2010's 12 Great Bites:

NOT in any particular order.

1 Thomas Haas - Almond Croissant
2 Sushi Hachi - Oh Toro
3 Song Huong - Bo 3 Mon
4 Shanghai Wonderful - Crispy Turnip Pastry
5 Lucky Tao - Alaska King Crab
6 Lido - Pineapple Bun With Butter
7 Hou Lok - Dep Fried Sea Cucumber 'Muscle'
8 Good Choice - Salt Baked Chicken
9 Cioppino's - Carnaroli Risotto With Dungeness Crab and Herbed Pea
10 Santouka Ramen - Pork Jowl
11 Dakshin's - Chicken 65
12 Peaceful's - Beef Rolls

From 2010-12-23

One of my favourite bite of the year has to be a warm freshly baked Thomas Haas's Almond Croissant. Worth going to their store and waiting for a new batch to be brought out. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Almost everything is amazing at the store. The croissant is available at selected 49th parallel and at La Faux Bourgeois cafe.
I also love their hot chocolate and pull a-part as well.

Sushi Hachi - Oh Toro

Hey, I am a member of PETA. Yes! bluefin tuna's are on the endangered species list. But as a PETA(Person that Enjoys Tasty Animal) member I can concur that it is sinful to enjoy eating o-toro.

Song Huong - Bo 3 Mon

Vietnamese beef rolled in la lot leaf and grilled 3 course. Fun food to eat with close friends. This is a messy but worthwhile affair. There is the Bo 7 Mon, but I don't care for some of the other 4 courses.

Shanghai Wonderful - Crispy Turnip Pastry

The pastry is divine. A flaky crispy semi sweet baked dumplings filled with cooked turnips. Too bad I am not crazy about this restaurant. But would love to try this again.

Lucky Tao Seafood - Alaskan King Crab

For many people there are four seasons. For foodies and chefs, there are so many more seasons. Besides the weather seasons we have seasons for food items like asparagus to look forward to in spring. There are matsutake season, spot prawn, etc... Though there no real Alaska King Crab season. I always look forward to AKC 'season'. When prices for this royal crustacean drop from a high of 39.99/lb to 9.99/lb.
This Lucky Tao version has the best deep-fried version. Better than Phnom Penh's chicken wings. Can't wait for king crab season..!!

Lido - Pineapple Bun with Butter

Ahhh simple and nice afternoon tea treat. Love this bun and the milk tea at Lido.

Hou Lok - Deep Fried Sea Cucmber 'Muscle'

This is one odd item. I don't even know for sure how to order it. I have to describe it every time I order it. But I always enjoy it when I do get it. It taste somewhere between calamari and geoduck. It's interesting!
I also like the 'water' crab congee and the chi chow congee here. This is an interesting dining destination.

Good Choice - Salt Baked Chicken

Out of the hundreds of chicken dishes this year, this was probably one of my favorite chicken dish. The chicken was succulent ,moist and tender. It wasn't salty despite the name. Would love to revisit but this place is busy now and u really need a reservation. I've tried twice to get another report but they were busy bit times. By comparison I ended at the other Chinese restaurant in this hood, they were almost empty.

Cioppino's - Risotto

Probably one of the most expensive Italian meal I'm the city. But absolutely worth it! I wouldn't hesitate recommending Cioppino's for their food. There are always excellent moments. Its hard to pick one item of their menu from my two visits. But I choose the risotto because it couldn't have been done better on this visit. Risotto's are made daily so while I can't guarantee it will taste exactly when you visit. But I am sure you will get some wow from your table guest.

Hokkaido Santouka Ramen's - Pork Jowl

Santouka's pork jowl is near melt in your mouth goodness. This Japanese ramen-ya chain consistently makes a very good pork jowl. I really enjoy the texture. The pork jowl is suppose to go with your bowl of ramen. Santouka is currently considered one of the top ramen-ya is Vancouver. And while they make very good Ramen. I would be happy to eat this pork jowl with my homemade instant noodle. This pork works with any savoury, salty broth.

Santouka is famous for it's shio(salt) ramen in Japan. It also happens to be my favourite broth. I also always prefer my noodles 'with a bite'. To ask you can say, 'katame de onegai shimasu'. Is that correct? What I really want to know if you are suppose to drink the ramen broth or not. Do you drink the broth? I believe the larger version of this ramen is $12.95.

From Santouka Ramen

Dakshin's - Chicken 65

Do you like chicken Tandoori? Well, chicken 65 is the southern version. It is a two step process in making chicken 65. Many recipe's call for deep frying the chicken in a spice and corn starch mixture first. Than frying more spices and curry leaves, to which the fried chicken pieces are added in to the spice mix pot. This version has 16 ingredients that the chicken is flavored it. What I like about Dakshin's version is that the chicken is not or at least does not taste deep fried.

The chicken has a spicy and tart taste. The spiciness comes from the spices and chillies. And tartness comes from the lemon and yogurt.  An incredible appetizer that will please anyone. I'll take this chicken 65 over any tandoori chicken in Vancouver. At $8.95, the portion is generous. BTW, if you are wondering why the chicken looks so red, it is because it contains food colouring. When you order you can specify what heat level you want the chicken to be. So I imagine it is possible to request sans red food colouring, if you prefer your chicken more au natural.

Peaceful's - Beef Roll

On the 12th day of X'mas, my true love sent to me ...
Peaceful Beef Roll!

Lovely crispy Chinese pancake rolled with sliced tender five-spice beef, scallions, and a northern fermented bean paste similar to hoisin. The pancake is flaky and crispy - A ménage à trois between a croissant, roti canai and green onion pancake.

From Peaceful

For those not into red meat or wanting an alternative option, their Potato Roll is excellent. It is exactly the same pancake but rolled in julienned potato mixture.
From Peaceful

Thanks to Fmed and Grayelf for introducing me to this place.

It's X'mas Time, .....

First off, sorry if my last post sounded very one sided. Actually I am very pro food blogger. I just wanted to post a point of view. A restaurant-er asked me today if it it's true that today food blogger are more significant than print media review/ad. More specifically if a good food blogger experience would bring more customers in their doors than traditional methods. There is no doubt that technology has changed the way many people choose their dining destinations. Besides food bloggers, companies/websites like Yelp, Urbanspoon, Chowhound and Open Table has given diners alternative when it comes to choosing restaurants and making reservations. Food bloggers and online foodies that report their experiences offer a more current outlook of a restaurant than the traditional print media.

Every individual's palate is different, so no matter how wonderful even a gourmand think a dish is, there will be differences of opinions. As a chef or industry professional you need to learn to detect your customer's preferences. As much as I hate to suggest it, but many successful restaurant listen and make changes to accommodate their core paying customers(target market). About a decade ago I created a menu that included Pad Thai on the menu. I tried to be 'authentic' but inevitably the tomato ketchup laden pad thai sauce was unceremoniously the one that went on the menu. I even had to reduce the fish sauce and added oyster sauce to make it 'better'. FWIW, the restaurant won a new restaurant award. Sigh...! Today most people have a better idea what Pad Thai is. And would prefer a more authentic version.

What I like about food blogging is that individuals can decide which blog to follow. You are not restricted to one or two opinions like traditional print media. I apologize if I rattled some feathers.

There are 12 days left to X'mas. So i figured I will try to end the year with 12 notable dishes of the years. This are 12 memorable food items I had this year in no particular order.