The Taste of Aberdeen media event happened last Thursday and I was invited by ChineseBites to join other foodies to sample the top items from every food court vendor at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond.

There was even a menu prepared! There are plenty of food vendors to choose from in the Aberdeen food court. With 20 items on the menu, I prepared myself mentally for the onslaught of food to come.

We started with some drinks from several different vendors:
8 Juice House  - special (mango coconut juice with tapioca, mango and pomelo bits)
Estea Express - Milk tea with pearls
Strike - Matcha soy bean
Saboten - Iced Genmaicha (Japanese green tea)
Teppan Kitchen - Iced honey matcha tea
Bubble Waffle - Iced lemon Ribena

I tried the Ice lemon Ribena and I liked it. It's a sweet fizzy drink.

Sakura roll (prawn tempura, avocado, chopped scallop) - Aji Hana
Our first dish was the Sakura roll from Aji Hana. I wasn't expecting much from food court sushi but it tasted really good! Would consider this next time I'm there for a meal.

Pan fried Chinese chives with pork dumplings - Chef of Dumplings
Chive and Pork dumplings from Chef of Dumplings served with vinegar and soy sauce. Yum!

Bubble Waffles (original flavour) - Bubble Waffle
Bubble waffles! Yum! Bubble Waffle Cafe was one my favourite haunts even before this tasting event. It's cheap and yummy food. Tip: order online and pick up at Aberdeen and to decrease your wait time. Just pay and go. Also you can get 10% off with code: waffle123

Curry Fish balls - Bubble Waffle
 These are pretty good too. Little spicy.

Hot sour noodle - Szechuan House
 This was even spicier. Not really for me since I'm a wuss when it comes to spicy foods.

Deep fried chicken wings. Deep fried squid - Wu Fung Dessert
Delicious delcious deep fried chicken and deep fried squid from Wu Fung Dessert. Yes. 100x YES. Strange that they don't specialize in dessert given their name, but their fried chicken wings and squid are so good!

Prawn Wontons - Lung Kee
 Prawn wontons from Lung Kee. They are regular wontons. Don't know what else to say.

Club house sandwich - Stike
 I enjoyed this sandwich from Strike. Would be pretty filling lunch. So many layers!

Drunken chicken hotpot - Tofu Hotpot
 Drunken chicken hotpot from Tofu Hotpot. Had very good flavour and a strong rice wine scent. Yummy!

Popcorn chicken nuggets - Yougo Chicken
 I'm slowing down at this point. These chicken nuggets were ok. Could be better.

Baked pork chop on rice - Mambo Café
 This is a lot of pork and a lot of rice...

Chicken bulgogi & pork belly - Kitchen Korea

Sticky rice - Leung Kee

Soy sauce chicken and Long Gong chicken. - Leung Kee
 Really tasty chicken from Leung Kee.

Egg rolls - Strike
These tuna and egg crepes are kind of weird. I really don't like the warm tuna. Not my thing but it must be popular with some people to be one of the top items at Strike.

Saboten set (prawn, pork tenderloin, pork loin) - Saboten
 Deep fried stuff. It's ok. Maybe my mind is in the gutter but this is a poor food placement. XD

Hainanese chicken on rice - Café D'Lite Express
Chicken was ok. The oily rice was mmmmm.

'A' grade ribeye teppan with egg and corn - Teppan Kitchen
'A' grade ribeye teppan with egg and corn from Teppan Kitchen. Mix before eating. Pretty tasty!

Choco banana fresh cream mini crepe - Mazazu Crepe
 I enjoyed this crepe. Simple but delicious!

Mini cream puffs and cheesecake stick - Beard Papa's
Beard Papa's mini cream puffs are the best. The cheesecake stick is pretty good, too. It's a Japanese type cheesecake so it's lighter than a regular cheesecake.

