Posts Tagged ‘beer’

SAI WOO

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160 East Pender Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-568-1117

Web: http://www.saiwoo.ca/

Twitter: @doyousaiwoo

Advice: Reservations suggested.

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With a nod to the history of its 1930’s predecessor, Sai Woo Chop Suey, occupied the same footprint, and the contemporary version is poised to become a hub of the reinvigorated neighbourhood. The restaurant is stunning in its interior design, boasting two levels: the 113-seat upper floor is home to a dining area, bar and Chef’s Table; the 75-seat lower floor features its own bar and smaller menu, inviting guests to linger long into the evening. Owned by restaurateur Salli Pateman she has created a foundation with a stellar team. The menu mixes influences from Executive Chef Douglas Chang upbringing of his Canadian, Chinese and Jamaican roots.

Kom Collins

Kom Collins

Cola Wings

Cola Wings

Beef Carpaccio Salad

Beef Carpaccio Salad

Salt Cod Fritters

Salt Cod Fritters

Bar Manager Justin Anello has created an inventive cocktail list, I enjoyed the Kom Collins ($12) with Bombay Saphire east, O5 Tea Kombucha, cucumber, lemon and mint. Sitting at the bar I then indulged trying several dishes including the unique and delicious Cola Wings ($14) marinated overnight in coca cola served on a bed of shredded lettuce. Next was the Beef Carpaccio Salad ($14), Mustard Greens, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Cress and Fried Shallots. Loved the Salt Cod Fritters ($9) with Meyer lemon cream, with great flavours.

Black Cod

Black Cod

Fried Rice

Fried Rice

Next was the outstanding Black Cod ($25) Baked Sablefish, Lotus Root, Bamboo Shoots, Radish, Burdock in a delicious Kombu Broth; followed by the outstanding Fried Rice ($12) with pearl rice, egg and preserved vegetables.

Sweet Tofu

Sweet Tofu

Steamed Molasses Rum Cake

Steamed Molasses Rum Cake

The Smoking Gun

The Smoking Gun

For dessert I had both of their offerings, the unique and sensational, Sweet Tofu ($8) almond tofu, ginger syrup, toasted almond shiso; along with the Steamed Molasses Rum Cake ($10) served with butter and preserves, baked to order in 20 minutes, an outstanding dessert. Dinner came to an end with another one of Justin’s cocktails, his signature which is a show unto itself, The Smoking Gun!

With an equally matched chef and bar manager at the helm, look for exciting cocktails and dishes as you dine their often.

Review by: Richard Wolak

PATRON TACOS & CANTINA

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265 Robson Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-558-3368

Web: http://www.patrontc.com/

Twitter: @patrontc

Advice: Reservations suggested for larger parties, walkins welcome.

Tortilla Chips and Salsa

Tortilla Chips and Salsa

Mole Chicken Enchiladas

Mole Chicken Enchiladas

Three Milk Cake

Three Milk Cake

A true cantina, this Mexican eatery has been turning out stellar favourites since opening a couple of years ago. Chef Enrique Menendez leads the kitchen, and his menu is filled with traditional dishes from Mexico. The bar features an extensive lineup of Tequilas, and cocktails such as the popular margaritas. Complimentary chips and salsa are served after ordering, and you can refill the chips for a nominal charge. I have dined on a few occasions in the past, enjoying a variety of tacos and the Huaraches, most recently I had the Enchiladas ($13.50) with chicken and mole sauce, topped with feta cheese, sour cream, with rice and beans, one of my favourite Mexican dishes! For dessert I had the delicious Three Milk Cake ($7) love this traditional Mexican dessert!

This is a great spot for dining solo or with friends.

Review by: Richard Wolak

Big Rock Urban Brewery Opening

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Last night, I attended the opening party at Big Rock Urban Brewery in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood close to the Olympic Village station. The brewery is a beauty and it is quite the operation, along with a large restaurant and bar that seats 200 people with a stage for live bands, retail store, tasting bar and growler fill station.

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Guests were treated to 3 drink tickets each with beer stations located throughout the establishment offering up selection of their local BC brews as well as their Alberta brews, it was beer on tap, by the bottle or cider.

Bacon wrapped dates

Bacon wrapped dates

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese

Beer

Beer

Delicious eats were being served all night long in distinct areas of the brewery, restaurant and bar which included Bacon wrapped dates on skewers, grilled cheese sandwiches, tempura dipped eggplant pizza, duck pizza, porcini ravioli with harissa, chicken meatballs with pineapple, hop salted fries, and so much more.

Executive Chef Alex Newton

Executive Chef Alex Newton

Executive Chef Alex Newton has created a great menu of tempting dishes and many are accented using their own beer.

