Thursday, February 2, 2017

Salsa & Agave

Salsa And Agave Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Been meaning to come here, finally dropped in on a whim for lunch. Lunch specials are decently priced! You can get a good meal for around $10.

TIP: You want it spicy? Tell them up front and they'll help by bringing you decently spicy chilies/sauces.

Azteca Soup & 2 Rolled Tacos (Taquitos) - $9.50
  • I let the server pick my tacos and she came up with beef tongue, and spicy pork with pineapple.
    • Beef tongue very mild in flavour and not helped enough with the lime and onion provided.
    • "Spicy" pork was delicious but not hot-spicy if you are worried about that.
  • Overall the tacos were OK but flavour-wise not as good as, for example, Gringo. That said I only tried two types of tacos here.
  • Azteca Soup is a tortilla soup (strips of tortilla inside!), chipotle pepper (but it's nowhere close to spicy-hot), diced avocado, cheese, and house sour cream.
    • I like things spicy so I put in the provided chili sauce, and it was great!
    • Not too sure I like the diced avocado, and "diced" is maybe misleading since it was chunks about a half inch long/wide.
Overall price for portion is good, and food is tasty enough to warrant more than a passing mark. And for once, when I ask a server for recommendations they didn't balk or get all nervous. I told her I trusted her, would eat anything, and had no allergies; and off she went confidently. Service seemed attentive and friendly!

2017-Feb-2 - Salsa & Agave - lunch special - soup and two tacos ($9.50)

Milanesa con Chilaquiles Verdes ($15.50) breaded beef sirloin served with green tomatillo chilaquiles, rice, and beans
  • My friend's order. I didn't try it. At $15.50 price for portion is passable.
2017-Feb-2 - Salsa & Agave - Milanesa con chilaquiles verdes

2017-Feb-2 - Salsa & Agave - free amuse bouche

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse

Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Had a great-value-deal last year at Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse for Dine Out Vancouver 2016 so I wanted to repeat this year. Same as before, price for portion is ace. Depending on what you order for Dine Out Vancouver at Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse (and your personal preferences) it's 2- to 4-star food. At just $20 (plus $1 GST total $21 before tip) it's got to be one of the best bang-for-your-buck Dine Outs available.

Appetizer Choices
  • Bacon & Potato Soup; applewood smoked bacon, yukon gold potato, spiced croutons, chive crème fraiche
    • I didn't get to try much of this but it's a very thick "soup" that's got good smoky bacon flavour. Yup, it's tasty!
Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Bacon & Potato Soup

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Bacon & Potato Soup
  • Golden & Red Beet Salad; mesclun artisan greens, mandarin orange, goat cheese, pistachio, garden herb vinaigrette
    • Fresh and refreshing and also tasty.
    • If you ask for vinaigrette on the side they apparently give you a very generous amount of it.
Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Golden & Red Beet Salad

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Golden & Red Beet Salad
  • Braised Lamb Burger Slider; red wine braised lamb, gruyere, coleslaw, carrot, tomato, arugula, crispy onion, dijon mustard, truffle scented fries with parmesan
    • Didn't get to try more than a truffle fry but that was really decently done at least. Enough truffle flavour/aroma without overdoing it.
Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Braised Lamb Burger Slider

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Braised Lamb Burger Slider

Entree Choices
  • New York Steak; charbroiled AAA certified angus steak, roasted garlic yukon gold mashed potato, hand-picked seasonal vegetables, red wine jus
Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - New York Steak
  • Poached Steelhead; clam & tomato infused rice pilaf, hand-picked seasonal vegetables, pernod sabayon
    • BE CAREFUL. The key word here is "pernod", which if you don't know, means an anise-flavoured liqueur. If you don't like anise (think licorish), better not order this. The sauce on top of your fish is sweet and anise-flavoured and can kill this dish for you if you don't like it or don't like too much of it.
      • TIP: Try asking for the sauce on the side.
    • Fish said to be sous vide. What I tried was tender and moist but the people who ordered it said it was a bit dry, possibly closer to the thickest part of it.
Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Poached Steelhead

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Poached Steelhead
  • Portobello Mushroom; sundried tomato crusted cream cheese & artichoke stuffed portobello, house-made linguine, hand-picked seasonal vegetables, walnut, black truffle olive oil
    • The veggie option and I found this very tasty.
    • Too bad the actual mushroom portion was small, but it was at least tasty and they gave you some truffled spaghetti to make it a filling meal overall.
Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Portobello Mushroom

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Portobello Mushroom

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Portobello Mushroom (cross section)

Dessert Choices
  • Black & White; callebaut dark & white chocolate mousse, ginger cookie, caramelized banana, toasted almond, strawberry coulis
    • The one cookie I saw was so hard it had to be picked up.
    • Mousse apparently used bittersweet chocolate. Got to try just a bit of this.
Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Black & White
  • Apple Confection; apple compote, raisin, honey & almond granola, honeycomb candy, vanilla gelato
    • My dessert pick. Nothing special but as desserts go, safely simple and tasty.
Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Apple Confection

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Apple Confection
  • Belgian Waffle
    • Not listed on the Dine Out Vancouver website but this was what appeared to be a fresh waffle topped with strawberry.
    • Generous with the sauce, maybe too generous for some if you don't like it too sweet
Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Waffle

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse - Waffle

Easy going friendly staff not pushy at all about selling drinks. Also, for a cold night it was a really nice touch for them to serve your choice of typical cold water or HOT WATER.

