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Food & Drink

3 Must Have Winter Treats for Surrey!

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Gulab Jamin being served up at Maharaja Sweets in the Payal Centre, Surrey BC, photo by Desire Amouzou.

Some might say, there is nothing better in the world than being outdoors enjoying freshly poured maple syrup snow candy coupled with that crisp smell of winter in the air, and a log cabin surrounded in a forest of snow and maple trees. Definitely some might say this, if they lived in Montreal. 

But for us, living on the West Coast known for our rain and most recently our atmospheric rivers, this is likely the last thing on our minds.

Rest assured though, Surrey has memories to be made with the treats we share during the winter. 

Here are just 3 treats of many!

First on the list, one that makes a healthy appearance starting around September in particular and might be difficult to find through the month of December but is worth the hunt: 

Crinkle cookies!

A variety of crinkle cookies, Image by cravingforcrave.com

These cookies are very often a hit during the winter months, especially but not exclusively in our Filipino community. 

Why are they called crinkle cookies? Well, because they’re crinkly of course! But more accurately because of their slightly hard-covered exterior, which is cracked through the baking process then covered in a tasty icing sugar. The moist tasty brownie style interior is revealed in the cracks of the cookies creating a winter wonderland map. Popular flavours are chocolate, ube and red velvet. The chocolate is Christa Jance’s favourite, co-owner and crinkle cookie baker for the local Surrey business Craving For Crave. Check for them online in January, they go quick!

Chocolate crinkle cookies, Image by cravingforcrave.com

Second on the list, but equally as tasty and doesn’t need much introduction:

Panettone!

Flamigni brand panettone in store display at Delitalia Fine Foods, Image by Delitalia’s Instagram

This is an Italian type of sweet bread, said to have originated from Milan, and possibly having  roots to the Roman Empire, made for emperors, a bread sweetened with honey. Panettone is also very common throughout South America and hence throughout Surrey you are likely to find it at many winter gatherings. Very often given and received as gifts, and it’s no surprise as these delectables are often packed into stunning decorative, branded packages.

Assortment of Panettone at Delitalia Fine Foods in Surrey BC, image by Delitalia’s Instagram.

Flavoured with lemon zest, orange zest and candied fruit and raisins, Panettone can be found at either your local London Drugs, Costco or, if you want to try a rich variety, some flavoured with different types of liquor and beautifully handmade from Italy, then you must visit Romolo and his Mother Penny, owners of Delitalia Fine Foods. Let Romolo talk you through all of the varieties!  

Toast it, butter it, and enjoy it with a hot beverage of your choice!

Now, last but not least, and not as widely known as you might think, but absolutely respected and loved throughout Surrey: 

 

Gulab jamun!

Originating in India and declared the national dessert of Pakistan, by the Government of Pakistan, this milk-solid-based sweet derives its name from the Persian words gol, meaning flower, and ãb meaning water, referring to the rose water-syrup it sits in (flavoured also with Saffron or Kewra and Green Cardamom).

Jamun is the Hindi word for an Indian fruit similar in shape and size to gulab jamun, known to most as a black plum. 

Gulab Jamun soaked in honey rose-water, Maharaja Sweets – Surrey BC, Image by Desire Amouzou

Note, gulab, or the sugar syrup this fried tasty ball of beautiful dough is lovingly soaked in, for some recipes, can also be replaced with slightly diluted maple syrup. Full circle! 

It’s amazing served hot during cold weather, the dough melting in your mouth, and even better if it’s complemented with some ice cream. 

 

So where can you get this amazing treat you ask? 

Maharaja Sweets & Restaurant, Payal Centre, Surrey BC, image by Desire Amouzou

Pretty much anywhere in Surrey, BC. In fact we might have to save space for an article on the various places you can secure some. But for now, do yourself a favour and get out to the Payal Business Centre, a home to so many sweet shops with a rich assortment of Gulab Jamun. It’s not the only location by any means, but it’s a good start. One amazing spot in the centre well known in our community has to be Maharaja Sweets & Restaurant. Really, you need to go if you haven’t already!

