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Tasting Plates YVR: West End Edition

It’s another edition of Tasting Plates YVR! This time, its a foodie tour in the West End, all around downtown Vancouver.

Curtis (foodobyte) was kind enough to bring me along as media and boy did we have a great time. It took us a full 2.5 hours to get through all eight restaurants.

We started our journey at the registration point: Marquis Wine Cellars. The two wines from Domaine de la Provenquiere were absolutely delicious. Both under $20 and not dry at all, that’s my kind of wine.

Morocco West is located near Ebisu on Robson and has been a place I’ve always overlooked when around the Robson area. After this tour, I might just give this restaurant a try one night.

Here they served us Hummus, Zaalouk (eggplant), Chermoula Prawn, and Merguez Sausage Samosa.

The sausage samosa was out of this world and I would easily get this over and over again.

I’ve wanted to visit the Pappa Roti on Robson ever since I tried it in Seoul, Korea. They specialize in coffee buns with a crisp caramel topping that’s unlike any other… the ‘father of all buns’ if you will.

I was kind of disappointed that they gave us only half a bun each because it was so good I wanted more! It came with two toppings (labeneh cream cheese and coconut jam) and a sample drink (Kara Ginger Milk Tea). The cream cheese was smooth, savoury and sweet all at the same time. I was in absolute heaven. Does anyone know where to purchase this type of cream cheese?

The bun, though deflated a little, was incredibly buttery yet airy. I understand why they sell one item and pretty much one item only. It’s delicious. However, one normal roti bun costs $3.50 which seems a bit overpriced.

Pizza Fabrika has a really neat vibe to it. They serve 12″ pizzas made with a sourdough crust and San Marzano tomatoes for their sauce.

We tried their Vegetarian and Chorizo, both equally saucy with fresh ingredients you can taste. They brought out the Margherita which also looked mighty tasty but they didn’t give it to us. 🙁 All in all, the pizza was good but I don’t know if I’d purposely come back  again to have it.

Spaghe-Tei is a spaghetti joint with a Japanese fusion twist. Their menu includes items like Mentaiko, Barayaki, and Yakiniku, all unlike your typical spaghetti fare at say, Anton’s.

I was pleasantly surprised by both the Mentaiko and Barayaki, as they were flavourful without needing to be saucy. They all soaked up an incredible amount of flavour in the cooking process and tasted true to it’s name. The Barayaki tasted like a Sukiyaki hot pot pasta while the Mentaiko had a strong fishy roe taste (my favourite).

Honestly, Buck Stop was a disappointment for me. Not only did we have to wait in line to get in, none of the items they presented were any good.

Their Autumn Slaw on the left was missing salt and some sort of acid to balance the flavours out. The Corn bread in the middle was as hard as a rock, and the housemade smoked sausage on the right was grainy and too spicy.

Milestones on Denman is new and the location is fantastic as it sits right on Beach Ave overlooking English Bay.

The halibut was served out of a heating tray so it was not flaky or tender to the touch. Overall though, it was a nice dish.

My favourite was the Roasted Poblano Soup. It was spicy but not in the way where it just hits you in the face. It slowly builds and after four spoonfuls you realize you’re sweating through your pores. That’s the nice kind of spicy. 🙂

In a very unassuming location on Nicola street lies this cute little pop up shop called West End General Store.


The environment is totally hipster and they sell items that one would normally label quirky and eccentric.

For the Tasting Plates tour, Oollo Tea sampled their two cold brewed teas, Milky Oolong Gold and Red Jade Black.

Claire from Livia Sweets purposely collaborated with Oollo Teas and created some Oolong Macarons. They were absolutely marvelous. At this time she only has her macarons sold at a few places but she’s definitely looking to expand.

All in all it was a great edition of Tasting Plates YVR and I’d recommend it for anyone wanting to sample a whole bunch of restaurants in a short period of time. I definitely wish some restaurants provided bigger portions though because some bites were so small, I could barely comprehend the flavour. At the end of the entire tour, neither Curtis or I were that full which really says a lot about the portion size considering we went to eight different restaurants.
Happy Eating!

Spaghetei すぱげっ亭 on Urbanspoon
Pizza Fabrika on Urbanspoon
Buckstop on Urbanspoon
Morocco West on Urbanspoon
PappaRoti on Urbanspoon
Milestones Grill and Bar on Urbanspoon

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