Category Archives: Food

5 Tips We Learned From Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

Stuffed again!

Jessica and I joined lots of Calgarians at Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown 2013. In addition to trying out 11 top chef’s creations in one stop, we went to support sustainable seafood. What a fun experience! What a great way to showcase sustainable ingredients. It sure got people talking and spreading the awareness of a more responsible way of life.

Chowder is such a comfort food especially on a cold day, or 6 months of winter in our case. We learned a few tricks from the pros as we savoured and appreciated the imagination poured into all 11 chowder creations tonight. Ready to spice up your winter?


1. Pork rind is a fantastic substitute for bread or cracker in your chowder.

Tonight’s Chowder created by Chef Paul Mcgeevy of CRAFT Beer Market won the Best Paring with beer. This grey cod, chorizo 7 chicharon chowder was topped with an oversized super crispy pork grind.

2.  Vegetable chips such as kale chips are also brilliant alternative to bread or cracker for your next chowder.

Chef Rebecca House of Thompsons topped her Smoked Salmon Chowder with kale chips and it won tonight’s People’s Choice title. Chef Andrew Keen of Redwater Grill added a splash of colour and texture to his Pacific Oyster & Parsnip Chowder with vegetable chips.

3. Devonshire cream can be used to add richness and flavour to your chowder.

Yes, devonshire cream commonly used with tea scones is proven to perform wonders in Chef Dustin Schafer‘s Smoked Salmon and Candied Scallop Chowder tonight.    He dropped a dollop of devonshire cream mixed with roasted sweet corns in the cup before pouring over steaming hot chowder to complete the serving. I was in heaven.

4. Okra adds body to none cream based chowder.

For those who are lactose intolerant, creamy chowder can be a dangerous craving. Chef Darren Maclean‘s DTF Modern Chowder was the only chowder without cream tonight.  He used okra to add body to his creation. It’s such a surprising and genius modification to a chowder. The bold and memorable flavor won tonight’s Best Chowder!

5. Cheese kills the heat.

There were a few spicy chowders tonight, mostly curry spices. A big cheese station offering generous portion of Asiago, Brie and Goat cheeses was placed half way down the lineup of chowder stations. It sure was a great relief to prepare us in challenging all of the full-flavored chowders tonight.



238 People and Vivacova at a Really Really Long Table

Another super fun and happy night! Life is so very good.

Thank you City Palate for making this fantastic vision come true! Dinner outdoors in a summer night with live music by The Polyjesters, laughter at the table, attentive service, spontaneous waves of raising glass up and down the really really long table. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Food tastes so much better when shared with others. Imagine how good it was sharing with 238 others all together!

Dinner was $150 a head and $25 per person for wine pairing. Proceeds went to Red Cross Flood Relief, most definitely a night worthwhile.  It’s unreal to think downtown Calgary was under water on June 20th, 2013. With less than 90 days after the major flood, we recovered to be strong enough to party in the middle of 8th avenue, heart of downtown. It’s a blessing.

5 courses were served and 7 of our personal frequent choice of restaurants on 8th avenue participated, Blink, Catch & The Oyster Bar, Charcut, Divino, Teatro, The Belvedere, and Trib Steakhouse. Wines were chosen by The Cellar for those choose to pair with their meals. Our Mayer Nenshi only had time to stop by for a fun filled speech while drooling over what’s in everyone’s dinner plate. He had to get back to his Mayer duties.

I hope City Palate plans to throw this amazing party again soon. Maybe add an alcohol free mocktail for those non-drinkers, wink wink!

The Really Really Long Table Dinner by City PalateThe Really Really Long Table Dinner by City PalateThe Really Really Long Table Dinner by City PalateThe Really Really Long Table Dinner by City PalateThe Really Really Long Table Dinner by City PalateThe Really Really Long Table Dinner by City Palate



Good Eat: Down Town Food Modern Bistro Calgary

Modern day conveniences keep our palates satisfied regardless of seasonalities and without geographical boundaries. What’s often forgotten is what our native land has to offer. With commitment to using local ingredients, DownTownFood (DTF) took us exploring the flavours of the season and of the land. It’s no easy task for a restaurant in Calgary, landlocked and long harsh Winter with major temperature swings (chinook), to insist on local ingredients and sustainability. Foodies in Calgary, you are in luck!

Chef’s tasting menu is often our first choice on the menu during first visit. It tells uncompromising stories by the chefs, through which, unpublished tit-bits were often found. DTF’s Garde Manger chatted with us about the meal. We found that his favorite ingredient is mushroom. He experiments like a mad scientist in the kitchen. He wears trendy cap perhaps to hide his mad scientist hair from the hot kitchen (lab). Haha. We’ll be going back for the next seasonal menu for sure, and maybe get a chance to also chat with DTF’s Chef Darren MacLean in person.




V Indicators:

1. Delicious non-alcohol beverages: yes

2. Checks on the table: 4

3. The decibel point: 67

4. The price tag: $75.00/ person without wine pairing


Good Eat: Spanish Restaurant in Miami – Casa Juancho Restaurant

We came here with the local friends.  Casa Juancho Restaurant offers live music = FUN!

Food and sangria were excellent!  The baby eel and roasted pepper appetizers were great!  Seafood paella was delicious!!!  Caramel Custard & Pear poached in red wine sauce wrapped up a perfect day with friends in Miami!


Good Eat Review: Oyster Bar Restaurant inside Grand Central Station NYC

We walked by the Oyster Bar Restaurant inside the Grand Central Station in New York City many times in the past and didn’t get a chance to try it.  This past January when we took Mom to NYC, we took her to the Oyster Bar restaurant for lunch since she loves oyster and seafood!


New menu is printed daily!   他們每日打印新的菜單喔!


Retro upscale diner décor.   餐館裝飾是高檔又復古的風格。

Heavenly lunch with a good price!  We recommend this place for a great seafood lunch!



It’s a great place to dine when you visit NYC.

Winery Review – Schnebly Redland’s Winery in Florida

Our dear friend, Celebrity Designer, Kiki Hamann brought us to this paradise-like Schnebly family winery.  It’s the southernmost winery in the United States and it produces the most exotic handcrafted tropical wines, using no grapes!  The winery has beautiful tropical gardens, coral waterfalls and cool tiki huts.

They offer wine tasting daily and tours on weekends.  They even have live music and dancing every Friday nights!  We had a fabulous relaxing time wine tasting in the beautiful garden with our dear friends.  We tried Avocado wine, Starfruit wine, Lychee wine, Mango wine… just to name a few.  Tasting cost is $9.95 USD per person and you can keep the etched Schnebly wine glass :-) We loved all the wines that we sampled and brought home a few bottles!  They also brew exotic fruit beers but we didn’t get to try it.  We’ll go back for sure!  We highly recommend this winery to anyone who is visiting southern Florida.  It’s a great experience!


我們朋友,名設計師,琪琪哈曼,帶我們來了這個世外桃源般的Schnebly家族酒莊。這是在美國最南端的酒莊。 它產生最奇特的,手工製作的,熱帶水果酒,完全沒有用葡萄做的酒!該酒廠擁有美麗的熱帶花園,珊瑚的瀑布和清涼的夏威夷風情木屋。

他們每日提供品酒的服務和週末遊覽。他們甚至每週五晚有現場音樂和舞蹈!我們有一個美妙的下午,與我們的親愛的朋友們在美麗的花園內放鬆品酒。我們試了酪梨酒,楊桃酒,荔枝酒,芒果酒…這只是僅舉幾例。 :-) 我們很喜歡我們品嚐的水果酒,也帶回家了幾瓶!品酒的費用是每人$ 9.95美元,你還可以保留Schnebly酒杯做記念!







Easter Brunch at Habitat Canmore

Yeah! It’s the long weekend and the weather was BEAUTIFUL! My husband and I drove to the Rocky Mountains with our dear friend for a much needed long weekend get away. We kept it schedule free, just wondered around the town of Canmore and soaked up our vitamin D with warm Spring sunshine and mountain fresh air.

Rolling off the bed with the sound of running creek pass 10:30am, we were all hungry. Our local friend suggested we check out this restaurant called Habitat located at Grande Rockies Resort for their Easter Brunch. It’s $25 a head, simple offering with full flavours. Traditional Easter ham was served with amazing fruit compote. Besides the regular brunch buffet items like fresh herb scramble eggs, sausages and bacons, Eggs Benedict, flaky pastry and fresh fruits; Habitat revealed a bit of its famous dinner menu charm with curry cauliflower soup and red wine beef stew that stole my husband’s heart before noon hour.

Brunch doesn’t seem to be a regular routine at Habitat. May be it’s an Easter special. Humorous and attentive service sure made me want to come back and try out their lunch and dinner indulgence.





























































Good Eat Review: Brunch at Lougheed House in Calgary

Lougheed House is a historical house full of history.  It’s located in downtown Calgary (on 13 Ave SW between 6 & 7 St).  Most people don’t know that they also have a restaurant there – call “The Restaurant.”  It serves lunch from Wednesday to Sunday (11am to 2pm MT) and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 2pm.  The food is always good.  They use as much local food as possible.  It’s a lovely place for a nice brunch on the weekend with family – they take reservations & it’s kid-friendly.  You can also make reservation to have private function.

Lougheed House是位於卡爾加里市中心(13 AVE SW, 6及7街之間),一家充滿了歷史的建築。大多數人不知道,他們還有一個餐廳 – 供應午餐從週三到週日(上午11時至下午2時MT),週六和週日早午餐從上午10時至下午2時。他們盡可能地使用當地的食材,他們做得食物總是很好吃。春夏時,可欣賞他們著名的花園。 這實在是個和家庭人享受早午餐不錯的地方。

Good Eat Review: Lazy Monkey in NW Calgary – Taiwanese Casual Food

卡加利的台灣小吃 – 懶猴

Lazy Monkey is a Taiwanese restaurant in NW Calgary.  It’s a small family operated restaurant.  They offer some popular Taiwanese comfort food and a variety of the famous Taiwanese bubble tea drinks.

We visit it pretty often.  :-)

Some of our favourite items:

  • Chicken Thigh with rice
  • Spring noodle soup
  • Dry ribs
  • Taiwanese version of “popcorn chicken”
  • Coconut toast
  • Bubble teas: My hubby’s favourite bubble tea is half sweet Passionfruit Green Tea with pearls (“bubbles”).  Mine is half sweet Lychee black tea with pearls.  If you like dessert flan (like me), then you must try “Pudding Milk Tea” – I usually ask “no sugar” for the milk tea since the pudding is already sweetened.  You can try it “half sweet” for the first time.

排骨飯 Deep Fried Pork Chop with Rice

雞腿飯 Deep Fried Chicken with rice



Good Eat in Calgary: Q Haute Cuisine

We recently had an amazing dinner experience at Q Haute Cuisine in downtown Calgary!  We will definitely go back for more!  The Chef’s table in the kitchen sounds very interesting – that may be the next thing we try!

If you are a foodie and love some extraordinary culinary surprises, then I’d recommend you to try the Chef’s tasting menu at Q Haute Cuisine with wine pairing.  You can pick the number of courses and how many glasses of wine you prefer.  It’s a great restaurant for a special occasion and for foodies.

Take a look at our delicious 8-course chef’s tasting menu dinner below: (which included a dessert “cooked” with liquid nitrogen by the table side! Super cool!)

dessert cooked with liquid nitrogen

Everything is made and sealed in the kitchen


mini assorted desserts

toasted marshmallow + camomile tea (in the tube below the marshmallow)

Until next time… Cheers!



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You can see the menu and book your table on their website –