Banana Leaf Vancouver BC
I was in Vancouver, BC 2 weeks ago and I went to Canada to run the Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon. I run with the Lululemon running group here in my neighborhood and enjoy the experience and camaraderie immensely. Multiple studies have shown and I can attest to the fact that exercising in a group or with a buddy is the surest path to success. My running group keeps me accountable and they make those dang miles fly by quickly! Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon I have made it my mission to try Malaysian restaurants whenever I travel and boy was I lucky! Vancouver has 5 Malaysian restaurants but unfortunately I only had time to try 1! Banana Leaf Vancouver BC has five locations and I ate at the Davie St location. The restaurant space is larger than it seems on the outside. It has a nice SEAsian decor with Malaysian batik cloth and wooden carvings tastefully displayed on it’s brightly colored walls. It is most definitely a casual restaurant, more of a cafe atmosphere and reservations are definitely highly recommended as they fill up quickly. All food descriptions were taken from the menu. Location Cocktail Lychee Mojito Appetizers Roti Canai Flaky layered bread served with coconut curry sauce. One of India’s great culinary contributions to Malaysia. Gado Gado Hot bean sprouts and tofu, with cucumber, potato and green beans. Topped off with egg and satay peanut sauce Entrees Beef Rendang Boneless lean beef stewed in spicy coconut gravy. Char Kuey Teow Fried flat rice noodles in sweet chilli, soy sauce, egg, bean sprouts, shrimp, fish cakes and squid. Dessert Kuih Dadar Pandan flavored crepe filled with dried coconut which has been steeped in gula melaka or palm sugar. Overall Review I feel a little ridiculous saying this but everything was truly terrific! The beef rendang curry and Char Kuey Teow were true standouts. The beef rendang curry had so much flavor as should be when this dish is braised properly. There are no shortcuts to a good beef rendang and it was so nice to have such an outstanding one outside of Malaysia. The Char Kuey Teow was simply amazing. It had that all important wok hei or fragrance from the wok akin to the barbecue flavoring that accompanies grilled meats. The wok hei makes this dish almost impossible to replicate for home cooks unless you are one of the fortunate few who have access to a very large cooking flame (which is also a sure sign that you should try out for Iron Chef)! Char Kuey Teow is one of my all time favorite comfort foods, so a big thank you goes out to Banana Leaf Vancouver BC for all the wonderful memories that this sublime dish evoked! The service was excellent. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and attentive to our dietary needs and requests. They have a large menu which also includes some Thai and Indonesian dishes. They also have a fixed price tasting menu for lunch and dinner. Most entrees cost around C$15 and they are open 7 days a week from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm on weekdays and 10:30 pm on weekends. Vancouver, BC Of course, I can’t end this post without posting some of the photos I took of beautiful Vancouver. I also especially want to thank Gillian, a fellow food blogger whom I met at the Food Fight Write Conference here in Las Vegas last year. Gillian hosted me for a few days in Vancouver and we got to visit Granville Island and most importantly try some terrific food. Gillian is today’s epitome of a renaissance woman. She is a retired physician and biochemist who reviews restaurants, wine, theater performances, books, travel and also somehow manages to find time to ballroom dance! She writes at Review from The House. It really was such a fantastic trip; a sort of homecoming for me because I went to high school in Vancouver and this trip brought back such wonderful memories. I’ll most definitely be back next year and can’t wait to explore and rediscover more of beautiful British Columbia! I was in Vancouver, BC 2 weeks ago and I went to Canada to run the Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon. I run with the Lululemon running group here in my neighborhood and enjoy the experience and camaraderie immensely. Multiple studies have shown and I can attest to the fact that exercising in… Banana Leaf Vancouver BC Banana Leaf Vancouver BC 2015-08-28 Lila Asnani Lila's Review Service Flavor Price Cleanliness 83 Most definitely worth a visit. Terrific food and ambiance and great value for the high quality. User Rating: No Ratings Yet ! 83
Easy Vietnamese Chicken Sandwich Recipe
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a restful and good holiday season. Thank you for joining me after my short hiatus! Here is my easy Vietnamese chicken sandwich recipe which you can prepare in 20 minutes! I have written about Vietnamese sandwiches before and the Banh Mi is a great alternative to your regular sandwich. 5.0 from 1 reviews Print Easy Vietnamese Chicken Sandwich Recipe Author: Lila Asnani from SEAsiaeats.com Recipe type: Main Dish Cuisine: SEAsian Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 20 mins Serves: 2 Quick and easy Vietnamese Chicken Sandwich ready in 20 minutes using ingredients from your local supermarket. Ingredients Sauce 1/4 cup water ¼ cup sugar ½ cup rice vinegar 1 baguette 4 T mayonnaise a few drops of Sriracha sauce ¼ cup carrots -julienned ¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber 1 jalapeno pepper-seeded 1 wedge lime 2 T fresh cilantro ½ breast of store bought rotisserie chicken-sliced Instructions Make ahead:Add sugar to water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Add vinegar to sugar water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Marinate carrots in vinegar sauce. In separate bow, mix mayonnaise with Sriracha and set aside. Assemble sandwich. Slice baguette in half lengthwise and toast in broiler or on skillet. Spread mayonnaise mix on each half of the baguette. Arrange cucumber slices on bottom half of baguette. Place chicken slices on top of cucumber. Drain marinated carrots and add on top of chicken slices. Add cilantro, followed by jalapenos in layers. Squeeze the wedge of lime over the filling. Top with other half of baguette. Slice baguette in half and serve! 