Miura Waffle Milk Bar new location launch

Miura Waffle Milk Bar exterior

Miura Waffle + Milk Bar has just moved to its new Main & Broadway digs and they kindly hosted a pre-launch tasting event for the folks who had written about them in the past.  Wendy reviewed the old downtown location a while back, so we got an invite and figured this time I could give a second opinion on the place.  We got to sample literally every food item on the menu plus a few new drinks!

Miura Waffle Milk Bar interior

The newly reno’d interior was clean and sported bar and table seating with a view of the kitchen in the back.  Now for a word about the “yoggys” and “sandos” on offer here: this ain’t your momma’s waffle shack.  Miura’s motto is “NO FORK & KNIFE, NO SYRUP”.  They make waffle sandwiches here, both savoury and sweet, and sando is short for sandowicchi (the Japanese pronunciation of sandwich), and are meant to be eaten with your hands.  Yoggys are yogurt-y milk drinks which are slightly thicker and tangier than regular milk.

Miura Waffle Milk Bar: Miura Shakes

First we tried some items from the Miura Shake menu.  These are all new items launched with the location change.  Clockwise from top left are the G8, Corny, and two Cara-Misos.  The G8 (stands for 8-grain) is the health-conscious one of the group with a blend of red, green, and mung beans, brown and black rice, and wheat berries plus a couple more we forgot.  It definitely tastes healthy with a kind of rice-y malt flavour.  If you can imagine a drink version of Sugar Crisp cereal you’ve hit the nail on the head.  The Corny is sweet corn with vanilla ice cream, and the Cara-Miso is Miura’s fusion take on classic salted caramel treats, but they combine their house-made caramel sauce with red miso (?!) for the salted portion.  Trust us, it tastes like HEAVEN and was the star player here.  These were sample sizes with the standard 16 oz. versions going for $6.49.

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Petite Afternoon Tea at The Urban Tea Merchant

For the month of August, The Urban Tea Merchant is offering a petite afternoon tea service for $20 per person. Now afternoon teas are never enough food for a guy so I made Fannypack go experience this with me.

The regular price for this service is usually $28. Now I’m not actually sure that the promotion is really a promotion because you actually lose an item from the regular petite afternoon tea menu, the item being a macaron. And FYI, each macaron will run you $4 here.  That’s probably the priciest I’ve seen in Vancouver so far.

However, having tried the macarons in Hong Kong, I’ve come to decide that the macarons made here do NOT do the intended flavor justice.  On that note, I’ve decided not to eat macarons in Vancouver anymore.  Having said that, I was not too sad about losing that from the menu.

The Urban Tea Merchant

Upon entering the store from the W. Georgia side, we were welcomed by a nice looking tea shop.  We waited a little while for a server to seat us.  And when he did, we were led to the back of the store towards the tea salon.  I would’ve rather stayed outside in the shop as it looked nicer.

The Urban Tea Merchant: Mango and Cucumber chilled soup infused with Alfonso tea

While we were looking at the menu, we were brought a drinkable amuse bouche – Mango and Cucumber chilled soup infused with Alfonso tea (a black tea with rare mango and flowers).

It was very refreshing and a nice mix of mango and cucumber flavor.  A little bit of sweet, and a little bit savory.  The “infused” part though I felt was just the sprinkling of tea leaves on top.  Fannypack and I both decided that it was a rather licorice-y flavor.

Their tea menu is indeed extensive.  There was so much to choose from.  Fannypack and I read from front to back a couple times before deciding on a tea each.  The price of the tea set actually includes $8 towards a tea.  Which means anything above is extra.

We found one that was $78.  It was a Hawaiian Oolong.  I wonder how many orders of that they get a year.

The Urban Tea Merchant: Weekend in Moscow tea

For my tea, I decided on the Weekend in Moscow.  It is a blend of green and black tea with rose petals, bergamot and sweet almond.

Fannypack chose the Orange Blossom Oolong, with notes of orange blossom obviously.

When the teas arrived, they were poured for us in a circular manner into our respective cups.  When mine was poured, we immediately smell the aroma of roses and vanilla, which I will attribute to the sweet almond.  It was very pleasant and I was very satisfied with my choice.

However Fannypack’s was less exciting.  In fact, we couldn’t smell the scent of orange blossoms at all.  Plus we felt her tea (or both for that matter) could’ve been steeped a bit more.  We did not have a choice as they were steeped in the kitchen for us.

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Chewy Mochi Donuts – Mister Donut, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Das Gute

My quest for Mister Donut did not start out great….first of all the location listed in our tour book was no longer around…and Googling did not help either.  So basically I had given up on the first night.

The next morning we were on our way to Insadong.  Fannypack suggested we take a walk to Chungmuro Station instead of starting out at MyeongDong Station.  We walked and walked…I wasn’t paying attention to anything really just yakking away…when suddenly Fannypack stopped and said, “Mister Donut???”

I looked at where she was pointing.  I jumped for joy.

