Posts in category "- Vancouver Downtown"

Minami Restaurant

Since its grand opening back in June, I’ve been to Minami Restaurant in Yaletown a few times now. It’s the sister restaurant of Miku in Coal Harbour and, much like its older sister, Minami is developing a fine reputation of being one of the better Japanese restaurants in the city. From the ingredients to the wait staff, owner of Minami, Mr. Seigo Nakamura’s philosophy of top notch quality carries throughout.

I’m going to cheat and make this a food photo post so you can have a taste of what this Japanese fine dining has to offer. By now, I must have tried half the items on this menu (and was busy eating to take pictures of all my food ;)

I always love the view of an open kitchen as it’s like watching a well rehearsed show and appreciating the artists at work

If you work or live in Yaletown, it’s a satisfying choice for lunch. You can sample the restaurant’s famed aburi sushi with the lunch aburi set…

Or chow down on the Minami Tuna Burger and Market Green Salad. The perk is you get a local discount off of your bill!

For dinner, step away from the usual appetizer and try their hamachi gyozas (warning… it’ll challenge your tastebuds as it is on the ‘fishy’ side – aside from the literal sense)

And if you can handle the heat, share the Spicy Kaisen Soba Pepperoncino

Of course, you gotta order a sushi or two…sorry to disappoint but you’re not going to find your typical California Roll on this menu
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To pair with all this food, try one Minami’s original or classic cocktails from the list created by one Vancouver’s best bartenders, Shaun Layton

Minami is a much needed addition to the Yaletown scene. I warmly welcome you.

Minami Restaurant
1118 Mainland St
Minami on Urbanspoon

Guanaco Truck

The boom of Vancouver street food continued this year with the introduction of 12 new food trucks. I embarrassingly haven’t had the time to venture out to sample from the many culinary trucks of Vancouver. Furthermore, my self-imposed weekday diet restriction sort of impedes on my ability to gorge during lunch time….but I would make the occasional exception. This particular Spring day, the sun came out in full force and we escaped from our gray office cocoon to bask in it. We decided to trek to the corner of Seymour & West Georgia to try out the Guanaco Truck.

The colourful food truck was started by Jose Manzano, who originally worked in the local North Hollywood industry. He humbly began his cooking career by treating the crew members to his El Salvadoran food. And then with some encouragement, entrepreneurial spirit, and seeing a very unique niche opportunity, his ‘on set’ lunch sharing became a mobile business. It’s also a family affair with his mother and sister helping out with all aspects of the food truck operations.

Jose’s food truck serves a good variety of food for those with small to large appetites. The menu is an array of Salvadoran comfort food of Tamales, yuca frita, pasteles, and pupusas. There’s also a selection of sweet chilled drinks to quench your thirst like the traditional Horchata.

I admit it…I’m no expert on Salvadoran food but whatever I ate was good, hearty, and coma inducing filling.  For my sunny lunch, I ordered the Ayote Pupusas.
A pupusas is a thick hand made tortilla, made using a maise flour dough, which is usually filled with a blend of cheese, meats, beans and sometimes vegetables. My Ayote pupusas was a combination of savoury refried black beans, cheese and zucchini served Yuca frita, curtido (pickled slaw) and salsa de tomate (fresh tomato sauce).

The pupusas was piping hot, doughy, chewy, and very cheesy. It reminded of me of the Chinese green onion cake but thicker and chewier. The citrus side of tomato sauce and pickled slaw helped cut into the cheesiness. The yucca frita (fries) was crunchy like regular thick potato fries but a bit more on the starchy side. I also went for the Horchata ( beverage made of morro seeds, ground cocoa, cinnamon, sesame seeds, nutmeg, tigernuts and vanilla) as my post lunch dessert.

If you need some sunny colours on a rainy day or pretend you’re in a far off exotic place, come by and chow down at the Guanaco Truck.

Guanaco Food Truck
Seymour & Georgia from 11:00 – 3:00 pm
Guanaco Truck on Urbanspoon

Lise Watier and Wine Tasting

This is not your usual food and wine blog post but it does reflect my other beloved combination: makeup and wine. The Lise Watier 40th Anniversary celebration at UVA Wine Bar was an intimate event to talk about their company and products with a wine and cheese tasting session.  I’ve always liked UVA Wine Bar for their cocktails (ask for Evelyn or Mark!), the small intimate room, and outstanding PR & Customer Service (I complained about them on Twitter once and they responded back asap…total respect for that). So with all this in mind, I thought it was too good of an opportunity to  miss out.

The Lise Watier team was in town to celebrate with local Vancouver medias and bloggers the 40th anniversary of the company.

In addition, other highlights were the Fall collection Millésime reveal and the overview of Lise Watier best sellers that marked the history throughout the last 40 years.  Some of their best sellers include their Professional Correctors, Waterproof Eyeliner (which I use and love), lipstick and crayon, and the Neige Eau de toilette.  At the event, they also announced about a new eCommerce site and a focus on expanding to the United States.  All around fantastic news for this reputable Canadian company.

As part of the evening, attendees had the chance to do a quick makeover with one of the makeup artists.  Of course, I went in to get my face done and came out with a new one (kidding).

We also got very generous swag of their Millesime collection: Duo Shadow and Glitter, Rouge Gourmand, Eyeshadow Quartet, eye crayon, and a wine glass (how fitting)

I’ve been using the eyeshadow quartet and it’s really amazing.  Even after a few hours, it still stays on as if you just freshly applied it.

Now on to the good stuff…the WINE! We had tastings of some pretty stellar bottles (my below scribbles from the orientation and tasting):

Mission Hill S.L.C. Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – An excellent white blend which is creamy and smooth on the palate. Quite fruity with a hint of honey. It definitely pairs well with fish, seafood, and chicken.

La Stella Fortissimo – Another excellent local wine. It’s a harmonious blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and cabernet franc. It’s deep full bodied red with a strong cherries presence and hints of chocolate and coffee. A good wine to bring to a cheese tasting

Cassini Cellars Syrah – This syrah is deep and intense with flavours that are more oaky, peppery, and spices-y (is that a word?)

It was a fun, well organized, intimate affair.  We were all very spoiled, had a fun time…..and I’ll probably be visiting UVA Wine Bar very soon and making myself very comfy at the bar.

UVA Wine Bar
900 Seymour St in Moda Hotel
Uva Wine Bar on Urbanspoon