Coco Karamel

Choco Caramel

Coco Caramel

Aljores is the name of an Argentian dessert that you have to try when you visit the Kingsland Farmer’s Market. Or as we have learned, are now available at Sunterra Markets. Aljores looks like shortbread cookies sandwiched and feathered with coconut flakes. The filling is actually dulce de leche, a creamy, sweet decadent treat.

You can buy one or a pack of 6, mix and match different flavours but the traditional one is the best.

Momo-yama the best for Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki

Momo-yama is the still the best when it comes to Chicken Teriyaki. After a long day fighting the crowds at the zoo, we were starving for good sushi and a Sapporo beer.

Without reservations, we had to wait 20 minutes for a vacant table which was not bad on a Sunday night. We made a promise to the waitress to always make reservations for now on. It gets busy there, probably because of the good food and prices.

Clearly the best thing on the menu is the Teriyaki dishes. We’ve had the Salmon Teriyaki before which is always my wife’s favourite. Mine has always been the Chicken (pictured) which is grilled and sits on top of a bed of cabbage. The sauce is drizzled on and plenty of it too.

The chicken is cooked with the skin so that it stays nice and tender. I always remove it before eating it but occasionally, some of it goes down with rice. Oops. But it’s tasty and it won’t kill me. I just need to walk it off once dinner is done.

 

Best Wonton House

Wonton Noodle

Wonton Noodle

If there’s one thing Calgary needs more of and that is, more wonton houses in the neighbourhoods. The difference between a good wonton house from a great wonton house is the soup base. A great wonton house will serve a bowl of wonton with noodle in a nice tasting soup. It’s rich with flavour and without the use of msg.

My favourite wonton house in Vancouver used to be Hon’s Wonton House but I heard that Mr. Hon held a bad poker hand and lost his restaurant in a bet. I don’t know if that’s purely urban legend or not , so don’t quote me. I personally think he expanded too quickly. From his little restaurant on Main Street in Chinatown, he went to opening another one up the block on Keefer then one in Richmond and so on and so forth.

Kwong Chow Congee & Noodle House 廣州粥面小厨 on Urbanspoon

My loyalty then had to move up to Main Street and King Edward where Kwong Chow is located. The soup base is delicious and the wonton are huge. I do wish the Chinese would go back to making wonton with pork instead of shrimp. Now, it’s all competition and every wonton house is trying to go up on each other with the size of their wonton. At Kwong Chow, the wonton is a good golf ball size and it contains two or more shrimps.

Egg noodle usually accompanies the wonton along with a few strands of Gai Lan, a Chinese vegetable. I like having tendon with my wonton but others enjoy it with sliced fish or barbeque pork. To me, it’s the best wonton house in Vancouver.

Kingsland Farmer’s Market

Kingsland Farmer's Market

Kingsland Farmer’s Market

If you’re looking for a good walk on a Saturday morning, head over to Kingsland Farmer’s Market on Macleod Trail before Heritage Drive. There’s plenty of parking and lots to buy and samples to try. Twenty years ago, it used to be a Buick dealer. The reason I know that is because I used to live in the apartment block just north of the market and I almost bought a Buick from there. Now it’s converted to a farmer’s market that is open only on weekends.

The market is organized in open stalls, selling fresh vegetables from local farms, handmade chocolates, pastries, desserts, wines and butcher cuts of meat.

The Community Natural Store has a stall that sells popular books, along with a selection of goods from their Chinook and downtown 10th Avenue stores.

Watch for some future blogs on specific vendors that we encountered and enjoy.

Peruvian Ceviche is Delicious

Peruvian Ceviche

Peruvian Ceviche

There’s always a debate going on between my two friends, Daniel and Pablo when it comes to ceviche. Daniel is from Mexico and he claims Mexican ceviche is the best. Pablo is from Peru and he claims Peruvian ceviche is the best.

I’ve tried both and think it’s a toss up. Two things missing in Peruvian ceviche is tomatoes and avocado but I find it lighter and tastier. I like how the fish is cooked in lime juice and seasoned with sea salt. Red onion slices and corn husks are served on a Peruvian ceviche instead of a slice of avocado.

Inti Restaurant - Peruvian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Where can you order this delicious appetizer? Try the Inti Restaurant in the NE behind the Husky station on the corner of 32nd Avenue and Barlow Trail. Head east on 32nd Avenue then turn right on 26th Street after passing Barlow Trail. The restaurant is to your left and there’s plenty of parking in the mall.

Aside from the delicious ceviche, you might find the menu is a little small for a Peruvian restaurant. There’s only a few entrees to choose from. We chose the Escabeche de Pollo and Lomo Saltado. Both entrees came with a scoop of white rice. My escabeche was delicious but was a little small for my appetite. (We ended up eating at Fat Kee next door to satisfy our hunger before heading home.) Inti has both drinks that are traditional Peruvian, the chicha morada and Inca. The chicha morada is made of purple corn and is homemade. Inca is a popular soft drink that tastes like cream soda but is golden in colour.

