Tag Archives: vancouver

BC Spot Prawns

Spot Prawns

I may have missed king crab season, but I was determined that B.C. spot prawn season didn’t pass me by.

Spot prawns are local to B.C. and their season is a mere 8 weeks. Restaurants take advantage of this season and you will see them on many menus. Forget the usual rubbery ebi at your sushi joint and have sashimi spot prawns instead for a sweet and succulent treat. The best part about these little guys is that they are sustainable.

The Chef’s Table Society held their 6th annual spot prawn festival. $12 gets you a plate where you get 3 prawns and all the fixings. Vikram Vij was serving the prawns and reminded everybody to eat the prawn heads. Sounds gross, but it really is tasty.

The prawns have a sweetness to it and a salty ocean taste. R thinks they taste a bit like lobster meat. They’re pretty juicy, so the big napkins that were handed out came in handy.

False Creek Fisherman’s wharf boats sell them starting at noon daily for $12/pound (note: they are now selling for $14/pound). You’ll want to get there early as the line gets quite long. When you buy live spot prawns, you only have about 4 hours before they start getting mushy. To keep them longer, you will need to get over your squeamishness and remove their heads…while they are still alive. If that makes you feel faint, you can buy them frozen. Just be sure it’s just the tails so you don’t get mushy ones. You can purchase spot prawns at Lobsterman, Longliner, Salmon Shop on Granville Island.

Tips for attending the festival:
– Buy the pre-sale tickets online. Once the pre-sale tickets are finished, there are reserved tickets available the day of at the festival. But the line up is long, so it’s better to save yourself the hassle.
– Arrive early. A good 20-30 minutes before it starts will ensure a shorter wait and you won’t have to worry if they’re running low on anything.
– Take transit. With so many people at the festival along with the usual Granville Island crowd, parking would have been a nightmare.

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Medina Cafe

Rockies

I’m finally in Vancouver and I’m enjoying the mountain views and the coastal air. After some bad junky road trip food, I was ready for some real eats.

I’ve been on a brunch kick lately and thanks to foursquare I found a place near us. Medina Cafe is known for their waffles with amazing toppings (milk chocolate lavender sauce anyone?)

We started off with the lavender lattes, a popular menu item. It’ll be a regular order for me for sure.

Lavender latte at Medina

I got the Saumon Fume (fried egg, smoked salmon, caper cream cheese, avocado on a ciabatta bun) and R got the daily omelette. While the omelette was good, the Saumon Fume was the clear winner out of the two. Next time I’d like to try the Fricasee (fried eggs, braised short ribs, applewood cheddar) as the Yelp reviews for it were promising.

Saumon Fume at Medina

The portions are modest, but that leaves room for dessert. The waffles are not your standard size, but petite 4″ ones so be prepared to order more than one. There’s a selection of sauces such as fig orange marmalade and white chocolate pistachio rose water. The waffles are a bit pricey at $3.15 a pop plus $1 for each sauce. I had the milk chocolate lavender and the raspberry caramel sauce. I highly recommend the milk chocolate lavender.

Waffles at Medina

Be prepared to wait if you have more than a party of 2. The cafe is small and they don’t take reservations.

I’m happy to have found a great brunch place so quickly, I’m looking forward to adding more to my list of places to go.

Medina Cafe
556 Beatty Street
www.medinacafe.com

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Granville Island

Granville Island

Granville Island has a huge farmer’s market. I could spend a whole day visiting all the stalls, sampling all the food, and generally lazing about.

One place that really stood out here is Go Fish, a little stand that serves up some of the best seafood I have ever tasted.

Granville Island

I had a their special, scallop po boy sandwich that came with a side of coleslaw.

Granville Island

The sandwich is gigantic and with the restaurant being right on the water, the scallops were as fresh as can be.

R had their famous fish and chips and their soup of the day that was a curried seafood bisque:

Granville Island

We were pleasantly surprised with the soup. I wasn’t expecting much because I haven’t really had a soup knock me off my feet (exception: the one in Paris at Le Pre Verre) but this soup had me taking more and more spoonfuls. Who ended up finishing this soup? I’d rather not say.

The fish and chips really put to shame the ones I’ve tried in Toronto. It’s not even a fair comparison when fish is that fresh.

The line up to order is long and don’t expect to get a seat, you’ll most likely be sitting on the edge of the water with everyone else. You’ll know you’re at the right place when you see the long line up.

Go Fish
1504 West 1st Ave.
Vancouver, BC V6J1E8

Click below to see more pics of Granville Island:

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Vij’s

Vij's

The first thing I put on my list of “must go to” restaurants was Vij’s. R is a big fan of Indian food and I knew he’d love it there. No reservations are taken and I was warned that the line up would be long, even on a weekday so we arrived 40 minutes early before they opened. The line wasn’t too bad then, but shortly turned into a line going down the block.

Once we were in the door we were quickly seated to a table and then came the free chai tea and round after round of free appetizers. Practically a meal in itself.

Here’s a picture of one of the free appetizers, I was too busy eating the others to take pictures:

Vij's

For our appetizer, we ordered the yam, paneer, and cabbage kofta in pureed lentil curry:

Vij's

For the main, I ordered the much raved about lamb popsicles:

Vij's

And R ordered the sable fish (item not on the website’s menu):

Vij's

I don’t think you can go wrong with any dish you order here. R’s been back there with friends and so far no meal has disappointed. I should also mention that the owner Vij is friendly and super nice (according to R who was lucky enough to meet hi. side note: Vij was the one taking his order!). R wanted to take a picture with him so that he could send it to me and Vij wasn’t bothered that it took such a long time to take a photo.

If you’re in Vancouver, you need to go to this place. Now that I’m back in Toronto, I’ll have to make some of his recipes from his book.

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Eating my way through Vancouver

Vancouver

I had the pleasure of going to Vancouver not too long ago. I have always loved Vancouver and it’s picturesque nature, but I’m more fond of it now after eating amazing food there. R has a temporary job in Van city so it’s me dining solo for the next few months.

There are just too many pictures to fit in one post, so expect more to come.

The first meal we had in Vancouver were…hot dogs. Gourmet hot dog stands seem to be everywhere in Vancouver and I suspect the trend will make it’s way to Toronto eventually. Organic beef hot dogs with sauteed onions? Cheddar and jalapeƱo hot dogs? Yes, please! The price for an organic hot dog was about $5-ish, but I felt it was well worth the extra cash for an organic (and bigger) hot dog.

Gourmet hot dogs

Being in Vancouver I also had to try Japadog. The name kind of says it all it’s Japanese style hot dogs. I tried the Kurobuta Terimayo, Bershire pork with Japanese mayo and shredded nori scattered on top. It didn’t blow me away as being the best hot dog ever (I preferred the other hot dog stand), but it was an interesting twist to the regular dog.

Japadog

I also had my fill of seafood and sushi restaurants in Vancouver. You get huge slabs of sushi for an amazing price. Take for instance Samurai Sushi, a little hole in the wall sushi joint:

Samurai sushi

Sushi that befits the restaurant’s name. Fish so big it wraps around the rice and at a price point that won’t kill your wallet.

Juno had the best quality sushi I ate while I was there. The fish portions were smaller (and the dollar amount higher), but was balanced out by the quality. They also serve artisan sake from Artisan SakeMaker in Granville Island.

Juno sushi

Bin 942 is a tapas bar. The space is a bit cramped, but I’m okay with that because every dish we ordered was fantastic. The braised beef short rib was fall-off-the-bone and melted in your mouth. Of course I have no pictures to show for it. I was too engaged with wanting to eat the food, that R had to step in and take some shots with his iPhone.

We were supposed to go to Guu in Toronto, but on a Wednesday night the 2 hour wait was just too long for us. We were lucky enough to go to the one in Vancouver that had a much shorter wait. Sadly after waiting in the cold for 30 minutes, I found out we could have made reservations like the other people that waltzed right in. The food here is affordable while not skimping on quality, a winning combination for me.

Scallops at Guu

Guu

I loved the latte art at Caffe Artigiano. We frequented this place quite a bit. Mmm…Spanish lattes.

Caffe Artigiano

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