Monday, July 28, 2014

Taste of Edmonton 2014

Since starting my blog a few months ago, I've always tried my best to post my food adventures in order. That way, the Blog Archive can act like a timeline. However, with Heritage Days slowly creeping up on me, I've decided to write about my experience at this year's Taste of Edmonton before I write about any other previous food adventures. With so many food to try at both Taste of Edmonton and Heritage Days, I didn't want to have to go through mind blocks thinking about how certain food items tasted. So here it is: a recap of my day at Taste of Edmonton 2014 with CJ and two of my friends! 

Taste of Edmonton ( is an annual 10 day food festival located in the heart of Downtown at Churchill Square. This is an event for food lovers to sample delicious food and drinks from many different restaurants and food trucks. In addition to the food, there is also music entertainment, the Sip 'n Savour venue, and so much more. You don't have to be an expert foodie to enjoy Taste of Edmonton - just come with an empty stomach and a willingness to try new food! 

CJ and I arrived at Taste of Edmonton last Monday afternoon. It was around lunch time, so there was quite a crowd of people wanting to grab something to eat. We made a beeline to the Ticket Centre where we purchased 40 tickets (considered a full sheet) for $50. I wish I had purchased my tickets before the actual event started - it was on sale for 20% off! Too bad I missed out on that deal. I've been attending Taste of Edmonton every year for awhile now, but 40 tickets is the most I've ever purchased. And with each dish averaging to 3 tickets and smaller portion sizes, you get to try more food! The more food, the better right?

Hurricane Potato.

The first dish I picked up was the Hurricane Potato (3 tickets) from Korean Village Restaurant ( I mostly wanted to get this dish because I've never had any twisted potato snack on a stick before. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this dish and just the experience of taking a bite into each section of the "hurricane". When paired with the sriracha sauce CJ added to the side, the taste of the potato was amped up even more. 

Wood Fired Prosciutto Pizza.

Next up was Wood Fired Prosciutto Pizza (3 tickets) from the Canicus Catering ( food truck. One neat thing is that the food truck resembles a fire truck, however it is remodelled to have a pizza oven placed inside. Very eye catching. In terms of the food itself, the Wood Fired Prosciutto Pizza was one of my favourite eats of the day. Despite the crust being only slightly burnt, I found the pizza to be soft and chewy. I thought the sauce, cheese, and prosciutto on top together tasted very mellow yet addicting. I loved that this pizza was made fresh right in front of me as well. 

Cherry-Glazed Duck Confit Tacos with Jicama Slaw.

Prior to visiting Taste of Edmonton this day, I would notice Instagrammers raving about the Cherry-Glazed Duck Confit Taco with Jicama Slaw (3 tickets) from Fairmont Hotel MacDonald ( This is one of their new menu items, so I knew I had to try it. Although I didn't really get enough of the cherry flavour, I still found the duck confit alone to be very flavourful. The slaw itself was just okay, but paired nicely with the meat. I just wish there was a little more sauce added to give it more dimension. Nevertheless, still a delicious dish and ranked high in my opinion (the duck confit was the best part)! 

Chilled Blueberry Soup with Goat Cheese Ice Cream and Micro Basil.

Another one of the new food items at Taste of Edmonton! Chilled Blueberry Soup with Goat Cheese Ice Cream and Micro Basil (3 tickets) from Mercer Tavern ( The picture I took isn't the best one since the ice cream melted from being exposed to the sun for too long! When you receive the soup, you actually do get it with a legit scoop of ice cream. Anyways, this soup was another one of my favourites! I thought it was quite interesting that the blueberry soup itself remained chilled during the entire eating process. I'm sad that I couldn't properly try the goat cheese ice cream, since it eventually became muddled with the blueberry soup. CJ wasn't too in love with this dish because apparently his mom makes blueberry soup for him at home all the time. 

24 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemonade.

Drinks are important too! I chose the 24 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemonade (4 tickets) from Lemon Heaven ( to share with CJ. Perfect to quench our thirst and wash down all the food we eat! Lemonade is clearly a classic summer beverage. 

Donair Poutine.

