I'm back...

Been a while since I had a chance to write anything. Mainly due to the fact that my laptop 'died'. I was in the middle of writing something when my dear laptop's motherboard got fried. Have tried to get it fixed under warranty but got declined, and assessed a quote of $700+ to get the laptop fixed at Sony. To be fair they claimed I had damaged the laptop. Which is true. But there was no guarantee that the laptop would work if i chose to spend that money to get it fixed.
So have got a new laptop and back to blogging again. There were oodles of things I wanted to post on but missed the opportunity. So maybe I'll start with some updates and comments on my previous post:

Have been back to Santouka Ramen 5 times. And find that now that the trainer's have left, the quality had slipped a little. When I go, I will specifically asked to have my ramen noodles cooks al dente with a bite. As I have found that by the time the noodles reach the tables they are a tad too soft for my liking. Also found the miso broth a little saltier for my personal preference.

Have been back to Baguette and Co 4 times. Bernard is very helpful and thoughtful and still trying very hard to improve his business. I do like most of the breads here. Though the products cannot compare to the top bakeries in France. Their honesty, sincerity, and keenest to do their best to help you is very much appreciated. He continues to hire French bakers that understand the art of baking. My search for the best croissant in the city will be updated soon.

I had a forgettable take out meal from Alvin Garden. Hence I wouldn't recommend it if you live far from the restaurant. Best to eat in at the restaurant. I was surprise to see Alvin Garden at no 1 spot of urbanspoon site. This is not a typical restaurant that would get much perusal on urbanspoon considering it is Hunan cuisine, or for it being located on imperial drive, Burnaby.

After the initial Nine Dishes post, DylanK post, comments and discussion that followed on chowtimes and chowhound, this place got really busy. If's Nine Dishes also got some write up in the Chinese blogs and media. It was fun to watch the chaos as it unfolded and but frustrating as a guest or customer. At the peak of the madness people would have to wait 30 minutes or more for a table. I was lucky every time and never had to wait for a table. It is still a fun place to dine in a very casual environment. I was never wowed by the food. But was always impressed with the unique experience. The music has changed but the food is still the same. If(the owner) is till standing tall and presiding over his Beijing-Szechuan watering hole. Still $2 yanjing beer and $3.50 Asahi beer.

Chambar - have been back a couple of times. Both for birthday dinners. Once just for drinks. The service was good both times, considering it was a bigger group. We were seated in Cafe Medina for one of the birthday dinners. Pretty consistent food and drinks. I did re-read my post and hope that people understand my comment are generally thought provoking and not meant to be hurtful in any ways.

Great to be back. Look forward to sharing more thoughts and reports soon. Hasta la vista, baby!