We just got back from the most magical four days in Vancouver. It was our first trip, and we completely owe our amazing food experience to your gracious and wise advice. Our only regret is that we didn't have eight nights, or a year or so...
Sensational experiences included:
Vij's: superb and inventive food, including the incomparable lamb popsicles. We were so impressed also by the care he takes with his ingredients (salt spring island lamb, tender organic potatoes, India Pale Ale locally brewed...) and by the warmth and hospitality of Vij himself.
Sun Sui Wah (east side location)--succulent and crispy squab, fabulous pan fried dungeness crab in ginger and scallions. A happy, bustling place. The service was helpful and solicitous, as in fact it was in every single place we ate in Vancouver.
Phnom Penh (Chinatown)--the hot sour soup with pineapple and prawns was a revealation--it made me understand things I've read but never before experienced about the subtle interplay of flavors in Cambodian food. I must admit that the deep fried chili prawns (thanks for cluing us in to ask for the lemon pepper dipping sauce!) and the fried rice with chinese sausage were very good indeed, but not spectacular.
Kirin Mandarin (downtown)--The very idea of being able to order dim sum AND half a peking duck at 11 AM was heaven. We had fabulous duck and chose the two course option. First, the crispy skin on pancakes with hoisin and scallions, second the meat diced with sauteed vegetables and served wrapped in lettuce. Perfect, and so were the steamed prawn dumplings.
Lucy Mae Brown (thanks, Coop)--here I had one of the best wild mushroom appetizers of my life--very simple and brilliant. And a delicious pasta with lamb ragout. A very inventive and delicious place, and a pretty room too (velvet banquettes, nice lighting...)
other enjoyable things included picnicking at Granville Market, and a lovely cheese plate at Diva at the Met. And also the croissants at Senses on Georgia and Howe.
We had fun at the Raincity Grill too, with a table on the patio overlooking Stanley Park, but this was one of those menus where everything sounded divine, and most of the components were very good, but the whole was less than the sum of its parts. But then we headed over to Mondo Gelato for dessert--that was divine!
We are just glowing from this trip, and anxious to return. And we loved the Wedgewood Hotel, by the way. Thank you all so much.