TsurutonTan | Dining in New York / Hawaii

If you love noodles, then you’ll love TsurutonTan! Both locations in New York and Hawaii offer ginormous bowls of goodness. Udon noodles, cold or hot, in broth or not, these are hands down a tasty experience. From sukiyaki to uni (sea urchin), the range of udon bowls are endless. On top of that, their appetizers are also a great start to the meal experience. Take a look at these bowls!

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WestJet Magazine Feature - Thank You! |

We wanted to write a personal Thank You to the team at WestJet Magazine for featuring us in their September 2016 issue!! It is an honour to be a part of your publication. As well, it is our first published image in print! Thank you again and here it is.

If you missed our blog feature on Etto, click here.

Royal Dinette | Dining in Vancouver

It's hard to believe Royal Dinette has yet to be published on The Gourmoo. Well here we go! 

We cannot count how many times we've visited this Downtown restaurant in Vancouver. Owned by Farmer's Apprentice, its sister restaurant is just as amazing. The Royal Dinette features local ingredients, creating a fresh, farm to table experience. The restaurant is spacious accompanied with a comfortable and chic ambience. It's a fun place to try new dishes that are created almost every day (as the menu changes quite often).

The cocktails (happy hour is a must) are classic and inventively delicious. If you're looking for a unique dining experience and unique menu, Royal Dinette is your place to go.

Below there's a look as to what you might find at this establishment. All the photos are from many visits put together. All their pastas are made in house - they even make their own gluten free pasta which is actually quite fantastic! Their salads are very fresh, sometimes you can find cheese or fish in them - very delectable.

Food: all food varied (take a guess or just go and see for yourself!) 
Made by: Royal Dinette
Location: 905 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver BC.

Blueberry Muffins | Recipe Of The Day

I have had a weekend filled goodies from muffins to cookies. I pulled out a recent recipe book by Martha Stewart, her "Baking Handbook", I wanted to go back to the basics to discover how to make a proper blueberry muffin. 

My question was: how does one make the most moist and crispy muffin possible without drying out the inside of the muffin? Well, Martha Stewart successfully taught me how. No matter how many times before that I have tried to bake a muffin, they're dry as hell on the inside. Why?!

Well, apparently you're to coat your blueberries or whatever fruit you're using with the flour mixture that you'll use in the recipe. And, if you crush them a little before you fold them into your batter, it'll make the muffin a bit more moist. 

If you can follow this simple recipe step by step, you'll be on your way to making the moist (sorry I had to) delicious blueberry muffins ever... no joke. See full video and recipe here. Note, the recipe below is the one I copied from the book not the online source. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using original Pam spray, spray and coat large (3 3/4 inches) or small (2 3/4 inches) muffin tins and lightly flour with APF.

  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Then leave to one side.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolks, and vanilla; mix until well combined. Reduce speed to low; alternate adding reserved flour mixture and milk to mixer, beginning and ending with flour. Remove bowl from mixer; gently fold in berries by hand. Divide batter among muffin tins; sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake until light golden, about 45 minutes for large muffins, about 30 minutes for small muffins. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer them to a cooling rack. Then enjoy! 

Thank you to Martha Stewart for inspiring me to make the perfect blueberry muffins!
I want to make them everyday now! 

Food: Blueberry Muffin
Recipe by: Martha Stewart

The Sardine Can | Vancouver Restaurants

Happy New Year!

What a great start in the restaurant world - I finally got to try The Sardine Can in Gastown here in Vancouver.

Known for their spanish tapas, I was very impressed by the level of cuisine that was presented. It really brought me back memories of when I have been in Barcelona. The Gambas was to die for - the sauce was a revelation!! Could not stop dipping my patatas in the sauce... The baked burrata special was so creamy and soft. Wrapped in a ham, it was fantastic to spread on a piece of toast with a prune compote to go with it. Another special served were their veal cheek and potatoes stuffed empanadas - talk about holy yum! Vancouverites: you seriously need to get yourselves to The Sardine Can.

The restaurant is also owned by renown chef in Vancouver, Chef Andrey Durbach and business partner Chris Stewart (La Buca, Pied à Terre, and The Abbey.) I can finally check off all four from my list!

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 Feature: The Sardine Can

Burdock & Co. | Vancouver Dining

Chef Andrea, who used to work at Bishop's (another one of my favourites), offers refined dishes at Burdock & Co.  The restaurant uses organic produce and fresh resources from all over Vancouver. I've been twice already: one for an event with That's Life Gourmet and the second time with friends (which is the feature of this post). The menu is always changing, but every customer of Burdock & Co. are impressed by the creativity of the dishes and how delicious they are. I had a fantastic experience from beginning to end with the company of good friends.  I highly recommend that you visit Burdock & Co. as you will enjoy the cozy atmosphere, attentive wait staff and mouth-watering dishes.

From Aug 6

from top to bottom:

cheese and crostini (no longer on menu) the infamous burdock and co. grits ribs (literally falling off the bone deliciousness) burdock's version of ramen (very good surprisingly, egg is key) and for dessert, milk and cookies (cookies that were HOT and milk was smoky!)

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Restaurant Burdock & Co.

 

Food Photography | Vancouver Food Photographer

What consists of taking a real foodie picture? Well, to keep it short, LOTS. Lighting, glossing, you name it. It took almost four hours to photograph 4 objects. Insanity!! Here's a look at just what I got to learn about food photography in one afternoon and the results. Featuring Thomas Haas specialties and Hakkaisan Sake.

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West | Vancouver Dining

I hadn't been back to West Restaurant in a couple years.

West was packed and has definitely turned into a hip place for drinks. Turns out the bartender had one an award at some point in their career (I was impressed!) The Mint Julep was very tasty.  The other cocktail that you see below the julep is a signature cocktail made by the award winning bar tender. Check out the cocktail list here.

For dinner, I had all appetizers (as that's what seemed to catch my eye as I was going through the extensive list).  We started with an amuse bouche, followed by our courses we ordered:

pea soup, beef tartare, and lastly a seafood risotto of prawns. 

I highly suggest making a reservation, as West is one of the popular choices in Vancouver (it's also great if you don't have to cross a bridge into downtown to dine if you plan on having a beverage or two.)

I would definitely go back in a heartbeat (it is a little more pricy) but this is because West is fine dining in Vancouver (rare to find in the city these days...)

A take on canadian, western cuisine with a modern twist. West, thank you for a pleasurable dining experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the knowledge you offered about my dishes or the cocktails I got to try.

 

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Enoteca Sociale

An absolute favourite. Italian, family styled dining is one of my favourites. I of course have to blog about Enoteca Sociale because a) it's definitely a number one of mine in Toronto and b) it's just so good! IMG_8637

Opened not long ago, this Enoteca has so many things working for them. They are welcoming, the service is superb and they know what they're talking about! Moreover, if you want to taste the best of italian food (or as close as you're going to get to it) with local produce, Sociale has it all. The menu has changed every time that I've been and has not failed me once. From antipastis like their house-cured meats, to their home-made pastas (which is a huge seller for me), everything is delicious.

The last time I went I got to enjoy bone marrow - decadent and so worth it - as well as various pasta dishes from spaghetti to ravioli... Pork chop was another entrée that I got to taste (simple dish but juicy nonetheless).IMG_8638

That evening, a sticky toffee pudding (the best in Toronto might I add), a lemon pudding, and a butter tart with a chocolate filling was offered on the menu.

I highly recommend Enetoca Sociale, but make sure you make reservations WELL in advanced (I usually book at least two weeks in advanced!) Enjoy!

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Al Fresco Restaurante Italiano

Al Fresco was such a wonderful experience. Sitting on the patio, enjoying sangria and pasta... with the sun shining, nothing beats Lisbon during the summer. If you're a foodie, well this is a great spot for you!

Below, we have the appetizer of an egg, lightly battered and fried on top of greens, with a side of mushrooms.  The sangria was very refreshing especially in the heat, but as our entrées we kept it hot. We enjoyed vongole (clams in white sauce with linguine) and a creamy mushroom pasta. Lastly, we enjoyed a specialty of the restaurant: a Zabaione, which consists of egg whites, sugar, and a sweet wine (like that of Moscato d'Asti). It's the consistency of a light custard. Very rich, but definitely a must try. If you want to see more of Al Fresco's creations, click here to get to their Facebook page. Bom apetite!

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