Mui Ngo Gai Vietnamese Restaurant

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It’s been a long time since I written a post, the last post I wrote was last year right around when I was looking for work and once I found work I was busy settling in to the new job. Well it’s a new year and time to start fresh and start posting more.

First post for 2018 I figure I should go into my roots, when Vietnamese food is mentioned first thing that comes to mind is Pho. Vietnamese food is more than just salad rolls, Pho and lemongrass chicken. Mui Ngo Gai in Vancouver takes you on a food tour of Vietnam, they offer dishes that explores other regions in Vietnam that you normally do not find in any Pho places.  Speaking of Pho, this is one place that you can get chicken Pho, chicken Pho is something I rarely see at Vietnamese restaurants, the majority of places serves beef Pho. Chicken Pho is actually lighter in flavor and not as rich like the beef Pho, it was something my mom made for us growing up.If you want to try authentic chicken Pho, this is the place to go to.

If you are feeling more adventurous you should try snail vermicelli soup or crab vermicelli soup both dishes are from northern Vietnam especially popular in Hanoi. These 2 soups are something I grew up with and it made be extremely happy that this place actually have it. Both soups have amazing flavors and are both tomato based soups with unique spices. Something everyone needs to try is crispy patty fish soup, it’s a fried fish patty in a vermicelli soup, I remembered when I visited Hanoi and my sister took me this restaurant that specialize in this, it’s a very popular dish among the Vietnamese and it’s extremely tasty.

Other interesting things on their menu include dishes such as lemongrass fried frog legs, stirred fried eel, Vietnamese pan fried crepes, steamed pork/shrimp dumpling wrapped in banana leaf and papaya salad. If you want to experience the taste of Vietnam all in one place I suggest taking a trip to Mui Ngo Gai.

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Big G Large Fried Chicken

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I always loved the Taiwanese style fried chicken you can get at those bubble tea places such as Bubble World and Pearl Castle. My girlfriend tells me that in Taiwan you can find this type of fried chicken as part of the street food vendors, it’s a popular street food down there.

Well Big G Large Fried Chicken located in Richmond offers that same Taiwanese style fried chicken but super sized. This definitely got to be the biggest piece of fried chicken I ever had, and it comes in multiple flavors for you to choose from. I chose the salt and pepper flavor; I found the chicken was very crispy and juicy on the inside and the flavor was great. If you like fried chicken then this may be for you.

Japanese Curry

Lately I been really digging japanese curry, japanese curry is unlike thai curry or indian curry it’s almost like a gravy base sauce. Glico curry was recommended by my friend Dave; that’s his favorite brand. So I decided to try both the Glico and the S&B brands of japanese curry to see what the difference between the two were.

Both of these curries are very simple to make, first choose the vegetables and meat then cook vegetables and meat in water first, once the meat is almost cooked added the curry in and continue to stir and simmer on low heat. It’s a quick and easy meal if you don’t have time to cook. I tried both chicken and beef with it and they both taste great with rice. In the photo above I just used carrots and chicken thighs pieces.

I preferred the Glico brand over the S&B mainly because the S&B is a bit more spicy and kind of reminds me of this indian curry I once had. Glico curry has a smooth silky taste to it compare to S&B which I find more robust in flavor. Both are rich in flavor and you can’t go wrong with putting whatever types of meat and vegetables you like in it, here’s a tip if you are using beef; stew beef chunks works the best in this type of curry. Both curries can be purchase in any local asian supermarket like TnT supermarket.

Pizzeria Barbarella

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This past weekend our friends Katie & Shane took us for beer and pizza after we helped them moved into their new place. This was my first visit to Pizzeria Barbarella located in East Vancouver and their favorite pizza spot in the area. It was a nice cozy restaurant with local art hung on the wall; they have craft beer and you can see the chef spinning the pizza dough in the open kitchen.

I ordered the Fuggles & Warlock craftworks the last strawberry wit beer, it had aromas of strawberry and citrus. I can taste both hints of strawberry and citrus but it was not overly sweet like other beers, I didn’t mind it all and thought it was pretty good for a fruity type beer.

All the pizzas featured on the menu are individual pizzas made with organic ingredients and bake in a thin crust. I ordered the Balboa – tomato, hot pepper sauce, bocconcini, aged mozzarella, spicy salametti, house-made pancetta, hot capocollo, cremini mushrooms, red onion, grana padano. This was a pretty amazing pizza, lots of flavor from all the different types of meat to pack a real punch. My only complaint about this particular pizza is that it can be very spicy depending on which part you bite into it, this is partially from the pepper seeds.

Great beer, amazing pizza. I would definitely go back to try the other types of pizza. Thanks Katie & Shane!

Cartems Donuts

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Every city have their special donut shop, Vancouver is no different, we have Cartems. Cartems is a gourmet donut shop, a donut costs anywhere between 2-4 dollars per donut. I been to other donut shops in other cities such as Modern Donut in Calgary so I’m familiar with these types of donuts. Cartems got some of the most interesting flavors, the image above is a Pink Lemonade Donut and it was one of their monthly features donut. I believed I had this one last summer, I wish it was on the regular menu. Some of my other regular favorites on the menu includes the London Fog and the Salted Caramel Donut. If you ever find yourself in Vancouver and craving a donut, check out Cartems they have 3 locations, Mount Pleasant, Downtown, and Kitsilano.

Weekend Brunch at West Oak

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A few weekends ago, we wanted to go check out Cafe Medina for lunch but we arrived there the wait was over 1 hour long. So instead we decided to try some place else, pretty much anywhere that had no wait since we both were hungry. West Oak in Yaletown was the place, I’m a big fan of eggs benedict so I when I saw the had to try lobster eggs benedict; I just had to try it. It was pretty amazing, there was just the right amount of hollandaise sauce with the right amount of lobster meat. Some places you order lobster eggs benedict and you barely get any lobster meat, at West Oak it’s not the case there was actually chunks of the lobster claw in it. I would definitely go to West Oak again for brunch.

Blue Crabs

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Every since I watched David Chang cooked fresh blue crabs on Netflix’s series, The mind of a chef, I was on that quest to attempt it myself. Living in Vancouver you would think they would be easy to find blue crabs but in my case it wasn’t. Blue crabs are small and have very little meat in them, but since they are so small they absorbed the flavors much faster compared to cooking with larger crabs.

David on the show steamed them in beer and old’s bay seasoning salt. So I decided to try his recipe, I used a can of Alexander Keith’s beer and lots of old bay’s seasoning salt. I would applied the seasoning on once before steaming it then reapplied it for a 2nd time through mid-cook. As a result the crabs were more flavorful.