Thomas Haas

When you’re in a conversation over the best croissant in Vancouver, the one name that’s inevitably going to come up is Thomas Haas. They are a cafe/chocolate shop in Kits that offers what many consider to be the best double baked croissant in all of Vancouver. Although I have sampled their croissant in the past, it has been quite some time since I’ve visited them, during which I’ve had the chance to try a few great croissants (Chez Christophe, L’atelier, Beaucoup etc.). I wanted needed to try Thomas Haas again to compare and see whether it measures up to these other gems. They have a plain almond version of their double baked croissants, as well as a chocolate one. I got their chocolate version. I also picked up a Hazelnut Praline cake.

Double Baked Chocolate Almond Croissant ($5.60):


5/5
There are many who consider this to be the best croissant in Vancouver, and I really can’t argue with them. This croissant is perfection: shatteringly crisp on the outside, rich, buttery and melt-in-your mouth on the inside. They weren’t stingy with the chocolate either; there were 3 small bars of high-quality chocolate on the inside, as well as a streak of chocolate flakes outside. Even though I’ve had some great croissants from places like Chez Christophe and L’atelier, I have to say that Thomas Haas still reigns supreme.

Hazelnut Praline ($6.20):


4.5/5
This consisted of layers of cake and hazelnut mousse, with a crispy wafer on the bottom, and as coated in a thin layer of milk chocolate. This was a fantastic interplay between textures and flavours. The mousse had a wonderful hazelnut flavour, and contained actual small pieces of chopped nuts, which provided both fragrance and texture. The layers of cake were soft and moist, and melted in my mouth. I loved the wafer at the bottom, which provided a great crispiness to the entire dessert.

Even though I typically don’t like jumping on the bandwagon, I’ve got to say that Thomas Haas does still (at least in my opinion) hold the crown for having the best double baked croissant in Vancouver. Their prices are quite high unfortunately, but you’re certainly paying for quality here. So if you don’t mind spending a bit more $$$, I highly recommend that you check and treat yo self!

Summary:
Food: 5/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Double Baked Croissant, Hazelnut Praline
Thomas Haas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linh Cafe

There are those that eat to live and there are those that live to eat. I happen to fall into the latter group. I love eating. It is easily the greatest pleasure for life. I’d rather die (relatively) young eating what I wanted than live to over 100 avoiding sugar and counting calories. Life without delicious, indulgent, fattening food is just life not worth living to me. My recent trip to Linh Cafe just reaffirms my philsophy. They are a small, but apparently quite popular restaurant in Kits that serves French-Vietamese fusion food. I’ve been wanting to try them out for quite some time, ever since hearing about the Breakfast Poutine that’s apparently on their menu. Of course, that was what I ended up ordering when I finally got the chance to check them out this week. Now you do have the option of adding sausage or lobster to the dish for an extra $ (or $$$ in the case of the lobster), and I did consider adding sausage, but they had some tasty-looking desserts on display and I wanted to save my wallet (and stomach) for those.

dav
You know that I’ve gotta get dessert

Poutine Breakfast ($14.95):

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Now that’s what I call breakfast!


4.5/5
This consisted of fries covered in gravy, onions, scallions, swiss cheese and ham, and topped with a poached egg. The dish was just fantastic. The fries were crispy (until they got soaked in the gravy of course) and well-seasoned, the gravy was flavourful and had pepper in it, which added a nice bit of fragrance and heat. The egg was perfectly cooked, and had a nice runny yolk (which I personally didn’t really care for, but sure makes a nice picture). Now I know that this poutine isn’t “authentic” in the sense that they used swiss cheese instead of cheese curds, but I seriously couldn’t care less: I love gooey melted cheese.

The dish was served with a small side of salad as well as some bread and butter. The bread was just wonderful: crispy on the outside while soft and fluffy on the inside. You can eat it with the butter, but I actually used it to mop up all the leftover gravy from my poutine.

