Sunday, May 10, 2015

Chamber Restaurant (3rd Visit/Mother's Day Brunch)


Happy Mother's Day! Who else took their mamas to brunch today?! I set up a movie date with Mama and Sister Lu at Cineplex Odeon which is only a 2 minute walk from Chambar! Thought I wouldn't get a spot since I made the reservation at 10pm the night before, but luckily I got one at 2:15pm and everything worked out fine! This is my third time at Chambar, the vibe just keeps dragging me back!

Click here to read my previous visits:

First Visit (Dine out Vancouver)

Second Visit (Brunch #1)

My first brunch experience at chambar wasn't exactly great. I was so amazed by their dinner dishes thus I had extreme high hopes for their brunch menu as well. But I never give up on a restaurant till I've had at least 2-3 visits! therefore I chose to bring my mom and sister here for a nice mother's day brunch. 

Waffles ($3.15/ea 4/5) & Toppings ($1/ea 5/5)
Overall 4.5/5

Of course we had to order some waffles to start! This time I selected the Mixed Berry Compote and Salted Caramel toppings. They compliment very well with the waffles and were much better than the Milk Chocolate Lavender and Rose Water Pistachio I had last time. The waffles were still soft, but a lot chewyer this time. I heard from lots of food bloggers that Cafe Medina has better waffles! I will definitely visit soon to make a comparison. For now, I think Chambar's waffles are not bad. 

Canard Confit ($16 4/5)
Duck confit, quinoa, red cabbage, apple, arugula, feta, 
candied pecans, pomegranate vinaigrette.

Didn't expect this dish to be in a salad form but it was pretty great, and the portion was huge compared to Mama and Sister Lu's dishes. The candied pecans were a nice addition to the mix, I especially enjoyed those nutty bites. But here comes the sad part... although the apple and arugula were a nice refreshment, the duck confit dressing still overruled most of the flavours so the dish was overall heavy and I couldn't finish it without some water. I also had a similar dish like this at The Hasting's Warehouse. Their quinoa salad tasted almost identical to Chambar's but they only cost half the price and they had more ingredients like avocado slices, sweet corn and cucumber. This confit was still a great dish, and I do love quinoa salad with any source of meat. However, now that I have had cheaper and better quiona salads, the value of Chambar's just dropped (would've gave it a 3/5 if compared to The Warehouse's salad, but I try not to compare the prices, only the quality of each dishes and how they taste.  Chambar's cheapest brunch dish is $9 so $16 is a typical price, it's called casual fine dining for a reason! We also pay for its nice service and vibes.)

Brochette de Porc ($17 3.5/5)
Barbequed bacon, mortadella, andouille, saucisson de Paris, fried eggs, tomatillo & pineapple salsa, spiced potatoes

I know I just said that I don't include the value of the prices to my ratings, but I do compare the portion with the prices. The presentation of this dish looked great, but I highly doubt that it can fill up my stomach. Since I was sick, I only had a piece of each components. Those spiced potato first surprised me with their nicely crisped skin, but after a few more bites I realized that only very little parts of the skin were crisp. The fried eggs were once again alright, but the yolk was still great though, it's hard to make a sunny side ups without breaking the yolk so props to the yolk! and the chef! Now on to the important part of this dish... The skewer! Decent meats, I liked how they put together different types of pork in one brochette. But I'd like to see more veggies! and I didn't sample the salsa but my sister said it was a nice side. 

Gaufre au Samon ($19 4/5)
Hot smoked Haida Gwaii Chinook salmon, savory waffle, 
yuzu dill hollandaise, poached eggs, pea tips. 

Since I didnt sample my mom's dish, I only asked for her rating. According to her, the salmon was tender, but the pea tips were an awkward add on?!(Since in Chinese restaurants stir fried garlic pea tips is a famous dish and we usually don't eat raw pea tips) Anyways... who doesn't like poached eggs aka eggs benny? I'd love to have them with beef or pork but sadly Chambar doesn't offer poached eggs with other types of meat, or else I would 100% order. (Time to hit up Catch 122 soon!)

