Thursday, August 01, 2019

My Secret Taco Place - Molli Café on Burrard, at Davie

Four tacos is a good-sized meal for me

I stop at this unassuming coffee shop after work sometimes, and I love the wonderful tacos, tortas, and horchata.  I've even had a Mexican concha bun, though I haven't seen it every time.  I've also had the lamb soup that is only sold on Saturdays and it was very nice, but there are other soups throughout the week too.  Don't forget the nice sauces in the squeeze bottles, including spicy ones for your tacos and tortas.  But the owner hasn't let me forget as she has grabbed those and brought them over with the food.  I had the beef tongue torta, and it was delicious with nice crusty bread and a generous amount of avocado too.  My favourite taco is the pork one, and my personal least favourite is the chorizo one, but I'll eat all of them happily, and could easily eat all five types in one sitting.  They are done just how I like them with double corn tortilla and lots of cilantro and onion (depending on the taco), lime on the side, and tasty fillings.

Concha and horchata

Beef tongue torta

Taco close-up


This Saturday lamb soup was take-out, shown in my own bowl

The offerings are an odd mix of Mexican and Persian because this place was first started up by a couple of originally from Mexico, and then sold to the Persian owner.  The original owners had, according to articles, actually had both worked at some of the world's best restaurants, both in Spain:  the famous El Bulli (now closed) and El Cellar de Can Roca, the latter being my absolute favourite restaurant in the world.  Unfortunately, I have never met those owners, but their dishes live on with the new owner, who exudes this wonderful warm hospitality.  It's as if you were visiting her home and she's happy to host you.  I think she cooks everything herself but they are open every day from 8am - 9pm.  I love that they are open in the evening though, but I wonder if she's always there, and can keep these hours up.  It's just off the busy Davie St. so it's not as noticeable as other places, including another taco place...I really hope that Molli Café gets enough business.

Of the non-Mexican items, I have only tried the Baklava.  These tacos might be my pick for the best in the whole city (squaring off with La Taqueria on Cambie St.), and it tickles me that it's in a place where you might pass by day after day (like I did, sadly) without even realizing that they serve Mexican food.  I wish I had found it sooner and experienced the place as it was first opened up, but I am glad to have found it now.  The vibe is super relaxing in there, with a couple of little tables on the street even, in the warm weather.  It's absolutely a great place to just have coffee and a pastry too, and relax alone, or chat with a friend.

Basically, it's a foodie dream - high quality, delicious, authentic food in a comfortable hideaway with amazing service.  The unexpectedness really makes it feel like a buried treasure foodie find.  It's so satisfying in many ways.  Tacos are not just for Tuesdays. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Super Hiro for Multi-course Tasting Menus in Vancouver

The same person that will blow a wad of cash on several small plates at a hipster restaurant will turn around and say that a tasting menu of the same number of dishes at a Japanese restaurant and same or even less cost is just too expensive.  This $65 omakase was good value for me. 

The food here is exquisite in flavour and composition, and I found it to be almost a therapeutic exercise in appreciating the purposeful design of each of the dishes.  The service was really amazing as well, and I loved chatting with the two women and the chef who came out often on this quiet stormy night.

I believe in your super powers, Hiro. Please continue your good work.

See below for my photos. Unfortunately, it's a bit fuzzy in my memory and I can't remember which fish was in each dish, but it was all wonderful in taste and texture. I'll go again soon.  

Potato Salad (which is very popular in Japan and in Korea)

Sashimi Course

Fish Close-up

The omakase included so many types of fish that I had never had.

Brie is melted on this fish dish.

The restaurant was empty on this stormy night with extreme winds.

These pieces of fried fish were served with a delicious broth, and the servers said that it could be poured in, or dipped in on the side or whatever I wanted. I tried both, and then I drank the rest of it. It was served in a beautiful mug with a handle after all, and I wouldn't have wanted it to go to waste.

The nigiri sushi was amazing and was topped delicately with other flavours as you can see. 
One of these was compliments of the chef.

Even the pickled ginger on the side was a bit different with some herb mixed in with it. 

Green tea mousse or something like that. Vanilla ice cream, berry sauce. 

Fast Food and Biscuits

New honey-butter biscuits

Just in case you have the impression that I only enjoy high-end food, here is some fast food that brought me perhaps a disproportionate amount of joy recently.  New to my area, here are the honey-butter biscuits from Church's Chicken.  There are other fast food companies, like KFC, that have biscuits in other areas, but don't include biscuits in their menu here in Vancouver because it's not really a thing here like it is in the south. Having lived in Georgia, I appreciate a good biscuit, and I'm I'm sure other Vancouverites would too. A new biscuit-centred restaurant named Chewie's Biscuits has recently opened in Kitsilano, but I haven't had a chance to try it, with their limited hours that conflict with my work schedule.  Plus the biscuit I'm looking for would be light and fluffy.  We have scones here which are sort of a dried out, harder, sweeter biscuit that people have at breakfast or with tea (though if they are done well, they don't have to be as dry and puck-like as they normally are).  

To be honest, the biscuits pictured above were not that light and fluffy compared to the style of biscuit in the south, and actually they were considerably shorter than those in Church's advertising photos, so it might have been an execution issue, but it was soft and airy inside, and the top is crunchy with that honey butter-glaze all over, and I honestly enjoyed it.  They kind of look like my latest attempt at making my own biscuits where they didn't puff like I wanted them to, but they were still tasty.  Maybe it's my scone heritage that allows me to embrace these (metaphorically, the honey-butter glaze would stick to everything otherwise).

Also, the chicken skin was so perfectly crispy this time.  I remembered to ask for all dark meat as the Main St. location seems to err on the side of overfrying in my past visits.  

My cat sniffing the biscuits for me.  She walked away afterwards.