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Vancouver in top 10 in the world


vandan
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As with a lot of these, I wish they'd clearly state what they base this on. Is it just the number of "hot" places, or is there another factor involved.

Mind you, I'm tickled that the old home town made the cut, but I'd still wonder about Vancouver, Chicago or Stockholm over Shanghai, Bogota, Melbourne, Bangkok, Singapore or a host of others.

It's interesting that Seiji Yamamoto from Ryugin in Tokyo is seen as one of the top new chefs. That I'd agree with.

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I can't help but be excited to see our "little" city get onto a list with the words "best..." even though there are probably a million questions as to what criteria they used.

I'm happy to see my neighbourhood Aurora Bistro listed as well! World class food comes to Vancouver!

We certainly have an amazing variety of food which I think makes us, in many ways, very unique.

Since they rated Degustation pretty highly in New York (I loved that place!) I'm going to assume there's some reasonable unit of measure they're using to make these Kudos :)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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If you check the fine print on the f&w website, you will see that Rhonda May (City Food Magazine) is listed as the Vancouver contributor for this article. I think it would be safe to say she "chose" the spots and submitted them to the magazine. In other words, I don't think they sent out a hoard of testers to eat their way through the city and discuss at length which resto's should be on the list. Somewhat arbitrary, no?

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Nice to believe, but just not true. Just thinking of London, Paris, New York, Madrid, Rome, Tokoyo doesn't leave that many spaces. Then there's Marseilles, San Sabastian, San Francisco, Milan, Sidney, etc.

Having eaten in most of the cities above, I'm sorry to say that Vancouver's restaurant scene is average at best.

Vancouver has many qualities, but (fine) dinning out is not one of them.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Nice to believe, but just not true.  Just thinking of London, Paris, New York, Madrid, Rome, Tokoyo doesn't leave that many spaces.  Then there's Marseilles, San Sabastian, San Francisco, Milan, Sidney, etc.

Having eaten in most of the cities above, I'm sorry to say that Vancouver's restaurant scene is average at best.

Vancouver has many qualities, but (fine) dinning out is not one of them.

As with Mark having eaten in most of the above I would agree; but we are getting pretty close. It is very nice to see others recognise that we are have great restaurants; although if the editor of City Food made the suggestions then it was a local making the list and not an international opinion.

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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  • 2 months later...

I went to Fraiche (West Vancouver) a couple of weeks back. As the meal was disnctly less than memorable, I have not bothered to provide a detailed write-up. However, the experience confirms my view that (fine) dinning in Vancouver is grossly over-rated and would pass for very average elsewhere. I'm sure Vancouverites are very proud of the dining in the city, but you need to get out more. Like with a lot of things, its a triumph of style over substance.

Fraich has stunning views across the Inlet to Downtown. But the dinning room is very loud (due to a tiled floor). There is no excuse for such an aspiring restaurant not to provide an amuse or two. But they were nowhere to be seen. My crabcake starter came with a chowder of dubious distinction (which was poured at the table) and sat on a bed of corn. I consider crab and corn to be an ill thought pairing.

My first choice main wasn't available, so I settled for rack of lamb. Pretty hard to screw up such a dish - and they didn't- but it was easily the least memorable Rack I've had.

We skipped desert, in part because the portions are too large.

Fraiche offers a very limited menu (something I'm generally in favour of). But the quality is not enough to entice me back. I'm affraid this restaurant is probably doomed to fail (like the one that occupied the smae spot before).

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I completely agree about Fraiche. The food is not what I expected which is not unheard of but we had visitors in from out of town and it was disappointing.

It was food I would have expected from a 'view' restaurant but not from someone who started Crave and had the Four Seasons pedigree. I had always assumed the simple food at Crave was carefully calibrated to the neighborhood but now realize it is, in fact, all they are capable of.

I had a duck breast with soggy skin I would have been embarrassed to serve at home. Our guests were too polite to say so but they were not impressed.

The view is spectacular but it is not otherwise worth the trip.

It ain't the meat it's the emotion

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so mr. donnely you think that the asian here , and chinese specifically is "over-rated and would pass for very average elsewhere" , you're kidding right?