Even without the sausage, the poutine was quite filling and I was actually full after finishing it (imagine that!), so much so in fact that I skipped dessert… Just kidding! But I did decide to get the desserts to-go to eat later, as I had to get back to work and I didn’t want to be in a complete food coma. I picked a slice each of their Lemon Tart and a Chocolate Tart. I also got two mini croissants for my mom.

Lemon Tart ($5):


4/5
The curd was creamy and bursting with a great tangy flavour from the lemon. The crust was tender and cut quite easily. It was a little soft and soggy due to the curd, but that didn’t really bother me too much.

Chocolate Tart ($5):


4/5
The filling was creamy, dense, rich, with a fantastic bittersweet chocolate flavour. The crust was again tender and cut easily. It was a bit on the blond side, but that didn’t really bother me too much. I personally would rather have a slightly underdone crust than a burnt/bitter one.

Croissants ($2.25):

dav
2 mini croissants

N/A
I didn’t actually eat these, I gave them to my mom. She appeared to like them.

My experience at Linh Cafe has reminded me of the reason why I love eating so much. Their food is seriously delicious. I highly recommend checking this restaurant out. Do be prepared for waits though, depending on when you visit: the restaurant wasn’t busy when I initially arrived at 1:00, but it did quickly fill up and there was actually a small line when I left the place about an hour later (and it’s probably even busier during the weekends).

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5
Recommendations: Poutine Breakfast, Lemon Tart, Chocolate Tart
Linh Cafe - French Cooking Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jitlada Thai Restaurant

In an attempt to help cut down a bit on my food spendings, I found myself looking up restaurants that offer lunch specials. One place that came to my attention was Jitlada, a Thai restaurant on Broadway. For $12 they serve lunch that’s accompanied by a side of spring roll and rabbit food salad. I decided to give them a shot. Although the classic dish to order at a Thai restaurant is Pad Thai, I heard from a few other reviewers that their portion might be a bit small (the ultimate turn-off in my books), so I avoided the dish and decided to get their Pad Cashew Nut instead (I picked chicken as my protein).

Pad Cashew Nut (Chicken, $11.95):

dav
Spring rolls were piping hot and super crispy
dav
Pad Cashew Nut – comes with rice and salad


2.5/5
The spring roll came first, and it was fantastic: piping hot, crispy and filled with savoury vermicilli noodles and vegetables. The salad was dressed in a sweet vinegarette, and had a slightly peppery flavour that I personally didn’t like; I did however, enjoy the slices of strawberries. The rice was on the firmer side, which I actually liked. I didn’t really care cashew chicken itself however. Although it’s supposed to be stir-fried, it was quite watery and had no hint of caramelization. There was a decent amount of chicken; they used white meat (which is inferior to dark in my opinion) and it was reasonably tender. Although the flavour was okay, it was really nothing special and not at all memorable.

 

While I wasn’t particularly impressed with my food (asides from the spring roll), I did want to give the restaurant another chance, so I returned the following day. I decided to go with one of their curries, and ordered the Gaeng Mus-A-Mun, picking beef as my protein this time.

Gaeng Mus-A-Mun (Beef, $11.95):

mde
Spring rolls were lukewarm this time 😦
dav
Gaeng Mus-A-Mun (with beef)


3/5
The spring roll this time came out within about 2 minutes after I had ordered. One bite into it and I knew the reason why it came out so quickly: it had apparently been sitting out for a while and was just lukewarm. Don’t get me wrong, it was still tasty, just not as good as the one that I had the day before. The salad this time contained a few slices of apple in addition to the strawberries, which I appreciated. The curry contained some potato, onion, tomatoes and beef (my choice of protein). The sauce itself was actually quite tasty: creamy, sweet with a fantastic fragrance from the coconut. Unfortunately I was less than impressed by the meat. The portion was, first of all, a bit stingy. More importantly however, the beef was a bit dry and tough, and did not have much flavour. The potatoes were also quite underseasoned. Overall, it wasn’t a bad dish, but not something that I’d reorder again.