So far all the dishes I've discussed were chosen by me, but since CJ and I were sharing the 40 tickets, I had to let him choose his own dish at some point. CJ likes to go for things that have meat and are familiar to him - nothing too crazy or out-of-the-box. That's why I wasn't surprised when he picked Donair Poutine (4 tickets) from Quick Meal Mediterranean Food (, another food truck. This dish features a traditional poutine but with donair meat and donair sauce added on it. I didn't try this dish since I was busy eating my duck confit taco, but CJ told me he enjoyed it. The sweet taste of the donair sauce came through first, but after a few more bites it just tasted like a regular poutine (so I was told). CJ obviously wished the dish came in a larger portion size. 

Wasabi Beef on a Bun.

CJ's second pick for the day: Wasabi Beef on a Bun (3 tickets) from Hawkeyes Too ( I don't like wasabi, so this is something I would steer clear of. CJ told me that this dish was pleasant and not too spicy, but just spicy enough so that he had to take a couple sips of our lemonade. Maybe if I were more adventurous, I would try this dish out for myself! 

Marvelous Stuffed Mushrooms.

Another dish that CJ wanted to get was the Marvelous Stuffed Mushrooms (2 tickets) from The Cheesecake Cafe ( I tried one piece and it was delicious! I loved the crunchiness of the exterior, while the mushroom and stuffing inside packed a lot of flavour in a small bite. CJ said it reminded him of eating popcorn chicken, and I have to agree. I think the best part of this dish was the sauce it came with - tangy, yet it complemented the stuffed mushroom very well. CJ said this was his favourite dish he picked for the day! And at a steal for only 2 tickets! 

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake on a Stick.

My pick from The Cheesecake Cafe was their White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake on a Stick (4 tickets). This is another dessert that I was influenced to get based on Instagrammers saying how good it was. So of course I had to see what all the hype was about. This dessert features a full slice of the cheesecake, so it definitely is a bigger portion size compared to some other desserts. I actually don't like white chocolate, but I still wanted to give this one a try! Taking my first bite, I tasted the raspberry atop a crumbly chocolate layer. Very yummy. However, I did find this dish to be quite sweet with each successive bite. It also wasn't as creamy as cheesecakes typically are. While perfect for those who have more of a sweet tooth than myself, I would say this dessert was a miss for me! 

Bacon Bullets.

More savoury food again! This time, it's Bacon Bullets (3 tickets) from Sabor Divino ( From the moment we first passed by Sabor Divino's stall, I knew CJ would want to try their Bacon Bullets. He loves bacon, considering he always finds a way to incorporate it into every lunch or dinner he's made for me. Nowadays, I'm beginning to see more and more bacon wrapped anything being offered at different restaurants I go to. However, this is my first time seeing bacon wrapped dates. The Bacon Bullets are also stuffed with Manchego cheese as well. This dish definitely packed a lot of punch for a small bite. I thought the cheese was distinct and assertive, and I found that it actually came through more than the bacon did. In my opinion, the bacon and the dates helped to tone down the strong taste of the cheese. Another very delicious dish worth trying! 

Chocolate Mousse with Poprocks.

My second choice for a dessert item was the Chocolate Mousse with Poprocks (2 tickets) from The Common ( I was drawn to this dish mainly because of the addition of pop rocks. If you are unfamiliar with pop rocks, it is a carbonated candy that creates a fizzy sensation once it is dissolved in your mouth. CJ was the first person to introduce me to this candy a few years ago, back when he was still trying to win my heart. Hehehe. The chocolate mousse itself tasted like any regular chocolate mousse, but with the pop rocks I thought this dish became one of a kind. I really enjoyed the fizzy, crackling sensation I got from the pop rocks - definitely made me laugh a few times. 

Cinnamon Naan.

My day at Taste of Edmonton is coming to an end! With only a few tickets left, CJ and I just started to look for anything that sounded tasty. He chose the Cinnamon Naan (3 tickets) from NaanOLicious (The Naan Bar - I only tried a small piece of the naan, but I only got some cinnamon and icing sugar taste. CJ told me that he wished it was a bit sweeter: "more cinnamon, less naan" according to him. Nevertheless, this is something unique as I've never seen Cinnamon Naan elsewhere in Edmonton! 

Deep Fried Wonton with Crab Meat and Cream Cheese.

