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Vancouver: Blue Water Cafe, Five Sails, Bacchus, and Cafe Medina

Written By Scott Joseph On August 2, 2022

Vancouver outside

On a recent visit to Vancouver, I had three different dinner experiences, each enjoyable in its way, plus one really good brunch.

Southeast LG 2 24

Blue Water Cafe

Vancouver BWC ext

Located in the city’s Yaletown neighborhood and housed in a converted warehouse space, Blue Water Cafe floats between seafood restaurant and sushi bar. The menu definitely has a Japanese flair.

Vancouver BWC roll

We chose the Stamina roll from the sushi menu to have as a starter course. It featured crab, barbecued eel and smoked salmon with a sweet soy glaze, dotted with sesame seeds. Each bite a delight. Not sure what stamina is required to eat it – maybe it takes fortitude to resist ordering another.

Vancouver BWC fish

For my entree I chose the sablefish, served in yuzu dashi broth with baby bok choy, sliced shiitake, plump edamame and quinoa. The sablefish, also known as black cod, had big, white flakes and a buttery taste and texture.

Vancouver BWC scallop

My companion chose the scallops, perfectly seared, served with broccolini, snap peas and grape tomatoes and a panisse, essentially fried polenta fashioned out of chickpeas. The tender scallops were sitting in a preserved orange sauce.

Vancouver BWC bar

Vancouver BWC int

The atmosphere is lively and bustling; rustic, with rough hewn beams and posts, and upscale with crisp white tablecloths.

Five Sails

ancouver five int

Five Sails, on an upper level of the convention center and cruise terminal, boasts a panoramic view of Vancouver Harbour and the lights and mountain terrain of North Vancouver across the water.

Vancouver five rillette

Here we started with an unusual rillette featuring duck and liver parfait presented on thinly sliced and toasted baguette as sort of a sandwich, garnished with strawberries, grapes and cubes of aspic.

ancouver five tartare

Although listed as an appetizer, the tartare served as my entree. The finely chopped beef tenderloin, deliciously spicy, was served with lavash crisps. Between the two mounds of tartare was a strip of charred flat iron steak, a sort of meaty lagniappe.

ancouver five lamb

Rick had the lamb, a perfectly grilled strip loin topped with shishito peppers and served with eggplant caponata.

The decor is a little cruise-shippy but that view is magnificent.

ancouver five ext


Vancouver bacchus int

Bacchus is located in the Wedgewood hotel in the city center so it’s no surprise the tables are graced with Wedgewood china. The menu and decor are more European while keeping local products in focus.

Vancouver bacchus oysters

I couldn’t resist having some fresh oysters, served with a raspberry mignonette; cool and delicious.

Vancouver bacchus rabbot

Spring lamb bolognese was my entree while Rick and the spring rabbit braised in white wine.

Vancouver bacchus cheeses

Instead of dessert we shared a plate of local cheeses.

It’s a relaxing and quiet atmosphere enhanced with live piano music.

Vancouver bacchus plate

Cafe Medina

Vancouver CM int

Located in the Library District, Cafe Medina specializes in hearty breakfast skillets with a Mediterranean bent.

Vancouver CM cassoulet

An egg-topped cassoulet, for example, had the usual white beans and sausages you’d expect in cassoulet but also with thick bacon and roma tomatoes. More of a deconstructed cassoulet but satisfying nonetheless.

Vancouver CM paella

Same with the paella, served on orzo instead of rice, with chorizo, avocado and roasted vegetables.

Vancouver CM french

The atmosphere is youthful and busy. Have the Medina 75, the restaurant’s take on a French 75, and relax – you’re on vacation.

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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