Posts Tagged: restaurants


5
Nov 12

Ladies who lunch: Part 1. Glowbal Grill

If you’re going for lunch with a girlfriend you’ve not seen for a while, then there are a few important things a restaurant must have for it to be a success; patient staff who A) don’t try to hurry you up and B) don’t mind if you get a little flirty after that second glass of wine of wine, a secluded nook so you can spill major dirt without being overheard, a variety of things on the menu that you can share as you always end up wanting exactly what she ordered – cos hey, you split that amazing prawn thing that one time – and cool music that is loud enough to cover any snorts of “OH MY GOD, you did WHAT?” but not so loud that you can’t hear full details of exactly what it was that she did…

Impossible to not love a chef who shares his recipe secrets AND brings dessert.

At Glowbal Grill, I think I may have found all that, situated bang in the heart of Yaletown. Perched at a table for two in a quiet corner opposite the bar, I got to watch the action in the open kitchen as well lean in and listen to everything my girlfriend was telling me.

Glowbal is known for its steaks and satay and so that’s exactly what we ordered, I could have happily eaten a whole bucket of the crunchy spicy-sweet deep-fried Buttermilk Chicken as just one is plainly nowhere near enough and the Albacore tuna tataki was one of the best I’d tried; lightly seared and delicate. Lucky then, that we’d got the same each, as I could easily see a fight breaking out over Who Would Have The Last One.

Honestly, how beautiful are these Heirloom tomatoes?

Any place that has Burrata on the menu is somewhere I’ll probably like as it’s one of my favourite decadent cheeses – made from mozzarella and cream and tasting of heaven. Glowbal’s Caprese salad came with a satisfying wedge of creamy Burrata along with tomatoes that were like a little burst of sunshine.

It’s actually a fight for me to not just get up and go there and order this RIGHT NOW.

Satay, salad, you’d think we’d be full, but oh – you’d be wrong. Proper girl lunches (at least ones that I have) should have as many courses as possible, as that gives you time to catch up and everyone knows that food eaten in great company doesn’t add an ounce of weight… So on to the famous steaks, served with the best sprouts I’d ever tasted, flaky with Parmesan, zingy with chili and (yup) deep fried. We couldn’t stop eating them and neither will you – here’s the recipe. Make them. People will love you for it. Are the steaks worth the hype? I’d say so. I loved the crisp salty puff of fat on the outside and the meat was everything you’d wish it to be; tender and juicy and from prime Canadian stock.

For dessert, we split a trio of Crème brûlées. And, er, some cheesecake. AND yeah – we may have sampled a beignet or two…  before regretfully rolling out, some hours after we’d arrived. I mentally ran through my Ideal Ladies Lunch check list and yes, Glowbal Grill gets a tick in every box. So – apologies to Nick, our server, for the flirtiness, thanks to the cool music – Prince covers – for the funkiness and hurrah for a menu that offers Things On Sticks for us to share. We’ll see you again soon.

We ate lunch as guests of the Glowbal Grill, but my views are 100% my own.


3
Nov 12

Food and drink adventures in Yaletown

I’m slowly getting to know the different neighbourhoods around my new city, Vancouver. Yaletown is at the lower tip of the downtown core bordered by the water of False Creek, and the streets of Robson and Homer. It used to be a heavily industrial part of town, but now the warehouses and loading docks have been transformed. It reminded me a little of London’s Docklands in spirit; it seemed to be all about shiny shops and designer-y stores. My first impression (truthfully) was that Yaletown seemed a little… fake. A tad shallow, perhaps?

As you can imagine, this disappeared fairly swiftly…

It’s lucky I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong. Yet again, first impressions have proved deceiving. Turns out that Yaletown’s a sizzling hotbed of great little restaurants and bars. Independent business seem to thrive here and one way of showcasing that is in their celebration of food and drink, the Taste of Yaletown, an annual event where more than 20 restaurants offer three-course tasting menus for as little as $25.

I’d never seen this before: aburi flame-seared sushi from Minami

I went along to the launch and got to try little bite-sized offerings from a few of the restaurants participating. It’s a brilliant way to get people to get out of their restaurant-rut and experience new places. With so many participants though I have to ask the organisers to think about extending this to a month. How else could I do all 23 in just ten days!?

It tasted just as good as it looks.

As this is Vancouver, the innovative cocktail scene wasn’t going to be left out and a week later, Yaletown hosted a Shake Up cocktail contest with six of the local bars using a Bacardi rum as a base. I found many of them a little sweet for my taste, apart from the offering from Julia Diakow, from the New Oxford who’d made a gorgeous walnut-infused maple syrup creation, called 15th and Maple with Benedictine and apple cider.

The winner! Thanks so much to Ariane Colenbrander for this great image.

Julia wound up winning honours that night, so yaaay for me, picking a winner. Looks like all those hard hours I put in on a bar stool weren’t in vain…

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