try Kobe Steakhouse for awhile, and also wanted to make use of the entertainment card discount with Kobe before the 2009 book expired, so we chose Kobe as his birthday restaurant. From the outside it looks like a restaurant you would walk into in the japanese part of central Los Angeles, but once inside you'd be surprised how Huge it is! They have 2 floors with Hibachi tables that seat 8 people per table. If you are planning a party, and are going with a crowd of 8, this is a great place as you will have the table all to yourself with your own Hibachi Chef. These Chefs are made to entertain, and do everything from creating HUGE flames, to juggling knives and throwing food perfectly into your mouth. I think this place would be great if you have a semi awkward business meeting where you are entertaining employees you don't really know. This place is also great if you are looking for REAL KOBE Beef & Lobster for a Great Price. This is a Great Place to go for Teppenyaki. Charles had the Kobe Emporers Special which consisted of Lobster & Kobe Steak with all the fixings. I had the Seafood combination which consisted of Giant Prawns and Atlantic Scallops with all the fixings.

Below are some pictures from our first Kobe experience.


A Picture of one of the giant flames the chefs create while cooking. As you can see you don't want to be sitting too close!!


Our Hibachi Chef cooking the lobster tails


Our Hibachi Chef cooking 3 Kobe Seaks, and 1 regular steak. Also you can see the lobster tails have now been cut up.


My seafood combination of scallops and prawns. I love how they just melted in my mouth! Also served with Zuchini, Mushrooms and Onion which were very flavorful!


Charles Lobster Tail all cut up and ready to eat. As you can see, they give you ALOT of Lobster! Of course I had to steal a bite!!! This lobster was cooked perfectly.

Coast - Favorite Place for Seafood

I love doing this blog on Coast as it's one of my top 3 restaurants to eat at! It's part of the Glowbal Group, and if you have a letsgofordinner card, you can purchase lunch and dinner gift certificates for half cost! That's actually how we came across Coast, we were exploring the restauarants on letsgofordinner and purchased a 50$ gift card for 25$. We decided to check out Coast one summer night at their old location in yaletown (which is now the location of Society, another restaurant in the Glowbal Group). We sat on the patio for our first visit and was amazed at the service! Our table we were sitting at was right against the wall near freshly watered plants, so there was a little ant problem, but our server proactively slided our table slighty to avoid any ants coming onto our table.

We decided to order the Summer Festival Platter, which was a 3 course meal for 29$ a person. This was an AMAZING DEAL! I dont think there were any other better deals in the city that night!

Here are some pictures from their old location, which will be followed by a blog about their new location and more photos.


Our first dish from the summer seafood festival was the appetizer platter which contained an amazing seafood chowder. I am REALLY picky about mussells, yet these blended so well with the chowder!!


Also included in the summer seafood festival was Buttermilk Calamari, Mixed Greens and Ahi Tuna Tempura Rolls. I've never tried buttermilk calamari, and I was amazed with how light and smooth this dish was, the squid melted in your mouth, which is so rare with most squid dishes!! The Ahi Tuna Tempura Rolls were huge, and didnt fall apart upon touch. The Mixed Greens were very freshing, and we were amazed with the presentation and variety of our appetizer platter - and very excited to see what was next!


Charles enjoying the patio, and pleased with our first dish!


Our Entree Platter from the summer seafood festival. Consisted of Shrimp Risotto, Halibut, Lobster and Seasonal Veggies. This is actually the first time either of us have tried risotto, but have always wanted to since watching Hells Kitchen where its a regular dish. I am pleased to say Coast made my first risotto dish perfectly!! The Carrots and Broccolinni were perfect as well, and the Halibut was light and flakey. I actually enjoyed the Halibut with the remaining risotto sauce! The main part of course was the 1/2 lobster!! I love how they cut it apart and lightly battered it which made it easy to take a part and eat! The last thing you want to do on a date night is attack a lobster and make a mess, and Coast made sure it was a pleasent eating experience! Lobster is my favorite type of seafood, and a lot of restaurants provide smaller portions of lobster, especially if its a 1/2 lobster.. but the lobster we had was HUGE! you almost didnt even notice it was only 1/2.


A close up of our entree platter

 

When we got our dessert platter, we were allready so full!! Yet so determined to finish everything. Normally we don't usually order desserts, unless it included cheese or fresh fruit, as Charles doesn't really have a sweet tooth, so I was really excited to have dessert as it's a rare thing for me. I was really excited it actually included some of my favorite things to eat for dessert and also some new dishes I can't wait to try again!

Our Dessert Platter included Creme Brulee with raspberries, Mango Gelato, a Molten Choclate Lava Cupcake, and fresh Strawberries and Blueberries. We started with the Creme Brulee, which is the first time we have ever tried it - and for Charles, someone without a sweet tooth, he LOVED it! We moved onto the Gelato, which is my favorite type of dessert as its so smooth and refreshing on your palate. Next was the chocolate lava cupcake, which to me was amazing as I love chocolate, but a little rich for Charles. Finished it off with the strawberries and blueberries and were completely full, (but the type of full that I just had an amazing dinner type of full).


 

On to our next Coast visit @ their new location on Alberni. We were so impressed with our last visit we new we had to try another shared platter dish. This time we tried their Seafood Signature Platter, which was also 29$ per person. As we were in love with the buttermilk calamari from last time, we ordered that as our starter.

When we got to Coast we were hoping to sit on the patio, but once inside we noticed the 2nd level, and that they had some prime tables with a great view of the lower level so we opted to sit up there instead. What a great Choice! The view was amazing and we could see the entrance, & the ice bar.


A Picture of our view, and also my Decked out Ceaser. The Ceaser came with a jumbo prawn, which was like a teaser itself! Best Ceaser I've ever had for only 8$.


Our Starter, the Buttermilk Calamari. I love how they had a filter around the lemon to prevent the seeds when squeezed, and just as before, the Calamari was delicious!

 

Our Signature Seafood Platter consisted of King Crab Tempura, Wild Sea Tiger Prawns, Potato Gnocci, Sockeye Salmon, Tomato Gastrique, Asparagus and Halibut. I had never had King Crab Tempura before, and I think this is one of my favorite tempura dishes to ever try! Both The Salmon and Halibut were grilled perfectly, and prawns were so tasty! I had also never had Gnocci at a restaurant before, and thought the mushrooms and sauce choice were a perfect match. This dish was very rich and smooth, and blended great with the seafood. The tomato gastrique is also something I have never tried with that name, but was pretty much skinless cherry tomatoes cooked slightly. Asparagus was also delightful, although Charles isn't really an asparagus fan - so more for me!


Charles & I @ Coast

The Reef - brunch on the drive

The Reef is deffinately one of my fav places to have brunch, and since Charles and I always seem to end up on the drive, we usually eat here pretty often.
Sadly, I've never taken pictures of my food from any of the other times we have been (and I've had some pretty amazing dishes!)

What I love about this place is that in the evening they have a house DJ that spins reggae every night, they have a patio in the summer, and they offer pretty authentic carribean food. They only take reservations for up to 8 people, so you wont be able to have a huge gathering here.

Some of my favorite dishes from them are:
Jerk Salmon Benny
Island Thyme Chicken
JAH Dip
Curried Coconut Plantain Soup
Some of the dishes I really want to try areAckee & Saltfish
Coco Prawns
Maracas Bay Mahi

Here are some pictures from The Reef


Jerk Salmon Benny during their weekend brunch hours. So Delish for only $11


The Reef gave us free homemade doughnuts with our brunch that had some sort of baked banana in them.. They were sooo good!