Recently a list of top 100 restaurants in Canada was released.
It is great to see that 20 restaurants in British Columbia made the list and three restaurants (Published on Main, St. Lawrence and Boulevard) made the Top 10 list. Most of the restaurants are located in Vancouver but there are two restaurants in Whistler, one in Ucelet and one in Richmond. I have had the privilege at dining at almost all of these restaurants including the three restaurants in British Columbia that were listed in the Top 10.
While I will not go through my full review of each restaurant, there are a few general comments I can make on this list:
- Having eaten at most of these restaurants, I can attest that, in my personal opinion, the food quality and presentation of food at these restaurants is very good. However, in comparison to my recent trip to New York, where I ate at three 1 star Michelin star restaurants, we generally accept a much more laid back style of service in British Columbia. Most of the restaurants on the list provide friendly service that is neither exceptional or unacceptable. The exceptions, in my personal opinion, are St. Lawrence, Boulevard, Kissa Tanto and Bacchus, which stand out in my mind as providing an elevated level of service and overall knowledge about their menu.
- There was one Richmond restaurant which made the Top 100 list which is Baan Lao in Steveston. It is a restaurant serving Thai cuisine in a multi course fixed menu format. I have not eaten at that restaurant but looks like I should go soon!
- I was a little disappointed that there was not more representation from the suburbs around Vancouver, and in particular Richmond. Richmond has a multitude of restaurant and together with Metro Toronto, Richmond has arguably some the best and most diverse Chinese cuisine outside of Asia. I found it peculiar not see even 1 Chinese restaurant in the entire Canada on the Top 100 list but this may just reflect the experience, tastes and preferences of the judges who compiled the list.
Whether you agree with this ranking or not, I think these lists are useful as they spark debate on which restaurants belong on this list. It also increases business for those restaurants on the list. Being critical of a restaurant does not mean you don’t like the restaurant but just means that there is room for improvement.
If you have the opportunity, it is wonderful to explore restaurants that feature different kinds of cuisine from different parts of the world. We can sometimes be complacent and stick with what we are comfortable with, which is a shame when we have the opportunity to broaden our culinary horizons
In case you want to see my full review of the B.C. restaurants in the Top 10, here are links to my review of Published on Main , St. Lawrence and Boulevard
My personal favourite of all the B.C. restaurants on the list is Kissa Tanto, a restaurant in the heart of Chinatown serving Japanese and Italian fusion cuisine. See my review of that restaurant here.
I will also mention that all of the restaurants I have eaten at on this list have knowledgeable staff who love and understand wines. Each has interesting wine lists that have wines in every price range. Until next time, happy eating and drinking!
Tony Kwan is the Richmond News' new columnist. Lawyer by day, food and wine lover by night, Kwan is an epicurean who writes about wine, food and enjoying all that life has to offer.