Last dish of the day! I chose to get the Deep Fried Wonton with Crab Meat and Cream Cheese (3 tickets) from Panda Hut Express ( I was intrigued by the combo of crab meat and cream cheese... so why not give it a try? Although I mostly tasted cream cheese and only a little crab meat, I thought the idea of this dish was very interesting. I enjoyed the crunchiness of the wonton together with the filling, but just the wonton alone wasn't the most tastiest thing to eat. I can imagine this dish to be a perfect snack to munch on for those lazy summer days. 

I had an awesome time at Taste of Edmonton this year! Everything tasted delicious, and I left Churchill Square feeling full and satisfied. It's hard for me to pick just one favourite dish, considering I sampled so many good ones! The best part about this year's festival would have to be the fact that everything was a smaller portion size for fewer tickets. 40 tickets resulted in 12 food items and 1 drink! The only downside was that I wished for a larger stomach so I could try more food! I'm sad that I missed out on the Duck Tots from Attila The Hungry food truck (they weren't at the festival the day I went)... I heard so many good things about it too. Overall, Taste of Edmonton will always be one of my favourite festivals in the city... I'm already looking forward to next year!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Oodle Noodle

While having a late afternoon snack with CJ at Teapsy Cafe (see previous post), I soon found out that both of us didn't eat an actual lunch yet! CJ kept insisting that he was okay, but I knew he was hungry and wanted something more filling to eat. I suggested to stop by Oodle Noodle ( since we both wanted something quick and inexpensive. 

Oodle Noodle is a restaurant that offers flavours from 7 Asian nations. While they specialize in noodles, they also have some starters, salads, and other dishes with Far East flavours. CJ and I went to their Whyte Ave location, but they also have 6 other locations in Edmonton and the Greater Edmonton Area. 

The interior (with CJ watching the food being made).

The interior of Oodle Noodle's Whyte Ave location isn't the most spacious, with only a couple booths and tall chairs overlooking the kitchen area. While waiting for our food, I found that most people would order their food to go. Oodle Noodle also delivers, however they do not deliver south of 34th Ave (shame the two of us live in the southside lol!). You can even pick up your order at one of their locations as well. 

The menu.

There are two large menus on the wall on opposite sides to each other. With so many different types of noodles, it's hard not to want to try them all! I loved the fact that each food item had a description underneath. For all the wok dishes, you can choose to have it made with either chicken, beef, tofu, or shrimp. Some of the dishes are marked as vegan-friendly, while others are gluten-free. Literally anyone can find something to eat at Oodle Noodle! 

Take out box.

I absolutely love the take out box that the noodles come in! It is bright blue and decorated with white pixel clouds all around. So cute! It reminds me of old school Super Mario Bros... anyone else feeling nostalgic? 

Pancit Canton (front) and Bombay Butter Chicken (back).

The wok dish I ordered was Oodle Noodle's Pancit Canton ($9.45) with chicken as my choice of meat. Pancit Canton is a popular Filipino dish - I eat this at home all the time! The chef actually asked me what size of Mandarin noodles I wanted, and I chose the skinnier size over the thicker one. There are also some vegetables mixed in with the noodles as well. I got my noodles freshly made, so of course it was quite hot. The first couple bites of a piping hot dish were just okay, but after letting it cool down a bit, eating the noodles became much more enjoyable. There was a delicious spicy flavour that built up as I ate more noodles... super addicting! Another thing to note is that even though the take out box looks pretty small, I actually found there to be a lot of noodles inside! 

Bombay Butter Chicken.

The dish CJ chose for our late lunch was their Bombay Butter Chicken ($10.95). The butter chicken is served with naan and rice. Butter chicken is definitely one of my favourite things to eat! It's not overly spicy, and I love the rich and creamy taste of it. When paired with rice or naan... it's heaven in my mouth. CJ finished his food really quickly - a sign that he enjoyed everything! 

Going to Oodle Noodle for the first time together, CJ and I had a positive experience there! It's great that the food is made to order, so everything tasted nice and fresh. I would recommend Oodle Noodle if you're looking for some tasty Asian food made in a casual atmosphere that is also affordable. Another bonus is that they are generally open late on Fridays and Saturdays - even until 3:00am at both of their Downtown locations! Perfect for hungry night owls. Also... who wouldn't want to receive their food in a cute bright blue take out box!? 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Teapsy Cafe

Let's get TEAPSYYY!!! That's exactly what CJ and I did two weeks ago, when we finally got to go to Teapsy Cafe ( I first heard about Teapsy Cafe a couple months ago from a friend, who told me they served all kinds of Asian snacks and bubble tea. Since then, I've always been asking CJ to go here, but we never really had the chance to do so. That's when he spontaneously picked me up from home and told me we could go where ever I wanted to go without him complaining. So sweet of you bb! 

