Just wanted to thank you for the great advice on our Van trip. We had a wonderful time!
Drove straight up to Deep Cove. The day was warm and we decided to kayak. Stopped first at Honey Donuts. Split a sandwich and a wonderful warm donut.
In Vancouver that night we ventured out for the Izakaya crawl. We started at the Guu on Thurlow- never did figure out which was which. Had the beef carpaccio and a spot prawn and egg dish that had me wanting to lick the plate. The place was packed. We were lucky to get a seat right away at the bar. Really felt like being in another country.
Hapa was our next stop. Completely different atmosphere. Half empty, much more western. Very nice wait staff. Had the kabocha dip (more like a dessert really!) and the seared saba. Both were excellent. The seared saba had to be the best dish all night.
Lastly, we went to Kingyo. Another cool place. We had the sublime pork cheeks and a mixed vegetable tempura. Would have gone to Zakkushi too but we were just too full. And we looked longingly at the other Guu as we walked back to our room.
I would have to say that the crawl was the highlight of the trip for me. It was such a different scene than we have down here, the food was amazing- especially for the price.
The next morning we walked around Stanley Park and had a light lunch at the Fish House. The clam chowder was delicious with bits of crisp bacon. They were nice enought to split the bowl when we told them we'd be sharing. Unfortunately the salmon carpaccio was not very good. The salmon was taseless- overpowered by lemon oil? and big pieces of parmasan cheese. But it was very pleasant to sit there after our long walk and look out over the manicured lawn and tennis courts.
We walked on and took the little ferry to Granville. What a great market! Saw the smoked albacore, but didn't get any- next trip. Would have loved to get stuff for a picnic. Had the sampler at Granville brewery and then headed to Go Fish for fish and chips. Wow! They were great! Had the halibut. A huge juicy piece just lightly coated with batter and fries to die for...
In the mood for Oysters, we took the ferry to Yaletown. Thought about going to Bluewater, but didn't want to spend the big bucks. Instead we tried Rodney's Oyster Bar. We looked over the menu as we waited and I somehow got the idea that oysters were 1.50 ea. We sat at the bar in front of the oyster guy who gave us a dozen of his favorites. And boy were they good! Kusshi? some other kind with a K, Fanny Bay... Yum yum yum! Icy cold and clean tasting. Then we had another dozen. Wonderful beer to wash them down. Very fun, great wait staff. Surprising bill.
Next night we went to Vij's. Got there 20 minutes early- it was a Friday, and by 5:30 there was a crowd waiting to get in. They brought complementary chai and some little tasty things to nibble on while we waited for our order to be taken and the food brought. We ordered three appetisers- yummy samosas, a spot prawn thing that was good, and a paneer stew with green beans on a chapati? I think this was the most disapointing thing. I was expecting something different from Vij's- more varied textures and fresh not stewed veggies. The chapati (if thats what it was) was soggy and the beans mushy. The naan was good but not better than I've had elsewhere. We also had the lamb popsicles which didn't blow me away. At first I thought the sauce was too sour, but I found myself dipping bits of naan into it after the lamb was gone. In fact I had a hard time stopping. Maybe I would have had a more favorable opinion of the restaurant if we hadn't had the paneer dish...
Back to Bellingham that night. And the fabulous farmers market the next day... Oh, but that's another board.
Thanks again, hope to be back soon.