Vancouver

FOOD | La Pentola Sunday Supper Series - Pasta & Vino by Jenn Chan

La Pentola

 

There is a day each month set aside for a special culinary experience.  The Sunday Supper Series at Italian restaurant La Pentola takes place the last Sunday of the month, a familia style meal with a new menu each time.  Our visit was in February when the menu featured Pasta and Vino.  The six course meal was available with or without wine pairings.  The evening was like a virtual tour of Italy as each course was from a different region of the country.  I was a tourist in Italy a few months ago and had many excellent meals there.  I am determined to return some day but until that happens meals in Italian restaurants will have to satisfy my yearnings.

 

We arrived promptly at 6pm.  A large curved bar is the focal point of the warmly lit main room.  We were shown to a side room with seating for twenty two people at three tables.  Two windows facing Davie Street let in the dwindling daylight.  A large window to another side room in the restaurant was curtained off, creating a comfortable feeling of privacy and separation from the larger restaurant.  As we settled in we were brought fresh bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to tide us over until the first course.  You might say that traditionally Italians don’t eat bread before a meal but as North Americans we are able to enjoy this without any qualms and it is so, so good.

 

Pasta & Vino Supper Series Menu

 

The first course, from the Piedmont region, was Pea and Ricotta Agnolotti with Side Stripe Shrimp, Lemon Butter Sauce and Bottarga.  Piedmont is a mountainous area in the north of Italy with Turin the largest city of interest.  The fresh shrimp was excellent, the agnolotti equally good.  The lemon butter sauce light, harmonious.  A Marchesi di Gresy Sauvignon Blanc was the wine paired to this dish, a fine match.  The Piedmont region scores high marks all around for this course.

 

Piedmont | Pea and Ricotta Agnolotti, Side Stripe Shrimp, Lemon Butter Sauce, Bottarga Wine Pairing: Marchesi di Gresy Sauvignon Blanc

Piedmont | Pea and Ricotta Agnolotti, Side Stripe Shrimp, Lemon Butter Sauce, Bottarga
Wine Pairing: Marchesi di Gresy Sauvignon Blanc

 

On the central Adriatic coast of Italy is the Marche region which provided inspiration for the next course on the menu: Lobster Tortellini in Lobster Brodo.  The lobster tortellini’s subtle flavour was nicely enhanced by the slightly spicy lobster brodo.  The summery white wine with this course was the Andrea Felici Verdicchio.  The Verdicchio grape is one of the best for white wines in Italy.  I found this wine easy to drink and a welcome respite from the slight spicy heat of the brodo.  (I have a low threshold for spicy foods so you might have found the brodo very mild.)

 

Marche | Lobster Tortellini in Lobster Brodo Wine Pairing: Andrea Felici Verdicchio

Marche | Lobster Tortellini in Lobster Brodo
Wine Pairing: Andrea Felici Verdicchio

Marche | Lobster Tortellini in Lobster Brodo

 

From the Adriatic coast to Sicily in the Mediterranean for the third dish of the evening: Spaghetti, Sardines, Currents, Pine Nuts, and Saffron.  This dish had layers of texture and tastes.  I liked the currents quite a bit.  As sardines are slightly oily a full bodied wine was called for.  The lovely Mazzei Zisola Nero d’Avola fit the bill fabulously.  This rich dark red wine was my favourite of the evening.  As good as the spaghetti dish was this wine pairing made it better.

 

Sicily | Spaghetti, Sardines, Currents, Pine Nuts, Saffron Wine Pairing: Massei Zisola Nero d'Avola

Sicily | Spaghetti, Sardines, Currents, Pine Nuts, Saffron
Wine Pairing: Massei Zisola Nero d'Avola

Sicily | Spaghetti, Sardines, Currents, Pine Nuts, Saffron

 

The fourth dish to be brought to the table, inspired by the city of Florence, was Pappardelle, Wild Boar Prosciutto and Rabbit Ragu.  A translation of the word pappardelle is “to gobble up” and that is exactly what I did with this delicious offering.  The boar prosciutto and rabbit ragu were amazing.  Jenn said “I don’t know where the rabbit ends and the boar begins.  So delicious together!”  The wide pappardelle noodle was a perfect choice with this ragu, bringing so much flavour to the mouth with each bite.  If I had the talent to make this dish at home it would appear regularly on my dining table.  La Pentola makes their pasta in house so you can count on it to be fresh and excellent.  A dish this good needs an equally good wine.  The Tenuta Guado al Tasso il Bruciato, a blended red wine, did not disappoint.  It is a rich, full flavoured vibrant wine that paired very nicely with the dish from Florence.

 

Florence | Pappardelle, Wild Boar Prosciutto and Rabbit Ragu Wine Pairing: Tenuta Guado al Tasso il Bruciato

Florence | Pappardelle, Wild Boar Prosciutto and Rabbit Ragu
Wine Pairing: Tenuta Guado al Tasso il Bruciato

 

The Veneto region is towards the north of Italy, on the Adriatic sea.  Venice and Verona are two of the tourist friendly cities of Veneto.  This region is represented on the menu by Potato Gnocchi, Braised Oxtail Ragu, Pecorino.  The oxtail ragu was the star of this dish.  Lots of flavour, accented nicely by the Pecorino.  The wine pairing was Werner Walch Saint Magdalener Schiava, a nice red similar to a Pinot Noir with hints of cherry.  I’d not tasted Pecorino before this evening and I am happy to say I very much like this cheese made from ewe’s milk.

