As part of Dine Out Vancouver, Vancouver Foodster presented the “Palate Promenade: Granville Island Discoveries“. Did you know that there is now a distillery on Granville Island or an artisan sake maker? I did not, but glad I attended this event and found you, and now you know too. Below are a few brief notes of my experiences. Enjoy!
Our starting point of the event. Dockside poured us each a glass of Marina Light Lager and paired it with some pan-fried squid with chili and scallions. The squid was cooked to perfection, soft and not too chewy, and the chili gave a subtle amount of spice. To this we had lime wedges to add some citrus to the squid, and I also used it with the lager, enhancing both. The Marina Light Lager is light bodied, not too much hops. Not too challenging to drink, but tastes more refreshing with a squirt of lime.
Artisan Sake Maker
One of my surprise stops, I have not had sake for a long time. This one, a Junmai Nama-zake (sake), was served slightly chilled, in an ISO wine tasting glass. It has a nice light citrus and yeast aroma. Light body with cantaloupe and peach flavours. Low acidity, soft in the mouth. Finishes with a light acidic prickle. If you like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, you will like this sake. I was surprised to find out that the rice for this sake comes from Abbotsford, BC.
Another related surprise was the SakeKasu rice cream and rice bran cookie. The ice cream is made from the lees that remain after the fermented rice mash has been pressed during the sake making process. It had a sort of nutty or roasted grain flavour to it. Very enjoyable. With the rice cream, we had a rice bran cookie, with the bran coming as a byproduct of the rice milling process. I recommend visiting Artisan Sake Maker.
Another first for me is this distillery on Granville Island, producing both triple distilled vodka and whisky. The whisky is a work in progress as the distillery must age the whisky in barrels for 3 years before selling it, but the vodka is currently available for consumption. One of the owners, Lisa, lead us through a brief tour of the distillery and told us about the fermentation and distillation process for both the vodka and whisky. Organic wheat is used for the whisky and organic barley for the vodka; both coming from BC.
Granville Island Brewing
Is pulled pork poutine and beer a perfect pairing? Yes. At Granville Island Brewing, they let us sample three of their beers:
- Island Lager
- Robson Street Hefeweizen
- Auld Skool Scottish Ale
For my tastes, I am a full-bodied beer lover, so the Scottish Ale was my favourite. I enjoyed the roasted malt and coffee flavours. Some of my friends on the tour enjoyed the Hefeweizen, slightly off-dry with some banana and orange flavours. Again the lager, although good, with light hop flavour, is a bit too light for me.
Liberty Wine Merchants
Liberty Wine Merchants has several stores in the Vancouver lower mainland. The Granville Island store, is their newest location, opening about 2 years ago. I like to stop here for wine, when I’m shopping at the market. We sampled 2 wines from the BC winery Nichol Vineyard. Their 9 Mile White 2011 is a blend of Riesling and Gewurztraminer. The Gewurztraminer added some lychee, while the Riesling added some citrus and a round mouthfeel. I think this is a pretty versatile wine to enjoy with cheese or seafood dishes. The Syrah 2011 had nice aromas and flavours of violets and red fruits. A well structured wine to pair with some grilled lamb chops or sausages.
Oyama Sausage is my go-to place for terrines and pate. Today we had a sample of their saucisson sec (dry sausage) and their country pate. The sausage was very nice. It was not overly fatty and has peppercorns to add some spice and flavour. The pate was also very good, with a higher fat content, just melted in your mouth. Quality food products.
If you are looking for lower fat alternative meats, there is Jackson’s Poultry serving up chicken and turkey (maybe duck too?). They served us a Turkey finnochio sausage and hot buffalo chicken wings. I in particular liked the sausage.
A Bread Affair
Chevre with pistachio and chive and a pecan cranberry spread on baguette slices were served to us at A Bread Affair. The bread is made right there, with fresh products constantly being brought out. How can you go wrong with freshly baked bread, and chevre spreads?
For those of you with a sweet tooth, there is ChocolaTas in the Market, making beautiful looking (and tasting) chocolates. We were given three to sample:
- lavender – Mild lavender flavour, smooth dark chocolate. Not bitter. Very nice.
- Salted Caramel – Lightly salted, soft caramel. Not sticky.
- 67% Chocolate Ganache – quality dark chocolate. Again not too sweet, or bitter. Just right.
I prefered the lavender and the Chocolate Ganache, being a dark chocolate lover.
There was also Agro Cafe on the tour, but I ran out of time. They offer a range of coffees and dishes, such as shepard’s pie, mac & cheese and pesto pasta salad. Thank you to Richard Wolak, aka @vanfoodster, for the invitation to this event.