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You can visit Big Rock Brewery and Restaurant at 310 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver. Follow them on Twitter @BRUeateryYVR

By: Richard Wolak

WISHES + LUCK

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2270 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 484-9371

Web: https://instagram.com/wishesandluck/

Twitter: @wishes_and_luck

Advice: No reservations. Closed Mondays.

Crispy Pork Bits

Crispy Pork Bits

Salad of Squash

Salad of Squash

Owned by Chef Ciaran Chung & Dolly Reno they have created a menu of share plates with a focus on using local ingredients creating colourful plates that brings a dash of vibrancy to the dining experience. My friend Kenneth Cho joined me for dinner as we shared some dishes, we began with the Crispy Pork Bits delicious with the grainy mustard mayo and slices of radish; we then enjoyed the Salad of Squash a stunning plate with fresh house-made cheese, and citrus.

Meatballs + Cheesy Toast

Meatballs + Cheesy Toast

BC Salmon

BC Salmon

Next was the Meatballs + Cheesy Toast, hearty and delicious with pieces of cheese toast in a rich tomato sauce; this was followed by the glorious BC Salmon with artichokes, potatoes, radishes, and Bagna cauda.

Buttermilk Pannacotta

Buttermilk Pannacotta

Chocolate Fig Cake

Chocolate Fig Cake

Caramelized Pear Tart Tatin

Caramelized Pear Tart Tatin

The journey continued as we enjoyed all three of their desserts, the outstanding Buttermilk Pannacotta with grapes and almond biscotti; along with the very unique Chocolate Fig Cake with chunks of fig in a dense chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream and blood orange segments; lastly the warmed Caramelized Pear Tart Tatin with ginger ice cream for a sweet finish to an amazing meal. You’ll find the cocktail bar a great place to sit when dining solo and a cocktail list to match the equally inventive dishes!

Review by: Richard Wolak

KINOME JAPANESE KITCHEN

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2511 West Broadway, Vancouver

Tel: 778-379-1925

Web: https://www.facebook.com/KinomeJapaneseKitchen

Twitter: n/a

Advice: Takes Reservations and Walk-Ins Welcome. Closed Tuesdays.

Crown Daisy & Cashew nut Goma-ae

Crown Daisy & Cashew nut Goma-ae

Snow crab, shiitake, mitsuba with Uni ponzu

Snow crab, shiitake, mitsuba with Uni ponzu

Agedashi Kabocha Pumpkin

Agedashi Kabocha Pumpkin

Chopped Kale & Prawn Karage Tempura

Chopped Kale & Prawn Karaage Tempura

Zaru Soba

Zaru Soba

With owner Chef Ryoma at the helm running this open kitchen, his team of chefs are meticulous in the preparation of each dish. It’s all about small plates and bowls that are full of flavour and unique Japanese ingredients that are sourced locally for the most part. Every dish I had was on point, beautiful in presentation as well as wonderful flavours in the dishes. I began with the delicious, Crown Daisy & Cashew nut Goma-ae ($5); this was followed by the stunning, Snow crab, shiitake, mitsuba with Uni ponzu ($7). Next was the outstanding Agedashi Kabocha Pumpkin ($7) with prawn dashi sauce; followed by the Chopped Kale & Prawn Karaage Tempura ($7) with dipping sauce which had good crunch elements and was flavourful as well. Lastly, since Soba is always meant to have finishing the savoury part of the meal, I had one of their star specialties, simple and elegant, the Zaru Soba ($10) handmade buckwheat noodles with a cold soy based dipping sauce served on a bamboo pad and I would suggest you stir some of the noodles into the dipping sauce cup, twirl and indulge with chopsticks.

You will find a great selection of sake on offer at this hidden gem along with some Japanese beers to round out the beverage offerings. There is also a range of home-made desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Review by: Richard Wolak

ARGAN BISTRO

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795 Jervis Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-563-8466

Web: http://arganbistro.com/

Twitter: @ArganBistro

Advice: Reservations suggested.

Ever evolving this is a hidden gem and the latest eatery from Chef Nourdine Majdoubi and his partner Kevin Lin, both who are passionate about cuisine from Morocco and the area outside. Chef Nourdine is known for creating flavourful and unique dishes, he has the flair and experience from his background in cooking French cuisine.

Sweet and Spicy Wings

Sweet and Spicy Wings

Cod Croquette

Cod Croquette

I visited for dinner, starting off with the Sweet and Spicy Wings ($9) Marrakesh style with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce made with Thai chillis, and I loved this dish, both with and without the dipping sauce! Next was the Cod Croquette ($11) which is perfect for sharing, 4 pieces with a harissa dip.

