The purpose of the Foodie Feast (other than noshing on delicious food) was to raise money for the Food Bank. The three organizers handpicked six restaurants and three dessert places to showcase at the event. The restaurants were: La Belle Auberge, Ebo Restaurant, El Barrio, Mochikas, Hapa Izakaya, One Planet Food Catering, Falconetti’s and Red Star Seafood.
The dessert places: Bella Gelateria, Mancakes and Kitchening with Carly.
This isn’t necessarily a review, but it’ll serve as a mini-review. I want to note that since this is in a different element than the actual restaurant, that I wouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I think all the restaurants were pretty awesome, but of course, they were out of their element and slammed with 300 people.
When I got there, it was raining. It wasn’t raining too bad and I was under the awning in line, but when I past the awning to wait – somehow, it was raining harder. Just my luck!
When I got in, I was given a passport and a napkin. Walking past the coat check and red carpet, there are two rooms. The big room had all the restaurants and the smaller area had the bar and three dessert stations.
I went into the larger area and bumped into two people I met previously at YVR Twestival and follow on twitter, Lloyd (of GoMunch) and Jessie (@mini604 and AppleCharms).
The first station was for El Barrio, there was a guy telling us where it was located (Hastings & Nanaimo area) and that they were open late. He was definitely very helpful! The chef was serving up Tostadas w/Carnitas.
I managed to catch the chef in action!
This is the Tostada. It had some sauces on it and some meat (I’m not sure but I believe it was shredded chicken). I found the tostada to be spicy and tangy. Very flavourful!
Here’s GoMunch trying it out! 🙂
Next up was One Planet Catering, they were serving hors d’eouvres. Three types: Tuna Tartare, Raspberry Chocolate Macaroon and the last one, I forgot what it was (and I didn’t get to try it!).
The Tuna Tartare was tart and tangy, I definitely enjoyed the protein part, the bottom was a bit spongey and I didn’t enjoy it too much.
The Raspberry Chocolate Macaroon was super cute and was not too sweet – which was great.
The last dish, I am unsure of. Maybe GoMunch can provide some insight. 🙂
Our next stop was Hapa Izakaya. They were serving Yuzu Ceviche and Tuna Avo Salsa. I found both to be extremely delicious!
The Yuzu Ceviche was citrusy and refreshing, while the Tuna dish was savoury and a bit sweet.
MoChikas had a very long line, so we decided to see what the fuss was all about. They were serving two dishes, Ceviche (a shrimp & fish cocktail) and Pork Belly Sandwich (which resembled burger sliders).
I thought the Ceviche was cool and refreshing, with a wonderful creamy sauce. The Pork Belly sandwich was very filling but I didn’t really enjoy the fat (because it is pork belly, after all!).
Red Star was up next, they had several spoons of appetizers or yum cha items. The first one was Turnip cake filled with Prawn (although it tasted kind of like Hau Gau or shrimp dumpling) that was fried. Yummy!
This was some sort of fruit with salad dressing, I wasn’t feeling it so I didn’t try it. Jessie tried it and she found some of the fruit still frozen! =X
The last one (which, apparently I didn’t take a photo of) was Siu Mai. It was very small but tasted like your average Siu Mai.
When we were stopped here, Mijune, James and Sherman made a speech welcoming everyone to the event and a super cute video done by Mijune (Thanks for the link!).
Up next, another ridiculously long line for Falconetti’s. They had two trays of different bruschetta served with different types of sausage. I got to try the Italian sausage, it was okay, but probably not worth the 20 minute wait in line.
Ebo was next. They had some sort of ahi tuna, it was tasty, but the sauce underneath made it better.
I have to say that their chocolate mousse cake is AMAZING. You must eat it with the nuts for that crunchy taste. The mousse was dense and sweet and the crunchy part really made it perfect.
Finally, they had a really interesting drink – it was a virgin cocktail that was steaming! It was cold, but they added something to it to make it steam up like that. It tasted a bit like passionfruit and pear, I’m not quite sure what it was exactly, but very tasty!
Trying to escape the crowd, we headed over to the dessert area and when we were up next in line, James of Bella Gelateria stepped behind the cart! He was super nice and even took a pic with GoMunch! If you haven’t tried the gelato here – YOU MUST. Best gelato in town, hands down. He went to Italy to train and he flies ingredients into town to make the best kind of gelato. I had the chocolate, GoMunch had the espresso. The chocolate was oh so good, but the espresso was even better.
At this point I was stuffed beyond belief, I only got to try one of the three macaroons offered by Kitchening w/Carly. I had the Vanilla Lavender (although there were two other really great flavours) and it was amazing! Sweet, the taste of lavender was not too overwhelming and like biting into heaven.
There was another dessert place called Mancakes (guy version of cupcakes) but the line was long and I was so full, I really couldn’t try it! I wish I did though!
My last stop was the one I missed in the main area, La Belle Auberge. They had mini plates of risotto, duck and a little deep fried (?) pocket of pulled pork. I think by far, this was my favourite of the night. The risotto was full of flavour, complimented well with the duck. The pulled pork pocket was bursting full of flavour! Speaking of bursting full of flavour, I didn’t get a picture but they had Kalamansi Explosion – which is basically white chocolate with kalamansi inside. But before I could try it, I was instructed to put it in my mouth and make sure I close my lips. And BOOM! It literally exploded in my mouth. It was amazingly refreshing, not too sour and sweet at the very end. I absolutely enjoyed it (and it was made with kalamansi – a filipino delight! represent!). I might have to do the drive to Ladner just so my husband can try it out!
The crowd swelled and I felt tired, so I bid goodbye to mini604 and GoMunch and headed out before the prizes were handed out. Waiting for me before the exit was bags of goodies by Nature’s Path. When I got home, I opened it up and I was really surprised with the stuff they gave us! There’s some whole o’s, flax cereal, granola bars (choconut and apricot), a happy planet beverage and Love Crunch – which I’m most excited to taste – a cereal made with dark chocolate chunks, raspberry, strawberry, cocnut and flax granola. They also provided a fabulous cookbook that I will have to try!
I want to thank the hosts – Mijune, Sherman and James for a wonderful event, and the restaurants and vendors that were a part of it. Please visit the links I’ve provided in the post! What an amazing opportunity to try things that I would not normally try, surrounded with great people. I can’t wait for next year – maybe bigger venue and more restaurants this time around?!