Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Japanese Custard Waffle Cakes Monteur Douce Patisserie in Vancouver

After dinner at Tims, we grabbed groceries at Shoppers and walked around at La Win Supermarket. We picked three different pastries from their bakery and frozen dessert section.

Custard Waffle Cakes

From the open fridge near the bakery section, we spotted the Monteur Douce Patisserie Custard Waffle Cakes imported directly from Japan.

Monteur Douce Patisserie Custard Waffle Cakes made in Japan

Creamy custard between a folded waffle.

Four Japanese Custard Waffle Cakes

The waffle was so soft it was like eating the clouds, while the custard inside was sweet. I love it!

Daifuku Red Bean Cake

The Red Bean Cake reminds me of the one we got fresh from Kam Do Bakery.

Made in Japan Daifuku Red Bean Cake

A peek inside the Daifuku Red Bean Cake.

Sausage Bun

We have the sausage buns for breakfast tomorrow.

Chipotle Steak Loaded Bowl from Tim Hortons

Happy Tuesday evening! For dinner on this cold and clear night, we went to Tim Hortons to try the new Chipotle Steak Loaded Bowl.

I also wanted the wrap version, but the location close to us only has one serving left of Chipotle Steak.

New Chipotle Steak Loaded Bowl from Tim Hortons

I feel like it's sacrilegious to say that the beef steak is better than what you get from Chipotle Mexican Grill. It's tender, juicy, and marinated well.

Chipotle Steak Loaded Bowl from Tim Hortons
The loaded bowl features a base of brown rice, lettuce, diced tomato, and cucumber. It's topped with slow-cooked seasoned steak, crispy onions, and the signature chipotle sauce.

The rice was soft and seasoned well. The lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber provided freshness and a change of texture to the dish.

Chicken Habanero Loaded Bowl  from Tim Hortons

Overall, this is way better than the Chicken Habanero Loaded Bowl. Unfortunately, I had to order this again because I needed to figure out what else to try. The chicken was dry, and there was no saving it. Thankfully, the rice and salad were the same ones on the Chipotle Steak Loaded Bowl.

Medium-sized Mocha Iced Capp from Tim Hortons

It's 2°C outside during our walk to Tims, and I still opted for a medium-sized Mocha Iced Capp.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Drink of Kings and Vancouver Sunny Rush from Uno Gelato | 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

After lunch at White Spot, we walked around nearby Safeway and Pulpfiction Bookstore while waiting for Uno Gelato to open at 12:00 NN.

We're here for the 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival and ordered both available flavours: The Drink of Kings and the non-alcohol version of Vancouver Sunny Rush.

#136 The Drink of Kings from Uno Gelato

The first thing I tasted on my first sip was the coconut whipped cream, then there's this subtle flavour I can't pinpoint, which turned out to be cinnamon. Then, I absolutely love the slight bitterness from the 55% dark chocolate and cocoa powder.

The Drink of Kings from Uno Gelato

The Drink of Kings is paired with a vanilla dough cookie with rolled oats which provides a contrasting texture to the creamy hot chocolate.

Below is the description of The Drink of Kings on the Hot Chocolate Festival website:

#136 - The Drink of Kings

Available January 14 - February 14, 2023

A creamy, cozy cup full of healthy vegan hot chocolate that is extra rich and extra sweet thanks to a special caramel candy-like fruit addition. The drink is made with oat milk, Callebaut NXT Dairy-Free 55% Dark Chocolate and French Valhona cocoa powder, incorporating Madagascar vanilla and cinnamon. To make it extra thick, extra creamy, and extra sweet, we are blending in Medjool dates, known as "the fruit of kings". Then it is topped with coconut whipped cream and vegan burnt caramel sauce.

Paired with an award-winning cookie Butterfly. A gluten-free cookie made by Panela Lemon using vanilla dough with rolled oats, stuffed with a silky coconut cashew cream.

#137 Vancouver Sunny Rush from Uno Gelato

The Vancouver Sunny Rush does not have the "traditional" milk hot chocolate flavour and has a fruity punch thanks to the orange sauce. It is paired with the most delicious macaron I have ever tried: Salted Caramel Gelato Macaron. Can I get a dozen of these, please?

Vancouver Sunny Rush from Uno Gelato

Below is the description of The Drink of Kings on the Hot Chocolate Festival website:

#137 - Vancouver Sunny Rush *

Available January 14 - February 14, 2023

A boozy combo of decadent Inaya Dark Chocolate 65% Cacao Barry, smooth Jim Bean Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and sweet Cointreau, using Canadian maple syrup and a touch of Vancouver Island sea salt for an exquisite balance. Topped with coconut whipped cream drizzle with a sauce created with the best oranges, complete with slightly bitter notes and orange zest pieces. Perfect to drink during the cool winter nights.

Paired with a salted caramel gelato macaron, (our most popular gelato flavour, wrapped between two delicate shells with a subtle almond flavour).

* Contains alcohol, non-alcohol version available upon request.

We have one more weekend until the 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is over, and below is a list of the flavours and vendors we have enjoyed so far.

Wagyu Cheddar Burger and Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Burger at White Spot

Happy Sunday! It's been a stressful week, and budget has been extraordinarily tight, but God is good. We received a White Spot gift card last year for fundraising for the RBC Run for the Kids in support of BC Children's Hospital. We used it today, and I ordered the Wagyu Cheddar Burger while hubby got the Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Burger from the Featured section of the menu.

Wagyu Cheddar Burger from White Spot
1/3 lb Brant Lake Wagyu beef patty, double Cheddar cheese, sauteed onion, secret Triple "O" sauce, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun.

Wagyu Cheddar Burger

I had high hopes for the Wagyu Cheddar Burger, but the sauteed onion was overpowering. It was easier to appreciate the beefy flavour once I took a bite without any onions. I love the slightly burnt, crispy edge of the juicy beef patty.

A peek inside the Wagyu Cheddar Burger from White Spot.

I ordered my Wagyu Cheddar Burger with my favourite Triple O side of Garlic Parmesan Fries.

Garlic Parmesan Fries from White Spot
Our signature Kennebec fries with garlic and Parmesan, & drizzled with Caesar dressing.

Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Burger

If you love bacon, you're going to absolutely love this! The beef patty is juicy but does not have the strong beefy, meaty flavour of the Wagyu Cheddar Burger, but you can taste the bacon in every bite. They did not skimp on the bacon. The bun was soft and buttery.

Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Burger from White Spot
Our 1/4 fresh Canadian beef burger & a slice of Cheddar wrapped in three strips of crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, and secret Triple "O" sauce.

A peek inside the Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Burger from White Spot.

After lunch, we walked around Kits. We entered Safeway to see if they have anything unusual. Then, we entered Pulpfiction, a bookstore selling new and old books.

Bacon, Egg & Smoky Gouda McMuffin from McDonald's Canada

Happy Sunday! For breakfast today, we went to McDonald's to try the Bacon, Egg & Smoky Gouda McMuffin and Sesame Bacon, Egg & Gouda Bagel.

Bacon, Egg, & Smoky Gouda McMuffin

The gouda cheese has a distinct flavour and surprisingly works well with the crispy bacon and soft English muffin.

Bacon, Egg & Smoky Gouda McMuffin from McDonald's

Sesame Bacon, Egg, & Gouda Bagel

It's the same bacon, egg, and gouda cheese, but in a sesame bagel this time. Since the bagel has more flavour than the English muffin, it's more difficult for the gouda cheese to stand out. The edges of the bagel are crunchy and toasted perfectly.

Sesame Bacon, Egg, & Gouda Bagel from McDonald's Canada

Premium Roast Coffee

After breakfast, we walked to church, and when we passed by Tim Hortons, hubby said, "oh no! I need to hide my coffee, or Tims will think I'm a traitor." I was laughing so hard while we were crossing the street.

