Sunday, February 26, 2012

Japanese Chocolate: Goncharoff Chocolate Gift Box

Goncharoff Chocolate is famous in Japan for its nice chocolate.
(They have thousands of chocolate makers.)

The company is set up by Makar Goncharoff in 1926 in Kobe, Japan.
He used to be a chef for the Russian Emperor but left Russia when the Russian Revolution happened.
In the 1930's in sold his company to a Japanese friend and left for Australia.

Goncharoff Chocolate Gift Box
We got a box from my mom who came back from Japan.
It is a very nice pink chocolate gift box.
The chocolate inside were colorful, tasty and not too sweet.

We finished it in a couple of days, and these were delicious.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Restaurant: Richmond Aberdeen Centre: Saboten

Two weeks ago, we went to the newly opened Japanese chain restaurant (in food court in Aberdeen centre in Richmond, BC)

Its name is Shinjuku Saboten, a specialty restaurant specialized in "Tokatsu", fried pork cutlet.
When we arrived there at Friday afternoon at 1:30pm, there was a long line up to order.
However, the order line moved quickly, so I thought, "that is good!".

So, we ordered two tonkatsu set and began waiting.
Richmond Aberdeen Centre's Saboten Tokatsu Restaurant food court

waiting, wating and waiting...
50 minutes later! We finally got our numbers called and got our items.

Then, guess what?  The lady got my order wrong!!  It became two "katsudon set."
That is a different kind of dish all together!

Saboten katsudon set
 The katsudon set is not bad in Canadian standard.
However, for people who lived in Japan, this is just a normal dish.

The Canadians might go crazy about it because it is new to them.
It is not worth an hour wait!! and I don't think it is worth the 8.50 dollars spent either.

For people who planned to visit, I would suggest to go during off peak period in weekdays.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Linsanity Count Down to Miami Heat

Linsanity (Jeremy Lin fever) has been hotter than ever in North America.

He and the New York Knicks has beaten last year's NBA champions, Dallas Mavericks.
However, the real tough team match up is coming this Thursday vs the Miami Heat.

Miami Heat is definitely one of the toughest team to beat with its big three stars.

The whole New York is going insane.  A restaurant even has website to countdown Linsanity:

Interesting times....

(I am quite excited, too.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Disney Store: Cars 2 London Set

Last trip to Disney Store, we also got the Cars 2 London Set.

It has 5 cars inside, including Holly, Finn McMissile, a Royal guard, Queen and a London Bus.
We had a London Bus already but apparently, this one is different.

The material is different for this bus...different kind of metal.

Also, the route number on the bus and destination are different.

Anyways, the kids enjoyed the cars as usual.

Sometimes, as a parent, I feel like collecting as well.
Probably because I am a collector.  haha  (maybe a junk collector)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jeremy Lin Fever (Linsanity) Across North America and Taiwan

This week has been crazy with the media coverage about a young NBA player, Jeremy Lin.

He is on the front page of all newspapers and people are making new words using the last name.
For example, Lincredible, Linsanity, Legend in New York (LIN)...etc.  Very creative.

He is a Harvard graduate who got overlooked, never drafted, was sitting on the bench for 1.5 years for 3 teams.

All the sudden, he got a chance to play, amazed everyone, and made a name for himself.

He is born in the states but his parents are Taiwanese, so all the Taiwanese people are loving this.
(including me....getting very excited.)
I watched the New York vs Toronto game, and the ending was just incredible and magical.

I do believe that he has some talent.
Taiwan needs a hero, and I hope he can be that person!;_ylt=AnhIFVBe5CXl7Ai_Gllh74C8vLYF?slug=ap-taiwan-lin

My Valentine's Day: Heart Chocolate Cake with Cute Monkey Balloon

I had a wonderful dinner with my wife on Valentine's Day.

My lovely wife bought me this delicious heart-shaped chocolate cake.

