Thursday, April 30, 2015

Located on Commercial Drive, Famoso is a pizza chain that serves Neapolitan pizzas. It was my first time here, but I loved the pizza! The pizzas are baked in an authentic bell oven for 900 F for only 90 seconds and has a super thin crust. I tried the classic Margherita pizza - basically just tomato sauce and cheese, and a salad. Delicious!

Margherita Pizza - Campania tomato sauce, fior-di-latte, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil.
Famoso Salad - romaine lettuce, prosciutto crisps, carrots, cherry tomatoes, soppressata, fire-roasted chicken, feta and dijon-balsamic vinaigrette.

So many gelato flavours to choose from!
There was also a gelato and sorbetto bar inside the restaurant, which was a surprise. You can go up and try the different flavours before making your choice. It was really difficult to choose!
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate gelato and Limone Sorbetto.
Limone Sorbetto and Blood Orange Creamsicle Gelato.
The Neopolitan pizza was reasonably priced and are a change from the fast-food pizza you get at places like Pizza Hut. If you're looking for something different, give Famoso a try!

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marvel's Avengers - Age of Ultron

Marvel Studios is back with Avengers: Age of Ultron, the epic sequel to one of the largest superhero movies made. The Avengers find themselves facing the experiment of HYDRA leader Baron von Strucker, twins Wanda and Pietro Maximoff (Elisabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson) during an assault of his castle. Wanda has the power to warp reality and takes down the entire team of Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is worried after getting a glimpse of a possible future and decides to use Loki's scepter to bring the A.I. to life that he and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) were creating: Ultron. Ultron (James Spader) was designed to protect Earth, but being an A.I., has a mind of it's own and decides humanity needs to evolve - by being exterminated so machines can inherit the Earth.

There is a lot going on in Avengers, and writer-director Joss Whedon does a good job of allowing each character to get their own moment, and what a cast of characters. Robert Downey Jr. returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, with the additional support of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

There is plenty of humour and action packed sequences. The Hulkbuster was definitely my favourite! Some of the stories feel too contrived (Natasha and Bruce?) but maybe that can't be helped with so many big characters. We do get to see some of the backstory of the characters through the visions they have when Wanda works her powers on them which was quite interesting, though Thor's vision was a bit confusing and made me think they just wanted to have material to spin-off for more standalone Thor movies. James Spader makes a delicious villain (but I only heard a more sinister Alan Shore from Boston Legal) and you can't help but cheer when he is finally defeated. I'm not familiar with the comic-verse, but you do find out who will be in the new Avengers film.  Avengers drags on a little bit near the end, especially with a two and half hour running time. Make sure to stay through the credits for an extra scene.

Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn't capture the same excitement as seeing all the heroes together for the first time,  but nonetheless it was an entertaining movie worth seeing on the big screen.

May the 4th Be With You! LEGO Star Wars Celebrations (May 2 - 4)

LEGO is celebrating Star Wars Day with 3 days of exclusive Star Wars offers and activities! A LEGO store empolyee told me there will be people dressed up as characters from Star Wars. I remember last year, there was a Darth Vader!

The exclusive UCS TIE Fighter (75095) will be released on May 2 and you will receive a free Admiral Yularan minifigure with any LEGO Star Wars purchase of $75 or more! Hurry, as the minifigure polybag will  no doubt be sold out quickly.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Free Comic Book Day 2015 - May 2!

It's that time of year again...the first Saturday of May - Free Comic Book Day!!!

Every year, participating retailers across Canada and the US order in specially printed comics to hand out FREE to anyone who visit their stores! There are a wide range of comics that are given out, from children's comics (Hello Kitty, Sesame St, Disney cartoons, My Little Pony, etc) to one for older comic loves like Marvel and DC superheroes. Free Comic Book Day is a celebration of comics and to introduce comics to anyone who might not have thought about reading comics before. Many stores host costume parties and have extra giveaways so check in with your local retailer! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Vancity Member Day at Science World - Free Admission! (May 2)

The first 422 Vancity members will receive free admission to Science World on Saturday, May 2, in celebration of Earth Day (4/22). Bring your Vancity Member Car or Vancity Enviro Visa to guest services at Science world to get in for free! Additional members and their guests will receive 50% off admission. The Vancity community team will also be onsite with fun games and prizes. Sounds like a fun day out for the family!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Eat! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival (May 1-3)

Get ready to eat - Vancouver's annual food and cooking festival is back with Eat! Vancouver from May 1 to 3! Happening at BC Place, the three days will be packed with cooking demonstrations, food vendors, workshops and of course, free food samples. Tickets start at $15 online. There are other galas happening starting April 26 which you can buy tickets for - check out what is offered here.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mango Yummy - Delicious Dessert!

Mango Yummy recently opened on No. 3 Rd in Richmond in a small strip mall, right across from Richmond Centre. Originally a stand at the night market, I guess they did well enough to open a shop. Mango Yummy specializes in Asian desserts, featuring, you guessed it - mango.

It is quite small inside so you might not get to sit and enjoy your dessert, but they do offer take-out containers. They offer a wide range of desserts, including specialty drinks, shaved ice desserts, bubble tea, crepes and mochi.  Their menu prices include taxes, which I really like since it's all round numbers! Note that like most Asian places in Richmond, they take cash only.

Mango tapioca drink with added ice cream.
Signature mango sago & grapefruit drink.
Shaved ice with red bean, mochi and green tea ice cream.
Signature mango shaved ice.
Thai mango glutinous rice with coconut milk.
Mango pancake - filled with whipped creme and fresh mango.
I ended up going twice in a week because I love mangos and dessert! The first time I went, the mango was really sour but luckily I had added ice cream (for an extra $1) to my drink so that sweetened everything up. I guess it's hard for a place that deals mainly with mango when it's not in season. The second time I went, the mango was much better. I can't wait to go back in the summer when it's truely mango season.

Everything was delicious - a lot of mango, ice, evaporated milk, coconut milk and mango syrup is used for a majority of their desserts. They also offer durian pancakes and durian mochis that I'm planning to try next time I go!

Mango Yummy on Urbanspoon

G-Men @ Nan Chuu - Ramen Izakaya

My coworkers and I had a craving for ramen last week so we all headed down to Richmond to G-Men Ramen, a little restaurant on Alexandra Rd. The place was quite busy for a weeknight so be prepared to wait a while to be seated. They were able to seat our party of 9 without having to wait too long (I think they save the larger table in the back for big groups).

We all ordered a bowl of ramen and some sides, including AAA beef yukke, pan-fried ebi gyoza and chicken karaage. Unfortunately our group was so hungry they dug in before I could get pictures of everything!

Tonkotsu Miso Ramen with Ajitama
Tan Tan Men (Spicy sesame and peanut flavour pork brone broth)
The ramen broth was very thick and fatty and delicious. I added the ajitama (marinated egg) for $1.50 more to my miso ramen. There were plenty of noodles to fill you up but if you're extra hungry or want to have leftovers for another day, extra noodles only cost $1.50 more. There is crushed raw garlic on the table which you can add into your noodle bowl as well - yum! Overall, the food was excellent and one of the better ramen I've had. 

G-men @ Nan Chuu 南廚 Ramen Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Play Day at Toys R Us (April 25)

Toys R Us is having another Play Day on Saturday, April 25th. There will be free Shopkins and The Trash Pack giveaways as well as a LEGO Make-and-take. This week's theme is from LEGO's newest line, Elves, and your child will get to build a tree-house. There are plenty of other things going on including demos. The event starts at 11am and giveaways is only while supplies last. Bring your kids for a Saturday morning of fun!

Friday, April 17, 2015

DisneyNature's Monkey Kingdom Hits Theatres Today!

DisneyNature is back this Earth Day with Monkey Kingdom, the newest nature documentary following a family of toque macaque monkeys in the jungles of Sri Lanka. The alpha male Raja rules with a trio of females named the Sisters. They get the prime spot on the trees and first dibs on any food found in the jungle. The heroine of the story is Maya, a monkey born in the lowest hierarchy of the social ladder and has to scrounge for whatever scraps is left. She only wants to keep her son Kip safe and provide him with the best advantages within the family. The group have to cooperate to reclaim their home at Castle Rock when a new tribe of monkeys overtake it.

Narrated by Tina Fey, Monkey Kingdom offers some interesting insight into the social structure of toque macaque and has sweeping landscapes of the lush jungle that is sure to take your breath away. Other critters like sloth bears, elephants and monitor lizards make small cameos in the film. The footage is amazing and so detailed - you will feel transported into this little world.

Monkey Kingdom opens in theatres today, April 17th. For every ticket purchased during opening week, Disney will donate to Conservation International, an organization that will help benefit monkeys and other endangered species. The conservation program will support programs across Indonesia, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, protecting animals, restoring forest habitats, conserving fresh drinking water for local populations, and working within local communities to inspire people to join the effort.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser 2

Disney has released another teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Who else is excited to see the old crew back (Han! Chewie!)? I'm also looking forward to finding out which role Gwendoline Christie will be playing, since I'm a huge fan of hers from Game of Thrones. My bet is the chrome trooper!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sakura Days Japan Fair

Last weekend the Sakura Days Japan Fair happened at the Van Dusen Gardens - a celebration of the beautiful cherry blossoms that have been blooming around Vancouver and all things Japanese. Luckily the weather held up when I went!

A pond at the Van Dusen Gardens.
The first thing I did of course, was hit the food stalls! I zeroed in on takoyaki (octopus balls) from Zipang Provisions. It was pretty cool watching the guy make them on the grill!

Next, I tried the pork ramen in fish soup from Benkei Noodle Shop. It was a little bland, but I didn't expect too much from a food tent. 

There were other entertainment, such as musical performances, dances, and the marketplace.

A cool picnic blanket!
Some beautiful cherry blossoms!
For the rest of the afternoon, I joined the TKC Japanese Gourmet Kitchen cooking class taught by Takeshi Hasegawa. He was demonstrating how to make three different types of Japanese soups. The class focuses on healthy and wholesome Japanese cuisine, without the use of chemicals or additives. The class was fun and informative and the soups were very tasty! I'm definitely going to make some myself! 

Vegetable soup.
Japanese Dashi soup.
Chicken and anchovies soup.
Various ingredients used.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kitchen on Main St - Grand Opening Week

Kitchen on Main St is the newest bar/restaurant to open up on - you guess it - Main St. They were having some grand opening specials this week so J and I decided to pop by to check it out.

Meatball slider.
Classic beef ball skillet with fire roasted tomato sauce.
Garlic bread, because I'm a sucker for carbs and garlic.
Chicken ball skillet with roasted vegetables.
Serving American and Italian food, this is a very small place with a casual atmosphere. The fare was pretty typical - soups, salads, meatball skillets and pasta. There was a comedy act at 9:30 so Kitchen on Main St. might be a cool place to hang out in the evenings.

There are different grand opening specials every day of this week, so make sure to check it out!

Kitchen on Main St on Urbanspoon

Disney's Tomorrowland - New Featurette!

A new featurette for Disney's Tomorrowland is out now! Looks like an exciting movie - and reminds me of Disneyland!