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Month: October 2019 Page 1 of 4

Meetrice Noodle, FEAST: Asian Dining Festival

“Feast” is the 2nd annual Asian dining festival that encourages guests to travel around Richmond, trying out a collection of restaurants. From October 18th to November 18th, all those participating have created specialty menus that allow you to try their cuisine at a deal. With over 30 different restaurants to try there is something for everyone including tidbits from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Indian cuisine.

And in order to get me to Richmond and around the island city, I had the use of the 2020 “Subaru Ascent” for the week. And although Richmond is convenient to get to via the Canada skytrain, nothing beats a comfortable ride in a well build vehicle.

Tonight I found myself at “Meetrice”, a restaurant chain originating from China that has made its way to Canada. They specialize in rice noodle soup served with some assembly required. But I will now remember them for their decor. It wasn’t what I expected from this cafe, but more the scene of a bakery or high tea salon. Plenty of pink with pink walls, pink and white paper flowers, and pink panther stuffies straddling clouds.

I was further impressed by what waited for each guest at their table. A paper menu to check off, branded napkins paper wrapped spoons and chopsticks, and paper cups with cartoon drawings for water. All these little details elevated the experience.

We were here specifically for the “Feast Asian Dining” menu, but it was no where to be seen. I had to ask for it, and watched our server dig for it behind the counter. I thought this was a miss, given the savings from off of the limited time only menu, and the likelihood of those like myself visiting just for it. The four items on the “Feast” menu is available normally off their regular menu, but until November 18th you save a couple of dollars on their most popular dishes. We enjoyed all four.

To start, we ordered a couple of drinks. My guest had the “white peach milk foam oolong tea”. A chilled beverage that grows on you. Best when you stir in the sweet foam that transforms the drink.

I ordered another peach drink, for its pink bottle with a pink witch on it. I figured it matched our setting. It was a dessert soda best enjoyed as a float, very sweet and almost artificial. It was not complimentary to the meal before, but fun nonetheless.

If you are visiting for the first time the “No.1 selling rice noodle” (it’s actual name) is definitely the one to get. Regularly $11.95, it is now $9.95 and well worth the price. You get enough food for two, and its interactive component adds a little fun to the meal. Everything is served separately. The tomato flavoured broth with thin slices of beef came bubbling in a heated bowl. Be warned it is hot, and without a verbal warning, you will probably get burnt by it; my guest and I both did. The rice noodles came in their own bowl, much like each ingredient in its own separate sauce dish. Altogether the latter was presented in a wooden box, serving as one of the most memorable presentations I have seen. Quail egg, persevere vegetable, spam, and wood ear mushroom amongst others. You can dump everything in all at once and mix it all together, or did what I did and craft your ideal bowl, following the instructions craved on to the wooden box. Clumsy for some, but fun for a foodie like me. It suggests starting with the vegetables and moving your way to the noodles at the end. The order taking consideration the cook times for each item.

I fully enjoyed the delicious tomato broth, well developed with real slices of tomato. I would be happy drinking a bowl of it as is. And just as well because the noodle doesn’t really soak up any of the flavour of the broth. It acted more like a filler, with the topping adding a collection of textures to chew through.

The rest of the items were $1 less during the event. The “Deep fried chicken nuggets” were Taiwanese style popcorn chicken, seasoned in 5 spice and a hint of cinnamon, for a very distinct flavour. It was tasty enough to keep you going back for more, but the chalky texture of the corn starch breading distracted. Our remedy was to dip each nugget into some sauce, to add much needed moisture to it. We found the drippings from the chicken below ideal.

“Mouth-watering chicken” with chilli oil sauce and peanuts was exactly as my guest remembered the dish to be, when he last visited Asia. A chilled chicken, much like Hainanese chicken, but topped with plenty of garlic and chilli. I suggest scraping some of the latter off, before puckering from all that salt in your mouth. I wanted some rice with this, or at least some shredded nappa cabbage on the side to mix in with the overpowering sauce. It wasn’t too spicy, nor did it offer me the sensation of mouth watering.

And the last discounted menu item was the “Beef and chopped chilli on rice”. Comfort food to a tee. Fatty and stringy tender beef, served with firm rice, and plenty of sweet soy sauce and sesame to flavour it all. Simply delicious.

Overall a great restaurant that I would like to come back and try more of. And if it weren’t for The “Feast Asian Dining” festival I would have never known it existed. But be warned, they only accept cash or debit here. For all the other participating restaurants and how you can take advantage of the festival specials, visit the link below.
https://asianfeast.ca/

MEETRICE
1080 – 8580 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 4B3
(604) 370-0981
mengziyuan.com

#asianfeast #subaru #subaruBC #richmondbc
@feast_asian, @docksteadersubaru, @subarucanada, @wolfesubaru @wolfesubaruonboundary @richmondsubaru_bc, @jpsubarunorthshore, @jpsubarucoquitlam, @jpsubarusouth

Kanpeki Teppanyaki, FEAST: Asian Dining Festival

“Feast” is the annual Asian dining festival that encourages guests to travel to Richmond and taste from a collection of its restaurants. Each of the participating establishments have created specialty menus that allow you to try their cuisine at a special cost saving price. And it is not just Chinese food, but restaurants serving Korean, Persian, Japanese, and Indian cuisine are included as well. From October 18th to November 18th, you too can visit over 30 restaurants to try something new, or something you might not otherwise want to, at full price.

