Afternoon Tea Series: TWG Tea Canada by Jenn Chan

TWG Tea Canada
TWG Tea Canada Interior

Have you ever noticed that some days you learn a couple new things and some days you learn nothing? Since TWG Vancouver, which, it turns out, stands for The Wellbeing Group (learning) made its debut in Vancouver in 2016 their offerings seem to be constantly improving. The service has evolved in lockstep with our host Brady and server Donnie making us feel stupendously welcome! We started our visit with the Tea Party Tea, a delightful black tea with sweet undertones, and the White Spring Yin Zhen Silver Needles. The White Spring is renowned for its health benefits and is easily added to ones health regime because it is really delicious.

TWG Tea Canada Tea List

TWG Tea Canada Tea List

Tea Party Tea - Perfect for Easter!

Tea Party Tea - Perfect for Easter!

The West Coast Tea Set is a uniquely Vancouver, three-tiered teatime experience crafted by the very talented Chef Cliff Hohl. Japanese Miso Sablefish, Follow Me Tea Albacore and Steelhead Hawaiian poke with uni, Sencha infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll and Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden-Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho. Yes Pho, properly pronounced fuh (think duh with an 'f'), in a tea set; amazing! Chef Cliff makes my favourite Sablefish. To say it's delicious cheapens the meaning of the word. It is incendiary. Having visited Hawaii for the first time in 2016 I came home with what some may dub an "unhealthy poke lust". I would dub it love and the poke done at TWG in a way that would make my Oahu brethren proud! The Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll is very good and the Pho, with its incredible Wagyu beefy goodness, wouldn't feel out of place in Saigon. In all an incredible and satisfying meal, but we were fortunate enough to indulge in another tea set right after we devoured this one.

TWG Tea Canada Menu
TWG Tea Canada West Coast Tea Set Menu

TWG Tea Canada West Coast Tea Set Menu

West Coast Tea Set

West Coast Tea Set

Tier One - Sencha Infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll & Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho

Tier One - Sencha Infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll & Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho

Tier One - Sencha Infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll & Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho
Tier One - Sencha Infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll & Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho
Tier Two - Japanese Miso Maple Sablefish & Follow Me Tea Infused Albacore and Steelhead Hawaiian Poke with Uni

Tier Two - Japanese Miso Maple Sablefish & Follow Me Tea Infused Albacore and Steelhead Hawaiian Poke with Uni

Tier Three - Lemon Bush Tea Infused Mousse Tart, Napoleon Tea Infused Jivara Petit Four, 1837 Black Tea Infused Pâte De Fruit, TWG Tea Macaron

Tier Three - Lemon Bush Tea Infused Mousse Tart, Napoleon Tea Infused Jivara Petit Four, 1837 Black Tea Infused Pâte De Fruit, TWG Tea Macaron

 

The Chic Tea Set, unlike the temporarily available West Coast tea set, is a bonafide, tried and tested TWG menu staple. It features: Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese. We had our arms twisted and added the Finger Sandwiches plate so we could enjoy two additional sandwiches not included in the Chic Tea Set, the Foie Gras Medallion and Atlantic Lobster Salad.

 

Smoke anything, salmon, beef, leather or bicycle, and I'll eat it. I will. The smoked salmon sandwich has a really nice popcorn-y flavour to it and I could have eaten 50 even after the West Coast Tea Set! The Mimosa Egg Sandwich's yoke pops as soon as you put it in your mouth and the flavour is fabulous. The pesto chicken sandwich is literally the best chicken sandwich I've ever had! Somewhere between the unique cheese and tomato bread a new level in chicken sandwichery is reached. Lobster is the most expensive crustacean on Earth and it isn't because they're beautiful. It isn't because they're hard to catch. It is because they taste like a sunny walk through a dewy meadow on your birthday. The lobster salad sandwich tastes like that walk times 10; it is incredible! The foie gras offering is equally delicious with a tangy mustard kick.

