In Browns Socialhouse, backed leather stools and cushy booths flank tables. On the walls, oversize illuminated signs reading EAT and Liquor shine brightly against the cozily lit dining room. Mixing social-house comfort with a contemporary edge, the decor at Browns Socialhouse mimics the style of its food. Chefs hand cut and double-cook fries to pile alongside their steak sandwich or housemade, hand-pressed burgers. They've got an eye for detail—for example, they char-grill their dry-aged pepperoni before piling it atop pizzas with pepperoncinis and asiago. The selection ranges from international favorites—such as street tacos and shrimp-and-chicken pad thai, among other—to updated pub eats, such as fish ‘n’ chips featuring pacific halibut dunked in a Sapporo beer batter. Every Saturday, Sunday, and on holidays, the chefs set their roosters to crow earlier so they can rise and mix up batches of their own hollandaise for brunches. They crack only free-range eggs for their brunch dishes, which include corned-beef hash and prosciutto eggs benedict with goat cheese.
Surf & Turf specializes in fresh-from-the-market seafood and meats, which are prepared quickly with seasonal ingredients and local produce. Divided into lunch and dinner, the menu presents several mix-and-match options, such as the skewer meal, which invites diners to ceremoniously vote for any six meat kebabs, plus a fountain drink ($10). Offerings include souvlaki chicken, tandoori turkey, and salmon. Surf & Turf can coat its skewered selections with a bevy of glazes, protecting short ribs or prawns from UV rays with a carapace of teriyaki sauce or extra-strength apple barbecue sauce. A rotating selection of seasonal teas stands by to slake thirsts and lubricate throats ($2).
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.
Seven varieties of mushrooms imported from Japan flavour Shang Noodle House's signature Red Reishi Ramen dish, each adding nutrients which can help bolster the immune system, metabolism, and other vital functions. The kitchen's focus on healthy eating continues with its hand-pulled wheat ramen noodles, vitamin C-packed mango juice, and free-range chicken dim sum. More than 24 varieties of ramen, from traditional to fried, round out the menu alongside barbecued pork belly, duck, and cuttlefish. Bamboo accents and contemporary art lend a modern air to Shang's Richmond and New Westminster eateries, which are part of the Kirin Restaurant Group. The latter location features a conveyor belt that rolls chef specials fresh out of the kitchen and carts back origami-folded thank-you notes from sated diners.
For patrons bound for Steeples Bar and Grill, the experience begins before the restaurant comes into view. A scenic drive over the Malahat and through Goldstream Provincial Park offers a feast of vistas, and then the restaurant's steeple—an artifact of the restored church where it has taken up residence—peaks through the trees like a giant toddler playing hide-and-seek.
Beneath it, beams that were hand-hewn generations ago hint at present-day staff members' attention to detail. Amid casual, cozy surroundings including shuttered windows, guests dine on upscale dishes such as steak encrusted with black peppercorns, seared tuna, and creamy tarragon fettuccine replete with king prawns. The drink menu complements meals with daiquiris, martinis, and draft beers.