Bazille (Nordstrom) – Calgary, Alberta

January 30th, 2016

I was doing some shopping one afternoon at Chinook Centre when I felt like stopping for a snack. I happened to be going towards Norstrom, so I went into their restaurant upstairs called Bazille

It wasn’t a big place, but it wasn’t too busy when we went, so it worked out well for us. The place had nice decor and it was really comfortable with tons of natural sunlight! It was an enjoyable afternoon!

We sat down and ordered their Margherita Pizza and it wasn’t as good as I’d hope. It’s a simple pizza, and it wasn’t too great… but, easiest thing can often be put to the test for perfection! The pizza dough was a tad doughy and the cheese wasn’t really melty… so it felt like it was under done in general. It tasted average.

We also go an order of their Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes as I was feeling brave when I had the menu. The crab cake wasn’t good. It left a fishy taste in my mouth, and I didn’t even finish it. I’m not sure what it was, but I didn’t enjoy it, so I left it.

Overall, not too impressed.. although I am aware I ordered things I shouldn’t have from a restaurant like this. I should have stuck to sandwiches and soups and what not, but I do not think I will be back to try more, unless it’s something more “common” for lunch

Bazille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bazille

2150 6455 Macleod Trail SW
Calgary, AB
(587) 291-2010

3Q Teahouse – Calgary, Alberta

January 30th, 2016

We decided to grab a snack/light dinner one evening and saw a new place called 3Q Teahouse which was recommended by some friends. They told us the owner was actually Taiwanese, so the drinks should be good. There was parking available as the time frame when we went, all the other businesses were closed, or not many opened – which makes it easier!

We ordered our drinks, and I had their Traditional Milk Tea with nothing in it. It wasn’t bad, it was quite decent. It’s not really much different from the milk tea that I’m use to, but neither good or bad is good!

My husband on the other hand ordered Jasmine Green Milk Tea with grass jelly in it. It’s his usual go to drink, so we’ve had it done before and he loves it. Here, I’m not sure what they did, but the drink became thick and slimy. It wasn’t a texture that we like or want to associate it with milk tea. Because of the texture, we couldn’t really decide if we enjoyed the flavours or not.

We ordered some Signauture Popcorn Chicken as one of our favourite snacks is popcorn chicken… it was really good here!

Something kind of different that we ordered was their Fried little buns with Condensed Milk and that was quite a delicious treat. I love condensed milk with regular buns, so with it being little and fried, I was able to eat tons of condensed milk with these buns! I kind of wished they give you an extra dish of condensed milk on the side as they just do a drizzle on the top of the buns. It was good regardless!

As it was our dinner, we ordered some of their rice boxes and we picked Taiwanese 3 Cup Style Chicken which is just chicken with ginger and garlic cooked with rice wine and soy sauce. It’s actually really simple, cheap and delicious!! So, that in mind, you can’t really goof it up! This rice box was pretty awesome!

We also had another rice box combo and this one was the Curry Chicken style one and this one wasn’t as flavourful as you would expect, but nothing wrong with it. They could either cook it a bit longer, or add more flavours to it. But, it was also tasty!

Overall, the food was decent, and most of the drinks was alright. The odd place about here was they have no idea what little bowls for sharing was… we had to ask a few times and they ended up giving us funny little plates. But, regardless, it was a fun night!

3Q Teahouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

3Q Teahouse

323 Macleod Trail SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 287-8228

Homemade Shumai – 烧卖

January 29th, 2016

I’ve been trying to make some more homemade dim sum, and this time we’re in the kitchen making some Shu Mai, and I like using pork. You can substitute with chicken, or a mixture with shrimp as well. Today, we’re making all pork shu mai! This recipe makes about 20 shu mai, which is 2 large steamer baskets full.