 

You can purchase it packaged, but it truly is best enjoyed freshly made. 

In the end, whatever treat you grace your home with, perhaps all of them, we hope you are able to share them with the ones you love!

 

Desiré Kokuvi Amouzou,

Surrey604

Desiré Amouzou is a Photojournalist and Documentary Filmmaker. For over a decade Desiré worked as a Corporate Investigator in the private sector, specializing in Forensic Interviewing and Organized Crime Investigations. Part of a mixed race family, African father from New York and a Okanagan Girl from Oliver BC, he was taught to love all people. Though it’s been years since they’ve both passed away, Desiré honours their memory by serving his community In speaking up and asking hard questions, listening, and capturing the film and photos that speak for those who can’t or won’t speak.

Food & Drink

This Surrey cafe offers a delicious Bombay brunch

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Bandra Cafe
Marco Ovies / Surrey604

Tucked away on the edge of the Strawberry Hill Shopping Centre is Bandra Cafe, one of the best places for brunch in Surrey. It offers unique menu items that are not only full of flavour but are pretty just to look at. If you’re looking for something different than your basic pancake breakfast, this is the place for you. 

Bandra Cafe serves Bombay-style cuisine that is chock full of flavour and spice. On our visit, we ordered the Bandra Benny and it did not disappoint. Just like your standard eggs Benedict it came with poached eggs, bacon, and hollandaise sauce, but was served on top of chili-cheese toast. It gave it the perfect kick that you wouldn’t normally find in an eggs Benedict, setting Bandra Cafe apart from all the other brunch spots in the city. On the side, there were crispy potato wedges and some sliced avocado. 

Bandra Cafe

Bandra Benny (Marco Ovies / Surrey604)

We also ordered their dalgona coffee, which we had never tried before. It came with whipped coffee on top of steamed milk. Our waiter politely helped us out and instructed us that we needed to stir the drink (we had just gone right in for the sip and it left us with a coffee mustache that wasn’t noticeable until we got home). The drink both looked impressive and tasted great. 

Bandra Cafe

Dalgona coffee (Marco Ovies / Surrey604)

But Bandra Cafe doesn’t just do eggs Benedict. They also serve kanda poha (a popular Bombay breakfast with flattened rice, onions, peanuts, herbs, and spices, topped with coconut and sev), Kheema Par Eedu Skillet (kheema, potato salli, fried eggs, and pav bread, described on the menu as the “Bombay breakfast of champions”), and even a vegan platter (avocado, grilled tofu, vegetables, and salad with tahini almond dressing). You can also order small bites and drinks to share if you’re coming to visit later in the evening with friends. 

The cafe itself is very modern looking with a plant wall at the entrance with a neon sign that reads “Good Brews, Good Bites.” The service was excellent and we’re excited to go back again to try the rest of their menu. 

Bandra Cafe is open Monday to Thursday from 11am to 10pm, and Friday to Sunday from 11am to 11pm. 

Bandra Cafe

 

Address: 7310 #110 120th St.

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Food & Drink

6 of the best sushi restaurants in Surrey

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best sushi restaurants in Surrey
Sushi from Sushi California and Sushi Street (@sushicalifornia_surrey; @sushistreet_surrey / Instagram)

There are so many different sushi spots in Surrey that sometimes it can be hard to choose. That’s why we’ve created a list of the best sushi restaurants in Surrey to satisfy your next sushi craving. 

 

MaguroGuy Sushi and Grill

 

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MaguroGuy has an excellent assortment of sushi and delicious Japanese dishes. We’d recommend visiting for their lunch special Udon Set which comes with a dynamite roll, tuna, salmon, and ebi nigiri, tempura, Seafood udon (small), and a green salad.

 

Sushi Mori

What makes Sushi Mori so special? Well for starters there is a tree in the middle of the restaurant. They also make some great sushi and have plenty of specialty rolls to try like their Spicy Sunflower Roll which has crab meat, cucumber, avocado, and prawn tempura covered with spicy salmon and topped with tempura flakes, shredded red beet, spicy mayo, and aioli sauce.

 

Kami Sushi 

Kami Sushi is the best place to grab a filling and affordable lunch. The best thing to order is one of their lunch combinations that are available from 11:30 to 3:30 pm. We love their combo B which comes with four pieces of sushi, three pieces of their Reno roll, four pieces of the spicy love roll, and tempura udon for $19.95. You get a great assortment of food for a great price. 

 

Sushi California

Sushi California has a great assortment of different rolls, potentially the largest selection in all of Surrey. They have over 67 different rolls you can choose from, and that’s not even including nigiri or any of the other things on their menu. The only other sushi spot that could compete is the next one on our list. 

 

Psi Sushi & Roll

Psi Sushi & Roll is another Surrey favourite that has plenty on their menu. They also have some very unique rolls like their Flying Unicorn Roll which has crabmeat and cream cheese and is deep fried with melted mozzarella cheese. 

 

Sushi Street

 

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If you’re searching for your next picnic meal look no further than Sushi Street. They offer these sushi boxes that can feed one to four people that are perfect to take with you. We’d recommend trying Street Box #2 which can feed up to four people and has a Crazy Roll, Dragon roll, Dynamite roll, Philadelphia roll, Chicken wings, Edamame, vegetable sticks, and five kinds of special sauce. 

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Food & Drink

You can order a whole box of sushi from this Surrey restaurant

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Sushi Street Surrey
Sushi Street serves delicious Japanese takeout by the King George Skytrain Station

If you’re looking for the next great sushi spot, look no further than Sushi Street. Located close to the King George Skytrain Station, this place should be your go-to for sushi takeout. 

Sushi Street specializes in only takeout and offers quick and delicious Japanese cuisine. They specialize in bento boxes, sushi combos, and ready-to-eat foods that you can just grab and go. But probably the coolest thing they offer is their sushi boxes.

 

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You heard right, sushi in a box. They offer two different boxes that can feed anywhere from 1 to 4 people. Their Street Box 1 which can feed one to two people has a crazy roll, Philadelphia roll, dynamite roll, chicken wings, edamame, vegetable sticks, and four kinds of special sauce. 

If you’re looking for more food you can get the Street Box 2 which feeds three to four people and has a crazy roll, dragon roll, dynamite roll, Philadelphia roll, chicken wings, edamame, vegetable sticks, and five kinds of special sauce. This is the perfect meal to grab on your way to a picnic over at Holland Park across the street. 

But don’t worry, you can also order individual rolls if you’re just eating for one. They also serve inari which is sushi rice packed into a tofu pouch topped with all sorts of sushi ingredients. We’d recommend ordering the Inari Unagi or the Inari Spicy Salmon. 

 

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While Sushi Street does specialize in takeout, they do have some seats inside to sit down and enjoy your food. But regardless of whetheryou eat in or take out, we promise you’ll love the food. Be sure to visit this new Surrey hidden gem soon!

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This Surrey restaurant is serving up “monster burgers”

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Fab Burgers
Fab Burgers Inc. makes some of the best burgers in Surrey (@fabburgersinc / Instagram)

Located in the heart of Newton is Fab Burgers Inc., the home of Surrey’s “monster burgers.” What is a monster burger you may ask? Well, it’s about as intimidating as it sounds. 

Fab Burger Inc. has six monster burgers on their menu, and one of their most famous ones is the Fab Meaty Muncher which comes with breaded crispy chicken, a beef patty, chicken bacon, cheddar cheese, purple slaw, pickles, tomatoes, an onion ring, and their signature FAB sauce. It’s piled high and requires some maneuvering to be able to take a bite. 

