Birthday dinner #1 – Mosaic Grille

For my big three-o celebration, I had gotten together with some friends for dinner at Mosaic Grille at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.  Hitman had taken pictures but due to a technical difficulty, they are no longer available =(

Good thing I have friends that also take pictures of their food even though they don’t blog. The following pictures are all from Fannypack.

We were a sizable group so we divided into 2 long tables back to back, which really isn’t the best arrangement I thought.  The whole dinner I had my back to the other table so I had to turn and crane my neck to talk to the others.  I wished they had informed me of the arrangement when the reservations were made.

Hitman and I dined with a VanEats voucher. For $27 we got a three course meal.

Mosaic Grille: Smoked Salt Scones

Everyone got to start with some of their Smoked Salt Scones though.  Our table thought they were REALLY really good, so good that when a friend noticed that the adjacent table had left without touching theirs she jokingly suggested we steal them for ourselves.  So we did!  Then a few minutes later to our chagrin another complimentary plate was brought to our table 😛  They were warm and buttery, and smokey too.   But then our taste buds could’ve been skewed by the fact that we were actually half an hour late to the dinner (the rest of the party waited for us) because of traffic…and we were starving by the time we arrived.

Mosaic Grille: A la Minute Smoked Skuna Bay Salmon

For starters we both had the A la Minute Smoked Skuna Bay Salmon that was served with kale nori and wasabi cauliflower puree.  When it was brought to the table it was covered with a clear glass dome and you could kind of see the smoke swirling inside.  Not sure if it really adds anything to the salmon though…or maybe that’s what the ‘a la minute smoked’ meant….smoked for a minute 😉

When the dome was lifted we were met with a whiff of smokiness though.

My piece of salmon was a bit more cooked than I like.  Hitman’s though was thicker and cooked just to my liking, so he switched his with me.  This indicated to us that there may be some inconsistencies in the preparation.

Mosaic Grille: Seared Baja Ocean Wise Scallops

This was Hitman’s entree: Seared Baja Ocean Wise Scallops with sweet potato, figs, and prosciutto.  From the bite that I had I thought the scallops were done perfectly with the outside cooked and the inside just raw enough.  They were sweet, big, and meaty.  The figs and prosciutto went well together as always.  Hitman had fun playing with the various combinations.

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Victory Seafood (M’s) Restaurant Richmond and Excelsior

It’s that time of year, the most wonderful time of the year as Wendy calls/sings it: king crab season, and her and I got a chance to indulge, not once, but twice!  We decided to treat her parents one weekend, and they kindly returned the favour the next.  For our treat it was M’s Seafood in Richmond Public Market, a relatively modest Chinese banquet place, which is a sister location to the Victory Seafood in Crystal Mall.  Things can get a tad bit confusing here since the same owner runs a travel agency, which shares the same name as M’s in Chinese, which ALSO has locations in Crystal Mall and Richmond Public Market.  Phew!

We had some bewilderment with regards to reservations as well, since we were directed to the Kingsway location after calling the Chinese Restaurant Hotline.  Then we were given someone’s private line by the Kingsway location, but in the end it turned out we didn’t need reservations anyway since the place was completely empty when we first arrived.

I was pretty astonished at how quiet it was considering every time we’ve been out to eat on a weekend in Richmond everything seems to be jam-packed.  It’s only been open four or five months though so maybe that accounts for the lack of patrons, and things picked up with a fair sized birthday party later on in the evening.  On second thought maybe it’s the terrible reputation their Burnaby location has, but thankfully our visit to this new spot was pretty satisfying overall.  We picked the Alaskan king crab set menu for four ($188), and after a preliminary round of tea the first appetizers arrived.

Victory Seafood (M's) Restaurant Richmond: Battered seafood cakes

This was a pretty impressive looking first dish and set the tone for the evening nicely.  Battered seafood cakes drizzled with a sweet chili sauce alternated with cucumber spears and tiny cubes of marinated beef shank, artfully plated with a serving of sesame jellyfish in the middle.  I personally couldn’t get enough of the seafood cake’s perfect textures and the sauce was used sparingly enough to not overpower them. The beef was sweet and satisfying, and the jellyfish tasted better to me than usual.

Victory Seafood (M's) Restaurant Richmond: Fish maw and crab soup

We all got some fairly generous hunks of crab meat in the fish maw and crab soup course, not too much to say about it other than that it was decent.

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Laziza Modern Mediterranean – A Tasting Event

I was fortunate enough to be among some fellow bloggers invited to a tasting event held by a new-ish Mediterranean restaurant on Davie – Laziza.

Just to give a bit of background on the restaurant, according to the press release, the menu is inspired by the regional classics from Lebanon, Morocco, Greece and Italy, but with a twist of course.  They also seem to use quality ingredients as free-range, hormone-free tenderloin beef, chicken and lamb, and many organic ingredients (but don’t mistake that as the whole dish being organic though…just certain components).

Now after reading that I would think their prices would be pretty up there, but if you take a look at their menu you’ll realize they’re not.  Now does that mean the quality and taste of the food are not up to par?  I’ll soon find out.

Laziza Modern Mediterranean

Laziza Modern Mediterranean

Laziza Modern Mediterranean

As you can see the decor is definitely modern.  It certainly had touches of the Mediterranean with its blue and brown/tan theme.  It was very welcoming and inviting.  It didn’t hurt that it was such a sunny day either~

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Romano’s Macaroni Grill @ Alderwood Mall

Romano's Macaroni Grill exterior

On a recent trip to Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, we decided to have “lunch” (it was 3pm) at Romano’s Macaroni Grill.  Some of you may be familiar with this name as it is a franchised restaurant, and locally they have a location in Vancouver also.

Romano's Macaroni Grill patio

It was a particularly warm day so we decided to sit outside beside the fireplace.  This location is very well decorated.  The inner dining room was had great ambiance.  Our party kept saying how we felt like we were actually in Europe haha!

Romano's Macaroni Grill Sampler

So we decided to order 3 small appetizer-type things to share.  First up was the Romano’s Sampler ($10.99)which consisted of Tomato Bruschetta, Mozzarella Fritta and Calamari Fritti served with arrabbiata sauce (which tasted like an awesome marinara sauce).

All items in this dish was fabulous.  The calamari actually tasted like real food (not tasteless, bland and spongy).  The Mozzarella Fritta was really stretchy and the batter wasn’t too hard but crispy.  The Bruschetta was very cute.  It had tiny tomatoes sliced and dressed with garlic.  We were very satisfied with this.

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Old Bavaria Haus

Old Bavaria Haus

Wendy and I don’t usually eat out with others.  Probably because my schedule is pretty messed and it’s already tough enough to go out with Wendy!  So it was a pretty night to be on a ‘triple date’ with a very good buddy and his girlfriend and another couple of whom were his friends.  The occasion was his birthday.  It sucks because he is still younger than I am! LOL  Anyways, we arrived at Old Bavaria Haus at 1900 hours in hopes of a good time!

Old Bavaria Haus interior

It took a few minutes for our orders to be done. We ordered some red wine to fully appreciate our main courses and a couple of appetizers.

Old Bavaria Haus: Champignon "Au Gratin"

This was the Champignon “Au Gratin”.  Outside of the word ‘da’, my German comprehension skills are at zero.  According to the menu, it is decribed as  “mushroom caps, topped with shrimp, bearnaise, melted cheese”.  I found it to be pretty good for an appetizer to get my cravings going.  Wendy thought it was alright, nothing out of the ordinary.

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