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Never Too Full for Pho – My Review of Noodlemania 2017 Edition
If you’ve ever been to one of past Noodlemania events then you know to come hungry and to wear elastic waistband pants. But more importantly, to bring a friend whose proficient at rolling you home because baby, you’re liable to send the elevator in overweight mode with all that you eat on this event.
Commodity Juicery (registration location)
3975 Fraser Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Juice Bar
The First stop of Noodlemania was just a teaser as it’s wholesome goodness with Zucchini Noodles which were lightly seasoned so as not to take away from the natural wholesome goodness of raw zucchini which I like incidentally. For people who hate raw veggies, well I’m sure all was forgiven once they hit the other Noodlemania restaurants. The bubble tea was made with chia pearls and house made nut mylk which I found a little too mild for my taste buds as I’m an Asian who loves her fruit slushies with coconut jelly, so I’m a little biased when it comes to bubble tea. But it was still refreshing and a great start to what would be a carb overload event.
Commodity Juice has a good selection of juices from to Sangria minus the hangover to hibiscus berry tea, all of which are organic and cold pressed. Out of the ones I had at the Fraser Tasting Plates event last year, my favourite was the Pink Lemonade (Pink lemonade with Lavender Tea, Rosemary Infused Maple Syrup, Apple & Lemon). Besides juices, Commodity Juice also has smoothie bowls, salads and healthy snacks such as zucchini chips, macaroons and nut bars.
1127 Mainland Street, Vancouver
I started to salivate when I saw Yaletown L’Antipasto on the list of Noodlemania restaurants, because every time I’ve been here it reminds me of the days I spent in the bistros of Rome eating authentic Italian cuisine. Out of the two tasting plates: Garganelli and Spaghetti Alla Vongole with Pinot Grigio Sauce, my friend and I really liked the Vongole as it seemed to have more depth of flavour with its garlic, butter and Pinot Grigio sauce than the Garganelli which was tomato based and cheesey, but didn’t have any meat which gives it that meaty flavour I love in the Pappardelle Rosche with chicken & Italian sausages and short ribs which I had at another Tasting Plates event.
There’s also a date night special which is $99 Sunday to Thursday and $109 on Friday and Saturdays which gets you a choice of either two antipasti or Yaletown Antipasto or proscuitto and burrata (to share). Then the both of you can each choose any pasta or risotto and then share a dessert and one bottle of either Nespolino Sangiovese or Langaria Pinot Grigio. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.
Chutney Villa South Indian Cuisine
147 East Broadway, Vancouver
Cusine: Sri Lankan and South Indian
I was excited to try some spicy Indian food but when the Sri Lankan Seafood with Vegetables first made contact with the tongue, it was as though someone lit a match and threw it in my mouth. But I bet that if you came here at another time it would possible to order the amount of heat you desire. So I took most of this home to add a few vegetables to temper it down. Otherwise the chicken and seafood were cooked properly with both being tender and so flavourful. After throwing in some corn and broccoli to the noodles, I discovered that underneath the spicy heat, there was indeed a potpourri of fragrant Indian spices along with Indian style onion rings.
Basil Garden Restaurant
2889 East Broadway, Vancouver
These days with the unusual cold front in Vancouver, it was wonderful to have a steaming hot bowl of Pho. Insert sighs of contentment. The Beef Brisket and Beef Balls with Rice Noodle was as good as I suspected it would be come from a restaurant that caters to the Asian crowd who love their Pho. The broth was light and flavourful with its pinkish medallions of beef brisket. It’s a big no-no to throw in cooked beef as the broth will cook it until it’s too well done, so you have to start with pretty rare brisket. As with typical Pho places, bean sprouts are served on the side so that they don’t lose their crunchiness when left in the broth too long. Also chilli sauce is always on your table for you to add for your individual taste. Although our portion was smaller than that we saw that regular customers received, I couldn’t finish my entire bowl so I took it home with me. But once I reached home, I realized that if I left it for the next day’s lunch, by then the noodles would have totally absorbed the broth and all I would have would be soggy noodles. So although I was full of Pho, I didn’t have too much trouble finishing the rest.
2404 E Hastings St, Vancouver
Thailicious proves that Some of the best food doesn’t come from fancy smancy restaurants but from the little holes in the wall where the food is the primary focus and not the surroundings. here, the Tofu Pad Thai had little chunks of tofu that wasn’t soft but had a nice firm meaty texture with a nice sweet and sour tamarind sauce. The Chicken pad See-ew Noodles wasn’t a little spicy and had bean sprouts to add a crunchy texture to the dish. All in all the type of curry one expects to taste in authentic Thai restaurants. I’m assuming that because peanut allergies are so common, that they are available at the front if you wish to add them to your dish.
Kids Can Cook Gourmet
Organic Acres (inside store)
3603 Main Street, Vancouver
What’s amazing about Kids Can Cook Gourmet is that at such a young age, Skylar and Chloe have such a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Their idea was born during a trip to Europe and as a result, they sell three pasta sauces (creamy tomato, marinara and tomato & basil) in local retailers around BC & Alberta. The Tomato Sauce was okay by my standards, but then again, you have to realize that I’ve been to Italy numerous times and lived with an Italian guy for five years, so my standards for Italian pasta sauce are pretty high. But I’m sure that given time and experience, we can expect these two to expand and improve their business. .