Tasting Plates Fall Edition is coming up one week from today!
Not sure if it’s for you? Read up on my experience with the Kitsilano Edition in September to get an idea of what you’re in for.
A sunny end of summer day set the tone for a night of exploring Kitsilano’s eateries. Cyclists, skateboarders, walkers and drivers gathered together to check out Vancouver Foodster’s most recent edition of Tasting Plates.
Registration was in the alley behind Chocolate Arts Cafe.
There were many familar faces from the last Tasting Plates in East Van, but also a ton of new people eager to try it for the first time. For me, its a daunting, but exciting feat, to try food at so many places, travel a good distance between each one and socialize all the while.
My first stop of the night was at Rocky Mountain Flat Bread Company. I’ve had their Farmer’s Market pizza before, which is delicious, so this time I decided to try their Bradner’s Farm. The ingredients on the pizza sounded delicious and as a bonus, locally sourced, but the overall taste was actually quite bland.
Second stop was The Bibo for some Italian food, and yes, more pizza.
The Bibo has a great vibe to it with big open window at the front, dim lighting, an revealed brick oven so you can watch the fresh pizzas coming out and both bar and table seating.
Here we were spoiled with a variety of Italian goodies including olives, olive oil from both the north and south of italy, marinated artichokes, pizza and pasta.
My favorites were the Lasagne al Pesto and the Prosciutto and Funghi pizza because it had that nice smoky taste to it. I was tempted to order a nice glass of Bibo’s own red wine or beer but realized the time constraints for the night.
Next I made my way back to Chocolate Arts Cafe to satisfy my sweet tooth. Tucked away on West 3rd this place is a little gem.
They soon will have a canopy outside so people can sit outside to enjoy some hot chocolate on a chilly fall day, while also hopefully bringing some attention their way.
For Tasting Plates we went in to their “chocolate factory” where we received a cone filled with candied almonds, a peanut marshmallow bite and a seasonal chocolate.
The highlight for me was the house made cookie enrobed in 70% chocolate with a house made sweet corn ice cream and a swirl of caramel. I compliled mine all in to one bite, in a sloppy but delicious manner. Also for the chocoholics their drinking chocolate is rich and creamy and wonderful in small portions.
Stop four was Thai House. Almost always a busy place I wasn’t surprised when I walked in there that the seats were full and there was a line up for the Tasting Plates patrons. Luckily the service was very efficient with fresh plates coming out one after the other and guests serving themselves as they explained what each dish was.
We tasted the Beef Lettuce Wrap, Gai Pad Ma-Maung Hin Ma-Pan (boneless chicken with cashew nuts & roasted chili) and Tod Mun Goong (homemade shrimp cakes). I enjoyed the Ma-Maung Hin Ma-Pan because it came with bell peppers and I was craving vegetables since there hadn’t been many yet on my tour at that point. It also had a nice amount of spice to it that might be too strong for the sensitive palette and combined two of my favorite ingredients, chicken and cashews. The shrimp cakes were also some of the best that I’ve tasted in the city.
Keeping to the Asian cuisine my next stop was Atithi Indian Cuisine. We were served lotus roots with shrimp, bengali mustard fish and taro roots with local potato (vegan and vegetarian friendly). The potatoes were nicely seasoned, and the fish was still moist with a slight mustard flavour but I prefer my taro in the form of a bubble tea.
Already feeling slightly full I was looking forward to the having a smoothie from The Juice Caboose Food Truck. In a toss up between the Raw Cacao, Hemp Seed, Vanilla Bean, Peppermint Extract, Agave and Cold Filtered Espresso Smoothie and the Strawberries, Hemp Seed, Vanilla Bean, Coconut Butter, Agave and Cacao Nibs Smoothie, I opted for the latter. With a great combination of healthy and tasty ingredients it would be hard to go wrong with either of them.
The best part of my experience was watching people draw on the side of the van (the staff were giving out pens).
Smoothie in hand, it was a quick walk to Gramercy Grill where I indulged in their Pork and Veal Meatball Sub. The meat had a gamey taste to it from the veal but remained moist from the pork. The tomato sauce was flavorful but there was too much bun for the amount of meat.
One meat meal led to another and I found myself at Pete’s Meat for some sausages.
We had a lamb merguez, a sweet Italian, and a Mexican/Californian inspired chicken sausage. Served with a little bit of sauerkraut and loaded with onions and spice they were a nice snack.
Time of the essence, I zipped over to the Vancouver Olive Oil Company for some samples of balsamic vinegar and olive oil on strawberries and artisan bread. I’ve never had so many balsamic vinegars that actually tasted exactly as they read on the label. My favorite pairing was the butter flavored olive oil with maple balsamic vinaigrette.
My final stop was Establishment Lounge. Recently there for a restaurant review I was excited for what was in store: famous vegetarian African peanut soup, black truffle saccottini pasta, lobster & shrimp cake. There was a wait for the food because they were bombarded with people finishing the event and due to Chef’s perfectionism in presentation and taste.
Tasting Plates is a fast-paced food event and a unique experience that will stimulate all of your taste buds as you jump from Thai food to Italian food, dessert to tapas. For more photos check out my Gallery.
Tickets for the next Tasting Plates are available now for $30.