Sunday, July 14, 2019

2019-27 || MOODY ALES

Mondays got you feeling moody? Not at Moody Ales!

H and I made double date plans with R&B last Monday. We hadn't seen them since Iceland in November 2018, and they were starting to think that we were only trip friends. Sometimes, it's hard to make plans with friends who live farther out, or coordinate a couple of hours to catch up when the To Do list just keeps on growing (I foresee home renovations and more furniture shopping in the near future...). No way were we going to let R&B accuse us of becoming trip friends though. 

We started off our date at Moody Ales, intending to eventually meander down the row of breweries along the same block as Moody Ales, and investigate the food trucks that were parked in front of the breweries (more on this in the next post).

Moody Ales Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

H and I ended up sharing a flight, which got us 4 mini glasses for $7, and we picked mostly fruitier, lighter options, including their feature Sublime Pineapple Hefeweizen. I personally like stouts and porters more, and will tolerate these lighter ones if I have to, so it does not surprise me that they did not blow me out of the park.

Surprisingly, R liked our choice of the Lavender Sour, which both H and I found to be disgusting and could not even force ourselves to down the rest of the small glass. She doesn't usually enjoy beer or strong alcoholic beverages, so this was just the drink for her. It was VERY sour, like a lemonade without sugar, mixed with a bottle of lavender essential oils. Not for me, thank you, but before I blacklist this brewery, I'll give their feature stouts a try next time.

They also brought their delightful English bulldog, Molly,  out with them. They're emotionally invested in our next choice of pet now. R has been trying to convince H and I to get one of the British bloodlines, instead of the French kind, which I originally wanted. I'm slightly leaning more towards the English now, because they look even lazier than their French cousins. I'm OK with my puppy staying home and napping. Taking care of it will be another excuse for me to stay home be lazy.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


One of my favourite ways to spend a Saturday in Vancouver is to visit the Trout Lake farmer's market, pick up some fresh sugar snap peas from a local farmer, run the rest of my errands, and find a chill place to get coffee and pastry. This weekend was one of those, where I had time to stroll down through the stalls at the market, and eventually ended up at Caffe La Tana

I thought it was more of a grab and go coffee shop, but clearly, I should have done better research on Italian style cafes, and planned ahead for their fresh pasta, made in house. Instead, all I had time to do was order a bombolini with Nutella cream and cappuccino to go. It was hard to leave behind the beautifully decorated cafe, and the bench out front was calling to me to sit and relax, but I had to go. I brought my treats home to enjoy, while I did the laundry. Adulting means sacrifices, and sometimes, that means sipping coffee in between loading the washer and folding the socks.

The coffee was apparently a special roast by JJ Bean (not sure if this is still true? Fact check me, please), and I liked how strong it was. Pow, woke me right up. The little bombolini was really too small. I'm used to American sized portions after all the traveling to the south! Each crumb was delicious, while it lasted.

Caffe La Tana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I felt like I had to learn more about this place, and did a bit of research into its origins. Turns out they're part of the Savio Volpe group. As I check off one place from my list of places to go, another one gets added... There isn't enough time in a day to work full time, plan a wedding, and do all the other extracurricular activities!

Time to quit the full time to make way for doing things I love? Maybe not yet, because I'd rather just take a break instead of quit, and eventually, the problems will get fixed (not necessarily by me, but like Justin Trudeau said, "The books will balance themselves"). But just like the restaurants on my list, once a problem gets fixed, another one pops up. It never ends. Did they even use their brains to think about it first? It still amazes me when I meet these big picture thinkers and talkers, some who are running the show, because I feel like I have a lot to learn in terms of forgetting how to double check the finer details.

Sunday, June 30, 2019


It's been a week of ups and downs, and amidst all of the drama, at least I had the comfort of lots of new food experiences. We had H's birthday dinner at Fets Whiskey Kitchen:

They have a full wall of different whiskeys, from floor to ceiling, any type of whiskey your heart could desire! I had the negroni (bottom left corner), because it was negroni week, and all the advertisements pasted on their bathroom walls, and inserted into the front of the menu, looked pretty delicious. It was pretty delicious.

We had the cornbread pulled pork sliders, the jambalaya, and the mussels (the dish is officially named Moules Marnière.. fancy!). I would not order the sliders again, unless I also had a large beverage to wash it down with, since corn bread is so dry. It's just an inherent trait of corn bread to be dry, and I would not fault them for it. Where does one find moist corn bread?

The only complaint I have about the mussels is that they should have told me to order one for myself, instead of sharing with H.

The jambalaya was perfect, the rice was cooked through and soaked up all the sauce, which takes some patience. It was spicy, but not to the point where I didn't want to go back for more. This really satisfied my jambalaya craving, and I'm glad we discovered this dish here so close to home.

Fets Whisky Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

And after a great Tuesday, I could feel things sliding downhill. What else happened this week?

Maybe I've been working too much (or not efficiently enough), and it's just exhausting to not connect with real people that I actually know. Also, there's a lot of people creating noise about the changes around the workplace, and I don't have the capacity to empathize with them. Nothing against conversations about non-work topics, but if the conversation lasts 30 minutes or more, perhaps take it down a notch or take it outside. Perhaps it's social media, which apparently also diminishes the ability to empathize, and comparing my experiences with what I'm seeing on the screen (FOMO is real).

Anyways, happy birthday to my lovely future husband. Thanks for putting up with me this week, while I numb my emotions by catching up on all the latest episodes of Jane the Virgin.

Saturday, June 22, 2019


D officially left the company, and announced his new job. Reminds me of the time we had dinner at Charlie, Don't Surf. Here's a photo of the dry ribs and a sliver of the plate of calamari that we devoured, while chatting about the news: 

Clearly, these appetizers were good, because they disappeared quickly, and I almost forgot to take a photo. The calamari were some of the crispiest that I've had recently, and the dry ribs were not too chewy, fell off the bones easily.

The service did not move as quickly as we ate those delicious ribs. It felt like an eternity before this plate of average jambalaya (flavor? hello? where were the chorizo slices?) appeared in front of me.

Good thing we had good company and interesting topics to discuss, and did not mind the wait. H had the ahi tuna club, which I took a few bites of. I don't remember tasting the ahi tuna, because the bacon and sauces were overpowering.

Closed the meal off with this chocolate brownie and giant scoop of vanilla ice cream (no complaints about this, it was good):

I would come back for the appetizers, but would not expect too much from the rest of the menu, including the drinks, and definitely low expectations for the service, which was probably exceptionally slow because the restaurant was packed. This area usually gets too busy when the weather starts to turn nice, as it is a beautiful spot to stroll along the pier in the evenings and catch the sunset.

Charlie Don't Surf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Other than eating, I've been going to yoga, getting fresh air, really trying to work out my happiness muscles lately. Forget the stressful moments, stop wasting time remembering the embarrassing things I say or do, and practice being happy... Maybe this helped me survive this week, which turned out to be a productive one for wedding planning, starting with a wedding dress fitting, sending out wedding invites, and going for an engagement photo shoot at Lynn Canyon. The work never ends. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

2019-23 || ELYSIAN

JK brought over a bag of Elysian coffee beans for our house warming, and I've finally had a chance to try them out. The first brew method I used was with the Aeropress, which was pretty good. I also tried the French press, which was not too bad either. 

This reminded me of all the times during my university years, when I would stop at the actual coffee shop on Broadway for their mochas and lattes, along the commute to school. These trips to the coffee shop were a real comfort back in the day, because the commute to UBC could be dreadfully long. I no longer have to commute to UBC, but Elysian is actually still sort of along the way to work. I finally remembered to take the long way around and visited them this morning. 

It cost $3 for a cup of brewed coffee!

I think I had the brewed coffee in a 12oz cup, and I had the Columbia, just like the bag of beans that JK gave me. It tasted slightly better than the coffee that I made at home, using the same type of beans, but I don't think the taste difference would justify $3 a cup. They've designed a cozy aesthetic inside the cafe, with a few good looking plants, so I guess take advantage of this, have your coffee in a mug, and hang out for a while. No wifi though. I wouldn't say their service was spectacular either (smile a little, hipster coffee shop baristas!). At 7AM though, I wouldn't want to talk to me either.

Elysian Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I also had a headache for the rest of the day...

Had a few minutes to catch up with an ex-coworker the other day, and it sounds like her new workplace is going through the same situation that she left behind. This week, we also had a new person join the team, and it's been refreshing to get his perspective of our gig. Apparently, he came from a worse environment. My point is that the grass is green enough right here. Can I stronger grass if it's watered with coffee?

Monday, June 10, 2019

2019-22 || Co'M

With all the changes around the office, it was an excellent time to go for a team lunch. Eating our stress away? YES.

S picked Co'm (means rice in Vietnamese), even though CC didn't want Asian food because she had it too frequently in the last week, and CL does not usually enjoy Vietnamese food at restaurants since he gets it at home all the time. Hey, I'm Chinese, and I still prefer going out for Chinese food. What's the problem? 

I really hoped they wouldn't like it, but other than the AC blasting away too strongly, it turned out to be a very satisfying meal. I had the BBH (bun bo hue! Come on, I've mentioned this before).

Pretty sure I've had better, but I'm not going to complain too much about this. It was still very tasty and flavorful, but maybe just not... dirty enough? For me, BBH should be a bit heavier, and greasier, and the best ones are from restaurants that look a bit dirty on the outside. Just a bit, because if it's too dirty, you might get sick. 

C had the banh xeo, which pulled up my rating of this place. It was lightly crispy, with a soft touch of coconut, and the lettuce was fresh.

We also had great butter garlic chicken wings (not as good as Phnom Penh, but comparable), the pork spring rolls and the salad roll. There weren't enough spring rolls to go around the first time, so we ordered another batch.

Co'M Vietnamese Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yum. Tastes as good as it looks. Too bad the BBH was lacking a little bit, but I can see them getting lots of business from the inhabitants of the surrounding apartments. Free parking in the side lot too, so it's perfect for these Richmond folk who drive everywhere.

More changes are happening soon, so we should get a a few more pity lunches soon. July should be an interesting time, with Mercury retrograding hard, and the wedding coming up soon. Looking forward to it...

Monday, June 3, 2019

2019-21 || PURGING

Spent the weekend cleaning out H's old room, and sorting the clutter that's already accumulated in my little apartment. We took a brief bubble tea break at The Oolong Tea Lounge, found just underneath the Aberdeen skytrain station. It's a beautiful cafe, with high ceilings and great lighting, perfect space to get some work done, with a very photogenic bubbletea on the table next to you. 

We had the Sakura Matcha Latte: 

The pearls taste like flowery gummy bears, adding a hint of floral sweetness to the matcha tea latte. I would have preferred a stronger matcha taste, and perhaps a hint more sugar, but I did ask for 50% sweetness so my bad.

The Ooleaf Tea Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The problem is that this small beverage cost $7, and I'm not a big enough tea lover to afford it. They have a few other interesting flavors, like a Purple Yam Milk and a Bitter Melon Pineapple Fruit Tea, which I'll probably try when I'm feeling adventurous.

It's therapeutic to throw stuff out, open up some free space and create more room to grow. Let's see where this next week takes us. My horoscope is telling me that I should start looking for a new job, starting June 3rd, and that I'll likely want to take a position that's similar to what I'm already doing... Do I even need to look anymore, or is change going to just find me, even if I sit right where I am?