Modern Decor - Vancouver Restaurants

 

Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante (Downtown)

Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante (map, website, menu, 970 Smithe Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-408-0808) offers Italian pizzas and pastas in a sophisticated and airy modern atmosphere. The candle-lit dining room with double-height ceiling and balcony is a popular spot for a gourmet pizza before or after a movie. It’s located right next to the Scotiabank Movie Theatre in downtown Vancouver (near Burrard and Smithe).

Formerly a pizza place called Lombardo’s (which still has a location on Commercial Drive near 1st ave), Pacifico continues Lombardo’s practice of serving pizzas with inventive and complementary ingredients. We tried the “Salmone” ($25 for large, pictured below), made with smoked salmon, capers, and red onion. A delightfully chewy crust was brushed with extra virgin olive oil, and topped with lots of cheese.

We also tried their desserts. The Mud Pie ($6.00, pictured below) was fairly run-of-the-mill (still frozen solid) but the restaurant’s house specialty Tiramisu ($7.00, also pictured below) was heavenly.

Some higher-end restaurants have picked up a trend of serving “deconstructed” Tiramisu – a mix of mascarpone cheese, custard, coffee, and some liquor in a cocktail glass, with maybe a few biscuits hidden at the bottom. This mode of presentation may be satisfying in a different way from a slice of cake on a plate – consuming the cocktail glass version is sans fuss and trendy too.

Irashai Grill, an Asian fusion restaurant in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour, serves their Tiramisu in a sleek porcelain tray, dusted with a dangerously thick layer of powdered chocolate. Both Irashai’s and Pacifico’s realizations of Tiramisu are worthy of a sweet discovery!

Large smoked salmon pizza ($25) from Pacifico Pizzeria Restorante, a great pizza restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Large smoked salmon pizza ($25) from Pacifico Pizzeria Restorante, a great pizza restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Mud Pie dessert ($6.00) from Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Mud Pie dessert ($6.00) from Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Tiramisu dessert ($7.00) from Pacifico Pizza Restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Tiramisu dessert ($7.00) from Pacifico Pizza Restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante on Urbanspoon

17,784 views - Posted Saturday, October 17th, 2009

 

Tropika on Robson (Part 2) – Malaysian and Thai Cuisine

Tropika on Robson (web site, map, 1128 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone 604-737-6002) is a popular Malaysian and Thai restaurant located on the second floor overlooking Vancouver’s trendy Robson Street shopping district (downtown), between Bute and Thurlow streets.

The restaurant has won numerous awards for their innovative and unique decor, and more importantly for their food. Their menu, which is full of wonderful mouth-watering photos, makes choosing dishes a snap – even if you’re not so familiar with Malaysian or Thai cuisine. Simply look at the photos in the menu and let your eyes decide what to eat!

On a previous visit (over two years ago) I enjoyed the satay skewers and the Hainanese chicken.

This time we tried the following dishes (all pictured below): Indonesian spring rolls filled with chicken ($2.50 each), some delightfully puffy roti canai bread served with a special sauce ($2.95), the marvellous sambal clams ($13.95), an hot and sour eggplant hot pot with minced pork ($11.95), and the pineapple fried rice with ham and chicken ($12.95).

An interesting drink that we tried was the Coconut Juice served in a real coconut (also pictured below). This was a huge coconut filled with some refreshing and slightly sweet coconut juice, that we could enjoy with a straw.

In addition to Tropika’s Robson Street location, the restaurant also has a couple of other locations: Tropika Cambie Street (map, 2975 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-879-6002), and Tropika at Aberdeen (map, unit 1830, Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC, Canada, phone: 604-233-7002). More info is on their web site.

Indonesian Spring Rolls from Tropika on Robson Street ($2.50 each)

Indonesian Spring Rolls from Tropika on Robson Street ($2.50 each)

Roti Canai bread from Tropika on Robson ($2.95)

Roti Canai bread from Tropika on Robson ($2.95)

Sambal Clams ($13.95) from Tropika on Robson

Sambal Clams ($13.95) from Tropika on Robson

Hot & Sour Eggplant Hot Pot with Minced Pork ($11.95) from Tropika on Robson

Hot & Sour Eggplant Hot Pot with Minced Pork ($11.95) from Tropika on Robson

Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham and Chicken ($12.95) from Tropika Restaurant on Robson Street.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham and Chicken ($12.95) from Tropika Restaurant on Robson Street.