Why do I love Mister Donut so much???  Well I’ve often noted just how much I love any chewy glutinous concoction such as rice cakes, rice balls, mochi, anything of the sort.  Mister Donut’s main event is their “Pon De” line which is a donut ring of chewy rice flour based donut balls, together as a donut ring.  I first had it in Japan and I’ve fallen in love with them since.  It’s constantly on my mind.  I’ll never forget them.

Mister Donut

Immediately I darted inside.  It was around 10am and it was surprising to see that all the patrons were adult men.

Mister Donut

There we so many to choose from.  I picked two even though I was extremely full from our breakfast of waffles and honey toast at Caffe Bene.  For my first two, I picked the Pon De Double Strawberry (1,500W) and the Pon De  Choco (1,100W).  There were lots more to choose from but I resisted.

The Pon De Double Strawberry was heavenly and probably the best I’ve ever had.  It is their signature regular Pon De donut, glazed with strawberry flavored white chocolate, topped with bits of freeze-dried strawberries.  Biting into it you’re hit with a strong authentic strawberry aroma.  The chocolate glaze is done just right, not too thick, not too thin.  I believe this is a limited edition donut.

The Pon De Choco is again the Pon De donut, glazed with milk chocolate.  This is one of their staples and is always a good choice.  I find Mister Donut’s donuts are never too sweet.  It’s so fun to bite off each little ball!!

On another note…I saw that they actually had miniature versions of their donuts in a variety pack and they were just so darling!!! But again I resisted…

And recently I found out that the Japan branch collaborated with Hello Kitty to make HK-themed donuts…I would’ve died.  Seriously.

Dunkin' Donuts

Same day, different donut shop.  When I gave up on Mister Donut earlier, my next choice was to go to the Korean franchise of Dunkin’ Donuts because they have a Asian-region only donut called the Chewisty with has the same concept, and same look too.  I got another two this time.  The flavors were the Green Tea and Cheese.  Ya I like my unusual flavors.

I will have to say that the texture is very similar, but my tastes lie with Mister Donut just because they were my first ;).  The Cheese flavored one was mildly cheesy which was more than I expected.

I must inform you that we accidentally bumped into another Mister Donut on our third day and I had another two even though I was superbly full.  I can’t waste any chance of eating them!

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Seoul Subway Eats – DeliManjoo & Manoffin

During our stay in Seoul Fannypack and I took the subway a lot.  It was the rather convenient way to travel around and it was a lot easier to understand too as they have the English names written on the maps rather than just Korean characters, which was the case with buses.

And, as with most Asian subway stations, there’s just a plethora of eateries and shops for you to browse and taste in.  In fact some of them are so vast that you could probably spend a whole day just shopping and eating in there.

DeliManjoo in the Seoul Subway

One shop we passed by on our way to Noryanjin was DeliManjoo.  The evening before at around 5pm we saw a line up, so we didn’t quite care for it.  However this morning there was no lineup at all so we decided to try it out.

As we were on our way to our big seafood luncheon, we decided to get the small bag of the cakes they serve for 3,000W.  Despite it being a small size there was actually quite a bit, and that made us ecstatic.

DeliManjoo in the Seoul Subway

The production process is quite industrialized if you ask me.  All they have to do is pour the batter onto the griddle and then it does the rest.

DeliManjoo in the Seoul Subway

What results is the cutest corncob-shaped custard cake ever.  Each is perfectly sized for 3 bites.  The cake was soft and spongy and squishy and freshly baked.  The custard tends to end up at one end of the cakes though but that’s fine with me as it gives me a chance to taste the cake part by itself.  My only gripe was that the custard part was a tad too sweet.  Also, there was no corn aroma or taste whatsoever…so I’m guessing the shape is just for esthetics.  But whatever, Fannypack and I both raved about it were really glad we tried it.

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Home-cooking: Recipe for Valentine’s Cherry Tarts

The cute heart-shaped tarts I posted on V-day were something I made for Hitman.  The recipe’s from one of my all-time favorite blogs The Art of Doing Stuff authored by the uber hilarious Karen.  She is always so funny and witty.  Take a peek at one of my favorite posts from her and tell me you did not just blow milk (or anything) out of your nose when you get to the picture of her holding the potato.

Home-cooking: Valentine's Cherry Tarts

Anyways I came across this post from her last year and it’s an easy-peasy recipe (it’s really not even a recipe…more an assembly job) for the cutest, loveliest mini heart shaped cherry tarts.

Ingredients:

  • Pre-made tart shells (I used No-Name brand…they were really good)
  • Cherry Pie Filling

I used the 3″ tart shells, not the mini kind.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Take shells out and let them thaw a bit (about 3 minutes) so that they’re malleable.

3.  Dent the foil and gently mold each shell into a heart shape.  Then fill with the pie filling.

Karen suggests putting the cherries in first then top with the filling.  3 cherries each should be sufficient.  Don’t over fill or else the filling will bubble over and your tartlets won’t be pretty anymore =P

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