In order to get me to a handful of them I was loaned the use of the 2020 “Subaru Ascent” for the week. And although Richmond is convenient to get to via the Canada skytrain, nothing beats a comfortable ride in a well build vehicle.

My first restaurant was “Kanpeki Teppanyaki”. Since I had to travel to Richmond to pick up the vehicle, I might as well stop at one of the restaurants for a late lunch. They are open at 3pm with an extensive happy hour menu, perfect for the after work crowd, or the ones trying to avoid rush hour traffic driving into Vancouver. But we were here to try their limited release Feast menu, and needed to save room for that.

$50 gives you 10 course and then some, which includes appetizers, a show on the Teppanyaki grill, and a dessert. Meant for one, we shared an order and found ourselves plenty full. Although if you didn’t, you could order off their regular menu after, and there certainly is plenty to consider. Premium wagyu beef, raw seafood towers, fresh abalone and uni, and plenty of sushi.

For our “Feast” feast, the first course was a mixed greens salad with an Italian dressing. I was impressed by the inclusion of fig slices amongst the shredded carrot, cherry tomatoe halves, cucumber, and leafy greens. However there was far too much dressing up top, and this took away from all of that. It is better to toss it first, which is hard to do in the small bowl it was served in.

The “Chef’s daily appetizer” varies so what I have might not be what you get. A trio of seafood forward tasters to help open the appetite.

The mound of crab meat was buttery with a sweet finish. I just wished it and the micro greens were sitting on top of a cracker to round out the bite more. A base to give you more texture to chew through, than whispy threads of crab.

The fresh oyster was satisfyingly crisp with the ponzu sauce.

And the “tako” (octopus) chunks were cut down to the perfect size, making them enjoyable to chew through. Each cube tasted refreshing with a light citrus dressing, accompanied by thinly sliced cucumber.

Our appreciation of the deep fried oyster was dependent on timing. My guest enjoyed it just fine, eating it right away. Although by the time I got to my portion, it was soggy with an unappealing sponge-like texture. It also didn’t taste great, giving me an out of place sour cinnamon flavour. In short, always eat the deep fried items first.

The “Seafood miso soup” had plenty to sift through; with clam and crab meat in shell, tofu, and seaweed. The soup was smokey and very flavourful.

Next came the teppanyaki portion of our meal, just as much of a show as it is dinner. Your food is prepared on the heated metal plate at your table. A trained chef tosses, stirs, and shovels with two metal spatulas. They don’t put on a performance here, like they do at other such dining experiences; no fancy egg cracks or onion volcanos. This is Hong Kong style teppanyaki, where the emphasis is on the food, and it showed today.

You are given a collection of sauces, though truthfully you won’t need them. A lemon sauce, a cocktail based one, and a sesame sauce; all made in house, much like the spicy xo sauce scooped to serve.

First to kiss the flame was a jumbo tiger prawn, caramelized in butter. This is one of the largest and juiciest I have had the pleasure of eating and it did not need any saucing.

The rest of the meat and vegetable were seasoned to our specifications. The “foie gras usuyaki” had the foie gras grilled with green and fried onion; then wrapped in a thin slice of beef. The excess oil from the foie gras is saved to be used to better flavour the fried rice to come. Here, is where the sauces above came in handy. The meat was bland and needed some salt and kick. I liked the spicy xo sauce with it the most.

I fully enjoyed the fried rice. It starts with a cracked raw egg, and to it rice and corn is added, green onion is folded in, then a handsome amount of tobiko to finish it off. The result, a very tasty fried rice that I wanted to enjoy alone. The foie gras drippings didn’t go unnoticed, and I enjoyed the mini pops the tobiko offered.

The “Angus beef tenderloin” was perfectly prepared to a medium rare. Seared with fire and cut into cubes for easy sharing. This too was incredibly well seasoned. Especially tasty when paired with the vegetables below.

The “Deluxe fried vegetables” were multicoloured peppers, cabbage, and carrots. Fried crispy with butter, this too didn’t need any additional seasoning.

Where our meal lacked was the ice cream for dessert, available in either green tea or mango. Everything was so amazing and uniquely them, so to end on store bought ice cream, with ice crystal chunks embedded with, left the set at a lower standing.

