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KK Law

5 Scenic Sites for Souvenir Snaps

Must-see public art, natural wonders and cultural icons

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Jun. 2018

Photo ©JamesVancouver/istock.com

Siwash Rock
Stanley Park Seawall

The ribbon of seawall that winds its way around Stanley Park has plenty of sublime sights, but chief among them is iconic Siwash Rock. Located between Lions Gate Bridge and Third Beach, the outcropping has stood sentinel at this spot for an estimated 32 million years—long (like really, really long) before Captain George Vancouver sailed these waters. According to Squamish First Nations legend, the stone is a man who was transformed by supernatural beings, forever immortalized as a reward for being unselfish. A noble legend, and one that may explain why Siwash remains completely unruffled by all the attention. (more…)

Dining Destinations South of Main Street

By TIM PAWSEY
Jun. 2018

Verduras causa with chili-dusted yam chips, at Chicha (Photo by KK Law)

The Mount Pleasant neighbourhood sometimes called South of Main (SOMA) is home to myriad flavours. At Peruvian-inspired Chicha, chef Shelome Bouvette delights with chulpe de mariscos (a riff on bouillabaisse), empanadas stuffed with butternut squash or smoked chicken with chilli, and lomo saltado (beef steak). Pisco sours and other cocktails are de rigueur. Nearby, The Cascade Room proffers cut-above pub fare—think Southern-style ribs, roasted Arctic char, pot pies and burgers, with local Main Street pints. Looking for sustainable fare and lots of vegetarian options? Head to organically driven Burdock & Co., where past favourites include charred savoy cabbage, braised leeks with aged pecorino, or lamb ribs. Sea-foodies favour The Fish Counter for superior Ocean Wise fish ’n’ chips and po’boys, while locals seek out the changing plates at Dock Lunch, a diminutive 22-seater tucked away in a charming Victorian-era home.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

8 Eateries With Exceptional Views

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
May 2018

Glass walls at Cactus Club’s Coal Harbour location look out over Stanley Park (Photo by KK Law)

In Vancouver, stunning scenery is just part of the package. The city’s supermodel good looks run the gamut: sparkling skyline, Coast Mountains, urban forests. (We could go on.)

To satisfy both hunger and a thirst for views, take it to the top—of Grouse Mountain, that is. Perched 1,127 m (3,700 ft) up the mountainside, The Observatory offers vertiginous views of Vancouver from the cantilevered dining room.

Water views and sustainable seafood are the specialty at The Boathouse, with beach-side locations on both Kits Beach and English Bay. Seawall-situated Ancora features a menu of Japanese-Peruvian fusion, accompanied by stellar views of Granville Island and beyond. Similarly situated along the water, pub-fare specialist Tap & Barrel serves favourites like the PB&J Burger with a side of spectacular scenery.

At Lift, serene Stanley Park and the marina are the backdrop for sublime Pacific Northwest fare like crispy fried Humboldt squid and sashimi. The 405-hectare (1,000-acre) park—plus ocean and mountain views—can also be enjoyed from Cactus Club’s Coal Harbour location, where sliding glass walls let the outside in.

The city steals the show at Joe Fortes’ rooftop patio, where bustling Robson Street below is a people-watcher’s delight. Fronted by Yaletown’s glittering glass-walled towers, Dockside with its yacht-side terrace is perfect for savouring local specialties like grilled halibut or roasted salmon.

Consider your eyes, and appetite, satiated.

One to Watch: Actor Diana Bang

By SHERI RADFORD
May 2018

Diana Bang’s savvy bargain-hunting skills fuel her fun style (Photo by KK Law)

Diana Bang isn’t a household name—yet. For years the local actor and sketch-comedy artist has been appearing in filmed-in-Vancouver movies and TV shows such as Bates Motel. Her big break came when she landed the role of Sook in The Interview, alongside another funny Vancouver actor, Seth Rogen. Not content to just wait around for her next big role, Bang is also writing her own scripts, hoping one day to produce and direct as well: “You’ve got to create your own material,” she says. “That’s always the most fulfilling.” Her favourite collaborator is her sister, Andrea, who currently stars in the TV show Kim’s Convenience.

When Bang isn’t on a film set or at one of her many part-time jobs, she can be found working on her writing at The Birds & the Beets, a cozy cafe in Gastown, or picking up a steamed pork-and-vegetable bun or coconut bun from New Town Bakery, in Chinatown. She loves trying out new restaurants, which Vancouver has in abundance, or stopping for a drink at R&B Brewing, Pourhouse, Martini’s or Grapes & Soda.

Most of all, Bang loves making people laugh. Look for her in upcoming sketch-comedy performances with The Lady Show. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this rising star.

