Pekoe Tea Lounge

On my way back from Deja Brew from the previous post, I happened to pass by Pekoe Tea Lounge. They are a tea shop offering a variety of drinks, as well as bagged teas and accessories to take home, and a small selection of cakes, pies, and other treats. Being not the biggest tea/coffee afficiando, I decided to pick up Banana Chocolate Cream Pie, Turkey Pot Pie as well as a Red Velvet Cake and Carrot Cake. Unfortunately, when I got back home, I realised that their cakes were actually the exact same as the ones from Stuart’s Bakery (with the latter’s prices being slightly cheaper). I have to admit, I did feel a bit bummed out by this; I don’t know if they make their own pies (I assume they do, for the sign on their store window says “home made gourmet pie”).

Banana Chocolate Cream Pie (around $9):


3.5/5
This was filled with bananas and topped with whipping cream. I really enjoyed the crust, which was coated with chocolate, and was quite flaky. The bananas were creamy and mildly sweet. I did find the whipped cream to be a bit stiff and bland.

Turkey Pot Pie (around $9):


3.5/5
This contained turkey, stuffing, cranberries. The filling had a great blend between savoury and sweet/tart from the cranberries. The turkey was just a tad on the dry side, but not overly so, and was well-seasoned and flavourful; I did find the ginger pieces to be a bit too large and sharp/astringent. The crust was quite flakey and had a nice flavour without being overly burnt. Portion-wise, the slice was generous, probably 1.5x the size of what you’d normally expect.

Red Velvet Cake ($6.25):


N/A (4/5)
This was from Stuart’s Bakery. The cake was dense, but moist and tender. The cream cheese frosting was creamy and sweet, with a nice bit of tang. It was nice, but you can get the same thing from the source for a bit cheaper.

Carrot Cake ($6.25):


N/A (4/5)
This was also from Stuart’s Bakery. The cake was very moist and tender, and contained raisins, while the cream cheese frosting was creamy and sweet. I could have done with a bit more tang however. Again, this was tasty, but you can get the same thing from the source for a bit cheaper.

Although I do feel a bit disappointed that the cakes from Pekoe Tea Lounge were the same as Stuart’s (and also more expensive), I did quite enjoy the pies at Pekoe Tea Lounge. While I haven’t tried any of their drinks, I still quite enjoyed my trip. This place is worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Pies
Pekoe Tea Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Deja Brew

I’m a bit of a sucker for restaurants with clever/cute names. Thus, when I saw a place called “Deja Brew” I just couldn’t resist checking it out. The latter is a small cafe located on Broadway, not far from VGH. They serve sandwiches, soups, and drinks, as well as a small selection of cookies and muffins. You order at the front counter and (if you’re eating in) sit at at table, and wait for the staff to bring the food to you. I had their Diablo Chicken Club, House Roasted Beef, and Power Cookie.

Diablo Chicken Club ($11):


3.5/5
This contained chicken breast, bacon, greens, tomato, chipotle mayo on a multigrain ciabatta bun. I really enjoyed the bun, which was nicely toasted and had a nice texture and fragrance from the seeds. The bacon and mayo were flavourful; however, I did find them to be a bit stingy with the chicken. I also found there to be a bit too much greens, which made eating a bit difficult.

House Roasted Beef ($11):


3.5/5
This contained onions, greens, mayo and either horseradish or mustard (I had horseradish) on a multigrain ciabatta bun. They were much more generous with the meat this time. I did find the beef to be a bit dry however. Again, I really enjoyed their bun, and the horseradish provided a nice flavourful kick.

Power Cookie ($3.10):

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Power Cookie

4/5
This contained oatmeal, pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips. The cookie, although not very big surface-area wise, was quite thick. It was soft and quite moist, and chocked full of goodies. The oatmeal provided a nice texture, while the coconut added a great fragrance. I did find the pecans to be a bit raw.

Although I wasn’t overly impressed by the sandwiches at Deja Brew, and found their prices to be a bit high (especially since the sandwiches aren’t very large), I did really like their power cookie. All in all, while I was a tad disappointed by the place, I did enjoy my visit enough to recommend checking this place out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Power Cookie
Deja Brew Coffee Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Diner

So I tried fried bread recently at The Diner, and I realised that I’ve apparently been missing out my life. The aforementioned restaurant is located in Kits, just a short distance away from UBC. They area simple, homey shop with quite a large menu consisting of British comfort food. I had their One-Piece Fish & Chips (with Haddock) and Traditional British Breakfast.

One-Piece Fish & Chips, Haddock ($12.80):


4/5
The fish was fairly generous in size and was coated in a wonderful layer of crispy batter. I haven’t had haddock many times before; the meat I guess was kind of like cod and was quite tender and juicy. I don’t think the quality of the fish was as good as a place like Fish Counter, but it was still good and not fishy. I absolutely loved the fries, which were also very crispy on the outside, while being tender and starchy on the interior.

