Monday, October 31, 2022

Double Chocolate Donut from Tim Hortons

Before heading home, we bought one Double Chocolate Donut from Tim Hortons, and I decided to reheat it for 30 seconds in the microwave. Since we first ate the Maple Dip Donut, the Double Chocolate turned out not as sweet as it usually is. However, I liked the chocolate cake donut, and I am uncertain if the glaze adds anything chocolate to it.

Double Chocolate Donut from Tim Hortons
Chocolate cake donut dipped in chocolate fondant.

Happy Halloween!

Maple Dip Donut from Tim Hortons

Before heading home, we bought one Maple Dip Donut from Tim Hortons, and I decided to reheat it for 30 seconds in the microwave. I love the soft dough, but the maple glaze became unbearably sweet. Thankfully, I only have to eat half of it since I share it with my husband.

Maple Dip Donut from Tim Hortons
Soft yeast donut dipped in rich maple fondant.

Happy Halloween!

Rainbow Roll for dinner at Sushivan

Happy Halloween! Since I grew up as a Catholic, Halloween is the beginning of All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day is when we commemorate, celebrate, and pray for our loved ones and friends who have passed away.

This evening we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to buy some candles to light up on our altar at home. Before heading home, we decided to grab dinner at Sushivan because I needed their spicy Korean-style Ramen this evening.

Rainbow Roll
California roll with assorted fish, tobiko, and sauce.

Korean-Style Ramen

Salmon Teriyaki & Sashimi Box
Salmon teriyaki, appy sashimi, appy tempura, salad, 4 pcs California roll, and rice

My husband is disappointed that I failed to update my Sushivan menu checklist. Apparently, we ordered the same exact three items last March.

Sushivan Menu

To prevent future disappointment, below is a list of items we tried from Sushivan so far.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza Slices for lunch at Costco Food Court

Happy rainy Sunday! My alarm went off early morning because we're attending the 9:00 AM Mass. But, before that, we grabbed our usual breakfast from Tim Hortons.

After the Mass, we were greeted by heavy rain. So, we took an Uber ride to Costco for our monthly grocery run. Then, we grabbed a couple pizzas and pop from their food court.

Cheese Pizza Slice from Costco Food Court

It's my first time trying their pizza "fresh" from the food court. My parents usually bring it home, and it doesn't travel well.

Pepperoni Pizza Slice from Costco Food Court

The cheese pizza is much better than the pepperoni pizza from Costco food court, but it needs to be hot. Otherwise, it's not worth it.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

9th HelloFresh Box for 2022

We scheduled our HelloFresh box to arrive on Monday last week because my husband did a half marathon run last Saturday, and we don't want to hurry back home afterwards for a delivery.

Experience Cooking with Hello Fresh

Hi, I am inviting you to experience cooking with HelloFresh. To get started, claim this $113 discount. Start your cooking adventure today and use the following promo code: FIH-SZLVUTCMXJG4. Happy Cooking!

For this week, I ordered six meals at 50% off. Yay! I spent our usual budget for a week-worth of food, so I am pleased that I am not over budget for the first time in months.

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese with Fresh Salad

We enjoyed this dish for Monday dinner and Tuesday lunch.

I love the bolognese sauce! It was creamy, a bit sweet, and meaty.

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese
You can't beat a classic, and our traditional spaghetti Bolognese is here to prove just that! The delicate mixture of tomato, stock, cream, mirepoix, and thyme will please your taste buds and warm your soul.

Carb Smart Chipotle Beef Chili with Cheddar Cheese

We enjoyed this dish for Tuesday dinner and Wednesday lunch.

Our apartment smells like chipotle, and that's a good thing. I love the heat, warmth, and comfort the chilli provided, especially on a rainy day, typical of Vancouver's fall season. I also appreciate that half of the meal is only 305 calories.

Carb Smart Chipotle Beef Chili with Cheddar Cheese
This nourishing low-carb chilli swaps beans with lots of wholesome veggies! Spicy chipotle and melty cheddar cheese amp up the deliciousness.

Beef Banh Mi-Style Bowl with Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers

We enjoyed this dish for Thursday dinner and Friday lunch.

This is so good! It's one of the best HelloFresh meals we've had. I love the Sriracha Mayonnaise dressing and the pickled vegetables. It's really a Banh Mi meal with rice instead of a baguette.

Beef Banh Mi-Style Bowl with Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers from HelloFresh
We've taken the traditional banh mi sandwich and turned it on its head! This quick and tasty meal has everything you love about the original but is packed into a satisfying dinner with fluffy jasmine rice. Sriracha mayo, pickled veggies, and saucy meat all come together for a Vietnamese-inspired party-in-a-bowl!

Smart Korean-Inspired Turkey Salad with Gochujang-Sesame Dressing

We enjoyed this dish for Friday dinner.

The turkey salad is only 440 calories, so I decided that instead of dividing it into two meals, we enjoy it as intended for dinner. It was unremarkable.

Smart Korean-Inspired Turkey Salad
This bountiful salad is bursting with colour, Korean-inspired flavours and wholesome veggies! Spicy soy turkey and a creamy, gochujang-based dressing round out the plate for a delicious, light way to start the week!

Cal Smart Caper-Dill Dressed Salmon with Couscous, Tomatoes, and Spinach

We enjoyed this dish for Saturday lunch.

I hate dill-flavoured chips, but fresh dill is fantastic. This is one HelloFresh dish I love ordering again.

Cal Smart Caper-Dill Dressed Salmon
Capers add a briny flavour pop to this salmon dish with creamy Dijon-dill sauce! Underneath, there's a bed of lemony couscous to soak up all those delicious flavours.

Mango Chutney Curry-Style Chicken with Crispy Chana Dal

We cooked this dish Saturday morning and enjoyed it for Monday and Tuesday lunch.

I love curry but I am not tasting the mango chutney, but overall a delicious dish with a hint of heat. Your home will smell like spices afterwards.

Mango Chutney Curry-Style Chicken with Crispy Chana Dal
This chicken curry cooked with sweet mango chutney, fragrant spices, and curry paste is a taste extravaganza! You'll spoon this mouthwatering curry over buttery, cilantro-flecked rice, then garnish it with crispy chana dal to create a dish that will have everyone around the dinner table drooling!

My 10th HelloFresh Box for 2022 arrived Saturday morning, so there's an overlap. Thank God for all the provisions!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Map of MICHELIN Guide Restaurants in Vancouver, BC Canada

MICHELIN Guide Vancouver 2022 was announced last night so this morning I spent time adding the 60 restaurants in one map.

I also changed the icon for restaurants that received the MICHELIN Bob Gourmands and MICHELIN stars.

I'm a foodie failure because I haven't visited any of the 60 places included in the list.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Chocolate Dip Donut and Chocolate Glazed Donut from Tim Hortons

After our food coma AYCE dinner at Happy Lamb Hot Pot, we stopped by Tim Hortons before heading home. We ordered two of the special donuts that are available year-round.

Chocolate Dip Donut from Tim Hortons

The Chocolate Dip Donut was dry and stale. As expected of donuts from Tims. This is the bottom-of-the-barrel quality that everything else seems so much better.

Chocolate Dip Donut from Tim Hortons
Soft donut dipped in chocolate fondant.

Chocolate Glazed Donut from Tim Hortons

I'm biased because the Chocolate Glazed Donut is my favourite from Tim Hortons. This one is surprisingly not dry and stale.

Chocolate Glazed Donut from Tim Hortons
Chocolate cake donut covered in donut glaze.

Yay for tea and donut after a food coma dinner.

Lamb Spine Broth for Celebration Dinner at Happy Lamb Hot Pot

Happy Wednesday! For dinner tonight, we went to Happy Lamb Hot Pot for an all-you-can-eat (AYCE) hot pot dinner.

We chose the Lamb Spine Broth, and it was mind-blowing. The lamb ribs and spices were delicious. But, a fair warning, the broth becomes too much after an hour. All the lamb fattiness feels like clogging your arteries. 😂 This is when a good dipping sauce could help cut through the goodness.

Lamb Spine Broth

From the AYCE, we ordered just one round of the following items.
  • Lamb Shoulder Slices ⭐
  • Fatty Beef Slices ⭐
  • Garlic Beef
  • Black Iberico Pork ⭐
  • Tender Chicken Fillet
  • Luncheon Pork
  • Cod Fillet
  • Squid Tube
  • Crab Meat Sick
  • Quail Egg
  • Shrimp Ball
  • Mutton Ball
  • Beef Ball
  • Cuttlefish Ball
  • Mutton Dumping ⭐
  • Pork & Shrimp Dumpling ⭐
  • Veggie & Pork Dumpling
  • Oyster Mushroom
  • Spinach
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Watercress ⭐
Items with the star (⭐) are my favourite, and I would get them again. We planned on getting a second round but were full already. Another round with all my favourite items and with vermicelli noodles sounds fantastic, but alas, my stomach is full.

Different meat and vegetables are ready for our hot pot.

Robot delivery

All ingredients are delivered by a robot, and it can move around obstacles. For example, as we were leaving, it moved around me instead of bumping into me. It was pretty cool.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Salted Chocolate Tart for Desserts at Loafe Cafe in UBC

After doing the Great Trek and having lunch at Kinton Ramen, hubby requested sweets, so I searched for the nearest cake source, and Google Maps suggested Loafe Cafe.

When we arrived at the store, there were no cakes, but many pastries were available.

Salted Chocolate Tart

It was smooth and sweet but with a hint of bitterness which we can guess came from using dark chocolate.

Date Bar

The date bar tastes healthier than the Salted Chocolate Tart but is also sweet. I surprisingly enjoyed it more than the tart.

Beef Spicy Garlic Ramen for lunch at Kinton Ramen in UBC | Great Trek 21.1 km Half Marathon

Happy Saturday! My husband is running the Half Marathon of the Great Trek at UBC. He left early while I was still asleep. I left our home at 9:45 AM and arrived at 10:30 AM. Thank God it wasn't raining, and my hubby finished the run safely.

After his run and resting for a bit, we grabbed lunch at Kinton Ramen.

Lunch at Kinton Ramen

Golden Sesame Ramen
Pork broth with white sesame paste and thick noodles, topped with seasoned ground pork, seasoned egg, spinach, bean sprouts, scallion, chilli oil, shredded chilli, white pepper, and fried onion.

Hubby ordered the Fall Special: Golden Sesame Ramen. The sesame paste flavour is intense! It reminds me of Tan Tan ramen, but with the peanut flavour more subtle.

Beef Spicy Garlic Ramen
Thick noodles in spicy beef broth topped with beef brisket, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, grated garlic, shredded chilli pepper, and scallions.

I love the Beef Spicy Garlic Ramen. First, the beef brisket is tender. The broth was spicy and salty, but the grated garlic provides a subtle sweetness which helps clean the palate allowing you to take another spoonful of the soup. I was so tempted to order extra noodles and had to remind myself of my weight goals. 

Deep-fried octopus balls, tonkatsu sauce, mayo, bonito flakes, and aonori

The takoyaki is delicious and with a generous amount of octopus. I can't wait to return to Kinton and try their other ramen.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Best Pho in Vancouver

It's now starting to get colder and rain is back in Vancouver. With that in mind, there are two food I love to keep me warm: Ramen and Pho.

In this post, I will make a list of best pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) spots in Vancouver according to articles in the first page of the Google search results.

  1. Best pho in Vancouver you need to try at least once on Daily Hive | October 17, 2022
  2. 10 Best Pho & Vietnamese Noodle Spots In Vancouver To Hit Up On A Rainy Day on Noms Magazine | October 26, 2021
  3. The Top Pho Places in Vancouver on | March 29, 2022
  4. Here are 10 restaurants to get the best pho in Vancouver on Curiocity | March 24, 2021
  5. 5 Best Places for Pho in Vancouver on Monecristo Magazine | January 8, 2020
Let's begin!


Best Pho in Vancouver: Anh and Chi

All five articles included Anh and Chi on their list of the best pho in Vancouver.

Second Best Pho in Vancouver: Mr. Red Cafe

Mr. Red Cafe appeared in four of the five articles mentioned above.

Three Votes: Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen and Do Chay

Both Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen and Do Chay were included in three of the five articles.

I need to up my pho game! I haven't tried any of the spots above.

List of Best Pho in Vancouver

Recommended by two of the five articles:

  • Cafe Dang Anh
  • Lunch Lady
  • Pho Goodness
  • Viet House

Recommended by one of the five articles:

  • Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro
  • Bún Riêu Phương Nam
  • Cambie Vietnamese Restaurant
  • ☑️ Chau Veggie Express - February 2018
  • Co'm Vietnamese
  • Gold Train Express Restaurant
  • Hải Phòng Vietnamese Restaurant
  • Hanoi Pho Restaurant
  • Joyeaux Café & Restaurant
  • Le Petit Saigon
  • Linh Cafe
  • Lotus Seed Vegan
  • Merci Beacoup Cafe
  • Mui Ngo Gai Restaurant
  • ☑️ Pho 37 - September 2021 and January 2022
  • Pholicious Vietnamese Restaurant
  • Pho Duy Restaurant
  • Phở Tân Restaurant
  • Pho Zen Vietnamese Cuisine
  • Song Huong Restaurant
  • ☑️ Thai Son - October 2017
  • Trung Nguyen Cafe
  • Viet Mama Cafe

Map of the Best Pho in Vancouver

Map Legend:

  • Red: 1/5
  • Orange: 2/5
  • Yellow: 3/5
  • Green: 4/5
  • Blue: 5/5
  • Check: I have visited.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

I'm Back! 8th HelloFresh Box for 2022 | Free HelloFresh Box Promo Code

I cancelled my HelloFresh Box last March because cooking is exhausting. HelloFresh would sometimes send me coupons via email, which I just promptly delete, but they sent me a snail mail of a 50% discount on my first two boxes if I came back before October 15, then 20% for the following two boxes after that.

I won't pass up free or at least discounted food, especially with inflation.

Our HelloFresh box arrived Saturday morning via FedEx.

Teriyaki Beef Bowls with Edamame Rice and Garlicky Broccoli

When did we enjoy this? Sunday and Tuesday lunch

Instead of garlic salt, I would be happy to grate and use real garlic to get the "garlicky broccoli" because this meal came out bland.

Teriyaki Beef Bowls with Edamame Rice and Garlicky Broccoli from HelloFresh

Spicy Apricot Chicken with Garden Veggie Orzo

When did we enjoy this? Sunday dinner and Monday lunch

Yum! I wished I had cooked the orzo for a couple more minutes to make them softer, but the apricot chicken was delicious! I wished there were more vegetables in the "veggie orzo," but overall a delightful meal I'll be happy to order again.

Spicy Apricot Chicken with Garden Veggie Orzo from HelloFresh

Crumbled Crispy Falafel Salad with Garlicky Hummus and DIY Croutons

When did we enjoy this? Monday dinner

This is the first time in a while that we decided to eat one serving for one meal instead of splitting it in two, and there's a lot of salad, and I used the wrong plate because it's spilling. I'm not sure if the "garlicky hummus" adds anything to the salad, but the falafel, croutons, and all the vegetables work well together. The radish is a nice touch.

Crumbled Crispy Falafel Salad with Garlicky Hummus and DIY Croutons from HelloFresh

Thai-Style Sweet Chili Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Rice

When did we enjoy this? Tuesday dinner and Thursday lunch

The Thai-Style Sweet Chili Chicken had a substitution of sriracha instead of Chili-Garlic Sauce. The dish gave off a funky smell. I love the heat, but something felt off.

Thai-Style Sweet Chili Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice from HelloFresh

Turkish-Spiced Beef with Garlic Toum Sauce

When did we enjoy this? Wednesday dinner and Friday lunch

This meal smelled so good but wasn't as flavourful as it could be. I'm not sure what's missing.

Turkish-Spiced Beef with Garlic Toum Sauce from HelloFresh

Experience Cooking with Hello Fresh

Hi, I am inviting you to experience cooking with HelloFresh. To get started, claim this $113 discount. Start your cooking adventure today and use the following promo code: FIH-SZLVUTCMXJG4. Happy Cooking!

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Vancouver Canucks Dream Donut from Tim Hortons

Yes! Yes! Yes! Tim Hortons has a Vancouver Canucks dream donut designed with the Vancouver Canucks logo. It's not exclusive to the Toronto Maple Leafs, as I initially thought.

Vancouver Canucks Dream Donut from Tim Hortons

List of Dream Donuts from Tim Hortons

I arranged it alphabetically instead of chronologically.

Baker's Choice Donut from Tim Hortons

Happy Sunday! We went to the closest Tim Hortons location to our home and checked if there was anything new in the dream donut scene. I spotted the Baker's Choice description in a couple of donuts and asked the cashier about it.

Baker's Choice Donut from Tim Hortons

Venetian-filled yeast donut, chocolate dipped and designed for Halloween.

Maple dip Venetian-filled donut topped with chocolate drizzle and candied bacon.

Baker's Choice gives the baker a say in the decorating. Bakers are invited to display their creativity with locally-created (branch-specific) Baker's Choice.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Taiwanese Pork Chop with Fried Rice for dinner from Typhoon Bubble Tea Cafe

Typhoon Bubble Tea Cafe is located in the Cambie Plaza strip mall in Richmond. I remember noticing them five years ago when I still live with my parents. Unfortunately, they are cash only, and I don't carry cash.

This is what I ordered for dinner from Typhoon Bubble Tea Cafe.

We visited my siblings in Richmond today, and our youngest sister requested that we order from Typhoon because she wants rice. So, of course, I am more than happy to oblige since I love Taiwanese cuisine, and as expected, I ordered a lot for my husband and me to share.

Typhoon House Special Chicken Nuggets

We ordered chicken nuggets for sharing, which was a good bite-size fried chicken.

Taiwanese Sausage with Rice and Sides

We love Taiwanese Sausage, but this one is not as sweet as I am used to when ordering from other Taiwanese restaurants.

Taiwanese Pork Chop with Fried Rice

The fried rice is exceptionally flavorful and delicious. It's the best thing tonight and works well with anything. I didn't expect the pork chop to be as it is. The flavour was good, but I expected it to have the same level of seasoning as the chicken nuggets. 

Taiwanese Style Plain Noodles with Bean Sprouts and Meat Sauce in Soup

Other than the fried rice, the best thing tonight is the soup. It's a warm, clean broth that's comforting to the soul. But, unfortunately, the delicious broth couldn't save the plain noodle and bean sprouts.

I can't wait to try the soup with beef. I bet it'll be delicious.

High Rise Pancakes for lunch at Eggspectation Richmond

Our youngest sister works at Eggspectation in Richmond, BC, so after practicing our civic duty in voting and participating in the local election. We went straight to Eggspectation for lunch.

I have a list of menu items we have and have not tried and picked based on that. My sister was the one who brought our food to the table, and she mentioned that she made sure they looked pretty for my picture.

High Rise Pancakes
Kick-start your day with a mighty stack of pancakes with sausages, bacon, and potatoes layered between them and top with a sunny-side-up egg.

Top-view of the High Rise Pancakes

Inside view of the High Rise Pancakes

I am surprised at how much I love the High Rise Pancakes from Eggspectation. With the syrup drizzled all over, it's the perfect sweet and savoury breakfast to kick start any day.

Classic Benedict
Two perfectly poached eggs on smoked ham and a toasted English muffin, topped with our famous hollandaise sauce and our Lyonnaise-style potatoes

I love eggs benny, and since I already tried the Smoked Salmon Benny (my go-to in any breakfast spot) and Montreal Benny (because it sounds interesting), I had to try the Classic. I am pleased to report that the egg is perfectly poached this time.

For drinks, we enjoyed their freshly squeezed orange juice, and yes, they are genuinely orange. My sister told us during her first week that one of the first things she has to learn is to squeeze orange to make their OJ.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Pho Name Bo Vien for dinner at Thai Hang in Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

We're back in Vancouver! As much as I was pleased to see the mountains, I fell in love with the hustle and bustle of Toronto. I never knew how much I missed the fast life until I went there. My sister was ready to disown me when I said it. 😂

When we landed in Vancouver, I told my husband that I wanted soup and/or rice, so we went to the airport's second floor (departure area, before security) and walked through the Food Hall at the Domestic Terminal. Unfortunately, there are no soup or rice, only sandwiches and burger.

We walked all the way to the International Terminal and spotted Thai Hang. It's a Vietnamese stall.

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken on Steamed Rice

I took a bite of the juicy grilled chicken and a spoonful of rice and felt comforted. Then, I slurped the beef broth from the Pho Nam Bo Vien, which was perfect.

The pho soup is the ultimate comfort meal after a flight. It just brings you back to earth without being greasy.

Pho Name Bo Vien
Beef brisket & beef meatballs with rice noodles in soup

Dac Biet Cha Gio Thit
Deep-fried spring rolls with pork

I don't recommend the spring roll, though.

The Reubenesque for lunch at Caplansky's Delicatessen in Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

We're going back to Vancouver! Before that, we grabbed lunch from Caplansky's Delicatessen. I remember Zane Caplansky when watching Guy's Big Project. I remember rooting for him to win.

When searching for places to eat in Toronto, I checked multiple sources like Anthony Bourdain, Michelin Guide, and Food Network shows like You Gotta Eat Here (YGEH) and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (DDD).

I had already ordered when I saw the DDD symbol on the menu. So hubby and I went for starred menu items, which indicates they are fan favourites.

The Reubenesque

I love a good Reuben sandwich, and it's something I use to eat at least once a week at PICA Blue Hat Cafe when I get free lunch from there, paid for by work.

The Reubenesque
Smoked meat, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, coleslaw, and grilled on rye

The smoked meat was delicious, but I wish there was more Russian dressing because it was a bit dry in some sections.

The Caplansky Burger
70% fresh ground beef and 30% smoked meat. Served with lettuce, tomato, onion, & pickle on an everything bagel bun

My husband went for The Caplansky Burger because it's the namesake. I thought the patty was dry, then realized it's 30% smoked meat. The tomato, lettuce, and sauce provided much-needed moisture to the burger.

The Caplansky Burger

I can't wait to come back to Toronto or have a transit through YYZ to try items with the YGEH and DDD symbols.

This was our last meal in Toronto, and it was such a fun, short, and food-filled vacation. I can't wait to travel again soon!

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