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From chow mein stuffed samosas to chocolate bouillon spaghetti – I came I saw I slurped it all at Noodle Mania.  If you’ve ever watched my family eat noodles you might suspect that we put the Chow in Chow Mein as onlookers swear that we don’t slurp but rather Hover them in at record speeds. Last year’s Noodle Mania was noodlicious as guests were fed oodles of noodles and this year’s event also had me rummaging for elastic waisted skirts for the ensuing noodle frenzy.

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Noodle2Mania003strozzapreti con ragu bolognese and rigatoni alla Norma with tomato sauce, eggplant, ricotta salata and basil 

At registration we were serenaded by Gio Levy at Federico’s Supper Club while we waited for our delicious plates of strozzapreti con ragu bolognese and rigatoni alla Norma to arrive.  Cooked perfectly with the amount of wonderful tomato based sauce it was the  perfect start to the event as Federico’s has never failed to disappoint. It’s Federico’s 15th anniversary this year so follow Federico’s on Twitter or on Facebook to be updated on special promotions.

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Next up at FIVE ELEMENTS CAFE, we had our choice of 1) Pho Sati Peanut Sauce – chicken, beef or vegan; 2) Spicy Lemongrass Vermicelli noodles with beef, pork or vegan (pictured on top) ; or 3) Pho – Rice Noodle Soup with Rare Beef or Brisket (pictured above).  I selected rare beef pho and it arrived with a light, fragrant hot broth that was flavourful and the beef was tender and rare. As with most Asian restaurants, we had the typical  condiments of chili sauce and oyster sauce on the table to add to our broth for our personal preference.  Everyone else at the table was happy with their selections and I have to admit that by the end of my tasting, I was so pho of it that I had to pack away the next tasting plate at the next restaurant.

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Noodle2Mania009Macaroni brown rice elbows in smokey coconut milk based cheese sauce topped with toasted nut crumble and beetroot linguine topped with porcini infused cashew cream cheese

I’m a big fan of GRAZE VEGETARIAN as they feature vegetarian cuisine that uses no dairy and I’m impressed with the innovative manner Karen McAthy  manipulates ingredients such as almonds to emulate  the texture and taste of cheese. What surprised me about the smokey coconut milk was that the texture was the closest to any dairy substitute I had ever tasted that emulates cheese.  The taste was tangy and I found myself wishing for more.

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Noodle2Mania012Kanom Jeen:  green curry, chicken over rice noodles, kafir lime, bamboot shoot, basil, eggplant, chili, fish sauce and Pad Thai:  rice noodles with tamarind sauce, turnip, fish sauce, smoke tofu, peanuts, garlic chive and bean sprouts  

Me like, you like and BOB LIKES THAI FOOD  was our next stop.  By this time my stomach had started to mysterious swell and inch or two, but the fragrant smells of  kafir limes and curries had me salivating.  Spicy without sending me running for water, the food here is flavorful and you can really taste the freshness of the ingredients.

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Noodle2Mania001Faloudeh Sorbetto – Rosewater with rice noodles and fresh lemon juice

Next stop was a palette cleanser – Thank God.  Faloudeh Sorbetto is a Persian dessert that BELLA GELATERIA has on the menu on occasion.  I liked the lemon component but I found the rosewater a bit too overpowering for my personal taste as it made me feel like I was eating perfume.  But have no fear as there’s also other wonderful flavours such as Meyer lemon, black sesame, salted caramel, Gewürztraminer sorbetto and other wonderful rotational flavours which explains why the lineups in the summertime are long and why James Coleridge was first place winner of the People’s Choice at the 2012 Florence Italy Gelato Festival.

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Beef bouillon dark chocolate and creme brûlée white chocolate
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Being a chocolate fan I adore chocolate on almost any food, but didn’t like the beef bouillon dark chocolate selection at XOXOLAT. But that being said, I shop here often as they have the biggest selection of single origin chocolate bars here and my favorites are the Xoxolat Tortilla Chips & Lime and wacky Zotter flavours such as trout,  or Muscat Wine with Grapes, Trout or Blood Cherry.

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Noodle2Mania023Chicken chow mein samosa with tamarid chutney

Last but not least one of my favorite Indian restaurants, ATITHI INDIAN CUISINE who stuffed Chow Mein in a samosa and was a creative fusion of Indian and Chinese as the noodles had tamarid chutney? Is this Chindian or Indonese – not bad but I’m thinking what’s next – pork belly vindaloo?  There’s a weekday lunch buffet for only $9.95 that gives you a great overview of the menu.

VANCOUVER FOODSTER also hosts TASTING PLATES which offers you tasting plates from 6+ restaurants/cafes in one designated neighbourhood and FOOD TALKS which gives you an opportunity to meet, mingle and learn about professionals in the food industry.

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Author

Dianne

Editor in Chief of Fabulously Frugal in Vancouver.

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