Shaved ice ‐ A Dream in Eden (strawberries, kiwi, mango, mango ice cream) - Frappe Bliss
Shaved ice ‐ Matcha Delight (matcha ice cream, chewy rice balls, red bean) - Frappe Bliss
I love shaved ice, especially this light fluffy kind. It's a very light and tasty end to a food filled night! I was so full but shaved ice seems to make the bloated feeling better. YUM.

There were some hits and misses but safe to say the food court at Aberdeen Centre has many choices for anyone looking for lunch or dinner when they are out shopping.

Disclosure: The meal was provided free of charge by the vendors. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own and have not been influenced in any other way.

Photo from White Rock Modern Home Tour by Ema Peter Photography -

On Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, the third annual Vancouver Modern Home Tour and first-ever White Rock Modern Home Tour will take place in one weekend. Both are featured events in Western Living Magazine’s Design Week, and will give residents of British Columbia the rare opportunity to visit and walk-through some of the most amazing modern private residences, and meet the local architects behind the designs.

Modern Home Tours LLC is returning to British Columbia for a full weekend of modern home and architecture exploration. During the 3rd Annual Vancouver Modern Home Tour on Saturday, September 19th, attendees will have the opportunity to explore seven modern homes in the Vancouver area that exemplify modern architecture and living. The following day, Sunday, September 20th, five homes in the small coastal towns of White Rock and Surrey will open their doors for the first-ever White Rock Modern Home Tour.

Photo from Vancouver Modern Home Tour  by Jason Wexler & Clint Clarke
Participating homes in the 2015 Modern Home Tour will open their doors for viewing from 11AM – 5PM on Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, in and around Vancouver (19th) and White Rock (20th). Tickets for the tour are $30 in advance online or $45 on the day of the tour - a combo ticket is also available for purchase. Kids under 12 are FREE when accompanying their parents.

Photo from Vancouver Modern Home Tour by Eric Scott Photography

The 3rd Annual Vancouver Modern Home Tour participants include:

  1. In the heart of downtown Vancouver’s West End, visit a 1,000 sq. ft. condo, recently gutted and brought back to life by One SEED Architecture + Interiors. Influenced by the character and materials of a converted New York City loft, the floor plan was renovated to create an open concept design, where spaces are defined by colour, lighting, and design accents, in lieu of walls and doors.
  2. Lanefab Design/Build is showcasing their “Two Birds” Lane House, located in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood. The laneway house is unique in that the relatively large lot allowed the small home to be designed with two separate wings: a living/dining space with a guest bedroom, and a separate master suite separated by a small pocket garden. The project uses super insulated walls and triple glazed windows, and features reclaimed beams for the structure.
  3. LCI Design invite visitors to see a major renovation and update to a 1960′s Lewis Post and Beam house located in West Vancouver. The owners were compelled to maintain as much of the original mid-century charm of the house as possible, but at the same time give it a contemporary update. A major component of the renovation was the transformation of the existing dirt-floor basement into an additional living area for a young family, which can be converted into a rental suite in the future.
  4. Located in the “Little Australia” neighbourhood of the UBC endowment lands in Vancouver, this home designed designed by Frits de Vries and built by Natural Balance Home Builders is a response to its build site: the roof alludes to the stunning mountain view, while the plan addresses the view of downtown Vancouver and then fans out to address the street at the front entry porch. The home internalizes the geological forces of the primeval place, revealing the strength underlying the structure of Vancouver.
  5. In North Vancouver, visit the “Cliffhanger Residence” designed by Kevin Vallely that is situated on the steep south facing slopes of North Vancouver’s Indian Arm. This boldly modern three-level home with a surprisingly tiny footprint sits atop a tiny site - a mere 25ft wide by 100ft long that drops nearly 60ft over its 100ft length. As a result, the home is laid out on a simple open plan and is designed to be efficient and multi-functional with no space going unused.
  6. Located around the corner from the Cliffhanger House is a home built by Wheeler Developments and designed by Schema Designs. This brand new home exemplifies West Coast Modernity while perfectly reflecting its natural environment, by using green building practices and finishing materials sourced from its immediate surroundings. Interior features include vaulted ceilings, an open main floor plan with a floating fir and metal staircase, and a custom fir millwork kitchen. The exterior features include a massive granite chimney and a detached 3-car garage.
  7. Finally, visit a renovation project, designed by Wexler Architecture, that added 1,000sf to an existing bungalow-style home in North Vancvouer and replaced the existing roof structure with a heavy timber vaulted glulam roof assembly. The exterior siding, windows and main floor walls were all completely replaced to allow for a spacious, open plan living space, modern master and 2 additional bedrooms. The home now features energy star windows, rain screen construction and large opening nana walls and windows for cross ventilation and indoor outdoor living.
Photo from White Rock Modern Home Tour by Ema Peter Photography -

