Beta5 Cream Puffs

Beta5 - EntranceI’ve heard so much about Beta5 cream puffs that one day I finally decided to head down there with TDog to try them out.  The kitchen is located in an industrial area (fittingly called Industrial Ave.).  If not for Google maps and Beta5′s sandwich board, the store would be easy to miss.  They have dedicated parking spots also.

Beta5 - Cream PuffsBeta5 sure has a big selection of flavors, which you can see on their website.  In addition to their usual offerings, they also have a featured flavor.  Today it happened to be the Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Puff which TDog picked  I decided on their most popular flavor — the Blueberry Yuzu Cream Puff.  These babies are a bit pricy at $4.50 each but what did you expect eh?

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John Howie Steak – Bellevue

John Howie Steak - entranceDowntown Bellevue is so beautiful.  Their buildings look like heritage buildings, but also has a very modern edge to them to keep things interesting.  They also have lots of awesome restaurants!!  One such restaurant is John Howie Steak, a pretty swanky steakhouse that makes Hy’s Encore here in Vancouver look like the Keg (just a little).

However, just like Hy’s, the servers all wear white butcher coats, and are extremely well-versed in regards to their menu.  And of course, the service was impeccable.  Although our server did forget to bring us a salad that we ordered, she made it up by bringing us two on the house.

John Howie Steak - meat fridgeAfter you walk past the entrance, you are greeted with a meat refrigerator showcasing the different cuts of meats they offer.  It was very interesting to actually see the differentiation in marbling and redness.

John Howie Steak - bread basketBread basket had a mixture of cheesy garlic buns, rolls, flatbreads and breadsticks.  Our favorite was the cheesy bun for sure.  It was slightly crisp on the outside and oh so yummy inside.  We even asked for seconds =)

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Strawberries & Cream Whoopie Pies Recipe

Summer is far upon us!  In celebration of the season, the Dairy Farmers of Canada has partnered up with chefs to come up with easy awesome recipes that utilizes the goodness of Canadian dairy products and local, in-season berries!  One such recipe are these delicious, chocolatey Strawberries & Cream Whoopie Pies created by chef Julian Bond of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.  He uses strawberries but I can see myself recreating this with raspberries or blueberries too!

Strawberries & Cream Whoopie Pies

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Private Home Chinese Cuisine 一点心意

Having moved out of Richmond for a while now, I must admit, I really miss the quality and quantity of good Asian restaurants within the city.  Now, when I want good Shanghai or Szechuan food, I have to drive across the bridge to get it and time my way back just so I won’t get stuck in traffic!

So when I was told of Private Home Chinese Cuisine restaurant nearby, I was thrilled, and quickly went to try it out.

Private Home Chinese Restaurant - exteriorPrivate Home Chinese Cuisine restaurant is a mish-mash of cuisines in one.  They have “Shanghai”, “Szechuan”, and some other fusion Chinese.  Usually I’m not into these kinds of restaurants, but I’ve been told their xiao long bao is pretty good, so I was happy to give them a chance.

Private Home Chinese Restaurant - interiorVery (VERY) brightly lit interior…too bright actually, for me…makes for good pictures though.

Also very spacious interior with a very modern decor.

Private Home Chinese Restaurant - Steamed Bun Filled with Pork Shanghai-styleHere are Private Home Chinese Cuisine’s version of xiao long bao, called Steamed bun filled with pork Shanghai style ($5.99). 

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Graze Restaurant

Graze Restaurant - exteriorI must say, Graze Restaurant is making its way up there to becoming one of my top vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver

This would be my second time heading to Graze Restaurant for dinner. I wouldn’t say I was wow-ed the first time, although it really wasn’t bad at all. However, this second time around, I must say I really enjoyed my meal, both visually and gastronomically. I’ll be honest though…it’s probably all in the esthetics this time. The evening we went it was still pretty sunny and fair-weathered. Not too windy and not to hot, it was mild enough for me to actually be okay with having the meal in the patio. I must say it was pretty nice.

Graze Restaurant - interiorThese pictures are from my first visit.  It was a darker time back then…(Autumn!!).  Some selections of food aren’t available anymore, so I won’t blog about those.  Besides, the food this time was far more exciting to me. We came to Graze with a coupon in hand which gave us a free appetizer with the order of an entree. We chose the Gaspacho Salad ($10).

Graze Restaurant - Gaspacho Salad GASPACHO SALAD Heirloom tomato, cukes & grilled melon in raspberry vinaigrette, tomato-mint sorbet.

Isn’t it a beaut? It was such a colorful dish. So much so that I felt refreshed just looking at it. The edible flower bunches on top (mustard? chinese broccoli?) just matched the season so well. The components themselves were not much to talk about, but when dipped with a bit of the tomato mint sorbet, everything changed. It instantly refreshes the palate without being too overwhelming. And grilled melons eaten on a patio is always a treat. Continue reading