June 26 Tasting Plates East Vancouver Vegetarian Summer Edition

Join us for our next all Vegetarian edition of our Tasting Plates series as you visit some of our favourite restaurants in East Vancouver between Commercial Drive and Main Street. This evening vegetarian tasting extravaganza is on Wednesday June 26 from 6pm until 10pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.


Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates and Tasting Cups for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

If you haven’t been to our previous Tasting Plates events, Novus TV featured one of our previous events on City Lights (view here).

Visit our Tasting Plates site and view our past events, photos and more!

See our last Vegetarian tasting plates event and what was served to guests here.

Registration: tba- this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Passports and menus.

Participating Restaurants and Establishments

Do Chay Saigon Vegetarian

1392 Kingsway, Vancouver

Instagram @eatdochay

Cuisine: Vietnamese

New restaurant offering all vegetarian and vegan Vietnamese fare, infused with modern flavours.



2815 Main Street

Web: https://maizalrestaurant.ca/

Twitter: @maizalyvr

Instagram: @maizal_yvr

Cuisine: Mexican

Vancouver Foodster Review

Enjoy classic hand-crafted cuisine just like on the streets of Mexico. Enjoy gluten free dishes, real Mexican beverages and their famous soft shell tacos. Fresh corn tortillas made to order and more.

Watch for the lineup of Participating Restaurants/Establishments unveiled next month


Early-Bird Tickets: $36 per person through June 11, 2019

Advance Tickets $45 per person after June 11, 2019

Regular $60 per person after June 23, 2019

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Note: ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another person for the same event if you notify us at least 48 hours in advance with name (s) of who will be attending in your place. Participating restaurants subject to change. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc. This is an all ages event.

January Vegan Cooking Classes at Wild Rice in New Westminster

Wild Rice logoOK, the holiday season is over and all our binging.  It’s time to treat our bodies better in 2013.  One way is to learn how to make some healthy and delicious vegetarian Chinese dishes at Wild Rice restaurant in New Westminster.  It is easy to get to Wild Rice.  Hop on the Expo line skytrain and jump off at New Westminster station.  Here is the announcement that showed up in my email box.  Enjoy!


Executive Chef Todd Bright is featuring Vegan Chinese in his cooking classes this month at the New Westminster location. Value priced at only $30, the fee includes the class (both demonstration and hands-on) followed by a four-course dinner. It does not include tax, gratuity or beverages.

Classes start at 6 p.m. every Tuesday this month starting January 8th.  Please contact caroline@wildricebc.ca  or call 778-397-0028 to book your seat.


Seasonal Spring Rolls
cauliflower puree
Curried Vegetable Steam Buns
sweet kecap drizzle
Grilled King Oyster Mushrooms
polenta fries, cashew and caramelized onion ricotta
Chinese Five-Spice Carrot Cake
ginger icing

My Experience at Rockford Grill Taste Testers Club

Rockford GrillThis past week I had the fortune to attend the Taste Testers Club at Rockford Grill on Broadway at Burrard.  The Taste Testers Club is a night of complimentary food and drink sampling between 5pm-7pm, on Thursdays.  If you order anything you sampled, you get your name put in for a draw for a $75 gift certificate.  A great deal IMHO.  If you have never heard of Rockford Grill before, it is a bit like Earls, but it has an Asian twist to many dishes.

This evening though was for me, and my cadre of @diannechow, @BCbrews, and @websturr an evening to also try Rockford Grill’s new gardein menu, compliments of Rockford Grill.

What is Gardein?

gardeinDo you remember Yves Veggie Cuisine?  Well Gardein is founded by Yves Potvin.  Gardein (garden + protein) is a line of delicious plant-based foods slow cooked to have the authentic taste and texture of premium lean meat. It is made from soy, wheat and pea proteins, vegetables and ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet and kamut).  You can get Gardein “meat”balls, chicken patties, riblets, turkey filets and much more.

Enjoying Gardein at Rockford Grill

Their gardein menu consists of:

  • gardein spicy chicken naan-wich crispy breaded chicken, sharp cheddar, spicy chipotle mayo, shredded iceberg, avocado-mango salsa, roasted garlic naan bread $13.95
  • gardein kung pao chicken water chestnuts, garlic, ginger, baby corn, fresh red chilies, peanuts and jasmine rice $15.95
  • gardein mongolian beef noodles seared beef with bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, bean sprouts, bok choy, fresh ginger, green onions and chow mein noodles in a black bean hoisin sauce $15.95
  • gardein teriyaki chicken rice bowl wok seared vegetables, bean sprouts, wasabi cream $14.95
  • gardein mumbai chicken bowl wok seared vegetables, spicy indian curry, bean sprouts, papaya salsa $15.95

gardein kung pao chicken

We tried the gardein Kung Pao chicken and the Mongolian beef noodles.  If you did not know how gardein is made, you probably guess that you are eating chicken and beef.  The consistency is fairly close to actual meat, but maybe a little softer.  The Kung Pao chicken spice level is set to be easily eaten by most people.  If you are a chile pepper fanatic it is not going to push your limits.  The gardein chicken tasted like tender white chicken meat to me.  I enjoyed having the crunchy water chestnuts to add some additional texture to the dish.  I enjoyed the Mongolian beef noodles more.  The “beef” was cut into thin strips and was more chewy like you would expect from strips of beef.  There was a lot of black bean hoisin sauce to make the noodles moist.

To these 2 dishes we were drinking a bottle of LoTengo Malbec from Argentina. This malbec was very flowery and full of juicy red fruit.  Silky with no tannins.  An overall easy sipper, but not one to challenge your tastebuds. It worked well with both gardein dishes, without overpowering either one.

Other Menu Items We Tasted

Prawn ravioli and curried beef on endive

We did have a chance to stray from the gardein menu as it was Taste Testers Club that evening.  One taster dish we tried was the ginger prawn ravioli with cream sauce, and another was a curried beef (gardein?) with crunchy noodles nestled onto an endive leaf.  I really liked the prawn ravioli.  The ginger made the prawns sing, and the cream sauce was very light; not overpowering.

If you like bacon, you may want to try their blackened prawn tacos (3) shredded slaw, salsa fresca, chocolate bacon $12.95.  Chocolate coated bacon bits were sprinkled on top of the tacos giving an extra slightly smoky chocolate flavour to this taco.  We all definitely liked this dish.

Beer Tasting

As part of the Taste Testers Club this evening, Big Rock Brewery (from Calgary) was offering two beer samples; a Double Happiness lager, and a Rye & Ginger beer.  The Double Happiness beer is brewed specifically for Rockford Grill.  You cannot get it anywhere else.  It is a typical light lager for me.  The Rye & Ginger beer is a bit more interesting to my palate.  It is made yes, with Rye and Ginger (which by the way is a popular mixed drink on the Prairies). You get a bit of sweetness from the Rye and spice from the ginger.  Low hops, an easy sipping beer.  It went really well with the prawn ravioli.

Yes There are Desserts

To cap off the evening we tried two desserts:

  • baked apple galette puff pastry filled with granny smith apples, vanilla gelato, caramel sauce $8.95
  • sticky chocolate date pudding, vanilla bean gelato, chocolate butterscotch sauce $7.95

Apple galette

I am a push over for desserts with apples.  I really enjoyed the galette with the many layers of thin pastry dough, and topped with the vanilla gelato. Not overly sweet. A treat to share with others.  The sticky chocolate date pudding was a bit heavier dessert.  The baked pudding was very bready in texture and needed the chocolate butterscotch sauce and vanilla bean gelato to make it moist in your mouth. Have it with a cup of coffee to end your meal.

If you are a vegetarian or not, there is something for everyone I think at Rockford Grill.  Go there for a casual lunch or evening with friends.

Vancouver Tasting Plates Kitsilano Edition – Get Your Tickets

Did you have a chance to attend the first 2 Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates?  The first was held downtown, and the second on Main Street. The Main Street one, the last one, was particularly fun being during summer, so great weather as you venture from restaurant to restaurant.  Here are my downtown, and Main St Tasting Plates reviews to give you an idea of what you can expect.

Enjoying food is a great social experience, so buy a ticket for your spouse, BFF, or anyone else you like to be with.  As many restaurants offer several tasting plate options, you and your friend(s) can select different items then share a nibble of each.  So you get to try more than just what you could on your own.  I always bring a friend.  I hope to see you in Kitsilano!  Here is the tasting announcement, along with a list of participating restaurants. Enjoy.


Tantalize your taste buds at several Kitsilano restaurants! This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 9 pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different restaurants throughout the evening, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

  • Vegetarian options will be available at many of the participating restaurants.
  • Bring along a friend or two, your significant other, your family or come solo.
  • A food networking dinner event connecting Vancouver’s vibrant food community.
  • Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by bike, moped, car, transit, walking, roller skates, skateboarding or carpooling.

$3 from each ticket purchased will go to support Farm Folk/City Folk

Registration: Chocolate Arts, 1620 West 3rd Avenue (rear parking lot)-this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Cards.

Participating Restaurants

Order tickets via Eventbrite


Tickets: $30 per person (eventbrite fee extra) before September 7, $100 for 4 pak of tickets or $120 for 6 pak of tickets (get a group of your friends/family together and save by purchasing a 4 pak or a 6 pak (eventbrite fee extra) before September 7th.

Tickets $40 per person (eventbrite fee extra) after Sept 7– ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. A donation of $3 from each ticket purchased will go to support Farm Folk/City Folk. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Wine for Father’s Day, June 19, 2011?

Father’s Day is coming up fast.  Do you know which wine you will be pouring for your dad?  For some of you, you already know what your dad likes, e.g. He only likes Australian Shiraz, so picking a bottle should not be too difficult.

For others, your dad does not have a favorite wine.  So how would you choose a wine?  One of the easiest ways to pick a wine is to pair the wine with the food you will be having with your father.  If you are going to have a BBQ beef or lamb, you may want to select a full bodied red or an oaked chardonnay.

Grilled salmon or chicken can pair with a light bodied red or a white wine.

A pasta with cream sauce would pair nicely with a red or white wine that has higher acidity to cut through the creaminess.

A pasta with tomato-based sauce classically pairs with a Sangiovese-based wine from Tuscany, Italy.

If you father is a vegetarian, consider the type of sauce that the food is cooked with.  Is it creamy, made from tomato?  This flavour will help you choose the appropriate wine.  You could use one of the pasta selections that I described.

Some MyWinePal Wine Suggestions:

D’Angelo Sette Coppa 2005, BC. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, and Malbec. It is primarily Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with lesser amounts of the other grape varieties. Light garnet in the glass. Tarry, cassis and black cherry aromas. Cassis, cherry, chocolate and vanilla on the palate with some spiciness. Medium length with firm tannins kicking in on the finish. Try with BBQ beef or lamb.

Casa Montes Bodegas & Vinedos, Alzamora Gran Reserva Malbec 2006, Argentina. This wine is opaque purple in the glass. Dusty with black petter aromas. Full body with ripe black fruit and lots of spice. A BBQ wine for beef or lamb.

Township 7 Chardonnay 2008, BC is 100% barrel fermented and aged in French and American oak, giving it more body and some creaminess. Vanilla and apple aromas. With flavours of citrus oak and apples. Nice round mouthfeel with a slight bit of spiciness and a coconut finish. Try this with any BBQ meats or fish.

Another Chardonnay would be the Hope Family Wines, Liberty School Chardonnay 2007. This Chardonnay, from the Paso Robles area of California, has 5% Viognier in the mix. It is medium lemon in the glass. Pineapple, vanilla, and creamy nose. Medium body, with peach, apricot and honey flavours.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Chardonnay 2008 , Washington was very elegant.  This wine was medium golden in the glass. Vanilla, oak, lemon and apple aromas.  It was medium body with toasty, lemon and light spice on the palate.  Light acidity to complement the roundness of the wine.  Spice and lemon on the finish.  Would go nicely with some salmon.

Casas del Bosque Pinot Noir Gran Reserva 2008, Chile. This wine spent 9 months in french oak. They like to use 2-3 year French oak barrels as much as possible for all their barrel aged wines so the oak is there, but not in your face. This one had a wide range of aromas. Strawberry, oak, red cherry, dill and mushroom at first, but then some vanilla on the nose. The wine was quite fruity. Lots of red cherry, but also some dill and vanilla. Quite smooth, medium length, and a dry finish. Try with BBQ salmon or chicken.

Renzo Masi Chianti Rufina “Basciano” 2007 DOCG, Italy. This wine is primarily Sangiovese but has 5% Colorino. Red delicious apple and cherry aromas and flavours.  Also vanilla and cherry on the palate.  Medium tannins with a dry finish. Try with a tomato-based pasta sauce.

Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2005, Italy. Chianti for those that do not know is made with the Sangiovese grape. This wine was dark garnet in colour.  Oak, cassis, and cherry nose. Full bodied with smooth mouthfeel.  Medium acidity and tannins with ripe black cherry flavour. Try with a tomato-based pasta sauce.

Man O’War Vineyards Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc 2009, New Zealand. This wine was very light lemon in colour.  Herbal and jalapeno pepper aromas. High acidity with more jalapeno and herbal flavours.  Light body, but long length.  Very nice. Try with a cream-based pasta sauce.

La Frenz Andrew Vineyard Riesling 2009, BC, is light lemon in colour. Flowery and apple aromas. Good acidity with a bit of residual sugar. Red apple and citrus flavours. Elegant. Try with a cream-based pasta sauce.

Note if you can’t find these particular wines, find a similar wine, such as a replacement for the Alzamora Gran Reserva Malbec could be the Bodegas Salentein Primum Malbec. If you feel unsure, ask someone who works in your wine shop.  They should be knowledgeable about the wines they carry.

Enjoy Fathers Day with your Dad.

What wine to pair with a vegetarian meal?

For those of you that haven’t had a vegetarian meal, think again.  You typically have cereal or a muffin and coffee for breakfast.  For lunch it could be a salad or a vegetable sandwich or soup.  That leaves you with one meal with meat.  You are almost a vegan without knowing it, or doing much.

For most people, dinner is the main meal, and this is where the what wine to pair with a vegetarian meal will be addressed.  There is a wide variety of vegan dishes.  There are vegan dishes from all countries.  For example, Indian food has many curries made with vegetables.  Curries are usually spicy, so my recommendation is a fruity red or white wine.  The fruitiness can hold up to the spice in the wine.  You do not want to pick a dry, tannic cabernet.  A Merlot would be a better choice.  On the white wine side, a Kabinett style Riesling from Germany would work.  I have also been told that Pinotage (a red grape from South Africa) works quite well with curries.

The key point for meals, whether vegan or not, is to consider how the food is cooked (e.g. grilled or sauteed), and what sauce or spices are being used in the dish.  If you have a spicy sauce, then a wine that has lots of fruitiness works, not a dry, tannic wine.  A meal that is sauteed and has maybe a mild, citrus sauce, could pair well with a lighter bodied white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc or a chenin blanc, or a lighter bodied red, such as pinot noir or gamay.  A dish with a creamy or buttery sauce would pair well with a Burgundian wine (chardonnay or pinot noir).  The silkiness of these wines complementing the silkiness of the sauce.

Salads can be a challenge because of the sourness of the vinegar.  You may want to try a high acidity wine such as a New Zealand or BC sauvignon blanc, or a dry riesling from Australia.

Some vegetarians do eat fish.  Most fish are delicately flavoured so again pick a delicately flavoured wine, such as unoaked chardonnay, pinot gris, pinot noir or riesling.  If you get some smoked salmon, try pinot gris, Alsatian riesling, or a pinot noir.

There is much more than I can write about in this short blog.  Hopefully this will give you some pointers.  Enjoy!