Posts Tagged ‘Communal Table’

LOST AND FOUND CAFÉ

lost and found cafe 1

33 W Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 559-7444

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

Twitter: @LostFoundCafe

Advice: Free wifi, ask the staff for the code. Watch the event board and their twitter for upcoming events.

lost and found cafe 2

Over the years I have visited well over a thousand cafes in cities around the globe, in each city I have sought out the cool and hip cafés where creativity can flourish. This café reminds me of some that I had previously visited, and this one is in our backyard so to speak. It’s a large space, exuding creative energy, from a moving film at the back of the café to the art on the walls, funky tables and chairs in different areas around, an indoor picnic table perfect for the hideaway on the side, with couches up front. The menu features a selection of sandwiches, salads, soups and more. Coffees and other beverages, all the food is made from scratch, breads baked fresh each morning, friendly staff and more!

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso Macchiato

Vegetarian Sandwich

Vegetarian Sandwich

I had my usual beverage of choice which is an Espresso Macchiato ($2.75) along with the Vegetarian Sandwich ($7.50) on a large house-made spinach, feta bun that was filled to the rim with cheese, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and many more vegetables, delicious goodness on the soft bun. With each of the sandwiches they offer your choice of freshly baked bread (their bread is actually in the form of these large buns) and each comes with a side dressed salad.

I will be returning very soon as this is one of those places that I could call my home away from home!

Review by: Richard Wolak

GRAZE

3980 Fraser Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 620-8822

Web: http://grazerestaurant.ca/

Twitter: @GrazeFoodVan

Advice: Reservations suggested.

With its focus on plant based cuisine this east side jaunt is striving to be sustainable using locally and organically produced ingredients in their innovative cooking. They grow their own herbs & vegetables, collect rainwater for their garden, compost their kitchen waste, reduce their power consumption, and solar heat their hot water.

Antipasti Platter

Perogies

Rhubarb Crumble

The kitchen team lead by talented Executive Chef Karen McKathy is creating unique vegan dishes, I had the Antipasti Platter ($15) to start with a delish beet & cheese tartar, smoked tofu, candied nuts, pickled watermelon and more. I then had the Perogies ($16) which were made with buckwheat flour along with flax and chia seeds in the dough, and filled with Yam & Eggplant, topped with oyster mushrooms, crisp shallots, beet shred with an amazing spicy tomato jam. For dessert I had the Rhubarb Crumble ($7) with white chocolate ganache and caramel sauce, this dessert as well as most of their desserts are a collaboration with In the Oven baking.

The menu is made of a selection of Grazing boards, small and large plates along a few desserts and creative cocktails from the very cool bar. This is place to be if you are vegan as well if you aren’t and want to experience this type of cuisine.

Review by: Richard Wolak

IK 2GO

UPDATED 7/30/14 BUSINESS HAS CLOSED

1328 Hornby Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-685-4569

Web: www.ik2go.com

Twitter: @Glowbal_Group

Advice: Counter service.

This is second location of the Italian Kitchen spin-off featuring a casual self-serve counter and seating for 40, offering take-out or leisurely dine-in meal. There is a large communal table for solo diners or others who want to eat with friends. They offer freshly baked scones, pastries and breakfast sandwiches to start off the morning along with a coffee beverage line-up. Lunch and dinner menu options include a variety of antipasti, charcuterie, salads, soups, specialty paninis, and strombolis.

Meatballs

Pine Nut Tarts & Fruit Croistata

Apricot Croistata and other pastries

I have dined in and had take-out on a few occasions and have tried several of their dishes including their notable Meatballs, Couscous, Farro, Tuna Sandwich, as well as several of the baked goodies.

They also offer hearty pastas and an array of traditional meat, seafood and poultry dishes, such as Veal Milanese, roasted chicken and salmon.

Review by: Richard Wolak

MOSAIC BAR & GRILLE

655 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 639-4770

Web: http://vancouver.hyatt.com

Twitter: @HyattVancouver

Advice: multi-course tasting menus, you can ask to have the chef create you a customer tasting menu.

