Hip - Vancouver Restaurants

 

Wild Rice (Modern Chinese Cuisine)

Wild Rice (web site, map, 117 W. Pender, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-642-288) is a stylish, modern, and upscale restaurant on the edge of Vancouver’s Chinatown that serves innovative Chinese cuisine.

Wild Rice is one of the only restaurants in Vancouver with a menu that takes familiar Chinese dishes and re-imagines them in a marvellous fusion between new and old-world Chinese cuisine and high-end Western-style tapas.

40something, a reviewer on DineHere.ca writes (click here to read review):

The decor is polished and dark with mute dark green panel lighting. Wear black my dear! Very Sean Connery turtle neck. BTW The prices reflect the ambiance.

[...] The food was pretty darn good. Like with other outings, we ordered and shared. It was eclectic and all nicely presented, yet seemed more like elaborate tapas then meals. Our service was good (I guess that has changed for the better recently given the older reviews). And our wait staff seemed knowledgeable and attentive enough.

The restaurant is offering a special menu for Dine Out Vancouver 2009. I have copied it from their website and included it below. Vegetarian (vegan) items are indicated with a “v” symbol.

3-COURSE MENU OPTIONS:
available wednesday, january 14 through sunday, february 1, 2009.
please note that, during dine out, our regular a la carte menu will not be available

1st course:
bc side stripe shrimp congee or
vegan menu item hot & sour soup or
wonton soup with pork dumplings

2nd course:
yarrow meadows duck confit on shanghai noodle or
vegan menu item local mushroom & baby bok choy on noodle or
free range kung po chicken on jasmine rice

3rd course:
red bean panna cotta or
vegan menu item seasonal berry dumplings or
tea cup chocolate pudding

$18 per person. optional VQA wine pairings available.

Pictured below are some of the dishes we tried last week. It was a real feast!

Peking style duck pancakes from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. Made with Yarrow Meadows duck breast, scallion pancakes, and hoisin $18

Peking style duck pancakes from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. Made with yarrow meadows duck breast, scallion pancakes, and hoisin $18

Spicy kung po chicken with twice cooked peanuts from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. Made with Maple Hill free range chicken, broccoli, and rice noodles $18

Spicy kung po chicken with twice cooked peanuts from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. Made with Maple Hill free range chicken, broccoli, and rice noodles $18

Side stripe shrimp congee from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. A modern take on traditional Chinese soup. Made from brown rice $9

Side stripe shrimp congee from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. A modern take on traditional Chinese soup. Made from brown rice $9

Ma po doufu from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. Made with tempura eggplant, chili jam $11

Ma po doufu from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. Made with tempura eggplant, chili jam $11

Gai lan (Chinese brocolli) and crisped shallots from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. $7  (side dish)

Gai lan (Chinese brocolli) and crisped shallots from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. $7 (side dish)

Local fruit dumplings (dessert) from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver.  Star anise caramel, vanilla doufu ‘ice cream’. $8. The Caramel sauce was stupendous!

Local fruit dumplings (dessert) from Wild Rice restaurant in Vancouver. Star anise caramel, vanilla doufu ‘ice cream’. $8. The Caramel sauce was stupendous!

Wild Rice on Urbanspoon

8,626 views - Posted Monday, January 5th, 2009

 

Chill Winston (Gastown)

Chill Winston (web site, map, 3 Alexander St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-288-9575) is a hip, young restaurant in Gastown with upscale and contemporary Pacific Northwest style food.

Bonka, a reviewer on Dinehere.ca writes (click here to read review):

Great place to “chill”. I’ve come here a few times before (always during the dinner hour) and have likened each experience. It’s decorated like a lounge with large (and comfortable) low chairs. [...]the dishes are prepared impeccably well. I will return to try out their brunch/lunch menus.

The crowd is mostly well-heeled twenty and thirty-somethings, who get together to have a good time. The low-light atmosphere is happy, relaxed, and at times boisterous, with much cavorting, indulging, romancing, and “chilling” going on.

To start, I had the Duck Bacon Unwrapped Scallops ($13, pictured below) which their menu describes as “Baja scallop and citrus ceviche topped with coffee and molasses cured duck bacon on brioche”. Phew, that’s quite a description, but my interest was piqued by the creative combination of ingredients. Fusion at its best, I thought while munching contentedly on every last bit of the Ceviche.

The main course I tried was the Sea Tiger Prawns ($25, also pictured below), which are grilled prawns in a lemon basil oil with a spinach and almond risotto. My dining companion commented that the chef had presented this dish differently on a previous visit (my serving was more “aggressive” looking, kind of like an angry crab). An angry crab made of risotto and prawns is an angry crab that I would like to meet again!

Sea Tiger Prawns ($25) from Chill Winston in Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Sea Tiger Prawns ($25) from Chill Winston in Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Duck Bacon Unwrapped Scallops from Chill Winston in Gastown, Vancouver ($13)

Duck Bacon Unwrapped Scallops from Chill Winston in Gastown, Vancouver ($13)

Chill Winston on Urbanspoon

6,865 views - Posted Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

 

The Templeton (Granville) – Part 3

I made another visit to The Templeton (web site, map, 1087 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-685-4612) and enjoyed their Mangled Eggs ($8.00, pictured below) which are cheesy scrambled eggs served in a croissant with your choice of veggie bacon or real bacon, and some tasty hashbrowns (potatoes).

My friends who were dining with me both ordered the Templeton’s baked macaroni and cheese entree (not pictured), which looked incredibly delicious and healthy too: with some creative ingredients like aged white cheddar, gorgonzola, Italian parmesan, fresh tomato salsa, and side organic mixed greens – a huge step up from good ol’ KD (Kraft Dinner).

The Templeton is also a cool place to check out because it has the original furnishings of a classic 1950′s diner, complete with swivel bar stools and a functioning mini jukebox at each table. They show cartoons or movies on the projection screen above the stainless steel bar, and the food is not what you’d expect from a diner: it’s surprisingly modern and updated for healthy lifestyles. They have a good selection of organic and vegetarian entrees as well as some non-vegetarian choices. Serving breakfast until 3pm, the Templeton is open late for dinner too!

For more info and photos please visit Part 2 and Part 1.

Mangled Eggs ($8.00) for Breakfast at the Templeton restaurant on Granville Street

Mangled Eggs ($8.00) for Breakfast at the Templeton restaurant on Granville Street

Templeton on Urbanspoon

9,150 views - Posted Monday, October 6th, 2008