Blog posts

Padella Italian Bistro

The former Paprika restaurant, remerged last year as the Italian themed Padella. I loved the idea and thought it was a good business move to make the restaurant more approachable, but the menu was a bit unusual. I’m now happy to report some recent changes, including a new menu and new chefs that has…

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Chorizo and Co

The wave of Spanish influenced menus and restaurants that has flooded the culinary world over the past few years has for the most part left Victoria dry. For all that Spanish cuisine seems like an easy sell, Victorians have been slow to jump aboard. With the familiarity of European cuisine, but with…

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New Cookbook

Check out our new cookbook from Touchwood Publishing!

An anthology of recipes from the Island Chef's Collaborative, edited and compiled by Little Piggy's Christabel Padmore, and including recipes from Christabel and Patrick Simpson

Look for it in bookstores, including Bolen Books, Munro's, Russell…

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The Tartan Toque

The Tartan Toque is Victoria's first winghouse. The absence of a local winghouse had never affected me directly, but hey, why not. 

Located in the Old British Fish and Chip space in Stadacona Centre, the Tartan Toque features a selection of 20 housemade wings sauces, burgers, hot dogs, wraps, sala…

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Ca Va?

Ca Va Bistro Moderne has opened up in the former Kulu location in Fernwood village. If you've lamented the loss of fine dining options in Victoria, you might be pleased with this new addition. The food has a definitive 'nouvelle' design. Yes, that might read as small portions, but it should also rea…

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Burger Saturation

Burger, how much do I love thee? Well apparently, Victoria really loves a burger judging from the selection of burger restaurants we’re currently enjoying. One might think we’ve reached the saturation point, but hey, only time will tell.

I can only imagine that there’s a little teeth grittin…

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Vis a Vis

2232 Oak Bay Ave 250-590-7524

UPDATE March 2013 - Vis a Vis gave up. Yep, it's over. They're re-launching the space, integrating it into the pub next door, but with restaurant licensing. The only bright side, if you wanted to go the Penny Farthing Pub with your kids, there is now a space licensed …

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The Black Hat

The Black Hat by Bistro 28 has opened at Langley and Broughton St in downtown Victoria and in the process transformed the appearance of the entire block. Holly financial investment! They've converted the old Tony's Trick and Joke Shop into a flashy 85 seat restaurant. It looks great. This kind devel…

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More Schwarma Love

I continue to be delighted by the increasing availability of Middle Eastern food in Victoria. I have now consumed all of the Beirut Express menu and last night's lamb schwarma platter ($11.99) and falafel platter ($10.99) definitely take the cake for variety and value.  The wraps are tasty too, but …

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The Whole Beast

The Whole Beast: Artisan Salumeria 2032 Oak Bay Ave (between Foul Bay and Elgin) tel: 250-213-1226,Tues-Sat 0am-6pm

Adjoining the new Village Butcher location on Oak Bay Avenue, The Whole Beast brings some new meat to Victoria shoppers. Unlike the raw products sold at the butcher shop next door, the…

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Summer Festival Season

When the temperature rises in Victoria, you know summer festival season has arrived. It's time to buy your tickets and block off days in your calender:

ICC Food Fest, Sunday June 12: The Island Chefs' Collaborative annual fundraiser at Fort Rodd Hill in Colwood. The ICC is taking a slightly differen…

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The Earth Shakes in Oak Bay

UPDATE DEC 2012: The Oakes replaces the now defunct Oak Bay Bistro. My mum and her friends are really keen on it. For all that my mum is a great cook and appreciates great food, she's also an old lady with old lady freinds. Comfort food, value price and portions, is the new direction. I think it's t…

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Dine Around 2011

This year’s Dine Around line up (Feb 17-March 6), much like every year, has a number of lame efforts and an over-abundance of soup, mixed greens, stuffed pasta and stews. That said, there are always some hidden gems in the mountain of average dining, where true value (relative to food cost and/or th…

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Change at the Empress

Chef Ito is leaving his position as executive chef at the Fairmont Empress and reportedly heading to the Inn at Laurel Point to lead their kitchen.  Apparently, Chef Ito is looking to spend his culinary golden years in a kitchen where he can better express his personal vision and creativity.

The h…

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New for weekend lunches

Two new lunch options have just emerged. For those of you looking for an elegant end of week lunch break Paprika Bistro is serving lunch on Fridays and Saturdays. There is a shortage of fine dining lunches in Victoria outside of hotels, so this is a nice addition.

Also, Foo is now serving lunch on S…

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Up and coming - ICC Cookbook!

The Island's Chef Collaborative Cookbook Committee met for the first time yesterday at the English Inn. That's right, planning is underway for ICC fundraising cookbook celebrating local food, farmers and producers. We're looking to have the final product available for Christmas shopping next year, b…

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Mexican House of Spice ... from my dreams to reality

Mexican House of Spice
2022 Douglas St (near Russell Food Equipment)

My pastry chef Vicki, checked out Mexican House of Spice earlier this week. Due to holiday madness I won't be able to make it until next week, but I was so excited I had to share the news now.

Vicki reports an extensive selection o…

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Zambri's

Zambri's at the Atrium 820 Yates St

If you're thinking about checking out the new Zambri's, I'll start by recommending you visit at off peak times, unless of course you enjoy the social camaraderie of a big queue. Patty and I arrived at 530pm on a Saturday night to be seated quickly, but by the time…

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On holiday...in New York

Patty and I are enjoying a rather indulgent culinary adventure. We've spent a week in New York state and are now at our home away from home in the Auvergne region of France. 

Some highlights of the trip so far:

Seattle Airport: My friend Rob highly recommended the fish tacos at the take away windo…

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Freindly and filling ... old country style

Nostalgie Restaurant - 3838 Cadboro Bay Rd, 250-590-5159

I may be alone on this one, but I think there should be more Russian/Eastern European culinary choices available.  I'm a fan of what I think is the original comfort food. Nostalgie offers a combination of pub style fare and Russian specialties…

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