Premium Roast Coffee from McDonald's Canada

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Fat Elvis from The Pie Hole | 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Our last food stop of the day is The Pie Hole because they are part of the 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. They are offering three different flavours, and we ordered the Fat Elvis.

#122 Fat Elvis Hot Chocolate from The Pie Hole

Below is the description of the Hot Chocolate Festival website.

#122 Fat Elvis

Dark chocolate and banana-infused hot chocolate, topped with peanut butter whipped cream, chocolate ganache, caramel and candied peanuts. Served with a 3" personal 'Fat Elvis' pie

#122 Fat Elvis

It's my favourite hot chocolate we have tried so far! I love all the candied peanuts on top, which provided a beautiful crunch to the creamy hot chocolate. It's also the perfect sipping temperature of all the hot chocolates we've had that are part of the Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. It's not overly sweet, and you can taste the slightest bitterness of the dark chocolate.

The Pie Hole Hot Chocolate

It's also the messiest hot chocolate! The weight of the peanut butter whipped cream on top made it overflow. 🤣 We had so much fun drinking it; the staff are the friendliest too.

Hot Chocolate overflow because of the peanut butter whipped cream.

It's served with a 3" 'Fat Elvis' pie, reminding me of the banoffee pie from Starbucks in the Philippines. It has a strong banana flavour, and the texture is soft and creamy, but the tart shell and candied peanut topping provide crunch. I absolutely love it!

3" 'Fat Elvis' Pie from The Pie Hole

Below is the description of the Fat Elvis Pie on the Pie Hole website.

Fat Elvis Pie

One of our biggest pies and best selling! In our golden Double Butter Crust we start with a layer of dark chocolate ganache then top it with banana cream and a peanut butter whipped cream. To finish this pie we drizzle more chocolate ganache, house made caramel and roasted peanuts. Fit for The King!

It's a sugar-filled day! We continue our diet tomorrow, but I feel like I gained 10 lbs this weekend.

Dim Sum for Lunar New Year Lunch at Peaceful Restaurant Kitsilano

Happy Lunar New Year! We had lunch at Peaceful Restaurant in their Kitsilano location and had four dim sum dishes.

Xiao-Long Bao Steamed Buns

The first dim sum that arrived at our table was the 8-piece Xiao-long bao steamed buns. We haven't had it in a while, and it has a strong pork flavour. After slurping all the soup, dip it in the vinegar sauce to add sourness which helps cut through all the fat.

Xiao-Long Bao Steamed Buns from Peaceful Restaurant

Xiao-Long Bao Steamed Buns are very soupy.

Pan-Fried Chicken Fried Dumplings

The next dish that arrived at our table was the 8 pieces of Pan-Fried Chicken Dumplings. The skin of the dumplings is crispy, while the inside is hot. The chicken flavour is stronger than the park, and the dipping sauce is sour,  cutting through the oiliness of the dish. Be sure to eat it quickly because the dumpling wrapper gets soggy fast, losing its crispiness.

Pan-Fried Chicken Dumplings from Peaceful Restaurant

8-Piece Pan-Fried Chicken Dumplings are filled with minced chicken and cabbage.

Must-Try: Peaceful Beef Rolls

We arrived at Peaceful Restaurant at around 11:30 AM and left after an hour. We stayed during the Sunday lunch rush, and all tables within earshot ordered the Peaceful Beef Rolls. It's definitely a fan favourite, and I can't blame the Vancouver crowd. The flatbread has suitable thickness and chewiness compared to the thinly slice beef. Meanwhile, the green onion provided a mild sweetness alongside the hoisin sauce. It's a perfect sweet and savoury roll.

Peaceful Beef Rolls from Peaceful Restaurant

Two Peaceful Beef Rolls are five-spiced beef rolled in a crispy green onion flatbread & sweet hoisin sauce.

Cumin Beef & Flatbread

Wow, it's SPICY! The bun is crispy and has a strong sesame flavour. The beef is tender and covered with cumin. There are two types of spicy food - painfully spicy and flavourful spicy which definitely belong to the latter.

Cumin Beef & Flatbread from Peaceful Restaurant

Cumin Beef & Flatbread is a sesame flatbread filled with beef, cumin, and fresh hot peppers.

The last time we went to Peaceful Restaurant was in 2019, and it's good to be back at one of the restaurants that Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives visited in Vancouver.

Florals and Spice from 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts | 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Happy Sunday! We visited the 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts for the 2023 Hot Chocolate Festival and shared a Florals & Spice hot chocolate.

Florals & Spice Hot Chocolate

It has sweet floral undertones and is definitely sweeter than the Plus de Cerises, Mon Chérie from The GOOD Chocolatier.

#01 Florals and Spice

Dark hot chocolate infused with cardamom and organic rose petals. Served with a mini brioche doughnut filled with spiced chocolate custard and topped with orange blossom glaze, pistachios and rose petals.

Vanilla Old Fashioned and Triple Chocolate Donuts from 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts

We find ourselves in a 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts location because of the 2023 Hot Chocolate Festival. So, of course, we tried two of their donuts: Vanilla Old Fashioned and Vegan Triple Chocolate. We also ordered two savoury pastries (Savoury Scone and Pistachio Almond Croissant) because it's breakfast, and I don't want all sweets.

Breakfast at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts

Vanilla Old Fashioned Donut

Vanilla Old Fashioned is crispy on the edges and with a slight vanilla sweetness. I prefer this to the Triple Chocolate Donut. I love the difference in texture with the soft interior and crunchy exterior.

Vanilla Old Fashioned Donut at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Donut

Savoury Scone

The Savoury Scone is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It's filled with peppers and celery. It's pretty good. I wish they warm it, though. It reminds me of pizza's saltiness - cheese and deli meat bits.

Savoury Scone at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Donut 

Savoury Scone at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Donut

Vegan Triple Chocolate Donut

Vegan Triple Chocolate is not sweet but has an intense chocolate flavour. Its consistency reminds me of a brownie or a really dense chocolate cake.

Vegan Chocolate Donut at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Donut

Pistachio Almond Croissant

The Pistachio Croissant is flakey and buttery. I was not getting any Pistachio flavour... until I reached the middle. There's filling inside!

Pistachio Almond Croissant

Pistachio Almond Croissant

It's fun to hang out at a coffee shop surrounded by delicious pastries and discuss expenses with my husband.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Tim Hortons introduces Vanilla Coconut Latte

Tim Hortons introduced a new Vanilla Coconut drinks line, including Vanilla Coconut Latte, Vanilla Coconut Cappuccino, and Vanilla Coconut Cold Brew with Espresso-Infused Foam.

Today, we tried the Vanilla Coconut Latte, and it has the expected light vanilla taste and is smooth with a subtle hint of coconut aftertaste.

Vanilla Coconut Latte from Tim Hortons

Hey Tims, my dad is requesting a coconut-flavoured (infused) donut. I suggest trying a Filipino bread pan de coco for flavours that inspire you. It's his favourite bread.

NEW Chicken Marsala Fettucine and Ravioli Carbonara from Olive Garden

Our first meal for lunch today is at Olive Garden, and we're trying two new items: Chicken Marsala Fettuccine, Ravioli Carbonara, and Meatballs Parmigiana.

My parents are celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary. Their youngest daughter and offspring suggested we take the more than 40 km (24 miles) drive to the only Olive Garden location in British Columbia, Canada.

Of course, we're here for unlimited breadsticks and soup.

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli is the last soup that I have not tried at Olive Garden, so it's what I ordered today.

It's sour because of the tomatoes and hearty because of the beans. There's also a bit of heat that feels like from black pepper.

Pasta e Fagioli

My favourite is still the hearty and filling Zuppa Toscana, which hubby ordered.

