Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Me Crepe (Metrotown, Burnaby)

Tucked away from foot traffic at Old Orchard Mall is Me Crepe. It looks like they should be kaput from the location where they are hard to spot, but they appear to do a brisk take-out business if what we saw at lunch on Sunday is any indication. And pretty brisk walk-in as well.

Before I get into the review, to better understand why Me Crepe seems to do well, realize that there are foods that are simple but tasty. Things don't have to be fancy to be tasty! Like a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or a nice cookie. Or a chewy chcolatey two-bite brownie.
And if you have a craving for it, you can get sold a $6 scoop of ice cream that supposedly has various attributes to justify how it should cost more than a tub of ice cream at the supermarket. You might not even be enough of an ice cream connoisseur to tell the difference but you'll pay for it maybe because everyone else is doing just that.

If you go to Me Crepe and deconstruct the crepe you get, you will likely be disappointed. I know I was horribly disappointed. Until I started eating it and realized that it had a simple, familiar, tastiness. What deconstructing it did for me was make me unhappy that the ingredients didn't match up to the $9.95 I paid for it. But was it tasty? Yup.

Souryuu ($9.95) Japanese style mayo with beef sausage
  • "Beef sausage" was ONE supermarket wiener cut in half for both sides of the crepe. OMG.
  • There are crunchy chunks of deep fried something that add mild bulk and fun crunch. Might just be deep fried flour for all I know. But it makes the crepe fun to eat. Definitely more fun that a wiener wrapped in a thin pancake.
  • Pretty big but flat crepe. Sort of standard though. Works out to be more filling than a burger.
Place looks dingy but there was definitely an attempt at decor.
Service kinda spotty. My friend asked for water but it never came.

2018-Apr-8 Me Crepe - Souryuu

2018-Apr-8 Me Crepe - Souryuu

2018-Apr-8 Me Crepe - Souryuu

2018-Apr-8 Me Crepe - Souryuu

2018-Apr-8 Me Crepe - Souryuu

2018-Apr-8 Me Crepe - Souryuu

2018-Apr-8 Me Crepe - menu

2018-Apr-8 Me Crepe

2018-Apr-8 Me Crepe

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Amay's House

Amay's House Burmese and Asian Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Back to Amay's House after a very long time (2015!) and good to see this little place is still around and offering good value even with the expected price increases over time.

Roti Prata ($3) one piece side order
  • Crispy on the outside, very moist and tender on the inside, and oily to achieve this result but that's expected.
  • Overall texture and taste is good, dough is pretty thin, and easy to hand-tear.
  • This came flat from the pan and not hand-crushed into a tender mass, which is an alternate way it is served.
  • As a side order it does NOT come with anything for dipping.
2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - roti prata (single side order)

2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - roti prata (inside)

Prata Served with Curry Chicken ($5.50 for 1 piece, $8.50 for 2 pieces)
  • Prata on the side. I had this to go and they crushed the prata, possibly to prevent the crust from cooling and hardening into a chewy slab. This way it was still fairly easy to hand-tear for dipping into the curry.
  • It's chicken curry, not curried chicken pieces. So you do get chunks of chicken meat as well as some curry sauce.
  • Not hot-spicy. Rather sweet curry sauce that was quite thick and had a good portion of oil.
Keema Prata ($6) prata stuffed with a choice of ground chicken or lamb; onions, traditional spices
  • Looks like one prata spread with the meat portion of their curry, and cut into two pieces.
  • I asked for chicken and was at first thrown off by their use of ground chicken.
  • Curry is not hot-spicy and actually looks a bit skimpy. If you're going for chicken I would recommend instead the "Prata Served with Curry Chicken"
  • Token salad with sour vinaigrette, like a refreshing coleslaw.
2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - Keema Prata (chicken)

2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - Keema Prata (chicken)

Myanmar Tea Leaf Salad ($8) Fermented tea leaves, tomato, cabbage, assorted beans and nuts
  • Interesting a quite refreshing-tasting cold salad. Mild sourness from the tea leaves, fun crunch from the nuts. Overall a very tasty salad.
2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - Myanmar Tea Leaf Salad

Fish Noodle Soup ($8.50)
  • Rice noodles, catfish broth, lemongrass, fresh cilantro, fried garlic, fried split chana dal (yellow lentils)
  • Interesting fried globs of lentils but you have to pay attention to them or you might just miss it eating it with everything else.
  • NO fish meat! Just the broth is used.
  • A very generous portion of noodle, so this can be a fairly filling meal for under $10.
  • NOT very "fishy" tasting at all. But also not a lot of taste character either, as a result. Pretty tame. Maybe pass on this and get something more interesting.
2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - Fish Noodle Soup

2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - Fish Noodle Soup

A small pot of chili flake/paste is available as condiment. Be VERY careful. This stuff is powerful.