I knew Teapsy was down Whyte Ave, but I didn't know specifically where. Taking the bus from the University Station, I ended up getting off at the stop that was just before the correct one. Ooops. CJ and I had to walk down Whyte Ave for a bit before I located Teapsy, but he was okay with that. He was able to check out a store called The Briefing Room, which he said would be his "new favourite store" (lol). 

We stepped into Teapsy to find ourselves in a room with a couple of tables and some games on a shelf to the side. One of the walls is bright red with a mural of angel wings painted on it. I didn't take a picture of it, but it looked very pretty! CJ and I decided to take a seat at a table meant for two people close to the entrance. Two menus were given to us, and after looking through it we decided to get ourselves drinks and a dessert to share. 

Pool, anyone?

While waiting for our food and drinks, CJ brought over a mini pool table from the shelf filled with games. Teapsy also has a variety of board games and card games if you're more into that. I'm not the best pool player... but CJ still let me win our short game of pool anyways! 

When our server arrived with our dessert, she asked us if we wanted to move to a larger table. The larger tables near the windows were actually all occupied when CJ and I first came in, but seeing that they were now empty, I naturally took up her offer to move! The seating at the larger table was more comfy, and I could sit beside CJ instead of across from him. Also, better lighting for pictures! 

Shaved Ice.

The dessert I chose to share with CJ was their Shaved Ice ($7.95). At Teapsy, you can choose three items for toppings, and also add matcha ice cream for an extra $3. The toppings I chose were original flavour mochi, mango bobba (bubble pops), and pudding. Other toppings include tapioca, red beans, green beans, natural, grass or lychee jelly, taro, aloe, and strawberry or yogurt bobba. There are also more flavours of mochi as well. A small cup of condensed milk is given on the side, which you then have to pour into the shaved ice to give it flavour. After that, feel free to mix everything together to get a delicious treat! 

Our shaved ice dessert with our drinks.

This was actually the first time CJ and I have had a Shaved Ice dessert together! We actually felt we were eating it incorrectly (do you mix it all together or not?), but we thought the idea was similar to a traditional Filipino dessert we've had called Halo-Halo. Halo-Halo translates to "mix-mix", where you mix the shaved ice together with all the different toppings. Yummy! I really enjoyed the mango bobba and pudding, though I wished I would've picked a different flavour of mochi instead of the original. Shaved Ice is definitely a good pick if you're looking for something sweet and cold but is also customizable. 

Champagne Grape Yogurt Slush.

CJ's drink was the first to arrive at our table. He chose the Champagne Grape Yogurt Slush ($5.50). He also had the option to get this drink as a juice, but he preferred to have it as a slush. I had a sip of his drink, and I could really taste the grape flavour! Since it is more on the icy side, it isn't as milky as bubble tea drinks are, so I thought this was pleasantly refreshing. CJ's been loving grape flavours lately, so I knew he enjoyed his drink! 

Taro Bling Bling.

The drink I chose was the Taro Milk Slush with Matcha Ice Cream Bling Bling ($6). This drink is essentially taro bubble tea topped with whipped cream and a small scoop of green tea ice cream. I thought the taro milk slush tasted delicious, with the consistency being just slightly thicker than the bubble tea you find at Dream Tea House. This drink also has no tapioca (hence why it is called a milk slush), which I thought was great for me since I don't really like tapioca anyways. I loved how the green tea ice cream would melt into the taro milk slush... it made the drink taste even better! 

CJ and I had a great time at Teapsy Cafe. The weather outside wasn't the most beautiful this day, so I loved the cozy feeling of sharing a dessert with CJ. There is also Shaw Go Wifi at Teapsy (cheers to free wifi hahaha), so we got to watch the first episode of the second season of Sword Art Online. Definitely an awesome way to spend a late afternoon on a Thursday. 

