How to spend a rainy night in Vancouver? Join Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates Vancouver on a food tour, that’s how! Last night my friend and I, both Coquitlam suburbanites, grabbed our umbrellas and raincoats to spend an evening enjoying some eats at Tasting Plates Chinatown. This year’s Chinatown tour included visits to 4 newer dining experiences.
We first checked in at Klaus’s Kaffee Haus to pick up our passports for the evening. Klaus is a Austrian Restaurant/coffee shop, and we were introduced to their Lavazza medium and dark roast coffees, and their in-house creamers, made fresh from coconut milk or goat’s milk infused with orange or peppermint flavour.
Instead of waiting to finish all our savoury experiences, we decided to treat ourselves next to dessert (yes, before dinner!). Just a few doors down from Klaus’s is Umaluma, which specializes in organic dairy-free (vegan!) gelato. Umaluma’s Tasting Plate featured 3 different special desserts plated beautifully. To match the October popularity of pumpkin spice, the first was a deconstructed pumpkin pie gelato on top of a cherry reduction, coconut whip cream, and roasted hazelnuts. The second was a “Shot in the Dark” of liquid chocolate shot with tangy sea buckthorn powder. The third was a pallet cleansing raspberry sorbetto featuring freeze dried raspberries, silver specked chocolate, and a puff of Manuka Honey foam. I was left longing for more gelato afterwards, but we had to save room for two more stops!
Next we went a couple blocks down on Main Street to a new supermarket/cafe called Dalina. Dalina carries a locally sourced line of products, along with some high-end imported grocery items in the back of their cafe. The front of the cafe hosts a large deli/bakery window and coffee bar. We were welcomed with a warm cup of hazelnut hot chocolate by Lisa Lou Chocolate Bar. Dalina carries Lisa Lou’s line of chocolate bars in-store, however are waiting for the new hazelnut hot chocolate to become available. Both my friend and I were really eager to buy some to take home! The hot chocolate tasted like melted Nutella!
The next station at Dalina’s is by Naked Snacks, offering tamarind blend of nuts and sesame sticks, and a yogurt & berry mix.
Next we watched a demo of Jules & Kent’s garlic pasta sauce being cooked in rotini pasta. This pasta sauce is locally made – very rich in garlic flavour, but light on sodium. A great combination for a quick meal at home.
The final station at Dalina’s was hosted by Betterwith Ice Cream. Co-founder of The Original Cupcakes, Lori Joyce is the brainchild of this 100% honest ice cream. All ingredients are locally sourced and made with farm-fresh, traceable cream and no preservatives. Both the caramel and the strawberry ice cream we tried were extra rich and creamy. Using local farm-fresh strawberries, you can taste the sweetness of the strawberries in the ice cream. Available at Choices, Donald’s Supermarket, Super-Valu and more!
For our last stop, we crossed the street to Straight Outta Brooklyn Pizzeria, one of my favourite pizza shops, where we had the option of 2 slices of pizza from 5 different pizzas. I selected their Spice with capicollo and spicy salami, and Margherita slices. My friend selected Spice, as well as The Olive and Caper vegan option. All of the slices are reheated and extra crispy when they come out of the oven. I love their thin crispy crust, and was a satisfying end to the evening.
Tasting Plates Vancouver is a great way to try different restaurants in different neighbourhoods around town. Check out Tasting Plates Yaletown, coming up on October 28th where you can try brunch at various Yaletown establishments. For info and tickets, go to tastingplatesyvr.com.