Cozmos Cafe

After being MIA, having neglected my blog for all this time, I gotta say that getting back on it is a bit of a struggle. Right this moment, I’m actually at Fondway staring at my laptop, drawing a blank while my baes, Kitkat and Jujube work away on their own projects. Dropping from being the 15th ranked blog on Zomato to whatever it is now during my absence has really depleted my motivation to write. Where do I even begin? I guess this is a start.

MamaLlama, BabyPaca and I have been distant as of late since our schedules don’t match up. Wanting to squeeze in a little family time before MamaLlama left for work, we decided to go out for a quick bite to eat. Being tight on time, we decided on a place close to home. After much debate, we decided on Cozmos since we’ve never been and I needed material to blog.

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Upon being seated, Babypaca and I promptly noticed that they had a special festive drink offering up on the wall; BUTTER BEER. Yes, you read correctly. Obviously, it was a must order, being the Potterheads that we are. They also have a boozy adult’s butter beer, but we just got the regular because BabyPaca’s not of age yet. The concoction was a mixture of cream soda, whip cream and butterscotch syrup. I liked the bits of crushed fine ice in it, but I felt like it was lacking that buttery flavour and richness that you’d expect, it tasted too much like cream soda, it probably would’ve benefited from more butterscotch syrup.

MamaLlama didn’t think she could finish a plate by herself so we decided on 2 appetizers; curly fries and zucchini sticks  and 2 mains to share.

The zucchini sticks were just sad, there was no presentation, just a few measly strips of fried zucchini on a plate with some tzitziki on the side, close to a dollar a piece. It made me miss the zucchini sticks I’ve had in LA at The Hat. Those were the bomb.

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The curly fries were done right, well seasoned and tasty, but we couldn’t help but notice that our plate was significantly smaller than the table’s next to us.

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I ordered the spicy lamb gyro, it came with a Greek salad that I didn’t fancy very much. The flavour of the balsamic vinaigrette tasted a little off to me. I would’ve preferred it with just feta. The wrap itself wasn’t bad, granted it wasn’t good either. The red onions were a little overbearing.

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BabyPaca got the tuna melt benedict. Overall, this was just mediocre as well. The potatoes were dry and BabyPaca mentioned that her egg was slightly overcooked. I could’ve made this at home with canned tuna and shredded cheese and it probably would’ve tasted the same, if not better.

Overal, Cozmos was alright, it’s one of those places I’d never suggest I’d want to eat at but would go if someone asked.

 Cozmos Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

e.b.o Restaurant

Last Sunday, the girls and I went to dine out at e.b.o Restaurant. Dine out was just an excuse for us all to get together and catch up over yummy food. The interior was classy and contemporary but didn’t require you to dress up. We were given a large table in the corner with a veil for privacy. Service was very slow, it took about an hour after our starter for entrees to arrive at the table. Trying to flag down our server was difficult as we were situated in the back of the room, but we still had a good time sharing laughs and indulging in food together.

The dine out menu was set at $30.

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We all started off with the maple cured pacific provider pink salmon. The cured salmon was accompanied with smoked sour cream, sunchoke, compressed Asian pear and apple pearls. This dish was incredibly fresh and invigorating. It tasted like Spring on a plate. I loved the sweetness of the juicy Asian pear, it complimented this savoury appetizer wonderfully. This dis was very balanced, textually and flavourwise. The only thing I didn’t like were the apple pearls. They were gelatinous and the flavour was dull. They’re like those beads you put into vases to soak up and hold water. You know, those beads that prevent spillage while providing moisture to your flowers?

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I ordered the pork duo for my entree. It’s actually a trio, there’s slow cooked pork loin, crisp pork belly and smoked ham hock samosa accompanied with some apple miso mostarda and cauliflower puree. The pork belly and pork loin was too fatty for me, I had to trim off some of the fat. The pork was very tender, but a little salty. I thought the samosa was random, and the shell could’ve been crispier, but i love the presentation and the brightness of this plate.