The pink flower on top was actually made of cream!
I love the cute words and the red lips comes along with it.
heart shaped chocolate valentine's day cake
She also bought me this cute monkey "I love you" balloon.

It is so cute.  I love it!
cute monkey I love you balloon
I thought about going out to eat in a nice restaurant...
However, my kids are still small and it would not be pleasant.
Fuji Sushi Deluxe Sashimi

Therefore, I decided to go for a peaceful take out and eat at home.
I ordered a deluxe sashimi plate and it was wonderful!!

The sashimi was fresh and had fish we usually can't find on the Canadian supermarkets.
My wife also cooked a lobster, tofu soup, meatball, and kara-age for dinner.
Valentine's Day Dinner with lobster and sashimi and karaage and meatball
We really enjoyed the Valentine's Day dinner!

Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse Swarovski

We went to Richmond's Aberdeen Centre for some groceries and lunch last week.

While walking in the mall, we came upon a Swarovski store with Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse crystals.

Hello Kitty Swarovski
Swarovski has been producing more and more varieties of products comparing to years ago.
It is a necessary product diversification strategy to broaden customer niche.

Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse Swarovski

I do like the idea and would like to collect them if I have the money! haha.

They look very cute.  I am not sure if they are really for kids or adults.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Toys R Us Canada: Free Lego and Duplo Building Event 2012 Feb

Toys R Us had a free Lego and Duplo block building event for kids.

The event is free for all kids, and kids under 2 can choose to have a Duplo Penguin instead of a Lego Snowman.

Duplo Penguin Lego Snowman Free Toys R Us
This time, people line up first to receive the instructions of the set, then they are given zip bags to receive the parts that are required to build them.

Kids can choose to build them on the tables provided or bring them home.

As you can see, the Penguin set is very easily.

To be honest, if the kids are under 5, it is more likely the parents are making the blocks for them.

My kids always enjoy the Lego events at Toys R Us and they can't wait for the next one.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cars 2: Tokyo Poster

I bought a poster from Walmart last week for my children.

The Cars 2 poster contains sceneries from Japan (mainly Tokyo) including:

Buddist tower from Kyoto and Nara, Kabukiza from Tokyo, Fuji Mountain, Sumo, etc.

It also includes all the racing car characters from the movie.

My younger baby stares and points at the poster all the time. haha.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dollar Store: Cute Solar Flower

My wife found this very cute solar flower that runs on solar battery for decorations.

She planned to use it to brighten up the room because Canadian winter is so long.

Solar Flower dollar store
It is very cute and well made considering that it is from the dollar store.

I can't believe it is only 1 dollar and 25 cents...

It wiggles sideways when there are sunlight (or weak lights).
I would like one more for my workplace, so we bought another one.
(need to brighten up my dull workplace...)

Cute solar flower from dollar store
It would be excellent if they keep on having products like these!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tim Horton's Jalapeno Asiago Mozzarella Bagel

Tim Horton's has released a new taste of bagel: Jalapeno Asiago Mozarella Bagel.

I had to say, even though it is very spicy, I like the taste of this exciting snack.
Actually, it can be a dish of a meal and you can spread butter onto it.

Tim Horton's New Jalapeno Asiago Mozarella  Bagel
While spicy with taste of Jalapeno, I did feel a faint taste of Asiago cheese and Mozzarella.
Here is a sliced view:
Tim Horton's Bagel Asiago Jalapeno

The idea is great and the taste is inventive and spicy.  Surprising to myself, I actually like this.
I would give it a 8 out of 10!

K'NEX Nintendo Wii Mario Kart Luigi Figure

K'NEX, just like Megablok and Lego came out with their mini figures set.
This time, it is for Mario Kart.

wii Mario Kart Luigi K'nex bag

I think this fits with most Lego and Megablok building sets.
Luigi mini figure k'nex

Tim Horton's New Valentine's Day Donuts

Tim Horton's came out with these new cute heart-shaped Valentine's Day Donuts.

On the surface, it is covered with chocolate and pink sugar sprinkles.

Inside, they are filled with raspberry fillings.

I bought some in the afternoon and ate them at night.
Amazingly, within a few hours, the chocolate layer outside had melted totally into liquid.
The room temperature was only 22 degrees!!

Tim Horton's Valentine's Day Doughnut
As usual, the raspberry was too sweet for me and the taste overall was not impressive.

The chocolate taste does not mixed well with the bitter sweet raspberry jam.
I would give it a 4 out of 10:

Good:  New heart shape
Bad:  Chocolate melts easily. Raspberry is too sweet.  Overall, it does not taste good.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Disney Store Burnaby: Mickey and Minnie Plush Toys and Cups

I went to the Disney Store last week to buy toys for my kids.

I was surprised that they have more and more products and the store looks nice with renovations done.

I was also surprised at how many Cars product they have on display.
(They had an entire section for it for boys.  For the girls, they had the princesses section.)

The medium disney plush toys are 2 for 22 dollars, so we bought Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
We also bought children's sippy cups and cars because they were on sale.
They are very cute and my son loves the Mickey sippy cup.
They had all kinds of cups, princesses, toy story, etc.
He loves Mickey Mouse!

I will have to check out Disney Store more often now.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection: Dark Box

I have always loved Lindt Chocolate, even more so after adulthood.

The main reason is that I love the subtle smooth taste and the brand is not overly sweet.

Comparing to other high-end brand available in Canada with Purdy's, Rogers and Godiva,

I find it less sugary and more tasty in my opinion.

My parents gave me a box of the Dark Swiss Luxury Selection the other day:
Dark Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection
I have never tried this box and I was happy to try it!
Here is a picture of inside:
Dark Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection 2
I know the picture does not tell much in this case because they all look "dark".

However, they are excellent!!

I liked every single one of them from caramel to alcohol to almond.
I love them!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Trader Joe's: New Villa Italia Italian Blood Orange Soda

We spotted this new product that Trader Joe's just imported in.

This is Italian Blood Orange Soda made in Italy.
This is the part I am amazed with American pricing.  They import great products from Europe and they are cheap!

Trader Joe's Villa Italia Italian Blood Orange Soda
The color is not so orange; therefore, the name Blood Orange Soda.

Blood Orange is a type of orange with colorful fibre inside.
In Europe, the blood orange from Sicily, Italy is of protective status. 
The color of this soda is rather dark pink or close to red.

The taste is great, different than other normal soda drinks and fruit sodas. (ie Sunkist or C-plus)
It tastes similar to Mexican Orange Soda for those who tried it.

However, it still tastes a little different with a deeper taste? (hard to describe)
My conclusion is that I love it!  I will give it a 9 out of 10.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bento Lunch Box: Port Belly Egg Wrap (Slices)

Another one creative idea from my wife:
For today's lunch box, she wrapped a cooked egg with seasoned pork belly meat and sliced them.

I am not sure how she keep them sticking together so well, but they are delicious.

If you are wondering what is on the rice, it is cooked chicken liver.
For some people or cultures, you will think "yuck".
However, if you are used to eating it, it is quite a delicacy and very nutritious.

I enjoyed today's lunch as usual!  Thanks to my wife.

K'NEX Nintendo Wii Mario Kart Set in Toy's R Us

As usual, I brought my kids to Toy's R Us over the weekend and saw their new display for Wii's Mario Kart.

It is actually made by K'Nex, a construction toy maker similar to Lego's blocks.
The idea is that the kids can make their own track sets and run their own Mario Kart races.

K'NEX Mario Kart Wii Track Toy's R Us
I can see kids would love this set because I like Mario things myself.
(I grew up with it, too.  First generation Mario player.)
However, I can just see smaller kids wrecking this track sets and the parents have to fix it.

We have experiences with other sets like Thomas the Tank Engine.