As a person who works and plays in downtown Vancouver, but lives in Richmond I have to admit to seldom eating in my back yard. Although Richmond is known as one of the world’ best destination to eat authentic Chinese food, that doesn’t really excite me as I’ve eaten authentic Chinese food all my life. So it was with much anticipation that I went to Vancouver Foodster’s Richmond Tasting Plates as the restaurants on our foodtastic journey, except for the Thai House, were mainly non-Asain restaurants. Ah so.
Five-spice rubbed tuna tataki with papaya relish, pulled pork sliders, Italian meat ball topped with Asiago with Somersby Cider
Located at the Sheraton Airport Hotel (which isn’t exactly at the Airport), was Harold’s Bistro which had a nice hidden patio where we enjoyed the sunshine and our tasting plate. Overall the food was wonderful as the meatball was big and moist with marinara sauce and the Tuna Tataki was served sashimi style. As it was a hot summer day, the cider was very refreshing. For those of you with gluten issues, Harold’s Bistro also has a gluten-free menu.
House cured gravlax of salmon, poached Anjou pear on a Stilton crumble savory tart, Roasted BC halibut, spaetzle, corn succotash and green pea puree with s Peach Breeze
Just literally adjacent to the Sheraton Airport Hotel, was the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel where we strolled across to the The American Grille and were greeted with smiles and Peach Breezes in alcoholic and non-alcoholic form which was another refreshing drink bursting with peach flavours. The halibut was cooked perfectly and had just the perfect spice on it but I avoided the pear and Stilton tart due to my dairy allergies and my friends said it was a nice contrast of sweet with the pungent cheese. Here there was a small outside patio where we enjoyed our tasting plates.
Chicken & Chorizo with malagueta, country relish, yucca, honey glaze
Newly opened at the Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel, is the Cavu Kitchen Bar who has just been opened for just two to three months. Here, they pulled out all the stops and wowed everyone not only with their food, but hospitality. With our tasting plate, we had Stone Road Chardonnay Blend and Meritage Blend, and wine Caesars with Walter Ceasar mix (the wine and Caesar mix I wasn’t too fond of). I did though like the chicken and chorizo as it wasn’t too spicy and the chicken was still moist.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake, coconut & mango gels, dulce du leche, crispy pearls, fruit leather
As for the desserts, the upside pineapple cake was moist and I love the buttery caramel topping on it. The coconut jelly had a big burst of coconut flavour whereas the mango jelly was just a little weak in flavour. The macaroon I found tasted too much like pure sugar, although the texture was quite light.
I also loved the layout of this place as you can sit at the bar, sit at small tables or at raised tables with stools making it feel like a comfortable casual place to get together with friends rather than a stuffy hotel restaurant. I’m looking forward to coming back to try more menu items.
Affogato, London fog, Pour over coffee and Almond croissant
Because I’m having issues due to my dairy allergy, I had to (sob) skip the desserts Fresh Press Coffee Bar. But my friends were all too kind (sic) in telling me over and over and over again how fabulous the almond croissant and affogato and were it’s gelato with a shot of espresso). Sorry, but can you repeat that at least another 20 times? I didn’t hear you the first 50 times. Incidentally we all got a gift card so I’ll be headed back for some fresh brew.
Tamarind seared scallop, honeydew & calamansi gazpacho (cold), sous vide pork belly, parsnip, white chocolate, cider jus
I call this the tasting plate of a thousand sighs as all you could hear in the The Apron at the Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver Airport were the sighs of contentment as the lovely cold tartness of the calamansi gazpacho hit our taste buds. The pork belly was crispy on the inside and tender with the crackling like little specks of pork rind chips. I would say this was my favorite tasting plate of them all because of the sheer creativity of the chef’s ability to take a tart fruit and turn it into a cold refreshing soup. An interesting thing about the Westin Wall Centre was the wall of shrubs on the hotel which served as a wonderful backdrop for a photo op.
Chicken Satay, Shrimp Cake, Beef Lettuces Wrap
My biggest disappointment at the Thai House was the shrimp cake as it tasted like artificial shrimp which I’m not a fan of. The beef lettuce wrap need more vegetables as I found it a tad too salty but the chicken satay wasn’t too bad.
Although the places were seemingly close together, Richmond blocks are hugemonous blocks as we choose not to take the train, we walked over 1 kilometre. But the great thing about this event was that the hotel restaurants were so well organized that we didn’t wait long at any place for our tasting plate, so we managed to hit all the restaurants with time to spare. At any of the Tasting Plates events, you never know what little gems you’ll discover and in this instance, it’s all about the places I can visit in Richmond when I’m not in the mood for rice.
Explore a new neighbourhood every month by signing up to a Tasting PLates event. Early bird tickets are only $25, while advance tickets are $40 and full price tickets are $50. Click here to find out more information about the next Tasting Plate Event