10 Best Bets: Time Out

10 Best Bets

Go Fish

This take-out ‘hut’ at False Creek’s Fisherman’s Wharf, just a short stroll west of Granville Island, serves fish fresh from fishboats a stone’s throw away. Yucatan fish tacos with on house-made soft shelled tacos cause line-ups, rain or shine. Toss Atkins diet off the pier: The fish and chips are deep-fried in the traditional style and all that’s needed is an English Daily Mirror to wrap them in. The beer batter is crunchy and thick enough to blanket the mattress-sized fish inside that is cooked to perfection. Another must- try: the line-caught grilled sockeye on a Portuguese bun with side stripe prawn mayo, extra cole slaw on the side.

CinCin

Executive chef Andreas Wechselberger’s experience in two of Europe’s two star Michelin kitchens partially explains this exemplary menu, and why CinCin is the busiest celebrity spot in town. Exceptional warm ambience from the room and by the staff also help. Try grilled squid in a rich tomato sauce with chorizo and capers, or the caprino and roasted tomato brushcetta— both dishes bursting with robust, well-balanced flavours. An amazing risotto with Dungeness crab and infused carrot reduction and a hint of tarragon; the lowly carrot has now been raised to asparagus heights. The BC Black Cod is perfection on a plate, and the signature dish.

 Fiddlehead Joe’s

Sit on the patio and watch Vancouverites fly by in various modes of transport along the seawall. Joe combines an eclectic menu with a clever little wine list. Ahi tuna ceviche is a show stopper for presentation: marinated overnight and presented on four wonton spoons with a puddle of wasabi aioli and orange chipotle dressing. Warm spinach salad is simply divine with pecan crusted goat cheese almost like cheesecake. Dinner items: pecan crusted rack of lamb – six toothsome racks piled high and drizzled with truffle oil. Must try: Wild salmon with parmesan and chive meringue on a bed of fiddleheads (the New Brunswick variety).

Phnom Penh

The standout spicy garlic fried squid with lemon-pepper dipping sauce evokes umami – the fifth taste— and could be one of the reasons the New York Times raved about it. But many other dishes are just as good in this Cambodian-Vietnamese eatery. The hot and sour soup, Chinese broccoli and barbecued chicken keep locals coming back, and food writers raving. Vietnamese Spring Rolls are crisp and greaseless, stuffed with crab and pork and served with a wondrous dipping sauce. The place is bustling day and night.

 Coast

Sit at the large community table and enjoy the show, then eat. Chef prepares the freshest seafood right in front of you—your very own food network.

Specializing in seafood from coastal waters all over the world, the menu also includes a selection of the freshest available oysters and ‘coastal palate teasers’.

This modern, loft-style room with bull kelp pendant light fixtures and glass mosaic water feature at the entrance, is airy and very comfy. A dramatic 17 foot wall, 2700 bottle wine display features local and international wines from $38-$800 per bottle.

 Hapa Izakaya

Hip Japanese bistro cuisine is a favourite among Vancouverites (go early) serving small Japanese and Korean plates alongside a selection of beer and long sake list served in bamboo cups. Spicy prawns with mayo and spinach salad are not to be missed, nor the famous and exceptional mackerel sliced and seared with a blowtorch at your table. Slick and sleek as the sashimi, this black on black room at the bottom of Robson Street with super friendly service is loud but not boisterous.

 Chambar

The hottest room in town, like walking into a friend’s party and full of flavour. Clever décor in this heritage building makes for a perfect backdrop to the predominantly Belgian menu with a few nods to Africa in dishes such as lamb tagine and fragrant couscous studded with cinnamon and cilantro. Moules and frites are standard fare and perfectly paired with one of several Belgian beers on tap. Desserts are choc-a-block full with the Belgian brand and order a Bellevue Kriek beer with the any chocolate dessert—you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 Rangoli

East meets West in this steel and granite room with vermilion-red tiled walls and floor: Take-out entrees such as Kalonji chicken curry and garlic and garam masala beef curry are excellent. For lunch, order at the front desk from several choices of mains, grab a seat inside or on the patio, and sip the most refreshing ginger lemon drink while waiting – a very short wait.  A few wines and beers are also available, perfectly matched for curries. The tamarind and yoghurt marinated grilled chicken is so tender you could cut it with a fork, and the Japanese eggplant, spinach and potato curry) packs a whole lot of flavour, And very spicy- cool raita came in handy. Both are served with rice and daal, chapatti or naan bread atop “peapal” leaved plates.

Provence Marinaside

Chef Jean Francis’s focus is on sharing, from appetizers to desserts. Varied and delectable antipasto selection: include the pissaladiere—caramelized onions with black olives and anchovies on a thin pizza crust and merguez– spicy lamb sausage. Prawns provencal are deep reaching, rustic flavours cooked the classic way  with lots of garlic and parsley, flambé with brandy. Bouillbase is rich and fulfilling. Tuna with cherry tomatoes (skins removed!), black olive tapenade and basil chiffonade are all wondrous. Warm Clafouti with ice cream is nothing short of sensual.  Fabulous Sunday brunches.

 Bishop’s

Superlative cuisine and service. John Bishop has mentored many chefs and was first in the city to promote local and seasonal foods; he kick-started westcoast cuisine.  Menu changes weekly and driven by local availability. Chilled mint pea soup with just the right amount of mint. Organic beet and arugula salad with David Woods’ goat cheese; BC spot prawns with balsamic vinegar, unbelievably good crab cake with sour cherry and chocolate cake with raspberry can’t get much better. Eclectic First Nations art throughout the room.

 2183 West 4th Avenue,

604-738-2025

bishopsonline.com