Donnellan's Chipper

If you read our blog regularly (and if you don't, why not? And by the way follow us on Instagram also!), you will remember that Vanfoodster's Downtown Tasting Plates included Donnellan's. Unfortunately, when I arrived at 8 pm, they were overrun with tasters and the wait was long to the point of being silly. Management candidly admitted that they hadn't quite anticipated what would happen and readily agreed to a 'rain cheque' situation which I thought was very good of them. They certainly didn't have to do that!
Marie and I showed up on a Saturday just at noon and made pigs of ourselves. It was a combination of wanting to try a lot of things and not anticipating how filling portions would be. It turns out, however, that you can reheat fries in the oven with decent results if you have leftovers.
First came most of the tasting plates offering which included the DC hamburger, breakfast sandwich, and a deep fried sausage. OK so we decided we needed to try a piece of fish also and if you can identify it in the picture, you might win something. The burger was ok. Meaty and with a decent bun. The breakfast sandwich egg was not overcooked and accompanied by bacon, sausage and pudding. It occurred to me that we are probably talking about blood pudding which creates a problem for me but I don't know that for sure (and I failed to ask). The sausage was a sausage and the fish wins in this particular assortment.
Spice Bag is a weird name but it was the first of the French fry parade. Bits of deep-fried chicken and what not made for a tasty mix. We are still looking at the Tasting Plates offering.
Next, we got into the Vanfoodster French Fries Challenge which started to reveal why Donollans is open until 3 or 4 every night. If you have been seriously imbibing on Granville Street (perhaps at Donnellan's own pub a few doors down), then this is what you need to eat at the end of your evening (morning?).
I can't even remember which was which but Fries with Curry, Taco Fries and Garlic Cheese Fries were all ridiculously tasty but not on your doctor's list of recommendations. For God's sake, don't tell him that you came here!
All the folks here were very friendly and many of them spoke with a lovely Irish lilt. The food was very good, especially if as previously mentioned, you have been partying on Granville. It's a casual place and comfortable enough unless you're here for a tasting plates event!
For what its worth, we give Donnallen's 3 1/2 out of 5 or if you're here late, 4 1/2 out of 5!

Donnellan's Chipper Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

DD Mau - Chinatown

After the wonderful Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, we were again peckish and chilly. DD Mau was right there on Pender Street calling to us.
We were seated right away in this chic, smallish but comfortable restaurant and ordered their DD Mau Wings with fish sauce glaze. 
Fish sauce itself can be overpowering but this was applied by a deft hand. The evidence was in the aroma upon their arrival and on our fingers after eating but only subtly flavoured the wings which were delicious and crispy and everything that you can ask from wings!
We tried a couple of skewers off of their daily sheet. The first were called Betel Leaf. These were ground meat skewers wrapped in betel leaf which lent a maybe peppery citrusy flavour which was very nice.
The others were a pork meatball skewer which were rich and tasty. Finally, we were craving (OK. I was craving) Bahn Mi.
We had the Crispy Pork Bahn Mi. It was quite good. It was not quite the perfect bun while it had the requisite crunchy exterior and soft interior. Perhaps I am setting my sights to high or fantasizing about what it should be like. Also, I could have done with a bit more of the crispy pork although there was a generous amount of very good roasted meat. And the excellent vegetables definitely played their part.
All in all, we find ourselves fans of DD Mau. Service was friendly and our food arrived quickly. They happily tolerated my endless questions about betel leaf.
For what its worth, we rate DD Mau a 3 1/2 out of 5.
DD Mau Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba

Ramen is the perfect tonic for the cold weather but what about ramen without the broth? We have needed to check this out for some time.
Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba has made its way to Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver all the way from Japan less than 6 months ago. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and had maybe a 10 minute wait for a table. They have a  nice little area to sit while waiting which is kind of pleasant.
We ordered our Niku Mazesoba as a combo that (of several options) came with Chicken Karaage which was quite good. It was crispy and hot and the meat was tender and juicy.

The mazesoba itself, is the noodle, a multigrain soba noodle with some lovely chew made fresh daily. Theses noodles brought us some serious pleasure. As a bowl, it came topped with decent chashu, spicy minced pork, ground saba fish, a good whack of minced garlic, green onion, seaweed and the now iconic egg yolk. Its not profoundly complicated but there are instructions at the table as to how to eat it. Sorry to spoil the surprise but you basically mix it all together. It was an amazingly tasty dish and I'm not surprised that it has become such a hit in Vancouver. When you run out of noodles, they will bring you a little bowl of steamed rice to mix with the rest of the sauce. This is an excellent treat but not cheap at $15.49 (I am comparing it to typical ramen which is not really fair).
We tried their ramen also but it is not their specialty and while it was tasty enough, we have had as good or better elsewhere. It's not like we didn't like it. The noodles were tasty (not the soba noodle)  regular ramen noodles, the chashu was decent and the broth good. We came for the mazesoba though and you should also.
Of course, we had to try the little Hokkaido Creme Cone. Again not cheap at $6 but house made and very tasty. A nice little crepe cone housed it and they gave us a couple of little plastic shovels to consume it. Wonderful! 
A sharp looking, comfortable enough place. They greet you with the traditional,"Irasshaimase!"which we love. Efficient and friendly are these folks! If you haven't been here yet, you need to make it a priority!
For what it's worth, we give it 4 1/2 out of 5 especially for serving something unique!

Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Grey Olive Cafeteria

Yes, we were absolutely drawn in by Instagram again. Actually, it's not a bad way to choose a restaurant but you should definitely read the foodie blog posts also. I had read the reviews but not very well and was still expecting something called a cafeteria to be larger.
It was a breakfast brunch kind of thing on a Saturday morning at about 10 am and I expected a lineup but we found ourselves seated right away! Good deal. You choose off the breakfast, brunch or features menu at that time of day on the weekend, and place your order at the counter. Your food gets delivered to you when it is ready. It didn't take long.
The G.O. Breaky Sandwich came with a "cheese skirt" so how could we resist! With bacon, chive scrambled eggs, caramelized onions, smoked shallot aioli and arugula on an excellent brioche bun (got to love brioche), this sandwich had a lot going on but everything combined into a tasty thing of beauty.
We inclined towards the American south and ordered biscuits and gravy (the chicken and waffles could be introduced the same way). Two perfectly poached eggs on a cheese biscuit with rich and peppery gravy! This was also a wonderful thing! 
We chose potatoes to go with our biscuits and these were ridiculous! Apparently, they brine the cut up potatoes before frying them and the result is crispy little golden chunks that were startlingly light. I will be trying this at home although I neglected to ask how long they brine them. 
There is comfortable seating for maybe a couple of dozen people here. The staff is friendly and our food arrived quickly. I would come back for brunch but I expect this would be a great place for lunch also.
For what it's worth, Marie and I give this place 4 out of 5.

The Gray Olive Cafeteria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chinese New Year Parade / Fortune Food Fair- February 10, 2019

It was not warm but people showed up anyway! Apparently, there were about 50,000 of us lined up along the cold streets of Vancouver's Chinatown to watch 3000 participants in this 2 1/2 hour parade.
Personally, I come for the dragons, some of which were quite cuddly!
And others of which were quite elaborate!
There were participants of all ages!
And I was impressed by the cultural diversity!
After an hour or so, our hands and toes were starting to near frostbite cold so we sought warmth and food at the Fortune Sound Club. I had no idea this place was here but they were holding a Fortune Food Fair which started even as the parade continued outside.
Bao Down, DDMau, Maria Gamboa's Pilipino and others were represented each with a few simple offerings. For example, from Dicky Dumps we had Spicy Shanghai Wontons which warmed us nicely.
Along with a couple of baos, crispy pork and vegan from Bao Down, we felt those huger pangs disappear.
We finished off with Mochi from Asomi Mochi. These guys don't have a brick and mortar location but supply their treats to local restaurants.
We enjoyed their Green Tea and Strawberry Mochi.
Soon we were fit to watch more of the 2019 Lunar New year Parade!

Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates Vancouver - Part Two

Having just left Mumbai Local and being suitably impressed, I crossed the road to a place I've already enjoyed a couple of times in the past, Davie Dosa Company. No one shouted, "Mike!" as I walked in the door but I felt like I was greeted as a somewhat familiar face!
The offering here was perhaps a bit more rustic and made for a nice contrast to the offering at Mumbai Local. Sprouted Lentil Pancakes were tasty and comforting and the Coconut Veg Avial served as a perfect dip for them. We also enjoyed a couple of Chettinad Kara Paniyaram savory muffins. Dessert was Kesari, a semolina pudding. Very nice!
Davie Dosa is a comfortable place and one always feels welcomed!
Next came another decent hike to the corner of Robson and Denman. This had the advantage of allowing my appetite to be somewhat restored for Pacific Poke. Everything looked good at Pacific Poke and so the answer was to order right off the menu and let these guys do their stuff.
So I tried their Keefer Bowl with Quinoa (lots of options) and a coconut drink.
It is a bit of a  wee place with a few tables upstairs that were occupied. I enjoyed my poke at the counter, said my thank yous and set off on my longest trek yet, all the way to Granville and Davie!. Not exactly brilliant planning but I enjoy the exercise! I arrived at Donnellan's Chipper, excited to try this deep fried Irish treats haven that has been blowing up on Instagram and in the blogs since opening a couple of months ago. As I stepped in through the door, I knew that I was in trouble. The place was packed and there were people waiting for food at many and more waiting at the door. Long story short....40 minutes for a table. Eventually, I was given permission to come back another time and try the goods. So that where I stand now! I'll let you know how it goes!

Pacific Poke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates Vancouver - Part One

Another Vanfoodster Tasting Plates event! These are good fun and a chance meet fellow foodies and to try some new restaurants! We met inside and out of the cold at Bonus Bakery Cafe to pick up our tickets and maps. Bonus was good enough to send us on our way with a few of their plant based treats!
I carried mine around in a box all evening and ended up eating it on the sky train ride home!
A chocolate chip cookie (with a little touch of salt in pretzel form), a blueberry muffin and a brownie and they were all very good. I love the plant-based thing. 
I inadvertently managed to plan myself into the longest walk possible over the course of the evening. I volunteered to start at the Davie Street restaurants because everyone else was starting at Pacific Poke and  (the plan was for not everyone to show up at the same place at the same time as apparently, we were 140 participants!)
So I skipped across to Davie Street and Mumbai Local. This is a fairly new place that has been getting some foodie attention and for good reason.
Their offering included my second foray into the tasty world of "Chaat" in the form of Shev Puri, then a Prawn Rava, a Chicken Lollipop and Shrikhand. I had to Google the last one and it turned out to be a traditional sweet starting with yogurt and in  this case, ending with pineapple. Very tasty! We will definitely be back to Mumbai Local to try more!
Stay tuned for part two and some real walking (and waiting).

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Are you guys eating again? At some point Marie and I became the kind of people who take pictures of everything we eat, whether in a restaura...