Cockney Kings Fish and Chips

I had just gotten home from a successful interview when I began receiving a string of text messages from Baby-Paca telling me that she had just finished school but had to be back at 7 for a meeting and how she was hungry enough to eat a whole cow. Initially, I was just going to stay home, but Baby-Paca wanted company, so being the wonderful sister that I am, I decided I’d rendezvous with her wherever she decided she wanted to eat. Like a majority of siblings, we have a very love-hate relationship. While we bicker and pull each others’ hairs out all the time, I know she’d be hella lonely and miss me every day that I’m gone (such as when I’m away on vacation). Plus she wouldn’t have anyone to get excited over food or share with or complain to and watch dramas with.

I had gotten off the bus and stalked Baby-Paca for a good 2 blocks before she noticed me. After I had my fun, I revealed my location and we walked over to Cockney Kings. Cockney Kings took us on a trip to memory lane. Baby-Paca and I started talking about how delighted we got when dad used to buy us fish and chips when we were kids and our parents were still together and how we haven’t been back much since. Then it occurred to me that the last time I ate at Cockney Kings was with Stud Muffin about a year ago, which catalyzed a whole ‘nother series of recollections. It always put a smile on my face seeing how excited he would get for all you can eat. Unfortunately, he’s not around to pig out with me anymore.

Anyway, that’s enough side tracking! There was a wait list when we arrived. There were a few empty tables but the waitresses had not gotten around to cleaning them. We were seated after about 10-15 minutes. Baby-Paca mentioned how Cockney Kings would be a super chill place to work, since everyone moved at their own pace.

On Mondays-Wednesdays, Cockney Kings offers all you can eat fish and chips for $10.95. Initially, I was just going to order off the menu, since I’ve been trying to reduce calorific intake (without much success, because let’s face it, food is too good, and I get really hungry whenever I have classes. All that brain power, right?!). But after looking at the prices, I changed my mind seeing as all you can eat was obviously a much better deal. The paper setting has Cockney slangs printed on them, and it has colouring, connect the dots, etc. on the back to keep kids entertained. I always have a good laugh going through the placemats while waiting for food to arrive.

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The all you can eat comes with bottomless soda pop. Baby-Paca had 2 refills of her ginger ale before I even finished one glass. The fish in the all you can eat fish and chips is the pollock variety. We had a whole bottle of Cockney Kings’ delicious tartar sauce at our disposal. The pollock was piping hot, flaky, moist and tender. The British style batter was fried to crispy golden perfection without being overly greasy.  However, I would’ve liked if the fish itself was seasoned as it lacked sodium if eaten without tartar sauce. As for the chips, they were fresh and full of potato-y goodness, crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Baby-Paca and I had a satisfying meal. I had ruined my diet plans for the day, but it was worth it. Since we’ve moved back to the North Burnaby area, I think we’ll come by more often now that we actually remember this place. Baby-Paca said she’s heard that the poutine here was good, but they had run out of cheese curds. I guess we’ll have to save it for next time!

Cockney Kings Fish & Chips Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

COCKNEY KINGS FISH AND CHIPS
+1 604 291 1323
North Burnaby
Kensington Square, 6574 Hastings Street, Burnaby

Bon Macaron Patisserie


Bon Macaron Patisserie is a booming macaron shop in Victoria. Luckily for us, they have expanded their territory and have opened up shop in Kitsilano,  gracing us Vancouverites with their lovely bite sized delights. This place just opened a month or so ago, I even had troubles finding a geotag for it on Instagram. The staff are friendly and helpful. They had even given us flavoured marshmallows and a whole macaron to sample.

This patisserie is strictly a macaron shop, and they mean serious business. There were about forty or fifty some creative and unique flavours to choose from, they even have savoury ones. They’re only $1.50 a pop, so it’s easy to get carried away with all the enticing flavours. I exerted self control and only bought a box of 6 (tax free if you buy 6 or more) since it was my first visit and I had already splurged at Trillussa, 8th and Main and Beta 5 earlier that day. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling very bold, so I got the “safer” choices just to try if they were good first, before I get all adventurous.

