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Aaron Yen | UBC Vancouver  Influencer for @nativmediaco @tangoonights @nest.inc @foodietribe @ubcfoodie @ubcfoodsoc @spoon_ubc @roadsandkingdoms @glancepay aaronjyen@gmail.com

Take everything you’d think of for an adult arcade, add in a bar, and emblazon it in Irish green and you have Dublin Calling (@dublincallingcan). It’s one thing to have restaurant quality food, two bar counters, and enough screens to keep your eyeballs fixed on every sports game. It’s another thing to be spacious enough to host ping pong tables, billiard boards, a foosball table, dart ranges, an arcade corner, and EVERYTHING LABELLED AND LOGO’ED. Yep, this is a fun place.
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Fish and chips, Irish nachos, buttered popcorn, shepherd’s pie bites, and of course, hamburgers lined up the night. What classifies bar food as restaurant quality is in the style of the burger – the staple entrée to go with any drink. Embellishment show style and creativity, but the patty makes the burger. An advanced meatball, a perfect burger patty carries all the fattiness and tenderness that absorbs all the alcohol. Here, satisfaction and joy meet the first bite. Opening the burger and seeing the slight pink medium-well interior shows meaty compassion. The hardest part after holding a burger is finishing it, but when there’s a game to be played, competition does not wait! .
Thanks to Kylie of Carine Redmond (@carineredmond) for the introduction!  Though the games of darts and billiards went to Alex (@materialysm), victory was sweet at the ping pong tables!

If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?  UBC tackles this age old question with its meals on residence. As students spend their lives in this academic microcosm, sustainable foods means keeping healthy people alive. Orchard Commons is its own world, where super modern open spaces house its own community, and with every other new part of campus, the food is very modern.
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Open Kitchen’s Square Meal Kitchen is where UBC’s Executive Chef David Speight (@davidspeight) and Nutritionist Melissa Baker (@upbeetrd) showcase their creations. The Thai Coconut Quinoa Buddha Bowl is a score for the vegans.  Roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, edamame, red pepper, purple cabbage, candied pecans, cilantro, and red coconut curry broth.  The orange flare of roasted sweet potatoes is a burst of fireworks over the variety of colors.  The spark is just the perfect inspiration for a winter day.  Beyond the popping, crunching, and crumbling of so many different accents, the resonating curry is one of the cleanest spice flavors you can imagine. Like the flames to a fuel, the heat perfectly compliments the mix; the flares overpower the sweetness but fade fast to amplify the other subtle flavors.  Even among restaurants, the temperature is unique in its cleanliness.
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Thanks a bunch to UBC Foodie (@ubcfoodie) for continuing the series!  The group is starting to form!  Highlighted are Teresa (@thefoodiescouple), Misaki (@indecisiveeaters), Belinda (@raincity_eats), Rachel (@munchieswithrae), Rachel (@foodcomaislife), and Claire (@clairemargaretcorlett)! Look out for this in Gather in Place Vanier in the new year!

Midterms are done, but classes are still in session!  Quick last minute changes lead to food cravings satisfied with AMS Spotlight – a club that uses media to highlight volunteerism, talents, and inspiring social topics.  Last night was Foodography 101 taught by Vancouver’s BEST Instagrammer, Emma Choo (@vancouverfoodie). Meeting the legend brought passions of being a food photographer what are worth an honorable mention.
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Tables upon tables of food displays were screaming to be photographed by the phones and cameras.  The awesomeness of student events can be shown with the sheer quantity of samples and variety in potentials.  No other place will you find the pride of seven dessert shops or cafes gathered en masse. .
CUE THE COLLAGE.  In color-punched glory are spreadshots in different lighting, styles, and angles.  The rainbows of dipped donuts (@dippeddoughnutco) looked and tasted like sugary heaven.  Towers of duo bubble teas (@thebbtshop) are stacked with utmost splendor for each wacky pair.  BonChaz coffee (@bonchaz) cups rock the orange when held in front of a crowd.  Local favorite cinnamon buns (@groundsyvr) are highly recommended to shake off the winter.  Walnut croissants (@purebread_canada) are at their best when showing off their layers.  As for the box of cartems (@cartemsdonuts) in the corner, the donuts were too good not to hide.
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More UBC foodies are tagged in this post!  Give them all a follow!