 

Windset Farms Fresco Cucumber Gazpacho

Chilled Dungeness Crab Cannelloni

With a star chef at its helm, my friend Nikki Caine joined me to explore and enjoy the chef’s tasting menu as I knew we were in for a culinary journey. Chef Thomas Heinrich is the visionary culinary master who is creating artful masterpieces on the plate. Our 1st course was the Windset Farms Fresco Cucumber Gazpacho in refreshing ginger coconut gelee. The next course was the outstanding Chilled Dungeness Crab Cannelloni with English pea, meyer lemon and mint where the presentation was perfection.

Spring, Green Garlic Grits with Scallop

Pan seared Branzino

Galbi marinated Pork Jowl

Slow Roasted Lamb

The journey continued with the next course, a taste of Spring, Green Garlic Grits with Scallop which was delicious, this followed by the Pan seared Branzino with celery noodles and carrot reduction with an oregano citrus emulsion served to us on a mirrored slab. From there the flavours exploded with the Galbi marinated Pork Jowl with Asian pear, fiddle heads, lotus root and edible flowers, the sauce was heavenly. On to the 6th course it was another stunning plate with the the delicious Slow Roasted Lamb with mustard and fennel streusel and a pomegranate gastrique along with edible flowers.

Braised Rhubarb

We finished off our impressive meal with the Braised Rhubarb with white chocolate meringue, ginger and pink peppercorns and green strawberries, this dessert was the perfect ending with more stunning flavours. I am looking forward to many return visits and to follow the seasons with Chef Thomas Heinrich leading the way.

Review by: Richard Wolak

TAVOLA

1829 Robson St,  Vancouver

Tel: (604) 606-4680

Web: http://tavolavancouver.com

Twitter: @TavolaVancouver

Advice: If eating solo or not, snag a spot at the communal table.

Hidden off the beaten track in the West End is spot that fills up fast nightly with fab service and divine modern Italian fare. The large communal table is the star in the center of the room and it’s the table that guests all want to be seated.

Lamb Ragout Pasta

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I had the house special outstanding Lamb Ragout Pasta ($18) that the server highly recommended followed by the Sticky Toffee Pudding topped with vanilla ice cream in a pool of toffee caramel sauce that was delicious.

The menu features a selection of Mozza Bar favourites along with Croistini’s, share plates, pastas, big plates and desserts. The wine menu is equally impressive featuring a selection of white and red wines from Italy along with a few Pacific Northwest reds and whites. I’ve got my eye on the Brick chicken, and the Brown Sage Butter Gnocchi, I will be back soon.

Review by: Richard Wolak

FINEST AT SEA

4675 Arbutus Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-266-1904

Web: www.finestatsea.com

Twitter: @FinestAtSeaVan

Advice: Located in a strip mall, no reservations.

With my love for fish, I had missed eating at one of the city’s notable seafood boutiques. I can’t believe it took me so long to visit for the 1st time and I returned within a week for more of their delicious fish. The seafood boutique as they call themselves is part fresh fish store and part fish & chips stand within the store. You get a bit of the best of both worlds when visiting, they also have a large deli case of home made prepared foods of which were calling my name as I was waiting for my fish & chips to go.

1 Piece Halibut & Yam Fries

2 Piece Halibut & Yam Fries

On the first visit I had the Halibut & Chips and substituted the chips for Yam Fries which were absolutely delish! On the 2nd visit, which was purely to have more of the delicious halibut, I ended up getting a 2 Piece Halibut & Chips with more yam fries and while waiting I also took a selection of dishes home including a delish polenta, gnocchi, some of their house smoked salmon candy as well as their black cod candy which were both outstanding.

If you love fish and seafood, this is a boutique you are going to want to visit repeatedly. It’s like going to the beach without actually going to the beach.

Review by: Richard Wolak

HEIRLOOM RESTAURANT

1509 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-733-2231

Web: http://heirloomrestaurant.ca/

Twitter: @HeirloomVeg

Advice: This is a restaurant to dine with a friend or more friends, not ideal for eating solo unless you are seated at the bar. Sharing is key here.

