Sunday, October 29, 2023

A Cozy Ramen Experience at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Nestled in the heart of Vancouver, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka beckons with the promise of authentic Japanese flavours and a warm, inviting ambiance. We delved into a delightful experience on our recent lunch visit, exploring their menu.

Our journey into Japanese culinary bliss commenced with takoyaki. These savoury octopus balls, perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, teased our taste buds with their umami-rich goodness. The drizzle of sauce and a dusting of bonito flakes added the perfect finishing touch to this classic appetizer.

Takoyaki from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Hubby opted for the Shio Cha-Shu Ramen, a hearty bowl that promises comfort in every slurp. The star of this dish is the succulent pork, slow-roasted to perfection until it practically melts in your mouth. The generous portion of pork, coupled with the soul-soothing broth, made each spoonful a journey into ramen nirvana.

Shio Cha-Shu Ramen from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
This is a substantial bowl of ramen piled high with a precious amount of pork roasted to the point of falling apart. Have any soup you like with Santouka's roasted pork, which allows you to enjoy the delicious flavour of meat.

Meanwhile, my choice was the Kara-miso Tokusen Toroniko Ramen, an original creation by Santouka. This unique dish pairs plain ramen with a separate plate of pork cheek meat. The velvety texture of the cheek meat and the robust flavours of the miso-infused broth created a symphony of tastes that danced on the palate.

Kara-Miso ToKusen Toroniku Ramen from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
This is Santouka's original dish. The plain ramen is eaten with pork cheek meat on a separate plate. Get your fill of the softness of this cheek meat that instantly melts in your mouth.

If you are in Vancouver and yearning for authentic Japanese ramen, consider Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Aloha Yumburger from Jollibee

In a world filled with countless fast-food chains, there's one that stands out not just for its food but for the unique experience it offers. Jollibee, often dubbed the "McDonald's of the Philippines," has made its mark internationally, capturing the hearts and palates of people from around the globe. And if you have yet to have the pleasure of trying their offerings, let's take a closer look at two of their popular items: the Spicy Fried Chicken and the Aloha Yumburger.

The Warm Welcome

Walking into a Jollibee restaurant, you're greeted with an ambiance that's vibrant and welcoming. The playful, bee-themed decor sets the stage for a cheerful dining experience synonymous with Filipino culture. It's not just a meal; it's a celebration of flavours and a warm embrace of Filipino hospitality.

The Spicy Jolly Crispy Fried Chicken

First, let's talk about the Spicy Jolly Crispy Fried Chicken. Jollibee's take on this classic fast-food staple is nothing short of mouthwatering. With a crispy, golden exterior that glistens enticingly, this chicken isn't just about its looks. One bite, and you're hit with a medley of flavours - the perfect balance of spice and savoury.

The secret to this delectable dish is the marinade. The chicken is bathed in a blend of spices before being perfectly fried. It's no surprise that Jollibee's Spicy Jolly Crispy Fried Chicken has garnered a devoted following. The chicken's crispiness gives way to a juicy, tender interior packed with taste.

The Aloha Yumburger

Now, let's move on to the Aloha Yumburger, a Jollibee creation that blends the traditional American burger with the flavours of the Philippines. With a soft, toasted bun, the burger is dressed with mayonnaise, cheese, lettuce, a special dressing, and a juicy patty infused with a tropical twist - a slice of sweet, juicy pineapple.

Aloha Yumburger from Jollibee
A double patty langhap sarap Yumburger (which tastes as good as it smells) with a pineapple ring, bacon, aloha dressing, and lettuce on a fresh bun.

The juxtaposition of the savoury elements with the bright and slightly tangy pineapple creates a truly unique experience. It's like taking your taste buds on a mini-vacation to the Philippines with each bite.

A Taste of the Philippines

In every dish served at Jollibee, you'll find a delightful reflection of Filipino cuisine - a cuisine that's as diverse as the archipelago's 7,641 islands. The flavours are a result of a rich history of trade, cultural influences, and, of course, a deep love for delicious food.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Boston Pizza's Irresistible Carbonara Pizza

It's Thursday, and I crave pizza after a long week of working and going to the office. Thankfully, tomorrow is work from home day. We went to the Boston Pizza, 5 minutes walk from our home and got a pizza that was not just a pizza but a whole flavour adventure.

