Eating and cooking for 1 person. Myself.




I have lived in Vancouver since 2007 after moving out from Calgary for University. Now that I have graduated and am working, I am now free to dine out and cook more foods that I enjoy. I want to share my experiences with you!


Waffles Recipe

I have tried many waffle recipes over the past few months after receiving my  waffle iron. I was on a hunt to find an awesome waffle recipe and stumbled across a recipe on FoodNetwork: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/waffle-of-insane-greatness-recipe.html. I’m not going to retype the recipe because you can simply click on the link but below are my comments:

  1. Use 3/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup milk. The buttermilk adds flavor and helps the baking powder and soda react to produce a more airy and fluffy waffle.
  2. I also replaced the oil with butter because of personal preference. I would rather have butter than oil in my waffles! I think it’s weird to use oil.
  3. Pre-cook ground breakfast sausage (remove the casing if any) and allow to cool and add to the batter after combining the other ingredients. If you only have sausage rounds on hand, allow to cool and mince. This adds more flavor and texture! I enjoyed this version.
  4. Keep waffles warm in a 200F oven. However, try to serve immediately otherwise they will get soggy due to steam and moisture!

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If you’re wondering what else I have on the plate, I have cocktail weiners, bacon, hashbrowns (McCains), and a tomato. I like eating tomato slices with my breakfast plate because the acidity helps cleanse the palette since the other foods are rich or oily. I have cocktail weiners because they were an impulse buy… they are delicious, don’t judge! 

Just tossing in another photo because I had awesome natural lighting at 6:30PM!


Asakusa Sushi

I’ve essentially eaten at most of the restaurants around the Metrotown area, most of them undocumented. However, I’ve never been to Asakusa Sushi. My friends recommended that we had dinner at this restaurant because they’ve been here before and we don’t need to wait for a table like Sushi Garden,

Asakusa Sushi is Vietnamese run, from what I can tell, and were very friendly. They weren’t exactly on top of refilling our tea but it’s okay. I did not like their attitude towards one of their customers. From my understanding, I believe the customer asked to have the salad first so the waitress relayed that information to the sushi chefs… then they all started joking and chuckling about it. This restaurant is very small so noise carries from the back to the front. Not very professional.

I ordered one of their dinner meals and it included miso soup, beef teriyaki, tempura, and a BC Roll. The price was under $15 including tax and tip. Because of the lighting 

The beef teriyaki was very standard. It was cooked and not chewy and had lots of fresh and crunchy beansprouts underneath. The majority of the flavor came from the teriyaki sauce which tasted like soy sauce and mirin. I wish there were rice… I should have read the details of the dinner set rather than assume rice was included. The tempura was crispy and slightly oil but I enjoyed that they were still crispy at the end of the meal. 

The B.C. roll was really good. it was quite large. There was cucumber, lettuce,  salmon skin, and canned tuna (I think). The canned fish did nothing to the roll and was a good filler to the roll by adding protein and texture without affecting the taste of the roll too much. The cucumber was fresh and there was a plentiful amount of salmon skin. I thoroughly enjoyed the amount of salmon skin added because it’s the reason why BC Roll’s should be ordered! I would like the roll more if the skin was a little more crisp.

I would definitely return for take-out or with my friends. I probably wouldn’t order a dinner set because it doesn’t come with rice… the only rice is the roll which you cant really separate and eat with the teriyaki. The teriyaki itself was nothing special so I would rather get a roll combo or roll and sashimi combo which looked delicious as well. This restaurant is also an awesome alternative to Sushi Garden and Sushi Town because you don’t have to wait for a table!

Asakusa Sushi on Urbanspoon


Smak Fast Food and Meat & Bread

Smak Fast Food

Yay, just recently relocated office’s to downtown Vancouver. One of the nearby restaurants is Smak. The first time I was here (no photo), I ordered the BBQ pork bowl. The BBQ pork was very sweet which was helped by the mixed rice included at the bottom of the bowl. I don’t really know how else I can explain it but the barbecue sauce was just very sweet and after a while it became really overwhelming. The rice was also a little over cooked.

