When we decided as a team that we’d move forward and compete at the Canadian National Dragon boat Championships (this process took a lot longer than I’d wish and there was so much nail-biting tension. Really hope everyone thought it was worth it!), I immediately started plotting our post-race meals. And hitting the gym harder than ever of course… Back to the food, besides knowing that I wanted to eat sushi and sashimi, Fable Kitchen (@fablerestaurant) and La Taqueria (@LaTaqueriaYVR) were the only two actual restaurants I had on my list. Good thing friends provided lots of recommendations. :D
1944 W 4th ave
Transit: 99 bus from Broadway-City Hall Station, 84 bus from Olympic Village Station
Hours: DINNER Mon-Sun (5:30-10pm), LUNCH Mon-Fri (11:30am-2pm), BRUNCH Sat-Sun (10:30am-2pm)
Fable Kitchen is co-owned by Top Chef Canada season 2 finalist Chef Trevor Bird (@83TBird), Ron MacGillivray (@rmacg22) and Kathy Schleyer (@kaschleyer). If you watched the show, you’ll recognize where the name of the restaurant originated from. During the restaurant wars episode, Trevor, Carl, Curtis, David and Jonathan named their restaurant-of-the-day “Fable” after the whole “Farm to table” concept. That concept is very much ingrained at the (brought to life version of) Fable in Vancouver where the menu revolves around what’s local.
|Farm theme errwhere!|
I’ve heard of the nightly packed dining room so I made a note in my calendar to make reservations a good month and a half ahead. I’m sure I could’ve waited longer but I wanted more flexibility in the schedule, considering we only had 5 days in Vancouver to explore, see, eat, and eat. Bike around (highly recommend renting tandem bikes and biking the Stanley seawall!) and then eat some more (Kintaro ramen just up the street from all the bike rental stores).
Yes! That’s Top Chef Canada season 3 competitor Chef Geoff Rogers (@Chef_Rogers) expediting/working the pass. I feel like after you compete on the show, you enter this exclusive club because of that shared experience. And from the twitter feeds of certain chefs, they make a point to hang out and dine at each other’s restaurants when they find the time. *friends forever!* haha
Considering it's girls' night out, time for drinks! If only I could remember what we had...
Canned Tuna (12) – “the best canned tuna”
What’s actually in there is poached albacore tuna, lemon confit, olive oil and potato. We were tod to mix it all up and spread onto the accompanying toasts. I was expecting it to come in a can! Mason jar was too easy a choice. We ordered this as everyone who’s come here raves about it. I thought it was ok, but not amazing.
Chickpea Fritters (9) – pickled red onion, shoots, curry mayo
As a dish, everything here works! The pickled red onion was pretty neat. I’m not a fan of vinegar at all but I’m starting to come around to its use to pickle foods and turn them into another ingredient. Will experiment more with that in the future :D
“Steak Frites” (24) – triple cooked potatoes, mushroom, broccolini
YES. Perfectly cooked. Oddly enough, my friends didn’t really like the triple cooked potatoes as they felt it was a bit out of place. I sorta have to agree. I like my frites in my steak frites to be fries rather than..wedges?
“P” Gnocchi (19) – pesto, pea shoots, pea purée, ricotta
This dish was a total winner for me! The pea purée screamed summer. And so did the tomatoes that burst in your mouth! The ricotta also brought another note of freshness to the dish. This is what got me motivated to finally make my own gnocchi at home. I could eat this one all day. You can also add pork belly for $4 but I felt that this dish really didn’t need it.
Lemon Meringue Parfait (12) – streusel, tarragon ice cream
All my friends know I LOVE lemon. I love lemon in anything; I love how its zest or a bit of its juice can be the perfect finishing touch to a dish or how lemon curd marries so perfectly with meringue in a pie. So seeing this on the menu, I immediately gravitated towards it and lucky for me, my friends were totally on the lemon dessert train with me! A bit tough to share though. Don't think we got any tarragon ice cream in ours...just lemon curd. Would've nice to have both. :(
Blueberry Lavender Tart (10) – mint, buttermilk ice cream, hazelnut
Blueberries are in season so naturally, you gotta capture their freshness in tarts before they become jams for the winter. This was a winning dessert. One of my friends was having blueberry fever so she jumped on this dessert.
Verdict: The food isn’t unlike what you’ll find here in Toronto. I like how Fable Kitchen does their own take on classic favourites—and does them well. Sharing wasn’t a problem at all (except for the lemon meringue parfait) and while the dining room was packed as expected, we could still hold a conversation without having to raise our voices. The food was a bit pricier than I’d expected but it was GOOD. I’ll definitely come back next time I’m in Vancouver, which cross my fingers will be soon! :D
Check ‘em out! http://fablekitchen.ca/
4 out of 5 NOMs