We have quite a few travels plans coming up, but we wanted a quick weekend trip nearby to celebrate Justin’s birthday. We’d done Portland a ton since he’s from there, but Justin hadn’t been to Vancouver since high school–it’s actually closer than Portland is from Seattle… So off we went!
What We Ate
Since we had gone up during Chinese New Year I wanted to eat some celebratory foods. Based on my (very limited) knowledge I think that the Philippines are one of the few countries in Asia that doesn’t celebrate a Lunar New Year, so our family has always relied on the help of others to guide us through the holiday. Our friend, and local Vancouverite, Marion recommended Sun Sui Wah for our dim sum feast–it was delicious!
We pretty much ordered the whole dang menu for the four of us: Hagao shiumai, jellyfish, spicy daikon cakes, rice noodles with dried shrimp, chow mein, pea tips with garlic, eggplant with shrimp paste, stewed pig ears, supreme dumpling, sticky rice, chicken wings with garlic, bean curd rolls, and fresh mango pancakes.
For dinner we all went to my absolute favorite restaurant in the city, Guu!! I always try to stop in here during my trips to Vancouver, as it’s consistently delicious, has a varied menu, and the small plates makes it super easy to share. It’s so good. It was also nice meeting up with an old friend of mine from London, Subash, who now lives in Vancouver–quite a bit easier to visit than traveling across the Atlantic.
We ordered a ton… garlic Brussels sprouts, grilled garlic herb saikyo lamb chops, karaage, tuna tataki with ponzu and garlic chips, ginger-soy marinated black cod cheeks, gyu-tongue chazuke, roasted “cha-shu” duck breast with miso mayo, and ginger-soy eggplant with green onion. We did a pretty great job eating as much as we did in the limited amount of time allotted, as our reservation was only for an hour!
On our way out of town we headed to a place by where we were staying, the Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe, for a quick breakfast. The main staple of the place is a Dutch pancake called a pannekoek, which is kinda like a fat crepe. What was most interesting to me was that they served Indonesian dishes alongside these pancakes as result of the Dutch colonizers in Indonesia, having arrived in the 1500s and finally leaving after World War II after the Indonesian National Revolution.
I ordered the “Bali Bali” Pannekoek, a “traditional Dutch pannekoek topped with chicken nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice), pineapples, and cinnamon bananas with peanut sauce and sambal on the side.” It was okay. It would’ve been better if it was just nasi goreng without the pannekoek, but honestly I’d rather just go to an Indonesian restaurant. (They also had some pretty good poffertjes, which are mini pancakes that I haven’t eaten since I was in Amsterdam)
Another stop was Nando’s, my favorite chicken from London, that I am a bit obsessed with and they don’t have in the States. I had to come here because Justin had never experienced the magic of the peri-peri spice, and now he has seen the light. Yeah it’s fast food but it’s DOPE!
During the day we headed to Stanley Park, the huge park right next to downtown Vancouver, to spend a little time in nature. We checked out the Totem Poles, the Lighthouse, and the Lion’s Gate Bridge. Definitely the best spot for views of downtown, West Vancouver, and the Straight of Georgia.
If you have extra time, rent a bike, or do some nature walks through the park. There’s 17 miles of forest trails and all sorts of other activities. Beaches (…that are cold), aquariums, horse rides, cricket fields, and more.
All in all, a great weekend away.