Zuppa Tuscana

NEW: Chicken Marsala Fettucine at Olive Garden

The chicken was crispy, but the sauce was surprisingly sweet, while the mushrooms provided an earthy flavour. Unfortunately, after a while, the pasta is too heavy, and I am food coma.

Chicken Marsala Fettucine

NEW: Ravioli Carbonara at Olive Garden

The sauce was creamy. It's also salty, thanks to the bacon and cheese, while the ravioli filling is heavy. The serving is smaller - only around ten or so ravioli. Adding shrimp or some sort of protein might be a good idea for this dish.

Ravioli Carbonara

NEW: Meatballs Parmigiana at Olive Garden

The order came with five meatballs covered with melted cheese and tomato sauce. The meatballs are juicy, tender, and flavourful.

Meatballs Parmigiana

It was a fun lunch and drive with the family. We're food coma.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Plus de Cerises, Mon Chérie and My Fat Vegan Dream from The GOOD Chocolatier | 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Happy Sunday! For the first time, we're consciously visiting places participating in 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. Our first stop for the hot chocolate season is The GOOD Chocolatier inside Greens Market along West Broadway.

The GOOD Chocolatier offers two flavours as part of the 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

After the 9:00 AM Mass and Pancake Breakfast at Church, we ordered both available drink flavours from The GOOD Chocolatier a couple blocks away.

#73 Plus de Cerises, Mon Chérie

It's a beautiful cup of hot chocolate that took 5-10 minutes to prepare. It was lovingly handcrafted by the friendly person at the counter. It has a strong cherry flavour which reminds me of black forest cake.

#73 Plus de Cerises, Mon Chérie

Darling, why have only one cherry, if everything can be a cherry? A delightful cherry-hot chocolate, dark and rich. Served with whipped cream and house made chocolate sprinkles. Served with a Rum & Cherry Truffle.

- Source: Description on Hot Chocolate Festival website

#74 My Fat Vegan Dream

It's nutty, and I couldn't pinpoint which nuts I was tasting at first, then hubby pointed out that it's chestnut and coconut. The flavour profile of this hot chocolate is more "traditional," with hints and highlights of nutty flavour from the coconut and chestnut. It's also sweeter than the option above.

#74 My Fat Vegan Dream

It’s everything that vegan is not supposed to be, and more. Toasted Marshmallows, Vegan Milk Chocolate, Salted Caramel Fatso, Chestnut, Crunchy Coconut, whipping cream… can you still follow? No? Then you just gotta try. (contains peanuts and nuts). Served with a Big Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow.

- Source: Description on Hot Chocolate Festival website

Both flavours are takeout only and available from January 14 to February 12, 2023, on Friday - Sunday only.

Take advantage of the chance to try the delicious hot chocolate made from single-origin cacao from Ecuador at The GOOD Chocolatier. It's also their first time joining the Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival.

Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast at St. Augustine's Church Parish Hall

Happy Sunday morning! My husband and I are joining our parish community at St. Augustine for pancake breakfast organized by Knights of Columbus after the 9:00 AM Mass.

We enjoy pancakes, scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, sliced turkey, and waffle fries. It's a filling, delicious lunch. The pancakes were perfect with the syrup, while the eggs were soft and salted. The breakfast sausage still has that snap. Lastly, the sliced turkey was moist and savoury.

Pancake Breakfast organized by Knights of Columbus.

The Knights of Columbus has a couple chef members. That's why we will try to attend whatever feast they prepare moving forward.

We were seated with four retired senior citizen ladies. It's so fascinating to hear their stories. They ask each other about their schedule and activities. For example, they pray the rosary together every Wednesday, then, on some days, they take walks around the neighbourhood or have a nice meal or coffee somewhere nearby. Then, there are evenings they would play cards (no gambling, I hope!) for entertainment. They were also discussing printing and computer troubles. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by these ladies. They remind me that life can be full of joy even at an older age. If God grants us a long life here on earth, we should consciously live it to the fullest and bless others.

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