Restaurant review: Tutto Restaurant & Bar

To celebrate a March birthday, we made reservations at Tutto, a newer Italian restaurant at the corner of Homer Street and Smithe Street in Yaletown (opened Fall 2020). It occupies a century old heritage building that was originally built as printing house, but was last home to a coffee shop and an art gallery. We…

Restaurant review: Harbour Oyster + Bar

While stopping on Commercial Drive, intending to go for pizza, we happened across Harbour Oyster & Bar, and decided to go for seafood instead. This is a small place with an long bar and an fairly extensive drink menu, but we were here for the food. The menu is focused on small plates of shellfish…

Cooking: stir-fried rice noodles with beef and black bean sauce

This recipe is similar to the previous stir-fried rice noodle recipe but there are a couple of twists.  One is using fresh rice noodles instead of dried, and the other is different preparation technique. I’ve been experimenting with some cooking techniques during the increased at-home time of the pandemic.  One example is the technique used…

Cooking: Lazy Cioppino

I really should not call this a cioppino,  It doesn’t have the “bounty of the sea” character of the authentic dish.  Really, what this recipe is, is me digging through my freezer and refrigerator to see what I could make with ingredients on hand.  I had half a boule of sourdough bread, and a tub…

Cooking: Congee

Much of my repertoire consists of comfort food.  Here I’m making Congee, or rice porridge.  The term “congee” is a Hong Kong English term, the chinese term is pronounced “Juk”, and is typically consumed as breakfast food across much of china.  This dish has variants throughout east asia and south east asia, but the basics…

Restaurant review: Jo’s Italian Deli

In early February, we decided to visit the new location of Jo’s Italian Deli located on the corner of West Broadway and Alma in Vancouver (the other location being in Chilliwack). Jo’s is a family run operation serving pasta, sandwiches, and espressos.  They also have a small grocery store with imported pastas and sauces. Jo’s…

Restaurant review: Z & W Shanghai Kitchen

While running some errands along West Broadway we stopped to grab a bite at Z&W Shanghai Kitchen (near Arbutus).  This restaurant is one of a very small number of chinese restaurants on the west side of Vancouver. The menu is fairly expansive, and I was thankful for the menu with photographs, given the sometimes questionable…

Restaurant review: Moon Cafe

On New Year’s Eve, we decided to check out Moon Cafe on Kingsway.  This is a “Hong Kong cafe”  occupying the space that was previously home to Ken’s Kitchen.   From what I gather the restauranteurs had a different location before, and moved here in November/December of 2020. Like many “HK cafes”, Moon Cafe has an…

Cooking: Spicy Szechuan Beans

I had a bunch of green beans that wanted to use before the spoiled, so I decided to make Szechuan style spicy beans.  I really should use south east asian long beans for this, but since I had green beans, I went with them instead. Green beans and yard long beans (aka asparagus beans) do…

Cooking: Kung Pao Chicken

I had a craving for something spicy, and since I had the ingredients, I made kungpao chicken. This dish is curiously far more popular outside of china, than it is within china. It originates from the Szechuan region which loves dried chilis and Szechuan pepper corns. The original version has just chicken, peanuts, aromatics (scallions…

Cooking: Scallion pancakes

I was scrolling through my social media, and someone posted their recipe for mandarin scallion pancakes. I had all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to try it. I should mention, I think “pancakes” is a poor translation. In the english speaking world pancakes usually implies something specific (typically a sweet leavened bread cooked…

Restaurant review: Mogu Fried Chicken

In late October, while wandering around Commercial Drive, I spotted Mogu Fried Chicken. This was a fairly new restaurant, from the owners of the food truck of the same name. The food truck ceased operations in 2019, and set up shop on the north end of Commercial drive, near Parker Street. This establishment is more…