Saturday, August 10, 2013


Only 4 months old, "10acres" is a busy new bistro in Victoria's picturesque inner harbour. Built around the concept of "farm to table", the menu features daily fresh produce and ingredients that are grown or raised on the owner's farm on the Northern Saanich Peninsula. The farm supplies organic fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, and livestock like chicken, pork, turkey and rabbit ten months of the year.  Also added to the menu are locally sourced ingredients like shellfish from nearby Saltspring Island or trout from Sooke on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

Although the service was a tad slow, the ambience and energy of the heated garden courtyard made up for it. While waiting for our mains, we nibbled happily on Quinoa Fritters with Humous, Roasted Farm Vegetables (kale, chard, dragon beans, baby beets, summer squash, fava beans and gai lan) and Five Spice Dry Ribs. Our main dishes included the bistro's signature dish - local free range rotisserie chicken - tender and moist but overly seasoned and salty, and Steak Frites - a little tough but quickly replaced by a more tender version. Their feature dessert - 10acre Crumble with blackberries, cherries, and peaches was satisfying and divine. All in all, we had a lovely family dining experience thanks to the managers - Andrea and Skully - who were attentive, knowledgable and extremely professional.

10acres Bisto
611 Courteney Street

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Formerly known as Daidoco, this teeny tiny Japanese restaurant is one of downtown Victoria's culinary treasures. Yasu Uchida, the owner, has been in Victoria for 4 years now and is extremely passionate about using "local ingredients from farmers/fishermen who are very proud of their produce/catch".

Although the menu is limited, the food is authentic, delicious, and meticulously prepared. Unlike the ubiquitous california rolls and chicken teriyaki meals offered in other Japanese restaurants, Uchida serves simply prepared Japanese style comfort food. A popular dish is 'Negitoro Don', diced tuna belly served on a bed of local arugula, chopped green onions and beautifully prepared rice. My favorite is sockeye salmon sushi with a bowl of local greens and pickled vegetables: memorable for its delicious simplicity!

Unfortunately the restaurant closes as soon as the food runs out, so get there early! Hours of operation are 10:00 a.m - 2:00 p.m / Mondays - Fridays.

Uchida Restaurant
A22-633 Courtney St
Victoria, BC

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sooke Harbour House

Nestled in the tiny community of Sooke at the southern tip of Vancouver Island is Sooke Harbour House, one of Canada's leading ocean front resorts. Staying at this award winning Inn is always an amazing experience. This year, the Inn was awarded Winner of the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, voted among "the Best 500 Hotels in the World" by the Travel and Leisure Magazine Readers' survey, and awarded  "Best Vancouver Island Restaurant" by Vancouver Magazine.

Frederique and Sinclair Philip, the owners of Sooke Harbour House, are dedicated followers of the Canadian Slow Food Movement. They pride themselves on serving "local, organic, seasonal and wild" ingredients with "over 200 edible herbs, greens, edible flowers and vegetables" from their abundant herb and flower garden which they describe as an "edible landscape". (Don't forget to sign up for their enlightening garden tour.) Proud supporters of local garderners, farmers, and fishermen, the owners serve a healthy West Coast inspired menu that changes on a daily basis.

The 28 guest rooms are all unique, one-of-a-kind designs inspired with local art, craftmanship and ocean themes, and outfitted with comfy beds, wood burning fireplaces, steam showers or soaking tubs, patios, and stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Amenities include infrared saunas, communal garden and patio area, beach access, and gorgeous windblown walking trails along the Whiffen Spit.

Staying at the Sooke Harbour House is experiencing the Pacific Northwest at its very best!!

Sooke Harbour House
1528 Whiffin Spit Road
Victoria, BC
(40 Km from Victoria)



Prima Strada

Prima Strada is the BEST pizza restaurant in Victoria (and probably Vancouver) hands down! Serving authentic Neopolitan style pizza fire roasted in a beautiful stone pizza oven, this restaurant is always busy with locals, families, students, and visitors. Its pizza, made from a thin crispy soft crust and topped with fresh and mostly local ingredients, is a far cry from the typical North American cheese drenched version. The owner and his wife spent the better part of a year practising and adapting traditional recipes and techniques. Winner of numerous accolades and awards, this up and coming restaurant has been labelled "Best Pizza Pie" and "Best Place to Feed a Kid!" by Exceptional Eats Magazine. In 2012 it was awarded  "Best Pizza" in Victoria's annual survey and was given an Honorable Mention as "Best in Victoria" by Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.

This is one of our favorite places to eat on the island, and we usually always order the same two pizzas every time: "Rucola e Crudo" with arugula and prosciutto and "Margherita" with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella di bufala. The owners, Geoffrey and Cristen Dallas, pride themselves in making mostly everything from scratch. Many of their ingredients come from local providers: the Mozzarello di Bufala comes from Natural Pastures in Courtenay, while the salami and prosciutto are made by The Whole Beast in Victoria.

Prima Strada Pizzaria
2960 Bridge Street, Victoria
230 Cook Street, Victoria

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hotel Magnolia

Hotel Magnolia is one of "Victoria's Secrets"!! Because of its fantastic location near the harbour, this elegant boutique hotel is within easy walking distance to numerous destinations in and around Victoria. Known for its friendly professional staff and high standards of housekeeping, the Hotel Magnolia was awarded Top Hotel in Canada and Top Luxury Hotel by Trip Advisors Travellors' Choice for three years now. Amenities include a compact fitness room, infrared sauna, newly expanded spa, and passes to the nearby YMCA. The rooms are tasteful, spotless, and spacious; many have lovely views of the Inner Harbour and the Parliament buildings.

A complimentary continental breakfast (nothing to write home about, but an added bonus nonetheless) is offered every morning from 6:30 -10:00 a.m. Overall, the Hotel Magnolia offers consistently unmatched service, excellent accommodation, convenient location, and knowledgable staff. It's always a favorite place to stay for us whenever we visit British Columbia's gorgeous capital city.

Hotel Magnolia
623 Pandora St.
Victoria, BC

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hotel Rialto

One of Victoria's well run boutique hotels, the Hotel Rialto is located within several blocks of the Inner Harbour. Built in 1911, the original hotel was known as the Prince George Hotel but was closed during the 1920s. After Prohibition, it became the Hotel Douglas and was a well loved Victoria landmark for many years. It underwent extensive renovations and was reopened in 2009 as the Hotel Rialto; its present owner is from the Veneto region of Italy which explains the hotel's many Italian design elements such as marble floors and gilt framed mirrors. Its restaurant, the Veneto Tapa Lounge, was awarded "Canada's top Ten Best New Restaurants in 2010". Rooms are tasteful and well appointed; however, our room was a little noisy from the street below. Staff at the front desk are professional and courteous and very knowledgable about the ins and outs of Victoria.

Hotel Rialto
653 Pandora Avenue