Dips

One can always tell when a kitchen has passionate chefs by the care and imagination they have put into creating a menu full of goodness and flavours. Imagination is not only key, being creative with the ingredients, flavours and such makes the dish and is part of the over-all experience. This hit home with me and my friend Peter who visited for dinner recently, the room has a great vibe, it’s bright, has unique art adorning the walls and is well layed out from the large bar to the communal table in the dining room. The menu is filled with vegan and vegetarian options which is indicated in the description of each dish this is quite helpful if you lean towards a particular way of eating. We started with the delish Dips ($14) – beetroot, sunflower seed tapenade, lentil pecan homous, vegetables with sangak chips with sheeps feta cheese.

Swiss Chard Salad

Kale Salad

Blackbean Molasses and Coco Chili

We then shared the outstanding Swiss Chard Salad ($10) swiss chard, lime satay vinaigrette, hemp heart tahini, pickled peanuts along with the delicious Kale Salad ($10) full of delicious flavours and the smoked salt added good flavour. The next dish was one of their daily specials and it was so good, the Blackbean Molasses and Coco Chili ($17) with brown basmati rice, cashew cilantro cream fresh lime and tortillas.

Chocolate Vegan Cake

To finish of the meal we opted for a taster of their Chocolate Vegan Cake ($12 for regular sized portion) which was the perfect finish to a fab meal. I am looking forward to trying out brunch next time around with a group of my friends.

Review by: Richard Wolak

CHAU VEGGIE EXPRESS

5052 Victoria Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604.568.9508

Web:  http://www.chowatchau.ca/veggie/mural_menu.pdf

Twitter: @chowatCHAU

Advice: Go light on the tableside satay sauce if you are not a fan of spice.

Coconut Shake

Night Market Stroll

Rickety Rickshaw Ride

Located off the beaten track, yet in the middle of the city is an oasis of veggie delight and dishes full of wonderful flavours. I was so happy to finally visit Chau, it took me 8 months to visit for the first time and then a few days to visit again. There is a large communal table which is perfect when dining solo or with a friend. On the first visit I had the delicious Night Market Stroll ($7) Papaya salad, shredded apple, carrots, herbs, peanuts, tofu, with a lemongrass citrus dressing along with a Coconut Shake($4) Fresh coconut, coconut water and crème and on the next visit I had the outstanding Rickety Rickshaw Ride ($8.25)  Mungbean spring rolls, shredded bean curd, peanuts, crispy shallots, pickled vegetables, greens, herbs and rice vermicelli.which is my friend Alejandro’s favourite dish so we both had the same dish on this visit.

The dishes are creative, inventive and all veggie, served in big bowls with condiments such as their spicy home-made satay sauce which you can add at your discretion. You will also find beer, wine and some desserts to put the finishing touch on your meal.

Review By: Richard Wolak

COTTO ENOTECA PIZZERIA

6011 Hastings Street, Burnaby

Tel: 604-299-8002

Web: http://www.cotto.ca

Twitter: @cottoenoteca

Advice: Make reservations for large parties, sit at the communal table or the bar if dining solo.

Pizza Oven

My love for Italian food took me East last week to dine at the newly opened North Burnaby restaurant that has Chef Alex Tung at the helm. Upon visiting I discovered more than just Italian food, there is a beautiful communal table, and a spectacular bar made of Italian white marble, very cool light fixtures and the star wood burning pizza oven. They are also featuring the FreshTap revolutionary system for Wine on Tap as well as Beer on Tap, and Q Water that uses a high tech water filtration system which is eco-friendly and sustainable.

Cotto Fior di Latte

Pizza Polpetti (left) & Pizza Funghi (right)

My friend Jason Sanders joined me to be my sharing partner in crime, we started off with the Cotto Fior di Latte ($8) roasted mushrooms, crema di balsamico followed by a pizza with halfers of the Pizza Polpetti ($15 for regular) crushed Cotto meatballs, ricotta cheese, Grana Padano, spinach, San Marzano tomato sauce, basil; and the Pizza Funghi ($15) for regular)  roasted mushrooms, goat cheese, fonduta, caramelized onions, chives.

Bucatini Pomodoro

Gnocchi Patata

We then had the Bucatini Pomodoro ($11) fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil, San Marzano tomato sauce; followed by the delicious speciality of the house, Gnocchi Patata ($12) fried potato gnocchi, Sloping Hill pancetta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, arugula, herb oil.

