My buddies Yann and Ken invited me out to a dinner at The Rise Eatery in South Granville. Apparently, the guys were enticed by the restaurant’s limited special offer. Although not a part of the Dine Out Vancouver Festival, the restaurant is offering their own “dine out” dinner for 2 menu during the same period, at $30/person.
As the cocktail lover, I sampled some of their cocktails. The Newly Fashioned ($11) sounds like a cheeky take on the classic Old Fashioned, mixed with scotch, orange, bitters, and beet ice. I was waiting for that “newly” factor after a couple sips but it never happened. The murky colour of the drink didn’t help either. $11 seems like a decent price for a scotch cocktail, but I rather pay $15 for a double one that packs a bigger punch and looks sleeker. I quite liked the Lemon Bomb ($12), made of vodka, limoncello, egg whites, mint, and lemonade, which tasted sweet, citrusy and refreshing. It would please a lot of ladies.
They also carry wine selections including awesome BC wineries like Joie Farm and Dirty Laundry. And local craft beers are only $5 per 18oz per glass during happy hours (3 – 6 pm).
As the Dinner for 2 menu was only available for 2 guests, they offered an option that added $45 to the $60 deal, and it would be $105 split by 3 people. The option would include an extra first course and a main course.
The Wheel of Nosh is the star of the evening, and it usually costs $30 ~ $35 on the regular menu. For the 3-guest option, we were served 2 full wheels. The bronze table-top Ferris wheel was carrying 8 servings of hors-d’oeuvres, and it was visually stunning. The little bites were quite impressive too, such the Petite Crab & Sea Urchin Arancini, seemingly some dressed up Italian rice croquettes, the Truffle Honey Chicken Drumette Lollipops, the Albacore Tataki with Ponzu Jelly, and the Savoury Macarons. These bites were substantial and packed with terrific flavours. The little details on these taste profiles really showed chef’s capabilities. I’m never a huge fan of macarons but those savoury ones, I totally dig.
Moving on to the mains. We tried the All Quacked Up, featuring duck leg confit, Chinese sausage, edamame cassoulet, and duck lard sticky rice. There were clearly both Chinese and French influence on this dish, and actually, the flavour profile reminded me of a classic Cantonese dish, “8 Treasures” Duck, in which the duck was stuffed with sticky rice and different beans and seeds. However, the dish lacked the looks of a fine dish. It could use some greens or other colourful components to brighten up the plate. Also, there was too much rice and soybeans, and it was stuffing us up rather quickly.
The other main was the Nitty Gritty, featuring twice-Cook Fraser Valley pork belly, sauteed prawns, popcorn grits, and xo redeye gravy. All the components were quite tasty, but as there was not a lot of the popcorn grits, this dish seemed a lot lighter compared to the duck one.
The dessert options were the Matcha Cheese Tart, and the Chocolate Pâté. Both were decent, although we were wondering why the pâté was hardened, as it was more like a chocolate bar.
As their featured dish, the Wheel of Nosh is quite eye-catching and everything on it was delicious. Despite all being small bites on the wheel, they are substantial enough to savour. The Truffled Honey Chicken Drumettes and the Petite Crab & Sea Urchin Arancini are lovely. Not being a huge macaron fan, I found myself enjoying the Savoury Macrarons on the wheel. The mains are tasty but could use some tweaking on the presentation and portion size. The Duck Confit reminded me of a hometown dish of mine, the “8 Treasures” Duck, but the amount of sticky rice and beans was a little too much. I took a quick look at their menu, and it seems like they are trying to jam in so many ideas on the menu to showcase the chef’s capability. I would suggest them to build a smaller menu based on those tasty bites on the big wheel, then just run the rotating daily/weekly specials to keep it interesting.
The Rise Eatery
3121 Granville St, Vancouver
(604) 559-8280 or theriseeatery.ca