Chinese Festival

Lion Dance

Lion Dance

After attending the Chinese Festival on Saturday in Chinatown, I have to admit that it was better organized than the first year. My day started at the James Short parking structure with a nice surprise – free parking. That was very nice of the City to provide that to alleviate parking woes in Chinatown.

We were greeted by the dragon or at least the kung fu master who was holding the dragon’s head. He said we had some time before they started the dragon dance so we decided to wonder and browse the kiosks selling knick knacks.

There were the usual stalls that were selling iPod cases for $5, $10 and $15 for the premium cases. One stall sold Angry Birds slippers, Angry Birds pillows and Angry Birds keychains. There was even t-shirts that read Save the Birds – not sure if that was a play on the Angry Birds franchise.

Our friends from Asia Snacks were setup, but not selling our favourite egg puffs. They were too busy with taking orders for their Vietnamese sandwiches, to fire up the waffle-like maker so they kept telling us to come back later. We ran out of patience and ended up at the Dessert House for the egg puffs which were excellent. The mini doughnuts van was out and so was the Noodle Truck, both were very popular. TD Canada Trust were giving out personalized zodiac pins, ZipCar was promoting their new hourly car rental service in downtown Calgary and GlobalFest was selling tickets at their booth. There was something for everyone that attended the festival. Too bad it was only for one day, August 11th but I’m glad they ran it from 10am to 8pm.

 

Fresh Rambutans available

Rambutan

Rambutan

I love summer across Canada because of all the available fruit. Among the local fruits, I enjoy shopping at T&T in the NE for exotic fruit. This week, people are scrambling and loading up on rambutan.

Rambutans are from Thailand and are hairy looking fruit. To eat it, you have to peel away a shell to reveal a white skinned fruit. It’s a lot like lychees, another exotic fruit but from China. The rambutans are more firm and less sweet. Some people rather have rambutans than lychees but I think it’s close.

This time of year, we are lucky to have these fruits flown in fresh. Most of the time, they are only available frozen. It’s not bad eating rambutans that way but fresh is always better.

 

 

Seanachie Irish Pub

Chicken Leek Boxty

Chicken Leek Boxty

No signs of Fuddruckers here. Did you know Seanachie Irish Pub in Signal Hill used to be a Fuddruckers, the DIY burger joint? Anyways, I met my sister there for lunch yesterday.

We arrived early to get a seat in the patio. At 11am, they don’t know what to do with customers. We sat ourselves on the patio and practically had to get our own iced water and menus.

Their menu is extensive and had a good selection of lunch and dinner entrees. If you’re stopping by for lunch, be sure to ask for the lunch menu. They didn’t offer that to us and we had to be nosy to borrow the one from the table next to us. Perhaps if we ordered a beer, we would have got better service.

Seanachie Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

I chose the Chicken Leek Boxty. Does the wrap look like a potato pancake or a tortilla? Yep, I got fooled. The potato pancake was what sold me on the dish, not the contents. But then this is an Irish pub and not a Jewish deli. I was hoping for a really good latka but got this instead. The veggies on the side were plentiful but I found them too salty for my taste. Luckily my sister had a salt tongue so she ate it.

She chose the Prime Rib with mini Yorkshire puddings. When it came, we somehow visualized this dish differently. It came with about six yorkshire puddings the shape and size of a muffin. The prime rib looked like deli meat, thinly sliced beef shoved inside the yorkshire puddings. She was disappointed to say the least. Overall, it was just ok.

Samurai – Awesome Sashimi

Salmon Sashimi

Salmon Sashimi

After eating sashimi at Samurai on Fraser Street in Vancouver, I now know how a bear feels like on a salmon run. Samurai is an awesome place to eat sushi or sashimi. The fish is fresh and they give you plenty of it.

In a city where there’s more than 222 sushi bars, Vancouver is the place for sushi. Other than salmon and tuna, there is yellowtail, octopus, surf clam and other exotic fishes available year round.

Every time I’m in Vancouver, I have to make at least one stop at Samurai. My usual order consists of one salmon sashimi, one tako sashimi and a selection of rolls. Let me warn you that the rolls are really filling so take it easy on ordering too many if you are not going to share it with anyone. The beef teriyaki roll for instance, is tasty but it’s quite large for one.

For uni or sea urchin lovers, Samurai has a Uni sashimi dish. Uni is very high on cholesterol but very good for the advanced sushi go-ers. Given a plate of uni, I can devour it in a few minutes. Yum.

Other reviewers think this is more quantity than quality. I would have to disagree. I have never found a bone in my fish nor sent it back because it was not fresh. I recommend this place to all my Calgarian friends who visits Vancouver looking for fish to eat.

Samurai Sushi on Urbanspoon