Monday, 20 October 2014

Yolk's: Long Wait Time

When I went to Red Wagon Cafe, we passed by Yolk's. Previously I didn't know that they had a restaurant in addition to a food truck, so when we were in the area again today I suggested we go try it.

We arrived at 11:15am on the weekend and were not seated until 12:00pm. We ordered our food quickly since we had so much time to decide what we wanted. We ordered Belgian waffles and the Fraser Valley Duck Confit.

The Belgian waffles came with four quarter slices, so essentially one round waffle, and two English bangers with mustard. I liked the bangers because it wasn't too oily and paired nicely with the mustard that included mustard seeds. The waffle was soft and did not embody any crunchiness which is something I look for in Belgian waffles. The texture and sweet batter reminded me more of pancakes than waffles. I probably would not order this again.

Belgian Waffles ($9.75)
The Fraser Valley Duck Confit consisted of a free-range poached egg, housemade marmalade, spinach, hollandaise, two pieces of English muffin and crispy duck. I liked this much better than the waffles. The egg was perfectly poached and oozed yolk onto the well-toasted English muffin piece. The buttery hollandaise mixed with the sweet marmalade worked nicely against the crispy duck. I especially liked when I got a piece of crispy duck skin.

Fraser Valley Duck Confit ($11.75 for one egg, $16.75 for two eggs)
However during the time we were dining, there were always quite a few tables empty. Yolk's seemed to be adequately staffed and there was a continuous crowd waiting outside. From the perspective of a diner it can be frustrating to wait for so long when you can clearly see empty tables inside the restaurant. Perhaps a change in practise can help increase the restaurant's efficiency so diners won't be deterred from coming back due to the long wait.

Interior of Yolk's
Exterior of Yolk's
Service was not especially attentive and the tables were slightly sticky. Hot water cost $1. Overall there are many excellent brunch options in Vancouver that have an advantage in location, pricing, and wait time over Yolk's.

Yolk's Breakfast Restaurant and Commissary on Urbanspoon
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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Red Wagon Cafe: The Super Trucker breakfast

Red Wagon Cafe is a small corner breakfast joint on East Hastings. On the sunny Sunday morning when we went, there was already a line up outside. We arrived around 10:15am and had to wait about 20 minutes before we were seated.

I liked the ambiance of Red Wagon with its wooden tables and relatively closely spaced tables. It seemed like a favourite among neighbourhood residents. Service was also efficient and friendly.

Pictured below is only half the portion of the Super Trucker. I'm glad we decided to split it because I could barely finish my half portion! The Super Trucker consists of two eggs, two pulled pork pancakes, crisp pork belly, potato, toast and we added their specialty, the Jack Daniel's maple syrup for $2.75 extra.

Half portion Super Trucker ($15)
This is definitely comfort food and I enjoyed it very much. The pulled pork was thoroughly marinated and paired perfectly with the fluffy pancakes. The JD maple syrup is not necessary but definitely added a fun element to the meal compared to the typical maple syrup taste. The pork belly was probably the highlight with its layers of fat and meat enveloped in the crunchy goodness of the burnt edges. Every part of the meal added together to form the ultimate comfort food combo.

Be prepared to wait to eat at Red Wagon, especially on a sunny weekend morning, but the food is worth it and I'd like to try the BBQ Brisket next time.

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Butter Baked Goods and Cafe: Cute Ambiance

I came to Butter Cafe hoping to try high tea for the first time but turns out they discontinued it already! I immediately liked the ambiance of Butter Cafe with its pastel green and floral scheme and small round tables. My first impression was that it reminded me of La Duree but much friendlier. La Duree gives off this feeling of being fancy but Butter Cafe gives off a friendly vibe.

So instead of high tea we each got some treats to eat. The baked goods were $2 to $5 a piece and tea was $3.50. They also serve breakfast and lunch like croque monsieur and quiche.

I tried the Coney Island Bar and the Cookies n' Cream macaron . I chose the Coney Island Bar because I wanted to try the house-made marshmellows on top. It was a deep fudge with crushed up walnuts and fluffy marshmellows on top. House-made marshmellows are much spongier than store bought ones and I definitely like the texture better. The fudge portion was very filling with rich chocolatey goodness.

Left: Coney Island Bar ($3); Right: Cookies n' Cream macaron ($3)
This is the largest macaron I've had and quite sweet. The cookie part was crunchy but wasn't chewy like how I enjoy my macarons. The filling inside was very creamy and sweet with small pieces of chocolate cookie bits which was interesting. If I were to go back I'd want to try the cookie sandwich!