It's a bit out of the way and the walk from the main road up to the Clubhouse is not lit, but the parking lot is expansive and very well lit. For an out-of-the-way place it was booked solid with some larger parties by 7pm so if you can sneak in earlier it might help with reservations.

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Torafuku

Torafuku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato My very first Dine Out Vancouver 2017 and my first experience of Torafuku as well. They open 5.30pm and are pretty much packed shortly after. People turned away at the door for not having a reservation, but it's Friday and the first day of Dine Out, so who knows?

Everything on their dine out menu sounded really interesting, plus they have veggie options, so it's hard to go wrong picking this place.
$30 per person, and best to go in pairs since you choose 3 plates TO SHARE and your own dessert (from 2 choices). That works out to three plates weighing in at maybe $16 each. For what you get though that's OK value. Wouldn't say it's a great deal cost-wise but it's delicious.

We also got a free kale salad. Did everyone get one? Will everyone get a random daily special freebie? Hard to say, but if so, maybe it's a sneaky dining experience factored into the cost AND you get 4 plates instead of 3 making it a better deal. Hmm.

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 Menu
($30 per person, minimum 2, odd numbers can be accommodated)

Choose ONE to SHARE:
  • Kickass Rice 3.0: Torched pork belly, furikake, cucumber, avocado, red shiso, miso mayo, Torafuku spicy sauce.
  • Eat Yo Veggies: Enoki mushrooms, baby arugula, cucumber, avocado, mango, toasted quinoa, chimi. 
  • DY-NO-MITE: Prawn tempura, avocado, cucumber, steelhead, mango, togo aioli.
Choose ONE to SHARE:
  • Calamari 2.0: Crispy squid, brussel sprouts, local mushrooms, compresed apples, nero aioli, angry tiger sauce.
  • Rye So Messy Chicken Wings: Rye and Korean chili marinate, mango glaze, ramen crumble, kfc sauce.
  • Crack Salad 2.0: Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, black bean balsamic vinegar, crispy chick peas, toasted almonds.
Choose ONE to SHARE:
  • FOB (Fresh off the Boat): Laksa prepared ‘fuku’ style with Crab, Scallops, Prawns, clams, salmon, market veggies, flakey Puff pastry.
  • The Crying Tiger: Beef hanger steak (cooked Med Rare), crispy rice salad with coriander, lemongrass, gem tomatoes, chilies, pickled cucumber ,crying tiger vinaigrette
  • Fetty Wap: House made fettuccine, roasted sunchokes, maitake mushrooms, truffle butter, local kale, ricotta, toasted almonds. 
Choose ONE per person:
  • Milk & Cookie: Vanilla panna cotta, yuzu gelée, raspberry coulis, almond and black sesame shortbread.
  • Magic Stick: Chocolate ganache, hazelnut feuilletine, matcha crumble, condensed milk ice cream.
2017-Jan-20 Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Torafuku - flavoured popcorn while you wait for your meal

2017-Jan-20 Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Torafuku - free kale salad

2017-Jan-20 Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Torafuku - DY-NO-MITE

DY-NO-MITE
  • One long roll to share.
  • Pretty tasty except strangely the mango was quite flavourless -- so mildly sweet that I could barely taste it except when I peeled it off my piece of sushi. Possibly a fluke occurrence, or they didn't want it to overpower the rest of the roll (which I wouldn't be in favour of). Either way, eat this sushi slowly and mindfully for best results.
2017-Jan-20 Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Torafuku - Crack Salad 2.0

Crack Salad 2.0
  • Pretty interesting with a lot of ingredients. Not very light / fresh looking but pretty tasty.
  • Don't just pick up the big veggie chunks -- get the spoon and dig around for the smaller bits.
2017-Jan-20 Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Torafuku - Fresh Off the Boat

Fresh Off the Boat
  • Would probably have been tastier if it had been served hot.
  • Only one "crab" -- that is, one claw. Don't hog it people -- remember your dining partner, 'eh?
  • Very mild as far as spiciness goes.
  • Get that spoon and don't be shy about lifting that plate to get at the coconutty sauce because it's tasty!
2017-Jan-20 Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Torafuku - Milk & Cookie (top), Magic Stick (bottom)

Milk & Cookie
  • Not really getting the idea of this dessert. Flavours maybe too subtle for me.
  • Yuzu jelly on top lacking sharp citrus tang that would have helped make it a refreshing addition to the dessert, so if you're looking for an uplifting flavour note to end your meal, neither dessert's going to do it.
  • The rest of it was kind of "meh" for me. Maybe lacking in sweetness / citrus? Personal preference.
Magic Stick
  • Sweet but not overly so, which I really liked. No sugar burn, no heavy feeling from too much chocolate.
  • That milk ice cream melts fast so get started right away if you want it paired with your chocolate.
Overall, really interesting plates and all three mains tried were tasty. Desserts were okay.

2017-Jan-20 Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Torafuku - menu

2017-Jan-20 Dine Out Vancouver 2017 - Torafuku - menu