Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pham-ily Vacay in Vancouver, BC

For Father's day weekend, my sisters, George and I decided to take my parents to Vancouver, BC.  If there are two things my parents love most, it's asian food and gambling.  We're not exactly a family of healthy eaters..or active sporty people..which explains why I am the way I am.  As my dad puts it (while he's popping cholesterol pills) "I have high cholesterol but I can't help it, I can't diet.  I love food too much!"  DITTO!

It rained 3 of the 5 days we were there but a little rain made it feel cozier and provided for some very interesting moments on the trip!

Warning: ridiculous amount of asian food pics ahead!
Our hotel was located in Richmond, B.C right in the heart of Golden Village.  There was literally asian food on every block.

 God, I wish D.C had a food court like Aberdeen mall.  Mango Boba with grass jelly made with fresh mango!!  Roast duck noodle soup, HK milk tea, made to order crispy wings, pork short ribs over rice = meal #1 while waiting for parents to arrive.

Fruits galore!!!!  Not since living in Vietnam have I tasted fresh mangosteen and langsart--til knocked my socks off!
Fresh mangosteen, dragon fruit, longan.  cherimoya, rambutans, starfruit, langsart, rose apple, and alano sapodilla, durian (my faveee!).  I remember eating so many of these from my childhood--especially climbing up my neighbor's trees to steal their fruit!!

Can't stop eating...

HOT POT in Richmond, B.C
Some highlights...
1) LIVE shrimp, still moving after it's been skewered on a stick...creepy, unnecessary, inhumane.. but that's the traditional way of doing it..It's supposed to make the shrimp taste sweeter.  And it doessss*sniffles* sorry shrimp! 
2) thinly sliced geoduck.  In whole form, geoduck looks super phallic!  But when thinly sliced it can be eaten raw sashimi style or quickly dunked in spiccyyyy hot pot. YUMMO!

They also served us (free!) cold sweet chrysanthemum tea.  Deee-licious with spicy hot pot!

 Dim Sum in Richmond. B.C
Nothing to hoot and holler about--just normal dim sum comfort food goodness.  There were so many available options!
My favorite's always the fried turnip cake squares sitting in a crispy fried wonton bowl and the short ribs soaked in msg oil and blackbean sauce!

I had to cushion in non-eating activities to 1) make stomach space and 2) say we did stuff in Canada other than just eat!
So we headed to Granville Island in Vancouver (for some light munchies!).  
Gorgeous sunny day!

My mom and dad crack me up:
Meet my dad--here wearing a polo shirt with plaid shorts, knee high white socks, with loafers, and (real) Gucci sunglasses.....and my ma! her clubbing clothes--lacey black dress--ankle boots, and Coach purse.  We fall somewhere in between.

Puppets are fuuun!

Walking around Vancouver's can probably Google up images of it..I was more interested in buying fresh egg tarts and pineapple buns!!

Light dinner before heading to the Richmond Night Market!
*2 course peking duck action: 1 with only the crisppy fatty juicy skin atop of crunchy shrimp chips wrapped in crepe; the 2nd with the duck meat minced with garlic and ginger for lettuce wraps
*Whole steamed fish, salt n pepper shrimp, stir fry veggies, seafood soup

Richmond's infamous night market!  I came to eat! Lets go!

Oh god all the smells were intoxicatingly deliciously.  Everywhere I turned my nose was hit with the smell of bbq meats and seafood!  Something was being stir-fried, grilled, steamed, deep fried at every corner! 
ARGH!!! I was so pissed my stomach couldn't hold more!

Highlight of the market: grilled squid topped with sweet and spicy sauce...That bbq char, the chewiness of the tentacles, the slightly sweet and spiciness of the sauce..I want moreee!!!  Where can I get this in the states?!
Ice cream churros were..meh..nothing novel to brag about!  If anything, it just took up valuable  stomach space for more meat!

This place is a serious food lover's/fatty's dream!!!
Warning: it's super crowded and taller people will drop food on your head!

OooOOoo Rice Burger Shop!  Where the buns are made with grilled rice!

Boogs and Fatty in line for yummy honey green tea...

Whilst I ran off to buy us some grilled beef on a stick--cumin and spicy rub!

The rotato line was 2 hourssss long! =( So I had to stare while this littler girl ate hers! I'm sure it was amazing!

Hahaha look at that ridiculously long bratwurst! lol and the sophisticated cooling method used to cool off my eggette order.

The next day, my family and I visited the International Buddhist TempleToo bad it rained..this place was absolutely gorgeous!

OooOOOO! There's a shop for just tofu desserts!  Don't be scurred, it's just silken tofu topped with black sesame paste!
My family went more traditional and topped theirs with sugar and ginger syrup--equally delicious and very comforting.  George topped his with evaporated milk and canned fruits (it tasted so gross)!

9 course Japanese bbq and beer!  Drinking and eating fatty foods always brings our family together!

While my parents gambled, George, Julie and I went out for dessert!
Another wonderful asian treat (which a LOT of people will go peee yewww to) is DURIAN! I LOVE DURIAN!  I'd wear it as perfume if it wasn't ban from airports.  Some people think it smells like..shit.  I think it smells and tastes wonderful!

Apparently there is a little Vietnamese community in Vancouver located along Kingsway Street.  So of course my ma wanted some!
My mom wanted vietnamese food cooked by vietnamese people, not Chinese owned vietnamese restaurants like in Richmond.
Bun Bo Hue, Pho, Bun thit nuong, ca kno (stewed catfish in claypot) and rice...hits the spot on a rainy day!

Of course George is stealing my food

One of my must do on this trip was for us to "hike" to the Lynn Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver.  LOL a LOT of things went wrong on this "hike."  
1) It was storming and 2) we were ill dressed.  
I forgot to pack my boots -- hence trekking through the mud in my flip flops! My mom was wearing a dress, wool coat and coach purse, my sister had on shorts and pink sandals...hah!  
 We alll looked ridiculous and so unprepared next to hikers with walking sticks and rain gear!! But we  somehow made it =D It was a lot of fun! The air was so crisp and we shared the trail with so many dads who were out with their families celebrating Father's Day as well!

In the woods, looking like we're ready to go shopping! hahah!
Up and down the stairs and mud trails in flip flops holding bags of Vietnamese sandwiches for lunch! FAIL!
(Shhh..don't tell my family that I opted for the 30 min. hike to the bridge instead of just driving and parking the van next to the bridge =p)
The view was absolutely gorgeous...
The bridge sits 160 ft high from the bottom of the canyon--surrounded by tall douglas-furs, vine maples and waterfalls

Father's Day Dinner at Joes Fortes Seafood & Chop in Vancouver.

To hell with cholesterol!
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my dad smothering his king crab meat with a slew of garlic butter... See why I had to force them to hike!!!
Left to right: Whole lobster, fondue dish with sauteed garlic and butter for dipping, lobster oil ($28/bottle), steak, king crab legs (succulent juicy meat! hubba hubba!), seafood tower, oysters, seared ahi tuna, seared scallops, truffle fries

While my little nephew got chicken tenders off the kids' menu.  I would make that face too if I couldn't have lobster and oyster shots Ry!

 I'm classy!

No dinner is complete without dessert!

Walking off our fatty meal by souvenir shopping!

 Cheers for the drinking and gambling age to be 19 in Canada!! I got to go with my little sister to the bar and teach her how to play black jack at the casinos!! Phamily bonding time!!


Good bye Vancouver!  
My souvenir/snack for the flight: green tea kit kat! mmm!!!!
Hooray for a delicious Phamily Vacay!


  1. Okay I am seriously lol-ing, what a fun trip! I don't know if I have ever seen so much food on a vacation, but I would expect nothing less!