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Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

So. I am currently back in Vancouver and has been for the last two and a half weeks as a short impromptu visit.

The weeks before I arrived, Vancouver had AMAZING beautiful sunny weather. And of course, being that it is me, I brought back the Scottish weather with me.

It has been raining for the last two and a half weeks that I have been here.

Yesterday (Saturday), was the first time that the sun finally came out and being the sun-starved individual that I was having been living in Aberdeen the last 9 months, I immediately stripped down and ran around in celebration.

Not literally of course… because that would be technically illegal and I don’t want to be arrested for indecent exposure.

In any case, since it was a nice weekend, a trip down to the Richmond Night Market was planned since it is the 2nd week that it has been opened. After an arduous drive out and a HORRIBLE line, it was two hours later that we finally shuffled in like half-starved zombies into the actual market itself.

Then we attacked the foodstands in the earnest.

The interesting thing about the market this year is that there is a theme that has been set up that seems like it’s based on the giant rubber ducky art exhibit in Hong Kong.

And of course, no giant rubber ducky is complete with a random rubber ducky throne.

Game of Thrones, Rubber Ducky Redux.

And so continues my challenge to overdose on Asian cuisine/food before I leave for Scotland the coming Thursday.

~JGM

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Home-stomach-sickness?

It has been approximately three or so weeks since I have traded the beautiful coastline of Vancouver for the equally beautiful coastline of Scotland. Perhaps it is still a bit too soon to tell but I have not experienced the tell-tale signs of homesickness in the same way that my flatmates have. Do I miss home? A little bit but there is just so many things to do and see and people to meet that occupies quite a bit of my attention. And with the help of facebook, I keep in touch with all my friends, family, and significant other back home.

So why this post?

I really have no idea what to call it other than “Home-stomach-sickness”. Not quite like being homesick because it is not the people I miss but the food. Oh, the glorious, glorious foods. Vancouver is definitely a city without compare when it comes to restaurants and cuisines. So here’s a sampling so you know just exactly what I am missing out on in Scotland.

First off, Korean food. Through my previous job as an English conversation teacher, I have met and befriended many of my Korean students. Over the course of three or so years, I have went from knowing nothing about Korean food to beingĀ obsessedĀ with it. Sweet, spicy, salty, whatever your taste buds desire! And sadly, there is nothing that I have found so far that has come close. In fact, I haven’t found any Korean restaurants or Korean places this far up north (yet) [so if there’s anybody out there who has suggestions, please throw them my way]. One thing I miss most? Korean BBQ.

But in Vancouver, it doesn’t just stop there! There are a few places that I would recommend to people, especially tourists and one of them is Meat and Bread on Cambie street. They were recently featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network. They offer a choice of four sandwiches, one of them usually being a special, every day and the menu is simple and fast. What’s more is that the pop (or cola, or fizzy drinks) that they offer are all organic and they have some pretty interesting flavours! I managed to finally get myself in through the door one day (there’s normally a line out the door and onto the street everyday at lunch) and ordered a Prochetta sandwich. It was… heaven. The pork was juicy and in between were pieces of crispy crackling. On top of that was some of their own homemade mustard. I HATE mustard but this tasted divine together with the sandwich. I basically polished off my board!

Yes, I said it right. My board. There are no plates in this here establishment. All the sandwiches are served on small wooden boards.

If great fresh local food is what you’re after or if you’re looking for some inspiration on what to make for a special night, I’d recommend heading down to Granville Island. The local market there might always be filled with tourists and art students but it is definitely a place to visit when you want to fill with eyes and belly!

There’s a small local bakery situated inside that I always stop by called Stuart’s. The pastries and cakes and freshly baked bread on display draws quite a bit of customers (myself included). And every time, with no fail, I order one sort of fruit tart or the other (I always go for strawberry though).

It really doesn’t get any better than that!

There’s another place that I introduce to people who are looking for authentic BC food called Pair Bistro on 10th ave in Kitsilano. Sadly, the last fancy meal I had with my significant other was also one of their last dinner services as the owner and the chef are moving on to another city due to family reasons. But wherever they move to, that city better watch out! They believe in using local ingredients and local foods. Even the beers and wines on tap are from local breweries. But the best feature of this place is the elk. This is the first place I have ever tried elk and after that, I never looked back. But here is a cruel tease of what they used to offer.

Elk medallion on a bed of roasted potatoes

Wild boar BBQ ribs with a side of coleslaw and cornbread

 

Can’t remember but I think apple turnover a la mode

Blueberry creme brulee

That’s it for my food-related post for Vancouver. Once I go discover enough places around Aberdeen, I’ll do a food post as well.

~JGM

 

 

 

 

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So, recently, I went to the Richmond Night Market.

Those from Vancouver would already know this but for those who are thinking of visiting, the Richmond Night Market is a large Asian summer market which occurs every year running from usually May to October in the City of Richmond. It imitates the street markets seen all around Asia and is a great and fun place to hang out and to get some pretty cheap Asian goods (mostly because there’s no tax! And boy, do Vancouverites get fleeced with tax!).

In any case, the group of us were hanging around in the City of Richmond before the market opened (usually 7pm from Friday to Sunday) and we walked past a really famous fountain just outside the President Plaza.

For those unfamiliar, this is what it looks like.

And of course, having been pumped full of sugar…

To clarify, yes, that is a fish spitting water into a dolphin’s mouth. It’s quite possibly the weirdest fountain ever. What did they smoke when they thought this was a good idea?

We managed to get to the night market in one piece. It was packed, as usual despite having only just opened at around 7pm. We walked in and the first things that we always head for are the food stalls. There are four long rows of stalls offering just about any cuisine you can think of. Korean fast food, Taiwanese fast food, Chinese dim sum on a stick, candied fruits, etc. Here’s a few photos so that you’ll have an idea of what is offered there.

A general idea of what it looks like

A popular favourite, potato that has been cut into a spiral and skewered on a stick before being deep fried in oil and dipped in your favourite flavours. The chart is there to helpfully suggest
what else you could do with their “Rotato”.

Deep fried cheesecake with strawberries.

The same place that deep fried your cheesecake also offered this Chuck Norris approved product.

One of the food stalls even offered roast pork hock!

In any case, one of other reasons why I go is for the socks. Yes, I know, socks are a dime a dozen anywhere but I really, really, really like Korean manufactured socks and I go every year to the night market to stock up on socks for the year. A lot of people make fun of me for it, but you know what… erm… I really, really like socks? I also love stationery, especially those manufactured in Korea. I’m a bit of an addict but I’m also a big fan of fine tips (as in pen tips). It’s mostly the Japanese and Korean brands that have manufactured pens with a 0.38mm tip. So here’s a photo of my swag.

Would you believe that I got all that for less than $30CAD in Vancouver (voted the most expensive place to live in Canada)?

On another note, I had a surprise when I ran into a close friend of mine. Turned out he was working at one of the booths selling Pandora-style charm bracelets for a friend of his. Seeing that they had a Canadian flag charm, I figured I might as well roll my sleeves and get a bit into the patriotic mood before I leave and get a bracelet made. After quite a bit of fussing about with which five charms I want, I finally made a decision and reached for my wallet.

“Put that away,” he told me and I stared at him.

“But… you’re broke!”

“That’s why I’m working here.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, it’ll be a farewell gift from me to you.”

I gave him a really big hug afterwards and started tearing up right then and there. It was hard to say goodbye (for now) to him. I’m pretty sure I’ll be sporting this bracelet for longer than I originally thought I would.

Counting down: Four more days to take off.

~JGM

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