Where’s the sausage??
Sorry Fannypack, but the real reason why I asked you to go with me to Bestie (a German restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown) was so that I could name my post as such. I used you I know, I’m sorry. Hey at least we got a date and some Bestie/Bestie badges out of it right?
As we were driving on the approach to the location our GPS was suggesting was Bestie, we could NOT find the restaurant. We decided to trust our GPS though, parked, and walked on. We were across the street and STILL we couldn’t find the restaurant, until by fluke, I saw the name “Bestie” on the window. Not on the awning. The window. The one that’s hidden in the shadows and partly behind the metal fence. Why wouldn’t you change your awning?? It was not especially easy to spot on the cloudy rainy day we visited.
I did like the decor and lighting of the restaurant. However I think they might have had the heat on high the day we were there.
The restaurant definitely has more of a hipster vibe than a Chinatown vibe. There were very chillaxed servers in slicked-back hair and high-waisted jeans, male cooks with man-buns and torn white t-shirts, patrons with big black thick-rimmed glasses…you know, the works. I guess that’s what gentrification and “revitalization” does to what’s supposed to be preserved as a historical heritage neighborhood. But in the end progress is inevitable.
Enough of my pseudo-rant though. On to the food!
Going way, way back to our Mid-Autumn Festival family celebration, Hitman and I had dinner with my parents and relatives at Suhang Restaurant. It was his first time for Shanghainese food. The draw for me was that my uncle had pre-ordered the Beggar’s Chicken and I was excited to see and try it. I hadn’t known where to go for Beggar’s Chicken in Vancouver (in this case, Richmond) prior to this dinner.
When I told Hitman about it, I basically said that it’s traditionally wrapped in dirt…now that got him intrigued! If you want to read more about the origins of this dish we’ve included at the end of this post our own Legend of the Beggar’s Chicken based on variations of the story we’ve cobbled together.
I don’t have the prices for the dishes below as they were special order items; if you want to try them for yourself be sure to phone in your order in advance.
Anyways, as with most dinners with Uncle G, we start with a cold appetizer platter that consisted of (clockwise from bottom) Smoked Beef Shank, Sesame Oil Ma Lang Tao, Pork Terrine, Mushroom Bean Curd Wrap, and Fava Beans in the middle.
My favorite is always the ma lang tao, a green leafy vegetable mixed with tofu.
Aunt Iris is a vegetarian so this was for her. It’s Braised Fried Gluten with Daikon. Not much to say about this one.
This is another vegetarian dish of Bean Curd Sheets with Edamame and Chinese Broccoli.
On my recent trip to the States I visited the beloved Trader Joe’s again, as with all my trips down South. This time one of the products that caught my eye was the Trader Joe’s Thai “Dry” Chili Paste. As Hitman is a huge fan of Thai food, I thought I could make good use of this seasoning paste at home. Plus, it was only $0.99!
This is a vegan paste made of fried mushrooms and various spices and seasonings such as tamarind, coconut sugar, lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves, and of course the namesake dried chili.
I had a taste of it by itself, just a tiny amount. It’s savory and a bit sweet, but very fragrant of mushrooms. I wouldn’t say that this spice mixture is as “moderately spicy” as the label says, I would say there’s just a kick, unless you eat it by the spoonfuls.
On my last girl date with TDog, we made a trip down to Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe so TDog could try out their pastries too. A good thing about Beaucoup is that they come out with seasonal limited edition pastries to keep things interesting.
This time around, to give us a taste of summer which we’re all so longing for, they’re offering a colorful Citrus Tart ($5.5).
It really is a beauty isn’t it?
Here’s a review of a lunch I had on the go downtown earlier this week. Quick lunch, quick review. Fat Duck Mobile Eatery Ltd food truck parks outside of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Hamilton between Dunsmuir and Georgia. Their menu items hover around $10. I’ve really been digging the food cart thing as of late; I love how you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu at the more reputable ones. Since they specialize in doing a small number of dishes they can focus on tweaking them to perfection.
As their name would suggest the Fat Duck truck’s signature dish is a Duck Confit sandwich. But I couldn’t resist the pull of the pork…pulled pork that is:
Behold the mighty Les Trois Cochons ($10) sandwich. The first pig is braised pulled pork butt, the second pig is pork belly, the third (little) pig is the maple bacon butter. Add a small amount of Swiss, a large amount of pickled slaw, slap it on some sourdough bread and toast it grilled-cheese style and there you have a sandwich fit for the big bad wolf himself.