99 Powell Street, Vancouver
Advice: Bring a friend or two and share dishes. Reservations suggested.
With the abundant variety of restaurants featuring Chinese cuisine around the city, this eatery goes the modern route with a twist on the traditional in their focus on Modern Chinese. Chef Scott Korzack is creative and inventive in his approach with ingredients and flavours. I had dined previously on some snacks, this time around my friend Websturr joined me on a wonderful culinary journey. Started off with their house-baked Bread and Butter ($4) Ginseng honey; followed by the Wood Ear ($4) Wood ear mushrooms, ginger scallion, sesame oil and the outstanding Law Bak Go ($9) radish cake, smoked brisket, chili oil. Their bartenders are equally inventive with their line-up of cocktails, Bartender Buck Friend has created quite the cocktail list, I loved the Hot Water & Lemon ($12) Hendricks gin, homemade limoncello, ginger and rose tea and Websturr had The Cabin ($11) smokey lapsang infused brandy, cream and egg.
Next was the BBQ Pork Buns ($9) pulled pork in Chinese bbq sauce, seared buns and pickles and you get 2 of these buns in an order; the Grilled Octopus ($14) potatoes, salted duck yolk mayo, celtuce followed. The Steelhead ($19) house-made X.O. sauce, turnip, mizuna was a memorable standout dish with subtle flavours and a hint of heat from the X.O. sauce. As we were relishing through the dishes, the next two were outstanding yet again, so happy that I took fellow writer Nikki Bayley’s nod and ordered the Lamb ($16) Five grains, leek, cauliflower which was full of varying textures and flavours; I then added a side order of the Eggplant ($7) black tea, with popped grains and again wonderful textures and full of flavour.
My culinary journey or any meal in fact is never complete without dessert and we were so excited to try Scott’s desserts. He a chef who is not a pastry chef, has continued his flair of using textures and great flavours from the savouries to sweet. My favourite of all of them and we tried them all was the outstanding Squash Cake ($8) with apples, walnuts, dulcey cremeux, and osmanthus textures, flavours, WOW! My 2nd favourite was the delicious Rice Pudding ($8) served warm, it was light and refreshing with notes of citrus, Chrysanthemum, sesame & mandarin, huge wow factor in flavours and textures! Lastly we shared the Ginger Parfait ($8) White chocolate, and candied kumquat. This is a chef you are going to want to keep an eye on and it’s a restaurant you best get in to visit soon.
Review by: Richard Wolak