Once again, I was invited to another Tasting Plates adventure. This time around it was Ultimate Desserts. Great, I'm not a sweets guy... What the heck was I going to eat? For those unfamiliar with Tasting Plates, it is a self-guided food tour of various restaurants and establishments. Despite my affection for savoury foods, I went in with an open mind and brought Viv along too. Oh and much like at Noodlemania, we met up with Alvin and Sean. At our first location, Rocanini Roasters, we were given a sample of their coffee as well as a Kind Bar. The coffee was aromatic, but had a sour finish to it. I know many people love this type of coffee, yet I personally like something smoother. The Kind Bar was okay, pretty typical nut + fruit + chocolate concoction.
After this, we hightailed it over to Industrial Ave to hit up 2 places in one spot beginning with Beta 5. We were presented with an assortment of goodies including a choice of Cream Puff including Salted Caramel, Passion Fruit and Vanilla. I went for the Salted Caramel and it was fantastic. The thin layer of choux pastry was light and crispy while the filling was the classic salt-amped up sweetness of caramel. Viv preferred the passion fruit because it was less sweet. Next, I sampled a Vanilla Pot de Creme while Viv went for the Citrus Pannacotta (Sean had the Campfire Treat). Of the two, I liked the vanilla with berries as it was less watery and had a familiar classic flavour combination.
Taking a 20 foot stroll over to Vancouver Pie Hole, we were presented with 3 generous portions of Maple French Toast Bacon Pie, Key Lime Pie and Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie. By far, my favourite was the Key Lime partly because I'm biased, but also due to the fabulous crust which was crunchy and not heavy. The key lime portion itself was creamy, rich and had just the right amount of tartness. From there, we ventured into Downtown to visit an ol' favourite - Bella Gelateria. We were given 3 flavours to try and once again, the portion was ample. It consisted of Chocolate Scotch, Limoncello Cheesecake and Toasted Pecan. My favourite of the bunch was the Limoncello Cheesecake because it was refreshing and surprisingly not too heavy.
Onto our next stop, WE. Coffee Roasters, the thought of stopping for ramen at Santouka crossed our minds (but we didn't have time...). Instead, we sampled coffee and a small sample of a waffle with choice of fruit. I had the Panama Don Pachi Geisha. This was a smooth coffee that went down easy. Then we crossed the Burrard Street Bridge to visit The BiBo where they presented us with 3 items consisting of Tiramisu, Chocolate Brick and Chocolate Pizza. I've had 2 of these desserts before and I must say they have perfected the Chocolate Pizza. The crust was crispy, chewy and really went well with the Italian Nutella filling. Sorta like a crispy crunchy chocolate bar, the chocolate brick would be good as a snack. The Tiramisu was creamy, not-too-sweet and not watery (like last time).
Onto our last 2 stops, we headed over to Trees Organic on Arbutus. Unlike the last time I sampled their wares on a food tour, they presented us with 2 large squares each of their NY Cheesecake and Marzipan. The texture of the cheesecakes was creamy and rich, which was way better than the ones I tried at their Gastown location. I liked how they were not very sweet either. Our final location was a curious one being Bob Likes Thai Food. As such, the dessert was a bit off-the-beaten path being the Tub Tim Krob. It was a refreshing combination of water chestnut, jackfruit, coconut, pomegranate, palm sugar, coconut milk and bee hive. By now, we were wanting to head over to VGH for some insulin shots, but instead headed for dinner (yah, really, even though we were stuffed).
*Note: This was an invited dinner where all food was comped*
- Generally large portions (maybe too big? nah...)
- Relatively close proximity of venues
- Insulin anyone?
- If you chose to drive, parking could be an issue at some locations