Rise Eatery Review

On South Granville bustling corridor sits Rise Eatery. I am so glad I was introduced to this restaurant. The decor is modern and bright and clean and the service is friendly and knowledgable. The menu is creative and executed very well.

I have a few recommendations, their menu will change depending on the seasonal produce. Continue reading “Rise Eatery Review”

Kits Daily – Bambi was Delicious

Heads up, the meal I had at Kits Daily included a plate that ranked within my All Time Favourite Plates. It was a mind-blowing gastro climax, I was instantly aroused and obsessed.

So before that epic climax…

The venison dish was a tad heavy on the black pepper. The venison was a quality lean cut but, I thought it could have been more thinly sliced, it was a bit tough. Overall, the flavours were outstanding. The broth was so flavourful and meaty. Not in the sense of the portion of the meat but, the flavor the meat imparted.

Venison
Venison

I had high expectations for this cod but, in the end it was unfortunately very under seasoned and lacked flavor. We did shake a few granules of salt on top but, instead of infusing with the fish it just sat on top and overwhelmed the flavor of the fish.

Kudos, to Kits Daily and our server Morgan she took the dish back and offered a replacement dish.

You ready for the epic gastro-utopia climax?

Bambi was delicious! White tail deer perched on pomme puree with a side of cranberry chutney. Although the deer was very lean, this succulent cut was very tender and cooked to perfection. Perfectly charred rim and when you look at it closely, the rarer middle was slightly elevated.  Shit, I’m getting a reaction just reminiscing about it. The richness of the pomme puree complimented the gaminess of the deer and the tartness of the cranberry cut through the richness.

White tail deer
White tail deer

It wasn’t just the meat, every single ingredient had its purpose and went so well together and, that is why Bambi ranked within my All Time Favourite Plates.

Kitsilano Daily Kitchen on Urbanspoon

The Fish Counter- Sustainable Seafood in Hipsterville

The Fish Counter

The Fish Counter is a new small joint that opened up on Vancouver’s own  Hipsterville, Main Steet. Opened by Oceanwise co-founders Chef Robert Clark and Marine Biologist Mike McDermid . Clark was behind the brilliance of C restaurant.

They’ll only serve seafood that’s available in season and sustainable.

Sustainable fresh fish market
Sustainable fresh fish market

Think of this place like a standup only cafeteria/ market. There are only two benches, no tables.

The Fish Counter

I wanted something light; I figured I wanted to go restaurant hopping on Main St, so I ordered their dairy free seafood chowder.

The broth had a powerful punch, amazingly fresh and flavourful.  However, where is the seafood? I think I found pinky-nail pieces of clam, probably 7, and a sliver of salmon.

Dairy Free Seafood Chowder
Dairy Free Seafood Chowder

I was eyeing the seafood bouillabaisse and that looked delicious and hearty. Damn, should have gotten that instead.

The fish counter daily menu
The fish counter daily menu

I really wanted to love this place. It isn’t really far of me to judge The Fish Counter on one dish, although underwhelming as it was. I will be back.

The Fish Counter on Urbanspoon

Lift Bar and Grill Happy Hour Menu Preview

Lift Bar and Grill Happy Hour Menu Preview

lift bar happy hour
lift bar happy hour menu preview

For you lucky slackers not chained to their desk from 9-5, you get to take full advantage of happy hour specials.  Lift Bar and Grill recently launched their Happy Hour Menu. The entire food bar menu is half priced, every day, between 3 – 6PM. For more, check out my list of happy hour specials.

Don’t forget to take advantage of their buck – a – shucks during happy hour. I absolutely recommend pairing oysters with a brew or wine. It’s the perfect palette marriage, one without the other is just not the same. I also have a list of current buck a shucks promotions.

The bar menu could be compared to an English Language School, a mish mash of different cultures. The menu went from Japanese to west coast to Italian.

My night started with a glass of prosecco and Japanese inspired bites. Vegetable and prawn tempura and dynamite and tuna rolls.

I have an aversion to ordering sushi rolls at posh western restaurants. They are ridiculously overpriced and, you are paying a premium for their fancy plates and cutlery. That being said, the dynamite roll was damn good. Would I pay $6 for it during happy hour? Yes.  Regular price at $12? No.

As the night rolled on I got to sample their crab cakes, which was drizzled with almond lemon mayonnaise and crispy capers. Delicious. Serrano and burrata flat bread with artichoke puree, baby arugula and aged balsamic. It’s very hard to go wrong when burrata and serrano are put together.

If you want the best bang for your buck I recommend the truffle fries $4 and the charcuterie plate $6. It’s scrumptious and one of the best deals in Vancouver.

 

 

 

Author: Caroline Lau

Prestons Taste Of Canada Menu Preview

Canadian Beer Fact

80% of alcohol consumed by Canadians is beer

The Prestons Taste of Canada event was an industry and media reunion for me. People I haven’t seen for months gathered to preview Prestons Chef Bruce Nollert’s newly launched Canadian inspired menu.This new menu features classic comfort dishes with a modern twist and locally inspired ingredients from each province. Each province’s menu was paired with selected beers from Molson Coors (Nope, not Coors light).  Molson’s has a huge portfolio of beer brands, from Creemore, to Granville Island Brewery and Rickards.

bar preston
Prestons bar

We were greeted by a lovely server, I fall in love with people who serve me a great cocktail with a smile.

greeted wtih caesars and a smile
greeted wtih caesars and a smile

The restaurant was littered with cool Canadian facts alongside, their bowl of popcorn and truffle chips. DAMN those truffle chips, I think I demolished a whole bag that night. So I will randomly incorporate some fun facts throughout this post.

Canadian players make up 56% of the NHL roster

The detailed beers write –up is by Simon Wong my partner in crime for that night. To sum him up, he is a beer evangelist / proselytizer and an all around food connoisseur. (In honesty, I finished up his summary with a zinger that made him sound like a food snob but, I figured he did such a great write-up and did nothing to deserve my witty zingers)

Thank You.

The Westcoast: Fresh Oysters paired with Wayne Gretzky endorsed wine from the Peller winery in Okanagan.

freshly shucked oysters
freshly shucked oysters
Wayne Gretzky Wine - Peller Winery
Wayne Gretzky Wine – Peller Winery

I can always be found at local Happy Hour’s buck a shuck, sipping on some wine with a dozen oysters in front of me, so it’s not a surprise I loitered for more than an hour around this table. Followed by house cured blueberry salmon on rosemary bannock and finished with Nanaimo bar with hazelnut Ganache.

house cured blueberry salmon on rosemary bannock
house cured blueberry salmon on rosemary bannock

The Westcoast course menu was paired with Granville Island Honey Lager.

Nothing spells Westcoast like a honey lager on a nice sunny day!  This GI honey lager does a good job of balancing its subtle sweetness with a light hop.  It complemented the sweetness of the fresh oysters and cured blueberry salmon quite well.

Granville Island Honey Lager
Granville Island Honey Lager

 

The Prairies: Peace River Bison carpaccio with crisp bannock and pierogies with crème friache. I am still trying to figure out how pierogies associate with the Prairies.

Peace River Bison carpaccio with crisp bannock
Peace River Bison carpaccio with crisp bannock

Paired with Rickards dark English-style porter ale. This is a rich and creamy porter weighing in at just under 5% abv.  Its medium body ale with dark malts of chocolate and caramel balanced out with a slight hop.  The creaminess of this brew worked well with the bison carpaccio and pierogies.

Canadians consume 23.41lbs of cheddar cheese per person annually – WTF??

La Belle Province: Poutine with Granville Island maple cream gravy, my favourite the trio. Montreal smoked meat on bagle chips with Dijon aioli and house-made butter tats.

Poutine with Granville Island maple cream gravy
Poutine with Granville Island maple cream gravy

Menu paired with New Castle Brown Ale

Traditional brown ale that pours dark orange but has a light to medium body.  You can taste hints of the caramel and dark malts which paired especially well with the richness of the butter tarts.

The Maritimes: Lobster Rolls, it seemed to be everyone’s favourite. Prestons kept on running out of it. We tend to be a greedy bunch if we like something.

lobster rolls
lobster rolls

Traditional seafood chowder and blueberry grunts. Beer pairing was Creemore Springs Pilsner. A refreshing pils with a slight floral hop to it.  It’s smooth on the palate with a dry and slightly bitter finish.  You want something lighter and crisp with seafood and this pilsner was a big winner with the lobster roll!

Creemore Springs Pilsner
Creemore Springs Pilsner

 

Event Photos:

photographers

Prestons on Urbanspoon

Cache Bistro & Lounge – A Brilliant Dining Experience

Cache Bistro & Lounge – A Brilliant Dining Experience

cache restaurant

I had the pleasure of tasting Cache Bistro’s new fall menu last week with several other bloggers (Scott from WFLBC, Amy from Food Queen, Jen from Mashed Thoughts, Mary from MaryinVancity, Robin from eatwith.RobinLeung, and Amy from PopcornMedia).

Right from the outset, were greeted by Zoey, the manager of Cache. She passed us the tasting menu for the night and told us a bit about the restaurant. Cache is Chef Alex Mok’s debut restaurant. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Chef Mok has worked in several prestigious restaurants and worked under the private chef of the late King Leopold of Belgium. With Cache, Chef Mok aims to marry classic French cooking with unique Asian flavours.

It looks pretty small from the outside, but Cache Bistro has a spacious interior. I would say the restaurant’s décor has some European flair.

bar area 1

Cache has a big bar area and seating space for larger parties. On the other side of the bar, there are booths and smaller tables.

bar

The spacing was a little tight, but it works. It’s sort of cut off from the other patrons, which I think makes it a really nice space for a birthday event or group dinner – you don’t have worry about ruining someone’s date night!

They’ve got plenty of booze available here! We didn’t get to try any, but Cache also has German beer on tap.

Here’s the tasting menu for the night. The front lists the dishes that we got to taste.
menu front

On the back, there is a description of Cache and Chef Mok’s background as well as some contact information.

chef mok background

We also got to take a look at their new fall menu.

It looks like there’s tons of stuff on there, but it’s really because they combined the drinks menu with the food menu. Cache serves a lot of different wines, cocktails, and beers, so the menu looks very packed.

cache menu

The first thing we started with was booze! Cache’s expert bartender whipped up some Xfour Classic Martinis for each one of us.

Xfour Classic Martinis

I had mine with a twist. This martini used Xfour vodka.

Xfour vodka

Never heard of it before, but the martini was really smooth. The vodka seems pretty similar to Grey Goose.

a virgin cocktail

Jen from Mashed Thoughts doesn’t drink, so Cache prepared a virgin cocktail for her instead.

Immediately following the martinis and drinks, we were served some bread. The bread was good, but the real kicker is the two butters accompanying the bread. The first butter is a truffle infused butter and the second butter is a peanut butter butter; they both have the consistency of whipped butter and are made in-house.

truffle butter

The truffle butter is very light and delicious. The truffle flavour was much more subtle than I expected. With the peanut butter butter, it was out of this world! Never had anything quite like it – the flavour is reminiscent of peanut satay sauce that one would find with hotpot dishes.

The starter that we got to sample was the Paris Picnic, which included samples of Oyama Sausage’s cured meats, house made foie gras mousse, mixed olives, a blueberry compote, crostini, and house pickled vegetables.

paris picnic

Oyama Sausage is based in Granville Island; I’ve never had their meats before, but they were spectacular. Unlike some of the cured meats I’ve tried before, Oyama Sausage’s were not overly salty and had a really fresh taste.

oyama sausage

The fois gras mousse was really interesting. I’ve never had fois gras before so I didn’t know what to expect. It had a really creamy texture and a decadent duck aftertaste.

foie gras 2

The rest of the plate was good, but nothing else stood out.

Untitled

Amy from Popcorn Media is vegetarian, so Cache served her a house salad. I have no clue what’s in it, but it sure looks pretty and delicious. The beats were apparently really good.

house salad

I forgot this handsome chap’s name, but he was a really funny host. After the starter, he introduced the wine that would be paired with our first main.

handsom chap

Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvee Violette VQA ’11 BC was the red wine paired with our first main, the Aldergrove Mok Ribs.

le vieux pin syrah

I’m not much of a wine connoisseur, so I’m not even going to try and describe it. I just know that it paired really well with the ribs!

The Aldergrove Mok Ribs is a full rack of pork back ribs cooked using Chef Mok’s secret BBQ sauce. Accompanying the ribs is a side of sesame cilantro red cabbage coleslaw.

ribs

Described to us as the best ribs in town, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ribs were indeed really damn good.

ribs 3

Chef Mok’s fusion of Asian flavours was clearly portrayed in this dish. The ribs were a tad on the sweeter side from the sauce’s incorporation of (what I think to be) hoisin sauce. They were also fall-off-the-bone tender. The slaw was phenomenal – the taste is incredibly similar to Chinese pickled daikon. I’m certain this slaw was the best I’ve ever had and likely will ever have.

rib 4

Moving onto the second main, we were served Church & State Cabernet Franc V2A ’10 BC as the wine pairing.

church and state cab franc

The flavours of this wine were much bolder, so I could make out the lingering spiciness. I remember hearing some of the others mention notes of vanilla and citrus.

I thought it paired really well with the Peace Country Lamb Chop, which was a grilled lamb chop with navy bean ragout and a roasted house made fennel lamb sausage.

lamb 1

I really like lamb, so to see a dish with both a lamb chop and lamb sausage had me pretty excited! The chop had a great sear and was incredibly tender. Excellent lamb flavour and a nice horseradish kick.

lamb 2

Cache’s house-made sausage was a real winner; I’ve never had such a good tasting lamb sausage. It was packed with lamb flavour! Unfortunately though, the bean ragout didn’t appeal to me as much as the lamb. I found the beans harder than I’m used to – it’s more of a personal preference thing though.

Finally after the mains, we reached the pièce de résistance – dessert. We were served the Cache S’more, which had house-made marshmellow, chocolate ganache, and croissant pudding.

Cache S’more

There’s only one word to describe this marshmellow – perfection. It was super gooey and delicious.

Visually, this dessert was also really beautiful.

s'mores 3

The dessert is just bordering on being too sweet, but it straddles that line pretty well. Having this with a cup of black coffee was just the perfect way to finish up the meal. Everything was at the perfect level of melty-ness. If you’re into s’mores or gooey food, this is the dessert you should try.

To finish off the night, Chef Mok came out and briefly chatted with us about his menu. He seems like a cool guy.

chef mok

Overall, Cache Bistro & Lounge serves up some real quality food. It’s by no means a cheap place to go to, but it’s definitely a fabulous place for great food and drinks. I’m putting Cache on my date-night list!

Guest Blogger:

Chris Yeh from Our Food Adventure @ OurFoodAdvent

Caché Bistro & Lounge on Urbanspoon