All photos are now clickable.
We started our day with breakfast at our favorite breakfast spot - little café called Central Bistro. We always liked this place. However, this time it was pretty disappointing. Due to some kind of sport event there were more customers than usually and while we got a table right away we had to wait for our meal for very long time. When we got our food, potatoes in both dishes tasted pretty bad, like if cooked potatoes sat in a fridge for a while before they were fried. We were planning eating there next day but after eating there once decided to eat our breakfast in Whistler.
After breakfast we had a nice stroll along English Bay promenade and then picked our car and drove around Stanley Park. Stanley Park is beautiful during any time of the year (or at least every time we have visited it). This time it was a peak of rose blooming. They had so many interesting varieties! We came back to Stanley Park again between walking through the Gastown and the dinner and did a lot of walking. We always visit Gastown for its cool souvenir stores, classy Native art galleries and funky steam clock. We also visited Chinese Garden near Vancouver's Chinatown.
For dinner we went to a seafood restaurant I was planning to try for a couple of years – Pink Peppercorn. This restaurant was run by Edward Geekiyanage (Eddy), former lunch chef of Vancouver’s legendary restaurant The Cannery’s that was in business for 39 years before its closure in 2010. They served very similar food of the same excellent quality.
For appetizers we ordered Tartar Trio (Ahi tuna, salmon & scallops with soy wasabi sauce) and Fried Calamari. Tartar was served in three little glass bowls over butter lettuce and was very tasty. Seasoning was used sparingly and did not overpower the wonderful taste of super-fresh ingredients. Calamari were the best we ever had (and we had a lot of various preparations of calamari). They were very-very fresh, lightly breaded and perfectly tender. For main entrée Alex chose Sauteed Scallops & Prawns served with basmati rice, market vegetables, garlic, white wine & herb butter sauce. Again, his seafood was perfectly prepared and very fresh. I had Ahi Tuna "Pepper Crust" accompanied with fresh herbs & lemon pepper risotto & a lemon butter sauce. Tuna was just seared on outside and pink and juicy inside – totally perfect. The only thing that was less than perfect was their risotto – it was a bit overcooked. However, our overall experience was heavenly. While their portions were not huge, we were barely able to finish our food.
We spent most of day 9 driving on Hwy 99 - Sea to Sky Highway. It was the first time we were taking this highway and it was breathtaking. The Sea to Sky Highway does it all, just as its name says: from its sea level beginnings at Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver to its height past little town of Lillooet. As people are saying, this route represents one of the greatest compact North American scenic powerhouses that you can enjoy from a car. Sweeping vistas greet you at every corner -- it was a beautiful drive.
We stopped in Whistler, eat breakfast and walked around the village. Then we stopped at Shannon Falls and walked to the viewing area. The waterfall was composed of a series of cliffs, rising 335 meters above Highways 99, making it the third highest falls in British Columbia. We were planning to visit couple more falls - Brandywine Falls, Nairn Falls but hikes to the viewing areas were too long. We were short of time and my knee was acting us so we decided to pass them this time especially because we still had a lot of other waterfalls ahead of us.
When we arrived to Kamloops, our destination for day 9, we started from dinner at Terra. I would rate this restaurant as highly as Alchemy Restaurant in Ashland which was our best experience so far. We went there based on Tripadvisor reviews and were not disappointed. We shared two appetizers – Ahi and Albacore tuna tartar with citrus, capers and crostini and bison carpaccio with lemon truffle dressing, root chips, spicy greens and scallion oil. They were simply heavenly. I even asked for the tartar recipe and got it. So when we come back home I will try yet another tuna tartar preparation.
For main dish Alex had halibut served over pea risotto and I had Angus flat iron steak with baby potatoes, spiced aioli and red wine jus. Both dishes were prepared perfectly and used very high quality ingredients.
Then we checked into our hotel – The Plaza Hotel. It was nice and very friendly hotel on Kampoops' main street. Our room was on a smaller side but still very comfortable. Unfortunately, the bathroom and especially the shower were very small. It was actually pretty challenging to use the shower and I am not a big person. They had nice full breakfast with free range eggs and great bacon in a restaurant on a first floor included in price.
To be continued...