After my two visits, I have to say that I am a bit disappointed by this restaurant. While their spring rolls are quite tasty (especially if you’re fortunate enough to get ones that are freshly made), the rest of their disheas are just okay. The service was also a bit of a mixed bag: the staff are certainly quite friendly and attentive, but the wait time for your food can be quite wrong. The first time that I visited, I waited 15-20 minutes for my food, which is fairly reasonable. However, there was a table beside me that ordered before I had arrived but did not receive their food until about 10 minutes after I had received mine, meaning that they probably waited over 30 minutes for their food (I seriously felt bad for them). Overall, I can’t say that I’d personally recommend this restaurant, but I won’t discourage anyone from checking it out either.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5
Recommendations: Spring rolls

Jitlada Thai Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Au Petit Cafe

One of the restaurants that I’ve been wanting to check out for quite some time is Au Petit Cafe. They are a small but popular restaurant that has apparently been highly lauded for having fantastic homestyle Vietamese food. I finally got around to visiting the place this Monday. Being a massive lover of curries in all its known forms (Indian, Japanse, Malaysian etc) as well as bread, I naturally gravitated towards their Curry Beef Stew Served with French Bread.

Curry Beef Stew Served with French Bread ($11.95):

dav
Literally drooling as I look at this picture and remember how great the dish was

4.5/5
The curry beef stew contained several pieces of beef and tendon, as well as a few large chunks of carrots. I honestly cannot say which I liked more, the stew or the bread. Both the meat and tendon were perfectly cooked, incredibly tender and needed very little chew. The curry broth was fragrant, mild and sweet. The bread was absolutely fantastic: warm and fresh, with a nice crispy exterior and a softy, airy interior. It was of course great for dipping into the curry broth, but it’s seriously delicious enough to enjoy on its own as well. My only critique is that I did find the curry to be a bit too one-note in its sweetness; I would have liked there to be a bit of heat. I did also find the portion to be on the smaller side; I was still somewhat hungry upon finishing it (I really wanted to order a Banh Mi, but I’m DESPERATELY trying to conserve my money right now).

Complimentary Tea:

dav

It isn’t often that a restaurant that’s been receiving rave reviews manage to live up to my high expectations; I have to say that Au Petit Cafe is an example of one that manages to accomplish that. The food is seriously great. Unfortuantely, their prices have steadily been increasing over the years (the beef stew that I had was apparently less than $10 on a menu 1-2 years ago). However, considering the quality of the food, I have to say that it is worth paying a little extra. I’d definitely recommend checking this place out. Be warned, they’re cash only, so make sure that you’ve got some bills on you!

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Curry Beef Stew, Banh Mi
Au Petit Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bean Brothers

I’ve been having a serious carving for tiramisu after the fanstic one that I’ve tried at Raviolino. After hearing that Bean Brothers, a cafe in Kerrisdale, offers this delectable treat, I decided to immediately check the place out. Unfortunately, as my luck would have it, they didn’t have any available when I visited. *sigh*. They did have some other baked goods however, and I decided to settle for a Carrot Cake. Now, I’m generally not crazy about muffins – they’re okay but nothing that I’d necessarily crave for – but I’ve heard that the ones at Bean Brothers are apparently fantastic, so I ended up getting a Banana Chocolate Muffin.

hdr
No tiramisu available 😦

Banana Chocolate Muffin ($3.20):


4/5
First of all, I was REALLY happy to see that the muffin had a large top, which in my (and Seinfield’s) opinion is the best part of the muffin. The muffin itself was delicious and among one of the best that I’ve ever had: soft, moist, and mildly sweet. Unfortunately, I did find the banana flavour to be a little too subtle, and I would have liked more chocolate (practically all of the chocolate chips were clustered to the very top with very few in the rest of the muffin).

