Just back from a wonderfully fulfilling and fun gastronomic trip to Vancouver and Victoria. I was thrilled to see how much of a Japanese influence on food there is in Canada. I had planned this trip without realizing that Canada turned 150 years old on July 1st! So young. Lol. I celebrated watching fireworks with the rest of Victoria in front of my hotel, Inn at Laurel Point, overlooking the Marina. Gorgeous!
Here are some highlights:
I stayed in the Pt. Grey area of Vancouver in the Western part of the city near the water. It’s a lovely residential area and I was within walking distance to 4th Ave., filled with great restaurants, shopping, etc.
220-2083 Alma St., just off of 4th Ave. www.yujis.ca
My friend and hostess, Alisa, called Yuji’s her neighborhood Japanese restaurant, but it is more than that. The owner, Yuji, has worked at and owned another restaurant in Vancouver named Yuji’s Japanese Tapas. In 2011, he left for Jakkarta to open a restaurant, but a year later found his way back to Vancouver. He opened up Yuji’s, a smaller more intimate neighborhood restaurant.
Although we didn’t order it, he offers a variety of Omakase and most ‘locals’ sit at the sushi bar and watch him prepare dishes. Everything we ate was delicious and beautifully presented. Yuji imports most of his fish directly from Japan. We ate grilled sablelfish, beef tongue and duck breast. The uni (sea urchin) was so briny, and so luscious on your tongue.
3689 W. 4th Ave., www.laquercia.ca
La Quercia, also in the Pt. Grey area features Northern Italian cuisine. I really felt I was back in Italy, eating divine dishes such as home-made Tagliatatelle with a rich Gorgonzola sauce and one of my all-time favorites, Vitello Tonnato—from the Piedmont region. Cold, sliced veal (you can also use turkey) covered with a melt-in-your-mouth creamy smooth sauce that has been flavored with Italian oil-packed tuna, lots of lemon juice and capers.
Other places I ate at included:
- Purebread for a bacon-chive-cheddar cheese scone just near Gastown in the downtown area.
- Rosemary Rocksalt Bagels in North Vancouver, a chain that serves chewy Montreal-style bagels that were amazing!
- And even the local pub, The Cove, served a wonderful roasted tri-color beet salad with crispy yam fries with aioli.
- I went to the public market on Granville Island, and picked up Vanilla-infused Maple Syrup and Maple butter to bring home.
- And as I was leaving Vancouver airport, I picked up Candied Smoked and Maple Glazed Salmon (other Canadian specialty products) as gifts.