Traditional British Breakfast ($9.95):


3.5/5
This came with bacon, eggs, sausage, baked beans, fried tomatoes, hashbrowns, fried bread, and toast. This was the first time that I’ve ever had fried bread and I have to say, I’ve been missing out. The bread was wonderfully crispy and absolutely soaked in oil/grease in the most wonderful, delicious way. It’s certainly not going to be for everyone, but I absolutely loved it. The bacon was tasty and the sausages were juicy with a nice bit of spice. I also enjoyed the beans, which were tender and had a nice bit of sweetness. I did find the eggs to be underseasoned and also a bit undercooked (which was my fault for not specifying how I wanted my eggs to be – I actually like my eggs overmedium/overhard). The hashbrowns were pretty disappointing for me; they were mushy and not crispy, and also underseasoned/flavourless bland.

I absolutely loved the fried bread the Diner; I seriously wish I could eat it every day. The rest of the food was pretty tasty as well, and the prices are reasonable. The service was quite friendly. This is definitely a place that’s worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Fish & Chips, Fry Bread
The Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Curry Fusion

Not too long ago, I had a naan wrap from Crave India, which I thought was seriously incredible. More recently, I decided to check out Curry Fusion, an Indian fast food shop located on Robson, not far from the public library. They have a basic menu consisting mainly of wraps and about a dozen different curries, some varieties of which vary daily. I had their Combo Special, which came with rice, naan and a choice of two curries (I had butter chicken and chicken vindaloo) and their Tandoori Chicken Wrap.

Tandoori Chicken Wrap ($9):


3.5/5
This is a naan wrap that’s filled with tandoori chicken, vegetables, and curry sauce. The wrap was quite tasty and flavourful, with the chicken being tender and well-seasoned and the vegetables fresh and crisp. I did find the naan itself to be a bit over-charred and dry in some spots, although it did have a nice chewy texture. It was not as good or large as the wrap I had from Crave India not too long ago, but still tasty.

Combo Special without Drink ($11.43):

3.5/5
This came with rice, half a piece of naan, and your choice of two curries; you can also add a drink for about $1 extra. I had their butter chicken and chicken vindaloo. Both curries were pretty good and flavourful, with the vindaloo having a nice bit of heat while the butter chicken was milder, creamy and had a nice bit of sweetness. I did find the meat to be a bit too dry however. I was also a bit disappointed that they didn’t use basmati rice; I did find their rice to be a bit too soft and didn’t hold up as well to the wet curry.

I’m glad to have checked out Curry Fusion. Their food wasn’t the best, but still fairly tasty, and the prices are decent. Although I prefer Crave India, this is still worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Naan Wraps
Curry Fusion Indian Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saint Germain Bakery (Metrotown)

I visit the Superstore in Metrotown quite frequently, and each time I do, I end up passing by St. Germaine. They are an Asian bakery with several locations throughout the Lower Mainland, with one being in Metrotown. I finally caved in and decided to check the place out recently. It was early when I went, and they still hadn’t put out about half of their goods, so the selection was a bit limited. I ended up getting their Curry Beef Turnover, BBQ Pork Roll, and Chicken Pie.

Curry Beef Turnover ($1.96):


3.5/5
The crust was quite flaky and savoury while the filling was fragrant, flavourful, and had a slight bit of heat/spice. I did find it to be a bit overly salty however.

BBQ Pork Roll ($1.96):


4/5
The crust was similar to that of the turnover; however, I actually found it to be even more flaky and rich. I also really enjoyed the filling, which had a nice bit of sweetness to help balance the saltiness of the crust.

Chicken Pie ($1.96):


3/5
The crust here is not the same as that of the turnover or roll: it was actually quite crunch and cookie-like, and was a bit sweet without any savoury flavour, which was a bit strange/off-putting for me as I didn’t feel that it paired well with the filling. I did enjoy the filling inside however: there was plenty of tender chicken, which was well-seasoned and flavourful.

I really enjoyed the pastries at St. Germaine. Their prices are relatively cheap, as is typical with most Asian bakeries. All in all, this is definitely a shop that I’d recommend visiting.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Curry Beef Turnover, BBQ Pork Roll
Saint Germain Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Purebread

Probably the bakery with the most impressive selection of baked goods is Purebread. Every time I go there, I find myself almost frozen with indecision as I literally want to try everything that they have, but don’t have the wallet (or stomach space) to do so. Recently, following an aforementioned trip to Nemesis Coffee, I decided to drop by the place again. On this occasion, after several minutes of consideration, I got their Lemon Chevre Brownie, Mini Buttermilk Coconut Cake, Salted Caramel Brioche Slice, and Pecan Sticky.