 

TWG Tea Canada Tea Time Menu

TWG Tea Canada Tea Time Menu

Chic Tea Set

Chic Tea Set

Chic Tea Set
Smoked Salmon and Horserash Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese

Smoked Salmon and Horserash Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese

2 Freshly Baked Scones Served with TWG Tea Jelly & Whipped Cream

2 Freshly Baked Scones Served with TWG Tea Jelly & Whipped Cream

Finger Sandwiches - Smoked Salmon and Horserashish Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese, Foie Gras Medallion with Homemade Summer Palace Tea Infused Cherry Jam, Atlantic Lobster Salad bound with Geisha Blossom Tea Infused Créme Fraîche, Meyer Lemon and Norther Divine Caviar

Finger Sandwiches - Smoked Salmon and Horserashish Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese, Foie Gras Medallion with Homemade Summer Palace Tea Infused Cherry Jam, Atlantic Lobster Salad bound with Geisha Blossom Tea Infused Créme Fraîche, Meyer Lemon and Norther Divine Caviar


 

The TWG desserts are worth the trip alone: Lemon Bush Tea infused Mousse Tart, Napoleon Tea Infused Jivara Petit Four, 1837 Tea Infused Pâté de Fruit and TWG Macaron. The Pâté de Fruit is amongst the tastiest things I've ever masticated. I have a sweet tooth, all my teeth really, and this soothed the lot. The lemon tart harkened back to my sweet Granny's homemade lemon meringue pies and I like things that make me think of the dearly departed Francis Allan so I liked this tart. Like a lot. The TWG macarons wouldn't be easily discernible sitting beside their $100 a pop, bejewelled Parisienne cousins and the Jivara Petit Four would satisfy any chocolate hounds cravings.

 

TWG Tea Pâtisserie in TWG Trolley

TWG Tea Pâtisserie in TWG Trolley

 

TWG is the best tea house in Vancouver. Full stop. It is wondrously beautiful inside and it, like the world's best athletes, the world's best anything really, strives to improve itself everyday. Chef Cliff Hohl is passionate about his craft and is also very, very good at it. Their upcoming Easter Tea Set will no doubt inspire me to wax poetically and I look forward to trying it. As you should.

 

TWG Tea Selection

TWG Tea Selection

TWG Tea Selection
TWG Tea Macaron

TWG Tea Macaron

 
 

Holy Crab! by Jenn Chan

Holy Crab Robson
HolyCrab Code & Selfie Sticks

HolyCrab Code & Selfie Sticks

HolyCrab Code & Selfie Sticks

HolyCrab Code & Selfie Sticks

As you walk into Holy Crab's bright, modern space you're struck by the casual atmosphere not usually associated with their high end fare. Crabs and clams and mussels and lobsters dot the tables as bibs and gloves adorn the smiling guests. Whimsical how-to videos play on a loop on the tv's around the dining room and comical instruction guides 15 feet high dominate the back wall, we're in for some fun!

The Holy Crab
The Holy Crab Drink Menu

The Holy Crab Drink Menu

The Holy Crab Menu

The Holy Crab Menu

 

Our lovely server Crystal was keen to introduce herself and get our culinary adventure started. Evelyn, the manager, was similarly eager to make our acquaintance and, uncharacteristically of us, we let her order our entire meal! Minus the Hurricane IPA I requested, which was delicious, and the Stawberry Pom Mojito Crystal suggested for Jenn; both delicious! Seconds after our drinks arrived the surprises started to come as well. Seafood Chowder, amazing, and Seafood Bisque were first up followed quickly by Deep Fried Frog Legs and Crispy Soft Shell Crab. The chowder has a slightly sweet broth and was packed with seafood and potato; delicious! The bisque has a nice, light broth with a distinct, fresh flavour.

 

Strawberry Pom Mojito

Strawberry Pom Mojito

Ready to get Messy!

Ready to get Messy!

Seafood Bisque & Seafood Chowder

Seafood Bisque & Seafood Chowder

Frog legs are good, they just are! Caked in an incredible Cajun spice these were the best I have ever had! Go now, we'll wait. Good, right? I've yet to ever have a bad soft shell crab. If you haven't tried them you owe it to yourself. There's no messy de-shelling, not that, that isn't super fun anyway, but you simply grab and munch.