Overall this was a delicious meal, where the value is in the ability to watch it being assembled before your eyes. This was very much so a show that got you hungrier for what was it follow. A nod to the charming staff who delivered on this, with light conversation and a warming invitation to enjoy what’s before you. The service was great, my tea was never cold, and our setting was well looked after. And at $50 for the full experience, I highly recommend this opportunity if you have never had teppanyaki before!

Once again this $50 Feast menu is only available until November 18th, so best to take advantage and order sooner then later. For the other participating restaurants and what they are offering during this festival, visit the link below.
https://asianfeast.ca/

KANPEKI TEPPANYAKI
8351 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 1C3
(604) 821-1323

#asianfeast #subaru #subaruBC #richmondbc
@feast_asian, @docksteadersubaru, @subarucanada, @wolfesubaru @wolfesubaruonboundary @richmondsubaru_bc, @jpsubarunorthshore, @jpsubarucoquitlam, @jpsubarusouth

New Town Bakery & Restaurant

“New Town” is a Vancouver staple, a hub for locals and tourists in Chinatown. Better known for their steamed buns and pastries, and now one of the restaurants disguised as another in Ali Wong’s, “Always be my Maybe” Netflix movie. I, myself frequent “New Town” for their steamed buns. If in the area, I go out of my way to grab a couple. Having tried many in and round the city, theirs is the best in my opinion, but more on that below.

The shop and restaurant are easy to spot with a giant plastic bamboo steamer filled with steamed white buns on the awning, and the regular line and gathering of people at the threshold. For those looking to grab and go, you pull a number and wait for your it to be broadcasted above the check-out counter.

Options and prices are listed across three flat screens, but it is much easier to simply point and choose. On top of steamed buns they have plenty of golden brown baked buns, plastic wrapped cakes, and dim sum dessert favourites. The baked buns come in a variety of toppings and sweet and savoury fillings. I also like their honey sweet barbecue pork and chicken buns. But if I had to choose, I will always go for their “Dai Bao”. And I did just that once we were seated in the dining area, towards the back.

Themed in orange, you can tell the restaurant recently had a face lift. Orange backsplashes, orange upholstered seats and booths, and orange branded button up shirts for all the staff. The restaurant’s real age was reveal by a visit to the washroom. The cracked tiles and overall unkept condition of this single stall was off putting. An inevitability given its location and its regular clientele. But I digress, because I still think they are worth visiting.

In the dining area you can order anything from the front of house to enjoy here or take to go. “Dai Bao” is a large white bun filled with a little bit of everything: chicken, bbq pork, ground pork, ham, and a salted egg yolk. I have been enjoying this for so long that I remember it being only $2.50, but now with inflation, it was $3.70 today. And despite the increase, I still think it is worth the price. With all the dough and plenty of filling, it eats like a meal. I want one now just writing about it, and can’t help but compare all other steam buns to this one on its pedestal.

With it I got a bowl of “Hot and sour soup”. Just reading it on the menu I wanted its familiar taste in mouth; one that I like and haven’t had in a while. Unfortunately this wasn’t my favourite rendition of the popular soup. There was too much going on, lots of ingredients to chew through, and not enough syrupy soup base to enjoy it with. Shrimp, wood ear mushroom, tofu, peas, mushroom, carrot, bamboo, beef, and chicken. The peas were a new addition to me, and despite really liking peas, I didn’t here. The soup was thick and hearty and ate more like congee.

My guest had the “fried egg and ham with ramen in soup”, knowing full well that she was essentially ordering instant noodle. Chicken flavour soup broth with a fried egg, thick slice of ham, and plenty of lettuce. It was a nostalgic bowl of noodle soup that she fully enjoyed. But making instant noodle regularly for myself, I cannot justify paying $8.25 for this bowl. Plus I don’t like the flavour of the lettuce rubbing off into the broth.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
A historic Vancouver staple, the best steamed buns in the city, and a great go-to for home style Chinese food at a fair price. With 8 full pages of familiar dishes and specials, there is plenty to keep you gong back for more. Don’t deny your cravings.

NEW TOWN
148 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3
(604) 689-7835
newtownbakery.ca

Foodie Field Trip: Seattle

For the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, four foodies and myself got into an SVU and travelled down to Seattle for a foodie field trip. Every two months we make an effort to get together over a meal. We visit a new restaurant that none of us have ever been to, and not only eat with like minds, but take notes and discuss what we are having for the individual blog posts we will each write in review.

And in this post we decided to kick it up a notch with 36 hours of dining at multiple restaurants. This took a month of planning, and back and forth messaging to figure out which restaurants we wanted to visit, on top of all the snacks in between. The below is the result.

We left early in the morning, and when we got into Everett we stopped for a quick snack at McDonalds. I enjoy visiting McDonalds outside of Canada, to see if what they have on their menus is any different than what we have available to us. Today that was a fried chicken and biscuit sandwich and a pumpkin pie.

The former was exactly as described, a crispy strip of peppery chicken, between two halves of a warm moist biscuit. Tasty enough, but dry. It would have been nice to have some mayonnaise, cheese, or barbecue sauce to go with it, a condiment to pull both together. Although this is meant to be a breakfast option, so something lighter is appropriate.

