Happy New Year! For the first post of 2013, we want to share with you a little secret…Grub. Really, this restaurant is so good we wanted to keep a secret about it for a little while…definitely one of our favourite fine dining places in terms of entrees. Also, for this coming new year, we promise to keep this site up to date more and have better food pictures (and hopefully remember to take an outside picture of the restaurant..). Mind you, we don’t work with the best camera in the world but we will definitely try our best!
Grub is a little hole in the wall restaurant on Main Street near King Edward. It is easy to miss, but it is diagonally across the McDonalds and Fresh Slice on Main Street. They do not sit too many (less than 20) and have 2 waitresses and one chef (female) who runs the whole show. Their menu changes very regularly and is written on this nice black board right up at the front. This is because they serve local, fresh food that is in season. Gotta love it. For couples, this is a pretty good place to sit back, relax, have a nice dinner date due to its dimly lit, romantic atmosphere that allow for conversation. They are a pretty busy restaurant though and reservations are NEEDED, especially on the weekends. Also, because they are relatively popular and such a small restaurant, the tables are kinda placed a little too close to each other (as in, you can reach for food on the other table close…). However, the food definitely makes up for it!
The Guy Score:
Food: 8.5/10 (slight disappointment in appetizers, 9.5 otherwise!)
Spendable Time: A solid two hours to enjoy the food, but you definitely need a reservation.
Price Range: $25-$35 per person
Comments: Best entrees I have ever had in Vancouver, hands-down. It was just so excellent, moist, and extremely well-executed of excellent ingredients. Appetizers slightly disappointing and the desserts were pretty spectacular. Love the changing, seasonal menu. Water glasses always filled but can get a bit slow at times because they are running around doing too many things for 3 people. Slightly dislike the cramped seating but hey, it’s a business.
We tried the $35 3-course price fix menu which means you can choose anything you want from their blackboard (aside the appetizers)! I wish more restaurants do this more.
Three kinds of cured meat, liver pate with rhubarb chutney, red pepper jelly, mustard, olives and pickles
Guy Food Score: 6.5/10
Recommended to Order: Not too many appetizer choices to be honest…only 3
Guy Comments: The appetizers were perhaps the most disappointing part of the meal. I wish the bread was a bit thicker (weird to serve it this way). The 3-types of cured meats were ordinary but not overly salty. The liver…well, I never liked liver, but it was rich and went okay with the bread (if only it were thicker…or crispier..either or). The presentation is lacking and just…too many things seemingly put together. I don’t think the components work well with one another.
Salmon gravlax, avocado tomato salad, Marinated seafood, smoked trout brandade, chilled prawns with tomatillo, and pickled cabbage slaw
Guy Food Score: 7/10
Recommended to Order: Another disappointment…
Guy Comments: Yet again, another huge disappointment. Reading the description makes it sound great, but the tomato avocado salad says it all: literally a tomato on top of an avocado slice (hidden by the salmon). The seafood overall was so-so (salmon was good) with the chilled prawn tasty somewhat fresh. Same complaint about the bread, and just overall, some of the components that they promised on the description I can’t even find out what it is on the plate – not a good sign.
Lamb Featured Entrée
Lamb chop with herb mint, broccolini, creamy risotto with 3 types of mushrooms
Guy Food Score: 9.5/10
Recommended to Order: YES!
Guy Comments: Just WOW! The lamb chop was seared and cooked to an excellent pink and was extremely moist. It was seasoned perfectly and matched really well with the herb mint (although the table beside us had 5 chops…we only got 3, albeit bigger ones). The broccolini was ordinary (nicely blanched, slightly bland though) but the risotto was to die for. It was very rich and a very creamy, velvety texture using the right Arborio rice. For me, it was a bit too creamy (but I never liked cream) due to the cheese (I think it was ricotta….or even blue cheese…not sure) and the mushrooms in there were obviously sauteed prior to mixing it with the risotto to give it such a strong, delicious flavour. Surprisingly large portion of food too – and you’d want this much of this fantastic entree. Everything was well executed. Simply excellent.
Fish Featured Entrée
Seared rock fish filet, crab risotto, broccolini
Guy Food Score: 10/10
Recommended to Order: You HAVE to try this!
Guy Comments: Wow, a 10/10. The rock fish was seared very well, moist, and very well seasoned, especially if you like pepper (it stands out a bit). It was simple flavours, but you definitely taste the inherent taste of the rockfish with its rather firm texture for fish. It was a rather thick cut of fish too. The risotto was out of this world for me. Compared to the other one, this one is less rich. It was lighter but even moister due to its higher amount of broth used in cooking this (as you can see). There is no strong creamy/cheesey flavour in this one but the rice tasted just fantastic with a great texture (not overcooked to slop but still very soft, like what a risotto should be flavoured well by the broth used in cooking and not loads of salt) – very, very well cooked. You have to try this!! Rather generous portion too!
Guy Food Score: 9/10
Recommended to Order: Good! May be a higher score if it wasn’t compared with the apple crumble at the same time….
Guy Comments: Very strong chocolate flavour with a silky smooth texture. You’d expect this chocolate “tart” to be very hard but it was very soft and cut easily with the spoon. It is kinda like eating chocolate mousse but a bit lighter, firmer, and a bit more like cake. Hard to describe but definitely very rich and full of chocolatey goodness!
Vegan Apple Crumble with Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream
Guy Food Score: 10/10
Recommended to Order YES!!!
Guy Comments: I never believed a vegan dessert would be so delicious. The apple crumble was outright fantastic. The ice-cream was surprisingly delicious (you can tell it tastes a bit different from normal ice cream but it still had that rich, creamy, cold texture). The cinnamon and caramel flavour from the cooked sugar was exploding throughout this crumble. The pie had a nice crunchy/crispy/nutty flavour – just wished there was more of it throughout the dessert and not solely at the top. It sure worked well with the apples – and there sure were a lot of it – that was obviously cooked until soften juuustttt right with sugar to caramelize before putting all of this in the oven. One of the most memorable desserts I have had in Vancouver and this apple crumble definitely shows Oakwood Bistro how it SHOULD be done. Must try.
4328 Main Street