Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Flight 2 Dessert Club x Potluck Hawker's Eatery

My friends have been raving about Potluck Hawker's Eatery and it was about time I tried it for myself. Pastry Chef extraordinaire, Sam Shem of The Dessert Club, is collaborating with various chefs and restaurants across Metro Vancouver for his Will Travel for Food series. Flight 2 takes us to Thailand and the Philippines! The Flight 2 collaboration between The Dessert Club and Chefs Justin Cheung and Raymond Reyes of Potluck Hawker's Eatery was a 2-day event. 

Since it was a limited event, tickets had to be purchased in advance. It was $55 per person which included a snack, beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), main and dessert. 

  • House-made bar snacks
  • Choice of beverage (alcoholic and non alcoholic options available)
  • Choice of main: Khao Soi Gai (Chiang Mai style curry chicken noodles) or Sisig Sizzle Rice (Filipino minced pig head cast iron rice plate)
  • Choice of dessert: Thai Tea Ice cream cake, Halo Halo or Turon with Chocolate Pot de Crème

Sunday, 2 January 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2022 is Pronounced 2020 Too?


Pandemic year number 2 has come to an end and we have officially entered 2022! For me, 2021 was still a great year. I know for many it was financially and medically challenging, but I was lucky to have had some wonderful experiences. 

In 2021:

  • Purchased my very first home! A beautiful 2 bedroom 2.5 bathroom Townhouse!
  • Made amazing new friends 
  • Started a Fiverr business
  • Began taking care of my skin with monthly facials
  • Took a spontaneous trip to Calgary to Banff to Golden B.C. and back
  • Celebrated my 28th birthday with the Four Seasons Whistler team
  • Accepted a permanent work position
  • Shopped locally from independent boutiques
As for 2022, I do not know what it has in store for me. People are already labelling it to be a repeat of 2020 because if you say it out loud, it sounds a lot like "2020 Too." I for one want to stay positive. 

Happy New Year and Cheers to 2022!

BYES

Monday, 20 December 2021

Gajar Matar Recipe aka The Carrot Peas Indian Dish I Love

Curry is a bit of a misnomer in the Western world. From where I am from in Northern India, curry is a specific dish that is bright yellow in colour, almost neon yellow, made from sour milk and always eaten with rice. In North America, "Curry" is used as an all-encompassing term for savoury Indian entrees with some sort of sauce. Instead of the word "curry," In India, we use the word "Sabzi" as the generic name for savoury dishes that make up our main dish. My favourite Indian sabzi is a dry carrots and peas dish. 

Called "Gajar Matar" which literally translates to Carrot Peas, the traditional dish is vegan and gluten-free. The natural sweetness of the carrots and peas is the main highlight of the dish. To this day, I had never made an Indian sabzi. It has always felt like a daunting task to me! 

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Weird and Wonderful Wishlist 2021 Holidays


This is my Weird & Wonderful Wishlist and it features amazing local Vancouver brands and shops. It is my goal to support more slow fashion and smaller independent shops. My list does include bigger global brands, but the majority of the items can be purchased locally in Vancouver from local boutiques. 

I know not everyone lives in Vancouver, so I am also going to include links through which you can purchase the pieces internationally. Hopefully if you are local you are able to pop into one of my favourite shops and pick it up in person! Perhaps we will bump into one another there! 

The Butter Ornament

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Lower Mainland Devastated by Floods and Mudslides from "Atmospheric River"


This blog has always been a space to share fun discoveries with you. Today we are going to be taking a pause from the whimsy and food to acknowledge the events unfolding in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia. The property I purchased is in the Fraser Valley, but at this time I am living at my parent's house which is in Metro Vancouver, the region west of the Fraser Valley. 

I woke up on Monday, November 15th to harrowing winds and aggressive rainfall. Leaves and small twigs were being smashed up against my bedroom window by the ongoing storm. Rain is a normal part of Vancouver, so at no point did it phase me. It never even crossed my mind that things could get worse and I should not be going to work. By the time I was off from work, the sky had cleared in Vancouver and the pools of water were slowly draining away. 

