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Vancouver trip report

Karl B | Nov 28, 2001 04:17 AM

I spent Thanksgiving weekend in Vancouver. Here are some brief impressions...

Thursday dinner: Tojo's. This was my first time there. I sat at the sushi bar and had the omakase deal. Umm...at one point, you would have seen me with my eyes rolled back and my toes curled. (I'm not joking. It was a piece of swordfish rolled around diced stuff (prawns?) and sauteed, served with sauteed mushrooms and a fried fish fin.) Lord, it was fantastic. Great sake, too. Other dishes: Rainbow roll; golden roll; smoked-then-steamed sablefish; some roll with scallop on top; some hand roll; smoked salmon nigiri; probably some other stuff I've forgotten.

Friday morning: I decided to just get breakfast in the hotel restaurant (Fleuri's, in the Sutton Place Hotel). I realized that I'd never had eggs benedict before, so I tried it for the first time and realized why it's popular. They need to put in more back bacon, though. The restaurant is competent but unexceptional, and rather overpriced.

Friday lunch: A couple of slices of pizza at some place down on Denman called Ned's or Dan's or something. Edible but really rather pointless.

Friday dinner: Fungus-oriented tasting menu, with wine, at the Rain City Grill. Good, somewhat fussy PNW food, with good wine. It was all really very good, but somehow I don't have a pressing urge to go back.

However, the most memorable part of the dinner at RCG was a small piece of cheese served with dessert. It was made by a local company called "Moonstruck" (IIRC), and the name of the cheese itself was "White Moon". As the waitress described it, it was kind of like a cross between Camembert and Cheddar. I really consider this worth seeking out (and I'm not even a big fan of cheese).

Friday post-dinner: The show I wanted to go to was sold out, so I shuttled between the bars in the Sutton Place Hotel and the Hotel Vancouver. I didn't really care for either of them--not much atmosphere, unexciting selections of alcohol, and the bartenders were unexceptional. I had an awful, awful specialty martini at the Hotel Vancouver bar, called "Dragon's Breath" or something like that. The aroma was *exactly* like Anbesol.

Saturday breakfast: Altoids and ginger ale.

Saturday lunch: Dim sum at Sun Sui Wah on Main Street. Really, *really* underwhelming. In addition to the dim sum, I decided to try the "world-famous roast squab", since I'd never tried squab. Funny--nobody had warned me that squab tasted like liver. Bleah. I'd be willing to try this place for dinner, but I wouldn't bother going back for dim sum.

Saturday dinner: Back to Tojo's. More sushi, plus chawan mushi (savory steamed egg), tuna wrapped in seaweed and lightly tempura'd, and oysters on the half shell served with pickled daikon. (It was the first time I'd tried oysters on the half shell--this trip turned out to be something of a culinary adventure for me). It was pretty funny--there was a *lot* of Nobu-bashing going on amongst the clientele. Tojo and I chatted for a few minutes after the crowd cleared out--he's a really nice guy. Also had a celebrity sighting (Luke Perry).

Sunday breakfast: I headed down to a place on Robson called Inlets. Had eggs benedict again--at least as good as in Fleuri, at half the price.

Sunday lunch/dinner: A bunch of corn chips as I'm waiting in my car for five and a half hours to get across the border as I'm headed back to Seattle.

Other notes: Good chocolate at House of Brussels. Get the hazelnut hedgehog truffles. Good icewine is to be found in liquor stores. Make a pass through the shops in the Granville Island Market--there's a lot of food stands that look really good (I didn't buy anything, though).

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