The One

Why do I feel like we have never heard of this place? Was I away when it opened or has it just been around a long time and been kept secret? It was very busy so evidently, it is a popular haunt for the folks in South Burnaby where it lurks on Buller near Kingsway. The One presents the usual challenge for me at a Taiwanese restaurant namely, an endless selection of things I would like to be eating.

We went with Marie's kids and grandkids (a selection of them anyway) after visiting the Selfie...I mean the Sunflower Festival in Richmond. We didn't have to wait too long for a table for 7 of us, although it was close to 9pm on a Sunday evening. 
So many of us meant a lot of dishes to photograph and comment on. First up was Deep Fried Chicken Skin, certifiably the most unhealthy dish known to man but oh so tasty in small quantities! Best to share rather than making it your main course!
The Beef Noodle Soup was impressive also. Beefy and with really decent noodles, some greens and a generous helping of beef balls.
My own choice was Stir-Fried Lamb with XO Sauce and Noodles. This was tasty enough and the noodles and sauce were great. However, the lamb bordered on shoe leather. It presented quite a challenge to my jaw and never really did get eaten.
The kids like the Ham and Eggs Fried Rice so much so that they got two orders. I thought it was tasty enough.
This dish of little bites was (along with a bowl of rice) part of a meal set (I don't remember which). A soy sauce egg, spring roll, something close to kimchee and a sauced beef. It would have nicely rounded out a meal set for a sole dinner but got absorbed into the family meal here.
The Deep Fried Squid (this might have been the main for the meal set) was a tad on the chewier side. My jaw got more of a workout here than I would usually look for, but the squid was tasty and salty and enjoyable in small portions.
Finally, there was Sliced Beef in Pancake. I am a big fan of Chinese pancake and this one was pretty good. The thinly sliced beef was a tasty addition. This was probably my favourite item of our late evening feast.
This is a fairly chic place and they are handling the whole COVID thing well with spacing and taking info for tracking purposes. Our servers were efficient and friendly and had the whole social distancing thing under control.
Food                    3 out of 5
Comfort               4 out of 5
Service                4 out of 5
Value                   3 out of 5

The One Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dine Oustside Vancouver - Chimec Fried Chicken and Burger

Always in to try a new fried chicken joint, Chimec also had a Picnic 2 Go as part of the Dine Outside Vancouver Festival. Located on Denman close to Robson, this meant we were within walking distance of several nice places to set up our blanket and picnic.

They offered a pretty good deal for the picnic and they had a separate Special Offer (also as part of the festival).
So we lugged our couple of picnic bags to Coal Harbour and sat down in the shade. The $25 picnic consisted of some very decent fried chicken Five pieces that were meaty and nicely juicy were the main attraction.
There was a generous box of some pretty good fries that would have been better straight out of the fryer and had they not suffered our walk to the park.
Finally, a nice little Ceasar Salad with a few croutons. This needed to be assembled which was obviously a good thing! Then there was the Special Offer; more chicken!
A dozen Wings for ten bucks did not seem like a bad deal. Again they were pretty decently crispy and tasty. I know it's just fried chicken and everybody seems to be opening a fried chicken joint these days. I'm not going to tell you they are the best ever but they're not bad.  
Back at headquarters on Denman, there are a few tables and some fairly friendly folks serving up your order. They have burgers too as their monicker suggests.
Food                3 out of 5            
Comfort          4 out of 5 (a Coal Harbour picnic!)
Service            3 1/2 out of 5
Value               3 1/2 out of 5

Chhmec Fried Chicken and Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dine Outside Vancouver - Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen

I had visited Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen many years ago (under different management, it seems) and enjoyed their interesting menu and hospitality. The suggestion of the Himalayas conjures up thoughts of yak's milk and completely exotic dishes that we have never heard of but in reality, while unique the cuisine (as served in Vancouver) is not that far from some of the Indian food we know and love. Don't be afraid!
When we saw that GHR had prepared a Picnic 2 Go for DOV, we were all in. Gurkha is located on Davie Street where you can't miss them, beside the Shoppers Drug Mart. While we waited, we had a glass of water and enjoyed their outside patio. Then we gathered up 2 bags of picnic and walked down the hill to Sunset Beach, the perfect dining room.
There we took stock of our little feast which cost only $20 each for the two of us.
For appetizers, we chose one order of Chicken Momos and one order of Vegetarian Momos. While momos can be a pretty sturdy dumpling, we found these to be pleasantly chewy and with a tasty filling. The dips, of course, round out the experience, one being cilantro based, a sort of milder curry and one fairly spicy sauce.
We chose Chicken Noodles as one of our mains. There was a lot of this! Tasty saucy noodles and a decent amount of chicken and vegetables. This was not too spicy and seemed like an Asian leaning sauce which was rich and had some depth!
Next was the Chicken Curry. Again this was a generous portion with rice. I always whine about takeout butter chicken being all sauce but this was the opposite. There was a little bit of heat in this delicious curry and was great with Basmati rice.
One of these mains also came with lentils which always make me happy.
Finally 2 tasty and refreshing desserts. One was Coconut Rice Pudding which I could eat all day long. The other was Cheese Pistachio Lush. I had never heard of this before but apparently, it is a layered dessert based on a cheesecake? I'm not quite sure as its hard to Google a definition without ending up at a cosmetics store. The picnic came with a soft drink and we ended up with a lot left over for the next day.
They have a comfortable little dining room and lots of patio space at GHK where you can dine a little remote from the noise of Davie Street. This was our best of all 3 of our DOV experiences and highly recommend that you give it a try.
Food                 4 1/2 out of 5
Comfort            4 out of 5 (Well, Sunset Beach!)
Service             4 out of 5 
Value                4 1/2 out of 5  

Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dine Outside Vancouver - Ampersand Bistro

Although this was part of the Dine Outside Vancouver Festival 2020, we only ate part of our meal outside. Stay tuned for details. I was intrigued by the DOVF choices at Ampersand Bistro and so even though I had not heard about them or been drawn by Instagram, we decided to give them a try.

Located on Water Street between Abbott and Carrall, they are in that 'character' part of town where the scenery can be charming or surprising. We ate at one of the 3 or so tables on the street and it was a beautiful day.
The lunch offering was $25 per person and there were 2 choices of appetizer, main and dessert so Mharie and I were able to try everything on their DOV menu. The first dish up was the ChickenTaco-taco. AB offers a fusion but definitely Asian leaning menu and as I failed to ask about the tortillas, I am not 100% sure of what they were. I am leaning towards a rice crepe as they were very thin and somewhat delicate. The fillings along with braised chicken included hoisin and their house pink sauce along with some pickled items and cilantro. These were actually very good!
Next was Sassy Wontons. Nicely presented with a generous amount of sauces, crispy noodles and pickles, we were impressed again! 
The Designer Dim Sum Flight was 5 imaginative variations on the usual shumai and hargow (not that I have a problem with the usual). They have a way with sauces here and figuring out how to slurp them up without leaving any behind presented our greatest challenge. They were not small dumplings so the hargow noodle was a little on the chewy side. 
Satay Noodle with Asian Pulled Pork was another generous portion and the pulled pork did not miss the mark. At that point in our dining experience, 2 construction guys set up their power washer to clean the sidewalk at the storefront next door. We decided that it would be better to take our dessert inside and our server happily accommodated us. Not sure how that would have been dealt with if the restaurant was at capacity! This was a surprising drawback to the outdoor patio concept!
Both the Cheesecake and Match Red Bean Buns were quite good for dessert. The cheesecake was moist and the blueberry topping made it an impressive finish to our meal.
They have a small but chic dining room going on here at AB. Someone gave it some thought as the spaces are divided providing some privacy and it works out well for the whole social distancing thing. Our server was friendly and efficient and we feel like they offer good value.
Food                4 out of 5
Comfort           4 1/2 out of 5
Service            4 1/2 out of 5
Value               4 out of 5

Ampersand Bistro and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

And Victoria to Home - The Very Good Butchers

All good things must come to an end including our vacation at home on Vancouver Island. We tried to cruise up the coast through Oak Bay and so on in heading for the ferry terminal at Schwartz Bay. Before we left Victoria though we had lunch at The Very Good Butchers. They are located in the Victoria Public Market at the Hudson on Douglas.

I am a big fan of a vegetarian or vegan diet for many reasons and so upon realizing that VGB was actually a vegan butcher, we decided that we needed to try them out.

