California Pizza Kitchen

Hey everyone!

The last place we tried in Vegas was at the California Pizza Kitchen which was located in the airport. There were only a few options for food there so we decided to try this place out. They had other food other than pizza, but we decided to try their pizza since that is part of their restaurant title. They have the menu posted in front of the restaurant, so if you are not sure if you’ll like the food options, you can always take a glance at what type of food they have first.

 

 

Continue reading “California Pizza Kitchen”

Tmix Tea & Dessert Bar

Hey everyone!

If you read my previous blog, you know I went to Pronto before heading to Vegas. We actually went for dessert that day too. Across the street there’s a dessert bar called “TMix Tea & Dessert Bar”.

The interior looks very clean, bright and nice. We really like how well lit the place was, makes it very awakening and comfortable. The tree pattern on their wall matches with their color theme and it looks very nice. They have a huge selection in terms of desserts. From drinks to bubble waffle to macarons.


Our friend ordered their Mango Slush with pearls. Great size and was very tasty!

Phil and I ordered the Tmix Signature ($12.95) to share. Great portion and came with a lot of different desserts. There’s two macarons, a marshmallow, mango icecream, whipped cream, chocolate pretzel, strawberries, wafer stick and bubble waffles at the bottom. The bubble waffle was not as soft as I would like it but the overall combination was great. The macarons were a bit too thick for my liking and was very different from all the other macarons I’ve tried before. The mango ice cream was very hard from the freezer so I prefer the ice cream to be more soft. Overall, still a great dessert to share among two people.

Service: 3/5

Food: 2.5/5

Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 2.75/5

Thanks for reading!
-Jess

TMix Tea & Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lift Bar and Grill

Hey Everyone,

I recently had the chance to check out Lift Bar and Grill for lunch on a very cold winter day.



They’re essentially located right on the water behind Westin Bayshore, and have a very nice patio area for the summer. The interior looks pretty cool too, and the glowing bar counter was a nice touch. 

For drinks, I had to go with my usual Mojito:


I found this mojito to be average at best. Visually it doesn’t look very special at all, and the flavour just wasn’t quite where it should have been. Regarding the caesar at the back, my buddy who ordered it always gets caesars, and he said it was weird!

I also had a Lychee Island $11.


This drink consisted of soho lychee, appleton and malibu rums with pineapple and lemon juices. This was much better than the mojito, and it was very delicious! It is very sweet and tasty. The lychee itself tasted wonderful after being soaked in the drink when saved til the end.

My friend ordered a Gin and Tonic (didn’t check which type of gin) and he said it sucked. Lately I’ve been really getting into gins and ordering gin and tonics with my friend, so we know what a good GnT tastes like, and this wasn’t it.

He also tried a Grapefruit Bourbon Sour $14.


This drink was not very good according to him, as he had not acquired the taste for bourbon yet, but I’m sure bourbon lovers would enjoy this drink.

Now for the real reason why we came here….OYSTERS!


The oysters we got were small to medium sized, which were to my liking as I don’t really like the larger ones. Their oysters were ok, but they weren’t the best I’ve had. That fresh flavour just wasn’t there as opposed to Joe Fortes.

For food, we basically shared the following items:

Tempura Prawns $17.


These were pretty good. The batter was soft but the shrimp inside was pretty sizable and overall it was very tasty.

Fried Humboldt Squid $15.


The squid was pretty good as it was very tender to chew and had a very good texture to it. They tasted great when dipped in the chipotle majo sauce.

Smoked Pork Taco $16.



These did not taste as good as they looked in the photos above. The taco soft-shell would break very easily and it was very dry overall. It did not have much flavour to it when bit into.

Chowder $8.


I forget which type of chowder this was, but it was definitely not clam chowder, and it was far from the chowder of Pike Place in Seattle. It was ok for soup, but nothing note worthy here.

Salt Spring Mussels and Manila Clams $17.

The toast, as you can see, is quite burnt on top, and we had asked them for more toast, so we could share it amongst the 6 of us, but the new toast that arrived was just as burnt, if not even more so. The mussels were ok, nothing note worthy. The soup was nice to dip the garlic bread in, but the charredness of the bread made this less enjoyable. 

Grilled Cheese Sandwich $12.


This came with provolone and jalapeno harvarti in sourdough bread. I added the extra option of back bacon for $3. I’m not sure if I should have, as it did not improve it that much. The sandwich itself was already good with the cheeses they used, and having the back bacon did not seem to make it any better than it already was. I love grilled cheese sandwiches and I think this would have been totally fine with just the cheese, although I would not consider it worth $12 for this small sandwich plus fries. This was a sandwich I could have made myself at home, as there was nothing special done to it, and the bread seemed pretty normal too. Overall this was my favourite dish as I enjoyed it the most.

Fish & Chips $19.


The fish and chips were ok in terms of taste, but did not look visually appealing. The batter was very hard and encased the fish very rigidly, which made it difficult for eating. Their fries are good as I like thin cut fries, but the fish itself was just average, nothing special. They were definitely not worth $19.

The service here was another story. It was hard to get service from a server as ours was not very attentive, and we also had difficulty grabbing someone else to help us when we needed it. Our table wasn’t hard to find either as it was situated in a very brightly lit corner. When we did get service from our server, it wasn’t the friendly and courteous service you’d expect from a restaurant of this type. Very disappointing.

Overall, this restaurant was a bit of a let down given the awesome location they have. The food was average at best, drinks were a hit or miss, and service was lackluster. I expected more from this restaurant and will likely give it another try in the summer when they open up the nice patio outside, so I hope that second chance will allow them to redeem themselves in my books, for what that matters!

Food:
3/5

Service:
2.5/5

Price:
$$

Overall:
2.75/5

Thanks for reading everyone, munch on!
– Phil

Lift Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BIBO Pizzeria At McArthurGlen Vancouver Designer Outlet

Hi everyone,

Last night, Phil and I went to McArthurGlen outlet to shop and we decided to eat dinner at one of the restaurants there. There were only two restaurants to choose from, either Neptune Noodle Restaurant or Bibo Pizzeria. Phil loves pizza, so we decided to give Bibo a try. 

The interior looks very nice and clean. We were seated instantly and were served with water. On the McArthurGlen website, it states that they are authentic Neapolitan pizzas and the chefs are Italian borned and trained. I’ve never been to Italy so I’m in no place to criticize whether this is true authentic or not. I go in like any other person, with an open mind set to give this place a try. 

If you’ve never been to the McArthurGlen outlet, they have a huge parking so parking should not be an issue. If you don’t drive, they also have a skytrain station that stops right at the outlet on the Canada Line. 

I decided to order the Carbonara ($18.00) and I was highly disappointed. First off, the portion shocked me. For $18.00 I expected something much more filling. The portion I got was basically a fist size and was definitely disappointing to see considering how much I’m paying for this pasta. Second, after giving this a try it tasted like I was eating mac n cheese. I love how it was super cheesy but the texture of the pasta was harder than what I’m used to. The way how they plated the pasta was really unusual too… they placed it all on one side. Considering the portion is pretty small already, having the portion all shifted to one side did not help with the idea of it being small! 

Phil ordered the Prosciutto E Funghi Pizza ($18.00) -tomatoes, mozzarella, ham & mushrooms. The pizza dough they use was very good. Overall the pizza was great, every ingredient worked well with one another. The only thing that really bugged me was the ingredients didn’t stick on the pizza. The ham & mushrooms would just slide off. Also, I expected visually to be a lot more better. The ingredients weren’t distributed evenly among the pizza, making the sections near the crust without the ham and mushrooms. I was shocked that the pizza and pasta were the same price because the pizza is a much better deal for what you are paying for and is still good. If you were to come here, i suggest just trying out their pizzas and forget about the pastas…


Service: 3/5

Food: 
Carbonara: 2/5
Pizza: 3/5
Overall Food: 2.5/5

Price: $$

Overall Rating: 2.75/5

Enjoy
-Jess

BiBo Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BT Cafe

Hey Everyone,

After volleyball drop in recently, a few teammates and I went for lunch afterwards, and after trying to go to a few other places, we ended up at BT Cafe. They’re an HK cafe style restaurant, so I would go for what I usually order at these types of restaurants: Pick 2 Items combos.



The restaurant is a bit small, but luckily it wasn’t too busy so we were able to get a table for 6 no problem. They start you off with tea.


From the choices for the combo, I went with Pan Fried Chicken Filet and Pork Loin Cutlet, Garlic Sauce, Rice, and Soup of the Day, all for $10.95.


They did not have a choice of cream soup like most HK cafe restaurants do, so that was a bummer. This soup wasn’t that great as I prefer cream soup, and this was not a good substitute. It was slightly spicy too.

For drinks, I had my usual Cold Lemon Tea, extra $0.50.


This was ok, as good as the usual cold lemon teas, nothing special.


The chicken steak wasn’t that great compared to other places. The flavour of it was just not there, and the sauce did not work well with it. The pork cutlet on the other hand was pretty good! It held good flavour and tasted very good with the garlic sauce. It was very tender and juicy, which was a big plus as some pork cutlets get fried too much that it dries it up completely. This was a split opinion for the dish as one item was great while the other could use a lot of improvement. If I come back here, I’ll definitely pick another item than the chicken steak.

Here’s the other dishes that were ordered:


The service here was average in the beginning for a restaurant like this, but one major thing was that several of our cold lemon teas were very late to arrive. When we asked about it, their reason was something like they didn’t have the tea ready, or they didn’t have something else ready. It seemed a bit ridiculous that the cold lemon tea would take almost until our meals were done before they finished making them, as this is one of the most common drinks ordered at HK Cafe restaurants. This definitely affected the dining experience in a negative way and brought the rating down big time!

Overall, this restaurant was ok for a quick bite if you’re craving HK Cafe food in this area, but just don’t expect much in terms of quality. If you don’t care about which cuisine, then you’re much better off going somewhere else in this area as there are plenty of better choices just down Kingsway. I am likely not going to come back to this restaurant again if I had the choice, and I would definitely not recommend you guys dine here if you haven’t tried it yet. HK Cafe style restaurants are much better in Richmond, and a good list can be found here!

Food:
3/5

Service:
2.5/5

Price:
$$

Overall:
2.75/5

Thanks for reading everyone, munch on!
– Phil

BT Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hai Phong Vietnamese Restaurant

Hey Everyone,

I recently had lunch at Hai Phong Vietnamese Restaurant in Vancouver on Kingsway with my buddy and as it was my first time dining here, I had to blog about it!


Since it was my first visit, I will almost always opt for pho to try their staple product. My friend got the house special, but I opted to go for the large Rare Beef and Beef Balls with Rice Noodle Soup $8.50. 




Upon first glance, you can already tell that there isn’t a lot of meat compared to the amount we get from Thai Son on Garden City in Richmond. After spreading out the meat and noodles, I confirmed that there was indeed a lot less meat than the pho we get from other pho places. The rare beef was all stuck together and quite difficult to separate, and when I received the pho, the rare beef had pretty much already cooked itself to well-done for the most part. The meat pieces were small and all wrinkled up together so it was not that great. As for the beef balls, you can pretty much see all the beef balls I got in the photo above, and they were not whole beef balls. These were slices of beef balls, which were pretty average. 

The noodles themselves were not as hard to separate as they were at Pho 37 so this was a plus at least. After the dining experience at Pho 37, which used to be Red Pagoda, I now eat all pho with the stock soup first to see how it holds up, and I only add extra sauces later on when I’m about a 2/3 done. This soup was nowhere near the quality of Pho 37’s broth. It was a very light flavoured soup, and certainly could not hold up by itself as I had to add sauce to it quite early in the meal. This pho was definitely not as good as I was expecting it to be, as I was expecting this to be much better considering their website touts it to be “Vancouver’s Most Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine”. In terms of authenticity, I cannot comment there as I am not Vietnamese, but I would expect the flavour of their pho to be much better if they are making such a claim. 


We had also ordered two Spring Rolls $3.50.




This was how the spring rolls arrived, so the presentation of it was off already. The appearance of the spring rolls did not impress much either as they looked to be quite plain compared to spring rolls we’ve had from other pho restaurants. Biting into one confirmed all this as the taste was not very flavourful by itself either. It seemed the skin was too thick on it, and the overall spring roll was just very small. The photo actually makes it look much larger than they actually were. I was quite disappointed at the spring roll order.

Service was prompt and we had no trouble getting service when we needed it. The entire restaurant is quite visible from the cashier area so the staff were always able to attend to any table that needed help. Overall service was ok, nothing special to note. 


Overall, this restaurant was quite disappointing to me, as Green Lemongrass was just a couple blocks down Kingsway, and after trying this restaurant, I’d much rather go to Green Lemongrass if I had to pick a pho restaurant in this area. The food was average at best, with the spring rolls really needing to improve. The service was average for a pho restaurant. I would not recommend you guys to check out this restaurant as there are far better options nearby such as Green Lemongrass or even Thai Son which is just a 6 minute drive away (according to Google Maps). I would not revisit this restaurant or bring Jess here neither.


Food:

2.5/5

Service:

3/5

Price:

$

Overall:

2.75/5

Let me know if you guys have been here and whether you agree or disagree with my review! I’d be interested to hear from diners who’ve eaten here and enjoyed it.


Thanks for reading everyone, munch on!

– Phil

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