Victoria Weekend Trip Part 2 – Caffe D’Amore & AYOeat

Executive House Hotel in Victoria

We were fortunate to come across a pretty good deal on LivingSocial for our hotel stay for this Victoria trip.  Hitman and I got a pretty nice room at the Executive House Hotel in downtown Victoria.  It was within walking distance to pretty much everything (unless you’re in heels like I was…then it was excruciating =P) and we got a room on the 14th floor with a pretty side view of the harbour.  The nightview was pretty awesome, so we were happy.

Included with the voucher was full breakies for 2 people at the onsite Caffe d’Amore.  Hitman chose the Corned Beef & Hash ($9.99) with a tea and I had the Blackstone Benedict ($10.99) which was an eggs benedict with grilled tomatoes and bacon.

Both breakfasts were solid.  Hitman’s was a decent portion with lots of onions, green peppers and mushrooms mixed in.  Mine was also pretty good.  The hollandaise sauce was not the best though and the eggs could be poached a tad softer and runnier but really not too much to complain about.  Both were served with mediocre hash browns.

Now, we got up especially early so that we could fit in both breakfast AND lunch before we headed to the wedding ceremony at 2pm.  This is because as stated in the previous post, prior to the trip, we had already researched where we wanted to eat.  Our next destination was to AYOeat.

Market Square in Victoria, BC

It took us a little bit to find AYOeat as google maps on my phone did not give the correct location.  I should’ve read AYOeat’s website clearly because it clearly tells you that it’s inside the courtyard of Market Square.  By the way it’s a very nice courtyard.  If we weren’t in a hurry and it wasn’t that cold out and I wasn’t in a skirt and heels, totally would’ve sat there to feast.

It’s a little food stand if you will along the shops of the courtyard.  Vibrant red, can’t miss it.  Plus the directory of the square is pretty clear too.

AYOeat

And it’s literally a hole in the wall.  It’s just the kitchen plus a fridge that’s it.  The menu’s on the door.  Chef Bana is very friendly, even offering us water while we waited.  But that’s probably because it does take him a little while to make the food.  I wouldn’t call it fast food.

AYOeat

Reading the newspaper clippings on the little window informs us that Chef Bana has worked in 5-star hotels in Thailand, a Michelin starred restaurant in Prague and had also cooked for the Dalai Lama!

AYOeat

I ordered the Nasi goreng ayam ($9.75) which was chicken fried rice served with prawn crackers, pickles and a fried egg.  I really liked the little attentions to detail here.  He could easily have just put everything into the take-out box but he’s decided to line it with a large piece of banana leaf.  <3!  The rice was shaped into a dome and everything was just so pleasing to the eyes.

I originally thought it was just going to be shredded chicken mixed in with the fried rice but no, it’s actually large pieces of white meat on the side.  At first I wasn’t too excited about the chicken, since from the looks of it they looked dry.  But boy was I wrong!  They were probably the most tender, juicy pieces of cut white meat I’ve ever tasted!  Lightly salted, the big morsels complimented the saltier fried rice well.  As for the fried egg, let’s just say it’s like how my grandma used to make it…it’s as if it’s deep fried!

AYOeat

Hitman had the Nasi campur with beef rendang ($11.99) which was mixed rice with coconut stewed beef, spicy potato chips and pickles.  I really enjoyed the rice as it was drenched in a light coconut-curry sauce.  The beef was very spicy, just the way Hitman likes it.  I found the texture though a bit tough, but that could be because we let it cool down quite a bit.  The sauce was quite cinnamony and clove-y.

The prawn crackers on both our plates did end up getting very soft and chewy though, again probably our fault for letting things cool and thus soaking up the moisture.  The spicy sauce hidden underneath wasn’t too spicy.  The pickles were a refreshing change from the attack on the tastebuds.

We couldn’t rave more about this place.  In fact as I’m writing this I want to make a trip back to Victoria just so I can really sit down and enjoy the food fresh.  I would also like to try his satay skewers and the gado-gado wrap.  This place really is a gem and a must try!

Caffe d'Amore on Urbanspoon       Ayo Eat on Urbanspoon


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