Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Vancouver Goes Bistro

We're still a long way from the tapas-paradise that is every city and village in Spain but the trend to smaller meals, a bistrofication of Vancouver is to be applauded. Never a fan of White Spot to begin with, I've noticed the quality of their hamburburger-based menu has diminshed preciptiously over the years. I didn't have a burger at Cactus Club but the smoke house quesadilla made a perfect lunch. I'd read glowing review of Cactus Club before. We were on our way to Park Royal, an ever-growing mall in West Van (Vancouver's Beverly Hills, or so it says on a website somewhere) to take advantage of a sale at the Body Shop, along with our young friends Steph and Junko, who you'll remember from other restaurant reviews. We drove by The Keg where our friend Indra used to work, and Milestones, where I've never eaten but the 3 women in the car were familiar with, finally into a new (for me) part of the mall, called, suggestively The Village. Where was number 6? While buying fruity body shop stuff, Steph mentioned that she hadn't been to Park Royal since she was there with Bit. I'd never been to the willage so we weren't sure where Cactus Club was. A cold foggy day, not conducive to long walks. Then we had to wait quite a while to get seating for lunch. I guess many people had read those good reviews.
I started with a dozen prawns, Bit's favourite food, with a spicy seafood sauce, as an appetizer. For some reason this isn't on the menu on the website. Steph and Junko had some wondrously thick and cheesy broccoli soup- reminded me of French Onion soup. Fumiyo and I didn't order that as we often get broccoli soup from the Soupmeister at Lonsdale Quay and figured there was no better. After gift bites from the girls' soup bowls, we discovered we were wrong. Just what was needed after a long walk in winter.
Junko had never had a fajita before, so ordered the Cajun chicken. She didnt realize they would only bring her the ingredients which she had to assemble herself. Steph had the cheddar and bacon burger, which she found profoundly filling. Fumiyo had the Jambalaya Rice Bowl, which she found filling even with no appetizer. My smoke house chicken quesadilla was magnificent. Junko entertained us with tales of her recent trip to Europe, and we all luxuriated in the food.

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