Thursday, February 14, 2013

Trip to Vancouver

Two weekends ago, I was in Vancouver for a conference that was held by the office.  Yes, you read right - WEEKEND.  The conference was two days long and was held on Friday and Saturday.

I arrived around mid afternoon on Thursday.  After settling my stuff at the hotel, my first trip was here:

It was approximately a 15 minute walk from the hotel.  Board games here were sold for approximately 15% cheaper than Alberta, and that's including BC's 12% HST!  Crazy!  I bought two games that I've been eying on: Flashpoint and Ora et Labora.

Weeks before, I emailed a Vancouverian friend to meet up.  Lucky for me, it was dining week.  He set up a dinner date, and I got to see both him and his fiancee again.  We went to Market by Jean-Georges, a restaurant located inside the Shangri La Hotel.

Being in a fancy hotel and all, the food must be good.  I had an ahi tuna fish cake for the appetizer, steelhead for the entree, and chocolate lava cake for dessert.  Sounds good, right?  Unfortunately not so much.  The ahi tuna fish cake was ok, the steelhead was good, and the lava cake was dry.   Maybe my standards just went sky high after eating at the Hardware Grill not too long ago. Therefore, the food at Market was not memorable, and appeared to be a mediocre fusion restaurant in a fine dining environment.  Typical.  The question B always ask "Will you come back?"  My answer is no.

Conference on Friday and Saturday.  8 am to 5 pm.  FML.  And of course, there were the socializing and mingling that followed.  So the days were more like 8 am to 12 am.  FMLx2.  The majority of the time, I just thought, I wish I could be in my room learning to play those new games I just bought.  The saddest part was the catered breakfast, lunch, and snacks were better than the planned dinner outings.  I'm not even going to describe it here.  It was disappointing.  Very disappointing.

Sunday, my day.  I purposely booked a later return flight (5:50 pm) so that I could eat some good Asian food and do some Asian mall shopping in Richmond.  My brunch stop was at:

It had good ratings on Urbanspoon.  Although it was classified as 'fast Japanese food', it beat out whatever I ate in the past three days BY FAR.  First time ever, I ordered a full course lunch meal:

Appetizer: salmon sashimi - delish
Entree: seafood bukkake udon in a hot stone bowl - a yummy surprise
Dessert: red bean pudding - oh sweet heaven 
Everything was so good.  My udon was a surprise.  I think it was a new item, and so the print out was all in Japanese except for "seafood udon in stone bowl".  Although it's soupless, the sauce you add into the noodles was glorious.

Finally, the shopping.  Oh Daiso, how much I love you, but what a disappointment this time.  Last time I saw a lot of cute embellishments for my scrapbooking hobby, but this time not so much.  There were some, but they were not great.  However, I did find this microfiber tower turban.  It says on the package that it will absorb more water than a normal towel, and therefore reduce air/blow drying time.  My engineering mind said "I doubt it" but my woman's mind said "Whatever, it's $2, let's give it a try."

Me with my microfiber turban
Conclusion: it acted like any other towel, but lighter since I don't have a huge towel wrapped on my head.

Oh what a wasted trip.  So much more to do and eat there and barely of those were accomplished.  I will be back.  Shortly!