The part of Vancouver that I grew up in has long been the butt of all flooding and sinking-related jokes. The highway bisecting my city and several major streets were flooded to my knees. Now simply imagine the relief that me, my family and everyone else that lives in the region felt when the city was able to get control of the flooding. 

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Ça Marche Crêperie the newest addition to Vancouver House

Another day in Vancouver, another restaurant opened. This time, it is the long-awaited Ça Marche Crêperie, specializing in crêpes from Brittany, France. If there are crêpes involved, you know I will be there, so it should come as no surprise that opening night, I was knocking down their door to be let in already. 

Dinner service on Saturday November 6, 2021 marked the opening of Ça Marche Crêperie. The new eatery is located at the foot of Vancouver House, adjacent to another favourite of mine, Autostrada Osteria. The space is small; therefore limiting the number of diners Ça Marche Crêperie can accommodate at a given time. An eccentric neon sign shines a glow onto an interesting rusted exterior panelling. Guess we can call it industrial rust chic? Inside, emerald green, brass, white and greys make for an elegant upscale setting. The old me would have fawned all over the design, but I now know better than to be blinded by beauty. 

The Champignon is a buckwheat crêpe folded over sauteed mushrooms, cider onion jam, kale, goat cheese and soft poached egg. Onions and I do not get along, so the kitchen put the cider onion jam on the side for me. The filling had great flavour with the mushrooms offering wonderful umami while the kale gave a great texture. All of the savoury crepes are gluten-free at Ça Marche Crêperie because they are made with buckwheat flour. Unfortunately, the $18 crêpe did nothing to curb my hunger. Visually the thin crêpe filled the plate from edge to edge; however, it is misleading since the filling is concentrated in the center. 

From the Crêpes Sucrees menu, I selected the Pomme. A classic crepe topped with caramel poached apple, salted caramel and buckwheat ice cream. It is hard to go wrong with caramel, apples and ice cream. The apples still had a lovely crunchy texture and the caramel sauce had undertones of burnt sugar which I love. Not sure what buckwheat ice cream is supposed to taste like because I thought it was vanilla. On behalf of the simple bitches like me, let's keep it simple and drop the weird pretentious "buckwheat" ice cream and do creamy vanilla. 

Ça Marche Crêperie is doing something a little different with the drinks menu, offering an array of locally sourced ciders. Lots of fun citrusy, fruity, tangy and fermented ciders to choose from on tap and by the bottle. I did not have the opportunity to try any during my visit because I myself am more of a cocktail gurl. 

With a selection of savoury and sweet crêpes, the menu is rounded out with a side salad and fries. It reminds me of Nero Belgium Waffle Bar, but with crêpes and a higher price tag. Ça Marche Crêperie is also competing against another beloved Vancouver establishment, Cafe Crêpes which has been satisfying our crêpe cravings for years with their limitless flavour pairings. 

So how does Ça Marche Crêperie compare to Vancouver favourites? Underwhelming. 

I left feeling unsatisfied. The meal felt incomplete. In a competitive food scene like Vancouver's, there is zero room for uncertainty. For sweet crêpes sure, I will consider venturing back - the Suzette sounds divine with its brûlée custard, grand mariner sauce and orange segments. But with an average price of $20 for a savoury crêpe that did not satiate my hunger pangs, Ça Marche Crêperie for dinner is a hard pass for me. 

I do hope Ça Marche Crêperie will re-visit their business hours. The current menu is better suited for brunch and lunch. Sure the cider program is more conducive to dinner, but I prefer to eat my calories, not drink them. 

