I just discovered our little blog is available in China. Foodie, EH? has been in China for some months now but our trusty Van-city blogger has been blogging when time permits. I will blog some of the foods I’ve come across whilst living in China as an expat. Stay tuned!
The Vancouver Food Cart Fest is back at Olympic Village for another year filled with lots of exciting food carts from throughout Vancouver! The event runs every Sunday of the summer until September 6, with a $2.50 admission (but free if you bring a non-perishable food donation!). The festival is family friendly, with kids activities, a huge sandbox, the Eastside Flea, live music and lots of space, perfect for a Sunday activity
This being the first event of the summer, it was pretty crowded despite the muggy weather. There were also swarms of flying ants in the area, which got slightly annoying, since they weren’t shy about flying into your face. Other than that, the wide selection of eats, from cold treats to afternoon snacks, the variety will surely fill you up. For more information, check out their website, http://www.foodcartfest.com, or indulge in some food photos on their social media, @foodcartfest!
Food Truck: Tacofino
What we ate: Fish Taco and Black Bean Taco
Verdict: While the black bean had less substance than the Fish Taco, both were very good. I personally chose the Fish Taco, which looked pretty mouthwatering. The toppings were very fresh and there was a generous portion of crispy ling cod as the centerpiece. Definitely a great choice!
What: Chicken Waffles and Frittata
Where: Tableau Bistro
Affordability: $15-20 per dish
– We’ve been to Tableau for lunch before and their proper French food is really quite good. But when it comes to brunch…its another story unfortunately. Maybe its my fault for ordering the least French dish on the menu but I mean, with so few items to choose from, they should all be equally good right?
– We ordered the Chicken Waffles, probably the most bland brunch dish I’ve had in a really long time. The waffles so thin and way too crispy that they were pretty much flattened waffle cookies and oh so dry. The deep fried chicken breast batter wasn’t too thick, giving us hope that the inside would be potentially good. But sadly, we were disappointed to get dry and bland fried chicken, the worst combination possible. The only thing that saved this dish was maple syrup and some bland gravy.
– Remember when I first tried frittatas for the first time? So I ordered Tableau’s Egg white Frittata of the day, I figured I would have something to compare to this time. Well… this one was alright, better than the Chicken Waffles, but not as good as the one at The Flying Pig. There was a combination of steak, cheddar cheese, peppers and onions inside, but after eating half the frittata, it wasn’t that good anymore. Compared to the frittata from Flying Pig, Tableau’s frittata was lacking a crispy bottom, probably the key reason why I had liked it so much before.
– All in all, not the best place for brunch, though I would still recommend the place for it’s proper French food and good service :)
What: Waffles with apples, hazelnuts and tiramisu crema
Where: Ask for Luigi
Affordability: $15-20 per dish
Ask for Luigi is a super tiny restaurant, situated on the outskirts of Gastown, in a bit of a sketchy area (at least to me) called Railtown. When I first attempted to come here for dinner without reservations, the wait was 2 hours. So instead, I decided to come for brunch and arrived at 9:00am sharp. There was no line :) When you open the door and step inside, it feels almost as if you’re entering someone’s house, and there are only enough tables and seats to accommodate 25-30 people probably…no wonder the wait was so long for dinner!
We ordered the waffles which were crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, paired well with the hazelnuts and poached apples that brought different textures to the dish. The tiramisu crema tasted like a light and airy whipped cream and was so good I had to put a bit on every bite of my waffle. We also ordered the two poached eggs with ricotta stuffed eggplant and tomato sauce. Though I personally think it’s a bit heavy as a brunch dish, it served as a sneak peek towards the Italian flavours of the restaurant, and dang that tomato sauce was good! Who wants to try out the pasta with me next time?! To complete the full brunch experience, we decided to get mimosas, yes day drinking is the best, especially at 9am. Though it was freshly squeezed OJ, it was quiet pricey ($8) and served in a really small glass! Oh well, the waffles were worth it!
What: Pork Ramen
Where: Kinton Ramen on Queen Street West
Affordability: $12-$15 per bowl
We decided to check out Kinton Ramen’s (sort of) new location on Queen Street (and Spadina). The location on Queen Street is particularly busy for dinner and by the time we got our orders, a line has formed all the way outside. Set up like a community dining room often found in tragically hipster grubs with long tables, be prepared to sit and dine with strangers on the same table. But what’s the harm? We are all here for the love of Ramen so at least there’s that, that can spark a conversation if you choose to. Fortunately, there’s enough of us in our group where we can keep the conversation to ourselves.
The menu is pretty simple and straight forward. It’s actually written in steps from selecting what broth you want to the toppings you want. Interestingly, as pork eaters, we all picked the pork broth with pork belly (I had extra pork belly on mine), egg noodles (recommended for the pork broth), a few toppings including sheets of sea weed and a hard boiled egg. The other option was chicken meat and chicken broth, but we’re here for the pork.
It came fairly fast that it actually arrived before our app. We also ordered Karage (deep fried chicken), which we enjoyed well. It was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. We just love Karage, so no complaints there. However, I found the ramen a little bland while the others found it salty and the noodles a little too “al dente” for this kind of soup. We think of it sat in the broth a little longer, it would have been better. Perhaps we should have waited for our soups to cool down, but then what’s the point of having hot soup on a winter’s night? The pork belly was cooked well and we really enjoyed that.
Overall, a good treat during the cold winter months but I fear Kinton Ramen has become a little more commercial that the once flavourful ramen I remember is long gone. I get it. The turn over of tables are fast, but let’s not skimp on flavours. Will I visit Kimton again? Sure. But it’ll have to be on rotation with the other ramen houses in T.O.