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For dessert, we all got the Vietnamese coffee” in a jar. It consisted of espresso mousse, condensed milk ice cream, cocoa nibs, coffee pearls, chocolate brownie bites, chilled strawberries and topped with a biscotti. This dessert was exquisite. The condensed milk ice cream was very refreshing, and not too sweet. The expresso mousse was tantalizingly bittersweet with a lovely hint of Kahlua. The biscotti was nice and crumbly. But again, I didn’t like the pearls, they were a strange texture and had a dull taste, but scooping then off wasn’t a problem.

We didn’t think we’d be full from the meal, Maweiner had commented that she might have to find more food to eat afterwards, but we were all surprisingly stuffed. While the portions weren’t big, our entree was very rich and filling, so our bellies were satisfied. But somehow CoCo got brought into conversation and we just had to make a final stop for bubble tea before we headed home.

e.b.o Restaurant & Lounge - Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

e.b.o RESTAURANT
+1 604 453 0788
Central Burnaby
4331 Dominion Street, Burnaby

Reflect Social Dining + Lounge

Reflect Social Dining + Lounge was the first dine out I went to this year. I looked into it pretty late and most restaurants were already booked solid, especially since Penguin and I wanted to go during the weekend. I browsed through the endless listings of restaurants and was able to get a reservation at Reflect. Their Dine out menu was offered at $40.

Penguin was over at my house showing me the joys of Game of Thrones earlier that day, as the time of our reservation approached, we got ready and made our way down to the restaurant. Reflect Social Dining + Lounge is located inside Hilton Metrotown.

The lounge was pretty peaceful and quiet. The black granite tables were accented with red candle light. However, I found the the lighting inside the restaurant a little too harsh, I would’ve preferred if the light was a little dimmer and warmer in colour. Service was friendly and attentive.

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For starters, I ordered the sake Infused Octopus Carpaccio Salad. The thin slices of octopus were tender, but my favourite component of this dish was the octopus bits that were marinated in a wasabi sauce. There’s also kelp, tobiko and radish on the plate. Everything tasted fresh. I couldn’t find the sake anywhere, but the zing from the wasabi and the citrus notes from the ponzu vinaigrette made this a very appetizing starter.

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I got the duo of ½ atlantic lobster thermidor and sesame ahi tuna loin for my entree. The portions were on the smaller side and the flavours were underwhelming. The ahi tuna tasted like roasted sesame and tuna and the lobster thermidor tasted like cooked lobster meat mixed in a cream sauce that’s been placed back in its shell. Everything on this dish lacked sodium and seasoning. The red kuri squash puree did not go well with the rest of this dish and the greens under the lobster were in dire need of some sort of vinaigrette.

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Penguin has never been to dine out before, ironically, he decided to order off of the regular menu. He got the 10oz. AAA ribeye steak ($30), which was a very good call because it was delicious. The steak was nicely charred on the surface and remained juicy and tender on the inside. There were also a medley of veggies under the steak, the only thing he didn’t like was the artichokes which had a strange sourness. Unlike my entree, Penguin’s steak was very flavourful and filling and he was quite satisfied with it.

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For dessert, I opted for the salted caramel cheesecake. The cheesecake was like a new york style cheesecake with a layer of what tasted like melted Werther’s original candies on top. very rich, smooth and decadent, a tad too sweet for me though. The macaron on the side was also too sweet. I thought it’d be a strawberry flavoured macaron but it was just a plain almond one.

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Penguin got the dulce de leche cheesecake ($8.50), which was essentially the same cheesecake as mine but in a different cut with slightly different garnishes. His cheesecake came with a chocolate ganache and mango puree while mine came with strawberry syrup. It was a little too sweet for me, but not for Penguin, who thoroughly enjoyed it.

