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Endy'

another trip to Van

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I'm planning a trip to Van for the end of February and will be there for a week or so. Last time around I got some excellent advice in an eG thread so I'm trying again ;). If interested, you can see previous suggestions and what I covered in last year's thread or the Flickr collection.

I have a few specific questions, and a tentative list of restaurants on which I'd like some feedback (have any closed/moved/gone downhill recently). Any other suggestions are of course welcome. I'll probably be staying in the downtown area.

current list:

-Rare (it was just too good last time)

-Metro (on the strength of Rare)

-Ocean 6 Seventeen (another great rec from last year's thread)

-Go Fish

-Vij's (because I didn't get there last time)

-Shun Feng in Richmond for dim sum? (saw a mention in a thread here, any updated thoughts?)

-Kintaro, because duh!

also:

-Granville Island Market day (donuts/Oyama/sake/etc.)

-coffee at 49th Parallel

-izakaya somewhere downtown? (I tried Guu on Thurlow last time)

-this Korean fried chicken place sounds awesome

questions:

-I remember reading some buzz here about So.Cial when it opened; what's the latest on it? Is it worth a trip?

-thoughts on Feenie's? I know that Chef Feenie is no longer associated with those 2 restaurants, but I wonder if his departure has had a direct impact on the food at Feenie's...I enjoyed the lunch I had there last time.

so that's what I've got so far. What else is out there? Thanks all.

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You've got a pretty good list!

I would try to make room for Fuel also. New place - imaginative cooking.

I personally like Gingeri for Dim Sum in Richmond better - I've heard that Shun Feng has slipped since starting out of the gates strong.

If you like Kintaro - the owners have opened a new place just down the street called Motomachi Shokudo that has gotten some good praise.

For izakaya - I think the best is Kingyo - also on Denman street - the cooking is tighter and flavours are fresher and cleaner than other places.

Coffee is also expertly brewed at the Elysian room - which is a stone's throw from Granville Island.

So.Cial butcher shop is great for lunch time sandwhiches - the restaurant is not good I'm afraid.

I'd skip Feenie's for now.

Remember to get to Vij's early or be prepared to wait.


Edited by canucklehead (log)

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If you like Kintaro - the owners have opened a new place just down the street called Motomachi Shokudo that has gotten some good praise.

[...]

Coffee is also expertly brewed at the Elysian room - which is a stone's throw from Granville Island. 

[...]

So.Cial butcher shop is great for lunch time sandwhiches - the restaurant is good I'm afraid. 

thanks for the advice! I'll look into Motomachi...I guess it's another ramen place? Is there a reason to try to hit both?

I've heard from a coffee nerd that Elysian has been slipping recently (hence his rec of 49th)...I'll try to get to both though.

and I'm not really sure how to interpret the comment on So.Cial...are you saying the restaurant is "just" good (and thus skippable)?

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Skip So.Cial the resteraunt - visit their butchershop for great deli sandwhiches instead. They make most of their own charcruterie.

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I fully agree with Canucklehead on Kingyo Izakaya , Fuel and Gingeri .

Maybe also Come Along for dimsum on Kingsway .

I would also recommend Pied A Terre (french bistro on cambie) and La Buca (italian on McDonald) , same owners , god prices , great food .

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I fully agree with Canucklehead on Kingyo Izakaya , Fuel and Gingeri .

Maybe also Come Along for dimsum on Kingsway .

I would also recommend Pied A Terre (french bistro on cambie) and La Buca (italian on McDonald) , same owners , god prices , great food .

I'll second La Buca (another great dinner there on Sunday night but do book ahead as it is tiny).

Can't comment on the resto at Social (sorry, really hate that whacky punctuation) but Canucklehead is spot on re the sandwiches. Worth the schlep for lunch, they are huge -- I love to eat and could barely finish a quarter sandwich. Order at the back and then head into the bar area, grab a beer and chow down in comfort.

Since we're talking Gastown, I would also recommend a trip to Jules French Bistro. I imagine this place would fit in decently well in Paris, the food is great, the staff is just French enough to give an authentic feel and the prices are excellent. Don't miss the roast pork with Puy lentils, but if you order it come hungry. I was too full for dessert and that is a rarity. Again, suggest you book early as this place is petite and busy.

I'm always a fan of the fish at Go Fish, although I have occasion to look sideways at the fries :huh: I've never been in Feb because of the whole gotta eat outdoors thing though. Wonder if the line ups are as long now as they are in the spring/summer....

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I don't know how fair it is to judge a restaurant during DOV, but I was disappointed by my visit to So.Cial. Had the duck confit appetizer that was significantly over-salty, and the scallops that were overwhelmed by too-spicy risotto (pepper and chili oil). Given some other great options in gastown, I'd personally head elsewhere.

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I haven't been to Social for dinner yet so i cannot comment but if you like oysters they have oyster happy hour from 3-7pm in the downstairs lounge and we have always had excellent service and excellent oysters for $1.25 a shuck.

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thanks for all the suggestions so far, Fuel in particular looks really good, and as for dim sum I'll probably settle on Gingeri, it seems to be a popular suggestion.

Global: how is the oyster selection at So.Cial? Do they have a lot of varieties on offer and is it all just West Coast stuff?

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thanks for all the suggestions so far, Fuel in particular looks really good, and as for dim sum I'll probably settle on Gingeri, it seems to be a popular suggestion.

Global: how is the oyster selection at So.Cial?  Do they have a lot of varieties on offer and is it all just West Coast stuff?