Since 1967, Olympia Pizza Kitsilano (@olympiapizzakits) has stood the test of time as a local landmark for the Greek community.  Generations of the family have maintained authenticity reminiscent of a coast side view in Athens, with the freshness of olives, smoothness of oregano, and wholesomeness of meats.  On a lunch afternoon, the corner view of bustling west Broadway is as settling as the satisfaction of experiencing a standard of food that is almost as old as the neighbourhood.
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Zeus would be proud of the story told by the Olympia pizza.  Sprawled across the plains of mozzarella is a forest that is ever so mildly bitter.  The citizens of shrimp and olive form clusters that gather an assortment of soft textures in circles.  Slabs of sliced ham promote a smokiness along the edges as a defining flavor.  Mushrooms are embedded within the cheese, bringing a contrasting element of surprise and familiarity.  Together, the nation of vegetables and meats cultivates the coming together of ingredients from a harvest that people know and love.
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Cheers to Si Hang (@sihangxie) for joining in remembering what real Greek food feels.  The last visit was during childhood.  The food back then was just as good as today, and will remain for a very long time.

Locally offbeat, culturally unique.  Hongdae Pocha Café (@hongdaepochacafe) is a bit of a hidden anomaly right on Robson Street.  Created by SURA Korean Cuisine (@surakoreancuisine), the restaurant defines what an inner-circle gem should be like.  Looking at the unadorned front, tiny doors and the pitch black interiors, few would enter the cave unless recommended.  Beyond the darkness and the mystery, the café hits a standard that is unheard of anywhere else in downtown.  Just like the street markets of Myeongdong, comfort is shared on different levels, and this post is a guide with the details! .
Don’t forget to ask the waiter about the student discount.  With an unexpired student card, the menu goes for great going rate for a Korean dinner in downtown to badass pseudo-AYCE, hyper cheap mode.  All food instantly becomes 50% off regardless of date, time, ordering pace, or body size.  When price is irrelevant here, ordering too much food is common since all portions are meant to be shared.  A fully filled table of dishes for the price of an entrée anywhere else in downtown is a dream realized.
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Order the soy chicken first.  Whether spicy or salty is your forte, the foundation for all meals here is a platter of deep-fried boneless chicken served with julienned green onions.  Soft but crunchy, the bites roll off the tongue with a honey-like sweetness without the fast-heated chili sauce on the side.  From pancakes to soups to sauced meat plates, the menu offers the perfect assortment of true classic dishes for any Korean repertoire. .
Shoutouts to Teresa (@thefoodiescouple) for introducing the restaurant.  Without that recommendation, this would never have been a thing.  Extra thanks to Jess (@misosoup321) for another great time in between exams, sickness, and projects.  For the foodies who ask, this place is an easy top 5 pick on the list!

October is the perfect time to kick off a party, Bavarian style!  Harvest Haus (@harvesthaus) has expanded this year!  Revelry, live music, and axe throwing are the best way to enjoy the vibes that autumn bring!  The Halle is its own world, set in medieval times when 1st century folklore meets the Great White North.  The beer drips like gold, the pretzels run along bakery walls, and the strudel spreads across a long table.  Every night features a different event and a different experience!
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A proper tip to the Germans can only truly be made with a glass of Oktoberfestbier.  Copper-red with a full-bodied maltiness, the style bears a spicy and dryish flavor.  The hops carry just a hint of sweetness that is enough to balance the alcohol.  As the weather grows colder, the depth of the beer brings a warming sensation in the belly throughout the conversations and laughter.  Hoisting a gold stein is that extra that adds to the experience.  Nothing like a bit of razzle dazzle to improve the taste of each shimmering drop as you’re standing out in the company of friends. .
Thanks to everyone who came out!  There’s a long list of shoutouts.  Cheers to Joel (@joeljasonbrink) for bringing the chance to connect the group of Sisi (@vancitynomcity), Jess (@misosoup321), Shanna (@indecisiveeaters), Misaki (@foodcomaislife)! Extra features go to Santi (@santi_oro), Mao (@eatwithmao), and Vinita (@vinitasfooddiary). And special thanks to the Axewood Crew (@axewoodcrew) for keeping our citizens safe from crazed axe throwing fans.

Real talk here. UBC has been stepping up its food game with Chef Ryan Mah and Pacific Poke Official (@pacificpokeofficial). Instead of walking all the way to the village in between TA office hours for a decent meal, a healthy bowl of vegetables, grains, and fish is just at the Computer Science building!  No more are the nanaimo bars or muffins of old! .
Poke is usually Hawaiian, but Pacific Poke is as pacific as possible.  The ingredient combinations are compiled to have a West Coast taste, with ingredients local to Canada.  For sushi lovers or non-foodies, the Main has a taste of everything that captures a premier first-poke-bowl-experience.  Sockeye salmon, crab and shrimp, spicy ahi tuna, organic seaweed salad, jicama and cucumber, avocado nori, sesame miso, citrus mayo, and either rice or quinoa.  The avocado is creamy enough to introduce freshness along with the seaweed, while the variety of seafood give you that bang for buck.  For students, the true value here is in eating something more filling than sushi, while maintaining many flavors that keep the dish interesting, especially when being too braindead in between code lines to decide on what to eat!
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Cheers to UBC Foodie (@ubcfoodie) for the invite!  This will be a running series alongside Teresa (@thefoodiescouple), Claire (@clairemargeretcorlett), Shanna (@indecisiveeaters), Belinda (@raincity_eats), Elisabeth (@elis.eats), Rachel (@foodcomaislife), and the wonderful people running UBC FYI (@ubcfyi)!

When an egg goes on an adventure, finds another egg, and picks up a couple of potato friends along the way, the result is a creation at Yolk's (@yolksbreakfast). And as the name suggests, they get their yolks perfect every time.
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Hand carved honey ham, fresh spinach, and loads of green onion make up the benedict form. The flare comes with the twist of truffle oil and dijon mustard. Power meets pride here as the strength of the mustard seeds are held in the most fashionable of ways. Lots of lemon, lots of aged white cheddar. One egg makes a statement, but two eggs tango. When they're both truly free (ranged), the eggs are bound to attract organic potato company. Perfectly seasoned and deceptively filling, the portion is just right for a full start to the day. Just as expected from a true Vancouver gem of an establishment.
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Shoutouts to my mom for the headliner idea (and ignoring the fact that I'm skipping class). Craziness runs in the family. A hint of imagination in the morning sparked from a classic meal with an added extra.

Turf (@turfliving) is a community that’s based on a perfect day off.  Rise and shine with a steamy cup of coffee.  Try on something from a new designer to up your fashion game.  Work out with the good vibes or chill out with meditation.  Hang out in an open space with a laptop or book.  Maybe a bakery-made pastry fancies your delight.  Maybe a glass of wine or beer for the frisky.  The philosophy that defines Turf is the wholeness brought about from these core things that make us feel alive.
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In time for the Autumn season is a menu hardy with roots and deep richness.  The favorite is the Kimchi N’ Mash, best presented as a layered hill of combining flavors.  Mashed sweet potato form a light foundation, with adzuki beans on top.  Turnip, carrot, and squash is served with kimchi in the style of sauerkraut.  The hardy, crunchy and vinegary feelings pair well with sautéed greens, tahini dressing, and black sesame seeds.  For a vegan and gluten-free meal, the surprise of being full and nourished is the lasting impression.
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Many thanks to Sean and Frances of CafeDay (@cafedayvancouver) for making the connection!  Café Day is a UBC-grown app that specializes in café recommendations in Vancouver.  These guys know their stuff when it comes to chilling and finding a place to work or study.  Highly recommend checking them out!