 
Reflect Social Dining + Lounge - Hilton Vancouver Metrotown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

REFLECT SOCIAL DINING + LOUNGE
+1 604 438 1200
Central Burnaby
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, 6083 Mckay Avenue, Burnaby

Dinesty Dumpling House

I have heard a lot of about Dinesty Dumpling House so I was estactic to hear that a new location opened up near Metrotown. Mamallama and Totoro wanted to go eat at Dinesty on Monday without me, but upon arrival, they found out that they weren’t open. Luckily for me, Mamallama and Totoro decided to try again with me the next day.

There were plenty of open tables, yet there was a lineup at the door. You could tell that the front of house was severely understaffed. In contrast, the kitchen was like a factory with a thousand people churning out orders, so service was very slow but our food arrived almost instantaneously once we were able to put our order in with the waitress.

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Chinese fried donuts wrapped in egg pancake ($3.95): the Chinese fried donuts were soft and doughy. The egg pancake is actually more like an egg crepe and it was topped with a sprinkle of pork floss. This dish lacked seasoning, it needed a sauce to go with it.

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Bean curd mushroom roll ($8.50): The bean curd roll was crispy and wasn’t greasy, but again, it lacked seasoning. Apparently this comes with a sweet and sour sauce but the server had forgotten to bring it to our table until a lot later when we had already eaten half of it.

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Stewed duck leg in brown sauce ($7.50): The duck meat was a little dry and tough, the  sauce was a little too sweet and the flavour of the sauce did not seep into the duck so the dish was quite bland.

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Steamed pork soup dumplings ($7.50): There are 8 soup dumplings in one order. They were bite sized pockets of soupy goodness. The skin wasn’t too thick and the pork was juicy.

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Noodle soup with beef ($8.95): The noodle soup had a clear broth that lacked the distinct concentrated braised flavour that this type of beef noodle soup should have. The noodles were a little overcooked and soft, on the otherhand, the beef was tender and flavourful.

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Pan-fried radish slice cake ($3.95): There are 3 radish slice cakes in 1 order, though I think it’s more accurate to call them pastries. The warm flaky pastry was filled with julienned daikon and a tiny bit of bacon and dried shrimp for added flavour.

Overall, we were disappointed with Dinesty. Shanghainese food should be very flavourful, however, the dishes we tried were bland. Other than the pork soup dumplings and the pan-fried radish slice cake, everything lacked seasoning. We probably won’t be back any time soon as there are better Shanghainese restaurants in the area.

Dinesty Dumpling House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

DINESTY DUMPLING HOUSE
+1 604 439 0009
South Burnaby
4501 Kingsway, Suite 104, Burnaby

Trattoria

It was Mamallama’s day off and we finally found the time to go for Baby-Paca’s very belated birthday dinner (her birthday’s in November). Baby-Paca loves French food and really wanted to dine at Le Crocodile, but we were informed that they were fully booked for the evening. Disappointed and after much perusing, we settled on Trattoria Burnaby.

We made reservations so we were seated upon arrival. It was rather lively and loud inside the restaurant, I made Baby-Paca repeat herself numerous times while we conversed as I couldn’t hear her. The decor was trendy, and I love the design of the bar. It was in the center of the restaurant, circular in shape, outlined and lit up with polished lights.

Our server didn’t seem particularly friendly or professional. The standard just wasn’t up to what you’d expect from this kind of restaurant. We were brought plates and cutlery that had grease marks on them, and we had to ask twice to be brought a spoon.

As for the food, we ordered a pear and gorgonzola salad and beef carpaccio for appetizers. Everything was served in a timely manner, but it was a little odd that our side of brussel sprouts were served first. Nevertheless, they tasted pretty good.

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The brussel sprouts ($7.95) were served with capers, chillies, parmigiano reggiano, and lemon. I like the slight char and crispiness on the surface of the brussel sprouts. The salty brininess of the capers were a nice accent.

