New Town Bakery & Restaurant

New Town Bakery & Restaurant seriously has an adorable store front. Unfortunately, the day that I visited it was raining somewhat heavily, so I wasn’t able to take a picture, but for those of you who don’t know, they’ve got a cartoon of a basket of steamed buns. In addition to steamed buns, they serve a good variety of Chinese baked goods, along with various Asian dim sum and other dishes from their restaurant section. I haven’t tried their restaurant however, I just stuck to their steamed buns and baked goods. I had their Pork Turnover, Baked BBQ Pork Bun, and Pork, Spicy Pork, Chicken Deluxe, and Chinese Sausage Steamed Buns.

Pork Turnover ($1.75):


4/5
This was glutinous rice that was filed with ground pork and has been deep fried. The exterior was nice and crispy. The glutinous rice had a soft, chewy texture and was slightly sweet while the ground pork had a nice savoury flavour. I do wish that there was a bit more of the filling however.

Baked BBQ Pork Bun ($2.25):


4/5
The bun was soft and fluffy; the meat was tender and juicy, and had a mildly sweet flavour. This was a very good amount of filling: I got meat in almost every bite. This may be a bit more expensive than other places, but it’s worth it for the quality.

Pork Steamed Bun ($2.50):


4/5
The bun itself had a great fluffy and chewy texture. The pork filling was very tender and juicy. I could have done with a tad more filling inside, but it was still sufficient.

Spicy Pork Steamed Bun ($2.75):


4/5
This was filled with what is essentially BBQ pork. The pork was very tender and juicy, and has a wonderful sweet flavour. There was also a pretty generous amount of filling.

Chinese Sausage Roll ($2.25):


4/5
This was basically an elongated steamed bun that’s filled with a Chinese sausage. The bun again was very fluffy, soft, and chewy; the sausage was what you’d get at Asian supermarkets, and is very tender, juicy, and flavourful. I would have liked there to be a slightly higher meat to bun ratio.

Chicken Deluxe Steamed Bun ($3.30):


4/5
Again, the bun was light, fluffy and slightly chewy. This was completely filled with all sorts of meats, including chicken, pork, and salted egg yolk. All of the meats were tender and juicy and flavourful; I particularly enjoyed the egg yolk, which had a great saltiness and oily flavour.

Although I haven’t tried any of the food from the restaurant part of this shop, I really enjoyed all of the steamed buns and baked goods that I’ve tried. Their prices are a bit higher than typical Asian places, but considering the quality of their food, I think it’s more than worth the cost. This is definitely worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Steamed Buns, Pork Turnover, Baked BBQ Pork Bun

New Town Bakery & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Banh Mi Saigon

Have you ever had an incident where you’re eating something in public, and there’s someone there staring at you hungrily and you feel really awkward and a little guilty about it? It happened to me recently after my visit to Banh Mi Saigon. However, instead of a human, this time it was a crow.

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Well, this is a little awkward…

I encountered this guy during my trip to Banh Mi Saigon. The latter is a small Vietnamese joint located on Victoria, a couple of blocks from 41st Avenue. Their menu consists of mostly Banh Mi sandwiches and various drinks; they do have an oven inside and probably make their own bread and everything else from scratch. Their sandwiches all contain vegetables and mayo, with different meats depending on the variety that you chose, and currently range from $5-$5.50. I had their Heo Uop Xa (Lemongrass Pork), Ga (Chicken), and Dac Biet (Special) Banh Mi.

Carrying my baguettes, I headed over to a nearby bus stop and waited for the 20 to come an take me back home. This is where I encountered the crow showed up and began staring at me, or more accurately, the baguettes that were sticking out of the bag that I was holding. I guess I can’t really blame it too much since the sandwiches do look awfully tasty. Finally, I caved in and put a small piece of one baguette onto the ground for the bird before making my way home with the rest.

Heo Uop Xa, Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi ($5.50):


3.5/5
This contained lemongrass pork, mayo, and vegetable. The bread was quite crusty on the outside. It was a tad bit soggy on the interior due to the filling. The meat was well-seasoned and flavourful, albeit a tad on the dry side. I really enjoyed the mayo, which provided a great creaminess. I didn’t think the sandwich was as overstuffed as some reviewers say, but they were still quite generous with the meat.

