Fable Kitchen Valentine’s Dinner

One of my favourite restaurants in the city is Fable Kitchen. I was there the first weekend they were open after Chef Trevor Birds run on Top Chef Canada, my second date with my wife was there, and this year we spent our Valentine’s Dinner there. It was delicious.

Tempura Oyster with Smoked Tofu Mayo

The menu was set up as a dinner for two with two things in each course. The appetizer was a raw oyster in the shell with compressed apple, jalapeño, and dill (pictured at the top of the post) and one tempura’d with smoked tofu mayonnaise. Don’t ask me to pick between the two but the raw oyster with the compressed apple in particular had flavours I found to be basically perfectly balanced, just enough sweet, just enough spice, and just enough salt.

Next up a prawn agnolotti in a lobster bisque and smoked chilli oil. There’s really something special about beautifully made fresh pasta. With it came a mushroom barley risotto which was delightfully toothsome I think thanks to the barley, but the pickled shimiji mushrooms and fried maitake mushrooms gave this some lovely extra complexity and texture.

The main course(s) were a bison flat iron with baked celeriac, charred broccolini, and truffle jus which might just be the best red meat dish I’ve had in …. well a long time anyway. It was perfectly cooked. That’s not hyperbole, it was perfectly cooked. It was almost a shame actually because the ling cod was also good (nice sear, nice flavour, roasted cauliflower, and octopus on the side) but kind of out-shined by the bison.

Poached Apple

Last I didn’t really get good photos of the deserts but rest assured the chocolate mousse with shortbread and hazelnuts was delicious, and the poached apple with burnt bread foam (something I need to learn more about because it was fascinating) and caramel ice cream was a showstopper for me. I’m a sucker for apples and this was next level good.

So there you have it, a successful Valentine’s dinner. Fable Kitchen is reliably great and this meal was no exception. It was a special meal but if I’m honest, Fable is always special. You should definitely try them out if you haven’t.

Three Places to get a Great London Fog in Vancouver

London Fogs of Vancouver

I don’t like coffee.  I know that’s a sentence that makes most Vancovuerites do a spit take, but there it is.  I’ve never acquired the taste and I don’t really like the buzz. I do like tea though, and in particular I love a good London Fog.  

Otherwise known as an Earl Grey Latte, the London Fog was reportedly invented in Vancouver in the mid/late 1980s and is a mix of earl grey tea, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup. Yes, you read that right, the London Fog was invented in our fair city, and in some places is even called a Vancouver Fog.  Neat! 

Almost any cafe will make you one, and most of them are good, but here are three spots to get a really nice one in the city. 

Propaganda / London Fog
Propaganda / London Fog

Propaganda Coffee in Chinatown does a lovely fog.  In particular, they manage that ratio of vanilla to earl grey flavour just right. 

Chambar / London Fog

Chambar on Beatty St. does two great things. First they use a really flavourful loose leave Earl Grey tea.  I forgot to ask where it came from but it was just lovely.  Second, they hit that perfect sweet-but-not-too-sweet 

Crackle Creme / London Fog
Crackle Creme / London Fog

Crackle Creme in Chinatown is a place you need to check out just because they’re a creme brûlée restaurant. Yes, a restaurant that exists for creme brûlée. They also do a great London Fog to go with those brûlées, too. It’s sweet-but-not-too-sweet, just the right temperature, and just the right amount of foam, and just the right amount of vanilla. 

So there you go, three great spots for a London Fog in Vancouver.  Agree? Disagree? Have a different spot you love? Let me know in the comments or on twitter!

Tuc Craft Kitchen’s new Chicken & Waffles are good

New Chicken & Waffles / Tuc Craft Kitchen

Here’s a true story: whoever first put fried chicken and waffles together is a saint and we should venerate them as such.

Here’s another true story: my favourite chicken & waffles in Vancouver dish in Vancouver was the one at Tuc Craft Kitchen in Gastown.  I was say was because as I learned when I visited them this past weekend they have changed up the recipe. Luckily, the new ones are good too. 

Old Chicken & Waffles / Tuc Craft Kitchen
Old Chicken & Waffles / Tuc Craft Kitchen

The hook with the old chicken and waffles was the sauces.  Syrup, hot sauce, and house made hollandaise, and the combination of the three plus the breading on the chicken and the fresh made waffle added up to something special.  The new one only has the syrup, but there’s more to the chicken itself. 

New Chicken & Waffles / Tuc Craft Kitchen
New Chicken & Waffles / Tuc Craft Kitchen

The new chicken & waffles omits the hot sauce and the hollandaise, but the chicken is now glazed and breaded in a sweet chilli ginger sauce and the waffles are a little thinner and lighter. You also get three waffles, which is a nice touch when you’re a tall guy like me. 

I wrote about these on Instagram when I first tried them and my write up then sounded a bit dour.  That came from the shock that one of my favourite brunches in the city had gone away. The truth is that the new Tuc chicken & waffles are also fantastic though and they’re definitely worth your time.  I just don’t 100% know yet if they are my favourite in the city anymore. 

We’re starting the blog, finally

Fable Diner / Trucker Breakfast

We’ve been doing the Instagram thing for quite a while now but it’s finally time to dip our toes into the food blog world.

My name is Matthew and I love brunch.  So much so that I co-founded a weekly social club where we meet and eat brunch.  “How Do I get in on that?” you ask?  Well, for now anyway, you don’t.  The first rule of Brunch Club is that you don’t talk about Brunch Club, mostly because everyone wants to be in Brunch Club as soon as they hear about it, so I’ve already said too much.

I’ve been on the quest for the best Brunch in Vancouver for a few years now so if you want to check out past exploits or follow along with the new ones please be sure to check us* out on social media:

I’m excited to do this in a little more in depth way and I’m excited for you all to join me. I can’t promise that things will be posted every day but I can promise that things that get posted will be done so with love and care. So let’s get to it!

* I keep saying “us” and “our” and “we” and you should know that these are all used in the royal sense.