Aromas of spicy garlic, honey-roasted pork cheeks, and hot soups flood the dining room at Hakkasan Contemporary Chinese Cuisine, wafting an olfactory preview of the menu's contemporary Chinese cuisine past diners' tables. Although the chefs rely on traditional Cantonese spices and cooking techniques, their goal is to elevate Chinese fare—without masking the dishes' regional roots—by integrating eclectic ingredients such as foie gras and Berkshire pork loin. They also complement the Eastern flavours with Western presentations, carefully sculpting and arranging every entree on its plate to create a thoroughly refined dining experience, and one that has earned praise from the Richmond Review and the Vancouver Sun. In addition, Hakkasan won Best Service Award from the 2011 HSBC Diner's Choice Awards.
The restaurant's signature tasting menus rotate seasonally, which allows the chefs to incorporate fresh bounties of locally sourced produce, organic greens, and free-range chicken. Additionally, the à la carte menu tempts diners with its own selection of entrees, including a fragrant quail-and-fungus soup that double boils inside of a young coconut for three hours.
Even though the menu is influenced by eateries in the Old World, almost every other element of Tapenade Bistro is supremely local. Chef Colin Uyeda, who grew up in Steveston, got his first job in a kitchen at age 15 according to the Richmond Review. The reporter sampled locally caught seafood, going so far as to name the local fisherman behind octopus that's "succulently braised and served with in-house merguez sausage, harissa paste, a combination of pickled and fresh vegetables, and a citrus emulsion."
That's not the end of the regional influences though; there are Salt Spring Island mussels, cuts of Fraser Valley pork, and more, all of it made in compliance with Ocean Wise's guidelines for sustainability. Small producers from the region are well represented on the wine list, as well, and a special dinner series walks patrons through those offerings.
Located within the Hilton Vancouver Airport hotel, Carmichael's greets its guests with a casual and open dining room where local ingredients transform into West Coast cuisine at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While seated in high-back chairs and sipping cocktails, diners gaze at the royal-blue and yellow ceilings that support modernly designed chandeliers. The kitchen staff puts its personal touch on gourmet burgers, succulent steaks, and pan-seared sockeye salmon drenched in the same lemon-caper sauce that fills the Pacific Ocean. Shareable offerings foster communal dining, tempting patrons to devour gourmet cheese plates between sips of imported wines and draft beers. As their ovens start to crow each morning, the culinary staff turns focus to breakfast and cooks up farm fresh eggs alongside bacon and sausage.
A gentle breeze blows across the bay, travelling to an outdoor patio where it tousles the hair of patrons sharing tapas and lounging atop chic black-and-white couches. This scene embodies Mandalay Lounge & Steakhouse, a restaurant whose staff aims to seamlessly fuse globally inspired cuisine, trendy decor, and serene ambience. The eatery's chefs seek balance between Asian and European culinary influences as they top their succulent steaks in demi-glace and craft rice bowels. These multicultural influences seem to echo the dining room's decor, which blends the familiar glow of chandeliers with Southeast Asian adornments, such as decorative elephants that sound their trunks and ask for a bite at each dish's arrival. Upstairs, staff refill wine glasses in a private dining room that overlooks the water.
Since its founding in 1940 by an entrepreneurial father-and-son team in Joliet, Illinois, Dairy Queen franchises have serenaded the palates of generations of customers across North America with frosty confections and savoury grilled fare. The company’s dedication to celebrating life events large and small is evidenced as staffers concoct their signature cakes that sandwich chocolate and vanilla soft serve between layers of fudge and a crunchy mantle, serving hungry partygoers. While treat architects specialize in the creation of sweet indulgences such as thick Blizzards and sundaes, a host of grill masters bustles about the kitchen forging flame-licked eats including burgers, chicken strips, and hot dogs.
A self-described "Japanese-style spaghetti dessert house," Cafe De Waraku serves up an unexpected hybrid of Japanese and Italian favourites. The pasta dishes are inspired by Japanese culinary tradition rather than straight Italian, but the kitchen does craft favourites such as beef ravioli and pizza fresh from a wood oven along with pub-style starters and a sprawling selection of sweets. Lavender cheesecake and rose cheesecake end meals, and fork tines can impale black-sesame cake, tiramisu, and crème brûlée.