Ga, Chicken Banh Mi ($5.50):


4/5
This contained chicken, mayo, soy sauce, and vegetable. Flavourwise, this was quite similar to the lemongrass pork, except with chicken instead. The meat here was more tender and juicy. Although the portion seemed a bit more stingy than that from the pork. Again, I really enjoyed the mayo, which was creamy and flavourful.

Dac Biet, Special Banh Mi ($5.50):


4/5
This contained ham, headcheese, meat ball, meat loaf, pate, mayo, soy sauce, and vegetable. This sandwich was certainly not short on meat. All off the coldcuts were tender and quite flavourful (quite honestly, I’ve got no idea of what I was eating, but it was all tasty). I do wish that there was a bit more mayo in this sandwich however: the flavour wasn’t as prevalent as it was in the two previous sandwiches.

I’m really glad to have checked out Banh Mi Saigon. The sandwiches didn’t blow me away, but were still very tasty, with a good amount of filling. They are also quite generous in size for the price. This is definitely a place that I’d recommend for a tasty and very affordable meal.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Banh Mi (which ever variety you prefer)
Banh Mi Saigon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Golden Ray Bakery

Living in Kensington region, there are quite a few Chinese/Asian bakeries around. One such joint is Golden Ray Bakery, which is located on Kingsway, near Knight Street. Although small, they do offer a pretty good variety of baked buns, steamed buns, cookies, and cakes. During my visit, I had their Cheese Hot Dog, Tuna, Curry Beef, Pizza, BBQ Pork Pineapple, and Dried Pork Buns, as well as a Pork & Egg Steamed Bun.

Pork & Egg Steamed Bun ($1.75):


4/5
This was filled with minced pork, Chinese sausage, and egg. The bun outside was fluffy with a nice bit of sweetness. There was a fairly good amount of filling inside, with the meats being tender and juicy and the sausage having a wonderful fragance (I do love Chinese sausage; I probably wouldn’t want to know what actually goes into them, but they are frigging delicious).

Cheese Hot Dog Bun ($1.40):


3.5/5
The bread itself was relatively soft with a slight bit of sweetness. The hotdog was just a standard hotdog that’s quite processed, but still very tasty. The cheese was also very tasty. I do wish there’s a bit more filling, however.

Tuna Bun ($1.40):


3/5
The tuna was quite savoury and had a great creaminess (probably from mayo). It was a tad bit fishy, but that’s expected. Again, I could have done with more filling.

Curry Beef Bun ($1.40):


3/5
The bread was quite fluffy and soft. I quite enjoyed the curry, which was fragrant and mildly sweet; there just wasn’t much meat, however, and I do find that they were a bit stingy on the amount of filling.

BBQ Pork Pineapple Bun ($1.40):


3.5/5
I quite enjoyed the “pineapple” topping, which provided a nice sweetness and a bit of texture. The filling was also sweet, and the pieces of pork were tender. Again, I do wish that they could have been a little more generous with the amount of filling.

Pizza Bun ($1.40):


3/5
This was filled with tomato sauce, peppers, hotdog and cheese. I wasn’t a big fan of the tomato sauce or peppers, which I found to be a little bland. The hot dogs (which was the same as the ones from the Cheese Hot Dog bun) were tasty however, and the cheese provided a nice creaminess.

Dried Pork Bun ($1.40):


2.5/5
This was topped with dried pork floss. In most versions, the bun would be split open, and there would be this clear, sweet glaze inside; this wasn’t the case here, however. The bun was still tasty, being fluffy and soft, and the floss had a nice savouriness. I do miss the glaze however, which is normally my favourite part of these types of buns.

The baked buns at Golden Ray Bakery are mostly just mediocore, but I did really enjoy the steamed bun. The prices are very affordable, however: most of the buns are around $1.50. This isn’t the best bakery around, but it is decent and worth visiting. They are cash only, so make sure that you’ve got some on you when you visit.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Pork & Egg Steamed Bun, BBQ Pork Pineapple Bun
Golden Ray Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Meinhardt

I’ve passed by Meinhardt a number of times while visiting Pacific Centre, and recently decided to check this place out. For some reason, I always thought that the place was some kind of cafe due to signs that they’d have outside advertising breakfast/lunch specials. Well, it turns out they’re actually a grocery store in the vain of Whole Foods. Oh well. They still have quite a large selection of tasty-looking cakes and other desserts, as well as various other items. After much hemming and hawing, I settled on a Pork Empanada, Chocolate Decadence Cake Slice, and Black Forest Slab Cake.

Pork Empanada ($3.99):


3.5/5
The crust was a bit tough and not flaky enough for my liking. There was a generous amount of meat filling however, which was quite tender and juicy, and had a nice bit of heat.

Chocolate Decadence Cake Slice ($4.99):


3.5/5
This consisted of layers of chocolate sandwiching chocolate mousse, and was coated in chocolate buttercream. The cake was fairly tender and moist, while the mousse/buttercream was a bit hard/stiff, but not greasy. I did find it to be a tad on the sweet side. This is certainly no match for the version at Trafiq, but it is still fairly tasty.

Black Forest Slab Cake ($4.99):


4/5
The layers of cake was very tender and moist, with a nice bit of chocolate flavour. The cream was fresh and light, while the cherry fillings provided a great bit of tang.

Although I was a bit surprised/disappointed to find out that Meinhardt wasn’t what I thought it was, I did quite enjoy their food. The prices for their premade foods are fairly reasonable; I do find their groceries to be expensive, however. While I personally wouldn’t go there for groceries, their cakes are worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Black Forest Slab Cake
Meinhardt Fine Foods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cadeaux Bakery

Asides from Trafiq, probably the best bakery in Vancouver is Cadeaux. They are probably best known for their five-layered cakes, which they usually sell in three varieties: London Fog, Carrot Cake, and a rotating chocolate variety. They do also have a large variety of other food as well, including tarts, croissants, cookies, and other pastries. Since it’s the holiday season, they were also offering some seasonal goods, including yule logs. During my visit, I had their Cheddar & Herb Scone, Cinnamon Croissant Swirl, Rum & Eggnog Yulelog Slice, Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cake Slice, and also an Almond Croissant for my mom.

Cheddar & Herb Scone (?):


3.5/5
The scone had a slightly crispy top. It had a great tender and moist interior, and was quite flaky. I could have done with a bit more herb and cheddar flavour, however.

Cinnamon Croissant Swirl (?):


3.5/5
This was filled with a dollop of caramel/toffee in the center. The croissant, while not melt in your mouth, was still tender and had a nice buttery flavour. It was nicely caramelized and had a wonderful crispy texture and great fragrance of cinnamon. The toffee inside was thick and gooey, although it was slightly a bit too burnt for my taste.

Rum & Eggnog Yulelog Slice ($5.50):


2.5/5
This was off of their seasonal holiday menu. The cake was relatively tender and moist. I wasn’t a bit fan of the rum/spice flavour, but I think that’s just a personal preference. Unfortunately, I really disliked the frosting on the exterior as I found it to be quite stiff and greasy, and also bland.

Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cake Slice ($6.50):


4/5
This consisted of layers of chocolate cake sandwiching a caramel mousse and is surrounded by white icing. The cake was quite tender and moist, while the mousse was luscious, with a wonderful caramelized flavour. I did unfortunately find the white icing outside to be a tad too gummy and greasy for my liking.

Almond Croissant ($4.05):

dav
Almond Croissant

N/A
I didn’t have this; my mom did. She absolutely raved about it though, so it’s probably pretty good.

Having visited Cadeaux in the past and grown to love the bakery, I must say that my latest visit did leave me a tad bit disappointed. Nevertheless, their cakes are definitely fantastic and very reasonably priced for the quality. This is definitely a place that’s worth visiting if you enjoy sweets.

Summary
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Cake Slices
Cadeaux Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Mexican

There were two things that came into my mind when I saw the specials board in The Mexican. 1. That’s the cutest mouse. 2. I wonder what the “Dear Trump: Mexicans will not pay for the wall” dish is like. I’m certainly no expert on Mexican food and I’ve never heard of the dish before; I’m sure that it’s a specialty that’s only served in Mexico and maybe some Central American countries. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have the courage yet to try something that sounds so exotic. Fortunately, the rest of their menu contained mostly popular dishes that I’m more familiar with. I ended up getting their Cubana Torta and Burrito (with Carnitas).

dav
*tempted to order the last dish on the specials*

Cubana Torta ($11):


4.5/5
Their tortas are all filled with vegetables, cheese, chipotle mayo and usually guacamole (I had it omitted since I’ve got an avocado allergy); this version comes with turkey, pork sausage, and milanesa (breaded steak). I seriously loved this sandwich: the bread was soft and fluffy, and the filling was very flavourful, with the meat being tender and well-seasoned and the mayo and sausage providing a nice bit of heat. The sandwich was quite overstuffed: I had trouble eating it because the fillings were falling out.

Burrito with Carnitas ($12):


4/5
This was filled with beans, rice, cheese, and your choice of meat (I had the carnitas). The tortilla was soft and slightly chewy. There was a generous amount of filling inside. The meat was quite tender and juicy while the beans provided a great creaminess.

Although I wasn’t able to try the specials at The Mexican, I really enjoyed the food that I did try. The food was very tasty and the prices were very reasonable. Moreover, the server I had was very sweet and friendly. This is definitely worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Cubana Torta
The Mexican Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro – Kerrisdale

What is a baoguette? That was the question that I wanted to find the answer to when I visited Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro. They are a Vietnamese joint located in Kerrisdale on 41st Avenue (they have an additional place in Denman). They serve up a menu consisting of the usual popular Vietnamese food: banh mi, pho, and rice/vermicelli dishes. Unfortunately, to my great disappointment, I realised that their “baoguettes” were just regular baguettes/banh mi. Oh well. I ended up getting their house Special Baoguette and Com Cari Ga (with rice) instead.

Com Cari Ga with Rice ($10):


3.5/5
This was served with either a baguette or rice, I had the rice. The curry was very fragrant and had a nice bit of heat. I did find it to be lacking a bit of seasoning/salt however. There were four generous pieces of chicken, which were tender and juicy (by virtue of being dark meat); I did find it to be also a bit lacking in salt as well. The portion was quite generous for the price.

House Special Baoguette ($5.95):


4/5
This contained ham, cold cuts and pickled vegetables. The bread had a nice crispy texture on the outside while being soft and fluffy on the inside. The filling was very flavourful. I was surprised to find that it had quite a sweet flavour; it was a bit jarring at first, but it did grow on me.

I was a bit disappointed not to have gotten to try an actual baoguette. However, the food at Baoguette was still fairly good, with more than reasonable prices. The service was pretty minimal, and the staff weren’t really warm or attentive, although they weren’t mean or rude either. All in all, while I did enjoy my visit, I do think that there are much better joints available.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: 2/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: House Special Baoguette
Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Grounds for Appeal

I thought that the name Grounds for Appeal seems a bit weird for a cafe, but that was before I found out that they were located at the Law Society of British Columbia. Clever. The cafe serves up a menu consisting of Indian cuisine, as well as sandwiches and pastries. The curries were premade and are served very quickly while the sandwiches take a couple of minutes longer. I had their Chicken Tikka Masala w Rice & Naan, which was off of their specials menu, as well as a Turkey & Brie on Cranberry Sandwich.

Chicken Tikka Masala w Rice & Naan ($9.50):


4/5
This was on their specials menu. The curry was quite thick, creamy, and had a great bit of heat/spice to it; it was a bit on the salty side however, and best not eaten on its own. The naan was relatively soft and chewy, although a tad crispy in some parts. The rice was firm and held up well to the curry.

Turkey & Brie on Cranberry Sandwich ($7.50):


4/5
In addition to turkey and brie, there were also slices of green apple and tomatoes inside. The bread as well toasted and crispy. The fillings were extremely flavourful, while the apples and cranberries provided a nice sweetness to balance the saltiness of the turkey and cheese. This was a bit messy to eat, but very tasty.

I really enjoyed the food at Grounds for Appeal. The prices were also quite a bargain. This is definitely worth checking out for a tasty and affordable meal.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Curry, Sandwich
Grounds For Appeal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bakery 101

I’ve got a soft spot for the current DC movies. Yeah, I get that most of their movies aren’t very good (Wonder Woman aside), but I still get a kick out of them. And I think that Man of Steel is a good movie and don’t understand those who complain about what happened to Zod in the end (seriously did anyone ever watch Superman II?!?). I still haven’t had a chance yet to see the new Aquaman movie yet; I’m probably going to go some time during the holidays. While waiting for the bus during a recent trip to Bakery 101 I found myself standing right next to a movie poster. On closer inspection, I couldn’t help but notice that there appears to be a lot of killer whales swimming alongside the sharks. Like seriously A LOT of killer whales:

dav
Can you spot all the killer whales?

But enough about DC. This post is about Bakery 101. They are a small cafe that’s part of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. All of their cakes & pastries are made by culinary arts students, and hence, are considerably cheaper than most other shops. Their offerings are always changing; during my most recent visit, I had a couple of their new cakes: Matcha Raspberry, Mango Coconut Caramel, “Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse” and “Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse” (I don’t know the actual names of the latter two as they weren’t labelled in the display case). I also picked up a Goat Cheese Prosciutto Croissant for my mom.

Matcha Raspberry ($4):

4.5/5
This consisted of layers of matcha cake sandwiching raspberry and chocolate mousse and finished with matcha mousse. The cake was soft and moist. I really enjoyed the matcha flavour, and the raspberry lent a nice tartness. Personally though I could have done without the chocolate (even though I do love chocolate) as it did overwhelm the matcha a bit.

Mango Coconut Caramel ($4):

dav
Mango Coconut Caramel

4/5
This consisted of coconut cake with mango mousse/jelly and caramel mousse on top of a crunchy wafer-like base. I really enjoyed each of the components separately: the coconut and mango were both very fragrant while the wafer had a great crunch and flavour. Personally though, I’m not really sure if the mango and the caramel/chocolate paired too well together.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse ($4):


4.5/5
I didn’t get the actual name of this cake (they accidentally mislabelled it in the store), but it consisted of a peanut mousse that contained some chocolate, and was on top of a crunchy peanut base. I really enjoyed this treat. The mousse had a wonderful peanut flavour while the base was crispy, fragrant, and slightly salty. It was a tad on the sweeter side so it might not be for everyone (especially those who’re allergic to peanuts).

Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse ($4):


4/5
Again I didn’t get the actual name of this cake (it wasn’t labelled when I came into the store), but it consisted of hazelnut mousse with a chocolate centre that’s enclosed in chocolate. This was basically like a Ferroro Rocher in cake form. I did find that the hazelnut flavour was a bit too subtle at times.

Goat Cheese Prosciutto Croissant ($3):

dav
Goat Cheese Prosciutto Croissant

N/A
My mom had this. She really enjoyed it, but wasn’t a fan of the goat
cheese (she found it too gamey).

I really enjoyed my visit to Bakery 101. Their food is fantastic and their prices are a steal. This is easily one of my favourite places in Vancouver for some quality and affordable treats.

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4.5/5
Recommendations: Matcha Raspberry, Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
Bakery 101 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Angus Bakery & Cafe

I’ve never been particularly interested in danishes (unless they’re named Mads Mikkelsen of course). They just don’t seem to be a very interesting pastry. However, during my recent visit to Angus Bakery, I was surprised to see that the shop was apparently specialized in danishes, which they sell in probably over a dozen varieties. Seeing that there isn’t really much other options, I got a Cream Cheese, Almond, and Butterfly Custard danish. I also picked up a cheese croissant for my mom.

Cream Cheese Danish ($3.25):

dav
Cream Cheese Danish

3.5/5
The outer layer was tender and had a more chewy, bread-like texture and was covered in a sweet glaze. The cream cheese lent a nice bit of tang; I do wish there could be a bit more of the filling however.

 

Almond Danish ($3.25):

dav
Almond Danish

3.5/5
This was covered in a sweet glaze and contained ground almonds and was topped with almond paste. Again, the danish had a bread-like texture and was mildly sweet. I really enjoyed the almond paste, which provided a nice fragrance and flavour.

Butterfly Custard Danish ($3.25):

dav
Butterfly Custard Danish

4/5
This contained custard and strawberry/raspberry jam. The pastry, which was similar to the two previous danishes, contained some sugar, which provided a nice bit of crunch. I quite enjoyed the custard and jam.

Cheese Croissant ($3.25):

dav
Cheese Croissant

N/A

I quite enjoyed the danishes at Angus Bakery; while they haven’t exactly completely changed my view of the pastry, I do have greater appreciation for them. The prices are also fairly reasonable, and the staff I met was very friendly. This is a shop that’s worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Almond Danish, Butterfly Custard Danish
Angus Bakery & Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato