National Patrón Perfectionists Cocktail Competition

Over the last couple of months, mixologists across Canada have been participating in local qualifiers for the National Patrón Perfectionists Cocktail Competition. More than 100 mixologist across Canada competed and it all boiled down to these last 4 finalists.

Finalists include:
Rob Redford – The Diamond, Vancouver
Makina Labrecque – Proof Cocktail Bar, Calgary
Tom Scully – F&B Walkerville, Windsor
Anne- Marie Bunday-Larose – The Watch That Ends the Night, Halifax

Each mixologist showcased their creative talents to a panel of judges and members of the audience. The event took place at Parq d6 Lounge.

Makina Labrecque won the Canadian Patrón Perfectionists 2018 and will be representing Canada in International Patrón Perfectionists Cocktail Competition.

Makina’s Cyanocitta winning cocktail

  • 1.25 oz Patrón Silver
  • 0.5 oz Ransom Dry Vermouth
  • 1 oz Szechuan peppercorn and lime oleo saccharum
  • 0.25 oz Blue Curaçao
  • 6 Albertan spruce tips
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • Garnish with 2 Albertan spruce tips

Uma Sushi

Uma sushi is a neighbourhood restaurant tucked away on W 8th and Cambie. Famous for their sushi donuts that started at Richmond night market.

We started with Uma’s salmon on fire sushi donut – aburi salmon, avocado, crabmeat, masago and furikake. There is a layer of salmon in between the rice. It was fresh, simple and had hint of smokiness. The attention to detail and execution was outstanding. I could probably eat 2 of these to myself. They are quite small.

The sashimi donburi was again, simple but fresh and tasty. I would say this is an appetizer sized dish. The dinner donburi may be bigger.

All in all, I would definitely go again.

Annual CandyTown Comes Back to Yaletown

Yaletown is set to transform into an enchanted winter wonderland with the arrival of Vancouver’s beloved annual Christmas festival, CandyTown. Back for its seventh year this November, Santa will have more surprises up his sleeve than ever before with a jam-packed selection of seasonal delights that will inspire even the most stubborn of scrooges to celebrate.

The one-day-only event will take place in the heart of Yaletown on Saturday, November 24, welcoming visitors to drop by any time between 12pm to 7pm to rejoice in the spirit of the most wonderful time of the year. Hosted by the Yaletown Business Improvement Association, the Christmas-themed fête is free of charge and draws upwards of 15,000 partygoers to Mainland, Hamilton and Davie streets, with attendees of all ages equally enthusiastic to indulge in the wide variety of food, drinks and festivities.

With no shortage of kid-friendly entertainment, CandyTown will be paid a special visit by a resident jolly old Saint Nicholas who will welcome children from 12pm – 3pm at his North Pole home, located at Bill Curtis Square at the Canada Line Station. Visits with the Ice Queen herself will follow from 3pm – 7pm for youngsters excited to come face-to-face with holiday royalty. Photo opportunities are free, though donations will be accepted for B.C. Children’s Hospital (suggested donation is $5 minimum per family). Stilt walkers and roaming holiday characters will interact with revellers, to the wonderment of tots – while live music and carolling will set the stage for Yuletide cheer. An assortment of festive crafts & gifts along with a life-sized Santa sleigh ice carving, dancing gingerbreads and specialty cocktails will be available. Little tykes with a sweet tooth can also partake in the event’s signature candy kebob-making workshop at the popular Candy Hut.

Visitors can plan a head start on holiday shopping at the All I Want for Christmas Gift Market, complete with unique artisanal goods that range from clothing and home décor to pet accessories, jewellery and flora. Neighbourhood vendors including Skoah, The Hive Printing, SweetLegs, Standout Boutique and Divine Vines will also have their latest collections on display, giving guests a sneak peek into their nearby bricks-and-mortar locations. Embark on a magical horse-drawn carriage ride outside the Roundhouse Community Centre Turntable and be led on a relaxing seaside jaunt along Pacific Boulevard, Hamilton and Davie streets with a suggested $2 donation to the B.C. Children’s Hospital to help spur on the horses. Sports fans can pay a visit to the Vancouver Whitecaps ‘Caps Cruiser’, where there will be friendly soccer matches and opportunities to win prizes with one of the city’s favourite mascots, Spike.

New this year, CandyTown will expand onto Hamilton and Davie streets. Adults will have their own set of attractions to choose from on Hamilton Street where festivalgoers can dance the day away at an interactive public disco decked out with a glitter station, take a stroll through a life-sized inflatable igloo or enjoy live ice sculpture demonstrations that will take place between 1pm and 7pm. Also on-site will be Aunt Leah’s Christmas Tree Lot pop-up, where customers may pre-order trees for pick-up – and environment enthusiasts can check out the Vancouver Aquarium AquaZone Program and Science World’s ‘Science on the Spot’ demonstration station. 19+ guests can eat, drink and be merry with a self-guided CandyTown Cocktail Tour, kicking off at the Vietnamese hot spot, House Special. Hearty appetites can flock to a diverse array of food trucks that will satisfy every craving, including Gary’s Kettle Corn, Sable Shortbread, Cannoli King, Damien’s Belgian Waffles, Sweet Thea Bakery and more. The excitement continues onto Davie Street, where there will be an extension of artisan vendors and gift tents. Guests may also enjoy visits to Engine 374 – Canada’s most historic steam locomotive – decked out in twinkling Christmas lights for the holiday season.

