U & I Thai take 2

U & I Thai

Wendy decided to take advantage of the Living Social voucher this evening so that I could try U & I Thai for myself.  It was busy when we arrived but luckily Wendy had made reservations and we were seated immediately.  They had the place done up nicely for Christmas with ornaments and wreaths etc.

U & I Thai: Isaan Lettuce Wraps (Yom Nam Khao Tod)

We started with Isaan Lettuce Wraps (Yom Nam Khao Tod) ($10.95).  They throw everything but the kitchen sink into this one: pork, fried rice balls, egg, curry paste, ginger, cilantro, red peppers, onion and toasted peanuts.  The menu says it’s served with sweet basil sauce but they gave us fresh basil instead (not that I’m complaining, the basil was fresh and tasted great in the wraps).  It also came with both iceberg and green leaf lettuce, which was nice.  It was also nice that there was more than enough lettuce to go around since we’ve run out before the filling is done at other places.  This dish reminded me of the yam naam we had at Maenam a while back but the flavours were more balanced so the salty and sour aspects didn’t overpower the sweet and spicy.
We both thoroughly enjoyed it.

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U & I Thai

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It’s very difficult to get Fannypack to make a choice…with me anyways. However for her birthday I finally got her to choose a place to eat.  She ended up picking U & I Thai in Cambie so a date was set!

We were supposed to pick a dish each but I of course ended up picking most of them.

On another note, it seems like the servers were Thai, so that gave me comfort on the authenticity of this place.

U & I Thai: Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum)

For appy I picked the Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum) ($10.95). The green Papaya shreds had the right amount of crunch. The dressing was a bit tart for me but it all melded very well together. Portion was a bit small.

U & I Thai: Authentic Pad Thai

Next up was the Authentic Pad Thai ($12.95). Why is it ‘authentic’ you ask?? Well it’s because instead of the usual ketchup-based sauce most other restaurants use, here they use a Tamarind sauce. Also interesting is the addition of banana flowers.

U & I Thai: Red Curry Duck with Lychee

For the obligatory curry dish I picked the Red Curry Duck with Lychee ($15.95). It was a sweet curry, likely due to the lychee. However there weren’t many pieces of them… Probably just 3? The duck was also in smaller shreds. Otherwise the sauce went quite well with rice.

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Lazymeal Mashup: Handi Cuisine of India (Burnaby)

For those of you not yet familiar with lazymeal, it’s an online food ordering platform that is focused on recommending the tastiest meals in greater Vancouver.  It’s simple, just punch in your postal code and peruse the menus of establishments in your area, place your order, and voila!  lazymeal delivers.  They’re partnering up with the local food blogging community to evaluate the restaurants you can order from on their sites, and we were lucky enough to get an invite to one of their mashup events.

For these reviews (and you will probably see more of them in the near future) we will be focusing on the take-out aspect of the restaurants, so don’t expect any info on the service and decor etc.  But we think all in all these reviews will be more informative to our readers since we will get to sample a wider selection of the menu than usual, because the food is the most important aspect after all, right?  And don’t worry, we aren’t selling out; we’ve been encouraged to be completely honest with our reviews.  Enjoy this write up of Handi Cuisine!

Lazymeal Mashup at Handi Cuisine of India Burnaby: Mixed Platter and Chutney Trio

First up we had the Mixed Platter ($10) and Chutney Trio ($2).  It consists of vegetable samosas, chicken pakoras and vegetable pakoras.  The samosas in particular stood out from the crowd; they contained a pretty complex spice blend compared to your average restaurant samosa.  Wendy said it tasted Christmas-ey, and I agreed.  Cloves and nutmeg perhaps?  Maybe some ginger?  I don’t know for sure, but you could tell by the dark colour of the potato mixture inside that there was a lot going on in that spice blend.

The chicken pakoras had decently sized chunks of moist meat and tasted great with the spicy mint chutney.  The tamarind was of the usual variety that normally come free with samosas and the mango chutney was really sweet.  If you go for this platter I’d suggest getting the chutney to go with it.  While the samosas could stand on their own the vegetable pakoras might be a bit dry without.

Lazymeal Mashup at Handi Cuisine of India Burnaby: Cucumber Salad

Along with the appetizers we tried their Cucumber Salad ($6).  Some of the red you see in the photo is tomato, and some is…maraschino cherry!  Pretty unexpected but it actually went quite well in the salad.  They use it for garnish in several dishes, and it isn’t necessarily meant to be eaten with the meal but in this case it worked.  The yoghurt-type dressing was cool and creamy (Wendy found a tinge of sweetness) and the whole dish was very refreshing.

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Bo Laksa King’s Bubbles & Bits

I was pretty surprised and excited when my Dad told me that there’s a place called Bo Laksa King which serves traditional Myanmar cuisine here in Vancouver.  Up until quite recently Myanmar has been very closed off to the world and so I didn’t know we had any sort of Burmese community here.  But, Vancouver being the multicultural tapestry that it is, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  Wendy and I checked the menu online and it looked fascinating, so we trekked down to Hastings-Sunrise for a lunch date.

Bo Laksa King Bubbles & Bits exterior

Bo Laksa King Bubbles & Bits interior

It’s a pretty unassuming little place, and you might not expect much if you haven’t heard Bo Laksa’s reputation, (it’s won itself a few awards over the past couple of years).  However we learned that Bo no longer owns the place as he’s sold it along with his name.  We think maybe his recipes too…but we haven’t been here while Bo was still here so we had nothing to compare to.  Now this Bo Laksa King is owned by a nice couple with the husband manning the front and the wife cooking in the back.

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Victoria Weekend Trip Part 2 – Caffe D’Amore & AYOeat

Executive House Hotel in Victoria

We were fortunate to come across a pretty good deal on LivingSocial for our hotel stay for this Victoria trip.  Hitman and I got a pretty nice room at the Executive House Hotel in downtown Victoria.  It was within walking distance to pretty much everything (unless you’re in heels like I was…then it was excruciating =P) and we got a room on the 14th floor with a pretty side view of the harbour.  The nightview was pretty awesome, so we were happy.

Included with the voucher was full breakies for 2 people at the onsite Caffe d’Amore.  Hitman chose the Corned Beef & Hash ($9.99) with a tea and I had the Blackstone Benedict ($10.99) which was an eggs benedict with grilled tomatoes and bacon.

Both breakfasts were solid.  Hitman’s was a decent portion with lots of onions, green peppers and mushrooms mixed in.  Mine was also pretty good.  The hollandaise sauce was not the best though and the eggs could be poached a tad softer and runnier but really not too much to complain about.  Both were served with mediocre hash browns.

Now, we got up especially early so that we could fit in both breakfast AND lunch before we headed to the wedding ceremony at 2pm.  This is because as stated in the previous post, prior to the trip, we had already researched where we wanted to eat.  Our next destination was to AYOeat.

 Market Square in Victoria, BC

It took us a little bit to find AYOeat as google maps on my phone did not give the correct location.  I should’ve read AYOeat’s website clearly because it clearly tells you that it’s inside the courtyard of Market Square.  By the way it’s a very nice courtyard.  If we weren’t in a hurry and it wasn’t that cold out and I wasn’t in a skirt and heels, totally would’ve sat there to feast.

It’s a little food stand if you will along the shops of the courtyard.  Vibrant red, can’t miss it.  Plus the directory of the square is pretty clear too.

AYOeat

And it’s literally a hole in the wall.  It’s just the kitchen plus a fridge that’s it.  The menu’s on the door.  Chef Bana is very friendly, even offering us water while we waited.  But that’s probably because it does take him a little while to make the food.  I wouldn’t call it fast food.

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