 

Deep Fried Frog Legs

Deep Fried Frog Legs

Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab

Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab

 

 

Speaking of the fun of de-shelling crustaceans... Just as I pop a wonderful soft shell crab into my mouth out swaggers Crystal with the main event; a 2.4 LBs Dungeness crab which looked like he probably gave the fishermen trying to reel his crab pot in a fight. Sturdy. The young man was sturdy. As food bloggers we enjoy, and greatly appreciate, certain perks. Our favourite on this night was the opportunity to try all six of Holy Crab's sauces. Generally you'll make a decision and your prehistoric sea creature will be covered in one of their highly doggy-baggable sauces, but we were lucky enough to get a six pack and an explanation of each. I like it hot. Hot, hot, hot. So I tended, when not opting for the tried and true melted butter original, to hover around the super spicy sauce. When Jenn wasn't looking I tried to swap it around for the medium spice, but she eyed the colour difference and my prank, sadly, did not succeed. That failure aside the crab was amongst the best is ever tried. Fresh, well coloured and meaty! I highly recommend Holy Crab if the usual snottiness of high end seafood restaurants draw your ire or if you don't think your kids could behave long enough in one for you to finish. It's a modern, upscale test casual seafood experience and one the whole family can enjoy. Tell Evelyn that Jenn Chan Media sent you and you'll be glad we did!

 

Dungeness Crab

Dungeness Crab

Dungeness Crab, Shrimps, variety of sauces, Nugget Potatoes, Corn, Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab, Deep Fried Frog Legs & Lobster Bisque

Dungeness Crab, Shrimps, variety of sauces, Nugget Potatoes, Corn, Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab, Deep Fried Frog Legs & Lobster Bisque

Prawn-sized Shrimp

Prawn-sized Shrimp

How To Open a Crab

How To Open a Crab

How To Open a Crab
How To Open a Crab
How To Open a Crab
How To Open a Crab
The Holy Crab
 
 

Fusion Restaurants in Vancouver: Kamei Baru by Jenn Chan

Kamei Baru

 

Kamei Royale was the Kamei family's original foray into the Vancouver restaurant scene. For 40 years it was an institution in the neighbourhood that was once commonly called Lil Ginza; the stretch of Alberni Street between Burrard and Bute Streets. As a resident of Alberni Street I still call it Lil Ginza and hope desperately it catches back on! Kamei Baru, Japanese for bar, is a more casual atmosphere, but with the same quality that has helped the Kamei and Ebisu brands expand throughout the Lower Mainland. 

 

Naomi, our very lovely server, assured me my Yuzu Margarita wasn't topped with caramelized onions as she placed it in front of me; "phew" I thought as I took a large sip. Deon explained it as a hybrid between an orange and a lemon and it's newly in my top five fruits! JC ordered the Lychee Ball: Lychee liqueur, peach liqueur, apple juice and garnished with, you guessed it, Lychee balls. "Sweet and fruity, the liqueurs are barely noticeable, a dangerous combo.

 

Yuzu Margarita
Lychee Ball

Lychee Ball

 

Raw fish isn't for everyone. The idea alone scares some people, but, luckily, Jenn and I aren't among those people. It would be a valid estimate to say that I have eaten my weight in salmon sashimi in my lifetime and I'm a big boy. Like 220 LBs of big. That's a lot of poor little fishies, but it's them or me. The sashimi platter at Kamei, Hamachi, Atlantic and Sockeye Salmons and Albacore Tuna, is world class. I've ordered sashimi at small mom and pop spots and 4 diamond eateries and Kamei Baru's offering holds its own in terms of quality of fish and freshness with anyone!