To find out more about Diana Bang, check out her website

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
May 2018

From left: Craft Lager, Filthy Dirty IPA, Trash Panda IPA and Ruby Tears NW Red Ale, at Parallel 49 (Photo by KK Law)

From easy drinking to just plain experimental, a bevy of brews can be found around Vancouver. Explore the options in hop-heavy neighbourhoods like Brewery Creek or East Village, where craft breweries are all a hop, sip and jump away. Start with local stalwarts like Brassneck and Parallel 49. For an even larger concentration of breweries, tap into Vancouver Craft Beer Week (May 25 to Jun. 3). This frothy celebration of beer, live music and special events culminates with a festival where 100 breweries pour over 300 beers and ciders. We’ll raise a glass to that.

Vocal Locavore: Andrea Carlson of Burdock & Co.

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2018

Andrea Carlson, chef and owner of Burdock & Co. (Photo by KK Law)

Burdock & Co. is a bastion of organic dining and locally sourced ingredients. For owner/chef Andrea Carlson, it’s a way of life, a journey she embarked on early in her career. (more…)

A Frank Discussion: Interview with Chef Frank Pabst

Blue Water Cafe’s executive chef, Frank Pabst, is dedicated to the ocean’s unsung heroes

The local, sustainable food movement has come of age, but it wasn’t always thus. Few have been as instrumental in its success as Frank Pabst

By TIM PAWSEY (more…)

2018 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

At Five Sails, enjoy pan-seared bass piccata, vegetables and golden fingerling potatoes in a lemon-and-caper butter sauce—and, of course, the incredible view of Coal Harbour

Our annual Where to Dine Awards pay tribute to the hardworking folks who make Vancouver such a food-lover’s paradise

By TIM PAWSEY, SHERI RADFORD & JILL VON SPRECKEN
Photos by KK LAW

Critics’ Choice

LES CLEFS D’OR CANADA SILVER SERVICE 
Five Sails Restaurant

Vancouver’s abundant dining options can overwhelm a hungry traveller, but Les Clefs d’Or always know the newest hotspots, the tried-and-true stalwarts and the hidden gems. These dedicated concierges won’t steer you wrong, and this year their top pick is Five Sails. Perched right on the waterfront, this perennial favourite expertly combines stellar West Coast cuisine with warm service and stunning views of the mountains, inner harbour and Stanley Park. Linger over poached lobster, roasted sablefish or smoked duck breast while watching floatplanes land and cruise ships depart. And make sure to peruse the wine list, which showcases selections from BC’s Okanagan region.—SR (more…)

Hooked on Oddfish

By TIM PAWSEY
Feb. 2018

Hamachi crudo at Oddfish (Photo by KK Law)

Just across Burrard Bridge, lively Oddfish lures with a variety of simple but well-prepared fresh and finny fare. Starters range from lime- and jalapeño-teased hamachi to ahi tuna poke or side stripe shrimp ceviche. Mains yield a wealth of seasonally changing tastes such as ling cod with caponata, seared seabass topped with chermoula, or bowls of nicely spiced mussels or clams, all paired with smartly chosen, eclectic wines. Don’t miss the Hot Mess: a cornucopian romp of a platter piled high with fish and shellfish, topped with a robust salsa verde.

For Peat’s Sake: Visit Vancouver’s Hidden Whisky House

By TIM PAWSEY
Feb. 2018

Sam Heather with a flight of whisky, at Shebeen. (Photo by KK Law)

Venture into the back of Gastown’s The Irish Heather to find Shebeen Whisk(e)y House. The well-concealed snug is one of the coziest salutes to whisky anywhere, a fact not missed by the Irish Pubs Global Awards 2017, who named it the Best Irish Whiskey Experience in North America. Owner Sean Heather offers an array of whiskies from all over. His favourite? Redbreast from Dublin’s Midleton. “It’s a pure pot still, which is the Irish equivalent to a single malt,” says the amiable publican.

Yaletown Destination: Cioppino’s

By TIM PAWSEY
Jan. 2018

At Cioppino’s, chef Pino Posteraro serves up specialties such as lemon-saffron risotto with wild prawns. (Photo by KK Law)

For top-tier Italian, head to Cioppino’s, where star chef Pino Posteraro works wonders in his finely tuned open kitchen. Flavours run the gamut, from pan-roasted sablefish, roasted lobster tails with sausage, and Tuscan-style rib-eye with arugula and parmesan, to veal osso buco Milanese and, of course, namesake cioppino with spicy bouillabaisse broth and rouille. The always attentive service is as precise and detail-driven as the cuisine. As for the cellar, the chef has a formidable palate and is a master of food and wine pairing, with a wide-ranging list to match the menu.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

4 Perfect Prix Fixe Menus

By TIM PAWSEY
Jan. 2018

Perfect plates at Mak N Ming may include delicious mussels in pork broth. (Photo by KK Law)

The best way to experience a kitchen at its peak is to let the chef choose the meal—and the sommelier choose the wines. These restaurants excel: (more…)