Overall Experience:

Definitely in between my last two experiences. Better than my first brunch visit, but still not comparable to that dine out night. So far I have seen 5 of Chambar's brunch dishes and sampled 4 of them. Nothing special for me to spend an average of $18 a dish but I would still come back to try their famous paella and maybe their omelette before I say no to their brunch items! Chambar is still one of my famous restaurants, but maybe they are only good at mastering their dinner dishes! Oh, and maybe lunch too! Many more revisits to come!

Chambar Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 3, 2015

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House (Happy Hour)


So… I thought it would be a good idea to start writing this blogpost after school today but the wifi at Starbucks is down and shaw open isn’t working so i guess i have to use Notes… Oh well, I’m 10 blogs behind so.....yeah......

Anyways, remember my Joe Fortes experience on my parent’s anniversary? It left great memories but the food didn’t impress me. (especially the steak) But I never judge a restaurant till I have had around 2-3, sometimes 4 different experiences with it so I decided to revisit with my bff E.W.

The intentions were to visit Fortes’ patio since they recently opened and it would be amazing if we get to enjoy their Happy Hour menu (everyday from 4-6pm). Unfortunately the patio was closed due to the rain… (Of course Raincouver decided to rain only on the day I visited that week…)

I was going to make a reservation but Happy Hour is only served at the bar plus it's first come first serve so make sure you don't bring a huge group of people! We were seated right away. 

Once again, the restaurant was packed with people on a Friday afternoon, it had a more relaxing vibe than the last time I went since the whole space was bright and we were seated at the main area rather than the "elegant little corner". (I liked it there though, but for lunch/brunch it would be kind of dark.) 

We were greeted by the nicest gentlemen (As far as I remember, he was probably one of the best servers that I've ever had). Since we already "investigated" the menu before we came, we quickly ordered 2 dishes to share, and 1 dish for each. 

We decided to share the 

Truffle Parmesan Fries ($4.95 3.5/5*)
grana padano, herbs, sea salt

I had this with my steak last time and it was seasoned so well that I had to order it again and it's also half off! But unfortunately the fries were kind of soggy this time and the flavours weren't strong enough. But it was discounted so for around $5 it was still alright. 

*Explains why I gave it a 3.5, if they tasted exactly like last time's than I would definitely rate it  5 out of 5

Mini Lobster & Shrimp Rolls shrimp ($8.95 4.5/5)
Atlantic lobster meat, classic remoulade 

Can you believe that this seafood dish is only $8.95? The cheapest lobster dish that i've had was at Red Lobster in the states and I'm so glad to have lobster under $10 in Vancouver as well. They may look mini, but the portions were actually quite large (goes to every single dish). Coleslaw side was a nice addition. The lobster and shrimp meat were fresh, but I couldn't really distinguish the difference between lobster meat and shrimp meat because they were mashed together with the sauce. (Not a big problem for me though, and plus I'm not a seafood expert so maybe it was just me). Good eats to start, but I think it'd taste better if served hot. 

Oyster Rockefeller ($11.95 3.5/5)
local oysters, spinach, pernod, hollandaise

The oysters were at least 2 times bigger than what I expected! they were for sure fresh, but a little under cooked. I usually don't like seafood because if the sauce/cream was not added to the meat, the seafood itself would have the weird fishy flavour that I don't like. (A lot of people actually like it though, but it's too strong for me). This one had some too, but thank god the sauce was rich and creamy enough to cover it. I would probably not order it again. Will try fried oyster though! 

Beef Carpaccio ($8.95 5/5)
grainy mustard, roasted garlic, grana padano, crispy capers

Last but not least, E.W's Beef Carpaccio was the highlight of our visit! I was scared to try raw beef or beef tataki because my parents had a friend that died from mad cow disease and beef is way harder to sanitize than sashimi! But as an adventurous foodie, I know i had to try it at some point. The side ingredients lightly act as an embellishment for the beef. I suggest you to get every parts in one bite and slowly enjoy the mixture of the flavours. (Wuduppp, Party in the mouth!) The only regret was that I didn't order this dish so I only had a few bites from E.W...Thankfully, Fortes serves Happy Hour everyday so I can totally see myself order it countless times in the future. 

