By Diana (Foodology),
Special to The Post
Chef Karen McAthy is the culinary genius behind Graze, a vegan plant-based restaurant in Vancouver. Their ingredients are organic and locally sourced when possible.
The concept is to have food everyone can fall in love with, regardless of eating preferences. From strict vegetarians to flexitarians, there is bound to be something on the menu to interest your taste buds.
We arrived at 5:30 p.m. for an early dinner and it wasn’t very busy. My friend and I started with the Graze Organic Ginger Beer ($5), a non-alcoholic drink that comes with a wedge of lime. We also tried the Dark and Stormy ($9), which has Flor de Cana Rum, ginger beer, lime and ginger. The alcohol wasn’t too potent, but my friend did find there was a bit too much lime. Overall, both drinks were good.
We tried three appetizers, starting with the Vegetable Menage a Trois ($10), with three featured vegetables. On this visit, the vegetables were lightly grilled carrots, dragon tongue beans, and squash, all served with a phenomenal pesto sauce.
Portobello Filets ($9) are gluten-free, with a coating made with pepita, spices and corn flour. Pan fried until crisp, the dish is paired with a pink peppercorn aioli. The crust was delicious and crispy, and went well with the aioli.
One of the featured small plates for the night was the fermented collard leaf wrapped ‘chorizo’ with turnip puree, patty pan tempura, chili oil, and tomatoes from their garden. The dish tried to emulate the texture of chorizo without using any meat. It had a spongey texture but was still delicious.
For our main dishes, we ordered the macaroni ($14) with brown rice pasta in a smoky coconut cheddar sauce, and crispy eggplant and toasted nut crumble, all served over a potato pavé and seasonal vegetables. You can add their house-smoked tofu and fresh tomato for $3. The paella ($15) has spicy bomba rice, asparagus, red pepper, green garbanzo beans, kalamata olives, spring fava beans, and saffron. It was a filling dish.
To conclude our vegan dinner, we tried the blueberry & lavender cultured cashew cheesecake ($7), topped with edible flowers and fresh cherries. The cake had more of a mousse texture, and the delicious crust was nice and nutty.
Overall, we had a great time at Graze. You need to appreciate vegetables to love this place. If you want to try a bit of everything, I would suggest trying their Prix Fixe set menu for $30, which includes their featured small plate, entrée, and dessert. Their weekly specials also offer some good deals, including Thursdays when you can get two of the Prix Fixe courses for $50.
Foodology is a top ranked food blogger on UrbanSpoon. These are the tales of her dine-out experiences. Read more at www.foodology.ca.
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We Rate Graze: 3.5/5
3980 Fraser Street, Vancouver, BC