BYES




Tuesday, 26 October 2021

The Dorothy Motel is Banff, Alberta's first boutique motel



Roadside motels are a staple in North America. Often rundown, dingy, merely a place to catch some sleep before getting back on the road. But they are the affordable counterpart to hotels and hence why Super 8 Motels and such fill my own childhood memories of family road trips across Canada! The Dorothy Motel on the other hand is no ordinary motel. As Banff's very first boutique motel, The Dorothy Motel blends Banffs beautiful national forests with a retro 50s vibe, completely redefining what a motel is. The motel is beautiful and is a must stay when in Banff. 

The Dorothy Motel's wooden sign sets the tone for your stay with its asymmetrical shape, rounded corners and curvy bold text. A lovely rich teal blue paint exterior is accented by beautiful crisscrossing large wooden beams, a nod to traditional ski chalets that are sprinkled on the mountains. Nestled in the middle of the motel is a wonderful stone-paved courtyard with cute bistro tables, chairs and lush plants. An excellent place to sit back and sip on some drinks underneath the starry Banff night sky! 

Originally my room was on the main floor, but the thought of an exterior facing door to the forest made me nervous, so I was glad that I was able to switch to the top floor. Room 201 featured 2 queen beds, impressively high ceilings and a spacious bathroom. There was also a table with two chairs and a breakfast nook outfitted with a coffee maker, kettle, microwave and mini-fridge. Another nook-like space was the open closet with cubbies for quick and easy organization. This closet area is perfect for storing outdoor gear like skis, boots, snowboards etc!  

Every detail in the room had been thoughtfully curated to give off a 1950s vibe that meets Banff National Forest exploration. The floor is a smooth linoleum with a forest floor print. Banff is a ski town meaning lots of soggy gear from the slopes, so going with linoleum is genius as it is impermeable to moisture and will not get gross like tiles and carpet would. The forest floor is serious camouflage, so get ready to be on your hands and knees if you drop something. 

As I mentioned earlier, the bathroom is large! It was clean with cute penny tiling, a generously sized walk-in shower and plenty of counter space around the sink. I am so glad The Dorothy Motel went with the glass door walk-in shower because I find tubs to be tiny and I absolutely hate whenever the shower curtain touches my skin. The bathroom was stocked with the Lemongrass Everything line from the Rocky Mountain Soup Co. To reduce waste, the Dorothy Motel no longer provides tiny travel-size bath products but instead refills the large bottles. A little card politely informs guests that if they do take home the bottle, the full retail price will be charged. Sort of sucks, but there is no one stopping you from filling up your own bottle. 

Amenities at The Dorothy Motel
  • Free wi-fi
  • Outdoor courtyard with chairs, tables and plants
  • Two sheltered bike racks in the courtyard
  • Bike repair station with tools and a tire pump in the courtyard
  • Ice-Machine for in-room ice buckets
  • In-room safe for valuables
  • Smartphone check-in and check-out
  • Room access via smartphones 
  • Option for in-person check-in complete with physical room keys at the sister property less than 5 minutes away, Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa. 
  • Dial *44 on the in-room phone to hear an Elk Bugle! 
  • Access to Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa's concierge via in-room phone 
A few favourite details from my stay at the Dorothy Motel include the Black + Decker Heritage Dome Kettle in cream. I swear that kettle was basically the only "1950's" element in the room, but it alone gave the room an amazing 50's charm! I guess it goes to show how one perfectly selected detail can completely alter the aesthetic of a space. 

The only improvement that I can think of would be the linens, mattress and pillows. I will admit that I have been spoiled by my stays at the Four Seasons and other luxury hotels. The Dorothy Motel's beds were not comfortable. The mattress and pillows felt stiff, but worse was the linens. The sheets were scratchy, stiff, itchy and there was an oil stain on one duvet. 

Since this is a motel, you are missing amenities like room service, turn down service and doormen. That being said, at $160 a night, The Dorothy Motel is an affordable stay in one of Canada's most expensive tourist cities. I am keeping The Dorothy Motel in mind for my future stays in Banff. 

BYES