Although Yaletown is one of Vancouver’s most frequented hoods, restaurants here come and go rather quickly so there’s always new restaurants listed on Vancouver Foodsters annual Yaletown Tasting Plates, which is an excellent way to sample food without committing yourself to a full meal.
Rocanini Coffee- (registration)
863 Beatty Street
Twitter: @ROCANINI #TastingPlatesYVR
Does Vancouver need another coffee shop? Yes because one never knows when one might drop to the ground suddenly from lack of caffeine. Rocanini roasts their own beans at their Mount Pleasant Roastery to produce a selection of coffees. Here I’m enjoying the deep rich flavour of espresso with my coffee art on my which is also available with soy or almond milk.
Shredded chicken pomelo salad on shrimp chip, peanut sauce pulled pork flatbread & kuboucha wuntun on curry
1269 Hamilton Street
I was already biased when I arrived at House Special as I had been wowed by House Special’s five course Taste of Yaletown menu just two days before the Yaletown Tasting Plates event. So I wasn’t surprised that our Tasting Plate did not disappoint. Although the curry sauce for the wuntun had that familiar spicy peanut flavour, it had a more intense flavour than curry sauces I’ve had before. I liked that they used a light shrimp chip as a cracker with the shredded chicken as shrimp chips are usually used as garnishes and not part of a menu item. The pulled pork was in a light sesame bun with peanut sauce which was tender and flavourful. My only complaint was that this only made me want more. If you like Asian fusion food and want your palate to be surprised by the seemingly odd but wildly delicious combinations, House Special should be at the top of your restaurant bucket list.
Mango Ebi Mayo and Shrimp Coquettes
1233 Hamilton Street
By the time we arrived, Kuma Izakaya was already running out of food as our Tasting plates also contained the same menu that they were offering for the Taste of Yaletown which was happening at the same time. It took awhile for us to get our food but it was well worth the wait. The mango gave the ebi shrimp a touch of sweetness that usually isn’t present on this classic Japanese dish. It was a perfect pairing with the more subtle shrimp coquette which wasn’t greasy and the shrimp inside wasn’t over cooked which can sometimes happen with fried items.
I wasn’t disappointed that our salmon Aburi roll was substituted for hamachi roll as hamachi is a more tender delicate fish and the roll didn’t disappoint and didn’t need wasabi as it was simply delicious on its own.
Lime and Moon Pie Co.
1066 Mainland Street
Pie addicts rejoice as Lime and Moon won’t disappoint. The chocolate banana cream pie was as light as fluffy as a cloud with a milk chocolate flavour to please any chocoholic. The sugar pumpkin pie was chock full of fragrant pumpkin spices as I could taste the nutmeg and cloves. It went down in two second flat along with my huge cup of decaf Americano which I was able to have with a dairy-free option – almond milk. Lime and Moon also offers gluten-free crusts and dairy free banana coconut cream pie.
Chaser Fresh Juice
When I used to live in LA, there was a botox clinic beside a yoga studio on every block. In Vancouver it seems that the juice bars are trying to keep up to the coffee shops as more people want to ingest healthier food and juices. Chaser has been around awhile and it’s plain to see why. Their philosophy is they want to produce healthy food at affordable food. I didn’t think I would like the Takin’ Care Of Business combination of celery, ginger, cucumber, lemon, spinach and apple juice as there was so many vegetables in it, but surprisingly the lemon pulls it all together to produce a pleasant tangy drink. There’s also other healthy combination of juices available for purchase such as the Cold Killer (lemon juice, ginger and honey) or even cleanses – all juices are freshly squeezed on premises.
We also received two vegan cookies, one being chocolate and the other with raisins. The dark chocolate tasted like any other chocolate cookie with dairy I’ve had, but the other just needed a little something extra as I found it a little too bland.
Ice fried yogurt & raspberry sauce, ice fried yogurt gelato pumpkin spice latte & banana yogurt shake
95 Smithe Street
Flash fried yogurt? Huh? Yes – fried quickly on a cold steel plate to produce a crispy outer edge which makes the yogurt taste similar to a semi freddo dessert with a creamy yet icy texture. Although I only had a teeny amount due to my allergy, all of our selections here were tasty and did not taste like any frozen yogurt I’ve ever had. If you love frozen yogurt you’ll definitely have to head to On Yogurt, but be forewarned, it’ll spoil you for the other yogurt places. Bud don’t forget your toppings as there are 40 choices.
Classic Pepperoni, Spice Capicollo, spicy salami
Original Margherita, White – mozzarella, fior di latte, ricottta, grana padano, garlic, oregano
Straight outta Brooklyn
350 Robson Street
The Kingsway location of Straight Outta Brooklyn was featured on Fraser Tasting Plates, so I was already familiar with their pizza which I find has wonderfully thin and crispy crusts and just enough cheese to please the palate without overwhelming the other ingredients. I choose the Classic Pepperoni and Spice Capicollo and Salami, both of which had plenty of meat and were spicy without going overboard. My friend ordered the White and Original Margherita which she thought was the best she ever had. Definitely the best pizza I’ve had to date, and I’ve been to Brooklyn.
FALL/WINTER LINE-UP OF Tasting Plates and Other Vancouver Foodster Events
If you love the Tasting Plates events, then mark your calendar for the following events. More info to come at: http://vancouverfoodster.com/
November 2, 2016 — Food Talks
November 23, 2016 — Tasting Plates Chinatown (early-bird tickets on sale October 26)
January 11, 2017 — Noodle Mania
(early bird tickets on sale November 8)
January 21, 2017 — Gastown Dine Out Brunch Crawl (tickets on sale Nov 21)
January 22, 2017 — Kitislano Dine Out Brunch Crawl (tickets on sale Nov 21)
January 25, 2017 — Granville Island – Art, Eat and Sip (tickets on sale Nov 21)
January 28, 2017 — East Village Dine Out Brunch Crawl (tickets on sale Nov 21)
January 29, 2017 — Yaletown Dine Out Brunch Crawl (tickets on sale Nov 21)
February 4, 2017 — Robson and Westend Dine Out Brunch Crawl (tickets on sale Nov 21)
February 5, 2017 — Commercial Drive Dine Out Brunch Crawl (tickets on sale Nov 21)
February 22, 2017 — 5th Anniversary Tasting Plates Vancouver
March 22, 2017 — PizzaPalooza