I recently spent a week test driving the Acura MDX 2018 car around the city while I was out and about trying some new dishes and such at restaurants inside and outside of Vancouver.
Visited the newly opened Ugly Dumpling on Commercial Drive where the menu is largely made up of Japanese share plates which changes almost daily if not hourly.
Some of the dishes that I loved here were the Swiss chard and Kale Goma-ae, Pork, dried shrimp, Lemongrass Dumplings, Panko Fried Tomatoes as well as the First Harvest Shizuoka rice with green uni & pickles; the Steamed potatoes with spicy cod roe butter & nasturtium; The Staff Meal as it is called on the menu board, is a nightly changing feature of their staff meal; the night that I ordered, it was a dish of homemade udon noodles in clear chicken broth; and lastly for dessert, the incredible Sweet Kabocha Pudding, with salted plum caramel, hazelnut crumb.
Acura’s MDX is a midsize, with three-rows of seats it boasts collision-mitigation braking, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control with low speed follow. Low speed follow maintains a desired distance from the vehicle in front at speeds under the set speed. Rear-view cameras and automatic high-beam headlamp adjustment are also standard.
Another great spot I visited on Commercial Drive was Sopra Sotto, here I watched Chef Enrico Fratoni make his Chitarrine e Tartufo a pasta dish which was in my pasta challenge, here I also enjoyed the House-made Focaccia, and the classic Tiramisu with ladyfingers soaked in espresso, layered with Mascarpone cream and topped with crushed chocolate and cocoa powder.
The next day, I was back on the drive for some lunch at the popular Daddy’s Kitchen, here I had a Thai Iced Tea, an Avocado Salad Roll, and Sushi boat.
On the West side of the city, I visited one of my favourite Italian spots, Novo Pizzeria has been serving up house-made pastas, pizzas and other dishes for over the past 5 years. On this visit I enjoyed the Bucatini with Braised Guanciale and Orange, the Panzanella Salad and the delicious Citrus Olive oil cake with orange blossom honey whipped cream, and pistachios.
The next evening I visited The Rise Eatery to taste some of their new dishes on their fall menu, the restaurant’s focus is Asian fusion and many of their dishes have creative names to match the flavours of each dish. Here I had the Wheel of Screams, this was their Halloween version of the “Wheel of Nosh” ; also had The Routine which is their take on a poutine which is made with ramen, cheese curds and miso gravy; also had Gone Fishing which was a zucchini and carrot rice pasta made with grilled scallops & tiger prawns and yuzukosho cream. The Buried Treasure was one of my favourite dishes and it was a vegan one with miso butter braised cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts & broccoli, house-made dukkah, lemon tahini, dried cranberries & mandarin orange. For dessert, Pump It Up a mini pumpkin with a delicious pumpkin & banana crème brûlée inside.
The next day, I took a drive to Kitsilano for lunch to visit newly opened Chewie’s Biscuit Company, I had the The Stoner which is a delicious fried chicken breast, on a biscuit with stone ground mustard, honey and bread and butter pickles.
The Technology features include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts and rain-sensing front windshield wipers.
Every MDX has LED headlights and taillights, power moonroofs, power tailgates, leather seats with power-adjustable and heated front seats, keyless entry with push-button start, tri-zone automatic climate control, four USB ports and three 12-volt power outlets, and active sound control.
I loved the standard infotainment setup with an 8-inch color display includes the Acura Premium Audio System with eight speakers, a CD/MP3/WMA compatible disc player, Bluetooth streaming audio support, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio for my listening pleasure.
At night, drove to the Gastown neighborhood for some Moroccan dishes at Moltaqa Restaurant, one of my favourite new restaurants to open this year. I enjoyed some of their Moroccan tea, along with the outstanding Veal Shank Couscous with cherry and date sauce and some Spiced Oranges to finish.
Lastly I took drive out to Richmond to Origo Club which is located near the Oval, here Barista and coffee bar Manager Remi Ho made me an Espresso Macchiato and an Espresso.
I really enjoyed the Acura MDX it was a great car to drive around Vancouver in the to try some great eateries.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: Honda Canada provided me with the 2018 Acura MDX for a week to test drive, and photograph.