The Ascot

The Ascot

For our monthly gossip session, Fannypack and I visited The Ascot with a Groupon in hand.  As we approached the restaurant we were impressed by the swanky hipster-looking storefront.  However it did look out of place for its location, as it’s near Richards and W. Pender.

The Ascot

Stepping in the hipster-factor was confirmed.  It definitely looked good and rustic with its huge brick-face wall and chandeliers.  Vintage would be the theme I supposed.  The night we visited happened to be a night where they had a paint class type of thing.  We were not part of it but we saw the group of people all learning to paint the same picture.

The Ascot: Halibut Ceviche

We were trying to decide between the Halibut Ceviche ($8) or the Cold Smoked Duck ($10).  Finally we picked the Halibut Ceviche since it’s supposed to be made fresh in-house everyday, and is therefore served in limited quantities.

Fannypack and I both decided that it was too tart and basically tasteless.  To me the fish was mushy and we definitely needed the pita chips to cut down on the acidity.  However towards the bottom of the glass it became less tart, so the sour start could be due to a squeeze of lemon or lime juice at the top.  This was definitely not my favorite of the night.  (Should’ve gotten the duck….)

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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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Beacon Landing Seafood Restaurant

There are quite a lot of places to eat around Sidney actually.  SheShe and I were just lazy and didn’t want to walk far from our lodging, so we had a few meals at the MickeyD’s next door unfortunately.

But we got all dressed up one night for  a Wine & Cheese at the local aquarium, so we decided to head out for a real sit-down dinner at Beacon Landing.

It was quite weird though as you seat yourself here.  We wondered for a bit how the servers would know that we’ve sat down.  But they did.

Beacon Landing: calamari

We ordered some calamari to share off the bat ($12).  They tasted pretty good, but the rings were quite skinny, which I didn’t like.  It, however, wasn’t engulfed in batter and there was actually a lot on the plate, so this wasn’t too bad.  SheShe really liked it though, she said “Feels so good to have real food again!”.

Beacon Landing: Wok Chicken

SheShe’s entree was the Wok Chicken ($15) which was basically deep-fried chicken nuggets in an “Asian” (teriyaki) sauce, on a bed of rice, topped with “Asian noodles”.  Oh, and to make it even more “Asian”, they give you a pair of chopsticks.

I really dislike when western restaurants try to make something “Asian” by using teriyaki sauce.  SheShe said she didn’t really like it either, and didn’t understand why she ordered it.

I had a taste too and I didn’t like it, but I was never a fan of teriyaki sauce anyway.

Beacon Landing: Tuna Tataki

I wasn’t too too hungry so I opted for one of their “Small Meals” too, it being the Tuna Tataki ($16).  It was served with a ponzu sauce, wasabi and ginger.  Oh and chopsticks.

This actually wasn’t too bad.  The tuna was nicely done (I had worried that they would make it too well-done), and the ponzu sauce was actually very refreshing and light.  I consumed everything.

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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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Phnom Penh 金邊小館

After hearing so much about the chicken wings and Butter Beef at Phnom Penh, I was finally able to go to try them out!  I think we over-ordered though.  Way too much food for 2 people.

Phnom Penh is a Cambodian/Vietnamese restaurant, but they also make food from other regions too as you shall see.

(Please ignore the date!  Forgot to turn off the date stamp function!)

This is the revered Butter Beef ($12.85).  It is thinly sliced pieces of raw beef brushed with butter then covered with a special garlicky vinagrette.  Topped with LOTS and LOTS of cilantro (man I love cilantro!!!!).

It was good and the beef were tender but I found the vinagrette a bit too sour.

Now their famous Garlic Chicken Wings ($7.95).  It was deep-fried goodness!  It was served with a lime pepper dipping sauce.  Each piece was juicy and tender.

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