Wednesday, October 3, 2012

High school reunion - Provence Marinaside

I can't believe September is almost coming to an end!!
Time surely flies and, no, I am not at all ready for my journey to Cambridge!
Perhaps a little more Vancouver seafood will calm my nerve...
so there I went to the Provence Marinaside :)

I haven't heard much about this place other than its pricy price tag, so off we went!
whole crab - $41 - 5/5
I ordered a whole crab - steamed with beurre blanc sauce.

OMG.

The crab was incredibly meaty and sweet.  It tasted great with the beurre blanc sauce and although priced at $42, I do believe that it is quite reasonable for a restaurant located at yaletown harbour front.

I do believe that the condition of the crabs are seasonal tho so - be careful when you go in I guess...



Grilled Whole lobster with beurre blanc sauce - $37 -  4/5
I didn't try this personally but according to my friends who've tried it, it was plump and sweet.  The meat was firm, indicating its freshness and yea, what more can I say? it was pretty awesome!!

You can also have it steamed or sautéed (same with the crab, but crab can't be grilled)

overall we had a great time there at Provence.  Although I wouldn't recommend their antipasti so much (esp the ones from the show windows)but their seafood is definitely of high quality and if I were ever back in Van again I wouldn't hesitant to give them a try over The Keg's crab dinner!!

food - 4/5 - antipasti were not good...
Service - 4/5 - attentive server; quite knowledgable as well
Ambiance - 5/5 - date night <3 although a tad noisy, you still get the awesome view of granville island from seawall!!


Provence Marinaside Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mizuki Buffet - a much too "sweet" and "pungent" Seattle adventure

I know.
I know.

But I am not a foodie with really refined taste buds and I must admit that I do enjoy occasional splurge on mediocre quality food at large variety!
(come on, regardless who you are, you must have craved for McD fries or delivery pizzas for at least once at some point of your life... something "junkie"...;) you know I am right!)

Anyhow...
My brain, in response to my recent dieting (btw, reached my goal of 100lb!!!) urged me to get a fatty buffet fix to award myself for reaching my ideal weight.
Since Jordan and I have planned my last states trip before I head to UK for schooling - I thought I'd take this opportunity and find myself a vegas style buffet in the states with unlimited seafood!
My all time favourite Eagle's buffet at Tulalip Casino has gone down the hill tremendously (and no seafood on Friday night) so I had to search for a new place and that's when I came across Mizuki Japanese buffet.

Located in a deserted strip mall near the Sea-tac airport; Mizuki is surely a neighbourhood's fav because 1) it is one of the few surviving business in that strip-mall (most of the places are empty and out for lease) and 2) the place started to fill up quickly at 5:00pm Friday night.

The restaurant is quite large with a huge dining hall.
The bathroom is also fairly clean (at around 5-6pm; not sure how it will be after...)

Jordan and I started our meals with some salads/veggies.
The field greens were of good quality as I didn't find any wilted or rotten leaves in my salad.  There was also a caesar salad, a coleslaw, a beet and onion salad; as well as some cucumber and tomato salad.  Condiments were placed right next to the salads which consisted of Italian, French, Caesar, Ranch... etc.
Over all, I find the salads to be decent quality and I enjoyed the sprouts tremendously (love sesame sprouts!!) 

I ventured into the Chinese food and sushi/sashimi section after I finished my salad.
Here is a list of things I remember from the buffet table (this is for references only as it seems that the buffet table changes quite often)I will add in my comments with bold so you can do a quick read.

From the inner most station (the one directly across from the main entrance): 

Fried items, chicken teriyaki, crab cakes, grilled sausages, roast beef, grilled pork ribs:

Tried the crab cake and ribs here.  The ribs were pretty decent.
The rest of the items there looked dry and a tad gross so didn't bother trying anything else.
Crab cake was passable.

Next station (after the see-through grilling kitchen:
Veggie spring rolls, pot-stickers, deep fried frog legs, fried wonton wrapper with cottage cheese filling, imitation crab meat au gratin, steamed mussels, and pizzas

The spring rolls were good - crispy and light.  The pot-stickers had good tasting pork and cabbage filling but the skin was so dry that I couldn't chew through.  Deep fried frog legs were cooked really dry too; though the salt and pepper coating is still crispy. 
Steamed mussels - the exposed edges of mussel flesh were completely dried up; it was hard.

3 soups:
Hot and sour, miso soup, and cream of broccoli soup and steamed rice

Tried the hot and sour soup. It was your standard Knorr soup package.

More fried items!
 French fries, chicken wings,  some other fried items I cannot recall...(yam?), deep fried salmon bits, stir-fried green beans, fried dough (no idea what it was... could've been sweet?)

I did not try anything from this station... The entire table seemed really unappealing..

Chinese food station:
Chicken and broccoli stir-fry; fried rice; general tao's chicken (???? sweet and sour pork?); hibachi beef (more like beef cubes stir-fried with mushrooms); some sort of fish, stir-fried rice noodles; seafood stir-fry; clams in black-bean sauce, shrimp in Chinese wine sauce, steamed Lobster, Snow crab legs (cold), mussels on half shell, kelp salads, beet salad, various potato and cole slaw (unhealthy) salads.

Steamed lobster was quite disgusting - first of all, there was a lot of the body pieces which not only have minimal amount of flesh in them but also difficult to extract. The few tail pieces I found tasted really mushy and had foul smell to them perhaps due to the fact (and I truly hope this is the reason; not that because the lobsters are bad....) that they didn't bother devein the lobsters.
Snow crab legs had some funky smell to them too.  Though the legs were nice and large, the flesh for some reason were stuck to the shells that made it really difficult to eat.
Shrimps in Chinese wine sauce were also quite mushy and they were also difficult to eat because of the hard to peal shell (I am beginning to think it is their strategy.... haha)
Clams in black-bean sauce was good - at least the flesh wasn't stuck to the shell!  It wasn't gritty (phew) and the clams were fairly large. The sauce was a tad towards the sweeter side.
Mussels on half shell was laughable - defrosted previously frozen mussels (I doubted its safety...)

I only picked broccoli from the chicken broccoli stir-fry and I liked it.  I love over cooked broccolis for some reason so, if you are not a fan, you will probably hate it.
Hibachi beef was cloyingly sweet.  Though the beef chunks were nice and tender and mushrooms were surprisingly NOT over cooked (hooray!) but the sauce was much too sweet.  It tasted like sugar coated beef chunks.. This is where we began our "sweet adventure"..
General Tao's chicken was horrendous - I can almost swear that it was sweet and sour pork; wait, substitute pork with dried freezer tasting things; and there you have it.  This deep fried thing in this ultimately sweet sauce.
The kelp salad had a foul smell to them too (kind of like, mop after it has been wet and sitting there for too long)
Seafood stir-fry was Okay.  It was quite sweet too.

Japanese food station: located right to the left hand side of the restaurant!

Oysters on half shell; and scallop sashimi on half shell
Various rolls including BC roll with salmon or crunchy tempura left over on top.  Various sushi/sashimis i.e. scallop sashimi, salmon, tuna, tuna tataki, squid, octopus, snapper,sweet shrimp.. etc etc...)

Oysters on half shell was definitely disgusting.  Please do not try them.  And I am afraid that they might kill you (I don't know what possessed me to actually try it...) Thank you mother for an iron-like digestive tract that I am still alive to write this blog.
Scallops on half shell was mushy and tasted like nothing. (previously frozen - honestly those cannot be used to make sashimi...)
The salmon and tuna sashimi were too fatty and too dry, respectively.  The only palatable sashimi there were amaebi (sweet shrimp) and squid.  There was also a larger scallop sashimi that still tasted mushy and quite disgusting. (no sweetness that you'd expect from a scallop sashimi)
For some reason they like to drizzle this really sweet sauce (no idea what it is...) onto all of their sashimi items that made them quite unpleasant.
Seaweed salad was really sweet. (REALLY sweet)so were the other japanese inspired salads.
Various rolls were actually Okay (rice doneness aside) - some rolls were actually quite enjoyable.