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Top left down: blueberry taro, chocolate pear, earl grey, yuzu, white chocolate passion fruit, tiramisu

The macarons all had crisp outer shells, with a chewy center. They were all true to their flavours. The only flavour that wasn’t quite as distinguishable was the blueberry taro. I didn’t really taste blueberry, and the taro was a little faint, it was mostly just sweet. I assume they used taro powder. Nonetheless, the marbled design on the macaron was beautiful. The chocolate pear was a wonderful combo, the pear was very fragrant, I could almost taste the juiciness of the pear, it went wonderfully with the decadence of chocolate. Earl grey is one of my all time favourite flavours for macarons, and this one was top notch. The flavour of the tea was spot on, strong and with a hint of citrus. The Japanese yuzu was super refreshing and had the perfect balance of tartness to sweetness. A lot of times I find passion fruit flavoured macarons to be too intense, they’re usually too sour or too sweet for my taste buds, but this passion fruit white chocolate was done right. It had a prominent and invigorating aroma without being overwhelming. The tiramisu was yummy as well, it had a bold coffee flavour with a creaminess to it.

These macarons are best eaten fresh, but they will keep for about 3 days in the fridge. However, I did notice that the quality begins to decline. The exterior becomes more easily cracked and it loses a bit of its chewiness. But I don’t think that’ll be a problem because they’re so delicious you’ll probably want to gobble them up right away anyway.

I also have to mention that Bon Macaron Patisserie gives out loyalty stamp cards where you get 1 free six pack after buying 10 six packs. Bon Macaron has won my loyalty.

Bon Macaron Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BON MACARON PATISSERIE
+1 778 379 6055

Kitsilano
2823 West Broadway, Vancouver

Trilussa Pizza and Pane

One day KitKat, Jujube and I had a spontaneous food adventure. Jujube, picked me up early in the morning and we headed over to pick KitKat up. She had just rolled out of bed so we got the chance to go inside her house while she got ready and play with Meelo, KitKat’s trusty ramen dog. Meelo gets super excited whenever he sees me, it makes me feel so loved. But I guess it makes sense because he probably remembers me when he was just a little pup. He was born under my roof, his mom MoMo used to be my pet, but unfortunately, Mamallama and her boyfriend broke up and he had taken her away along with Pookie, one of my other beloved dogs. I still miss them dearly. Pudding and Cashew still keep me company though.

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Anyway, back on topic! Our first stop was Trilussa Pizza and Pane. This place serves up authentic stone oven Roman pizzas by the slice. There are lots of daily flavours to choose from from their wooden counter. Once you pick out your pizzas, they’ll heat it up for you. You also have the option of picking out a flavour off their menu and have a whole pizza baked fresh.

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I picked out the Vancouver pizza ($6.34) and the gorgonzola pear pizza ($5.91?). The crust was thin and crispy with a pleasant chewiness to it. The Vancouver is a cold pizza that’s topped with smoked salmon and organic green salad. You can definitely taste the quality of the ingredients. The smoked salmon was incredibly flavourful without being too salty. It was soft without any toughness or chewiness. I have this pet peeve with eating anything with smoked salmon in them, that is, I’m always afraid that when I take a bite, I’d pull the whole piece of lox out, you know what I mean? But that was not the case here, the salmon just came apart where it was supposed to. While this pizza was good, I was a little sad that it didn’t have any cheese. It’s more like a flat bread, it’s just not pizza without cheese. I also thought that the Vancouver could’ve been done with a little more sauce. I faintly remember something that tasted like a light dijon mayo that was scantily placed. The gorgonzola pear pizza was my favourite of the two. The gorgonzola cheese had such a pungent, buttery and nutty aroma. The sweetness of the pear complimented the flavours of the cheese impeccably. Unfortunately, by no fault of Trilussa’s, I had made the mistake of eating the second half of my gorgonzola pear after my lox pizza. I thought it would be nice to end with something sweet, but I had underestimated how fast the pizza cooled off and how slow I eat. By the time I got to my second half, the cheese had congealed and the texture had become a little gritty.

While being on the pricier side, I think the quality of the pizza’s definitely worth it. KitKat, JuJube and I were all satisfied with our brunch and we were headed to our next destination. We literally had a full day of munching planned, but we decided to add in a shopping break in-between at 8th and Main as we needed a little time to walk off our food babies before we hook up with Beta 5’s ice cream social.

Trilussa Pizza & Pane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

TRILUSSA PIZZA AND PANE
+1 604 558 3338
Riley Park & Little Mountain
4363 Main Street, Vancouver

De Dutch Pannekoek House

This past week, Sunshine had asked whether I’d like to do hot yoga with him.  Since I almost always wake up at around 7-8ish regardless of the time I go to bed anyway, I figured I had time to spare before my classes, so I agreed. I’ve been going through some emotional issues, so it’s a good idea to keep my mind off things. We signed up for a 1 month pass, and we were perspiring through every inch of our bodies after we bumbled through our first session. After we cleaned up and changed, we headed to De Dutch to fuel up because yoga is strenuous hard work for noobs like Sunshine and I.

De Dutch is a cozy little restaurant hidden in the back behind Hastings Street. It’s only accessible through an alleyway/weird staircase, which made the trip rather exciting for me as it felt like we were visiting an illegal underground pancake house.

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After browsing through the entire menu multiple times, I finally decided on the BC bene ($15) garnished with a side of salad (choice between garden salad or fruit). Our server had asked me whether I wanted my bene served on Dutch rusks. She informed me that rusk is a crispy twice baked bread. Curious, I asked whether I could do half of my bene on the rusk and half on the generic english muffin, she graciously said yes. The BC smoked wild salmon on my bene tasted like the Sockeye variety, it was fresh, smokey and not stringy or tough. The fried eggs had perfectly runny yolks and the hollandaise sauce wasn’t too heavy, it was actually rather light and frothy. As for the rusk, it tasted like a crouton. I actually preferred the textural crunch over the usual english muffin. The cute little hash browns that came with my bene didn’t have crispy edges, but surprisingly, I didn’t mind the texture, they were short of being just soft, mushy potatoes.

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Sunshine went with the Dutch uitsmijter ($9), an open faced sandwich with egg, ham and edam cheese with a side of hash browns. Sunshine said that the egg, ham and cheese were just on a slice of bread, it wasn’t even buttered or toasted or anything. He said he actually liked it and that it had a homely feel to it, but we both agreed that I could’ve just made that for him in my kitchen.

While De Dutch is actually known for their Dutch pancakes, neither of us felt like having pancakes on this particular visit. Sunshine said that the pannekoeks are almost like a thick crepe, they’re larger and thinner than the American pancakes we’re used to. I might come back to try them sometime.

De Dutch Pannekoek House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

DE DUTCH PANNEKOEK HOUSE
+1 604 298 4400
North Burnaby
6651 Hastings Street, Burnaby

Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck

Nordstrom officially opens their doors to the public on Sept. 18, but luckily for me, Potato had given me the inside scoop on Nordstrom’s VIP BFF premiere event and I had booked facials, bra fittings and makeovers for KitKat and I (all free of cost). After a whole morning of being pampered, picking off the delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts, recieving mountains of free samples and enabling each other to make purchases (portion of the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Foundation), KitKat and I hit the streets of downtown Vancouver with our high spirits and radiant glow. While we strolling around as advertising agents of Nordstrom with our gazillion shopping bags, we came across Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck and KitKat suggested we get a sandwich to share as we haven’t officially had lunch yet (though we’ve been munching throughout the morning). I couldn’t resist.

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Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck has daily specials and classic grilled cheeses which you can customize. We ordered a classic grilled cheese on sourdough with havarti cheese ($8) and made it a super-deluxe with double smoked bacon and avocado (+$1.75 each).

