2013: Best Foodie Moments

2013 has been an incredible year for me in terms of food. I’ve dined at restaurants which had a combined total of 20 Michelin stars this year alone. My trip to Japan opened my eyes to an incredible world of perfection, simplicity, and psychotic attention of details that I could never imagine to exist. My trip to Las Vegas and Chicago let me sample some of the creations dreamt up by some of the world’s leading chefs that are still making headlines in the industry today. Something closer to home – I now have a favorite restaurant in Vancouver! I am lucky enough that I was able to experience all this with my taste bud.

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Posted in Insights

Shirakawa

Shirakawa is a newly opened restaurant in Gastown with roots in Japan specializing in Kuroge Wagyu Beef. With credentials like this, I was hoping the food would let me re-experience some of the best beef I’ve ever tasted while I was in Japan. And the Wagyu did.

Shirakawa - Lamu

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Farmer’s Apprentice

The results are in! Farmer’s Apprentice not only won the Best Casual 2014, but Restaurant of the Year. Describing it as a “game changer” by a judge from the same panel, I am expecting a lot from this restaurant that dethroned Hawksworth. Its dishes woke my taste buds up, a rare occurrence even after my culinary travels.

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Damso

Damso came to my attention when a Vancouver Sun post claimed the chef had “done stages” at the legendary Bouchon and the French Laundry. Attracted to those ambitions as well as a modern take on Korean cuisine, I managed to score a reservation to this small and popular Korean restaurant in downtown.

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Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

The seafood destination of Vancouver that constantly topped rankings, including the top spot for Best Seafood for the last two years, this is the room when you want seafood cooked with experienced, capable hands. Dare I say, no where else?

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Hawksworth

Undoubtedly the long time reigning vanguard in the formal dining category – I lost count of how many years – Hawksworth represents the pinnacle of fine dining establishments in Vancouver. We wanted to experience the core of their cooking with the only way: their seasonal dinner tasting menu – no freebie events or brunch for us!

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Wildebeest

I always felt Vancouver’s food scene is notorious for “playing it safe”, creative and over the top dishes are often not embraced by the populace. Which is why I’m intrigued when Wildebeest bursted into the restaurant scene with the Best New Restaurant in 2013 award with its signature nose to tail menu, we were interested in finding out if it is deserving of that accolade…

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Pidgin

Just as I was getting bored of these so called “Pacific Northwest” menus around the city, one of the city’s best concierges, namely the anti-gentrification protestors, debuted with this convincing recommendation. Awarded the 5th position in Canada Best New Restaurant 2013, it was the first restaurant that reminded me how far food could push my palate ever since I came back from Tokyo…

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Cuchillo

Vancouver is a melting pot for a variety of cuisines from different cultures, but Mexican is not one of them. After my visit to Topolobampo in Chicago, I yearned for a restaurant just like that, but nothing in Vancouver was remotely close. Thanks to the Downtown Eastside anti-gentrification activists, which had again made headlines, I caught wind of Cuchillo. Not only are they professional activists, they were also a top notch concierge service. In terms of restaurant recommendations, they weren’t wrong about Pidgin, because it is now one of my new favourite restaurants. I once again put my trust in their recommendations, got some friends, and headed over.

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