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I felt like the pear and gorgonzola salad ($11.95) should not have been named pear and gorgonzola salad. There were only a few slivers of pear and a tiny sprinkling of gorgonzola in the bed of arugula, radicchio  and beets. Everything tasted fresh. The flavours blended nicely if you could get all the components in one bite, but there wasn’t nearly enough pear or gorgonzola to balance.

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The beef carpaccio ($13.95) was served with a sprinkling of arugula, pickled onions, grana padano, forno bread, and grainy mustard aioli. The thin slices of herb crusted beef was tender, and Baby-Paca agreed with me when I said the flavour was strangely reminiscent of the rare beef served in pho. The aioli didnt have much of a mustard taste, had we not read the description on the menu, we would’ve thought it was just plain mayo. There wasn’t enough arugula to go with the beef so Baby-Paca stole some off our plate of salad to wrap with the slices of beef. The pickled onions brought most of the flavour. I felt like the forno bread were thrown on top as an afterthought, just for decorational purposes. It didn’t add anything to the dish. It was stale, tasteless and dry.

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For our entrees, we had to get the truffled spaghetti with signature meatballs ($22.95). It’s the dish everyone that’s eaten at Trattoria talks about. The meatballs were moist and had just enough red sauce. But while they say signature meatballs, I thought they were just alright. It’s the spaghetti that takes the prize. Baby-Paca and I loved the strong aroma of truffle in the truffle cream. However, it could’ve used more salt. Baby-Paca and I took the liberty to add more salt ourselves, and it was instantly better.

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I totally fell in love with parpadelle ever since trying the seasonal short rib pasta at Fable last winter, and have been on the hunt for good parpadelle ever since. Unfortunately, this short rib parpadelle ($19.95) was a huge let down. The braised short rib was dry and bland, like the rest of the dish. The cafe au lait sauce severely lacked sodium. We really don’t like wasting food, but we didn’t even want to finish this plate, and we had already sent the lamb shank back to the kitchen.

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The lamb shank ($23.95) was very dry and tasteless. It tasted like the meat used in soup that’s had all its moisture and flavour cooked out of it. The bianco risotto under the lamb shank was also no good. The rice had a strange gummy yet hard texture to it. Our server had dropped by a few times to ask us how the food was, I have to admit that i’m pretty picky, but I usually finish my food anyway even if I don’t like it, so I just reluctantly said “it’s good” a few times, not wanting to cause any trouble. However, the plate just sat at our table and nobody wanted to touch it. After much debate, we decided we’d tell the server that it actually wasn’t any good and she took it off the bill for us without any hassle. She asked us if we wanted to order a different dish instead, but after the 2 rather dissatisfying entrees, we just settled for dessert.

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We got the tiramisu ($8.95), and it was actually one of the better ones I’ve had. It was very moist and creamy, yet not too heavy. Nice expresso flavour with just a hint of alcohol.

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The manager(?) Simon was very guest oriented and warm. He came over to ask us how everything was. Naturally, not very assertive at all and trying to be polite, I just said “good” and thanked him for asking, but my mom’s face had displeased written all over it. Simon left and came back to tell us that he got dessert as well as the lamb shank taken care for us since we didn’t have such an enjoyable experience. Apparently the parpadelle was a new addition to the menu, he said he’d be sure to give the kitchen our feedback. Simon apologized for all the mishaps today and as we were finishing up, I saw him whisper something to our server. As we were paying for the bill, our server brought us a box of macarons as a little peace offering. We appreciated the kind gesture.

Trattoria Italian Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

TRATTORIA
+1 604 424 8779
Central Burnaby
102-4501 Kingsway, Burnaby

Cattle Cafe

My family and I have passed by Cattle Cafe numerous times, Baby-Paca has brought up that she’s been wanting to eat there for some time now. We didn’t give them a visit until recently, I don’t know why it took us so long to check them out, but Cattle Cafe has become my go-to casual HK style cafe since it’s convenient for us to get to.

