Zevi and I are on a little road trip out to the coast in search of some rest, relaxation, and delicious food, of course! Vancouver was the first stop on our journey, and I thought I’d recap some of the places that wowed me in this great city.
Kadoya has long been a favorite of mine. I believe that Zevi and I went to this small sushi spot the very first time we road tripped out to the coast together only three weeks into our relationship (what??) and we’ve been going back as often as possible ever since. With creative rolls, super reasonable prices, and quality that is above and beyond anything that I’ve ever found in Calgary, I dream about this place on a regular basis and count down the days until I can make it back for another visit. My favorite roll is the Snow White – prawn tempura, ebi, tamago, and a delicious dusting of coconut on top. I think that a great measure of a place is if they can make something seemingly mundane into something memorable, and Kadoya does that with their Spicy Salmon roll, with the perfect amount of spice and the crunch from the tempura bits on the inside making this menu staple an irresistible treat.
And then of course there is the sashimi – I am a sucker for atlantic salmon, and Kadoya serves huge pieces of fish that melt in your mouth like butter. I always know what to expect from this great little joint, and it hasn’t disappointed me yet!
On the second morning of our visit we were headed to see a Vancouver Whitecaps and wanted to find somewhere to grab some brunch along the way. After a couple of failed attempts at nearby restaurants, we decided to give the Yolk’s breakfast cart a try. Conveniently parked right beside the Stadium-Chinatown Skytrain station only a couple of minutes from BC Place, we weren’t the only soccer game goers taking advantage of their breakfast offerings.
Their special sounded amazing, but unfortunately they had run out by the time we arrived, so I settled (not unhappily) for an egg sandwich on an english muffin with ham, dijon, spinach and hollandaise. Extreme messiness aside, the sandwich certainly did not disappoint, with the tang of the dijon acting as the perfect counterpoint to the rich yolk and hollandaise sauce. I also tried the truffled-lemon hash brown skewer, and was impressed by the perfectly soft potatoes with a crispy exterior and the flavour combination of the truffle oil and the lemon. Zevi ordered blackberry pancakes, and although they may have been slightly underdone, they had great flavour as well. Based on what we were able to sample I would certainly go back for more!
We were very excited to eat at the recently-established Tacofino Commissary, having gone absolutely bananas over the original truck when we were in Tofino after our wedding last summer. Sometimes high expectations can lead to disappointment, but let me eliminate the suspense for you – pretty much everything we ate was incredible.
Tacofino is a self-described tapas type joint, where sharing is encouraged and plates come out as they are ready. As its name suggests, the menu consists mainly of tacos, with a few appetizers and desserts thrown in as well. The first dish I got was the Albacore Tuna Taco (pictured) – I had sampled this taco in Tofino and couldn’t resist going back for more. The amazing seared tuna, crunchy cabbage and salty seaweed salad made for a combination that was just as good as I remembered it. Other standouts were Zevi’s extremely flavourful skirt steak taco, his light and crunchy fish taco and the brussels sprouts appetizer that my sister and I shared. Unfortunately there was a ferry that needed to be caught so we didn’t have time for dessert, but when we come back (and there will be a next time, that’s for sure) I hope that the Banana Sriracha Ice Cream is still on the menu!
Being a fan of Top Chef in all of its many incarnations, Fable, started by TC alum Trevor Bird, had been on my radar for a while, so when we were looking for a place to go for brunch with friends I jumped at the chance to try it. We managed to arrive just before the rush would have forced us to wait in line, and the hostess even agreed to break the rules a little bit and seat us before our friends arrived, so things were off to a great start. The rustic feel of the dining room really reflected their farm to table focus, and the open kitchen let us peek at what the chefs were up to as we walked in.
Unfortunately I was too busy stuffing my face with my blood sausage eggs benedict (the special of the day) to get any photos, but everyone at the table pretty much licked their plate clean, which gives you an idea of how good the food was. Though I usually love a savoury breakfast, Zevi’s french toast was a major standout. The bread had an almost cake-like texture and was moist and incredibly flavourful. I will most definitely be visiting again to try out their dinner menu!
Our final meal in Vancouver, other than the bagels we grabbed from the always-delicious Siegel’s on our way out of town, was at a small sushi spot recommended to us by a friend of Zevi’s. Since we’re usually pressed for time when we’re in the city we don’t usually stray away from what we know and love (read: Kadoya) when it comes to sushi, so I was glad to have someone steer us outside of our comfort zone.
Jun’s food far exceeded its unassuming decor. The sashimi was incredibly fresh, with the tuna being a standout for me (that’s a big deal considering we got salmon, my usual favorite, as well). The rolls were also delicious, with my favorite being the Vancouver roll – prawn and yam tempura with mango and masago and avocado on the outside. It’s hard not to be jealous of all of the amazing sushi places that charge next to nothing for something that can’t be matched in Calgary, but I guess it’s just a reason to keep visiting the coast!
I think it’s pretty evident that Vancouver is a great place to eat and of course there’s way more to offer than I had the chance to try. I can’t wait for our next visit!