That's precisely what Boston Pizza's latest creation, the Carbonara Pizza, offers. This culinary masterpiece combines the beloved pizza base with the classic flavours of carbonara pasta, resulting in a slice of heaven for your taste buds.

At the heart of this culinary marvel is Boston Pizza's signature pizza dough, smothered in fragrant garlic butter. This sets the stage for a symphony of tastes that unfolds with each bite.

Carbonara Pizza from Boston Pizza
Signature pizza dough smothered in garlic butter and topped with loads of cheese, grilled chicken, smoky bacon, Alfredo sauce, and Parmesan.

This pizza boasts generous portions of grilled chicken and smoky bacon. The grilled chicken adds a delicious, slightly charred taste, while the smoky bacon brings its irresistible aroma and crunch to the party. Together, they make for a dreamy pairing.

What's a carbonara-inspired dish without a creamy, savoury Alfredo sauce? It's rich, velvety, and perfectly complements the other ingredients on the pizza.

No pizza is complete without cheese, and the Carbonara Pizza doesn't disappoint. Parmesan cheese, with its sharp and nutty profile, is sprinkled on top, adding depth and a delightful sharpness to every bite.

It's a bold creation that melds a classic pasta dish with a beloved Italian favorite. And the result is nothing short of spectacular. If you're a fan of the hearty flavors of carbonara, but you also have a soft spot for a well-made pizza, this is the best of both worlds.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Original Recipe Chicken Nuggets from KFC

Happy Saturday! I'm still dealing with jetlag and a major KFC craving hit, so I decided to order some for delivery. In our order, I included 10 pieces of the new Original Recipe Chicken Nuggets and my trusty Variety Bucket, which comes with 8 pieces of chicken, 4 chicken tenders, and a medium serving of popcorn chicken.

Variety Bucket from KFC
8 pieces of Canadian farm-raised and hand-breaded Original Recipe chicken, 4 white meat chicken tenders hand-breaded in our 11 herbs and spices, medium Popcorn chicken, large fries, and 2 dips.

Unfortunately, the Original Recipe Chicken Nuggets and the chicken tenders turned out to be quite salty. Even after reheating, the saltiness was hard to ignore. Thankfully, the popcorn chicken and the classic secret recipe fried chicken tasted as delicious as usual.

10-piece Nuggets from KFC

I discussed the chicken nuggets with my sister, and she mentioned they tasted fantastic, much like the KFC back in the Philippines. I told her our experience was marred by excessive saltiness.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

British Classic from Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen at London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Leaving London today was both happy and sad. We started our day with a big breakfast at Hilton London Metropole's Tyburn Kitchen. It was filled with various breakfast foods like croissants and English breakfast items.

After eating, we returned to our hotel room for a short nap. But my husband woke me up because he worried we might be late for our flight. We also napped on the Heathrow Express train.

Steak & Ale Pie from Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen

After going through the usual check-in and security, we shopped for chocolates and biscuits. Then, we decided to have lunch at Big Smoke Taphouse and Kitchen in Terminal 2. Why did we pick this restaurant? It has British classics: Steak & Ale Pie and Bangers & Mash.

Bangers & Mash from Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen
3 Big Smoke ale sausages, creamy mash, onion gravy & crisp sweet potato

Food in airports isn't always great, but we were happy to enjoy these traditional British dishes before leaving London.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Pimm's Cup and Flourless Chocolate Cake from Bow Bar at Hilton London Metropole

Ah. It's our last night in London, and after such a satisfying dinner at Apoy, I decided to hang out at the bar in the lobby of Hilton London Metropole.

I asked the bartender if he could make a Pimm's Cup. It is the #1 must-try food item in Fodor's Essential England guidebook. A little background: Pimm's Cup is a quintessentially English cocktail, originating from England in the 19th century. It was created by James Pimm, who ran an oyster bar in London!

Pimm's Cup from Bow Bar

From a taste standpoint, it is sweet and something I can drink all day. I love it.

I also ordered their Flourless Chocolate Cake, and it was so amazing. How can chocolate cake be this good? It's sweet, decadent, and smooth.

Flourless Chocolate Cake from Bow Bar

After hanging out at the bar for an hour, enjoying my drink and cake, I went back to our room to continue packing. We're going back to Vancouver tomorrow!

Steak Pasty from Mrs. King’s Pork Pies in Borough Market

As mentioned in my earlier posts, I used Fodor's Essential England guidebook to help me decide what to eat in London. It lists ten foods and drinks to try in England, and #10 on the list is cornish pasty.

The night before, I searched for "best cornish pasty in London" and found this article from The number 1 on the list is Mrs. King's Pork Pies in Borough Market, so I went there today. I couldn't locate Mrs. King's Pork Pies, so I chose Pieminister since I am famished.

With a bit more energy after devouring the Steak & Ale British Pie, I explored the Borough Market some more and found Mrs. King's Pork Pies. I chose the Steak Pasty since it looks the closest to the Google search image result.

Steak Pasty from Mrs. King's Pork Pies

The outside is crisp, golden-brown, while the inside is filled with soft savoury filling. It has well-seasoned beef, potato, and onion enveloped in sauce. It is a hearty and portable meal.

Steak Pasty from Mrs. King's Pork Pies

I should have read the article in detail because it says, "Cornish pasties are a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), meaning they have a protected status much like halloumi or mānuka honey. According to the guidelines, officially, only pasties prepared in Cornwall to the specific traditional standards can be named Cornish pasties, and they'll have a stamp of authenticity to prove it."

It further detailed that Mrs. King's Melton Mowbray pork pies (not the Steak Pasty) are PGI certified. Sigh, I ordered the wrong thing. Oh well, more reason to come back to London!

Steak & Ale British Pie from Pieminister in Borough Market

Happy Wednesday! It's our penultimate day in London, and I decided to take it slow. I realized that exploring two museums a day is too much in this city because they are ginormous with so many galleries and sections. My original plan for today is to visit and explore St. Paul's Cathedral, then cross the Millenium Bridge to the Tate Museum.

In my attempt to take it slow, I still took the train to St. Paul's Cathedral and took pictures of the outside. Then, I realized Millenium Bridge was closed for repairs, so I crossed the Thames using Southwark Bridge. I joined a 45-minute free tour on the second level inside the Tate Museum and learned about modern art and the different displays. Afterwards, I went up the 10th floor to view St. Paul's Cathedral on the south side of Thames. I did not even attempt to explore every gallery and every floor of the Tate Museum.

It was already 1:00 PM, and I only ate two small bags of potato crisps for breakfast while walking around. I continued my journey to the nearby Borough Market to explore.

The Borough Market in London shares some similarities in popularity and concept with the Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver, Pike Place Market in Seattle, and St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. These markets are renowned for offering fresh produce, artisanal food products, international cuisine, and a vibrant atmosphere, making them popular destinations for locals and tourists.

Moo Pie from Pieminister
Steak & Ale

I went here in search of Cornish Pasties but found something similar: British Pie from Pieminister. I ordered their Moo Pie, which is steak & ale, a classic British dish. It has tender chunks of beef steak with a flavorful ale-based gravy encased in a flaky pastry crust.

Moo Pie
Steak & Ale

Simmered in ale, the steak results in a tender, succulent filling, while the gravy imparts a deep, hearty flavour. The pastry crust adds a delightful textural contrast, crisp on the outside and tender within.

Filipino BBQ from Apoy at Market Halls Oxford Circus

After nearly a week in London and eating a lot of meat and potatoes (Sunday roast, bangers & mash, and fish & chips), I need rice and Filipino food.

I asked Google Maps to tell me the closest Filipino restaurant to our hotel,   and it suggested Apoy | Authentic Filipino BBQ & Street Food, which apparently is inside the Market Halls in Oxford Circus. The Market Halls has 8 kitchens and 2 bars.

Stairway to Food Heaven at Market Halls Oxford Circus

I ordered Pinoy Pork BBQ Skewer Meal, Kale Laing, and Calamansi Lemonade. For the 20-30 minutes I was eating my meal, I felt like I was back home enjoying Filipino food in Makati instead of the heart of London.

I feel so satisfied and happy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Bangers & Mash with Traditional Gravy from MotherMash

I used the list from Fodor's Essential England for Tuesday's dinner. I have already tried the following so far:

The #9 on the list of food to try in London is Bangers & Mash, so I searched for the best bangers & mash, and one of the recommendations is MotherMash. After an afternoon at the Victoria and Albert Museum, I arrived at their Soho (26 Ganton Street) location. I chose the classic mash, Cumberland sausage, and traditional gravy from their menu.

Classic Mash Each order of mash is freshly prepared using only the finest British Maris Piper potatoes, the king of spuds, and natural mash with butter.
Cumberland Sausage - We use only butcher's quality sausages and locally sourced pies with no artificial nonsense or horrible bits; classic British pork with pepper.
Traditional Gravy - The reason our gravies taste so divine is they're made fresh each day using natural ingredients. Traditional is simple gravy using the juice from sausages and vegetables.

The mash and gravy were to die for. I am not a fan of the Cumberland sausage, but the mash and gravy were enough to satisfy my craving for bangers and mash.

T.rex Beef Burger from T. Rex Restaurant inside Natural History Museum

I spent the morning walking around and exploring the Natural History Museum. It reminded me of exhibits from the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia in Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum. I enjoyed Red Zone the most because I love information about volcanoes & earthquakes.

T.rex beef burger from T. Rex Restaurant
Baby gem lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickled gherkin, and spiced beef burger sauce

I was tempted to leave the museum for lunch and then just come back, but I was feeling lazy and tired, so I decided to have lunch at the T. Tex Restaurant inside the Natural History Museum. I ordered the T.rex Beef Burger.

It is a perfect burger - juicy, well-seasoned beef, crisp lettuce, zesty red onion, fresh tomato, and tangy pickle gherkins.

Scones from GAIL's Bakery

Happy Tuesday! After an exhausting Monday walking around the British Museum, I am headed to the National History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum today.

I decided to look for the best breakfast option upon exiting South Kensington station. I spotted a long line at GAIL's Bakery and decided to grab a couple scones. I munched down on the plain scone while walking to the National History Museum.

Plain Scone from GAIL's Bakery

I honestly cannot believe I have such a terrible misconception of scones. I had one horrible experience in Toronto and vowed never to order it again. I'm glad I kept trying because the scones from GAIL's Bakery were terrific, and the last few I tried in Vancouver were delicious, too.

Plain Scone from GAIL's Bakery

Originating in the British Isles, particularly Scotland, a scone is a small, lightly sweetened baked pastry, usually made with flour, sugar, butter, and milk or cream, known for its tender, crumbly texture.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Chef's KX Godown Special from Dishoom

It's my third day (Monday) in London! I ate my Tyburn Market haul in the hotel room and had the rest in my backpack for lunch. I spent most of the day inside the humongous British Museum. Then, I spent about an hour inside the British Library.

For late lunch or supper, I decided to walk to the Dishoom location in King's Cross. My husband's co-author, based in England, highly recommended this restaurant. Dishoom did not disappoint.

The menu does not have the usual Indian menu I see in Vancouver, so I am uncertain what to get. I asked the bartender what items were saucy and good for dipping. He recommended the Phaldari Kofta, labelled "Chef's KX Godown Special." I also ordered the Dishoom Chicken Tikka because it is something familiar.

Phaldari Kofta from Dishoom
Delicious dumplings stuffed with vegetables, paneer, nuts, and raisins in rich home-style sauce topped with pomegranate and julienned ginger. A flaky, buttery naan sits beside for mopping.

The Phaldari Kofta is sweeter than expected, which works perfectly well with naan bread. Meanwhile, the chicken tikka is spicier, so they work well together. My only regret is not ordering it with rice.

Dishoom Chicken Tikka from Dishoom
A family recipe using a marinade of sweet vinegar, not yogurt. Laced with ginger, turmeric, garlic, and green chilli.

I want to order more food, but I cannot finish everything. Yay for delicious food!

Baked Goods from Tyburn Market inside Hilton London Metropole

After dinner at The Warwick Pimlico GastroPub and Dining Room, we checked out from Park Grand London Lancaster Gate and checked in at Hilton London Metropole. My husband got invited to a summit in the hotel, and his flight, accommodation, and even food are covered from Monday to Thursday.

We arrived at Hilton roughly around 11:30 PM. He checked in and received a $35.00 dinner voucher. However, since it's already late, the Tyburn Kitchen is already closed, but the receptionist informed us that we can use the voucher at the Tyburn Market, which is open until 1:00 AM.

I chose random baked goodies, which I enjoyed for breakfast and lunch on my third day in London.

Scones, Blueberry Lemon Muffin, Caramel Popcorn in Chocolate Muffin, and Banana Loaf from Tyburn Market

They're all delicious. I highly recommend grabbing any of the baked goods with your favourite morning drink and enjoying things on the go.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Sunday Roast Dinner at The Warwick Pimlico GastroPub and Dining Room

When planning our trip to London, I checked out all the guidebooks in the Vancouver Public Library and found Fodor's Essential England most useful. It included ten must-try food and drinks in London (#2 is fish & chips, and #8 is a full English breakfast).

I actually could have done better planning on where to try what. We started Sunday at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London for The Making of Harry Potter. I took a nap on our way back to London, where we did a walking tour, which I created based on places I wanted us to see: Trafalgar Square, 10 Downing Street, Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and so much more.

After our walking tour, we walked to the heart of the catholic faith in London, Westminster Cathedral, where we attended the 7:00 PM Sunday Mass. I am so grateful to God for the chance to participate in Mass in London for the first time in Europe.

At the end of the Mass, we were unsure what to have for dinner, then I remember making a note from Fodor's Essential England. I searched "Sunday Roast" (#5 on the list) in Google Maps and sorted it by distance with any restaurant with a rating of higher than 4.0. We initially found Queens Arms, but they're closed for a private event, so we walked to The Warwick Pimlico GastroPub and Dining Room nearby.

I ordered the special roast for the night, pork, while hubby went for the leg of lamb with mint sauce. Both Sunday roasts came with roast potatoes (yes, it's not mashed), maple-glazed carrots, caramelized shallot, seasonal greens, and Yorkshire pudding.

Roast Pork Sunday Roast from The Warwick Pimlico GastroPub and Dining Room

The roast pork perfectly balances crunchy skin, soft, fatty section, and tender meat. However, the lamb is more flavourful.

I was so surprised that the potatoes came roasted, too, because I was expecting mashed. I love the addition of the maple glazed carrots because it provided a different flavour profile from everything else, which is rich and heavy. Of course, I absolutely adore the Yorkshire pudding, especially when it is soaked in gravy.

Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce from The Warwick Pimlico GastroPub and Dining Room

For dessert, we ordered the classic British dessert Sticky Toffee Pudding. It was perfect. The warm pudding is covered with cold, sweet and melted vanilla ice cream. I need more.

Sticky Toffee Pudding from The Warwick Pimlico GastroPub and Dining Room

Yay! We're on day 2 of our trip and ticked off 3 of the 10 items on Fodor's list.

Butterbeer and Dark Arts Exclusives at Backlot Café in Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

I am so happy. I love the Harry Potter series growing up. My dad got me the first five books for Christmas when I was 15, and I have been hooked ever since. I have the books, watched all the movies, and purchased reasonable Harry Potter merchandise over the years. Visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London for The Making of Harry Potter is like the mecca of being a fangirl.

After the first studio and before the outdoor section, we had lunch at Backlot Café and rested a bit. We're lucky to visit during their Dark Arts special for Halloween, and there are exclusive menu items which we ordered. Of course, this is the only place in London where you can order Butterbeer.

Lunch at Backlot Café

The Butterbeer has the colour of beer and the creaminess of butter. The overall taste is like butterscotch or caramel fizz. I love it so much that we got a second one instead of just sharing one mug.

Butterbeer from Backlot Café in Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

The Fiendfyre is a hotdog sandwich only available around Halloween during the Dark Arts Exclusive. It has a juicy hotdog and soft buns, while the toppings perfectly balance spicy hot sauce and sweet onions.

Dark Arts Exclusive Fiendfyre from Backlot Café
Chilli beef hotdog topped with hot sauce, fried onions, chilli flakes

It is typical medium-spice level chicken wings.

Dark Arts Exclusives Salt & Chilli Wings & Fries from Backlot Café
Eight succulent chicken wings marinated in salt and chilli topped with spring onions and sliced red chilli served with fries.

If you come here, order the Butterbeer.

Ultimate Breakfast Roll from Upper Crust at London Paddington Railway Station

Good morning and happy Sunday from London! We're heading to Watford Junction Station again to visit the Warner Bros. Studio – The Making of Harry Potter. I am so excited!

Before riding the Underground, we grabbed an ultimate breakfast roll from Upper Crust, a chain of coffee and sandwiches in England.

Ultimate Breakfast Roll from Upper Crust

It was a satisfying sandwich to start the day. I can't wait to finally visit Warner Bros. Studio.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Salmon Teriyaki Poke Don at Flesh & Buns

My husband wrote a book with three co-authors who happened to live in England. We had dinner with them today at Flesh & Buns in Covenant Garden.

I ordered the Salmon Teriyaki under the Poke Don menu. It was good. The salmon is perfectly cooked and flaky. It works well with the rice bowl. I love the avocado, too. However, it is not satisfying enough. Or, I am just famished.

Salmon Teriyaki Poke Don from Flesh & Buns
Teriyaki sauce, avocado shiso, spring onion, crispy noodles, furikake, and steamed rice

Hubby ordered the Japanese Fried Chicken, which came with bao buns. The fried chicken was excellent, and I'll happily eat it with rice.

Japanese Fried Chicken from Flesh & Buns
Buttermilk marinated, red chilli, BBQ mayonnaise, and carrot pickle

Our day one in London is finished. We had traditional Full English Breakfast for breakfast, Pret A Manger for quick lunch, and dinner at Flesh & Buns.

Quick Lunch from Pret A Manger

Sigh. Poor attention to detail on my part led to the mishap of all travel mishaps. My husband and I arrived at Warner Bros Studios, and when the muggle scanned my ticket, she said, "Oh honey, this is for tomorrow." My heart broke at my mistake. I am grateful for my husband. He's been patient and understanding through the whole ordeal.

Thankfully, we can easily swap our plans tomorrow for today. After the initial shock, we returned to the city and went straight to the Royal Observatory, then the Tower of London.

Before entering the Tower of London, we grabbed a quick lunch at Pret A Manager. The best thing is the chocolate croissant. Yum!

The two wraps were all right, and the soup was comforting but slightly bland.

Pret's Lasagne Soup

Chocolate Croissant from Pret A Manger

Swedish Meatball Hot Wrap from Pret A Manger

Falafel & Halloumi Hot Wrap from Pret A Manger

Pret A Manger is like the Tim Hortons of the UK. They're everywhere! The food is bland but definitely healthier than Tim's.

Full English Breakfast from Sandro Sandwich Bar

Happy Saturday morning from London! My husband only has two requests for this trip: to see the Prime Meridian and to eat a full English breakfast.

After taking a shower, we were still early for our plans for the day, so I searched for a nearby open, now full, English breakfast from our hotel and found Sandro, which opened at 6:00.

Breakfast at Sandro Sandwich Bar
Full Monty: Egg, bacon, sausage, beans or tomatoes, and toast
Full English Breakfast: Egg, bacon, sausage, beans, tomatoes, & chips

Hubby happily ordered the full English breakfast while I went for the full Monty. They're both so satisfying.

I now get the charm of beans as part of breakfast. It is quick to prepare and fill. It is likely a remnant of what happened during the war, where it is most affordable and easily accessible to the masses.

I am typing this post in the tube on our way to Watford Junction for my only request for this trip: Warner Bros Studios for Harry Potter.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Fish & Chips at The Golden Hind Restaurant

Our first meal in London was the classic fish and chips, and we went to The Golden Hind Restaurant as recommended by the guidebook.

We have excellent fish and chips in Vancouver, specifically salmon. In the UK, salmon is not part of the usual menu, so we ordered cod and a haddock with large chips for sharing.

Cod and Haddock Fish & Chips

First, I did not expect a long and generous amount of fish. Wow. In Vancouver, the cut is more square(?), while in Seattle, it's like fish sticks.

Then, the batter in London is definitely lighter and thinner compared to what I have had in Vancouver.

Of course, as expected, haddock is more flavourful than the cod. I thought the tartar sauce was subpar, but the fries are definitely fresh-cut potatoes.

After dinner, I was in a food coma and felt exhausted from the flight. I cannot wait to come back to our hotel for much-needed sleep.

Air Canada Economy Class Food from Vancouver (YVR) to London (LHR)

We just arrived in London, and I hope to publish this before arriving at London Paddington Station of Heathrow Express.

We left Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on time with Air Canada. Dinner meal was served at around 9:30-ish (PST).

The appetizers is lemon herb couscous salad and cheese. The cheese is a block of marble cheese, which is always good, while the salad has no flavour. To be fair, the couscous is perfectly cooked and not gritty.