Endy - if you compare it with Rodney's, you may be a little disappointed. I went to So.cial for oysters once - and though it was pleasant, it is not oyster nirvana. In fact, the first olympia oyster I ever had was at Rodney's in Toronto - as they are not generally available here even though they are are a west coast oyster.

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interesting. There was a post in the Toronto forum where a visitor from PEI remarked that the selection in Toronto was actually better specifically because in PEI all they could get was Malpeques. Probably a pass on the oysters but a yes on the sandwiches. Thanks for the pertinent info.

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We haven't been to Social since early december but when we went they had atleast 8 different kinds of oysters, kusshi, kumumoto, effingham, malpeque, mantle bay and a couple i had never heard of, i think they were from washington maybe, but i liked them. It seems to me that it depends on the time of year as to what selection they have. We are planning to go this week so i will make sure to write down what they have and post. I like the oysters at Rodney's too but prefer the service at Social, that is just a personal preference though. I also prefer Gastown to Yaletown anyday!

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any thoughts on a lunch stop near Granville Island for before I head over to check out the market?

(no, Les Amis doesn't count...)

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any thoughts on a lunch stop near Granville Island for before I head over to check out the market?

(no, Les Amis doesn't count...)

On a day like today - Go Fish. Sit out side and enjoy the rare spot of sunshine.

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hrm, anything else? I've already kind of filled in Go Fish for one of the other days I'll be there...

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hrm, anything else?  I've already kind of filled in Go Fish for one of the other days I'll be there...

How about O-Thai, Rangoli or the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts?


Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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any thoughts on a lunch stop near Granville Island for before I head over to check out the market?

(no, Les Amis doesn't count...)

Two areas that are very close to G.I. (4th and South Granville). Basically 3 - 5 minutes depending on traffic. You already have Vij's on your list but I would absolutely recommend Rangoli (his "fast" food place right next store). I love the food and the prices and you can sit inside or out (depending on the weather).

Otherwise Fuel has been recommended (on 4th, a block from Burrard), and personally after 3 visits I would rather sit at the bar and watch the cooks prep while I eat a nice lunch as opposed to going for dinner which I have found to be hit and miss.

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I was going to suggest Rangoli too. If you're on foot, it's only about a 10-15 minute walk to the market.

You could also consider Yaletown for a pre-Granville Island lunch. Hamilton Street Grill perhaps? Then you could hop the little ferry from Yaletown (stops by the Roundhouse community centre, I think) to G.I. for a scenic little boat trip.

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thanks everyone! I will run this list by my friend who's joining me at GI. I did do Rangoli on last year's trip and honestly found it pretty mundane. I didn't know though that the Pacific Culinary Institute served lunch, that sounds pretty cool.

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Hey, there's this newly opened South Indian place too.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1530334

At Oak and Broadway, it would be about a 5 minute drive from the market, or a 20 minute walk

I get bread and goodies from PICA frequently, but the dining room can really vary. Haven't eaten there for quite a while though, so shouldn't really comment.

The Afghan Horseman recently moved to the 'hood (at 2nd and Anderson), but I have no idea how it is now.

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Just a follow up to my previous post.....

Yesterday's oyster list at So.Cial

Kumamoto

Kusshi

Fanny Bay

Royal Miyagi

Summer Breeze

Effingham

Pacific Rim Petite

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thanks Global! Hope you had a good meal/snack.

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I'm heading back to Toronto tomorrow morning and I think I've done the last of my Van eating. My Flickr collection is here and covers just about everything I ate while out here.

as always, recs in this thread were helpful and were all appreciated, even if I didn't get out to yours (I probably had 3-4 weeks' worth of meals recommended to me). canucklehead, yours in particular pretty much spot-on the whole way o_O.

hands-down best of trip was Rare. Out of this world, and considering that I went in with elevated expectations (they were the best meal of my 2007 trip too)...just wow. I was debating going again tonight.

excellent: Kingyo (surprisingly enjoyable to hole up at the bar and eat/drink myself into a stupor), Motomachi Shokudo (made up for my Kintaro disappointment (see below) and then some), Metro Hop (really really good fried chicken), Go Fish (astoundingly good seafood, worth the lineup and having to eat in the cold).

I did have a few disappointments: Kintaro, whose noodles weren't as good as last time. And since that was the only thing elevating mediocre broth/toppings...just go to Motomachi instead. Metro was too noisy and the food wasn't really that interesting. And Gingeri was fine but no better than good Toronto dim sum. Van people seem to be proud of local dim sum, and I guess with good reason, but I think it's only in relation to cities that don't have dim sum at all. I went to Kirin last year and Gingeri this year expecting to be blown away but didn't see the big deal in either case. To visitors from Toronto I'd recommend not "spending" any Van meals on dim sum.

in addition to what you can see in the Flickr collection, there were a few other meals -- some random sushi places (nothing special), a small Taiwanese place in Richmond (nice to see a non-Cantonese menu), and Hapa Izakaya (overpriced, noisy, and even the feature for which they're known isn't worth going for). I also went back to Kingyo tonight for one last hurrah.

anyway, the Flickr collection has more detailed thoughts on each place, but I'd be happy to elaborate here or to provide advice to future visitors.

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Thanks for reporting on your trip. I always like to hear what others have experienced when visiting Vancouver to get a fresh perspective.


Cheers,

Anne

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Endy, I'm thinking of visiting TO soon. Do you have recommendations for dim sum, Cantonese-HK and regional Chinese in TO and 'burbs?


fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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