Spot prawn season—the highlight of B.C.’s foodie calendar—is back. But don’t dally to get your hands on this quickly disappearing delicacy

Spot prawn season in B.C. is as elusive and short as our spring sunshine. The 2017 harvest started in earnest on May 11th, and will last for only six to eight weeks. There are fewer than 250 licensed prawn boats allowed to trawl B.C.’s coastal waters, with the daily catch strictly regulated under the auspices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. While over 80 per cent of the prawns will end up in Asia, where there is an insatiable demand, you can still get your hands on some of the succulent seafood at one of Vancouver’s top restaurants for the next little while.

Here are a few ways to enjoy spot prawns this season in Vancouver...

 

1. Get messy at Yew

spot prawn boil YewYewFor four Sundays in a row—starting May 14 and finishing June 4—Yew restaurant at Vancouver’s Four Seasons hotel has its popular family-style Spot Prawn Boil Dining Series. Your $75 ticket includes three courses, including a bounty of prawns (served with marbled potatoes, grilled asparagus, sautéed zucchini, confit heirloom tomatoes), and a glass of CedarCreek Chardonnay or Pinor Noir. It’s a messy but singularly enjoyable way to experience the season.
Tickets and full menu details here

 

2. Enjoy spot prawns Italian-style

Cibo TrattoriaCibo TrattoriaChef Josh Gonneau has a spot prawn tasting menu available for a very limited time at Yaletown’s Cibo Trattoria. This weekend (May 26-28), Cibo will feature a three-course prawn menu, plus desserts for $58 per person. Included are a spot prawn crudo (with asparagus salad, preserved lemon and olive oil), spot prawn ravioli (Tomato conserva, arugula, stracciatella, pictured above)—and our favourite, brown butter spot prawns, served with crispy pancetta, buttermilk polenta, radish and mint.

 

3. Try a special at Boulevard

Boulevard KitchenBoulevard KitchenBoulevard at the Sutton Place Hotel launched spot prawn season with an absolutely divine cucumber gazpacho soup last week, served with fresh spot prawn (seasoned with salt) and crispy spot prawn heads (pictured above). Depending on when you show up, it may have run its course—but don’t despair: Chef Bobby Milheron has several more tricks up his sleeve, including a spot prawn bucatini. Boulevard promises to have prawns, in one form or another, for the next three or four weeks, with features changing every few days.

 

4. Check out more exciting offerings

Many restaurants had not finalized their menu at press time, however BCLiving was told that Fairmont Pacific Rim’s RawBar, Burdock & Co, Tableau and Homer St. Café and Bar would also be featuring special prawn items in the coming days and weeks. Check their websites or call for the latest details.

Start peeling and dig in!