Meatball Pappardelle

Meatball Pappardelle

Moroccan-style Chicken Fricassee

Moroccan-style Chicken Fricassee

I indulged in a couple of mains, the outstanding Meatball Pappardelle ($19) with a Moroccan rose sauce made with a Moroccan spice blend, and grana Padano on top with cubed tomatoes to cut the richness of the dish; this was followed by the delicious Moroccan-style Chicken Fricassee ($20) Gluten Free with flavourful Sauteed mushrooms, carrots and cumin-fennel rice on the side.

Sweet Rice Bastilla

Sweet Rice Bastilla

Cinnamon Churros

Cinnamon Churros

For dessert, I tried two from the selection, my favourite of the two was the Sweet Rice Bastilla ($7) with rosewater, cinnamon, raisins, and almonds; I also had the Homemade Cinnamon Churros with chocolate orange blossom dip ($6).

I am looking forward to returning soon to try more dishes, especially the Chicken & Fries wrap at lunch as well as their brunch menu, and I could even go for some more tapas on their beautiful outside patio.

Review by: Richard Wolak

TACOFINO GASTOWN

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15 West Cordova, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 899-7907

Web: http://tacofino.com/

Twitter: @TacofinoVAN

Advice: No reservations. Taco bar open nightly, the Burrito bar open for lunch thru late night.

My love for Tacofino began a few years ago when their first food truck was on the streets serving up their delicious fish tacos and the addictive spicy diablo cookies. As they evolved in the city with the addition of their East Village commissary, their boldest statement of all was the recent opening of their flagship abode in Gastown. With their Burrito Bar on the Cordova Street side and their Tacofino dining room (entrance off of Blood Alley in the rear) they have pretty much come full circle and have enticed my palate further. The space is beautiful, designed by local designer Shiloh Sukkau, there are many handmade details and local artists take pride of place.

Oaxacan Corn Fritters

Oaxacan Corn Fritters

 Glazed Beef Ribs

Glazed Beef Ribs

Churros

Churros

I have dined at both sides of this eatery, over dinner sitting at the bar, I had the delicious and flavourful Oaxacan Corn Fritters ($6) with chili lime, Cotija, probably the most addicting appetizer that we have seen in a long time! I also had the Glazed Beef Ribs ($17) with chilaquiles an amazing plate of merging flavours with lemongrass, habanero, kale and peanuts. The dessert front could use some work, since I love Churros and would order them in a heartbeat, these didn’t come close to winning my heart, served in a cute paper bag, the Churros ($6) were pillowy bite size, deep-fried agave coated morsels.

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Crispy Chicken Burito

Crispy Chicken Burito

On the other side of this eatery is the exciting Burrito Bar and this they have nailed, finally an eatery that reinvents the burrito in our city. It is a small eatery with about 10 seats, and a take-out option which is really the way to go here. A simple menu with a selection of inventive filled burritos, I had the delicious and outstanding Crispy Chicken Burito ($11) with chicken karaage, rice, black chili mayo, sriracha, cabbage, cilantro, guacamole, filled in a flour tortilla.  This is a spot that is going to become one of my frequenting takeout locales!

Review by: Richard Wolak

CORDUROY PIE COMPANY

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758 West 16th Ave, Vancouver

Tel: 604-709-0200

Web: http://www.corduroypie.com/

Twitter: @CorduroyPieCo

Advice: Whole pizza pies to eat in or takeout.

The latest in new pizzerias joins a lineup of top notch spots with a very good crispy edged crust. Gragham Marceau is the chef behind the dough so to speak, he is the pizza man having worked his way up the pizza ladder at pizzerias around the city, he knows the ingredients and flavours and he is creating some mean pizza pies.

Lamb Sausage Pizza

Lamb Sausage Pizza

Bacon & Potato Pizza

Bacon & Potato Pizza

Margarita

Margarita

I indulged in a few, my favourites were the delicious House-made Lamb Sausage Pizza ($16) with kale and roasted red grapes on a white sauce; and the outstanding Bacon & Potato Pizza ($16) which was flavourful with double smoked bacon, Yukon gold potato, roasted onions, oregano, parmesan, provolone and white sauce. The other pizza I tried was a classic Margarita ($13) with mozzarella, basil, olive oil and red sauce; all pizzas made with fresh dough! The menu is fairly simple, there is a line-up of pizzas, along with beer, wine and some cocktails to round it all out. The ambiance is hip, with a great soundtrack of tunes, wooden walls, seating for 25 and a very nice wooden bar with views of the open pizza kitchen.

This is a spot that is guaranteed to wake up the neighborhood, watch for the pizza features.