Overall Experience:

Food quality was some what better than my last visit. (Although a few dishes were quite on point last time). The service was amazing too; I ordered hot water, and the server was constantly pouring water in my cup and asking if i wanted extra lemons. Once again, loved the vibe there. I definitely need to visit their beautiful patio next time!!! with beef carpaccio by my side of course! 

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Orlando Theme Park Eats Ft. Universal Studios (Both parks)


Ahh, sorry for being unproductive these days, it’s very hard to manage time when school’s been busy again so I have to share some of my productivity to school work instead of blog writing. Updates will be slow, but I promise I will write whenever I have time! 

After 2 long days at Disney World, we headed straight to Universal Studios without taking a day off. Trust me, it’s never a good idea to go to different theme parks in a row. Vacation is all about being happy and comfortable! Well… the only upside about it was that I got to have some extra calories to eat more food! 

Hmmm anyways, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Universal Studios Orlando? I don’t know about you, but The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was the only reason that we planned this stop since we’ve been to 2 Universal Studios already. 

And of course if you are at Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, you have to try the trio’s favourite drink: Butter Beer! 
*Found at every food services at both locations of the HP world

Don’t worry, Butter beer is 100% non-alcoholic , it’s actually just cream soda, but really good ones. We tried it in 3 different forms: The regular butter beer($3.99USD 4/5), the frozen butter beer ($4.99USD 5/5) and the butter bear Ice cream ($4.99USD 3/5), The regular butter beer is a bit cheaper than the other 2, but I strongly recommend the frozen butter beer.

For the drinks, The cream on top was amazing, the cream soda still had a beer flavour (some what like a light root beer blended with vanilla) , but it was sweet rather than bitter (Don’t think kids would like the real flavour of beer either haha), Overall My sister and I had around 5 cups during our two days there. We also purchased two souvenir cups, I think it was around $9 each, they are kind of expensive so I don't recommend getting one unless you really want to. You could get other soft drink refills for 99 cents if you have one though. Since my sister is a die heart Harry Potter fan, the cups are now cleaned and displayed on her shelves. 


Oh... and I strongly don’t recommend the Butter Beer Ice cream because It tasted exactly like butterscotch. Not worth getting a cup of Ice cream for $5 where you could probably get for a $1 at any convenience stores.

Three Broomsticks on Urbanspoon

For our second eats of day one......

Yes... I got a humongous turkey leg to share with my sister. 
(combo $11.99 with a small bag of chips).  
I got mine at The Smoked Leg Truck, but you can also get them at Carmen's Veranda Cart or other food carts!

I actually saw people eating the legs at Disney World as well, but at that time I was thinking: "Omg you are going to get a heart attack from eating them" ... Ok.. thank god I didn't, but it was probably because we were exhausted and desperately needed more calories to recharge.  

The leg definitely did not disappoint!! The whole thing was juicy and tender, the meat was perfectly smoked to the right texture, It was honestly one of the best decisions of my life and I don't regret a thing. (*Laughing face emoji*)

Churro ($3.99 4/5) 

I got mine while waiting in line for the Minion Mayhem Ride, I believe the cart is usually at the spot! But churro and popcorn carts are everywhere!
This was actually my first time having churros. To be honest, I thought it tasted like a crispy Chinese doughnut sprinkled with sugar. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything special. 

---------------------------Island of Adventure Eats---------------------------

Who enjoyed their Hogwarts Express experience between the parks? It was almost exactly like the one in the movie, and YES! at King's Cross Station, you can actually travel through the walls to platform 9 3/4 ;D! (I'm not even a huge harry potter fan but the vibe got me excited ...)

Okay, back to the topic... We left the main park and are now at Hogsmeade! located on the Island of Adventure. But we only dined at The Circus McGurkus Cafe because Dr.Seuss is da bomb! :>

The food choices were very basic, but it has nice seatings and quick services so it can be a good choice.  

3 Piece Fried Chicken Platter ($11.79USD 4.5/5) and 
The Chicken Sandwich Platter ($9.99USD 3.5/5) 

The Fried Chicken Platter includes a corn on the cob, a biscuit and a small bowl of mashed potato with gravy. The whole thing was a lot like a KFC combo, obviously not as good, but they were quite satisfying. Mashed potato was on point for a non restaurant meal, the corn could have been more buttery to enhance the flavours. 

The same goes with the Chicken Sandwich Platter. Chicken was cooked like any fast food chain stores, except they don't actually put any sauce inside your sandwich so you have to add your own, it would have been great it they had more sauce options than just ketchup and mayo though.

Overall, large portions and above average fast food, a great place if you just want a simple meal during your breaks.

The Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-Pendous on Urbanspoon

---------------------------City Walk Eats---------------------------

Damn! the food options at the Studios though! City Walk is a part of the parks, but a lot of people just come to party at night therefore you don't need to purchase a ticket to eat there. The area gets louder and louder at night, it was packed everywhere so we went to the 2 places that had the least amount of people and possibly the best food as well! (for quick services though, if you want a nicer dining experience after you leave the park, try Hard Rock Cafe or Bubba Gump Shrimp&Co, but I'm sure these places will be crowded as well.)  

I like my froyo nice and simple. If i'm getting flavoured froyo (most of the time), I will make sure I have the least amount of toppings because they always overpower the real flavours of the yogurt and everything just gets super messy! 
My favourite toppings are usually cereal, granola, white mochis, cheesequake bites, sometimes poppers and fruits. I really like Menchie's because they have some cool flavours that are really different from Pink berry and Qoola, for ex: blueberry tart, mudpie, Nutella & taro. There aren't a lot of stores located in Vancouver or at least from where I live so I hardly visit Menchie's. However, next year when I move to UBC, I will have access to Qoola and Menchie's on campus so I'm pretty pumped! (Freshman 15 alert! D:) 
Oh, and one amazing thing about Menchie's! You get unlimited samples!... Yes, I'm that annoying person who likes to try all the flavours that interest me, and at Menchie's, you don't have to ask for samples! You can grab a cup and swirl without asking! Don't try a whole bunch of flavours and leave though.. I think that's why Pinkberry and Qoola (never tried yogen fruz ) don't put there sample cups out.

This time I got The Peanut Butter Smore's (5/5) and The Frozen Hot Chocolate (5/5). (The total was around $3.50USD, a lot cheaper than the ones in Canada) Both were strong in flavours, and paired up nicely with cheesequakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and mochi. The poppers were kind of random though, I just wanted to pop some poppers (sounds kind of wrong for some reason...), but they are definitely fun to eat with. 

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon

Lastly! We went to Bread Box! (oh my god, why don't we have this in Canada!!) 
It was one of the healthier options amongst the other stores at City Walk. This place is more like a food counter service where you order at the front, and they will bring your food to your table. The restaurant was beautiful though, they had comfortable seating arrangements, and swing seats...(I would love to have those if I ever open a cafe) The place was clean, calm and refreshing. I had an amazing dining experience here.

We got 2 sandwiches (all served with fries) to share with 3 people, since the meal portions in America are always huge...

Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich ($8.99USD 5/5) 
mozzarella, sun dried and oven roasted tomatoes, basil, 
sun dried tomato pesto, on ciabatta bread

This sandwich tasted exactly like a mix of perfectly baked Tomato+Basil Flatbread and Pizza Margherita. (but in a sandwich form).  The ingredients are simple, but they are the famous Italian combination with a touch of Balsamic Vinegar. A+++ (*thumbs up emoji*)

Smokey Brisket ($11.99USD 4.5/5) 
hickory smoked, shaved thin, smoked gouda, caramelized onions, 
horseradish cream, on multi-grain bread

This sandwich was delicious as well. The briskets were tender and flavourful, only a bit salty for my taste. Multi grain breads are healthy, and since the briskets were quite juicy, it balanced the dryness of the breads. Overall still an enjoyable dish with a generous amount of meat portions. Thank god I finally found a place that add dressings to their sandwiches! 

Bread Box on Urbanspoon

Honestly there are SO many dining choices at the Universal Studios. I didn't really care about eating and the options since I was so focused on the playing part. Nonetheless I still found great places with yummy food! So go explore yourself and happy eating!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Orlando Theme Park Eats Ft. Magic Kingdom


Jens is coming home! I'm currently at the Miami airport waiting for my flight and I hope everyone had an amazing spring break! or good days at work! This year, I was off to Florida for some sunshine and happiness. Although I had been eating endless junk food during my days at the theme parks, I still found delicious eats that I would like to share with y'all!
and another tip! Please don't ever try to go to 1 theme park a day for 4 consecutive days. Take a day off in between! It was honestly the most tiring thing ever, and I thought school was stressful enough....

With weathers up to 30 to 34 degrees in Orlando, it could be tough to find directions from rides to shows to rides, so why not stop for some Ice cream?! 

Plaza Ice cream Parlor is located on Main Street (Very close to the Walt Disney Statue/Castle), and is hosted by Edy's. I absolutely love its interior designs, pastel blue and pink walls make this little place very dreamy and "princessy".  

The lineups vary from time to time, but it gives you time to read the menu. They serve huge sundaes, Mickey Mouse cones/sandwiches and simple scoops. I got the double scoop (Cookies N Cream & Butter Pecan) Ice cream cone ($4.49USD 4.5/5). 

Tasted good like most Ice Cream shops in Vancouver, creamy consistency and flavours were on point. (Not overly sweet or bland) The scoops are huge, and is definitely worth it for a price of $4.50 for 2 scoops!! If you are staying in one of the Disney World Resort, you will be given a magic band so it was extremely easy to pay for everything within the Disney World theme parks and hotels. 

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Urbanspoon

Now on to our late dinner! We only had time for some quick food before the fireworks! But don't worry, if you want to be nicely seated in a restaurant within the park, there are plenty! Even a buffet with the Disney characters, but the lineups were insane.

With no other choices since our feet were hurting so much, we lined up for the nearest fast food corner, called Casey's Corner. (It was extremely busy as well). We struggled to find a seat, but after around 20 minutes of waiting, we finally got a table outside.

My dad, sister and I all got the BBQ Slaw Dog ($9.99 5/5) (Fries or Apples slices included). It is basically a hot dog topped with pulled pork, cole slaw and barbecue sauce.  The sausage and the bun were as ordinary as they could get. But the toppings were creative and mind blowing. Coleslaw was crispy and creamy, pulled pork was not over cooked, and the portion was huge. If you are a messy eater like me, get a spoon and eat some of the toppings first, then finish the rest with the hot dog. Not the healthiest option you can get, but after more than 12 hours of walking, I think I had the spare calories for a meal like this! 

Casey's Corner on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Hastings Warehouse


I initially found out about this place through my best friend L.T , and of course what surprised me the most was its everything for $4.95 menu. We went there with friends to enjoy some cheap lunch while watching the World Cup semi final game. 

Braised Beef Dip (Picture Not A/V)
 ($4.95 +$1.75 for yam fries 4/5) 
L.T and I shared a beef dip with yam fries, the beef dip was tender and filling, but I thought there was something missing, or maybe I was just focusing on the game instead of the food. Yam fries were okay, they were too skinny the time I had them, I would rather order the $8 ones at Joey or Cactus. (plus they charge you extra for chipotle mayo, but they don't actually tell you) 

However the price is still relatively cheap, and I liked the vibe there. So I suggested to go again for dinner while we were debating where to eat. 

The atmosphere was quite relaxed in the morning/afternoon, but pub like at night with loud music and bright lights. (But it's not a legit pub, or else they wouldn't let minors in?!) 

For my second trip, I was on a mini diet before my vacation to Florida, therefore I ordered the 

                                    Quinoa & Green Apple Salad with an addition of braised beef   
                                                                       ($4.95 +$2.25 5/5) 
     Crisp apple, organic greens, sweet corn, cucumber, toasted almonds, 
 avocado, mint and cilantro with soy honey & lime dressing

I'm not a frequent quinoa eater, but after this meal I think i fell in love with quinoa. I'd never thought the ingredients listed would taste amazing together. The braised beef was a little salty at first, but tasted fine when mixed with everything else. My salad tasted ALOT like a Chipotle beef bowl, which was strange but in a really good way. It's actually a bit cheaper and healthier than the chipotle bowl, and it's pretty filling for a girl. I was really happy with my decision. (it might look kind of gross but trust me it was delish!)

L.T got the Broccoli Pasta 
($4.95 3.5/5)

I had a few bites of her pasta, It was creamy and flavourful, but the portion was less filling than my salad even though pasta is full of carbs! It was overall a boring dish, they could have added more ingredients to create more power. 

