Dessert, Food, Travel, Vancouver

I realized that it is quite difficult to find a convenient cream puff store in Vancouver. There are options like Chewy Junior or Thierry, but I’m talking about really delicious, creamy with excellent choux exterior cream puffs. The only place I’ve found heaven sent cream puffs in Vancouver was at Beta5 Chocolates. Hidden in Strathcona in an unusual place to have a dessert shop, people would make their way to Beta5 for their chocolates, pastries and other sweet desserts. Who knew that a dessert shop would open in a warehouse area?

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S’Mores

The marshmallow top gave the cream puff a s’mores and camp fire like experience, other than that, there isn’t much “s’mores” in this cream puff.

The choux pastry was just as crispy as the rest of the other cream puffs.

I wish the cream inside had more marshmallow flavours to it because it tasted like normal cream to me.

Vietnamese Coffee

There wasn’t an overwhelming coffee flavour in this cream puff but it really tasted like a cup of Vietnamese coffee that you would order at a Vietnamese restaurant.

The top level of cream was fluffier and lighter in texture and taste, while the filling was heavier, creamier and richer in coffee flavours. The balance was excellent making the cream puff a very enjoyable confection.

85% Dark Chocolate

Calling all chocolate lovers, this cream puff has a chocolate exterior and interior.

With a thin piece of dark chocolate on top, the exterior tasted like a double chocolate cookie with a rich and decadent chocolate cream filling inside. I thought that this was too sweet for me but Jacky really enjoyed it.

Banana Cream Puff

I fell in love with this cream puff. Not only do I love banana in any of my desserts, but overall, the cream puff’s flavours were so creamy and the choux pastry was extra crispy.

When I bit into this, it instantly reminded me of banoffee pie but without the toffee and the caramel. Similar to the Vietnamese Coffee cream puff, the top layer of cream was light and the inside was rich and heavy with banana flavours.

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Happy eating and never stop eating!
BETA5 Chocolates on Urbanspoon

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Food, Thai, Toronto, Travel

Before going to Kekou Gelato for dessert, my friend took me to one of the top 5 restaurants on Urbanspoon Toronto. Before going there, I didn’t know that Khao San Road was a popular restaurant in Toronto so I took my time to walk there. Little did I know that even on a weekday, this place was jam packed with people similar to a Bang Kok street market. From two blocks away, I saw a large crowd standing out on the street and I was hoping that they weren’t lining up for Khao San Road. Well, they were and luckily my friend got there earlier so we got seats after 5 minutes of waiting. Normally, it would take half an hour.

We got bar seats and service was very attentive. The menus were given to us and within 5 minutes, the waitress came back and asked us if we were ready. I don’t blame them especially with the long line up outside of the restaurant. The place was crowded and there wasn’t a lot of walking space.

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Khao Soi

What’s in it: Egg noodles, golden curry, coconut milk, crispy noodles, scallions, coriander, lime and beef.

When I ate this, it reminded me of the Panang Red Curry from The Noodle Box, but an upgraded version. In short form, this was basically egg noodles and beef in golden curry, coconut milk topped with crispy noodles. Forget scallions, coriander and lime because they seemed to be nonexistent in this golden bowl.

The coconut milk was very distinct from everything else in the Khao Soi. The taste was very rich and creamy and all the ingredients were practically soaked in it. If you’re not into coconut, I wouldn’t suggest ordering this because even the golden curry couldn’t tone down the coconut milk.

The crispy noodle addition was a very smart choice because not only did it offer texture to the dish, but it made the dish look very pretty and exciting to eat when it was presented.

I came to a point when I would purposely let the golden curry drip off the noddles from the side of my bowl because the flavours were too intense. The golden curry was also very thick and I don’t think it would  be wise to drink it after finishing the noodles and beef.

Khao San Road on Urbanspoon

Italian, Toronto, Travel

Other than eating with my family, I also got a chance to meet some of my old high school friends from Hong Kong in Toronto. Since I was the visitor, my friend wanted me to decide where to eat for dinner. My cousin recommended Bar Buca  because she told me that their food was unique and pretty good. Bar Buca was comfortable for a catch up session with my friend but since the sun was out that day, we decided to soak in some sun outside instead of hiding inside at the dim lit bar.

Toronto is currently huge on snack bars. Bar Buca is a place where you can go for a quick lunch or dinner on a weekday or a nice and long brunch on a Saturday morning. However, Bar Buca is quite a costly Italian fare with smaller bites, so if you’re in for something big, this might not be the place for you. Their savoury menu consists of cicchetti (small bites), shiacciata (stuffed focaccia), piatti freddi (cold plates), spuntini (hot plates) and even spiedini (skewers). The menu was awfully confusing to me because their combinations of ingredients were very diverse and I have to admit, I had to Google some of the terms.

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Assaggini

My friend and I couldn’t decide on what to order since there were many interesting options that we have tried. After doing a bit more research on Google and Foursquare, we decided that our indecisiveness would be cured by ordering the Assaggini for a taste of all of their small bites placed in a beautiful tier arrangement. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

(Top Left) Nodini – bread knot, rosemary and garlic.

The rosemary and olive oil flavours on the bread knots were very strong and earthy. The garlic gave it an extra lingering punch at the end.

The bread knots were bit a cold and tough to chew on.

(Top Right) Polpette Di Capra – Sicilian style goat meatballs with ricotta, pine nuts and raisins.

I was bit surprised that they served us the goat meatballs since we already ordered it from the spuntini options. I’ll write the review for it at the bottom.

(Bottom right) Sardella Calabrese – fermented young smelts, crostino, chili and burrata.

This was my second favourite in the Assaggini. For those of you who don’t like fishy flavours, you would not want to order this.

The young smelts were on point in its own fishy flavours and with the chilli paste on top, the blend of spiciness and fishiness was exciting to eat. I got to a point where I had to take a sip of water because it got a bit too hot.

The chili was very strong that I couldn’t really taste the burrata on top, which I thought was very creamy and delicious when I tasted it separately.

(Bottom left) Panino Bagnato – lampredotto, salsa verde and peperoncini.

This was my favourite option because they have mastered beef tripe in a bun.

The salsa verde gave the tripe so much spice and the bun was crispy while the juice from the tripe and salsa verde was dripping out.

The Panino Bagnato definitely had a surprise in the middle of the bun. Placed right in the centre of the bun was a lovely piece of hot peperoncini that had me drinking ever last drop of water in my glass. It was like a sudden bomb that exploded but it did compliment the tripe and salsa verde.

 

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Porchetta

What’s in it: roast tuscan pork, apple mostarda, agliata and mascarpone.

From the sweetness and crispiness in the apple mostarda to the saltiness in the roast tuscan pork, every ingredient in this shiacciata was a delicious fusion with distinct flavours that protrude in every bite.

I absolutely loved the porchetta because it looked so simple but once I bit into it, the flavours were delicious and harmonious together.

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Polpette Di Capra

What’s in it: Sicilian style goat meatballs with ricotta, pine nuts and raisins.

The texture of the goat meatballs was fantastic and the meat was very moist and juicy.

The tomato sauce had a hint of spiciness in it with rich tomato flavours, almost masking the ricotta cheese. Regardless, the tomato sauce was executed perfectly with the goat meatballs.

Bar Buca did an excellent job in fusing sweet and savoury together in one dish. My point is once again proven in the raisins added to the Polpette Di Capra that were a delectable sweet addition to the rich tomato sauce.

Bar Buca on Urbanspoon

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