Posts tagged downtown

Book Kyung Ban Jeom

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Book Kyung Ban Jeom is located on Robson St. where the rest of the Korean restaurants are located. It seems that there is this one little strip that is just filled with Koreans!

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 The restaurant is filled with mostly Korean families and young diners. The promotions on the wall are also all in Korean, so you basically don’t know what they are unless you’re Korean. The menu, however, has both English and Korean.

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Side Dishes

The side dishes aren’t exactly the ones I prefer. They included yellow daikon and radish in a kimchi-like sauce.

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Tang Suyuk

We ordered the Tang Suyuk, which reminded me of the Chinese sweet and sour prok. I believe this actually beef though. The outer layer is thin and crispy and not too greasy. It’s quite a large dish, so great to share. The sauce is thick and gooey, but not more on the sweet side than sour.

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Ja Jang Myeon

We each got a Ja Jang Myeon, which is essentially the Ja Jiang Mian that Chinese people eat. However, the sauce and fillings are completely different! It’s a very gooey sauce and filled with lots of onions. I’m not a big fan of onions, so I actually prefer the Chinese style much more. The sauce is also much more focused on the sweet side, rather than the spicy side. An interesting variation!

Book Kyung Ban Jeom on Urbanspoon

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Ebisu (Robson)

Friday night, I went to Ebisu on Robson St. to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The Robson store is not that much different from the one in Richmond, although they seem to have a larger menu as well as drinks.

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Chopped Scallop Roll

I got the Chopped Scallop Roll because I pretty much get it at every Japanese restaurant. It was average and nothing too special.

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Chicken Karaage - deep fried boneless chicken served with sweet honey-mustard and Cajun mayonnaise

I also got the Chicken Karaage which was a huge portion. They actually have a one person size too, but we got the larger one. The pieces of chicken were much larger than I had expected, but since it was boneless, all was good. The batter was decent, although quite oily. I enjoyed the honey-mustard which tasted a little like plum sauce, and the Cajun mayonnaise was a little spicy.

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Hamachi Inferno - yellowtail box pressed in shiso, burdock, shiitake, sesame and sushi rice seared!

Ebisu is famous for their inferno sushi, so I finally decided to try it. They have 3 fishes to choose from: saba, hamachi or toro. I chose the Hamachi Inferno, and it was presented to us raw.

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Then the waitress brought over a lighter, and seared the sushi in front of us.  Pretty cool to watch the colour turn.

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And here’s the final product! The fish was soft and definitely a different texture from raw hamachi. I found that the sushi rice was a little harder than usual though, but it was definitely something different to eat.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the food and service at the Robson Ebisu. They offer a variety of interesting rolls as well, so their menu is quite extensive.

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Bel Cafe (Take Out)

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I’ve gone to Bel Cafe for some desserts before, but I have to say their menu is quite pricey! Around $6 for each dessert…but it’s the sister store to Hawksworth, so what do you expect. Even their boxes and take out bags are so much nicer! I guess your money goes towards that stuff.

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Dark Chocolate, Raspberry, Vanilla

This was some good chocolate goodness, but it wasn’t too sweet! I loved the little chocolate crunches on the side. The raspberry wasn’t very strong though.

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Double Lemon Tart

The lemon tart was way too tart and sour for my liking. I much prefer the one I had at Oru. I did however like the little lemon slices at the top which were like candied lemons.

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Crispy Choux Milk Chocolate Orange Ganache

I’ve had the orange ganache before, and it is one of my favourite desserts here. It’s basically a cream puff topped with a chocolate cream, a few slices of chocolate and orange slices. Yum!

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The Refinery (Dine Out)

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Last Thursday, I went to my last Dine Out! It was a spontaneous one, and we pretty much planned it the night before. We wanted a girls night out, and was looking for somewhere on Granville and was from the fixed price of either $18 or $28. SP suggested we go to The Refinery and off we went! A poor picture of the place, but The Refinery is basically next to Sip Resto Lounge, and you have to go up a flight of stairs. So really, it is on top of Sip Resto Lounge! It was a Thursday night, and the place was around 3/4 full. Not bad I guess.

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Complementary Amuse Bouche - Salted Cucumber Sorbet

Shortly after placing our orders, our server brought us a complementary amuse bouche. She explained a bunch of stuff, but from what I remember, it was basically a cucumber sorbet that was salted. When I took a little nibble of it, I thought it was really salty! But I decided to take the whole spoon, and it became a mixture of salty and sour. It was supposed to cleanse our palettes before we ate, but we all felt that it just left our palettes salty and sour! It was definitely refreshing though, since it was an ice cold sorbet. Let’s just say it was interesting…

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Albacore Tuna - confit tomato sauce, cannellini beans, basil oil, parsley

For my appetizer, I chose the Albacore Tuna. The portions were actually quite generous. There were probably around 7 slices, and each slice was quite thick. However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the sauces. I’m not a parsley person, so the flavours didn’t really work for me. I have to say that the tuna was fresh, and seared well though. The cannellini beans reminded me of chickpeas, which also aren’t my favourite. I guess I’m just a picky eater…

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Poached Pear Salad - white wine poached, arugula, goat cheese, walnuts, yellow beets, honey-dijon vinaigrette

SP and SK got the Poached Pear Salad. It was a large plate of arugula, and they felt that it was way too much. There was also parsley in it, which they weren’t too fond of.

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Sablefish - roasted red pepper and potato stew

For their entree, they both got the Sablefish. I was tempted to get it too, but I wanted to try their other dishes too. I tried some of the fish, and it was delicious. Cooked perfectly and the fish was smooth. It’s definitely a small piece of fish though!

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Stuffed Mushroom - a refinery classic, stuffed with our special house mixture

For myself, I decided to try the Stuffed Mushroom. I’m glad I got this since it was full of surprises! It was one large mushroom filled with their special house stuffing mixture. The top was something that I believe was similar to bread crumbs, but the inside had cashews in it! At first, I found it weird, but for some reason, when you keep eating it, it becomes highly addictive. The nutty flavour just worked so well with the rest of the mixture.On the side, there was also some pesto sauce which added some flavour to the mushroom. On the right was more salad, which was similar to the appetizer. Lots of arugula and parsley! So I didn’t really eat much of it.

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Tiramisu - espresso soaked lady fingers, whipped marscapone, cocoa dust

My favourite part of the meal were the desserts! I got the Tiramisu which came with a biscotti. This was extremely delicious! They had a thick layer of whipped marscapone, and it was dusted with cocoa powder on the top. The lady fingers weren’t soaked with a lot of alcohol, or I barely even tasted it, but I didn’t mind it. Because of that, it ended up being on the sweeter side, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake - chocolate ganache, raspberry compote, balsamic reduction coconut cream

The girls got the Flourless Chocolate Cake which had a raspberry compote underneath. It was full of chocolate goodness and my one bite satisfied my sudden chocolate cravings. The girls both agreed that it was way too much chocolate and therefore very sweet, but that’s how a flourless chocolate cake is supposed to be like!

When we got our bill, we were also given complementary Chili Truffles, which I forgot to snap a picture of. The truffles were not spicy at first, but once the outer cocoa powder dissolved, the spice hit! It was acutally quite spicy and the server explained that she felt that this batch was a lot spicier.

Overall, The Refinery was average. I don’t know if I would come here again, but this is soley based on their dine out menu. Service was great when our server checked up on us, but where we were seated was difficult to get her attention. It literally took us 10 minutes to get a different servers attention when we wanted a picture because our own server still didn’t notice us. I don’t think the food is bad, but it might be just a personal taste preference and the ingredients aren’t items I normally enjoy. However, I enjoyed their desserts, and the place also seems like a cool place to grab some drinks. Their bar looks really nice!

The Refinery: Market.Style.Eatery on Urbanspoon

Raw Canvas (Dine Out 2013)

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I’ve always wanted to try Raw Canvas but looking at the menu, it can be pretty pricey. It’s basically a place where you can eat some meat and cheese, have some drinks, and then you have the choice to go paint! Pretty neat idea, and an awesome place to go for a girls night out. Luckily, Raw Canvas participated in Dine Out Vancouver 2013, so I got to try it out for only $38!

$38 gets you your “appetizer”, which is a choice of cheese sampler or meat sampler. Then your “entree” is a canvas to paint on, with all paint supplied and included. Lastly, your “dessert” is gelato and port! A pretty good deal, since the smallest canvas itself is normally $55. The one for dine out is a bit smaller though, but still a deal regardless since you get food as well.

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They have a really nice bar, and at around 9p.m, the place was filled with people having drinks. It definitely feels like a nice place to chat with friends over some drinks.

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The place is basically separated so one side is where you eat, and the other half of the place is where the art happens! At first we thought that there weren’t that many easels, but they actually have a lot! It gets a little tight, so if you want lots of space, then I would suggest going earlier or on a weekday night.

