Fondway Cafe

This past week, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to Fondway Cafe’s exclusive media and industry launch event. It was an exciting night of wonderful food and amazing service.

Disclaimer: This was a complimentary event, I did not receive any monetary compensation or bribes to write. All content is purely based on my own thoughts and personal experience.

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Fondway Cafe is conveniently located just a few steps away from the Metrotown Skytrain, making it easily accessible. The interior was thoughtfully designed. It’s a meeting of the vintage and modern. I love the bright, open, spaciousness, along with the artistic, hipster vibe. I also have to mention that I’m quite fond of the cafe’s name. Shall we go away and create some fond memories at Fondway?

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Once I entered the cafe, I was greeted by the friendly and helpful staff, the whimsical chatter of my foodie friends, and plethora of delicious looking food (over 20 signature items) spread across the table.

I was immediately drawn to the Belgium liege waffle. The waffle wasn’t crisp on the surface, but it was nicely dense and chewy. The flavour was great, and I love the bits of pearl sugar that adorned the waffle.

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Besides the liege waffle, they also offer a waffle pork sandwich. I love the substitution of waffle for bread, it adds a touch of indulgence to the otherwise light tasting sandwich. The ingredients inside included, lettuce, cucumber and shredded pork.

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Going along with the waffles, they also had this cute little bite sized appetizer on the table. It was a mini waffle with a light Taiwanese tuna salad scooped on top. It was a cute and yummy snack.

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Fondway offered us a variety of crustless sandwiches. I tried the Taiwanese pumpkin crab. I thought it sounded like an odd combo, but it worked. The imitation crab meat was mixed in a light mayo, and the flavours went well with the creamy sweetness of pumpkin.

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Halfway through the event, the staff began taking out desserts. They looked so delicious, but I was already getting full. The portions were big and I did not want to take a bite and waste the rest. Nevertheless, I wanted to taste everything.  Luckily for me, I met some like minded foodies that were more than willing to share. There was chocolate cake, caramel earl grey, red bean matcha, fruit cake, and cheesecake to choose from.

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We had our eyes on the caramel earl grey cake. The cake was airy and spongy. It reminded me of those cake rolls I’d find at typical Chinese bakeries. The caramel flavour was most prominent at the top of the cake where the caramel drizzle was. It was a light treat, not too sweet, but I would’ve preferred if it had a stronger earl grey taste.

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Next, we tried the concentrated chocolate cake. The chocolate cake had the same spongy roll cake texture to it. The chocolate cake was more true to its flavour than the one preceding it.

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The cheesecake had a layer of caramelized sugar torched on the surface. The texture was between dense and fluffy. It wasn’t too sweet or heavy.

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The apple crumble pie was tasty. The sweet crumble graced the bed of fragrant apples that sit on top of the thin pie crust.

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The caramel nut tart was also good. It had a variety of nuts in it, and it tasted a lot like nut brittle on a pie crust.

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There were little jars of creme caramel that we got to take home with our full stomaches. The syrup at the bottom was runny, but the custard pudding was smooth and full of eggy flavour.

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Towards the end of the night, we were given takeout boxes to take home whatever we wanted. I took home the multi-grain croissant chicken along with another sandwich I hadn’t tried as well as a liege waffle. Some people had packed 3 boxes. Honestly, I wanted to pack home everything, but I didn’t want to appear to be the fatass that I am… *ahem. Lol. I had put the croissant in the oven the following day so it was nice and crisp on the surface. There were lots of good things in the sandwich; lettuce, chicken, egg, tomato, mushroom etc. with a thin layer of savoury pesto. I gave Baby-Paca the rest of the items I packed home so I can’t comment on the sandwich, but she liked it.

I also got to try a variety of their drinks. My favourites included their grass jelly milk tea, which had a nice, strong, concentrated tea flavour, milky and smooth  and their organic grapefruit tea, which was refreshing and appetizing. Neither were too sweet. Another drink that stood out for me was the nitrogen coffee which was infused with soda fruit juice, The soda fruit juice adds a bit of sourness to the coffee and makes it more light and refreshing, but it’s definitely an acquired taste that I’m certain not everyone will enjoy.