 

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If that’s still a little too small for you, you can order their Sweet Temptation Burger which comes with three patties of your choice of chicken or beef (yes you heard right, three patties), topped with lettuce, sauteed onions, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and finished with barbeque sauce. It’s the biggest burger on their menu and definitely deserves the name “monster burger.”

But don’t worry, they also serve regular-sized burgers for those who don’t have a monster appetite. The Flamin’ Nacho Burger is a fan favourite and has a beef patty topped with fresh salsa, onions, jalapenos, sour cream, guacamole, nacho chips, and topped with cheddar cheese.

 

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If burgers aren’t your thing, Fab Burger Inc. also sells other foods like Chicken and Waffles and BBQ Lamb Chops which are marinated with their in-house blend of seasonings and sauces and served with fries, coleslaw, and a drink.

 

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So whether you’re craving a monster burger, or just want something on the smaller side to eat, Fab Burger Inc. has it all. Be sure to visit the next time you’re craving a good burger. 

Fab Burger Inc.

Address: 7320 King George Blvd #108

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These are the best places to get coffee in Surrey

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best places to get coffee in Surrey
Whether you go to cafés for the atmosphere, food, or coffee, we’re sure there's a café on this list you’ll love. (@coffeemonster_official; @west_village_cafe / Instagram)

You can only drink so much Starbucks before you get sick of it. That’s why we’ve made this list of the best coffee shops in Surrey so you can switch it up. Whether it’s because of the great atmosphere or unique drinks, these are the best places to get coffee in Surrey. 

 

Coffee Monster

If you’re a student in Surrey then you need to visit Coffee Monster. It is the best place to get some late-night studying done. Every table has access to an outlet and it’s open until 10 pm. Plus, they have some delicious drinks like their Spanish Latte which you can order hot or iced. 

 

Bandra Cafe

 

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Bandra Cafe is one of the first Indian-style cafes in the Greater Vancouver area and has some exceptional drinks and eats to show for it. Bandra Cafe tries to copy the vibe of the area in Bombay with the same name by creating a similar atmosphere by having “dark wooden chairs and white table tops” and also by selling “dishes like salli chicken, kheema pan and mawa cake.” This is definitely a very unique cafe that you need to visit. 

 

West Village Cafe

If you’re looking for one of the trendiest cafes in Surrey, then West Village Cafe is the spot for you. With a very clean and minimalistic interior and some fancy food to eat, this might be the fanciest café in Surrey. Not only does West Village Cafe serve your coffee shop classics like lattes and pastries, but they also serve alcoholic drinks and food like tacos, a chimichurri salmon and vegetable bowl, local craft beer on tap, and more! If you’re feeling extra fancy you should head in for one of their Bailey’s coffees. 

 

Espresso Cafe

 

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Espresso Cafe is located in the heart of Newton and has a very homely atmosphere to it. From the fireplace to the home-style baked goods, there is so much to love about Espresso Cafe. We’d recommend ordering one of their filo spinach feta pastries which are delicious. They have an always expanding menu and plenty of specialty drinks on rotation so be sure to visit Espresso Cafe. 

 

The GrassRoots Cafe

The GrassRoots Cafe is a student-owned and operated café located on the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Surrey campus. They serve “alcoholic beverages and KPU brewed beer on tap, delicious food, snacks, coffee drinks and healthy alternative options such as vegan and gluten-free meals.” They also host a bunch of different activities like slam poetry, movie marathons, and more! Plus, if you’re a KPU student you can get a 5% discount. 

 

Prairie Cafe

 

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When a café has been around since 1949, then you know it has to be good. Prairie Cafe offers some classic vintage breakfast and coffee. They do classic American breakfast as well as Asian dishes like chicken Teriyaki, wonton soup, and chicken pan-fried noodles. If you’re looking for a blast from the past then you need to visit Prairie Cafe. 

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