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I love how the wooden tables and brick walls give the place such an artsy feel to it! Along with the gorgeous paintings on the wall, you can’t help but feel inspired to paint!

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The place actually has a decent amount of seats too. Seats for smaller and larger groups as well. The dim lighting totally works in this setting.

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Blue - Sake, alize bleu, ginger ale, ginger

K got a mixed cocktail called Blue. Pretty nice!

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Karmellet Tripel (Belgium) - abbeys

E got the Karmellet Tripel, which he said wasn’t too bitter. It was recommended by the guy, who we think may be the owner. He was extremely nice and professional. Awesome service!

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Peach Italissima Nectar

For myself, I was not feeling like alcohol, so I chose the Peach Italissima Nectar. I really had no idea what it was, but it came in a tiny little bottle.

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Then you pour it into a glass with ice, and it is actually pretty good! It’s a little thick, but the ice helps to liquify it. Not bad, and it actually was decent with the meat.

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Water comes in a Raw Canvas glass bottle, which they reuse. It’s pretty neat though. You want to check your glasses beforehand though, because some of them have paint on them since people can take their drinks with them when they go paint. The servers were observant enough to let us know and quickly change them though.

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Freshly Baked French Baguette

At first, we thought that we would not get full at all, since we’re really just eating meat… but we were wrong! For the 3 of us, they served us two large bowls of Baked French Baguettes. And we were totally full after our  meal! I guess the bread really fills you up.

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Charcuterie Tasting Plate, served with freshly baked french baguette: Provence Saucisson Sec - southern French sausage flavoured with pastis, Pheasant and Pistachio Terrine - made in Quebec by maison du gibler, Czech Beer Salami - classic Czech style salami flavoured with beer

Accompaniments:Stoneground Mustard, Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Cornichons

All 3 of us got the Charcuterie Tasting Plate, which is basically a plate with 3 types of meat and 3 accompaniments. On the far left, there was the Provence Saucisson Sec. This was basically a sausage, and was my favourite. It was soft and tasted great with the stoneground mustard. In the middle, was the Pheasant and Pistachio Terrine. This was probably my least favourite. It might’ve been the pistachio flavour that threw it off for me. Lastly, on the right was the Czech Beer Salami. Although it was lightly sliced, it was very chewy and hard. It was also extremely strong in pork, but salami is made of pork! They gave a fair amount of the salami, and it was easy to place on the bread.

For the accompaniments, it came with the Stoneground Mustard, which was my favourite! It’s basically mustard seeds that are grounded and made into a paste. It’s definitely strong in mustard flavour, and I could just spread it on the bread and I would be completely happy. So delicious! In the middle, we had the Fire Roasted Tomatoes, which were also really delicious. This can just be put on the bread and there was tons of flavour. And lastly, on the right, were the Cornichons, which are basically pickled cucumbers and are popular in Europe. I’m not a big fan of pickles, but these ones were surprisingly not too sour. I didn’t finish all of them, but they were nice to have in between all the meat.

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Gelato and Port - Vanilla Bean Gelato with Sweet Portuguese Wine

For dessert, the item was Gelato and Port. It was a huge scoop of Vanilla Bean Gelato, and you could see the black specks so you knew it wasn’t just vanilla extract. It was served with a glass of sweet Portuguese wine, which when you smell it, smells quite strong in alcohol. I thought it was brandy or whiskey at first, but the server explained that it was a sweet wine. I poured around half the flask in, and it was already plenty to have a taste of alcohol in it. Definitely brings out the sweetness and was a great pairing to the gelato.image

After you finish dessert, they ask you if you’re ready to go paint! They don’t push you to, and you can take your time to talk some more if you want to. But of course we were ready to go paint! They provide you with a smock so you can totally get into your artsy spirit. They also have a long wall of paints, and you just squeeze them out onto you palette board. I wish I got a picture of that, because it looks really neat! Then, you go ahead and get all artsy! They also have an artist there to look after you in case you have questions, or need some help getting inspired. And honestly, you don’t need to be an amazing artist to paint. Everyone was just having fun and bringing out their creativity!

So overall, Raw Canvas is an awesome place whether you know how to paint or not. It’s definitely a place to go once in your lifetime, whether it be on a date, to celebrate or to find a place to have food, drinks, and art! It may get quite expensive if you go on their regular nights, but it is something that everyone should try. Instead of having a typical movie night, why not go painting?

Raw Canvas on Urbanspoon

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