The other night, Akemi and I went out for burgers with a couple of our very favorite Vancouver friends: Steve, Jodi, and their daughter, Gemma. Per Akemi’s request, we ended up going to Romer’s Burger Bar for their varied menu offerings and those silly iceberg lettuce buns the ladies seem to enjoy.
Steve and Jodi ended up surprising both Akemi and I with belated birthday gifts. A travel kit for me (which saves me the trouble of having to go out and buy one for my Tokyo trip! How’s that for timing?) and a pug-themed accessory for Akemi:
As the dishes were being cleared away, our waitress asked who was the birthday boy because, apparently, they were preparing some sort of dessert in my honor. I assumed that she had spotted the gift and informed the kitchen who had decided to whip up something for the occasion. I would have honestly preferred to simply order my own dessert. BUT it turned out the dessert wasn’t coming from the kitchen. Not exactly. It was coming from the kitchen via a sneaky Steve and Jodi via Ganache Patisserie: an assortment of delectable pastries including:
The desserts were totally unexpected but greatly appreciated. And delicious. If we do end up doing Vegas with Steve and Jodi in, I’ll have to find a way to surprise them as well. I’m thinking garden snake in their luggage.
Then, last night, Akemi and I headed over to Fat Dragon for their famed Hog Times dinner. We were joined by Emma and Robert (who we met at the last family-style dinner at Campagnolo Roma) and our buddy Simon…
I’m usually not a fan of family-style dining which requires you to share a table with complete strangers. Sometimes, dishes introduced at one end of the table take forever to get to you – and, when they do, it can be slim pickings. Conversely, if you’re starting with a dish, you may limit your initial serving to ensure everyone at the other end of the table receives a share and, as a result, end up leaving the table feeling hungry. On the other hand, the family-style setting allows you to make new friends (like Emma and Robert) – which wasn’t the case on this night as the group seated beside us was immersed in their own private conversation throughout.
Still, it was a great meal. The following photos were snapped by Simon and his far superior camera:
Other menu items included bean sprout kimchi, stir-fried Japanese eggplant, BBQ pit beans, butter lettuce and bean sprout salad, Korean BBQ sauce, scallion sauce, and steamed jasmine rice. The eggplant was a favorite of the table.
For dessert, I ordered a round of Fat Dragon’s famed soft serve ice cream. That night’s flavor: pandan.
In addition, Simon gifted me a box of belated birthday chocolate and macarons. They were incredible, especially the pumpkin macarons!
Like my birthday dinner at Campagnolo, Chef Ted Anderson was the man behind the meal. A big thanks to him and the rest of the gang at Fat Dragon/Campagnolo/Campagnolo Roma.
Well, after two big meals, Akemi has decided to eat soup for the foreseeable future.