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The sandwich was served to us in a paper cone with 2 spears of pickles and kettle chips at the bottom. The bread had been buttered and the cheese was ooey gooey. The avocado was creamy and the double smoked bacon added just the right amount of smokey saltiness. While perfectly delicious on its own, KitKat and I enjoyed a little bit of sriracha ketchup with our sandwich. It totally added a whole ‘nother dimension. Moreover, the spicy, tangy sauce offset the heavy richness of the cheese.

KitKat and I only had half a sandwich each, but it was super filling. We didn’t even finish our pickles and chips. Nevertheless, we still had room for ice cream! I had caught wind that Uyu extended their milk tea soft serve for the week and that’s where we headed next. After our indulgence, we were off to pick up some wine and cheese to prepare for our epic night in with the girls. Basically, Netflix and chill. My kind of date night.

MOM’S GRILLED CHEESE TRUCK
+1 604 767 9768
Downtown
Hornby Street & Cordova Street, Vancouver

Kamamarui Ramen & Don

Kamamarui is a small (Korean run?) ramen joint tucked away on Hastings that just opened up recently. While I’ve heard about the branch in Royal Oak, I never actually tried it personally. One day, Totoro, Mamallama, Baby-Paca and I were driving out to lunch and we passed by Kamamarui, I told them I heard from some of my friends that Kamamarui Ramen serves up decent ramen. While it’s not the quality you get from ramen joints downtown, it’s a fair option when you don’t want to travel all the way out. Moreover, Kamamarui’s more gentle on your wallet.

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The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the little doggie butts on the wall. I think they’re hooks for clothing, bags and such? Cute and practical, I like that. It was completely empty when we walked in. The waitress apologized and informed us that they weren’t open yet, but I heard a voice from the kitchen say something in Korean to our waitress and she told us that we can wait inside as they open at 11:30 (it was 11:25), so we were seated.

The heat was turned all the way up and it was like a sauna inside, we had to request for the heat to be turned down. 10 minutes after our request, it  felt like the temperature actually increased and we asked the waitress again to lower the temperature. She opened the door to let some cool air in and it was a lot less stuffy afterwards.

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It was rather dim inside the quaint little restaurant, but It seems that Ghibli/Miyazaki’s masterpiece, Spirited Away may have had a little influence over Kamamarui’s decor, which is a +5 points from me. Can you spot No Face? Hahah.

Kamamarui’s menu is limited, they only offer 2 kinds of broth, miso and tonkotsu, but you get the choice of making your ramen a combo with their selection of add ons (ranging from an extra $1.5-$6). We decided to try a bit of everything.

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I ordered a chashu miso ramen with Kamamuri’s “Twinkle” ($11.5 + $5). The description on the menu was deep fried pork in a sweet, spicy and sour sauce. The sauce had slices of caramelized onions in it and tasted like a plum sauce. It wasn’t spicy, but it was very flavourful, and it was actually my favourite component of this plate. The batter on the meatballs weren’t very crispy, and the dry, flossy consistency of the pork kind of threw me off.

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(To my disappointment) The chashu miso ramen had a generous helping of bean sprouts instead of the usual toppings like bamboo shoots and onsen egg. The chashu had a nice smokey BBQ charred flavour to them, but they were a tad too lean and didn’t have that melt in your mouth decadent quality you’d expect from good chashu.The noodles were decent, a little gummy, but had a bounce to them. The broth was light without being bland, but it was missing that depth of flavour. I also didn’t really like the taste  of cracked blacked pepper in my ramen, but it wasn’t a big issue.

Mamallama ordered the tonkotsu ramen with prawn and yam tempura ($9 + $5). The prawn and yams tasted fresh, but the batter could’ve been a little thinner and crispier. The dipping sauce was more concentrated and thicker than the dipping sauces that are usually served with tempura at other restaurants. I thought it was a nice change as I typically find the dipping sauces too watered down.