Coconut Juice served in a fresh real coconut (around $4.00) from Tropika Malaysian and Thai restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Coconut Juice served in a fresh real coconut (around $4.00) from Tropika Malaysian and Thai restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Tropika (Downtown) on Urbanspoon

14,851 views - Posted Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

 

Irashai Grill – Japanese Fusion in Coal Harbor Vancouver (Part 2)

Irashai Grill (web site, map, 1368 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 604-688-8697) is a newly opened Japanese fusion restaurant in the Coal Harbour neighborhood of downtown Vancouver. Having attended their open house a few weeks ago (see Part 1), I was interested in trying out the restaurant for an actual meal. I was in for a real treat!

My friend and I first ordered the Dragon Roll Sushi ($13.50, pictured below), which looked and tasted amazing. The Dragon Roll was on their special rolls menu (not listed on their web site) and was a creation made with shrimp, tempura, avocado, barbecued eel (unagi), and of course the sushi rice and nori seaweed. It was quite sweet tasting (because of the sauce that the eel is marinated with), and was light and immensely satisfying. I commented to my friend that I could easily eat one of these every day. If only I could afford it!

The Tako Sunomono (a cold salad made with octopus, vermicelli noodles and a sweet and tangy vinegary broth) was $7.50 and was presented very nicely in a large cocktail glass (pictured below). It is one of my favorite appetizers at Japanese restaurants and the Irashai version did not disappoint! I would have liked it to be bigger, but that is just my wishful thinking because it was a decent size for an appetizer after all.

Now comes to the most interesting part of the meal. We were perusing the menu and discovered a very unusual sounding sushi roll item. Unusual I say? Yes! I’ll explain.

In general, for creative dishes that are designed by the chef using a culinary “artistic license”, the name of the dish, if it is somewhat abstract and not a simple description of the ingredients, will relate to the theme of the dish in some way. What this means is, I was curious to see exactly what a Poison Spider Volcano would taste like. No kidding! Would there be an actual spider involved in this sushi, and would this spider have some sort of deadly poison? Also it was very important for me to find out how a volcano would be represented in the form of rice and other sushi-like ingredients on a dinner plate.

The good old poison spider and its friendly volcano home ($16, pictured below) was made with asparagus, soft shell crab, cream cheese, and was sprinkled with cheese. It was baked before serving and then topped with a super spicy miso sauce. Super spicy is an understatement! The powerful spicy sauce reminded me of the Crazy Boy Roll at Mr. Sushi but the Poison Spider Volcano sushi had a much more complex and rich flavor (thanks to the cheese and cream cheese). It was very filling, which is a good thing in my books. My vote: thumbs up, but the sauce was too spicy for my friend.

For dessert we tried their Marscapone Tiramisu ($5.50, also pictured below) which was a generous amount of cool sweet marscapone cheese served in an interesting ceramic tray topped with a layer of dusted cocoa. The cocoa was very fine and powdery. This was a wonderful contrasting dish to calm things down after the spicy spider!

Dragon Roll Sushi from Irashai Grill Japanese Fusion Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada ($13.50)

Dragon Roll Sushi from Irashai Grill Japanese Fusion Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada ($13.50)

Tako Sunomono Salad ($7.50) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver BC Canada.

Tako Sunomono Salad ($7.50) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver BC Canada.

Poison Spider Volcano Sushi ($16.00) from Irashai Japanese Restaurant in Coal Harbor, downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Poison Spider Volcano Sushi ($16.00) from Irashai Japanese Restaurant in Coal Harbor, downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Marscarpone Tiramisu dessert ($5.50) from Irashai Grill Japanese fusion restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Marscarpone Tiramisu dessert ($5.50) from Irashai Grill Japanese fusion restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Irashai Grill on Urbanspoon

18,515 views - Posted Saturday, June 20th, 2009