My post was about Fraiche. It is a non sequitor to jump to Asian/Chinese.

You can find good Asian/Chinese in any city that has a large Asian/Chinese community. Vancouver is not unique in that; and yes, it is very average.

For everyday Chinese, well I haven't found one in West Vancouver (where I live), apart from some dingy little place in Ambleside.

Don't get me wrong. Dinning out in Vancouver has a number of positive aspects: friendly staff, spacious rooms, good distances between tables and a lack of table turning. But the food on offer is generally poor when compared to other cities. For example, Copenhagen (a city smaller than Vancouver) has some increadible restaurants including my absolute favourite (Kong Hans Kælder ).

20 years ago London was a dining out backwater. Sure there were some very fine restaurants; but they were few and far between and painfully expensive. What changed was the UK's closer intergration with the EU, the rapid increse in the number of overseas vacations (to Italy, France, Portugal and Spain) and the freer movement of labour (ie chefs).

Vancouver, unfortunately, is geographcally isolated.

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I agree with you about fine dining. I think Vancouver does casual dining very well, though. Fine Dining just doesn't jive with this city's "personality" IMO.

I can't agree with you that the Chinese here is "very average." It's a very good scene. I personally know Chinese people with very critical palettes from San Francisco to Seattle who make regular trips to Vancouver/Richmond just to eat.

Vancouver is certainly one of the top 5 cities in North America for Chinese food. LA/San Gabriel Valley, NY/Queens, Toronto/Richmond Hill/Markham, Vancouver/Richmond, San Francisco are in the top echelon on this continent.

You will be hardpressed to find good Chinese in West Van...it's a feng shui thing, I hear.

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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I agree with you about fine dining. I think Vancouver does casual dining very well, though. Fine Dining just doesn't jive with this city's "personality" IMO.

I can't agree with you that the Chinese here is "very average." It's a very good scene. I personally know Chinese people with very critical palettes from San Francisco to Seattle who make regular trips to Vancouver/Richmond just to eat.

Vancouver is certainly one of the top 5 cities in North America for Chinese food. LA/San Gabriel Valley, NY/Queens, Toronto/Richmond Hill/Markham, Vancouver/Richmond, San Francisco are in the top echelon on this continent.

You will be hardpressed to find good Chinese in West Van...it's a feng shui thing, I hear.

Chinese cuisine in Vancouver is on par with HK. We are very lucky with the quality of Asian food in this city and would agree that we are in the top 5 cities for sure. Indian restaurants fall far short of what the UK has in the way of regional styles and flavours.

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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so mr. donnely you think that the asian here , and chinese specifically is "over-rated and would pass for very average elsewhere" , you're kidding right?

My post was about Fraiche. It is a non sequitor to jump to Asian/Chinese.

You can find good Asian/Chinese in any city that has a large Asian/Chinese community. Vancouver is not unique in that; and yes, it is very average.

For everyday Chinese, well I haven't found one in West Vancouver (where I live), apart from some dingy little place in Ambleside.

Don't get me wrong. Dinning out in Vancouver has a number of positive aspects: friendly staff, spacious rooms, good distances between tables and a lack of table turning. But the food on offer is generally poor when compared to other cities. For example, Copenhagen (a city smaller than Vancouver) has some increadible restaurants including my absolute favourite (Kong Hans Kælder ).

20 years ago London was a dining out backwater. Sure there were some very fine restaurants; but they were few and far between and painfully expensive. What changed was the UK's closer intergration with the EU, the rapid increse in the number of overseas vacations (to Italy, France, Portugal and Spain) and the freer movement of labour (ie chefs).

Vancouver, unfortunately, is geographcally isolated.

I respect your "opinion" but your post was very superflous.

I was interested in reading your defence of your opinion and all I got was rambling material and contradictions.

If you say that "you can find good ... anywhere the ethnic groups are present ..." and then say it's "average" in Vancouver ... then you're actually contradicting yourself.

Then you lament not finding good Chinese in West Van ... well, no kidding. When I think Chinese food, and I am Chinese-Canadian background, I do not think West Van ... I thnk other places. I think you're barking up the wrong tree with that one, that makes no sense. It's like saying ... "I live in West Van ... and I find it hard to find good poutine! ... except for some Quebecois shack down in Ambleside ... " O Ryly? Chinese people may live in West Van ... but ask any Chinese person if they eat in West Van ... for Chinese food. Hello?

Then you talk about dining out and the positive aspects of which Vancouver offers ... and then you jump to Copenhagen.

Wait a minute, were we not just talking about Chinese food and your opinion why you think it's average in Vancouver? What does dining out in Copehagen have to do with Chinese food in Vancouver?

Then you make some strange correlation between geographical relationship vis a vis food and proximity to influence such as the UK/EU development. What? I fail to see how that has anything to do with the quality of Chinese food offerings in Vancouver ... especially when you previously qualified that "anywhere there's a large Chinese population there's bound to be good food ... "

Are you saying then that Vancouver is a culinary backwater that needs increasing influence and proximity to other countries before Chinese cuisine in Vancouver becomes better?

Strange logic. Rather, lack of it.

Let me tell you something, when Chinese people tell you that eating in Vancouver for Chinese food is very comparable to Hong Kong etc ... then that holds way more validity and power

I'm sorry if this has come through somewhat harsh ... i'm trying my best to be diplomatic and professional ... but I think you're off your rocker. :smile:

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I'll try to respond. The link between Copenhagen and Vancouver is that Copenhagen is half the size of Vancouver but has some very, very fine, fine dining restaurants. Streets above what I've experienced in Vancouver. If Copenhagen can do it, there's no excuse for Vancouver not to do so.

There are great local Chinese restaurants all over London, including the burbs. Therefore, why not in West Vancouver?

I'm sure there are some very fine Asian/Chinese restaurants here. But no better than other cities such as London, San Fran, etc.

My original post was about Fraiche and western fine dining in Vancouver. The bar, unfortunately, just isn't high enough. Size is not the issue re Copenhagen. So what is?

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I think the difference is a lengthy and predictable essay on history, culture, and capital that would conclude thusly: their run can be measured in centuries, ours in two decades.

Many think we're doing exceptionally well, all things considered, including the international food media and some of the world's greatest chefs.

More importantly, no one ever said that fine dining is the exclusive measure of a city's culinary prowess. We'll never be a fine dining town. At least I hope not. To most, I think accessibility and a breadth of cuisines are more valuable assets than Michelin stars.

In the end, pooh-poohing Vancouver's progress (or perceived lack thereof) is an exercise in pointless silliness, like eating an ice cream cone from the bottom up and complaining about its crunchiness.

We may never amount to what you hope we'll be. We might even be terminally adolescent. Who knows? In the meantime, I'd be very curious to hear what Vancouver restaurants you'd feel comfortable (read: not embarrassed) recommending to visitors from Copenhagen.

Edited by Andrew Morrison (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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I think the difference is a lengthy and predictable essay on history, culture, and capital that would conclude thusly: their run can be measured in centuries, ours in two decades.

Many think we're doing exceptionally well, all things considered, including the international food media and some of the world's greatest chefs.

More importantly, no one ever said that fine dining is the exclusive measure of a city's culinary prowess. We'll never be a fine dining town. At least I hope not. To most, I think accessibility and a breadth of cuisines are more valuable assets than Michelin stars.

In the end, pooh-poohing Vancouver's progress (or perceived lack thereof) is an exercise in pointless silliness, like eating an ice cream cone from the bottom up and complaining about its crunchiness.

We may never amount to what you hope we'll be. We might even be terminally adolescent. Who knows? In the meantime, I'd be very curious to hear what Vancouver restaurants you'd feel comfortable (read: not embarrassed) recommending to visitors from Copenhagen.

20 years ago when I moved from Vancouver to London, Vancouver was streets ahead in terms of its restaurant scene (and streets ahead in many other respects as well). But the rest of the world has changed (it's a much smaller, smarter world) and Vancouver has been left behind.

London was a restaurant backwater. Now it has some of the finest restaurants in the world (think GR@RHR, Fat Duck, MIdsummer House, etc). Vancouver is capable of the same. But is there any demand? More importantly, is there any supply?

Two restaurants I'd take visitors to are Rare and Gastropod.