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Mamallama’s bowl of tonkotsu ramen looked pretty similar to mine, except with less chashu. The toppings were essentially the same. However, I actually preferred her broth over mine. It had a more clear pork flavour and it was creamier.

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Baby-Paca got the same ramen I ordered but with the side of the mini Chicken Flame (+$5). The Chicken Flame is a spicy chicken don. The chicken was slathered in a tasty spicy sauce that tasted like gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) and teriyaki sauce. The chicken flame definitely had a Korean flair to it. I find that Japanese dishes generally don’t get very spicy, even when they advertise that they are, but the spiciness of the Chicken Flame creeps in on you after a few bites.

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Totoro ordered the miso ramen with the mini tonkatsu ($9 + $6). The fried breaded pork cutlet was served with a homemade tomato sauce and lettuce salad. The breaded pork was not bad, but not good. It wasn’t oily or greasy. The breading was crispy, but could’ve been crispier. I didn’t like the tomato sauce though, it was reminiscent of borscht soup. I would’ve preferred if it were served with the usual tonkatsu sauce.

While our waitress was courteous, she seemed a little airy, but maybe it’s just the lack of experience. We ended up over-ordering and had enough left over for another meal. I could’ve done with just the ramen, but I was unaware that the original came with (2 slices of) chashu. If we ever feel like ramen again, we may come back to try their reman with a side of their Bombs. Apparently their seasoned seaweed teriyaki rice balls are literally the bomb. Baby-Paca had the genius idea of looking up reviews AFTER we had ordered.

Kamamarui Ramen & Don Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

KAMAMARUI RAMEN & DON
+1 (778) 379-8077
North Burnaby
4219 Hastings Street, Burnaby

Bubble Waffle Cafe

For my grandparents’ 55th anniversary, we had the whole family come together in celebration. All 14 of us. I love our family reunions. We used to do yearly trips (which I miss greatly), but due to my grandmother’s deteriorating health, we can no longer afford to travel far. But that’s alright, because all that matters is that the everybody is alive and present. So we packed up our clothes and necessities and hopped in a limo to River Rock Casino (Richmond) where we were going to stay for the next 3 days and 2 nights. It was like a mini getaway but without the distance. Harassing my cousin Potato is among one of me and Baby-Paca’s favourite pass times (Baby-Paca has a picture collection of him in VERY flattering angles and awkward moments on her phone). Our family reunions would definitely be a lot less fun for everybody without our entertaining antics indeed. I was fooling around with my cousins and sisters in our penthouse suit when my grandpa suggested we go out for lunch. Originally he suggested we go to the food court in Richmond Centre where we could buy and eat whatever we wanted, but we had reached a consensus that the food court in Aberdeen was 10x better so we frolicked there instead. Bubble Waffle Cafe’s bubble waffles are one of the first things that come to mind when I think about Aberdeen Centre. Judging by the constant lineup no matter the time of day, you know that Bubble Waffle Cafe is one of the more popular stands in the food court.
IMG_1729By the name of this stand, you’ll know that bubble waffles are a must order item. Baby-Paca and I weren’t very hungry so we just ordered a light snack, a cheesecake bubble waffle ($4.15 tax included) to share. I am a bubble waffle fanatic, so I’ve had my fair share of puffets. While they’re a dime a dozen in Asian populations, good ones are hard to come by (Even a majority of the street vendors in Hong Kong (where they originated) were disappointing when I went last winter). But I gotta say that Bubble Waffle Cafe’s bubble waffles are the bomb. The golden and crispy shell envelopes the moist, doughy, slightly chewy and soft insides of the puffets. The texture and aromatic custardy egg flavour is just on point. There’s nothing I’d change about them. The original flavour is the most popular, but cheesecake is my favourite. 

I also had a bite of my cousin Nate’s curry fish balls. They were just decent. The yellow curry was flavourful, not too oily and just mildly spicy. The fish balls were bite sized and had a bounce to them.

