The Olympics are on and it dawns on me that I still haven’t finished my write-up of all the places I hit on my Vancouver trip… back in the fall. Well, consider this my effort to get caught up. Hopefully, the roundup will do someone some use. Or maybe you’ll feel like going to Vancouver after the Olympics are done. Regardless, there are some interesting eats in Vancouver. Excellent ramen and Izakaya to be had – as well as a fledgling mixology scene that we have yet to see in Toronto!
Thomas Haas (Unit 128, 998 Harbourside Drive) has an outpost in North Van, but I hear he’s opening (opened?) up a new one in downtown Vancouver. Where ever it is, seek out that double-baked almond croissant. That’s some kind of yummy. I’m also very fond of Thomas Haas chocolates. Luckily, I can find them at Sen5es on King in Toronto. The salted caramel truffle and the lime one are my favourites.
Fish Tacone from Go Fish (1505 West 1st Avenue). A take on fish tacos, this had grilled salmon, cilantro-spiked salsa, chipotle crema and coleslaw. All rolled into a white-flour tortilla cone. And then straight into my belly. So good we had a second order. I mentioned this on my Notable 2009 dishes. This started off our day on Grenville Island.
There are so many tasty things at the Oyama Sausage Co. (126 – 1689 Johnston Street) on Granville Island. The gendarme is a small and tasty sampling of what’s there. Separately, I’ve had guanciale and some sake-infused sausage as well. Both excellent.
Taste-test the sake made on Granville from Artisan Sake Maker (1339 Railspur Alley). We had the sparkling sake while we were in Vancouver and brought a couple bottles back to Toronto. The Junmai Nama Genshu was a favourite.
Hadn’t seen one before, but this is a kiwiberry. Looks like a vibrant green grape, but eats like a miniature kiwi. Found at one of the fruit and vegetable vendors in the Granville market.
A hot bowl of ramen from Motomachi (740 Denman Street). Just-right noodles in a spicy broth on a rainy day. Perfect, especially given Vancouver’s clime. More on Motomachi »
For brunch, hit up Medina Café (556 Beatty Street). The Fricasée is 2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, arugula and applewood cheddar. Sided with grilled focaccia. Tasty, may I say. Also, make sure to order the waffles. Not so much for the waffle, but really for that fig-orange marmalade. Lovely flavours with a hint of bitter from the orange rind.
Had a lengthy dinner at Mon Bella (1809 West 1st Avenue), but most noteworthy were the ice creams. Coronation grape – Pernod, wild blueberry, wild cranberry, peach-bourbon, and French vanilla. The berry-flavoured ice-creams were especially good. Really fragrant.
Grapefruit Basil Mojito at Market (1128 West Georgia Street). Havana Club Silver, Basil, Lemongrass, Grapefruit. Probably my favourite of all the drinks we tried. And there were quite a few..!
One of many Izakaya places in Vancouver is Kingyo (871 Denman Street). It’s a nice space with some really lovely accents in the room. It’s saved from over-the-top by the many whimsical fishes that decorate the dishware and the addition of a Gundam stationed at the bar. Amaebi is always spectacular in Vancouver (compared to Toronto) and my inaugural taste of takowasabi was had here. There was also a really awesome uni chawanmushi that I was tempted to order a second of. More on Kingyo »
We had a really great meal at Fuel (1944 4th Ave West) with a lovely amuse of beets and chives. Really great flavour mix – I wanted more! Also of note was the Confit of Sloping Hills Pork Belly Rack. Crisp skin, flavourful pork, and a lovely plating. As a note, Fuel has since re-opened as Refuel.
So, that’s the whirl-wind tour. There was quite a bit of eating, given that we were only there for a few days. But that’s how most of my trips go!
- Fuel 1944 4th Ave West, Vancouver (note: reopened as Refuel)
- Go Fish 1505 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver
- Granville Island, Vancouver
- Kingyo 871 Denman Street, Vancouver
- Medina Café 556 Beatty Street, Vancouver
- Mon Bella 1809 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver
- Motomachi 740 Denman Street, Vancouver
- Thomas Haas Unit 128, 998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver
More Vancouver eats
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February 22, 2010 at 10:12 pm
Sadly Mon Bella is of no more too. I had a really lovely meal here shortly after your trip and just a week before they closed (Oct). http://www.flickr.com/photos/sifu_renka/sets/72157623052429328/
(And I’m going to rub it in: I think my version of the Sloping Hills Pork Belly Rack was nicer, due to the fantastic sides. :P Our friendly server remembered you guys from about 2 weeks earlier, and while it might have been a coincidence that we had such lovely treatment and our version was accompanied by an amazing Sheppard’s pie, I have a feeling that it was a result of your and W’s trip. So my tummy, my dining companions, and I thank you.
March 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm
Mon Bella no more as well!? D’oh.
And suuuure… rub it in… I wanted some of that Shepherd’s pie!