Scott and I had our 10 year wedding anniversary on July 14th. Our first plan was to go to Fiji, but obviously that couldn’t happen. Then we changed our plan to a few days away in the Bendigo area, but that got cancelled when they announced Lockdown 2.0 [I thought waiting until 4 days before was low-risk enough to book an Airbnb and some fancy meals and spa stuff but no!]. Ah well. Hopefully we’ll celebrate our 11 year anniversary somewhere nice.

Instead we had a couple days off at home.

I decided there was NO BUDGET whatsoever and searched around and found out one of my all-time dream restaurants was doing fancy takeaway. What a treat!!

We started with Kinoko-no-dobinmushi, which had like a dozen different types of crazy mushrooms in a konbu dashi broth. There were three types of little vegetarian dumpling things: taro, tofu, and lotus root, an interesting green vegetable that I have no idea what it was, and some yuzu and lime. One of the mushrooms was hairy!!

Next we had Truffled teba-gyoza. This was insane. It had a perfectly gooey egg yolk (Scott thinks it was duck, as it was pretty large) wrapped in a chicken mince mixture with truffle, pancetta, shiso, somehow stuffed inside a de-boned chicken wing, which was then cooked until crispy. It was so rich and tasty. I don’t know how they did it, you couldn’t see any seams!

Then the main event, Chirashizushi (for two). It had 50 million tiny pieces of absolutely perfect fish on top of a bed of sushi rice and egg slivers. According to the menu we had o-toro, engawa, prawn, tamago, ikura, tuna, trout, Hokkaido scallops, anago, nori, kinshi tamago, cucumber, shiitake, kanpyo and bamboo shoot.

The highlights were the incredibly buttery torched engawa and the super sweet and tender scallops, but honestly every bit of it was amazing. Even the pickled ginger that came with it was extra delicious.

For dessert I chose the Otona banana, which had a Japanese whisky infused banana pureé, Okinanwan black sugar and miso butterscotch, crispy wafer pieces, roll cake layers, fresh banana and vanilla custard. I usually only eat bananas for convenience… but I still loved this. Everything was super smooth and not over the top sweet.

Scott had the Matcha Pudding Parfait. It had matcha pudding, sponge and syrup, adzuki beans, strawberries, raspberry sauce, kanten jelly, mochi and whipped cream. It was very earthy. Scott liked it a lot.

All in all, one of the best meals we’ve ever had, and a very fun at-home experience. Happy anniversary to us!

Minamishima Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Scott and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary last weekend. We had a really nice day, except for the 20 minutes we accidentally spent right in the core of the downtown East side. Yikes it’s pretty bad there in the summer!!!!

Anyway, first we overloaded our senses on the FlyOver Canada ride at Canada Place. It’s like one of those 4D theatre rides they have at amusement parks where the seats tip back and forth and they spray water on you except this one is REALLY WELL DONE. The big curved screen covered our ENTIRE peripheral vision. You really feel like you are flying through the Canadian landscape! It had smells and mist as well. It was so short though, I wish it was like 5 times as long. And they skipped right from Newfoundland to Toronto! Poor neglected Atlantic Canada. I have pretty high standards for things like this and other than the length I thought it was great. Really cool!

After the ride we headed over to Dark Table for dinner to deprive our senses. It’s one of those restaurants where the waiters are all blind and you eat in complete darkness. When we arrived at the restaurant we were given menus outside and directed to a bench on the patio to pick what we wanted to eat. You actually only pick the main course, the starter and the dessert are always a surprise. You can choose for the main course to be a surprise too, actually. I picked the prawn dish and Scott went for the mystery main course. Please don’t worry about me spoiling the surprises because they are supposed to change every day.

When they say dark they mean DARK. There is not one bit of light coming into the place. Our waiter led us to our table in train formation. We sat down and then he left us for a little while, I guess for us to settle down and figure out the lay of the table. It was sooo funny trying to figure out what was going on. We touched everything, haha. I kept worrying that I was going to knock over a flower vase or something but that’s pretty silly… obviously they don’t need table decorations. You keep expecting your eyes to adjust to the darkness but they really do not! It took a bit to realize that if we didn’t say what we were doing or thinking the other person has no idea what you are doing or thinking. We had lots to talk about though, like trying to figure out how many other people were eating there as well, or a packet of butter that you found on your side plate, hahahaha.

The starter dish.


We got salads for our starter. Salads are hard to eat in the dark! I brought an empty fork to my mouth so many times, haha. Eventually I just used my other hand to ensure I actually got something on my fork. Classy.

Main course. Hehe.

My prawns and risotto were very nice. I was relieved to find that they had removed the shells for me. I wasn’t sure how I would do that on my own. Scott still isn’t sure if he had chicken or pork (I think pork.) Sharing bites of food was NOT EASY. Scott dumped his prawn sample on to his shirt. I got sauce all over my hand.

Dessert. Is this joke old yet? Hope not cuz I’m still laughing.

Raspberry cheesecake! It was tasty and I appreciated that it was not chocolate (chocolate late on a worknight is not ideal for me).

After eating we got led train style to a semi-lit room to pay the bill and then led outside into the BLINDING LIGHT. It was funny to see the damage to Scott’s shirt and my arms, haha.

Overall very funny experience. Definitely will be a memorable anniversary. The food was good but not the greatest thing I ever ate or anything. I recommend going there though, it’s a pretty unique experience.