Freshly open, freshly branded, and freshly Japanese is the new casual place in town, Ichikame Shokudo (@ichikameshokudo). Chill enough to spend an afternoon with a comfortable bowl of curry, while funky enough to serve up nitrogen ice cream in collaboration with the inventors over at 77k Freeze (@77kfreeze). The restaurant has been open for a week and is testing out ways to connect more with local communities and crowds, so any ideas here or on their account are appreciated!
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But the heart and soul of this cafeteria-style cuisine is in the gyoza!  A deeply rooted trigger for deliciousness, these classic dumplings are done best when crafted in-house.  Of all foods, gyozas are emblazoned on the logo of this restaurant because they stand behind their work – especially their Hot Plate Prawn and Cheese Gyoza.  Seeing a pan-fried crisp layered with cheese looks a lot like double happiness.  From hearing the crackling of the oils in a dance to smelling the melting cheese, the anticipation fuels itself even before the first bite.  As the initial impressions sizzle, one chopstick leads to another and the first piece comes around.  The ratio of cheese to wrapping to filling to onions is in perfect balance so nothing is overpowering, while the flavors meld in sequence.  The prawn at the end adds a nice gesture.
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Glad to see Asian presence starting out in the Victoria Dr. area!  There’s a lot to look forward to as the full concept develops in the near future!

Just as the mountains stay strong, Whistler Village (@gowhistler) remains as one of the city’s best places for a hike and escape.  One can be at peace with nature, while staying in a world just outside the hustle of the city.  But even nature brings out its beasts, and a double-scoop from Cows Ice Cream (@cowsicecream) is no exception!
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The best way to imagine scaling the cone’s heights is to conjure up memories of ice cream’s past.  Before light healthy organic choices were mainstream, before people appreciated subtle flavors, before chocolatiers made gelato fancy, there was old-fashioned creamed ice.  There was a time when ice cream was denser, when the waffle cone felt heavier, and the chunks of melded sugar were larger.  From the smell of the creamery to the peak in your hand, the reminder of how foods go all out rings right through the taste. .
Cows will be remembered for UDDER dominance in sweetness and creaminess from the cows that moo and the hands that churn.  Pictured are the Udder Finger, Sea Salted Toffee, Moo York Cheesecake, and Cookie Moonster.  Each flavor has 16% butterfat, with no restrictions.  The full package with no compromises means embracing an avalanche of packed cookie dough, caramel drizzle or chocolate fudge.  After burning all that fat during a hike, going all out with the sprinkles and nut cones is the best way to bring it all back. .
Thanks to Si Hang (@sihangxie) for joining the trek out for a hike just as September is beginning!  Tasting the ice cream was a journey within a journey!

Freedom. Discovery. An extra egg. These are the sticking points behind the deep blue walls that mark The Ellis (@theelliskits) just on the downslope of Kitsilano.  The perfect time to be there is a brisk fall night just before cold winter chills keep people off the patio. .
Behold The Ellis Burger. Poppy seed brioche, American cheddar, grilled onions, shredded lettuce, pickle, and mayo.  The story stops at the poppy… until you make it an Aussie.  The line where normal barside-burger meets foodie creation crosses with the extras.  Fried egg, bacon, asiago, pickled beet, and 1k sauce form a lineup that is simply surprising.  You have your rainbow of colors and flavors: strong yellow cheese, clean green pickle, hardy brown patty… but then the twist of white asiago or explosively earthy purple beet and a crown jewel egg embodies full flavor.  If that doesn’t whet the appetite, there’s also bacon.  That crispy fried stuff that dreams are made of.  Overall, the burger hits the threshold of “just right” – not too many ingredients that some overpower others, but just enough creaminess mixed with spiciness mixed with cheesiness to keep everything together.  Grab a cold one to refresh your tastebuds, and there’s a solid chance that every bite has a different taste!
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Thanks to Joel (@joeljasonbrink) and the Glance Pay team (@glancepay) for making the introduction.  Stories about what goes on in the food service industry with technology, community, and lifestyle are always a blast with the group!

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