When we last left off, I was pondering my dilemma as to how I was going sample three more stops on the Foodie Tour when I was starting to get full. What kind of food person was I?
I was first introduced to ShuRaku a few years back by one of Jenkins’ friends. I liked how it was conveniently located and also enjoyed their food, which featured more than just your usual sushi offerings.
As soon as we walked through the door, we were treated to a Calpis cocktail.
Little Angus Beef Wraps were served with some mashed potato and sweet corn. The beef was nicely marinated but I found the mushy mashed potato a bit of an odd pairing and did not exactly go.
The Zuke Aburi was one of my favourite items here. The lightly seared tuna was very fresh and the chives and sea salt highlighted the delicate flavour of the tuna. This was one of the most popular items with our group as the tuna disappeared quite quickly.
The Ebi Mayo Harumaki was another dish I really enjoyed. The spring rolls were nicely fried and the chili mayo was a great accompaniment to the ebi.
Our next stop was Culinaria, a restaurant operated by the Art Institute of Vancouver. I had actually wanted to check out Culinaria a while ago but they had some odd hours and it never worked out for me.
Already on our tables when we arrived was some wine to go with the dishes we were about to sample.
We were served basically a full-sized meal at Culinaria, which was quite a bit considering we had stopped at five other restaurants already! The first item I sampled was the crab ravioli with smoked salmon sauce located at the bottom of my picture below. The crab ravioli was quite nice but I felt that the smoked salmon was a bit dry and perhaps slightly overcooked. One challenge with the Foodie Tour was that it was sometimes difficult to time our arrival with some of the food so they may not always be presented as they normally would be in a typical setting.
The duck confit with Szechuan pepper jus was quite nice but I couldn’t really taste the Szechuan peppercorns. One thing I did like about the duck was how it was accompanied with some toasted hazelnuts, whose nutty flavour went quite well with the duck.
To top everything off, we were served a chocolate decadence cake, a homemade lady finger, and some strawberries on top of a rhubarb compote. The chocolate cake had a mild chocolate flavour but I would have preferred it if the cake was more chocolate-y. I also think the rhubarb compote would have been nice if it had more tanginess to it because then it may have been a nice contrast to the chocolate cake.
I would have been quite satisfied and full if we had stopped after Culinaria but we had one more stop on our tour. Mijune told me that Creme de la Crumb was actually opened by a couple of her friends, who quit their jobs as financial planners to open a bakery.
Lydia from Creme de la Crumb must have read my mind because as I was figuring out how I would sample all her delicious goodies, she told us that she had provided us with some bags to take home the items we couldn’t finish.
The carrot cake with vanilla bean cream cheese was a very well-made carrot cake. The cake itself was moist and full of flavour from the carrots and spices while the vanilla bean cream cheese gave the cake some sweetness. The cream cheese topping was a bit dense and although I like my frosting to be more airy, I thought the vanilla flavour gave the carrot cake a nice twist on the traditional version.
The scones were definitely my favourite item at Creme de la Crumb. One version was with pears (and I think with nuts) and the other version was coconut and lime. Although they were both delicious and full of flavour, I liked the coconut and lime more just because it is one of my favourite flavour combos. The scones were slightly crispy on the outside and very moist on the inside. They would have gone wonderfully with a nice cup of coffee or tea for breakfast.
Lydia had some freshly baked cinnamon buns prepared for our visit. The cinnamon buns were still warm and sticky, just the way cinnamon buns should be. The buns themselves were moist and the sugary cinnamon filling went very nicely with the vanilla cream cheese on top. As cinnamon buns usually are, these are quite sweet so they would definitely go well with a strong cup of coffee.
As you would probably expect, I was extremely full after this eating extravaganza and was very glad that I had to walk home that day. I’m not sure if our version of the Foodie Tour is the same as the regular one they offer on their website, but I thoroughly enjoyed my experience on the Granville Food Tour. The groups are a good size and it’s a great opportunity to meet other food-minded individuals. It was also nice to visit so many new restaurants and get a sampling of some of their featured menu items. Another thing I liked about the Foodie Tour was how the restaurants were all reasonably priced so I could see myself going back for a meal. My only slight gripe was that some of our stops were a bit rushed and I would have liked to have more time to enjoy the food, but given the many stops we made and the fact that we were already pushing three hours on a tour that was originally scheduled for two hours, I really shouldn’t complain.
Check out Foodie Tour’s website for more details. Right now, they have Foodie Tours for Downtown Vancouver and Richmond priced at $40 and the Granville Street tour priced at $10 because it is subsidized by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. It’s definitely a nice treat for yourself and also makes a great present for a friend.
Vancouver Foodie Tour