Review by: Richard Wolak

NICLI’S NEXT DOOR

nicli opener

68 West Cordova, Vancouver

Tel: 604-669-6985

Web: http://www.niclisnextdoor.com/

Twitter: @niclisnextdoor

Advice: Walk-ins welcome.

This is a place that I enjoyed after my first visit last summer, my draw for another visit was to try some dishes off of Chef Josh Gale’s new menu. Italian small plates is the name of the game and Josh’s menu is simple in it’s offerings with the emphasis on flavour, using as much local ingredients as available.

Polenta Fries

Polenta Fries

Crostini

Crostini

Pitchfork Farm Beets

Pitchfork Farm Beets

Housemade Vanilla Bean Gelato

Housemade Vanilla Bean Gelato

I had the Polenta Fries ($7) fontina fonduta to start, followed by the outstanding and flavourful, Crostini ($9) topped with housemade ricotta, mostarda preserves and aged balsamic. I then had the Pitchfork Farm Beets ($11) which tasted way better than it looked with stracciatela cheese and hazelnut vinaigrette. Lastly for a sweet simple finish I had the only dessert on the menu which was the Housemade Vanilla Bean Gelato ($6) fennel pecan biscotti with gianduja, a perfect combo.

I sat at the reclaimed wood bar which is the perfect spot to watch all the bar action while glimpsing into the kitchen. There is a full on wine list, along with some beer and a cocktail line-up. I am looking forward to seeing how the menu further develops as Chef Josh adds his flair and ideas in this Italian eatery.

Review by: Richard Wolak

THE FAT BADGER

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1616 Alberni Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604 336 5577

Web: http://www.fatbadger.ca/

Twitter: @the_fat_badger

Advice: Walkins welcome, reservations for 8 or more, communal tables for sharing.

The Chip Buttie

The Chip Buttie

Wild Mushrooms, Leek and Cheese Tart

Wild Mushrooms, Leek and Cheese Tart

Taking British pub fare to the next level is what restaurateurs Ed Perrow and Chef Neil Taylor have achieved with their latest eatery in the WestEnd. I waited months before visiting, perhaps too many as I discovered a true neighborhood gem, where it’s dark inside, has beautiful wooden communal sharing tables along with a fireplace. It’s ambience is as perfect as the setting and it’s food is outstanding. I started off my meal with the The Chip Buttie ($5) which is basically a French fries sandwich, the fries are hand cut, sprinkled with salt & lashings of malt vinegar, the bread is white wonderbread and it is thickly spread with unsalted butter, just as the Brits would eat it back home. I then had the delicious vegetarian Wild Mushrooms, Leek and Cheese Tart ($16) with winter beans, lentils, goats cheese & walnuts that was outstanding and flavourful!

Banana & Fudge Eton Mess

Banana & Fudge Eton Mess

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

For dessert, why have one when you can have two, well my mission was to try the desserts, specifically to try the Eton Mess as I wanted to learn more about this British dessert. Eton mess is a traditional English dessert often consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue, and cream. The dish has been known by this name since the 19th century. They offer different variations of the Eton Mess daily, on offer the night I visited was the Banana & Fudge Eton Mess ($8) with meringue and caramel. The other dessert that I tried was the outstanding Sticky Toffee Pudding ($8), a delicious rich butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream on top, a heavenly ending to a fine meal.

The menu is filled with notable British fare, with specials often featuring curries, fish & chips, pot pies along with various puddings for dessert. This is one spot I look forward to visiting again.

Review by: Richard Wolak

THE COPPER CHIMNEY

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567 Hornby Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-689-8862

Web: http://www.copperchimney.ca/

Twitter: @CopperChimney_1

Advice: Reservations suggested.

Garam Masala Steak Naan Flatbread

Garam Masala Steak Naan Flatbread

Mumbai Chili

Mumbai Chili

Bombay Braised Beef Short Ribs

Bombay Braised Beef Short Ribs

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

As I entered this grande dining room which boasts an impressive staircase to an upstairs seating area, I was struck with an immediate warmth of the room that is adjacent to the Hotel Le Soleil centrally located in downtown Vancouver. There is an open kitchen along the side with comfy seating throughout. My friend Ivan Diaz joined me to share some dishes, we each started out with a glass of Malbec followed by the delicious and very unique Garam Masala Steak Naan Flatbread ($14); followed by the spicy Mumbai Chili ($17) with chorizo sausage and lamb; served with Bhangra naan, and raita salsa. I then had the outstanding Bombay Braised Beef Short Ribs ($21) tender and flavourful beef that was served with mashed potatoes and sambal green beans; and Ivan had the delicious Butter Chicken ($22) basmati rice, Indian seasonal vegetables, and naan bread. For dessert we shared the Gulab Jamun ($9) a heavenly dessert in a warm syrup with coconut flakes!

The emphasis is on Indian fusion and the menu is filled with a variety of snacks which are ideal for sharing, salads, favourites, along with selections from the grill, sides, breads and some desserts. I am looking forward to returning soon to try more dishes.

Review by: Richard Wolak

WIN 2 Tickets to TASTE BC 2015

Enter to WIN one of two pairs of tickets to TASTE BC on January 22, 2015.

 

enter to win

Enter to Win one of two pairs of tickets valued at $100 each.  

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Contest will run until 4 pm on 1/19/15

LILY MAES

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UPDATED 2/19/15 BUSINESS HAS CLOSED

12 Powell Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-558-2599

Web: http://www.lilymaes.ca/

Twitter: @LilyMaesCafe

Advice: Reservations suggested.

 French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Duck Confit

Duck Confit

Apple Walnut Bacon Cake

Apple Walnut Bacon Cake

A charming cozy French-inspired bistro in a brick walled historic building that is over 100 years old, this bistro not only has character it has delicious food. I’ve been in a couple of times, on my latest visit for dinner I had the rich and delicious baked French Onion Soup ($9) filled with onions, broth and French bread covered in cheesy goodness. I then had the tender and perfectly cooked Duck Confit ($20) in a dark cherry sauce with green beans and whipped potatoes; and for dessert, their house specialty of the day, the heavenly Apple Walnut Bacon Cake with vanilla ice cream ($9.50).

The restaurant serves brunch daily (except Mondays) and dinner nightly (except Sunday and Monday) serving French classics along with some daily specials. This is a wonderful spot to dine on your own or on a date with your lovely companion. I am looking forward to returning for brunch one day soon.

Review by: Richard Wolak

MATCH EATERY & PUBLIC HOUSE

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350 Gifford Street, New Westminster

Tel: (604) 777-8008

Web: http://matchpub.com/match-new-west/

Twitter @MatchPubNewWest

Advice: Great place to watch a sporting event or game.

Cheesy Brew Soup

Cheesy Brew Soup

The Big (French) O

The Big (French) O

With it’s sporting and entertainment environment, the large restaurant boasts 27 High-def screens for superior sports viewing and a large stage presenting live music, DJ’s, and special event entertainment. A large bar is featured in the middle of the room with tv screens surrounding. I dined with my friend and fellow writer Karl Kliparchuk , I started the meal with a huge bowl of the delicious Cheesy Brew Soup ($7) Beer infused creamy potato and smoked cheddar soup topped with bacon bits, scallions and sour cream, served with a large wedge of garlic bread. Karl enjoyed The Big (French) O ($8) their signature French onion soup that is made in-house, and topped with a giant crouton and smothered in cheese.

Mini Yorkshires

Mini Yorkshires

Chicken & Waffles Sandwich

Chicken & Waffles Sandwich

Vegetarian Deep Dish Pizza

Vegetarian Deep Dish Pizza

The Match Burger

The Match Burger

We then shared an order of the Mini Yorkshires ($12) which were stuffed with roast beef and horseradish aioli with a sauce for dipping on the side. From the entrees we selected, my favourite was the Chicken & Waffles Sandwich ($12) Breaded chicken breast marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce, stuffed between two Belgian waffles topped with lettuce, tomato, bacon and maple bourbon aioli; perfectly seasoned chicken, a great combo! We also had a Vegetarian Deep Dish Pizza ($15) which was more like a regular pizza missing the usual deep dish appearance, the pizza had a tomato sauce base topped with mushrooms, red pepper, black olives and diced tomato. Rounding out the entrees was The Match Burger ($12) their signature beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, garlic aioli and pickles on a brioche bun; served with a side of fries or salad, we went with the fries offering.

The Skillet Cookie

The Skillet Cookie

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

For dessert we shared The Skillet Cookie ($6) topped with vanilla ice cream, a delicious dessert; along with the indulgent Sticky Toffee Pudding ($6) with vanilla ice cream on the side.

You can eat inside or outside year round on their patio appointed with comfortable booths, heaters, misters and warm fire tables. You’ll find a selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails for your spirited enjoyment.

Review by: Richard Wolak

LINH CAFÉ

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2836 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-559-4668

Web: http://linhcafe.com/

Twitter: @LinhCafeVan

Advice: Reservations suggested.

