Heirloom Vegetarian Restaurant

Heirloom Vegetarian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoSo I had set up a friends get-together for lunch at Heirloom. It was with fellow classmates of the yoga teacher training program that I had taken last fall. During our short lunch break, we often went to get salads or smoothies at the Heirloom Juice Co. On our last day of classes, we went to Heirloom restaurant to celebrate. Unforutnately, without a reservation, the wait was going to be 45 minutes to an hour. So we left… idearabbit_heirloom_vegetarian1 idearabbit_heirloom_vegetarian2

This time, I thought I’d make reservations, but due to their popularity, they said it’s a first come first serve on Friday nights, Saturday all day, Sunday brunch, and holidays. I arrived 30 minutes earlier than our meeting time. The host was very friendly. When one of my friends arrived, we went outside to wait. The host told us that usually, they don’t allow groups to sit down unless all parties are there, but they made an exception, as thing were slowing down a bit at that time. He even came outside the restaurant to bring us back in.

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For an slightly higher-end restaurant, we were all surprised at the wide selections on the menu which made it harder for us to decide. I had already checked online, and knew that I was going to order the Eggs Benedict. Even then though, I took a long time to decide which kind… I finally decided to get the Mushroom $19.95 with arugula, caramelized onions, and leeks on top of English muffins and tooped with their house-made hollandaise . The dish also came with hash browns and house salad. Some items on the menu, such as the eggs benedict has the option for gluten-free.

idearabbit_heirloom_vegetarian3The atmosphere was lovely. Mostly white walls, with beautiful wooden tables. A lot of windows let natural light in, setting a calm, relaxing feel. I also love when restaurants place glass water bottles so you don’t have to pester the servers for more water.

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The presentation of the food was great. The vinegar dressing on the salad was delicious. Not sure if I can say the best dressing, but pretty close to it. The hash browns were crispy. The eggs were a bit over-cooked. It wasn’t runny like how I like them. More hollandaise sauce would have been nice.

Overall, I was impressed with the dining experience. Slightly pricey, but you dine in a nice setting, good service and they take into consideration of the ingredients by using fairly traded and healthy choices. Some minor adjustment could have made the dishes great, but I’d love to come back to try more!

Taste: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot

Escape! at Elements Casino

Escape - Elements Casino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoDisclaimer: *This was a complimentary meal. This post was not edited or written for monetary compensation, and are solely my opinions and observations.

Hours of Operation: Monday to Sunday 24 Hours
Address: 17755 60th Avenue Surrey B.C. V3S 1V3
Phone: 604.576.9141

idearabbit_elements-casino18I was kindly invited to the newly renovated Casino Elements for their exclusive dinner; a seven course dinner with all-you-can-eat dessert! I was pretty stoked!

It was hosted on a Friday evening, so trying to get from downtown to the location in Surrey took us 2 hours! However, it was totally worth the drive!!

idearabbit_elements-casino19idearabbit_elements-casino1 idearabbit_elements-casino3 idearabbit_elements-casino2Dinner was held at Escape! on the second floor. It was an open space, easily seating over 100 diners. One side is all glass, letting in natural light to brighten the room. There is a stage on one side where there are free live entertainment from bands, local acts, stand-up comics every Friday and Saturday night. Check their website to see who’s performing.

idearabbit_elements-casino4I started off with a Shirley Temple which was tropical and beautifully presented, getting me into a ‘summer’ like mood. It tasted good too! It’s been a while since I last had one :P

idearabbit_elements-casino20The executive chef Raymond Mah, nicknamed ‘Chef Ray’ cooked up a seven course meal for the event. Keep in mind that these items are served on various days.

idearabbit_elements-casino61. Tomato & Bocconcini, Sundried Tomato Pesto, Balsamic Glaze (Rating: 5/5)

MMMMmmmmmmm! Just loved it! The tomatoes were fresh and firm. The small mozzarella cheeses were semi-soft and the mix of herbs and balsamic glaze were just perfect! I could have just stuffed myself completely with this one dish!

idearabbit_elements-casino52. Antipasto Salad, Grilled veggies, Salami, Basil (Rating: 3/5)

Selection of cooked carrots, onions, red and green peppers, mushrooms and salami. Sheepie and I thought the onions were squid! LOL. This is just me, but I usually cook my veggies quite raw since I like the hardness or crunchiness (even if that means not getting the most nutrients from them, like  cooking mushrooms brings out more potassium), but I like them raw (or close to it). Something about gooey veggies that I don’t find as appetizing. I would still eat it of course. Since most of the items were plain (except the saltiness of the salami), it would have been nice to have some additions of olives.

idearabbit_elements-casino7Pork Loin, Grainy Mustard Apple Sauce (Rating: 4/5)

Beautifully presented with the colours and layout. The meat was super soft and juicy. It was very impressive!idearabbit_elements-casino8Baby Back Pork Ribs, Whiskey Smoked BBQ (Rating: 5/5)

I’ve rarely had ribs in my life (can I call myself a foodie then? lol). In fact, I don’t really remember ever having one in a good restaurant. I think I’ve avoided wings and ribs because they tend to be greasy and have rarely any meat to chew on. However, these ribs were huge and presented on a wooden board. These ribs were amazing! Wow! Glazed with rich, smokey BBQ sauce, the meat was plentiful and moist.  A big thumbs up!

idearabbit_elements-casino9Portuguese Paella (chorizo, shrimp, peppers, tomatoes, saffron) (Rating: 5/5)

Sheepie wasn’t overly thrilled, but that’s because he’s not a big fan of rice to begin with. My friend also commented that it wasn’t the dish she cared for, but I loved this dish! It was dryer than most paellas I have had, which I actually like better than some which are stickier and mushy. As a person who loves fried rice, this was a delight for me, lol.

idearabbit_elements-casino10Clam & Mussels in a Cioppino Broth

It turned out that the shells I picked up were all empty…so no comments on the contents of the shells, and it wasn’t much of a stew but the tomato was enriched by the herbs, wine and seafood umami.

idearabbit_elements-casino12Lemongrass Chicken w/ Mango Chutney (Rating: 4/5)

Sheepie LOVED this dish the most. He fell in love with it. The meat was juicy, with the right amount of burnt charcoal flavour on the edges. The pineapples gave it a sweet touch while at the same time giving it a cheerful and energizing visual appeal.

idearabbit_elements-casino21 idearabbit_elements-casino13Smoked Beef Brisket, Natural Jus

Nicely roasted on the outside, but kept super juicy and moist inside. It was 1/3 fat, so Sheepie and I ended up cutting those parts off, but otherwise, the natural jus covered brisket was delicious!

idearabbit_elements-casino11Salmon, Bacon Carbonara Jus (Rating: 4/5)

The salmon were soft and savoury.  The lightly flavoured cream went really well with the fish. I love salmon, so I had several pieces, hehehe. idearabbit_elements-casino14King Crab Legs, Garlic Steamed w/ Green onions (Rating: 3/5)

Sheepie and I found it to be a bit too salty. On top of that, the legs were topped with a lot of garlic. Like A LOT. Sheepie, who has a deficiency of tasting garlic, didn’t notice, but I found it very garlicky. Don’t get me wrong, I do love garlic, but it was a tad bit too much, so I had to scrap off a spoonful from some. The meat otherwise was superb quality.

idearabbit_elements-casino15Crab Claws, Butter Poached (3.5/5)

With most of us full, no one was from our table was attempting to go through the hassle of carving out the meat from the claws…which was unfortunate. Such good meat, rare to get and expensive to order! I did take some home, and had some there. It was loaded with a lot of meat, though slightly a bit fatty from the butter. But as a person who no longer have butter in her fridge (for about 5 years now), I become sensitive to when butter is used.

idearabbit_elements-casino22idearabbit_elements-casino16 idearabbit_elements-casino17idearabbit_escape_elementscasino_26Afterwards, there were unlimited desserts at the Diamond Buffet downstairs. I tried the vanilla and chocolate mix soft ice cream in a cone.

idearabbit_elements-casino24I also had the chocolate mousse pudding. Light and not overly sweet. Sheepie who has quite a bit of sweet tooth was in heaven!

WOW! All I can say is, what a paradise dinner! The staff were very professional and friendly. The food was amazing – just wished we had more time to eat them all!

Afterwards, we were given a tour of the casino, and the Encore Rewards card to play at the slot machines. I think I’m a bit addicted now! LOL.

Taste: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: N/A

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrot

Torafuku

Torafuku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoSheepie had found this restaurant during a traffic jam, lol. We came to check it out on a Sunday evening. Parking was near impossible to find at the time and we kept driving around the block – like 10 times.

We walked in a nice staff asked us if we had reservations. No, we didn’t. But there were spots by the counter/bar

A modern, minimalistic, concrete-focused restaurant on the edge of Chinatown of contemporary Asian cuisine. They use local ingredients sourced from local farms, and looking at the limited menu items, we felt it was leaning slight towards the izakaya feel where more people were there to enjoy wines, local craft beers, and cocktail. Not to say that the food wasn’t good though!

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idearabbit_torafuku6The restaurant was jam packed, but we only had to wait a few minutes.

We sat at the counter by the open kitchen, and the bartender was kept busy all night. (not that the chefs weren’t busily sweating in the heat).

idearabbit_torafuku8 idearabbit_torafuku7They have a unique menu – physically as well as what’s on the menu. The physical part is interesting, though there seems to be a lot of pages without much content, and you find yourself flipping around, a bit lost. The names of the dishes are pretty creative and comical. However, if it’s your first time, even with the description of the ingredients, you are left wondering what’s coming your way. You are always in for a surprise.

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Sheepie had the Calamari Done the Right Way $10 – crispy and fresh. Nice presentation.

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Tuna Belly $10 Nice presentation. Good flavour of fish, which went well with the rice.

idearabbit_torafuku3Magic Stick $7 had a little of bit of everything, so it was an interesting journey for the taste buds. Also visually engaging.

Their menu seems to have changed since going. It’s also different from what’s on Zomato and their website, so I guess their menu changes quite frequently.

Service was a bit slow since it was super busy. It took a while for them to take our orders, and when we wanted to order our dessert, it seemed like we were waiting quite a bit. If you’ve been following me for some time, you know I’m not a huge fan of crowded or loud places. That’s just my preference. Food was really good, but on the higher end per dish, and the portions were small, so we didn’t leave with full stomachs.

Note: they state that in order to serve customers comfortably during peak times, there is a 2 hour seating limit, and reservation will be held for up to 15 minutes. So don’t be late!

Taste: carrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrot