Christmas is finally in the air in Wroclaw. The lights are up, the snow is sticking & the Rynek Christmas market is as busy as ever. And if it can get any better—my medical exams have finished for the semester annnnnnddd…. I’ve moved! Yes! I’ve finally escaped the dormitory trap and have now settled in with my lovely cousin in our cozy apartment with a kitchen! Ah, a kitchen.
Last week some of your favorite Vancouver food bloggers attended the Chinese Bites Signature Dishes Tour dinner at Fatty Cow Hot Pot. Voted as best Hot Pot from both Chinese Restaurant Awards and The Georgia Straight—we all went with high expectations.
I’m pleased to say that none of us were disappointed.
We had two hot pot bases going at full force—one was a Spicy Soup Base and the other a Peanut Satay. Surprisingly, all of us preferred the spicy one—and to my luck, I was sitting right in front of it. Win!
There was a vast assortment of meat and seafood, all of which was incredibly fresh. From raw lobster to chicken hearts to fish balls—it was any hot pot lover’s dream come true.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the freshness of the seafood. I kept thinking—where on earth did they get these massive scallops and oysters!? Then I found out that Fatty Cow actually owns Jumbo Seafood just a few blocks down. It doesn’t get fresher than this folks.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the beef chucks and the pork blood. Although the pork blood was due to personal taste, the beef chunks were tough and chewy—it was quite the mouth workout. The salmon was also filled with bones and I found it to be too much work and not enough reward.
The highlight of the night was the Scallops. My god, these were so incredibly sinful. When was the last time you saw scallops this size? It took me a whopping 3 bites to finish one off.
Fatty Cows got voted number one for a reason. Everything from the ambiance to the food was memorable. If you want good quality hot pot in Vancouver then this is your go-to joint. Although Fatty Cow offers a regular dinner menu—I would stick with the hot pot. They specialize in this and they do it exceptionally well.
Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot
5108 Victoria Drive
That’s all for today.
Small Girl BIG Plate Scale:
1.Don’t waste your money 2.Mediocre 3. Good 4.Very good 5.Nobel Prize Worthy
Items up for review:
1. Porchetta Sandwich $8
5/5 (Worthy of Nobel Prize)
-Most popular and recommended sandwich at Meat & Bread.
-The Ciabatta bun was nice and crispy on ouside and soft on inside. Sadly though the bread is not made in house ( delivered from Swiss Bakery).
-Porchetta (fatty pork meat) was extremely rich in flavor.
-What made this sandwich worthy of a Nobel Prize were the “cracklings”; the pork rind/skin on the actual pork roast that got caramelized to become perfectly salty and crunchy. The cracklings also provided the sandwich with an amazing textural component.
-This is an absolute must have if you stop by Meat & bread
2. Meat & Bread Daily Special: Pemberton Meadows Beef Chuck & Blue Cheese Aioli Sandwich. $8
-Also Inside the sandwich: Caramelized Onion & Sauteed Mushroom, Blue Cheese Aioli, Arugula, Red Wine Jus.
-Despite the red wine jus and blue cheese aioli, this was actually a very “safe sandwich”. Think beef dip taken up a few notches.
-I liked it but didn’t love it. The flavors were good and it was evident that there was thought put in this sandwich, but it just wasn’t excellent.
Conclusion and Meat & Bread Must-Knows:
-This new Pender location is in the heart of downtown Vancouver, so expect long line ups during lunch hour.
-Seating consists of only one long banquet style table. More of a grab-and-go joint.
-There is a new daily special everyday, however, the Porchetta Sandwich is a menu staple.
-Extremely reasonably priced for the quality and amount of meat given.
-One thing extremely odd about this place is that they WILL NOT cut your sandwich in half. They also don’t have knifes. The reason being that “the sandwich fixings will fall out”, as one member of staff had stated to me. The sandwiches are meant to be ate as one piece, and one piece only. I have respect for this though– although, it does make sharing extremely difficult.
Small Girl BIG Plate Scale:
1.Don’t waste your money 2.Mediocre 3.Good 4.Very good 5. Nobel Prize Worthy
Items up for review:
1. Lavender Latte $3.60 (8 oz)
4/5- very good
– Very unique Latte flavor, especially for Vancouver where anything past a chai latte is difficult to find.
– Lavender flavor was present without being overwhelming
– Creamy & smooth mouth-feel.
– Absolute must-have if you stop by Cafe Medina.
2. Belgian Waffles $3.15 Per 1 Waffle + 1 Dip
5/5 – worthy of a Nobel Prize
-Perfectly crispy on the outside & delicate on the inside
-Beautiful nutty flavor
-These waffles are one of the best you will ever find in Vancouver
-Each waffle comes with a dipping sauce. We ordered the Salted Caramel and the Lavender Milk chocolate. I highly recommend both.
-NOT cheap at $3 a piece, but so, so worth it. I could probably eat 20 of these and still smile after.
3. Paella $13
-Decription: 1 baked egg, curried orzo, Hungarian chorizo, zucchini, red pepper, roasted corn, grano padarno, watercress, avocado and tomato salad.
-It was very oily (most likely from the chorizo).It wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad either
-Flavors were great, but there was just something about it that we couldn’t quite put our finger on.
-However I loved the avocados in the paella. Pretty genius addition that also provided the dish with a great textural component.
-For $13 I don’t recommend this. For $8, maybe.
Conclusion & Cafe Medina Must-Knows:
-Hands down one of the best breakfast/brunch spots in Vancouver
-Not a secret gem! Will get jam packed on weekends.
-Very cute ambiance, although, some of the tables are uncomfortably close together.
-Items you must try: Belgian Waffles, Lavender Latte
Overall, Cafe Medina is an absolute must-try in Vancouver. The waffles alone are worth the 45 minute weekend wait .
There’s a new kid on the Yaletown block and they’re awesome.
Foodies I present to you Minami Restaurant. A remarkable Japanese restaurant which I had the pleasure of getting to know at their grand opening party tonight.
The grand opening party was very extravagant. Everything from the food to the ambiance was top-notch.
Aburi Prime Rib, cubed & skewered, finished with soy glazed black truffle wild mushroom duxelle sauceAburi Salmon Oshi Sushi: local salmon pressed and dressed with Chef’s own sauce, topped with jalapéno.
The amount of love and thought put into this restaurant was refreshing. As I stated in my morning column for Vancity Buzz– this restaurant had soul; A quality which I would say many restaurants lack today.
I had the honor of meeting Seigo Nakamura, the owner and mastermind behind both Minami and its sister restaurant Miku tonight. He was a wonderful person who shared not only his resturant vision but purpose with me. He stated that he wants to “build a community” that both Minami and Miku are more to him than just “businesses”.
I can confidently state that Minami will soon house the best Japanese food in Vancovuer. The food I ate tonight was truly memorable. It was art.
If you want authentic Japanese food this is the new go-to joint.