Tuesday, September 24, 2019

2019-37 || OHYAMA RAMEN

Of course, we had more than one meal out while at Whistler, because who wants to cook after hiking all day? 

We went to Ohyama Ramen:


The stormy weather was perfect for a hearty bowl of pork chashu miso ramen. H had the Big Mountain (top right), and I had the basic with an added egg. Then, we added the gyoza and beer combo, which you can see on the top left corner. Adding the gyoza and beer was the best decision I made that day.


I would suggest that they heat the soup hotter, and use fattier meat, for an even thicker flavour and more soul warming texture. Eggs were good, but cost an extra $2.50. If you don't particularly like eggs cooked this way, then please don't order it, because this one won't change your mind either. For a ramen shop in the middle of a vacation resort town, I would say that the quality is pretty good and I'd come back next time, especially after a day of skiing or being in the cold.

Ohyama Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


I'm starting to get a feeling that something new is about to begin. Maybe it's the changing weather, which brings up memories of starting a new school year and I was also excited for new books, new classes, new opportunities... As H and I fall back into our routine after 2 weeks of vacation and getting married, I'm looking forward to having some quality time, doing nothing together.

 

Monday, September 16, 2019

2019-37 || SUSHI VILLAGE

After tying the knot (literally, performing a knot tying ceremony before signing our marriage license) with H, we went for our first adventure as a married couple. This wasn't a honeymoon, because we went with his family from overseas, and we were touring them around a bit (they're very self sufficient, and probably didn't need us, but it was good to spend time with new family). It was chaotic to prepare for this trip, since we left only 2 days after the wedding. There was still a few loose ends to clean up. For example, where did all of our Instax cameras end up? Who do we still owe money to? Who had all of our wedding gifts? 

Amidst all of this, we found ourselves packed up into H's trusty old 4Runner, and heading north along the Sea to Sky highway. We arrived fairly late the first day of the trip, and we were ready to eat. The post wedding versions of H and I were constantly ravenous. He was finally done with dieting and didn't have a suit to fit into, and I was finally getting my appetite back after the relief of no longer stressing out over the party planning.

Sushi Village was still open at 8PM, and when we walked in, there was still a packed room of diners and even a short line up. 



From left to right, Beautiful Roll, Caterpillar Roll, Agedashi Tofu, Squid. Small bowl contained a pretty much inedible gomae. There should have been a warning on it, for those with kidney problems to stay away, because of the high salt content. 

Sushi Village Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Beautiful Roll, which I think was basically a chopped scallop roll with avocado wrapped around it, was really good, and I would order this again. The texture of the squid was that perfect crunchiness, but again, the salt level was extremely high, so I picked at the pieces that weren't swimming in the sauce. The other options were just OK, but for that Beautiful Roll, I'll give this place a 4 out of 5.


Friday, September 6, 2019

2019-35 || EXPOSURE

This will be a short post, because I'm getting ready for my wedding, and I barely have time to eat. 

After dim sum on Monday, we visited Exposure BBT, right across from the dim sum place: 



This was the OG milk tea, with pearls, and although I requested 50% sugar, it felt like I might get diabetes by the time I finished the whole beverage. The wait time was also 30 minutes for any drink order. For a not so spectacular $6 tea, I was disappointed.

Exposure Social house Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Despite the disappointing beverage, I had a great morning of just relaxing and hanging out with friends. This was the eye of the storm, and now, as I write this, we're approaching the edge of the storm, exiting in 2 more days... Almost there!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

2019-34 || SWEET MEMORY

S brought us to Sweet Memory for dinner this week. They're mainly known for their traditional Taiwanese dishes and desserts, like the pig intestine noodles that I tried (bottom right) since it came highly recommended by S's friend. It was extremely garlicky.


C had the braised pork on rice, which also looked legit and very greasy (dish at the top of the above photo).

H had the tofu pudding, which came with a small hill of brown sugar. Maybe anthill sized. No photo.

Sweet Memory Dessert Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The complimentary tea had a surprisingly pleasant sweetness to it too, and I really did not hate it, but I was too tired after a long day to really enjoy anything. This seems to be the trend these days. It's not like I'm doing a lot either, but maybe it's just being anxious and worried about... stuff.

I usually default to negative feelings, memories, and that's actually built into us, as humans evolved by being aware of their surrounding dangers, and having a better memory of what made us felt bad, so that we can avoid death. Just the way our brains are built.

How do people stay positive in times like now, when our carbon sink, the Earth's lungs, are burning up, and when it seems like even developed cities, such as Hong Kong, become dangerous to visit?

Should I quit my corporate job, leave behind all the office politics, and go plant trees?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

2019-33 || NEW MOON

New moons remind me to try new things, and this week, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and took my teammates with me. Instead of going to a new coffee shop or watching a new TV series, movie, or reading a new book, I went to a gym called Maki and did my first 30 minute session. My body is still sore from the 3 pushups that I didn't do correctly on Thursday, and the 17 remaining in the set where I just couldn't even push off the ground.

Maybe because I was still so tired from those brutal 30 minutes, I didn't feel so adventurous this weekend, and revisited Their There. I've been here a few times in the past, but it's always been too busy to actually sit down and really enjoy the ambiance. It's a bit of a pink jungle in there, where if you're brave enough to wander through the young urban professionals, sipping their coffees amidst the indoor plants, you'll find the counter to order at, as well as a display case full of fresh donuts and cronuts. H and I visited after browsing around the Patagonia store (his favourite store), and as luck would have it...


We found a spot right by the window. There were still plenty of blackberry peach cronuts left. 



While they looked small, the portion size of their cronuts ended up being a perfect serving. They're topped with a light cream, which were a fun mess to devour. The fresh peach jam and the cream would have been too sweet, but the tart berries came in to save the day. This didn't last more than 3 minutes. 

Their There Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Their coffee game is truly unbelievable too. A must go if you love plants and coffee and pink. 





Thursday, August 15, 2019

2019-32 || CACTUS CLUB BRUNCH

Another brunch date with P! 


Well, her other half, V was also there, so I guess it's not really a date, but a threesome.


We arrived a few minutes after 11AM on Sunday, just before the brunch rush, and watched the restaurant gradually fill up as we waited patiently for our $9.75 meal. Every main dish on the menu cost less than $10 from 11AM to 12PM, what a steal for the quality and quantity. Their waffles were crispy, their eggs were poached to the correct level of runniness, yolks flowed out smoothly over the avocado toast and the bacon. I'll order an extra side of the potatoes next time, because they somehow left the insides soft and fluffy, and not bland, but also did not burn the crispy skin on the outside. It was delightful.

Can't say the same about the latte, which could've used a stronger espresso shot. Please work on that coffee to milk ratio, and if you can draw in some latte art, it would be worth the $5.

Cactus Club Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Spent the rest of the Sunday playing MJ at P&V's place and NOT wedding planning. The noise of the mahjong tiles and my friends and future husband around me took up all the space in my mind and kept away any creeping worries of things that I may have forgotten to check off my to do list, and thoughts of not being able to pay off the bills. Sometimes, noise can be a good distraction, and background noise can actually help to focus your mind. Other times, it's tough to ignore the external chaos, and not let it wreak havoc on the inside.

When you're at yoga and a live band starts blasting the latest pop songs right outside, drum and bass booming, and you can't even hear yourself think. When you're trying to craft an eloquent email to a long time customer with a bad payment history, and your desk mates hold an impromptu meeting right beside you to chat about the world, using their outdoor voices. When the long time customer ends up not so happy, and calls you to talk at you for an hour, because they think that if they talk for long enough, and loudly enough, they'll get things to go their way. When the neighbors start banging pots and pans, before the alarm goes off. 

The list goes on. Some people just sound more passionate than others, and I'm tired of faulting them for it. Even though it might feel like there's no way to ignore what's happening on the outside, I think I'll have to learn to just breathe out all the ugly noises, and create space in my mind for the beautiful sounds in life that I want to treasure.

Either that, or Runaway.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

2019-30 || SMITTY'S OYSTER BAR

We planned a very laid back "bachelorette" for TPL of outdoorsy activities in the Gibsons, Sechelt, and Halfmoon Bay area. My only regret was that there wasn't very much drinking on my part, because it was my car and I wasn't about to authorize any of the others to operate it (too much risk in case something did happen!). 

The trip started off with a long and tedious wait outside of Smitty's Oyster Bar. They don't take reservations, as we found out from their snarky voicemail message, and while we arrived at around 6 or 6:30PM, there were a few large parties who just would not leave, so we ended up sitting down at around 7:30 or 8PM. The real kicker was that the hostess told us that she'd text us if we wanted to wander, so we did... Except she never texted. I swear I saw other people who came by after us, go in before us. 

However, we were very determined to eat here, because TPL wanted to have raw oysters, and this place had some good reviews. Ended up just waiting, right in front of the restaurant. 

Was it worth the wait? 



While we did not receive prodigious amounts of food, what arrived on the plates looked presentable and appetizing. We ended up ordering the shrimp, salmon cakes, and scallop risotto, with raw oysters to share.



This was not enough for us, starving travellers, so we ended up adding the chicken trout (note: this is not chicken):


Not sure if I'd go back for the main dishes again, but if I had to, I'd order the chicken trout again, because it was so light and crispy. The risotto was still crunchy, but I'll give them props for trying. Risotto is hard to get right! The rest of it was decent, nothing too memorable about the shrimp or the cakes. The oysters were better than what I've had at other places, very sweet and fresh. This would be a nice spot to hang out by the docks, sipping on a beverage of your choice, and slurping up freshly shucked oysters, at $3.50 a pop. 

So, was it worth it? 

Smitty's Oyster House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I mean, we ended up eating it all, every last crumb of crunchy risotto. Probably from hunger after waiting so long, in combination with the small portions. 


Sometimes, I'll judge people on their food choices, and I did question some of the food decisions we made collectively, on this trip. I mean, it's so hard to not be doubtful with strangers who are just becoming new friends. I'm sure I'm not the only person out there making flash judgments about strangers, friends, even family members. This guy is too old for her, he doesn't have a real job, she wears too much makeup, and they're so stingy with their money. He associates with him or her, so that makes them a bad person... Where do these judgments take us?