Small Plates - Vancouver Restaurants

 

Kingyo Japanese Izakaya (Denman St)

Kingyo Japanese Izakaya (map, web site, visitor reviews, 871 Denman Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-608-1677)

Izakaya is a Japanese word for a drinking place that also serves food. Wikipedia has a bunch of details; here is a brief excerpt:

The name “izakaya” is a compound word consisting of “i ” (to remain) and “sakaya” (sake shop), showing that izakaya originate from sake shops which allowed customers to remain on the premises to drink.

Vancouver is one of the lucky food cities around the world where you can find a Japanese Izakaya restaurant outside of Japan. Kingyo, located in downtown Vancouver’s West End, is an upscale and trendy Izakaya that provides a modern, intimate, and tantalyzing taste of contemporary Japanese food and drink.

Rated as one of Canada and Vancouver’s best new restaurants of 2007 by enRoute Magazine (the inflight magazine of Air Canada), Kingyo consistently gets glowing reviews by visitors for its friendly staff, creative and innovative menu, and great service (check out some of the reviews at Dinehere.ca).

GoodEats88, a reviewer on DineHere.ca writes (click here to read review):

Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted warmly by the staff and shown to a table quite quickly. Nice hot towels were served to us and our drink orders taken. There was a daily special sheet folded into the menu and the difficult thing was deciding on what to try. We asked the server and he recommended a few dishes. Knowing it was izakaya (tapas), we weren’t expecting huge portions, but trying out several sharing plates. We started with the ahi tuna sashimi (melts in your mouth), then had the calamari (loved how it was made) followed with the Ebi Mayo and the Black Cod.

Below are some pictures of the food that I enjoyed with my friend. Everything was really tasty and I’ll definitely go back again for more.

Salmon Sushi ($8.80) from Kingyo in Vancouver

Salmon Sushi ($8.80) from Kingyo in Vancouver

Three kinds of Japanese sashimi from Kingyo ($18)

Three kinds of Japanese sashimi from Kingyo ($18)

more of the sashimi (prawn)

more of the sashimi (prawn)

more sashimi

more sashimi

Sashimi

Sashimi

Japanese Tuna Pizza (with chopsticks?) - $7.80

Japanese Tuna Pizza (with chopsticks?) - $7.80


Kingyo on Urbanspoon

22,948 views - Posted Friday, April 10th, 2009

 

r.tl regional tasting lounge (Yaletown, downtown)

r.tl regional tasting lounge (web site, map, 1130 Mainland Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-638-1550) is a recent (and notable!) addition to the upscale Yaletown restaurant and shopping district of downtown Vancouver.

Late on a Saturday night, a friend and I were wandering the misty streets of this former warehouse district, and poked our heads into a bunch of nice looking restaurants such as Capones Jazz Club (which has live jazz every night), George Lounge (a cocktail bar), and Milestones (a chain restaurant with upscale decor). After a glass of wine and a chicken salad at Milestones, we were looking to go some place “cooler” and chill out the rest of the evening.

We meandered over to Mainland Street and were intrigued by the mysterious looking sign that simply said “r.tl”, like some kind of secret code for a fabulous New York hideaway that only a few locals know about. This may be closer to reality than one may think – Vancouver’s food scene is getting to be well known on the international stage, offering some dining experiences that are as every bit exciting and substantial as the most prized eateries in New York and Paris.

While making trips around the world to try new restaurants may be a pastime of the privileged few, r.tl has a new concept that lets the ingredients, recipes, and traditions of fine regional cuisines of the world appear in the easily accessed (and perhaps more affordable) realm of its sleek, laid-back dining room. r.tl is called a “regional tasting lounge” for a reason, as the restaurant rotates its menu every quarter through different culinary locales, choosing two complimentary world regions to accompany the local fare of Coastal British Columbia.

Currently r.tl is featuring Portugal and France along with the BC region. My friend and I were really amazed by the taste of the Pacific mussels we ordered, which were served in a kind of corn-chowder sauce with some chorizo sausage (around $11). The drinks list at r.tl is extensive, including a selection of hand-picked, rare wines and cocktails from around the world.