The pumpkin pie was heavy. A creamy mousse with strong spices, you could tell that the pumpkin paste came from a can. The taste was at least spot on, with plenty of cinnamon over its flaky crust.

Then it was straight to Seattle for brunch at “Stateside” restaurant, in the heart of Capital Hill. Inspired by tropical Asian cuisine, This fusion hot spot takes a lot of influences from Vietnamese and French cuisine. For our full 10 course meal visit the link below.

Stateside

From here it was a walk to dessert. However on the way to doughnuts, we stoped for some fried chicken at “Bok Bok”. One of us recognized the fried chicken joint from its appearance on Guy Fier’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”. That was reason enough to have me lining up for some wings.

What threw us off was its pasty colouring, but don’t let it fool you, this chicken has plenty of flavour. It is “air dried, double dipped, and fried to order”, and I think I found my new favourite chicken wing. A mural on the wall to the right of the register warns you that this process takes some time, but it promises and delivers on “super juicy chicken with an unforgettable crunch”. And had we the stomach capacity, I probably would have gotten their house made biscuit as a side. I will have to come back for this one.

With meat from bone picked clean, we eventually made it to our intended destination: “General Porpoise”, a local doughnut shop that I was already familiar with. However I recalled them selling more than the 5 doughnuts that they had available at the start of the day. By the time we got there they had sold down to only two options left. Both of which quickly sold out after we ordered ours.

I wasn’t overly excited for the flavours, I like the classics, but rather taste and write about something far more different, something you can’t get at other, like doughnut shops. Nonetheless these were fantastic doughnuts, the dough was light and spongy and the filling fluffy and creamy, without being too sweet. A slightly tart lemon curd and a luscious vanilla cream.

Though if you are looking for doughnuts with a little more character, I suggested endeavouring on the line up at “Dochi”, located in the Uwajimaya Seattle building. Which happed to be our next stop. This would be my first taste of these mochi meets doughnut hybrids. For more on these fusion treats with modern toppings, visit the dedicated blog post below.

Dochi, mochi donuts

From here it was time to check in at our hotel for the night, and take advantage of the complimentary happy hour that comes with it. We were staying at “The Maxwell”, better known as the “pineapple hotel” thanks to its cohesive theme. For the full review, including the decor and the good and bad of our stay, visit the link below.

The Maxwell Hotel, A Staypineapple hotel

We freshened up and headed to our next planned destination. We were invited down to “Best Wine” for a one of a kind wine tasting. Not just a matter of trying each of their labels, but finding the perfect wine to suit your “vino type”. Basically each person falls into one of four categories dependant on their taste buds, and they determined what types of wine you prefer. For more on this innovative way to choose your next vintage, visit the blog review below.

Great Wine Tasting Room

Next it was on to “Flintcreek & Co.” for a decadent dinner of tartare, hand made pasta, 48oz steaks, and molten chocolate desserts. Our idea was to indulge in rich salty foods to balance and best follow the generous wine tasting before. For all of the pricier eats, check out the review below.

FlintCreek Cattle Co.

We had additional plans to go drinking after dinner, but unanimously we were both too full and too tired. So it was time to head back to our hotel room to sleep it off and begin a whole new day of eating next morning. We were all pleasantly surprised by how well we all organized our time sharing one washroom with one toilet and one sink. We each had our routine and designated times and it worked. And through this success, we all decided for our text trip it will be more days together, and that we will need another room.

Then next morning it was brunch at another Asian fusion hot spot. “Super 6”. With its garage themed decor, this spacious restaurant serves up delicious Hawaiian favourites like spam musubi, ahi poke, and little doughnuts stuffed with coconut cream. For all the delicious and must try eats, visit the link below for the full run down.

Super Six

From here it was off to “Full Tilt” arcade and ice cream for a little of both. Classic joystick arcade games for 25 cents per play and the time needed to play off some calories before an ice cream dessert. For more this one of a kind ice cream parlour, click below.

Full Tilt ice cream

And then it was the four hour ride back home to Vancouver. We decided to leave earlier, in order to avoid the rest of the Thanksgiving long weekend traffic, also looking to cross the boarder that day. But between here and there we did some grocery store shopping. Grabbing limited edition snacks at “Walmart” and artisan eats from “Trader Joe’s”.

 

And lastly, we made a pit stop at the “Funko Headquarters” in Everett. “Funko” is the popular collectibles brand. Cute versions of your favourite pop culture icons from movies, tv, comic books, and anime. So many to look at, including life-size versions to take photos of, and the opportunity to make you own. They also sold key chains, plush dolls, broad games, make up, and wearable accessories. For a better recap of this visit, check out my latest vlog now up on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

 

In conclusion, this was a great trip and one that we were able to jam pack with plenty of food stops. So successful of a road trip that we went ahead and talked about our next being a few more days in Texas, for barbecue and warmer weather in 2020.

Full Tilt ice cream

Our last day in Seattle and we capped our trip off with some literal fun and games. Our brunch stop was within walking distance to “Full Tilt”. “Full Tilt” is known for small batch ice cream and arcade games, and we would fully indulge in both.

Three quarters of the shop was old school arcade games. Stand up, joy sticks classics like “Pac-Man”, “Street Fighter vs Capcom”, and pinball. And best of all, priced as they would be when they originally came out: 25 cents to play. You traded your bills for quarters and off you went.

We played “Gauntlet Legends” as a group of 4, then duelled it out in a fighting match, followed by shooting down dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” with plastic guns. All our button mashing helped to build up our appetites for an ice cream dessert to follow.

Right at the front of the shop is their ice cream counter with 16 classic and creative flavours. We were offered tasters before committing on a full scoop in a sugar cone.

The “Caramel apple” tasted a little too artificial, with plenty of cinnamon in attempts to mask it. The “Huckleberry chip” had a nice nice berry flavour to it, finished with crunchy bits of chocolate to chew through. The vegan “Pineapple rum with chocolate” reminded me of a pina colada with its use of coconut milk. The vegan “Arabic coffee” was a little too strong in spice for my tastes, I expected more coffee flavour and some coconut from the milk used. And the “Ube” ice cream didn’t have enough flavour to taste it and know it was ube.

The ones we did purchase were the “Mexican chocolate”, a dark bitter chocolate with swirls of cinnamon. The “Chocolate raspberry” had subtle hints of the fruit, giving the ice cream some sweetness. The “Thai tea” was mild. The “Orange fruit loop” was another vegan ice cream made with coconut milk, but I didn’t find the coconut flavour complimentary to the orange cereal milk. And I was warned that the “Coffee Oreo” was very melty, after is was scooped and presented to me. Had I known this earlier, I wouldn’t have ordered it.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
This is definitely a one of a kind place. Where else can you play arcade games for 25 cents anymore? I would come back just for the games and treat myself to a scoop of ice cream on my way out. Don’t deny your cravings.

FULL TILT
5041 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118, United States
+1 206-226-2740
fulltilticecream.com

Super Six

For our last meal in Seattle our group of 5 decided to stop at “Super Six” for a Hawaiian themed brunch. The restaurant was very rustic with a mechanic/garage theme. Dented metal road signs and rusted tool boxes were used as decoration. A worn chain sectioned off the bar that used tool diagrams as its backdrop. All the above, along with the classic 90’s and early ‘00’s hip hop playing helped to set the tone for a very chill dining experience. One as familiar and as comforting as the dishes to come.

We arrived bright and early and were the first ones to grab a seat by the window. Knowing our intention of ordering multiple dishes, we asked for a table large enough to accommodate it all. I often make such attentions known to servers, as it ensures that we are not packed into one table with elbows touching, and no room to move dishes around for sharing family style.

One of us started the morning off with the “Beach Bum daiquiri” with rum, lime, orange, vanilla.

And the following is what we ordered for food, for 5, in a free for all. The “Lumpia” were spring rolls filled with pork, beef or tofu (vegan). We went with pork and found the appetizer highly enjoyable. Crispy and salty with its sauce, it was a nice appetizer to enjoy as is and with cocktails.

The “Aloha fries” were hand-cut fries, kalua pork, kimchi mayo, scallions, and a sunny-up egg. It was like a saucy and well developed rice bowl; but over fries instead. Crispy sticks of potatoes made gooey and moist with a runny egg yolk. The pork was tender, and there was plenty of it to really satisfy.

The “fried chicken wings” were seasoned in a spicy Korean sauce and served with grilled pineapple on the side. These were large wings with a thick breading for extra crouch. They were salty and slightly spicy, a great compliment to the thin slices of pineapple seasoned with dried plum powder. The addition of the powder helped to enhance the fruit’s sweetness.

We all really enjoyed the “Shoyu Ahi poke” with tobiko, ogo, and macadamia nuts; eaten with thinly spiced and fried to order taro chips. The poke had a familiar flavour, one that I liked. It was a well balanced and not overly seasoned. My only compliant is that we were asked if we wanted rice or greens with our order, but weren’t informed that it would be an add on. We would only find out when we saw the $1 fee attached on to our bill. Not to mention we didn’t even finish most of said rice that we had ordered.

We had 2 out of the 3 available musubi: pork belly and spam, by passing on the vegetarian option with soy, nori, and furikake. Essentially each is the listed protein on top of some packed sushi rice. The pork belly was tasty, but dry. And the spam was salty and fatty, just as expected.

“Sichuan pork noodles” are Portuguese sausage ragu over flat rice noodles with bok choy, shimeji mushrooms, serrano, and daikon. I liked the texture of the gummy noodles and the daikon for crunch. Although it was still a little bland for my tastes.