Banh Mi Cay Hai Phong

Banh Mi Cay Hai Phong

Sable Breton

Sable Breton

Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese Coffee

The bright room with red banquette seating and red table tops is a showcase for modern French Vietnamese bistro fare with a hint of flavours of the French colonies. Proprietor/Executive Chef Tai Luong Nguyen is creating wonderful dishes from his home country using French techniques. I’ve dined on a few occasions, first for an afternoon snack having the Banh Mi Cay Hai Phong ($6.95) spicy baguette Sticks with Chicken & pork liver pate, hot sauce, fried shallot, some Sable Breton ($1 each) cookies and a warm Vietnamese Coffee.

Nem - Cha Gio - Spring Rolls

Nem – Cha Gio – Spring Rolls

Goi Cuon - Salad Rolls

Goi Cuon – Salad Rolls

Duck Roti

Duck Roti

Whipped Potato

Whipped Potato

Chicken Fricassee

Chicken Fricassee

French bread slices and couscous

French bread slices and Couscous

Triple Chocolate Mousse

Triple Chocolate Mousse

My last visit was for dinner with my friend Ivan joining, we shared the delicious Nem – Cha Gio – Spring Rolls ($12); filled with shrimp, pork, wood-ear mushroom, glass noodles. We also shared the Goi Cuon – Salad Rolls ($12) filled with preserved pork, vermicelli, lettuce, fresh herbs and a delicious house-made peanut sauce for dipping. I then had the outstanding Duck Roti ($23.95) Roasted duck, glazed grapes & apples, duck sauce in a cast iron pan that was served with whipped potato topped with bacon bits. Ivan enjoyed the Chicken Fricassee ($22.95) a Moroccan dish with chicken legs, tomato confit, and preserved lemon that was served with house baked French bread slices and Couscous. Lastly we shared the heavenly Triple Chocolate Mousse ($6.95) made with dark, milk and white chocolate for dessert.

Attentive service and a passionate creative chef rounds out the dining experiences at this gem in the heart of Kitsilano.

Review by: Richard Wolak

NIRVANA RESTAURANT

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2313 Main Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 872-8779

Web: http://www.nirvanarestaurant.ca/

Twitter: @NirvanaOnMain

Advice: Reservations suggested. Specify the spice (heat) level for the dishes you order. Share dishes with your friends.

Chicken Tinka

Chicken Tinka

Vegetable Pakoras (Bhaji)

Vegetable Pakoras (Bhaji)

Located in the heart of the Mount Pleasant neighborhood is the longest standing Indian restaurant in the city, having opened in 1971. It’s taken me that long to finally visit this gem serving traditional North Indian cuisine. My friend Ivan joined me to share some dishes, starting out with the delicious Chicken Tinka, skewers of chicken served upright, with a slightly spicy and sweet sauce. Next were the delicious Vegetable Pakoras (Bhaji) ($3.95) made of Spinach, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Cilantro & Ginger and lightly battered with seasoned Chick Pea flour making the dish gluten-free.

Kashmiri Chicken

Kashmiri Chicken

Chicken Byriani

Chicken Byriani

Raita

Raita

Garlic & Basil Naan

Garlic & Basil Naan

Paratha

Paratha

We then shared a couple of mains including the outstanding Kashmiri Chicken ($13.95) with cashews, almonds and poppy seeds; along with the delicious Chicken Byriani ($12.95) Basmati Rice flavoured with Saffron and cooked with boneless, tender meat, nuts & herbs served with Raita; we also had a couple of their freshly made breads to go along with the Kashmiri Chicken dish, a Garlic & Basil Naan ($2.50) and Whole Wheat Paratha ($1.50).

We each had a cup of Chai as we were too full to indulge in dessert this time around. You’ll find all your Indian favourites on the menu along with some new creations from the Northern India region.

Review by: Richard Wolak

LEFT BANK

Dining room

751 Denman Street, Vancouver

Phone: (604) 687-1418

Web: http://www.leftbankvancouver.com/

Twitter: @LeftBankVan

Advice: Reservations suggested

Crispy Crab Roll

Crispy Crab Roll

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye Salmon

5-spiced Duck Confit Tempura

5-spiced Duck Confit Tempura

Roasted Lamb Tagine

Roasted Lamb Tagine

Tempura Green Beens

Tempura Green Beens

Truffle Frites

Truffle Frites

Raspberry & Goat Cheesecake

Raspberry & Goat Cheesecake

Chocolate Marquis with green tea ice cream

Chocolate Marquis with green tea ice cream

The bright room with red banquette seating and a marble top bar is a showcase for modern French bistro fare with a hint of North African flavours. Proprietor John Blakely and his creative Executive Chef Spencer Watts has turned this room into a charmer. I’ve dined a few times having tried many dishes including the Crispy Crab Roll, a beautiful presentation! Loved the Sockeye Salmon with summer peas, lyonnaise potto, and lemongrass cream an outstanding dish; also loved the 5-spiced Duck Confit Tempura du puy lentil cassoulet, wilted green and orange vinaigrette; followed by the delicious Roasted Lamb Tagine with date couscous, tomato ragù, raita, a melding of Moroccan and Indian flavours! A couple snacks served during the meal were the tasty Black Sesame Pomme Frites with Lemongrass mayo and the Tempura Haricot Vert with fireweed honey & grain mustard emulsion. For dessert after dinner, the Raspberry & Goat Cheesecake and the Chocolate Marquis with green tea ice cream were both divine.

Duck Confit Crepe

Duck Confit Crepe

Maple Custard

Maple Custard

On another visit for brunch, I had the delicious and unique Duck Confit Crepe, along with the outstanding Maple Custard with cinnamon puffs, apple sorbet, almond praline.

This is a great spot for eats, drinks and a wonderful ambience.

Review by: Richard Wolak

PORTUGESE CLUB OF VANCOUVER

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1144 Commercial Dr, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 251-2042

Web: https://www.facebook.com/PCOVCLUB

Twitter: n/a

Advice: Share dishes with friends.

Taking lead by one of my friends Avelino Santos who is from Portugal, Ali Hui and I all joined to explore some of the different dishes that originate in Portugal. This long standing restaurant has been around since 1977 when it first opened in this very same location. It is a popular spot for the Portugese men who want to watch a game, play some cards, have a drink and a meal.

Tomato & Onion Salad

Tomato & Onion Salad

Seafood Soup

Seafood Soup

Peri Peri Prawns

Peri Peri Prawns

Portugese Buns

Portugese Buns

Grilled Cod

Grilled Cod

Grilled Sardines

Grilled Sardines

Green Salad

Green Salad

Some of the dishes were shared and others were indulged solo. On the table Tomato & Onion Salad that I had on my own, Seafood Soup that Ali and Avelino had, Peri Peri Prawns, Portugese Buns, Grilled Cod with chickpeas and boiled potatoes and vegetables, Grilled Sardines and Salad that we all shared.

The portions are quite large and the menu is filled with seafood and meat dishes, this is a great spot to eat traditional Portugese dishes in the heart of the drive.

Review by: Richard Wolak

Chanukah Treats and Sweets

Chanukah is an 8 day Jewish holiday that celebrates the miracle of light it is a joyous festival of lights People celebrate by lighting the menorah, playing dreidel games, and eat festive foods. Of course there are the traditional festive foods such as the Potato Latkes, and Jelly Donuts.  This year the festival is celebrated December 16-24, 2014.

Here are some unique food and drink treats being produced locally for the holiday.

Star of David

Hannukah Chocolates – Apple-Cinnamon dark ganache

 

Gem Chocolates

2029 West 41st Avenue

Vancouver, BC V6M 1Y7

604.263.9878

Tues-Sat 11-7 / Sun 12-5 / Mon Closed

Twitter: @gemchocolates

Available December 11 – 23

 

chanukah beer parallel 49

Bubbie’s Brew Jelly Doughnut Ale is an 8% abc certified kosher jelly doughnut strong ale. The brew is a strong amber ale with raspberry extract.

 

Parallel 49 Brewing

1950 Triumph St, Vancouver

Phone: (604) 558-2739

Twitter: @Parallel49Beer

Available in the Tasting Room December 12 – 23

 

Chanukah lolly pops at purdys

Star of David Lolly

Crafted especially for Hanukkah, this Star of David Lolly is made from creamy Purdys milk chocolate.

Each lolly arrives in a cellophane wrapper.

See more Chanukah offerings here

Purdy’s Chocolates

(multiple locations)

Twitter @PurdysChocolate

Latkes

Latkes

 

Find more Chanukah treats at the following locations:

Vancouver

Maple Grill

  • Latkes, donuts

1967 West Broadway

(604) 568-4885

Place your order in advance at [email protected]

 

Naava Cuisine

–          Latkes, Jelly Dougnuts

950 West 41st Avenue

604-676-7632

Web: http://navacreative.ca/

 

Solly’s (3 locations)

–          Latkes, Jelly Doughnuts, Chanukah Cookies, fresh Apple Sauce

1) 368 West 7th Avenue – 604-675-9750

2) 2873 West Broadway – 604-738-2121

3) 189 East 28th Avenue – 604-872-1821

Twitter @SollysBagelry

 

Sabra’s

–         Latkes, Jelly Doughnuts, Chanukah Cookies, Tahini, Apple Sauce and Chocolates

3844 Oak Street

604-733-4912

 

