I overheard someone saying that Indochine Kitchen + Bar was a sister restaurant of Phnom Penh. I was curious and since I enjoyed my experience at Phnom Penh I had to try Indochine Kitchen + Bar. I came to the restaurant during the dinner service with a large party, and I was surprised at the size of the restaurant. It felt small and crowd. I would probably recommend making reservations, especially for the weekend or late night drinking session before heading off to the club. The atmosphere was loud; everyone is enjoying themselves and drinking. The restaurant's decor was covered in all black with hints of Asian figures placed throughout the restaurant. It felt like an Asian version of a sports bar and or lounge with a modern twist. A couple of items on the menu were borrowed from Phnom Penh and I ended up ordering the Black Pepper Poutine and Hainanese Chicken. Everything about these two dishes was amazing. The gravy they used for the poutine was somewhat of the same as the black pepper gravy you would get from an HK cafe, but less fatty and more savory. The fries were not too mushy and had a crisp to it. The ground beef mixed in with the gravy paired very well. To top things off, they added a runny egg on top; it blew my mind. This Asian version of a poutine rocks! I wouldn't mind having the Black Pepper Poutine once a week for the rest of my life. The Hainanese Chicken was soft, moist and flavorful. The rice that went with it was delicious; it was soaked / cooked with chicken broth with garlic. I left the restaurant satisfied and as a bonus, I couldn't finish my food, so I had leftovers. WOOP!!
Verdict: A sports bar and or lounge with Asian food. Perfect place for drinks without the bar food.
When Maria first discovered Swiss Bakery and their famous Frissant, she went crazy. She had to try it after seeing all the amazing reviews and pictures. Honestly, she's a sucker for anything food related; nom nom nom. Unfortunately, she didn't have any days off during the week, and she didn't want to wake up early on the weekend to make the trip down to Swiss Bakery. Luckily, Paul and I had a random day off during the week and went there. We arrived just shortly after lunch, and the bakery was packed. I was amazed that they sold more than just Frissant. I thought Frissant was the only thing they sold. Swiss Bakery appeared to be a popular spot for lunch. I was surprised, and they served sandwiches and such. We ordered the Vanilla and Chocolate Frissant. My first impressions of the Frissant (aka. Cronut) was that it did look like a crossbreed of a doughnut and croissant. The Frissant was crunchy and flakey as advertised, but it did fell apart very easily. It wasn't too overly sweet and reminded me of a giant version of a mini doughnut. It was fantastic, but I couldn't eat more than one per seating.
Verdict: Swiss Bakery offers more than just Frissant. Come for but stay for the Frissant.
The last time I had fish tacos I was mad disappointed. Paul and I had a random day off, and we decided to check out Tacofino. We arrived at the restaurant before the lunch rush and was promptly served. I ordered Albacore Tuna and Pork Jowl taco while Paul ordered the Fish and Pork Jowl taco. We also ordered a couple of drinks, but I don't remember what they were. Right off the bat, the Albacore Tuna, and Pork Jowl was fantastic. They both had great flavors and toppings. It was a huge slab of the Albacore Tuna for the taco, and it was perfectly prepared; like a giant tuna tataki. The Pork Jowl was delicious. I wish I had more of it. I couldn't tell it was Pork Jowl at first and thought it was Pork Belly. They masked the flavors very well; I was impressed. The only thing I had problems with the taco was that it broke apart because of the wet toppings, but that happens with almost every taco I had. The two tacos didn't get me full or satisfied, but it was a great place for a snack and drink.
Verdict: I'm definitely coming back. nom nom nom. I'm a shark.
The ramen business in Vancouver is very fierce; one bad review and it may cripple your business. At launch, Ramen Butcher had great reviews, but as weeks passed by, it started to decline. However, there were still long lineups out the door. I wanted to try it regardless and form my opinion. Maria and I arrived at the restaurant around 3pm, and we didn't have to wait for a table. The service was attentive and quick. The menu was simple and had a short list of items to choose. The dons and chicken karaage were not available from the menu which was unfortunate. The ramen selection was broken up into different colours; each colour highlighted the difference between the other selections. We ordered the Classic, Black and a side of Okonomiyaki Gyoza. I had the Black, and I found the flavor to be watered down. I like my broth bold and heavy on flavor. The portion size was smaller when compared to others, and I was not satisfied. Luckily, there was a solution, one free noodle refill; just remember not to drink up all the soup. The noodles from Ramen Butcher were awesome. It didn't have a great bounce / al denta or whatever you want to call it, but it was plain simple and delicious. The type where you can eat continuously and a lot. I want to think this noodle was produced in house, which deserves another thumbs up. The cha siu comes in two flavors, lean or fatty. No matter which one you choose, you only get one slice of it. A lonely piece of meat. I felt ripped off. The marinated egg was okay, nothing special. Overall, the Black ramen was meh. On the other hand, the Okonomiyaki Gyoza, was great. The blend they used in the Gyoza was different and addictive. The Okonomiyaki toppings made the Gyoza a bit more unique. It's one of the better Gyozas I had. In my opinion, this doesn't beat out any other ramen restaurants I had tried.
