Cheap Appetite has now moved to Tumblr. Please check it out.

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Hello my beloved readers,

It’s been almost a year since my last post. My dog, Angus, has now all grown up and no longer need most of my spare time. This means I can work on my blog again! But I’d like to start fresh. So I decided to move from WordPress to Tumblr. The content of the new Cheap Appetite will be concise, straight-to-the-point and mobile-friendly. The original version of Cheap Appetite can always be accessed via

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Please come check it out. Hope to see you all soon,




Cheap Appétit Recipe No. 005: Leftover Fried Rice with Jasmine Green Tea Soup (Microwave Oven Recipe)

By Tana Kosiyabong

Leftover Yang Chow Fried Rice with Jasmine Green Tea Soup

I was looking forward to staying an extra hour longer under my warm, cozy blanket this daylight-saving Sunday. Unfortunately, Angus, my pet dog, has never heard of such a concept. He still woke up the same time as usual (though it’s now an hour earlier on the clock) and demanded to go potty ASAP. I had no choice but to get off my bed and strolled the chilly street with Angus and a few poo bags. After the morning ritual, I fed him with his raw food diet and jumped right back to bed.

A couple of hours later, I finally got hungry. However, I’d rather stay home with a warm blanket than went out for a grub in the cold. So I searched through the fridge and found a box of the leftover Yang Chow fried rice I had from a few nights ago. That’s good enough for a starter. A minute later, an idea came to me. Here’s how I fixed my brunch earlier today: […]

Bánh Mì Dặc Biệt at Ba Le Sandwich Shop – A Special Vietnamese Meal under Five Bucks

By Tana Kosiyabong

Ba Le sandwich Dac Biet Banh Mi in Vancouver Chinatown

It has been a while since my previous post. But I have a good excuse. Recently I have adopted a French Bulldog puppy named Angus. He is a real handful. I hardly have time to rest, let alone writing a new blog post. So in the next little while (depending on how well Angus behaves), please be patient with my irregular post schedule.

Now let’s get back to the Cheap Appetite. A couple of weeks ago, I went out for a dim sum lunch. However, on the way there, I realized that I only had five bucks and changes in my pocket. Too lazy to go back for more money, I headed to Ba Le Sandwich Shop in Chinatown instead. […]

A Pizzeria War on Abbot Street — Fresh Slice Pizza vs Uncle Fatih’s Pizza

By Tana Kosiyabong

fresh slice pizza vs uncle fatih's pizza

If you live around the International Village, you’d probably notice a pizzeria war on the 600 block of Abbot street. Fresh Slice and Uncle Fatih’s are duking it out to rule the block. Who knows how long the fight will go on. But as a cheap appetiter, I’m quite happy to take advantage of their rivalry. […]

Thank you Vancouver Heroes. $1 McDonald’s Iced Coffee. And How To Get More Out Of Your Starbucks Iced Coffee.

By Tana Kosiyabong

black iced coffee and milk iced coffee at Starbucks

Most of you have already heard about the recent riot here in Vancouver. But you may not hear about several heroes who stood up against the rioters. And many others who helped cleaning up the riot scene afterward. These heroes make me proud to be a Vancouverite. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

Now let’s get back to the Cheap Appetite mission. The weather is getting warmer. And the best deal in town to cool down is the new McDonald’s promo: $1 for any size soft drinks or iced coffee. However, finding a participating McDonald’s that serves a $1 iced coffee is almost as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. A few stores near my condo and my office don’t have it. The closest one I found is about 30-minute walk away. It won’t make sense to go that far just for a cheap glass of iced coffee. […]

A Great Value Meal under $4—Quarter Pound Hot Dog, Drink and Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone at Costco Food Court

By Tana Kosiyabong

Costco hot dog, drink and ice cream. All for $3.98

I was working with my friend Grant a couple of weeks ago on a freelance project at a coffee shop near Tinseltown. Around lunch time, he told me that I should check out Costco Food Court for the next Cheap Appetite mission. I was hesitated at first because I thought it was for Costco member only. I’d rather not write about the place where only a few readers can check it out. To my surprise, Grant assured me that everyone can dine there.

So we walked down the Abbott Street and turned right onto the Expo Boulevard. Costco Food Court is located just across the street from the Rogers Arena where the Vancouver Canucks play. There was already a long line of patrons when we arrived. […]

$3.99 Breakfast Special and a Ring Side View for the Trainspotters

By Tana Kosiyabong

Breakfast Special with two eggs, hash browns, bacons and toasts.

Last weekend, I went out for brunch with my friend, Peter. He wanted to check out a restaurant called the Red Wagon which received a rave review from the Globe and Mail. Unfortunately, Peter wasn’t the only one who had read the article. There were a bunch of patrons waiting to be seated when we reached the restaurant. Neither of us want to waste at least half an hour just to get a table. So I told Peter to drive a few block north and turn left onto Powell Street where I remembered seeing a couple of cheap breakfast joints before. And sure enough, they were there.

Luckily, we got a rockstar parking spot right in front of the restaurant called J’s Grill and Pasta. So we walked right in and didn’t even bother checking out the other breakfast joint located a block away. I felt like I was transported back into the 70s. The décor was outdated. The floor was covered with hunter green carpet. But thanks to the big windows in the front and the back, the shabby joint didn’t look dingy. […]

We’re Suckers for the Half-Price Starbucks Frappuccino.

By Tana Kosiyabong, Sharon, Kylie and Stacey

Starbucks Half-Price Frappuccino Promotion

Last Friday, my coworker Sharon came over to my desk and told me about the half-price Starbucks Frappuccino. “Let’s go now,” I exclaimed. “Well, we have to wait until 3 pm,” she replied. According to Starbucks website, the Frappuccino Happy Hour is only valid between 3 and 5 pm, from May 6 to 15, 2011. I don’t know why they came out with this promotion when the weather is still cold. But I don’t care because I’m a sucker for all kinds of cheap food and drinks. (Sharon and several other coworkers in the office are also suckers for the half-price fraps.)

At 3 pm sharp, Sharon walked by my desk again. She had already put on her jacket and was ready to go. “C’mon, it’s time!” she said. Without hesitation, I jumped off the chair and we were on our way to the Starbucks store across the street. […]

Kim Ga Nae’s Five-Item Special—The Choices Are Yours.

By Tana Kosiyabong

Kim Ga Nae 5-item special $7.99

Last week I got on a Canada Line skytrain to the Arberdeen Station in Richmond again. But this time, instead of going straight to the Arberdeen Centre Food Court, I headed the opposite direction. On my previous trips, I had noticed a strip mall located next to the Arberdeen Station, (across the street from the Richmond Acura Dealer). So I was curious to see if could find any interesting restaurant there.

Once I was in the strip mall, I then realized it was a lot bigger than I saw from the station. This mall is the home of many Asian restaurants. But I was drawn to a promo sign in front of a Korean restaurant called Kim Ga Nae. The huge yellow banner featured “Any 5 Items only $7.99.” I wasn’t sure exactly what the deal was, but it made me want to check it out. […]