3.2.2925 Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com Lila’s Tips and Tricks Bread: I cannot stress this enough; you need to use a baguette (my fanaticism about the use of a proper baguette) or another good alternative would be Ciabatta bread. You need a crispy bread for the shell because of the mayonnaise and the marinated carrots. Otherwise, your sandwich will be a sad and soggy mess. Spread: Adding Sriracha to your mayonnaise is optional but I like the spicy kick it adds to the Banh Mi especially since I used seeded jalapenos. Vegetables: I used a vegetable mandoline for my cucumbers. You can also use the mandoline for your carrots. Easy Peasy! I tried it both ways (julienned and sliced) and I don’t think it makes a difference for the carrots! Julienned carrots are traditional and is not an issue unless you’re serving this to say, your Vietnamese grandma who is persnickety about presentation…..But then again, she might be impressed by your shortcut! They probably didn’t have mandolines when this recipe was originally created! You can also add julienned daikon (Japanese radish) to your marinate. I chose to use vegetables that you can find commonly in an American grocery store. Daikons can usually be found in an Asian grocery store if you have access to one. They’re a nice addition but not necessary. Variations: This is such an adaptable recipe. A traditional Banh Mi will have ham and pate (French roots in Vietnamese cuisine) but you can use almost any roasted or lunch meats as a substitute. Try roast beef or roast pork! You can also prepare a vegetarian version by using fried firm tofu. I like to serve my Banh Mi with fresh fruits or a vegetable salad and this makes such a quick, healthy and refreshing meal. I hope you will try this recipe now that you know how easy and inexpensive it is to prepare a Vietnamese sandwich. Bon Appetit!
IFBC 2015 Seattle
IFBC 2015 Seattle I am always looking for opportunities to improve myself as a blogger and conferences are a great way to do just that. They are good opportunities to learn new skills (like social media promotion) and hone in on current skills, which always involve writing in some shape and form for me. I also really enjoy meeting other bloggers and networking with them. There are also many different sponsors that attend these events, so the conferences are always a good test of your social skills! Last month, I attended the IFBC (International Food Blogging Conference) which was held in Seattle. I am doing a 3 part, interspersed series on my IFBC 2015 Seattle experience and this is the first installment. (Consider this a diary of sorts.) I last visited Seattle 4 years ago and Seattle has changed a lot since then. It has a thriving and exciting food scene and I love their emphasis on sustainability and local products. This shouldn’t be surprising when you consider the abundance of nearby farms, in addition to all the amazing seafood that comes from the Pacific ocean and of course Alaska. I also love it that they have an extremely efficient light rail system that brought me from the airport to my hotel in downtown Seattle, for $3 in 35 min! I explored Seattle a little and one of the highlights was my visit to Pike’s Market. My sister in-law, Gina runs a lavender business at the market. Lejardindejordan is a small family business that hand makes all their products. Gina imports the lavender locally and from France and sells items like lavender bath and linen sachets, linen sprays, bath soaps and stress balls. Pike’s Market Seattle Gina’s stress balls are filled with lavender flowers so they release the soothing and pleasing lavender fragrance when squeezed. No oils or perfumes are used, so the fragrance lasts longer, and the more the stress balls are squeezed, the more fragrance is released. I’m a natural fidgeter so these stress balls come in mightily handy when I am mulling over my writing. The squeezing motion accompanied by the lavender fragrance does wonders for my concentration and helps me refocus on the subject at hand! Lejardindujordan Lavender Stressballs A study by the University of Maryland on the health benefits and history of lavender explores the use of “this herb as a remedy for a range of ailments from insomnia and anxiety to depression and fatigue. Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled”. The study also discusses precautions and possible interactions and I highly recommend that you peruse this study if you would like to learn more about the healing properties of lavender. Lejardindujordan Lavender Products Gina also does mail order and I have given her lovely bath sachets as baby shower favors to much success. So if you’re ever in Seattle, drop by her market stand and tell her I sent you. If her high quality products don’t charm you then her personality and sweet smile surely will! Another highlight was my dining experience at the Space Needle. The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and drew over 2.3 million visitors! Did you know that they still hold World’s Fairs? This year it is in Milan, Italy and I wonder what the Italians will build to mark the occasion? The Space Needle is 605 ft high and 138 ft wide. It is built to withstand winds up to 200 miles/hr and a 9.1 magnitude earthquake. There is an observation deck at 520 ft and the rotating SkyCity restaurant is just below, at 500 ft. Seattle Space Needle We dined at the SkyCity restaurant and I had Caesar salad and mushroom bisque. I truly couldn’t have eaten a full meal. You see, the thing about Food Blogging Conferences is that they always feed you and they feed you well! So I had spent the whole day nibbling on delicacies like fresh oysters, smoked salmon, charchuterie, cheeses and of course, wine, wine and more wine. I know, it’s a tough life but someone has to do it….! These were 2 of my favorite outings during my time at IFBC 2015 Seattle and I will write more about the actual food workshops in upcoming posts which will be published in between new restaurant reviews.