CandyTown takes place on Saturday, November 24 from 12pm to 7pm along Mainland, Hamilton and Davie streets in the heart of Yaletown. The event is free and open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to bring cash donations for the B.C. Children’s Hospital, Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Rotary Club. For more information, visit Yaletowninfo.com.

Caffe La Tana Set to Open It’s Doors

Team behind East Vancouver’s Osteria Savio Volpe & Pepino’s Spaghetti House open the doors of their third concept, La Tana – Italian for a fox’s den.

An old world-inspired establishment, Caffè La Tana is styled after the Italian alimentari: a small, neighbourhood gathering place serving pastries and simple meals; brewing strong, Italian-style espresso; and stocking locally sourced organic produce; fresh house made pasta; and the finest imported Italian meats, cheeses and dry goods.

In addition to groceries and coffee, central to the La Tana kitchen is the exposed Pasta Fresca table where fresh pastas — hand-cut everyday egg noodles, special seasonal stuffed pasta, and lesser known, harder-to-find shapes like trofie, tajarin, and orecchiette — will be made on the premises daily and will be available uncooked for purchase as well as prepared in-house for lunch. In addition to plates of pasta, small meals such as ‘eggs in purgatory’, panettone french toast, and bombolini with vanilla cream; veal tonnato, prosciutto & mortadella stuffed gnocco fritto and a porchetta sandwich, will be available throughout the day. Continue reading “Caffe La Tana Set to Open It’s Doors”

Yuma Japanese Cuisine – 1 Year Anniversary 8 Course Dinner

Yuwa Japanese Cuisine will celebrate its first year in fine style by hosting an exclusive one-night-only Anniversary Dinner on Tuesday, October 23.

The event begins with a sparkling wine reception at 6 p.m. before Yuwa Executive Chef and Co-Owner Masahiro Omori demonstrates his signature take on the regional cuisines of his home country of Japan with an eight-course dinner that will be paired with rare sake and wine selected by Yuwa Co-Owner and Sake Sommelier Iori Kataoka. Tickets to the Anniversary Dinner are available for $99 per person plus taxes and gratuity, total of $120 pp.

Highlights of the menu include a selection of canapés, ringo-gama (roasted duck, eggplant, white mushroom with spicy miso in BC Fuji apple), madai uroko age (fried tilefish and maitake tempura with Niigata Mojio seaweed salt) and braised Wagyu on renkon manju (thinly sliced Wagyu rib eye on lotus root cake, carrot, fried lotus root, wasabi, kinoko an-kake). Continue reading “Yuma Japanese Cuisine – 1 Year Anniversary 8 Course Dinner”

El Santo

El Santo, is a Mexican restaurant located in New West that focuses on quality ingredients and sustainable food practices. The food is delicious and price is very reasonable. The environment or decor was fun and relaxing.

We went here for lunch and had one of the most satisfying meals we have had in a long time.  I have read the reviews on Google and people were complaining about the price and portion. Relative to other dining Mexican establishments in the lower mainland and downtown that I have been to, this is right on par. El Santo, is more affordable than chains such as Cactus, White spot etc. where an entree will set you back $28. My pet peeve of other bloggers and reviewers. If you want cheap, stay at home and cook.

Whew, now that I got that off my chest.

My favourite dish was the braised ham hock with a side of tortilla’s and rice. This is a huge dish and meant to be shared. The braised beef was tender, juicy and packed full of flavour. Soaked the tortilla with some of the broth and I could have ended my meal there and be completely satisfied.

We had the verduras torta, which is essentially a sandwich. It comes with a choice of potato or salad. Stuffed with poblano peppers, zucchini, sweet onion, tomato, Oaxaca cheese. The bread held up to the sandwich, you get a balance of spicy, sweet, savoury and sour.

Finished up with churros, cinnamon & sugar dusted, dulce de leche. I may be bias because I have a sweet tooth but this was amazing. Reminds me of of the freshly made PNE mini doughnuts, but with a little more crisp, dipped with a milk sauce that had a tinge of coffee for punch.

So go and try it for yourself. Don’t get caught up in reviews or you will miss out on some amazing food.

El Santo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fresh to Death Returns – Celebration of Fresh Hop Beers

Fresh to Death Returns: Victoria’s Harvest Celebration of Fresh Hop Beers on Saturday, October 6 from 2pm to 6pm at the Roundhouse at Bayview Place. The event will feature up to 25 fresh hop beers from BC breweries, along with fresh hop cider and even non-alcoholic fresh hop kombucha. Continue reading “Fresh to Death Returns – Celebration of Fresh Hop Beers”