The 3rd noodle tasting extravaganza Noodle Mania, presented by Vancouver Foodster earlier this week, took us in an adventure all over the map, introducing six delicious establishments featuring their own noodle tasting plate.
We started off at Platform 7, a beautiful coffeehouse that is inspired by a Victorian-era London train setting. The first thinsg I noticed were the curved, lighted ceiling and the clock hanging above, that created a sense of being whisked away to a magical world of amazing coffee.
Along with offering Stumptown Coffee Roasters as their flagship coffee roaster, Platform 7 also offers a selection of baked goods from locally-sourced artisan bakeries.
We sampled an Americano and Cortado as our brew of choice, and for our treats – a Organic Peanut Butter Cookie, and a Cranberry Pecan Cookie.
Our second stop was Grotto Italian, a beautiful, romantic Italian restaurant tucked away at Davie and Denman. Their Squash Ravioli with sage and brown butter was simply divine on the tastebuds, and their Housemade Gnocchi on a smoked chicken and mushroom ragout tasted absolutely delicious. These tasting plates speak to the brilliance of Vancouver Foodster’s events – small, but amazing bites that make you crave for more.
After Grotto Italian, we walked over to Che-Licious, a Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in banh mi (gourmet viet subs), as well as fun desserts and drinks. Their Noodle Mania feature was a Zen Salad Roll, packed full with marinated tofu, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, pickled daikon, and red pepper, as well as a beef pho with rare beef, brisket, and beef balls. Slurp slurp – and yum!
Just over our halfway point, the next stop was Bubble Waffle Café in Kerrisdale. As an Asian person, I love my fair share of bubble waffles, noodle soups and Hong Kong style milk teas. We tasted two of their specialty soups – a House Special, a fish soup with rice noodle, beef, fish balls, ham, and veggies, and a spicy Singaporean Laksa with fish fillet, mushrooms, ham, and veggies.
Seeing as we were at a “bubble waffle” cafe, we opted to also order their original bubble waffle. Verdict? Best. bubble waffle. ever. Piping hot, creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, it was exactly how I enjoyed my bubble waffles!
The last time I was at Linh Café in Kerridale, their brunch was amazing – their food is a unique mix of traditional French and modern Vietnamese cooking. For Noodle Mania, we tasted a Pho Bo, a beef noodle soup with braised beef flank and rice noodles, and a Pho Xao, a vegetarian stir fried rice noodles with greens, organic oyster mushrooms, marinated tofu and fresh herbs.
I absolutely loved the soup in the Pho Bo – it was so rich and flavourful from the beef, I just sat there spooning mouthfuls of broth into my mouth, enjoying every bit of it.
The last stop on our list was U&I Thai, and as always, the restaurant was bustling with foodies slurping away with their tasting plates – a Spaghetti Kee Mao, and a Guay Tieow Tom Kha Gai, a chicken coconut noodle soup with rice noodles. Though service can be a challenge, I commend the servers fo staying ever friendly and ever smiley to all their guests.
The fun part of Noodle Mania, a themed Tasting Plates adventures, is to taste so many distinct flavours and characters of one kind of food, in this case – noodles. The Spaghetti Kee Mao was made with wheat spaghetti noodles, with a sweet Thai basil sauce, whereas the Guay Tieow Tom Kha Gai is a light, delicate-flavoured chicken soup made with coconut milk, lemon grass, and other spices.
With oodles of noodles in one night, I was super stuffed and in a deep food coma by the end. A big thank you to Vancouver Foodster for again hosting such an amazing night at Noodle Mania.
If you’d like to join in with the next tasting adventure, check out this list of Brunch Crawls happening later this month during the upcoming Vancouver Dine Out Festival. Tickets are available now – get ’em before they sell out!