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// BEST OF THE CITY DINING

Dig in!

Best City of the

Dining 2017

DERS’ CHOICE REA

Another year, another delicious spread of winners. Despite the well documented cost pressures placed on the residents of Vancouver and its restaurant industry, this city’s food scene just doesn’t slow down. In our annual Best of the City Dining Awards, we’ve laid out Vancouver’s bounty before you – thanks to your help, of course. We’ve got some stellar newcomers – congrats on your debut Westender awards, Botanist, St. Lawrence and H2! – as well as steadfast veterans that continue to evolve with these fast-paced times. We’ve also got some fresh trends represented – who could have thought a few years ago we’d all be scarfing down poke? – as well as the best representatives of traditional cuisine. In the next several pages, we list all of this year’s winners and feature some of your top favourites. You’ll notice that a lot of them deal in liquids and this, too, has been a recent revolution of sorts. Whether they choose bubble tea or artisan tea leaves, craft beer or B.C. wine, more Vancouverites are realizing that a glass of cola or cheap plonk just doesn’t cut it anymore. This is your invitation to get out there and explore, satisfy your belly and your curiosity, and support some amazing people – from executive chefs to servers – who somehow keep making our city’s food scene better every year. Cheers! —The Westender team

Best Japanese, Best Sushi: Miku B10 Best Bubble Tea: Chatime B11 Best Craft Brewery: 33 Acres Brewing Company B12 Best Craft Beer List: CRAFT Beer Market B13 Best Tea: DAVIDsTEA B14 Best Italian: Ask for Luigi B15 Best Coffee Shop: JJ Bean B16 Best Bakery: Beaucoup Bakery & Café B21 Best Poke: Pokérrito B22 Best Spanish, Best Tapas: España B25 Best Wine List: Blue Water Café B25 Best Chocolate, Best Croissant: Thomas Haas B26 Best Service: Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar B28

Sangwoo Kim, sous chef at Miku, with a platter of signature pressed sushi. Dan Toulgoet photo

Sushi that’s pressed to impress ANYA LEVYKH @foodgirlfriday

Chef Kazuhiro Hayashi is no stranger to the upper echelons of Japanese cuisine. Prior to joining Miku in 2010, he worked at the renowned Tojo’s for six years. Miku, this year’s landslide winner in three categories (Best Japanese, Best Sushi, Best Restaurant to Take Visitors), has been quietly and steadily improving its game under the charge of its passionate and humble chef. “Our service philosophy is omotenashi,” explains Hayashi. “We take care to welcome each guest with team spirit. Every staff member welcomes the guest. Each staff member tries to make eye contact with each guest when they arrive and when they leave. It’s the commitment of our company to give a full experience; quality service, quality atmosphere, quality food.”

That food is mainly based around the concept of aburi. Don’t expect to find California or dynamite rolls here. Instead, it’s the pressed sushi – usually wild sockeye – that is then paired with a special sauce and flame-seared just enough to lock in the flavour without cooking the fish. “Our concept for Miku is all about aburi and kaisen (seafood),” says Hayashi. “We are right by the ocean, so we use a lot of oysters, prawns, mussels, crabs, lobster, sablefish.” The menu isn’t limited to seafood. Miku is famous for being one of a handful of places in the city where you can get authentic Wagyu steak. Joshu Wagyu, raised in Gunma prefecture, is known for its remarkable marbling. At Miku, you can have an entire steak for $280 (yes, that’s a deal). Most of the menu is much more accessible, luckily, and you can enjoy an entire

chef’s tasting menu for $88. Don’t miss the salmon oshi sushi ($17), the house specialty of pressed aburi sushi topped with thin rings of jalapeno. In addition to the stellar ingredients, the presentation of each dish is as important to Hayashi as the taste. “We change the plating seasonally as well, so in fall and winter, we try to create warmer looks,” he explains, “and for spring and summer, we try to create brighter colours, with a lighter presentation.” Miku also placed third this year for Best View. Located at 200 Granville St., the restaurant sits almost over the water, and the ocean, park and mountain views are pretty spectacular. Stop by for a glass of sake and some aburi, and enjoy the float planes. W

Best City of the

Dining 2017

DERS’ CHOICE REA

GOLD – BEST SUSHI GOLD – BEST JAPANESE GOLD – BEST RESTAURANT TO TAKE VISITORS BRONZE – BEST VIEW

MIKU

200 Granville St. mikurestaurant.com

Thank you Vancouver

BEST INDIAN

1128 Commercial Dr, Vancouver

10 W November 9 - November 15, 2017

BEST TAKEOUT & DELIVERY – East Side

Westender.com

Westender November 9 2017