This past weekend was completely insane. With trying over three popular restaurants all around Vancouver and also visiting English Bay, hitting up one gelato and one super unique ice cream stop and finally getting to try some Soap & Glory products, my past month of living with three boys due to subletting in a shared unit and juggling two classes and a job is not that bad after all when it’s in a city such as Vancouver.
So here’s to recap, things I ate, sights I saw, and stuff I bought and used this past sunny weekend!
FRIDAY, MAY 30TH, 2014:
Restaurant: Trattoria’s | ★★★★ |1850 W 4th Ave, Vancouver
I’m going to make this review as unbiased as possible since one of my good friends works at this restaurant. However, I don’t need to worry about being biased because my honest, 100% review believes that this restaurant is fantastic. I am a really impatient person when it comes to food, waiting for my food to arrive at a restaurant, even if it’s something as fast as sushi sometimes, will really piss me off. However, this is the second fancy Italian restaurant I’ve ever been to, and the fifth *really nice* restaurant I’ve been to, and the wait honestly is not that bad. (Faster than Cactus Club for sure!)
We weren’t feeling too hungry so Jasper and I decided to order the shared Antipasto plate, I’ve inserted the exact menu screenshot I took below so you can look at it. Here’s there dinner menu PDF if you’re interested.
All I can say is, oh my gosh the portobello mushroom was HEAVEN. We’ve purchased portobello mushrooms before from farmer’s markets and our local grocery store in attempts to make mushroom burgers but it just doesn’t taste the same. I particularly enjoy the polenta bolognese and prawn arancini, which is basically just lasagna and little shrimp meatballs, but they were darn good.
As you can see from above, the shared plate cost roughly $38 since it was $18.95 per person. I rated this restaurant four stars mainly because I thought the food was a little bit pricey and out of my range since I’m a broke university student. However, if you live in the area and want to treat yourself, definitely consider coming to Trattoria’s because you won’t be disappointed!
That being said, there were a lot of seniors and businesspeople at the restaurant when we went around 8PM, so if I ever get to come back to this place when I’m older and more stable, I think five stars, or at least 4.5 stars would be my new review.
SATURDAY, MAY 31ST, 2014:
Eatery: Mondo Gelato | ★★★★½ | 1094 Denman St, Vancouver
My review of this gelato joint seems to match with google review’s rating of 4.3, so I suppose this should be a fairly accurate representation. Now, unlike sushi and noodle restaurants, I haven’t been to many gelato places in my life. But, this one definitely stood out.
First of all, its funky flavours such as Espresso Crème Brule and Rose really caught my eye. But I’m more of a fruit-flavoured dessert fan so I went for the Indian Mango and Watermelon ones instead. Perhaps boring to some people, but it inspired some of my friends to do the same. The picture above shows my friend Nick and I spotting the exact same flavours!
The extra half star that sets this apart from a 4 star rating to a 4.5 star rating is mainly the price. For two scoops I spent about $5.00, which in retrospect, compared to places like Marble Slab and Yogen Fruz these days, for two delicious flavours and a cone, the price was reasonable. And the gelato itself? Absolutely delicious.
If you’re slightly lactose intolerant like me and also hate the idea of thick milk and cremes such as 2% milk, you will still enjoy Mondo Gelato’s treats because they’re rich in flavour but with just the right amount.
Chilling by the English Bay beach near Robson Street in downtown Vancouver after our gelato adventures!
Restaurant: Santouka Ramen | ★★★½ | 1690 Robson St, Vancouver
This noodle house is a place that I’ve heard so many people rave about in the asian and foodie community. I haven’t started really becoming a foodie who does reviews until this year but judging by the dragon long lines and countless picture frames depicting critic’s awards for this ramen house, it had to be good.
When my friends and I got there a large line had already developed so we waited outside and looked at the display, which was cool because they displayed the menu for you in 3D with model noodles and side dishes enlisted with prices so you could see what you want before you go in. It definitely is a fast-in-and-out place since so many people were lining up and coming out of it. When we finally got in, the service was friendly and fast. The food didn’t take too long to arrive and of course, I ordered the spicy noodle soup because anything spicy is a yes in my book.
The ramen noodle itself was very good, tender with flavour. The soup was much thicker than a ramen normal soup, and all my friends noticed as well. I didn’t get a ton of vegetables or mushrooms in my soup but it was understandable because the model in the display didn’t show that much vegetable either. (You had to pay for extra)
Overall, the service was good but nothing too extravagant, it was hard to enjoy yourself in the restaurant because it was such a quick atmosphere but the food is very good. Price is decent and it was easy to talk to whomever you came with since we were sitting at a rounded corner of the table, so I could see and talk to my friends more easily. I’m giving this noodle house 3.5 stars because I think it’s a little bit overrated, I’m a big fan of noodles but have tasted much better. Not to say that this place isn’t good, it’s above average, but not by that much.
