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Afternoon Tea Series: TWG Tea Canada by Jenn Chan

TWG Tea Canada
TWG Tea Canada Interior

Have you ever noticed that some days you learn a couple new things and some days you learn nothing? Since TWG Vancouver, which, it turns out, stands for The Wellbeing Group (learning) made its debut in Vancouver in 2016 their offerings seem to be constantly improving. The service has evolved in lockstep with our host Brady and server Donnie making us feel stupendously welcome! We started our visit with the Tea Party Tea, a delightful black tea with sweet undertones, and the White Spring Yin Zhen Silver Needles. The White Spring is renowned for its health benefits and is easily added to ones health regime because it is really delicious.

TWG Tea Canada Tea List

TWG Tea Canada Tea List

Tea Party Tea - Perfect for Easter!

Tea Party Tea - Perfect for Easter!

The West Coast Tea Set is a uniquely Vancouver, three-tiered teatime experience crafted by the very talented Chef Cliff Hohl. Japanese Miso Sablefish, Follow Me Tea Albacore and Steelhead Hawaiian poke with uni, Sencha infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll and Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden-Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho. Yes Pho, properly pronounced fuh (think duh with an 'f'), in a tea set; amazing! Chef Cliff makes my favourite Sablefish. To say it's delicious cheapens the meaning of the word. It is incendiary. Having visited Hawaii for the first time in 2016 I came home with what some may dub an "unhealthy poke lust". I would dub it love and the poke done at TWG in a way that would make my Oahu brethren proud! The Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll is very good and the Pho, with its incredible Wagyu beefy goodness, wouldn't feel out of place in Saigon. In all an incredible and satisfying meal, but we were fortunate enough to indulge in another tea set right after we devoured this one.

TWG Tea Canada Menu
TWG Tea Canada West Coast Tea Set Menu

TWG Tea Canada West Coast Tea Set Menu

West Coast Tea Set

West Coast Tea Set

Tier One - Sencha Infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll & Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho

Tier One - Sencha Infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll & Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho

Tier One - Sencha Infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll & Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho
Tier One - Sencha Infused Spicy Scallop Tempura Roll & Wagyu Beef and Burgundy Truffle with Hidden Pu-Erh infused Vietnamese Pho
Tier Two - Japanese Miso Maple Sablefish & Follow Me Tea Infused Albacore and Steelhead Hawaiian Poke with Uni

Tier Two - Japanese Miso Maple Sablefish & Follow Me Tea Infused Albacore and Steelhead Hawaiian Poke with Uni

Tier Three - Lemon Bush Tea Infused Mousse Tart, Napoleon Tea Infused Jivara Petit Four, 1837 Black Tea Infused Pâte De Fruit, TWG Tea Macaron

Tier Three - Lemon Bush Tea Infused Mousse Tart, Napoleon Tea Infused Jivara Petit Four, 1837 Black Tea Infused Pâte De Fruit, TWG Tea Macaron

 

The Chic Tea Set, unlike the temporarily available West Coast tea set, is a bonafide, tried and tested TWG menu staple. It features: Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese. We had our arms twisted and added the Finger Sandwiches plate so we could enjoy two additional sandwiches not included in the Chic Tea Set, the Foie Gras Medallion and Atlantic Lobster Salad.

 

Smoke anything, salmon, beef, leather or bicycle, and I'll eat it. I will. The smoked salmon sandwich has a really nice popcorn-y flavour to it and I could have eaten 50 even after the West Coast Tea Set! The Mimosa Egg Sandwich's yoke pops as soon as you put it in your mouth and the flavour is fabulous. The pesto chicken sandwich is literally the best chicken sandwich I've ever had! Somewhere between the unique cheese and tomato bread a new level in chicken sandwichery is reached. Lobster is the most expensive crustacean on Earth and it isn't because they're beautiful. It isn't because they're hard to catch. It is because they taste like a sunny walk through a dewy meadow on your birthday. The lobster salad sandwich tastes like that walk times 10; it is incredible! The foie gras offering is equally delicious with a tangy mustard kick.

 

TWG Tea Canada Tea Time Menu

TWG Tea Canada Tea Time Menu

Chic Tea Set

Chic Tea Set

Chic Tea Set
Smoked Salmon and Horserash Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese

Smoked Salmon and Horserash Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese

2 Freshly Baked Scones Served with TWG Tea Jelly & Whipped Cream

2 Freshly Baked Scones Served with TWG Tea Jelly & Whipped Cream

Finger Sandwiches - Smoked Salmon and Horserashish Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese, Foie Gras Medallion with Homemade Summer Palace Tea Infused Cherry Jam, Atlantic Lobster Salad bound with Geisha Blossom Tea Infused Créme Fraîche, Meyer Lemon and Norther Divine Caviar

Finger Sandwiches - Smoked Salmon and Horserashish Cream with Nori and Genmaicha Furikake, Mimosa Egg Sandwich with Aioli and Mirror Quail Eggs, Smoky Russian Tea Infused Tomato Bread with Pesto Chicken and Stracciatella Cheese, Foie Gras Medallion with Homemade Summer Palace Tea Infused Cherry Jam, Atlantic Lobster Salad bound with Geisha Blossom Tea Infused Créme Fraîche, Meyer Lemon and Norther Divine Caviar


 

The TWG desserts are worth the trip alone: Lemon Bush Tea infused Mousse Tart, Napoleon Tea Infused Jivara Petit Four, 1837 Tea Infused Pâté de Fruit and TWG Macaron. The Pâté de Fruit is amongst the tastiest things I've ever masticated. I have a sweet tooth, all my teeth really, and this soothed the lot. The lemon tart harkened back to my sweet Granny's homemade lemon meringue pies and I like things that make me think of the dearly departed Francis Allan so I liked this tart. Like a lot. The TWG macarons wouldn't be easily discernible sitting beside their $100 a pop, bejewelled Parisienne cousins and the Jivara Petit Four would satisfy any chocolate hounds cravings.

 

TWG Tea Pâtisserie in TWG Trolley

TWG Tea Pâtisserie in TWG Trolley

 

TWG is the best tea house in Vancouver. Full stop. It is wondrously beautiful inside and it, like the world's best athletes, the world's best anything really, strives to improve itself everyday. Chef Cliff Hohl is passionate about his craft and is also very, very good at it. Their upcoming Easter Tea Set will no doubt inspire me to wax poetically and I look forward to trying it. As you should.

 

TWG Tea Selection

TWG Tea Selection

TWG Tea Selection
TWG Tea Macaron

TWG Tea Macaron

 
 

Fusion Restaurants in Vancouver: Kamei Baru by Jenn Chan

Kamei Baru

 

Kamei Royale was the Kamei family's original foray into the Vancouver restaurant scene. For 40 years it was an institution in the neighbourhood that was once commonly called Lil Ginza; the stretch of Alberni Street between Burrard and Bute Streets. As a resident of Alberni Street I still call it Lil Ginza and hope desperately it catches back on! Kamei Baru, Japanese for bar, is a more casual atmosphere, but with the same quality that has helped the Kamei and Ebisu brands expand throughout the Lower Mainland. 

 

Naomi, our very lovely server, assured me my Yuzu Margarita wasn't topped with caramelized onions as she placed it in front of me; "phew" I thought as I took a large sip. Deon explained it as a hybrid between an orange and a lemon and it's newly in my top five fruits! JC ordered the Lychee Ball: Lychee liqueur, peach liqueur, apple juice and garnished with, you guessed it, Lychee balls. "Sweet and fruity, the liqueurs are barely noticeable, a dangerous combo.

 

Yuzu Margarita
Lychee Ball

Lychee Ball

 

Raw fish isn't for everyone. The idea alone scares some people, but, luckily, Jenn and I aren't among those people. It would be a valid estimate to say that I have eaten my weight in salmon sashimi in my lifetime and I'm a big boy. Like 220 LBs of big. That's a lot of poor little fishies, but it's them or me. The sashimi platter at Kamei, Hamachi, Atlantic and Sockeye Salmons and Albacore Tuna, is world class. I've ordered sashimi at small mom and pop spots and 4 diamond eateries and Kamei Baru's offering holds its own in terms of quality of fish and freshness with anyone!

 

Sashimi Platter: Hamachi, Atlantic Salmon, Sockeye Salmon & Albacore Tuna

Sashimi Platter: Hamachi, Atlantic Salmon, Sockeye Salmon & Albacore Tuna

Sashimi Platter: Hamachi, Atlantic Salmon, Sockeye Salmon & Albacore Tuna

 

Up next on our adventure was the Lobster Miso Chowder Pot Pie. It's the first and only time I've ever, ever seen this on a menu or even heard of it, but it should be everywhere! A flaky, heavenly, pastry hiding a steaming bowl of Japanese inspired Miso seafood chowder. Big bites of delicious lobster throughout, corn, celery and tender potatoes round out his incredible dish. Right on the heels of the pot pie, which vanished at top speed in a whirl of duelling spoons, came the Baru wings, Salmon Motoyaki Battera and BBQ Cuttlefish. The chicken wings, bathed in a unique balsamic teriyaki sauce, stack jup against any in the city; very, very good! 

 

Lobster Miso Chowder Pot Pie

Lobster Miso Chowder Pot Pie

Lobster Miso Chowder Pot Pie
Baru Wings

Baru Wings

 

The Salmon Motoyaki Battera is pressed Atlantic Salmon with Motoyaki sauce on sushi rice and blow torched. If you're thinking that sounds good you're right! Cuttlefish could look scary if you're not a big seafood person or if you're an old timey sailor with recurring nightmares of giant squid capsizing your ship, but there's nothing to be scared of! This squid's cousin is tender and delicious and, when dunked into the Japanese mayo, the world's best mayo, it is a flavour explosion!

 

Salmon Motoyaki Battera

Salmon Motoyaki Battera

BBQ Cuttlefish

BBQ Cuttlefish

BBQ Cuttlefish

 

Risking explosion we let Naomi talk us into desserts. You won't be able to tell her no either! Jenn went with the Anmitsu and I ordered the cheesecake. The presentation was lovely and the cheesecake, made in-house, was nice and light with a delicious crust! Served with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, blueberries and rich piece of milk chocolate it was an excellent cap to the meal! Jenn's dessert, of the traditional Japanese variety, consisted of green tea ice cream, mochi balls, fresh strawberries, red Sean and whipped cream. Very good mixture of flavours and she really enjoyed it!

 

Cheesecake

Cheesecake

Anmitsu with Matcha Ice Cream

Anmitsu with Matcha Ice Cream

 

This wasn't our first time at Kamei Baru and it won't be our last. Centrally located just off Burrard Street on Smithe and steps to the bustling Scotiabank Movie Theatre it is a very convenient location for downtowners and there wasn't an empty seat in the house on a drizzly Friday night. Awesome energy, great food and well above average service! 

 

Kamei Baru
 
 

Valentine's Day Menu: TWG by Jenn Chan

TWG Valentine's Menu

 

The TWG Tea Salon and Boutique is a gorgeous space and their chef Cliff Hohl is a very nice man. He was gracious enough to hang out with us table side and explain the various dishes that make up their Valentine's Day menu. He was so happy and proud to tell us that TWG was "officially Oceanwise as of yesterday". Oceanwise, if you're not familiar with it, is a sustainability program championed by the Vancouver Aquarium. Take a few minutes and give it a google, a very worthy cause!


 

The tea pairing, Mon Amour Tea, is one of the best I've tasted. Inhaling deeply from a tin of it left at our table, presumably for photography purposes, I harkened back to the days when Bubble Tape was first introduced. Remember that?  Grape bubble tape, the kind bootlegged in my school yard, seriously, was the first thing that came to mind. Absolutely delicious!

Bain de Roses Tea infused sparkling wine cocktail

Bain de Roses Tea infused sparkling wine cocktail

 

 

Have you ever had really, really good iced tea? Like the stuff plantation owners must have enjoyed on the wraparound decks of their palatial mansions? Love me Tea must be one of those! I wasn't raised extravagantly. I had everything I needed, but some years were tough with my mom going back to school for a time and my dad being unemployed for a time when Safeway closed the bread plant, where he plied his trade as a mechanical engineer, to bust his union and move the plant a little ways up the road. As such I have humble tastes: Nestle's Quik trumps any and all hot Chocolates at your froofy cafés and peanut butter is good on anything. This iced tea is not the sickeningly sweet, powdered offering of my youth, but a subtle, semi-sweet and refreshing upgrade. This is progress we can all get behind! Make iced tea great again!