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20 years ago when I moved from Vancouver to London, Vancouver was streets ahead in terms of its restaurant scene (and streets ahead in many other respects as well).  But the rest of the world has changed (it's a much smaller, smarter world) and Vancouver has been left behind. 

London was a restaurant backwater.  Now it has some of the finest restaurants in the world (think GR@RHR, Fat Duck, MIdsummer House, etc).  Vancouver is capable of the same.  But is there any demand?  More importantly, is there any supply?

Two restaurants I'd take visitors to are Rare and Gastropod.

I just don't how the two cities can be connected using some arbitrary currency of "worth". To say that one has been left behind the other suggests two food cities competing for the same market. A cursory read of the facts on the ground shows that nothing could be further from the truth. For three centuries London has been the unofficial capital of the world, whereas Vancouver is still negotiating with its midwife, trying to be born. It's a nonsensical discussion, like judging a book by its potato.

Rare, by the by, closed several months ago, and I doubt it will reopen. You should have taken visitors there more often! :wink:

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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I'll try to respond.  The link between Copenhagen and Vancouver is that Copenhagen is half the size of Vancouver but has some very, very fine, fine dining restaurants.  Streets above what I've experienced in Vancouver.  If Copenhagen can do it, there's no excuse for Vancouver not to do so.

There are great local Chinese restaurants all over London, including the burbs.  Therefore, why not in West Vancouver?

I'm sure there are some very fine Asian/Chinese restaurants here.  But no better than other cities such as London, San Fran, etc.

My original post was about Fraiche and western fine dining in Vancouver.  The bar, unfortunately, just isn't high enough.  Size is not the issue re Copenhagen.  So what is?

Interested to know of these 'great local Chinese restaurants all over London'. I've lived in London for 3 years, and have tried a myriad of Chinese places, and not a single one has matched average Richmond Chinese food.

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Interested to know of these 'great local Chinese restaurants all over London'.  I've lived in London for 3 years, and have tried a myriad of Chinese places, and not a single one has matched average Richmond Chinese food.

"Abysmal" is usually how Chinese food in London is described by my friends and colleagues.

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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Interested to know of these 'great local Chinese restaurants all over London'.  I've lived in London for 3 years, and have tried a myriad of Chinese places, and not a single one has matched average Richmond Chinese food.

"Abysmal" is usually how Chinese food in London is described by my friends and colleagues.

But London wins on Thai and Indian - hands down. And Greek and Persian and...

I'm not sure the original argument was about ethnic restaurants, though.

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Interested to know of these 'great local Chinese restaurants all over London'.  I've lived in London for 3 years, and have tried a myriad of Chinese places, and not a single one has matched average Richmond Chinese food.

No great ones in my opinion but Hakkesan is very cool and delightful for dimsum. Vancouver does beat London for Chinese for sure.

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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There are (or at least were) some great Chinese restaurant in London's Chinatown. These were often above shop fronts with a single entrance door. You know you're onto a winner when the restaurant was full of Chinese people and not a tourist in sight.

My local Chinese in Woodford Green was miles better than the slop I tasted in Ambleside.

Dining out in Vancouver (both casual and fine) is about half the price of London. In fact, when I dined at Rare the tasting menu was $45. Wine pairing were another $40 or so. Compared to London this represented a bargin.

Given Fraiche's location, it must rely on repeat customers if it is to survive. I just don't think it will and I certainly won't be going back.

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There are (or at least were) some great Chinese restaurant in London's Chinatown.  These were often above shop fronts with a single entrance door.  You know you're onto a winner when the restaurant was full of Chinese people and not a tourist in sight.

My local Chinese in Woodford Green was miles better than the slop I tasted in Ambleside.

Dining out in Vancouver (both casual and fine) is about half the price of London.  In fact, when I dined at Rare the tasting menu was $45.  Wine pairing were another $40 or so.  Compared to London this represented a bargin.

Given Fraiche's location, it must rely on repeat customers if it is to survive.  I just don't think it will and I certainly won't be going back.

To put things into perspective, which restaurant in Vancouver will you qualify as a "great" Chinese restaurant?

BTW, VIP's is highly regarded by some Chinese as having the best Chiu Chow dishes in the lower mainland.

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