The menu is pretty extensive, but we always seem to gravitate towards the same few selections.

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Japanese style takoyaki ($5.99): These were golden and crisp on the outside while soft, warm and fluffy on the inside. A tender piece of tako (octopus) was in the center of each ball. They were generously drizzled with mayo and takoyaki sauce and sprinkled with dried bonito flakes. They’re a delicious savoury treat, pretty similar to the ones you’ll find at the Richmond Night Market.

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I highly recommend the signature noodle combo ($9.95). This is something we always order. You get to pick the soup base/sauce, type of noodles, 2 toppings ( additional toppings are $1.59 each) and a drink that comes with it. I love having their Malay laksa soup with rice noodles and sliced beef brisket. The laksa soup was creamy, and full of coconut and curry flavour. The noodles were al dente and the slices of brisket were tender and delicious. The meat was neither too lean nor fatty. Baby-Paca picked beef tripe for our other topping on this visit, they only gave us a few pieces, and they were pretty standard. The following few times we ordered this, we just got double the brisket because they were so yummy. The bowl of noodle soup was also chocked full of Chinese cabbage with a few slices of abalone mushroom as well. We always get a hot milk tea alongside. The milk tea’s alright, strong tea flavour like the way HK milk tea should taste.

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The pan fried rice cakes with yaki pork in X.O. sauce ($10.59) isn’t one of our frequently ordered dishes, but it was pretty good as well. The rice cakes were soft and pleasantly chewy, it took on the flavour of the sauce it was pan fried with pretty well. The pork slices were flavourful and supple.

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Bubble waffles appertain to the category of foods that Baby-Paca and I will never tire of. The bubble waffles ($4.59) at Cattle Cafe are definitely well executed, but rather pricey compared to other places. They’re lightly crisp with a soft chewy center and they’re full of sweet eggy goodness.

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We were curious about the ice cream with black glutinous rice ($3.99) so we decided to give it a try. The scoop of ice cream tasted like generic store bought vanilla ice cream, and not the particularly good kind. The glutinous rice was a bit course and grainy. It didn’t have enough of that glutinous-ness.

Service was quick and to the point, but don’t expect much else. The portions are on the smaller side for the price you pay for an HK style cafe, but most of the food I’ve tried here was decent.

 

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

CATTLE CAFE
+1 604 430 8686
Central Burnaby
4877 Kingsway, Burnaby

The Boss Restaurant

The Boss Restaurant is a Hong Kong style cafe (茶餐廳) that Totoro likes to go to, likely due to convenience since it’s right in Metrotown Centre. I on the other hand, never understood its appeal and am constantly surprised by their lineups. I usually just tag along for their buttered pineapple buns. Unfortunately, they usually run out of them at around noon each day, but sometimes we call in and they’ll put some of the buns on reserve for us.

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The pineapple buns with butter here are delicious, but they had accidentally served us plain pineapple buns and had to bring it back to the kitchen to put the slab of butter in. By the time it arrived to our table, the pineapple bun was no longer warm, so it was missing that “oooh” factor brought by the contrast in temperature between the cold butter and warm bun. Nevertheless, the bun was soft and fragrant. While it sounds kind of disgusting for anyone to just put a cold slab of butter in their mouth, the cold butter actually compliments the pineapple bun and tastes a lot better than if it were melted.

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The curry brisket and rice was disappointing. It tasted like instant curry mix and it was goopy instead of creamy. The beef brisket was dry, chewy and bland. The potatoes were undercooked, hard and starchy and you can tell that they were cooked separately from the curry because none of the curry flavour had seeped into the potatoes.

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The curry squid was even worse than the curry brisket. The curry sauce was comparably more bland, Totoro ended up dipping the squid into the brisket curry. I didn’t like the actual squid pieces either, I could tell that they treated the squid to make it more tender, but doing so gives it a texture and flavour that’s off putting to me. It was rubbery and fishy.

