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Last year, I had every intention of writing weekly posts.  Unfortunately, I lacked the motivation to meet that bare minimum.  There were weeks with no new blog posts.  Not only was blogging of my travel eats and local eats falling behind, but with every stretch of idle time, trying to get back into writing became more and more difficult.  Luckily, with some determination, the blogging slowly came back.  Last month, I wrote 12 blog posts!  Wow!  Compare that to last summer when I was barely writing one blog post a month, I’m done for the year!!  😉

Part of this surge in writing can be credited to my running/training.  To keep my mind off the tediousness of running (exercising), I try to concentrate my thoughts on non-running topics: food, blogging and personal & work-related issues.  I’ve prioritized to do lists and processed ideas for those difficult first sentences of blog posts.  After running, I feel refreshed and energized — perfect elements to awaken my hibernating motivation.

Yesterday was a rest (non-running) day.  I met up with V and we went to Kerrisdale for lunch.  Thinking back, the last time V and I walked around Kerrisdale together was on my birthday last year.  I haven’t blogged about the restaurant that we went to for my birthday last year so I will take some time this evening to do so.

On my birthday last year, V and B made plans to take me out for dinner.  When asked if there was any particular restaurant that I wanted to go to, I mentioned that dumplings are always a favourite.  We decided to go to a restaurant in Kerrisdale that serves xiao long bao.

As I had taken my birthday off, V and I were able to meet up in the afternoon.  We decided to go to Kerrisdale a bit earlier to grab a quick bite and walk around the boutique shopping district before our dinner reservation.  I suggested going to Faubourg as I wanted to have one of their lemon tarts.  I’d tried the lemon tart at a friend’s wedding a few years ago  (they brought in their dessert item) and had been wanting to go to Faubourg to have another one.  This was the perfect opportunity.

We found parking a block away and walked over to the shop.  Faced with the many colourful and pretty treats before us, it would have been difficult to choose only one item.  Luckily, I already knew that I wanted the lemon tart.  V was looking for something a little more savoury so she managed to bypass the beckoning of the desserts.

treats on display

treats on display

lemon tart.. yum yum...

lemon tart.. yum yum…

dessert before dinner

my dessert before dinner

V's soup and croissant

V’s soup and croissant

The lemon tart was just as tasty as I remembered it to be.  It was definitely “tart” — not just as a baked pastry shell with a lemon custard filling but also the sharp and sour (lemon) taste.  Although thinking back, a hot tea would have been better than the cold San Pellegrino limonata.

other treats on display

other treats on display

colourful macarons

colourful macarons

Overall, Faubourg was fine.  I found the seating a bit tight which became even more obvious when it got busier.  Although I was seated on the more spacious side of the table, I found that the neighbouring tables were a little too close for comfort.

Faubourg on Urbanspoon

After our afternoon snack, V and I wandered up the street stopping to look at the various shops along the way.  When it was time to meet up with B, we wandered back up the street.  We had dinner reservations at Modern City Chinese Restaurant which we discovered was only a few storefronts away from Faubourg.

We had a very early dinner reservation and had our pick of seats in the restaurant.  We opted for a booth seat and were quickly seated.  After studying the menu, we picked out a few items, placed our order and continued with our conversations.

colourful inside of the menu

colourful inside of the menu

It didn’t take long for us to notice that the server was back again and just standing at our table.  At first we thought she was already checking on us to make sure we were doing okay because the restaurant was not busy.  Then we thought that maybe she was waiting for us for something (not sure what) … and then it seemed like she was quite interested in our conversation and perhaps wanted to participate as well.  It was a little unnerving when she was just standing there watching us chat.  She left us for a few minutes to seat another party and pick up our food from the kitchen.  It seemed like every time she brought another dish to our table, she would stop and watch us chat.  Eventually she did say some things and tried to participate in our conversation.  (Should I have asked her if she wanted a seat??)  When she started talking, she got quite chatty.  She even threw in a compliment for the colour of the shirt I was wearing and wanted to know where I bought it.  Soon after, the restaurant started to get busy and she left our table.

Here’s what we ordered:

Assorted Vegetable with Crispy Rice, Shanghai Ji Cai Wonton Soup, Pan Fried Green Beans and Shanghai Style Juicy Pork Buns

Assorted Vegetable with Crispy Rice, Shanghai Ji Cai Wonton Soup, Pan Fried Green Beans and Shanghai Style Juicy Pork Buns

Crispy Rice; Shanghai Ji Cai Wonton Soup

Crispy Rice; Shanghai Ji Cai Wonton Soup

Pan Fried Green Beans, Shanghai Style Juicy Pork Buns, Stem Vegetable Dumplings

Pan Fried Green Beans, Shanghai Style Juicy Pork Buns, Stem Vegetable Dumplings

The food was really good and enjoyed every dish.  The two dumplings were probably my favourite items.  Despite the over-attentive server, I had a great birthday dinner and decided that I would bring my parents here sometime.

In fact, when my mother’s birthday came around last year, that’s where we went for her birthday dinner.  I ordered different types of dumplings, a noodle dish and we even tried the spring rolls.  The food tasted good and while we enjoyed our meal, we added it to the list of places that we could eat out at when my big sis and her family were in town.

Wonton in Chili Sauce

Wonton in Chili Sauce

Shanghai Spring Roll

Shanghai Spring Roll

Steam Vegetable Dumplings

Steam Vegetable Dumplings

Chow Mein

Chow Mein

Shanghai Style Juicy Pork Buns

Shanghai Style Juicy Pork Buns

As is always the case, we ordered too much food for the three of us.  At the end of the meal, we asked our server for the bill and some takeaway containers.  While we were waiting, I happened to be looking around the restaurant.  Unfortunately, it was at this time that I happened to see the woman behind the cash register do some inappropriate and unhygienic action which then caused my stomach to flip.  Any intention on wanting to come back again fizzled out right then and there.   I whipped my head around to see if my mother had noticed and sadly enough, she had seen it too.  We both cringed and no words needed to be exchanged.  We were not going to take my sister and her family there and we are not going back again.  😦
Modern City Chinese Restaurant 新上海酒家 on Urbanspoon

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