Carrot Cake ($3.95):


3.5/5
The cake was very moist, chock-full of shredded carrots and raisins, and had a nice bit of spice. The cream cheese frosting was studded with walnuts and quite sweet – I didn’t mind the sweetness, but I think that there are others with lower sugar tolerance who’d might find it off-putting. I did find that the cake had a subtle aftertaste that I think might be baking soda.

Although I was very disappointed that I did not get my beloved tiramisu, I must say that I’m quite glad to have tried one of their muffins; they are seriously, surprisingly tasty and should not be overlooked!  If you happen to be in the area and need a quick bite/treat, I’d recommend checking this place out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Muffins
Bean Brothers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Moore’s Bakery & Delicatessen

So I cannot spell “delicatessen”. After trying several times during the writing for this review, I finally gave up and just googled the word. And it was then did I realise that I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along: it’s apparently “delicatessen” and not “delitacessin”. Good to know.

Anyways, I stopped by Moore’s Bakery & Delicatessen this weekend for some obligatory sweets. They have a very large selection of cookies, as well as some bars, cupcakes and savouries. I got an Almond Dollar Bar, a Strawberry Cheesecake, and a Chocolate Eclair.

Almond Dollar Bar ($2.45):


3/5
This is like a mini chocolate bar consisting of layers of almond paste and cookie/cake, and coated in a layer of chocolate. The chocolate was not of the highest quality and tasted a bit waxy. Still, it was quite tasty, and I enjoyed it for what it was.

Strawberry Cheesecake ($3.60):


2.5/5
The layer of “cheesecake” was kind of weird; it was very firm and had a slightly gummy texutre (I think that they probably have gelatin in there). I honestly did not care much for it; it really did not have much flavour aside from a slight tang, and was a little artificial. The strawberry perserves were quite tasty and had chunks of real fruit present; unfortunately they were pretty stingy with it; there was only a small, thin layer on the bottom, beneath the thick bland layer of “cheesecake”. The slice was also very small, and not really worth the $3.60.

Chocolate Eclair ($3.60):

dav
3/5
The dough was a bit salty, which was a bit off-putting at first; however, it stopped bothering me as I continued on eating. There was a generous amount of cream inside, which tasted quite fresh, albeit a little bland. The chocolate again was a tad bit waxy. Overall, not a bad dessert, but nothing to write home about either.

Unfortunately, my visit to Moore’s left my a bit disappointed. Their food is alright at best, and I think they’re pretty overpiced for the quality. Overall, I wasn’t really impressed and can’t really say that I’d recommend checking this place out when there are quite a number of other places available in the area.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 2.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 2.5/5
Recommendations: N/A (I’d skip this place)
Moore's Bakery & Delicatessen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raviolino

Even though I do love pasta and pizza, I typically don’t go to actual Italian restaurants very often (I generally go to the Greek-Italian hybrids). It’s probably in part because the majority of Italian places tend to be on the higher-end side, and being a broke graduate student, I’m a bit reluctant to shell out too much $$$ (I’m already eating way too much as it already is). Fortunately, Raviolino has solved that problem. They’re a small pasta shop in Kits that, as the name implies, specializes in fresh, house-made pastas. Most of their dishes are about $11, with extra costs for certain upgrades/sauces. The first time that I visited, I sampled their Chicken & Mushroom Ravioli with Pesto Sauce, which required an extra $2.25. Their pastas are all served with a side of salad, olives or garlic bread. I’ll let you guess which side I chose…

Chicken & Mushroom Ravioli ($10.99 + $2.25 for pesto sauce):

dav

4/5
The plate came with 14 pieces of ravioli (yes, I counted, seeing that I’m a gluttonous loser). The noodles here were perfectly cooked for me, being tender but retaining still some chew. Each ravioli contained a generous amount of filling, which was very flavourful and well-seasoned. The garlic bread was also delicious: perfectly toasted and buttery, with a good amount of minced garlic that provided a great (but not overpowering) flavour. It was also useful for wiping up any leftover sauces on the plate. The only peeve that I had was that I didn’t really get enough of the pesto sauce; it didn’t seem to be worth the extra $2.25 in my opinion. The portion for the price was more than fair; I have a huge appetite so I was still a bit hungry afterwards (I probably need 20+ pieces), but it’s probably enough to fill a normal person.

dav
Must get all of the $2.25 sauce!

