Yann Haute Patisserie – Calgary, Alberta

March 1st, 2015

I’ve heard many great things about Yann Haute Patisserie and when I was given an opportunity to try them – I didn’t hesitate or turn it down! I was there! The little house/store front can be hard to look for if you don’t know what you’re looking for!

We went pretty much when they opened and there was already a good amount of customers going in and out. We knew we were going to buy half a dozen of macarons and they’re package really nicely. They have quite a large selection of flavours as well – which is always nice (and difficult as I’m quite indecisive). The flavours we got durings this visit was (left to right): london fog, jasmine, chai and blueberry, pistachio, eggnog, and salted caramel. My favourite flavour from this visit was their London Fog followed by Jasmine! They’re different, light, and delicious!

Then on our way out, we couldn’t help but notice the beautiful pastries they had and the wonderful croissants. We couldn’t leave without picking some up! I picked their Pain au chocolat as well as their Almond Croissant. These were both amazing, fresh and flaky! They tasted amazing and to be honest, I liked them more than the macarons!

Overall, the visit was really delicious and wonderful! There’s not room for you to enjoy your purchases inside, but I do recommend you eat your purchases as soon as you can!

Yann Haute Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Yann Haute Patisserie

329 23 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 244-8091

Purple Perk – Calgary, Alberta

March 1st, 2015

We were wandering around Mission area when I got a little hungry. We walked into Purple Perk as their special at the door was very interesting to me at that time!

I ordered a nice cup of Latte to enjoy during my quiet visit to Purple Perk. The coffee was rich and quite delicious and it was really perfect for a chilly morning!

The special of the day was Spaghetti Bolognese which was a huge plate of food, with garlic toast, the plate was pretty much covered with spaghetti and that was covered with an awesome meat sauce! The food here was excellent as the pasta was cooked to perfection and the meat sauce was saucy, meaty and tasty!

This was a really amazing place to either sit and chill, or grab a bit for a meal or snack! The options here are endless and the coffee and food was delicious!

Purple Perk on Urbanspoon

Purple Perk

2212 4 St SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 244-1300

Five Guys Burgers and Fries (McKenzie Towne) – Calgary, Alberta

February 28th, 2015

We came home one evening looking for a good burger place and drove by Five Guys Burger and Fries off 130th Ave SE in McKenzie Towne. The place was packed for an odd time of evening to drop in, so it was a good sign.

Once inside, the line up was long and they had boxes of peanuts where you can eat and take! It’s a pretty good idea as the food did come out rather slowly – but they’re actually making it for you when you order! We had their Cheeseburger and it turns out to be a double patty – large burger and messy! It was quite delicious and greasy!

I also felt like ordering some fries, so we settled on a small Cajan Fries which was seasoned with probably cajan seasoning. It wasn’t bad and they gave lots of fries! They even poured an extra scooop of fries on the top of the bag when our order was ready! It was hot and awesome!

Overall, our experience here was actually surprisingly better than expected! We’ve tried other Five Guys locations and I think this one a better!

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

305-5155 130th Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 252-0887

Pho So 1 (Midnapore) – Calgary, Alberta

February 27th, 2015

We figured we’d go eat something we call “lighter” for dinner this particular evening and craving some pho. We didn’t want to go too far, so the internet directed us to Pho So 1 in Midnapore which was a convenient location with lots of other cuisines to eat around there. There was tons of parking and the location was quite big and busy.

We arrived in and found a few empty tables that weren’t cleaned off yet. We did find a table that was clean, but service then took awhile before anyone came with menus, and obviously even longer before the order was taken. As the wait was kind of long, we decided to start with an appetizer, their Goi Cuon – Salad Roll which did come out fast, and it was decent.

I really love “steamed egg pie” when I see it, I would usually get it – so I ordered their Bi Cha Suon. Here, it wasn’t the best as it seemed dried and old, and even over cooked. However, their grilled pork chop was excellent, tons of flavour, juicy and delicious. I would just get that over rice next time!

Another of our favourite would be the Pho Bo Kho – Beef Stew Noodle Soup which is always full of flavours and with a great noodle in a delicious broth. The noodles and the beef stew here wasn’t bad, but the broth and overall taste was a bit lacking.

Overall, we had an average meal, but I think if I was to come back, I would just get grilled stuff on rice as it seemed the best from this visit and try something different. I do like the location as it’s pretty close and convenient.

Pho So 1

240 Midpark Way SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 984-3588

Harveys (Brentwood) – Calgary, Alberta

February 27th, 2015

We use to go to Harveys at least once a year – the beginning of every school semester and now it’s been awhile. We were talking about Harveys with some close friends who still eat here regularly so we decided to come back as a walk down memory lane.

We weren’t hungry at all, so we decided we’d get one meal to split as this was just for fun – not actually a meal for us. We decided to try their promotion that they have going on right now which is there Stuffed Cheeseburger which was a 6oz burger stuffed with cheese! It was really everything you’d imagine it to be – but it was fantastic!

We also go an order of their Fried Pickles which seemed rather expensive, but they were done really nice and fresh to order as we waiting around for awhile for it! It was crispy, sour and awesome!

The meal was really quite good and it’s nice to know that over the years, the quality hasn’t changed – although the service could have been better. It was rather painful service, but I’m hoping it’s just a one time thing! The burger topppings wasn’t too fresh, but it wasn’t nasty – so it was totally bearable!

Harvey's on Urbanspoon

Harvey’s

3630 Brentwood Rd NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 282-2230

Sushi Bar Miki – Calgary, Alberta

February 25th, 2015

After awhile without sushi, we figured we’d go try a new experience and this time we found ourselves at Sushi Bar Miki which wasn’t hard to find but it was out of our way for sure! They’re located off 16th Ave in the NW in a strip plaza, kind of near a grocery store!

We ordered a few things to try and something we don’t normally get – but decided to have from here was their Ika Geso Karaage which was their deep fried squid legs. It’s one of my favourite things to order at dim sum, but I’m glad we got them here! Tender and delicious, soft yet chewy – I loved it!

We then got an order of their Large Sushi which had 10 pieces of assorted sushi and a tuna roll! The sushi was quite delicious and you do see a sushi chef in the front making the orders! It was a large plate of sushi and it came in around $25. The quality was there so that’s always a treat!

Then, we got our order of udon. We felt like something soup so we got their Sansai Udon which we ordered as we had no idea what it was (which we could have looked it up…) but it was vegetarian option! It wasn’t bad though and it’s got the vegetables you’d find in a Chinese market – not your usual vegetarian cuisine! The udon and broth was quite tasty so we’re glad we just picked something and went with it!

As though we didn’t eat enough, somehow we saved room for dessert (or we just figured it’d be fun to over stuff ourselves!) and we got their Mochi Ice Cream which is something I’ve loved for years! This platter had 3 flavours, the sesame, green tea and vanilla. All 3 flavours were so tasty we loved it!

Overall, fantastic dining experience and we’d have no problem coming back and just picking anything off their menu! Great staff and food! Not much more that we need!

Sushi Bar Miki

5032 16 Ave NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 286-2860

Oka Sushi – Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

February 25th, 2015

We’ve been fortunately enough to experience Oka Sushi without a reservation or without much wait while staying at Jasper Park Lodge during our weekend trip up! It was still a very packed small restaurant, but it was the tail end of their service when we showed up to wait.

We were very patient and excited to try creations made by Mr Oka himself as we sat and enjoyed the show! He is quite a sushi artist and it’s been our favourite sushi experience to date!

We ordered their Assorted Sushi which was nice as there really wasn’t a standard platter. It came with their tuna rolls and 8 assorted sushi! Everything was really high quality and perfectly prepared – absolutely delicious and quite a beauty to look at!

Just as we were about done our sushi, we thought it would be fun to put in another order as we enjoyed our experience so much! We ordered their Jasper Roll which had crab meat and shrimp in the sushi! It was divine and we inhaled it!

This experience has set the bar very high for us for all future sushi experience! Although it’s a small place, it’s wonderful to see a master in action, and the food is worth the wait!

Oka Sushi on Urbanspoon

Oka Sushi Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

1 Old Lodge Rd
Jasper, AB
(780) 852-1114

Monplaisir Delicacy – Calgary, Alberta

February 1st, 2015

We were introduced to Monplaisir which is located on the food court level of TD Square in the corner. Here, the offer delicious French Macarons and Belgium Chocolates. I haven’t tried their chocolates yet, but we have tried a few of their macarons!

We decided to try a small sample box, where we bought 6 delicate macarons. They asked us to leave it out a few minutes to take the chill off before eating, so we decided we’d get a drink from a nearby place in the food court. The custom box looks amazing and almost too good to eat, but we did pull the first one out and tried their Earl Grey flavour. You do get a hint of Earl Grey taste and scent, it’s subtle, sweet and nice! The Earl Grey one is the yellow one with the greenish filling!

With such a delicious macaroon, I had my hopes high as I tried their Chocolate Coconut and I was not disappointed. You get a nice rich chocolate taste and then the sweet coconut comes through afterwards. You do get coconut shreds in your bite as well!

