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.
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.
Though patrons only visit three restaurants during the Around the World Food Tour, their taste buds travel on a global expedition. Each jaunt begins at Caribbean eatery The Reef, where participants sample plantain chips, a curried chickpea dish, coco prawns, and jerk wings that are surprisingly kind to hunger pangs. Diners can pair offerings with housemade ginger beer, a pineapple shake, or house wine before moving on to Bua Thai Cuisine. Once inside the welcoming, multihued confines, they can dig into classic dishes such as pad thai and chicken satay while sipping Thai–style iced tea and young coconut juice. The final stop, Siddhartha's Indian Kitchen, rewards bellies with potato cakes, vegetable and chicken pakora, chai tea, and house wine or beer.
In the city of Chongqing, restaurants and vendors line the streets, tempting passersby with spicy Szechuan-inspired cuisine supplemented with chili peppers, sesame, scallions, and ginger. For more than 30 years, Bor and Kai Wong?owners of The Original Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant?have brought this mix of powerful flavours to Vancouver through carefully prepared dishes. Chefs pluck lobster, fish, and jumbo prawns from the live seafood tank and braise and fry them with traditional sauces, such as black bean and garlic or spicy chili. A hot pot, the Chongqing answer to fondue, simmers at the centre of tables, letting customers submerge thinly sliced meats and morsels of brisket until they?re fully cooked. A dozen different noodle dishes and 20 extra-spicy chicken, pork, and beef feasts fill plates in the eatery's comfortable dining room.
The blue-eyed Mary is a small flower that blooms for a very short period every spring. Like the fleeting unfurling of these sky-hued petals, Blue Eyed Mary Restaurant's menu is small and seasonal. Chefs Carol Wallace and Kindy Riley specialize in West Coast fusion cuisine, and might crown a bison burger with bacon-shallot relish or pair squash gratin and roasted apples with hazelnuts and soft cheese pate, depending on what's growing locally. Despite the high-end and foodie-friendly nature of its rotating menu, Blue Eyed Mary strives to cultivate a casual, friendly atmosphere that makes their locally sourced food accessible to all and allows diners to leave their monocles and faux British accents at home.
There’s a comforting vibe at Divine Indulgence Café. Even though there's no family currently residing inside, the warm, repurposed house keeps its homelike atmosphere. The dining areas evoke the feeling of a well-worn abode with dark-wood furnishings and shelved knickknacks. The coziness extends to the menu as well, surfacing in comfort food dishes such as fish tacos or guacamole burgers made with house-made beef patties, Havarti cheese, bacon, guacamole salsa, and fresh baguettes. Decadent slices of cake and more than 20 different flavors of tea also add to the cafe's homeyness, as does the the baristas' constant reminders not to play ball inside.