Dough Ingredients:
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup cold water

Filling Ingredients:
1/2lb ground pork
2 black shittake mushrooms
1/2 tbsp ginger
1/2 tbsp green onion (whites)
1/4 tsp seasame oil
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp corn starch

First, we’ll make our dough for the skin of the shu mai. I’m using wonton skins. Since I earned a stand mixer, I will use it as much as possible from now on! So, in the stand mixer, I put all the dry ingredients in it and mix it briefly. Then, put the egg in and try to get it into a nice dough.

Once you start mixing it, add some cold water until it becomes a ball. Make sure the dough doesn’t get too wet. You just want a little bit sticky.

When you got your dough ball, wrap it up and let it rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. I got to attach the pasta maker attachment to my stand mixer and I roll out the dough to a level “5”, then we cut out circles. These wonton skins don’t last long as they don’t have preservatives in it, so expect it to be good for up to 3 days.

Now, we get the filling ready, and we mix all the filling ingredients together and make sure they’re chopped small, or minced. Let the meat marinade at least 30 minutes.

Once you got the meat ready, take about 1 tbsp of meat onto the center of the skin. Wet the edges of the skin so it can stick to each other. Pull the sides up around the dumpling leaving the top exposed. You can top the shu mai if you want, but I left mine as is because I forgot to purchase ingredients. Original idea was putting a shrimp up top… Once you got your shu mai made, you can put it in your lined steamer (steaming) or lined cookie tray (freezing).

If you’re freezing them, make sure you give them some space in between the shu mai so they don’t stick. Freeze them for about an hour before you put it in a ziploc bag. For us, we steamed ours right away and we steamed on med-high heat for 10 minutes. It was perfect!

Overall, this was quite a simple recipe, and there are tons of options for varieties, and even short cuts! You can get premade wonton wrappers, you can swap out meat, add other things or anything! This is a great base recipe! For me, this recipe made more skins than I needed, so adding stuff to the filing mixture will help even it out!

Le La Vietnamese Restaurant – Calgary, Alberta

January 25th, 2016

We often drive by Le La Vietnamese Restaurant and always wanted to hop in! We finally did, and we set our exceptions low as we didn’t do any prior research to this restaurant! There’s tons of parking and there a lot of tables inside, but it wasn’t busy when we went as it was right before closing! The staff was really nice to us and didn’t hurry us out just because they were closing!

We ordered some Condensed milk Vietnamese Iced Coffee which I don’t normally order, however, I wanted a treat this time so I went for it! It was a delicious and refreshing drink with the perfect amount of condensed milk!

I ordered my standard go-to pho, the Rare Beef and Beef Ball Noodle Soup and it’s not available at all locations, but I love it when I get them. This place doesn’t give too much beef balls either, but more than some other locations. I find a lot of places cut up a beef ball into 1/8’s and gives you like 5 pieces – so you don’t even get 1 beef ball!! At least here, you get more than 1 ball, so it’s a great treat!

My hsuband ordered their Satay Beef Noodle Soup and he really enjoyed the flavours of the soup. The beef was tender and quite delicious! This was suppose to be an extra large bowl, but the amount of noodles seems similar with more soup.

Overall, this was a great place to get some Vietnamese noodle soup! It’s not the best in town, but it as really good pho!! Very decent, prices are good and food tastes great!

Le La Vietnamese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Le La Vietnamese Restaurant

6624 Centre St SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 255-5665

Grumans Catering & Delicatessen – Calgary, Alberta

December 31st, 2015

We had a weekend where we wanted smoked meat sandwiches and we ventured to pretty much downtown at a place called Grumans. There wasn’t really parking outside so you do need to find street parking, which isn’t bad on weekends!

Once we got parked, we waited for a bit for a table as this place is quite popular! We knew you could order Jewish food here, so we decided to try their Chicken Matzo Soup to start with. It’s a delicious clear yet flavourful chicken broth with a dumpling! This actually was much more interesting than it looked!

As this was lunch, I wanted something a bit more hearty, with smoked meat. I decided I was going for the Grumans Reuben Sandwich and it was an excellent choice! The sandwich was perfectly toasted rye bread, with generous amount of smoked meat, topped with some sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. The menu does state there’s Russian Dressing on it, and I couldn’t tell what that was!?

My other half loves Shepherds Pies and smoked meat.. and when they came together on the menu – he knew immediately what he wanted! He ordered the Smoked Meat Shepherds Pie, it came in a dish with perfectly piped and roasted mashed potatoes. Inside was packed with Montreal smoked meat, carrots, onions and corn. A very hearty and delicious dish!

The experience here was amazing once we got inside! As mentioned, parking is tricky but it’s well worth the fight and battle! The food is made with so much love and you can see it in the servers eyes when they talk about their food. This is a place to take anyone!

Grumans Catering and Delicatessen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Grumans Catering and Deli

230 – 11 Ave SE,
Calgary, AB
(403) 261-9003

Smashburger: McKenzie Towne – Calgary, Alberta

September 15th, 2015

We were in the middle of moving and we decided we needed to grab something filling, quick and close as we had a few things lined up that was time sensitive. We decided we would go and try Smashburger in McKenzie Towne and it was amazing! We went at an odd time, so there was plenty of parking on High Street, yet Smashburgers was still busy!

We grabbed a Strawberry Milkshake and they do it properly here! It was thick, flavourful and delicious!! They gave the milkshake to you in the classic tin cup and the glass milkshake glass! It was amazing and totally brought me back in the past with this!

We ordered a classic Smashburger and basically it’s an egg bun with American cheese, Smash Sauce, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles & onion! It was totally an awesome burger, simple yet delicious!

We made a combo/meal for this meal, and we had an order of Spicy Buffalo Fries, and these fries are so well seasoned, crispy and tender, it was quite a treat! These spicy buffalo fries actually tasted like buffalo season!

Overall, it was the perfect snack and an awesome filler! We really enjoyed everything here, and I am sure we will be back for every reason imaginable!

Smashburger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Smashburger – McKenzie Towne

25 High St SE
Calgary, AB
(587) 387-2740

Thai Pagoda – Canmore, Alberta

September 15th, 2015

I was wanting some Thai food, as we recently had some that was quite disappointing. We found Thai Pagoda which is in Canmore on the main avenue of Bow Valley Trail and it’s not a large place and there’s parking outside.

I knew I wanted their hot soup as it was a chilly day, so we order Tom Kha Noodle Soup which is their spicy coconut milk soup, basically like a Tom Yum with coconut milk. We ordered this soup with chicken and it hit the spot. The soup was quite tasty and there was a good amount of noodles too! The broth was really nicely made and the noodles were a little under cooked, but as it socked up the soup, it turned out to be really flavourful.

We also ordered one of my favourite Thai dishes, we got a plate of their Pad Sa Hew and it was pretty delicious here, and it’s quite a simple dish, but it was pretty good! The dish was fresh and it was good! I really love the soft noodles with the sweet soy sauce, and that’s why this item always makes it to the top of my favourite Thai dish list!

We ended with their Sticky Mango and it was amazing! The mango tasted amazing, the rice was nice, and it was just an awesome dessert! Definitely one of our favourite sticky mango dish!

Overall, the food here was amazing! I can’t wait to come back for more dessert! The food tastes quite authentic! We had an amazing experience here!

Thai Pagoda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thai Pagoda

1306 Bow Valley Trail,
Canmore, AB
(403) 609-8090

G-men Nan Chu – Richmond, British Columbia

August 26th, 2015

I’m actually very confused about the name of this restaurant, but the name on the recipet says the restaurant is called Ramen Bar at NanChuu Japanese Izakaya, however it seems to be called G-men and you don’t see that name as the “dominate” name.

We were brought here by my sister-in-law and her husband, and this place was pretty decent! We started with some Gyozas which as usual, is my dish to order when I’m in the mood for appetizers at a Japanese restaurant. The skin here was really thin, and the filling was amazing! They pan-fried it to perfection!

The other appetizer we ordered was something I’ve never had before, and they call it Okonomiyaki which is Japanese Cabbage Pancake, which is shredded cabbage mixed into a batter and made into a “pancake”. The toppings here was pretty basic as I believe it was just bonito flakes! The dish was pretty amazing and it’s going to be something I’ll order more often!

For ramen, I ordered their Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen and this bowl of ramen is massive! It’s got lots of everything, so make sure you come with an empty belly!

We also ordered their Dan Dan Men which didn’t cross my mind as a japanese dish, as I’ve always associated as Chinese or Sichuan. But, regardless, we ordered a bowl, and it was full of flavour and spice! It was different from what I associate Dan Dan Mein to be, but it was a nice change from typical Ramen – although we were at a ramen place!

Overall, an amazing place! The place is pretty busy and pretty small, so be prepared to wait! But, it really helps build up your appetite as you wait so you can finish everything! Food is quite good, and the prices are very good too!

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G-men @ Nan Chu

1160-8391 Alexandra Road
Richmond, BC
(604) 276-8391

Toad n Turtle Pubhouse & Grill – Calgary, Alberta

August 18th, 2015

We felt like a patio this one afternoon, and found ourselves going to Toad n Turtle on 130th Avenue SE, and there, we got seated on the “side patio” instead of their roof top patio as apparently it was closed. There’s tons of parking especially after hour when the home construction store is closed. We weren’t too happy with the side patio as it’s right next to the street and it wasn’t as pleasant as it could have been, however our experience was still great!

We ordered a few appetizers with drinks, so we started out with my Virgin Caesars which was alright here. The drink wasn’t too spicy yet it wasn’t watered down, so it was fine!

We then got an order of their Rib Bites, which were bone-in pork ribs with salt and pepper seasoning. The ribs were really good and there wasn’t a lot of them either. But, they were really nicely prepared! We were expecting dry ribs, but the sauce wasn’t bad at all!

The other appetizer that we ordered was their Coconut Prawns, and there were 8 coconut coated Tiger Prawns and it came with a delicious ginger/garlic dipping sauce.

Overall, the food and the “inside” environment was really nice. I’m sure we would have really enjoyed their rooftop patio instead of inhaling the vehicles exhaust while having a quiet afternoon. The food although was delicious, we thought the portions were a little small. The service was good, so we don’t have much to complain about!

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Toad n Turtle Pubhouse & Grill

5155 130 Ave SE,
Calgary, AB
(587) 387-2635

Great Bear Restaurant – Lake Louise, Alberta

August 18th, 2015

This one afternoon, we ventured onto the Ski Lift for sightseeing purposes and on our way back down, we decided to stop into Great Bear which is on the upper floor of the Lake Louise Ski Resort. There’s lots of parking outside, but I can only imagine how busy they would be during prime ski season!

We really didn’t know what to order, so the first thing that we saw on the menu that was interesting was their Patroller’s Pie, which was ground beef with vegetables, topped with mashed potato. We upgraded the side salad to include a bison chilli, and this was the perfect meal for a cold winter day. The patrollers pie was quite delicious although it was a little dry. The chilli was really hearty and quite enjoyable!

We also ordered their Stuffed Baby Yorkies which is something my husband likes as he likes Yorkshire pudding. These were stuffed with shaved Beef with horseradish aioli & au jus on the side. These were little pillows of awesomeness! The Yorkshire puddies were crispy on the outside, light and fluffy inside, with tender beef and gravy! There’s nothing not good in this combination!

Overall, the views and atmosphere here was really amazing! The log cabin resort feel, with the ski hills right outside. It was a great time even though we weren’t into outdoor sports/activities.

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Great Bear Restaurant

The Lake Louise Ski Resort
1 Whitehorn Road,
Lake Louise, Alberta
403-522-3555