The premier White Rock Modern Home Tour participants include:

  1. Overlooking Semiahmoo Bay in White Rock, “Galadriel” is a refined, modern home with the warmth and strength inherently found in West Coast architecture. Textures of natural stone, Douglas fir, glass and steel unify the interior with its geographical setting – surrounded by evergreens and unrestricted views of the ocean. This home reflects a successful collaboration between Peter Hildebrand and Stefan Walsh of Iredale Group Architecture and KBC Developments.
  2. In an idyllic beach community in Surrey, visit a modern family home filled with both playful and functional spaces. “Vidro Do Mar” is a result of a collaborative effort between KBC Developments, Concept to Design Inc., and the client. Natural light reflects throughout and oversized openings allow for movement to the outdoor spaces, while custom millwork completes the kitchen with concealed appliances, and creates a space well suited for entertaining.
  3. A second KBC Developments and Concept to Design collaboration, located in White Rock, is well-known to architecture fans and residents in the area as the “Wave House.” Situated on a challenging sloped lot, an elegant and modern home was achieved with expansive and serene views of the ocean, and spaces outdoors that incorporate water and fire elements. Inside, each floor, named Sand, Sea, Surf and Sky, is connected by a floating walnut staircase and an elevator concealed by walnut paneling in the entrance.
  4. Visit a mid-century inspired home in a neighbourhood by Kwomais Point in Surrey, designed by Brad Martin of Treeline Construction Limited. Built in 2013, the owners wanted a home that reflected their casual lifestyle. The result: floor to ceiling glass and a retracting wall of doors integrates indoor-outdoor living; post and beam ceilings and oversized doorways create a spacious feel, while concrete floors and sturdy hand built furniture perfectly suit the family’s casual life style.
  5. Also in White Rock, visit the “OShaun” house (pronounced ‘ocean’), a name derived from a combination of the owner’s names. Designed by Owen and Shauna Poppy of Surfside Construction, the home features amazing views of the bay and is filled with plenty of natural light. The home is a cumulative combination of ideas and materials born from 5 decades of living on and around Semiahmoo Bay and the joy of living a wonderful life together.

Photo from White Rock Modern Home Tour by Treeline Construction Ltd.

Event Details

2015 Vancouver (B.C) Modern Home Tour

DATE: Saturday, September 19
TIME: 11:00am – 5:00pm
COST: $30 Online in advance, $45 Day of

TRANSPORTATION: Self-driving, Self-paced

2015 White Rock Modern Home Tour

DATE: Sunday, September 20
TIME: 11:00am – 5:00pm
COST: $30 Online in advance, $45 Day of

TRANSPORTATION: Self-driving, Self-paced

For details on participants and to buy tickets, visit:


Modern Home Tours has generously offered my readers a chance to win tickets to the Vancouver Modern Home Tour happening on Sept 19th AND optional upgrade for the White Rock Modern Home Tour on Sept 20th! Just do any or all of the following:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will end on September 17th, 2014 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!


