Creme Brulee Quest

Vancouver is beloved by many, for reasons as diverse as the array its attractions, and the global composition of its visitors. Besides the obvious aesthetic, climatic and recreational allure of this favoured destination, recently I discovered something culinary that sets a standard the ‘Creme Brulee’.

As I looked at menus in all the restaurants that I had been visiting, one thing that repeatedly stood out was that most had some type of variation of Creme Brulee’s on their menu and each appeared to be different. This is where my quest began with this ultimate dessert indulgence. Somewhat of a stark contrast of a creamy chilled custard, beneath a crisp shell of caramelized sugar makes for a wonderful ending to a meal. Some restaurants cover theirs with fruit and other garnishes, and others mix flavours ranging from sake to jasmine, right into the custard. Garnishing a creme brulee is like plunking ice cubes into your glass of the Okanagan’s finest merlot.

My Creme Brulee quest was for 1 week and in that week I was able to sample 5 very different brulee’s from restaurants in Vancouver, here is my take on some of the city’s best brulee’s. This isn’t in any ranking order but I’ve given you my notes on each that I tried.

Grand Marnier Creme Brulee

Grand Marnier Creme Brulee

1) Grand Marnier Creme Brulee (Au Petit Chauvignol, 843 East Hastings Street, Vancouver) $7

A simple French style brulee that is served in a larger somewhat flat dish a refreshing taste of Grand Marnier in their brulee, delicious and wasn’t too rich.

Sake Kasu Creme Brulee

Sake Kasu Creme Brulee

2) Sake Kasu Creme Brulee (Kingyo, 871 Denman Street, Vancouver) $4.50

Chef Koji Zenimaru made this brulee from remnants of the sake making process into a divine brulee that was one of my favourites in the quest. This was absolutely delicious and the flavour and texture was perfect, garnished with a black Sesame cracker.

Creme Brulee Shooter

Creme Brulee Shooter

3) Creme Brulee Shooter (Glowbal, 1079 Mainland Street, Vancouver) $8

Served in a shooter glass that is cold filled with Baileys irish cream and topped with their vanilla bean Creme Brulee, crisped caramelized top. The Irish cream came thru on the finish.

White Chocolate Jasmine Creme Brulee

White Chocolate Jasmine Creme Brulee

4) White Chocolate Jasmine Creme Brulee (Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, 1118 Mainland Street, Vancouver) $7

The brulee is served with a couple of ginger shortbread cookies, it is a light and refreshing brulee and I loved the Jasmine flavour.

Hazelnut Creme Brulee

Hazelnut Creme Brulee

5) Hazelnut Creme Brulee (The Refinery, 1115 Granville Street, Vancouver) $9

This brulee was a real treat, topped with crushed hazelnuts with a rich taste it was served with chocolate sea salt biscotti.

The Creme Brulee’s below were ones that were recommended, too late for my quest and I wasn’t able to try them time around.

Macha Green Tea Creme Brulee (Irashai Grill, 1368 W. Pender Street, Vancouver)

Lemon Thyme Creme Brulee (Elixer, 322 Davie Street, Vancouver)

Classic Vanilla Creme Brulee (Les Faux Bourguois, 663 E. 15th Avenue, Vancouver

Crème Brûlée with Apples, Nutmeg & Cinnamon (Salt Tasting Room, 45 Blood Alley, Vancouver)

Amarena Cherry Creme Brulee (CinCin, 1154 Robson Street, Vancouver)

Seems the majority of restaurants around the city make Creme Brulee and one could eat them daily for months!

By: Richard Wolak