I went back a second time to try it out because I wanted to grab something quick. I got the Red Veg Curry Bowl. The curry was very hearty and I didn’t find anything over cooked (i.e. mushy). The rice this time was also cooked well unlike my previous experience. The curry itself was interesting… I am on the fence whether I like it or not because it tasted very muddled and slightly spicy so I can’t explain what it tastes like. 

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So far, Smak is a restaurant where I’d go to if I want to grab something quick, filling, and if others are going there as well. Lastly, what’s with the ‘coleslaw’ that they add on the top of these rice bowls? I don’t think it adds anything because the main protein and its sauce overwhelms the coleslaw. There is also so little coleslaw that it doesn’t add any texture…

Smak Fast Food on Urbanspoon

Meat and Bread

I love how close this restaurant is to our company’s office. For nearly the same price of a rice bowl from Smak, you can get a sandwich and soup from Meat & Bread.

It was my first trip to Meat and Bread so I had to order their signature porchetta sandwich with salsa verde. I was also very fortunate to get my sandwich from a freshly heated ciabatta fresh from the oven. They have an assembly line style layout so you’re in and out in a matter of minutes: incredibly efficient because they have so many customers. 

Their boxes are pretty but they are also inconvenient. It’s not possible to eat their sandwiches without the ingredients falling out… and it’s not pretty when eating with other co-workers! The pork itself was delicious and moist and the salsa verde was seasoned well. The pork skin added little morsels of crunch throughout the sandwich and was a nice touch. 

I highly recommend their butternut squash soup. It was creamy, rich, but not too heavy. It was really well balanced with sage (I think).The few croutons that they did add also stayed crunchy. I would order this again in a heartbeat.

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Meat & Bread on Urbanspoon


Ming Kee Kitchen

Ming Kee Kitchen

I think this is one of the few remaining Chinese restaurants that I can order delivery in the area. For whatever reason, I spent a lot of time deciding what I wanted to order and decided to order Pineapple Fried Rice, Meat and Seafood Hotpot, Sweet and Sour pork. Because they offer free crispy wings with a minimum purchase (not advertised on Just-Eat but it is on their website), I added a vegetable spring roll, bbq pork spring roll, and green onion pancake to make the minimum purchase. I noted in the comments section in the order for the wings. 

The deliveryman was really nice and very proactive. Before we exchanged our first sentence, he apologized saying that he didn’t think my comments written on just-eat for the order was read. No eggs (allergy) and complimentary crispy wings as noted on their website. I hate when this happens because the comments are also printed on the receipt they bring to your door, which means they didn’t even look at it until it was too late. The delivery was also on time, approximately 45 minutes after placing my order. It took another 45 minutes for the replacement rice and the order of crispy wings to arrive at my door. I still tasted the other dishes while waiting but I am dissatisfied that the other two dishes wound up cold/warm by the time I got all of my ordered dishes.

I didn’t take pictures of the appetizers but they were okay. I enjoyed the spring rolls because they were packed and large, although a little oily. I would not order the pork version because it’s not BBQ pork version because I am pretty sure it was just normal pork and there was so little that it tasted exactly the same as the vegetable version. The green onion pancake was a bit doughy for my liking. 

The sweet and sour pork was okay. I don’t like their batter because it was not crisp but quite soggy. However,  their sweet and sour sauce was very standard and typical: not too sweet and not too sour. Because of the batter fail, I would not order this again.

Next up was the hot pot. Surprisingly, this was actually pretty good. You could taste the oyster sauce but it wasn’t overwhelming the individual ingredients in the dish. The vegetables weren’t overcooked, yay! My only criticism is their flavourless bbq pork. 

The rice was surprisingly good although it doesn’t look special. You could taste the wok hei flavor. I particularly chose pineapple fried rice because it is refreshing and goes well with fried foods somehow. I would have liked my rice cooked darker and the grains separated. However, for $7.00, I would order this again.

Okay.. the crispy wing… just say no. Maybe I was fortunate that it was in garlic and honey sauce since their website didn’t specify if it was plain or with sauce since they have three crispy wing appetizers, two with sauces. In my just-eat order, I asked for honey an garlic since I wasn’t too sure and if it showed up at my door plain, then I would be okay with that as well. These were gross. Drenched in sauce and the batter was completely mush. You can clearly see the texture in my photograph.

Would I order again, yes. Maybe nothing battered because it’s clearly not their specialty. If you order on Mondays or Tuesdays they also have a promotion.. much better than claiming their free order of crispy wings. I would also order through their website since I do not want to have to wait for an incorrect order.

Ming Kee Kitchen 明記外賣 on Urbanspoon


Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

I really craved spring rolls after a friend sent a picture of her family’s. Evil photos. Anyways, after many hours of researching spring rolls I decided to go make Vietnamese spring rolls rather than Chinese spring rolls. I like Chinese spring rolls with a good amount of bean sprouts unfortunately they don’t freeze very well so I went with these instead!

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of (normal) ground pork, not lean or extra lean
  • 2/3 pound of shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 2 cups of dried black fungus
  • 2 large Chinese carrots
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 bundles of bean thread noodles
  • 1 white onion
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • two or three packages of 8” spring roll wrappers (40-50 spring roll wrappers)
  • 6 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of corn starch 

Steps:

  1. Defrost spring roll wrappers following the package’s instructions.
  2. This step is optional depending on the texture of the wanted spring rolls. I personally prefer to cook the pork in advance so  there is less fat but the texture of the spring roll will be different. The recipes that I have read do not cook the pork. The filling becomes more of a pork-sausage if you do not pre-cook the pork. I wanted to reduce the amount of fat in each spring roll so I pre-cooked the ground pork, removed the fat, and set aside to cool. 
  3. Add the fish sauce to the pork.
  4. Mince the shrimp.
  5. Soak the black fungus in hot tap water for 15 minutes.
  6. In a separate bowl, soak the bean thread noodles in hot tap water for 15 minutes.
  7. Julienne the carrots. I used a julienne peeler which helped speed up the process.
  8. Puree the onion in a blender. I personally don’t like pieces of onion in my spring rolls.
  9. Drain and rinse the bean thread noodles and black fungus under cold water.
  10. Julienne the black fungus.
  11. Chop the bean thread noodles into 1 inch pieces.
  12. Combine and mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until combined.
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste. To taste, add a small amount to a heated frying pan, test when cooked, and adjust.
  14. Create a slurry of the water and corn starch.
  15. Add 2 tablespoons per spring roll wrapper and roll like a burrito. Make sure they are wrapped tightly and the spring rolls have at least two layers all around when wrapped. I like a lot of filling in my spring rolls so I used 3-4 tablespoons, wrapped my spring roll then wrapped them again in half a sheet of another spring roll wrapper to get two layers of spring roll wrappers around the spring roll. I made 40 of my large spring rolls (3 packages) otherwise you would be able to make at least 50 of the smaller ones. Like I said, I love my spring rolls with a lot of filling. Place spring rolls on parchment paper side-by-side on a baking sheet. Do not stack.
  16. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot with vegetable or canola oil until bubble forms around a wooden chopstick when inserted into the oil.
  17. Add spring rolls and cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove when the inside when the fillings are completely cooked and the outside is golden brown. This may take some testing depending on your stove/deep-fryer.
  18. If your spring rolls explode (the filling spills into the oil and the wrapper breaks), then increase the oil temperature or if the spring roll is cooked but the spring roll is not golden brown, then decrease the oil temperature.
  19. When cooked, allow to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes. 
  20. Freeze any remaining spring rolls into the freezer, while on the parchment paper and baking sheet, for 30 minutes. Place partially frozen spring rolls in a freezer bag and store in the freezer. To cook, place the frozen spring roll directly into the heated oil.
  21. Serve with sweet chili sauce, a gochujang sauce, or nuoc mam. 

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