The experience of moving to a new city can be ever so exciting, nerve-racking and outrageously adventurous. On the other hand, the experience of moving back to the city that I once called home, returning to the familiar yet unfamiliar, can be ever so dull, uninteresting, and blah.
6 months ago when I decided to move back to Vancouver after living in Toronto for 8 years, I didn’t expect it to take so long for me to get accustomed to this place I considered “home”. Sometimes I feel lonely here in my “home town”. Most of the time, I just feel like I need to make an effort to rebuild a solid group of friends that share the same interests and hobbies as I do now.
And so I’ve heard Meetups are a pretty good way to meet like-minded people in a new city. Which brought me to my first #YVRFoodie event at Fortune House BC.
I’m so grateful for Ricky (the founder of YVR Foodies) for creating this close-knit community of food bloggers and food aficionados. It’s helped me regain that sense of belonging and feeling of excitement for first time back here in Vancouver.
Okay, so you’ve probably heard enough about me. Time to talk about the food, the people and the event.
YVRFoodie Meetup Review
The event was hosted at Fortune House Seafood Restaurant by YVR Foodies and Food Connections. Fortune House provided a complimentary meal to all bloggers in return for a review of their experience at the restaurant.
REVIEW: THE FOOD
We were served a total of 9 dishes throughout the night. There was a mixture of authentic dim sum dishes, paired with dishes served usually at a traditional Chinese banquet. The food was beautifully presented with an assortment of unique texture and familiar flavours that reminds me of home-cooked meals, only prettier and more extravagant.
#1: Assorted Vegetable Tempura
#2: Dim sum trio: House Shrimp Dumpling, Deep Fried Meat Dumpling, Sticky Rice Wrapped in Bamboo Leaf
#3: Steamed Garlic Scallop served on Vermicelli
#4: Bird’s Nest with XO Sauce Stir Fry Beef Tenderloin, Mixed Peppers, Deep Fried Milk
The inside of the deep fried milk/custard.
#5: Deep Fried Tilapia, House Sweet and Sour Sauce, Crispy Rice
#6: Fall-off-the-bone Marinated Tender Pork Ribs, Coconut Curry Drizzle, Seasonal Greens
#7 & 8: I didn’t take photos of a few dishes cause I was too busy mingling. But you can check out my new foodie friend’s blog, Life in the Lower Mainland for pictures of the Traditional Soy Sauce Chicken and Egg White Fried Rice.
#9: Prosperity Koi Mango Pudding
REVIEW: THE SPEAKERS
#1: Jackie Cheng, Fortune House Seafood Restaurant Owner
The owner spoke with a passion for his love of Chinese cuisine and what it means to him. Fortune House Seafood Restaurant is the birthplace of his soulful mission to bring the traditions of Chinese cuisine to Vancouver. Mr. Cheng’s philosophy of “always treating your customers like your boss” stands loud and clear. No wonder Fortune House Seafood Restaurant is able to maintain their popularity all these years.
#2: Elaine Cheng Food Waste Advocate, Food Connections
Elaine is the director of YVR Foodies. Not only that, but she’s extremely involved in a plethora of social events around the city. She has an unstoppable drive to restore the city by running initiatives in developing education and programs around reducing food waste in Vancouver. The biggest city-wide event she organized was Feeding the 5000 where they served Canada’s biggest free lunch, all using surplus food that would have otherwise been wasted.
The mission of her company, Food Connections, is to transform the city’s relationship to food through launching unique food events and building meaningful connections. Check out Food Connections for upcoming projects and events to get involved.
#3: Justine Owen, Young and Restless with a Heart for Homelessness, VancouversNeglected.
Fighting homelessness is not just your issue or my issue, it’s our issue.
Vancouver’s downtown East Side is notorious for being one of Canada’s most populated area of homeless people.
Young 12 years-old Justine Owen hopes to shine a light on homelessness and what it’s really like to be homeless. She took to the streets of Vancouver downtown east side to personally investigate each person’s story of how they ended up on the streets, to understand what the daily living costs and living conditions are.
She aims to dig a little deeper and show the public the truth behind homelessness. Learn how you can join her mission on reducing homelessness on her website, VancouversNeglected.
#4: Sherry Strong – Founder and CEO of Return To Food
“Real food is the answer.”
I was especially excited to hear Sherry speak, being a holistic nutritionist student and all. And of course, she didn’t disappoint.
Sherry is a food philosopher, chef, nutritionist, the author of Return to Food, the Curator and Co-founder of the World Wellness Project, the list goes on…I was so inspired by her transformational life journey with food. Her food philosophies are strongly based on (1) returning people to real food (2) provide education on where food comes from, how it impacts us and the environment (3) learning to listen to the body to cultivate a positive relationship with food (4) overcoming instant gratification of poor food choices over long term benefits of real food.
I’m very interested in learning more about her personal battles with food and how she conquered them to get to where she is now. Her book Return to Food really peaks my interest and I’m looking forward to adding it to my Holistic Nutrition book collection!
#5: Derek Juno, Co-Founder of Mealshare
Mealshare has made it extremely easy to give.
When a Mealshare item is ordered at a partnered restaurant, a meal is then provided to someone in need. Mealshare pairs up with carefully selected charities both locally and internationally to provide support for the marginalized. What’s neat is they create ‘giving reports’ twice a year to their partners to present how many meals were provided from their donations.
Learn more about what they do and visit your closest Mealshare restaurant for your next meal!
REVIEW: YVR FOODIE MEETUP EXPERIENCE
I had a lot of fun meeting fellow foodies in town.
The best part was that we all had a mutual understanding of what it means to let the camera eat first. A natural respect for everyone to have their chance at taking that perfect shot, even at the expense of the dishes growing cold and stale. And that I didn’t have to feel guilty for being rude at the table with my phone in one hand and my camera in the other.
It was a totally new experience. And I loved it!
Thank you to the #YVRfoodie team for making this night happen!