 

Sashimi Platter: Hamachi, Atlantic Salmon, Sockeye Salmon & Albacore Tuna

Sashimi Platter: Hamachi, Atlantic Salmon, Sockeye Salmon & Albacore Tuna

Sashimi Platter: Hamachi, Atlantic Salmon, Sockeye Salmon & Albacore Tuna

 

Up next on our adventure was the Lobster Miso Chowder Pot Pie. It's the first and only time I've ever, ever seen this on a menu or even heard of it, but it should be everywhere! A flaky, heavenly, pastry hiding a steaming bowl of Japanese inspired Miso seafood chowder. Big bites of delicious lobster throughout, corn, celery and tender potatoes round out his incredible dish. Right on the heels of the pot pie, which vanished at top speed in a whirl of duelling spoons, came the Baru wings, Salmon Motoyaki Battera and BBQ Cuttlefish. The chicken wings, bathed in a unique balsamic teriyaki sauce, stack jup against any in the city; very, very good! 

 

Lobster Miso Chowder Pot Pie

Lobster Miso Chowder Pot Pie

Lobster Miso Chowder Pot Pie
Baru Wings

Baru Wings

 

The Salmon Motoyaki Battera is pressed Atlantic Salmon with Motoyaki sauce on sushi rice and blow torched. If you're thinking that sounds good you're right! Cuttlefish could look scary if you're not a big seafood person or if you're an old timey sailor with recurring nightmares of giant squid capsizing your ship, but there's nothing to be scared of! This squid's cousin is tender and delicious and, when dunked into the Japanese mayo, the world's best mayo, it is a flavour explosion!

 

Salmon Motoyaki Battera

Salmon Motoyaki Battera

BBQ Cuttlefish

BBQ Cuttlefish

BBQ Cuttlefish

 

Risking explosion we let Naomi talk us into desserts. You won't be able to tell her no either! Jenn went with the Anmitsu and I ordered the cheesecake. The presentation was lovely and the cheesecake, made in-house, was nice and light with a delicious crust! Served with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, blueberries and rich piece of milk chocolate it was an excellent cap to the meal! Jenn's dessert, of the traditional Japanese variety, consisted of green tea ice cream, mochi balls, fresh strawberries, red Sean and whipped cream. Very good mixture of flavours and she really enjoyed it!

 

Cheesecake

Cheesecake

Anmitsu with Matcha Ice Cream

Anmitsu with Matcha Ice Cream

 

This wasn't our first time at Kamei Baru and it won't be our last. Centrally located just off Burrard Street on Smithe and steps to the bustling Scotiabank Movie Theatre it is a very convenient location for downtowners and there wasn't an empty seat in the house on a drizzly Friday night. Awesome energy, great food and well above average service! 

 

Kamei Baru
 
 

Afternoon Tea Series: The Secret Garden Tea Company by Jenn Chan

The Secret Garden Tea Company

 

 

"Take a bite and then write" were Jenn's words of welcome as I sauntered into the lovely Secret Garden nearly an hour late. A cold bead of sweat trickled down my forehead as I took in the ambience and started to acclimate to the tony surroundings. Elegant white, wood paneling adorn the walls and Persian rugs bigger than I've ever seen half cover light hardwood floors. Half tea shoppe and half tea room the Secret Garden Tea Company puts off a distinct Alice in Wonderland vibe and everyone is grinning ear to ear!

 

The Secret Garden Tea Company
The Secret Garden Tea Company

 

I elected to go with a pot of apricot/ peach tea, to satisfy my sweet tooth, and was very glad I did! Delicious, aromatic and not too sweet. One of the best teas I've ever tried! As I sipped a 3-tiered tower of deliciousness was placed in front of me. Now I have developed a pretty bad habit over the last few years: croissant addiction. A severe, sometimes crippling addiction to France's second best export which only trails the French invention of democracy by a hair. I don't know what it is. I can't explain it, but when I see croissants I eat them. Without shame. The Tarragon Scented Asparagus Sandwiches on Petit Croissants were a revelation and I don't generally like asparagus. Or tarragon for that matter. But put them on a croissant and I could have eaten 20!

