Despite the pitter patter of the cold February rain, I managed to find a spot right by the entrance. Lucky me, I thought. Later in the evening I would also feel lucky for picking a fabulous spot for dinner.
I chanced upon a reservation at The Rise Eatery, thanks to the handy Opentable app and the convincing favourable reviews within. It was a quiet Tuesday evening, and a friend of mine had come into town from Asia. The restaurant was thoughtful enough to call me in the afternoon to let me know the menu for the evening is actually a set menu and not the usual dinner menu. Although a little surprised, I decided that great culinary flair doesn't disappear with a change in menu, so I kept the reservation and showed up promptly at 6pm.
The menu for the evening included a shared "Wheel of Nosh", an entree of our choice (my friend selected the pork belly, whereas I chose the grilled salmon), for our shared dessert we settled on the green tea cheese cake tart - how could I resist a combination of two of my favourite things in the world?
The whimsical Wheel of Nosh was brought out right away, filled with tasty small bites. For us there was the tuna tataki and the crispy chicken drumsticks. What appeared to be macarons turned out to be savoury bites, one pumpkin-flavoured and the other foie gras-flavoured. The tuna was thick-cut and fresh, lightly marinated and extremely enjoyable. Needless to say the macarons were a pleasant surprise, and the foie gras reminded me of my recent meals in France, which were mostly headlined by a generous serving of foie gras. These tasty bites showcase the culinary team's expertise at blending regional flavours into one dish, with French, Japanese and American inspiration all in one Wheel of Nosh.
The entrees were also delicious, with the soft pork belly meat that we cut with a fork, and the juicy, crispy skin providing a satisfying, contrasting texture.
The salmon sat atop fried potato cakes, and the portion was sizeable enough for us to share a few bites off of each other's plates.
When the green tea cheesecake tart arrived, we unanimously agreed that it was the best plate of the evening. The intensely-rich flavour of green tea with the decadent taste of cheesecake served fresh from the heat of the oven can only be described with one word - amazing! We definitely hope they keep this one on the menu, because we'll be back to try the regular dinner menu.
3121 Granville Street, Vancouver