*Did not sample this dish, opinion entirely based off my friend.

Mushroom Swiss Burger with Yam Fries ( $4.95 +$1.75 4.5/5)

My fried A.C said it was good, better than its price (I know it's not too helpful, but at least the picture looked good...the bun looked nicely warmed too... ) 
Plus a Mushroom Monte Burger is over $10 at white spot, this was less than half of the price. Less ingredients in this burger, but personally, I like burgers that can actually fit in my mouth since I always make a mess when I eat gourmet burgers. 

Overall Experience (#2): 
Way too happy about my dish, I managed to eat some what clean but still had an enjoyable full meal. It's a nice little place to chill with your friends during any time of the day. Loved the vibe there, seats are tight but comfortable. It'd be kind of loud for families, especially if you have little kids. But if you must go, try before 4/5pm. They don't accept debit, but there's an ATM available right inside of the restaurant. 

The Hastings Warehouse on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Chambar Restaurant (2nd Visit/Brunch)


Remember that I went to Chambar during DOVF and got a $10 coupon to spend on their Breakfast, Lunch or Brunch? Well on the first weekend of spring break, I decided to destress with my bff L by going to a Sunday brunch! What's better than brunch dates with your girlfriends? Well a discounted one! But was their brunch as good as their dinner?

DOVF Visit 

If you have read my first article, you would know that I really like Chambr's interior designs and vintage decors, as well as its relaxing/lively fine dining vibe. The restaurant was just as gorgeous in the day as it was the night I went for dovf.
Tip 1*: ALWAYS make a reservation if you decide to dine at Chambar, it's legit busy 24/7, and you won't be able to get a seat right away.
Tip 2*:They serve the exact same brunch menu as Cafe Medina since CM used to be right next door, I have never been to CM so I don't know its dining vibe, however I do know that the lineup's insane. Check their website to see if reservation is available, if not, Chambar is the same substitute.

Liege Waffles ($3.15/ea+$1 for toppings 4/5)
with Pistachio Rose Water and Milk Chocolate Lavendar sauce 

The waffles were warm and chewy, however I have had better ones. (It would probably taste better if I had them earlier, I waited a bit for all my food to come so I could take a "group" photo.)
I only ordered their waffles so I could try their toppings! They have some of the most creative toppings/sauce I've had.

I had a bite of my friend's Pistachio Rose Water waffle. I could definitely taste the pistachio and the rose, but the white sauce tasted just like condense milk.

My choice of topping was the milk chocolate lavender, I really like the smell and the flavour of lavender, and it was nicely infused with milk chocolate. (Since Chambar features Belgian cuisine, I assume that the milk chocolate is also Belgian?) I still think that lavender would be a better pair with white sauce (for ex white chocolate and earl grey cream) than dark/chocolate sauces though.

Fricasse ($17 3.5/5)
Braised short ribs, balsamic cipollini onions, potatoes, watercress, fried eggs, applewood smoked cheddar. 

The braised ribs were tender and juicy when I took my first bite to it, but after a few more bites, I was sick by how salty the ribs and the sauce were. The ribs would have been perfect if they weren't over marinated in the sauce. The eggs were fried alright, but the yolk wasn't gooey enough and the eggs were flavourless while the ribs were overly salty. To balance the flavours, you could eat it with the bread or the egg, but for a $17 dish, every detail should have been on point by itself. It was still a some what tasty dish (that's why I wasn't so harsh on the rating + the ribs were actually very tender and enjoyable to chew), but judging from the restaurant status and its price, it lacked preciseness and the "wow" factor. 

Granola, fruits & Yogurt ($9 3.5/5)

I only sampled this dish because it wasn't mine, I thought it was mixed all right. An easy breakfast/snack you could make at home. Nothing special.  However, L thought it was terrible, and the ratio of the granola and fruits were unreasonable. She didn't even finish it. I don't understand why she disliked it so much, maybe she expected more from Chambar, but by being the cheapest meal off the menu, the portion and the flavour met my requirements. 