Table Setting
High Tea Menu

High Tea Menu

3-tiered High Tea

3-tiered High Tea

 

The Secret Garden Egg Pinwheels were a close runner up, akin to democracy trailing only croissants, and were incredibly fresh. If you've gathered that I have no aversion to carbohydrates and their prime delivery agents, pastries, you couldn't be more right. Enter the

Muffaletta with Genoa Salami, Ham, and Olive Relish on Housemade Cornmeal Biscuits. I have only been to Italy for a few hours, a quick jaunt into Trieste during a road trip of the Balkans, but if I get into Genoa I'm putting them on notice right now that they're going to need to make extra salami! This sandwich is a peppery adventure sweetened just enough by the cornmeal; excellent!

 

 

Secret Garden Egg Pinwheels, Tarragon Scented Asparagus Sandwiches on Petit Croissants, & Muffaletta with Genoa Salami, Ham, and Olive Relish on Housemade Cornmeal Biscuits

Secret Garden Egg Pinwheels, Tarragon Scented Asparagus Sandwiches on Petit Croissants, & Muffaletta with Genoa Salami, Ham, and Olive Relish on Housemade Cornmeal Biscuits

 

Scones are good. You might have guessed already that it'd be likely I'd enjoy them. Add some Raspberry Jam and Devonshire Cream and I enjoyed them more than I should have. A perfect 10/10 pastry! The Tea Cake Slices were a nice blend of sweet and tart, but the Tangy Mini Lemon Curd Tart was all sweet in a very good way. Bittersweet Chocolate Silk Mousse Cake speaks for itself. I remember sneaking my mom's baking chocolate out of the cupboard thinking I've stumbled upon a mother load only to find them half edible, but when you add the sweetness of the mousse to the mix thus dessert is a home run! When tourists come to Canada they almost inevitable leave with maple syrup. Why? We'll fit one its awesome. For two we have the leaf from that particular tree displayed prominently on our flag and, we'll, everywhere else! The Quebec Maple Fudge with Vanilla Chantilly scream Canada, whiskers the Anglican/ Francophone brotherhood and is just plain delicious.

 

Scone with Raspberry Jam and Devonshire Cream & Tea Cake Slices

Scone with Raspberry Jam and Devonshire Cream & Tea Cake Slices

Tangy Mini Lemon Curd Tart, Bittersweet Chocolate Silk Mousse Cake, & Quebec Maple Fudge with Vanilla Chantilly

Tangy Mini Lemon Curd Tart, Bittersweet Chocolate Silk Mousse Cake, & Quebec Maple Fudge with Vanilla Chantilly

 

When you combine the bright, airy surroundings, incredibly congenial service, amazing tea and excellent food it isn't hard to see why the Secret Garden requires a reservation! Call today and tell them the folks at Jenn Chan Media sent you and take our word for it you'll be glad you did!

 

Afternoon Tea with Mom

Afternoon Tea with Mom

Cutest Bow on the Maple Fudge

Cutest Bow on the Maple Fudge

Individual Tea Set

Individual Tea Set

High Tea for 1

High Tea for 1

 
 

Fusion Restaurants in Vancouver: Ebisu by Jenn Chan

Ebisu Exterior

 

When you walk into an Indian restaurant it's a good sign when there are tables upon tables of Indian families hunkering down over plates of simmering tika masala and ripping into fresh naan bread. It's no different in pho joints where Nguyen's and Ngo's slurp happily on big, steamy bowls or taquerias where most customers are obscured by large sombreros. Okay that last one not so much because Mexicans wouldn't be caught dead in gaudy tourist souvenirs, but you get what I mean. At Ebisu on Robson the Japanese have found their spot and staked their claim. It's a good sign, trust me!

 

Ebisu Interior

 

Our night started off, as good nights do, with a couple of cocktails: the DragonBall and Summer Dream. The former being a sake, mango passion Alize, peach Schnapps, Calpis and soda creation that takes the subtle bubble from the soda and melds it with the sweetness of the Schnapps and tartness of the sake perfectly. The latter a mixture of watermelon liqueur, peach Schnapps, Citron Vodka and tropical fruit punch mix... Yes, as good as it sounds! Not out of place in an upscale Japanese fusion hot spot or a Hawaiian beach.

 

Dragonball Cocktail & Summer Dream

Dragonball Cocktail & Summer Dream

 

All of a sudden out pops Yohei, our gracious host and Ebisu's manager, with the Supreme Sashimi Salad. Salmon, tuna, Ebi, hamachi and clam on a small mountain of organic greens with a rich, creamy dressing. Absolutely lovely. It was followed quickly by the Salmon Carpaccio which was a nice Atlantic salmon marinated in sou olive oil and topped with citrus white wine mayo and garlic chips. Top ten mayos of my life!  The salmon was tender, like pudding tender, and it had a nice lemon kick from the mayo. All in all a very, very good Carpaccio!

 

Supreme Sashimi Salad

Supreme Sashimi Salad

Supreme Sashimi Salad
Salmon Carpaccio

Salmon Carpaccio

 

A second course means a second cocktail and I went with the Angel: Blueberry Stoli, Cointreau, lemon lime mix and blueberry juice. The martini kick one would expect with very balanced flavours, very good! Just as I took a second sip out came the Hamachi Inferno and Cherry Blossom. The inferno, named for the at-table torching it receives I'd wager, is a Japanese Amberjack served aburi style on a brick of rice. The torching melts the mayo that covers it into a sticky, flavourful shellac. The Cherry Blossom is Red Ahi Bigeye Tuna layered with Japanese caviar, and has mango, avocado, sesame and poached prawns. The dish of the night! Topped off with wakame salad and ikura it is a a different taste per chew. The sweetness of the mango and avacado are tempered each time an ikura pops and the caviar compliments the elegant fish in a perfect way! Add to the mix Ebisu's famous Beef Short Ribs marinated in a "Korean influenced" BBQ with its cute, mini BBQ grill and the meal was a home run, a touchdown, a gooooaaaallll!

 

The Angel

The Angel

Hamachi Inferno

Hamachi Inferno

Cherry Blossom Roll

Cherry Blossom Roll

Beef Short Ribs

Beef Short Ribs

Beef Short Ribs

 

But we're not done! Out comes a Japanese crèpe that could have been a meal itself, football sized. A freshly made, near paper thing, light pastry enveloping a cache of fresh strawberries and delicious strawberry ice cream. Come on! Top it off with home made whipped cream on top and a drizzle of strawberry sauce and I will come back just for this dessert. I promise you that! Not knowing my choice could have fed a table of six Jenn ordered the Monkey Magic. Deep fried bananas, sweet red bean, a scoop of mango ice cream and a scoop of green tea ice cream drizzled with chocolate. Jenn was so enamoured with it that she went full Mary Poppins when describing the dish: "deep friend ban-o-na". She spat out a little bit of it in a fit of laughter, I laughed, other tables gawked. We win! In all the dining experience at Ebisu on Robson is near perfect. Excellent ambience, colourful, calm yet vibrant, and exceptional food. There will be something on the menu for everyone and you'll be glad you listened to us!

 

Japanese Style Crepe - Strawberry

Japanese Style Crepe - Strawberry

Monkey Magic with Matcha & Mango Ice cream

Monkey Magic with Matcha & Mango Ice cream

IMG_7939.jpg
 

Fusion Restaurants in Vancouver: Sai Woo by Jenn Chan

Sai Woo

 

Sai Woo's dining room blends the old and new together seamlessly. The exposed brick walls and original floor mingle with the modern bar, elegant 'button' light fixtures and LED adorned trees. The energy in the room is amazing, music rumbles and tables of 20 something's chat enthusiastically while tables of retirees cheers each other with glasses of red wine. 

 

Sai Woo

Sai Woo Food Menu

Sai Woo Drink Menu

Sai Woo Drink Menu

 

We start our adventure with their Jade Dragon: muddled strawberries, vodka, lime juice, guava and prosecco. Designed for two and served in a large Chinese vase it is delightfully sweet with the delicious strawberries overpowering the lime juice and guava. 

 

Jade Dragon: Muddled Strawberries, Vodka, Lime Juice, Guava & Prosecco

Jade Dragon: Muddled Strawberries, Vodka, Lime Juice, Guava & Prosecco

 

And then the fun really started! Our affable server Julie came bounding over with the first dish she recommended; the fried cauliflower and tofu. I don't usually like cauliflower, but the subtle spice on this dish really makes it pop! I ate more cauliflower at Sai Woo than I've ever eaten before! The tofu, another food on my 'naw list', shared the cauliflower's spice and was similarly delicious. 

 

Halfway through devouring our cauliflower Julie came back with Sai Woo's wok fried famous chicken wings and Vietnamese lemongrass chicken bao. The wings come crisp and layered in fried kale, scallions, challots, ginger and Asian sauce vierge. They are delicious! I am a bao fan and I don't care who knows it. If they made mattresses out of bao I would throw my newly purchased Posturepedic California king in the garbage and buy one. Without hesitation. If you haven't tried it think of bread and then multiply the deliciousness by roughly one billion. The chicken was nicely prepared and the Sriracha mayo was a perfect compliment to the pickled vegetables. Fantastic!

 

Deep Fried Cauliflower & Tofu  

Deep Fried Cauliflower & Tofu

 

Wok Fried Chicken Wings

Wok Fried Chicken Wings

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Bao

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Bao

 

In between courses Julie suggested we try The Anna May and I decided on the Sai Woo Sour. Bombay Sapphire East, Benedictine, ginger syrup, lemon juice and egg white make us the Sai Woo Sour and it strikes the perfect blend between tart and tangy. A strong 9/10 on the cocktail meter! The Anna May, named for an early Chinese pioneer in English cinema, consists of Finlandia vodka, muddled mint and blueberries, lime juice, crème violette and sparkling cava. Blueberries are a super good for a reason and it's not their incredible antioxidant properties, that's a common misconception, it's actually because they overpower and defeat every flavour they're out up against! This drink is blueberry forward and very tasty! Hats off to the bartender for hiding 2 oz of liquor in such a small, flavourful package! 

 

Sai Woo Sour

Sai Woo Sour

The Anna May

The Anna May

 

Out came our main courses and did not disappoint: Korean Scallion Pancakes with Korean barbecue pork shoulder, ponzu and kimchi, Szechuan Ginger Beef cooked sous vide with crispy shallots and Chinese vegetables and Cantonese salted fish fried rice. Where to start, where to start... As with parents favouring one child over the other I'm hesitant to state which dish I like the best, but I liked the pancakes, like a lot! Tender and fresh, thin pancakes covered, absolutely covered, in incredible pork shoulder. Get it! Following closely was the Ginger beef. Very closely. It is cooked sous vide for 12 hours and bathed in black vinegar, garlic, Chinese wine and fermented peppers.  So nice you'll wish you ordered it twice! The rice dish was the perfect compliment to the other protein dishes and everything disappeared quickly!

 

Korean Scallion Pancakes

Korean Scallion Pancakes

Cantonese Salted Fish Fried Rice

Cantonese Salted Fish Fried Rice

Szechuan Ginger Beef

Szechuan Ginger Beef

 

Julie suggested we try both of Sai Woo's desserts offerings and who are we to turn down our new best friend? In between time I tested the Woo Cantina because of the name wWoo. El Jimador Tequila, ginger peppercorn sauce, lime juice, egg white and peppercorns. The sting of the tequila is subdued by the tang of the ginger and lime and it all works really well together. 8/10 on the cocktail meter, definitely a must drink! Enjoying my first sip of tequila goodness our nama chocolate and matcha coconut panna cotta arrived. Japanese truffle terrine, Yuzu curd and maldon make up the nama chocolate. Think of fudge crossed with mousse crossed with heaven. Matcha is an acquired taste. One I have yet to acquire, but Jenn wolfed it down like, well, a wolf. 

 

Desserts: Nama Chocolate & Matcha Coconut Panna Cotta

Desserts: Nama Chocolate & Matcha Coconut Panna Cotta

Matcha Coconut Panna Cotta

Matcha Coconut Panna Cotta

Nama Chocolate

Nama Chocolate

 

Sai Woo is a feather in Chinatown's cap! Delicious flavours, hip vibe and incredible cocktails. If and when you go ask for Julie and just eat whatever she suggest, you'll thank me!

 

 

Sai Woo