the best thing on miku’s menu

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the salmon oshi sushi – pressed bc wild sockeye salmon, jalapeño, and miku sauce that’s flame-seared to perfection.

you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu since everything is so delicious, but where you can make the biggest mistake of your life is if you don’t order the salmon oshi sushi as part of your meal.

and just in case you were wondering what $300 of salmon oshi sushi looked like…

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the day before nightingale opened

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i got the privilege of trying david hawksworth’s new restaurant, nightingale, the day before it officially opened to the public… for $10.  we literally ordered almost everything off the menu. 28 dishes between four people (and the fourth person showed up a little after dish 18).

my personal favourites: the san marzano pizza with buffalo mozzarella (apparently it took two years to perfect the crust, but this was hands-down the best pizza i’ve ever had in my life), the lamb chops (we got three orders for our table), the seared albacore tuna, the pork belly (that went so well with the apple slices on top of it, and all the flavours infused into it), the flank steak, the halibut ceviche, the rockfish, the burrata, the cauliflower, the gelato, and the salted caramel pot.

the ambience was amazing, the service was fantastic, the quality of food was on par with what you expect from a hawskworth restaurant, and i absolutely love the “family-style sharing” concept of the restaurant and how the dishes come out as they are prepared.

i think i have a new favourite restaurant in vancouver, and i can’t wait to go back to try the rest of the menu.

the best eggs benny in vancouver.

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the bc benny (smoked salmon, cream cheese, and onions – i get it without the onions) they serve at the sunshine diner is the best eggs benny in town. i’ve tried quite a few different places over the years, and have found pretty good ones across the city, but i am sticking with my claim that this is the best eggs benny in vancouver. the hollandaise sauce that they make is to die for. i’m a fan of trying new things, but i can never deviate from my usual order. i love how over the span of almost 10 years, this dish hasn’t changed a single bit and tastes EXACTLY the same. the only thing that’s changed about it is that now it comes with a side of fresh fruit (that’s actually fresh, and not del monte in syrup from a can) and a bowl of homefries (you used to have to add it on for an additional charge), which are both great changes. they also make a pretty mean milkshake – thick, creamy, rich, and absolutely delicious. you can mix flavours together, so i usually go for the butterscotch espresso combo.

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the place itself is super cute – a legitimate 50’s style diner with comfortable booths, jukeboxes, and all the appropriate decor. great vibes, great service, and the best eggs benny in town.

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so what is #100happydays?

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#100happydays #todayiamgratefulfor smoked salmon eggs benny

as well as being part of my #100happydays post for february 1, 2014, the smoked salmon eggs benny from the rumpus room can also be added to my list.

i kept seeing “#100happydays” pop up on a few of my friends instagram pictures, and wondered why everyone was using that hashtag. so i decided to google it. it came up with a pretty intriguing project and challenge:

can you be happy for 100 days in a row?

“we live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. while the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. the ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.

71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason. these people simply did not have time to be happy. do you?”

you then register on the site, choose your social media platform to submit your pictures (i picked instagram), use the #100happydays hashtag with a hashtag of your own (mine is #todayiamgratefulfor), and post pictures of anything in your day that made you happy.

i’m only two days into the challenge, but already i’ve become more aware of little moments in life that i am truly grateful for, mainly relating to the amazing people in it. i’ve always stopped to take time to reflect on and appreciate the life given to me, but to do it 100 days in a row, via a picture on instagram, is definitely going to take some effort. but… challenge accepted, and i fully intend on being one of the 29% of people that complete it.

follow me on my journey here.

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moose’s down under and donating my hair to cancer

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moose’s down under is more of a restaurant that serves alcohol than a pub. it has a great vibe that makes you feel right at home. i think the staff plays a huge factor in creating that vibe – they are all aussie, and just SO friendly. if you arrive in a group, they’ll take everyone’s names and ask if you want separate bills right off the bat, which eliminates any hassle in splitting the bill at the very end. they’re all very attentive and always make sure you have something to drink – it’s like being over at a friend’s house who is an amazing host!

the drinks are cheap, and they have great specials… like $6.50 double long-island iced teas on fridays. they serve delicious pub food that’s great to share if you want to munch on something while you drink.

this is where i met kelly for some drinks and food after i finished cutting over eight inches of my hair off, to donate to cancer.

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it’s been on my bucket-list for a while, but as any girl with long hair knows, it’s surprisingly hard to part with that much of your hair. i finally just committed to a date to get it done, took one last look at my long, beautiful hair, along with a deep breath, and walked out of there five pounds lighter, with an amazingly cute haircut thanks to dawn (ps. if you are looking for an awesome stylist in vancouver, let me know and i can give you one of her cards, which will give you a bit of a discount for your first visit). axis can donate your hair directly to the children’s hospital for you, and they promise that every inch of hair is used up. it’s great to know that all that hair is going to be made into a wig for a little girl that just lost all her hair involuntarily to chemotherapy and radiation.

gurkha himalayan kitchen

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tonight, i tried himalayan food for the first time with my friends lauren and dong at the gurkha himalayan kitchen on davie. it was a spontaneous dinner decision that also quickly turned into a celebration dinner for no reason… and by that, i just mean we went all out by ordering almost everything on the menu, along with a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon.

i picked up a menu and felt like i was reading a different language because none of the names of the dishes looked even remotely familiar to me – i was oddly excited by this.

we decided to order a variety of dishes off the menu so we could have a little taste of everything. here’s what we ordered:

  • taas: special nepali snack prepared with grilled lean lamb meat, sautéed in fresh peppers, onions, and spices. served with puffed and beaten rice mix
  • momos: tibetan style steamed dumplings served with chutney
  • lhasa chow mein: stir-fried soft noodles with vegetables and tofu (or chicken), seasoned with soy sauce and fresh coriander
  • sherpa chicken: fresh chicken cooked with broth extracted from herbs and mixed with curry sauce, flavoured with himalayan peppercorns
  • pokhara lamb: boneless lamb marinated overnight in yogurt, ginger-garlic paste and gentle nepali spices. grilled to perfection and served with gurkha pulau
  • gurkha pulau: basmati rice cooked with green peas, green onions, saffron, cashews and raisins
  • nepali roti: fresh baked whole wheat bread
  • tingmo: fluffy, steamed tibetan bread
  • dudhbari: popular nepali dessert with sweetened milk spheres in pistachio flavoured cream syrup
  • kheer: traditional & very popular nepali sweet dish, made with rice & milk & flavoured with cardamoms, raisins, cashew & gentle spread of coconut flakes

everything was so good and had such a unique taste – my mouth was exploding with all sorts of different flavours and i loved it. i definitely will be coming back to try everything else on the menu that i didn’t get to try tonight.

post-halloween brunch: upper deck kitchen & taphouse

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we stumbled across this hidden gem today while wanting a post-halloween brunch on a sunny patio – the upper deck kitchen & taphouse (which is speakeasy, rebranded). the place was laced with halloween decorations and they had a “trick-or-treat special” on today, which was a cooler full of assorted beer for $3.50 a bottle. the pacific benny (poached eggs on english muffins with cured smoked salmon, hollandaise and hashbrowns) was made with an amazing-tasting hollandaise sauce, the key ingredient in any benny. their patio was like heaven on earth – the sun shone directly on our table and it felt like summer… in OCTOBER!. it actually got so hot that i had to take off my sweater and i was sitting out there in a tank-top and flip-flops. moments like these make me so happy that i live here.

ps. here are a few halloween pictures from last night. is it obvious who we’re all supposed to be?

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