On a return visit, I ordered their Meat Lasagna:

Meat Lasagna ($10.99):

dav
Meat Lasagna + Garlic Bread

4/5
This came fresh out of the oven and piping hot. The noodles again were perfectly cooked. Although I did not get too much of the ground beef, there was a generous amount of ricotta cheese in between the layers of pasta. I’m not the biggest fan of tomato sauce, but I really enjoyed theirs; it was very flavourful and seemed to have a slightly sweet fragrance (they might have used some nutmeg). This is certainly one of the better lasagnas that I’ve had.

I also got a slice of their tiramisu to-go. NOT because I couldn’t polish it off right then and there, but because I knew that my mom would love to have a taste of it (she’s been reading blogs about people making tiramisu, which apparently is currently a popular dessert in China, but she’s WAY too cheap to ever buy a slice herself).

Tiramisu ($6.50):


5/5
I’ll say this up front: I’ve only had a tiramisu a couple of times in my life, and therefore am certainly no expert on what a good tiramisu is. However, I will say that I absolutely LOVED this dessert. It was incredibly luscious and creamy, and just melted in my mouth. It had a really nice, bittersweet coffee flavour. You can really tell that they use real, good quality ingredients here. I shared half of it with my mom and she absolutely loved it as well.

In conclusion, I have to say that Raviolino is certainly a real gem, and may soon become one of my favourite lunch spots. If you’re looking for a tasty, afforable meal, do yourself a favour and check this place out! They also have uncooked pasta/sauces to-go, if you would rather cook the meal yourself.

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4.5/5
Recommendations: Tiramisu, Pasta
Raviolino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Score on Davie

In addition to being part of the tiny percentage of the population that 1) does not like seafood, especially sushi and 2) does not appreciate runny eggs, I also do not drink alcohol. It’s not because of any moral reasons of course; I just cannot stand the taste. I think it’s disgusting and I just cannot for the life of me understand why people enjoy the taste. It is a good thing though, I suppose: I already have a very expensive food habit, and the LAST thing that I need is to have an expensive drug/alcohol habit to go along with it.

So what is a non-drinker doing at a place called Score on Davie, which is known for serving absolutely CRAZY cocktails garnished with burgers and onion rings? Two words: French Toast. Banana bread French toast to be exact. They apparently have that dish on their brunch menu, which is served everyday till 2:00 pm. Of course I just HAD to check them out. Unfortunately, as my luck would have it, they apparently have taken the item off of their menu. To say that I’m crushed would be an understatement.

Fortunately though, they do have a pretty good menu of comfort food, and, when I had finally managed to gather myself after my initial devastation, I ordered their Fried Chicken Dinner.

Fried Chicken Dinner ($17):

dav

3.5/5
This consisted of two substantial pieces of fried chicken, mac & cheese, coleslaw, jalepeno cheddar corn bread, and cabin sauce. I found the chicken to be a bit of a letdown. While it was tender, juicy and well-seasoned, the coating as soggy and fell right off of the meat. The sides, however, were delicious. The noodles in the mac & cheese were perfectly cooked and while I do wish that there was more cheese, it was still quite creamy. The coleslaw was also creamy and flavourful. The cornbread was sweet with a slight bit of heat from the jalepeno; I did find the texture to be a bit gummy however. I really didn’t care much for the cabin sauce; it was vinegary with a bit of heat, and had a weird, pungent smell that was off-putting. Fortunately, they served it on the side, so I didn’t have to touch it.

Even though I did not get to have my French toast *sob*, I still did enjoy the food, especially the mac & cheese. Indeed, now that I’ve tried the mac & cheese, I actually wish that I had ordered their Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese instead of the fried chicken. I’d recommend checking the restaurant out if you happen to be near the area, either for their comfort food or their crazy cocktails. Just be sure to bring ID though; you need to be of legal age to enter, regardless of whether you order drinks or not.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese
Score On Davie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gallery Sushi

So if you’ve read my last post, I didn’t read the hours sign at the front of Teriyaki Bowl and tried visiting the shop on Tuesday, only to find it closed.

dav
Should have read the sign *facepalm*

Although there is quite a large strip of restaraunts further down Broadway, I was too lazy to walk the distance and decided to head to Sushi Gallery, which was just about a block away. Being part of the tiny percentage of people who actually don’t like sushi, I stuck to the rice/noodle section, and got the Hot Stone Bibimbob, which was served with either beef or chicken (I went with chicken).

Hot Stone Bibimbob ($11.50):

dav


3.5/5
This came in a big stone bowl that was piping hot and sizzling. There was a good heap of vegetables consisting of bean sprouts, pea shoots, seaweed, zucchini and carrots, as well as a decent amount of chicken and a fried egg with a runny yolk. The rice here was perfectly cooked without any clumps, and the parts at the edges crisped up and browned nicely and added a fantastic crunch as well as fragrance. Not only am I part of the tiny fraction of people who don’t like seafood, I’m also part of the minority that prefer solid egg yolks over runny ones. Fortunately, I wasn’t bothered here since the stone bowl was hot and cooked the egg quickly. I did find the meat and vegetables to be a bit too bland for my liking; fortunately, the soy sauce and gochujang that was served with the bowl helped. The portion was quite generous; I’m a big eater and I was actually quite full afterwards.

mde
“shui zhi pan zhong can li li jie xin ku” – never waste rice!

So even though I was disappointed that I didn’t get to eat again at Teriyaki Bowl, I still quite enjoyed my experience at Sushi Gallery. The staff here were also very friendly. This is a good palce for a quick and affordable meal.

P.S. They serve complimentary miso soup to first time customers. I didn’t have any since I don’t really care for plain, brothy soup, but I’m sure others would appreciate it.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Hot Stone Bibimbob
Sushi Gallery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Teriyaki Bowl

I belong to the rare 0.00000001% of the population who doesn’t like sushi (and most seafood in general). I just cannot, for the life of me, understand why people would find bland, tasteless, slimy pieces of raw fish tasty. But I do enjoy a good chicken teriyaki or katsu or some other form of cooked Japanese food from time to time, and a place named “Teriyaki Bowl” seemed like a good place to check out. The shop was quite small, and could only seat a handful of people (it’s probably more suited for takeout than dine-in). Fortunately, it was not very busy when I arrived, and I was able to get a seat (it did fill up not long after). Now my go-to dish is typically chicken teriyaki, but I wanted to try something a bit different this time, so I got their Chicken Curry Bowl.

Chicken Curry Bowl ($8):

hdr


3.5/5
The chicken here was similar to that of teriyaki chicken, only with Japanese-style curry instead of teriyaki. There was a pretty decent amount of chicken present, which was very tender, juicy and flavourful. The curry was fragrant, mildly sweet with a slight bit of heat, and served as a great sauce for the rice. Unfortuantely, I did not care too much for the rice; it was sticky and clumped in some sections. Nevertheless, the dish was still quite tasty, and the portion was fairly generous for the price. I’m a big eater, so I was still a bit hungry afterwards, but it should be sufficient to satisfy a normal person.

dav
Never waste any rice

I quite enjoyed my visit to Teriyaki Bowl. In fact, I actually tried returning the next day, but apparently they’re closed on Tuesdays (I ended up going to Sushi Gallery; review on that coming up). If you’re looking for a tasty, affordable lunch, I’d highly recommend checking this place out!

Summary
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Teriyaki Bowl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato