Friday, 29 June 2012

Kam Ho: Chinese Dinner Combos

This is the third birthday dinner I've attended in the last week! We went to Kam Ho Restaurant which is located on the side of a strip mall across from Superstore. It is not an easy to spot area.

We visited Kam Ho on recommendation by a friend. It is a small family style restaurant that specializes in noodles but offers a varied number of dishes on the dinner menu.

As with many smaller sized Chinese restaurants, the meal comes with complimentary soup and rice. I didn't take a picture of the rice but they were generous portions and offered two choices between plain rice and rice with chicken oil (which is more savoury).

The soup was mediocre, a bit on the salty side. Last time we were here we chose the other soup option which was "woon zai chi" (synthetic shark fin soup). It is a soup that's quite popular at the night market and I liked that soup better than the one we had tonight.

We ordered four dishes for our dinner combo.

The Hainanese Chicken as a chicken dish was not overcooked and pretty tasty but it was not authentic Hainanese chicken.
Hainanese chicken 
 This Water spinach dish was stir fried with shrimp paste which makes it smell great.
The beef was evidently marinated with baking soda to make it more tender, which is typical of Chinese restaurants. The consequence is the beef lacks beef taste.

Stir fry beef & water spinach
Fried fish and beans dish was very oily and pretty bland tasting.

Fried fish and beans
This dish was a whole fried tilapia with fried bean curd and Chinese mushrooms on top. The sauce was a sort of oyster sauce mixture that was diluted in taste.

Fried tilapia and bean curd 
To finish off, there was also complimentary dessert. The friend who recommended us to Kam Ho liked the sweet soup desserts they serve, especially the pumpkin with tapioca pearls sweet soup. Tonight the dessert was green bean sweet soup, it was not too sweet which I prefer.

Green bean soup
Overall, the prices at Kam Ho are affordable making it a good place to have a quick and relatively tasty dinner.

Kam Ho Restaurant 金豪麵家 on Urbanspoon


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Felicos: Platter Up!

 Another friend's birthday dinner within five days! I love summer birthdays :)
We went to Felicos which I had never been to before. I was surprised at how nice the inside looked with its clean ambiance and many windows for brightness.

Friends who have eaten at Felicos before said the portions are big and they were right! We ordered the Chicken Linguine and the Felicos Platter which serves 2 people and is $16.95 per person. I found the coupon in the Richmond Review.

The platter includes Greek salad, homous & pita bread, ice shrimp cocktail, kalamaria, chicken souvlaia, lamb souvlakia, stuffed tiger prawns, rice, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

The pita bread came first and it was so good. We only held back on eating all of it because we knew there'd be more food to come. It was warm and chewy.

Pita bread
 The homous was made with a lot of garlic which was a little too much for my personal preference.
The shrimp cocktail which was cooked shrimp chilled in ice were pretty tasty with the provided sauce. It makes a light snack to prepare us for the rest of the meal which is heavy in oil and butter.
Ice shrimp cocktail
 Salad was made with fresh ingredients, olive oil, vinaigrette and lots of parm.
Greek salad
 The seasonal vegetables were cooked and drenched in butter which brought out a delicious aroma but felt too buttery in the mouth.
Seasonal vegetables, roasted potato, rice
The kalamaria by itself was quite plain but tasted good with the satizki. There was a generous amount of it.
Both chicken and lamb souvlakia were dry and required dipping in the brown sauce pictured below to make the meat less tough.
Tiger prawns had a breaded coating of canned crab meat on top which tasted good.

Kalamaria, chicken & lamb souvlakia, stuffed tiger prawns
Chicken linguine with alfredo sauce: the sauce was pretty creamy but this dish was just regular pasta.
Chicken linguine
Overall, we had a good time at Felicos and were very full from all the food. Choosing the platter was nice because we could try a few different things. I couldn't catch our server's name but she had great service even though we were a large group! 
Also, I used the Qooway card for 12% discount which doesn't apply to the $16.95 platter since it was a promotion item but it applied for the Chicken linguine and drinks.

Felicos on Urbanspoon


Monday, 25 June 2012

Laurelle's & à la mode: Puff Pastry & Cheesecake

Other than Steveston another personal favourite place to go on sunny days is Granville Island. Yesterday (Sunday) early afternoon was relatively busy with the Jazz Festival and other street performers.

By the water it was still a little on the chillier side but at least the sun is finally out! Maybe Vancouver summer will actually begin...

One of the street performances was Zapcircus, the girl is standing on the guy's head and juggling three balls.

After some strolling around, we stopped at the Public Market Place to grab a bite. Earlier in the morning when I was on Google maps to find directions to Granville Island, the map told me that the market was permanently closed. Not sure why they made that mistake.

Busy lunch hour at the market
We wanted to have soup with the puff pastry on top so we headed over to à la mode . There is always an assortment of soups, pies, and other pastries on display here making it hard to choose which one to try!

I ended up ordering a Chicken Pot Pie with salad and a slice of blueberry cheesecake.

The puff pastry was warm, buttery and crispy, I loved it. On the other hand the "salad" was lacking because it was essentially a large piece of lettuce with a few slices of cucumber and tomato on top and some vinaigrette. A very minimal effort side plus the cucumbers were probably cut many hours ago because it was dry.

Chicken pot pie with salad
The soup was like a cream of mushroom with cubes of chicken breast. The chicken breast was a bit dry but other than that the soup was toasty hot and comforting.

This cheesecake is exactly how I like them as I described in a previous post, basically thick cream cheese and not the mousse-y texture like a lot of cheesecakes are sold. The blueberry pieces on top were sweet and the crust was flavourful with a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices.

Blueberry cheescake
We also bought a square of lasagna from Laurelle's Fine Foods. I tried a mushroom quiche last time I was here and it was delicious.

This time we got spinach lasagna. I liked that there was a lot of filling compared to the amount of lasagna noodles. The spinach was very tender and there was a generous amount of cheese baked on top.

Overall, although the food at the market can be quite pricey I have not been disappointed by any of the vendors that I've tried before. It is not like the night market where food can be hit or miss.
This time I noticed the stickers on the market place doors exiting to the docks. It said to be careful of seagulls if you have food in your hands. I thought that was funny :P and it is very true because I've seen crows and seagulls swoop down to steal food from people!

A La Mode on Urbanspoon

Laurelle's Fine Foods on Urbanspoon


Society: Loud Comfort Food

We went to Society Dining Lounge to celebrate a friend's birthday. There were many big parties of 10+ at the restaurant.

Dinner menu
The drinks here are pretty fun with cotton candy on top. I think that's why the ladies prefer Society because there were three simultaneous bachelorette parties next to our table.

I ordered the Smoked Pulled Pork which had grilled cornbread, apple-cabbage slaw, chipotle dip, and chips. The cornbread was actually my favourite part of the dish because it was soft, sweet and crumbly. You can't pick up the cornbread to eat it like an open-faced sandwich, it tastes more like cake than bread because of the sweetness. The pulled pork was very tender but I couldn't taste the smoked part. The apple slaw was refreshing and different than typical coleslaw. Chips were a bit burnt but otherwise light, salty, and crispy. 

Smoked Pulled Pork ($18.13 with tax & 18% gratuity for parties)
Below are pictures of what some friends ordered.

The burger patty came pretty burnt and my friend was given a new one. Guess they were too busy to expo before they sent the food out.
Society Burger: ground beef, tomato, signature sauce

Rigatoni Pomodoro: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, ricotta cheese

Baked Mac & Cheese

Overall, there are many types of comfort food on the menu accompanied by very loud music. Usually at restaurants as the dinner goes on your ears get used to the volume and the music seems to be less loud but at Society the volume kept cranking up making it very difficult to talk to even the person beside you.

Society Dining Lounge on Urbanspoon


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ddoo Gau Bee: Don't Go Beef

There are so many Korean restaurants in Coquitlam to try but a friend recommended Ddoo Gau Bee as her favourite affordable Korean restaurant.

Ddoo Gau Bee is located in the mall pictured below.

Ddoo Gau Bee
We were there around 5pm and there were only two other tables eating.

Since we don't speak Korean it took a bit of hand gestures and pointing to the menu to order our food. There were four of us but we weren't that hungry so we ordered three items.

The banchan consisted of kimchi and potato which I've had at other restaurants before but it also came with pan-fried firm tofu which I haven't had before and I liked it. 

Banchan: kimchi, tofu, potato
 This is a shrimp dish combo that includes fried dumplings. There were 8 pieces of battered shrimp tossed in sweet and sour sauce. The shrimp was hot and springy (unlike those mushy shrimp when they're not fresh). I also found the sauce appetizing.

The fried dumplings also came very hot. I couldn't read the menu so I'm not sure what was inside it but there seemed to be some beans, potato noodles, and vegetables.

This is another combo with tofu soup and salmon caviar rice. The tofu soup was fairly good with typical Korean broth, zucchini, tofu, and onions but I liked the rice more. It is Japanese rice (with the vinegar taste) with finely chopped lettuce, salmon caviar and some crunchy bits (kind of like Hickory Sticks) layered on top. When mixed well, every bite of the rice had a slight crunch which tasted great.

The third item we ordered, I had the highest expectations for because the pot stews I've had at previous Korean restaurants were always good even if the other food was mediocre. However, the Beef & Octopus one we ordered today was a disappointment.

It did not come looking especially appetizing. Everything was just piled into the pot of broth and there was no steam.

Beef & Octopus Pot Stew
Let's compare it with the photo on the menu. There's definitely a great discrepancy. I understand that food cannot look exactly like the perfect menu shots but this was just too big of a difference! There were missing ingredients in the picture that wasn't in our pot, like all the greens shown in the photo. 

Putting looks aside we stirred up the contents for it to cook. But even stirring was difficult because the ingredients were in chunks! All the beef and enoki mushrooms were in huge chunks. There were probably 4 huge chunks of beef (pictured below) that were not separated at all and therefore not cooked thoroughly nor easy to eat. 

It was like a packet of frozen hot pot beef slices you buy at the supermarket that was thrown directly into the pot without bothering to thaw or separate the pieces. 

We asked for mild spiciness but the broth just turned out bland. Definitely going back to Ma Dang Goul to eat pot stew.

Our bill came to $52.39 before tax which is a good price for dinner. The other food was good but since we ate the pot stew last and it was such a disappointment, that ruined my impression of the restaurant. 

Ddoo Gau Bee on Urbanspoon