Cream Puffs and Chocolate

When heading home from Kimberley to Vancouver Island Bob and I stopped in Vancouver to spend the day with our son J. He moved to the city not long after he moved out of the house at nineteen and loves it. But what’s not to love, it’s a gorgeous city! J -a foodie aficionado himself-has recently found his new favorite eatery Fat Mao, a modern asian noodle bar in Vancouver’s China Town District, so that’s where we go for lunch.

We parked and walked the alley way (I have a fascination with these ‘behind the scene’ passageways) one block in the heart of China Town to Fat Mao’s on E. Georgia St. Once inside this understated, funky Asian upbeat bar we sat at a table near the front window looking out to the street and eclectic passerby’s on their errands. The small open kitchen on full view beside us, we could also watch the chef at work. We were given what at first looks like a comics sheet, but cleverly disguised as the menu.

Bob decided on Hot and Sour Pork Noodles, J chose his favorite Koi Soi Changmai Curry Noodles and I, feeling I wanted something light, picked the XO Duck Confit Lettuce Wraps. We caught up on what’s been going on with us as we took glances over at the competent goings on in the kitchen.

When it arrived I was impressed by generous portions and the intoxicating aroma wafting off J and Bob’s big bowls. I was unfortunately less impressed by my dish.  A plate with six big loose lettuce leaves were arrayed in a fan, then a mound of vermicelli noodles and another of the duck meat.  Now to be fair I did choose an item from the appy section, but I imagined it would be perhaps lettuce bundles already filled with noodles and duck. None-the-less I assembled one, but it was awkward and messy. On the positive, the duck meat was magnificent!

I sampled the guys food and immediately regretted not ordering either of those bowls, both were incredibly savory and sumptuous. Next time.

Next up J wanted to grab some dessert which was waiting for us at Beta5

We drove back towards the Granville area to Industrial Ave. not far from Science World and pulled into a nondescript parking area lined with what looked like storage units. But once inside it was another world.

A micro artisanal chocolate factory! Check out this link to get their full story,  in short everything here involves sustainably grown cocoa beans, local and organic when possible and countless awards for their products.

Oh and then the Cream Puffs! Oh man.

We made the hard decision of choosing four to take back to J’s to devour with some good coffee and it was a hard task. We narrowed it down to (L-R) Vietnamese Coffee, Variations of Chocolate, S’more (yes that’s real gold leaf on top), and Salted Caramel.

And because we were actually in a chocolate shop we were given samples of chocolates to taste to help us again make difficult decisions on which ones of those to take home.  Aaaand I didn’t write down which ones we did choose, bad food blogger! I think I was in a swoon by then, but we did decide on six – Bob couldn’t wait sneaking one out before I could see,  they were so full of complex notes, smooth and absolutely addicting!

Back at J’s he had the delicate task of quartering the cream puffs so we could sample each one, it was brutal but entirely delicious regardless. Each one delivered on its appointed flavor designation brilliantly and with a cup of good coffee I could most definitely adopt this as a Saturday morning tradition. Along with a vigorous exercise schedule.


Tell me about any Artisanal Chocolate/pastry shops that are a favorite in your area !


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