Blueicus's Profile

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Vancouver: Coal Harbor (near convention center)

I feel like a Debbie downer since I sometimes overemphasize negative experiences than positive but of the coal harbour places I can vouch for meat and bread (no view but good sandwich) and Miku (pricey and some ppl think the entire family of businesses are overpriced, but I think the quality is adequate for the cost).

I will join the chorus of people who are confused by tractor's success, they set up their line like a cafeteria (obviously for speed of service), but I think food quality suffers... And maybe I'm expecting too much of a not-quite-sit-down establishment but the food's also a bit sloppy.

Any great Thai in Vancouver?

That's sad to hear, always looking for good Thai food and of course I think it's a great cuisine. Also seems to mirror Alexandra Gill's review. If I were to guess I'd chalk it up to inexperience in running a kitchen; even if the chef is a good cook if they can't maintain consistency with a full team then the restaurant is going nowhere.

any good price for freshly made sweet and sour spare ribs ?

I drove by there yesterday to run some errands and it looks like the entire spot was demolished

Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

I've been to AFL four times and know people there and I still unfortunately think Van Mag was extremely generous in rewarding them all those golds; I've had the gamut of oversalting to undersalting and I do think some of their dishes could use a bolder hand with the herbs (barring the salt inconsistencies). I don't like saying this but I think this year had one of the weaker field of new restaurant openings. This coming year should have a better lineup of good restaurant openings.

And let's not even get into the perennial winners (oh surprise, Tojo's won again... oh the shock that Cioppino is once again in first place, all THREE of Vij's places swept the Indian category, even Vij himself is tired of going up to the podium to speak year after year... I lied, that's not true at all, etc.), the fact that those exist unfortunately show the lack of depth in the YVR scene.

Best cheap Chinese food -- not too salty or greasy

My childhood being very similar if my aunt wasn't around to cook I can appreciate going out to get a few hot dishes to supplement rice and blanched choy

Best cheap Chinese food -- not too salty or greasy

One of my cooks has the exact same story, I've been giving him grief for his fandom ever since I found a big piece of moldy broccoli (both the piece of broccoli and piece of mold were big) in the beef stir fry.

Any great Thai in Vancouver?

Does anybody have feedback on Kin Kao? Is it any good? Seems like enough ink has been spilled on newspapers over it.

R&D - New update. Photo and menu.

Clearly I shouldn't have put a sarcastic statement immediately after a serious statement... only a far more courageous chef than I would openly admit to filling things with sketchy ingredients and adulterating them with additives and enhancements to hide the poor quality.

R&D - New update. Photo and menu.

I am Chinese, I've eaten my fair share of traditional and fusion and I currently chef a 'fusion' place. I don't know how other people operate but I run the same food costs there as I do running a new American cuisine restaurant, I use the same suppliers, I use some of the same produce, I go to the farmer's market. If people don't feel like they're getting value for money then I'll go get some sketchier products and throw enough meat tenderizer and MSG at it until it tastes good.

I've taught myself how to make many of the traditional dim sum items, wheat starch wrappers, fun guo, shu mai, steam sticky rice, ham sui kwok, cheung fun, chinese puff pastry, wu kwok, yuba rolls. My technique isn't perfect but I know I can probably do it better than some traditional chefs. We don't harangue chefs like Heston Blumenthal or Alvin Leung (of Bo Innovation fame) for not having spent 20 years apprenticing before opening their own restaurant in quite the same way.

This is not denying that there's bad fusion or poorly executed fusion but I think that sometimes because we have a pre-conceived notion that chefs that do fusion aren't as well versed in the classics that their product is worse. Let's put two plates side by side and compare!

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

And now a fellow poster has been backed into a corner, if the poster doesn't reply people will think they're insensitive and mean, if for some reason the OP misrepresented the sequence of events KSR can't post to defend themselves because people would consider it combatative so their only recourse is to grovel and apologize.

Best HK style baked porkchop on rice?

Didn't know Moon Cafe offered the things it used to offer in its previous incarnation, I stopped going after they started to emphasize their mix and match noodle soup combos since I'm not big into noodle soups.

Duck experts: How to braise duck breast

Roasting duck breast mid-rare is great, but a very Western-centric approach. Lots of cuisines cook ducks whole, leaving the breast well done. Admittedly, the texture is never the same as a pink duck breast but it can be just as satisfying. I recommending digging up a recipe for fesenjan, a Persian duck stew with pomegranates and walnuts

Mar 09, 2015
Blueicus in Home Cooking

Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

Sorry it was my error to direct that post in your direction, but it certainly concerns other people on the panel. just my opinion, but I think some of the suburban chinese places are still going strong, even if their clientele is very neighborhood chinese

Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

There's an inherent bias in most of our top list, we don't give high-end Chinese its due. Oh sure, we'll nominate sort-of Chinese places like Bao Bei and call ourselves ethnically diverse but I don't for one minute think the food there and where I work better than the more traditional dishes served at places like Chef Tony or Sea Harbour, etc. and that's not including the high end Toronto Chinese restaurants

Canada's Top 100?

It's not a matter of integrity, it's a matter of exposure. Let's use me as an example: I'm a fairly typical blue-collar chef, I work at a moderately priced restaurant in YVR. I have one (real) day off a week and in the past year I've eaten out at maybe 15 unique restaurants in the country that weren't ramen, inexpensive sushi or otherwise 'serviceable food' (and I'm sadly a Chowhound). Out of those 15 how many of those could I have truly said to myself were 'better' than the ones on the top 100 list? Frankly almost none. So given that exposure if I were asked what I feel are the top restaurants in Canada were, how would I reply?

The Toronto board has the top 10 poll each year, if there was a top 10 YVR poll based on where I've eaten in the last 18 months my list would look sort of strange and insular indeed.

Canada's Top 100?

That sounds sorta like the Michelin Guide. As a chef I'm frankly skeptical of having other chefs form any significant part of the judging panel: firstly, when a well-known chef visits a particular restaurant (especially one where they're known in the city or nationally) they hardly ever get the 'standard treatment'. Secondly, chefs working at that level are incredibly cliquey, they spend most of their waking hours working anyways, and if they have time to travel they're usually doing events and hanging out with chefs they know or have met, which reinforces the insularity of the group. Of course these chefs are going to vote for each other, who else would they vote for?

Canada's Top 100?

The industry would be better served with something like a James beard award style thing nationally than a pithy list. Admittedly the selection committee may not be too different between the two but it would be better recognition for the less heavy names

Foodie take note: Great news! Michelin Star Chef backed restaurant opening up in April!!

Oh lord, Bo Innovation actually has three stars? Didn't even notice that

Yaletown lunch on a Sunday in March with gluten free options?

Good Wolfe is no longer in operation.

On Being a Chef, Nobody Gets Out Alive

Agreed, though for a lot of chefs the first act can stretch much longer and may never end... which is not necessarily a bad thing. The thing about advice such as this is that although it's always appreciated to be well informed about the challenges of a particular field of work (long hours! little respect! you'll have to pay your dues!) I think it's a huge disservice to be actively recruiting people away from it. Like other sectors the culinary industry faces challenges in terms of attrition, changing demands for skill sets, etc. If we suddenly dissuade all these people from working these jobs (much like farming), then we continue down the path of industrialized, mass produced mediocrity.

And if everybody takes up a 9-5 job, who will do the rest of the jobs that apparently nobody else wants to do? That phenomenon is already alive and kicking in 21st century North America, and this sort of attitude only makes the situation worse.

I for one don't regret going into the industry and if eventually I have difficulties doing it due to my physical state then so be it. A lot of people take several tries to find a career that suits them and some end up doing sometime their entire life only for the paycheque and waiting for the weekend/end of the shift. I for one find that incredibly sad.

Feb 23, 2015
Blueicus in Not About Food

2015 RESTAURANT Closings in Toronto? To June 30...

They're speed holes, they make the burger go faster

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #10 – 01/07/15 (spoilers)

agreed, a pressure cooker should reduce most meats to falling apart tenderness by 1 hour. With the added time of searing and bringing the stock up to a boil it brings the cook time up another 20 minutes. The only real challenge is that you can't casually open it up and poke the meat to check, which a lot of chefs like to do, though if you are smart about it you can quickly depressurize, check, put the lid back on then pressurize in about five minutes

Jan 09, 2015
Blueicus in Food Media & News

Vancouver’s top new restaurants of 2014

And when she hates something she has a habit of continually kicking them long after she's reviewed the place

Vancouver’s top new restaurants of 2014

Let's just say she's capable of holding a grudge.

Sodium Citrate -- First Attempt

I don't know if there's any science behind it or if I'm crazy but the muting of flavours has happened to me too. Made a fonduta out of taleggio and once I added the sodium citrate, boom, the distinct aroma of that cheese faded away. If it isn't the ph change doing something perhaps the emulsion causes flavours to be more difficult to perceive, such as the difference between a very stiff mayo and a runny mayo

Dec 08, 2014
Blueicus in Home Cooking

Dumpling disaster, any ideas?

Making gyoza-style dumplings that don't contain wheat or wheat starch is, unfortunately, practically impossible. It would probably be better to make a cooked crepe with your flour, wrap it around your filling then cook it again. Glutinous rice dumplings (tang yuen in Chinese) are made with the glutinous rice flour and cold water, a bit of hot water can be used to gelatinized some of the starch but you can't do that to all of the starches or you will get the sticky mess you referred to.

The cooking method for tang yuen is usually to steam or boil them, frying doesn't really brown rice flours much

Dec 07, 2014
Blueicus in Home Cooking

Globe Review of America in the Trump Tower

I would like to see the lunch ladies tackle the foie torchon

What's in the fluorescent red cooked smoked salmon?

If the label says pink salmon it should be of the species Oncorhynchus gorbuscha,a pacific salmon that is typically caught wild. The colour is probably just natural colouration from its diet. Salmon flesh colour does vary greatly depending on species, diet, and time of year

Nov 27, 2014
Blueicus in General Topics

Lots of high profile new restaurant closings, anyone know why?

Yeah, their Facebook page mentions it. It was actually from that news I started to think...

Lots of high profile new restaurant closings, anyone know why?

Now that you brought attention to my typo it would be wrong to edit my OP. Chef changes could explain yours truly and possibly Bero (although if I recall the restaurant closed way too soon after cantor left) but the chef at The Grove is still there, right? Same with ursa.