For the main course, you have two choices, and we got both!

I started with the chicken caciatore with roasted potatoes and bell peppers. The chicken was tender, while the potatoes were a tad too soft. The flavour is acceptable.

Chicken Cacciatore with Roasted Potatoes and Bell Peppers 

Meanwhile, hubby got the penne pasta with pesto sauce and roasted peppers. When he opened it, the smell of pesto enveloped his nostrils. It smelled so good. Unfortunately, the taste is just okay. The pasta was overcooked. I wonder why I am expecting so much from economy-class airline food.

Penne Pasta with Pesto Sauce and Roasted Peppers

They served a brownie for dessert, which I had yet to eat. My hubby said it's standard, and I quote, "It's a brownie." 🤣

Then, at around 3:00 AM (PST), they served breakfast of cranberry lemon loaf and yogurt. I got vanilla yogurt, and it is pretty standard. I enjoyed the soft, delicious cranberry lemon loaf.

Yogurt and Cranberry Lemon Loaf

Okay. The announcement just said we're arriving at London Paddington Station.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Where to eat in Vancouver International Airport? Salmon N' Bannock on the Fly

We're flying out of Vancouver International Airport today, and I am making recommendations on which one is worth trying.

Before security (if you're waiting for someone or bringing someone to the airport), Japadog in the domestic terminal is my top recommendation. If you're flying internationally and want to avoid walking to the domestic terminal, the local Richmond chain, Pajo's, is an excellent choice for supporting local businesses.

After security, for international flights, I highly recommend Salmon n' Bannock to get a taste of Indigenous flavours and cooking.

We grabbed dinner at Salmon n' Bannock while waiting for our flight. They have a restaurant in Vancouver, so we have tried most of their dishes. Today, we focused on the sandwiches for something light.

Hubby and I shared the BBQ Salmon Salad Sandwich and Lox Sandwich. The bun is the traditional soft bannocks. 🤤

They're both delicious and a bit messy. I have always been a fan of Lox Sandwiches, usually with bagels, so this is the first time I am having it with Bannock, and it's just perfect.

Lox Sandwich from Salmon n' Bannock on the Fly
Cured salmon lox, dill cream cheese, capers, and red onion between a bannock.

Meanwhile, the BBQ Salmon Salad Sandwich is messy to eat, and it's like a tuna sandwich but with salmon and in-between bannocks.

BBQ Salmon Salad Sandwich from Salmon n' Bannock on the Fly
BBQ salmon salad with lemon aioli, greens, and tomato between a bannock.

We also got a discounted pumpkin spice scone, and it was so good. I recommend a scone and coffee from here if you need a quick breakfast. It was warm and moist.

Pumpkin Spice Scones from Salmon n' Bannock on the Fly

This was such a lovely last meal in Vancouver before our flight. I am writing on my phone, and please excuse the typo.

Salmon N' Bannock on the Fly menu

Menu below is subject to change without prior notice. Prices was last updated last October 12, 2023

Bento Boxes from Sushivan | Day 0 of London, UK trip

My husband and I are flying out of Vancouver this evening to visit London, England, for the first time. It's our first time in the continent of Europe. We are excited! Before that, we are grabbing lunch at Sushivan.

We both order bento boxes, and they're such a satisfying lunch. I need rice before leaving the comforts of home.

Salmon Teriyaki & Sashimi Box from Sushivan
Salmon teriyaki, happy sashimi, appy tempura, salad, 4 pieces California roll, and rice

Chicken Teriyaki & Sashimi Box from Sushivan
Chicken teriyaki, appy sashimi, appy tempura, salad, 4 pieces California roll, and rice

The unagi, or grilled eel, offers a sweet, smoky richness beautifully complemented by crab meat's delicate sweetness. The cool, crisp cucumber and creamy avocado provide a refreshing contrast, while the tobiko, or flying fish roe, adds delightful pops of briny saltiness.

Caterpillar Roll
Unagi, crab meat, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, and unagi sauce

To tie it all together, the unagi sauce drizzled over the roll offers a luscious, savoury-sweet glaze that enhances the overall flavour profile. These ingredients create a harmonious combination of sweet, savoury, and umami notes, making the Caterpillar Roll a delightful and well-balanced sushi experience.

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