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Mamallama got one of the A+B breakfast specials, which comes with a free drink. She chose steak with eggs with beef brisket rice noodles. The steak with eggs were kind of greasy. The thin fillet of beef was tender, but tasted very Chinese style. The beef brisket rice noodles were decent. The broth wasn’t too salty, though I could taste the MSG. The beef brisket came in small shreds, but it was more flavourful than the curry beef brisket.  In contrast to the food, the Hong Kong style milk tea here is fantastic. It’s velvety smooth and strong in tea flavour. The hot milk tea comes unsweetened. There’s a sugar canister on the table for you to adjust the sweetness to your liking. It costs extra to have it cold.

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I got the afternoon special black pepper sauce beef tenderloin (4oz) with fries. The black pepper sauce tasted sour so we sent it back to the kitchen. After they remade it, I was eager to dig in as I didn’t want the entire table to sit there to wait for me to eat, I had totally forgotten to take a picture until after I had taken a few bites, so there’s a few chunks of steak missing in my picture. The fries were completely cold, and the steak was medium well when I asked for medium rare, though it wasn’t too chewy.

All in all, if it were up to me, I would never suggest going to The Boss Restaurant. The only thing I ever actually want to eat there is the pineapple bun with butter and milk tea. Everything else is just mediocre at best for the price you pay.

 

The Boss Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

THE BOSS RESTAURANT
+1 604 438 2677
Central Burnaby
Metropolis at Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby

Cafe Eggstatic

An old bubble tea cafe in Crystal mall closed and a new one has taken over its place. I gotta say that the bubble tea addict in me was pretty ecstatic to give them a visit. I totally got lured in with their punny name. And with a name like Eggstatic, the assumption is that they’d whip up decent bubble waffles, right?

Cafe Eggstatic offers 2 specialty drinks. What makes it special is the addition of bird’s nest, which is an ingredient prized as a Chinese delicacy. It supposedly has high nutritional value and is said to have a beautifying effect to those who consume it regularly.

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Curious, I thought I’d give the bird’s nest mango slush infused with aloe vera ($5.70 +50cents for pearls) a try. I don’t think the slush was infused with aloe vera, rather it was an addition, like the boba pearls. The aloe vera was definitely my favourite thing about this drink, super refreshing and fun to eat. The slush didn’t taste of fresh mangoes, but it didn’t taste like syrup either. They probably used mango puree. The boba pearls are smaller than your standard and has a very nice QQ texture. I usually prefer my pearls sweetened, but I hardly noticed that they weren’t. The slush was topped with a dollop of syruped strawberries and 10 grams of supreme bird’s nest. The bird’s nest wasn’t sweetened and doesn’t naturally have much of a flavour, but it provided a textual contrast. I think the strawberries were mostly just for garnish, but the slight tartness went well with the mango slush.

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I also got the original bubble waffle ($3.75). I liked that they embodied that yummy egg flavour. The insides were pleasantly chewy, but it didn’t have that crispy exterior. The batter was spread a little thin, which made for a more hollow and airy center. Some people may prefer it this way as it makes for a lighter snack. I had visited during their recent opening, so I understand that they might still be tampering around and trying to get the timing and consistency right.

On two other visits, I got the chance to try the original milk tea and the cream float green tea. I wouldn’t get the milk tea again. It wasn’t substantial. It lacked tea flavour and tasted predominately of milk powder. The cream float green tea on the other hand had a nice Jasmine green tea flavour, but I didn’t like their cream float/milk cap. The milk cap was too thin and frothy. The taste of milk cap is very peculiar, it should be a sweet and a little salty, but the one here just didn’t get it right. I just kind of felt like I wasted my quota of calories on it. Lol. I should’ve just gotten the Jasmine green tea on its own.

I think the option of adding aloe vera to my drink is what’ll bring me back to this cafe. Not many other bubble tea shops offer the addition of aloe vera. I’d also like to give their bubble waffles another shot.

