I'm back home in New York now, but before I unpack my bags, I thought I'd post some photos from my trip to Victoria Island in British Columbia, Canada. My mother and I indulged in the local food and ate our way through the entire trip. The type of food there can best be described as a melting pot of cultures, but with a lot of it reminiscent of when it was under English control.
One of the first places we settled in was a small local coffee shop. I ordered a coffee while my mom ordered a scone (which as you can recall, I used to hate with a passion, but soon learned the reason why was that I had not yet had a true english scone).
So this was my first true english scone experience- And it surprisingly turned out to be a delightful experience. It was not hard like the scones I was used to, and the inside was moist and flaky. The cheddar cheese was the best addition.
The coffee wasn't bad either, lol...but nothing beats the coffee from Washington state.
We spent the first day sightseeing and being tourists. Along the way, we ended up in Bastion Square where we heard rave reviews for this restaurant called Rebar, which was a strictly vegetarian/vegan place.
I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but I do love vegetables. My dish was a green curry coconut sauce (yumm) with mushrooms and eggplants and other goodies.
My mom got the gnocchi, which would have been my second choice. The reason why I didn't get it was because I always get gnocchi at Italian places, and I honestly just missed curry, lol. But I got so jealous at her huge mushrooms that she ended up giving me one.
I'm so disappointed that I didn't get any photos of dinner that night. We went to a Tapas bar, and ordered at least 5 delicious mini meals.
The following night we went to dinner at this place called "Foo", which was supposed to serve "Asian street food", as the sign stated. It was a very tiny place, with only a few tables against the wall, and the customer was supposed to go up and order their own food and bring it back. It was cute actually, especially how all the dishes were served in little Chinese take-out boxes. The only issue was that they didn't give you plates or bowls, so you actually had to eat it out of the box (or like me, eat it on a napkin). Above is a pork potsticker, and the sauce that it came with was a Pomegranate vinaigrette. The potsticker tasted like other potstickers I've had before, but the rest of the food we ordered was extraordinary.
The title "Paneer Cheese Dumpling" caught my eye. Anything cheese is good to me. The taste from one of these little bad boys was so intense; I got flavors such as coriander and cloves and so many things that I couldn't even begin to name. Although I probably couldn't figure out what Paneer cheese tasted like because of all the other flavors, I could tell that it was a mild and creamy cheese. The dumplings also came with a "coriander fry bread" which was that big triangular shaped donut thing. All I can say is that the "fry bread" was freakin awesome and really almost did taste like a savory donut. The sauce it came with was a masala cream sauce, which was so delicious that I sopped all of it up with my bread.
My mom ordered Pakoras, which was something I had never heard of before. They tasted like little fried fritters- vegetable fritters to be exact. These came with a tamarind chutney, which I opted not to use because I don't really like tamarind, but more importantly because the fritters tasted so good without it.
I wish I knew what was inside these springrolls, because they were like no springroll I have had before. I know I tasted pieces of shredded chicken and potatoes and spices that reminded me of Indian food. The sauce it came with was just as good, and was slightly sweet with chunks of raisins and other things.
I have been in love with lettuce cups ever since I had my first one at P.F. Chang's. These were prawn and pork lettuce cups (eew to the prawns). So after examining my cup for disgusting prawns, I tasted my lettuce cup and it was by far my favorite of all the other dishes we ordered. I'm a curry-fiend, no lie, and the sauce reminded me of a Thai green curry. The menu said it was a coconut cream with lemongrass (ughh, I love lemongrass) and also used cilantro and Thai basil. Basically, I went through all the pieces of lettuce, then chose to grab a spoon and eat the sauce plain (avoiding the prawns of course).
So after the gluttony that was ensued the previous night, what did we decide to do on our final day in British Columbia?- Indulge in a huge feast at a Tea House. Yes, we really did order "The Big Muckle".
While waiting for our feast, we ordered our tea and attempted to be dainty and lady-like. Honestly, I do like the taste of tea, but I much prefer coffee.
The Big Muckle in all its glory- All three tiers of pastries and goodies. (I can't even describe how much I wish I could be the baker in their kitchen...)
We of course were given our three typical toppings for tea time- Devonshire cream (which is almost like whipped cream, but a little bit heavier and with more flavor), Lemon curd, and homemade Raspberry preserves.
Our first task was to demolish the bottom tier- which mostly consisted of savory scones and mini tarts.
Our first scone was a moist raisin scone, with hint of lemon or some type of citrus. It wasn't sweet by any means, which is probably why I had to smother it in jam.
The next scone was an orange scone, with an almond-like flavor. I also tasted some herb, but I couldn't tell what it was. A little bit of devonshire cream made the perfect accompaniment for it.
The requirements for "The Big Muckle" stay the same, but the flavors and recipes for each pastry change every day. Today’s "mini savory quiche" was a sundried tomato quiche. The pastry crust looks like it took a lot of effort and time to make those ridges (I would notice that), which I have to give them props for. As for taste, the quiche was creamy and the addition of tomatoes were perfect.
This one was interesting- chicken curry on a mini biscuit. While I love curry, this one was a little too much for me. I did like the biscuit thing it was on; it was almost like a cracker of some sort. The crunchiness matched well with the little almonds mixed in the curry.
The middle tier of yummies were more of tea sandwiches and savory creamy fillings.
This was one of my favorites of the entire day- Smoked salmon with cream cheese and pepper jelly. The biscuit-looking bread it was on was what I assume to be an english scone with chunks of cheddar cheese. So how good does that sound- cheesy bread around cheesy salmon?
Look at this cute little tea sandwich! It was cucumber and cream cheese on whole wheat and white bread (the middle layer was white bread, and also somehow the two breads were intertwined on the bottom layer- amazing!) Anyways, cucumber really made this little sandwich because of the crunch it gave to the otherwise soggy bread.
The way they wrapped this tea sandwich was adorable, especially with the little green olive in the center. The filling was egg salad with cucumber, which has to be one of my favorite sandwich toppings, so kudos to them.
I am not a ham person, nor would I think something called "minced ham" sounds appetizing, but honestly, this tasted so good. It was filled with "minced ham", sundried tomatoes, and cheese. It seriously must be the cheese, because I mean, how can I like something called "minced ham"?
The last and final tier was filled with delicious little sweet pastries- more up my alley.
This little guy had a bottom layer of shortbread (delicious and not crispy by the way) topped with a maraschino cherries and coconut mixture. I'm not sure what exactly melded it all together, but it was sweet and chewy- which are my favorite types of foods.
These mini tartlets were adorable and I would give my left leg to be able to make such masterpieces. Inside was filled with a lemon filling, which was very similar to the lemon curd (it probably was, for all I know). It was better than I thought it would be, but still, I'm not much of a lemon curd fan.
These little pieces of shortbread had the perfect texture. They were not too hard, yet not chewy like how I like my cookies. This is how shortbread should be made. There wasn't too much flavor though, but I could taste hints of hazelnut.
This was called a muffin, but excuse me, these did not resemble a muffin at all. Other than that, these tasted delectable. Once again, I love moist things, and this "muffin" had that moist and not-to-dense consistency. These were blueberries obviously, but I knew that there was a hidden flavor in there, which we later realized was orange. The icing was also orange flavored, which believe it or not, melded perfectly with the blueberries. I am beginning to appreciate citrus and the flavor it can lend while baking.
After nearly eating almost everything (there were only a few tiny stragglers left behind), we unbuttoned our pants, finished up our tea, and headed out of there.
So long Canada! Thank you for making me gain weight. Below are products/food-things that I stumbled across on my trip.
Apparently British Columbia has their own famous brand of chocolates, called Rogers' Chocolates (probably equivalent to our See's Candy). There were 2 little stores that haunted me my entire trip, and I avoided them each time I passed them. On my final day, I could no longer resist, and I ended up in their shop buying chocolates. These types were called "Victoria Creams", which was basically a filling of your choice smothered in bittersweet chocolate. The two flavors I chose were Coconut and Chocolate Nut (go figure).
The coconut was literally to die for. It wasn't the type of coconut you buy at the grocery store... No, it was real coconut. I can't even begin to describe the happiness my mouth experienced after eating this.
Given the name "Chocolate Nut", I guess I was expecting nuts. I'm a nut fanatic and I can't get enough of nuts. But guess what... there were no nuts to be found, sadlly. This tasted almost like a creamier (and delicious-er) Nutella- which could possibly be the reason for the false name. Either way, it was delicious and it was gone within a few seconds.
Come on, I couldn't have gone to Canada and not have brought back maple syrup! This little guy was so adorable, and was covered in little Canadian things. Also- I thought it was so interesting how everything has to have both English and French on it (It's like a legit law in Canada. Even the street signs are in both languages).
Speaking of which, at first glance this appears to be a regular Snickers bar right? But- it is actually a Canadian Snickers bar! Everything from Canada is covered in Olympics things (I guess it's because that's the only thing they have going for them), example being the hockey guy in the corner. Also, now I can read the fattening nutrition of this candy bar in French!
What's more Canadian than stuffing chocolates with maple syrup? I figured I'd get it to give to my boyfriend as a little present (and to show how weird Canadians are).
I had to steal a few to try for myself, of course. It tasted like how you would think it would taste like- chocolately maple syrup.
Although these weren't from Canada, I figured I'd get my boyfriend and his family more chocolatey goodies from my travels. These chocolates were from Seattle and came in three flavors- Espresso, Cafe Mocha, and Cappuccino.
So you know I had to take some to try for myself. All tasted good, like typical coffee flavored chocolate, but my favorite was the Cappuccino.