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.
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.
Chada Thai Fine Cuisine—named after the traditional headpiece in a Thai classical dance—prepares platefuls of pan-seared tiger prawns, chicken blanketed in curry sauce, and pad thai noodles. Around the dining room, elaborate headpieces adorn walls, and sculptures sit near the entrance, high-fiving patrons as they walk in.