Salted Caramel Budino

For dessert we each had the Salted Caramel Budino ($8) Butterscotch pudding, Maldon sea salt, rosemary biscotti which was outstanding and worthy of us each indulging in our dish of this yummy goodness! We also had a taste of their house made Limoncello which is a beverage you must indulge in with your dessert. With Executive Chef Alex Tung at the helm you will always know this is where you are going to want to dine!

Review By: Richard Wolak

TAP & BARREL

1 Athletes Way, Vancouver

Tel: 604-685-2223

Web: http://www.tapandbarrel.com/

Twitter: @tapandbarrel

Advice: Sit on the upstairs patio on a sunny day or sit in the upstairs library or at the long bar downstairs.

The Library

From the minute I walked up to the door I knew this was going to be a very cool and unique restaurant. First of all the location has one of the best views of the city along with two large outdoor patios, one on the main floor and the other upstairs. Inside the bar on the main floor is a stunning centrepiece that features an extensive selection of beer and wine on tap. They even have a lending library full of books which works on an honour system, come by and find a book you like and read while you are eating or drinking or take the book home.

Upstairs Bar

There are over 23 beers on tap along with an extensive selection of beer by the bottle, there is also well over 15 selections of wine on tap as well as an extensive wine list. You can even bring in your own wine bottle and pay the corkage for the privilege.

Coffee Glazed Dry Ribs

Sticky Yam Fries

Local Wild Mushrooms Hand Tossed Pie

Beer Bratwurst

I enjoyed some of the food offerings on my visit starting with the Coffee Glazed Dry Ribs ($8) along with the outstanding Sticky Yam Fries ($8) with burnt marshmallow fluff, this is one dish that is best shareable even though its one you are going to want to devour on your own. Next was the Local Wild Mushrooms Hand Tossed Pie ($15) which is basically a really good flatbread topped with wilted arugula, mushrooms and truffle cheese; and the last dish being the Beer Bratwurst ($18) Two Rivers brats, scallion mash, sauerkraut, and grainy mustard sauce.

There are so many dishes on the menu that I want to try such as the Spiced Rubbed Roasted Chicken scallion mash, market vegetables, ale reduction; PB & J Burger as well as the Stout Milkshake, must get back there soon!

Review By: Richard Wolak

CATCH 122

122 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Tel: 604-731-3474

Web: http://www.catch122.ca/

Twitter: @catch122

Advice: Reservations suggested at lunch time.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Love the spacious room with its exposed bricks walls and open kitchen, it is a fairly large room with a take away home meal section up front, and lots of seats for dining. I have visited on a couple occasions, having been in for an Espresso Macchiato on the first visit and then lunching with a friend on the 2nd visit, where I had the delicious Pulled Pork Sandwich ($12) with salad.

There is a vast selection of French inspired as well as Comfort food dishes on each of the menus. The pricing on the dinner menu seemed a bit high for the neighborhood, though the room is very cool and it’s a place you are going to want to visit. I am intrigued to visit for weekend brunch as the menu selection looks divine!

Review By: Richard Wolak

PRADO CAFÉ

1938 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604-255-5537

Web: http://www.pradocafe.com/

Twitter: @PradoCafe1938

Advice: Featuring 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, Open daily, free wifi.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

Iced Coffee

I have always loved the simple white walled room that isn’t adorned with pictures and nicknaks that clutter walls. Over the years since I have been frequenting this café things have only improved, you will now find a very cool wooden communal table to add to the seating mix. This café has always been a great spot for me to write whether on a laptop or a notebook sipping on an espresso macchiato. Yesterday I had the Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich ($3.90) – a home-made gluten-free flourless peanut butter cookie that is filled with local Birchwood Dairy vanilla ice cream which was delicious. I decided to switch up my usual espresso beverage for something cold and refreshing and went with an Iced Coffee ($1.80) which is now served in a very cool mason jar.

On the food side of things you are going to find eats that are a bit out of the ordinary of what every other café seems to be featuring, here there are home-made Calzones, and Ice Cream Sandwiches; along with Coffee Floats and Root Beer Floats enhancing the beverage side of the menu offerings. You will also find passionate and friendly baristas lead by Sammy Picollo who is not only the owner but an international award-winning barista who is continuously recognized as one of the top baristas in the world. This is a must visit spot on the drive for all coffee lovers!

