Last night, I went on a mini food crawl with Eva and Jason at the Tasting Plates event around the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. There are four participating restaurants, including PappaRoti, Uma Sushi, Maizal, and Westcoast Poke. We get to experience and enjoy some of the signature food items from different restaurant.
Tasting Plates is a self-guided food tour that brings participates to various restaurants, cafes, and food trucks. It is the best opportunity for locals and visitors in Vancouver to explore the neighborhood and try out tasting plates from new restaurants.
First Stop: PappaRoti
PappaRoti at Olympic Village is the first stop. It is a hidden gem in this quiet neighborhood. It is spacious and perfect for work. So we first checked in and grabbed our Tasting Plates “passport”, which is like a pass for you to go to the remaining stops. They offers us the Signature Original Bun, Spinach & Feta Puff Pastry, and our choice of the Go Banana Smoothie or a cup of coffee.
The Signature Original Bun is coated with a thin coffee caramel shell on the outside to give a crunchy texture. On the inside, it is buttery, airy, and soft. This bun is my all time favourite at PappaRoti. I always come here during the happy hour and grab one for a $1 off.
Although I have been to PappaRoti for many times, I have never tried anything else aside from the coffee buns. Surprisingly, the Spinach & Feta Puff Pastry tastes fresh and delicious. Unfortunately, the Go Banana Smoothie is not my cup of tea, mainly because I dislike almond milk and almond butter. It has a strong after taste of almond butter, with a hint of cacao flavour.
Second Stop: Maizal
Heading down to Main Street, Maizal is an authentic Mexican restaurant that features house made tortillas. Its tasting plate comes with a Corn & Cheese Empanada, a Taco, Tres Leche Cake, and a sample of Horchata & Passion Fruit and Chia drink.
I often think of taco when ordering at a Mexican restaurant, but the Corn & Cheese Empanada is probably my new favourite! It is a fried pastry with corn and cheese fillings. It is quite bland on its own, but adding a touch of sour cream and your choice of hot sauce will surprise you. I also really enjoy the Passion Fruit and Chia drink – refreshing and not too sweet.
Third Stop: Westcoast Poke
Our final two stops are near Broadway City Hall. Westcoast Poke, the third stop, is a locally sourced poke shop. Customers can customize the poke bowl with a variety of proteins and toppings. Instead of trying their poke bowls today, we are offered with bite-size snacks that are normally served in catering events – Spicy Ahi Negitoro Bite, Umami Albacore Toro Bite, Blackened Sockeye Salmon Bite, and Nori Oil Atlantic Salmon Bite.
These four snacks showcase some of the popular protein, with different sauces and toppings, placed on top of the crispy rice. The bites are very flavourful, and I enjoyed each of the pairing. However, it was quite a mouth workout to chew the crispy rice, as they are very tough and hard.
Last Stop: Uma Sushi
Uma Sushi is the perfect place to conclude our food crawl. On top of the tasting plate, we also ordered Saba and Scallop Oshi! Trust me, they are very delicious! I came here before for my friend’s birthday, and I really enjoyed the dining experience. This time, we get to try something different – Salmon Oshi, Tuna Tataki, and Snow White Roll.
Tuna Tataki is seared perfectly, paired with mustard soy sauce dressing. Not only it tastes delicious, its presentation is on point. The greens underneath helps to clean my palette for the next piece. Snow White Roll is refreshing and unique. The sushi is made with prawn tempura, mango, and cucumber, wrapped with soy paper, topped with Aburi scallop and apple pieces. Unfortunately, the Salmon Oshi doesn’t taste as good as the Saba or Scallop Oshi, because the ratio of salmon and rice is just not right. But overall I enjoy most of the dishes here.
This is my second time attending the Tasting Plates event. As some of the restaurants may be further apart, I recommend to drive or decide the most convenient route if by bus. I really like the tasting plates are with a mix of classic and new dishes that you may not try before. This type of food crawl is just perfect for small group of friends and family, who wants to explore unfamiliar neighborhood in Vancouver. If you are interested, the upcoming events will be in Yaletown. You can now purchase your ticket here.
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Disclosure: Media Event