Dine Out Vancouver 2017 Part I: Forage and YEW

Forage pork belly
The pork belly entree at Forage.

I’m all for Dine Out Vancouver. It entices you to restaurants you wouldn’t otherwise go to, so you can broaden your culinary horizons at lesser price points than a typical meal at high-end restaurants. Set menus are priced at $20, $30 or $40 per person for a complete meal: starter, main and dessert.

At last year’s festival, we tried Forage, YEW and Beach Bay Cafe and Patio. The first two were hits. The last one, not so much. We returned to Forage and YEW this year for Dine Out Vancouver. The meal at Forage was just as good as last year’s meal. I was most impressed by the pork belly, which had a top layer of perfectly crisp skin and moist, tender flesh underneath. I could’ve easily eaten another serving or two. I loved the unctuousness of the skin and meat; it makes you want more. The cream puff dessert in a ginger sauce was excellent as well; I liked the strong zing of the ginger and the ladyfinger-like texture of the cream puff shell. Bonus: Our waiter was knowledgeable about the kitchen’s cooking techniques, and he gave us good tips on how to improve our pork belly at home. We’ve tried to roast pork belly in the oven before, but it’s never come out quite right (more on that in another post, if we try it again). The meal ended with me feeling satisfied–which, when dining out at fancy restaurants, doesn’t typically happen, so kudos to Forage.

YEW sablefish
YEW’s sablefish entree.

YEW, the restaurant of Four Seasons Vancouver, was another good meal, but not as filling as I remember last year’s being. To be fair, we ordered an extra side dish last year, which I think is why I was raving about how good the meal was afterward; I was nice and full. I had the sablefish this time, which was incredible; tender with just the right amount of sear for a light crust. I definitely wanted more of that. The “jitters gateau” dessert was excellent; a bar with a light mocha cream layer and coffee hazelnut streusel.