Overall, if you're looking for a new hangout spot, Teapsy Cafe is a good place to go! While they mostly specialize in drinks (milk tea, bubble tea, etc.), they also have a few savoury dishes if you want something more filling. Another thing to note is that they are open pretty late (midnight and until 1:00am on Fridays and Saturdays), so it's a good place to stop by for a late night snack. Next time, I would want to go with a few more friends and try their waffles!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rice Bowl Deluxe

I try my best to schedule a lunch date with CJ at least once a week. Lunch dates not only give us a chance to spend time together, it also means more food adventures for me! On the first Wednesday of July, I decided to take us to Rice Bowl Deluxe (, located in Strathcona Town Centre. This location is along 104th Street, within walking distance from Whyte Ave. There is also another location at The Market Place at Callingwood, for those who live closer to the west side of the city.

Rice Bowl Deluxe.

Stepping inside, you enter a bright, clean, and modern looking establishment. The main colours inside are orange, green, and yellow. I also thought the lighting fixtures hanging above looked fun and unique. The menu is displayed just above the front counter, so you would have to order your food there first before taking a seat. 

Rice Bowl Deluxe offers appetizers, rice bowls, noodle bowls, desserts, bubble tea and frozen yogurt. CJ commented saying how this place has everything two hungry people like us could ask for: "Rice bowls, bbt, and froyo". This place is definitely a good choice if your craving many things and only want to make one stop. 

Our rice bowls.

CJ and I obviously chose one of their rice bowls. "Eat rice, live forever". At Rice Bowl Deluxe, the food is made-to-order to guarantee freshness. They also emphasize authentic Asian flavours, as well as health consciousness by using the freshest ingredients. 

Teriyaki Chicken Bowl.

The rice bowl I decided on was their Teriyaki Chicken Bowl ($7.29). Yea I know, not the most exciting choice. There were just so many different rice bowls to choose from I didn't know what else to pick! It probably would've been better if I asked one of the staff for a recommendation. The Teriyaki Chicken Bowl is served with rice, veggies, chicken and teriyaki sauce on the side. You can either get the chicken with the skin on or removed. I chose to have my chicken with the skin on. One neat thing about the rice bowls is that the chicken and veggies are placed in a container that rests on top of a bed of rice. I found that this separation of the rice allowed for easier and less messy eating. In terms of the food itself, I appreciated the simplicity of the flavours and the comfort of eating this classic food item. 

Speedo Chicken Bowl.

Across from me, CJ was busy eating his Speedo Chicken Bowl ($7.29). This rice bowl contains skinless chicken, veggies, and teriyaki sauce over a bed of rice. CJ actually didn't even realize that there was a container separating the chicken from the rice, so he was wondering why he didn't get any rice at first (lol). I actually think that my Teriyaki Chicken Bowl and CJ's Speedo Chicken Bowl are very similar dishes. They both contain the usual veggies with rice, with the only difference being that his chicken was cut into bite sized pieces with the teriyaki sauce already glazed over it. I guess that's why they chose the name "Speedo" for this dish - everything in the bowl is prepared to be more readily eaten. I asked CJ how he liked his food, and he said he was enjoying it. I think he loved the fact that there were a lot of chicken pieces in his bowl! 

Froyo Deluxe.

Remember how I mentioned that they also offer frozen yogurt at this place? While CJ and I were eating our food, one of the staff came to our table with two small sample sized cups for us. He asked if we'd like to sample some of their froyo for dessert, and I obviously said yes! CJ and I decided to pull down the middle levers to get a mixture of two different flavours of froyo. Yummy! Our lunch definitely ended on a positive note. 

I would recommend Rice Bowl Deluxe for those who want a quick yet satisfying meal that is an appropriate size for lunch. They offer awesome Asian flavours from over 8 nations, so there is a lot of variety. The pricing of the food and drinks is cheap, with everything being either $10.29 or less. Perfect for those who don't really want to spend too much money, such as CJ and myself. Next time I come back, I think I would want to try the Taiwanese Deep Fried Chicken Bowl, which I heard was one of their popular menu items. Be sure to stop by here for some good food if you're ever hanging out near Whyte Ave!  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Yokozuna Japanese Restaurant

What do you do when plans get cancelled? Make new ones of course! Mwuahahaha. That's what happened on the last weekend of June, when my friend ended up having to cancel an event she had planned. Instead of feeling bummed, I took the opportunity to hang out with another friend and CJ. We initially thought about seeing 22 Jump Street at the movie theatre, but almost all the seats had been filled up when we went (apparently they were down to only 12 seats left!). So the next best plan? Food adventure! An idea that was obviously suggested by me, hehe.

I ended up choosing Yokozuna (, a Japanese restaurant located near the Whitemud Crossing area in South Edmonton. It's close to Whitemud Drive, so this place is easily accessible by car (or bus). There were actually two occasions in the past when I went here hoping to eat food, only to find out that I had gone at a time when they were closed to prep for dinner or when they weren't open for the day at all. Luckily this time around, my friends and I went at 8pm on a Saturday night, so it was definitely open!

The interior of Yokozuna isn't the most spacious, but there is still more than enough seating to go around. We were seated at a table along the wall towards the left hand side of the restaurant from the entrance. I felt just a little bit cramped in this spot, but it wasn't too big of a deal.

The menu.

The dinner menu at Yokozuna consists of tataki, skewers, house and standard rolls, and so much more - the usual Japanese fare. Everything on their menu is reasonably priced (definitely not too expensive), so your wallet will thank you later.

Okay... before I continue, I would like to point out that some of the next couple of pictures were taken with mine and CJ's new camera! Yay for high quality photos!

Our drinks.

For drinks: orange juice for me, iced tea for CJ and a couple glasses of water for the three of us. CJ also ordered one of their original cocktails - specifically, the Mero Melon ($7). This drink consists of Midori melon liqueur, peach schnapps, and apple juice. I had a few sips of the drink, and I thought it had a sweet, refreshing taste. My friend June also got herself Sapporo Japanese beer in the 341 ml size ($6). 


The first dish to arrive at our table was CJ's pick for the night: Skewers! At Yokozuna, a minimum of 3 skewers are required per order. CJ chose the Buta Toma, Buta Aspara, and Ebi Kushi skewers. The Buta Toma ($2.50) is a bacon wrapped cherry tomato, while the Buta Aspara ($2.50) is a bacon wrapped asparagus. The Ebi Kushi ($4.25) skewer is shrimp with soy sauce and butter. I didn't try any of the skewers, but CJ seemed to enjoy them. While he thought the price for the skewers were cheap, I personally thought they could have been a slightly larger size for the price (especially for the Ebi Kushi). 

Dragon Eye Roll.

Next up were my beautiful Dragon Eye Rolls ($13)! A couple years ago, my brother took me out for lunch at this same Yokozuna location where he suggested I get their Dragon Eye Roll. That was my first time trying out this type of roll, and since then I've always had a love for them. This will always be my favourite Japanese dish. For those who haven't tried a Dragon Eye Roll before, it is a deep fried roll with salmon, green onion and asparagus served with dragon eye sauce. The fried exterior of the roll was very light and crispy, while the salmon inside tasted fresh. A Dragon Eye Roll is not complete without the trademark dragon eye sauce - it does an amazing job at bringing all the flavours together. The sauce can arguably be the best part about ordering Dragon Eye Rolls. 

Our food.

Finally, all of our food together! June and CJ ordered their own rolls, but for some reason it arrived on the same plate. I thought that was a little weird, considering my Dragon Eye Roll had been plated individually. 

Seafood Tar Tar Roll (left) and Mango Roll (right).

June decided on one of Yokozuna's House Rolls - the Seafood Tar Tar Roll ($14). This roll is made up of scallop, tuna, salmon, tempura crumbs, tobiko, and mayo, topped with teriyaki and sesame. All the different sea food packed inside the roll seemed to promise a lot of flavour in your mouth. Although I didn't try her roll, I didn't really hear any complaints from June about her pick for the night. 

Did you really think those skewers were the only food items CJ ordered? Haha, of course not. He also ordered the Mango Roll ($13), which consists of tempura shrimp, cream cheese, and tobiko, topped with slices of mango and salmon. CJ loves mangos, so I wasn't surprised that he picked this roll out of all the possible choices. I really enjoyed the bright, vibrant taste that I got from the mango and salmon together in one bite - the two seemed to balance each other out. Mmmm... this is definitely another great house roll at Yokozuna. 

Green Tea Ice Cream.

Green Tea Ice Cream ($5) is a must for me after every Japanese meal I have. Even if I am full, there will always be room for green tea ice cream! I find the refreshing green tea flavour to be the perfect end for my dinner. So yummy! 