Dark Table Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

*Actually Rosemarie is hilarious cuz she told me to post those “pictures”.

Saturday was our second anniversary. It was a beautiful hot cloudless day in Vancouver so we spent the whole day outside.

First we had lunch at Boathouse in Kitsilano. We shared a pitcher of delicious lime margarita.

The whole restaurant is pretty much a big patio with great views and fresh air. So lovely on a nice day!

I had lobster grilled cheese benny and it was amazing. Big chunks of lobster, nice bread, poached egg, cheese…. OM NOM NOM. It was very rich and it made me really full. I would totally order this again if I ever get to go back.

Scott had ahi tuna. He liked it a lot too.

After lunch we went down to the beach and read our Kindles in the shade for a couple hours. I did go for a quick swim in the ocean (another summer goal checked off!!) but didn’t stay in too long because it is boring swimming by yourself.

After swimming we headed home to shower and get ready for my work party. There are ten people in our department that are turning 30, 40, 50 or 60 this year so they had a big birthday party for all of them at our bosses house and the students were invited as well. It was Mexican themed and pretty fun. I liked all the appetizers and the cakes were super cool. Each cake was personalized for each person in their favourite colours AND type of cake!

July 14th was Scott and my first anniversary! Scott got me some flowers and candy and I got him some CFL tickets for this Friday. Then we went out for a fancy dinner at Tojo’s. We ordered the 5 course and vegetarian omakase which basically means ‘trust the chef’. It was exciting and delicious. I had been looking forward to this meal ever since we moved to Vancouver. Tojo is one of the top rated restaurants in Canada!

To drink I had a cocktail with sour tangerine and guava that was super tasty.

1st course: I had a tuna tartar thing that was super light and smooth and fluffy and soft and delicious. Scott had a spinach salad that he liked a lot but it was very tiny so he was sad.

2nd course: I had octopus. It was decent, not rubbery whatsoever. I’m sure that is pretty much as good as octopus gets. Not my top choice of seafood really. Scott had a seaweed salad, which was ok, but maybe a little plain.

3rd course: Yellowtail with some stir fried stuff. Quite tasty, but cooked fish < raw fish, in my opinion! Scott had a croquette that I don’t think he liked very much because it was not very Japanese.

4th course. Picture stolen from

4th course: OMG delicious tuna thingies. From the menu: Red tuna wrapped in nori seaweed with a light tempura crust, served with sour plum sauce. The slices of tuna were perfect looking: raw in the middle, cooked around the outside. PERFECTLY flakey. Scott got a mushroom dish that he liked a lot (finally).

5th course: SUSHI! Yay! Both of ours were really good. We each got a variety plate, which is what I always wish I could have at sushi restaurants but is usually not an option!

My plate had a raw prawn sushi (blech), yellowtail sushi (om nom nom), a piece each of Great Canadian Roll (Atlantic lobster with asparagus inside with smoked Pacific salmon on top), Spicy Tuna Roll, Golden Roll (crab, scallop, salmon, and sweet shrimp rolled in an egg crepe), and the most delicious piece of sushi I have EVER eaten:

Pacific Northwest Roll (West coast Dungenss crab and avocado inside-out with scallop and flying fish roe on top).

Scott’s plate had two of those bean curd pillows with rice on the inside, a few pieces of a roll with pineapple and lots of other veg inside, and a few pieces of a roll that was wrapped in cucumber instead of seaweed.

Sorry for the terrible pictures, we didn’t bring the camera with us to dinner.

Then for dessert we had ginger ice cream with tasty citrus fruit on the bottom, and a pannacotta type thing that tasted good but I didn’t really like the jelly texture.

Overall I was very happy. Scott’s wasn’t very good value though. We both left full, after about a two hour dinner since you have to wait a bit in between each course. It was a fun experience and maybe when we’re DINKs we can go back. Maybe Scott will eat fish by then.

Can’t believe we’ve been married a whole year! It’s passed by quick.

The main reason for our Ottawa trip was the ‘wedding-ish’ party. Scott and I were married almost a year ago in Australia, but because of the distance and last minute-ness, a lot of people didn’t get to be there. So we decided to have one final party in Ottawa where we would renew our vows and all my family and friends could finally be included. It took us a long time to finally be able to make the trip but I think it was worth the wait because the party was amazing.

So many great people came together to help make the party a super success. The Monnon’s, Kate, Jane, the Dafoe’s, Rosemarie, dad, MEP and Paul, and more, all helped out so much I am incredibly grateful. Also it was super fun to see everyone again and I loved all the speeches and how much fun everyone seemed to be having. Overall, great success!!!

Oh quickly before I forget. Our Friday overnight flight to Ottawa the day before was ok. We had a lot of turbulence but both managed to get a few hours sleep. We arrive at 9:00 am on Saturday and immediately had to shop for the food we were to prepare. We cooked our dishes on adrenaline and then my grandparents came over to finally meet Scott. We had shishkabobs (sp?), including delicious squeaky haloumi cheese, and Kate’s homemade ice cream, then passed out. Sunday morning we quickly got ready to head over to the Monnon’s for the part-ay.

After the party everyone went home, except Scott and I slept over (in a motor home that is ACTUALLY bigger than our apartment (by ~100 sq feet!!)) and then went boating and jet skiing and stuff, which I will post about later.