I was so preoccupied with tasting the variety of offerings in front of me that I neglected my photography. I totally regret not getting more shots. Fondway had soups and salads for tasting as well, but I did not get around to trying everything as I was already full to the brim, but from what I hear, the clam chowder was pretty good for a Taiwanese inspired cafe. I guess that just means I have to give them another visit sometime!

In short, Fondway really spoiled us that night.The food I was fortunate enough to try tasted simple, fresh, light and considerably healthy. After indulging myself all night, I actually didn’t feel all that guilty!

Today was Fondway’s official grand opening, so go and give them a visit if you haven’t already!

 

Fondway Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

FONDWAY CAFE
+1 604 283 6997
Central Burnaby
4462 Beresford Street, Burnaby, Metro Vancouver

Bao Down

I was scrolling through Instagram one day and I came across UYU Ice Cream’s post which informed me that they were extending their $3 ice cream soft opening special. Ecstatic, I immediately messaged KitKat, to which she suggested we grab dinner after work before we head over to our main destination. KitKat suggested Catch 122, but I have been on a splurge lately so I threw out a bunch of cheaper and lighter options, and Bao Down came out the winner.

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Bao Down has a very upbeat, hipster vibe to it. The quaint little restaurant is cozy but has limited seating. We arrived at around 7 on a Wednesday night and the place was pretty packed. Being smart, one of us lined up to order while the other scoured for seats. I scored a table upstairs right next to their mural, which I forgot to take a picture of, but I thought the painted cartoon samurai animals on the wall were adorable.

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My Two World’s Collide!!! ($6) took about 20 minutes to arrive. I was expecting the bao to be warm and toasty, however, they were only room temperature at best. This bao boasts 2 kinds of pork belly; star anise and ginger braised pork belly, and crispy pork belly with a hoisin glaze, along with other good stuff like chicharon (fried pork rinds), carrots, daikon, scallions and gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste). It was like eating an open faced cha siu bao ( 叉燒包/steamed Chinese BBQ pork bun). The roasted flavour along with the scallions and hoisin sauce was reminiscent of Peking duck (北京烤鴨/片皮鴨)but without the actual duck of course. While the bao tasted delicious as a whole, the crispy pork belly wasn’t really crispy, it was actually a little dry and tough.

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The YVR ($7) consists of seared Ocean Wise albacore tuna, avocado, double smoked bacon, sweet soy, wasabi mayo and baby pea shoots. With the first 3 ingredients being among Kitkat’s favourite foods, I knew this was what she was going to order the moment I saw it on the menu. I am a fan of tuna tataki myself, but I felt like the soft and mild flavours of the fish wouldn’t make the best combo with the bao, which was also soft and mild tasting. I had a bite of KitKat’s YVR and my suspicious were correct, it was kind of one-note. I didn’t like it as much as my pork belly bao, which had more of a textural contrast and bolder flavour. KitKat enjoyed it though, with the only complaint being that the pea shoots were too fibre-y and tough to chew. She ended up picking most of them out. But hey, we ordered fries to share, so we still got our serving of vegetables, because fries are basically a kind of potato salad, right? But if you beg to differ, our fries had kimchi too. Hahah.

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The Kimchi fries (small $4.50) came with crispy pork belly, bean sprouts, sweet soy, crispy garlic, garlic mayo and scallions. Again, the pork belly wasn’t crispy. They came in 2 big lumps that were tough and dry. The fries on the other hand, were cooked just the way I like them, slightly crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside without being overtly greasy. The slight acidity of the kimchi went harmoniously with the savoury and subtly sweet soy sauce, and the raw bean sprouts added a hint of freshness to the fries. They did get a littly too salty towards the bottom as they were soaked in sauce though.

While the portions don’t look that big, it was actually rather filling. Altogether, the food was good, but definitely not enough for us to bao down, but I give them an A+ for the punny name.

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BAO DOWN
+1 778 379 3611
Gastown
12 Powell Street, Vancouver