Friday, September 25, 2015

Taste Of Aberdeen - Food Adventures at the Aberdeen Food Court

I was invited to Aberdeen Mall last week by Chinese Bites to the Taste of Aberdeen media event to join other foodies to sample items from every vendor at the food court. The food court at Aberdeen is smaller than most malls, but there were still twenty, so I was prepared for a night full of eating.

Clockwise from top right:

We started off with drinks from several vendors:

8 Juice House  - special (mango coconut juice with tapioca, mango and pomelo bits)
Estea Express - Milk tea with pearls
Strike - Matcha soy bean
Saboten - Iced Genmaicha (Japanese green tea)
Teppan Kitchen - Iced honey matcha tea
Bubble Waffle - Iced lemon Ribena

I love drinks and I had a hard time deciding which one to choose, but I ended up with the 8 Juice House special. It was a rich and refreshing drink, though I think because the pomelo is out of season, the fruit bits were hard. The tapioca made it quite filling too!

Aji Hana provided us our first dish - a Sakura roll with prawn tempura, avocado and chopped scallop. This was a pretty good roll and I would definitely try it again!

Bubble Waffle Cafe - I usually have bubble waffles at the night market so this one of my favourite treats. We had the original flavour but there are different flavours you can order as well.

Szechuan House - Hot sour noodle. I am not a fan of spicy things and this one packed a punch!

Pan fried Chinese chives with pork dumplings from Chef of Dumplings. They were served with soy sauce and vinegar. Tasty!

Curry Fish Balls from Bubble Waffle. I used to eat curry fish balls when I was in highschool, so I really enjoyed these. They had a mild spicy curry taste.

Clockwise from top left:

Deep fried chicken wings and deep fried squid from Wu Fung Dessert. I love squid so this one one of my favourites. A bit salty though.

Sticky rice from Leung Kee. This was pretty good and a large serving size!

Lung Kee served prawn wontons. It would have been better with some noodles!

Popcorn chicken nuggets from Yougo Chicken. You can't really go wrong with fried chicken!

Kitchen Korea - Chicken bulgogi & pork belly. These were okay, but it was near the end of the meal so I was slowing down.

Drunken chicken hotpot from Tofu Hotpot. This was a really hearty Chinese soup and you could really taste and smell the wine.

Clockwise from top left:

Club house sandwich from Strike. This was a really filling sandwich with so many layers. Egg, sausage, tomato, cucumber, you name it!

'A' grade ribeye teppan with egg and corn from Teppan Kitchen. This was a really large serving size (a lot of rice) so definitely share. The food comes on a sizzling hot plate so you can mix the raw egg in with the other ingredients. Our plate wasn't hot enough, but it was a really good.

Mambo Café served baked pork chop on rice. The pork chops were very tender, however the tomato sauce tasted like it was from a can, so I wasn't that much of a fan.

Egg rolls from Strike. These crepes were filled with an odd combination of egg, corn and tuna. I wasn't a fan of this dish but I think if they changed the ingredients inside, I would have enjoyed it more.

Two types of chicken from Leung Kee - Soy sauce and Long Gong chicken. Both were very good, though the soy sauce chicken was a tad too salty.

Clockwise from top right:

To start off dessert, we had shaved ice ‐ A Dream in Eden (strawberries, kiwi, mango, mango ice cream) from Frappe Bliss. This was one of my favourites of the night.

Choco banana fresh cream mini crepe from Mazazu Crepe. Delicious!

Mini cream puffs and cheesecake stick from Beard Papa's.

Saboten set (prawn, pork tenderloin, pork loin) from Saboten This came with rice and miso soup. I only tried the pork, and it was decent.

Hainanese chicken on rice from Café D'Lite Express. The chicken was good and the rice was very flavourful. If only I wasn't so full...

Matcha Delight shaved ice (matcha ice cream, chewy rice balls, red bean) from Frappe Bliss. I liked the fruit flavoured one better but I can't really say no to shaved ice!

Some of the food were hit and miss but with so many vendors and food choices, there seems to be something for everyone at the Aberdeen food court!

Disclaimer: The food mentioned above were provided free of charge by each of the vendors at Aberdeen. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Savvy Shopping, Deals and Reviews and have not been influenced in any other way. 

Friday, September 04, 2015

Hakkasan Bistro and Canada Berries

I was invited to an event hosted by Hakkasan Bistro and Canada Berries, a local winery in Richmond that specializes in fruit wines. We started off the evening with a tour of the winery and some wine tasting. The staff were very passionate and knowledgeable about the wines. I never even knew we had a winery in our own backyard! While I am not a huge wine drinker, I do enjoy fruit wines and we got to sample several of their most popular wines. My favourites were the Blackcurrant and Cranberry wines. Popular among some of the other guests were the Peach and the Blue Queen Gold (blueberry) wines. There were also some appetizers to munch on, including grapes that were grown in their own vineyard! The green grapes are smaller than those you find in stores and very sweet!

After the wine tasting, we were shuttled off to Hakkasan Bistro. The restaurant is located in an industrial area so it's quite hidden. It's a small space but very modern looking inside. Hakkasan is a fine dining establishment that features authentic Cantonese and modern Chinese cuisine. Their dishes originate from the Hakka culture with popular Hakka dishes such as Ancient Style Salt Baked Chicken and Hakka Mui Choy Braised Pork Belly, with other dishes that fuse more contemporary styles.

Canada Berries provided fruit wines to pair with the meal.
To start off, we had an appetizer dish of Jasmine tea smoked mushroom beancurd crepes, balsamic cloud ear mushroom, honey roastsed BBQ pork cheeks. The pork cheeks were very tender.

 Next was a bouble boiled whole young coconut pork soup. Easily my favourite dish of the night, this is one of the specialties at the restaurant which require ordering a day advanced. It is double boiled for over 3 hours and the soup is infused with the flavour of coconut.

I was looking forward to the specialty odourless garlic lobster on Jasmine rice. You all know I love garlic! This did not leave any garlic breath, and the lobster and rice were delicious!

Next was the ancient style Hakka salt baked chicken. The chicken is marinated with a combination of herbs and spices, wrapped in parchment paper and the slow baked. The parchment paper allows the chicken to remain moist without being overly salty.

Country style fish fillet - the fish were tender and the peppers and onions gave it that extra kick. 

Hakka homestyle steamed egg, pork and duck yolk. This one another favourite of the night, as my family used to make steamed egg all the time. It has a very smooth texture, similar to tofu, and the duck yolk on top made it even better! I definitely recommend ordering this if you visit Hakkasan.

The braised pork hock comprises of very fatty meat that is cooked in sauce. It was a bit too salty for my liking, but could go well with rice. The restaurant staff will cut the pork hock up into serving sizes for you.

For veggies, we got the mui choy stirfry seasonal Chinese greens. This dish was very flavourful, since it had some pork bits in it too.

We ended the night with a steamed milk dessert. It was very smooth and creamy, and wasn't too sweet. Delicious!

Overall, it was an excellent dinner with many unique traditional and modern dishes that are must tries. They offer fixed and tasting menus as well as a la carte, so you can go and try some of the dishes mentioned above! I had a wonderful time - thank you Hakkasan Bistro!

Disclaimer: The food and wine mentioned above were provided free of charge by Hakkasan Bistro and Canada Berries. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Savvy Shopping, Deals and Reviews and have not been influenced in any other way.  

Hakkasan Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Marutama Ramen

I headed downtown with the girls from work last week for some ramen. Marutama Ramen is located at 778 Bidwell Street, quite far downtown. I usually don't head that way but Marutama is known for only using a chicken broth soup base for their ramen noodles so I had to try it. I ordered the classic ramen with the egg - it came with some seaweed and green onion on top. The noodles were the thin kind (think wonton soup noodles) which was good, though I prefer it to be thicker and more chewy. The best part were the garlic chips!

Kakuni - pork belly stewed in Marutama special sauce.
Fried garlic chips - there is a container at each table, and I poured it all over my ramen! Mmm!
Tamago Ramen - comes with a soft boiled flavoured egg in chicken broth.
Marutama Ra-men Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato