Bun Rieu

Every time I mentioned my last name, people would assume that I’m Vietnamese.  I was born in Vietnam, but I’m 100% Chinese.  I don’t know Vietnamese and would not attempt to learn it.  I don’t have that kind of talent, just ask my sisters.

My mom makes phenomenal Vietnamese food and I should really learn from her.  As a matter of fact, I’ve attempted to make pho a few years ago, but it wasn’t successful.  I mean it didn’t taste remotely as good as my mom, but hey at least I tried.  This time, I’m adamant about making a new dish and that is bun rieu (crab noodle soup).  I followed this youtube video .  I also tweaked the recipe by adding shrimp heads to the broth and adding in shrimp paste to the soup rather than using it as a dip.

You can buy all these ingredients at any Asian supermarkets.  I like to buy it at the Vietnamese supermarket cause they have all the herbs especially the water spinach stems.

Some people like to mix crab and shrimp paste together, but I like to use just the crab paste alone.  Too bad I can’t find the spicy crab paste if so, it would taste so much better.  I also didn’t fry any tofu, but cheated and bought the mini deep fried tofu which tasted just as delicious.
I like putting prawn shells and onion in the pork soup so the broth tasted better, but it’s totally optional.  You can just use regular pork neck bones, and that is fine too.

So, this is the finished product.  This is my third time making it.  The first time, it was tasteless.  My sons said the broth needs A LOT more flavour.  The second time, I made it for my sisters.  They seemed to enjoy it or they were just being nice.  And this is my third time making it and I’m most satisfied with it.  Another tip is to add a tablespoon of tamarind soup mix to the broth.  It creates a sweet, but tart flavour.

Overall, this dish is pretty easy to make so I encourage those who loves Vietnamese food to try this out.  Make sure you make a big pot so you can always have leftovers.  Happy Cooking!

PS  Thank you to those who participated in my spring giveaway!  I love reading the comments.  It’s amazing how many of my readers love gardening.  I’m so jealous because I’m known to have a black thumb. ;)



Spring 2017 Giveaway!

You don’t know how much I’m looking forward to this spring.  We had the weirdest winter ever.   We had about 5 or 6 snowstorms between December and February and that is very unusual.  It rarely snows that much in Vancouver.  It was so cold and troublesome for everyone.  In addition, we get made fun of from the East coast people.  LOL!

Anyway, to celebrate spring, here is a gift for my readers.  Watches are one of my favourite accessories.  I have a RumbaTime watch (not this style) and I really like it.  I love the simple and classy design.

Follow the widget and for additional entries, let me know what you’re looking forward to in spring.  I’m definitely looking forward to warmer weather, cherry blossoms, and spring fashion.

I love the silver and you can always dress up or down with this watch.  You can tell that the plastic sticker is still on the watch.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open to Canada and USA only and will be closed on April 8, 2017.The winner will be randomly chosen by Rafflecopter and will have 48 hours to reply back to me.  Good luck!


Cavalia Odysseo

I love watching any live performances especially concerts.  They’re so much fun!

But this time I’m sharing my experiences at the Cavalia Odysseo show.  My co-worker recommended that I should see Cavalia because she’d seen it and she loved it!  Before taking her suggestion, I researched online and there were mostly positive reviews so I decided to watch the show.  I went with my sister and my son (who loves horses).  Boy, my co-worker was right!  It was so much fun and worth every penny!

Nick loves making faces!
I bought the VIP packages which included the meal buffet.  I didn’t think much of the buffet but surprisingly it was extremely delicious and healthy too.  It also included wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks.
Our lanyards included a free chipotle spread from Save On Foods.  I have yet to pick it up.

So excited for the show!  Before the show, there were a few Q&A which were fun and informative.  There are 65 horses (13 of which are stallions) and 48 performers.

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Lifestyle, Restaurant

Dining Experience: The RawBar at the Lobby Lounge

Hi friends!  This is my second restaurant experience review.  I actually went there last November but with my busy schedule, I only have time to post it now.  I met up with three wonderful ladies (whom I met through Instagram) and because we all have a passion for food, it was a good time to get together and do what we do best:  eat.

Left to Right:  Vivian (Wisteria Voyage), Roanna (Foodiegram) and Mimi (Indulge with Mimi).  They actually reviewed this restaurant too and I highly encourage you to go and visit their page.

The RawBar at the Fairmont Hotel is trendy but elegant.  They have a beautiful fireplace and a white Fazioli piano.  They serve brunch and afternoon tea on the weekend.  There’s also live music nightly which is a perfect place to catch up with old friends or drinks after work.

I always try to take a picture of the menu since I never remember what I ate.

We came here specifically for their five-course cocktail brunch (which we saw plastered on our IG feed).  There are two options for the first and third course, but since there are four of us, we decided to order different items so we may sample each other food.  Isn’t that the way to go?

The first course was the Torched Wagyu Beef Salad.  I don’t eat wagyu beef all the time and I expected that it would melt-in-your-mouth but these weren’t, so I was a tad disappointed.  But then again I was told that there are different types of wagyu beef and perhaps these weren’t the ones I expected.  Nonetheless, this dish had a great flavour.

The other option for the first course was the Red Tuna Tataki.  It was perfectly seasoned and very appetizing, thanks to the refreshing yuzu vinaigrette.  So yummy!
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The name: Kim

Do you guys have any names that you are quite fond of or detest?  Just curious.  I personally can’t think of one that I don’t like, but I really like the name Nicholas (hence that’s the name of my son) and if I should have a daughter (not anymore, too old now Lol)  I always wanted to name her Erin (after watching Erin Brockovich).  I love this name because I think it’s strong and heroic.

But today, I would like to share with you a name that I have really good fate with and that is the name:  Kim.  Let me describe my three friends and some funny anecdotes with you.

This is a really old picture of me, my boss in the middle and my supervisor on the right.  I think this was taken more than 20 years ago when I was working at a freight-forwarding company.  Although it’s a small company (just the three of us) it was actually one of my favourite places to work.  Working in a small environment definitely has many advantages.  I learned so much about the industry and build a spectacular relationship with my supervisor, Kimberly (Kim for short).  Not only did she taught me everything she knew, but I got to know her on a personal level.  Needless to say, she’s more like a friend than a co-worker.

Kim is very smart and efficient.  I also love how she was always open and honest.  She said that when she first spoke to me on the phone, she didn’t think that I was Chinese.  She thought I was Caucasian.  Lol.  While we were working, we often talked about our daily life and I remember a very embarrassing and funny moment.  One time, I told her I was “stoned” over the weekend and her jaws dropped.  She repeatedly asked me if I was really “stoned” and I confirmed YES, obviously not knowing the real meaning.  At that time, I thought it meant drunk not high.  LMAO!  I don’t think I ever clarify with her and of course, from then on, I dare not try to use any words without finding out the true meaning.

The last time I saw Kim was more than 17 years ago (when I had my first kid).  We had lunch together and I showed pictures of my son.  Since then we lost contact, I wish I can bump into her one day.  I hope she’s happy wherever she is.
If you’ve been following me for a while, I’m sure I don’t need to introduce you to my very good friend, Kim (A Very Sweet Blog).  Although we haven’t met each other yet, but I feel like I known her for a long time.  Kim followed me when I first started blogging and that was more than 5 years ago.  She has not only been my top supporter of my blog, but she cares about me in every aspect.  Blogging can be tough, and there are a few times I want to quit, but luckily I have Kim to give me her advice.  I feel like she’s a sister I never had.

I’m hoping to make a trip to New Orleans and meet Kim one day.  Most likely, it should be within the next 5 years.  I’m sure when I see her, I will give her the biggest hug ever!  Wait for me, Kim!

In the early days of internet, we are all warned to watch out for strangers (remember those horrible stories about meeting people online).  But nowadays, thanks to social media, we have so many apps that allow people to share common interests and it’s totally acceptable.  Instagram is my favourite social media platform because I met some really good people (mostly virtually) and one of them is Kim from (@onlymekimberly).  Although we have yet to meet in person, we have made a promise to meet up in spring and I’m sure it will happen because she lives in Vancouver.

I love it when followers become friends.  Kim and I share a lot of common interests.  She loves coffee and reading.  Whenever I’m stuck on what to read next, I can always rely on Kim to give me some good book recommendations.  And it seems like every weekend, I’d be drooling over her perfect latte and avocado toast posts.

So, that’s my list of the three Kims I absolutely adore.  Please share with me if you have any good relationship with anyone that shares the same name.  Thank you so much for reading!