Review By: Richard Wolak

W2 MEDIA CAFÉ

UPDATED 10/13/13 BUSINESS HAS CLOSED

111 West Hastings, Vancouver

Tel: 604-689-9896

Web: http://www.creativetechnology.org/

Twitter: @W2MediaCafe

Advice: the café is located on the main level off of the Hastings Street entrance to the right.

Royal Chicken Wrap with coconut vegi korma

This is where creativity begins, the café is a hideaway worth your discovery, here you will find a creative team of chefs lead by Chef Karen McAthy who create delicious healthy food. I have eaten here on several occasions as well as have held a couple of my events here this past year including Tasting Plates and Food Talks Vol. 1. On this visit I was in for lunch and had the special of the day, Royal Chicken Wrap with coconut vegi korma which was delicious and healthy too. On a previous visits I had their Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie, and other baked goods.

W2 Media Cafe is an artist-run, globally networked media arts lab, Incubator, community meeting space and social enterprise cafe serving artists and residents of the Downtown Eastside and Vancouver. Serving healthy, high quality food and drink and employing DTES residents, you will find a full espresso bar featuring Salt Spring Coffee, home-made baked goods, sandwiches, wraps and soups along with other daily creations.

Review By: Richard Wolak

KI MODERN JAPANESE RESTAURANT

UPDATED 10/13/13 BUSINESS HAS CLOSED

1121 Alberni Street  Vancouver

Tel: 604-609-0600

Web: http://www.kijapanese.com/

Twitter: n/a

Advice: Go with a friend or two and share some plates.

Amuse

The restaurant is hidden off of Alberni Street and upstairs and it is situated next to the Shangri-La Hotel. Once inside the restaurant is large and spacious, featuring an elegant dining room, a spectacular hidden patio outside and an upper area of seating with the sushi bar. I had dinner here last week for the very first time and enjoyed the wonderful service and fine Japanese cuisine, my friend and I were served an Amuse to begin along with some hot towels.

Seaweed Salad

Organic Baby Greens Salad

Ki Spider Roll & Ki Beef Maki

We then shared a couple of salads including the refreshing Seaweed Salad ($9) with a sesame-ponzu dressing along with the Organic Baby Greens Salad ($6) with Ki ginger-apple dressing; this followed by a sushi platter featuring these delicious sushi rolls, the Ki Spider Roll ($15) soft shell crab, mango, perilla leaves, chives and the Ki Beef Maki ($15) teriyaki-glazed Canadian AAA striploin, scallions, sesame seeds, sweet potato tempura + asparagus.

Atlantic Salmon Kushi

Tofu & Eggplant

Next was the kushiyaki (skewers) and we shared the flavourful Atlantic Salmon Kushi ($16) and the subtle and delicious Tofu & Eggplant ($10) glazed with Aka-miso.

Black Cod

Jumbo Shrimp

Sweet Potato Wedges

This followed by a couple of Hot Plates, the melt in my mouth Black Cod ($19) saikyo-marinated + broiled with rapini, salmon roe + orange reduction and the tangy Jumbo Shrimp ($16) wok-tossed + tomato rayu-chili sauce along with one side of Sweet Potato Wedges ($8) with wasabi mayo.

Almond Asian Pear Cake

Lemongrass Chamomile infused Creme Brûlée

Chocolates

For dessert we shared the beautifully plated and delicious Almond Asian Pear Cake ($10) along with the Lemongrass Chamomile infused Creme Brûlée ($9) along with a glass of Nakano Shuzo Ume ($6). To finish the meal we were served a complimentary box of home made chocolates. The restaurant features one of the most comprehensive Sake lists in the city that I know of, where you will find Sake from Japan as well as locally brewed.

Review by: Richard Wolak

 

NU GREEK GASTOWN

332 Water Street, Vancouver

Tel: n/a

Web: http://nu-products.com/

Twitter: @NuInfo

Advice: Enter off Water St. or Cordova St. No reservations.

This hideaway is one you are going to want to find for quick lunches and snacks throughout the day in Gastown. Specializing in Modern Greek with a twist, you will find a selection of souvlaki, wraps, salads, dips and desserts. If you are dining on your own or with a friend, the 16 seat communal table is where it is at for inside eating.

Chicken Souvlaki, Semolina FILO & Baklava Muffin

I was in for lunch lately to have one of their delicious Chicken Souvlaki ($7) with housemade pita, local onions and tomatoes. I also tried their Greek specialty pastries, both were delicious, from the Semolina FILO ($2) to the Baklava Muffin ($2).

You will also discover that they bake all of their own pita (white, wheat and oregano) here along with all of their Greek pastries.

Review By: Richard Wolak

THE UNION BAR

219 Union Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-568-3230

Web:  http://theunionbar.ca/

Twitter: @TheUnionBar

Advice: No reservations.

In this stylish room, this is a South East Asian eatery with a very hip look and feel. Located at the entrance of Chinatown, you will find communal tables and a bar that is filled with tropical ingredients to shake and stir those refreshing cocktails that go so well with some spicy eats.

Peanut Noodles

Bubur Cha Cha

I have always been a fan of peanut sauce or peanut anything for that matter, I had the outstanding and flavourful Peanut Noodles ($13) spinach, shiitakes, charred eggplant, sambal ginger peanut sauce followed by a very different type of dessert which is common in Asia and less common here, the Bubur Cha Cha ($7) caramelized sweet potatoes, yams and tapioca in coconut milk.

The menu is filled with an array of snacks and bowls, covering all of the regions in South East Asia, from Malaysia to Indonesia to Thailand as well as Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches; along with salads, greens and desserts. The bar menu is filled with all sorts of unique cocktails along with beer and wine.

I can’t wait to return to try the Cha Ca Fish as well as their Green Papaya Salad.

Review by: Richard Wolak

TRAFIQ CAFÉ & BAKERY

4216 Main Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-648-2244

Web: http://www.trafiq.ca/

Twitter: @TrafiqCafe

Advice: Custom cakes available (call ahead)

This café is a magnet for drawing in neighborhood regulars and others that commute across town for a taste of Paris. I adore the communal tables where people can enjoy sandwiches or baked goods along with coffees. I have visited a couple of times recently and love the ambiance as well as the delicious eats and sweets.

Lemon Chicken Ciabatta & Roasted Yam Soup

I have had the Lemon Chicken Ciabatta ($7.95) with lemon aioli, tomato, lettuce, chicken breast along with a soup of the day which was the delicious Roasted Yam Soup ($5.95).

Chunky Monkey

Killer Brownie

I have also had their outstanding and heavenly Chunky Monkey ($3.25) think bananas, chocolate and brioche as well as the Killer Brownie ($2.50) that is full of chocolatey goodness.

Walnut Coffee Cake

Dulce Croissant

Vanilla Éclair

On another visit I had the moist and delicious Walnut Coffee Cake ($3.25) as well as Dulce Croissant ($2.50) filled with dulce cream along with the Vanilla Éclair ($2.75) topped with chocolate and filled with vanilla cream.

Espresso Macchiato

Baked goods always go well with an Espresso Macchiato ($2.70) and their coffee beans are from Los Beans Trading Co a local roaster.

The French-inspired patisserie also bakes their own rustic, naturally leavened breads by the ‘dough boys’ as they are known, the breads are offered fresh from the oven each morning at 9. The ʻcake ladiesʼ as they are known are baking beautiful and sumptuous cakes including a Confetti cake for the kids and adults alike.

Review By: Richard Wolak

NELSON AND THE SEAGULL

315 Carrall Street, Vancouver

Tel:  (604) 681-5776

Web: http://www.nelsontheseagull.com/

Twitter: @gastownseagull

Advice: Have a seat at the communal table and meet other folk.

This is the living room we all once lived in, or want to escape to now. I have visited a few times over the summer and love the high ceilings, open kitchen, the large communal table and of course the living room. The café is large, spacious and inviting, it is also a great people watching spot too!

The café has become the new spot for the community, for the creative people who live and work inside and outside of the Gastown area.

