First, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the many Vancouver hounds who provided lots of great tips and advice on border crossings. We avoided the 45 minute back-up at Peace Arch by crossing at Pacific Highway which only had a 15 minute wait! We encountered less than a 10 minute wait at Peace Arch driving into Canada last Sunday, so we lucked out both ways.
Now on with today’s eats... We were impressed with Kirin Mandarin’s dim sum offerings at the Alberni location earlier in the week (we had hargow, special steamed dumplings with shrimp, scallop and asparagus, salt & pepper squid and a pound of house spot prawns on our previous visit), so we decided to return to try more items before driving to Sea-Tac in Seattle. Sadly, our visit today was a total miss on all counts. This is definitely a restaurant where one must order carefully for a good meal.
We ordered soy milk with Chinese donut, steamed pork dumplings (XLB), salt & pepper capilene, fried chopped chicken and taro (tasted like a lightly fried savory mochi) and special steamed dumpling with shrimp, scallop and pea shoots. We chose Jasmine tea which we didn’t like nearly as much as their Chrysanthemum tea. Total after tax and tip was $30.
We were seated around 10:40am. Although there were only a handful of tables with guests, our food took forever to arrive. The lukewarm, lightly sweetened soy milk arrived first. The donut which we planned to eat with our milk arrived a good 10 minutes later. Hubby thought the milk was okay, but I really enjoyed the taste which reminded me of the silky soft tofu in warm ginger syrup that I usually order at dimsum. Another really long pause before the steamed items arrived, then another long pause before our last dish item arrived.
The steamed pork dumplings were better than the ones we had at Peaceful (much thinner skins), but that’s not saying much. We were tempted to order the S&P squid again, but decided to try something new. We weren’t familiar with capilene and when we asked our server, we were told “fish.”
We asked which she preferred between the S&P capilene and S&P soft shell crab (both made with previously frozen seafood). She recommended the fish. What we received was a huge plate of what resembled fried whole white anchovy, but far less tasty. Hubby is a huge fan of both anchovy and sardines, but these tasted purely of fish eggs??? We should have stuck with the squid.
We were reluctant to end our Vancouver trip on a low note (especially after our terrible food day in Whistler the day before), so I asked hubby to stop at Medina Café on our way out of town. We arrived at 12:15pm and snagged the last open table, the one by the window, which we thought was the best in the house.
We ordered two waffles (each about the width of a ladies’ closed fist) and selected three dipping sauces - chocolate lavender, raspberry caramel and fig with orange marmalade. Hubby ordered a medium chai (absolutely delicious) and I ordered a small plain latte which I preferred to the chocolate lavender mocha I had earlier in the week. Hubby isn’t a fan of orange marmalade and we could barely taste the caramel in the caramel sauce, but I know we will both be haunted by the chocolate lavender sauce long after we return home. Total after tax and tip was $18.
Our flight to Oakland was delayed so after clearing security at Sea-Tac, we had dinner (takeout) from Anthony’s Fish House counter located next to Anthony’s (large sit down restaurant with spectacular views). We split the spring salmon special which consisted of a grilled salmon taco, cup of clam chowder, chips & salsa and a soft drink for $8.99. We also shared an order of cod fish & chips (3 large filets for $7.99).
We found most items in dire need of salt, but everything (except for the chowder) was freshly cooked to order. The cup of clam chowder was larger than the bowl of French onion soup I had the previous day at Whistler and chock full of clams. Portions were quite generous and a single entrée was definitely enough food for two people. Would recommend if you find yourself in need of food at Sea-Tac airport.
Still to come, final report on Mo:le, Tea at Butchart Garden and omakase at Octopus Garden...