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

CAFE EGGSTATIC
+1 604 616 7623
Central Burnaby
Crystal Mall, 1021 – 4500 Kingsway, Burnaby

Shanghai Elan Restaurant

After I got off work last weekend, Mamallama and I had met up for our weekly grocery run. Seeing as how I spend a majority of my days out at school, or at work, I always need to pack food for convenience. Things Baby-Paca and I can bring on the go like bread, buns, salads, etc whenever we won’t be home for lunch or dinner. Afterwards, Mamallama and I sat down at Shanghai Elan and ordered before Mamallama scurried off to pick up Baby-Paca from work (yes, Baby-Paca is working her first real job. I couldn’t help but feel old, they all grow up so fast. She’ll always be my baby sister though), Mamallama didn’t have much time before she had to go off to work. Things at my household have been pretty hectic lately as we all have our own schedules and we’re caught up doing what we gotta do.

The restaurant was pretty much empty when we got there at 5:45pm, probably because dinner shift just started. The restaurant began to fill up with people and all the food had arrived before Mamallama came back with Baby-Paca. I didn’t want to start without them, so I was just there awkwardly trying to occupy myself, moving the dishes around and taking a million photos.

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Chicken with spicy sauce ( 口水雞 $8.50): The chicken was sitting in a pool of chili sauce and had a dollop of peanut sauce on top under the chopped cilantro and fried peanuts. This dish is aptly named as the sauce is mouth-wateringly good, though it’s not too spicy (in Chinese, 口水 means saliva. It sounds unappealing in English, but it works in Chinese).

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Pan fried pork with bean sprouts (京醬肉絲 $14.50): The English name of this plate on the menu is misleading, there are (and should be) no bean sprouts in this dish. I think they got them confused with green onions. Good thing I read Chinese. The saucy Beijing style pork was served with 8 crepes. The crepe is the kind that you would get with Peking duck. I love interactive dishes that let me play with my food. We wrapped the pork up in the crepe and gobbled them up.

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Chicken vermicelli ( 雞絲粉皮 $8.50): Again, the English translation is incredibly misleading. This is not a vermicelli, instead these are Shanghai noodle sheets made from green bean starch. It has a slippery texture and doesn’t have much of a taste on its own. This dish comes in a vinegary peanut/sesame sauce. This was a rather light tasting dish and did not have enough sauce to go around. Baby-Paca and I had left over starch sheets which we mixed with the spicy sauce from the saliva chicken dish, it was delicious. In fact, these green bean starch sheets are usually done two ways, usually with the peanut/sesame sauce, or with the chili sauce similar to the one in the spicy chicken dish.

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Shrimp in honey mayo sauce (松沙汁蝦): The shrimp were battered and fried, then tossed with chunks of pineapples in a honey mayo sauce. The shrimp remained crunchy despite being covered in ample amounts of sauce. I actually had to wipe away some of the sauce before I ate them, but I love the combination of sweet and savoury. The tang of the pineapples helped to cut away some of the richness of the mayo.

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Baked white turnip cakes (蘿蔔絲酥餅 $5.50): These are not turnip cakes, they’re daikon pastries. white turnip cake would be an entirely different thing (蘿蔔糕). But the poor translation is the only complaint I have for this dish. The pastry was crisp and flaky with just the right thickness. The julienned daikon filling was accented with tiny bits of bacon, which provided a great flavour profile. I can’t name any other restaurants that make good savoury daikon pastries.

Overall, I had a very satisfying meal, but I think it’s largely due to the fact that I haven’t had the time to sit down and have an actual dinner for a week or two. I guess I just appreciate the simple things in life.