Avocado on Toast

Espresso

Lemon Tart

Chocolate Lava Cake

On my last visit I had the Avocado on Toast ($5) and previously an Espresso ($2.50) along with one of their delicious Lemon Tarts ($3.50) that oozed with sweet lemon along with the Chocolate Lava Cake ($3.50). Asides from the coffees on order, they bake bread and not just any bread, it’s a Ciabatta which is moist and chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outer crust, all of their sandwiches and toasts are on this wonderful bread.

Review By: Richard Wolak

THE FLYING PIG

 

1168 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-568-1344

Web: www.FlyingPigVan.com

Twitter: @FlyingPigVan

Advice: You can book out the communal table in advance and be served a family style menu.

I loved the exposed brick wall, wooden décor, long wooden communal table and the wine bottles scattered around the room in this Canadian bistro. The restaurant is owned by two chefs who have put together a creative inspiring menu, from lunch and dinner to weekend brunch.

T.F.P. Cured Meat Selection

The open kitchen is such a great idea at The Flying Pig, you can see what’s going on- I like! My friend Jason Sanders joined me for dinner and we shared all of our dishes so that I could taste several of them. It is not too often that after reading the restaurant menu that each dish sounds intriguing, well this is one of those menus that I wanted to eat every single dish. To start we had the T.F.P. Cured Meat Selection ($7 per person) artisan cured meats, cheeses, and spicy olives.

Sharing Platter

For our main we shared a large platter with several dishes that included the delicious Red Wine Braised Beef Short Rib with bone marrow and mashed potatoes; the Pan Seared Queen Charlotte Halibut with crispy outstanding gnocchi and Chilliwack corn nage; and the delicious Lobster and Prawn Risotto with thyme and mascarpone.

Vanilla Crème Brûlée & Quebec Maple Sugar Pie

T.F.P ‘Drumstick’

For dessert we shared three, the Vanilla Crème Brûlée ($7), the T.F.P ‘Drumstick’ ($7) house-made cone, chocolate and caramel ice cream, pistachio crust; and the outstanding delectable Quebec Maple Sugar Pie ($7) maple bourbon filling, walnut ice cream, for my next visit it is not a piece of this pie that crave it is the whole pie!

Review By: Richard Wolak

PHNOM PENH

244 E Georgia Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 682-5777

Web: n/a

Twitter: n/a

Advice: The line-up is worth the long wait, take along a book to read while you wait.

I am probably the last person in the city to dine at this long standing eatery in Chinatown, at least I can say that I have had the pleasure to eat their popular and delicious Garlic Fried Squid on a few occasions at catered events. Last Sunday while walking around Gastown and Chinatown I happened upon the restaurant and with a minimal wait was seated at the sharing table. I knew what I should order based on what almost every chef in town had told me, so I decided not to order those two dishes which were the Garlic Fried Squid and their Chicken Wings. The restaurant was packed even at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon, after looking at the menu in detail which was almost fully segregated into Cambodian Favourites and Vietnamese Favourites, I decided to choose one selection from each.

Spicy Garlic Prawns

Trieu Chau Special Vegetable Bun

I had a half order of the outstanding Spicy Garlic Prawns ($8.50) and the Trieu Chau Special Vegetable Buns  ($7.95) along with a complementary glass of hot tea. There is a reason as to why this restaurant has been serving customers for so many years and to where there is a constant line-up. Looking forward to my next visit to try more dishes.

Review By: Richard Wolak

 

CAFE BRIXTON

212 East Georgia Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 568-8200

Web: n/a

Twitter: n/a

Advice: Sit at the communal table or at the window.

Slightly secluded as it is off the beaten track of bustling Main Street in Chinatown/Strathcona, the café is well worth your discovery. First of all it is spacious and has that sort of NY feeling to it with its exposed brick walls, open 15 ft beam ceiling, distressed looking wooden tables and chairs. Secondly, there is a large communal table for sharing  while studying or working.

Carrot Cake

Espresso

I had the moist and tasty Carrot Cake ($2.95) with vanilla bean cream cheese icing and an Espresso ($2.75) made with 49th parallel coffee. The menu also includes baguette sandwiches, baked goods and beverages. They also offer an extensive brunch menu which I will get to trying one day soon.

Review By: Richard Wolak

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