Posts Tagged ‘Fine Dining’


2881 Granville Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-738-8938


Twitter: @westrestaurant

Advice: Be adventurous, try some of the Elements dishes or have the multi-course tasting menu.

Since Chef Quang Dang is on my top chefs to watch in 2012, I just had drop in for dinner to try his new Elements menu that I had heard was recently launched. I hadn’t eaten at West in over 6 years and was due for a return visit. This wasn’t any ordinary visit this was gastronomic heaven. The Elements menu is made up of 4 sections if you will, from sea, starch, pasture and vegetable and it makes for simpler dining, if you are dining solo or dining with friend as I did, you can experience so many more dishes and flavours by ordering a few of these and a few of those without having to follow the routine of ordering appetizers, entrees and desserts. Gerry and I did mix it up a bit, ordering some dishes off the Elements menu and others from the regular menu.

house baked rolls


To begin we were served a complimentary plate of house baked rolls and an amuse arrived to the table to whet our palates.

Charred Vancouver Island Octopus

Salish Sea Sockeye Salmon

Marinated Scallops

Albacore Tuna

To start we had 4 dishes off the #elements menu – Charred Vancouver Island Octopus ($11.50) with Barigoule Vinaigrette followed by the exquisite Salish Sea Sockeye Salmon ($11) mountain berry cured, Ikura; then the Marinated Scallops ($5.50) with Granville Island sake and lime emulsion followed by the Albacore Tuna ($9) with ponzu gel and shiso.

“The Float” Tenderloin Soup

Chef Quang Dang surprised with a dish not yet on the menu to see our reaction, it was a brilliant idea and was delicious. “The Float” Tenderloin Soup cooked as served at the table, with dried rice noodles.

Cauliflower Soup

Hand Picked Biodynamic Greens

I then had the delicious Cauliflower Soup ($13) with wild salmon caviar, crème fraiche, truffled croutons and chives; while Gerry had the Hand Picked Biodynamic Greens ($12) with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Forraged Mushrooms

Honey Mussels

Chick Pea Croquettes


Overnight Braised Short Ribs

North Arm Farm Beets


Brussel Sprouts

Next we had another 7 dishes off the #elements menu, starting with unique in presentation and flavour, Forraged Mushrooms ($11) ‘en Papillote’ thyme and confit Garlic; along with the outstanding Honey Mussels ($2.50 each) crispy stuffed mussels with spinach and lemon puree; Chick Pea Croquettes ($9) with mint dill yogurt. Then the outstanding Gnocchi ($18) with sage brown butter and parmesan; along with the tender and flavourful Overnight Braised Short Ribs ($14) with red onion marmalade; with the North Arm Farm Beets ($8) with hazelnuts and parsley pistou; and the Brussel Sprouts ($9) with shallot crumble.

Pineapple Brioche Tartin

Chocolate Tasting

For dessert, Gerry had the Pineapple Brioche Tartin ($13) with coconut macaroon Ice Cream and I had the heavenly Chocolate Tasting ($14.50) it was 3 individual desserts in one, warm Chocolate Cake filled Profiterole and toasted cocoa meringue; Raspberry Chocolate Almond Cake with milk chocolate semi freddo and a 75% Chocolate Ganache with raspberry compote and ice cream.

Ginger Chocolate Truffles

For the perfect ending to our outstanding dinner we were served Ginger Chocolate Truffles, a sweet finish!

Review By: Richard Wolak


4120 East Hastings Street Burnaby, BC

Tel: 604-299-2772


Twitter: @PeartreeBurnaby

Advice: Closed Sunday and Monday. Advance reservations are a must.

I finally had dinner recently at this oh so humble fine dining restaurant in North Burnaby where many of the finest chefs in Canada have apprenticed in this kitchen under Chef Scott Jaeger. So many chefs that I have met have worked here and many of those have competed in the notable International cooking competition Bocuse d’Or along with Scott.

Witloof Salad

Orange Caramelized Scallops

As we began our meal we were served complimentary house-made Brioche which was flakey and delicious along with butter. This is a kitchen of perfection, that being said it was an honour for me to dine here knowing Chef Scott Jaeger was cooking my meal. To start , I had the Witloof Salad ($14) with watercress, Okanagan pear dressing, candied walnuts and aged Gouda; my dining companion had the Orange Caramelized Scallops ($16) with double smoked bacon risotto.

Braised 'Peace River' Lamb Shank

Pan Roasted 'Miracle Springs' Trout

For our mains, I had the deliciously tender Braised ‘Peace River’ Lamb Shank ($30) with seared scallops and roasted pear risotto; and my dining companion had the outstanding Pan Roasted ‘Miracle Springs’ Trout ($29) served with Pomme Dauphine and butternut squash.

Warm Spice Cake

Chocolate Ganache

For dessert, both were outstanding and a fine finish to each of our meals. I had the Warm Spice Cake ($11) with poached pears and almond coriander ice cream; and my dining companion had the Chocolate Ganache ($12) with a crisp nut base salted caramel and orange chocolate sorbet.

The dining room is well appointed and classy, and the food is well presented to perfection. This restaurant is a gem that has humble chefs creating fine cuisine worth your patronage!

Review By: Richard Wolak


801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-673-7000


Twitter: @hawksworthrest

Advice: the restaurant is located inside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia and advance reservations are recommended.