 

Veneta | Potato Gnocchi, Braised Oxtail Ragu, Pecorino Wine Pairing: Werner Walch Saint Magdalener Schiava

Veneta | Potato Gnocchi, Braised Oxtail Ragu, Pecorino
Wine Pairing: Werner Walch Saint Magdalener Schiava

 

Dolce is the logical conclusion to a great Italian meal.  Four different sweets appeared before me along with a sweet dessert wine.  I tried the Lemon Curd Stuffed Meringue first and loved it.  The Apricot Biscotti was warm and yummy.  A pleasing Raspberry and Rose Water Macaron was next, and my final taste experience was a Sour Cherry Gorgonzola Cheesecake.  I was initially surprised at the bold gorgonzola taste but quickly grew to like it.  I regret not noting the name of the dessert wine.  I can say it was a very suitable choice, as were all the wine pairings this evening.

 

Dolce | Lemon Curd Stuffed Meringue, Apricot Biscotti, Raspberry and Rose Water Macaron, Sour Cherry Gorgonzola Cheesecake

Dolce | Lemon Curd Stuffed Meringue, Apricot Biscotti, Raspberry and Rose Water Macaron, Sour Cherry Gorgonzola Cheesecake

 

The six courses of this Sunday Supper Series were served over a comfortable three hours.  Our servers were well informed about the food and wine choices and were happy to share that information.  The theme of the supper series is different each month.  Prepare yourself for a variety of interesting courses that will leave you satisfied and full, with or without wine pairings.  La Pentola sources vegetables and meats locally and imports olive oils and prosciutto from Italy.

 

La Pentola is located in the Opus Hotel, 350 Davie Street near Hamilton.  The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Don’t drink and drive, plan ahead.  Bus, taxi and skytrain are all nearby.

 

La Pentola & Opus Hotel
 
 

FOOD | Happy Hour at The Sandbar, Granville Island by Jenn Chan

Sandbar, Granville Island

 

Did you know that Sandbar never had Happy Hour before? Me neither!! I was lucky enough to try a preview of the Happy Hour menu last night, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING! Their Happy Hour officially starts this coming Monday, and you need to go! My absolute favourite from the menu is the Avocado Chips - 100% highly recommended! That is just one amongst many other great items on the menu. 

 

Happy Hour starts Februrary 26, 3-6pm Monday to Friday at the Bar / Lounge.  Enjoy $5 Granville Island Beer, $5 wine, $5 highballs, and tasty food items under $10. 

 

 

Happy Hour from 3-6pm at The Sandbar

Happy Hour from 3-6pm at The Sandbar

Happy Hour
Avocado Chips
House Blend Spiced Frites

House Blend Spiced Frites

Tacos Frijoles

 

I mean really.... look at this view! I'm in love!

 

View from The Sandbar Patio

View from The Sandbar Patio

 

Staycation at Trump Vancouver by Jenn Chan

 

Gazing up at the $275 million Holborn Group built, Trump branded, twisted tower of glass and steel it is difficult to fathom the sheer scale of such a large project. Where do you even start to build such a behemoth? Who do you hire? How long will it adorn the majestic Vancouver skyline? Where did all that money go? When you walk in it is immediately apparent where the money has gone; details. Marble, crystal and dark woods everywhere. Custom made furniture, floor to ceiling windows and 180 eclectic pieces of art by local Vancouver artist  Miriam Aroeste commissioned specifically for the tower. This is luxury.

 



Our staycation experience starts long before we enter the doors to our sensational hotel room. It starts with service. Bobby Bissessar is a prime example of someone you want to be customer facing if you run a luxury hotel, a Fortune 500 company or even a hotdog stand. The term people person gets thrown around a lot in this day and age. It equates to someone who genuinely likes people; who is humble, affable and accommodating and Bobby is all these things and more! As the Marketing and Leisure Sales Manager he is our point of contact and we are grateful for his professionalism and friendship.

Open the door to any hotel room in the tower and you will be awed by its modern features and beautiful design, but open the door to an Executive King Suite and prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor! An immense tv sits at the foot of a heavenly soft yet supportive king sized bed with an enormous, white leather headboard. Sizing things up I estimated the headboard alone to be worth upwards of $10,000; details. A well appointed desk sits adjacent and Jenn spends a lot of time there editing these beautiful photos you see above. Just beyond that is the bathroom that wouldn't look out of place in a high end spa. A stately, standalone tub dominates one corner and, to the right, double sinks precede an all glass shower with a luxurious rain head. With a push of a button all the blinds close for privacy. The balcony, one of the iconic oval outcroppings on the tower, is spacious and has a very comfortable patio couch which offers a nice peekaboo view of the Vancouver Yacht Club and beautiful, supernatural Stanley Park. Staying at Trump will make you feel pampered and ready to explore the splendour that is Vancouver!

Enjoying a Nespresso on the Balcony

Enjoying a Nespresso on the Balcony

Fresh Bottled Water & Chocolate Truffles

Fresh Bottled Water & Chocolate Truffles

Trump Champagne & Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Trump Champagne & Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Fitness Centre

Fitness Centre

Fitness Centre
In-room Dining Breakfast in Bed

In-room Dining Breakfast in Bed

Scambled Eggs with Caviar

Scambled Eggs with Caviar

Trump Rainbow Smoothie

Trump Rainbow Smoothie

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

Trump Towers Vancouver
 
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan
 

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

 
 

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
 
 

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