Cookies n' Cream macaron
Below are what my friends ordered which they also enjoyed very much.

Raspberry cake ($5)

Left: The Dunbar ($3); Right: Vanilla bean macaron ($3)
Convenient bus stop outside Butter Cafe
Overall Butter Cafe is easy to access by transit with a bus stop right in front. I would like to visit again and try the other treats.

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Marulilu Cafe: Matcha Latte and Waffle Breakfast

I've spotted Marulilu Cafe before and thought it was a coffee joint but they actually serve all day breakfast as well! Its convenient location by the 99 bus stop and Broadway City Hall Station is definitely a plus.

To be honest I wanted to try Marulilu because of the matcha latte I saw on their menu online. The presentation was pretty with the heart shaped pattern. It was mildly sweet with matcha powder and mostly consisted of frothy milk. I wouldn't go to Marulilu just to drink this again but it was a good accompaniment to my breakfast.

Matcha latte
I tried the breakfast plate with waffles which included two eggs, two hashbrowns, four pork sausages, and a waffle. The hashbrowns and sausages are store bought so they will probably taste similar to some other breakfast joints.

Breakfast plate
 On the other hand, the waffle was made in-house. I prefer my waffles to be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside but this waffle was simply soft throughout. It came with maple syrup and two large dollops of whipped cream - plain and chocolate. I've never had chocolate whipped cream come with my waffles before so that was a nice touch. Actually I exclusively used the chocolate whipped cream.

Waffle with breakfast plate
 Overall, the service at Marulilu was good but their breakfast plate was only okay.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Toe Dam Korean Fusion BBQ: Lunch Sets!

Toe Dam Korean Fusion BBQ is located in a plaza with H-Mart and many other restaurants. Kim Yuna ate here when she was in town for the Olympics! On a weekday afternoon the small restaurant only had another table occupied besides ours.

We ordered a set lunch and an off the menu beef soup which was plenty of food for two people. The Marinated Pork with Spicy Tofu Soup set lunch came with banchan and two bowls of rice. The pork came piping hot which I enjoyed and was slightly sweet and mildly spicy. The plain rice tasted awesome after soaking up the sauce from the pork.

Marinated Pork
 The tofu soup was not that spicy either and came with cubes of soft tofu. I suppose it tasted underwhelming compared to the beef soup.

Spicy tofu soup

The beef soup was very hot (temperature wise) and pretty spicy for my low spice tolerance but it was delicious! There were glass noodles, strips of beef, egg and vegetables. It was a meal in itself with the amount of noodles in the soup.

Beef soup
Next time I really want to try the BBQ at Toe Dam because that is what they are famous for!

Toe Dam Korean Fusion BBQ on Urbanspoon

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Friday, 10 October 2014

Pearl Castle (Richmond Centre): Green Lattea

Sometimes I don't want to eat at Taiwanese restaurants because I know that I will want to order the fried chicken (which is temptingly delicious). I did just that when we went to Pearl Castle at Richmond Centre the other day. The fried chicken thigh was battered and flavoured with simple spices then deep fried to a crunchy goodness without losing the juiciness of the meat.

Fried chicken thigh (approx. $5)
Instead of traditional milk tea bubble tea I ordered the green lattea which I love. It is called different things in different restaurants but essentially it is tea with a layer of frothy cream on top. I added pearls to my drink which was green tea based. It is so delicious! You can drink it separately with a sip of tea and a sip of cream or mix it all together.

Green lattea ($4.95 excluding pearls)
All in all, Pearl Castle at Richmond Centre is often crowded and isn't a great place if you want to sit and talk for a while but it is definitely convenient.

Pearl Castle Café 圓香生活餐飲 (Minoru) on Urbanspoon
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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Cumpari's Gelato and Caffe: Nutella Cheesecake

Cumpari's Gelato and Caffe is across the street from Lougheed Mall. The interior is bright with round glass tables well spaced out on one side and an assortment of gelato and cake on the other. I don't drink coffee so I can't really comment on it but Cumpari's seemed to serve a good variety.

There were many cheesecake choices from mango to strawberry to pistachio. I finally chose a slice of Nutella cheesecake. The cheesecake was topped with a thin layer of chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. There was a graham cracker base and in between was the fluffy cheesecake. I enjoyed the texture of this cheesecake because it wasn't too heavy but you will definitely feel full after.

All in all it's a good place to enjoy dessert and catch up with friends, which many of the other customers were doing.

Cumpari's Gelato & Caffe on Urbanspoon
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