The motto is “True to Our Region; True to the Seasons.” The commitment has never, ever wavered since the day that West first opened and it leapt onto the Vancouver restaurant stage as a serious contender for the most delicious regional food.
The service at West is so superlative that it was recently judged to be the finest in the city – ‘unfailingly gracious, flawless’. Awards, both wine and culinary, abound, filling up one full page on the website…single-spaced.
Chef Quang Dang and I first met while he was Executive Chef at Diva at the Met where his good friend Hamid Salimian now serves forth exquisite food. Quang grew up in Calgary almost midway between his family roots in Vietnam and Scotland but moved to Vancouver to train for the Olympics as a member of Canada’s field hockey team. His substantial culinary talent was recognized right from the start when he began his career as a junior sous chef at West.
Over the ensuing years he worked in some of Vancouver’s finest kitchens and established himself as a strident advocate of sustainability and a dyed-in-the-wool champion of British Columbian coastal cuisine. His competitive spirit took hold again and his star began to really shine when he competed for Canada in the Bocuse D’Or in Lyon, France. He ‘returned home’ to West as Executive Chef in September 2011, leading one of the finest culinary and service brigades in the country.
The menu is hyper seasonal and as creative as one might expect. Reading Chef Quang Dang’s menu makes me want to hit the road immediately for B.C. He tops potato leek soup with crispy prosciutto from Oyama, the renowned Granville Island butcher, before spooning on some bay leaf Chantilly. Dungeness crab, the ‘left coast’ of Canada’s answer to lobster, is rolled into a salad with lightly pickled cucumbers and red onions (below left) while my all time favourite B.C. fish, Haida Gwaii sablefish, is smoked then milk- poached (shades of finnan haddie?) and served with charred spring onions, spaetzle and a Sawmill Bay clam reduction. Short ribs are braised overnight and served with a tart red onion marmalade. Endings are also a regional event from blackberry pear brioche tatin with a rich mascarpone mousse to the simple perfection of a fine selection of Canadian cheeses and warm walnut raisin bread.
Not to be outdone by the kitchen, Wine Director Owen Knowlton has once again claimed the Platinum (Best Overall) Wine List Award at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. This is his and West’s fifth consecutive year. Meanwhile in 2011 he was also dubbed Vancouver’s Sommelier of the Year.
SEA TASTING MENU ~ FOOD DAY CANADA 2012
VANCOUVER ISLAND OCTOPUS
CRUSHED PEAS, AGED BALSAMIC
CUCUMBER AND SPRING ONION SOUP
WHITE PRAWNS, TRUFFLES AIOLI, CHIVES
SMOKED SABLEFISH CAKE
RHUBARB, MOUNTAIN BERRY TEA VINAIGRETTE
HAIDA GWAII LING COD
ISRAELI COUSCOUS, FAVA BEAN RAGOUT
GRILLED HUMBOLDT SQUID, SMOKED MAYONNAISE
SELECTION OF CHEESE
ALMOND FRANGIPANE FILLED CREPES WITH BAYLEAF ROASTED CHERRIES AND
HONEY LEMON MASCARPONE
West is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below to reserve a table.
West est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez West directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation.
West Restaurant & Wine Bar
2881 Granville Street,
Vancouver, B.C. V6H 3J4
T: 604 738 8938