SUNDAY, JUNE 1ST, 2014:
Restaurant: Brown’s Social House | ★★★★ | 3651 W 10th Ave Vancouver
Jasper and I were originally planning to get Thai food in Kitsilano, but the 84 bus stopped by this restaurant and it caught my eye instead. I remembered this place because I saw one of my friends post about it on instagram so we ditched the Thai food and decided to give this place a try.
Something really strange about this restaurant is that it’s a “Social House”, so you’d expect it to be loud right? And sure enough it was, middle-aged hockey fans hooted extremely loudly twice while we were trying to enjoy our meal, however it all added to the atmosphere.
Despite the commotion, it was a very relaxed dining experience because we chose to sit at a little corner with comfy seats and just the right amount of shaded sun. One thing I noticed is that this social house is very much the same style as Cactus Club or Boston Pizza when it comes to the servers, pretty, youthful Caucasian women who were all very easy-going and happy. But, this didn’t distract from the dining experience since our waitress was very friendly and gave us privacy without talking too too much.
I guess a part of me secretly still wanted Thai food, so I ordered the Thai chicken and rice soup combined with Half a pizza (Biltimore pizza with pesto, feta cheese, prawns and margarita tomato) combo for $11.95, which I thought was a pretty good deal. Jasper ordered the fish and chips and also baby back ribs. Which by the way, the ribs were so juicy, tender and easy to cut that Jasper described them as: “So good that I feel like it’s not even real.”
Despite the good atmosphere, chill vibes, awesome food and reasonable prices, I’m giving this social house a four star because for the two people seatings, they have realllllyyyy small tables. We could barely fit the three plates onto our table, and the server even sheepishly admitted that as she tried to arrange it.
Other than that, I’m really glad we gave this place a try and I will definitely be coming here again next time when I want a restaurant that gives off good vibes and great western-style cuisine.
Eatery: Rain or Shine Ice Cream | ★★★★★ | 102–1926 West 4th Ave Vancouver
Wrapping up this weekend of great food and great company we decided to hit up this ice cream joint that Jasper and I were hoping to go to Friday night after Trattoria’s but got kicked out instead because they were about to clean up. Nevertheless, I’m really glad that we were persistent and decided to go again because this place was soooooo gooddd!
I said before that Mondo Gelato had some really unique flavours, but this place definitely takes the trophy for putting ‘FLAVOR’ into the word ‘FLAVORFUL’. Here’s their menu if you wanna check it out.
I got the sea salted chocolate rosemary and blueberry balsamic flavours in a single double scoop cone while Jasper got the honey lavender and wheatale. (Very interesting flavours!) I wasn’t a big fan of Jasper’s picks because I dislike beer (wheatale), but the honey lavender one I wouldn’t mind trying next time. I was extremely pleased with my picks of sea salted chocolate rosemary because I love flavour (spicy as mentioned previously) and this scoop tasted like a decadent and cooling chocolate bar that you’d expect to find in an expensive store in Germany or something. Meanwhile, the blueberry balsamic scoop tasted EXACTLY like fresh blueberries, probably because they actually had blueberry chucks in there. But alias, it was heavenly.
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Lastly, this isn’t exactly food but is something that I’m very happy I found this past weekend! Shoppers recently started carrying the Soap & Glory line, which I’m super excited about because SO MANY YouTubers talk about this brand but I never got the chance to try it. When I saw some of the items in the Shoppers close to Brown’s Social House, I seriously had to constrain myself. So in the end I just got these two things:
Truth be told I was a little bit disappointed with the lip moisture balm (A Great Kisser) because Ingrid (missglamorazzi) on YouTube described it as smelling like peaches, but I find it smelling a lot like vanilla, resembling Nivea’s Vanilla & Macadamia lip butter quite a bit so it’s basically the same thing but more expensive and glossy/sticky.
The scrub however, SMELLS SO GOOD. I’m not even sure how I can describe it to do it justice. As it says on the packaging: ‘Shea butter, sugar and peach seed powder spa body polish.’ I’m really looking forward to trying this out later because I feel like it’s going to be quite different from Lush’s Ocean Salt and The Body Shop’s Peach cream scrub. Plus, it was cheaper than both of those products!
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So that just about sums up my incredible weekend in terms of food, site-seeing, and catching up with friends. I hope you all had a lovely weekend as well, and definitely give all the food places I recommended a try because hey, if you’re in Vancouver, might as well take advantage of the amazing stuff that’s in this city!
To end this post, here, have a picture of a happy, tiny Matt Bellamy jamming his brains out and being adorable.