Lemon Chevre Brownie ($4.50):


4/5
This consisted of two layers of brownies sandwiching a thin layer of goat cheese filling. The brownie was quite dense, fudgy and chocolaty. The goat cheese had a nice bit of pungency, although I do wish that it could have more tang.

Mini Buttermilk Coconut Cake ($6.00):


4/5
The cake was dense, but still tender and moist, and was filled with shreded coconuts, which lent a nice fragrance. The icing was sweet, with a slight bit of tang, although a bit greasy.

Salted Caramel Brioche Slice ($6:00):


3.5/5
This was essentially a bread pudding that’s covered in caramel sauce and topped with berries and almonds. The bread itself was thick and dense, but a bit bland and gummy; I did also find parts of the outer edges to be a bit overly charred. I really enjoyed the caramel sauce, which was sweet and thick with a nice caramelized flavour.

Pecan Stickies ($4.75):


3.5/5
This was a pecan sticky bun. I found the bread to be a bit tough. However, the caramel sauce was thick, gooey and tasty, and had a nice fragrance from cinnamon. I also loved the pecans, which were nicely candied and crispy.

I quite enjoyed my latest trip to Purebread; all of their treats have been quite enjoyable. While I’ve noticed a steady increase in their prices (and I also think that they seem to be decreasing the sizes of some of their treats), the current costs are still reasonable. All in all, this is a solid bakery that I’d recommend checking out (and revisting at least several times because they have so many treats); I’m definitely going to be returning again as I’ve still haven’t tried even a fraction of their treats.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Lemon Chevere Brownie, Buttermilk Coconut Loaf
Purebread Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nemesis Coffee

Honestly, I can’t help but wonder why there are so many cafes/coffee shops around here. Not only are there chains down every block (Starbucks, Blenz, Tim Hortons, Artigiano, JJ Bean etc.), but we’ve also got a ton of independent ones too. It’s not that I’ve got anything against them; I just can’t help but wonder why the demand for them here is so high.

Anyways, one coffee shop that I’m glad to have visited is Nemesis Coffee, which is located on Hastings in Gastown. They have a pretty tidy and spacious interior, and in addition to coffee and drinks, serve up a menu of breakfast/lunch items as well as baked goods. I had tried their Pistachio Kouign Amann, Scone, Classic Chocolate Cashew & Sea Salt Cookie, and Almond Bostock.

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Pastries

Pistachio Kouign Amann ($4.25):


4/5
The outer layer of pastry was crispy, rich and caramelized while the interior was soft and moist. The pistachio paste was mildly sweet and had a nice fragrance.

Scone ($4.25):

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Scone

4/5
The scone appeared to contain some green onions, bacon, and cheese (their flavours appear to vary daily). The interior was tender and quite moist. It had a nice savoury flavour without being too salty.

Classic Chocolate Cashew & Sea Salt Cookie ($3.25):


4/5
The cookie had a nice crispy exterior, while tender and moist on the interior. The chocolate was not waxy and melted in my mouth, and quite well distributed throughout the cookie. The sea salt on top provided a nice bit of salty flavour to contrast the sweetness. I could have done with a bit more cashew.

Almond Bostock ($4.50):


N/A
This consisted of a cake that’s filled with berry preserves and topped with almonds. I actually didn’t have this; my mom did. She really enjoyed it, and said that it was very buttery.

While I’m personally not a big patron of cafes (I’m not particularly keen on shelling out >$3 for a cup of Joe), I am really glad for the existence of Nemesis Coffee. Their pastries have all been superb and worth the prices. This is a place that’s definitely worth a trip.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Pistachio Kouign Amann, Scone, Classic Chocolate Cashew & Sea Salt Cookie, Almond Bostock
Nemesis Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Crab Park Chowdery

Last week, I tried making mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I completely messed up my milk to potato ratio, which caused it to become a completely soupy mess. So instead, I told my parents that it was totally intentional, and that it was supposed to be potato chowder. Hey, it was still quite tasty though. In fact, I personally think it tasted better than the chowder that I recently had from Crab Park Chowdery. This are a small shop located in Gastown, not far from the Waterfront. They have a limited menu featuring soups and a few sandwiches. You order at the front counter and the staff will bring the food to your table (if you’re eating in). I had their Big Beef Sandwich and a Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Big Beef Sandwich ($15.95):


4/5
The sandwich is basically a grilled cheese that’s loaded with marinated sirloin and horseradish mayo. The bread is nicely grilled and crispy. There was a huge load of gooey cheese inside, as well as large chunks of beef, which were very tender and juicy. It is quite a messy sandwich, with the filling often falling out, and also very rich: I think that some people might find it to be a bit too heavy.

10 oz Loaded Baked Potato Soup ($7.75 alone, $5.50 with Sandwich):


3/5
This contained potato and bacon soup, and came topped with some onion and tomatoes. The soup was creamy, but not overly rich. Although reasonably well-seasoned, I found the flavours to be a bit one-note and not very interesting. I did also find the price to be a bit steep for the portion.

Although I did not find the soup at Crab Park Chowdery to be outstanding, I did really enjoy their Big Beef Sandwich. I do find their prices to be a bit steep. While I’m not head over heels about this place, I still think this place is worth a visit if you happen to be nearby.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 2.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3/5
Recommendations: Big Beef Sandwich
Crab Park Chowdery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Doner Kebab

I do love my meat, but I do also enjoy falafels. And for the second time in a row now I’ve actually found myself enjoying a vegetarian falafel donair over a lamb. The first time occurred at Al Basha, which had absolutely amazing falafels (and very tasty lamb too). More recently, I visited Doner Kebab (also known as Silk Road Cafe), another donair shop located on 4th Avenue in Kits. They have a basic menu consisting of donairs, platters, as well as side items. I had their Falafel and Lamb donair. Each donair comes with vegetables (lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, tabouli and pickles) as well as sauces (garlic, tzatziki, and hot sauce). I had their falafel and lamb donair.

Falafel Donair ($7.62):


4/5
I found the falafels here to be not as crispy as the ones from Al Basha, but still delicious, and was tender and moist on the interior, with a great amount of flavour and spice. I also quite enjoyed the sauces, which provided great flavour. The vegetables weren’t as fresh as some other places, but still tasty. I did find their pita wrap to be a bit flimsy and tore/got soggy easily.

Lamb Donair ($8.57):


3/5
The lamb was pretty flavourful and well-seasoned with a nice amount of spice. I did unfortunately find it to be a bit dry and overly charred, and also have a slightly odd texture/flavour: it actually reminded me of faux meat than real meat. It was still tasty though. Again, their pita wrap tore quite easily, which made eating a bit difficult.

Even though I did not really care too much for the lamb at Doner Kebab, their falafels were very tasty. Their prices are also quite reasonable. This is a donair spot that’s worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Falafel Donair
Silk Road Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Angel Cake Cafe

I really hate sending back dishes. It really makes me feel like an a-hole and I just feel very bad for the staff and the restaurant (I’m not a person to waste food). Unfortunately, I found myself doing just that during my visit to Angel Food Cafe, a Hong Kong style restaurant located on Fraser Street, in the Punjabi Market. While they serve up quite a large menu of very tasty-looking food, there’s just one dish that I just HAD to try in particular: Baked Curry Beef Brisket Thick Toast (they also have a chicken variety, but I went with beef). It’s seriously a blend of two awesome things: curry beef brisket and fluffy French toast. I also had their Baked Pork Chop with Tomato Sauce on Rice. The curry beef brisket arrived first…only it wasn’t the dish that I ordered: it was curry beef with a side of rice instead of toast. In another situation, I’d probably just suck it up and accept the dish, but I had come specifically to Angel Cafe to just try their toast. I ended up sending the dish back and telling the staff that I had ordered their toast version. I seriously felt pretty terrible.

Baked Curry Beef Brisket Thick Toast ($9.95):


4/5
This consisted of a small loaf of toast that’s filled with beef curry. The toast was of the Asian-style milk toast variety, and was very fluffy and had a wonderful chewiness. The curry was also very flavourful and savoury, with several large pieces of tender beef and potatoes. I did find a few of the potato pieces to be a tad undercooked.

Baked Pork Chop with Tomato Sauce on Rice ($10.25):


4/5
The pork chop had a lightly crunchy coating, and was quite meaty and tender. While I’m generally not the biggest fan of tomato sauce, I actually quite enjoyed the version here; it was quite thick and not overly tangy. The portion size isn’t very large, but their prices are quite cheap, making it a very reasonable deal.

While I seriously felt pretty bad about having to send back a dish, I have to say, the thick toast was worth the embarrassment. Their Baked Pork Chop with Tomato Sauce on Rice was also quite tasty. The prices were also very reasonable. I did find their service to be a bit lacking unfortunately (which is typical of most Asian restaurants); and it definitely helps if you can speak Cantonese as that’s the language that the staff primarily uses. The good food and prices more than make up for the lackluster service however, and I’d highly recommend checking this place out if you enjoy HK cuisine. This is cash only, so be sure to have some bills on you.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: 2.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Baked Curry Beef Brisket Thick Toast, Baked Pork Chop with Tomato Sauce on Rice
Angel Cake Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato