Fraiche Wednesday Wine Series

May 9th, 2012 @ 4:08pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Fraîche Restaurant in West Vancouver presents a Wednesday Wine Series and their next event will feature a 5-course meal and the wines of the Okanagan’s own Okanagan Crush Pad.

Michael Bartier Trudel Photo Credit
Winemaker Michael Bartier Photo credit: Trudel Photo.

Fraîche recently won gold at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards and Chef Alvarez is known for using local ingredients with his West Coast inspired dishes. The evening plans to be just as informative as it will be delicious with Chef Alvarez showcasing warm weather cooking and grilling techniques for the guests.

Haywire’s Master Winemaker Michael Bartier will be on hand to discuss the wines pairings. Each course will be matched up with a wine from Haywire Winery and Bartier Scholefield Wineries, which are a part of Okanagan Crush Pad.

A few tickets are still available for $95 (tax and gratuity not included) and include the opportunity to win a case of Okanagan Crush Pad wines. Reservations can be made by calling (604) 925-7595.

The event will take place next Wednesday, May 16, 2012 starting at 6:30pm at Fraîche Restaurant, 2240 Chippendale Road, West Vancouver. It would be a great date night or belated treat for Mother’s Day.

I have a pair of tickets to give away to a reader as well, thanks to Fraîche, Haywire, and Okanagan Crush Pad. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming your favourite wine/food pairing (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to @FraicheWV’s @OKCrushPad Wine Wednesday dinner from @Miss604

You must be 19 years of age or older to enter to win. Please enjoy responsibly and plan a safe ride home. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 10:00am on Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

Update The winner is nance428!

Vancouver & Richmond Night Markets Opening for 2012

May 9th, 2012 @ 11:19am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver and Richmond Night Markets are re-opening for the season this month with shopping, entertainment, and the hottest street food around. With three night markets now in the area (including a new market in Richmond) I thought that an overview was in order.

Photo credit: Pat Z – Submitted to the Miss604 Flickr Pool.

Richmond Night Market Richmond Night Market
Photo credit: & on Flickr – Submitted to the Miss604 Flickr Pool.

Chinatown Night Market

Location: Keefer Street (between Main and Columbia), Vancouver
Opening: Opening May 18, 2012 until September 9, 2012
Dates/Times: Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6:00pm to 11:00pm
Features: This is the original night market now going into its 17th year! Fashions, gifts, crafts, and snacks. Booths contain merchandise from a variety of vendors including electronics, clothing, music, and more. There are also street performances with dancing, singing, magic, along with games and prizes.
Website, Twitter, Facebook

Summer Night Market

Location: 12631 Vulcan Way (behind Home Depot on Sweden Way), Richmond
Opening: Opening May 11, 2012 until September 16, 2012
Dates/Times: Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00pm to 12:00am, Sundays and Holidays from 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Features: The legendary summer night market in Richmond that saw over 28,000 visitors last year. Jewelry, art, home decor, bubble tea and waffle cakes to computers and electronics. Nightly performances are listed online including kung fu demonstrations, belly dancing, bands and other vocal performances.
Website, Twitter, Facebook

Richmond Night Market

Location: 8351 River Road (near the River Rock), Richmond
Opening: Opening May 18, 2012 until October 8, 2012
Dates/Times: Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00pm to 12:00am, Sundays and Holidays from 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Features: It’s the newest night market but behind it is organizer Raymond Cheung who first started the original Richmond Night Market years ago. 18 acres, 250 booths, 80 vendors, family-friendly entertainment.
Website, Twitter, Facebook

The night markets are free to attend but bring your wallet to stock up on ingredients, merchandise, and sample what vendors will be cooking up.

Ashiana Restaurant Surrey

May 9th, 2012 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The other day I received a reader email about Ashiana Restaurant in Surrey telling me that it’s a must-try and that is has some of the best Indian food in the region. With a claim like that, I had to see for myself so I went out to Ashiana on 80th and Scott Road to see what the fuss was about.

Ashiana Tandoori Surrey

Family-owned in Vancouver for the last 30 years (having the city’s first tandoori oven), Ashiana opened a second location in Surrey that has recently undergone renovations. Operated by Rick Takhar (Executive Chef & Owner), loyal customers from Vancouver even make their way to Surrey to check out this and of course to have Rick’s dishes.

Ashiana Tandoori Surrey Ashiana Tandoori Surrey

Rick personally prepared and brought out a lunch feast for us that began with a simmering platter of vegetable tandoori. Bright colours popped on the dish, all thanks to natural flavours and spices – not artificial colouring.

Ashiana Tandoori Surrey
Ashiana Tandoori Surrey Ashiana Tandoori Surrey

Sizzling paneer tikka (cheese cubes that I could spend hours devouring), tandoori alu bharwan (potatoes stuffed with masala and grilled), tandoori cauliflower.

Ashiana Tandoori Surrey
Ashiana Tandoori Surrey Ashiana Tandoori Surrey

Saag paneer (spinach with cheese), and sugar-free butter chicken.

Ashiana Tandoori Surrey

Alu gobi (cauliflower & potatoes sauteed with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic).

Vegetable oil is used in Rick’s cooking instead of ghee (a clarified butter) and it shows. The butter chicken was not thick like heavy cream although it had the classic taste of butter chicken. Flavours and spices weren’t masked, they actually popped, and didn’t leave me feeling weighed down. This was the theme of the meal – crisp, natural, with spices and herbs that danced with flavour. Ginger, pepper, turmeric, onions, they all shined.

