It's safe to say all living things like food, but maybe not as much as Chef Victor Bongo does. Recently transplanted from Africa, a young Victor worked as a dishwasher, but the siren call of the culinary scene lured him. He navigated from one kitchen to another, learning to cook, achieving the position of head chef, and eventually studying with three-star Michelin Chef Edmund Liew-On.
Today, Chef Bongo helms Daniel's Restaurant, where he puts his considerable talents to work blending internationally beloved spices into local seasonal and organic ingredients. He places pan-seared scallops into seas of pureed parsnips or submerges bison filet mignon in blueberry-port-wine sauce. His culinary ministrations earned his new restaurant the accolades of local press, including Straight.com's 2012 Golden Plate award for Best New Restaurant Outside Vancouver.
Since 1997, Big River Brewing Company has created its craft beers on the banks of the historic Fraser River. At the brewer's restaurants, you can pair their 8 distinctive brews with hearty pub food. In some cases, that pairing is taken care of for you?the chicken burger is marinated in Sidewheeler blond ale, and there are beer-braised onions, crisp bacon, cheddar cheese, and a special sauce on the Big River classic burger. Sauces are another specialty here?a cajun basil pesto amps up the chicken quesadilla; meanwhile, Frank's red hot sauce coats the brewhouse wings and the fingers of everyone who eats them. The Coquitlam location has an open kitchen, so you can watch at the chefs incorporate ales and lagers into their dishes and sauces.
A chain of restaurants founded in 1952, Fatburger’s team of skilled grillsmiths tirelessly bustles about kitchens across the continent whipping up platefuls of fresh, cooked-to-order diner fare. Upon receiving each patron’s order, chefs spring into action meticulously preparing feasts from the finest of ingredients including AAA Alberta beef, hand-picked produce, and cholesterol-free oil. Frozen treat specialists plunge scoops into ice cream containers, extracting creamy orbs to be transformed into milkshakes so old fashioned that they only enter the straw after donning a set of pearls. Fostering an authentic atmosphere, each Fatburger location features retro decor and enforces a strict poodle-skirt-only dress code for all diners.
The Hronopoulos family, owners of Sokela Restaurant and Lounge, call upon Greek, Italian, Moroccan, Spanish, and French influences to create a menu that represents a mélange of Mediterranean flavours. Sokela was born when the owners decided to turn the image of their traditional Greek restaurant, Alekos, around by reversing its name. To reflect this new philosophy, the Greek plates share menu space with chorizo, gnocchi, and West Coast seafood dishes to please palates and confuse U.S. customs employees. Beige and brown accents, tiles, exposed wood, and short cylindrical hanging lamps create a casual atmosphere and surround patrons as they dine in the main room or the lounge.
A colourful spectrum of gelato flavours, safely ensconced in a gleaming glass case, catches the eyes of customers at Matteo's Gelato. Helmed by a classically trained owner that’s been crafting frozen desserts for more than 35 years, the gelateria stocks a selection of classic and creative flavours that rotates as often as a clown’s spinning bow tie. From seasonal appearances of candy-cane or pumpkin-pie gelato to regular flavours such as chocolate hazelnut and cherry blossom, the shop consistently tempts visitors to try something new. Espresso drinks create a pleasing contrast to the cold treats, especially when gelato is ordered affogato style: with a fresh shot poured over the chilly dessert.
Sang Thai Restaurant has garnered local praise for its pan-Asian cuisine; diners even crowned it Favourite Thai Restaurant on the 2012 Tri-City News A LIst. Inside, bright red walls and hanging lamps surround guests as they dine on Thai and Asian specialties, including curry, fried rice, and clay-pot dishes. Wooden pillars divide the sleek, minimalist dining room into two sections. A bar decorated with martini glasses and figurines stands next to a wall of illuminated bamboo that frequently attracts botanists eager to nibble on it.