 

Mon Amour Tea & Love Me Tea

Mon Amour Tea & Love Me Tea

 

 

TWG's scallops are the polar opposite of rubbery. Fresh, tender and flavourful. They really soak up the dashi broth and blend marvellously with the dragon fruit and "white desire" tea infusion. Korean brown rice is just better than regular rice, it just is. Again the dashi, the root of everything miso, soaks in and competes with the garlic for flavour supremacy. The time and effort spent to curl the carrots and cucumbers into tight spirals speaks volumes about TWG's commitment to presentation and elegance. Chef Hohl intimated as much, "the team is excited about this menu", he exclaimed between self deprecatingly deflecting praise and promising to bring us the meal's "Cliff notes" that he was having trouble finding thinking he'd left it on his "Cliffboard". Oh Cliff! I was proud to hear he had tried to model his summation after my writing. High praise from an artist to a financier dabbling in the written word and hardly an artist by any stretch of the imagination. Words are words, people use words everyday, but the culinary arts nourish people, inspire people and have the ability, with minimal exaggeration, to bridge cultural divides.

 

 

Pan-seared scallops complemented by a dashi broth infused with White Desire Tea

Pan-seared scallops complemented by a dashi broth infused with White Desire Tea

Pan-seared scallops complemented by a dashi broth infused with White Desire Tea

 

 

The dessert came out looking as glossy and beautiful as a $10,000 paint job on a $1,000,000 car. The vanilla bourbon ice cream is amongst the best, top five, ice creams of my life! Decadent, but with that natural vanilla flavour that reminded me of my first independent car ride with a peer as a 16 year old. That vanilla air freshener dangling off the rear view mirror signalled a freedom, an independence that vanilla always brings back for me!


 

Bain de Roses Tea infused mosse and raspberry confit, served with scoop of Vanilla Bourbon Tea infused ice cream and fresh berries

Bain de Roses Tea infused mosse and raspberry confit, served with scoop of Vanilla Bourbon Tea infused ice cream and fresh berries

 

 

The TWG Tea Salon recently underwent an extensive renovation and the room is incredible! Brightly coloured containers of the world's best teas line the walls. Ornate tea pots encased in glass for the dining area and smiles everywhere. What makes you smile? For me it's kindness. For me it's joy. For me it's socializing. I promise you, from the bottom of my heart, that going to TWG will make you smile! Go hungry and leave happy!


 
 

New Restaurants in Vancouver: Heritage Asian Eatery by Jenn Chan

Heritage Asian Eatery

Heritage Asian Eatery

 

Heritage Eatery is nestled amongst the skyscrapers of the financial district in Coal Harbour. It's a lovely space and was very busy when we visited. Ladies and gentlemen in their suits and skirts popped in and out of doors taking away bags and munching quickly on their lunch breaks. The staff were kind and efficient and the atmosphere was very laid back and smelled wonderful!


 

Heritage Asian Eatery
Menu

Menu

 

Chef Felix and his team at the Heritage Eatery know chicken wings. Their fried chicken wings, deep fried in pure deliciousness, are crispy and seasoned to perfection. These are worth a trip down all on their own! They are marinated for 4 days then steamed and dry rubbed with 5 spices. The Eggplant appetizer was very nice and I generally dislike eggplant, but these were firm and flavourful. The wings came out alongside Heritage Eatery's famous Duck Bowl. The duck was incredibly sweet and tender and served half breast and half confite on a bed of rice. I could have stopped there and left satisfied, but Felix wanted us to try a few more things and I'm glad he did! The Pork Belly Bao boasted huge, immense, pieces of tender, succulent pork belly. The Bao was perfect and incredibly fresh. The sauce was tangy and sweet. The Cotechino Bao is equally as good!  Cotechino is a peppery Italian sausage and not something I've had in a bao before, but works so wonderfully! Jenn loves udon. A lot! She once had udon everyday for a full week. My right hand to God! Heritage Eatery's House Udon with char shiu was very good, "cute mushrooms and tender noodles" was Jenn's succinct summation and I really liked it as well. The broth was very flavourful and was the highlight of the dish.

 

Duck Rice Bowl, House Udon with Char Shiu, Wings & Eggplant

Duck Rice Bowl, House Udon with Char Shiu, Wings & Eggplant

Wings with 5 spice

Wings with 5 spice

Eggplant

Eggplant

Rice Bowl with Duck & shredded Pork Belly

Rice Bowl with Duck & shredded Pork Belly

House Udon with Char Shiu

House Udon with Char Shiu

Chowing down on a Pork Shoulder Bao

Chowing down on a Pork Shoulder Bao

Bao Trio: Cotechino, Pork Shoulder & Shitake

Bao Trio: Cotechino, Pork Shoulder & Shitake

 
 

Top Patios in Vancouver: Joey Burrard by Jenn Chan

Joey Burrard

 

Have you ever had a Bellini? It's on most menus around Vancouver, nay the world, but your average guy will poo poo the notion of such a girly drink, à la Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. Should we though? The short answer is hell to the no. The recipes can vary, but generally it tastes like those peach slice $0.5 candies, Slurpee style, with a dollop of champagne. Do yourself a personal favour and get one the next time you go out!

 

We posted up on the Joey Burrard patio and ordered a Bellini, hence the opening rant, and a Blueberry Mojito. Joey Burrard holds a special place for the JCP family. It is where Jenn and I first met! On a lark we decided we'd try and replicate the meal we had after we struck up a conversation at the bar while waiting for our friends. After 10-15 minutes of very engaging conversation we both texted our friends and told them we wouldn't be able to make, a little white lie seeing as how we were already there, and proceeded to grab a table and our impromptu first date commenced :)

 

Bellini & Blueberry Mojito

Bellini & Blueberry Mojito

 

I acted aloof on our first date like getting a bunch of appies and splitting them buffet style was a regular thing, but it wasn't. It is now :) We ordered a Rainbow Roll, Gyoza, Chili Chicken Bites, Sushi Cones and, after some debate since I don't believe it was on the first date curriculum, Hot Wings with blue cheese. As a rule I try not to get sushi at a pub. It's generally a good rule. Throw it out the window at any Joey's! The rainbow roll is in my top 10 for sushi rolls in Vancouver. Ahi tuna, salmon, crab and avacado accentuated by a Srirachi Aioli. I know that sounds good. You can pick this blog post back up after you get back from Joey's. Go ahead, I'll wait.

 

I have had on occasion bad Gyoza. Sadly it's a fact of life. I'm sure a place or 2 has served me pre-packaged, frozen Gyoza with its rubbery texture and chemical rich preservatives. Those are bad experiences, this was an excellent experience. Hand made pastry cradling deliciously prepared pork and served with a spicy mustard. It's amazing! Their Chili Chicken Bites were just the right amount of tangy and the chicken was plump and juicy.  This is not McDonald's "chicken" this is the real deal.  Come to think of it they are similarly priced.  Why on Earth does anyone go to McD's!? The sushi cone is in the same boat as the Rainbow Roll.  Usually avoid, but at Joey's dive in!  Prawn tempura with avocado, spicy mayo and tobiko.  Even the 12 year-old at McDonald's could make a tasty meal out of those ingredients!  It's so nice!  The chicken wings, of which I purport to be an expert, were really good as well; 8/10.  Tasty, not too steroidy chicken, with a good medium hot sauce.

 

 

Table Full of Food
Rainbow Roll

Rainbow Roll

Japanese Gyoza

Japanese Gyoza

Chili Chicken Bites

Chili Chicken Bites

Sushi Cone

Sushi Cone

Hot Wings with Blue Cheese

Hot Wings with Blue Cheese

 

Did I mention that we got to Joey's thirsty?  In between our buffet style appie extravaganza a couple tequila sunrises snuck their way in, a few sangrias with Bellini slush, yes as good as it sounds.  Then our entrees came out.  Don't judge us we were very hungry :)  A divine lobster ravioli and a succulent 12 oz New York Strip steak.  The lobster ravioli, a regular order of mine, was as good as many of the high end Italian restaurants in Vancouver that specialize in them.  A near perfect 9/10!  The steak came out the perfect medium rare, first box ticked as I like to say, and the meat was high quality AAA beef.  I would go back for a steak anytime!

 

Tequila Sour

Tequila Sour

Sangria with Bellini Slush

Sangria with Bellini Slush

12oz New York Strip with peppercorn & mushroom jus

12oz New York Strip with peppercorn & mushroom jus

Lobster & Prawn Ravioli

Lobster & Prawn Ravioli

Spun Daily Strawberry Icecream

Spun Daily Strawberry Icecream

 

The incredible patio setting, extremely attentive and congenial staff and the myriad of drink and food options makes Joey Burrard, or any Joey's for that matter, a must dine!  Head over and tell them Jenn Chan Photography recommended them and you just might be able to skip a line or, at very least, get a crisp high five.  Both are good!

 

 Photos: Jenn Chan

 
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Top Patios in Vancouver Series: Glowbal by Jenn Chan

Glowbal

 

This was the best meal of my young life! We at Jenn Chan Photography are extremely proud of our relationship with the Glowbal Group. It's hard to go wrong regardless of which restaurant in the Glowbal chain you try: Italian Kitchen, Coast, Black & Blue, Glowbal Grill, etc... Exceptional service is preached on the first day they train new staff, Jenn is a former Coast server so we have some insider knowledge, and reiterated throughout an employee's tenure. And it shows! 

 

Being that we were cordially invited to dine at the Glowbal Grill on this evening we weren't surprised to be whisked past the lineup upon sight, greeted warmly by the general manager, a delightfully gracious gentleman name Kyle Johnstone, and showed to one of their loveliest patio tables. What might surprise some, however, is that this is the default Glowbal setting. The GM made the rounds the entire night, chatted with customers, put out fires and just generally controlled the flow of the patio like an orchestra conductor.

 

 

Glowbal
Glowbal
Glowbal

 

Seemingly seconds after we were seated we were presented with an amazing amuse bouche courtesy of the chef. You don't need to have 20,000+ followers on Instagram or blog posts that are seen by more than 70,000 eyes, you only need to go to Glowbal Grill. Everyone is treated like a celebrity and let me tell you that the mushroom arancini with truffle oil we were gifted did nothing to dispel that celebrity feeling! I'm not a big mushroom fan, but I could have eaten 50 of these, but then we wouldn't have had room for the rest of our meal which, in case you've forgotten the first sentence of this article, was the best of my life!

 

If you're fans of our blog, and we're eternally grateful if you are and humbled by the number of you, you know we always, always test a restaurant's Caesar. Glowbal's aptly named Pacific Caesar is as high end as Caesars get and scored a near perfect 9/10 on the JCP Caesar Meter! JC ordered the red sangria and called it delicious and drank it like a race horse at the water trough after the Kentucky Derby so, even though I can't attest to it because I didn't get a chance to try any, I am going to go out on a limb and say it was exceptional!

 

 

Mushroom Arancini with Truffle Oil

Mushroom Arancini with Truffle Oil

Mushroom Arancini

 

Now here is where things got very interesting, very quickly. While scanning the menu we happened upon some Siberian Caviar and when we asked our server what she thought of it her knees got weak and she almost keeled over! Oh Nathalia! Some people are just plain good at everything they attempt and I have a sneaking suspicion our server on that night is one of those. An extraordinary waitress; kind, warm, helpful and genuine! The tin of delicious Sturgeon roe arrived accompanied by red onions, chives, egg white, egg yolks and bakery fresh Latkas. We paired it, at Kyle's recommendation, with the 2014 Domaine la Gemière Sancerre. Now I consider myself an eloquent writer, I have the best words to steal a line from Donald Trump, but it's tough to articulate the flavour of caviar melting in your mouth after a swallow of this delicious Sancerre. I lament my inadequacy, but at least it will give you further reason to visit the Glowbal Grill.

 

 

Siberian Caviar - with Red Onions, chives, Latka, Egg White, Egg Yolk, Sour Cream

Siberian Caviar - with Red Onions, chives, Latka, Egg White, Egg Yolk, Sour Cream

Siberian Caviar

 

Still reeling from the foodgasm that is caviar paired with a nice white wine our second courses arrived: a sashimi trio consisting of halibut, ahi tuna and wild salmon and an order of ahi tuna poké with mango/ coconut chips. I eat a lot of sashimi, like a lot. I'm currently on a bit of a health kick and protein is king. You can get a $10 sashimi dish at a quaint, smaller Japanese restaurant and be perfectly content, but when you get sashimi from a restaurant who prides themselves, defines themselves by quality it is a whole different animal! Literally. Wild salmon, ocean fresh halibut and the kind of ahi tuna someone had to get up very early to buy at the docks.

 

 

Sashimi Trio & Ahi Tuna Poke

Sashimi Trio & Ahi Tuna Poke

Sashimi Trio - Halibut with yuzu kosho & ponzu, Ahi Tuna with sesame miso, Wild Salmon with jalapeño gochujang vinaigrette

Sashimi Trio - Halibut with yuzu kosho & ponzu, Ahi Tuna with sesame miso, Wild Salmon with jalapeño gochujang vinaigrette

Ahi Tuna Poke, with Mango & Coconut with Chips

Ahi Tuna Poke, with Mango & Coconut with Chips

 

Jenn has a horrible habit of ordering miso sablefish whenever and wherever she finds it. Maybe horrible is a stiff assertion, but compulsive behaviour, wherever it rears its head, should be avoided imho. The fish, however, was exquisite, the shiitake mushroom consommé and soba noodle salad extremely lovingly constructed and it quickly disappeared. I was lucky enough to grab a couple bites in between the blur that was Jenn's wizard-like mastery of knife and fork and can attest to the quality. In and of itself worth a visit.

 

 

Miso Marinated Sablefish - Shiitake Mushroom Consomme, Soba Noodle Salad

Miso Marinated Sablefish - Shiitake Mushroom Consomme, Soba Noodle Salad

Miso Marinated Sablefish

 

Now let's get serious for a second. Not as serious as cancer, but as serious as an avid carnivore meeting what he didn't even know was his favourite thing in the world. Enter my raw cut of Wagyu beef paraded to the table in all of its marbled goodness. I've had Wagyu before, many times, but I have never had such an incredibly tender, deliciously fat marbled cut as this. Hands down the best steak of my life! The best! Served a perfect medium rare, first box ticked, and so tender, so tender, that I could have cut it with a stern look. It sat on a bed of decadent, fluffy mashed potatoes and crisp, fresh broccoli. The steak was a perfect 10/10, the mashed potatoes were a handcrafted miracle of carbohydrates and, I'm told, the broccoli was excellent!

 

 

Japanese Wagyu

Japanese Wagyu

8 oz Japanese Wagyu New York Strip

8 oz Japanese Wagyu New York Strip

Japanese Wagyu New York Strip
Japanese Wagyu New York Strip

 

Even hardly able to walk to excuse myself to the restroom I did not have the mental fortitude to deny an offer of freshly baked apple pie. I mean who does? Gandhi maybe, but that's it! Light, flaky puff pastry with caramelized apples served with delicious rum raisin ice cream. Hard to follow the best steak of my life, but an extremely valiant attempt and I would even go so far as to acquiesce to the fact that you could probably make a trip to Glowbal for the pie alone.

 

 

Apple Pie - puff pastry, caramelized apples, rum & rasin ice cream (baked fresh daily)

Apple Pie - puff pastry, caramelized apples, rum & rasin ice cream (baked fresh daily)

 

Have you been to downtown Vancouver? It's the largest city in North America without freeway access which means there are only a few ways in and out of the downtown core. One of them, that you will undoubtedly take before you die, leads you right past the Glowbal Grill at the bottom of the newly opened 1,000,000 square foot Telus Garden development that boasts the length of an entire city block. The unique birdcage booths on the patio will catch your eye, but not more so than the 220 foot long arched canopy that boasts an LED light show at night. It is truly an engineering marvel and hard to miss. If you do miss it look for me. I'll be there.

 

 

Glowbal
Glowbal

Glowbal

Glowbal
Glowbal
 
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan