Eating Our Way Through Kelowna – Masala Fusion

Hi Folks:

Last weekend we left our island hideaway for the Okanagan valley to celebrate Mike’s mother’s birthday. As part of our stay we stopped for dinner at Masala Fusion. It’s a small restaurant on the NE corner of Harvey and Cooper, across the street from Orchard Park Mall and beside A&W (although we recommend the former rather than the latter for food!)

Masala Fusion

Masala Fusion Restaurant, Kelowna, BC

When we walked through the front door we immediately felt welcomed. It was like being wrapped in a favourite warm, fuzzy blanket… 🙂 We took a table for two at the back, but when we delivered our order to our server she pulled over an extra table for us. We expected to have leftovers, but (somehow) we managed to eat everything! It was just that good. We had a bit of deciding to navigate Marcia’s food allergies, but we did just fine.

We started with Chicken Tikka for an appetizer. From the menu: “Chicken breast marinated in ginger and garlic paste, hung yoghurt and spices, then slow roasted in clay oven.” The flavours of chicken and garlic and cilantro and more enveloped the mouth without overpowering. 

For the main course we chose Tandoori Salmon, Vegetable Korma, Garlic Naan and a side of Cucumber Raita. As mentioned, we thought that was probably way too much, and we couldn’t believe we ate the whole thing! When we ordered the main course items our server asked us if we wanted mild, medium or hot. Since Marcia is a little more sensitive to spices, she decided on medium and it worked out perfectly. There was enough spice to provide flavour without being overwhelming. Unfortunately, we didn’t have room for dessert (next time!) Mike had an iced tea, and Marcia had a soda water with a slice of lemon.

If you’re visiting Kelowna this is well worth a visit. We told our server the food was almost worth moving back to Kelowna (but we can do without the 37°C summers!)

Hugs,
M&M

Eating Our Way Through Victoria…

Hi Folks:

It’s been a while since we did a food post, so it must be time for another one! We had two delicious meals out in July and we thought we’d share a bit of information with you…

John's Place

John’s Place

John’s Place

We’ve eaten at John’s Place before, but only for dinner. As we’ve mentioned, breakfast is Marcia’s favourite meal out, so on a sunny Sunday morning we wandered down to Pandora Avenue for some brunch. Now, normally that time of the week would have a line-up down the street for many of Victoria’s fine restaurants, but coincidentally we timed our arrival with the beginning of Victoria’s 2017 Pride Parade. As such the restaurant was still packed, but with most folks out watching the parade we only had to wait a few minutes to be seated.

What we love most about John’s Place is the laid back atmosphere. It’s very much like being in someone’s country kitchen (albeit with a bunch of friendly strangers). John’s place is open, loud, and it is not pretentious. The staff are great and John’s Place prides itself on serving free run eggs, butter (not margarine) and the freshest ingredients they can source. This shows in both the delicious scents and the taste! They serve LavAzza coffee, so Marcia opted for the bottomless cup of drip coffee and Mike had a double Café Americano. For breakfast Marcia had the Free Run Traditional breakfast – eggs over, bacon and fresh fruit on the side. Mike opted for something a little different – the Valdy’s Frittata. It’s a 4-egg, open-faced omelette, served up with chorizo sausage, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, onions and feta cheese. Both were excellent!! Victoria has a number of great breakfast places, and John’s Place is certainly one of them! (Psssttt… their staff give great hugs)

Table 21

Table 21

Table 21

Table 21 is located on the first floor of the DoubleTree Hotel, at the corner of Douglas and Burdett Streets. There is a bar/lounge seating, but they also have a large dining area. Table 21 mostly does tapas (small plates), and for a general recommendation one orders 1-2 plates per person.

We opted for four dishes and that worked out very well for us. First we ordered the Grilled Romaine Salad, which was an entire romaine heart divided in two and served with a house dressing, candied bacon and shaved Grana Padano cheese. For a vegetable dish we ordered the Ponzu Chili Zucchini Noodle, which was a blend of grated zucchini, peppers, chili sauce and garlic. To round it out we had Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus and Crispy Duck Wings. The duck wings were Marcia’s particular favourite – prepared Asian style with cashews, spring onion, cilantro and green papaya slaw. That was certainly ample for us! We passed on dessert, but Mike did finish the meal with an espresso. One thing to note: Show proof that you are a resident of Victoria and get 21% off your bill!

Victoria has so many great restaurants; these are two more to consider for your next meal out. 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

Having Brunch Out for Mother’s Day(s)

Hi Folks:

For Mother’s Day this year we traveled up to the Okanagan to celebrate with Mike’s Mom. We had two days together so we got to treat her to two different places!

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Eating Our Way Through Victoria – Breakfast Out

Hi Folks:

In Marcia’s family the favourite meal to eat-out has always been breakfast. On the road? Get up early, take on a few miles (or kilometres), then pull over and have a hearty meal.

Victoria is blessed with many fine restaurants that are open for breakfast, and today we thought we’d profile two of them. We only write about restaurants we like because if we’d had a bad experience somewhere it may have been the chef’s day off, the server was having a bad day or something else, but a good meal, shared, is something to treasure.

Without further ado… 🙂

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Dine Around & Stay in Town, 2016

Hi Folks:

One of the challenges with living in Victoria is that there’s always so much to do! Often one has to choose this instead of that (heavy sigh.. 🙂 ). As example, starting last Friday (February 19) and running until March 6 is the 2016 Dine Around and Stay in Town event. It’s an invitation for both residents and visitors to check out over 60 different local restaurants and try one of their prix fixe menus, with prices ranging from $20-$50/plate. Many places also have suggestions for wine or beer pairings. In addition to the food choices, a dozen hotels are offering rooms at rates beginning at $79.

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Eating Our Way Through Victoria… Celebrations!

Hi Folks:

Well, last Saturday was Marcia’s birthday and since she was off on both Friday and Saturday we (I) expanded her birthday celebration into a two-day event.  Fortunately Marcia was willing to go along with my schemes!  Before I continue, I should add a little backstory…

Back in 1995 we shared our first two-bedroom apartment together.  For Marcia’s birthday I invited a ‘few’ friends for a pot-luck surprise party and we managed to pack 37 people into our little apartment!  Everyone had a great time, including Marcia, but she also casually mentioned that she’d kill me if I ever did it again.  Well, since we no longer live there, and keeping to the ‘letter of the law’ so to speak, here’s a quick summary of some of the things we undertook over our weekend.  It also highlights some of the reasons we love living here in Victoria! Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Victoria!

Hi Folks!

Well, on this one night of the year where perhaps more candy is consumed by more people than any other night, we have two restaurants to share with you from this past month.  Both are places we’ve been meaning to go to for some time… Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Victoria… Cafés

Hi Folks:

I remember reading somewhere that Victoria has the second highest number of restaurants per capita in North America… so much good food, so little time…  With all of those choices Marcia and I have become a little sedate in our selections – frequenting mostly places that we’ve been to before like Floyd’s and Red Fish Blue Fish.  We ‘ve written two ‘Eating Our Way…‘ posts now on some of our favourite coffee (and tea) tasting places in town, but we have another few to add to the list: Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Victoria… And Beyond!!

Hi Folks:

This will serve as two months’ worth of ‘Food’ posts for us!  We’ve had some interesting culinary adventures over the past couple of months… actually we were waiting for a writeup from a ‘guest blogger’, but that didn’t pan out so you get me instead.  Let’s see now, where have we been? Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Victoria… Fresh Fish!!

Hello, Dear Reader:

Today Marcia and I celebrate our 100th Monthaversary of being married, so it’s only fitting that today we should profile where we went to celebrate our 18th Anniversary of the day we met.  (In case it’s not really obvious, we find some way to celebrate ‘Us’ every day…)

On February 19th we went to a restaurant we’ve been meaning to try for some time: Red Fish Blue Fish.  To say that the restaurant is small is almost an understatement; the primary structure has been built out of a shipping container.  Their address is listed as 1006 Wharf Street but you’ll find them down on the wharf, behind the Inner Harbour Centre and near the float plane docks. Just look for a long line-up of people…

Red Fish Blue Fish

In our opinion, Red Fish Blue Fish has several good things going for it.  First, the location is wonderful, right by the ocean and out in the fresh air.  There are a collection of tables and stools randomly distributed around and also a section of benches to sit on, but you can also take your selections away down the shore if you prefer.  Second, the food is very good.  The fish is fresh, the batter is very light, and the fries are tasty!  In addition to battered fish they serve chowder, salads, fish tacones (grilled tortilla hand rolls or taco-cones), and for vegetarians they serve an edamame tacone.  Third, the operation is very environmentally friendly.  The footprint of the restaurant is small, but it goes beyond that.

Red Fish Blue Fish Oceanwise poster

 

All of their seafood is sustainably caught and certified by the Vancouver Aquarium’s ‘Oceanwise‘ program.

“The Vancouver Aquarium is a self-supporting, non-profit association dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display and interpretation, education, research, and direct action.

Overfishing is the number one problem facing the world’s oceans…

Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. Ocean Wise works directly with restaurants, markets, food services and suppliers ensuring that they have the most current scientific information regarding seafood and helping them make ocean-friendly buying decisions. The options are highlighted on their menus and display cases with the Ocean Wise symbol, making it easier for consumers to make environmentally friendly seafood choices. The Ocean Wise logo next to a menu or seafood item is an assurance that the item is a good choice for keeping ocean life healthy and abundant for generations to come.”

In addition, there are no garbage cans for the customers.  Instead, they have a two-bin system (in cooperation with reFUSE, I believe).  A blue bin collects metal, glass and plastic for recycling, and a green bin collects leftover food, napkins (paper), dishes (pressboard), coleslaw/condiment cups (paper) and cutlery (pressed wood fibre) for composting.  If they told me that their fry oil went for biodiesel production and that the vegetables for the salad and slaw were locally harvested, I’d be in ‘green’ fast food heaven!

 We were there for lunch on a February afternoon; out of the wind and with the sun shining down it was a lovely day for al fresco dining!  Red Fish Blue Fish is closed over the winter, but open 7 days a week for most of the year.  They do close early during inclement weather, so please call ahead if you’re uncertain.

Bon appetit!

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. You can read more of our Food posts and restaurant reviews here.