While our lunch was specially prepared, you can find Mixed Grill Platters on the menu for $15.95, or the Heart Smart Tandoori Mixed Grill for $18.95. There were three of us at lunch and we couldn’t finish off the spread, that included rice and naan. John enjoyed the leftovers for dinner later that night.

Ashiana Tandoori Surrey

Capping off our lunch was a plate of sweets that could also be found in the pick-up counter up front. Habshi halwa (with almonds) and a chai tea rounded out the meal perfectly.

My host told me that Rick is far too modest for his own good and this is the reason I was invited out for lunch. I had to meet this hospitable restauranteur and award-winning chef who has brought his decades of experiences to the Surrey market.

Ashiana Tandoori Surrey Ashiana Tandoori Surrey

The Vancouver Ashiana Restaurant location is at 1440 Kingsway (at Knight) and the Surrey location is at 8072 Scott Road (in the plaza next to Fruiticana). If you have the chance, try it out for yourself with the family (there’s tons of space in the restaurant) or for take-out.

Disclosure: Review
I was not paid to write this post or any other. I was invited to Ashiani and Rick covered our meal. This does not affect the outcome of my coverage or guarantee coverage.

Surrey Canada Day 2012: Fireworks, Sam Roberts

May 9th, 2012 @ 7:57am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Surrey’s Canada Day celebration, one of the largest in the country, is once again jam-packed with free activities, entertainment, games, fireworks, and tons of Canadian bands. The line up has just been announced and it includes headliners the Sam Roberts Band.

Surrey Canada Day 2010
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Chevron Stage Sam Roberts Band, Hannah Georgas, The High Bar Gang (featuring Shari Ulrich, Colin Nairne, Barney Bentall and more), Andrew Allen. Blaze of Glory (a Bon Jovi Tribute), Jerry Doucette, Jordan Cook, and more.

Peak Performance Stage Two side-by-side stages that will have music going all day with the top 20 bands in BC as selected for the Peak Performance Project.

On top of the bouncy castles and amusement rides this year, there will be more high-flying entertainment with the addition of the Global FMX freestyle motocross team.

Surrey Canada Day 2009
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Festivities will take place at the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre (176th Street & 64th) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 from 10:00am to 10:15pm. This event is free for the public (except the cost of rides) thanks to sponsors like Coast Capital Savings, Chevron, Fruiticana, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and CTV.

Follow the City of Surrey’s events team on Twitter @Surrey_Events for information leading up to Canada Day.

O.N.E. Coconut Giveaway

May 8th, 2012 @ 4:55pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The coconut water craze hit about 2 years ago and O.N.E. Coconut Water has just arrived in Canada (and BC) in TetraPak juice boxes made from recycled materials.

O.N.E. CoconutWhile Vancouver has some of the best tap water on the planet, some look for a little extra boost especially after after light exercise, for cooking, and for cocktail mixing.

Coconut water is technically juice, but it is virtually clear and has a very light flavour with a hint of sweetness – with no other ingredients added. I even found recipes for coconut water ice cubes, coconut water smoothies, and coconut water rice.

O.N.E. Coconut contains 3 naturally-occurring electrolytes and more potassium than a banana (569mg in a typical serving) making it ideal for complimenting light workouts and everyday activity.

They would like a reader of mine to try it out for themselves so they are offering up a 3-month supply of O.N.E. Coconut as well as a 3-month YYoga membership (valued at $396). Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • RT to enter to win coconut water + yoga for 3 months from @ONECoconutCA & @miss604

    In Vancouver, you can look for O.N.E. Coconut at Safeway, Whole Foods, and 7-Eleven. Learn more about O.N.E. Coconut through Facebook and Twitter. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 10:00am on Saturday, May 12, 2012.

    Update The winner is @Mehat_4482!

Archives Photos of the Day: Ice Cream

May 8th, 2012 @ 3:36pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was having a hard time figuring out what I would feature this week from the Vancouver Archives and Vancouver Library until I stepped onto my balcony. The thermometer is rising past 15 degrees, flip flops are out in full force, and there’s only one thing that’s coming to my mind this afternoon: ice cream. While it’s not the most popular tag in the archives, I did manage to find a few images from days gone by.

1916 – John Oliver eating ice cream at what would become the PNE. VPL Accession#: 30206.
Duke Ellington with ice cream sunday. Photographer: William Cunningham. VPL Accession#: 60435

1920 – Almond’s ice cream store in English Bay. Photographer: Stuart Thomson. Archives item# CVA 99-3097.

1949 – Staff at the soda counter at Jersey Farms Dairy in Kitsilano.
VPL Accession#: 81018B & VPL Accession#: 81018A

1936 – Port O’Van Ice Cream, 1166 Hornby. Photographer: Stuart Thomson. Archives item#: CVA 99-4857.

1940s – Ice cream parlour clerk. Archives item#: CVA 1184-1218.
1930s – Man holding ice cream. Photographer: James Crookall. Archives item#: CVA 260-347.

1935 – Palm Ice Cream truck. Photographer: Stuart Thomson. Archives item#: CVA 99-4448.

1953 – Royal Ice Cream, New Westminster. Item No. IHP9267-0060.
1935 – Palm Ice Cream truck. Archives item# CVA 99-4440.