Wildebeest – Hot Gastown Restaurant

wildebeast kitchen

It was a packed house for Saturday night at 9PM. Upon walking in you sense the Gastown hipster vibe, you when it’s uber cool to be anti – pretentious, they are so cool that they are turning pretentious, without realizing it, it’s a personal observation.

Now the food…
Slow-cooked natural Angus beef short rib, smoked salt, hay-infused jus. One of the more popular items on Wildebeast’s dinner menu. Ribs were souveed for 2 days then finished on the grilled. As expected very tender and smoky. Great except for my first piece, I grabbed the rib on the left, the entire piece was fat and bone. 3.5/5
Ribs

Grilled beef tongue, wild mushroom consommé, toasted grains, mustard greens. Our favourite dish, the Asian inspired shiitake and dashi mushroom consume was made in-house, wow it was packed with flavor. I threw out my table manners and greedily slurped up the broth. 4.5/5
Beef tongue

Pork jowl, long pepper-scented oats, bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. Don’t be put off by the mush, which would remind you of oatmeal. Eat it together and you will understand and appreciate the combination. Sweet and salt with a little bacon fat, delicious. I mentioned, if my mom made oatmeal like this she wouldn’t have trouble feeding me in the morning. Yes, I was fussy even then. 4/5
Pig jowl

The service was satisfactory, it was great in the beginning then as the night progressed they got surlier. By the end of the night I was afraid to ask for a refill of water, less they gave me the glance that said “what you need water? Now?!

All in all  I would head back, the food was good enough for a second visit.

 

 

 

 

Wildebeest on Urbanspoon

Fable Kitchen – Top Chef Canada Runner Up Trevor Bird

Appies

Canned Tuna – preserved lemon, salt canned in-house  Fable Kitchen’s server rightly described it as “The best canned tuna you’ll ever eat” and, she’s right. It was bit on the heavier side but, the flavours were creative blended well together.

Canned Tuna

Chickpea fritters, pickled red onion, shoots, curry mayo. This was good but not the highlight 3/5

Spaghetti and meatball, Duck meat ball, tagliatelle, mushroom sauce in the middle. 5/5. I rarely give 5 ‘s but, this dish deserved it. I understand why they made this an appie instead of an entrée, it is very heavy. My friend remarked, if he could dunk his head in this  it’ll be the best thing EVER.

Spaghetti and meatball

Entrees

Duck Breast, scallion pierogi, fiddle heads, cauliflower. 4.5/5

Duck

Steak, an asian inspired sauce, ginger, black bean, soy sauce. 4/5
Steak

Potato Crusted Chicken and ratatouille. The crust had an interesting texture, reminded me of potato hasbrowns from McDonald’s. It’s not a bad thing just different. Chicken itself was tender. 4/5

potato wrapped chicken

Featured Entrée Slow cooked local salmon with Gnocchi, kale, leeks, spinach puree. The gnocchi was doughy and dense. The salmon was good, the dish other aside from the gnocchi was executed nicely. 3/5

Slow cooked local salmon

Desserts

Lemon Pot de Crème, lemon granita, gin foam. Holy cow this was soooo good. A nice refreshing end to our heavy meal. 4.5/5

Fable Lemon de pot cream

Peach Melba, sable. Sable which I apologize to my highschool French teacher translates to shortbread. Of course!! 2.5/5
Peach Melba

Fable Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Eight 1/2 – Casual Hipster Restaurant

We decided to get out of downtown for a change and explore Mount Pleasant. Eight ½ is quite hidden but, they were bustling for a weeknight almost every table was taken. The atmosphere was casual almost hipster and the food reflected that.

Bacon sliders, the corn gave it a nice sweet flavor all in all it was decent. The patty was a little on the dry side but the sauce was rich. 3/5

eight 1/2 bacon burger sliders

Perogies, are supposed to be a little cirspy and seared on the outside and soft on the inside. This was just soggy and bland
perogies

Seafood Bouillabaisse Soup, the soup was flavorful and chalk full of seafood. This could definitely fill you up and more 3.5/5

boullbaise

eight 1/2 Restaurant Lounge on Urbanspoon

Refinery – Japan vs Granville Island

Refinery Cocktail Kitchen Series

Food Persuasion Level : [rating=4]
Value: [rating=4]
Service : [rating=4]
Ambiance: [rating=5]
Price: $$
Cuisine: Japanese
Location: Granville, Vancouver

www.therefineryvancouver.com

Refinery Cocktail Kitchen Series, a bartending competition inspired by different cultures paired with scrumptious food. This month competition focuses on Japan vs Granville Island. We were thrilled Chef Ben’s food menu was “sushi-free“, we all been to those Japanese themed dinner parties where the selection was limited to two, california and spicy tuna rolls.

The sake and soju was supplied by Masa Shiroki the owner of a local artisan sake shop on Granville Island, Artisan Sake Maker.  Mixologist for the night was Dani Taratin, bar manager from The Keefer.

1st course…

Sunomono saladcompressed cucumber noodles, prawn, pickled Ginger, and citrus, sweetened with lychee and mirin and preserved lemon. It was refreshing and light, good for cleansing the palate and preparing your taste buds for the heavier 2nd course.

Sunomono salad

Paired with…

Sake, gin dream concoction within a carved lime with apple and lime bitters.  Thankfully, we had master sake maker, Masa Shiroki sitting at our table to explain the layers of flavor within the sake drink. This creative sipper was made with Jew Mai Sake, which is premium sake. The drink had a cucumber undertone which paired well with the cucumber noodles.  It was clean, refreshing and simple, as a standalone drink this was by far our favorite of the night.

Lime jew mai sake

2nd course…

Okonomiyake cabbage pancake with bonito Japanese BBQ sauce- bonetta flakes (dried fish).  I’ve been to many Japanese restaurants and I have yet to find one that tastes so good. The combination of Japanese mayo and BBQ sauce, the dashi soup made it so flavorful. Usually this dish tends to be very doughy and dense and chewy, this on the other hand was light.

Okonomiyake cabbage pancake

Paired with…

Blood orange Soju with and passion fruit grapefruit house made bitters and a dash of cinnamon for some for some earthiness and spice.

Blood orange Soju

3rd course…

Kazu  and miso marinated sable fish with mushroom and vegetables. This was dish had quite a bit of bite and,  this is coming from a person who slathers on wasabi like butter. The sweetness of the marinated sable fish was nice and sweet.

 

Kazu  and miso marinated sable fish

Paired with…

Kasu sake, with yin gi mushroom, black tea and a squeeze of lime for its tartness, rimmed with salt and sugar other Japanese earthy herbs. Man! This drink was complex, the sipper alone is a bit confusing. You know when you are expecting chocolate to taste sweet instead it tastes like salty shitake mushrooms mixed with black tea, your taste buds are screaming, “what the hell?” Well if you sipped on this before a bite of the dish yea.  Now, paired with the dish it was amazing! The black tea and the yin gi mushrooms accentuated all the different layers of flavors in the dish and makes it linger a little while longer

The Refinery: Market.Style.Eatery on Urbanspoon

The Perfect First Date Spot – The Diamond

Bar - Diamond
Bar - Diamond

Food Persuasion level : [rating=4]
Value: [rating=2]
Service : [rating=5]
Ambiance: [rating=5]
Price: $$
Cuisine: Asian Inspired Tapas, restaurant lounge
Location: Gastown, Vancouver
Atmosphere: First Date Spot

The Diamond Menu

Rightfully dubbed, Gastown’s neighborhood cocktail parlor,  lacking of any pretentions and Yuppie entourages. We fell in love with the space and atmosphere. Unanimously agreed this is a perfect date spot. Great for people watching, if you are like us, we like to entertain ourselves by watching first dates, while making up soap opera worthy stories. When your date starts to bore you can choose from a plethora of creative cocktails, wines and spirits and livin it up! Ahem…responsibly of course*

It is an Asian inspired menu, with items from subs to Betel Leaves to peking duck noodle soup

For lack of better reason, we have been noticing the portion sizes in Gastown’s newer resto’s have been getting increasing smaller and the prices have stayed relatively the same. I’d hate for Gastown to be fostering anorexic, anti-yuppie, food snobs.

Started with the Crab Cakes – $12, Dungeness crab, coated in panko bread crumbs, with a lemon dijon yogurt lightly drizzled over top and a side of baby greens. Delicious, however everyone on our table and the next were disappointed by its size, comparable to a chocolate coin.

scallops - Diamond
scallops - Diamond

The subs are Vietnamese inspired. Started with the Rock Cod Sub – $12, Moroccan spice, with some greens, tomatoes, cucumber, preserved lemon and Japanese Mayo. The Duck & Soy Chicken Sub -$8, asian pear, cilantro, pickled carrot, rainsins, cucumber and mayo was delicious! It was a Vietnamese sub on speed.

Fish Sub - Diamond
Fish Sub - Diamond

Our bill came out to be $92 for 4 people which includes a dish and drink each. We were still starving by the end of our meal we had to go to Tropika for takeout!

I would however go back for the drinks and the entertaining atmosphere.

6 Powell St

(604) 408-2891

[mappress mapid=”13″]

The Diamond on Urbanspoon

The Art of Looking Cool While Drinking – Raw Canvas

Gastown bohemian artists meets yaletown yuppies

Raw Canvas
Raw Canvas photo credits: vancouverbar.net

Food Persuasion Level: [rating=3]
Value :[rating=2]
Service: [rating=4]
Ambiance[rating=4]
Price: $$
Cuisine: Wine Bar
Location: YaletownVancouver
Raw Canvas Restaurant Menu

I love the idea of painting while sipping on wine! Although my “masterpiece” turned out to be so horrendous I felt a little self-conscious walking back home with it. To my credit, considering the few glasses of wine that was consumed I believe you can make out my building in my”semi-abstract version of Vancouver’s cityline” .

The canvas’s range in sizes and prices, the smallest 24 x 18″ at $40, 65 to $105 for the largest. They provide a smock to protect your clothes and you get a plethora of paint colors and brushes to choose from.

Atmosphere:

ART_Grafitti

Gastown bohemian artists meets yaletown yuppies meets . Peaking underneath their paint smock you see designer dress shirts, it’s in the entertainment center in Yaletown, what do you expect?! Seems to be a hotspot for dates, many couples and first dates. The service was friendly no “what the hell is that?” Although, I got plenty of that from my friends. No worries, unlike some mistakes you can cover it with WHITE PAINT!

Each month they schedule a few local artists to add the eclectic bohemian vibe.

Food:

The grilled cheese sandwich $10, it was sub-par, not one of their strengths.  Cheese merchant’s lunch $15 for a combo of 3 meats and or cheeses and 3 condiments, I’ve had better at many other small plates restaurants in Vancouver. Unfortunately, food is an art form they could not master, this is more of a fun and lighthearted post-dinner kind of place. They have quite a list of quality teas and a simple and small list of wines to choose from.

1046 Hamilton St
Yaletown

[mappress]

Raw Canvas on Urbanspoon