Salted Herb Bread

The star attraction at Hawksworth is the cooking from notable Chef David Hawksworth whom the restaurant is named. I have savoured David`s food over the years from when he cooked at West as well as at numerous events. Chef David is a perfectionist like none other, he has a well-executed style of cooking and is passionate about food.

I dined with my friend and fellow writer Sarah Rowland last week, we were seated in the Pearl room in close proximity of the stunning wine room as well as being next to the centre piece chandelier which graces the dining room. This was my second visit but the first for a sit down meal and it was wonderful to enjoy a fine dining experience with top notch service. We began with an order of their Salted Herb Bread ($4) with olive oil that tasted so good. Curious thought as to why a restaurant of this calibre would charge guests for bread, my only thought on that rationale would be to have the guests focus on the dishes rather than filling up on the bread.

Apple Beet Salad

Seared Weathervane Scallops

Dungeness Crab Salad

To start, we shared a few dishes including the outstanding and refreshing Apple Beet Salad ($11) chevre, walnut, dill, caramelized honey; the xo in the Seared Weathervane Scallops ($16) was the perfect spice for that dish which is also had xo, beech mushroom, edamame; and rounding out the starters the tasty Dungeness Crab Salad ($18) watermelon, mint, ver jus.

Beef Tenderloin

Black and White Truffle Risotto

For the mains, we both had the same dish which was divine the medium well preparation was perfectly done,  Beef Tenderloin ($34), smoked marrow, wild mushroom , cauliflower and chimmichurri. Additionally we shared the house special Black and White Truffle Risotto which was outstanding. I enjoyed my Beef Tenderloin with a glass of the Foxtrot `08 Pinot Noir (BC).

Valrhona Milk Chocolate Mousse

Dark Chocolate Cremeux


For me, a creative dessert menu is an indication of a well thought out menu and the perfect ending to a meal. I had very high expectations for the desserts here at Hawksworth and even more so than the starters and mains as I knew David Hawksworth had created that part of the menu. The Pastry Chef is Wayne Kozinko he is also quite experienced having been the pastry chef at one of my other favourite restaurants YEW. The dessert selections that we ordered looked stunning, however in the end I was a tad disappointed with the flavours. We shared the Valrhona Milk Chocolate Mousse ($8) passion fruit, caramel ; the Dark Chocolate Cremeux ($8) sweet potato sorbet, and a hint of maple along with a plate of assorted Macarons ($12) .

After Dinner Mignardises

To end our meal we were served a complimentary plate of Mignardises, another little sweet to round out a fine meal. I will be back ton continue this culinary journey and to partake in Sunday Brunch one day soon!

Review by: Richard Wolak



4856 48 Avenue, Ladner, BC

Tel: 604-946-7717


Twitter: @labelleauberge

Advice: Closed Sunday and Monday. Check their website for cooking classes on offer.

I have always longed to visit La Belle Auberge known as one of the top restaurants in this area if not the country. Chef Bruno Marti founded this restaurant over 31 years ago and is still serving fine French cuisine to this day. While I was in to interview Chef Bruno Marti, I was also treated to a wonderful meal in his dining room along with a walk through the kitchen to meet the other chefs including Chef Tobias Macdonald who is one of the masters of the kitchen.

House cured and Smoked Salmon

Pan Seared Crab Cake

Prawns in a veloute

Roasted Chicken

Frozen Grand Marnier Souffle

To start I had the House cured and Smoked Salmon to tempt my palate, the next dish was the Pan Seared Crab Cake which was then followed by the delectable Prawns in a Veloute. The next course was the delicious Roasted Chicken with an enormous selection of spring vegetables and potatoes. To finish this outstanding meal, the last course Frozen Grand Marnier Souffle!

The dining room is exquisite and classy, and the food is well presented. The restaurant is located in a quaint neighbourhood south of the Fraser River and is the ideal place to dine if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Review By: Richard Wolak


1180 – 8391 Alexandra Road, Richmond

Tel: 604-303-1192

Web: n/a

Advice: Go with friends and share the dishes.

Alaskan King Crab with Roasted Garlic

Deep Fried Alaskan King Crab

Portugese Style Rice served in the crab shell

Hand Pulled Noodles

This is a restaurant that I would have never discovered on my own without hearing about it from a friend who is in the know on where to find some of the best Chinese restaurants in the area. It appeared we were in for a real treat when my dining companions and I visited this restaurant that specializes in King Crab dishes. Here we were served a multitude of dishes that included 1) Alaskan King Crab with Roasted Garlic 2) Deep Fried Alaskan King Crab with garlic and bread crumbs and some cucumber salad 3) Portugese Style Rice served in the crab shell 4) Hand Pulled Noodles in Crab Jus. The crab is priced at $15.98 per pound (prices change), so based on the number of guests in your party they will estimate the cost. After these main dishes we were also served a Choy Vegetable dish. My favourite dishes of the evening went to the Alaskan King Crab with Roasted Garlic and the Deep Fried Alaskan King Crab with garlic and bread crumbs both of these were so very good!

Agar - Coconut, Lychee and Black Sesame

Pumpkin and Tapioca Dessert Soup

To finish off our meal, we were served the Agar with a few variations that included Coconut, Lychee and Black Sesame all were good this then followed by a Pumpkin and Tapioca Dessert Soup which was hot and so tasty. The room is beautiful and this is one of the nicest fine dining Chinese restaurants in the city.

Review by: Richard Wolak

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