Fairly busy on a Saturday evening but still no problem walking in for a table.

2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - chili condiment

2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - menu page 1

2018-Apr-8 Amay's House - menu page 2

Monday, January 29, 2018

Dine Out Vancouver 2018 - Bufala

Bufala Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato For Dine Out Vancouver 2018 my friend's pick was Bufala for a late Sunday afternoon lunch. We got in late-ish almost at 2pm I believe and seating was pretty easy, no reservations required. They were however out of two of three desserts on their Dine Out menu! So you might want to take that into consideration.

The Dine Out menu is basically their whole menu minus some smaller appetizers. The $20 appy and pizza deal is almost half price and a goodly amount of food!

Their pizzas are very thin Neapolitan/Napolitana style with a pretty generous amount of edge crust. To help you eat that crust there are three flavoured oils (that you can slather over your pizza ingredients too if you like): Chili, Herb, and Parmesan. Flavours of the oils are on the subtle side but unless you drown your pizza you (or at least I) won't feel the same heavy feeling from food being too oily.

Kale Caesar Salad (normally $13) green & purple kale, grana padano, anchovy, bacon, salt-cured egg yolk
  • Fluffy and light and kale not particularly bitter.
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - kale caesar salad minus bacon

Beet Salad (normally $12) salt-baked golden & purple beets, arugula, ricotta, cucumber
  • Mix of sweet and bitter tastes. Fun cucumber shapes and colourful slices make presentation pretty. Otherwise ok.
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - beet salad

2018-Jan-28 Bufala - beet salad

Funghi Pizza (normally $19) roasted mushrooms, goat cheese, watercress, pecorino tartufo, bianco
  • Pretty decent tasting but goat cheese may not have been as evenly distributed as it could have been because I missed the pungent flavour.
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - funghi

Artichoke & Olive (normally $16) fior di latte, kalamata olives, artichokes, garlic confit, basil, marinara
  • Really decent but watch out for salty olives. They add some zing to the pizza but when clumped too close together can be pretty salty.
  • Also watch out for soft cloves of garlic. Shouldn't be a problem unless you pick it right off the pizza thinking it's a piece of artichoke and pop it in your mouth. (Guess who did that...)
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - artichoke and olive

2018-Jan-28 Bufala - artichoke and olive pizza

Bufala Lemonade ($5, not included in Dine Out, non-alcoholic) peach purée, rosemary, soda
  • Pretty decent. Sharpness of lemonade greatly tempered by sweetness of peach.
  • Not overloaded with ice!
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - Bufala Lemonade

2018-Jan-28 Bufala - flavoured oils

We were too full and skipped dessert. The server was kind enough to leave it open during ordering -- that is, she offered to retroactively change our order from 2-course Dine Out to 3-course if we wanted to add dessert later. I had been interested in the Lemon Curd with fennel seed but they were out. In any case we were full enough that we didn't want to force it down and just left with our leftovers -- half a salad and almost one pizza worth of slices.

Overall food is good, enhanced by presentation and Dine Out value for price is really excellent. Regular price is also quite okay considering the portion size. Pizza might not be quite as filling as a big chain like Pizza Hut (for example) just because the crust is much thinner. They aren't shorting you on ingredients though.

Service is friendly and tries to be helpful!

They mis-stepped slightly and mis-timed our pizzas such that they came out of the oven while we weren't halfway through our salads. Partly our fault for yapping so much and so long.
  • If you want to definitely avoid that so that you can focus on your pizza while it's fresh and hot out of the oven, you might want to ask them to hold off on actually baking it until they clear your appetizer plates. Neapolitan pizzas don't take that long to bake anyway.
  • This situation brought to the fore the issue of table sizing as it was really a squeeze to get both pizzas onto the table while our big salad bowls were there as well. In such a case you might consider taking the long communal table (if it's not busy) and just having much more room to move and grab slices off each other's platters.