Beijing House (Campbell River, BC)

Beijing1My wife and I have spent much of our twelve years together moving from place to place. As nomads, who frequently spend little actual time together (due to me being a cook and her being a normal person, or “normie” as us cooks call ‘em) our most cherished moments are those weekly rituals designed to bring families together. Things like shopping, dog-walking, Netflicks binging, and dining. Of special importance are the evenings we dedicate to “eating out”. We jump in the car, speed off and spend a couple hours eating at “our place”.

At every way-station we have called home, “our place” has been a Chinese restaurant. If you’ve read my love letter to My Chinatown you probably know that the breakthrough food moment of my life was eating Chinese food with Crystal soon after we met. In Toronto we had the House of Gourmet, in Van. we had the (now sadly defunct) Wonton House, and in Campbell River we now spend countless evenings fighting chopstick duels for the last dumpling at Beijing House. (more…)

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Industrial Rustic

Mercato Restaurant (Shanghai) designed by Neri&Hu. Via the Retail Design Blog
Mercato Restaurant (Shanghai) designed by Neri&Hu. Via the Retail Design Blog

Back in October (A year ago, incredible! I’m still writing “2012”) Macleans magazine released their 50 Best Restaurants in Canada guide. My Chef, Hiro and I flipped through it one night after clean-up and immediately nerded all over the “Westcoast” chapter.

Vancouver’s own Hawksworth Restaurant got number one in all of Canada! Nice! Bao Bei and Whistler’s Araxi also represented. And, just a couple pages later we were treated to a beautiful two-page layout of Gastown’s gastronomic bleeding heart: L’Abattoir. My eyes were immediately drawn not to the perfectly prepared, meticulously arranged plates of food, but to the restaurant’s gorgeous interior. The sun-dappled dining section with the driftwood/antler chandelier and exposed brick walls really got my art school dropout soul singing. (more…)

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