5 New Vancouver Restaurants for Impressing Your Foodie Date

The thom kha with fried curry rice from Thai Confusion (Photo credit: Tara Lee)

The Thom Kha with fried curry rice from Thai Confusion (Photo credit: Tara Lee)

When I was going on what seemed like an endless series of dinner dates, the choice of restaurant started to really matter. Especially given that I’m obsessed with food, a good meal was solace for so-so conversation and chemistry. And I have to admit, if a date wanted to go somewhere with mediocre food or made a pick that showed little imagination or forethought, I couldn’t help but judge (just a little).

I went on a few dates with one guy who impressed me by doing his best to think of restaurants that were new, or at least new to one of us. Each outing became an enjoyable trying out of flavours and dishes. And when it was time for me to select an establishment, I tried to resist the urge to go to my same old tried-and-true places. Frankly, dating just got boring, otherwise.

Fortunately, Vancouver has tons of restaurants opening all the time that can enliven your dating life. Here are five new spots that are worth checking out with your long-time sweetie or your next romantic prospect.

Continue reading:
5 New Vancouver Restaurants for Impressing Your Foodie Date

Noodle Crazy? Ramen Pop-Up Restaurant in Gastown Draws a Crowd

Photo credit: Robert Banh

Photo credit: Robert Banh

Vancouver eaters (and restaurant staff) are aflutter about the ramen pop-up, No. 1 Noodle House, in the old Boneta space at 1 West Cordova in Gastown. The pop-up, which opened April 19, is targeting the late-night crowd, particularly restaurant staff looking for good food when they get off the line. So far, it’s attracting everyone and there seems to be enough room to handle the demand: unlike the tiny ramen shops in the West End, Vancouver’s go-to neighbourhood for ramen, the pop-up is large and can seat 75-90 people

No. 1 Noodle House has a mixed Asian fusion menu with ramen ($9.50) in varieties including spicy chicken and tonkotsu (pork broth), as well as banh mi, chicken wings, bao with fried chicken, pork spring rolls and more. Keeping in line with the budget-friendly nature of most ramen joints, everything is under $10.

No. 1 is another venture by Vancouver restaurateur Mark Brand (Sea Monstr, Boneta, Save On Meats, Portside Pub). Word around the food blogs (Scout Magazine; Vancity Buzz) has it that Brand is working with partners Matt MacDougall, Lindsay Lapierre, Tyrell Shaw and Alex Usow (Brand’s Sea Monstr Sushi partner).

It’s not easy to be Vancouver’s number one noodle house. In fact, it really depends whom you ask. Most Vancouver ramen joints are in the West End. Among the dozens of options, you’ll find fierce allegiance for Santouka on Robson (it also has locations in Japan and the U.S.), which always has a line. The favourite ramen there? Probably the miso with pork jowl. Other good ramen joints in the West End? Crowd-sourced opinion points to Motomachi Shokudo and Kintaro.

But head to Strathcona/Chinatown and you’ll find diners raving about Harvest market’s ramen menu, which has veggie options such as ramen with miso broth and squash, alongside ramen with pork shoulder, candied bacon, egg, and radish. Continue reading:
Noodle Crazy? Ramen Pop-Up Restaurant in Gastown Draws a Crowd