I was fortunate to visit another time to try some of their Canapes (pictured below) which are miniature versions of some of their larger dishes.

Check out the restaurant’s web site for their menu and more info.

Negroni (drink) - A bitter drink thats great preparation for a meal and an Apertif. Tanqueray gin, Campari, Cinzano Rosso on the rocks.

Negroni (drink) - A bitter drink that's great preparation for a meal and an Apertif. Tanqueray gin, Campari, Cinzano Rosso on the rocks.

Nicoise Salad - fresh micro greens, quail eggs, haricot vert nicoise olives, fingerling potato and seared albacore tuna

Nicoise Salad - fresh micro greens, quail eggs, haricot vert nicoise olives, fingerling potato and seared albacore tuna

Prawns Piri Piri - pan seared wild sea tiger prawns with traditional Portuguese chili sauce

Prawns Piri Piri - pan seared wild sea tiger prawns with traditional Portuguese chili sauce

Pate au Foie Gras de Canard - Duck liver pate with pickled red torpedo onions

Pate au Foie Gras de Canard - Duck liver pate with pickled red torpedo onions

The bar at r.tl regional tasting lounge in Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

The bar at r.tl regional tasting lounge in Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Dining room at r.tl regional tasting lounge restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Dining room at r.tl regional tasting lounge restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Crab cakes from r.tl restaurant in Yaletown.

Crab cakes from r.tl restaurant in Yaletown.

Duck Liver Pâté and baguette

Duck Liver Pâté and baguette

r.tl regional tasting lounge

r.tl regional tasting lounge

The entree sized version of the salad, La Petite Salad Niçoise, with fresh micro greens, quail eggs, haricot vert niçoise olives, fingerling potato, seared albacore tuna

The entree sized version of the salad, La Petite Salad Niçoise, with fresh micro greens, quail eggs, haricot vert niçoise olives, fingerling potato, seared albacore tuna

R.tl on Urbanspoon

15,732 views - Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

 

YEW restaurant + bar (Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver)

YEW restaurant + bar (map, web site, 791 West Georgia St, Vancouver, Canada, phone 604-692-4939) is located in the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, one of Vancouver’s most luxurious hotels.

We enjoyed their special menu for Dine Out Vancouver 2009, which was $38 per person before tax, tip, gratuity, and drinks. The atmosphere is awesome, the service is impeccable, and the restaurant’s food is very impressive. We were a little cowed by the wine list, which had the cheapest wine by the glass at $9.00 and a half litre for $30. So we didn’t order drinks, but the food (as shown below) was fabulous.

I made a video of the dishes (which you can view using the player below).

The menu that was offered that evening is below:

YEW restaurant Dine Out Vancouver 2009 Menu:
$38 (excludes taxes, gratuity and alcohol)
Cuisine Type:
West Coast

RED SALAD
Slow Poached Pear, Beets & Goat Cheese, Red Leaves, Roasted Peppers
— or —

CAULIFLOWER
Cauliflower Soup with Black Cod Cake & Parsley Coulis
— or —

SABLEFISH
Soy Glazed Sablefish, Scallion Pancake,
Micro Broccoli & Mushroom Salad

PASTA
Wild Mushroom Gemelli, Basil Stewed Artichokes & Olives
— or —

SALMON
Miso Broiled Salmon, Chinese Broccoli, Baby Shiitakes,
Squash & Plum Purée
— or —

VENISON
Braised Nicola Valley Venison Shoulder, Winter Greens,
Risotto Milanese

CHERRY
Whipped Morello Cheesecake, Cherry Crumble and
Jubilee Glaze
— or —

CHOCOLATE
Milk Chocolate Cream, Salted Caramel & Cinnamon Meringue
— or —

PINEAPPLE
Pineapple Carpaccio, Lime Sorbet, Coconut Wafers

Still from the video (Yew Restaurant in Vancouver)

Still from the video (Yew Restaurant in Vancouver)

YEW Restaurant + Bar on Urbanspoon

16,376 views - Posted Wednesday, January 28th, 2009