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Vancouver Dineout Event Part II – Carmichael’s @ Hilton Hotel in Richmond

February 03, 2011

Out of the three dine out restaurants I went to, this was by far the best service I had received. It’s not the best service ever! but it’s quite high up the ladder. I asked for a cup of hot water, and the waitress came out with a pot of hot water and some lemon slices, she didn’t force the lemon on me, but asked me if I wanted some. I am sure had I said no she would have brought it back in, but there is no harm in bring extra stuff! The food came quite quickly. By the end of the dinner, one of us had requested for a cup of coffee, the waitress asked the rest of us if we wanted coffee or tea, we replied no. 5 mins later another person ordered another coffee. Then 5 mins after that I wanted some tea and asked what kinds of tea they have. She listed out about 10 kinds. There was no annoyance in her voice, which I give her credit for, because if it were me, I’d so soooo annoyed (LOL). I tipped 15% 🙂

I didn’t take a picture of the menu for this one, so let’s just dive right into the food!This was pretty much a 5 course meal, I was FULL at the end. As in uncomfortably FULL. But the food was oh-so-good.

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This was part of the first appetizer: “Amuse Bouche: Seared Qualicum Bay Scallop smoky creamed corn and crispy bacon.”

OMG were the scallop good! I also love corn, especially cream corn. This was pretty much a dish made for me!

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This is the other part of the Amuse Bouche: “Mozzarella Arancini roasted garlic red pepper jelly.”

I didn’t like this as much. The red pepper jelly over powered the whole dish, it tasted kinda like “White Chinese food” because the jelly tasted like sweet and sour sauce.

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The second appetizer: “Roasted Carrot Soup grilled apple with thyme and butter fried walnut crostini.”

The apple slice was a bit odd, but other than that, the soup was really good. The consistency of the soup was creamy, almost congee like. I love cream soup (actually I love soup in general LOL)

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This was my entree: “Crispy Skin Boneless Half Hen baked creamy garlic potato and rapini with corn puree, almond milk and thyme.”

The veggie up top was a bit salty, but the chicken was good. For white meat it was not dry at all, and I love the contrasting texture of the crispy skin (I love crispy chicken skin! YUM!). The sauce on the side was good for dipping with the chicken The baked potato is my favourite part!! It was mashed up, but baked to a crisp.

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A friend has this entree: “raised Lamb Cheeks roasted tomato and natural jus, risotto with crushed green olive and parmesan, sautéed shoestring vegetables.”

I took a bite of the lamb. It was still a bit “lamby.” I think I am getting sick of lamb…

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The third entree: “Roasted Smoked Sable Fish broad beans, leek and haricot verte with carrot jus and butter.”

Normally for dine outs I avoid ordering fish because if not cooked right, fish is not very good at all. This dish I also had a bite. It wasn’t too bad, although I do think the fish was a bit over cooked. But I only had a tiny bite so I can’t really judge.

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The dessert: “Orange Milk Chocolate Ganache Tart served with praline and vanilla cream”

So the reason I took 2 pictures of this, these are the same dessert but different plates. Mine is the second one, I don’t know what it was, but mine had a lot less praline than the one my friend had (top pic). It was just odd. Nevertheless, this dessert was really good. I think I might even go back just for this dessert haha.The ganache was not overly sweet, the tart itself was crunchy and not soggy. I was so full 1/3 of the way though this dessert, but I just couldn’t abandon it!

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The other dessert: “Three Chocolate Truffles handmade with cranberry, chestnut with cream and ginger vanilla fillings”

well..reading the description I did not expect this. It was very pretty though. I had a bit of the “leaf” it was good chocolate, again not overly sweet. But I think the selling point is the prettiness of it.

ok, that’s it for part 2 of dine out. Just one more coming up. I have pictures all uploaded and ready to go, hopefully I’ll post it up soon 🙂 Until next time, live well and eat LOTS!

Carmichael's on Urbanspoon

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Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Nom Nom Nom

 

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Vancouver Dineout Event Part I – Monk McQueen

February 01, 2011

With the end of January comes the yearly Vancouver Dineout Event. I go to at least one restaurant every year, this year, I went to three! My stomach is happy, but my wallet? not so much. LOL

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The first dine out I went to this year was Monk McQueen’s. The location of the restaurant was kinda odd, but the view was indeed very pretty.

As per usual, i must talk about the service of this restaurant. Being somewhat of a higher end (high-low end) restaurant, I expected good service. Was it good? yeah, I guess; but it’s definitely not one of the best service I got. They promptly seated us, but when the other 2 friends arrived after us, they were seated else where (why? we are not sure, maybe just stupidity…). Then while one of them was clearing away the dishes, she spilled some soy sauce on the table’s edge, and YEP! you guessed it! Right into my purse (GREAT!). Other then that, there’s not much else to complain about. I gave 11% tip (normally with good service I’d go as high as 15%; the bare minimum for me is 10%, unless it’s absolutely horrible service, then it’d be a penny, nothing more, nothing less).

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And here’s the dine out menu. I am not going to bother listing out what is on the menu, since I didn’t eat everything.

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Here’s the view we got. Sorry about the shaky picture, my phone camera isn’t that great with stabilization.

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The mandatory bread. I love bread, this was pretty good, but I would like it better if it was whipped butter and warm bread (I am very demanding about my free bread! LOL)

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Again, apologies for the blurriness. The restaurant was dark and I didn’t realize the pictures were blurry until I posted it online. This appetizer is the “Surf & Turf : pork belly confit & pan seared scallops apple fennel salad, sweet & sour cherry gastrique”

The scallop was pretty good, it was soft and flavourful. The pork belly was a bit tough and over cooked, and was too big of a chunk for it to be a bite size appi. The worst thing is we didn’t get a knife for this, I had a hard time devouring the pork. It’s a fairly odd combination. The salad on the bottom was cold, sour and sweet at the same time. It was very refreshing after the greasy pork belly.

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This is my entree: “Braised Lamb Farfelle: braised lamb, asparagus, and spinach red peppers, shiitake, ancho sauce & parmesan.” It was funny when we ordered this the waitress told us “Just a word of warning, the lamb is pasta. It’s very good though.” ….ok….if it’s really good why are you warning us? I suppose people see braised lamb they expect a lamb steak (I actually did expect a lamb steak). The pasta was a bit too “lamby” for me. I don’t know how else to explain it. They sure did not stinge on the lamb in this dish. By the end I was pretty full and there was still a pile of lamb. i would have liked more cheese. Another thing I didnt like about this dish was the veggie. I think it was the asparagus. I had a stem that was very “fibery” I didn’t even bother trying to swallow it.

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This is another friend’s entree: “Artichoke & Goat Cheese: Crusted Salmon wild mushroom polenta, sundried tomato buerre blanc.” I can’t tell you how good this was, because I did not take a bite. What I can say is that when I saw the dish arrive, I thought to myself “I should have ordered that.” yeah.

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This was probably the best dish of the night! The dessert: “Warm Banana & Chocolate: Bread Pudding with caramel ice cream.” The bread pudding is not sweet at all, but it was warm. The sweetness of the dessert came solely from the ice cream on top. The mix of the two is soooooo goood. I am drooling as i type. I did not taste any banana though, that was a bit of a disappointment.

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This is the other dessert: “Lemon Pudding Cake coconut butter cookie.” I had a bite of the cake but not the cookie. The cake was soft and warm as well. But, both my friend and i thought it was overly sweet. She couldn’t finish it, it got too gross in the end. It’s one of those good for one or two bites dessert.

Well, that’s it for today. Look forward to part 2 and 3 :). Until next time live well and eat LOTS!

Monk McQueens on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Nom Nom Nom

 

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