Verdict: I have been to Ramen Butcher twice, and I had never waited in line for a table. If I'm in the area and wanted ramen, then yes I would recommend Ramen Butcher, but on second thought why not spend another extra five / ten minutes travelling into downtown for something better.
This must be one of the best Kickstarter campaigns I ever funded. Is this an Encyclopedia on Air Jordans? You must be kidding me. This was only available via Kickstarter. You can't purchase this anywhere else. In other words, it is limited. The book is still wrapped up, deadstock condition. I don't see myself opening the book up anytime soon. I'll probably go through the 600 page Encyclopedia of Air Jordans when I move into my new place. I might call up some sneakerheads over too.
Another Saturday, another pair of shoes. This time, it was the Jordan 4 LS "Oreo". I believe the LS stands for lifestyle hence the missing netting? Obtaining the originals were out of my reach. I didn't think this pair would release again. This was the second Jordan 4 out of the remastered series. I didn't dig the first colourway (Columbia), but this pair (Oreo) was a must have. I wish the netting didn't get removed, but the tumbled leather is on point. I'm content with my first Jordan purchase of the year.
While I was in Korea, I discovered a wonderful dessert from Milkcow. It was a soft served ice cream with honeycomb. It doesn't sound like much, but it was beautiful. I was excited to hear something like that was coming to Vancouver. I took my mom, sister, and Maria out to Soft Peaks. Even though this was not the same company that Maria and I had in Korea, but we hoped it would taste the same. NOPE! Unfortunately, everything about this ice cream aka Honeycomb Peak from Soft Peaks was different. I think it is because we had the real thing, and this can't compare to it. Let's start with the soft served ice cream. The ice cream was organic which was good, but to me it tasted like soy and had a very grainy texture. It wasn't smooth and was not enjoyable for me. It didn't go down well, and it left a milky aftertaste. I also felt that they cheaped out on the honey and honeycomb. There was barely any honey drizzled throughout the serving, and the size of the honeycomb was small. It was hard breaking the honeycomb as it was already cold, so it harden. The honeycomb was sweet but too waxy. The way I remembered this in Korea was that the honeycomb was warm, and as soon as it touched the ice cream it would slowly turn hard. It was unique, tasting the difference in soft and hard honeycomb. Soft Peaks offered a lot of different varieties as well, but I was too disappointed in the Honeycomb Peak that I didn't order the others.
Verdict: I would come back to try other items but not Honeycomb Peak again.
I never thought I would ever own a pair of Saucony in my collection. They never grew on me while I was growing up, but they are now making some impressions on me. I'm starting to see myself shift away from Nike / Jordan / Basketball shoes and pay more attention to runners. Like everything else I post, I'm a sucker for something, and the Tiffany blue colourway is one of them. That colour is my weak spot. I couldn't think of a better colourway to cop for my first Saucony. When the Saucony Grid 9000 Tiffany Blue first start popping up online, I thought they were going to sell out quick. I think Europe and Asia got them first, and I was waiting for the NA release. Luckily there wasn't a lot of hype attached to them, but they were slowly gaining attention. I got them way low below retail, and the quality stacks up against most of my other shoes and if not better. When comparing this to the Nike SB, my mom loves the colourway on the Nike SB more. For me, I'm torn. I love them both. Which one do you prefer?
Year after year, I always forget to check out Pajo's. I'm ashamed I had never eaten at Pajo's, home of the best Fish and Chips. Spring was just around the corner, and Pajo's was open for the season. Maria and I took the opportunity since it was a beautiful day. There was a ten-minute wait to order when we arrived. We ordered the One of Each (Halibut, Cod, and Salmon) and Crab Cakes. It was worth the wait. The crab cakes were delicious. It was more of a crab / salmon / bread mixture. It wasn't doughy or dry. It was a great moist mixture of all three ingredients. Each of the fish had their distinct flavor, but the batter seemed to be a bit soggy and fell apart easily. The salmon was alright, only because I prefer salmon not fried. The Cod and Halibut were amazing. A great portion size for each fish. The Cod locked in some serious juiciness flavors. While the Halibut was not mushy and flaked right off. The tartar sauce made it extra special because I hate using generic tartar sauce that anyone can get from the grocery store. We didn't get to enjoy the food piping hot, and we were quite upset that it started to get windy when we began to eat. I enjoyed every bite, down to the last chip.
Verdict: Despite the cold brisk wind, I would come, here again. Maybe I'll try the Albacore Tuna Burger.
Another drug inspired shoe collaboration. I missed out on the Pusha T collaboration with Adidas, and that execution was money. The shoes wrapped in a ziplock bag was crack. Concepts took their spin on the Asics Gel Lyte V with inspirations from the movie "Blow". When I first saw pictures surface online, I thought it was a great colourway, a great choice of materials. The blood splatter on the insole reminded me of Kill Bill. What sold me about this pair, was the red top vial tube. It reminded me a lot of The Wire. Then there was a kicker; only Concepts will be selling the pair in a special packaging. I had no clue what that meant, but anything special or limited, I had to have. The special packaging turned out to be saran wrap and duct tape to make the package look like a brick. It had a limited effect on me. I would've kept the package untouched if there was a way for me to get to the shoes without wrecking the packaging. In my opinion, another solid pair. No business like snow business.