While I rate Bubble waffle Cafe a 3.5 out of 5, if I were to rate the cafe just solely based on their bubble waffles, I’d give them a solid 4.5, with the .5 deducted just for the long wait time and that one time they overcooked my bubble waffle, remade it like 3 times and still ended up a little too crunchy (but I think they were experiencing technical difficulties that day).

After our snack, we shopped around the mall. One of our stops was Candy Land, where Potato needed help deciding which flavours of Pocky to buy. He picked up a box that only had writing in Japanese and asked me what flavour it was. To our amusement, it read 大人のミルク “Adult’s milk.” He maintained a weird disgusted face for a good 5-10 seconds. I assured him that it wasn’t breast milk flavoured (lol!). He ended up getting it and I just couldn’t resist taking a picture to upload onto my Insta.

Bubble Waffle Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BUBBLE WAFFLE CAFE
+1 (604) 370-2211
Central Richmond › Aberdeen Centre, Food Court,
3000-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond

Au Petit Café

I had to go to the clinic, and my family doctor’s office is all the way in West Broadway, so I took this as a chance to visit Au Petit Cafe since it’s around the same general area. As the name reads, this busy Vietnamese cafe is quite petite indeed. There’s probably only seating for about 15-20 people in the whole restaurant. so be prepared to line up outside if you go during peak hours. 

IMG_1701My party of 4 was seated after a 15 minute wait at around 1:15pm on a rainy Monday afternoon.

I started off with a dark french iced coffee with condensed milk/Vietnamese coffee ($4.00). I didn’t always like coffee, but It’s kind of growing on me. I’ve begun to appreciate the taste of bitterness, or at least to tolerate it. My tastebuds are just under continual evolution. The coffee was very strong with a subtle sweet undertone from the condensed milk. The size of the coffee could’ve been a bit bigger considering the price though. I’ve been sick for the past week and all the sleepless nights have been adding up, but this got me through the day.

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Me, Mamallama, Totoro and friend ordered the Vietnamese spring rolls ($8.25) to share. These were served piping hot with fish sauce on the side for dipping. The shell of the spring roll was very different from what we’re used to, but it was a pleasant change. It was crunchy, but it also had a little bit of a chew to it. The filling was well seasoned and had a nice ratio of ground pork to vegetables. I also liked that they weren’t greasy.

IMG_1717We also got the shrimp salad rolls ($7.50) to share. These were served with a peanut hoisin sauce. While there’s a stark difference between good and bad salad rolls, I feel like there’s a ceiling to how great a salad roll can get. I just don’t see salad rolls blowing people’s socks off. Nevertheless, these were pretty good. Everything was as it should be. The ingredients were fresh, and tightly wrapped so it stayed together until the last bite.

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The bahn mi subs are what Au Petit’s known for, it’s what keeps me coming back. I always get the french bread sub with homemade ham, house meatball and vegetables ($5.25) with optional jalapeño peppers. Their bread is always baked fresh daily- crispy on the outside, very soft on the inside.  I’ve never really been a fan of the rubbery texture of vietnamese ham, but I actually liked them in the sub. The meatballs were soft, moist and flavourful and accented perfectly with the pickled carrots and cucumber, I had gotten mine with the hot peppers, but they were too spicy for me, so I ended up picking them out.

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Mamallama and Totoro felt like something soupy, so they ordered the BBQ lemon grass boneless chicken and rice noodle in soup ($9.25). The noodle soup was very comforting on a cold, rainy day, it warmed us right up. The broth had deep flavours, it had a subtle sweetness to it and it had just the right amount of sodium. They were also pretty generous with the lemon grass chicken, which was juicy and tender.

After lunch, we immediately started planning our next meal. We decided It was the perfect day for hotpot. It’s nice being able to look forward to returning home after work with food, family and friends waiting for me.

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AU PETIT CAFE
+1 (604) 873-3328
Riley Park & Little Mountain
4851 Main Street, Vancouver