I did not bother trying any desserts because they had minimal selection and baked goods and they had tab ice-creams for self-serve.

Over all, I did not enjoy my experience here at all.  I guess for $24pp, I was expecting way more considering mandarin Buffet at Redmond is only $15 and serves up way better quality buffet food.  I am just glad that I didn't get sick from this experience because it seems that they will definitely fail the health inspection on handling of many of their food items.

It is understandable that their targeting the locals and I do like Americanized Asian food but their version is simply way too sweet even for someone with high sugar tolerance like me. 

Food - 1.5/5 - I am really sorry, it was just bad; +0.5 for the effort of offering lobsters and snow crabs for buffet in a local joint 
Service - 3.5/5 - our server was tentative and did what she was supposed to do; quick and efficient
Ambiance - 3.5/5 - the restaurant at least appeared really clean with a really clean bathroom (very rare for an asian restaurant)



Mizuki Buffet on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 31, 2012

Riya's pizza - another groupon adventure

I got lazy cooking today so I suggested to Jordan that we use the groupon deal I've purchased for Riya's pizza to solve our dinner problem.
Being Jordan, he gladly agreed :)
(without knowing that the pizzeria is actually really, REALLY out of the way being on Dunbar near UBC... anyhow...)

I have purchased this groupon sometime near 23rd of August.
The reason why I want to use it so quickly is because, only after I have made my purchase, that I have realized that the pizzeria is of quite a low reputation among the fellow urbanspoon diners.

I am going to start my blog with a fair warning: we did not enjoy our experience there.

Before I mention why, here is what we got:

Butter chicken pizza - $17.95 - Flavoured Chicken Breast With Tasty Butter Chicken Sauce - 3.5/5

Butter chicken pizza - $17.95 - Flavoured Chicken Breast With Tasty Butter Chicken Sauce - 3.5/5

Butter chicken pizza - $17.95 - Flavoured Chicken Breast With Tasty Butter Chicken Sauce - 3.5/5
The butter chicken pizza was surely unique.
The chicken breast meats were marinated in curry powder and the sauce was a tasty butter chicken sauce.
I quite enjoyed the sauce although it was more marsala and sweet rather than tangy and buttery butter chicken - I guess I just prefer the butter chicken that way! (authenticity aside!)

The dough was just enough thickness and was crispy and chewy at the same time.  The herbs (Rosemary and Thyme) found in the dough provided enough flavour to make the dough enojoyable as it is.

My only complain would be that the pizzas were noticeably lacking in cheese. 

The meat madness pizza - $17.95 - Loaded with Pepperoni, Genoa Salami, Italian Sausage, Ham and Bacon - 2.5/5
The meat madness pizza was really salty - which is normal because it is generally loaded with cured meats such as pepperoni and salamis.  


The meat madness pizza - $17.95 - Loaded with Pepperoni, Genoa Salami, Italian Sausage, Ham and Bacon - 2.5/5

Again, the pizza itself was alright.
The dough was the same as the butter chicken and the tomato sauce was only passable.

It was an average pizza and certainly not worth $17.95 (at its regular price) - not a LOT of meats and certainly lacking in cheese!!
The meat madness pizza - $17.95 - Loaded with Pepperoni, Genoa Salami, Italian Sausage, Ham and Bacon - 2.5/5

The meat madness pizza - $17.95 - Loaded with Pepperoni, Genoa Salami, Italian Sausage, Ham and Bacon - 2.5/5
Now the reason why I said I did not enjoy our experience here...

It all starts with the options offered on groupon.  
There were essentially two options:
you could either purchase $19 for 2 large pizzas and one 2L pop Or...
$20 for $40 worth of food items.
I didn't want the pop, so I went for the second option of $20 for $40 worth of food.

When I called to place my order, I was NOT informed that there was no chicken wings available.
So when I got there ready to pay, the girl at the cashier told me that they didn't have anything else available other than pizzas.

She even told me that others who's purchased $20 for $40 groupons have opted for drinks so she semi-forcefully asked me to pick a drink instead.

Look, if I wanted the drink, I'd purchased the $19 groupon deal.

I got really frustrated trying to explain to her about the 2 different groupons that were offered.  At the end, she offered cash-back which I have gladly accepted.

Food - 2.5/5 - on average at the best.  I wouldn't pay regular price for their items.... just seems way too much of a rip-off!
Ambiance - N/A - a very small take-out joint.  You wouldn't expect yourself to be eating in!
Service - 1/5 - really poorly managed.  wouldn't recommend returning!


Riya's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 27, 2012

Late lunch at Hell's Kitchen

I have had this groupon from Hell's kitchen for too long.
So, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we finally decided to drive out to Kits for this meal.
(more like the expiration date is approaching.....)

Hell's kitchen is not very highly regarded among the fellow Urbanspoon diners.

Guess it's time to find out on my own ;)

Upon arrival, we immediately realized that they were quite short staffed.  The poor hostess girl was both a server and a hostess; therefore we were quite neglected (10 minutes+ wait before she finally greeted us!)
Can't blame her tho, more like the management.

The A/C was obviously broken, so it was quite stuffy and hot inside of the restaurant.
So we decided to sat at the patio instead.

The groupon deal came with 2 appetizer sized salads (caesar or garden), 1 large pizza (up to $22), and 2 beers.

After we were seated, we were brought two menus.

When I opened mine....

surprise!


umm, bbq sauce finger prints... Kaaaaiinda not very appetizing..... :$

The hostess girl noticed it when she brought us the water so she offered to change it for me right away.  

Thank you! :)

coke & beer 
They were obviously understaffed today - our server seemed so busy and with 6 tables on the patio, he was serving all of us (plus who knows how many tables inside!)
We had to wait for quite a while before he came around to take our order.

The waiter was quick and efficient in taking our orders, other than the fact that we had to wait for quite a bit before we could actually catch him.

Jordan can't drink so he opted for coke, I had a lager.  The beer was a tad flat tho.

Hell's Salad - Organic mesclun greens, romaine hearts, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, house-made apple cider vinaigrette - $5 - 2/5
 The Garden salad, well, it was just a normal garden salad.  I had a doubt that the dressing was also store bought.  It was definitely not the apple cider vinaigrette as claimed in the menu.  It tasted somewhat like a honey mustard dressing (creamy, tangy, and sweet - didn't quite go with the delicate mesclun greens)

The reason I gave it a 2 instead of 2.5 is because I have found a little bit of rotten leaves in my salad... which I find it unforgivable because the only effort you need to put in, when you assemble a salad, is to see if there's any rotten or wilted leaves that are not suited for serving and the cook failed to do that.
:(

Caesar salad - Crisp romaine, toasted croutons, shaved asiago, house-made Caesar vinaigrette - $6 - 3/5
The Caesar tasted a lot better than my garden salad with the creamy and tangy dressing.  However I found the anchovy flavour is very weak in the dressing and the entire salad (as you may have noticed in this photo) is composed of the outer layer leaves of a roman lettuce (not the heart of lettuce)resulting in chewier texture of the leaves (instead of "crisp" as claimed by the menu)

Nevertheless there was generous amount of asiago and parmesan cheese and Jordan liked it.

The Soprano - Spicy capicolla, prosciutto ham, provolone cheese, basil, chorizo - $22 - 3/5
Let me explain...

This pizza was quite good with ample amount of toppings they have used and the thin and crispy dough.
It was a tad oily but it was understandable as basically every topping on this pizza would produce a lot of grease when cooked (other than basil........... hah)

The spicy capicolla, together with the chorizo provided just enough kick that excited our pallet yet it didn't send me to shower my tongue with ice water.

The baked prosciutto was nice and provolone provided enough creaminess to the pizza.
But the highlight had to be the BASIL!!
It provided herby-ness and slight bitterness to the pizza to cut through the otherwise somewhat heavy tasting pizza.
My only complain would be that they could have used a tad more basil.... maybe even fresh!
Maybe 1~2 fresh basil leaves on top of each slice... (or chopped up fresh basil leaves on the pizza!)

Then why only 3/5?

It was a nice pizza - but Jordan and I had a really difficult time justifying its price at $22 (reg price)... of course we are judging based on our entire experience here and from the slow service to the dingy interior with a broken A/C and dirty menu... And then the salads....
I can come up with many excuses for them because I am using a groupon and I feel like I am getting a deal so I shouldn't be complaining but, when I put my feet in a regular diner's shoe, I can only think of myself complaining about my dining experience.

The salads weren't that great and the pizza was a quite greasy... with a flat beer and slow service, it would have pushed me to the edge.

Over all, both Jordan and I felt indifferent towards our lunch experience (we did agree that the pizza was good, but not great enough for us to pay regular price with) and unless there's another groupon offering, we will not be back.

Food - 2.5/5 - average food, pizza of good quality - yet at $22/pizza we expected better! 
Service - 2/5 - really slow - but I will blame it on the management
Ambiance - 2/5 - broken A/C, VERY pub-ish looking place.  Not for romantic outing but a casual outing for sure.


Hell's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lobster Summer at The Keg steakhouse and restaurant Granville Island

After dining at The Keg on Thurlow last time, it officially became our favourite steak restaurant in GVR.
No, really, for the price to quality ratio, the steak at The Keg is one of the best you can find.
Other places like Glowbal, Hy's, and Ruth's Chris; yes, they serve up great steaks, but also come with premium prices.
The Keg is the only place that can satisfy your steak craving (esp if you are a meatatarian like Jordan) without breaking the bank! (and we love the casual ambiance! you don't feel the need to be in something particularly fancy... just like having a steak dinner at granny's home!)

Anyways, because I kept on mentioning the Lobster Summer at the Keg - Jordan got annoyed and was partially "forced" to dine at the Keg with me. 
Don't get me wrong, he still loves his steaks.  It's just he's been trying to lose weight and a steak dinner really won't help...... (plus he's been restricting his diet, so you can imagine the CRAVINGS!! Hah!)

I chose The Keg Granville Island for no particular reason other than the fact that I could not book burnaby The Keg on Open table (and I just don't prefer New Westminster the Keg.... no particular reasons either!)

It was a beautiful sunny day... 
After circling around Granville Island, we somehow managed to snatch a (free) spot right in front of the Keg.
yay!
All Vancouveriattes know that it is difficult to find a free parking on a beautiful day during the summer on Granville island - it is THE tourism spot!

Upon checking-in with the maitre' d - we were lead to a quiet two people table.
Our server was really pleasant and answered all our questions including one of my really dumb question regarding their larger sized prime rib... (I swear they had a 24oz prime rib on menu before!!)

Anyhow... now to the food!

lobster and crab spinach dip - $9.95 -  3/5
 It was cheesy, creamy, savoury and a bit nutty from the sautéed spinach.
Great compliment to the crunchy nacho chips (except for approx 30% of the nacho chips weren't crunchy but rather hard... I cut the back of my mouth with a chip.....
They gave us half a lemon but I wouldn't recommend squeezing all the juice into the dip - I found it to be too tart and over powered the flavour of the dip.
BUT!!! For $9.95 - this was alright.  Yes, it's true that you could barely detect any crab or lobster meat but.... it was a good dip :)

16oz Prime rib (as rare as possible) with baked potato - $ 28.95 - 4.5/5
 The Prime rib is their specialty... Undeniable!!
Tender, juicy, and flavourful.... I mean, what more can you ask for a piece of prime rib at 16oz and less than $30??!  
It was served with au jus and horseradish... oh so heavenly!
The only failure is the fried onion string - somehow it is almost always soggy and oily :(

why not replace it with seasonal veggies or fries?  Even onion rings (2 large but crunchy ones) would have been better!
8oz sirloin with half lobster - $38.95 - 4/5

8oz sirloin with half lobster - $38.95 - 4/5
Now the main attraction.... surf & turf!!!
I debated for a long time :(  
I was originally going for the full atlantic lobster ($41.95) - but I suddenly had a craving for steaks too!! (girls are indecisive creatures. FACT) 
Of course my greediness came in and I wanted both steak with lobster..... but I really didn't want Sirloin because I knew it would be too tough for my liking...
(later I learned that you could opt sirloin for prime rib at $1? or $5 extra.... make sure you ask!!)

According to our server, the lobsters weighed 2 - 2.5lb on average on our day of dining.  I now regret not ordering the whole lobster!

Anyhow...

I ordered Chicago style medium rare sirloin with half a lobster.

The meal came with some grilled veggies and a twice baked potato.

The Lobster was surprisingly... A-MAZING!!!! 
It was sweet, bouncy, and full of meat.  All positive signs of a fresh lobster.
I thoroughly enjoyed my lobster with lemon and butter...
and felt a tad of regret from not ordering the whole lobster!

The Chicago style sirloin steak was not really my favourite.
I usually go for the tenderloin or the filets...
I don't like chewy meats. (though sirloin is definitely more flavourful)

It was nicely charred on the outside and a tad over cooked on the inside (closer to medium)
My steak was really really well seasoned - yet it was quite tough (for me; Jordan liked it).
I would really suggest to order the prime rib with the lobster (will definitely worth every extra penny!)

Over all we both enjoyed our dinner at the Keg.
Our server was friendly and everything was smooth - we didn't have to wait for long to receive our bread, and we received our entrees right when we finished with our appetizer.

Food - 4/5 - The Keg food. Predictable but good.
Service - 5/5 - We were tacked in a quiet corner but our server checked up on us quite often. Though you may want to take into consideration that we went in at 5:30.
Ambiance - 3.5/5 - The Keg ambiance but more antique-y than posh - it's a tad old but things are in good condition; just old. 


Keg Steakhouse and Bar - Granville Island on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tarts from Whole foods bakery - alternatives to Jordan's bday cake!!

I love whole foods!
This is a statement :) .  Their bakery, their cheeses, and their salad bar.... I just can't seem to get enough of them every time I visit!
Caper's, now known as Whole foods on Robson, still carries some great dishes from Whole foods and bakery items from Terra breads (my fav bakery!!)

Anyhow, this time, I got 4 small individual tarts for Jordan as his birthday cake.
I know... it's quite inappropriate... but I think variety matters! (esp after you have been dating for 8 years!)

Here is what I have got for him!

From top right hand corner, clock wise - Seasonal berry tart, blueberry almond tart, chocolate raspberry tart and lemon tart ($3.99 ea)
Our favourite tart (Jordan and I) was the seasonal fruit tart.  (sorry.. no close up photo as Jordan devoured it up in like, 5 seconds or something..... it was that good!)  The fruits were really fresh - the strawberries retained their bites even after sitting in the room temperature for one day!  
The pastry cream filling was smooth, creamy and had just enough sweetness to balance the tartness of the fruits.
I also really liked the tart shell - they tasted crumbly, sweet and just with enough hint of salt to balance everything out.  It was almost like a shortbread cookie (although I am thinking if eaten fresh, they would've been less crumbly but more crunchy?)

chocolate raspberry tart - $3.99 - 3.5/5
The chocolate raspberry tart was quite predictable (yet excellent) as the raspberry provided the necessary tartness to the already sweet and rich chocolate.  Though I have to say that the chocolate ganache filling was really smooth and velvety; and they used real raspberries in the tart filling.
kudos to the tart shells - all are crumbily and buttery and sweet.... 

lemon tart - 3.5/5 - $3.99

This was our 3rd favourite tart.  The lemon filling was really lemony and the tartness again, balanced well with the shell.
A good tart; but pretty ordinary. 
It was a, well, lemon tart.

Almond blueberry tart - 2.5/5 - $3.99

This was our least favourite tart!  We simply didn't like the drier almond paste focused filling because it felt drier compared to all the other tarts.
I still liked it for its crust but this is totally by personal preference!
The sliced almonds were crunchy and nutty; combined with blueberries - it was a perfect combination :)
if you like marzipan and almond paste based dessert (i.e. flour less cakes etc) - you should enjoy this tart!

Over all we enjoyed the tarts and like I said at the beginning - I love whole foods!

Food - 3.5/5 - Based on my over all visit! (surprisingly low? This score is compared with all my other dining experience!! so as a supermarket, I think it's a pretty high score, don't you think?)
Ambiance - N/A - :$ really depends on which location you visit!
Service - N/A -  it's a supermarket!  Though all stuffs are really friendly... I've never had a bad experience here!!



Capers Community Market (Robson) on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Carver's steakhouse - another groupon deal (fail...)

Another (sorta) failure meal with a groupon - I am beginning to lose faith in groupon as it hasn't promised me a satisfying meal for the past few deals..... see hog shackmac shack, and great bear pub.
Anyhow... I picked up this groupon deal for Carver's steakhouse.

It was $27 for a 3 course prix-fixe meal with one appetizer, one entree and one dessert. (up to $55 in value).

Jordan has been craving for some steaks so, finally! On a sunny Sunday evening, off we went!

Upon seating, we were presented with a menu similar to that of "dine-out Vancouver"-s.  My heart sank a tiny bit when I saw it.... for $27, I would have never chose them for my dine-out Vancouver experience.... anyhow...

Carver's executive salad - 2.5/5
Beef goulash - 2.5/5
From the appetizer section, (3 items; 2 salads and 1 soup) - I chose a soup and Jordan chose a salad.  The executive salad was really standard with all the flavours of the dish present yet nothing spectacular about it.  The soup, beef goulash, was quite disappointing as though all the flavours were present, it seriously lacked depth.  Jordan noted that it tasted like instant soup while I felt that the soup tasted exactly like Wendy's chilli (minus the ingredients in the chilli!!)

The only positive side about the soup is that it was pipping hot and it remained hot throughout.  A sign that it wasn't heated in microwave *phew* (umm, yes; I have had microwaved food in a supposedly decent restaurant - uhh, the bbq house I mentioned at the beginning of my blog?)
Certified Angus Beef tip sirloin medallion - Certified angus beef tender cut off the short loin from T-bone Carver's grand padano gratin potato, seasonal vegetables, veal port wine reduction - 1.5/5

Oh my lord this was quite a terrible dish... if Jordan weren't a carnivore, he'd be complaining like me!  I have only tried two tiny bites of the steaks and it was really tough and dry.  It was definitely a cheaper cut of meat and they probably didn't even age it properly. 
My only compliment was that the meal itself was hot!
It was definitely prepared on stove rather than on microwave.
And believe it or not, we appreciate it a lot!

lamb shank - 2.5/5 - slow roasted lamb shank in red zinfandel & spices, garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables
The lamb shank was indeed fork tender!
However it seriously lacked any flavours.  I couldn't taste much spices nor did I taste the zinfandel wine in the sauce... (rather it tasted more port as it was toward the sweeter side...)
Garlic mashed potato was the only thing that was providing flavor to the dish...
how sad :$

I was still glad that I settled with the lamb shank tho!  
The steaks were simply too horrible....

Creme brûlée - ginger vanilla and staranise with brown sugar - 2/5

Creme brûlée - ginger vanilla and staranise with brown sugar - 2/5
Both Jordan and I opted for the creme brulee for the dessert and we both received a creme brulee with two different flavours - a vanilla ginger flavoured creme brulee and a staranise flavoured creme brulee.  

First of all, we didn't get much of the brulee as the candy coating on the top was merely a coating........ it was not really caramelized.... :$

We both agreed that the ginger vanilla creme brûlée was a tad too strong for the ginger flavour!
We didn't like the texture of the ginger, but rather, we both agreed that they could remove the ginger flesh (use ginger juice instead) for a more pleasant flavouring!

For the staranise creme brulee... well, it felt too savoury for us as we are used to savoury items that are associated with star anise (in chinese culture)
It was truly alright for me tho!  But I guess Jordan really didn't enjoy it very much,,, 
anyhow...

Food - 2.5/5 - average!! average..
Ambiance - 2.5/5 - again, average... air conditioning wasn't working....:$
Service - 4/5 - Our waitress was a delight!  





Carver's Steakhouse on Urbanspoon