Trying a burger seemed like a good place to start. The Cascadia Burger on top of their veggie patty had seitan bacon, avocado, greens, tomato, "bacon" jam, and red onion on a really decent bun. This was a fully decent burger and I would eat them on a regular basis however, anyone expecting it to be "meaty" will be disappointed. The overall experience was great but it's about the condiments and toppings more than the "meat." To be honest, I would preferer a black bean burger or quinoa or other type of patty to their "meat' patty.
We had the same experience with the Clucken eh Buffalo Style. Again it was about the toppings and condiments. This one had an onion ring and Buffalo sauce. The patty was crispy on the outside but definitely meat substitute on the inside. More healthy, environmentally friendly, no one died and decent tasting. These are all good reasons to choose this chicken burger over the usual fast-food sandwich.
Same with the ribs folks. Liked the sauce and the char but not amazed with the 'meat". If you are not expecting ribs then they, are OK but should probably be called something else.
The Mac and Cheez was pretty good. I have been experimenting with cashew cheese at home and this was as good as any that I have made. After having it a couple of times, I miss cheddar less. Give it a try.
The frites were also good but no huge points on being vegan here. I would expect nothing less than good french fries.
They have a few more meat-like items on their menu and offer mail out boxes of their product. For those of us having trouble leaving the animal products behind, they provide a good starting option. The market has a lot of tables (and other vendors, of course) nicely spread out and offering a safe place to eat but you can get your food to go also.
Food                    3 out of 5
Comfort               4 out of 5 (space more than anything else makes me comfortable) 
Service                4 out of 5 (counter service but they did deliver to our table 
Value                   4 1/2 out of 5 (value to the planet is factored in)

Our little meander towards Schwartz Bay (where we again had a reservation - Don't cheap out unless you have several spare hours to waste in line) afforded us some lovely vistas of  Haro Strait and the San Juan Islands.
When we travelled here from the mainland a few days ago, masks were not yet mandatory (we wore them anyway) but now new measures are in effect and travel is a little different. 
It shouldn't be creating a big hardship for most people. If you have kids it's maybe awkward but then isn't everything awkward if you have kids? I think people who are complaining about their right not to wear masks are probably the ones still complaining about their right to smoke in public. These are mostly folks who cannot help but put their own desires and needs ahead of everyone else's. Unless medical science reverses their stand on masks, why not just try to cooperate?
If it's an insurmountable problem, I guess you could always fly...or swim.

The Very Good Butchers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Still in Victoria BC - Bodega

Post lunch led to a little more meandering around the streets of Victoria on foot, mostly looking at stuff we had looked at on past visits to the capital.

We are always happy to be near the water. We also find that someone is taking pretty good care of the flowers in this city.

But just in case you are thinking that everyone in Victoria lives like the Dunsmuirs...
Regardless, our wanderings eventually led to our being peckish again. Not really wanting to eat Asian or South Asian (we live in Metro Vancouver where we have the best of these so why would we?), and not really interested in fish and chips again, we decided to try tapas!
Bodega is on Trounce Alley and is right next to another tapas joint. The problem is that the other tapas bar web site was not working right so Bodega became our choice by default. 
This turned out to be our most memorable meal in Victoria. We started with Garlic Prawns which were perfectly cooked and swimming in amazing garlic butter.
We tried to figure out how to take the garlic butter with us but the amazing tasty bread worked it out for us.
Lentils, kale, mushrooms, chorizo and sherry vinegar were another delightful and healthy taste.
We enjoyed their Marinated Eggplant Salad with goat cheese. Again, getting our vegetables on vacation was made possible.
The Cerdo Con Atun which was pork shoulder wrapped around greens with a tuna aioli and caperberries. Everything was great but the tuna aioli was the most impressive element and something we have never tasted before.
What would tapas be without Patates Bravas? This was a great version and was probably put us over the top for just a little too much food! Nicely crispy potatoes are always the key!

We were very impressed with Bodega. It was our favourite meal from this visit to V.I. Our server was so friendly and efficient (and she laughed at my jokes).
Food                4 1/2 out of 5
Comfort          4 out of 5 (not their fault that it started to get breezy) 
Service            4 1/2 out of 5 
Value               4 1/2 out of 5

After some time for digestion, we decided a sweet nightcap was in order. Vancouver folks are familiar with Perverted Ice Cream and I love soft ice cream.
I don't remember exactly what we had. Mine was a lemony sort of thing which was great.
I thought that I had finished the slightly sweet lemon sauce by the time I was about a third of the way down by there turned out to be a pocket of it near the bottom. How did they do that? The slightly toasted marshmallow on top was a nice surprise too!

Mharie had the Brand Spanking. Chocolate appeared in a number of forms on this creation. The slightly sexy name does not seem to relate to any of the ingredients but they have to name it that way or we wouldn't understand the perverted part!
They sell some t-shirts and stuff here which will make you a free advertiser for the brand but some of it is kind of cool.
Food             5 out of 5  (its ice cream!)
Comfort        3 out of 5  
Service         4 out of 5
Value            4 out of 5

Bodega Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

About Us

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...