I am very happy I finally got the chance to revisit Yokozuna again after many years. This is definitely one of my top places to recommend if you're looking for delicious Japanese food. Here you'll find traditional Japanese fare with a modern twist. The dimmed lighting and darker wooden tones inside create a perfect setting for a romantic date night, and if you're not into that, it's also a great place for a more casual, spontaneous get-together with a few friends. Either way, I promise you'll be happy here. I know I was! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dauphine Bakery and Bistro

Having a hot drink with dessert will always be something I enjoy doing despite the warm summer weather. After having lunch at The Burg (see previous post), CJ and I wanted to have some dessert and hot beverages to wind down with. After walking down 4th Street Promenade, I suggested to go to Dauphine Bakery and Bistro ( - another food place I've been wanting to try. 

Dauphine Bakery and Bistro is a family-run, French inspired food place in Downtown and is formerly known as Queen of Tarts. You actually have to take a flight of stairs down to get here, so you can't really see the inside from the street level. However, stepping inside, you see beautiful lights fixed right above the glass display cases filled with an assortment of pastries, along with large blackboards with their menu items written with chalk. 

The interior.

CJ and I couldn't decide what dessert to get - there were so many to choose from! Cakes, brownies, tarts... pretty much any delicious sweet you can think of. We ordered a dessert to share shortly after as well as some drinks at the counter, then took a seat at the far end of the bakery. We were told our dessert and drinks would be brought over to us, so we took the time to get comfy and enjoy our view of the place. 

Our dessert and my drink.

Our dessert looked delicious presented on a clean white plate, and our drinks had a sweet aroma with the steam rising from the mugs. At this point CJ and I had already connected to the Shaw Go Wifi which is all along 4th Street Promenade and had started watching Attack on Titan on Netflix (mwuahaha). 

Carrot cake.

The dessert we picked was a Carrot Cake (~$6, sorry I don't remember the exact price). I thought this cake was great since it wasn't too sweet, yet it still had the comforting flavours and spices found in a carrot cake. I just wished that this cake was more moist, perhaps with more of the cream cheese frosting too! Normally CJ and I are able to finish desserts fairly quickly, but we found ourselves taking our time with this one. 

Vanilla steamed milk.

I went for something simple and chose steamed milk for my drink. I requested for a vanilla flavour shot to be added. While I thought this drink was enjoyable, I probably would've liked it better if it was just slightly more sweet! 

Hot chocolate.

CJ doesn't like drinking caffeinated beverages, so he chose an even more simple hot chocolate for his drink! I didn't try his drink, but considering he finished the entire thing without complaining, I would have to say that he enjoyed it as well.  

For two drinks and one dessert, I paid somewhere around $10-$15 for everything. In addition to pastries and hot drinks, Dauphine offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu! They serve items such as soups, sandwiches, quiches, and many more. Another neat thing about Dauphine is that they offer high tea service for $25, but you would need to reserve in advance. I've never experienced a high tea service before, so I would love to try it out at Dauphine one day! I would recommend Dauphine Bakery and Bistro if you're looking for a place to relax with some drinks or desserts, or if you want to grab a simple, light lunch. The French inspired interior and background music make Dauphine the perfect setting for a casual yet romantic date with your loved one! 

The Burg

In order to keep mine and CJ's food adventures fun and exciting, I suggested we have a random lottery draw every time after we go out to eat. I choose all the food places that go in the draw, and CJ has the honour of selecting one of the ballots. The very first place for the draw? The Burg (, located on 104th Street in Downtown.

104th Street in Downtown, better known as 4th Street Promenade is one of my favourite streets in the city. There are a lot of food places on this street as well as neat shops (such as Workhall Boutique). This is the street where CJ and I had our very first food adventure at Blue Plate Diner back when we were just getting to know each other. Therefore, this street and Blue Plate Diner will always be special to me. 

The Burg is in the Historic Metals Building located on the corner of 104th Street. You have to go up a short flight of stairs before reaching the entrance to this restaurant which opens up to a very large, bright interior. There are tall beams that reach from ceiling to floor, huge windows that overlook the intersecting streets, and brick walls that add to the industrial feel inside. So far, a beautiful, modern setting. I didn't take any pictures of the inside of the restaurant, so be sure to check out the Gallery on The Burg's website (or you know, take a visit there yourself ;)). 

CJ and I weren't immediately greeted by someone when we walked in - we did the usual awkwardly-stand-there-until-someone-helps-us thing. One of the servers then told us that it was actually self seating. A big sign saying "self seating" could've been useful, just saying. 

We chose a table in the corner on the further right hand side of the restaurant. I actually wanted a seat at one of the high tables that overlook 4th Street Promenade near the bar, but all of the tables were occupied. At least the lighting at our table was perfect for taking pictures! 

The menu.

At every table in the restaurant, there are a couple menus as well as a pad of paper where you can create your own burger. While The Burg specializes in burgers, they also offer a variety of unique appetizers, sides, salads, and desserts. Each burger is made of certified Angus beef, and a lot of their food (such as their fries and gravy) are made from scratch and prepared in house. I actually didn't feel like eating a burger, so I opted for one of their appetizers with a side instead. CJ naturally got himself a burger. 

Our drinks.

Of course, orange juice for me and iced tea for CJ. Our usual. We are always happy whenever a restaurant has these drinks. Another thing to point out is while they do self seating, it is definitely not self serving. Each server covers their own section of the restaurant. So once you find a spot to sit, a server will take it from there. 

Our food.

Our food arrived after only a few minutes of waiting. They were served on clean white plates, and considering the awesome lighting I had at our table I just had to take several pictures. I couldn't wait to dig in. 

Mac 'N' Cheese Balls.

To start off my meal, I went for a side of Mac 'N' Cheese Balls ($4). This is considered to be one of The Burg's Regular Sides, but they also offer Premium Sides as well. The Mac 'N' Cheese Balls are Panko crusted balls (but are really more like cubes) of elbow macaroni which is made with sharp cheddar, white cheddar, and cream cheese sauce. It is served with jalapeño queso dip. I really enjoyed the Mac 'N' Cheese Balls - I thought the macaroni and cheese inside was rich and creamy and contrasted well with the crunchiness of the Panko crust. The dip itself was just okay in my opinion... I felt it was a bit too cheesy. I think I would've liked it better if more of the jalapeño heat and spice came through. 

Chicken and Wafflettes.

The appetizer I chose were the Chicken and Wafflettes ($11). This dish consists of Southern fried chicken bites between two house made mini waffles, with a nice helping of green vegetables and Tabasco honey aioli for the sauce. This was definitely my favourite between the two food items I picked. I thought the chicken was moist and had that nice trademark fried chicken flavour to it. The waffles by themselves were just decent, but tasted amazing when paired with the chicken, vegetables and the sauce. I've only ever had Chicken and Waffles at Sugarbowl (a restaurant in the Garneau neighbourhood), but I think this smaller version at The Burg is way better. The miniature size of the waffles and the chicken bites make it more manageable to eat. I also appreciated that they didn't make the chicken bites too sweet, so that its natural savouriness would be the counterpart to the lightness of the waffles. 

"Oh Canada" Bison Burg.

Finally, CJ's pick for lunch: the "Oh Canada" Bison Burg ($15). This burger is made with a sage scented buffalo patty, green leaf lettuce, caramelized onions, melted Oka, maple syrup and Saskatoon berry ketchup on a toasted prairie seed roll. While eating, I noticed that CJ wasn't really making his usual remarks about his food tasting good. I asked him what he thought about his burger, and he said that it was a bit dry and wished for more sauce to be added. Even though he ate the entire burger and some of my food, I knew that he was still hungry afterwards. I guess he didn't find the burger to be filling. CJ and I want to find the best place for burgers in the city, but I don't think he would choose The Burg for that. 

The Burg is a great place to go for lunch if you're ever hanging out on 4th Street Promenade. The interior of this restaurant gives off awesome industrial, modern vibes - the perfect setting for catching up with some friends or family. They have a variety of seating as well, which include the high tables, regular tables, large communal tables in the centre, booths, and the bar seating. Even though The Burg specializes in burgers (hence the name), based on CJ's opinion of his food I don't think I would recommend this place if you're craving a burger. Perhaps more sauce would be the right fix? Definitely try the appetizers and sides though! I would love to come back to get the Chicken and Wafflettes again and maybe a side of Devilled Eggs for next time!