Shanghai Elan Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

SHANGHAI ELAN RESTAURANT
+1 604 569 2955
Central Burnaby
4500 Kingsway, Burnaby

Wah Lun Chinese Restaurant

Finally, a dim sum post! I’ve grown up eating dim sum, so I know how to tell the good from the bad, but it’s just so typical and ordinary to me that I feel like it’s unnecessary to write about the experience. Do people even read dim sum reviews? I know I don’t. Lol.

Anyway, Baby-Paca had a short break from class and wanted to sit down somewhere for a quick bite for brunch. We couldn’t go anywhere far, and not many restaurants near Burnaby North were open at 10:45am, so we settled for dim sum at Wah Lun.

We were seated promptly, and we quickly marked off our orders on the dim sum sheet. For all the regular menu items, smalls are $3.30, mediums are $4.25 and larges are $4.55, but I am surprised that a few of the popular dishes (like the crystal shrimp dumpling/har gau (蝦餃) and rice flour rolls/cheong fun (腸粉)) were not included in these price ranges.

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Wah Lun special baked BBQ pork buns (貴妃包 $4.55): My favourite BBQ pork bun is the kind that’s baked with a crumble on top. The sweet crumble contrasts the savoury BBQ pork, it most certainly brings out the flavour. The pork inside was saucy and had a nice fat to lean meat ratio, the bun was warm, soft and not too doughy.

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Deep fried squid in peppery salt (椒鹽鮮魷 $7.99): I feel like the description for this dish should be deep fried squid in red chili pepper and salt instead. It lacked that distinct peppery salt flavour that I’m fond of. The batter on the squid was a bit thick and hard and I didn’t appreciate the rubbery texture of the previously frozen squid. Now I don’t expect fresh squid, but it tasted like the squid’s been in the freezer for a bit too long.

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Steamed five spice beef tripe (五香金錢牛肚 $4.95): The beef tripe were piping hot and tender, and had soaked up the braising sauce like sponges. It gushed out flavour when you bite into it and it had a little bit of a citrus peel (果皮) scent to it.

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Pork dumpling with tobiko/shiu mai (飛魚子燒賣王 $4.55): These pork dumplings were plump and juicy. The shrimp and meat mixture had an al dente (彈牙) texture where there was still a bit of a pleasant chewiness. It also had bits of shitake mushroom that provided a lovely umami flavour. I find that shiu mai that don’t contain shitake mushroom generally lacking in the flavour department.

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Deep fried dumplings with meat and dried shrimp (炸安蝦鹹水角 $4.25): These fried rice flour dough ovals had a crunchy exterior and was sticky and sweet, while the filling inside was moist and savoury. To be honest, I’m not a fan of the meat filling, I especially don’t like the dried shrimp. I usually hollow out the dumpling and just eat the shell. I found the dough here a little too gooey though.

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Sticky rice wrap (珍珠糯米雞 $4.55 ) I love the chewy texture of glutinous rice. The lotus leaf wrapper is not eaten, but its delectable aroma is infused into the rice. saucy ground bits of chicken and diced shitake mushroom was mixed evenly into the rice. There was also a small slice of Chinese sausage (臘腸) that I picked out and gave to Mamallama. One steamer basket contains three of these lotus leaf glutinous rice wraps, and they were quite big and filling, so I shared one with Baby-Paca.

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Steamed milky bun with egg yolk (流沙包 $4.25): The steamed bun wasn’t fluffy, but it wasn’t dry or dense either. It was kind of like a mantou (饅頭), but with a filling. The sweet egg yolk was too liquidy and thin, which made for a messy experience, but I also found a few odd chunks of egg yolk that made for a weird texture. It would’ve also been better if it had a higher filling to bun ratio.

Overall, Wah Lun serves decent dim sum for an OK price, but it’s definitely not anywhere near the top of my list for dim sum restaurants. Usually, I only come here with my family for convenience, just like today where we only had like 45 minutes to spare.

Wah Lun Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

WAH LUN CHINESE RESTAURANT
+1 604 294 8059
North Burnaby
4524 Hastings Street, Burnaby