Siegel’s (2 locations)

– Latkes

1883 Cornwall Avenue

604-737-8151

Twitter @siegelsbagels

 

Omnitsky’s

–Latkes, Jelly Doughnuts, Chanukah Cookies, Apple Sauce and Chocolates

5775 Oak Street

604-321-1818

Twitter @Omnitskys

 

Cafe Forty One

-Latkes and other favourites

Call to place your order early

5750 Oak Street

Tel: (604) 563-4141

Twitter @cafefortyone41

 

Phat Deli

1055 West Georgia, Level 100

www.phatdeli.com

Twitter @PHATRoyalCentre

 

Richmond

Garden City Bakery

– Jelly Doughnuts and Chanukah Cookies

9100 Blundell Road

604-244-7888

 

Apple Sauce is the side dish that complements your latkes and can double as a delicious and  dessert.

Chanukah only comes once a year (yes, it does last eight days), whether you are Jewish or not, pick up some treats and enjoy!

By: Richard Wolak

NOMAD

IMG_0648

3950 Main Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-708-8525

Web: http://nomad-vancouver.ca/

Twitter: @nomad_vancouver

Advice: Reservations suggested.

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Imagination and passion is the driving force behind this new eatery and bar that is located in the heart of food haven Main Street. With a focus on making everything from scratch, Chef/owner Ryan Reed along with Chef/owner Scott Swanson, both long-time friends are passionate on creating dishes with top notch ingredients, working with local farmers and producers. Each plate has elements of colour, flavours and textures, and they designed their own kitchen with ease and flow in mind as well. Owner/partner Taylor Burnham runs the front of house and Owner/partner Matt van Dinther runs the bar, rounding up the 4 partners that are doing what they do best.

Sunchoke and Wild Mushroom Soup

Sunchoke and Wild Mushroom Soup

Fried Potato and Cheddar Perogies

Fried Potato and Cheddar Perogies

My friend Jason Tan joined me to share some dishes as we explored the seasonaly inspired menu. Started off with the delicious, vegetarian Sunchoke and Wild Mushroom Soup ($10); this was followed by the popular Fried Potato and Cheddar Perogies ($9) with crispy fried onions.

 Pakora

Pakora

Kabocha Squash Tart

Kabocha Squash Tart

As Jason is vegetarian, his pick was that we try the Pakora ($9) made with Chana flour, it was light and flavourful; the Kabocha Squash Tart ($16) with house made apple butter, charred onion, Papito gratin with in house grown micro greens was outstanding.

Lamb Cheeks

Lamb Cheeks

Hanging Tenderloin

Hanging Tenderloin

I then enjoyed the Lamb Cheeks ($22) Fenugreek Ricotta Gnocchi, Cauliflower; as well as the Hanging Tenderloin ($22) with parsnip Puree and vegetables, it was a very good dish!

Chocolate S'more

Chocolate S’more

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

For dessert we both shared the heavenly and delicious, Chocolate S’more ($8) dark chocolate ganache, Gragham crust, Italian meringue and mint leaf; followed by the Pumpkin Creme Brulee ($8) with a chai spiced cookie base – WOW!

This is a spot you are going to want to visit as the seasons change, watch for more creative dishes and cocktails to match.

Review by: Richard Wolak

ABODE RESTAURANT

IMG_0346

1223 Robson Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604.688-1411

Web: http://www.aboderestaurant.ca/

Twitter: @ABODERestaurant

Advice: Takes reservations.

Crispy Parmessan Cauliflower Poppers

Crispy Parmessan Cauliflower Poppers

Moroccan Braised Lamb Shank Curry

Moroccan Braised Lamb Shank Curry

A large an inviting room situated off of bustling Robson, the décor is inspired of mid-century design with warm tones of walnut and Calcutta marble, lots of banquets and communal tables throughout. There is a coffee bar for the morning, a bar area as well as the dining room where they serve breakfast, lunch, dinner thru late night. Chef Tannis Smith has retooled the menu offering many comforting classics with her unique spin. I visited for dinner on my own, having the Crispy Parmessan Cauliflower Poppers ($11) with a couple of tasty dips! To follow I had the Moroccan Braised Lamb Shank Curry ($22) a light tomato based house made blend of ginger, garlic, cumin, jalapenos, cinnamon, a mix of smoked paprikas and spices. Served on Pomegranate dirty rice.

The all-day menu features a good selection of appetizers as well as salads, handhelds along with seafood and a selection of pasta dishes.  There is also an extensive brunch menu filled will sorts of dishes including Marilyn’s Omelet, Horizon Hash and Handle Your Scramble.

Review by: Richard Wolak

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