Eating My Way Through Vancouver, Canada

Kitsilano Beach | Vancouver

Kitsilano Beach

I can’t even begin to extol the virtues of visiting the Pacific Northwest when it is not raining. With all the rain throughout the year, cities like Vancouver really blossom when the sun shines and all the plants are green and lush. If it was like that all year, I think everyone would want to live there!

Coconut Ash and S'Mores Ice Cream at Mister | Vancouver

Coconut Ash and S’Mores Ice Cream at Mister

Besides the proximity to nature (the beach is in the center of town and the mountains are 30 minutes away), Vancouver is bustling with an amazing food scene. I could live there for a month and I wouldn’t make the slightest dent on my things-to-eat list. I did my best in a short amount of time. For novelty ice cream, look no further than the liquid nitrogen treats at Mister (1141 Mainland St.). Their most famous flavor is the coconut ash, which complements the black ice cream cones, but I actually like and recommend the crème brûlée (complete with a crackable sugar top) or s’mores (toasted marshmallow!) more. If you get your ice cream in their signature black cone, expect a massive amount of ice cream. It’s enough to share among 3 people (seriously). Flavors change daily so there’s always a surprise in store.

Lunch at Fable (left) and Ice Cream at Rain or Shine (right) | Vancouver

Lunch at Fable (left) and Ice Cream at Rain or Shine (right)

If you’re looking for a more traditional ice cream experience, head over to Rain or Shine (1926 W 4th Ave #102), close by Kitsilano beach. You can indulge in flavors like coffee toffee and salted caramel. Right next to Rain or Shine, you can grab a bite to eat at Fable (1944 W 4th Ave.). They have one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever tasted (thick-cut bacon and cheese are extra) or you can eat more healthy with local British Columbia salmon and kale.

Granville Public Market | Vancouver

Granville Public Market

Speaking of local salmon, BC salmon is absolutely incredible. Darker and redder in color, the flesh is flaky and ever so creamy with all the rich fish oil. My first stop in Vancouver was the Granville Island Public Market (1669 Johnston St.). The whole island is full of cute boutiques and small art galleries. The highlight is definitely the public market where there is a plethora of lunch choices at different stalls. I had to order the deep-fried salmon and calamari at Celine’s Fish & Chips. It was the first time in my life I’ve ever seen fish and chips with salmon and now that’s all I ever want to eat.

Aburi Sushi at Minami | Vancouver

Aburi Sushi at Minami

When in Vancouver, you have to eat sushi. With fish that fresh, it’d be a travesty if you didn’t. At Minami (1118 Mainland St.), you can try the famed aburi sushi. This flame-seared sushi has an extra touch of magic because the chefs sear the fish with binchotan (Japanese bamboo charcoal). I’d never seen anything like it before in my life! That extra bit of charcoal adds a whole new level of smokiness and complexity to your palate. The salmon oshi sushi (pressed BC wild salmon, jalapeno, Miku sauce) is hands down probably one of my favorite bites of food. Don’t miss out though on the tuna tartare, ebi fritters or Champagne roll (scallop, salmon, cucumber, uni, rolled in golden tobiko, Miku sauce).

Loco-Lomi Poke Salad at the Poke Guy | Vancouver

Loco-Lomi Poke Salad at the Poke Guy

I seriously cannot think of a better place to sell poke than Vancouver. At The Poke Guy (420 Richards St.), you’ll find local Hawaiians (shout-out to Reno!) serving poke with a twist, including toppings like mango and corn. One of their star dishes is the Loco-Lomi salad. Reno was great at explaining that lomi-lomi is a salmon salad with tomatoes and Maui onions. Their salad has smoked lomi-lomi, albacore poke, avocado, house yuzu slaw, kani, mango, peashoots, masago, crispy onion and furikake on a bed of lettuce. While I also loved the Poke Guy’s traditional poke, the loco-lomi salad is definitely unique and worth trying.

Cartems Donuterie | Vancouver

Cartems Donuterie

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Hong Kong: Seafood Feast at Lei Yue Mun

Entrance of Lei Yue Mun in Hong Kong

Entrance of Lei Yue Mun in Hong Kong

I know I haven’t been gone that long, but I’ve missed Hong Kong. Don’t get me wrong– I love Shanghai, but I was all too happy to return and eat at some of my favorite restaurants. This was my first time going to Hong Kong’s famous seafood district at Lei Yue Mun. While I had been to seafood districts before, I think Lei Yue Mun is the biggest one in Hong Kong.

Lei Yue Mun Outside

Top left (clockwise): Hanging fishtails, lighted decorations and fruit and fish stalls at Lei Yue Mun.

I would definitely recommend you go with a local/someone who speaks Cantonese. It was a little overwhelming getting heckled by multiple fishmongers and my Mandarin probably would have been useless. Luckily, my family friends handled all of the ordering. Each fish stall has relationships with certain restaurants. Since we already had a reservation at Sea King Garden, we went specifically to the designated stall (I can’t remember the name now).

Lei Yue Mun Seafood

Lei Yue Mun Seafood2

There is a cornucopia of choices and you actually order and pay at the fish stall. By the time you get to the restaurant, everything is already taken care of. This was literally the best seafood meal I’ve ever had. Everything was so incredibly fresh and the seafood was slightly sweet with an umami flavor. I had never experienced it before.

Walking toward Sea King Garden Restaurant

Walking toward Sea King Garden Restaurant

We had SO much food, including steamed scallops with rice noodles, garlic and soy sauce; black bean razor clams; ginger and green onion crab, lobster and lobster noodles in a cheese sauce; and deep-fried fish with bitter melon.

Scallops, Razor Clams, Crab and Fish

Top left (clockwise): Scallops, Razor Clams, Crab and Fish

Pièce de résistance: Lobster and noodles in a creamy cheese sauce

Pièce de résistance: Lobster and noodles in a creamy cheese sauce. It was good but so incredibly rich!

Going to Lei Yue Mun is definitely a unique Hong Kong experience and it is worth the $100+ HKD cab ride. You’ll be rewarded with some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat in your life. Just bring a savvy local! There are so many fish stalls that I’m assuming some restaurants are better than others. I really recommend making reservations and going to Sea King  Garden.