You’ve Gotta Try This in September

This is your indispensable companion to all that is fresh and delicious in Vancouver right now

This is your indispensable companion to all that is fresh and delicious in Vancouver right now

Really? September? I wasn’t expecting to see you so soon… but here you are. Moon Festival is almost upon us, so the first PSL can’t be far behind. It’s nearly time to move on from peaches and tomatoes at pretty much every single meal to the pre-fall pleasures of crab, oysters and mussels when they are at their best, as well as snacking on the first of the season’s apples.

As always, grab napkins and prepare for some messy eating…


1. Vaccine cards are coming September 13th

I am thrilled about this. I was unfortunate enough to have COVID in April and you do not want to get it. I spoke with Vij’s Meeru Dhalwala (pictured right) to ask what we can expect at her restaurant, and what her thoughts are on the cards:

“Dining out is a privilege. It’s a privilege for me to serve you, and for you to socialize with family and friends and enjoy the food and service. I can’t think about the vaccine cards without thinking of the context of the past year and a half. We’ve gone through so much financial pain and uncertainty, we’ve had angry customers, afraid customers… if this helps bring customers back in and helps our staff to feel safe too, then it’s worth everyone’s well-being as we deal with the fourth wave of a pandemic.

“One story that happened here, is that a customer—not wearing a mask—lost his temper and was yelling at one of our staff because they wouldn’t serve him a fifth drink; yelling so hard, she could feel his spit on her face. This [passport] gives us an extra level of protection to know that at least the customers will be vaccinated.

“At Vij’s, we’ll have an extra manager on the floor, and we’ll treat it the same as a liquor store wanting to see two IDs. It’ll be an extra labour cost for us, but having two managers on hand will ease the pressure and we think it’s worth it for everyone’s well-being.”


2. Raise a glass to Provence Marinaside’s chef Jean-Francis Quaglia

Massive congratulations to Provence Marinaside’s owner and executive chef Jean-Francis Quaglia, who was recently honoured as a Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French government. What an honour for our culinary community!

This rare award, “recognizes people who have made a significant contribution to the field of French food and France’s culinary culture.” Chef Quaglia was recommended as, “a culinary giant who is an incredible ambassador for French cuisine and mentor to young chefs.”

Just a reminder that there are nine sparkling wines by the glass down at Provence, including Champagne, prosecco and other sparklers from France and B.C., so what better reason to go than to raise a glass to the chef?


3. Provisions pick up? Yes, please!

First of all, I wanted to issue a hard pass on the word ‘grocerant’ (grocery/restaurant). This, like “fetch” will not happen. Stop it. I do, however, want to see more grocery stores in restaurants! This is such a cool idea and I love it—places like Oh Carolina, which offers a host of tempting take-home treats, and now Aburi-To-Go has a second grocery counter in its West Pender location. Pick up house-made condiments such as spicy mayo, Akadama Chili Paste, plus chef-made ramen soups, curry sauces, frozen meal kits, plus pastries and desserts to take home and enjoy.


4. Celebrate Moon Fest with ramen

Home of speciality seasonal ramen, Kinton’s September feature pays homage to the mid-autumn festival with a Roast Beef Ra-moon. It wasn’t available to try yet (it launches September 1st) but from the photo, I’m gonna say it’s exactly the comforting hearty dish we need to get through the next month. It’s a broth-less ramen with 1.5x seasoned thick noodles, topped with roast beef, onsen tamago, arugula, white onion, garlic chips, mayonnaise and a house-made yuzu soy sauce.


5. Get fruity at Burdock

Burdock and Co is hosting a very delicious evening on September 14th with Tomoko Tahara, the founder/chef of Mæst food as part of a contemporary vegan dining series. Far East Vol. 9 “Fruit Rules” is a seven-course dinner, which also includes a glass of wine, cold brew coffee and dessert. Expect Pacific Northwest vegan food with a Japanese twist showcasing seasonal local farm produce and foraged ingredients. Find out more and book your tickets here and don’t forget vaccination cards will be needed!


6. Light Up Chinatown

In the past two years, we’ve seen intolerable racism rear its vile head targeting Asian communities. This cannot continue. Just a reminder: unless you’re Indigenous, you’re an immigrant in Canada too, sodon’t be a jerk.

Celebrate the many, many things that make Vancouver’s Chinatown a vibrant, special cultural hub with the Light Up Chinatown event which runs on September 11 and 12th. There will be a main stage on Columbia at Keefer, and the opening ceremony kicks off at 11 a.m. with performances from Goh Ballet, live music, magic from Rod Chow and more.

Ken Tsui of Here There creative studio has brought together a delicious lineup of culinary collaborations, including a one-time-only Sunday brunch at Bao Bei, late-night dim sum and cocktails with The Keefer Yard and Kam Wai Dim Sum, plus a Saigon Saturday cocktail and brunch pop-up with DD Mau. For tickets and more info, check here.


7. Embrace Dank Mart

Snackie Chan rides again as cult provider of all things snackable as The Dank Mart opens another location on Thurlow at Robson. Craving Chick-fil-A’s dirty-but-so-good Polynesian sauce, a Key Lime Pie Kit Kat, or the teeth-rattling sugar-and-additives high of Pepsi Blue? You found the place, man. They will fill you to the brim and beyond with dank AF snackage.


8. Wands out on Granville

It’s true that usually, I’d be sniggering at the thought of a pop-up potions bar, but right now, couldn’t we all do with a spot of whimsy? So, BYO robe and embrace the fun of the Wizard’s Den on Granville and book tickets with your friends for a 90-minute immersive experience sipping mead and learning the ancient art of potion making with Morticia Le Mort. You’ll be given a wand and endless selfies are almost certainly encouraged.