Based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning film

Music & Lyrics by Academy Award Winners

Direction by JOHN TIFFANY
Music Supervision and Orchestrations by MARTIN LOWE
Scenic and Costume Design by BOB CROWLEY
Lighting by NATASHA KATZ

Sound Design by CLIVE GOODWIN

FROM NOVEMBER 17-22, 2015

ONCE, winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, will play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for a one week limited engagement from November 17-22. Tickets for ONCE go on sale Monday, September 14 through, or by calling 1-855-985-5000. Tickets start at $25 (plus applicable service charges). Reservations for groups of ten (10) or more are now being accepted by calling 1-800-889-8457.

Performances run Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8PM, Sunday evening at 7:30pm with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.

ONCE in Vancouver, presented by Broadway Across Canada, is part of three city Canadian tour including stops in Calgary (November 3 - 8) and Edmonton (November 10 - 15.)

ONCE, which was also named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards, ran for more than 1,100 performances on Broadway with acclaimed international productions from London and Melbourne to Japan and South Korea.

ONCE features the Academy Award-winning music and lyrics of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, a book by award-winning Irish playwright & screenwriter, Enda Walsh (Penelope, Hunger, The New Electric Ballroom), direction by the acclaimed Scottish director of Black Watch, John Tiffany, movement by Steven Hoggett (Black Watch, American Idiot) and music supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe (Mamma Mia!). The set and costume design are by five time Tony Award winner Bob Crowley (The Coast of Utopia, Mary Poppins), lighting design is by Tony winner Natasha Katz (Aida, The Coast of Utopia), and sound design is by Clive Goodwin.

ONCE is the celebrated new musical based on the Academy Award-winning film. It tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together. Brought to the stage by an award-winning team of visionary artists and featuring an ensemble cast of gifted actor/musicians, ONCE is a musical celebration of life and love: thrilling in its originality, daring in its honesty... and unforgettable in every way.

The 2007 Academy Award-winning film, ONCE, was written and directed by John Carney, and starred Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, with original music and lyrics by Mr. Hansard and Ms. Irglová.

The Oscar winning independent Irish film, ONCE was made for $150,000. Shot in 17 days, it went on to gross $20M worldwide becoming a critically acclaimed international smash. It stars Glen Hansard, from the popular Irish Rock band The Frames, and Markéta Irglová. Glen and Markéta won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original song for “Falling Slowly,” the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Music, and the soundtrack was nominated for two Grammy Awards.

ONCE was originally developed at the American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, Massachusetts) in April 2011; Diane Paulus, Artistic Director; Diane Borger, Producer.

A developmental run of ONCE at New York Theatre Workshop (James C. Nicola and William Russo) began performances on November 15, 2011 and opened December 6. The production broke box office records and concluded a sold out engagement including a two week extension through January 15, 2012.

ONCE is produced by Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, Orin Wolf and Executive Producer Robert Cole, in association with New York Theatre Workshop.


BROADWAY ACROSS CANADA and Broadway Across America is part of the Key Brand Entertainment family of companies which and is operated by John Gore (Owner & CEO).  BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring musicals and plays in North Americaoperating in 40 markets.  As a leading Broadway producer, BAA is dedicated to the development and production of new and diversetheatre.  Current/upcoming productions include BeautifulBetrayalBullets Over BroadwayLittle Miss SunshineMillion Dollar Quartet andPippin. Past productions include HairsprayHow to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, MemphisPromises, PromisesThe Producers andWar is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please and

Hakka cuisine is a traditional rustic cooking style of the Hakka people, China's gypsies and nomads, found mainly in the southeastern Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi and Guangxi. Stewed, braised, roast meats, 'texturized' contributions remain central to Hakka cuisine; the cooking style emphasize simple but tasty dishes that focuses on texture.

Hakkasan Bistro is a small but modern looking restaurant found in the industrial area of East Richmond that specializes in Hakka cuisine, in fact they have won several notable mentions and awards for their food and service.

At the end of August, I was invited to a winery tour and dinner media tasting presented by Hakkasan Bistro and Canada Berries Winery. First we were taken to Canada Berries Winery for a wine tasting tour.

The winery is located in Richmond on Blundell Rd., near No. 5 Rd.; I had no idea that there were wineries located so close to the Vancouver! You don't have to travel to the Okanagan for a wine tour! Their staff are super passionate and knowledgeable about their wines. Canada Berries specializes in fruit wines made from BC blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, peach, cranberries and other fruits. All their wine are made from 100% BC grown fruits!

We were lead up stairs where we noshed on finger foods while Canada Berries staff prepared their most popular wines for us to taste.

These grapes were just picked fresh from the Canada Berries' own vineyard! They were very sweet and delicious.

We tasted a few of Canada Berries' most popular wines starting with the least sweet - Gooseberry wine to the sweetest - Black Current. My favourites were definitely the sweeter ones. Black Current and Blue Queen Gold Blueberry Cranberry were definitely my two favourite ones. They were also their two popular wines. They have to keep bottling the Blackcurrent one because they keep selling out! The bottle we tried was only bottled the previous week!

Canada Berries churns out 20 varieties of fruit and blended fruit wines as well as VQA ice wines! I will definitely know where to get wines for a party next time! After the wine tasting, we were driven to Hakkasan Bistro at the northern end of No. 5 Rd. for a gastronomic experience featuring some of the restaurant's specialty items.

We started the night off with a cold appetizer dish consisting of  Jasmine Tea Smoked Mushroom Beancurd Crepes, Balsamic Cloud Ear Mushroom, and a Chef specialty: Honey Roasted BBQ Pork Cheeks. I really loved the BBQ Pork Cheeks - so tender, moist and delicious! Everyone agreed that we'd go back to eat that again.

Next we were in for a special treat - Chef Specialty Double Boiled Pork with Snow Fungus Soup in Young Coconut. This was easily my favourite dish of the night. This is a dish that needs to be ordered in advance as this soup takes over 3 hours to make.

The slow boiling method makes the soup so flavourful and the best part is scraping off the young coconut meat inside that is infused with all the soupy goodness!

Another Chef Specialty is Lobster smothered in Chef’s Secret Garlic served on a bed of Jasmine rice. What is so special about this dish is that the odourless garlic won't have you reaching for your breath mints! Perfect for garlic lovers! I also loved the rice that has soaked up all the lobster juices. I definitely had seconds.

Chef Specialty - Ancient Style Hakka Salt Baked Chicken. The free range chicken is marinated in ten Chinese herbs and spices, wrapped in parchment paper then slowly baked in a clay pot filled with course salt. This technique makes the chicken succulent, tender and flavourful without being salty.

The Country style fish fillet was tender, flaky, and flavourful but pretty ordinary dish.

Hakka Homestyle Steamed Egg, Pork and Duck Yolk. I really liked this dish as well. It is has a very smooth and silky texture and was very tasty! Definitely recommend this for those visiting Hakkasan.

It was nice to have some veggies - Mui Choy Stirfry Seasonal Chinese Greens. Very tasty flavoured with some pork bits.

The last Chef Specialty for the night was Braised Pork Hock. The fatty meat (but not greasy) was super tender but a little salty on its own. Good with rice or this mini flour roll.

We ended the night with Steamed Milk dessert. It was smooth, silky custard like but more light and airy. It wasn't too sweet or heavy. A perfect end to a delicious dinner!

Overall, the dinner was amazing. Hakkasan Bistro has some interesting and delicious food. Their Chef Specialties are worth a try. Thought keep in mind that many of them need to be ordered in advance. I appreciate all the textures and flavours experienced in the dinner. I probably will give them a visit again for lunch!

Thank you Hakkasan Bistro and Canada Berries Winery for a wonderful evening!

Hakkasan Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: The meal was provided free of charge by the restaurant and winery. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own and have not been influenced in any other way.