The “Loco Moco” had a lot more flavour. A substantial beef patty, topped with pickled red onions, two sunny-up eggs; all over rice, covered in a dense brown gravy. I liked the crispy bites and the gooey egg, but could have used more pepper for seasoning. This was a comforting bowl light enough for breakfast, and plenty satisfying for dinner.

The “Pulehu spare ribs” were tender and tangy. The signature slaw on the side offered freshness, and the kimchi Mac and cheese a nice spicy base. Although the latter could have used more cheese for my taste.

I prefer the “Mac salad” a lot more. Softened noodles fully coated in creamy mayo. It served as a great palate refresher and a complimentary side to all of the above.

For dessert we had the “Malasada”, described as “Hawai‘i’s favorite donut!” I have never had these Protugease doughnuts before, so was surprised by how large they were. They were $4 each plain, and for $1.50 more you can have them filled with either Nutella cream or coconut cream. We shared one of each. The coconut cream was light like custard, good but I wanted some condense milk over it for sweetness. The Nutella wasn’t pure hazelnut spread, but diluted and as creamy as the coconut. Both fillings were subtle enough to allow you to enjoy the fried dough of the doughnut themselves. They would have been nicer smaller, server as one bite balls for a better ratio of dough to cream.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Our group absolutely enjoyed our brunch. We got the flavours we expected from the menu, and were appreciative of their execution. No complaints, solid food in a nice setting. Don’t deny your cravings.

SUPER SIX
3714 S Hudson St, Seattle, WA 98118, United States
+1 206-420-1201
supersixseattle.com

FlintCreek Cattle Co.

A group of like minded food writers and myself took a trip down to Seattle for 2 days and a night. And we agreed ahead of time, to indulge in a steak dinner at their well known steak house “Flintcreek & Co. “.

A dinner we would not miss considering in order to make a reservation you had to leave your credit card number. And if you didn’t show, they charge $50 for the disappointment. Although, we did have to move our reservation back an hour, and they were okay with that. Not that a reservation was all that necessary this Sunday night. Our idea was to indulge in rich salty foods to balance and best follow our generous wine tasting before.

At “Flintcreek” were given a more secluded booth in the corner, by the entrance. Here metallurgy and plant life offer interest and some colour. The rest of the restaurant was less cozy. Vaulted ceiling seats around a curved bar or high top bench. And four top tables just behind that.

The following is what we had in the order in which it came. Each dish divided 5 ways because sharing is caring, allowing you to try more.

The “Anderson Ranch Lamb Tartare” was dressed in cured lemon, rose petal harissa, radish, herbs, and dukkah spice. And was served with crispy flatbread. This crispy cracker was a nice contrast to the chilled soften meat. The tartar was peppery with hints of cumin, a nice start to help wet the appetite.

“Prosciutto San Daniel” with buffalo milk burrata, plums, pistachio oil, saba, arugula, and sea salt. Fresh flavours and varying textures. Not only was this dish tasty, but fun to eat as well. Creamy cheese, peppery greens, and sweet plum. I got a citrusy flavour from the candied orange peel, which enhanced the saltiness of the freshly cut, whisper thin slices of prosciutto, and elevated the sweetness in the burrata that melted under the pressure of your tongue; and there was plenty of both.

The “Wild Mushroom Bolognese” was my favourite dish. It had fresh radiatori (type of a small, squat pasta), garlic, sage, nutmeg, liason, parsley, pine nuts, and parmesan. It was a fragrant red sauce pasta with levels to it. Lots to sort through as you chew, which kept you going back for more.

Another one I really liked was the “McEwen & Sons Heirloom Grits” with maitake mushrooms, sherry jus, and shaved grana padano. A comforting dish and great starch to accompany our fattier steak below.

I found the “Fennel Braised Wild Boar Shoulder” very salty. Made with garlic, sage, fennel sugo, and parmesan-potato gnocchi, it all tasted herbal with a pronounced 5 spice flavour. The gnocchi was my favourite part, it had a great texture, but was a little too heavy when paired with the boar shoulder.

And given that this is a steakhouse, we had to fully indulge with the “48 oz. Prime-Niman Ranch Porterhouse”, the largest and priciest cut at $125. A quality cut prepared medium rare. The others liked the flavour, but I was not a fan. I found the sun-dried tomato notes were not what I expected or wanted from such a thick and fatty of beef. Instead, I wanted something richer with more gravy.

And for dessert we had the “Molten Chocolate Cake” with warm ganache, peanut ice cream, and candied pecans. We were disappointed that cutting in to it didn’t yield a river of liquid chocolate, but at least the toppings were plentiful. I am not a fan of chocolate, but with this peanut butter ice cream, I went back for multiple scoops.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
A nice spot for a night out, but it wouldn’t be my go to for steak. Didn’t find anything to deter me, nor anything specific to bring me back to this one when I visit Seattle next. Don’t deny your cravings.

FLINTCREEK
8421 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, United States
+1 206-457-5656
flintcreekseattle.com

Great Wine Tasting Room

Located in Bellevue, “Great Wine” studio delivers on its name. Showroom, tasting hall, and educational class room all in one. From the moment you walk through the doors you are engulfed by this unique experience. Cast iron cages surrounded bulbs, wine barrels deconstructed to outfit a wall, and more repurposed as side tables; all speaks to the theme.

We grabbed a seat around their heavy wood table with floral carpet under foot. This private tasting room opened 3 years ago, with their original location being in China. We would be exploring their new concept here.

When the majority of us chooses a bottle of wine we tend to gravitate towards either a specific price point, beautifully done labels, or simply stick with what you know. What “Great Wine” is offering is a way to pick your bottle based on taste and what you like in a wine. And they do this through an online quiz. By answering a few questions you learn what your vino type is, and based on the possibility of four outcomes you have what wine is best suited to your palate. The quiz takes into consideration how your genetics affect your taste buds and how many that you have. The more tastes buds you have the more you like sweets foods, whereas those with less taste buds prefer a strong smokey flavour. And at the end of the day there is no good or bad wine, just what you like.

If you are interested in learning what your vino type is and what it says about you, visit the link below. https://www.myvinotype.com/en/

Of the for categories, 50% of people belonging to the “hyper sensitive” category, a characteristic of this type is that they will look at everything, but have difficult time making a choice about any. They have good interpersonal skill and are often seen as leader. Out of our group, myself and Joyce of @VanFoodies fell into this category.

“Tolerant” types make up the smallest percentage. Most of these end up being wine critics, which means they are telling us what to like, when their tastes are so much different from ours. Not surprisingly for those who know him, David of @Pickydiner fell into this category.

“Sweet” types are pretty self explanatory. Sherman of @Shermansfoodadventures lived here. They are particular about their wines, and as expected, lean more to the sweeter bottles.

And “sensitive” types was at the centre of all and pretty flexible in their choice. This was Diana of @Foodologyca. Such types are known for their adventurous and adaptable nature.

So we learned that you drink what you want because your tongue knows best. And “Great Wine” produces their house brand “Percipio” to make it easier to choose. “Percipio” is produced in California, where their wine caters to a specific vino type. They currently the only ones doing this. All of their wines are a blend, typically featuring Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and/or Viognier grapes.

Our tasting started with a white, the “2016 Percipio white wine”. It is a crisp wine on the sweeter side with notes of green grapes, pear, citrus, and vanilla. Naturally “sweet” vinotypes gravitate towards this one. For additional information on the wines, the tasting also came with laminated cards we could reference.

Next we compared three of their reds. The “2104 Stellar 8” is ideal for “tolerant” and “sensitive” types. Made from Petit sirah and Zinfandel it is a smoother red with peppery berry notes.

The “2015 Cabernet Sauvignon” has more body and flavour. Another great one for those who are “tolerant”. A fall wine with dark fruits, pumpkin, cherry and chocolate. This one was recommended for thanksgiving dinner, given its spices and notes of cranberry, as it would pair with a thanksgiving feast.

The “Cupid” was considered an “odd ball” wine, either you loved it very much or hated it a lot. As a sweeter red, they use to only sell this in China; given the country’s higher percentage of “sweet” vino types, of which majority of prefers red. This was an easy to drink red with red fruits like raspberry, cherry, strawberry, and red and green apples. This one was my favourite.

There was a lot of tasting and I waived the spit bucket option, so greedily snacked on the mixed nuts available for balance.

Overall, this was a great way to learn more about yourself and what you like. We found ourselves comparing our types and discussing what we liked because of it. Not only was this a clever and fun way to engage and talk about it wine, but this was also a great way of choosing and trying new wines. I will definitely consider my vino type the next time I pick up a bottle. To learn more and find out how you can experience this for yourself, visit the link below.

GREAT WINES
958 111th Ave NE Suite 103, Bellevue, WA 98004
www.greatwineusa.com

The Maxwell Hotel, A Staypineapple hotel

Myself and group of 4 other food lovers and food writers were visiting Seattle for the day. We planned to maximize our time and our restaurant visits by spending the night. Given the theme of our travel and the common interest of the group, we made “The Maxwell” our hotel of choice. It is better known as the “pineapple hotel” given its heavy use of the fruit as decoration.

The spiny yellow fruit found its way in many of the decor pieces, whether recreated in tile on the exterior, as a mosaic in the foyer, or simply sitting atop of a table to be admired.

In general the hotel was fun, delivering on the hotel’s mantra and belief that “pineapples are sweet and yellow makes people happy”. Which included many features unique to this property. Each elevator had a game to play. Either spinning blocks that have you crafting random sentences, or one of those push panel puzzles that have you trying to move sections into place to form a picture.

I liked the virtual reality projector that turned your head into either a pinapple or that of their doggie mascot on a large screen. Be warned, only 4 can play at any given time.

We decided to do our overnight stay sleep over style, sharing two beds, and one pull out between 5, all in one room. Truly putting our friendship to the test. However all was not as planned. The advert on the website said the beds were queen-sized. However it was only the headboard that was, and we ended up sleeping a lot closer to one another than intended (especially for our first time).

And our pullout couch was not cleaned. Removing the seats and pulling the futon out yielded used napkins and a cheese string wrapper. The clerk was quick to apologize when we requested room service, and a housekeeper was quick to come by to tidy. However, I couldn’t feel at ease in our room after this discovery. The rest of the room looked fine, but how would I know for sure? It would have been nice to be given another room by the hotel for piece of mind. It is like when you find a hair in your food, they take back the whole plate and make you another from scratch. They just don’t scoop out the strand and give it back to you.

Other than that the stay was good. We were able to each get our own yellow robes. We enjoyed cuddles with their in hotel plush mascot (available for you to take home at a price), and took in the modern aesthetics of our boutique hotel room.

Pineapples on our pillows, pineapples on the throws, a pineapple shaped multi port USB charger, and pineapple cups to drink our pineapple branded coffee pods from. Even the extra roll of toilet paper in the washroom was wrapped in coloured tissue paper meant to resemble a pineapple.

And although the push pump dispenser of soap, body wash, shampoo, and lotion by the washroom sink and in the open shower stall weren’t scented as pineapple; their “exotic coral” flavour gave you a similar tropical feel.

We didn’t get much of a view in our third floor suite. The Space Needle was visible in the distance, but obscured behind black electric cables. But we wouldn’t be in our room all that long anyways, we definitely maximize learning our foodie field trip.

We did check out the hotel’s complimentary happy hour. A help yourself counter of pineapple flavoured water and pineapple shaped sugar cookies to snack on.

No alcoholic beverages at this happy hour, but you can get your fix at their lobby bar, the “Pineapple bistro + bar”. I suggest their signature cocktail the “pineapple express”, made with buffalo trace bourbon, caramelized pineapple purée, whiskey butters, club soda, and amarena cherries. With plenty of room to enjoy it in, across the lobby seating area.

We didn’t have the time, but as guests you are able to take one of their yellow bicycles for a ride or borrow one of their giant yellow umbrellas should it rain.

In summary this was a fun stay at a unique property. For those who love pineapples and some charm in their hotels, this one is for you.

THE MAXWELL
300 Roy St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
+1 877-298-9728
staypineapple.com

Dochi, mochi donuts

I was visiting Seattle with a group of like-minded foodies, and collectively we agreed to add Dochi to our list of food stops in between full meals.

Located as a stall in the food court portion of the Uwajimaya building, it is pretty easy to spot from the exterior. The line of customers goes out the door, and wraps around the corner. The front of it is marked with a board listing all their donut options for the day. It also thanks you for your patronage and patience in rainbow markers. The line does go pretty quickly, all the donuts are made ahead of time, so it is only a matter of packaging them and taking payment.

A clerk directs traffic into the building, which is an additional wait by a stanchion, gazing longingly at their colourful booth. A sea foam green background with paintings of their bulbous donut rings sprinkled all across it. When you get to the counter you can see all the donut options under plexiglass. With 6 different options available it is easiest just to get one of each, that fits perfectly into their teal box with white detailing. But if you want more there is a limit, they are so popular that they limit one dozen donuts per customer, per day; as to not disappoint those who come later to collect their donut fix. Although with the amount of people they see, I am sure this is hard to monitor.

We got our box and ate in outside. Each ring consists of 8 balls. 8 easy to pull apart balls that readily pops into your mouth. And each delivered on the premise of mochi and doughnuts combined. You get the gummy chew of mochi at the centre of cakey dough. And depending on the flavour a crumbly, crunchy, or sticky topping for further indulgence.

The “pumpkin spice” dochi spoke to the season. Its flavour was subtle, making it a nice way to enjoy pumpkin spice when you don’t like pumpkin pie.

I liked all the textures that came with the “strawberry shortcake” mochi donut. The strawberry reminded me of strawberry pocky frosting, given a little crunch with cookie crumbs.

The “matcha Oreo” had a similar texture, sweet matcha made sweeter with the frosted cream of the cookie crumbs and its chocolatey crunch.

The “cookies & cream” is for those who like their snacks sugary. The classic flavour made more tempting with a drizzle of caramel.

The “taro pebbles” was the most photogenic of the bunch today. I didn’t get much taro flavour, but didn’t mind, the dough was great on its own.

Thus making the “ube glazed” with its purple centre and lightness my favourite of the bunch.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
If you have never tried such doughnuts, these are worth the wait. These Japanese crafted doughnut are the real deal and my new favourite kind of doughnut. Don’t deny your cravings.

DOCHI
600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, United States
(425) 503-5559
dochicompany.com

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