Overall Experience:

This brunch experience was definitely not as mind blowing as the dovf one. We would probably feel ripped off if we didn't have the $10 coupon. Nonetheless, I'm still attracted by the amazing vibe and space it has as well as the beautiful platings of the dishes. I would still come by someday to try one more brunch dish before I put it on my "black list" for brunch. 

Chambar Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bridges Restaurant (Bistro&Pub Floor)


It was a beautiful Saturday, my dad's old university friend and his family came to Vancouver to visit for a week. They lived in Yaletown and the aqua bus was just a few steps away from the apartment that they rented, so we decided to "transit" to Granville Island for lunch.

We were initially going to Sand Bar, but settled with Bridges since it has nicer views.

The restaurant was very busy on a Saturday afternoon. They don't open the second floor till 5 for fine dining, the dining style downstairs and at the patio was more casual. We decided to share all the dishes that we ordered.

First off, we got some appetizers.

Mixed Lettuce Salad
sundried tomatoes, dijon vinaigrette
($13 4.5/5)

I think the best parts of this salad were its dressing, crunchiness and refreshing flavours. The dish was colourful and nutritious. A healthy start! But not a must order since it's not a fancy salad.

Sizzling Garlic Prawns with cherry tomatoes 
($16 3.5/5)

I believe it was originally 6 pieces, but I couldn't take a picture when it first arrived. The prawns were cooked on point, you could add a tiny amount of salt to bring out the flavours even more, I was fine with just the sauce. However, for $16 and a rate of $2.60 per prawn (almost identical to the price of an oyster) It didn't have the "wow" factor to outweigh the cost of the dish. 

Steamed Local Mussels 
parsley, white wine & cream
($24 4/5)

I feel annoying when I repeat every time that I am not a big fan of seafood other than salmon, sashimi, shrimps/prawns, lobster, and certain types of crabs and fishes. But I will have to repeat in every blog post that has seafood featured because our opinions might differ. I usually hate mussels, I just think they have a weird flavour and texture to it, but since we were on the Island, their seafood must be fresh. Without a doubt, the mussels tasted good with the white wine sauce. Once again, didn't have the "wow" factor, but good enough that I was actually willing to take a few pieces. 

Shrimp Linguini 
Cherry tomatoes, peas & lemon cream
($21 3.5/5)

The pasta sauce itself was very creamy, which was not bad. But the dish overall had 0 flavours other than its creaminess. I had to dump loads of salt and pepper to mix with the noodles. The amount of shrimps they gave was decent, but they were less tasty than the prawns. Noodles were however, cooked al dente. So far I haven't had a pasta dish that was over or under cooked. But the sauce is just as important. The whole dish tasted well after I added seasonings, maybe the restaurant wanted people to add the right amount of flavours by their own preference, if so I would give this dish 4/5.  

Pizza Margherita
Tomato Sauce & Fresh Basil
($18 4.5/5)

My fave dish of the day! Although I can make decent pizza margharitas myself, it is still difficult to maintain the perfect crispiness of its thin crust. Bridges did a pretty good job with the crust, even though it was still a little bit on the hard side.  (That's way I deducted 0.5 points) The toppings of course was nice and simple, good portion of the cheese since I love cheesy pizzas with thin crust. I usually throw out the crust or give it to guys that need carbs, but now I can actually finish an entire slice of pizza by myself.  

Fresh Local Fish & Chips 
house made tartar sauce & winter slaw
($21 4/5)

Lastly, we shared some simple fish and chips. I like fried seafood, so fish and chips is something I enjoy, but not what I would usually order at restaurants. But again, seafood here must be fresh since it's on Granville Island so why not give it a try! Plus frying on point is not an easy task. The cod pieces were of course fresh and the color inside was white and pure. They were fried nicely, not the same type of the ones fried by Pajo's but I like either way. The winter slaw was finely added to balance all the fried food. 

Overall Experience:

A pleasant dining experience on a sunny day. Had many highlights with their dishes. The food and service were above average, but there are rooms to improve for sure. (for ex, the "wow" factor to fit its price range)  The price range is a little expensive for the quality of its food (expected all the dishes to be at least 4.5/5) since Granville Island is a tourist site, and it's a well known fine dining restaurant as well. I would revisit for dinner if I was in the area, but I won't specifically go to GI just for its food. 

Bridges Restaurant on Urbanspoon