As this event was by invitation, all food and drinks were complimentary.
A few weeks ago I was dining with a friend at a local restaurant when she mentioned that the menu had multiple meals that were meant to be shared between two people. She then excitedly pointed to the burger, and wondered how big of a monstrosity it had to be in order to feed at least two people. Confused, I looked at the Mealshare logo that she was pointing out on the menu next to the burger. I laughed, let her know she wouldn’t be eating a monstrous burger that evening, and then explained to her that the Mealshare logo meant that the restaurant would be donating $1 from the purchase of the meal towards feeding hungry youth. She’s since texted me to tell me that she now sees the logo everywhere she goes, and to thank me for stopping her from making a complete fool of herself at a restaurant by asking the waitress why the shared burger is only regular sized.
Although my friend may have been oblivious to Mealshareuntil recently, most people are not. Over 50 restaurants in the Vancouver area participate in the program, and together they’ve provided over 210 000 meals to youth in need. Mealshare also operates in Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Halifax, and they recently celebrated their 1 millionth meal provided to someone in need at the beginning of the month. If you’re looking for more information on how the program works, you can read more here.
Number of meals provided through Fortune House and Mealshare
Another Mealshare record was recently broken by Fortune House Restaurant located inside Metropolis at Metrotown. Although the restaurant only began participating in the program less than a year ago, they quickly broke the record for the fastest restaurant to reach 20 000 donations (which they managed to do in only 9 months!). To celebrate this achievement, Mealshare and Fortune House hosted a dinner for close friends and media. During the event, which I was fortunate enough to attend, the restaurant served some of the Mealshare items from their menu
To begin the celebration, we were each presented with a martini glass filled with Chinese-Style Tempura. This included a variety of vegetables, including eggplant, potato, green bean, and yam, all of which were cooked until soft. I’d never previously heard of Chinese-style tempura, and found the batter to form a thinner, flakier crust than the panko used in Japanese-style tempura. On their own I found them to be a little lacking in flavour, but dipped into the accompanying sweet sauce, they were a tasty way too start the meal.
Shrimp Spring Roll, Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf, and Ha Gow
We were next presented with a Dim Sum Sampler featuring a Shrimp Spring Roll, Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf, and Ha Gow. The spring rolls were super crispy without being greasy, and the shrimp within had a nice snap. The mini sticky rice in a lotus leaf was pretty standard with savoury, sticky rice. I quite enjoyed the miniature version of it, as I usually find the larger sizes too much. But my favorite of the three dim sum items was the Ha Gow. Not only were the shrimp within still bouncy and fresh, but there was just the right amount of sesame oil within to enhance the natural sweetness of the shrimp without overwhelming it (a pet peeve of mine).
Deep Fried Boneless Tilapia in Sweet and Sour Sauce
The most visually appealing dish we were served was the Deep Fried Boneless Tilapia in Sweet and Sour Sauce with crispy rice cakes. The white fish was moist and flakey despite being deep fried, and the breaded coating was crispy without being greasy. I appreciated that the sweet and sour sauce was only lightly drizzled atop the dish, unlike in many dishes where the ingredients are bathed in it. This prevented the dish from being too sweet, and allowed the natural flavours of the fish to come through. The crispy rice cakes beneath were fairly standard, and worked well to catch any excess sauce.
But the real star of the evening, and the dish that is credited for Fortune House’s fast success with Mealshare, is the Emoji Bun created by the daughter of the owner – Elaine Cheng. This was an item created specifically with the purpose of trying to get more people to buy the mealshare item. Decorated with a happy face and filled with salted yolk, the bun is not only the perfect adorable end to a meal, but it’s also fun to eat! All around us people were poking holes into the mouths of the Emoji Buns, and softly squeezing out the salted egg yolk from within. Nothing beats playing with your food!
A video posted by Foodgressing.com | Areta 🍴 (@foodgressing) on
Fortune House is looking forward to breaking more Mealshare records in the future, but to do so, they need your support. When dining at their restaurant (or other restaurants partnered with Mealshare), be sure to look out for the small Mealshare logo next to menu items. Not only will you still be able to order some delicious food, but you’ll also be supporting a really, really great cause. One meal for you, one meal for someone in need. Congratulations to Fortune House!