Creme Brulee was always a sweet dessert we enjoy a lot, so we had to try their Creme Brulee flavour. This one really didn’t taste like much to us, but kind of sweet. It did offer the sugary crunch on the side but if you closed your eyes, creme brulee wasn’t the what came to mind – maybe vanilla.

our all time favourite flavour from Monplaisir would be their Espresso which was really fragrant with espresso aromas and flavours. You know what it is when you bite into it and it tastes absolutely amazing!

As Pistachio was another macaroon that we tried, it wasn’t as amazing as hoped. You definitely get a hint of pistachio but for whatever reason, I was hopping it would be more intense. Now I think it’s silly that I had that expectation as these are small delicate treats – so I do like this flavour!

The last one we chose to try on this visit would be the Wedding Almond. Not sure about the name but you definitely get the almond taste and flavour – which is really nice!

Overall, we thoroughly enjoy the macarons here and has been back a few times already! It’s great as they are opened on weekends as well as they are in a mall!

Monplaisir Delicacies on Urbanspoon

Monplaisir Delicacies Ltd

Suite 410, 751 3 St SW
Calgary, AB
(587) 538-0690

Homemade Simple Vanilla Macarons Recipe

January 31st, 2015

I’ve recently been introduced to macarons, and I loved them! The nice crispy shell texture with a soft centre make an amazing treat! Not only do the ones at the store taste good – they look amazing! So, I figured I’d try my hand at making a simple batch of Vanilla Macarons as it appears I have all the ingredients in my pantry! Of course my batch didn’t look great – but tasted wonderful!

Ingredients: Makes about 12
1/3 cup finely ground almond
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 egg whites
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Let’s get started on my first batch of shells! First, we gather all our ingredients so we have everything ready and preheat the oven to 300F.

Then we grind the almonds until they’re fine and then we grind it with the powdered sugar! I figured we do this so that the ground almond is coated with the powder sugar so it doesn’t lump!

Lots of recipes call for sifting the mixture a few times. I tried and I guess my strainer is too fine… it separates the powdered sugar from the ground almonds. The end results wasn’t rough or anything but it’s got some texture as I had to omit the step. So, we go to beating the egg whites until the mixture starts becoming airy and bubbly. At which you will add the 2tbsp of sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Once you got the soft peaks, beat the vanilla extract in.

From here, mix half of your egg white mixture into your almond mixture and mix until they’re incorporated. Then, fold in the rest of the egg white and put into a piping back or a ziploc bag. Then, you can cut out a corner and pipe onto a lined cookie sheet of circles. Then you let them dry for about 30 minutes (or until a hard layer is made)

Once the hard layer is formed by drying it, you can pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they move off the parchment paper easily. At this point, you can take them out and let them cool while you make the filling.

For the filling…
You can start by taking out the ingredients that you need.

Start with the egg yolks, and beat together the ingredients until it’s even and smooth.

Then, move it to the stove top and cook it until a custard texture

From here, I removed it from the heat and returned it to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.

When it has cooled, I arrange the macaron shells so that they kind of match each other in relative shape and size. I put a dollop of the butter cream on one side and put the other side on carefully. Once they’re assembled, I put them in the fridge to set. When you’re ready to eat, take them out a few minutes ahead to take the chill off of them. They apparently last up to a week in an air-tight container in the fridge. Ours are often gone way before then!

Signature Palace – Calgary, Alberta

January 30th, 2015

We weren’t sure what we wanted to eat one evening, and we stumbled to the Southwest Calgary and found Signature Palace Restaurant which is in a strip plaza. The place isn’t difficult to find and there’s tons of parking. It seems like it’s a popular place as we kept seeing customers come in and out either dine in or take out!

As odd as this sounds, we started the dinner with an appetizer of Chicken Wings. They were large wings which made the price tag a little more bearable. It was over $10 for the plate of wings but they were really tasty, juicy, and crispy!

We ordered more lunch items of dinner, where we split a Beef Flank Noodle Soup, and the beef flank was tender and the portions was huge. The soup was quite tasty for being a plain soup. There was a few beef tendons which I love. We have always loved beef flank with the flat rice noodles and it made this dish perfect!

Then, we shared another of my favouriets, the Perserved Vegetables with Pork Noodle Soup and this was in rice vermicelli noodle soup – the way I know it to be. Tons of toppings and the portions again was really generous!

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of food, and portion of size. The staff was really friendly and the bathrooms were cleaner than expected! This turned out to be a great place and we’re excited to go back one day to try a Chinese dinner here!

Signature Palace on Urbanspoon

Signature Palace

1919 Sirocco Dr SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 246-8883