Vancouver is home to some delicious, contemporary Asian cuisine—from Japanese to Thai, here are a few standouts.
With inspiration from Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese cuisines, the menu at this hot spot from Top Chef Canada alum Clement Chan (also the owner of notable food truck Le Tigre) aims for bold, powerful flavours. The signature Rye So Messy chicken wings are sweet, sticky, spicy and highly addictive, as are the cocktails—try the People Cocktail for a delicious blend of gin, cucumber, elderflower ginger and lemon.
Located in a historic building in Chinatown, Sai Woo gets its name from a chop suey restaurant that inhabited the space in the 1920s. Today, chef Keev Mah makes a lot of fun sharing plates like the scallop crudo (scallops served with fried milk and nori chips), and mussels in a pineapple sweet and sour broth. Don’t leave without trying the heavenly lavender panna cotta.
Tucked into the Yaletown neighbourhood, Minami is Japanese through and through, with a refined touch. The aburi sushi—flame-seared sushi with signature sauces, as opposed to soy sauce—is a must-order. The desserts take inspiration from Japanese and European flavours, resulting in beautiful creations like the Green Tea Opera cake, which combines green tea génoise (an Italian-style sponge cake), dark chocolate ganache and matcha ice cream.
This chic restaurant in the city’s Chinatown epitomizes modern Chinese cuisine with dishes like the Shan Tofu, which is a chickpea tofu served with pickled veggies and fried curry leaves, or the crispy pork belly with pickled watermelon radish, cucumbers and crispy potatoes. Couple the inspired menu with superb cocktails (try the Chino Margarita, which combines tangerine peel-infused reposado tequila, ginger, lime, egg white and a chili salt/sugar rim) and you have a dinner experience that’s hard to beat.
This contemporary Chinese eatery in Gastown is well known for its funky craft cocktails and is the perfect spot for drinks and snacks (try the bison carpaccio). Bar manager Tarquin Melnyk has crafted an impressive cocktail menu that includes fun interpretations of classic drinks like the daiquiri and pisco sour. But a can’t-miss is Bambudda’s signature cold tea, Tsui Hang #2, which combines salted plum, goji berry and star anise-infused rye with fino sherry and jasmine kombucha.
All the dishes at this award-winning Thai restaurant in the city’s Kitsilano neighbourhood are based on traditional Thai recipes with innovative twists from chef Angus An to incorporate local ingredients. The hot and sour smoked mackerel soup or the bay scallop ceviche are two must-try dishes, as is the classic pad Thai.
New Restaurants Across Canada That are Worth Travelling For
If you travel with taste buds in mind, here are six new restaurants across Canada that have locals buzzing. Dig into French Canadian dishes at St. Lawrence in Vancouver, wake up with warm baked goods at the Drake Commissary in Toronto or eat casual Haitian food at Kwizinn Resto-Bar in Montreal.