Arthur Chmielewski is a recent Edmonton transplant and is one half of the duo behind the men’s retail concept Haven (www.havenshop.ca). Arthur recently made the move out west when him and his brother expanded their operations and set up shop in the historical Gaoler’s Mews in Gastown. With his busy schedule running the new store and in between buying trips overseas he finds himself enjoying Vancouver’s many choices and eating out on the regular. His top slop:
Guu Garden (M101- 888 Nelson Street, Vancouver) - After Kakarenbo closed down a few month back I was on the hunt to find the new Iazakaya that would end up taking its place. I eat my fair share of Japanese and Iazakaya and the new Guu Garden is the spot! I find myself coming here often, either to have a full meal or to have drinks with friends. This new location opened just off Nelson and Hornby and isn’t as accessible as the other locations so it doesn’t have the lineups but it definitely has the best vibe. In the summer this place reigns supreme as they have a massive roof top patio and nothing beats having 1, 2 or even 3 1Litre Mega Sapporos on the patio. Their Saba Sushi and Beef tongue are my go to dishes. My boy Yasu runs the show out there and him and his staff do an amazing job.
Pho Tai Hoa (1625 Kingsway, Vancouver) – I’m half Vietnamese and after moving out to Vancouver I had a hard time finding a place that could cook a mean Vietnamese meal with that same home cooked flair that my mom does. Vancouver magazine recently gave them #2 best Vietnamese restaurant in the city behind Phnom Penh. Not in my books! Their menu runs deep and is extensive that it’s often hard to choose what you want to have. You can get just about anything on this menu from the Pho, 7 Color Vermicelli bowls to Grilled pork chop rice dishes and come out with change in your pocket and smile on your face. In my books these guys are much more traditional in their cooking and are hands down the #1 Vietnamese joint in the city.
Phat (1055 Mainland Street, Vancouver) – After a long night out, nothing beats an Eggs Benedict at Phat in the morning. I choose either the Montreal smoked meat or the Smoked Salmon with Dill cream cheese on a everything bagel with a side of their crispy hash browns. You can’t lose with either choice. It’s also nice and chill here and isn’t pretentious and fancy like the rest of the cheesy Yaletown places. Owner has that super laid back NYC “I don’t give a F…” type vibes about him too which I dig.
Honorable mentions: Kingyo lunch menu is by far the best lunch menu in town, their AAA beef bowl is mouth watering. Hanako sushi in Surrey is out of the way but has some unreal fresh fish alongside Ajisai. Italian Kitchen for their Truffle Spagetti with Kobe beef meatballs and Bone marrow Tartare. Also can’t forget Rodney’s for their Happy hour oysters.